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Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?

 
PACNWguy
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07/11/2007 01:55 PM
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Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
Candidates lost in Chinese translation


Guo Yan Mai, 71, waves to passersby in Boston as he holds up a sign expressing his support for fully bilingual election ballots during a demonstration in front of the Statehouse.

'08 RACE FOR PRESIDENT

USA TODAY ON POLITICS: Boston's 2008 presidential primary ballot could read like a bad Chinese menu.

There might be "Sticky Rice" in column A, "Virtue Soup" in column B and, in column C, "Upset Stomach."

Those could be choices facing some voters if the names of Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and Hillary Rodham Clinton were converted into Chinese characters, according to Massachusetts' top election official. And that gives Secretary of State William Galvin heartburn.

On Tuesday, Galvin filed a challenge in federal court to a Justice Department agreement requiring that ballots be fully translated to protect the rights of Chinese-speaking voters.

Galvin says Chinese — which uses characters, not letters; has sounds with several meanings; and is spoken in several dialects — will create ballot chaos.

"Elections have to be precise," says Galvin, who wants ballot instructions in Chinese but candidate names in English. He says transliteration — using characters whose sounds approximate the way the names are spoken — can have "unintended negative inferences."

The federal government and some Asian-American activists disagree. Transliterating candidate names "is an effective way to allow voters to vote independently," unaccompanied by someone to translate, says Justice Department spokeswoman Cynthia Magnuson.

Ann Har-Yee Wong of Boston's Elections Advisory Committee says asking Chinese-speaking voters to read a candidate's name in English is "akin to a Boston cabdriver navigating the streets in Beijing while trying to read street signs only in Chinese characters."

Margaret Fung of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund says: "If you take seriously that voters be able to exercise their vote and cast an informed ballot, then the election officials should" transliterate names.

The controversy stems from a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department that accused Boston poll workers of mismarking the ballots of Asian voters who didn't speak English. A 2005 settlement requires the city to translate instructions, office titles and candidate names on ballots in precincts with large numbers of Chinese speakers.

Fung says Asian-Americans are eligible under the federal Voting Rights Act to receive help at polling places in 16 jurisdictions in seven states with large numbers of non-English-speaking voters. Among those, seven counties in California and New York transliterate candidates' names on ballots.

[link to www.usatoday.com]

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Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?

I ask this question as a simple-minded American and Bay Stater who remembers the days when American liberals stood by John F. Kennedy and pledged to “pay any price, bear any burden and meet any hardship to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” A generation later, the American left’s motto could be “No Burden, No Hardship, No Democracy? No Problem!”

This new spirit of “convenience democracy” was on display at the State House yesterday when the so-called “Chinese Progressive Association” demanded that ballots for American elections in an American city (Boston) be printed entirely in the language of American democracy - Cantonese. Under orders from the U.S. Department of Justice, Boston now prints ballots in Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, as well as Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Creole and (coming soon, no doubt), Gaelic, Vulcan and that South African click-click language from “The Gods Must Be Crazy.” However, while the text of the ballots is in Chinese, the actual names of the candidates - Bush in ’88 or Clinton in ’92 or Bush in 2000 or Clinton in 2008 - still appear in English. This isn’t good enough, liberals complain. It’s asking too much of local voters to read any part of a ballot in English.

Which means that the unbearable burden of citizenship for Americans of Chinese descent is to be able to look at the names “Patrick” and “Healy” and tell which candidate is Irish. OK, that’s a bad example.

Seriously, if a mastery of English is a requirement for citizenship - and it is - then how is reading a ballot in English a burden at all? And do we really want the next Leader of the Free World being picked by people who can’t tell “Barack Obama” from “Ron Paul?” Phonetically or politically? And what would JFK say to those who claim that the unbearable burden of citizenship is citizenship itself?

Last Edited by theDtrain on 01/21/2012 12:40 PM
OBAMA - THE FASTEST FAILED PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY

"I inherated and I am Great!"
Evil Twin

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07/11/2007 01:59 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
Geeze wouldn't it be simpler to say, "If you are unable to read the ballot in English or Braille, then you are unable to vote." ??
BeijingComm NCCCPC

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07/11/2007 03:05 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
"Ann Har-Yee Wong of Boston's Elections Advisory Committee says asking Chinese-speaking voters to read a candidate's name in English is "akin to a Boston cabdriver navigating the streets in Beijing while trying to read street signs only in Chinese characters.""

Hahaha. That's one stupid analogy. Why would a Boston cabdriver be driving in China? And yes, he/she would have to read street signs in Chinese.

It amazes me that people who don't know English can become voting US citizens.
Anonymous Coward
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07/11/2007 03:07 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
No, and that's why these foreign insurrectionists shouldn't allowed in the country or given "amnesty".
BeijingComm NCCCPC

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07/11/2007 03:11 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
Don't they have to pass some sort of test or recite the Pledge of Allegence to gain citizenship??

Or is that all done in Chinese, too?
PACNWguy  (OP)

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07/11/2007 03:14 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
If you consider how many different languages there are in the US, the ballots would be bigger than the Sunday LA Times.
OBAMA - THE FASTEST FAILED PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY

"I inherated and I am Great!"
Anonymous Coward
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07/11/2007 03:17 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
English is the language of the nation. If you can't read in English then go back to the country which has the language you CAN read in.
mathetes

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07/11/2007 03:25 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN

"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Gradient

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07/11/2007 03:29 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN

"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
 Quoting: mathetes



*sigh*

Too bad you will never hear words like that again from our leaders. Today it is almost hate speech. The ACLU would have a field day with that........if someone explained the big words to them.
:coexistt:


glptrainer(at)yahoo.com
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07/11/2007 03:30 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
NO!!!! No one in Boston knows anything about working for the greater good of this nation. Boston is the most Liberal, self seeking, un American city short of Cambridge and Berklee.
Majestic

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07/11/2007 03:33 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
It doesn't matter anyway...

the Neo-Cons that operate the Diebold voting machines will count the vote any way they wish.
The House of Sinanju

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07/11/2007 03:59 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
It doesn't matter anyway...

the Neo-Cons that operate the Diebold voting machines will count the vote any way they wish.
 Quoting: Majestic



I know, ain't it grand!
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." ---C.S. Lewis
[charlie]

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07/11/2007 04:06 PM
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Re: Does anyone in Boston know how to translate “Ask not what your country can do for you” into the original Mandarin Chinese?
if they can't even figure out who's who in ENGLISH then how are supposed to know what issues are being voted on???

'asian-americans' ... pc'ness and hyphenates really piss me off. you say "asian" to me and i don't know if you mean orientals, south pacific types, or ones from the indo countries... they all consider themselves 'asian'...

fuck's sake...
i love it when kittehs ride me [link to www.youtube.com]





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