China Press: News made in Alhambra

Location

2121 West Mission Road
Alhambra , CA United States

The headquarters for China Press, a Chinese-language newspaper with offices in 11 American cities, is on Mission Road in Alhambra. Its editor is Stone Liu, a former economics professor in Guangzhou, China who also studied political science in Cincinnati. China Press' goal, according to Liu, is to "objectively report the development and changes that are taking place in China" as well as to "strive to serve as a voice for the Chinese American community, Photos by Mingshi Direflect their concerns, protect their rights, and to encourage Chinese Americans and immigrants to speak out and participate in all sectors of the society." Liu spoke with the Alhambra Source’s Mingshi Di about why the paper chose Alhambra, the connection between his newspaper and the Communist government, and why the Nobel Peace Prize granted to a Chinese dissident was a mistake.

Stone Liu in the China Press newsroomWhy is China Press located in Alhambra?

China Press first opened an office in New York in 1990, and the Alhambra office, now its headquarters, opened in 1994. We chose Alhambra because of the large Asian/Chinese population, which has also been growing since then. As the US immigration policy becomes looser, there are more Chinese students, tourists and immigrants coming to Alhambra.

Of the three Chinese publications based in Los Angeles, China Press has a reputation for being the most pro-Chinese government. What is China Press’ relationship with Beijing?

China Press is an independent American media. However, China Press does not have its own bureau in mainland China right now and cooperates with Chinese news agencies such as China News Service, China’s second-largest state-run news agency. We are currently working on having our own bureau in China. This will help China Press better serve its purpose: to objectively report on the development and changes in China.

China Press and World Journal, the Taiwanese-run Chinese-language newspaper, usually take different views on sensitive issues such as the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Does the Chinese government influence China Press due to its cooperation with China News Service?

No, China Press takes its own views. Our reporters and editors think that Liu Xiaobo’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize contains some political ends that resulted from China’s relationship with the rest of the world right now. A lot of Chinese Americans, including me, think that  Xiaobo’s behavior does not deserve the prize, and that his remarks are sometimes over-simplistic. The entire world has witnessed China’s positive changes and developments in the past decades.

How else does China Press differ from the other Los Angeles based Chinese media: World Journal and Sing Tao Daily?

China Press uses simplified instead of traditional Chinese characters because our main reader group consists of immigrants and Chinese Americans who came from mainland China. (Traditional Chinese characters are used in Hong Kong and Taiwan.) Since China Press places a particular emphasize on reporting the developments and changes happening in mainland China, we consider the content of our publication more compatible with the taste of mainland Chinese immigrants. But of course we do not exclude readers from Hong Kong and Taiwan, a lot of whom also subscribe to our paper. In fact our survey results showed that readers from Hong Kong and Taiwan do not reject simplified Chinese characters.

What impact has China Press made on the Chinese American community?

There has been a historical improvement on Chinese Americans’ political participation in the United States in the past 20 years. As a Chinese-language publication, China Press encourages Chinese Americans to run for elections and to vote. In a democratic country like the US, no vote equals no right. Chinese Americans, as a minority group, need to become aware of their rights and increase civil participation.

Photos by Mingshi DiHow has China Press served as a bridge between the Chinese American community and mainstream community?

A lot of mainstream politicians use China Press as a platform to reach the Chinese American community. For example, during the last California state election, China Press helped candidates connect with their Chinese-speaking voters and our readers became more aware of what was happening in the society. On the other hand, China Press also serves as a voice for the Chinese American community. During the last Chinese New Year Festival, some conflicts rose between many Chinese vendors and the Monterey Park City Council. China Press covered the story extensively to reflect the voice of Chinese Americans.

Interview translated from Mandarin and edited and condensed.

1 thought on “China Press: News made in Alhambra”

  1. Robert.Edward. lee

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Seeing the information that your newspaper needs an editor,I send you some message. I am seeking this kind of job because I would like to make more Mandarin’s influence on the world.

    I have sent some articles to “service@uschinapress.com”. The following is one of them.

