September 5, 2017

Marco Polo magazine

Marco Polo Magazine in a nutshell

Marco Polo Magazine is a collectively translated online library bringing new voices from China to Western readers. You can visit our magazine at

Why Marco Polo Magazine? 

Chinese people are articulating a complex discourse on their situation. This is reflected in many publications, mainly online. However, much of this remains invisible to people outside China, who do not read the language or – if they do – are daunted by the jungle of the Chinese Internet. As a result, most of the insights we have about China come through mediators interpreting the country through an external framework. As accurate and truthful as many of those accounts may be, the words of a foreign journalist, academic or analyst maintain China in the position of an object – and do not offer access to a Chinese subjectivity.

This is where Marco Polo Magazine aims to contribute – not by offering new facts or truths about China, but offering an easier access to the subjective Chinese voices currently articulating a discourse about their country and experience.

Where are we now?

Marco Polo Magazine was started in 2011. It currently proposes a rich selection of over 500 articles from a diverse range of Chinese bloggers, cultural analysts and intellectual, reflecting the range of discourses that Chinese people develop about their life today. About half of those have been fully translated. Marco Polo magazine is regularly updated – with new articles posted, and new translations completed, particularly through Translation Cub.

The next step for Marco Polo Magazine is to develop parallel publications for other language groups – we are currently particularly interested in Indonesian and Japanese versions. We are also looking at new ways to share and use our existing resource as a unique bilingual library of contemporary Chinese texts.