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Accumulation Gradually in Translation

English, as a language, consists of lots of content, some of which has laws, while some of which does not have laws. Thus such much content, which does not have laws, allows us to learn and accumulate little by little.  For us Chinese people, of course other foreigners, who do not speak English as their mother language as well, always translate English by using the habits and thoughts in their language in potential consciousness, which lead to the sentences inaccurate and the native speakers are confused. Some following sentences are illustrated as examples, which our Chinese people always use them in the wrong way.

“The flat has an area of 25 square meters and there is a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen.”; “I have a surprise to give you.” In these two sentences above, using “with” to replace “and there is”, and “for” to replace “to give” make these two sentences concise and comply with the habits of English expression. The next sentence has the same fault as well: “The young man pointed to a policeman over there, explained and said, ‘He stopped us half an hour ago.’” “and said” should be deleted, because “explained” already contains the meaning of “said”.

“My brother was riding the bike and I sat on the seat behind him.” This sentence is prolix and the structure of it is loose, and usually, we use phrase to simplify subordinate clause. How about to change it to “My brother was riding the bike with me sitting on the seat behind”, which makes the sentence concise.

“The flat is in a building on Church Street. It is not far from Mario Primary School.” We combine the two relevant sentences together with conjunction, which makes the sentence concise with compressed structure. So, being compressed, the sentence would be “The flat is in a building on Church Street, which is not far from Mario Primary School.”

Try to use different ways in the beginning of a sentence, and, to avoid always use the traditional sentence structure, with subject, predicate, object and followed by adverbial. Take the following sentence for example, “we met at the school gate and went there together early in the morning”. Being edited, the sentence is “Early in the morning we met at the school gate and went there together.” With the change of structure, the sentence reads more vividly.

There is a good method to make the structures and meanings of sentences more concise and clear by using topic sentence to lead relevant sentences. Take the following text for instance.

“Now more and more families have their own cars. It has advantages. It is very convenient for … go to work … to school. On holidays … travel to some place … far away. The car industry is developing rapidly … the economy in China is developing rapidly too. But a lot of problems are coming about. Traffic … heavier and heavier … more pollution.”In this paragraph, the two topic sentences “It has advantages” and “a lot of problems are coming about” lead the following sentences, following sentence to explain specifically.

There is a tricky sentence, which lots of people do not realize it’s a wrong sentence with the meaning expressed incorrect. “The English lessons that Miss Wang taught us were lively and interesting.” In the sentence, “teach sb. a lesson” refers to instruct others when they have done something wrong. Thus, “taught” would be replaced with “gave”, which allows the sentence to make sense.

As illustrated above, many usages do not have laws in English translation and expression. Therefore, accumulation little by little will be needed to make our translation more fluent.

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