[Trisquel-users] We need an English motto

akram720 at gmail.com akram720 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 2 09:30:21 CET 2010

These days I am invited to give lectures on English writing to adult students  
on an in-service training programme. Yesterday morning, during recess, one of  
the students asked me about how to translate a company motto. The company, a  
building material manufacturer, intends to place the English translation of  
the motto right under its Chinese equivalent on its Brief-Introduction  
webpage. Its classical Chinese motto is "言行九鼎 德通天下",which  
is usually used to describe a paragon of virtue and literally means "He  
always lives up to his words and enjoys high public regard." In my view,  
although a company seeking prosperity can be compared to a man who always  
wishes for respect from others, it may be a better idea to have the literal  
meaning of the Chinese motto slightly altered to suit this business  
situation. I plan to translate it as "Honesty is the best policy and quality  
matters most, we believe." I won't have the English translation corresponding  
word for word with the original version, for literal translation oftentimes  
confuse and mislead the readers. Rather, I think this treatment works best:  
the Chinese version will be intended for the Chinese readers while the  
English version will be instantly understood by international visitors of the  
webpage. I would like to have your comments on the acceptability of my  
English translation on the part of native speakers.

lava lamp

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