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Pathetic!!! [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2005-12-19 02:42:44 |Display all floors
It's two o'clock early in a morning when most of you are in bed.  I am up still because I slept early after dinner, feeling very tired not having taken a nap during the day.  With Celtic music playing on Winamp, I am surfing this forum to see if there is anything exciting.

I tried to respond to one post so I used Google to find out some textile terms and bumped into the website of a textile manufacturer in China.   The English on the webpage is absurdly pathetic.

Capital letters are used throughout making reading difficult.  On top of this, the English is terrible to the highest degree.

I am showing you folks here just the first paragraph as an illustration.  I had been trying to tidy it but stopped short of completing it as I got a doubt on the research centre named in Chinese.  I am not able to dig it up from internet search i.e. 中国社会经济调查中心.   Where possible, I would stick to the official English name as much as possible.

The background of China's enterprise structure or rather re-structure is always taking up a lot of space in the introduction of any business in China.  I suggest that we try to skip this if it is not so important.

The webpage of a business gives the first impression to a prospective customer like an introduction letter sent directly.  Before meeting anyone or talking to anyone in your business, the prospective customer can only judge you by that.   I am sure we all like to deal with a counterparty who looks professional at least on paper.

I wonder if anyone of you out there as translators like to re-write this as a practice and case study.

Translation is not just about making a living.  It has to be done properly even if it costs more in time and money.  You folks are lucky still as your buyer (of your translation service) is not usually aware of the quality of your work.   Tell me what you think about this if you bother to.


SHAOXING XYZ GROUP CO.,LTD ESTABLISHED IN 1981, HAD ALREADY HAD A HISTORY OF 23 YEARS SO FAR,IT WAS PRIVATE PRODUCTIVE ENTERPRISE OF SHAREHOLDING SYSTEM KEY LEADING ENTERPRISE OF THE CITY.FROM 1998 TO 2004 IT HAS BEEN CHOSEN AS THE ADVANCED ENTERPRISE RUN BY THE LOCAL PEOPLE FOR 6YEARS IN SUCCESSION, OBTAINED SELF—OPERATION EXPORT AND IMPORT RIGHT IN 2000. PR-ODUCTS INVESTIGATE CHINA SOCIAL ECONOMY CENTRE REGA-RD“CHINESE GOODS AND MATERIALS ITEM PURCHASE USER FIRST SELECTED BRAND”AS LIGHT PRODUCT MASS CENTRE REGARD“QUALITY REST ASSURED NATIONAL ACCEP- TABLE PRODUCT” AS CHINA IN 2001, WON THE NEW PRODUCTS NEW TECHNOLOGY GOLD MEDAL OF THE 11TH FAIR OF CHINA IN 1999. BE SANCTIONED AS THE MEMBER OF CHAMBER OF IMPORT AND EXPORT TRADE OF THE CHINESE FABRIC IN 2003. SHAOXING COUNTY ADMINISTRATION FOR INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE,SHAOXING COUNTY ASSOCIAT OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE, ONCE FROM 2000 TO 2003 AWARD TITLE TO“ GLORIOUS STAR”.


Shaoxing XYZ Group Co. Ltd. ("SXG") was established in 1981 as a private manufacturer and a key local enterprise in Shaoxing, Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China.    For 6 years in succession between 1998 to 2004, SXG had been recognized as "an advanced enterprise" by the local industry.  The right to engage in direct import and export was granted to SXG in 2000. In a survey by the China Socio-Economic Survey Center (???)  ....


绍兴XYZ实业有限公司创建于1981年,至今已有23年历史,系民营股份制生产型企业、市重点骨干企业。1998年至2003年连续5年被评为先进民营企业。2000年获得自营进出口权。2001年公司的产品被中国社会经济调查中心认定为"中国物资商品采购用户首先品牌",被中国中轻产品质量中心认定为" 质量放心,国家合格产品",1999年荣获中国十一届博览会新产品新技术金奖。2003年被批准为中国纺织品进出口商会会员。2000年、2003年曾两次被绍兴县工商行政管理局、绍兴县私营企业协会授予"光彩之星"称号。

[ Last edited by mdoinit at 2005-12-19 02:50 AM ]
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rovi297 has been deleted
Post time 2005-12-19 08:05:35 |Display all floors

Can you give us a link?

