Lost in Translation: The Missing Parts of Obama Shanghai Speech

Obamania continues in China. There are two versions of Obama Shanghai Speech: the original one in English and its Chinese translation provided by Xinhua News Agency. For some reasons Xinhua omitted some parts of Obama’s speech, it is interesting to compare the differences between the two versions, here is the complete list of those missing paragraphs:

(The missing parts are marked in red in both original English version and suggested Chinese translation)

And Chinese veterans of that war still warmly greet those American veterans who return to the sites where they fought to help liberate China from occupation.


Xinhua: 奥巴马:而参加二战的中国老兵仍然欢迎故地重游的美国老兵,他们在那里参战。

In 1979, the political cooperation between the United States and China was rooted largely in our shared rivalry with the Soviet Union. Today, we have a positive, constructive and comprehensive relationship that opens the door to partnership on the key global issues of our time — economic recovery and the development of clean energy; stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and the scourge of climate change; the promotion of peace and security in Asia and around the globe. All of these issues will be on the agenda tomorrow when I meet with President Hu.


Xinhua: 奥巴马:如今我们有着积极合作和全面的关系,为我们在当前重大的全球问题上建立伙伴关系打开了大门,这些问题包括经济复苏、洁净能源的开发、制止核武器扩散以及应对气候变化。还有在亚洲及全球各地促进和平和稳定,所有这些问题我明天与胡主席会谈时都会谈到。

It is no coincidence that the relationship between our countries has accompanied a period of positive change. China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty — an accomplishment unparalleled in human history — while playing a larger role in global events. And the United States has seen our economy grow along with the standard of living enjoyed by our people, while bringing the Cold War to a successful conclusion.


Xinhua: 奥巴马:我们两国之间的这种关系给我们带来了积极的变化,这并不是偶然的,中国使得亿万人民脱贫,而这种成就是人类历史上史无前例的。而中国在全球问题中也发挥更大的作用,美国也目睹了我们经济的成长。

I believe that each country must chart its own course. China is an ancient nation, with a deeply rooted culture. The United States, by comparison, is a young nation, whose culture is determined by the many different immigrants who have come to our shores, and by the founding documents that guide our democracy.

Those documents put forward a simple vision of human affairs, and they enshrine several core principles — that all men and women are created equal, and possess certain fundamental rights; that government should reflect the will of the people and respond to their wishes; that commerce should be open, information freely accessible; and that laws, and not simply men, should guarantee the administration of justice.


Xinhua: 奥巴马:我认为每个国家都应该勾画出自己要走的路,中国是一个文明古国,它有着博大精深的文化。相对而言,美国是一个年轻的国家,它的文化受到来自许多不同国家移民的影响,还受到我们民主制度文件的影响。我有一个非常简单的向往,代表了一些核心的原则,就是所有的人生来平等,都有着基本的权利,而政府应当反映人们的意志,贸易应该是开放的,信息流通应当是自由的,而法律要保证这个公平。

That is why Lincoln could stand up in the midst of civil war and declare it a struggle to see whether any nation, conceived in liberty, and “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” could long endure. That is why Dr. Martin Luther King could stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and ask that our nation live out the true meaning of its creed. That’s why immigrants from China to Kenya could find a home on our shores; why opportunity is available to all who would work for it; and why someone like me, who less than 50 years ago would have had trouble voting in some parts of America, is now able to serve as its President.

奥巴马总统:这就是为什么林肯(Lincoln)能在南北战争中挺身而出并宣布,这是一场考验一个孕育于自由之中、“忠实于人人生而平等这一原则”的国家能否永存的斗争。这也就是为什么马丁·路德·金(Martin Luther King)博士能够站立在林肯纪念堂(Lincoln Memorial)的台阶上,要求我们的国家实践自身信仰的真正含义。这也就是为什么来自从中国到肯尼亚的各国移民能够在我国的土地上安家;为什么所有努力寻求机会的人都能获得机会;为什么像我这种在不到50年前在美国的某些地方连投票都遇到困难的人,现在能够出任这个国家的总统。

Xinhua: 奥巴马:这是为什么林肯在内战期间站起来说过,任何一个国家以自由、以所有人类平等的原则能够长久的存在,也就是为什么金博士在林肯纪念馆的前台站起来,说我们国家要必须真正的实现我们的信念。也就是为什么来自中国或者肯尼亚的移民能够到我们的家,也是为什么一个不到50年前在某些地方连投票都遇到困难的人,现在就能够做到那个国家的总统。

On the contrary, we welcome China as a strong and prosperous and successful member of the community of nations — a China that draws on the rights, strengths, and creativ
ity of individual Chinese like you


Xinhua: 奥巴马:相反,我们欢迎中国作为一个国际社会的强的、繁荣的、成功的成员。

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