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The Difference between English and Chinese in Translation

There are many differences between English and Chinese translation. Here are some examples to describe some of differences. Example 1. They told me that Professor Liu would have been teaching here for twenty years by this winter. Translation: 他们说到今年冬天时刘教授在这里教书要满二十年了。 Analysis: "They told me" can be translated as “他们说”,also as “我听他们说”,“他们告诉我”. “Would have been teaching here for twenty years” is past future perfect continuous tense, thus can be translated as “要满二十年了”. Example 2. Oxford is much smaller in numbers, for example, than the State University of Minnesota, and is much poorer. It has, or had till yesterday, fewer students than the University of Toronto. Translation: 例如,牛津大学在校学生数比明尼苏达州立大学要少多了,也穷多了。牛津大学的在校学生数无论现在还是过去都比多伦多大学少。 Analysis: When translating “has or had”, we added “现在" and “过去” respectively, while "till yesterday” has been omitted. Example 3. His being neglected by the host added to his uneasiness. Translation: 主人对他的冷淡使他更加不舒服。  Analysis: we can add some words to describe the passive tense, past tense in English. Example 4. I could have laughed to hear him talk like this. Translation: 听到他这样讲话,我差点笑出来了。 Analysis: “差点” is used very skillfully here. Example 5. Bob Newhart’s popularity as an actor and stand-up comedian led to his casting in a number of motion pictures, with some of the biggest film stars in Hollywood, and of course, as the cartoon voice of Bernard the mouse. Translation: 作为演员和笑星,鲍勃•纽哈特人气颇旺。这使他有机会同好莱坞最著名的演员一起拍摄了多部影片,当然,他还为卡通片中的老鼠“伯纳德”配过音。 Analysis: There is only a verb in English, that is “led to”, but in Chinese, we use a series of verbs for describing. Example 6. They walked with umbrella up a winding mountain path on a drizzling and windy autumn afternoon for a visit to a friend living in seclusion. Translation: 这是一个秋天的下午。细雨淅沥,秋风瑟瑟。他们撑着雨伞,攀沿一个弯曲的山间小道去拜访一位隐居在深山的朋友。 Analysis: There are seven verbs in Chinese, but in English, only a verb was used.

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