Some Experiences and Understandings in Doing Translation Work for Clearwisdom.net
Greetings, Fellow Practitioners!
We are very happy to attend this experience sharing conference. Upon learning about this conference, in our weekly group Fa-study on the Internet, a practitioner on our team proposed that we write an article to share our experiences and understandings in doing translation work for Clearwisdom.net. We all agreed. Our team is in charge of translating all photo reports that cover practitioners' activities throughout the world. We also select and edit some mainstream media articles covering Falun Dafa and the persecution. Many photo reports are time-sensitive and therefore they need to be posted on Clearwisdom on the same day as that of the Chinese version or on the next day. This requires quick response and relatively good translation quality.
One of our teammates recalled that in the spring of 2000, a fellow practitioner asked him whether he would like to join the translation team. He said that he could try although he did not have much translation experience. Since then, he has been doing translation work for several years. At the beginning, he mostly translated articles describing the persecution experienced by fellow practitioners in China. The cruel torture suffered by fellow practitioners deeply touched his heart. He often did the translations while shedding tears. He thought in his mind that he should let more people know about the persecution facts and call for an end to the persecution. Therefore, whenever he received a translation assignment, he always tried his best to finish the translation as soon as he could. One year later, the translation team coordinator recommended him to join the current team in charge of translating photo reports.
1. Responsibility and Mission -- Clearwisdom.net: A Precious Environment for Cultivation and Exchange
We feel a sense of responsibility and mission by participating in the Clearwisdom website operation. One practitioner on our team discussed how it seems that her wish made a long time ago determines her position and role in today's Fa-rectification cultivation.
In May or June 2000, when this practitioner took an exam to apply for a translation position at a company, an idea struck her mind: doing translation as an everyday job is no better than doing translation for Dafa websites. Moreover, her husband's income was enough for the two of them to live a normal life, so it was not necessary for her to take that job. Her husband also agreed. It happened that her husband saw a notice for recruiting translators on a New York website when he browsed the Dafa websites. So they sent an email to ask if the website still needed any translators. Thus, the practitioner participated in doing translation for the Clearwisdom website. In order to improve her translation skills, she selected articles from Clearwisdom.net, and then found their Chinese original. She translated the Chinese original into English first and then compared them with their English version. Later, while doing translation for Clearwisdom, she paid attention to the changes the Western editors made. Thus, through constant studying and making progress, she could translate more and more fluently and fast.
Another practitioner on our the team shared that in the first few years when she first got in touch with Falun Dafa, from initially being doubtful to seriously practicing cultivation, she had been practicing cultivation alone. There were no fellow practitioners living around her. At that time, the Dafa books and materials she had were only what her mother had given her when she was in China. Later, after she first arrived in the USA, she learned to search on the Internet, and she found some individuals' websites that a few fellow practitioners had set up. From those websites, she could download Dafa audio materials. Occasionally, she could read fellow practitioners' cultivation experience sharing articles from these websites. She was so pleasantly surprised, as she felt that she had found her home that she had been away from for quite a long time, so she often browsed those websites. After April 25, 1999, when Falun Dafa began to be persecuted and practitioners peacefully appealed, this practitioner paid closer attention to those websites, and she often visited the "Urgent Bulletin Board" several times every day. The change in the situation made her suddenly realize the seriousness of cultivation. Fellow practitioners' articles helped her understand the true nature of the April 25 peaceful appeal. She was even more moved by touching stories of practitioners in China who have been safeguarding Dafa and validating Dafa. Later, Minghui.net [Chinese version of Clearwisdom.net] was set up, and browsing Minghui.net became a precious part of her cultivation.
