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老外火炬手花落谁家?

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老外火炬手花落谁家?

Carrying A Torch For China Helps In This Even

Ten months before the 2008 Games begin in Beijing, a new and grueling Olympic sport is in full swing among foreign nationals living in China: advanced kowtowing.

距离2008年北京奥运会开幕还有10个月时间,不过生活在中国的不少外国人正在起劲地参加在华外国人奥运火炬手的选拔活动。

Foreign residents are vying for eight slots to carry the Olympic torch on Chinese soil in the traditional relay prior to the Games. Exactly 19,400 people will be picked to run inside China. Most will be Chinese; eight at least will be foreigners.

在华外国人正在争夺中国境内奥运火炬手的8个名额,火炬接力是奥运会前进行的一项传统活动。在中国境内将会有19,400人参加火炬接力,其中绝大多数都是中国人,不过至少将会有8名外国人。

But the foreigners have to clear some extra hurdles in an online contest organized by Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. and the government-owned English-language newspaper China Daily. The criteria: aspiring torchbearers should 'love Chinese culture and history' and 'be devoted to communicate information of a real China to their native countries.' Each of them also needs to write a 500-word English essay titled 'China and I,' which should 'cover a true, touching part of 'my story in China,'' according to the application instructions.

但是外国人需要在中国电脑制造商联想集团(Lenovo Group Ltd.)和官方英文报纸《中国日报》(China Daily)共同组织的网上投票中克服重重障碍。火炬手的标准是:对中国文化和历史有热情的人,愿意沟通中国和世界的人。根据评选规则,报名者需提交一篇 500字左右以“我与中国”为主题的英语短文,文章应真实讲述“我在中国的故事”。

Foreigners have risen to the occasion, engaging in a furious competition to outdo one another in praise of the Middle Kingdom.

外国人踊跃参加这项活动,纷纷希望在这场颂扬中国的激烈角逐中压倒竞争对手。

One contestant, Prithviraj Puttaraju, a 40-year-old executive from Bangalore, India, said, 'I had continuously heard that China had a lot to offer in terms of deep culture, extreme beauty and growth.' He added that at the U.S. tech company he works for, he is known as 'China Man.

'来自印度孟买、今年40岁的管理人员Prithviraj Puttaraju就是报名者之一。他说,我不断听说中国具有悠久的文化,美丽的国土和高速增长的经济。他还称,在他工作的这家美国科技公司,他被大家视为“中国通”。

Benjamin Travis Wood, an American architect in Shanghai, plays up modesty, a virtue that Chinese for some reason think Americans lack. 'I don't deserve to carry the Olympic Torch for China,' he wrote, in a classic Chinese self-deprecating way of asking for something. 'China has changed my life. China has given to me more than I have given to China,' he wrote.

在上海工作的美国建筑师本杰明•特拉维斯•伍德(Benjamin Travis Wood)更为谦虚一些──中国人一直认为美国人缺乏这种品质。他用中国人在争取某件事情时典型的自谦方式写道:我还达不到充当火炬手的要求,中国改变了我的生活,中国给予我的要比我给予中国的更多。

Philippe Le Gall, the Seychelles' ambassador in Beijing, offered that he was born on the eighth hour of the eighth day of the eighth month. 'Eight-eight-eight is a lucky number in China, and I feel the need to do something exceptional around Aug. 8, 2008,' he wrote in an essay.

塞舌尔驻中国大使菲利普•勒加尔(Philippe Le Gall)则提到,他是8月8日晚上8时出生的。他在短文中写道,“888”是中国的幸运数字,我感觉有必要在2008年8月8日做些有特殊意义的事情。

On one level this is a garden-variety PR campaign by Lenovo, which is very active in using the Olympics to market itself around the globe. But in China, such patriotic verbiage is also a reminder of times -- not entirely departed -- when little other public speech was permitted.

对联想集团而言,这只是一次普通的公关活动,该公司一直十分积极地利用这次奥运会在全球宣传自身形象。但在中国,这种爱国主义言论也让人们想起了并不遥远的过去,当时不同看法的公开言论几乎都受到了禁止。

'They're the words the government wants to hear,' Ian Ross, a Scotsman living in China since 2005, said in a phone interview. 'That's the way the culture is here. People want to hear that kind of rhetoric. Every foreigner, every Chinese knows that.' He adds: 'But you don't have to say what they want you to say.'

自2005年以来一直生活在中国的苏格兰人伊安•罗斯(Ian Ross)接受电话采访时称,这些话都是政府想要听到的。这里的文化就是这个样子。人们都想听到动听的话。每一个外国人,每一个中国人都知道这点。但你不一定非要说他们想让你说的话。

Still, Mr. Ross didn't push the envelope in his application. 'Becoming an Olympic torchbearer in China is a wonderful opportunity for my country -- Scotland -- and also a chance for me to say thank you to the people of China for making my stay here such a wonderful and life-changing experience.'

不过,罗斯在申请中却表现得比较中庸。他写道,成为在华外国人奥运火炬手对我的祖国苏格兰是个很好的机会,我也可以有机会说谢谢所有中国人,让我在这里有了如此美好和不同的生活体验。

The online voting ended on Oct. 14, and the eight winners will be chosen by a committee of Lenovo and China Daily executives and journalists by the end of the month. Entries have been received from 261 people representing 47 countries or nationalities.

