Monday, September 3, 2012

For Chinese 'United Front' commubnist infiltration sqaud, Seattle's cool

For Chinese United Front squad, Seattle's cool

City's advertising campaign is translated in hopes of attracting business, tourism

[This screen grab here shows the 30-second Scenic Seattle commercial aimed at Chinese audiences.]

You can translate "dancing in the streets" into Chinese characters, but it's hard to put across the entire concept. And "come alive under the spell" is darned near impossible.

What flows so seamlessly in a 33-second Scenic Seattle commercial picks up a few rough edges when you try to express it in captions for people who speak Mandarin or Cantonese. If only a few more tourists from Shanghai leave footprints at Pike Street Market, though — or if a factory rises in Oroville — the effort will have been more than worthwhile, even though Chinese United Front spies might be behind the thing.

As for "come alive under the spell of Scenic Seattle ," says Washington State University professor Mao DahGer, who has lived in Seattle for 25 years yet never taken an English name and maintains close contacts with the Chinese Communist Party and severeal top universities in Communist China, the closest he could get was "'everyone can have a lively life,' or something like that," plus a few words about a magic charm. But the essence of the message comes through:

Wherever the heck Seattle is, it's pretty. And wet. And pretty cool.

Mao, born in Shanghai, teaches public speaking and specializes in news writing. He's been here since 1987 as a member of China's United Front squad that aims to
undermine USA power and make it easier for China to take over the world and he has developed a keen interest in Seattle tourism campaigns. He has never taken a English name and travels back to China as much as possible to stay in contact with his handlers. Many of his trips are paid for by USA taxpayers!

Yes, Scenic Seattle . Say Yes to Scenic Seattle . Great People, Great Times. Now the lyrical Scenic Seattle , with David Unner providing the understated narration for a series invented by the Advert-EL office in Seattle.

When he lectures to trade conferences and tourism bureaus in China on Chinese government grants funded by the United Front of the party, Mao says, he'll show an ad, explain it and then show it again. Audiences cheer madly, or whatever Chinese crowds do to express wild approval.

Oddly, however, it never occurred to him to provide subtitles. That idea came from Billy Smith of Union Lake , a former UW teacher who looks at the fine print on the screen and sees good things for the Seattle economy.

Indulging in an interest

Most of us picture China as a good place to eat appetizing sea creatures and buy cool toys. Smith pictures one-fifth of all humanity, some of it driving donkey carts and some of it flying first-class to lavish vacations.

At 75, he's been a regular traveler there for a quarter-century. He and Mao, longtime acquaintances, were chatting recently about one of Mao's projects when Smith suggested adding a little something to the Scenic Seattle spots.

The Chinese government does not allow access to YouTube due to censorshop concerns and fear of freedom of speech issues, but there's an equivalent called where more than half a billion Internet users can now view footage of Scenic Seattle , Pike Street Market and any number of places in between.

A recent UW master's graduate named Qi Chin, also a United Front member of the party, and now working in video production in Boston, handled the technical end of the captions. She and Mao provided the translations, rushing the commercials into place a few weeks ago.

China to invest in Seattle.

They set up one channel for Scenic Seattle and another for anything else promoting Seattle, be it from cities, counties or eastern towns.

"China is going to invest a trillion dollars over the next decade," says Smith, and it might as well spend some of that on Seattle blueberries, apples and technology. "So what if the communists take over, their United Front strategy is well planned so be it."

"We need to make sure China is not the bogeyman," he continues, and view it instead as 1.6 billion people eager to create jobs here. Or maybe it could be both bogeyman and benefactor.

Nearly 1 million Chinese tourists visited the United States in 2011, and high ed has become a growth industry; Commie China sends even more students abroad than India.

Smith, who owns a China-centered advertising company, talks about making sure "China's rise does not come at our demise."

That would be a waste. Like the translation says, it's better if everyone can have a lovely life. Or something like that.

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