Natural-Flow Translation and Inverted Translation
A. Natural-Flow Translation
Generally speaking, when long sentence syntactic structure and logic sequence is largely in accordance with the sequence of Chinese expression we can translate word by word into Chinese according to the original order, successive translated into Chinese. Of course, what we call sequent translating does not refer to translating every word strictly abiding by its original order but to try your utmost to keep the original order and structure with the precondition that it is not against the Chinese idiomatic expression. For example:
During the high energy period of a physical biorhythm we are more resistant to illness, better coordinated and more energetic; during the low energy period we are less resistant to illness, less well coordinated and tired more easily.
The passage is a coordinate sentence containing two sub-clauses, the meaning order of which mainly conforms to that of Chinese logic. To translate it in light of the sequence accords with Chinese syntax featured by smooth, clearance and accuracy. Some appropriate modifiers could be added in the course of translating to make the version more coherent, clear and accurate.
The original sentence expresses the familiar logic relationship with Chinese thinking, and it is arranged in the sequence of condition, then it is advisable to translate the sentence in original sequence even though it sometimes may contain embedded clauses. This way embodies author’s thinking without any change. Therefore the translation can be in agreement with original order.
B. Inverted Translation
Because of the syntactic structure disparities between English and Chinese, the order of some long English sentences are usually different from the Chinese, sometimes even reversed. Here cites a conspicuous example, “the position of English attributive and adverbial is more flexible than that of Chinese”.5 Adverbial clause that expresses the time, place, reason, condition, and way is often on the back of the main clause, in the meanwhile there are a lot of rear attributive and subjective clauses. However the orders of these structures are relatively stable in Chinese. In a whole they are narrated on the basis of the time order, reason clause is often in front of result clause, and secondary content usually appear before the main content. Therefore, when the descriptive sequence of long EST sentence is contrary to that of Chinese logical expression, it is expected to be translated from the back of the sentence, reversing the original order. For example:
Scientists are learning a great deal about how the large plates in the earth’s crust move, the stresses between plates, how earthquakes work, and the general probability that given place will have an earthquake, although they still cannot predict earthquakes.
The main clause of the original sentence is “scientists are learning a great deal”, followed by four coordinate objects, among which there are two object clauses led by “how”, two noun clauses and one adverbial clause of concession. According to the Chinese habits of narration the concession adverbial clause are supposed to be firstly translated, secondly the four coordinate clause, placing the objects that modified by the attributive clause in the rear of another 3 objects, lastly the main clause. This kind of translation conforms to Chinese habitual order, “putting the main information in the back of the group sentences”.6
According to Chinese habitual expression and logical thinking patterns, the concession adverbial clause is more often than not, placed in the beginning of one sentence. Therefore “although they still cannot predict earthquakes” is firstly translated, following with the four “coordinate objects”.