“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Translating the President-elect

By Bruce Humes, published

Tsai Ing-wen’s post-election response on her Facebook page to a barrage of postings criticizing her stand in favor of Taiwan’s independence:

这个国家伟大的地方就在于,每一个人都有做自己的权利.

Various media have translated as follows:

The greatness of this country lies in that everyone has the right to be oneself.

The greatness of this country lies in how every single person can exercise their rights.

How would you render?

Comments

# 1.   

I'm plumping for the first one – the second just seems kind of wrong.

 Eric Abrahamsen, January 24, 2016, 10:17p.m.

# 2.   

第二句英文应该是对致辞里边第二句的改译或增译:“这个国家伟大的地方,就在于每一个人都有做自己的权利。【这个国家,保障所有国民,自由选择的权利。】"

做自己的权利中文本身的意思是没有歧义的,只可能理解为第一种英文的语义。

Sandy, January 25, 2016, 2:54a.m.

# 3.   

A couple suggestions for consideration. (1) I'd dump "The greatness of this country lies in ...." formula for the more colloquial "The great thing about this country is ...." (2) I'd go for "that everyone can be whoever they want." "The great thing about this country is that everyone can be whoever they want." OR "The great thing about this country is that everyone has the right to be whoever they want." OR "The great thing about this country is that everyone can express himself or herself freely." I go for the last formulation since I think it's likely closer to what Tsai means. (I'd not sure of my "whoevers" and "whomevers"!

Neil Silver, January 28, 2016, 1:07p.m.

# 4.   

Of course, for People of Greater China, the question lingering in the air is always which part of the country?! Each part all has its own challenge. In Taiwan, former president was jailed at one time for corruption. In mainland, Madam Jiang Qing hang herself for being herself. From what I read about her life, I do believe she does NOT deserve to die in prison... Politics corrupts, independence as a human being rely NOT on politics but on friendship as one unto one. Her speech is just an elected official's speech. No more and no less. I don' care what she says but how she executes whatever her speech left untold.

Susan, January 31, 2016, 9:21a.m.

# 5.   

The great thing about this country is that every person [meeting citizenship, age, and other constitutional requirements] can exercise their rights.

To "render" thusly, a translator must know the context of this orphaned sentence, quoted from Tsai Ing Wen's victory speech delivered to a crowd of supporters on January 16, 2016.

The statement immediately before states,"Taiwan is a democratic free country." Taiwan shi yige minzhu ziyou di guojia.

Thereafter, "This country guarantees that all citizens have the right of choice." Zheige guojia, baozhang suoyou di guomin, jiu you xuanze di quanli.

Fred, February 16, 2016, 8:16a.m.

*

Your email will not be published
Raw HTML will be removed
Try using Markdown:
*italic*
**bold**
[link text](http://link-address.com/)
End line with two spaces for a single line break.

*
*