Lost in Translation

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lost in

translation



Lost in Translation Navigating through Individual and Cultural Differences of Communication & Building Mutual Understanding beyond Language

Xiaoyao Ma Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (NL) Interactive/Media/Design 2022


Contents

Intro 1 Literally, Lost In Translation 2 Language As A Tool 3 The Chameleon Power 4 MetaEmo 5 True Translation 6 Conversate! In Our Own Frequencies 7 The Common Denominator

5 13 19 24 30 40 51 59


8 An Iceberg 9 On Fragility, Duality, Fluidity & Realities 10 The Graduation Project Conclusion Bibliography Image Credit Colophon

69 78 86 88 92 94 96



5

Intro


6


7


Literally, Literally, Literally, Literally, Literally, Literally, Literally, Literally, Literally, Literally, Literally, Literally, Literally,

Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost


in in in in in in in in in in in in in

Translation Translation Translation Translation Translation Translation Translation Translation Translation Translation Translation Translation Translation


10

Img1.1 @shanghaiobserved.


fo r fo r e i g n e r s to C h i n a , p l e a s e wa

Img1.2 @shanghaiobserved.

it pa ti e n tl y.”

“ M a l f u n c t i o n i n g w o r k p e r m i t sy s te m

11


12

Independent

Heartl

ess ,

C u r i o u s“

“ Wa tc h o u t fo r fa lli n g r o c ks“

Img1.4 @shanghaiobserved.

Img1.3 @shanghaiobserved.


13

1 Literally, Lost In Translation Img1.1

Img1.2


14

Img1.3


15 Sajangnim

Hyung

Meaning: the president of a company. dubbed: “sir”.

Meaning: older brother. Dubbed: the English subtitle just used the first name of the character instead.

The meaning is extended into lots of different situations. In the Korean culture, anyone who dresses in a suit and is a bit older would be called Sajangnim, a corresponding Chinese version would be “ Laoban,” which means “boss.”

Korean society is not first-name based. Age is of great importance in the appellation. Calling someone “Hyung” has lots more implications than casually extending the social relationships between the individual and the other person, it’s basically claiming the other person as your family. The calling “Hyung” implies an extension of the relationship. You are seeing the other person as your family.

In the show, the character Ali, a Pakistan immigrant worker, started calling Sang Woo, a college graduate who works as a stockbroker “sajangnim”. As the story evolves they built stronger connections, Sang woo then told Ali that he can just call him “Hyung”, signifying that they’ve built a closer relationahip.

Netflix [@netflix]. “Squid Game has officially reached 111 million fans — making it our biggest series launch ever!” Twitter, 13 October 2021. Groskop, Viv, and Kim Joo. “Lost in translation? The one-inch truth about Netflix’s subtitle problem.” The Guardian, 14 October 2021. WIRED. “Korean Language Professor Breaks Down Squid Game’s Subtitles | WIRED.” YouTube, 29 October 2021.


g

ng u g

ngu

g

• •

ngu

g


ngu g

n gu

g

ng ngu

g


18


19

2 Language As A Tool


20


21

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Philosophical Investigations. Edited by Blackwell Publishers, translated by Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe, Blackwell, 1953. Ibid.


22

t

h e c h a m eleo

n

power

h c e th


23

m

ha

eleon m

po

er

w

el e

po the

a h c

on

e w


24

3 The Chameleon Power

third culture kids


25


26

Mushroom at the End of the World


27

Van Reken, Ruth E., and David C. Pollock. Third Culture Kids 3rd Edition. Kindle Edition ed., Nicholas Brealey, 2010. Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt. The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton University Press, 2021.


28


29


30

4 MetaEmo*

*The use of MetaEmo refers to the special way of expressing emotions I found in Chinese culture where people speak of their emotions indirectly, vaguely, and abstractly, very meta.

Ni Hao


31

BARTALK


32

symbolic meanings(


33

* Translation from Wikipedia


34


35

Lee, Yun, et al. Language as an Organism. No.19. BARTALK, 25 May 2021, Audio podcast episode. Lee, Yun, et al. Translation/Transcription. No.22. 16 July 2021, Audio podcast episode. Wikipedia contributors. “Shuidiao Getou.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 26 Jul. 2021. Web. 17 Feb. 2022. Lin, Yutang. My Country And My People : Lin, Yutang, 1895–1976. Internet Archive, London, W. Heinemann, 1936.


