About the translator

I’m a freelance translator of literature, film, and criticism living in Beijing.

Between 2006 and 2016 I worked for Danwei Media, first as managing editor of the website Danwei.org (“Chinese media, advertising, and urban life”), and later as research director for its consulting arm. The company was sold to the Financial Times, which eventually let the domain name lapse; archives can currently be found on Laodanwei.org.

I post occasionally on social media, as @jdmartinsen on Twitter and @jdmartinsen on Douban. Feel free to email me at jdmartinsen@gmail.com.

Selected publications


  • LIU Cixin 刘慈欣: Supernova Era 超新星纪元 (2019), Ball Lightning 球状闪电 (2018), The Dark Forest 黑暗森林 (2015).
  • HAN Han 韩寒: The Problem With Me (2016). Co-edited and co-translated with Alice Xin Liu.

Short fiction

  • LIU Cixin 刘慈欣, “The Time Migration” 时间移民, “Ode to Joy” 欢乐颂, “Fire in the Earth” 地火. In To Hold Up the Sky (2020).
  • SHEN Yingying 沈璎璎, “The Bloody Child” 血娃娃. In Pathlight 路灯, 2019.
  • LING Chen 凌晨, “Qiao Fei” 乔飞. In Pathlight 路灯, 2018.
  • CHEN Mengya 陈梦雅, “Brocade” 织锦. In Pathlight 路灯, Issue 9, September 2014.
  • WANG Ke 王棵, “Seawatch” 海戒. In Pathlight 路灯, Issue 7, December 2013.
    LING Chen 凌晨, “A Story of Titan” 泰坦故事. In Pathlight 路灯 Issue 5, April 2013.
  • HAN Song 韩松, “The Last Subway” 末班地铁. In Pathlight 路灯, Issue 4, December 2012.
  • QIU Huadong 邱华栋, “Friend of the Moon” 月亮的朋友. In Pathlight 路灯, Issue 2, March 2012.
  • QI Ge 七格, “The Sugar Blower” 吹糖人. In Pathlight 路灯, Issue 1, November 2011.
  • LIU Cixin 刘慈欣, “The Thinkers” 思想者. In Chutzpah 天南, Issue 2, June 2011.

Film subtitles

  • HE Jia 禾家, La Visite 拜访 (2021). Co-translated with Alice Xin Liu. Ordos Rider 鄂尔多斯骑士 (2015), The Land 大地 (2009).
  • FENG Xiaogang 冯小刚, Only Cloud Knows 只有芸知道 (2019), Youth 芳华 (2017), I Am Not Madame Bovary 我不是潘金莲 (2016). Co-translated with Alice Xin Liu.
  • HAN Yan 韩琰, Dream Breaker 破梦游戏 (2018). Co-translated with Alice Xin Liu.
  • WENG Shouming 翁首鸣, Academic Romance 学院派爱情 (2017).
  • LI Dawei 李大为, A Tale of Two Donkeys 走着瞧 (2009).
  • LI Yifan 李一凡, The Longwang Chronicles 乡村档案:龙王村 (2008).
  • HE Jianjun 何建军, River People 水上人家 (2008).

My translations and original writing for Danwei are available on the site’s archive under my byline. Other work includes: