Reflect on your inquiry question and how your understanding is changing, becoming more focused, or is perhaps being reaffirmed by your research. What do you now know that you didn’t know when you started this inquiry?


This project is far more difficult than I originally thought!


There are so many clashes between the languages, so many entirely different aspects that are impossible to translate. How do I represent a line that ostensibly is about beans yet represents the crying of a scorned and cast-away brother? What parts of meaning can a line of poetry lose before it is nothing but a mere shadow of the original? What is the point of creating faint pale shadows? I would be doing more good attempting to teach an entire language alongside my shoddily translated poems.


My understanding of both languages has shifted dramatically. I had originally thought English superior, as I had a better grasp of it than Chinese. After a short study, I deemed Chinese superior, being incredibly ancient, at the same time simpler and more complex than English. The characters can sometimes be pronouns, verbs, or nouns all at the same time! Perhaps that is why Chinese has only approximately 50,000 characters while English has surpassed 150,000. Yet when I compare the two yet again, they are so incredibly different and incompatible that it sounds like folly to even attempt to judge one by the other’s criteria. As society becomes more and more global, having a grasp of both will be more and more valuable.


Even aside that, I think it’s going alright. I have been making compromises left and right, but the result still holds power. The more contextual notes in the infographic, the more sacrifices I had to make! It will be incredibly fun trying to teach all of this in my presentation; I will give every group a line from a poem, have them translate it in their groups, and put all the pieces together on the board. It will be like an elaborate game of Telephone!


The groups will likely be of approximately seven, and will be arranged based on our numbers. I’ll have a bunch of materials to prepare; briefing sheets, translation materials, and other tools to help create as coherent of a poem as possible. I’m excited to make the class share in my trials and tribulations share my knowledge with the class!

Edit: Infographics Complete!

I’ve finished all the infographics!

WordPress compresses the images too much to be readable, so here’s the link to an Imgur album.

They’re formatted like so:

  • English Title, then Chinese title with poet’s name
  • Dictionary Style Character Translation (the poem written out with the literal translations of each character above)
  • Contextual Notes
  • Meaning (line by line translation)
  • Most Direct Translation
  • Stylized Translation
  • Phonetic/Rhyming Notes
  • Final Translation [sometimes with a Best Translation that disregards the rhyming notes]
  • Final Translation Notes [evaluation of translation, analysis, and an overall score.