And for those who are sick of hearing about WoolfCamp, it’s now time for something completely different…Winterson.com presents a stunning example of Chinese bootleg American films. He bought the DVD for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith for less than a buck in Shanghai, and was pleasantly entertained to see that it had English subtitles–subtitles that had been translated from English to Chinese, and then from Chinese to English. No, they were not on target.It begs the question, “What were they thinking?! The original English text must have been available!” And it illustrates an important point that people try to ignore about translation: it’s never perfect. You can never fully capture exact meaning between two languages. To further illustrate this point, I’m going to plug the text of this entry into the Babel Fish Translator from English to Chinese, and then translate that output from Chinese to English. Ready? Go.

And for these is heard sick and disabled WoolfCamp, now is the time for completely does not work together… Winterson.com to propose the Chinese sells sells 私酒 an American movie astonishing example. He has bought DVD is star war plot III: The Sith revenge for are less compared to a buck in Shanghai, with pleasantly is willing to consider to look, it had English captions — to translate from English to Chinese subtitle, and then from Chinese to English. No, they are not in the goal. Does it beg the question, what “they is thought? ! The primitive English text certainly obtains!” And it explained the people try to neglect about the translation heavy main point: It never is consummates. You can never fully capture the accurate meaning between two languages. Further explained this spot, I block this entry text to enter the Babelfish translator from English to Chinese, with then translates that product from Chinese to English. Prepares? Goes.

Interesting… now, what if we take that text, translate it into Japanese, and then translate that output back to English?

And because of these is the sickness which is heard, as for disabled WoolfCamp, it doesn’t work the time completely now is together… as for Winterson.com which proposes Chinese sale law? You sell? The American movie example of the extent which is surprised. He plotting III the star war which is bought DVD: When the vengeance of Sith pleasantly of for the sake of you see as the wooden び coming stand of Shanghai, is less, is considering, rejoicing, — from English from Chinese subtitle and Chinese it should translate the English caption next it is compared from English it possessed. Calling you obtain, as for those there is no purpose. Is question asked, as for that the thought which is no “they? ! You obtain the primitive English text certainly! “And that explained the attempt of the people to disregard concerning translation heavy main point: That you complete it is not never. Never, accurate meaning between sufficiently two languages cannot be captured. This point above that, that product from English was explained from Chinese which translates the text of this entry item which is obstructed in order from my and English, from Chinese to enter into for the translator of Babelfish. It prepares? It goes.

There you have it, folks. That you complete it is not never.

If Sarah’s going to accomplish something at home, it’s mostly to succeed if it involves:

  1. The Internet
  2. Other People

Problem: How can we get Sarah to practice her Chinese at home on a regular basis?Proposed Solution:Make a new blog, in which she can journal in Chinese and network it with the language-learning community. There’s no guarantee it will work. She might spend more time tweaking the layout and customizing the settings than translating her thoughts into Chinese. But it’s better than trying to disguise a pill in peanut butter.

Whether you’ve studied Chinese or not, check out this site:http://www.newsinchinese.comMouse over any character and it gives you the immediate English translation as well as the pronunciation. You can basically read the whole thing in English if you let your eye follow your mouse. But what’s really neat is that it gives you an idea about how characters form words and words form sentences… which, to Westerners, starts off as a complete mystery.

Somehow, I’m going to learn 1,000 Chinese characters in 3 months. This is the expectation for a class I’m taking, and it is pretty ambitious. Let me put the goal into perspective:There are about 50,000 characters in the Chinese language. Most of these are archaic or uncommon. You need about 4,000 to be literate / fluent. There are two kinds of characters: traditional and simplified. Simplified characters (as you might guess) are much simpler to learn than traditional. They have fewer lines and components. While some characters are the same in both systems, it can be very hard to recognize a traditional character when you only know its simplified version. Much of China has switched to simplified to increase their literacy rate. I have studied simplified characters in the past, and probably know about 500 simplified characters (on a good day). However, the Chinese class I just joined uses traditional characters. They’re big and scary and I hardly know any of them. I was thinking about folding a paper crane for every new character I learn this semester (à la Sadako) and storing them in my office. By the end, I’ll be able to measure my success by how hard it is to find my computer.

Chinatown is by far my favorite place in San Francisco. It’s huge, it’s dense, and it’s diverse. You heard me. I called it diverse. Not just because you’ll find an international tourist on every other corner, but because the Chinese people themselves vary so significantly. Mandarin vs. Cantonese: A Quick LessonMandarin comes from Beijing and is the official language of China. Cantonese comes from Hong Kong and is the dominant language of most American Chinatowns. While they’re both “dialects” of Chinese, they’re entirely seperate languages. A speaker of one can’t understand a speaker of the other, but they can write to each other in Chinese characters. I study Mandarin. Cantonese goes right over my head.San Francisco Chinese Linguistics: A Quick LessonA century ago, nearly all of San Francisco’s Chinese households spoke Cantonese. Now, about 50% speak Cantonese, with the other half speaking Mandarin. Cantonese still dominates Chinatown, but most shopkeepers know enough Mandarin to do business with that population. Really, all Chinatown employees and business owners need to be trilingual to get by. In addition to Mandarin and Cantonese, they obviously need a little English in their bag of tricks.For most tourists, Chinatown is a slice of China. For me, it’s a mecca of multiculturalism. I hear various forms of Chinglish, interspersed with both Mandarin and Cantonese. Speakers switch between languages seamlessly. The older generations use loud, heavily accented Chinese, throwing in the occasional “okay” and “bye-bye.” The younger generations lean on their English, but switch to Chinese whenever the need arises. Throw in some multicultural locals, add a handful of African, European, Asian, and American tourists (who just have to see Chinatown while they’re in the city), and you have the very definition of diversity.