Maybe due to that experience, the practitioner said, "When I happened to participate in translation work for Clearwisdom.net, I felt the sacredness of the work from the bottom of my heart. Since I majored in science, I didn't think I had the gift of English language; in fact, English was my worst course when I was a student. I never thought that I could even do translation from Chinese to English and keep doing it for several years." She said when she got her first assignment for translation, it didn't make sense to her that she was asked to translate the Chinese article into English until she communicated with the coordinator several times. She finished translating only a few lines after consulting a dictionary over a dozen times. From then on, the coordinator kept sending assignments, from one article per week to one article per day. She tried her best to get it done on the same day. The articles she translated included experience-sharing articles, reports on Dafa practitioners' activities and articles about the persecution of practitioners in China. She said, "I was surprised to notice that whenever I slacked off in some aspects of my cultivation, I would receive an assignment that had content targeting my problem. I feel Master's immeasurable benevolence and care at all times."
2. Balancing the Relationship Between Everyday People's Work and Dafa-related Work
Later, this practitioner was recommended to the Photo and Media Team. Though the team has only a few members, we often have a lot of articles to translate. Furthermore, in most situations, we have to submit the translations on the same day and ensure the quality of the translation. The member on duty usually needs to translate 2-3 articles in one day, sometimes 7-8 articles. Occasionally, the practitioners on duty needs 7 or 8 hours a day to do the translation work. It may be still fine if it happens on a weekend, otherwise it is really hard. To minimize the editors' workload, this practitioner often worked on time-sensitive articles at work.
The practitioner said, "Sometimes I felt puzzled as I knew that I should do well at everyday people's work and that I shouldn't go to the extreme no matter how sacred the Dafa work I am doing." Through intensified Fa (1) study and continuously examining herself, she found her attachment to doing Dafa work while she had no interest in doing everyday people's work, and also the attachment to fame and interest in Dafa work. After realizing this, she practiced diligently to eliminate these attachments and gradually balanced the relationship between everyday work and Dafa work. She said it was nothing more than enduring a little extra hardship. As long as she worked diligently and took a little less rest, she could manage well in both. As her schedule was flexible, as long as she did her work well, she could adjust her work hours as necessary and her advisor was still very satisfied with her performance. As a result, even though her major is very specialized and it is typically very hard to find a job, job opportunities came to her almost every time that she needed to make a change. She said: "I know everything is arranged by Master, as long as we take every step well according to Dafa and cultivate diligently, everything will be harmonized."
3. Cultivation During the Fa-rectification Period, Purifying Ourselves and Being Responsible to the Fa
Doing translation for our Dafa websites is part of our cultivation. Another member of our team said that he didn't pay much attention to the team work memos when he first joined the team. He wasn't patient enough to carefully read the articles he worked on and only looked through them once. As a result, he made a lot of mistakes which were completely avoidable. After being reminded by other team members many times, he gradually became familiarized with the formal requirement of the team work. On another occasion, he was given a website to check something out. Though he spent a lot of time, he couldn't access that website and thought that the one who gave him the information must have made a mistake. In the end, he realized that it was his fault as he had overlooked an "s" in the website's address. He said, "From this I realized many of my shortcomings, such as recklessness and being unable to look within." Examining himself further, he found his attachment to fame and personal interest. Upon enlightening to this, the practitioner has been cultivating very hard to improve in this aspect.
Another practitioner shared that when it was her duty day, she liked to assign more articles to her teammate as she felt that this teammate did translation very quickly. Later, she realized that this notion was not pure. She then sincerely shared this shortcoming with other team members in order to dig out the attachment.
Another duty of our team is to collect articles from European Dafa websites and edit them. One practitioner shared that at the beginning he only did some simple editing rather than read them carefully. In one of our group sharing, another member said that sometime Minghui reports differently from the European website on the same topic. He was shocked by this, and asked himself how could he have let himself treat Dafa work as everyday people's work and only do it superficially? Since then, he reads every article carefully and modifies them if necessary. If errors were found, he would correct them and email the editors to minimize unnecessary losses.
