VIVIDNESS IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Beside of translating the basic meaning of words, we shall also fetch its weight, emotion, circumstance and the special atmosphere it includes.
These are some examples:
Translation: After all, he survived the press conference.
Analysis: “survive” in this sentence is really a dot here, it completely express his passive even verlegenheit state in the press conference, however, “deal with” can harvest such kind of effect here.
Translation: The garden is carpeted with a mess of multicolored flowers.
Analysis: “be carpeted with” is much better here compared with “be covered with”.
Translation: His son was only knee-high to a grasshopper.
Analysis: “knee-high to a grasshopper” is lively and vivid. It’s so plain when translating into “only a little boy”.
Translation: Buses provide easy access to the Great Wall.
Analysis: “提供方便” can also be translated into “provide convenience for”, but it is less vivid than “easy access to”.
Translation: Defying the pistols pointed at him by some plain-clothes men of the KMT, Wen Yiduo rose to his full height and smote the table.
Analysis: If “拍案而起” is translated into “stand up and clapped the table”, it can’t express Mr. Wen’s uphold justice.
Translation: “Why back home so late? What did you do somewhere?” demanded his wife. “Do I understand you want to hamper my freedom of action?” he retorted.
Analysis: “demand” and “retort” express the air of tension with husband and wife feeling estranged, it is less good if we choose “ask”, “said” and “answer” instead.
Translation: In our studies, we should help each other forward.
Analysis: In Chinese, the same word can be used in various kinds of situations, but in English, we shall use different words to express the meanings of the same word.
Take “促进” as an example:
Translation: We should promote unity by furthering mutual understanding.
The aim of a university should be the advancement of learning.
This policy will fuel economic growth.
Hard work is the main accelerator in his successful career.
From those example sentences above, we can see how important vividness is in English translation. One or two nice words can greatly promote the expression level in the subtle.
Thus, we should firstly figure out the exact meaning of Chinese, then choose the right word, and express in English in the right way and manner. That really matters.