Recipes

36


37


True Translation True Translation True Translation True Translation True Translation

38


39

如 如 如 如 如

是 是 是 是 是

翻 翻 翻 翻 翻

译 译 译 译 译


40

5 True Translation

best


41


42 verbal association

* Original texts in Chinese: faithfulness

faithfulness( expressiveness(

elegance (

expressiveness elegance

*

Poetry


43 Moving South(

Literal translation of


44

* Original texts in Chinese:

Melancholy

MetaEmo


45


46


47

Xu, Ming, and Yuanchong Xu. “ .” , Chongming Zeng, 6 March 2018, http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_1534238f70102xsky. html. Accessed 28 November 2021. .” Mountain Songs, Translated by Dongbo. “ http://www.mountainsongs.net/poem_.php?id=496. Accessed November 2021. , Andrew W.F. “ Chou Nu Er/ Cai Sang Zi (The Ugly Page/ Picking Mulberries) -- Written on a Wall on the Way to Boshan.” Classical Chinese Poems in English, 28 February 2012, https:// chinesepoemsinenglish.blogspot.com/2012/02/xin-qizi-totune-of-chou-nu-er-cai-sang.html. Accessed 18 November 2021.

Wang

Original translation by alexcwlin, and edited by Adam Lam. “ZZ102 .” , https://zhuanlan. zhihu.com/p/301567015. Accessed 18 November 2021. Wang, Hongyin. Studies on Translation of Chinese Classics. 8 ed., Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2015. Kaminsky, Ilya, and Adam Kirsch. “Various Tongues: An Exchange by Ilya Kaminsky, Adam… | Poetry Magazine.” Poetry Foundation, 1 March 2010. Ma, Xiaoyao. English translation on excerpt from “Moving South”. Translated from “Nan Qian”, written in Chinese by Yu Dafu, 1921. 12 2021. Levan, Valerie. “The Meaning of Foreign Text in Yu Dafu’s ‘Sinking’ Collection.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Foreign Language Publications, vol. 24, no. 1, 2012, pp. 48-87. Liang, Sihua. Language Attitudes and Identities in Multilingual China: A Linguistic Ethnography. Springer International Publishing, 2014.


48


49


Img6.1 Yegyeong & I talking in each other’s language.


51

6 Conversate! In Our Own Frequencies


52


53 Langs de Oevers van de Yangtze(2016)


54 Img6.2 Xiao Sun telling Ruben about his dream of becoming a writer.

Cha, Yegyeong, and Xiaoyao Ma. Interview. Conversating in each other’s mother tongue. 16 November 2021. Krijgsman, Maaik, director. “Langs de oevers van de Yangtze.” Presented by Ruben Terlou, episode 1.The Chinese Dream, VPRO, 2016.


55


56 mmon Denominator

nator• The Common


Img7.0 Set Theory.

57 r• The Common Deno

n Denominator• The


58

Img7.1 Img7.2. Img7.3. Shopping streets of different cities in the Netherlands.


59

7 The Common Denominator


60


61

Babel


←Img7.4 ↓Img7.5 Babel (2001) © Cildo Meireles Photo: Tate.


63


64


65

Pater, Ruben. Caps Lock: How Capitalism Took Hold of Graphic Design, and How to Escape from It. Valiz, 2021. Barson, Tanya. “‘Babel’, Cildo Meireles, 2001.” Tate, May 2011. Guy Brett (ed.), Cildo Meireles, exhibition catalogue, Tate Modern, London 2008, pp.14–5, 57, 168, 170–3, 183, reproduced pp.6, 169. “Bible (King James)/Genesis.” Wikisource.


66


67


68

Img8.1(top) The Weaver Cultural Iceberg (Weaver, 1986). Img8.2 (bottom) The Cultural Translation Iceberg Model (based on The Weaver Cultural Iceberg).


69

8 An Iceberg


70 Kruidnoten is a special seasonal spice cookie for Sinterklaas, a holiday related to Saint Nicholas. The cookie is only sold at a certain time of the year. After Sinterklaas(December 5 & 6), the kruidnoten will be ‘out of season’.

