From The Economist Espresso: Cross-strait chill: Taiwan’s elections
Whether or not China will treat Tsai Ing-wen frostily, if she does win in today’s presidential election, remains to be seen. Ms. Tsai, the favorite to get the helm of the leadership on this island, along with other presidential hopefuls, will surely remain restless throughout today as the ballots are being counted.
I missed my chance to cast the ballot, due to a conflict between the election date and my personal schedule. That was indeed a shame. This year, four years later, I made sure I had my voice heard and “felt” by commuting back home to vote. The moment of my casting the votes (presidential, parliamentary, and legislative votes) felt solemn and electrifying, not least because it was the first time I voted in a presidential race.
I’ll be watching the news closely tonight to witness a new chapter in Taiwan’s history. It’s about time.
Alas, this news article reminded me of “Supersize Me“, an experimental documentary in which a guy voluntarily eats nothing but fast food for a month straight to examine the influence of the fast food industry on human health.
Would Taiwan follow suit and supersize itself eventually? Well, that remains to be seen. But I’d keep my fingers crossed.
“Today the Supreme Court rules on an archaic law—unique among developed countries—which bars married couples from keeping separate surnames. Almost all married women take their husband’s name, not vice versa. Five women have sued the state, saying that this violates constitutional guarantees of sexual equality. Yet many people (including many politicians of the conservative ruling party of Shinzo Abe, the prime minister) insist that letting women keep their names would weaken family ties.”
From The Economist Espresso: What’s in a name: women’s rights in Japan
Unfortunately, Taiwan, evidently a developed country, also joins the club. This sort of practice is indeed anachronistic to today’s equal rights standards, not least because women do and should also have a say in important issues such as this. Considering the fact that my girlfriend also happens to be a Japanese, I can particularly relate to this news article. We actually talked about this topic before, albeit briefly and casually. That being said, I’d certainly respect her decision as to keep her surname or not, if we do marry in the near future, which I think is very likely. In fact, I joked about letting our “kids” take our surnames altogether, which would be rather long.
In all seriousness, I am hoping to see a gradual, if not inconceivable, change in both Japan and Taiwan regarding sexual equality. I must add, though, that Japan has come a long way to where is it now, given that it used to be a male chauvinist society where women had no rights whatsoever.
“United we stand, divided we fall.” Though this is a succinct, powerful motto, it might not exactly apply to the case in this article.
“The bosses of top Chinese internet firms such as Alibaba and Baidu, who have already accepted self-censorship as the price of doing business, are on show.” I am not surprised that the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will make an appearance, but what’s bothering me is that Alibaba has just recently acquired Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, a long-standing Hong Kong newspaper known for its independent and respected news reporting. Its editorial independence will surely be compromised to some extent, make no mistake about it. With other international papers jumping on the bandwagon, this is truly upsetting. I am glad the New York Times still sticks to its guns. Keep up the good work and may you always have the grit to carry on in the face of a rising China in the international community.
Notes: Because most of my clients so far have been Chinese native speakers, I therefore translated their feedback from Chinese into English, while attempting to maintain the fidelity to the original to the best of my abilities. The original feedback can be easily found here.
Don’t just take my word for it.
Check out what people are saying about my services!
(Professor Yamsuan was my English instructor during grad school.)
LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
I am pleased to write a letter of recommendation for Alvis Yu. I highly recommend him to your organization for the position of Associate Linguist. I was his English instructor for 2 semesters at the Graduate School of International Affairs, Ming Chuan University, in the years of 2011 and 2012. His grades are impressive with an average semestral grade of 99.0. As his former teacher, I had an opportunity to observe his participation and interaction in class and to evaluate his knowledge of the subject matter. He was no doubt one of the brightest students I’ve ever taught. I remember him as a diligent student who would carry his English dictionary to class, a monolingual dictionary, no less, which showcased his commitment and earnest desire to master the English language. His hard work did pay off: Not only did he possess impressive vocabulary, he was also articulate in both writing and speaking. His excellent command of formal and colloquial English was especially laudable. As a non-native speaker who had not been exposed to an English-only environment before, he surely pushed the envelope and proved that one can attain a high level of English without living or studying abroad. Therefore, it is with much pleasure that I give Alvis my full and unqualified recommendation. I strongly endorse him to be a member of your linguistic team at confidential. Thank you for your kind understanding and consideration.