Reminder: Author is prohibited or removed, and content is automatically blocked

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Post time 2005-12-19 09:30:29 |Display all floors
I am aware of this.  Machine translation can be used only if someone is around to tidy it up.  At least, one doesn't have to type all the English in.  It's quite fun to fine-tune machine translated pieces.
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Post time 2005-12-19 12:05:49 |Display all floors
Well, often the boss asks his trusted lieutenant, someone with no marketing experience, to do a write-up on the company, and this is what he gets.

The English translation is not the only thing that is wrong with this introduction. I read through the entire paragraph a few times and still can’t figure out what this company does, apart from the clue that they became a member of the textile import/export association in 2003. I don’t know if they are in industrial or consumer textile, synthetic or natural fiber, or whatever. For all I know they could be in textile machinery and supplies business.

One point to keep in mind is that the first paragraph of a write-up, whether it is your CV or a company introduction, is the most important part of the entire document. Readers have limited attention span, so they will likely just read the first couple of paragraphs and skip through the rest of the document quickly. Therefore you should put the most important information at the beginning – who you are, what you do, and why you should be considered. Anything less important should not occupy this important space.

In this example given by mdoinit, there are a lot of things that can be deleted without sacrificing anything. For example:

至今已有23年历史 – There is no need for this because it is already stated that the company was established in 1981, so it has been around for 25 years, not 23 years as the introduction claims. Someone must have forgotten to update the Web page. You might as well delete this part, this way the information is never outdated.

2000年获得自营进出口权 – As a buyer I don’t care WHEN you got the import/export permit, all I care is that you have one. In fact, even this is not important, as long as the product is good and the price I have to pay is right; it doesn’t matter to me whether you go through a trading company or use your own import/export permit.

1999年荣获中国十一届博览会新产品新技术金奖 – Is this still relevant? The technology for which they were given recognition in 1999 is probably outdated today anyway. What have they done since 1999?

2003年被批准为中国纺织品进出口商会会员 – Is this a big deal? Even if it is, do I care in what year they became a member?

As a potential buyer visiting the Web site I care more about what they do, e.g., their product line; I care about their capability, e.g., their size and product quality; I care more about who their customers are, because the quality of their customers tells me a lot about the quality of their management and products. I see none of this information in the paragraph, however.

Another thing I see in more than 60% of Chinese company profiles, usually in the first paragraph, is description on the location of the company - how beautiful the town is, how there is a river nearby, a mountain with some sort of legend, etc. Do these factors improve the quality of your products and reduce your cost? Do I care otherwise?

And that awful translation… well, I’ll leave that to the capable hands of mdoinit.

BTW, mdoinit, I think Shaoxing is in Zhejiang, not Guangdong.

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Post time 2005-12-19 12:25:20 |Display all floors
Laoxianggg is no doubt very knowledgeable about what's going on with company profiles in China.  His (?) comments and observations are very insightful.

Unfortunately, people do not seem to care about what they do with their English version of their websites.  They carry the usual bla bla bla ... nobody cares to read about.

If China wants to go international, the minds of those doing communication be it website or promotional literature, must open up.   Spend a bit of time viewing the corresponding businesses overseas to find out how people promote themselves.

I am glad to see the very detailed analysis from Laoxianggg.  Thank you!

By the way, it's pointless to carry on translating this garbish.  My whole intention is just want to echo my concern about our own folks carrying on with these wasteful cyberspace bull**.
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Post time 2005-12-19 12:48:53 |Display all floors

Trust me, many Chinese companies just want a verbatim translation.

In my experience many Chinese companies just want a verbatim translation of the Chinese and if you suggest otherwise they don't want to hear it, even to the extent of changing the English grammar to mimic the Chinese. They typically go through the translation word by word, and if they feel something is missing the translation is invariably referred to a native Chinese speaker for editing and correction! The poor often laughable results are evident everywhere.

I myself refuse to translate doggerel, political commentary, works biased towards race and propaganda, and any work over which I do not have final authority of translation. I have also refused to translate simply because I don't like the writers or their attitude; it's my choice.

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Post time 2005-12-19 13:08:43 |Display all floors
Onepastyoung, I like your attitude.

I am serving a boss who migrated to Hong Kong from China 18 years back.  She has not changed at all.  She loves English and so started an educational 'empire'.   More on the empire later.

When I write in a very western and English way, she has difficulty understanding it.  She would press for a more Chinese way of expression.

Give you an example here.  When I use "the undersigned", she wants me to drop it.

These people are unconsciously 'murdering' English day after day.
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