Chinese / Year 9 and 10 / Communicating / Translating

Curriculum content descriptions

Mediate descriptions of Chinese and Australian life, identifying what experiences and ideas are not readily translated between cultures

[Key concepts: equivalence, assumption; Key processes: translating, interpreting]


  • analysing Chinese texts alongside their English translations to identify the challenges of translating culture, and developing strategies to overcome these challenges, by asking: What is lost in translation? Why can’t we just translate word for word? Why does context matter?
  • reading bilingual signs in places such as restaurants, shops, pools, schools, hospitals and construction sites, and determining the effectiveness of the English translations and possible reasons for such interpretations
  • exploring ways to interpret and explain key concepts and cultural practices identified in Chinese interactions, such as 面子, and experimenting with how to give 面子 in interactions with others
  • translating information about life in Australia to Chinese readers overseas, considering the audience’s cultural experiences in order to determine what concepts they would find difficult to understand, exploring ways to elaborate on ideas to ensure clarity of meaning, and focusing on nuances of word formation and context, for example, 澳洲肥牛 (‘bushwalking’)
  • preparing a voiceover text for a video presentation on the Chinese language program or the school environment, discussing possible interpretations of the text from the viewers’ perspective and adjusting anything that is unclear before voice recording
  • considering the different terms used in the Chinese-speaking world to represent ‘Chinese person’ (中国人,华人,华侨,华裔)
General capabilities
  • Literacy Literacy
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
ScOT terms

Culture,  Free translation,  Chinese languages

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