I highly recommend Alvis as a translator for any liaison or interpretation work. He has excellent English, both written and verbal, and I know you will not be disappointed with his language skills!
English Editing services
SOP, biography, work experience, thesis
Alvis was a very considerate translator. The caliber of the translators on PTT (read: the largest BBS used in Taiwan) varies greatly, but I eventually decided to choose Alvis after examining his free trial edit. I recommend Alvis for polishing services, and the reasons are as follows:
Great initiative: Alvis was very quick to reply all my questions regarding polishing and translation. Though I had little time left for my application, his generosity and eagerness to help had made me feel very relieved that things would go well. He always finished and submitted the edits in time without fail, which is very important for people who are applying to schools.
Constructive suggestions: The program I am applying to is International Relations. Alvis could always provide me with ideas when I had trouble thinking of the right words to use, enabling me to finish my writing so that he could polish it later.
Premium quality: I could always see lots of words in red in every edit he did for me, which proves that he is a painstaking, meticulous translator. In addition to correcting punctuation and grammar mistakes, he also transformed my fragmented Chinglish into fluent English.
High caliber: Alvis was once accepted into the graduate program of translation and interpretation studies at Fu Je University (read: It’s one of the leading graduate institutes in the field in Taiwan), which makes him more qualified than people outside the field. I admit that I wasn’t very sure about his capability initially, but his commitment and aggressiveness had soon erased my doubts. He turned out to be perfectly capable of the work he had promised.
I just had my native-speaking (read: English) friend check your translation, and then we were like worshiping you. You really nailed it! Flawless! Another friend of mine also said that my original text (in Mandarin) is like an original novel, whereas your translation reads like its movie adaption, and I found the analogy quite appropriate.
(SOP, C to E translation)
Thank you for the translation! I really like the fact that you chose simple words over verbosity or overly fancy vocabulary. I seem to have picked up some English usage reading your translation. My English is not very good, but I really like how you translated it. Can’t quite explain why I feel this way though lol…
Mr. Chao (NTU research assistant)
I was satisfied.
Exactly how I wanted it to be translated :p …
Thank you! I’ve rarely met a considerate translator like you who would explain his choice of words and tense to his clients.
Inspiring stuff! Apart from her linguistic talents, her grit to stick to her guns in a place what I call home is even more admirable. While listening to this podcast from ICRT’s Taiwan Talk, I could particularly relate to the part where they talk about Taiwanese’ patronizing attitude by and large and the dispositive racism that permeates our society. That is partially due to the fact that Taiwan is still pretty much homogeneous. Food for thought indeed! On a lighter note, I’ve never heard of Urdu before. It does sound intriguing though.
Speaking of food earlier, I can’t wait to have my share of the red bean cakes! I should pay her a visit sometime now that I live rather close to Banqiao.
When one’s too smug, it’ll get smoggy before long! Or at least that’s the case in Beijing. This is the price of Beijing’s smugness about its capabilities of manipulating local news and of glossing over otherwise truthful but ugly realities. Given Beijing’s considerable clout, it’s unfathomable to me that the adjacent factories haven’t yet been shut down, or at least temporarily suspended. By the way, I admire the Economist’s frequent play on words in its new titles. I’d say this kind of particulate power is now the local authorities’ monopoly, If you asked me. In all seriousness, though, what goes around indeed comes around in China.