Img8.3 @dutch_affirmations, 2021.

Img8.4 Ibid.

The Dutch are famous for their budget and efficiency in eating. A classic Dutch lunch would be some cheese/peanut butter with cheap bread from the supermarket.


71


72

Van Reken, Ruth E., and David C. Pollock. Third Culture Kids 3rd Edition. Kindle Edition ed., Nicholas Brealey, 2010. Rice (Interviewer), and Yaqi Zou (Guest). “ .” BIE , 11 November 2021.


73


Img9.0

On Fr


Fluidity & Realitie s

ragility, Duality,



Img9.1 Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities.


78

9 On Fragility, Duality, Fluidity & Realities

Invisible Cities


79

unfamiliar


80

forward backward

now


81

Invisible Cities


82


83

Img9.2 M.C. Escher, Other World, 1947.

Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. Translated by William Weaver, Vintage, 1997. Montfort, Nick. The Future. MIT Press, 2017. Borges, Jorge Luis. “The Aleph.” Brigham, John E., translator. M. C. Escher. the Graphic Work. Taschen, 2016.



Img10.0 High Fidelity, Graduation project prototpe, 2021.


86

10 The Graduation Project


87

momento


88

Conclusion


89


90


91


92

Bibliography Barson, Tanya. “‘Babel’, Cildo Meireles, 2001.” Tate, May 2011, h t t p s : // w w w. t a t e . o r g . u k /a r t / artworks/meireles-babel-t14041. Accessed 6 December 2021. “Bible (King James)/Genesis.” Wikisource, https://en.wikisource. o rg / w i k i / B i b l e _ ( K i n g _ J a m e s ) / Genesis#11. Accessed 30 November 2021. Borges, Jorge Luis. “The Aleph.” https://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/ borgesaleph.pdf. Accessed 30 November 2021. Brigham, John E., translator. M. C. Escher. the Graphic Work. Taschen, 2016. Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. Translated by William Weaver, Vintage, 1997. Cha,

Yegyeong, and Xiaoyao Ma. Interview. Conversating in each other’s mother tongue. 16 November 2021.

Groskop, Viv, and Kim Joo. “Lost in translation? The one-inch truth about Netflix’s subtitle problem.” The Guardian, 14 October 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/ tv-and-radio/2021/oct/14/squidgame-netflix-translations-subtitleproblem. Accessed 28 November 2021. Guy Brett (ed.), Cildo Meireles, exhibition catalogue, Tate Modern, London 2008, pp.14–5, 57, 168, 170–3, 183, reproduced pp.6, 169. Isherwood, Lisa, and David Harris. Radical Otherness: Sociological

and Theological Acumen, 2013.

Approaches.

Jespersen, Otto. Language: Its Nature, Development and Origin. Norton, 1964. Kaminsky, Ilya, and Adam Kirsch. “Various Tongues: An Exchange by Ilya Kaminsky, Adam… | Poetry Magazine.” Poetry Foundation, 1 March 2010, https://www.poetryfoundation. org/poetrymagazine/ articles/69498/various-tonguesan-exchange. Accessed 9 December 2021. Krijgsman, Maaik, director. “Langs de oevers van de Yangtze.” Presented by Ruben Terlou, episode 1.The Chinese Dream, VPRO, 2016, https://www.vpro.nl/programmas/ yangtze/kijk/afleveringen/2016/1. html. Lee, Yun, et al. Language as an Organism. No.19. BARTALK, 25 May 2021, h t t p s : //a n c h o r. f m / ba r ta l kd h / episodes/ Language-as-anOrganism-Marie-Diane-Grouchkaand-Mariya-Scherbinina-alchemyof-love-languages-eehvie. Accessed October 2021. Audio podcast episode. Lee, Yun, et al. Translation/Transcription. No.22. 16 July 2021, https:// anchor.fm/bartalkdh/episodes/ TranslationTranscriptionXavier-Bridault-how-translationshapes-and-is-shaped-by-culturee14hm3d/a-a658a9c. Accessed October 2021. Audio podcast episode.


