Zoë Translates

Poems, original and translated.

About me

My name is Zoë C. Ma. I am a freelance translator (English, Mandarin Chinese). The people I’ve worked with include journalists, researchers, publishers, tech leaders, and avid SciFi fans, to whom I’ve had the privilege of providing language services and insights.

Currently, I am accepting commissions for new language-related projects. If you are interested in working with me, please contact me for inquiries.

This website is dedicated to my passion in literature – and poetry in particular.

I’m naturally drawn towards the art of poetry translation. I primarily translate poems into English from a variety of modern and classical languages. In addition to Chinese (Classical or Mandarin), those source languages so far include Ukrainian, Russian, and Sanskrit. I take great interest in learning new languages, often motivated by the desire to read “in the original”.

My approach to translation is highly focused on our relation with poetic forms. The concept of “form” may suggest convention, rigidity, or even barriers to expression. But it is also something to be experienced – forms shape us as we shape them. It is this experience that I wish to capture in my poetic translations.

It is impossible for me to resist the urge to write my own poems. I believe poetry is for everyone, no matter who you are. In addition, it is a particularly important mode of expression in our time – an age characterized by unprecedented access to information and communication medium, but also by deep-rooted anxiety arising from so many voices still longing to be heard. For marginalised people, poetry is an especially meaningful component in the continual process of self-disclosure and identity-finding.

If you would like to support my work here, please consider donating to me via Liberapay or Ko-fi where I also cross-post most of the poems. I thank you for your kind encouragement.