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  • Gordon Dumoulin

Lost in translation... "agree to disagree"


โ€œ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆโ€...

a common translation used in media for the hashtag "ๆฑ‚ๅŒๅญ˜ๅผ‚" which went viral in Chinese social media after the online meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden early last week.


The literal translation of ๆฑ‚ๅŒๅญ˜ๅผ‚ is โ€œ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€โ€


It is interesting to reflect the perspective of the literal translation vs. the common translation made in Western media.


In comparison with โ€œseek common grounds while reserving differencesโ€ , โ€œagree to disagreeโ€ seems more like ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—น๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„-๐˜‚๐—ฝ ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€. While the literal translation ignites actions of โ€œ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜€โ€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ โ€œ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€โ€, ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฏ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฏ๐˜€ "๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ" ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ "๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ".





Cross-cultural communication and understanding is so vital in this time of frictions and separations. People definitely need to seek common grounds instead of statements of agreement or disagreement.


Reserving differences stimulates chances for developing common grounds. Differences do not need to be ignored but people should realize differences always have two sides (that is why there is a difference ๐Ÿ˜Š).


Addressing differences towards others requires a thorough understanding of the other side. On ๐—ฎ ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ but not less importantly ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€. Proven most difficult more than once the most difficult or tricky part of addressing differences (consciously or subsconsciously) is ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ฒ๐—ฟ : ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ท๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜†๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜€, ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒโ€™๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ป ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ.


Psychological projection plays an important role in the third layer; the process of misinterpreting what is "inside" as coming from "outside". It forms the basis of empathy by the projection of personal experiences to understand someone else's subjective world.


Especially in this period of time, differences are thriving while common grounds are fragile terrains.





Differences are actually unique distinctive values for mutual learning and understanding but very dangerous when not treated with cultural sensibility and objective research or simply not accepted. Therefore seeking common grounds is so important as a base before going anywhere into a respectful dialog of differences.


(credits to Bei Wang ็Ž‹่““ and Arnold Ma for bringing this translation under attention).


Pictures : Some beautiful foggy days last week in Beijing...


#crosscultural #crossculturalcommunication #chineseculture #lostintranslation

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