20200710 WHO Media briefing on COVID-19

July 10, 2020

20200710 WHO Media briefing on COVID-19

At 40:24 Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove answers NHK reporter’s airborne (aerosol) transmission question.

Ref WHO’s Scientific Brief (latest 20200709 update) “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions.”


Learning the word “quisling” from Chris Patten re Carrie Lam

July 9, 2020

Do you agree that Carrie Lam is a ‘lamentable quisling figure in Hong Kong’s history’ as Lord Chris Patten 彭定康, last Governor of Hong Kong Lord, put it?

1) Definition

Merriam-Webster quisling noun, often attributive
Definition of quisling
: traitor sense 2, collaborator

“Did You Know?

Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian army officer who in 1933 founded Norway’s fascist party. In December 1939, he met with Adolf Hitler and urged him to occupy Norway. Following the German invasion of April 1940, Quisling served as a figurehead in the puppet government set up by the German occupation forces, and his linguistic fate was sealed. Before the end of 1940, “quisling” was being used generically in English to refer to any traitor. Winston Churchill, George Orwell, and H. G. Wells used it in their wartime writings. Quisling lived to see his name thus immortalized, but not much longer. He was executed for treason soon after the liberation of Norway in 1945.”

2) Usage

20200707 Carrie Lam is a ‘lamentable quisling figure in Hong Kong’s history,’ city’s former governor says


Nathan Law 羅冠聰:今此一別,尚未知歸途何期

July 2, 2020

Sad news and in the words of Nathan Law 羅冠聰 who just fled HK because of the new HK National Security law’s many implications, from Now TV news: “政府:「光復香港 時代革命」有港獨或顛覆國家政權含意”,

“今此一別,尚未知歸途何期。從飛機望下香港的繁華璀璨,是我心目中難以忘懷的一幀剪影。願他朝有幸,半生歸來,仍是那位無忘初衷的少年。願香港安好,願榮光早日到來。
我何嘗又唔係好撚鐘意香港。”

 

Nathan’s Congressional testimony from yesterday,

xxx


叔叔的愛 interview & reviews

June 17, 2020

A list of great interviews & review from a newly discovered YouTube channel “叔叔的愛”.

叔叔的愛:《金都》(番外篇)—金成、月巴氏、黃綺琳導演對談

叔叔的愛:《歎息橋》(番外篇)—金成專訪林保怡

叔叔的愛(金成、月巴氏):第8集-《十二夜》、張柏芝、陳奕迅、林愛華

叔叔的愛(金成、月巴氏):第5集-亞視、《天蠶變》、《變色龍》

Jet People Bonus interviews:

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彩裙 彩花 – 2020 母親節詩 – 敬給 偉大的母親

May 10, 2020

彩裙 彩花 – 2020 母親節詩 – 敬給 偉大的母親

(Colourful Dresses & Colourful Flowers – A 2020 Mother’s Day Poem
by Kempton Lam – English version see below)

媽咪 愛彩裙彩花
我 愛彩恤彩花

媽咪 廣結天下英雄豪傑為友
我 廣結天下英雄豪傑為友

媽咪 固執 對朋友忠義
我 固執 對朋友忠義

媽咪教導 身教 以身作則
我聽 我濾 我學. 有時我做.

媽咪很少聽到“愛”這中文字,因為我這一代香港人,父母子女很少說“愛”
我變 我改進 我告訴媽咪我愛她

媽咪愛我 永遠視我為小孩
我提醒媽咪 年過半百的小孩 其實很少

媽咪愛我 希望我生活過得好
我愛媽咪 希望她繼續身體健康

媽咪喜歡教誨 不喜歡小孩回話 頂嘴 駁嘴駁舌 頂心頂肺
我喜歡聽教 同時視回話為重要溝通

媽咪的特權
兒子的榮幸 (榮譽的”榮” 幸福的”幸”)

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Colourful Dresses & Colourful Flowers – A 2020 Mother’s Day Poem
by Kempton Lam

Mom loves colourful dresses and colourful flowers
I love colourful shirts and colourful flowers

Mom makes friends with restaurant helpers, store keepers, neighbours and strangers
I make friends with restaurant helpers, store keepers, neighbours, and strangers

Mom is stubborn and steadfast with friends
I am stubborn and steadfast with friends