    中文,英文,孰优孰劣?
    作者强调:“汉语……具有提高全人类才智的作用”;“今天,中文仍具有同化全球居民的潜在功能”,“保住汉文字的优势,人类幸甚”!
    【1】汉语构词法:该守护的传家宝
    汉语构词有诸多优点、便利。它的特点是意会性,解释性。 看下边的对照:
    (中文)脚踏车 救护车 小(轿车)车 吉普车 马车 购物车(推车)
    (英文)bicycle ambulance car jeep carriage cart
    (中文)小旅行车 公(共汽)车 货车 长途公共汽车 出租车 婴儿车
    (英文) van bus truck coach taxi (or cab) stroller
    很清楚,上列中文名词都有共同的特征。“车”是带轮子的交通工具,或用具;“车”前边的词说明该“车”的用途或性质;这样,学习者只要懂得这些字,看一眼,就能明白这些词汇,无须一个词一个词地学。而上列每个英文名词都是独特的(任何领域,英文释义名词都非常少),不论词形或读音都没共同点,每个词都要死记。
    有些译者做得很好。Bicycle译为“脚踏车”,够传神;motorcycle这个词不好意译,就译作摩托车(而不是音译成“摩托赛克”)。这些译法合乎汉语构词习惯—解释性构词。 解释性词汇源远流长,孔子用过“小儿”-—小孩子;孟子论过“凶岁”、“富岁”—坏年景和好年景 。
    在中国,合格的中学毕业生,几乎可以读懂所有普通书报,甚至专业书籍,因为多数名词是表意性、解释性的;而在美国,由于语言特点,同类学生的阅读能力受到限制。
    看一个简单的比较。记5000个英文词,这五千个当中,能用于造新词—释意合成词—的并不多,如sun 和flower 构成sunflower(太阳和花两个词合成一个新词);英文词根(Root)、词缀 (Prefix, Suffix) 构词法的作用有限(另文分析)。相反,5000个汉字能组合出不必死记的五万、十万个词汇。这便是中文的特长。不难推断,由于语言的优势,同等条件下,汉语使用者会有更广 的知识面;用中文利于知识的积累,利于培养综合分析、概括的能力。
    【2】中文简洁流畅,英文拖泥带水
    比较以下汉语和它的英译文(译者:著名学者、作家林雨堂)。
    《记承天夜游》 (简称《夜游》,作者:苏东坡):元丰六年十月十二日,夜,解衣欲睡,月色入户 ,欣然起行。无与乐者, 遂至承天寺寻张怀民. 怀民亦未寝, 相与步于中庭。庭下如积水空明,水中藻荇交横,盖竹柏影也。何夜无月?何处无竹柏?但少闲人如吾两人耳.
    On the twelfth night of the tenth month of the sixth year of Yuanfeng, I had undressed and was going to bed, when the moonlight entered my door, and I got up, happy of heart. There was on one to share this happiness with me, so I walked over to the Chengtien temple to look for Chang Huaimin. He, too, had not yet gone to bed, and we paced about in the courtyard. It looked like a transparent pool with the shadows of water plants in it, but they were really the shadows of bamboos and pine trees cast by the moonlight. Isn’t there a moon every night? And aren’t there bamboos and pine trees everywhere? But there are few carefree people like the two of us.
    《桃花源记》之第一段(简称《桃源》,作者:陶渊明):晋太元中,武陵人,捕鱼为业,缘溪行,忘路之远近; 忽逢桃花林,夹岸数百步,中无杂树,芳草鲜美,落英缤纷。渔人甚异之,复前行,欲穷其林,林尽水源,便得一山。山有小口,彷佛若有光。便舍船, 从口入。
