Translation Industry, A Hidden Gold Mine

As the world further integrates into one, the free flow of the information is less and less hindered by political or idealogical divides, but more and more hindered by language barriers.

A lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding between China and the US arise from inadequate and inaccurate translation of ideas, policies and intentions. Even the state-run media in China does not do a good job to effectively and diplomatically translate the Chinese policies into English. Sometimes, when I read the English version of Chinese news on China's official site like Xinhua and People's Daily, I can tell right away that the translator has never lived in the US and is not putting his or her heart into the translation. This can be a big problem for the harmony between the two countries.

Language is a bond. It enables us to relate to one another. Language is the art of diplomacy. When speaking to the American audience, the Chinese media should avoid quoting Marx or Lenin. Instead, quote Gandhi, Churchill, Shakespeare, etc. We need some truly bi-lingual and bi-cultural personnels in both China and the United States to facilitate the conversation, to take care of the fragile relationship between the two countries.

This is not just true for China-US, but for all countries and cultures. The world sees a urgent need to find a way to translate between cultures and continents at a low price and high efficiency. The market is huge, and I believe that the global translation industry will be a huge gold mine.

In fact, there are already enough resources around! Look at the millions of international students in this country! They are truly bi-lingual, and many of them are truly bi-cultural. They have a sincere willingness to facilitate better communication between their home country and host country. Why not mobilize the international students around the world?

The only thing we need now is a business model and a platform. And again, the world already offers such platform almost for free: the internet. So here's my idea: we can establish an online community for freelance translators to meet online costumers. For example, international students can register and create their profile, just like opening an online store. Then, the customers can come to the website and find translators to do the work. The pay will be determined by the qualification and speed of the translator. Then the translators will be ranked and recommended, like the Amazon Customer Review......

Translation can be done at home or in the dorms. Many college students can do the job very well at a much cheaper price. I believe it is a great business opportunity to create a real person, grassroot, online translation service. It has very strong social benefits, it increases the mutual understanding among different nations, and it generates revenue for college students studying oversea, it mobilize the idle resources and create value!


The Meaning of Life

Don't be tricked by the big title. Maybe it should say "the lack of meaning of life".

Thinking about the meaning of life is one of my favorite day-dreaming topics. Thinking is fun and painful. I can't bear the life without thinking, and too much thinking also hurts. Thinking about the meaning of life, I realized that without thinking, there's no meaning; but with too much thinking, there's no life. Learning to think is an ability. But learning to STOP thinking is the wisdom.

The search for truth is like flying toward the sun: the closer you get, the more pain you have to endure. When you reached the truth, you are gone, just like when you reach the sun, you are cooked.

The beauty of life lies in vagueness, but truth is naked and usually ugly. I want to see truth, and I also long for beauty. Can I get both? Or we humans don't deserve either?

The stage of blank-mindedness is like lost innocence. Once you start thinking, it is impossible to stop. Once you see the truth, it is impossible to go back to self-deception. But what if some people prefer self-deception (because it is easier to live with self-deception than to live with truth)? Is there still a devil making offers to buy back the truth from you?

What's so good about the truth anyway? Does it make you happier? Not necessarily, and it usually makes you more troubled because now you are asking questions without an answer. Maybe this process of questioning is the meaning of life. Then, in the end, why are you searching for a meaning of life?

Do happy idiots know that they are happy?


Look Back, Look Around, Look Ahead

Again, at the end of another semester, I am glad to say that I've had the best semester so far. Every semester in the past has been the best by then, and I'm pretty sure that future semesters will only get even better.

This semester's courses are built upon a "base-superstructure" paradigm. Logic gives me a microscope, and philosophy gives me a telescope to see the human intellectual adventures. China, economic development and resource politics give me a strong sense of reality and mission. Both the philosophical world and the material world are as real as it can be. The questioning and conquering have just started. I am creating the world again. Five colleges really offer the best professors and atmosphere. I'm very grateful.

Winter break is long and short. Time to recharge, to settle down, and to reflect. There are some strategic questions to think about.

Next semester will be a very important one. Hampshire is going through a strategic planning process. What comes out of it will determine what Hampshire will be like in 2050. Second half of the game.


The Nature of this Blog

I have been writing this blog for a while. This monologue is a tool for me to remind myself of certain things, and to organize and disorganize my thoughts. What comes out of it does not matter.

The thoughts are no longer mine once they are out there. Words here are just a discounted reflection of my past. By the time I finish typing a sentence, I have already evolved. I am constantly surprised and amused by my past writings. So, read it for fun, and remember, no refund guaranteed.

On the other hand, it's hard to look at our own thoughts objectively and from a distance. In the end, if we are not our thoughts, then what are we? But our thoughts never stay the same. The rate of change also defines us.

I don't mind who reads this blog, but Google knows too much about everyone. I have nothing to lose, and quite a lot gain. It's always a great pleasure to have discussions.