Dear Reader,

Today I am interested in taking some notes regarding my observations on the art of translation. To preface these observations I first wish to express a lesson which I have learned through experience and which I am putting into practice in this new line of work. That is, that there is no substitute for experience – direct experience. That is to say, one can talk theory all day, dive into books, and attend classes, but it is all for nothing without experience. As an example, I give you my writing. There was a time, when I fantasized – nay, romanticized about being a writer; and I took notes on books people recommended on the “profession” of writing, and watched how-to videos and writer interviews. Continue reading

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What? Translation?

Dear Reader,

I came to China for a reason forgotten, though I think it may have had something to do with a suggestion made by a Chinese medical interpreter I met, that I ought to go to China and practice Chinese a bit more. Well, I came to China, and I worked, and worked, and finally, after half a year, and only a couple of months remaining, I am getting some practice. Whether I needed to come to China for this practice I am not quite convinced. Continue reading

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Mother’s Day


I wrote this a week ago, when a particular thought occurred to me, which is contained herein, and at the time I was unthinkingly thinking in Chinese. Continue reading

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Moonlight White

Saturday, 23 January, 2016

The following text was originally in Chinese, printed on the paper wrapping of the Moonlight White Pu’er tea cake, shown in the photograph. Continue reading

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A Little Idea

Tuesday, 12 January, 2016

Dear Readers,

What does an interpreter who’s not interpreting do? He starts an international trade business. Or, at least, that’s what I seem to be doing. Continue reading

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Fun and Games

Thursday, 03 December, 2015

Dear Readers,

I have learned that I am probably not destined for any kind of career in journalism, as I find it difficult to keep up with my writing. It has been a month since my last letter, in which I described the training I went through for teaching English as a foreign language. While it has only been a month, considering my weekly schedule, a lot can happen in this short time.

Each week I teach each class in my school once – that is eighteen classes in total. Continue reading

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TEFL Teacher Training

Tuesday, 3 November, 2015

Dear friends,

I recently taught two weeks of English classes which I’d rather not go in to detail about, as they were quite a mess. While I had some ideas about English teaching, they were quite limited, and I had no knowledge of my students’ levels and capabilities, or of classroom management. Certainly, I had received tips on classroom management, but it’s a different thing to apply them; Continue reading

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Turning Teacher

Sunday, 4 October, 2015

My dear readers,

Where have I been?

I have been living in Guangzhou city, in Guangdong Provence, in southern China for over two weeks. I have been brought here via a program called Ameson Year in China (A.Y.C.), to teach English. The deal is, I teach English and act as a kind of cultural ambassador and in return Continue reading

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Pot Luck

Pot Luck

(this is not a statement about Seattle)

Friday, 17 April, 2015

Dear Reader,

Early in December I went to a local gathering for interpreters, attended by local interpreters. The gathering was organized by the Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society (NOTIS), and styled as a potluck. I did not bring any food, so I suppose I cannot complain that there was a lack of Sichuan cuisine, Continue reading

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Wednesday, 28 January, 2015

Dear Reader,

It has been too long, I know. I hope you did not worry over my absence. I have not perished through my efforts, or resigned in them. What has happened, you may ask?

Actually, I have written little, here and elsewhere, this past month, and I wish that I had spoken less. That is to say, I think many of us speak too much, particularly myself, Continue reading

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