On March 13, Marco Polo was invited by Fudan International High School in Shanghai to run its first massive school translation event. We brought together ninety-five students from year 9 to 11 for a first-of-its-kind collaborative translation race.
Our afternoon started with an address by Tony Li, journalist and founder of China30s. China30s is a Shanghai-based website documenting the changing lives of Chinese innovators from the ‘Sandwich Generation’, born 1975-85 – and provided all material for the day’s translation. The students formed into thirty two groups of three, and translated Chines to English for two hours. In total, the group produced over 25,000 words – with five teams translating over 1500 words each.
The event was run as a race, with a prize for the fastest team, and a prize to the best quality translation. But the most striking element for all involved was the spirit of collaboration across year levels and streams – and seeing students who had never met before make new friends in the course of an afternoon.
All translations and original texts are available on the Marco Polo Project website under the China30s tab. Some of them still need completing and editing. You’re warmly invited you to complete them, or just peek at already translated passages for insights into the lives and mindset of young Chinese innovators.
A similar event is under preparation at Raffles Institution in Singapore, focusing on the work of local authors writing in Mandarin, and at Beijing Foreign Languages University on Sunday 12 April. In the future, we’re looking forward to developing editing events, gathering language enthusiasts to review existing translations and improve them – so, stay tuned for more information on Marco Polo Project translation events!
We wish to warmly thank Tony Li from China30s and Fudan International High School, more particularly the English teaching team, with special thanks to Ms Britte for believing in us, and making this event possible.