Imperative Sentences in C-E Translation

We always come across such Chinese sentences like that, they do not have a subject. In a recent translation practice, I see a sentence like this “如升级过程中网络断开,此时先不用重启网络录播服务器,而是等待网络恢复后,重新升级软件,并确认升级成功。”.

It is obviously, this sentence does not provide a clear subject, it gives advice and instructions. For this kind of sentence, we often easily think of using the passive voice to translate it. It is also not difficult to know the subject is “you”.

So at last I chose to add the  implied subject for it and translate it as “If the network is disconnected in the upgrade process, you can restart the RSS (Recording Steaming Server) and upgrade the software after the network connection restores, and then you can confirm that the upgrade is successfully completed .

” Sometimes, it is necessary to add a subject to a sentence to clearly express the meaning in English-Chinese translation. But in this instance, if you delete the subject “you” and translate it as “If the network is disconnected in the upgrade process, restart the RSS (Recording Steaming Server) and upgrade the software after the network connection restores, and then confirm that the upgrade is successfully completed.”

Will you find that the meaning of the sentence is clearly expressed while the sentence is much concise and clear? That is the charm of imperative sentences when dealing with this kind of scientific translation.

Generally, imperative sentencens are short and simple, they often issue a request, express a wish, give a command or provide a suggestion through concise and clear words. Let us take the advertising English as an example.

Advertising English is practical and has its own special features. The purpose of this kind of English is to attract the consumers and allow them to quickly accept and remember the information it conveyed.

And advertising as a specific form of language communication, there is no affiliation between the two parties of communication. The advertisement does not have the right to issue an order to the consumer, nor does it have the tendency to use a commanding tone to ask the consumer to buy some products or accept services.

Though the imperative sentences imply command to some extent, but they convey request more if properly used. Because of these reasons, advertising English frequently adopt imperative sentences. Here is one example,

Revive! Use it in the bath or shower to feel fresh all over.

This is an advertisement for women’s bath soap. In this sentence, the word “revise” makes a request, and words “bath” and “shower” express the nature of the product, while “feel fresh all over” describe the product’s effect and attract the consumers’ eyes. This imperative sentence use simple and concise words to convey information clearyly, without redundancy.

Read Also: The translations of “I love you” from Zhenhuan, Master Asia and Tang Priest

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