February 23, 2016 – Language Connections, a Boston-based translation and interpreting company, worked together with Boston University (BU) to produce a bilingual issue of Bostonia, the university’s online magazine, for the growing Chinese student population. Currently there are already 1,229 undergraduate students from China out of a total of 16,460, and the numbers are growing steadily. But coming from such a different background these students must be ready to meet several unique challenges.
To help students interested in their programs familiarize themselves with the process, the university put out a special edition of their magazine entitled: “China: A Generation Comes to Learn and Returns to Build.” This issue features articles relevant to students from China and their families. Several videos of student interviews also accompany the text. The interviews feature Chinese students preparing to come to the U.S., obstacles they encountered upon arrival, and the question of whether to return to China.
This project required expert Mandarin Chinese translation of the magazine content as well as subtitling of all of the videos into both English and Mandarin Chinese. Translating from Latin to Simplified Chinese characters involves significant effort in maintaining the design and format of each page. Subtitling is also challenging in that the process itself requires multiple steps: subtitles have to be first translated, reviewed, and then synchronized with the spoken content of each video. The finished version must then be checked to ensure that the subtitles have been inserted correctly into each frame of the video.
The bilingual (English and Chinese) version of the Bostonia magazine can be accessed via the English version (http://www.bu.edu/bostonia/winter-spring14/china/).