Long sentence translation skills
Anyone engaged in translation surrounded by a kind of feeling: do not fond of translating long sentences of professional English cause of so many sentence elements and subordinate clauses need to be processed. How to handle them correctly is really a big headache to us.
So if wanna be good at translating long sentences, we must equipped ourselves with one strong ability—analyzing sentence from grammatical structure level, changing complex sentence into simple meaning group, catching out the main idea, thus the fluent translation will no longer be a difficult issue.
In fact, although some English sentences are quite long, but they are expanded from the basic structure. No matter how complicated of the long sentences, they should follow grammar rules in syntax and once grammatical structure was analyzed and understood, that means any long sentences could be translated correctly and smoothly.
Therefore, translating long sentences of professional English, first to figure out sentence structure (Whether is it a simple sentence, a compound sentence or a complex sentence); then to find out the main constitution of the sentence, such as subject and predicate verb; To distinguish the object, adverbial modifier, predicative, supplementary clauses of the object and the attribute.
Last but the most important was to locate the logical relationship between each individual part and the intrinsic meaning of the subject with each clause. Such analysis method which based on grammatical structure was extremely necessary while translating long sentence of professional English.
Taking two examples for better illustration;
Nevertheless，knowledge of the cancers is advancing in such way that it seems likely that some definite control may be achieved in the fairly near future；but only if research and application of research on cancer are carried out in a far more vigorous，orderly and scientific way than they are at present.
Analysis mentality as below：
1. Semicolon occurred after “future” in above long sentence, that means till now it’s still a relatively independent unit of thought. Sentence structure of this part should be made clear and understood from the beginning.
2. In this part, from “knowledge to in such way” is the main clause, followed by the adverbial clause guided by “that”, and associated with “such” in front which stand for a kind of result.
3. In the sentence, “it” was a form subject, the adverbial clause guided by the second “that” was the real subject. Thus, clearly analyzing and understanding the two adverbial clauses guided by “that” before the semicolon means translating this part was a piece of cake.
4. Further reviewed the second part of the sentence. “But” after the semicolon connecting two parallel narrative parts, and the post narrative part which guided by “but” is actually a subordinative Compound sentence. “Only if … “was just a clause, the main clause was actually been omitted. If need to fulfill the clause, then it should be “some definite control may be achieved in the fairly near future.”
5. In addition, the clause which guided by “if” also included an adverbial clause of comparison which guided by “than”. Such comparison clause guided by “than” frequently to be omitted sentence and the whole complete sentence should be “than the way they are carried out at present”.
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She recalled faintly an ecstasy of pain，the heavy odor of chloroform，a stupor which had deadened sensation，and an awakening to find a little new life to which she had given being，added to the great unnumbered multitude of souls that come and go.
Analysis Mentality: The structure of this long sentence was quite complicated, because four objects followed after predicate verb “recalled”; And the third object also contains an attributive clause while the fourth object contains two attributive clauses: “to which she had given being” and “added to the great….”. If comprehended the whole sentence structure from grammatical level, the meaning of this sentence was tend to be clear and easy to be translated.
If we hope to achieve great breakthrough in long sentence translation, strengthen more practice and accustomed to analyzing grammatical structure of long sentences; It will definitely facilitate our translation skill and efficiency.
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