Friday, July 28, 2017

Chinese Translations of the Atlantic's Cover Stories

Translating the Atlantic's cover stories into Chinese is a project that my friends and I started in March, motivated by a feeling of responsibility to help serious journalism reach a broader audience.  In today's internet jungle that can readily swallow (and has swallowed many) uninformed readers, there are time-honored trustworthy publications that stand out by providing people with truth and perspective, and the Atlantic is one of those.

Fortunately, our attempt received support from the Atlantic's editorship led by John Gould, who had the courage and foresight to let us start this experiment.  Since then, our translations have been widely praised by readers; people are saying things like "翻译得真的很好,感觉不到翻译“ (meaning: "the translation is so good it does not feel like a translation"), "非常流畅的译笔" ("very fluent translation "), and "译文像是中文书写的一样" ("the translation is like ​original Chinese writing").

Some of our work, such as the translations of "How to Build Autocracy" and "My Family's Slave​,​" has generated a huge readership, and stayed on top of's "Popular" list for weeks. We are very encouraged and truly appreciative of the editors, supporting staff, and readers. We have worked hard, and the project has been intellectually rewarding.

Here's the list of our translations so far, in reverse-chronological order:
  • July/August:  
How to Deal With North Korea
  • June:
My Family's Slave
  • May
Alec Baldwin Gets Under Trump’s Skin
  • April


Babygrand said...

I was reading the Atlantic this morning when I saw an article that offered to be read in Chinese. Curious to see how this was done, I was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar name (I regularly lurk on your blog for updates).

The topic of this article is an important one and the dual language format is fitting given the topic it is covering. There are certain phrases that stuck out to my 8th grade level Chinese though. For example, early in the article there is one sentence "None of which, we should all pray, will amount to much". This was translated as "让我们一起祈祷这种种事端都不会造成后果". Anyway, not wanting to pick a stone out of an egg, just thought I would share it. Hope the Atlantic continues to experiment this format of reporting.

On a different note, I'm sure you are aware by now that there was an earthquake close to our hometown. Hope everyone your know is safe and sound.

Xujun said...

Thank you! I'll share your comment with my colleagues.