Eurologos Shanghai Gets Arty

Translating and Interpreting for the Zhu Qi Zhan Art Museum

Shanghai’s Zhu Qi Zhan Art Museum is named after prominent Chinese painter and calligrapher Zhu Qizhan (1892-1996), who is widely acknowledged within art circles as an innovator and creator in the domain of traditional Chinese ink art, going beyond the conventional boundaries of Chinese painting in his works.

2012 Shanghai New Ink Painting Art Exhibition

In May, Eurologos Shanghai had the pleasure of assisting the Zhu Qi Zhan Art Museum during its 2012 Shanghai New Ink Painting Art Exhibition. Our first task was to assist with the translation from Chinese to English of one of the exhibition’s guides, as well as other supporting materials. This was a technically challenging task due to the very abstract nature of the materials and the difficulty of translating Chinese art related terms that do not have a direct equivalent in the English language.


As well as translation, we also assisted the museum with their interpreting needs for one of the seminars held during the course of the exhibition. Prior to the seminar, we were able to coordinate with the speakers and collect all the seminar notes and background materials, which our interpreter then used to prepare himself thoroughly for the task. Careful preparation is one of the key requirements to ensure a well-executed interpretation and one for which a client’s participation is very important.

One of the common misconceptions – at least with regards to the Chinese local market – is that if an interpreter is qualified enough for the task he or she should be able to interpret without the need for any prior preparation – but this is untrue even of the most senior interpreters. It is unrealistic to think that interpreters could be experts of each and every aspect of a given field, but this gap can in the vast majority of circumstances be easily bridged with a little careful preparation.