Odd translation of Chinese dishes’ names likely to disappear, thanks to national translation guidance

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The odd translation of Chinese dishes’ names into English will disappear soon, as a policy released by Chinese authorities on June 20 will take effect on December 1st. The policy will guide English translations for food and other services.

Translations of Chinese dishes with names that are odd, such as “Chicken without Sex,” “Four Glad Meat Balls,” and “Tofu Made by Woman with Freckles,” have created misunderstandings for years.

In fact, there is a lot of variety in Chinese cuisine, and their names have a lot of cultural meaning. Dishes are named according to appearance, taste, cooking methods, and ingredients, but their names also come from cultural elements, including the historical allusions and folk customs behind them.

Taking “Dongpo Pork” as an example, it implies the life story of Su Dongpo, a famous litterateur of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 A.D.). The “Four-Joy Meatballs (Meat Balls Braised with Brown Sauce)” contains people’s expectations for “happiness,” “affluence,” “longevity,” and “joy.” Research into their translation is as interesting as tasting the delicacies.

As a matter of fact, the ungrounded translations reflect a lack of service awareness, as names can influence foreign diners’ understanding of both Chinese delicacies and Chinese culture.

The new guidelines will standardize translation of dishes’ names, so that diners will not be puzzled by odd translations while enjoying the many delicacies in Chinese restaurants, both in China and overseas.

9 Chinese companies named as world’s top 50 smartest companies

Nine Chinese companies were named in MIT Technology Review’s annual 50 Smartest Companies List, which was issued in Beijing on Tuesday, Thepaper.cn reported.

The companies include iFlyTek, Tencent, Face ++, DJI, Foxconn, Alibaba, HTC, Ant Financial, and Baidu, among which iFlyTek and Tencent ranked 6th and 8th, respectively.

To make the list, a company must combine innovative technology with an effective business model that is both practical and ambitious, enabling the company to set a 12-month agenda.

AI technologies, including speech recognition technology, deep learning, and face recognition, as well as cloud services, gene sequencing, and solar energy technology, are keywords for the listed companies.

Large-scale business operations are important, but a company’s ambition is given special attention.

As MIT Technology Review evaluated, iFlyTek’s voice assistant technology is the “Siri of China,” and its real-time portable translator puts AI to remarkable use, overcoming dialect, slang, and background noise to translate between Chinese and a dozen other languages with surprising accuracy.

In addition, the company Face ++ was said to pioneer new uses of face recognition technology, from fraud investigation to “smile to pay,” according to the review.

Chinese airlines lure Russian pilots with lucrative pay, perks

More Russian pilots are choosing to work for Chinese airlines because of lucrative pay andattractive benefits.

According to a recruiting company that recruits pilots from all around the world forChinese airlines, the monthly salary for pilots in China is between $17,000-25,000, morethan quadruple than in Russia. Additionally, the pilots fly around 80 hours per month inChina, while in Russia they fly around 90 hours.

Sergei (not his real name), a pilot from Russia who is working for a Chinese airline, saidthere are many impressively-large airports in China, and pilots are subject to a strictphysical exam. Russian pilots are also on good terms with their counterparts, so the workenvironment is friendly.

American pilot Jeff Graham said he flew 80-100 hours per month in the States, but inChina he flies about 50 hours a month, and can get triple the salary. Graham startedworking for an airline in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong province, in 2015.

Foreign pilots have to pass strict flight tests before coming to China, and only the best ofthe best can work for Chinese airlines. The current number of foreign pilots flying domesticflights in China is not large, according to the recruiting company.

There are 81 Russian pilots working in China’s airline industry. Over the next 20 years,China will need 4-5,000 airline pilots each year, according to aviation experts. As of end-2016, the number of foreign pilots with valid licenses issued by the Civil AviationAdministration of China reached 2,628.

Chinese aircraft carrier formation conducts trans-regional training

A flotilla of Chinese ships including the Liaoning aircraft carrier has been conducting trans-regional training since the naval formation set out from eastern China’s city of Qingdao on June 25.

In addition to the Liaoning, the formation also includes destroyers Jinan and Yinchuan, as well as the frigate Yantai.

According to a high official of the fleet, the training exercise will enhance tactical coordination and improve the skills of crew and pilots in different marine regions.


China to do ‘CT scans’ on earth: innovative project for seismologic studies launched

An innovative project for seismologic studies has been launched in China, covering four specific research plans. As a result, the country’s research level and ability to forecast earthquakes and mitigate their effects will be improved in the next 10 years.

“We still don’t know enough about what’s under the ground,” said Zhang Xiaodong, deputy director of the Institute of Earthquake Science at the China Earthquake Administration. Zhang said our lack of understanding of the crustal structure is an obstacle in finding out the real incidence of earthquakes.

“Transparent crust,” one of the four plans, aims to investigate the subsurface structure, especially of major seismic zones and active faults, said Zhang.

Zhang said the theory behind the plan is similar to computed tomography: to acquire images of the earth’s interior structure through the observation of seismic velocities across different transmission paths.

An Air-gun seismic source is what China uses to obtain data on the earth’s interior structure, as well as consecutive frames of high-precision images. Currently, four such experimental bases have been built in China, and six more are currently planned.

After implementation of the “transparent crust” plan, a 3-dimensional structural model of mainland China’s crust and mantle will be created to record physical changes. The model will show the spatial distribution of and parameters related to about 200 active faults.

China will also carry out comprehensive studies on earthquakes that had already happened to gather data on typical strong quakes.

In addition, a big data center for seismic studies will be established in the country to offer smart quake prevention services. To minimize possible losses due to earthquakes, the country will also enhance seismic design and construction.