The Marco Polo Project is looking for partners to organise all-you-can translate events in and outside China.
Translation events bring together native speakers of Chinese and/or English for a 2h30 translation race, followed by discussion. They’re a great opportunity to read good writing, improve language skills, and make new friends.
All-you-can-translate events are extremely cheap to run – you just need a space with good WIFI, a few computers or tablets, and a small group of people willing to spend time together reading and translating Chinese. If you’re interested in organising your own, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, post a comment on this page, or contact us through facebook, twitter or weibo. We will send you a full event pack, including pdf handouts, and help you set up your first event.
The video below introduces our event – if you can’t access it, this link will take you to the youku version, accessible in China.
Another regular source of articles for is is Douban.
Douban.com, launched on March 6, 2005, is a Chinese social networking website allowing registered users to create content related to cultural life in Chinese cities. Some Chinese authors and critics also register their official personal pages on the site. Douban registered users are mostly young urban Chinese people who go to the platform for ratings and reviews of books/movies or music or join movements and discussion boards, and it gives a direct insight into emerging trends in urban China.
Readers and users often ask us where we source our texts. So we thought it was time we prepared a short series of posts about our sources.
Our first go-to website is My1510.
This online platform created by Chinese TV journalist Rose LuQiu LuWei brings together articles written by different Chinese writers and bloggers. Some of the pieces published here are shared from traditional media, while some are original blog posts; some writers are recognised intellectuals others emerging citizen bloggers. Topics range from politics, society and cultural analysis to more personal reflections on contemporary Chinese life.
The platform was developed around one core vision: to provide independent opinions and valuable information. My1510 bridges the gap between news from traditional media channels and opinions from citizen bloggers, striving to be a platform that provides valuable information for its readers.
Last week-end, we ran our first event in China, at the Banpocun Cafe, 32 Qingdao Lu, Nanjing. This event was a partnership with the Nanjing University Graduate Students English Club and ACYA Nanjing. It brought together over 25 participants who, together, translated over 5000 characters during the evening.
Running translation events has become a growing part of our organisation’s strategy. Our website offers a base for mutual language exchange among native Mandarin learners and English learners – or allows native Chinese speakers to practice their English writing skills. These events are also the opportunity for participants to gain confidence in their own linguistic capacity, and learn to define and elaborate meaning in a collaborative fashion.
Last week, we were amazed at the speed and efficiency with which those coming formed into teams and interacted to find the best word or structure: more than translation training, these workshops build up participants’ awareness and skills in the collective negotiation of meaning.
Have you heard of RSAnimates? These short videos presenting an idea or project through quick drawings and a voice over… Check this one out – and pass it on to your friends if they’re ever asking ‘what’s this Marco Polo Project you’re always talking about’.
Thanks to the fabulous Glenn Stephenson for this video – Ron Killeen @ Shack West who mastered the sound – and Karen Pickering for the voice over.
If you’ve come to our website before but got confused about how to use it, or if one of your friends would like some guidance in their first steps with us, our team put together three short videos explaining core features to new-comers: register, find a text, translate.
Please, let us know if you find them clear enough, and whether we should make more! Hey, we’re working on a Chinese version too.
Find a text