Mechanics Translation belongs to the scope of science and technology translation. Thus, it has the common features of science and technology translation, such as, long sentences, lots of passive sentences, difficult and un-frequent words, hard to understand the original target, etc. Besides, it also has its own characteristics.
Mechanics English has always been involved a wide range of areas with strong professional color. It takes much care of the logic and reasoning.
Its use of vocabulary always has some common features:
Firstly, there are lots of compounding words. Sometimes, a translator cannot even find this target word in a dictionary, but it is an actual word. How should we do? Personally, I choose the way to decompose. That is to find the two or more original words before the compounding of this new word. Usually, you can find out the meaning of it. The more you do translation in mechanical, the better you will understand this way.
Secondly, there is an extensive use of the acronym (abbreviation), such as, WPF (work piece form); CAM (computer aided manufacturing), CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductors), MDF (medium density fibre board), MCB (miniature circuit breaker), and so on.
Thirdly, that is its duality, namely the polysemy. As we know, there are many words are in the case. Sometimes, we cannot make sure what’s the actual meaning of the polysemy word in this document. Even, a same word can be different meaning in the same document.
Fourthly, there are a large number of mechanical English vocabulary consists of derived words (derivation), mainly structured by the prefix. For example, “thermocouple”, it is the word “couple” being added the prefix “thermo-”.
Lastly，a lot of phrases can be found in a mechanical document. They are always seemingly easy word, but as they stand together, the meaning has changed greatly.
As a period of translator in mechanics, I’d like to talk about some points about mechanical translation as following:
Firstly, on translation method:
1. Literal translation
Most nouns can be directly translated according to the word’s original meaning and original part of speech. Nominal terminology, proper noun and abbreviations can be translated by taking paraphrase translation, and also the transliteration and pictographic translation. And regarding to the verbs, most of predicate verbs can be translated directly according to its original meaning.
2. Conversion Translation
During the mechanical English translation, some words need to be translated by conversion method. As regarding to nouns, the gerund for expressing action, abstract behavior nouns with action meaning, verb-derived nouns, etc. are often being translated to a Chinese verb according to the specific situation. Besides, to some English verbs, we need to deal with them as Chinese nouns in translation due to a kind of Chinese language using habit.
For other kind of part of speeches, such as adjectives, adverbs, preposition, etc., the translation method is nearly the same with that in others areas, being have no unique features, so I just talked about nouns and verbs here.
Secondly, some issues need to be paid attention to:
1. The terminology in the same document or manual should be translated as same, especially for those terminologies with more than one kind of translations. Otherwise, it may lead to misunderstandings. For example, “nylon” can be translated into “尼龙”，“耐纶”or “酰胺纤维”. If your choose “酰胺纤维”at the first time you translate, then you’d better do the same choice when meeting “nylon” later in the same document. But, this is not always suitable to other common nouns.
2. In mechanical translation, trademark, brand, model and letters with specific meanings are generally not to be translated, direct using of the original ones adding to the translations of common nouns. For example, “size of CDLA” can be translated into“CDLA 尺寸”.
3. Remember always to take rigorous attitude in mechanical translation. Some words are actually not the meaning of its usual use. You need to make sure this according to the context. Even, you need to adopt an extended meaning. Try your best to search those related information everywhere for those words you meet at the first time or you are not familiar with. By doing so, you can deliver a relatively well-put translation works.