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[大学]A red letter day for the growing CPC
来源:21世纪报报纸电子版第911期    日期: 2011-07-01

  In honor of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), songs, stories and sites awash with revolutionary “red” have become popular across the country.

  When “red” becomes a buzzword in recent media reports about China, English learners may find the Chinese character hong (红) a tricky thing to translate.

  Red has long been associated with communism in the Western thinking, since the Bolsheviks in Russia used a red flag as their symbol when they overthrew the tsar in 1917.

  But red is traditionally linked to a happy and festive spirit in China. To simply use “red” to translate current terms involving hong might be misleading to foreigners.

  “It (hong) is a difficult word to translate as it covers a lot of meanings,” said Liu Jun, head of the Department of English at the University of Arizona.

  It depends on the context.

  According to recent reports, the General Administration of Press and Publication launched a nationwide exhibition of “red books” which tell the history and philosophy of the CPC. And many Party members and ordinary people plan “red” trips to the CPC’s revolutionary bases.

  Therefore, “red books” and “red tourism” are directly linked to the CPC. “Red” here indicates a devotion to or a love of the Party.

  Terms such as “red songs” can be more complicated.

  Fu Gengchen, honorary president of the Chinese Musicians Association, suggests that the definition of “red songs” has grown. “Red songs not only include revolutionary songs,” Fu said. “Any music which reveals our national spirit, patriotism, reforms and innovation can be deemed a red song.”

  In the new list of red songs promoted in Chongqing, some address China’s innovation, family relationships and efforts to protect the environment.

  In this sense, Liu Jun suggests to translate hongge (红歌) as “upbeat songs” instead of “red songs”.

  “The word ‘upbeat’ might capture such complexities in the meaning of hong in different contexts,” said Liu.

  Liu Shusen, vice president of the School of Foreign Languages at Peking University, recommends “patriotic” as the word to translate hong here.

  “These songs actually form part of patriotic education,” he said. “‘Patriotic’ doesn’t necessarily contain the connotation of people being revolutionary or irrational. It correctly reflects our keyed-up spiritual status.”

  In the following package, we selected important red slogans in the CPC’s history. To explain them to your foreign friends might involve not only a direct translation, but also a cultural comparison and language analysis. 21st

  Interviews by Zhang Chunmei


  serve the people

  This slogan derived from a speech that Mao Zedong made in 1944 at the funeral of a young soldier, Zhang Side, who died at work in northern Shaanxi. In his speech, Mao praised Zhang as a fine example of the Party’s total and selfless devotion to promoting the interests and well-being of the Chinese people.

  Since then, “serve the people” has become one of the central characteristics and principles of the CPC. It has appeared frequently ever since in the Party’s official documents, Party leaders’ speeches and Party members’ daily work.

  Former US President Abraham Lincoln used a similar slogan in his “Gettysburg Address” in 1863. Lincoln said that the “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

  “Masses” refers to common people or people of low socioeconomic status, but “people” means many persons and the term is indiscriminate.






  党员之间的称呼“同志”翻译为comrade,与姓名连用一般首字母大写,如“毛泽东同志”是Comrade Mao Zedong。


  emancipate the mind, seek truth from facts

  The phrase came from Deng Xiaoping’s keynote speech at the closing session of the Central Working Conference on December 13, 1978.

  Deng urged Party members to break down their rigid thinking and not to act according to fixed notions. Instead, Deng said, they must “dare to think, explore new paths and put forward new ideas”.

  “To emancipate the mind and seek truths from facts” was the cornerstone of Deng’s economic reform and opening-up policy. It remains an important motto today, as China builds socialism with Chinese characteristics.

  In the West, “to emancipate” is often used in the ending of slavery, such as “to emancipate the serfs in Russia” and “to emancipate the slaves in the US”.

  The word means to shrug off any form of bondage, oppression, or restraint. It’s different from “liberate” or “release”, which simply refer to granting freedom.

  According to Deng’s speech, “to seek truths from facts” also involves being bold and honest in airing opinions and laying all problems on the table for discussion.