Mom has taught me many things by her actions and by her words
I listen, I filter, and I learn. And sometimes I do

Mom hasn’t often heard the Chinese word for “LOVE” 愛 because my generation of HongKonger parents and children don’t say “LOVE” 愛 to each other
I changed and learned to be better. And I made sure I told mom I “LOVE” 愛 her

Mom loves me and always sees me as a Little Boy
I remind Mom there are very few over half-century old Little Boy

Mom helped create a nice & loving world for us
I, in our challenging time of WW3 Covid19 Age, am determined to try to make our world a better place than the one we found thanks to all the lessons and ways she shaped me and powering me with Love

Mom loves me and want to see me doing well
I love mom and want her to Stay Safe and Stay Healthy

Mom loves to instruct and is no fan of “Talking Back”
I love to listen and see “Talking Back” as important communication

Privileges of Mom
Honours of Son

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20200510 - Colourful Dresses & Colourful Flowers (彩裙 彩花) - A 2020 Mother's Day Poem by Kempton Lam - 00 Dress & Flower Pix


Bambi Assassin and my Optional Left Eye

May 3, 2020

 

Smashed into thousand pieces & yes, those are deer hair!

Smashed into thousand pieces & yes, those are deer hair!

Reading my friend thanking her car for 8 years of great services got me thinking of our last car, a very loved & trusted Saturn (we call it Saturn車車). Almost exact two years ago today (May 4th, 2018), Saturn車車 saved me one last time! We are not into getting new cars, so we kept maintaining/fixing it and driving Saturn車車 for an amazing 23+ years! And as my and Saturn車車’s luck had it, in her final days, a young deer (the famous Bambi Assassin) ran into our Saturn車車. Bambi Assassin broke the rear passenger (driver side) window glass into a thousand pieces, bounced off the car, and ran away! Bambi Assassin and me got out of the mess relatively safely with big thanks to Saturn車車!

As my friend said well, it “sounded like a scene in a Nordic film.” Totally, Bambi Assassin on the road in a city with one million plus population! And I totally agree that “Cars might be our angels!”

Yes, that May 4th day might hav been quite an action horror film starring Bambi Assassin & me! I still vividly remember that day! There was a traffic jam that day on the main road near our home with traffic stopped with cars on the road with incoming traffic. Without any warning, Bambi Assassin just jumped out between the gaps in the cars as I was driving in ~50km/hr speed on my side of the road!

If I was slower by split of a second, Bambi Assassin’s head would have been right inside the glass of my driver’s window. At a minimum, likely taking out my option left eye and adding a few character-building scars to my left face IF I was lucky. If I was NOT lucky, the massive head and body of Bambi Assassin (~200lb easy) could have knocked me out, given me a concussion while bleeding me out, all very cost effective in creating nice scenes in an action horror film. Not that I’m a fan of action horror film, especially one starring me in real life.

I hadn’t shared these pix before because they were a bit too close and scary to look at. But now two years have passed, may be I can be a bit more reflective. Some days I like to think/pretend I was a good man so it was my good karma. Some days I think I was just plain lucky!

Does near death or almost being killed in a car accident or #Covid19 or … change our perspective on life or how best to live our lives? Maybe. At least, I hope so. For nearing death (almost accidents or almost #Covid19 or almost …) sometimes shine light on what are the more important things in our lives.

We each must find our own ways and meanings to our lives. But I do think the two popular “meanings” #fame and #money cannot be the simplistic ultimate goals in our lives because no one, on their deathbeds, ask how #famous they are (e.g. how many Facebook/IG/Twitter/etc etc followers the have) or how much money they have in their bank accounts.

Well try it as a #ThoughtExperiment and ask yourself what would YOU care about on your deathbed? Here writes a man whose better half will confirm he is neither rich nor famous in any measurable way! #LifelongLearning

Yes, those are deer hair!

Yes, those are deer hair!

Auto glass smashed into thousand pieces

Auto glass smashed into thousand pieces

 


呀姨!多謝你!

