Article translation

Article belongs to functional words, which could not be used separately and only be attached to the nouns or noun phrases with modification function. We should pay attention to the articles during translaiton. There are two kinds for article: definite article like “the” and indefinite article like “a” and “an”. Definite articles have the meaning of specified, while the other one is opposite, making a general reference. However, there are no articles in Chinese. So we should pay attention to the article translation according to the context.

As to “the”, “a” and “an”, there are different Chinese words matching the English words. For examples:

This is the agricultural university I mentioned.


I liked the children’s performances.


The audience loved the music of the film very much.


The formula of a compound tells us the composition of the compound.


Let’s make an analysis of the current situation


It is a pleasure to talk with you.


Marble is a precious stone


Besides, there are specific Chinese words for the article “a”. Let us look some examples:

a chain of thought—一连串想法

a blanket of snow—一片白雪

a coat of paint—一层油漆

a fit of anger—一阵发怒

a herd of horses—一群马

a piece of advice—一个忠告

a plot of land—一小块地

a sheet of skin—一张皮

a wisp of smoke—一缕轻烟

a shower of criticism—一阵批评

For definite article “the”, it could be used to express the emphasis function. So for some words it is translated as the meaning of “the most”. For example:

This is the word to be used here.


This is the life for me.


John is the man for this task


Sometimes, articles are omitted when they are used in the specific words, proper names or the words which refers to the words of the same category. For example:

The People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949.


The First World War was from 1914 to 1918.


We must have faith in the masses.


War is the continuation of politics.


I think it a great honor to be invited to your company.



Words translated by CCJK


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