30 July 2013

Hello, Taiwan! (Or: How Do You Say "Book Launch, Woohoo!!" in Chinese?)

This officially debuts on August 1st:

The Taiwan edition of Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day-- make that 我用50年前的旅遊指南玩歐洲. I'm very excited.

The book was translated into traditional Chinese by Ting Wai-min, to whom I owe a sincere apology for words I just made up, as in the sentence "I am, as the Dutch say, kindofaneuroticintrovert." 

I tried plugging that into Google Translate just now, English to Chinese, and it came back with this: kindofaneuroticintrovert. So that's helpful.

I'm also sorry, Ting Wai-min, for "grimetastic," which Google Translate renders as 污垢TASTIC的

I found a  website that appears to have some promotional information and excerpts (and maybe blurbs?) about the book. And I used Google Translate to read it, since I had no better options, given my nonexistent ability to read Chinese. The book summary begins with this:
"Recommended sequence starting to brown sugar cat! Overwrites the old guidelines in the legend blue drag recommended sequence ..."
I'm not entirely sure if that's actually about the book or if it's a blurb or what. Either way, it's great, no? However, if any humans out there can offer an alternative, less absurdist translation, I'd love to hear it.

UPDATE: Reader Ros in Hong Kong has come to the rescue. It's not part of the book summary. To see what it actually says, check out the first comment below. Ros also passed along a link to the Chinese translation of my book trailer (!).

I was going to use this space to tell my Taiwanese readers, in Chinese, that I'm pretty pumped to share my offbeat journey with their fine country. I copied that into Google Translate. And then I thought for a second.

Google Translate algorithm processing ... 

Pretty pumped ...

Offbeat journey ...

Fine country ...
"I am a beautiful well-drawer syncopation 1980s band small rural area!" 

Well, even so, here goes:



  1. Hello from Hong Kong!

    Here comes a curious reader to your book in Chinese community :) I guess the publisher in Taiwan has actually made Chinese subtitle for your youtube clip too, from where I was linked to your blog:

    Introduction of your book in another bookstore (which, I think, is of the same content from the "mysinablog" you mentioned above): http://www.books.com.tw/exep/prod/booksfile.php?item=0010594254
    You can find some photos of your Taiwanese-version book here!

    Come to volunteer for the requested "alternative, less absurdist translation" than Google on the book summary in Chinese... I try to translate the google-translate-English into Chinese and make the guess on original Chinese you might have quoted :P My guess is that the lines aren't book summary actually, thus its translation looks mysterious. The Taiwanese publisher had local bloggers to write prefaces to your book. One named "Brown Sugar Cat" and another "Blue White Drag" (I guess its meaning wasn't "drag" but anyway...). "Recommended sequence" actually means "preface" haha. And one preface is titled "Overwrites the Legends in old Guidebooks" (by Brown Sugar Cat). Was wondering if "rewrite" is the better word, oops am following into translation trap.
    The webpage is of much text, from book summary to press & praise, table of contents, the 2 prefaces by local blogger and introduction by you, and some previews on the book.

    I'd like to read your book in your original English texts though. Let me try to find one in bookstores here!

  2. Thank you SO MUCH, Ros! This is very, very helpful. I knew a human would be more accurate than Google Translate. :) Your explanation of the bloggers writing prefaces solves a mystery for me. And thank you for the link to the video in Chinese. I had not seen that.

    I really appreciate your assistance and your comment. And I hope you enjoy the book—in English or in Chinese!

    - Doug

  3. Hi Doug,
    You are welcome! I love your ideas a lot and hope to buy your book asap. Will keep coming back for your blog too. Keep it up!
    And, if this interests you, your Chinese name is 道格.麥克 per translated by publisher :) Google Translate does better with your name.
    Happy Day!

    1. Thanks again, Ros!

      If you email me your mailing address (to doug@douglasmack.net), I will send you a signed copy of the English edition, to thank you for your help.


  4. Hey,Doug,this is Sarah from Taiwan, I just read your book and found it very interesting and personal-style. I've been Europe several times a s a partly backpacker,too. I especially like your description of Brussels, it make me want to see how weired it is next time, haha.

    By the way, you can see your book in a very good position on the following link, which is our major on-line shop & bookstore(just like Amazon)so I believe the purchase of the bookstore love your book, too.http://www.books.com.tw/books/area/index07.php

    Wish you best,

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thank you so much for reading the book and for this information! I just checked the website you sent. Very cool to see it placed in such a nice spot!

      Yes, you should go to Brussels--it's a weird and wonderful place.

      Happy travels,



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