Translation: Girl Denied Job Because She Brought iPhone to Interview, Can’t “Eat Bitter”

Translation: Girl Denied Job Because She Brought iPhone to Interview, Can’t “Eat Bitter”

I’ve always been interested in the role the iPhone plays in the psyche of modern day white collar Chinese.  On the one hand, it is an irresistible sign of modernity and technological triumph, a device so elegant and sexy yet practical and functional that most everyone remembers the first time we held one.  Besides just adding productivity to our personal and professional lives, spawning a ruthlessly competitive market of imitators, sparking a multi billion dollar app industry out of thin air, and indirectly inflating valuations of companies from Facebook to Verizon, it looks pretty cool in your hand.  This appeal has an undeniable allure for the face obsessed, brand hyper conscious middle and upper class Chinese consumer.

The flip side of these giddy consumer impulses is illuminating.  The reporting over the past year of the dismal conditions in Foxconn factories and related labor unrest made it impossible for anybody, American or Chinese, to ignore their own personal consumption ethics.  Further, the economics of the iPhone bluntly indicate China’s still lowly position on the global economic totem pole: in 2010, the WSJ estimated that despite manufacturing and assembling the majority of iPhone components, Chinese workers capture only 3.6% of the total iPhone value.  Finally, Chinese people are painfully aware there is no legitimate domestic competition in the high end smartphone market, going so far as to question whether the next Steve Jobs could feasibly be born, raised, and educated in China.

Alas, I will spare readers my sophomoric analysis of this topic, and instead turn to a fun translation.  This is a quick and breezy article about a college senior being rejected from a job interview for bringing her iPhone, which by owning, indicated her inability to work hard and endure hardships.  I’ve included a few selected comments from the article’s original site, highlighting the range of responses.

Girl Denied Job Because She Brought iPhone to Interview, Can’t “Eat Bitter”

Original article here

These days, the iPhone has fallen into favor among the youth.  Yet for one senior college student, the iPhone has brought major trouble.  She brought along her iPhone to a job interview, giving the employer the impression that her family is very well off, and she is unable to bear hardships.  She was not hired.

On the 24th, on a Changchun University internet message board, I saw a post claiming “I am a senior seeking job training, but but was unexpectedly denied because I brought an iPhone to the interview”.

I contacted the poster, “XiaoGao”, who described to me the troubles her iPhone has brought.  XiaoGao is a senior in college.  With studies coming to an end, lots of students are seeking internships.  XiaoGao sent her resume to several companies, and a few days ago, a recruiter called her and invited her to interview.

On the 23rd, XiaoGao arrived at the company for an interview, but after just a few minutes, the interviewer said the company wasn’t interested in hiring her.  What was the hardest to accept for XiaoGao was that she was denied was because she had brought an iPhone to the interview.

The employer was worried she can’t “eat bitter” (bear hardships).

“Just because a student uses an iPhone means we can’t do work?” XiaoGao questioned.  The interviewer said that she hasn’t yet graduated, and the phone was purchased by her parents, not by her own means and efforts.  He deduced she was a rich girl unable to bear hardships.  The work requirements at the company were substantial, requiring employees prepared to work hard, so they denied her.

“Sure, my family did buy my phone, but does this really say anything?  I didn’t bring it to flaunt my wealth” she said, still surprised her phone could wreck her interview chances.

I consulted several employers about their hiring policies.  An HR manager at another Changchun electronics company told me “The phone an employee uses or the car they drive have no relationship to work.  We look at the candidates talent, everything else is ‘floating clouds'”.

After visiting several high schools in Changchun, I found there are lots of students using iPhones.  A classmate surnamed Sun told me “Having an iPhone is completely normal, tons of my classmates have one.”

What are your views on XiaoGao being rejected for having an iPhone?  Let me know in the comments below.

Selected comments:

– “Support!  A student who hasn’t earned any money and buys a high end phone which costs thousands of RMB, this definitely is hard to accept!  There are lots of attractive phones on the market which are only several hundred RMB, students should learn how to work hard and live modestly.  After making money, paying back your parents and family is the proper way.”

– “Next time bring a Nokia”

– “F*** your mother for buying a foreign good”

– “I also doubt her work ethic”

– “From this cell phone incident, we can see the student didn’t take the interview seriously.  It is common sense to put your phone in your pocket- how will others know what phone you have?”