  In English, people often say “to illustrate with facts” or “to back up arguments with facts”, meaning to prove your points or arguments with factual evidence.


  socialism with Chinese characteristics

  “中国特色”最官方的翻译是with Chinese characteristics。


  如:a Chinese-style market economy(中国特色市场经济),或者a market economy which operates in a Chinese context (符合中国国情的市场经济),或者China-specific courses (具有中国特色的课程、适用于中国的课程)。Specific在这里表示“适用于特定事物的”。



  Advance with the times

  At the meeting celebrating the 80th anniversary of the founding of the CPC on July 1, 2001, Jiang Zemin said that “Marxism embodies the spirit of advancing with the times”. He further explained in a speech at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC on May 31, 2002, that to advance with the times requires being aware of the changes occurring in both China and the world.

  A similar idea in Western culture is to “keep up with the pace of change”.

  But the rapid-fire development of technology has made it difficult for people to keep up with the pace of change.

  People can be easily “left in the dust” as their newly-purchased digital products quickly become outdated.

  In the fashion world where trends change faster than the weather, people who manage to keep up with the changes are called “fashionistas”. But those who try too hard and follow every short-lived fad are called “fashion victims”.


  Three Represents



  英文表达为:The CPC represents the development trend of China’s advanced productive forces, the orientation of China’s advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people.


  putting people first

  The Scientific Outlook on Development (科学发展观), formulated at the 16th National Congress in 2003, advocated putting people first.

  Putting people first means the Party serves the people wholeheartedly and gives priority to the interests of the people at all times.

  The Party must respect work, knowledge, talent and creativity and ensure that development is for the people and by the people, with the people sharing in its fruits.

  The idea of “putting people first” is also often brought up in Western societies. During the 2009 financial crisis, the European Trade Union Confederation launched a campaign, with the slogan of “Fight the crisis: put people first” because it had become unacceptable for people to shoulder the burden of a crisis they did not cause.

  The word ben in the term yi ren wei ben (以人为本) refers to “priority”. In comparison, the word ben in the term li dang zhi ben (立党之本) refers to “foundation”. The term is translated as “the foundation of building the Party”.

  Another widely used meaning of ben is “source”. It can be translated as “the mother of”. For example, “Diligence is the mother of success.”21st


  Scientific Outlook on Development


  Outlook指对事物形成的总体看法,如世界观等。而viewpoint (point of view)和standpoint泛指看待问题的观点或立场。Perspective侧重看待事物的角度。口语中对具体事物的看法可以用approach,如:Different approaches to the problem may result in different solutions.

  “科学发展观”强调全面、协调、可持续发展,即comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development。全面,是指发展要有全面性、整体性,不仅经济发展,而且政治、文化、社会都要发展;协调,是指发展要有协调性、均衡性,各个方面、各个环节的发展要相互适应、相互促进;可持续,是指发展要有持久性、连续性,不仅当前要发展,而且要保证长远发展。



  derive 源自

  keyed-up 激昂的

  priority 优先


  embody 包含

  formulate 明确地表达

  heighten 提高

  innovation 创新,改革

  oppression 镇压

  overthrow 推翻

  patriotism 爱国主义

  perish 死亡,毁灭

  self-esteem 自尊心

  shrug 摆脱


  awash 充斥的

  Bolshevik 布尔什维克,在1917年11月夺取国家政权的俄国社会民主工人党成员

  bondage 束缚

  briskly 生气勃勃地

  complexity 复杂性

  connotation 含义

  cornerstone 基础

  counterproductive 使达不到预期目标的

  devotion 热爱,投入

  distinctiveness 特殊性

  energize 加强,给予精力

  fad 一时流行的狂热

  fashionista 时尚达人

  indiscriminate 一视同仁的,不偏袒的

  instill 逐渐灌输

  irrational 不理性的

  keynote speech 主题演讲

  mortgage 抵押

  motto 座右铭,格言

  serf 农奴

  slogan 口号,标语

  socioeconomic 社会经济学的

  tsar 沙皇

  upbeat 积极的,乐观的

  unethical 不道德的


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