Introduction: Nicholas Graves


I picked this picture because it speaks to both this course and to my context. The photo is from a park in Kaifeng, China; the city I currently live and work in. The sign to me represents the confusion of text and technology. The translation on the stone was probably done by someone using baidu (Chinese Google) or a similar translation program to translate the Mandarin to English and the result is pretty humorous. I see this a lot in my work and in my daily life and I think it is a good example of how technology has allowed text to be deciphered all over the world but at the same time this transmission is not perfect. One of my main interests in this course is the way that technology benefits and hurts the reading experience. I am a big fan of comics and in comics there is a big debate between those who believe that digital comics are the way of the future and those who believe that nothing will be able to replace paper; emphasis on either format raises interesting questions and it is these questions that I look forward to exploring.

As indicated already in my post, my name is Nicholas Graves and I am the Principal of a BC offshore school in Kaifeng China. I moved here 3 years ago and began the school with 50 grade 10 students, we have expanded since and currently have nearly 400 students enrolled in our school. Prior to living in China I was an administrator in Bella Coola, BC working for the Nuxalk Nation at a First Nations Independent school. Due to the remote locations I find myself and the amount of travel I do I spend most of my time reading on my ipad and kindle and cannot remember the last time I read a physical book.

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2 Responses to Introduction: Nicholas Graves

  1. I am going to be reading American Born Chinese with my students, so it will be interesting to see how they feel about reading it in iBooks instead of having a physical copy of it!

    Translations are always interesting! My favourite one was of a bottle of water that was translated into English on the menu as “waters down in bottle”!

  2. grants says:

    Hi Nicholas,

    It’s always very interesting to see how English text is translated using technology. I teach adult ESL students and they often come up with convoluted phrases and sentences due to “help” from electronic translators. I’ve also taught English overseas in Japan and Taiwan and often found English text used completely out of context, as though it were for decoration, not communication. For example, shirts decorated with random paragraphs from English novels. The pillow case on my bed in the teachers’ apartment had pictures of trains and the caption “Very dangerous electric needle!” I never did figure out what that meant.


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