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The men and women who love books too much

Wed, Nov 4th 2015, 02:13 Under Category ACTC Happenings by actc

If you’ve ever befriended a translator, you’ll agree that most of them are voracious readers (a.k.a bookworms). But there goes the belief that a book hoarder can always understand the sentiments and thoughts attached to a text better than others do, and as translation is more than just transporting words from one language to another, a person who reads often can better bridge cultural difference by being able to translate the deeper meaning of certain words and expressions.

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Hallo, South Asia!

Wed, Oct 28th 2015, 05:37 Under Category Useful Information for the Public by actc

Hindi is very much being understood, if not widely spoken, in South Asian region thanks to the influence of Bollywood. There are also many commonly known English words which are borrowed from Hindi, such as “guru”, “jungle”, “karma”, “yoga”, “cheetah” and “avatar”.

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Would machine translation replace human translators?

Fri, Mar 13th 2015, 18:10 Under Category Useful Information for the Public by actc

The question itself triggers quite a scary thought – it is equal to asking “can technology replace human intelligence?”

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Why is “John” being translated as “约翰”?
Thu, Apr 9th 2015, 16:38 Under Category Useful Information for the Public by actc

Many a time, English names are translated into Chinese based on the pronunciation of the word. For example, “David” is “大卫 in Chinese (pronounced as Da-Wei), “Mary” is “玛丽 in Chinese (pronounced as Ma-Li), “Kate” is “凯特 in Chinese (pronounced as Kai-Te) and the list goes on.  

However, have you ever wondered why “John” is called “约翰? “约翰 is pronounced as “Yue-Han”, which is nothing like the pronunciation of “John” in English. So, why “约翰?   

The origin of the name “John” is said to trace back to the Hebrew name Yohanan, which means “Graced by God”. The translated name for “John” is based on the pronunciation of the Hebrew name Yohanan instead of the English pronunciation of “John” – hence the Chinese translation “约翰” (Yue-Han). 

English names are always translated into Chinese in a way that uses the sounds of its original word. Similarly, “Joseph” is translated as 约瑟夫 (pronounced as Yue-Se-Fu). It takes the pronunciation of its original Hebrew name “Yosef” instead of the English pronunciation of Joseph.   

If you have always been wondering why John is called 约翰, now you know it!

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