October 1, 2019

#呀姨_多謝你 Borrowed good post, without asking. 借,冇問過. (see disclosure)
//今日係好值得記住既一日
親眼看到更多也感受到更多
經歷左被困九巴個半鐘
然後經過一輪掙扎決定落車
發現有個呀姨跟住我
喺傾計既期間發現大家去既地方都係差唔多
於是開始左二人行動
我地互相支持、互相幫助
當我漂曬眼水時,佢遞上口罩話:我仲有一個!比你呀!
我帶佢去搭巴士去大埔
佢帶我喺上水搭小巴去屯門
路上我地認識左對方,而且閒談左好多野
最後,喺佢準備落小巴時,佢拍左我一下話:唔該你送我返屋企
我都同佢講左一句:多謝你
大家都望住對方笑左一下
我同佢既認識就結束啦

我地大家心裡都知道,今日一別,即使喺街上面再遇見,都已經唔會認得對方
但我地都會記住,曾經喺無助時,我地都互相伸出援手

呀姨!多謝你//
Disclosure: I decided not to ask for permission as I want her to have “plausible deniability” and this story doesn’t really identify her clearly. Anyway, I left this following comment in her post:

HongKonger strangers helping each other in these dark hours is what makes HK so loved. Stories like yours are the “brakes” that is slowing HK police/gov’s “push” on the slippery spiral to hell.

P.S. I believe our loved ones never “leave us” as they live on forever as stories in our hearts and minds. And this 呀姨 will live on in the poster’s mind for sure. And now, with her sharing (and my sharing), live on in more people’s minds.

In a sense, HK has experienced decades of 錦上添花.

Now these days and months of 雪中送炭 is making HongKongers shine.

I just hope HKers’ hearts and minds won’t be engulfed by anger and hate after all dust are settled. As it will be a tragedy if “HK democracy won” at the end but democratic HKers’ hearts and minds were “filled with anger, hate and desire for revenge“.

If HKers acted and behaved like people they despise now (mainland Chinese blinded by patriotic propaganda), then that “democratic victory” would be a “hell (poisoned hearts and minds)” that HKers can’t easily escape with some serious soul-searching.
P.P.S. If the friend sees this post and would rather I NOT share the story, I will of course remove it.

P.P.S. If the friend sees this post and would rather I NOT share the story, I will of course remove it.


港台照亮黑暗中的香港

September 11, 2019

In HK dark hours, RTHK has become a great source for insights, news and fact-checking to spotlight facts from fictions/fake news. Check some some episodes of these great series: 視點31, 躁動時代, 鏗鏘集, .

20190910, 視點31:《香港人權及民主法案》利弊;市道差之迷;校園電視記者在反修例運動角色

20190906, 躁動時代:三個月後的撤回;罷課;和理非/勇武;醫者心聲

20190909 鏗鏘集: Minimal Force?

20190902, 鏗鏘集:這一年……十五歲的暑假

xxx

 


More Heartbreaking News From Hong Kong

August 12, 2019

 

More Heartbreaking News From Hong Kong

Following added on 2019 Aug 12:

 


3 reasons why I LOVE “The Farewell” by Lulu Wang almost sight unseen

July 16, 2019

2019 July 24 update: Yeah! The Farewell is opening in Calgary, Canada this weekend finally! Have a watch of the Official HD Trailer before checking the 3 reasons why I LOVE The Farewell directed by Lulu Wang almost sight unseen. I’m also excited to schedule to review the film with Terry #陳家燕 on her FM947 radio show.

====

Love is never rational so here are 3 reasons why I LOVE “The Farewell” by Lulu Wang almost sight unseen.

1) I listened to Lulu’s “What You Don’t Know” radio segment on This American Life (TAL) like three times back to back (while cooking) because I LOVE it so much. I bet once you listen to it, you may enjoy it as much as I did. From TAL: //
Lulu Wang tells the story of an elaborate attempt to keep someone ignorant — her grandmother — and how her family pulled it off. (27 minutes)//

2) I actually watched “Lulu Wang Q&A at UCLA | The Farewell” first and then stopped to listen to her  “What You Don’t Know” segment on TAL because I know and LOVE TAL! Anyway, I watched the Q&A at UCLA twice at least and really want to see how Lulu turn her real life story into a film.

3) I watched this “Talk Story with Lulu Wang, Director of The Farewell” (at Hawaii International Film Festival) once and will likely watch it at least once more. You see, the more I learned about Lulu’s real life story, the more I’m amazed and curious of how she is going to turn everything into a film.

P.S. I really do know a lot by most regular moviegoers’ standard.

