Chinese Sex

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How I lost my virginity to the foreign devils.

As most people know, the Bible is a perennial bestseller, and has been for decades. There are a multitude of English translations. Translations vary from strict, literal interpretations to liberal, expanded translations. There is no perfect translation and anyone who tells you there is, is lying. Some are better than others, but even that is a subjective opinion.

According to Wikipedia, "As Hebrew and Greek, the original languages of the Bible, like all languages, have some idioms and concepts not easily translated, there is in some cases an ongoing critical tension about whether it is better to give a word for word translation or to give a translation that gives a parallel idiom in the target language. For instance, in the New American Bible, which is the English language Catholic translation, as well as Protestant translations like the King James Version, the Darby Bible, the New Revised Standard Version, the Modern Literal Version, and the New American Standard Bible are seen as more literal translations (or "word for word"), whereas translations like the New International Version and New Living Translation sometimes attempt to give relevant parallel idioms. The Living Bible and The Message are two paraphrases of the Bible that try to convey the original meaning in contemporary language. The further away one gets from word for word translation, the easier the text becomes to read while relying more on the theological, linguistic or cultural understanding of the translator, which one would not normally expect a lay reader to require. On the other hand, as one gets closer to a word for word translation, the text becomes more literal but still relies on similar problems of meaningful translation at the word level and makes it difficult for lay readers to interpret due to their unfamiliarity with ancient idioms and other historical and cultural contexts."

Why all this mumbo-jumbo about Bible translations? I'm glad you asked that question. Answer: Well, I was recently commissioned by China Education Publishing House Group Limited to provide them with a new, original translation of both the Old Testament and the New Testament, working from the original Hebrew and Koine Greek. You see, the Bible was not written in King James English; rather, the New Testament was written in Koine Greek and the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic.

After negotiations, we (the publisher and myself) settled on a fee for the translation. I would receive $15,000 USD; the money would be paid in the following manner: 10% up front; 60% when the translation was completed; and the final 30% when revisions were completed.

It may sound like a substantial amount of money to some, but considering the time and effort involved in translating from the original languages, along with the length of the Bible (around 800,000 words), and the necessary linguistic skills, it was actually less than princely.

But I agreed to it. I then busted my derriere over the translation. I figure I was making about $10 per hour. I turned in the manuscript on June 30, 2014 and expected to be paid one week later. The contract stipulated that payment would be made within seven days of completion.

Funny how that worked out.

I still haven't been paid. The Chinese publisher - China Education Publishing House Group Limited - told me that their method of payment had changed. They don't pay according to contract anymore. Now, supposedly, they pay when the accounting officer gets around to it.

Did I mention that I still haven't been paid?

I sent repeated emails requesting payment. The editors - Yvonne and Olive - stated that they were checking into the matter but, essentially, it was out of their hands because the company had a new way of paying. I guess 'not paying' could be considered a new way of paying, except for the fact that you don't get paid. I call it Chinese Sex. That's where you get screwed but don't actually get laid.

I still haven't been paid. I think legal-eagles call this "breach of contract." Anyway, that's what I call it.

The irony of the situation is not lost on me.

So. If you're in the market for a really excellent translation of the Bible, let me know. I've got one for sale. And since the Bible sells very well, you could make a profit.

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 11:59 AM EDT | More details


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