The ‘Beauty Translator’ in China and the United States

The 'Beauty Translator' in China and the United States
“Wang Yi, you say something.” On March 18, the China-US high-level strategic dialogue kicked off in Anchorage, Alaska, the United States. Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, spent more than 10 minutes refuting the US accusation. He then turned his head to the right of Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

But Wang pointed to the interpreter to Yang’s left, Zhang Jing, who nodded and said, “Let me translate first.” Yang Jiechi smiled at her, “still want to turn over? Turn over.” Then continue with a smile and say, “This is a test for the interpreter.” Zhang Jing’s zipped lips were met with a smile by The American Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “The translator should get a raise.

Then, Zhang Jing delivered a textbook performance.

She was generous, decent, calm and steady. She conveyed China’s position to the US side in a clear, objective and accurate manner. As Mr Yang said, this is a big test because the rebuttal was not only largely improvised but also loaded with references to China’s core interests. Most importantly, this refutation, while wonderful, is too long, and it requires a high level of professionalism to do the job correctly.

But Zhang Jing did. As the media at home and abroad recorded the whole dialogue with cameras, a series of praise for Zhang Jing came one after another from “beauty translator” and “little Zhao Wei from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.

“Purple Hair Translator”

As the saying goes, “No comparison, no harm”, let’s take a look at the American translator with purple hair.

The first thing to be discussed is her appearance. Her “purple hair” became the focus of attention on foreign social media. Many netizens strongly questioned the appearance, saying it is not only unprofessional at a serious diplomatic occasion, but also damaging the country’s image. More criticism followed after Internet users revealed that the translator was a White House staffer.

The 'Beauty Translator' in China and the United States
Next to America’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, sat a purple-haired interpreter. (Video screenshot)
Secondly, the purple-haired translator not only failed to accurately convey the information of the US side, but also “added drama” and smuggled various illicit goods.

For example, one of Blinken’s original statements reads: “It helps countries resolve differences peacefully, coordinate arbitration efforts effectively, and participate in global commerce with the assurance that everyone is following the same rules.” It helps countries resolve their differences peacefully, effectively coordinate multilateral efforts, and ensure that everyone participates in global trade while playing by the same rules.

“Because we want to work for peace, we want to work through this multilateral approach, and I think the world is very much on board with the idea of defending the rules that we’re working on, and all of these rules that we have now.”

Do you feel very “watery”?

She not only forced her way into “the world is very much in agreement with such a practice”, but also said nothing about Blinken’s reference to “global commerce”. Professionalism aside, the biggest danger of such translation is that it fuels an already tense conversation and reinforces ideological antagonism.

Throughout the translation of the purple hair, smuggled goods far from this place. Referring to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, for example, Blinken adds fuel to the fire by saying that “[China’s actions] are harmful to the interests of the world” and that “[these problems] are the world’s problems.” Purple-haired translators take Blinken’s words further and attempt to “kidnap” the world with American will.