Natural-Flow Translation and Inverted Translation

A. Natural-Flow Translation:

Generally speaking, when long sentence syntactic structure and logic sequence are largely in accordance with the sequence of Chinese expression we can translate word by word into Chinese according to the original order, successive translated into Chinese. Of course, what we call sequent translating does not refer to translating every word strictly abiding by its original order but to trying your utmost to keep the original order and structure with the precondition that it is not against the Chinese idiomatic expression.

For Example:

During the high-energy period of a physical biorhythm, we are more resistant to illness, better coordinated and more energetic; during the low-energy period, we are less resistant to illness, less well coordinated and tired more easily. The passage is a coordinate sentence containing two subclauses, the meaning order of which mainly conforms to that of Chinese logic. To translate it in light of the sequence accords with Chinese syntax featured by smooth, clear and accurate. Some appropriate modifiers could be added in the course of translating to make the version more coherent, clear and accurate.

Translation: 当身体的生理节奏处于高能期的时候,我们的抗病力较强,身体各部分更加协调一致,精力更旺盛;处于低能期的时候,我们的抗病力较弱,身体各部分不太协调一致,而且更容易疲劳当身体的生理节奏处于高能期的时候,我们的抗病力较强,身体各部分更加协调一致,精力更旺盛;处于低能期的时候,我们的抗病力较弱,身体各部分不太协调一致,而且更容易疲劳。

The original sentence expresses the familiar logical relationship with Chinese thinking, and it is arranged in the sequence of conditions, then it is advisable to translate the sentence in the original sequence even though it sometimes may contain embedded clauses. This way embodies the author’s thinking without any change. Therefore the translation can be in agreement with the original order.

B. Inverted Translation:

Because of the syntactic structure disparities between English and Chinese, the order of some long English sentences is usually different from the Chinese, sometimes even reversed. Here cites a conspicuous example,

“the position of English attributive and adverbial is more flexible than that of Chinese”.

5 Adverbial clause that expresses the time, place, reason, condition, and way is often on the back of the main clause, in the meanwhile there are a lot of rear attributive and subjective clauses. However, the orders of these structures are relatively stable in Chinese.

On the whole, they are narrated on the basis of the time order, the reason clause is often in front of the result clause, and secondary content usually appears before the main content. Therefore, when the descriptive sequence of a long EST sentence is contrary to that of a Chinese logical expression, it is expected to be translated from the back of the sentence, reversing the original order.

For Example:

Scientists are learning a great deal about how the large plates in the earth’s crust move, the stresses between plates, how earthquakes work, and the general probability that a given place will have an earthquake, although they still cannot predict earthquakes. The main clause of the original sentence is “scientists are learning a great deal”, followed by four coordinate objects, among which there are two object clauses led by “how”, two noun clauses and one adverbial clause of concession.

According to the Chinese habits of narration the concession adverbial clause is supposed to be first translated, secondly, the four coordinate clauses, placing the objects that are modified by the attributive clause in the rear of another 3 objects, and lastly the main clause. This kind of translation conforms to Chinese habitual order, “putting the main information in the back of the group sentences”.

Translation: 管科学家仍不能预测地震,但对地壳中的大板块如何运动、板块间的压力大小如何、地震如何发生、特定地区发生地震的概率为多少,他们了解得越来越多。

According to Chinese habitual expression and logical thinking patterns, the concession adverbial clause is more often than not, placed at the beginning of one sentence. Therefore “although they still cannot predict earthquakes” is first translated, followed by the four “coordinate objects”.

Read Also:

  1. Standards of EST Translation
  2. 10 Fun Facts About Chinese Language and Culture
  3. Best Chinese Game Translation Practices
  4. How to Improve Your Language Learning Skills

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