Note: “The Farewell” started screening in four theatres in US on July 12 according to Box Office Mojo. As of July 16, I can’t find a theatre to watch the film in Calgary yet. Hopefully soon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.)

20190719 Update: Gloden Globe, “Director Lulu Wang on “The Farewell”

Today, “Awkwafina Gets Serious In New Family Drama ‘The Farewell’ | Sunday TODAY

2019 July 26 update: Awkwafina on Why “The Farewell” Was a Role She Had Never Seen Before

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – Awkwafina’s Grandmother Didn’t See The Last 10 Minutes of Her Movie

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20190909 (?) TIFF Talks, Lulu Wang on THE FAREWELL

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拱心石下–吳靄儀從政十八年回望

July 16, 2019

For the record, the following are some info I watched and collected for 拱心石下–吳靄儀從政十八年回望. I plan to add more to this post in the coming days as I have time to check out Margaret’s FB page more.

– (20180722) 香港書展2018:拱心石下–吳靄儀從政十八年回望 (講者: 吳靄儀博士、許鞍華)

香港大學法律學院五十周年書話:吳靄儀、陳文敏 ()

– 《公民實踐論壇 – 十八相送:風雨同路》【論壇重溫】
Part 1: https://www.facebook.com/projectcitizens/videos/382999935569703/
Part 2: https://www.facebook.com/projectcitizens/videos/1580045792096395/
Part 3: 
https://www.facebook.com/projectcitizens/videos/443277869411551/
xxx

Extra references:

2018-07-24 | 蘋果日報 | A11 | 港聞 | By 陳惜姿 政界人物:回首來時路 吳靄儀

RTHK 12th book prize final list.

2018/8/20 吳靄儀寸爆之鋒

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Lee Iacocca (1924-2019)

July 4, 2019
My 1986 copy of "Iacocca: An Autobiography" which I used for a high school English class assignment which got me onto the path of lifelong learning form insightful people's autobiographies/biographies.

My 1986 copy of “Iacocca: An Autobiography” which I used for a high school English class assignment/book review. This is one of the autobiographies that got me onto the path of lifelong learning form insightful people’s biographies.

Goodbye Mr. Lee Iacocca (1934-2019), you will be dearly missed.

Thanks to my high school English teacher for letting me use Iacocca‘s best selling autobiography for one of the book review/class assignment which got me on a lifelong path of reading and enjoying autobiographies and biographies of many people which got me to learn valuable life lessons and teachable moments from them.

CNN, “How Lee Iacocca became an American icon” (bought back so many good memories)

Jun 2017, RegularCars, “The Legend of Lee Iacocca” (hope this is good)

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A Documentarian’s Observation – Long Hair Revolution from 2004 to 2019

July 4, 2019

*** A Documentarian’s Observation – Long Hair Revolution from 2004 to 2019 ***

Please have a read of A Documentarian’s Observation – Long Hair Revolution from 2004 to 2019” in the main original post where it is centralized at one location for ease of further update and adding materials.

*** New video to watch with added English subtitles ***

Long Hair 長毛 梁國雄 Leung Kwok-hung kindly gave me permission to follow and film him for about a month in 2004 for my debut documentary film Long Hair Revolution (2005). Now almost 15 years later in 2019, it has been a pleasant surprise and a bit emotional for me to watch the RTHK Headliner 頭條新聞 segment 【聰吧!新中年!】抗爭者言, 長毛 梁國雄) (episode 12, 愛民如子父母官 14/06/2019) featuring Long Hair.

I’ve spent quite a few hours over the last few weeks to video capture the Headliner 頭條新聞 segment【聰吧!新中年!】抗爭者言, translate the spoken Cantonese into English and lined up the English subtitle/Closed Caption text to exactly match the timing of the Chinese subtitle text on the clip. Feel free to let me know if you spot any clear mistakes and have suggestions to better translate things.

I’ve now uploaded my English subtitle enhanced clip onto YouTube, I hope you enjoy watching it: Long Hair – 2019 頭條新聞 RTHK Headliner

xxxx


誠徵: #記你老母 最強英文翻譯 Wanted: Epic awesome English translation for #記你老母

June 14, 2019

Have a watch of this footage of a Commercial Radio reporter being unjustly rough handled and threatened by Hong Kong police rough handling reporters in doing their jobs: #記你老母 錄影片段 (timecode 32s).

