Lost in translation

Was helping a friend translate one of his videos from Mandarin into English. This tape was raw footage taken for a documentary about cheongsam tailors and it was filmed in Shanghai. Needless to say, we ran into a lot of problems with the mandarin terms used by the interviewee. In the end, we made it through with a couple of broad generalizations and guesswork from the lexical bank of Mandarin words that we had. Obviously this is only a rough transcript. The complete one will have to take a couple of rounds of checking before being submitted.

This event happens just in time where I’ve just met an exchange student from Sweden. And what’s interesting is that he speaks some Mandarin. Over here we see a growing dislike for the language among portions of the younger generation (while the government tries to stem the problem with the Speak Mandarin Campaign), and here is someone from the other side of the world who takes an interest in the language. I find it very refreshing indeed, especially when I was brought up in an environment (through my family and friends) that favored the English Language over its Mandarin counterpart.

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