93 Levan, Valerie. “The Meaning of Foreign Text in Yu Dafu’s ‘Sinking’ Modern Chinese Collection.” Literature and Culture, Foreign Language Publications, vol. 24, no. 1, 2012, pp. 48-87, http://www.jstor. org/stable/42940443. Accessed 12 2021. Liang, Sihua. Language Attitudes and Identities in Multilingual China: A Linguistic Ethnography. Springer International Publishing, 2014. Ma, Xiaoyao. English translation on excerpt from ‘Moving South’. Translated from ‘Nan Qian’, written in Chinese by Yu Dafu, 1921. 12 2021. Mahon, Patrick. “Xu Bing, Ed Pien and Gu Xiong: Lost and Found in Translation.” Visible Language 42 (2008): 28-43. Montfort, Nick. The Future. MIT Press, 2017. Netflix [@netflix]. “Squid Game has officially reached 111 million fans — making it our biggest series launch ever!” 13 October 2021, https://twitter.com/netflix/ status/1448045816308961280. Original translation by alexcwlin, and : edited by Adam Lam. “ZZ102 .” , https://zhuanlan.zhihu. com/p/301567015. Accessed 18 November 2021. Papaeva, Natalia. Hello Stranger. 2018. Pater, Ruben. Caps Lock: How Capitalism Took Hold of Graphic Design, and How to Escape from It. Valiz, 2021. Rice (Interviewer), and Yaqi Zou (Guest). “ .” BIE , 11 November 2 0 2 1 , m p . we i x i n . q q . c o m /s/ xhxrJLZprurwWj0isBGgyA.

Accessed November 2021. Said, Edward W. Orientalism. Pantheon Books, 1978. @shanghaiobserved. @ americaobserved. 15 January 2021, https://www.instagram.com/p/ CKDEjWpF3kR/. Accessed 10 February 2022. Instagram post. @shanghaiobserved. So beautiful… (@ ry_try). 4 September 2021, https://www.instagram.com/p/ CTZ95amFljg/. Accessed 10 February 2022. Instagram post. @shanghaiobserved. Wow, can’t believe this chick got the lyrics to Savage tattooed on her back. 18 May 2020, https://www.instagram.com/p/ CATxG1cJzuz/. Accessed 10 February 2022. Instagram post. @shanghaiobserved. You have been warned. 7 April 2021, https://www.instagram.com/p/ CNYSyHsllzI/. Accessed 10 February 2022. Instagram post. · Translated by Dongbo. “ .” Mountain Songs, http://www.mountainsongs.net/ poem_.php?id=496. Accessed November 2021. Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt. The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton University Press, 2021. Van Reken, Ruth E., and David C. Pollock. Third Culture Kids 3rd Edition. Kindle Edition ed., Nicholas Brealey, 2010. , Andrew W.F. “ Xin Wang / Qizi: Chou Nu Er/ Cai Sang Zi (The Ugly Page/ Picking Mulberries) -- Written on a Wall on the Way to Boshan.” Classical Chinese Poems in English, 28 February 2012,


94 https://chinesepoemsinenglish. blogspot.com/2012/02/xin-qizi-totune-of-chou-nu-er-cai-sang.html. Accessed 18 November 2021. Wang, Hongyin. Studies on Translation of Chinese Classics. 8 ed., Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2015. WIRED. “Korean Language Professor Breaks Down Squid Game’s Subtitles | WIRED.” YouTube, 29 October 2021, https://youtu.be/5jy3Hz39CnU.

Accessed 28 November 2021. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Philosophical Investigations. Edited by Blackwell Publishers, translated by Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe, Blackwell, 1953. Xu, Ming, and Yuanchong Xu. “ .” , Chongming Zeng, 6 March 2018, h t t p : // b l o g . s i n a . c o m . c n /s / blog_1534238f70102xsky.html. Accessed 28 November 2021.