Also reported in this news article “【睇片】商台記者表明身份 仍遭揮警棍粗暴推撞 警:「記你老母!」” with link to original June 12, 2019 Commercial Radio 商台新聞’s Facebook video post.

FB user 劉仁顯 took time to create a FB profile frame tool for #記你老母 in which he translated “#記你老母” to “Port Your Mother”. While I thank the user for the effort, I think translating #記你老母 to “Port Your Mother” is a bit too polite and also incorrect.

Port-Your-Mother - Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 9.44.48 AM - org - mod

X你老母 usually are curse words for “F*ck your mother!” (or simply “You Motherf*cker!”)

So #記你老母 really should include F-word or ”Motherf*cker” in it somehow. Anyway, the first work-in-progress translation I used was “Re… you Motherf*ckers!” Upon further considerations, I think the following are worth considering:
1) “You Jurnos Motherf*ckers”
2) “Jurnos Motherf*ckers”
3) Journof*cker (Note: “Jurnos” is of course short for journalists.)
4) JìNǐLǎoMǔ

(Note: JìNǐLǎoMǔ is probably the most Beijing & mainland Chinese friendly translation inspired by Hanami for 花見. The dictionary entry for JìNǐLǎoMǔ (記你老母) can give a detailed explanation plus a link to Commercial Radio 商台新聞’s Facebook video post for context and usage example by the brutal authority and inventor of the phrase 記你老母.)

*) Port Your Mother [HT 仁顯]
*) Journfucknalist [HT a friend]
*) “Report, your ass” [HT a friend]
*) “Remember Your Mother” [HT internet, this one is very HK 無厘頭 and cute in some sense]

14 June 2019 Update: Thanks to the super wise 蕭叔叔 for sharing his take. [HT Vivian] Here is 蕭叔叔’s video explaining his rationales for translating #記你老母 to “Reporter, my arse!”. (assuming Brits are saying it). Have a watch.

While I respect 蕭叔叔’s insights, I feel it a bit “too polite” and failed to matched the tone of the unjustly violent policeman.

Imagine a “super big mean” English speaking Hollywood actor playing the role of the unjustly violent policeman saying the line “Reporter, my arse!” Sorry to be frank, I would laugh and NOT feel threaten at all as if Mr. Bean himself was threatening me!

Here lies a general translation challenge of how a culture say certain things. 蕭叔叔 wisely restricted his observation to the Brits. As a further aside, which I hope is illuminating, base on my limited understanding of Japanese people, they are exceedingly polite so their common curse words are like telling people they are “stupid” (in Cantonese, it sounds like 8+26)! And dare I say, “stupid” is NOT exactly a strong curse words in most cultures! In Canada and US, etc, people regularly use versions of the f-word, Motherf*cker, etc when cursing. So, to me, the Brits way of “Reporter, my arse!” is rather inadequate for HongKongers’ X你老母 or the unjustly violent policeman’s #記你老母!

Based on the above and other news video footages, unjustified violence have been deployed against many journalists trying to record and report on facts. So the words #記你老母 don’t feel like one off isolated incidents but feel like part of a “general declaration of war against journalists” reporting on the 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests.

At this moment, I’m leaning to translate #記你老母 as “You Jurnos Motherf*ckers”. Feel free to share your ideas and suggestions in how to better translate #記你老母!

14 June 2019 Update #2: By the way and on the fun aside, my favourite open/unsolved grand translation challenge remains 「撒嬌」有沒有英譯 since I read a 2009 article. I haven’t yet given up.

The ultimate solution for 「撒嬌」 may end up being something I got inspired by Hanami (Japanese 花見), just coin a word for it. I know it is a “cheat” but a perfect cheat has some merits right?


六四30周年 #Tiananmen30 #June4 #六四

June 3, 2019

2019 June 5th update: Ming Pao (with video), “【六四30年.短片】「天安門母親」成員張先玲講話全文

“今日(4日)是六四事件30年,也是一眾「天安門母親」在被監視下生活的30年,支聯會六四燭光悼念集會上播放「天安門母親」群體成員講話短片。以下是成員張先玲在北京所發表的講話。

尊敬的香港同胞們:
尊敬的歷年來從世界各地趕來參加維園燭光晚會的有良知的朋友們:

我們代表「天安門母親」群體向你們致以最崇高的敬意和衷心的感謝!

