But What About The Truth Surrounding the Topic?
The last two weeks have bombarded the average individual exposed to the media’s ongoing stream of news with never-ending insights on the Coronavirus – and frankly, rightfully so. The world has the right to know and understand what this fatal virus could in fact have in store for individuals everywhere. What’s alarming is that prior to this outbreak, only the politically savvy, or those eager to be culturally aware on a global scale, were even highly in tune with the level of censorship impeded on Chinese society. Social media like Facebook is shunned in China, networks like WeChat dominate communication channels since they are local and monitored, and endless blogs, forums and other sites are inaccessible without VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) that allow you to browse the web from a foreign country’s IP address. So, what’s all this got to do with translation and how we process information when a terminal virus initiates abroad and is airborne and transmitted internationally? Everything.
If the Chinese government is withholding information from its local audiences, and feels fully justified in doing so, what is happening with the real data and insights the country knows on the Coronavirus and how this information is communicated to international audiences? More and more videos exposing the level of communist censorship (and potential government conspiracies) that China imposes on its society are becoming alarmingly widespread and viewed by countries globally. Recently a YouTube video of a heartbroken citizen pleading for global awareness of the Chinese government’s conspiring approach to running the country has been circulating on Facebook and reaching users in all corners of the globe. But what happens to those who don’t speak a word of Chinese and are desperate to understand this woman’s cry for mercy, help and awareness? Translation of the cry for help is absolutely critical. Don’t take our word for it – just watch the video and read the subtitles!
And what messages have been translated for global audiences regarding Chinese president Xi’s promises to his nation and the world? Financially of course, China will maintain its economic growth goals to drive the economy as planned, at least in provinces where the outbreak isn’t out of control. Needless to say, if this is the insight that’s being translated (other than the fear-inducing death and infection tolls that may be inaccurate if we consider the aforementioned video above to be truth), how much more do we have yet to understand about this painstakingly frightful virus and its ability to harm individuals everywhere? And what’s more, are we really being told the entire truth and is it being translated to the best of ability for global citizens to act as needed and bypass infection as effectively as possible?
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