Monday, August 11, 2008


(1) To translate or not to translate
Maybe the Olympics should be hosted by Babel, before the tower-building was stopped, that is. Ring Blog reports:

Normal interview rhythms are being disrupted by the translation of every question and answer to Chinese.
The translations irritated some reporters working on tight newspaper deadlines in the United States. One asked why the questions and answers had to be translated when they were all in English. Two minutes later, a question was asked in Chinese, reminding everyone of why there are translations in the first place.
Arrogance, that's what being in a dominant culture could do to you. And the media people wonder why people don't like them that much. Question at hand: do people of the hosting country deserve the privilege to know what is being asked of athletes and what the answer is? Despite the effort in promoting English, there are a lot of people in China who don't understand English well.

The country that Chinese audience gives most sympathy to in those games is Iraq, the oil rich but war torn nation. After almost missing the Olympics, they received a big cheer in the opening night. Their rowing team appeared to have no team uniform (see picture) and used a patch work of wore out personal T-shirts.

China has begin her full chase for the gold. But the most I am interested in seeing, is how Chinese media and public treat those who lose. In the past, the media has not been very enthusiastic towards those who failed to clutch the gold, and even not too kind to those who were suppose to medal but crumbled under pressure. Early indication is that the mentality is much more forgiving this time around.

The most exciting competition so far: 4x100 men's freestyle relay that resulted in a gold for America. The most nerve racking but inspiring competition so far: Men's team Gymnastics in which Chinese team vindicated themselves with a gold.

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