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Then English Translation piece-by Chen-ou Liu

 
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Heidi
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Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 585
Location: Des Moines, IA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Then English Translation piece-by Chen-ou Liu Reply with quote

I really enjoyed this piece. I admit the first part was somewhat confusing (the 1st paragraph I think.) I liked your sly I anguish/language trick that was cool! Funny that you say you're from Taiwan, I am half Tawianese! I was raised here in the US (and still live here) but I have visited Taiwan with my family and I can't wait to go back!
Anyway, I liked the rest of the piece and I felt empathetic towards your situation. However something troubled me, you feel that you have divorce yourself from your Chinese/Taiwanese Heritage to write English properly..I understand how this may be easier but I don't think it's necessary. I have better command of the English langauge than you (growing up in the US helps I guess) but I try to infuse some of my writing with my cultural experiences & I think it adds a lot to my writing. I understand if you don't feel ready or capable of doing that in English yet, but I encourage you to try it sometime. I think you would be surprised at the response you get from doing it!
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Harry
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Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 2505
Location: New York

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Writing in English: The Writing Life in Transition and Translation

by Chen-ou Liu


"Writing is, as it always has been, a toiling act of expressing self."

I've always found that self-expression is equally difficult in speaking. There is a great deal of difference between speaking and writing in all languages, Liu maybe it's greater in Chinese than English, but that's a matter of degree, not fact. It's also the reason why politicians sound false when they speak they're speaking what someone's written for them.

If you haven't read Hemingway, please do. He, and others like him, were able to write simply, in a conversational manner, that was a revelation to readers who grew up numbed by the Victorian style of writing.
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