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Kenny同志

Who are those translating for the Wall Street Journal?

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Kenny同志

A couple of days ago one of my colleagues strongly recommended the WSJ to me, saying the translations there were superb so I checked it out today. What I found after comparing the translation against the original was that the translation, to my surprise (though I had been primed for it), while being very faithful to the original, didn’t read like translation at all! It gave me the impression that it was directly written in English. My curiosity, therefore, has been stirred up. Who are those translators?

Here’re the links to the original and the translation.

http://cn.wsj.com/gb/20110329/bch091449.asp?source=whatnews2

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703739204576228532574791862.html?mod=WSJASIA_hpp_MIDDLEFourthNews

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skylee

Which is supposed to be the original and which the translation?

PS - interesting article. I was quite shocked when I first came across Baidu Wenku.

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anonymoose

Yes, it has been translated very skillfuly indeed.

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gato

The English is probably the original. See this sentence below. If the original were the Chinese version, I don't think "指责" would be translated as "taken heat". "Has been criticized" maybe. "Taken heat" is much more colloquial. Certainly too colloquial for a WSJ article if you were translating.

"Vast" and "大型" is another indicator that it's an English-to-Chinese translation: the Chinese word here is colorless compared to the English.

Google, Baidu's chief competitor in China, has also taken heat from authors and publishers in China and around the world for its efforts to build a vast digital library including copies of out-of-print books.

百度在中国最大的竞争对手谷歌试图建立一个大型数字图书馆,这一努力也受到了中国及全球作家和出版商的指责

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semantic nuance

A related topic, maybe. I find FT 中文網 has been doing quite a good translation job from English to Chinese. I love reading articles there. Click most of any news there, and you can choose to read its English, or English-Chinese version. It's quite good to learn both English and Chinese.

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Kenny同志

@gato

数十名中国作家纷纷声讨百度,指责该公司及李彦宏说,该网站助长了侵犯版权的气焰。百度是中国最大的互联网运营商之一,李彦宏则是中国最知名的企业家之一。这场论战可能会使百度更为宏大的产品计划受挫。

Dozens of Chinese authors have lashed out at Baidu, one of China's biggest Internet operators, have criticized the company and Mr. Li, one of China's most prominent entrepreneurs, saying that the site facilitates copyright infringement.

No, I don’t think the original is English as you can see, the last sentence (in the third paragraph) of the Chinese is obviously left out in the English version. If the original were English, the translator wouldn’t have been so presumptuous as to add what was not in the original.

@SN

My colleague mentioned Financial Times too. It’s a great site.

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semantic nuance
If the original were English, the translator wouldn’t have been so presumptuous as to add what was not in the original.

Kenny, I guess you must have left out part of the translation. Read its English version along, there's the sentence: The controversy threatens to set back one of the Chinese Internet company's more ambitious product initiatives.

Does this article from The Wall Street Journal help to clarify your doubt? I mean its original might be English.

Also, here's the background of the author--Loretta Chao

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gato
这场论战可能会使百度更为宏大的产品计划受挫。

Maybe they edited that sentence out of the English version after the translation was done. "更为宏大的产品计划" sounds awkward to me. It reads more like a literal translation than what a Chinese reporter would write.

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Kenny同志

@SN

I copied and pasted the two versions onto my word document and looked up “ambitious” with Word’s search & replace but got no result. And I did read along the English version, but didn’t find the sentence either.

数十名中国作家纷纷声讨百度,指责该公司及李彦宏说,该网站助长了侵犯版权的气焰。

Dozens of Chinese authors have lashed out at Baidu, … , saying that the site facilitates copyright infringement.

Now I am not sure which one’s the original. If the English were the original, probably I would translate “facilitates copyright infringement” , instead of “助长了侵犯版权的气焰”, 助长了版权侵犯行为.

To me, both versions are linguistically good.

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creamyhorror

I'd be quite surprised if the Wall Street Journal had original articles in Chinese, with English translations. That seems backwards to me, since the paper is completely English (and American) as far as I know.

It's quite likely both the English and Chinese versions were written by the same person - in which case they're not purely translations. They probably have decent editing going on, too.

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Kenny同志
It's quite likely both the English and Chinese versions were written by the same person - in which case they're not purely translations. They probably have decent editing going on, too.

That might be the case.

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semantic nuance
I copied and pasted the two versions onto my word document and looked up “ambitious” with Word’s search & replace but got no result. And I did read along the English version, but didn’t find the sentence either.

Put whose version is original aside, I read that sentence-- The controversy threatens to set back one of the Chinese Internet company's more ambitious product initiatives--from the first link you posted: (I clicked its 英文 instead). That sentence does not show up in the 2nd link you posted nor in the link I posted.

Personally, I think 助長了....的氣焰 is also ok. If you google, you may find plenty of it. But I will write 助長了侵權的行為

@creamyhorror: I agree with you.

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Kenny同志
Personally, I think 助長了....的氣焰 is also ok. If you google, you may find plenty of it. But I will write 助長了侵權的行為

Yeah, 助長了....的氣焰 is perfectly acceptable.

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anonymoose

So if 氣焰 is perfectly acceptable, why would both of you choose to use 行為? Is one better than the other?

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Kenny同志

Nope,I went with 行为 because it is more faithful.

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semantic nuance

氣焰含有比較貶抑的意思。通常指的是態度囂張,或者是高傲等等。我覺得在那個句子可以這樣用的原因是:侵權本身就是不對的行為,但是網站上公然可以分享有版權的作品,顯然是不把侵權當為一回事。網站可以公開下載也就是等於助長侵權這個行為, 好像不斷在助長這樣的氣焰 / 風氣 。所以,廣義的來說,也是說的通的。至於我會寫--助長侵權的行為是因為我純粹就是指 copyright infringement 的本身.

Sorry, if you have to penalize me because I write Chinese in a non-chinese corner, just click ( - ).

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