Translation of Noun Clauses
1. Noun Clauses, especially that guided with anticipatory such as “that”, “when”, “where”, could be generally translated in narrative ways. However, noun clauses which guided by “what”, “how” or “whether” is much more difficult to translate. They often express concrete concepts, for example, “how things stand” is actually the meaning of “情况”， if we translated words by words as “事情是如何站着的”， it is badly wrong.. Therefore, in such kind of circumstances, we need to summarize or expand.
Let’s see some examples.
- My brother is not what he used to be.
- What was once regarded as impossible has now become a reality.
- What someone chooses to observe and the way one observes it must, after all, in part be a reflection of experience and of ideas to what is significant.
- Unlike some traditional scientific research, however, what is lost in vigor and generalizability is perhaps gained in understanding.
- While we converse with what is above us, we do not grow old, but grow young.
- The intentional termination of life of one human being by another-mercy killing-is contrary to that for which the medical profession stands and is contrary to the policy of the American Medical Association.
- It isn’t much whether he works: the question is whether he works at all.
- I wonder not whether we shall be in time for the last bus but whether we’ll be able to get the front seats.
- That’s where we differ.
- That was how they were defeated.
2 “That” clause is used to express the strong will or surprise emotion.
1. Oh, that she were there!
2. That a brother should be so perfidious!
3. That he should do such a thing!
4. That nobody was killed or even slightly injured in such a serious accident was incredible.