三十年來,維園的燭光陪伴著「天安門母親」們走過了坎坷的歷程,溫暖着我們的心!

天安門慘案已經過去了三十年。但那個血腥的夜晚,北京上空激烈的槍聲、坦克的橫衝直撞、穿梭的救護車、市民們為了保護學生對戒嚴部隊視死如歸的沿途攔截、鼎沸的人聲以及親人們最後的身影,至今,我們記憶猶新,永遠定格在我們的腦海裏,深深地刻在我們的心底。

我們痛苦過、悲傷過,如今巨大的悲痛已化為支撐我們抗爭的動力!

這樣血腥的慘案,和平時期動用軍隊在中國歷史上絕無僅有!劊子手們將永遠被釘在歷史的恥辱柱上,決不是一句輕鬆的「政治風波」就能夠抹去!更不是所謂「動亂」「暴亂」就可以作為軍隊鎮壓的理由,這樣的謊言是掩蓋不了血寫的事實!

三十年來,「天安門母親」群體不畏強權,櫛風沐雨、砥礪前行。追尋遇難者的蹤跡,為的就是要討還公道,就是要說出真相、拒絕遺忘、呼喚良知,尋求正義!

雖然這三十年來,我們找到的遇難者只是冰山一角,但僅此一角已能證明「六四」鎮壓的殘酷!這樣一次由執政黨主導、政府下令,調動大批野戰軍乘著裝甲車、軍車、坦克,真槍實彈,在首都街頭殺害手無寸鐵的、和平示威的學生和市民!這是甚麼行為?是不折不扣的草芥人命!殺人者竟是國家的正規軍!這是政府指使下的殺人!是國家的犯罪!

三十年來,「天安門母親」們本着和平、理性的原則,堅持:真相、賠償、問責三項訴求,多次就「六四」慘案通過法律解決向政府提出對話,但執政當局一直不敢面對,不敢回答。卻在公開場合用一句「黨和政府已有定論。」的囈語,作為遁詞。這樣一件在全世界眾目睽睽之下發生的慘案,豈是少數領導人一句話就能將事實抹殺掉的。歷史證明:真相終將戰勝謊言,正義必將戰勝邪惡!

雖然,「天安門母親」群體中已有五十六位難屬離去。但我們活著的人,將一如既往,承擔起逝者的責任,不管路有多崎嶇,我們將奮力向前!

感謝香港市民和朋友們對我們的支持!”

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BBC 中文網:

1) 六四30周年:被消失的坦克人照片,

2) 曾奉命前往北京執行戒嚴任務的李曉明

[HT StandNews, BBC 記者問民眾有否看過坦克人照片 北京市民:這是國外坦克,不是中國]


達明一派《回憶有罪》

June 1, 2019

I searched for and bought my copy of 達明一派 (Tat Ming Pair)《回憶有罪》 when it became available on iTune to support them. Consider supporting them yourself. If in our dark hours honourable & creative artists like them don’t get our support to voice our feelings, then we can’t blame anyone else when no one else are left to express our views and feelings

Here is a 達明一派《回憶有罪》官方MV

Lyrics:

//達明一派 回憶有罪

舊日或問天 怎允許摧毀信念
浩蕩像為了 被懷念
現在別問他 可有膽公開紀念
被現實騎劫 怎怨天

如燭光都有罪 將暗黑多幾十年 Read the rest of this entry »


Thought Experiment = 思想實驗? Is there a better translation? How about 假想實驗?

May 29, 2019

I love interesting and challenging translation question like “「撒嬌」有沒有英譯 ?” which I shared 10 years ago with some thoughtful comments under it that worth checking out. Now as I was looking for a Chinese translation for “Thought Experiment“, a quick check with Google Translate got me “思想實驗”. You see, there is even a Chinese Wikipedia entry for “思想實驗” if you click 中文 (Chinese) (on the left column) along the English Thought Experiment Wikipedia entry.

Now, I don’t like Thought Experiment being translated as “思想實驗” even it seems to be the “accepted norm” given Google Translate (widely used by people) and the formidable Chinese Wikipedia entry for “思想實驗”.

Translating “Thought Experiment” as “假想實驗”

I don’t know if anyone else has translated this earlier but I found in the “譯海泅泳-原文是海,語文素養是泳技” Facebook page a fascinating post “thought experiment 是甚麼東西? ” that detailed the author’s insightful analysis (see below included post).

