Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

On the Chinese language (and the cool Internet)

There was some discussion on Monday on the differences between representing ideas in Chinese and (say) English. We talked about “The wind blowing the flag” and how it was different.

Google Translate is an online site that will try translating a large number of languages to other languages.

If you go here, you’ll see the English to Chinese translator in action, and be able to play with it. If you go here you can see the Chinese to  English. What I did was to translate English to Chinese on the first site, then take the result back to English to see what was lost in translation. Sometimes there  was loss. Sometimes there was not.

“The wind blowing the flag ” translates to ” Wind flag”

“The wind blew the flag” is also “Wind flag.”

But “The wind will blow the flag” does get translated as “Wind will blow flag”


The images (if you get them) are a bit blurry, so better to follow the links and play for yourself.






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