网上投票的截止日期是10月14日,本月底将由联想集团和《中国日报》管理人员和记者组成的一个委员会公布8名优胜者。共有来自47个国家和地区的261人提交了申请。

Lenovo spokespeople say the winners won't be chosen for slavish adoration but the essays are a way to evaluate a contestant's ability to 'communicate the attributes of the Chinese culture to their home country.' The organizers haven't decided how much the essay will weigh versus popular votes and personal background.

联想集团发言人表示,不会根据各种溢美之词挑选获胜者,但在评价选手向其祖国宣传中国文化特点的能力方面,短文将是途径之一。组织者还未透露短文所占的比重同得票数和个人背景相比会是多少。

About two dozen groups have been set up on Facebook, the social-networking site, to solicit votes. 'Shameless pandering for votes continues . . .' wrote Dan Brody, an employee of an American Internet company, to his Facebook group. 'It all started as just a lark, then became kind of serious, moved into extreme kitsch and ridiculousness.' Now, he says, 'who cares -- it's all for fun and (Olympic) games anyways.'

社交性网站Facebook上共设立了约20个拉票的群组。美国互联网公司的职员杨丹宁(Dan Brody)在他的Facebook群组中写道,无耻的拉票行为一直在继续,一开始时本来只是一场游戏,然后就从严肃的事情演变为极其荒唐的闹剧。现在,他说,谁管它呢,这本来就是为了好玩和游戏。

But some contestants figured that the richest pool of votes would come from the 162 million Internet users in China. Mr. Brody submitted the required English essay, but he also posted one in Chinese on the country's popular online forum Tianya ('The End of the World'). He was flooded with responses. Some were impressed with his fluent Chinese. 'Just voted for you, old foreign brother,' wrote one forum member. 'Your Chinese is superb.' Others were flattered by his passion for China. 'Some foreigners love China more than some Chinese do,' commented another.

但一些选手认为,最大的投票人群来自于中国的1.62亿互联网用户。杨丹宁按要求提交了英语短文,但他也在中国深受欢迎的网上社区“天涯”贴上了汉语短文,结果引起了热烈反响。一些人对他流利的中文印象深刻。一个人写道,老外老兄! 我投票了,你汉语真溜。他所表达的对华感情也让一些人很受用。一个人评论说,“有的外国人也许比有的中国人还爱咱们中国。”

Others, however, think that even eight torch-carrying foreigners are too many. 'I believe the whole thing of foreign torchbearers is just for show. There are more than one billion Chinese, and many of our own outstanding people don't have the opportunity. Why should we give it to foreigners?' One called those who voted for Mr. Brady 'blind worshipers of everything foreign,' a trait that would have constituted a crime during Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution and still isn't considered virtuous.

不过,也有人认为,8名外国人火炬手太多了。一个人写道:我认为搞个老外火炬手实在是为了噱头。中国人有10多亿呢,自个儿那么优秀的人都选不上,巴巴的搞什么老外啊?还有一个人称给杨丹宁投票的人是盲目的崇洋媚外。

Some contestants and their friends have even found problems with the voting system, which has allowed people to vote as many times as they want even though the rules stipulate that there shall be no more than one vote per computer. A few tech-savvy expatriates allegedly used computer programs that could vote thousands of times for themselves. On the official contest Web site, people call one of the top vote-getters a 'cheater.' 'What a dishonor for the Olympics,' says one commentator. 'In the old time they cut the head off.' A Lenovo spokeswoman says that officials are aware of irregularities and that's one reason that the selection will not be based entirely on voting results.

一些选手和他们的朋友甚至发现投票系统存在问题,可以让一个人多次投票,尽管规则规定一台电脑只能投票一次。少数电脑高手可以通过电脑程序为自己投票数千次。在官方的投票网站上,人们称得票居前的一个人为“骗子”。有人评论说,奥林匹克因此蒙羞,在过去他们可以被砍头。联想集团的发言人表示,主办者已经意识到了存在的违规问题,这也是不完全根据投票结果来挑选获胜者的一个原因。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
engaging [in'geidʒiŋ]

想一想再看

adj. 动人的,迷人的,有魅力的

联想记忆
commentator ['kɔmən.teitə]

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n. 评论员,解说员,注释者

 
advanced [əd'vɑ:nst]

想一想再看

adj. 高级的,先进的

 
classic ['klæsik]

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n. 古典作品,杰作,第一流艺术家
adj.

 
outstanding [aut'stændiŋ]

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adj. 突出的,显著的,未支付的

 
virtue ['və:tju:]

想一想再看

n. 美德,德行,优点,贞操

联想记忆
opportunity [.ɔpə'tju:niti]

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n. 机会,时机

 
traditional [trə'diʃənəl]

想一想再看

adj. 传统的

 
gall [gɔ:l]

想一想再看

n. 胆囊,胆汁,苦味,厚颜无耻 v. 烦恼,屈辱,磨伤

联想记忆
organized ['ɔ:gənaiz]

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v. 组织

 


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