After reading the cool analysis, I tend to agree with the author and think that “假想實驗” is quite a good translation for “Thought Experiment”. Now, having said that, I’m afraid the tide of “Computational Translation”, “Machine Translation“, and “Machine-Aided Human Translation (MAHT)” are over taking us humans who are more “expert” or have better “taste” in translating. As more and more people are getting or suggested with “思想實驗”  by the likes of Google Translate and Chinese Wikipedia, I’m afraid the linguistic tide is drowning us with mediocre existing translation and they will soon become the norm too strong to ignore.

I hope I’m wrong and I will try to insist using “假想實驗” for “Thought Experiment” but then I’m a rebel. Lots of other English or Chinese speakers won’t even have second thoughts in using “思想實驗”

Again, I will keep using “假想實驗” for “Thought Experiment” and I hope you will too.

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thought experiment 是甚麼東西? (Facebook link) – 譯海泅泳-原文是海,語文素養是泳技 October 4, 2015

(NOTE & Thanks: I acknowledge the original author of this post owns its copyright and thank the author’s contribution to the discussion. I include this full post here for completeness and ease of reading as I thought it extremely thoughtful and insightful. If the author doesn’t like to have the whole post included, I can excerpt portions of it according to “fair dealing/fair use” provisions of copyright law.)

thought experiment=想像實驗、思想實驗、思考實驗、思惟實驗、理想實驗、假想實驗、臆想實驗?
很多中文人口看到thought experiment這個詞,往往搞不懂這是甚麼東西(其實就算是英文人口,也有不少人無法一看就懂,因為這不是日常用語)。憑著大家所背單字的意思,一個「思想」,一個「實驗」–這是甚麼東西?這是因為我們只看到個別文字的意思,卻看不到文字背後真實情境的緣故。借用禪宗的話說就是,我們只看到指月的手,卻沒有看到手所指的月。用現在的話來說的話,這就是「去脈絡」的結果。探索事物而去脈絡,即無真相,即無實相可言。
thought experiment是運用思考,依據邏輯推理,在腦筋裡–在想像中–進行的實驗(見圖左、右上, 由左至右)。所以thought experiment不是在化學實驗室或粒子加速器實驗室進行的實驗,所以是一種非實體實驗。
史丹福哲學百科全書(Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)在”thought experiment”這個條目之下記述說:

Thought experiments are devices of the imagination used to investigate the nature of things. They are used for diverse reasons in a variety of areas, including economics, philosophy, and the sciences, especially physics. Most often, thought experiment are communicated in narrative form, frequently with diagrams. Thoughts experiments should be distinguished from the thinking about experiments, from merely imagining any experiments to be conducted outside the imagination, and from psychological experiments with thoughts. They should also be distinguished from counterfactual reasoning in general, as they seem to require an experimental element, which seems to explain the impression that something is experienced in a thought experiment.

