Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Associated Press: Lost in Translation


http://asap.ap.org/stories/199840.s

Stephanie Hoo of Associated Press has written a piece about Hanzi Smatter called "Lost in Translation, Are you SURE that Chinese tattoo means what you think it means?".

Thanks!


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4 comments:

  1. That's a very nice write-up (by the A.P. no less)!

    On a side note, I propose a three-year moratorium on the phrase "Lost in Translation" when describing anything and everything from Asia. It's become a crutch!

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  2. Ha! What a great article!

    I am an 8-year veteran of weekly Chinese language lessons with a private tutor. Although I think that for a non-native speaker I am reasonably fluent in Putonghua, I continue to take these lessons because of the depth and complexity of Mandarin. From time to time my teacher gives me a poem to translate from Chinese to English, and judging from her often nearly hysterical laughter, I'm guessing that further instruction is necessary. (-_-)

    Your site is hilariously funny AND demonstrates that Chinese language must be approached with great care, especially when being forever inked upon one's body.

    Keep up the great work!

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  3. nice! good to see press.

    I was browsing the archive, and came across a post talking about someone who wanted "pallbearer" or "coffin handler" on their leg. (here)

    I looked it up on my IME pad and found two possibilities.

    橄 (Japanese reading=Kan, meaning is olive (?))
    檝 (Japanese reading = Kaji/Shuu、meaning unknown)

    Just wanted to point that out.

    -tko

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  4. Thank you!!

    I found your site from the Zhongwen link; and it is hysterically funny. And yes, those poor people who don't double and triple check on what they permanently decorate their bodies with - "oops!"

    I have bookmarked your site and plan on continuing visiting, especially as I have been learning Mandarin and Cantonese, and I have always enjoyed calligraphy.

    And, though it seems obvious, I am continuously reminded that there is always more to learn about how to construct a character, especially once one begins to develop a style of one's own. It's like ASL - with sign language, one must always be careful, even precise, in doing the movements to make a sign, lest "Good Morning!" turn into "Good F-@$ You!"

    Your site would be an excellent reference for those who think they can just blow off good advice, too.

    ((^~^))

    CML

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