Image Credit Chapter 1 Img1.1 Shanghai Observed. “So beautiful… (@ ry_try)”. Instagram. 4 September 2021. https://www.instagram. com/p/CTZ95amFljg/. Accessed 10 February 2022. Img1.2 Shanghai Observed. “@ Instagram. americaobserved”. 15 January 2021, https://www. instagram.com/p/CKDEjWpF3kR/. Accessed 10 February 2022. Img1.3 Shanghai Observed. “You have been warned”. Instagram. 7 April 2021. h t t p s : // w w w. i n s ta g r a m . c o m /p/ CNYSyHsllzI/. Accessed 10 February 2022. Img1.4 @shanghaiobserved. “Wow, can’t believe this chick got the lyrics to Savage tattooed on her back”. Instagram. 18 May 2020, https://www.instagram. com/p/CATxG1cJzuz/. Accessed 10 February 2022. Chapter 6 Img6.1 Cha, Yegyeong, Ma,Xiaoyao. Interview. November 2021. Img6.2 Krijgsman, Maaik, “Langs de oevers van de Yangtze, Episode 1. The Chinese Dream”. VPRO, 2016

Chapter 7 Img7.0 Set Theory. acquired from Roasted Broadcast. http://paperpandao1o. blogspot.com/2018/01/a-very-briefintroduction-to-set-theory.html Img7.1 “Shopping in the Netherlands: furniture, shoes and more”. Expatica, 27 October 2021, https://www.expatica. com/nl/living/household/shoppingnetherlands-130388/ Img7.2 “Economic Developments and Outlook December 2019”. De Nederlandsche Bank. July 2021 https://www.dnb.nl/en/publications/ publicatieoverzicht/publicationsdnb/economic-developments-andoutlook/economic-developmentsand-outlook-december-2019/ Img7.3 Ruud Morijn. “Shopping in a Dutch Street”, Dreamstime. 27 May,2017. h t t p s : // w w w. d r e a m s t i m e . c o m / editorial-photography-shoppingdutch-street-breda-netherlandsâ€-may-unidentified-shopperswalk-hot-spring-day-eindstraatimage93397907 Img7.4 & 7.5 Cildo Meireles. “Babel”, 3D Artistic work and installation, 2001. Photo: © Cildo Meireles/Tate .


95 Chapter 8 Img8.1 Gary Weaver, “The Weaver Cultural Iceberg”, 1986. Img8.2 Ma, Xiaoyao. “The Cultural Translation Iceberg Model”, December 2021. Img8.3 DUTCH AFFIRMATIONS " I LOVE PRICE SPECULA(AS)TION ”. Instagram, 2 December 2021, https://www.instagram.com/p/CW_ OnhWo7tp/ Img8.4. DUTCH AFFIRMATIONS. " IT WILL NOT BE DRY ”. Instagram, 13 November 2021, https://www.instagram.com/p/ CWN8osrogpE/.

Chapter 9 Img9.0 Ma, Xiaoyao. “Emotions and intentions melt, vibrate, flow, cast into a different mold”, Material experiment, November 2021. Img9.1 Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. Translated by William Weaver, Vintage, 1997. Img9.2 Escher, M.C., “Other World”, Wood engraving. 1947, MoMA, New York. https://www.moma.org/collection/ works/61544 Chapter 10 Img10.0 Ma, Xiaoyao. “High Fidelity”, Graduation work prototype, December 2021.


96

Colophon

This thesis was written from February 2021 to February 2022 as part of the graduation exam for the Interactive/Media/Design department at Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. Designed, printed & assembled by Xiaoyao Ma. Typeface by Peter S. Baker. Roc Grotesque by Nikola Kostić & Zoran Kostić. by 汉仪字库Hanyi Fonts. Cover:

思源黑体Source Han Sans SC, 思源宋体Source Han Serif SC by Adobe and Google.

Clash Display by Indian Type Foundry. Paper Romandruk 90g. Clairefontaine Pearl Grey 160g.

Acknowledgements Thanks to: Thesis instructor Anna Arov, for seeing the potential and encouraging me to write. Second reader Florian Mecklenburg, for critical feedback and valuable comments. Professor Gert Dumbar, for fun conversations and advice in the design process. Jiajia Qi for the late night talks with generous wine-offering. Qiji Xiang, for the meticulous proofreading & keeping me company at the library. My mom, who always appreciates my creations and kindly referred me to Christine Wedge, who carefully read my draft and corrected my mistakes. My dad. My brother and best friend Xingkong Ma, my cat Xiaoli for their emotional support. My friends Simbu, Mariela, Isabelle, Marco, Gaetan, Jeroen, and Marcos for listening & understanding. And to all who share love, knowledge and inspiration.



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