Caixin
Sep 30, 2014 12:45 PM

Lost in Translation

Is selective translation of news articles from the foreign media more insidious than no translation at all? The debate was sparked by a garbled translation of the cover story of the Economist headlined What does China Want?

In a translated version run on ThePaper.cn, a generously funded website covering political and social news, passages following some transitional device such as "but" and "however," which seek to give a counterpoint and more often than not contain the core messages, are excised. For example: The translated passage renders: "As China becomes, again, the world's largest economy, it wants the respect it enjoyed in centuries past," while leaving out "But it does not know how to achieve …"

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