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Generalization and Specification

Generalization (概略化, or 化实为虚) and specification (具体化, or 化虚为实) are two translation strategies, which are frequently adopted, due to the big difference between Chinese and English. According to the context, we need to extract the real and essential meaning instead of translating it literally. Generalization is to translate the into the concrete (具体) words in English into the abstract (抽象) words in Chinese. Specification is the contrary. Generalization 1. If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him; an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. 倾己所有追求知识,无人能将其夺走;投资于知识,收益最佳。 concrete - abstract(purse—金钱   head---知识) 2. The bottle is boiling. 壶里的水开了。 Here if we translate the "bottle" into "壶" instead of "壶力的水", we would be laughed at. The Chinese would mean the bottle is opened. What a big mistake! 3. That man is always chasing after skirts. 那个男的总在不断地追求女人。 4.  I’m a child in these matters. 对于此事我毫无经验。 5. There were times when emigration bottleneck was extremely rigid and nobody was allowed to leave the country out of his personal preference. 曾有一段时间,对移民国外的限制非常严格,任何人均不得以个人理由出国。 "bottleneck" in the sentence means "瓶颈". If it is the translation we use, we can not concey the exact meaning of the sentence. Then we should generalize it into "限制".  It is perfect. (英语具体,汉语概括) 6. The emergence of the peoples of the third world and their struggle for identity will lead to the flowering of diverse concepts of life in the future. 第三世界人民的兴起以及他们为争取合法地位而进行的斗争将丰富未来生活的各种观念。  7.  Since then, our relations based on the anti-imperialist struggle have blossomed and have been diversified and considerably reinforced. 从那时起,我们之间建立在反帝斗争基础上的关系便有了大的发展,而且还是多方面的发展,同时也得到了极大的加强。 Specification 1. Marketing involves product development, pricing, distribution, and communication; and in the more progressive firms, it further involves continuous attention to the changing needs of customers and the development of new products, with product modifications and services to meet these needs. 营销包括产品开发、定价、推销和产品信息交流;在那些观念较新的企业里,营销还包括关注客户需求的不断变化、不断开发新产品,并且不断地改进产品、改进服务,以满足客户的要求。 Here the "communication" is translated into "产品信息交流", of which "产品信息" comes from the context. We can see now, only the thorough understanding of the whole text can we nuture the beautiful translation. 2.  I say this because of the bleak consensus , albeit only among some in the West, about the future. 我之所以这样说,是因为即便是在一些西方人士中间也普遍存在着一种对人类前途的悲观看法。 3. No one will deny that what we have been able to do in the past five years is especially striking in view of the crisis which we inherited from the previous government. version (1) : 考虑到上届政府遗留下来的危机,我们在过去五年里所能取得的成绩是尤其显著,这是没有人可以否认的。 version (2): 无人可以否认,我们在过去五年里所取得的成绩尤为显著,特别是当他考虑到上届政府给我们留下怎样一副烂摊子的时候。 The version 1 just translate the "crisis" into its literal meaning. And it is right and correct. But let's see the version 2. "怎样一副烂摊子" can vividly and precisely conveys the speaker's emotion. Therefore specification is neccessary. 4.  In line with latest trends in fashion, a few dress designers have been sacrificing elegance to audacity. 有些时装设计师为了赶时髦,舍弃了典雅精致的式样,而一味追求袒胸露体的奇装异服。 5. Internet promises to reshape our lives and our world. 互联网重塑我们的生活和世界。 6. He managed to carry the heavy suitcase into the house alone. 他好不容易一个人把那只很重的箱子搬进了屋。 7. The EEC’s Common Agricultural policy is a dinosaur which is adding £13.50 a week to the food bill of the average British family. 欧洲经济共同体的农业共同政策早已不合时宜了,它要使英国家庭平均每周在食品开销上多支出13.50英镑。

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