– “As soon as I saw this, I know this company doesn’t have a future”

– “She should say it is a fake, the interviewer would be comforted”

Original Chinese

目前,iPhone手机深受年轻人的青睐。但对于大四学生小高来说,iPhone手机却成了她的烦恼。原来她在面试时携带iPhone手机,用人单位感觉她的家庭条件太好,不能吃苦,拒绝录用她。

24日,记者在长春某大学贴吧中看到,一名网友发帖称,“大四了也想找个工作锻炼学习下,昨天就去了一家公司面试,没想到因为iPhone被拒绝录用。”

随后,记者联系到发帖的小高。她向记者讲述了iPhone手机给她带来的烦恼。小高是一名大四的学生,因为现在学校已经结课了,所以很多大四同学开始寻找自己的实习单位。小高也在网络上向几家公司投了简历。几天前,一家公司的招聘人员给小高打来电话约她面试。

23日,小高到该公司进行面试,可是还没几分钟,面试官就说,他们公司不能录用她。让小高难以接受的是,拒绝录用她的原因竟是她用的是iPhone手机。

用人单位担心她不能吃苦。

“学生用iPhone,就不能参加工作吗?”小高说,面试的人说,她现在还没有毕业,手机是家人给她买的,并不是靠自己的能力购买的。感觉她是个不能吃苦的“富家女”。而他们公司工作量比较大,需要可以吃苦耐劳的员工,所以才拒绝录用她。

“手机确实是我家人给我买的,但是这能说明什么啊?我也不是拿来炫富的啊。”小高说,没想到面试却因为一部iPhone手机给“搅黄”了。

记者咨询了几家用人单位。“员工用什么手机,或者开什么车和工作没什么关系啊。招聘员工要看能力,其他的都是‘浮云’。”长春市一家电子企业的人力资源部负责人说。

记者对长春市多所高校进行走访后了解到,高校中使用iPhone手机的学生有很多。“用iPhone很正常啊,现在我们班有很多同学在用。”孙同学说。

针对小高因iPhone手机被拒绝录用一事,你有什么看法,可以来参与讨论。

评论

– “支持!一个还没自己挣钱的学生消费数千元的高档手机,的确让人难以接受!市面上几百块的手机很多,也很漂亮,作为学生应该学会艰苦朴素,挣了钱先回报父母和家人才是正道”

– “以后拿个诺基亚去吧…”

– “买外国人的产品.死你妈的”

– “我也会怀疑她的工作态度”

– “确实是从手机里面看到这位同学对面试的不重视,按常理你的手机是放在口袋里,别人怎么知道你用什么手机呢?”

– “一看这见识。。就知道这公司没什么前途”

– “说自己拿到的是山寨,考官心理里平衡了!”

Word/phrases of note

青睐 (qīnglài)- In favor, accepted by
家庭条件 (jiātíng tiáojiàn)- Family (financial) conditions
实习单位 (shíxí dānwèi)- Internship, company offering internship
用人单位 (yòngrén dānwèi)- Employer
吃苦耐劳的员工 (chīkǔ nàiláo de yuángōng)- Hard working and dilligent staff
炫富 (xuàn fù)- Flaunt wealth, show off
高档手机 (gāodàng shǒujī)- High end cell phone
艰苦朴素 (jiānkǔ púsù)- Working hard and living simply
理里平衡 (lǐlǐ pínghéng)- Peace of mind, at ease  (NOTE: the kind folks at the Chinese language subreddit noted this is probably a typo of 心理平衡, roughly meaning the same thing.  I’m humbled people read this closely enough to find a one character typo all the way at the bottom, and a bit nervous such a discerning audience found their way here.  I love you Reddit, please don’t bite).

