Monday, October 18, 2004
"I Strive for a Non-Existent Ethnic Group"
From reader "Angela S.":
"Hey Tian, I come across with a photo of Marcus Camby. I'm sure he means well when he gets that tattoo. But for me as a native Chinese speaker, I feel I wouldn’t be able to understand the tattoo without some explanation. I think non-native Chinese speakers have to understand that some English phases just don't translate well into Chinese."
I agree with Angela S. on this issue. Usually the character 族 is used in Chinese referring to a certain ethnic group. In this case, without any detailed explanation, Camby's tattoo means he is a member of the 勉 ethnic group, which is nonexistent.