From The Economist Espresso: Particulate power: China’s smog
It can be hard to locate for first-timers, but the pic below should help you get here:
Pros and Cons about the courts:
One of the good things about the place is that it’s relatively under folks’ radar, so we can pretty much keep it to ourselves! (UPDATE: it’s getting more and more crowded, with 20-30 players on average per day. This is good because it used to be fewer than 12 ppl showing up, making a game (which requires 12 people) impossible. At least not a proper game.) The courts include two male-height nets and one female’s, surrounded by net mesh, which means we don’t have to chase after the ball! Better yet, the lights remain on til 10ish in the evening. The more advanced players usually just stick to the right court for some reason. I am one up for challenges, so I tend to stick to the right court as well. For the middle and the left courts, people usually play co-ed volleyball there.
On the flip side, it might prove to be a bit far and inconvenient for peeps who don’t have a vehicle. Also the fact that it’s by the riverside means that it gets windy sometimes! We all know that volleyballs aren’t like basketballs. They are light. As a result, when it is windy, every ball (esp when serving) floats, intentionally or unintentionally lol! However, if you look on the bright side, you can think of it as a chance to improve your coordination.
Pinyin with tone markers: lǜ bǎo shí tíng chē chǎng
For folks who’d like to join my weekly events, please RSVP here (look for “Intermediate Weekday Volleyball!“). Not to be confused with “Play Intermediate Volleyball,” which is another volleyball group on Sundays. I do go there at times, but lately I’ve found myself quite busy on the weekend, hence the thought of creating a weekday version of the group.
Since these are outdoor courts, when it rains, the event will be cancelled accordingly. I live fairly close to the area, so I’d give you guys a heads-up about the weather conditions.
Admittedly, the location might be a bit inconvenience for peeps who don’t have a vehicle, but you can also ride a YouBike to get here. There are quite a few YouBike stations near the courts. Do check the above-mentioned website for the availability of the bikes first though!
As I am a freelancer, my schedule is rather flexible. For folks who even want to play in the afternoon, you can simply PM me, and we might just play spontaneously!
Rules for the Taiwanese co-ed volleyball:
Here are some rules (might seem bizarre for some) for the Taiwanese co-ed volleyball that you might want to know before you play: men cannot block women. Call if a gender inequality if you like (as one American pointed out to me). I can’t quite explain why that is, but it is just what it is….While in the front row, men can only spike provided that they 1) jump before the 3-meter line or 2) hit without jumping if they’re inside the front row area. Nevertheless, men can still block their male opponents (almost always only when the hitter jumps and spikes before the 3 meter line). Enjoy.
Heya, guys, how you all doin’ today? This is Alvis again.
I’d like to introduce all my readers to the new theme I adopted.
I think it looks pretty neat. What do you think? I’d like to hear your thoughts on that.
In addition, you may have already noticed that I’ve also added some widgets and stuff to make my blog look (hopefully) more readable and easier for you navigate as you clip through the pages.
Last but not least, I’ve decided to chime in and share my two cents on selected news that I read every day on Espresso, the Economist‘s newly developed news app which is exclusive to mobile devices only. That said, there is indeed a “Share” option, through which I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts on news that I think worth discussing. Please also check out the quote of the day section that I’ve been working on. In it, you can find my selected quotes of the day (courtesy of the Economist) along with my Chinese translations, in the hope of sharing the words of wisdom with my Chinese-speaking readership as well.
As an R.O.C. citizen who just finished his national service (though it only lasted for a year), I can relate to the stories and tales in this book. I am not sure if I’d do the same if I were in his shoes, i.e., renouncing much-coveted American citizenship in exchange for R.O.C citizenship whose country is not officially recognized by most of the members in the international community. That said, I enjoyed the book from cover to cover, feeling like I was also being yelled at by the master sergeants and given all the raw deal along the way as I flipped through it. Indeed, I did get roughly the same “treatment” as the author did in the army, and that in a way only manifests an important point he’d been seeking :being treated like anyone else, not left alone.
I am glad he found a sense of belonging to the place where I was born and raised, for I feel the same for her.
For foreigners wanting to know more about Taiwan, aka Formosa, you don’t want to miss this book.