Original article- http://edu.sina.com.cn/l/2012-11-25/1917222366.shtml

Advertisements

Translation: The Communist Party of China is Completely Different from Western Political Parties

In light of current events in both the US and China, it was natural I’d choose a political post to translate this week.  I’ve always had a strange affinity towards very wooden and archaic political Chinese.  Living in China, you are constantly surrounded by red propaganda banners espousing party rhetoric, and I remember the feeling of being supremely frustrated not understanding what they said (and the budding addiction of deciphering them).  Dammit, I demand to know that “The Great Chinese Nation is in the Process of a Historical Revival, and it Requires Contributions from All Citizens!”  I rarely talked politics with Chinese friends and colleagues, and never needed much in daily life or business, so learning these words and phrases was solely for personal fulfillment.  As a recovering political science major, seeing the phrase “有中国特色社会主义“ (“Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”) will always warm my heart.

This is not a particularly interesting or unique take on the CPC, but offers some pretty fun translation challenges.

The Communist Party of China is Completely Different from Western Political Parties

With the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress underway, the world is intently focused on the world’s largest political party.  With very different sets of values and historical experiences, a rich and interesting set of perspectives are being offered around the world.  Yet in light of this commentary, the Chinese Communist Party’s historical experiences and special relationship with the fate of Chinese society is still relatively unfamiliar to political scientists.

It is obvious that the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) is not a standard political party in traditional western terms, perhaps even incomparable.  The CPC currently has 82.6 million members, bigger than populations of large European countries.   It is not a party which mobilizes once every few years for an election, but penetrates through to the most basic levels of Chinese society, a force highly integrated into national and societal management systems.

The current situation has slowly taken shape over the course of almost a century.  In the long, painful Chinese revolution, the CPC led in mobilizing citizens to overthrow the old system, and has continuously strengthened links with the great Chinese population. Since the establishment of “New China”, every step in the Chinese national mission has been difficult, requiring high levels of unity and hard work to accomplish.  The CPC’s large and efficient social mobilization efforts are in order to realize the goal of “National Revival”.

China fundamentally cannot have “rotating political parties”.  In Western democracies, rotation of political parties is merely rotating power.  Yet if China “rotated parties”, it effects more than just who is in power, it would cause earthshaking turmoil and unrest across all society.

The CPC attaches great importance on party building, a necessity for long term governance.  In its early days, the CPC learnt from the experience of the Soviet Union, but soon paved its own path uniquely suited for China.  The CPC emphasizes unity, strict organizational discipline, and close ties with the masses, thus creating a party with strong internal cohesiveness, uniting a large and complex country.

What China fears most is chaos.  When the party was formed, China was not a democracy, was not an independent sovereign state, and was in a state of national disunity.  The process of building a modern China has been difficult and painful, and the CPC’s experience and practice of uniting China has been far from perfect.  However, China has made it to today, becoming the world’s second largest economic power, a road which should make the Chinese people feel fortunate and proud.

The party has undergone many transformations in 90 years, incessantly adopting and meeting the challenges of a variety of problems and crises.  The extreme tests it has experienced are more than any other political party in the world, shaping its special tenacity and fighting will.   By learning from historical experiences and close contact with society’s grass roots, the CPC can fulfill the ambitious national development mission.

The objective of Western political parties is governance, with their governing prospects simply depending on not disappointing the electorate’s expectations.  The CPC is a “long term political party”.  Besides satisfying the population’s expectations, it is also closely linked with the destiny of the state and nation, realizing the great national resurgence the Chinese people are eagerly awaiting.  This requires struggle and real competence.

Yet the long term nature of the party also brings many problems.  For instance, unchecked power and corruption of officials are obvious problems, and they are undoubtedly bringing increasingly harmful effects to the country.  There has yet to be a systematic solution to resolve these issues.

The CPC does not represent any interest groups, and its members come from all societal classes and ethnicities.  In this diversified era, balancing the interests of all levels of society and creatively constructing a way for grassroots society to participate in politics is a worldwide problem, and Socialist China is no different.  Especially, as Chinese society is becoming more empowered, seeming to overwhelm the traditional realm of Chinese government, the CPC must stay on top of these changes.

The opening of Chinese society includes a complex web of activity, influencing the honesty of a party 80 million large, adding to its complexity(?).  In the internet era, the CPC’s credibility will always face an uncountable number of pressures and traps.  The problems and challenges are great, but the foundation of the party is strong and firm.  Facing the future, a united party is very important.  On this basis, as long as the party continues in the direction laid out in the Congress Report, embedding itself in China and its people, the CPC will naturally create a steady stream of power, the party and its leaders will be invincible.