    其英译文(林雨堂译):During the reign of Taiyuan of Chin, there was a fisherman of Wuling. One day he was walking along a bank. After having gone a certain distance, he suddenly came upon a peach grove, which extended along the bank for about a hundred yards. He noticed with surprise that the grove had a magic effect, so singularly free from the usual mingling of brushwood, while the beautifully grassy ground was covered with its rose petals. He went further to explore, and when he came to the end of the grove, he saw a spring, which came from a cave in the hill. Having noticed that there seemed to be a weak light in the cave, he tied up his boat and decided to go in and explore.
    先看《夜游》译文的第一个词组。该词组总共用了七个介词、副词和冠词;而在原文里边,即“元丰六年十月十二日”,找不到一个虚词。再看一例:英译文“the moonlight entered my door”中,“my door”(我的门户)包含了物主形容词“my”(我的)。原文“月色入户”,意为“月色入我户”,省去了“我”;根据语境,读者清楚,这“户”是我的门户,而不是别的什么人的,无须强调。《桃源》译文中也有相似的例子。“he tied up his boat ”,和原文比,多了“his”(他的);原文“便舍船,”没指明谁的船。同英文比较,汉语少用虚词、修饰语,所以特短。
    虚词少是汉语特征之一。在继续比较中英文之前,先欣赏以下名作:“枯藤、老树、昏鸦; 小桥、流水、人家; 古道、西风、瘦马,断肠人在天涯。”二十四个字当中,没有一个虚词。不用虚词,作者描出了一幅清晰的、令人难忘的苍凉景象。并非越长越好,这提示我们:学洋人文风,究竟有多少益处?
    与英文不同,除了少用虚词、修饰语外,汉语不强调时态。没时态利于简洁。“解衣欲睡”(《夜游》)是四个音节(这里,一个元音算一个音节,用音节便于比较);英译文—“had undressed and was going to bed”却有八个音节,其中至少两个音节用于构成时态。《桃源》文中,“缘溪行”当中的“行”字,是一个音节;英文用“was walking”,有三个音节,其中两个音节用于表示时态。
    再看古人如何在表达中省掉某些成分。“缘溪行,忘路之远近”( 《桃源》),此处没说什么时候“行”,省去了时间状语。读者清楚,“渔人”在“某一日”(不是每日)“缘溪行”。下文,没说“行”了多远、多久,主人翁“忘路之远近”;读者同样清楚,不是才行一尺二尺,而是一段之后。相反,根据惯用法,英译文有必要把省掉的补上,所以译文多出了以下状语:“After having gone a certain distance”( 已经走了一段之后)。同理,英译文的最后句子,(he )“decided to go in and explore”,告诉读者:“渔人”决定进入探险(explore);原文只有 “从口入”,因为前边“渔人甚异之,复前行”,已说明行为动机。汉语靠意会、靠上下文的意思联结文章,不是非说不可的就不说,尽量避免字、词的堆砌或重复,因此能省略好多文字。
    分析一首短诗:“松下问童子,言师采药去。只在此山中,云深不知处”。它可算意会 汉语的典型,用括号提示诗中被省掉的内容:松下问童子(客人 {在松树下问童子}:你师傅在哪?),(童子)言师采药去。(客人问:去哪采?)(童子回答:)只在此山中,云深不知处。
    按欧洲化语言的标准,该诗的叙述太简略,不清楚,不连贯。可是,如果把省掉的全写上,篇幅长多了,味道也可能差得多。这诗流传千年,短短二十个字,绘出了师(傅)超凡脱俗的形象;他仙风道骨,在云雾间飘忽。
    太简略不是没缺点。《桃源》有句子:“缘溪行”、“舍船”,显然渔人是驾船探险;“缘溪行”被译为“was walking along a bank”(沿着溪岸走)。译者将船拟人化?不管是或否,这个译法都不恰当。由于原文没说怎么“缘溪行”,从而造成误解。当然,瑕不掩瑜,和优点相比,这缺点是次要的。简略或篇幅短有诸多好处,其中最显著的是:阅读时耗时少,减少大脑的工作量,节省精力。
