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

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Michelle Deeter

Michelle Deeter loves to read. She has been translating and interpreting since 2007 and she handles everything from pesticide patents to frozen food packaging. She holds a BA in International Relations from Carleton College (USA) and an MA in Translation and Interpreting from Newcastle University (UK).

Michelle Deeter translated for READ PAPER REPUBLIC, week 1, 18 June 2015, and co-translated for READ PAPER REPUBLIC, week 31, 14 January 2016.

 

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Translating Sensitive Material

By Michelle Deeter, October 27, '12

I'm sure you've heard of the Chinese government blocking access to the English and Chinese websites of the New York Times earlier today. The New York Times published an article about the riches that Premier Wen's family has gained since he has been in office. The English version of the article can be found here and the Chinese version can be found here. In this case, the Chinese translation does not list the translator's name, perhaps because the translator asked to be anonymous. Typically the translator is credited at the bottom of each NY Times article.

I am curious if others have translated "sensitive" content before, and what kind of experience they had. Have you ever translated something that you thought might be blocked or censored if published in China? Have you translated something that you would not put on your resume, because it might affect job prospects or have some other negative impact? Have you ever asked to not be credited for your translation?

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