Crowdsourcing a Translation Question

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I seek advice from people who know both English and Chinese. A Chinese writer is trying to figure out the best title for the Chinese version of my recent book, whose title in English is China Airborne.

One possibility is 云上的中国, essentially "China in the Clouds." As a plus, this conveys some of the dreamy aspect I mean to get across, and also the non-guaranteed nature of Chinese success in its various ambitions.

Another is 中国横空出世 , with a more literal and assured sense of China taking off and reaching the skies.

(I have rudimentary but not-at-all-nuanced comprehension of written Chinese of this sort.)

I'll round up a panel of a few native Chinese-speaking friends; appoint them judges; and give a prize to whoever can come up with the right nuanced version of a Chinese title. Prizes include: magazine subscription, copies of book, beer, and so on. Thanks!

Also in book news, I'm scheduled to be on C-Span book TV this weekend, and the Colbert show next week, discussing this topic -- and in English. Will put updates on my book-news page shortly.

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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