To improve the readability of translation is to make the rendition as clear, smooth and idiomatic as possible. Translation is used as an important tool to communicate all over the world since its existence. If the target readers could not catch what the original texts conveys, all of your efforts would end up in vain. While speaking of translation criterion, no one would fail to memtion Yan Fu’s “faithfulness, expressiveness and elegance”.

In my opinion, the first priority falls on the first criterion “faithfulness”. Only when the translator fully translates the author’s meaning can he/she really finishes the job. Yet, just finishing the job does not mean living up to the readers’ expectation.

Then comes to the “expressiveness”. To me, it is close to improving the readability of translation. The readers can get the essential meaning of what the author tries to express easily. They would not feel difficult and hard to read the translated texts, which finally achieves the aim of translation.

The third standard is also necessary, however, it is too hard to meet. It demands that the translators have a good command of both languages and literary talents. For most of us, it is our duty to meet the first two criterions, and our success to get to the top.

The above is on how to improve the readability of translation during the process. Here I want to memtion something we can do after the translation, that is, to modify and polish. And I found some examples to shed some light on this point.

Read Also: Make Your Translation More Readable (1)


They bought newspapers to read about the lives of their favorite stars.

Original: 他们买报纸来看有关他们的喜爱的明星的生活的报道。

Modified: 人们买来报纸,了解自己最喜爱的明星们的生活


The movie business started about 1911 and grew fast.

Original: 电影业大约开始于1911年并且以迅猛的发展速度。

Modified: 电影业始于1911年前后,并随之迅猛发展。


The dirty old house is an offense to everyone who lives in the street.

Original: 那座很脏的老房子是对所有的住在那条街上的人们的冒犯。

Modified: 那座老房子很脏,住在那条街上的人都很讨厌它。


Over the years, tools and technology themselves as a source of fundamental innovation have largely been ignored by historians and philosophers of science.

Original: 本身作为根本创新源泉的工具和技术多年以来很大程度上被历史学家和科学思想家们忽视了。

Modified: 多年来,作为根本性创新源泉的工具和技术本身,其很大程度上为史学家和科学思想家们所忽略。


Galileo’s greatest glory was that in 1609 he was the first person to turn the newly invented telescope on the heavens to prove that the planets revolve around the sun rather than around the Earth.

Original: 伽利略的最伟大的光辉是1609年的时候他成了用新发明的望远镜来观察天空以便证实行星是围绕太阳转的而不是围绕地球转的第一人。

Modified: 伽利略最伟大的成就在于:在1609年,他是第一个用新发明的望远镜来观察天空的人,以便证实行星围绕太阳旋转而非围绕地球旋转。


In fact, it is difficult to see how journalists who do not have a clear grasp of the basic features of the Canadian Constitution can do a competent job on political stories.

Original: 事实上,要想明白那些没有清晰领会加拿大宪法的基本特征的新闻记者如何能够胜任政治新闻报道工作非常困难。

Modified: 事实上,我们难以想象:那些对加拿大宪法基本特征没有清晰领会的记者们,他们如何能够胜任政治新闻的报道工作。