Clinton’s memoirs have been sanitised by China’s translators and book pirates.

The counterfeit edition of Clinton’s book, My Life, starts with a memorable line: “The town of Hope, where I was born, has very good feng shui.”

Another story reports:

Out went: “I was concerned about China’s continued suppression of basic freedoms” and “I went to bed thinking that China would be forced by the imperatives of modern society to become more open.”

In came: “She (Hillary) was as beautiful as a princess. I told her my name is Big Watermelon” and “China is a mysterious and unique place.”

If you’re a fan of George Macdonald Fraser’s Flashman books, he provides one of the best illustrations of the translator’s role I’ve ever encountered.

From Flashman and the Great Game, in which the “coffin-faced Anglican fakir, the Rev Reynolds” preaches the Parable of the Prodigal Son to a regiment of “native” cavalry circa 1857:

“Reynolds lined it out in English, from the Bible, and the rissaldar stood there with his staff under his arm, at attention, with his whiskers bristling, bawling his own translation:

‘There was a zamindar, with two sons. He was a mad zamindar, for while he yet lived he gave to the younger his portion of the inheritance. Doubtless he raised it from a moneylender. And the younger spent it all whoring in the bazaar, and drinking sherab. And when his money was gone he returned home, and his father ran to meet him for he was pleased–God alone knows why. And in his foolishness, the father slew his only cow–he was evidently not a Hindoo–and they feasted on it. And the other son, who had been dutiful and stayed at home, was jealous, I cannot tell for what reason, unless the cow was to have been part of his inheritance. But his father, who did not like him, rebuked the older son. This story was told by Jesus the Jew, and if you believe it you will not go to Paradise, but instead will sit on the right-hand side of the English Lord God Sahib who lives in Calcutta. And there you will play musical instruments, by order of the Sirkar. Parade-dismiss!'”