    汉语简洁还有另一原因:相邻标点(符号)之间的距离短。这使读者容易领会文字的含义,换句话说,使文句的含义明确,少生歧义,同样能节省精力。
    看《桃源》最后十一个字:“彷佛若有光。便舍船, 从口入。”其最长标点间距是五个音节,即 五个字—-“彷佛若有光” 。译成英文,它的标点间距大约是十五个音节:“Having noticed that there seemed to be a weak light in the cave, he tied up his boat and decided to go in and explore”。《夜游》中,“庭下如积水空明,水中藻荇交横,盖竹柏影也”, 最长标点间距才七个音节;而英译文的标点间距超过十五个音节(见该译文倒数第四个句子)。
    古代语法决定了标点间距短。近代学西方,西方语法风格一定程度上代替了汉语的简洁文风,文句变长了。
    《三国演义》第一回,写黄巾军首领张角采药遇仙人: “遇一老人,碧眼童颜,手执藜杖”. 这是典型的传统写法,因“老人”的前边没有较长修饰语。现代的一般写法是:遇到一个碧眼童颜的老人。老人手执藜杖. 这里,“碧眼童颜”做名词(老人)的限制词,即定语;而在原文,“碧眼童颜”不是定语。原文标点间距离是四个音节,改写后字数增加了许多,标点间距自然拉长,而且必须在“手执藜杖”前加个主语—“老人”,不然句子不通。传统写法持续了两、三千年;现代写法,即多加附加成分,是汉语欧化的结果。两种写法,意思一样,但一长一短。两相比较,传统好呢,还是现代好?
    【3】方块字(符号字)的长处:具词的功能、具稳定性
    少数英文词也有表意的性质。New Yorker—纽约人,driver—驾车人。这里词尾 ”er” 表示“人”。 海外文人不用“纽约人”,只用“纽约客”;前者是表意合成词,后者不伦不类,反映汉语的畸变。如果“纽约客” 无可质疑, 因它代表“前卫”,洋气逼人;那么, “脚踏车”, Bicycle的译名,实在够土,应当根据前例译作“拜死客”。 同理,“banker”(银行家)要叫“笨客”, “teacher”(教师)、“farmer”(农场主)该叫 “体瘸”、“ 罚没”。
    今天,汉语的畸变正在销蚀中文的长处。比较婴儿(或孩子)和“贝比”(来自英文baby的谐音),聚会和“派对”(来自英文party的谐音)。婴儿和聚会这两个词可拆开同别的一系列字、词搭配(孩子这词也一样)。汉字具有表意功能;拆开后的“贝比”、“派对”没有同样功能。拆开“婴儿”:婴—男婴,女婴,幼婴,弃婴,溺婴;儿—小儿,儿童,儿科,儿戏,儿时,儿皇帝,幼儿。拆开“聚会”:聚—聚合,聚餐,聚集,汇聚,聚一聚;会—会面,会合,会议,会集,会聚,会同。由于意会构词法的优点,只要懂得同“婴”、“儿”搭配的十几个字,就能领会那些相联系的十几个词,无师自通。试用贝或比代替“儿”:“贝”代替“儿”同“戏”搭配,新组合是:贝戏(儿戏);相似的结果还有:贝童(儿童),比时(儿时),比皇帝(儿皇帝)。代替的结果证明,“贝比”和“派对”同普通中文词没有共同点, 不能拆开同许多字、词搭配,因为在这里,“贝”、 “比”、“派”和 “对”都仅仅起拼音符号的作用,没有词义。能表意的汉字被当成拼音符号。
    汉字是符号文字,它不随语音的变化而变化;这优点拼音的词汇不具备。方块字的明显缺点是难倒成年的初学者。数千个复杂的方块符号,成人难以记住。插句题外话,过去让小孩死被诗词,是最好的认字法。
    言归正题,建议不用“纽约客”、”贝比”、”派对” 之类。它们非驴非马,除了说明使用者懂洋文外,没有任何优点;这类词多了,汉语的优点会被销蚀干净。乱造词、改词是某些人的嗜好,他们是崇洋者。如果认同他们,可套用古语形容后果: 抛尽自家无尽藏,沿街托钵效贫儿!
    【4】传统(即古代)汉语极为优美
    看这首诗:两个黄鹂鸣翠柳,一行白鹭上青天。窗含西岭千秋雪,门泊东吴万里船。仅就形式而言,这诗除了音韵节律美外,还有色彩美—黄鹂翠柳,白鹭青天;结构布局美—整齐工整。高技巧的对仗把诗变成了画:动态的翠柳、黄鹂对青天、白鹭;静态的千秋雪衬万里船。
    除了诗,非诗的文字也有相似的特征。
    以三国诸葛亮出师表中几个句子为例:“亲贤臣,远小人,此先汉所以兴隆也;亲小人,远贤臣,此后汉所以倾颓也”。“臣本布衣,躬耕南阳。苟存性命于乱世,不求闻达于诸侯”。“受任与败军之际,奉命于危难之间”。虽然缺少色彩美,该文字仍然不失节律美、布局美。
