Mysteries Take for Granted

I work for Global Voices. Many of you know that. I love the community, their momentum, and their posts. Defending for the site and the people is what I do often. But sometimes, I share many readers’ frustrations in reading the website.

Global Voices aims to put readers in contexts when understanding local, national and international events. Supposedly, readers should get to know the situations better after reading through our posts and quotations from various parts of the world, or at least should have an starting point for the next step.

As a translator for GV, everyday I read through multiple posts on the website, and choose which one(s) to translate. To translate, we should thorougly understand most, if not all, of the details in the post. However, it’s getting more and more difficult recently.

Some authors have provided good contexts at the beginning and the end of posts, but don’t pay much attention to contents in quotes.

Acronyms, untranslated dialects, missing links and unclear links have all become great obstacles for us to figure out the meanings, let alone translate.

Of course as a translator and a community member, I can contact with the authors and get clarifications. I do. Many authors have received my annoying emails before. Some authors kindly reply and modify their posts; others don’t.

As a reader, I humbly hope they don’t take anything for granted. Treat us like a baby. Explain everything. I may find the answer with Google or Wikipedia, but save my efforts will create a better reading experience for sure.

As a translator, I’ll still write inconvenient emails to you. I hate to say this, but sometimes, I would have to give up translating your posts because of those mysteries.

No one is a perfect writer. I myself is extremely far from that goal. Many of you are much better than I am in writing, but sometimes, a preview will help a lot, you and me and all readers included.


2 responses to “Mysteries Take for Granted

  1. Hey Leonard, very interesting thoughts, and completely understandable from the translating side of things. I can imagine that would be a huge challenge – all over the web, I see content which is potentially interesting and useful to some people, but is not written in such a way that the document can be a permanent, long-lasting resource of information. More of a long twitter post, a long update of sorts, than a permanent document.

    I don’t do a tremendous amount of translating, but I really enjoy hearing your comments on the process.


  2. Matt, thanks for sharing my thoughts on this. I enjoy your writings both on your blog and on GV.

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