Original Text:
Source

中共十八大将全球目光聚焦到这个人类历史上最大的政党身上。这些目光里包含了各自不同的价值观和历史经验,形成相当丰富、有趣的视角。但中共的经历、它与中国社会的特殊紧密关系以及它的使命,都是人类政治学相当陌生的。

很显然,中共不是西方政治学意义上的普通政党,与它们几乎没有可比性。中共现有8260万党员,比欧洲主要大国的全国人口还要多。它不是几年才活跃一次的选举动员力量,而是渗透到中国社会最基层,与国家和社会管理体系形成高度融合的领导力量。

这一局面是中国近一个世纪的历史反复锻造而成的。一是中国革命的过程漫长而残酷,中共在动员并领导人民推翻旧制度的过程中,不断强化了它与中国最广大民众的紧密联系。二是从新中国成立直到今天,中国的国家使命每一项都很艰难,需要全社会的高度团结和艰苦奋斗才能实现,这使得中共的庞大和高效的社会动员能力一直是这个国家实现复兴的现实需求。

政党轮替在中国之所以根本不可能,是因为西方的政党轮替只是权力轮替,而中国一旦发生“轮替”,触动的绝不仅仅是权力,而是整个社会翻天覆地的重新洗牌和大动荡

中共高度重视党建,这是它作为长期执政党必须做的。中共早期借鉴了苏共经验,但后来很快形成只适用于中国的党建方向。中共强调团结、严谨的组织纪律和密切联系群众等,从而形成党内总体看来很强的凝聚力,党也因此成为凝聚庞大而复杂中国的内核。

中国最怕散和乱,中共刚成立时,中国内无民主,外无独立,国家一盘散沙。中国建立现代秩序的过程十分痛苦、曲折,中共把国家团结起来的探索实践远不是完美的,但中国得以走到今天,成为世界第二大经济体,这一路的历程值得中国人庆幸和骄傲。

中共这90多年几经转型,不停应对各种问题和危机的挑战。它经历的极端考验比世界上任何政党都多,这塑造了它特殊的韧性和斗志。中共同时从历史经验和与基层社会的紧密联系中汲取力量,履行随着中国发展而层层加码的使命。

西方政党的目标就是执政,它们的执政前途通常取决于不踩破社会期待的下限。中共作为长期的执政党,除了要满足民众的当下要求,还必须与国家和民族共命运,实现中国人近代以来一直期盼的伟大复兴。这需要真奋斗,真本事。

长期执政同时给中共带来党建的诸多问题。比如权力缺少制约以及官员腐败等,眼看着它们存在,但如何解决这些问题迄今没有体制性答案,而它们对党和国家的伤害力无疑越来越重。

中共不代表任何利益集团,它的成员来自社会所有阶层和民族。但如何在多元化时代平衡社会各阶层的利益,创造性地构建基层群众的日常参政途径,这是世界性难题,社会主义的中国也不例外。尤其是,“社会”正在中国凸起,并似要溢出中国的传统政治形式,中共对领导国家方式的改革必须跟上这个变化。

中国社会的开放包括内部错综交叉的活跃,这会影响8000多万人大党的纯洁,增加它的复杂性。在互联网时代,党的形象和公信力永远面临数不清的压力和陷阱。问题和挑战很多,但党的根基却强大和牢固。面向未来,党的团结头等重要。在这个基础上,只要党按照党代会报告的大方向去做,它对中国人民和中国国家命运的嵌入就会自然生成源源不断的力量,它和它领导的事业就一定是不可战胜的。

Words/phrases of Note:

聚焦到 (jùjiāo dào)- Focused on
视角 (shìjiǎo)- Viewpoint, perspective (literally “sight corner”)
紧密关系 (jǐnmì guānxì)- A strong relationship
可比性 (kěbǐ xìng)- Comparability
渗透到 (shèntòu dào)- Penetrate to, to reach…
高度融合 (gāodù rónghé)- Highly integrated
国家使命 (guójiā shǐmìng)- National mission
政党轮替 (zhèngdǎng lúntì)- Changing/rotating political parties in power
翻天覆地 (fāntiānfùdì)- Earth-shattering, tremendous
动荡 (dòngdàng)- Unrest, upheaval
纪律 (jìlǜ)- Discpiline
凝聚力 (níngjùlì)- Cohesion
韧性 (rènxìng)- Toughness, tenacity
历史经验 (lìshǐ jīngyàn)- Historical experience
基层社会 (jīcéng shèhuì)- Grassroots society
伟大复兴 (wěidà fùxīng)- Great revival
权力缺少制约 (quánlì quēshǎo zhìyuē)- Political power lacking constraints, no checks/balances
利益集团 (lìyì jítuán)- Interest groups
社会所有阶层 (shèhuì suǒyǒu jiēcéng)- All levels of society
参政 (cānzhèng)- Political participation
世界性难题 (shìjiè xìng nántí)- Worldwide problem
互联网时代 (hùliánwǎng shídài)- The internet era
公信力 (gōngxìnlì)- Public credibility
不可战胜 (bùkě zhànshèng)- Invincible, cannot be defeated

Translation: Apple stock price falls below $600

As a devoted denizen of the Google/Android-verse, I feel a bit sheepish choosing a negative Apple story as my first translation piece. The smartphone wars have reached a  comically “us vs. them” point (as if we need more wedges in our society this election season), and I refuse to judge people by the suite of online services or mobile hardware they personally prefer. However, it is with borderline schadenfreude that I watch Apple stumble, perhaps to the direct benefit of my beloved Android ecosystem in the long run.  Smartphone politics aside, this is a fun, short, and easy piece about 7 大问题 (big problems) Apple is currently facing.

Words or phrases I find particularly useful or interesting are bolded, and listed at the end.

Original Story: http://tech.sina.com.cn/it/2012-10-31/23487757806.shtml

English Translation:
Apple stock price falls below $600: 7 Recent Problems

Story Lead: Foreign media reporting today that due to changes in management, Apple stock price fell below $600 on Wednesday, reaching its lowest price since July. Will Apple fall even further from here?

In early trading Wednesday morning, Apple stock fell below $600, mainly because of the management changes on Monday. Yet regarding the resignation of iOS Software Department VP Scott Forstall and Sales Manager John Browett, Wall Street Analysts are not all particularly worried.

Even before the resignation of these upper management, several problems had emerged at Apple:

1) First 3 day sales of the iPhone 5 were lower than industry forecasts
2) iOS 6 Mapping app riddled with errors
3) Fourth quarter profit lower than Wall Street’s forecasts
4) Apple warned 2013 fiscal year’s first quarter (until the end of December 2012) gross margins will decline significantly
5) Fourth quarter iPad sales were below expectations
6) Wall Street not satisfied with the relatively high price of the iPad Mini ($329)
7) Overall the reaction to the iPad Mini was positive, but there was no lack of detractors

Is this the sign of the beginning of a slump for Apple? No! However all of this happened at a very critical time, just as the smart phone and tablet market is entering a period of intense competition.

Microsoft is seeking business opportunities in the tablet market, and the recently unveiled Windows 8 is impressive. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed that since the official release of Windows 8 Friday, 4 million units have been sold to individual consumers. Next up are a wide array of phones coming from Samsung, Nokia, HTC, among other firms all featuring Windows 8.

In summary, Apple watchers will have a hard time avoiding this question: is Apple headed downhill?  In trading Wednesday, Apple stock fell 2.4% to $589.60, the lowest on record since July.

Original Chinese:

苹果股价跌破600美元:近期出现7大问题

导语:国外媒体今日发表文章称,受近日管理层变动的影响,苹果股价周三跌破600美元,创下7月份以来的最低记录。苹果是否将从此走上下坡路呢?
以下为文章内容摘要:

苹果股价周三早盘交易中跌破600美元,主要是受到了周一管理层变动的影响。
对于iOS软件部门高级副总裁斯科特·福斯特尔(Scott Forstall)和零售主管约翰·布罗维特(John Browett) 等人的离职,华尔街大多数分析师都不是特别担心。

在这些高管离职前,苹果主要出现了下列问题:

