Some Thoughts in C-E Translation
In Chinese to English translation, the most important factor is how to use the English knowledge we have already learnt, to express thoroughly understood Chinese in smooth and exact English. When dealing with Chinese-English translation, there seems to be little difficult in understanding the meaning of Chinese sentences. Thus the challenge falls on the expression of English. We will discuss the following aspects in this article.
1. The capability of English is the key factor:
In Chinese to English translation, English translation is the output delivering to the target readers. This requires translators are with deep understanding of English, from grammar to syntax, from word choosing to expressing style. Correct spelling, suitable tense, proper sentences can make your translation smooth and seem like mother tongue expression. Style settles the foundation of your translation. If your works are obscure and hard to understand, plain readers may find it tedious and beyond their apprehension. On the contrary, if your expression is too plain and common in professional literature, they may think you are not that professional and are lack of persuasion.
2. Practice C-E translation in ordinary methods:
Translation is kind of recreation of the meaning, spirit, emotion. It could waste even more time and energy than writing. Writers are initiative; they can discover ideas for themselves. While translators are limited by the original material; they need to try to figure out the original writers’ meaning instead of do as their own will. In order to improve English-Chinese translation skills, only reading translation theory and skill guides are not enough. Also need to do a lot of practice.
3. Reader targeted and Service Consciousness:
Here, we want to emphasis a point of view: yes, translation is a kind of knowledge. But in market economy, translation a kind of service at first. During translation, translators should provide good service to two customers: one is the original writer; the other is target reader of translation. Translator must be faithful to original writer, no matter you agree with their opinion or not. Remember that, you are just translation not creation! Also, you need to keep target readers’ comprehensive ability in mind, rather than to show off your Literary Talent.
4. How to make good Chinese to English translation:
Translation is far more than boundary science. It can be related to any kind of specialty: natural science, social science, astronomical geography, people in all walks of life, local conditions and customs, culture and entertainment, food and clothing, prose, poetry, almost everything you can name. Thus, in some degree, we can say that translators are Jaekofalltrades.
We cannot depend on toolbook. Such kind of books is always concerning ordinary principles and use almost similar examples. Even through there are many kinds of books in English to Chinese translation theory and practice, it can not solve specific issues.
Use various translations for one single word and expression diversification. Translator need to comprehend specific context and choose proper expression in English accordingly. Such as 会见, we can translate it into talk with, meet with, discuss with, or speak on/at, etc. When you can choose best words in certain situation, you can go a step further: to make your expression flexible and various. That is expression diversification. For example, you can use different sentence structure, different grammatical voice, combine literal translation and free translation. All of these can make your translation distinctive and attractive.
Also, professional knowledge is quite important. Concerning plant, 传输系统 cannot be translated into transportation (indicating transportation), or transmission system (indicating electricity or communication). Rather, it should be translated into conveyor or conveyance system.
After finishing translation, proofread it thoroughly and polish it up. Make sure there is no spelling mistake. The syntax and grammar are correct. And your expression in English can convey the original meaning in Chinese. This can make your translation strive for further improvement.
From the above we can see, C-E translation is a process of learning and practicing. Read more, think more. Wish you success in C-E translation.
Read Also: Case Study – Chinese Proofreading
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