Chinese and English, these two languages, have vast difference in expressions. Among them, the voice is obviously arresting. In Chinese, the active voice is preferred. Yet in English, they tend to apply passive voice instead. Therefore, translators should pay some attention on this aspect in order to produce the smooth, idiomatic works.

I collected some examples to shed some light on it, in hope of helping us improve the translation skills.

1. We are kept strong and well by clean air.



The first version is translated literally. The voice is consistent. Yet, it is an aweful translation and the Chinese people would feel very confused at hearing this sentence. Then the conversion of voice asserts itself here.

2. His dismissal turned out to be a blessing in disguise.


3. Other cases will also be discussed later.


4. If the water is heated, the molecules move more quickly.


5. Visitors are requested to leave their coats in the cloakroom.


6. Your inquiries for all types of electric goods would be appreciated.


7. We expect that the delivery will be effected at your earliest convenience.


8. The goods are urgently needed. Prompt shipment will be appreciated.


9. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.


The above sentences are converted into active voice while translating, which makes them native to us, Chinese people. When we come into some sentences of passive voice, it would be the right approach to make it converted.

In addition, the clause “It” are the commonly seen phenomemon that needs conversion of voice.

It is generally accepted that…


It is alleged that…


It is believed that…


It can not be denied that…