這裡面說,thought experiments 是以想像力為器具,用以研究事物性質。又說,對於「實驗」一事的思考,或是純粹只是想像一項實驗實際(outside the imagination)在進行,都不是(“…should be distinguished from “) thought experiments; 心理學家以人的thought為實驗素材進行的實驗也不是thought experiments。
這樣,知道thought experiment是什麼東西,不是甚麼東西之後,那麼中文要怎麼翻譯呢?直譯為「思想實驗」嗎?意思並不清楚。英譯中的時候,很多英文詞彙或語句要是直譯,其譯文常常語意不詳或與原意差很多,這是大家都知道的。譬如,英文有個複合形容詞,叫作self-conscious。有的譯者望文生義,直譯為「自我意識的」或「自覺的」;並且由於單字意思都對,便認為self-conscious這樣翻譯是正確的。但接著卻發現「自我意識的」或「自覺的」和上下文意思兜不起來。這樣子,我們便知道self-conscious這個形容詞恐怕就不是我們想當然爾的「自覺的」、「自我意識的」了。這個英文形容詞的意思其實是「(因為知道別人對自己的看法或擔心別人不知道對自己有甚麼看法而導致的)害羞的,尷尬的,不好意思的」,另外一個意思是「(做事情時因為過於刻意或雕琢過度而導致)洩露意圖或行跡敗露的」—-你看,「自我意識的」、「自覺的」和這個意思差多少!
所以,從以上我們所列的七種譯法中,我們在這裡就先把「思想實驗」、「思考實驗」、「思惟實驗」三者排除。「理想實驗」自然不對。「臆想實驗」亦然—-除了語意不清楚之外,真正的thought experiment是不做「臆想」(猜測)的。這樣的話,就剩下「想像實驗」和 「假想實驗」兩個了。這兩者,我個人傾向「假想實驗」。我以為,若譯為「想像實驗」,一個文字理解上有問題,一個是並非一看就知道那是甚麼東西。前者,在中文裡,「想像」常做動詞用。那麼,「在想像實驗」會是甚麼意思就不清楚了。在這裡,我們需要名詞,但是這裡卻跑出一個像是動詞的東西。再者,我把這幾種譯法拿去問過三個人,請他們選看看哪一個「名詞」看了知道是甚麼東西。其中有兩人提出「假想實驗」,問我那是不是甚麼甚麼…講的正是thought experiment那一回事。所以,雖然我自己本來就譯成「假想實驗」,但是經過這樣的 poll 之後,我更加篤定要翻譯成「假想實驗」。
說到「假想實驗」,史上最有名的「假想實驗」莫過於「薛丁格的貓」(Schrödinger’s Cat)(圖右中)、「愛因斯坦的升降機」(Einstein’s Elevator)(圖右下)、「猴子與打字機」(Monkeys and Typewriters)(圖右下二)等幾個。筆者少年時代曾經看過一本講愛因斯坦相對論的概論書,是一本英譯中著作。其中提到愛因斯坦的「升降機」這項「假想實驗」。這是我平生第一次看到「假想實驗」這個詞彙,當時閱讀的感覺是毫無窒礙,並未有「那是甚麼東東?」的疑惑。「猴子與打字機」這個假想實驗背後的概念可以直溯到亞里斯多德的「無限次數的作用在無限時間之內幾乎一定會產生一切事物」這種說法,說「無限隻猴子在無限台打字機上隨意敲打,最後一定會在某個時候打出全本莎士比亞全集」。這個假想實驗相當有趣。原始進化論者主張生命的發生純屬偶然,是機率問題。反對此說者有的借用「猴子與打字機」這個假想實驗,計算出來說,一千隻猴子隨便(=偶然)在一千台打字機上敲打,恰好(=機遇)打出一部莎士比亞戲劇(有秩序的宇宙)的機率是一萬兆兆兆分之一;等於每十億個十億年才發生一次,但是我們這個宇宙到目前為止也才不過一百二十億年而已。「假想實驗」是個有趣的題目,有時間可以聊聊。

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21 June, 2019 update: I added a new comment to the above thought experiment 是甚麼東西? (Facebook post), here is it.

Allow me to go off a tangent a little. I think both you and I are probably not fan of translating “police state” as 警察國家 because “極權國家” seems SOOOO much better. But 警察國家 is a “reality” we face in our age of Google Translate and Wikipedia (yes, both translate and has an entry of “警察國家” for police state. And if language/dictionary is nothing else other than a recording of how people use a language, I think “警察國家” may soon kick out “極權國家”. In economics there is 劣幣驅逐良幣! Then may be we will have 劣翻譯驅逐良翻譯 soon! The translator’s version of Gresham’s law (Bad money drives out good)!

Ref usage: I can’t really say I don’t like the fitting use of “警察國家” for police state (probably what he said) in this sentence in this news report (with photos). And I LOVE the photos and story it tells. //他對《立場新聞》記者表示,自己來港 12 年,6 月 12 日當天目睹警察用過度武力鎮壓示威者,尤如警察國家。//


201903 最近看的紀錄片 Recently watched documentary

March 29, 2019

最近看的紀錄片 Recently watched documentary

10) (Trailer) Kusama: Infinity (2018) The Life and Work of Artist Yayoi Kusama (Kanopy) (Yayoi Kusama (草間 彌生)) Here you can find Miss O’Keeffe’s 1955 Dec 3th reply to Kusama in her own handwriting. #awesome

9) (Trailer) Sam Klemke’s Time Machine (Kanopy)

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Additional references

(#10) re Yayoi Kusama (草間 彌生)

PBS News, “Need to escape reality? Step into infinity with Yayoi Kusama

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Yayoi Kusama Interview: Earth is a Polka Dot

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