4. Balancing the Relationship Between Dafa Work, Fa Study and Doing the Exercises
In this aspect, all our team members have some similar experiences. When we do well on Fa study and are diligent in cultivation, our mind is very clear and we can do translation rather easily. Sentence by sentence, the English words just flow into our brain and we can finish long articles rather quickly and with high quality. These kinds of translation usually require a minimum amount of polishing work from our Western practitioner editors. In this state, when there are many articles to be translated, we never worry, as things appear to be so easy. However, when we are not diligent in cultivation, translation becomes very difficult and we feel tired. Because we have to finish them, in those cases it becomes like pulling teeth, we work very hard with little productivity. After the articles have been posted on the Clearwisdom website, we don't even dare to look at them to see the changes made by the editors.
Sometime, our daily translation demand is overwhelming and we can't finish the assigned articles in 7 or even 8 hours of continuous hard work. When this situation occurs, we often postpone our Fa study and can't concentrate when we send righteous thoughts. After a few days of this kind of intensive work, we felt exhausted. As we didn't ensure the time for Fa study, as time goes by, we become even more tired and our efficiency is lowered. When things go on and on this way, we lose the peaceful heart when we do Dafa work, and often get stuck. Mistakes, even simple typing errors, come one after another. One team member said, when he couldn't study the Fa and practice the exercises every day, he not only felt tired but also felt that he could not continue the work. Indeed, translation is rather boring if one does it every day for years, and some feel lonely occasionally. Without steadfast belief in Dafa and the desire to take responsibility for saving sentient beings, without the mighty power of the Fa and strong righteous thoughts, it is very hard to keep doing this work.
In "Towards Consummation," Master said:
"Even now some people still can't concentrate when it comes to reading the books. Those of you who do work for Dafa, especially, shouldn't use any pretexts to conceal your not reading the books or studying the Fa. Even if you do work for me, your Master, you still need to study the Fa every day with a calm mind and cultivate yourself solidly. When your mind wanders all over the place as you read, the countless Buddhas, Daos, and Gods in the book see your laughable and pitiable mind, and see the karma in your thoughts controlling you, which is detestable. And yet you cling to delusion and fail to wake up. Some volunteers go long periods of time without reading or studying the Fa. How could they do Dafa work well? You have unwittingly incurred many losses that are hard to recover. Past lessons should have made you more mature. The only way to prevent the old, evil forces from taking advantage of the gaps in your mind is to make good use of your time to study the Fa. ("Towards Consummation" June 16, 2000)
However, when we enlighten to the importance of Fa study and act according to Master's teachings, everything changes positively. A practitioner said: "I found that I became more peaceful, with stronger and stronger righteous thoughts, I seemed to have more time to do translation." "In the past several years," he continued, "the strongest feeling of my experience is this: Cultivation is very simple, it is just to strictly follow Master's teachings. My biggest regret is that I had often excused myself with all kinds of reasons not to act according to Master's teachings."
5. Creating an Environment for Fa Study and Experience Sharing, and Improving Together
Our team members all live in areas where there are not many practitioners and therefore lack an environment to have group Fa study and experience sharing. Because of that situation, and because doing translation work is rather lonely, we all thought that we should create an environment for each other, and thus we now hold group Fa study and experience sharing over the Internet once a week.
One practitioner shared that before she joined the translation work for the Clearwisdom website, she had been comparatively isolated. She studied the Fa, did the exercises and clarified the truth all alone. She once said to a fellow practitioner, "If I were the only person left in the world who practices cultivation, I would not care - I would continue." The following years seemed to test whether she could truly do so. Loneliness could not cause her to waver in her determination in cultivation, but due to lack of cooperation, all alone, her strength seemed to be weak.
She said participating in the translation team became a turning point in her cultivation path. She thanked Master for arranging her cultivation so wisely.
Another practitioner on the team said she cherishes the opportunity of having group Fa study and experience sharing once a week. She said that from other practitioners' sharing, she felt practitioners' sincerity and the harmonious atmosphere. Practitioners' understanding of the Fa principles, and their cultivation state inspired her to find her own shortcomings and improve herself in a timely way. She tries to adjust her state of mind to a state that a cultivator should have, and improves in the translation work she is taking care of.