    几乎每个朝代,不论皇家还是民间,娱乐、审美都离不开文字。对联就是文字美的产物。唐皇帝对白居易的称赞—“童子解吟长恨曲,胡儿能唱琵琶行”,反映了文字美的功用。
    【5】海外中文:谬误百出
    有一首中文圣歌,在教堂里被一唱再唱;它的歌词中有这么一句:
    “听, 轻轻听, 你的羊认得你声音。”
    眼睛认物体,耳朵听声音。不管中文英文,动词同宾语的搭配不是随意的。“听”和“声音”的搭配,沿用了两、三千年; 孟子说:“耳之与声也,有同听焉”。“认声音”, 违背中文惯用法。所谓“耳朵认字”,指耳朵具有眼睛的功能,与这歌词的语境完全不同。
    还有,“听, 轻轻听” ,犯同样错误,让人觉得别扭。副词“轻轻(地)”和主动的动作搭配;“听”虽是主动行为,但没动作,二者的搭配不合适。
    在大陆,从贫下中农、工人、文盲农妇, 到大学教授,没人这样用。只有“注意听”,“不注意听”。老师会说这学生专心(或不专心)听讲。书面文字有“倾听”,“聆听”;从来没有“轻轻听”,“重重听”。是作者“别出心裁”,还是根本没意识到其汉语程度有限?
    这个例子反映中文被乱用 —-畸变的另一种形式。
    报刊(海外)上的各种错误
    1.缺乏基本的语法概念。看这个标题(7月9日):“植入人体炸弹难探测 美机场严防新式恐怖”。将句子紧缩,去掉定语“人体”, 变成“植入炸弹难探测”, 会看得清楚些。“植入炸弹” (动宾结构),中心词是“植入”,“炸弹”是植入的宾语;是将这(人体的)“炸弹”植入某个地方;可能那个地方隐秘,所以很难探测。可读完文章才知道作者说的是:很难探测出在人体内的爆炸物,—-这同“植入人体炸弹”意思不同。若改为“被植入人体内的炸弹难探测 ”,在“炸弹”前加个“的”字,中心词变成“炸弹”,读者会一目了然。二者的区别在于,“植入人体炸弹”, 叙述一个动作;而“植入人体的炸弹”,则介绍一种东西。 写现代文,不懂得“的”字的作用,够滑稽了。
    2. 不懂被动语态. 7月8日,另一张报纸的一则标题:“轰动全美杀女案,母判无罪”; 应为“母被判无罪”(新闻内容:杀女儿的母亲被判无罪)。编辑不懂被动语态?笔者真不敢相信。7月16日,《侨报》标题:旧金山—奥克兰海湾大桥结构项目上海完工。由“上海”,还是在“上海”完工?
    3. 叙事缺乏逻辑。该报同日另一则标题—“美国最后航天机亚特兰蒂斯号孤身之旅”,它的中心词是“孤身之旅”,说的是美国仅剩下的一架航天机的末次旅行。如果以往发射航天飞机时,不是同时发射两架,或两架以上,“孤身之旅”就缺乏依据,造成语义不明。
    4. 辞不达意。看另一个标题(9日):“中国神学研究院休士顿区委主办神学及基督教伦理讲座”。这里,主语的性状不清楚。是中国大陆或台湾的“神学研究院”?不像,因为二者不太可能有“休士顿区委”。美国某方面创办的“中国神学研究院”,也不像,因为,研究中国的神学,同时又“主办神学及基督教伦理讲座”,更让人费解。是不是美国中国人社区的“神学研究院”呢?我不懂。该机构是何方神圣,我至今猜不出。
    5.随意搭配。7月15日,数份报纸同发一则新闻:“胡锦涛随青春摇摆”。人们习惯说,张三随李四摇摆;王五跟风,摇摆不定。“李四”、“风”都是能动的。“青春”能动吗?如不能动,老胡怎么随?还有个问题:谁的“青春”?我读不懂这标题,用中文数十年,如今几成文盲。
    有人会说:语言是变化的,你操那么大心,是不是狗拿耗子?语言确实时刻在变,但这样的变是渐进的、有规律的;不是乱用,不能违背使用习惯。假如有那么一天,某些掌控社区的人,用“男”这个词,表示有喂奶功能的性别;用“女”表示另一性别,那么,如厕时,有雄性性征的、还没领会这一变化的人士,该怎么避免进入异性厕所呢?
    任何人都可以创新,但这创新要创得恰到好处。“春风又绿江南岸”,改形容词“绿”为动词;根据文坛佳话,创新词“推敲”,都是极好的例子。毛泽东的佳句—“粪土当年万户侯”,把名词“粪土”变为动词;这一变,诗人蔑视万户侯的气概,跃然纸上。此类变更或创新,令人拍案叫绝。
    中国是文明古国,文化人讲究作文“推敲”;传统汉语不仅仅是交流的工具,而且是娱乐,审美,和价值追求的凭借。当前,中文在全球范围被乱用的现象日趋严重,这一现象不该再继续下去。
    汉语优于西文。保护汉文字,纠正、阻止它的畸变,不仅仅是维护中华文化的需要,而且具有提高全人类才智的作用,如果它的长处不再被销蚀,如果它能够被大范围地推广.。几千年来,周边民族羡慕由汉文字承载的华夏文明,不断汉化,一个大中国由此形成。今天,中文仍具有同化全球居民的潜在功能,保住汉文字的优势,人类幸甚!

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