1)iPhone 5上市后前三天销量低于业内预期;
2)iOS 6地图应用错误百出
3)第四财季利润低于华尔街预期;
4)苹果发布预警,称2013财年第一季度(截至2012年12月底)毛利率将大幅下滑;
5)第四财季,iPad销量也低于预期
6)华尔街对iPad Mini较高的定价(329美元)不满
7)关于iPad Mini的评价,整体而言是积极的,但不乏指责声。

这是否是苹果将一蹶不振的迹象呢?不是!但所有这一切却发生在一个关键时期,即在智能手机和平板电脑市场遭遇强劲挑战之际。

微软正在企业市场挖掘平板电脑商机,最新发布的Windows 8也表现不俗。微软CEO史蒂夫·鲍尔默(Steve Ballmer)周二表示,自上周五Windows 8正式上市以来,已面向向个人消费者售出了400万套。接下来,还将有大量来自三星、诺基亚和HTC等厂商的Windows Phone 8手机上市。

综上所述,苹果观察家们难免会思考这样一个问题:苹果是否将从此走上下坡路呢?周三早盘交易中,苹果股价一度下滑2.4%,跌至589.60美元,为7月底以来的最低记录。

Source: http://tech.sina.com.cn/it/2012-10-31/23487757806.shtml

Words/Phrases of Note:

管理层- (guǎnlǐ céng) Company management, management level
下坡路- (xiàpōlù) Going downhill, downhill path
跌破- (diē pò) Fall below, below the…
错误百出- (cuòwù bǎichū) Full of mistakes, riddled with errors
发布预警- (fābù yùjǐng) Issue a warning
低于预期- (dī yú yùqí) Lower than expectations
不满- (bùmǎn) Dissatisfied
迹象- (jīxiàng) Mark, indication
关键时期- (guānjiàn shíqí) Critical period, crucial time
强劲挑战- (qiángjìng tiǎozhàn) Strong challenge, intense competition
商机- (shāngjī) Business opportunities
表现不俗- (biǎoxiàn bùsú) Doing well, solid performance
观察家们- (guānchá jiāmen) Observers, watchers

Blog Introduction: Thematic Gravity

After finishing up a very rewarding work project which involved extensive blogging on topics related to learning Chinese, I’ve decided to keep up the momentum by starting this site.

This will be a personal project, starting with translating at least one article from Chinese into English per week.  I will choose from various topics and articles I happen to encounter in Chinese during the week, ranging from posts on spunky tech-startups to wooden political propaganda to love advice from my former employer.   I’ve done translation work before in various capacities, and when the topic is genuinely interesting to me, it is great fun.  A rewarding translation project combines two of my favorite intellectual activities: reading and deciphering Chinese, and distilling it into coherent and hopefully elegant English.

There are a wide array of sites which do great work translating entertaining, controversial, bizarre, and engaging content from the Chinese internet into English.  Tea Leaf Nation and ChinaSMACK are the two which immediately come to mind, but there is a very fun ecosystem of sites and blogs out there.

I’m doing this primarily to maintain my Chinese translation skills, giving a structured framework to the Chinese reading I do on a fairly regular basis.  However, I do hope that by having a regularly updated personal website, I am inspired to begin writing and sharing more personal essays.  Sure, I think that in this day and age anybody who hopes to make a living working in the online marketing space (me) needs to have a compelling ”online presence” to be taken seriously.  With such little friction to get a basic website up and running, there is no excuse to not spend 30 minutes a week jotting down ideas and thoughts for the world to see.  But what I found really inspirational was coming across this piece written by a friend of mine.

The entire post is well worth reading, but this in particular struck me.  Certainly couldn’t have phrased it better myself:

“That’s the promise: you will live more curiously if you write. You will become a scientist, if not of the natural world than of whatever world you care about. More of that world will pop alive. You will see more when you look at it.

It’s like what happens to a room during a game of “I Spy”: if your friend spies something red, the red stuff glows.

When I have a piece of writing in mind, what I have, in fact, is a mental bucket: an attractor for and generator of thought. It’s like a thematic gravity well, a magnet for what would otherwise be a mess of iron filings. I’ll read books differently and listen differently in conversations. In particular I’ll remember everything better; everything will mean more to me. That’s because everything I perceive will unconsciously engage on its way in with the substance of my preoccupation. A preoccupation, in that sense, is a hell of a useful thing for a mind.”

Thanks for reading.  Excited to get started.