Another practitioner has many Dafa projects at hand. As he has more things to do, he has less time for studying the Fa and doing the exercises, and his attachments emerge. He mentioned that he sees that there are so many activities around the world to let so many people learn about the truth of Falun Dafa and offer salvation to so many people, but there are few activities in his area to introduce Falun Dafa to the public. He once thought, after achieving Consummation, if he had a world without sentient beings, it would be too dull. Therefore, for a while, he slacked in the translation work. Through group Fa study and experience sharing, and listening to other practitioners' understanding and experiences, he realized the importance of the Clearwisdom website work, and balanced well the website work and other work for validating Dafa. He said, "I realize that I have to endure being lonely. A genuine enlightened being who cultivates to the realm of Buddhahood would not care whether this is your sentient being, or would not have the mentality that, 'I saved this being.' I should give all I have to Dafa, and firmly believe in Dafa. What Master has arranged for us must be the best. In the mighty current of Fa-rectification, I should let go of self, melt myself into the Fa, and do well in Dafa work. The Fa can perfect everything; one's personal things are too tiny in Dafa."
Our team's mutual sharing shortened the distance between us. Fellow practitioners learn from each other, encourage each other and compensate for each other's weaknesses. We arrange our work according to each teammate's work schedule and we cooperate harmoniously. Whenever there is a big event, or incident, for instance, the South African gun shooting incident, practitioners gathered and held activities worldwide to protest the Jiang group's hired assassination attempt. A great number of reports are then posted on the Minghui website. Whether we are officially on duty or not, our team members take the initiative to instantly translate those articles so that they are posted on Clearwisdom as quickly as possible. This way, the Jiang group's crimes are exposed to the whole world in a timely manner.
During the process of mutual collaboration, we can always feel our fellow practitioners' selflessness and compassion. Fellow practitioners always voluntarily take care of the heavy tasks, although they are already very busy and they have plenty of work to do. Fellow practitioners' pure hearts also encourage each member in our team to keep striving forward diligently.
6. Our Team's Special Honor
Our team has a special honor, and that is that we are in charge of translating the greetings to Master during important holidays and world Falun Dafa Day. At the beginning, when we saw the hundreds of greetings coming in while we also had to take care of other photo reports, we were really not sure what to do. To save time, we typically chose to translate only the titles and some representative items and then make an editor's note at the beginning to the effect that, "Due to limited time and resources, we could only translate some of the articles...."
During one of our group sharing discussions, a practitioner said, "It was during the New Year celebration when I was on duty. When I carefully read the greetings to Master from Mainland Dafa practitioners, I was really moved by the deepest heartfelt appreciation to Master. I was moved to tears, every word was just like what I wanted to say to our revered Master. So, she decided to translate every item because they are testimonies of the worldwide body of practitioners' appreciation of the benevolent salvation of Master. From another aspect, if everyday people around the world see so many practitioners from all over the world paying so much respect to Master Li, isn't it a testimony to how wonderful Dafa is? Isn't that itself evidence of the failure of the persecution? Isn't it a testimony of the grand spread of Dafa around the world? Isn't it the best way to clarify the truth? After enlightening to this understanding, she translated every item, including the poems. She said that she only regretted that she didn't study English well before and thus couldn't convey the connotation of the poems precisely.
Currently, when we translate greetings, we can always find greetings from new regions and new countries, including some regions which we have never heard from before. In the 2003 Los Angeles U.S. West Fa Conference, Master said when he answered a practitioner's question, "No need to worry about that. They're all able to know about the Minghui website. Dafa disciples in remote regions all keep in touch with one another and information is being passed among them." (Explaining the Fa during the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference, February 15, 2003, in Los Angeles). From the greetings, we can see more and more fellow practitioners are stepping forward to validate Dafa and clarify the truth.
We sincerely thank Master for giving us this honorable opportunity, and for allowing us to purify and upgrade ourselves in Fa rectification and truth clarification.
Thank you Master, thank you everyone!
October 12, 2004
(1) Fa: Law and principles; the teachings of Falun Dafa.