Okay, I know I've pared down my blogging to Mondays only, but this was such a great idea (Sheri Larsen's idea) that I decided to try for one more day each week. When I run out of TeenSteam, I'll beg to be excused, but for now here I am.
One of my life passions happens to be intercultural communication, and I love how connected this passion is to another one of mine--Young Adult literature.
How does a non-western teen from China, for example, understand the stories about Harry Potter? Translation, yes, but some things can't just be simply translated. There are often no cognates that exist between English and Chinese and many English words have multiple translation equivalents in Chinese. That's why some of those "EASY-TO-FOLLOW" assembly instructions leave you scratching your head.
Okay, let's say some translator manages to make the young wizard's trials and tribulations understandable. What about all those allusions, references and underlying cultural assumptions that are embedded in Rawling's books?
Here's how the Chinese "help" their readers understand certain references to Western culture. They added some serious, scholarly footnotes. The problem is while serious and definitely scholarly in appearance, there are a few, er, errors? I've borrowed a few from a more serious and more scholarly source. If you're interested in reading more of these, here the link:Footnotes to the Mainland Chinese Translation of Harry Potter (or all you needed to know about Western culture)