[Minghui Fa Conference] Maturing with Minghui
(Minghui.org) I received my first translation assignment for the Minghui website in 1999. It took me a long time to find the words and put together an article in my “Chinglish.” Looking back over the past 20 years, I realize what a great honor it is to have grown mature as a Falun Dafa practitioner and translator for the Minghui website.
Without a doubt, Minghui has been the most important website for Dafa practitioners. Fellow practitioners who speak English and other languages rely on the English Minghui website to get the latest information. Ordinary people read Minghui to find out about Falun Dafa. Human right organizations and government offices refer to Minghui reports about the persecution in China. It’s critical for translators to convey the most accurate information from the Chinese to English for a wide variety of readers, and in a timely manner.
“Indeed, however the state of Dafa disciples' cultivation may be, there will be some who have traveled the path well and some who have traveled it poorly. But whatever the case, Minghui has really achieved a downright outstanding effect with its timely reporting. This makes Minghui something outstanding, and the students who are involved are extraordinary.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Fa Conference Marking the Tenth Anniversary of the Minghui Website’s Founding,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)
A Process of Tempering My Language and Myself
Soon after I started translating Minghui articles, I realized that it was different from translating ordinary articles. Every assignment I took, every word I typed, and every thought behind my word choices was a stepping stone on the journey of my cultivation.
The content I work with is extraordinary. Even though they aren’t perfectly written, every report and sharing article is rich with inspiring ideas. I am often moved to tears by experience sharing articles. I feel fortunate to be a translator for these great authors. I hold their words, which I treasure, in my hands and transform them into a language for more people to understand. The grand journeys of self-cultivation and offering salvation to sentient beings are epics to be left for later generations. The power of Falun Dafa shines through in their simple language.
Even though I haven’t had any training as a professional translator, Master has taught us to put others before ourselves. That principle of the Fa is manifested in the way we do our work. I have to switch between the two ways of thinking, the Chinese and the Western, in order to understand the author and translate for my readers.
When I think of our Western readers, I find it much easier to smooth out the sentences, eliminate redundancy, and choose the best words or expressions. My translations seem to edit themselves naturally with the readers in mind. Master often enlightens me to the best word to use. Sometimes I am surprised that I even know a certain word. If I had ever run into that word before, it must have been in a remote past. However, Master puts the right word in my mind at the time it’s needed.
Master’s arrangement is always perfect. I often get assignments to translate articles that exactly match my need for improvement. These articles help me to identify my own attachments, as if I were looking in a mirror. I never treat translating experience sharing articles as work, because translating them is a process of reflecting upon myself and learning from fellow practitioners.
I live in a small town, where there are few practitioners. We don’t see each other until our weekly Fa study time. Face-to-face experience sharing is rare because we often have to spend our time discussing supporting Shen Yun shows in other cities or organizing local activities. However, I've learned so much from my fellow practitioners’ sharing articles on Minghui! Reading them is helpful, but translating them into English gives me an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Fa. If Master hadn’t arranged for me to translate Minghui articles, I can imagine I would be very behind in my cultivation.
I know that I certainly benefit from translating experience sharing articles. However, it would be an attachment if I developed a preference. Picking and choosing what I would like to work on would be an attachment to sentiment. All reports are important and serve their different roles on the Minghui website.
During one of our team meetings, no one on the team wanted to translate a long, dry article about the administrative punishment system in China. It was close to 20 pages long and full of terms we aren’t familiar with. When the team leader asked who would be able to work on this article, one translator said she couldn’t because she was running a fever. Another one said that he was already behind on translating more time-sensitive articles. It was silent for a few seconds and obviously no one else was going to volunteer. “I will,” I said and broke the silence. Those two words didn’t sound loud but they sounded certain. Our team leader said, “We have a brave one on our team!”
Actually, I didn’t consider myself brave, but I certainly didn’t want to let myself develop any attachment to certain articles. Since other team members took time-sensitive reports, I felt that I had the responsibility to take the longer and less time-sensitive ones. The article took me many days to finish and, in the end, it was decided that it would not be published. However, I didn’t feel that I had wasted my time.
Translating Minghui reports is a process of tempering myself. It’s up to the editor what to publish, but it’s translators’ responsibility to take all assignments and work as if every article will be published. I sincerely treasure every opportunity to make a contribution to Minghui.
My Sons Grew up with Minghui, Too
I used to think that raising children had hindered my cultivation and that I could have accomplished a lot more in my cultivation and in my project work if I didn’t have children. As time passed, I realized that was a very selfish notion. The basis of this thought was self-centered and lacked faith. As a matter of fact, Master made perfect arrangements for my kids to be born into a Dafa practitioner’s family and to be raised as little practitioners. Even though I had a busy life working full time and taking care of my family, Master left time for me to study the Fa and gave me opportunities to dissolve my karma and improve myself by raising my children.
Both of my sons grew up studying the Fa. As soon as they reached middle-school, they started helping me proofread my translations. They are native English speakers, so they can correct my errors and find better ways to rephrase my sentences. They always enjoy helping me with reports and learning from Minghui articles. Experience sharing articles have inspired them to cultivate diligently. Reports of the persecution in China have helped them understand the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party. Event reports have widened their views about Falun Dafa’s introduction around the world.
Every time I asked my sons to proofread my translation, they always got up right away to help, no matter what they were doing. My older son had a great deal of homework when he was in high school, but he never complained about proofreading articles. I was worried he wouldn’t have enough time, so I asked my younger son to help more often. Sometimes, they read an article together. Two heads are better than one. I try to get at least one of them to proofread my translation if time allows. If they notice any mistake I make repeatedly, they point it out and explain the grammar rule to me.
One day, my older son told me after reading an article, “Mom, your English is good. I didn’t catch any mistake in your translation.” His words made my day!
I had a dream one night, in which my sons and I flew together in the sky. I was in the front, and they were right behind me. How fortunate we are to be Falun Dafa practitioners! What a great honor it is to help Master with Fa-rectification!
(Presented at the Minghui’s 20th Anniversary Fa Conference-selected and edited)