Adam T. Kessler

Freelance Chinese Translator & Artist

Location:Los Angeles, California, United States
2 Skills
I am an independent scholar who has specialized in the history and archaeology of northern China. I began studying Chinese over 30 years ago at the Stanford Center on the Taida (?? or the National Taiwan University [NTU] ??????) campus in Taipei, Taiwan. I was enrolled there for over 3-1/2 years; I also took history classes at the University, passing written exams in Chinese.

In 1985 I returned to the US and completed a Ph.D. at UCLA in 1989. I studied the origins of Chinese civilization, specializing in the archaeology of the Xia Dynasty (?? [[2070-1600 BC]). I am a paleographer interpreting the Shang Dynasty's Oracle Bone Inscriptions (??) as well as other pre-Qin Dynasty forms of writing and texts. I have read hundreds of modern Chinese scholarly articles on the subject – and translated many passages related to my Dissertation.

In the 1990’s I worked for the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, where I created the exhibition of archaeological treasures from China’s Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region: EMPIRES BEYOND THE GREAT WALL: THE HERITAGE OF GENGHIS KHAN. It toured for more than 3-1.2 years in the US, Canada, and New Zealand and was visited by more than a million people. Over 20,000 copies of my research catalog have been sold. [For information on the catalog, cf.].
In order to bring the exhibition to fruition, I negotiated and composed the contract in Chinese with the government’s Department of Culture as well as the contracts with 9 museums in Inner Mongolia. On numerous occasions I acted as interpreter at government meetings for the Los Angeles County Supervisors who accompanied the museum staff on our trips. In fact, in the late 1990’s I assisted the Los Angeles County Protocol Office to obtain an (unscheduled) appointment for the LA County supervisors with China’s president Jiang Zemin (???) when he visited LA. When the Empires exhibition traveled to the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, I helped organize an economic conference through the Tennessee Governor’s office that was attended by 26 delegates from Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi province. I translated all the Chinese abstracts of their papers. I also delivered the keynote speech in English and Chinese to the conference.

Since 2000 I have worked in various capacities as an interpreter and guide for Chinese delegations visiting LA. I have been asked to correct and edit materials translated from Chinese into English. Also, my SONG BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN ON THE SILK ROAD was published in 2012 by the great E.J.Brill Press of Leiden, Netherlands. The book is based my archaeological field work in Inner Mongolia in the 1990’s [cf.:
(cf. As with my Doctoral. dissertation, I read hundreds of Chinese classical texts and modern articles, abstracting and translating necessary passages.

To summarize, I am experienced in the translation and interpretation of Chinese in a variety of contexts. I can say that I possess the skills to research and translate Chinese written on other subjects, even those professionally unfamiliar. Most important, I can render my translation in clear and readable English.
Skills (2) Rating
Chinese Translation