China's promoter of US talk shows

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, June 2, 2014
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You may not know his actual name, Chen Chunge, but many Chinese Internet users know the pseudonym "Gu Da Bai Hua," as young students surrounded him during a seminar break, screaming for autographs and photos at the Advanced Seminar on Building China's Language and Translation Abilities, themed "Translation and Communication of Chinese Culture." Other attending veteran experts were left standing on the sidelines, completely in awe of the ongoing frenzy.

Chen Chunge, better known for his Internet pseudonym "Gu Da Bai Hua," is signing autographs for his fans during a break at the Advanced Seminar on Building China's Language and Translation Abilities, themed "Translation and Communication of Chinese Culturem", in Beijing, May 17, 2014. [Photo by Zhang Rui /] 


The translation summit was held from May 16 to 19 at Beijing Language and Culture University, organized by China's Ministry of Culture, the Translators Association of China (TAC) and the university itself.

Chen's account on Weibo, China's major micro-blogging site, has 1.9 million followers, which indicates his success. "My real job is that of English teacher," he told, "Producing videos is just a hobby.

As he explained at the seminar, he was honored but nervous to be invited to the classy event as his translation is gross, explicit, dark-humorous, Chinese-countryside-flavored and in need of parental guidance. For example, many U.S. celebrities and politicians' names were translated by him as someone to be Chinese village cadres in the Chinese context, which seems silly, yet at the same time quite impressive. "I'm not a translation expert, but I can say something about how to promote a program," he laughed.

Chen first started his long quest because he didn't laugh at all when watching "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," a popular American late-night satirical television program. "I love the show, so I translated the show to challenge myself. When I watched the show in the very beginning, I didn't understand why people would laugh so much. I had always been thinking I was good at English, so I felt very frustrated for not laughing. "

American talk shows, for Chinese people, are very difficult to understand and resonate. They involve too much background information and slang, which are emerging and updating every day, Chen continued. "I'm not a smart person, so I accumulate my experience for years as I have been watching comedies and talk shows, and finding out the meaning of every slang word as it appears. In other words, both the understanding and the translation are a long process of 'practice making perfect.'"

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