Unnecessary Nouns in Chinese-English Translation
Most unnecessary nouns in Chinglish appear not alone but in short phrases, combined with articles and prepositions. when you eliminate the nouns, you must eliminate the articles and prepositioins as well.
Many of these nouns are easy to recognize. They are plainly redundant beacause their sense is already included or implied in some other element of the sentence.
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Here are a few examples (A) with suggested revisions(B)and comments in brackets.
A: to accelerate the pace of economic reform
B: to accelerate economic reform
[to accelerate= to increase the peace of ]
A: there have been good harvests in agriculture
B: there have been good havrests
[Harvests implies agriculture: there are no harvests in industry.]
A: living standards for the people in both urban and rural areas continued to rise.
B: Living standards in both urban and rural areas continued to rise
[The notion of living standards applies only to people.]
A: these hardships are temporary in nature
B: these hardships are temporary
[Any adjective describes the nature or character of the noun it modifies. To say that hardships are temporary in nature is like saying that the Chinese flag is red in color or that pandas are few in number.]
A: the development of our economy in the future will, to a large extent, depend on …
B: the development of our economy will depend to a large extent on …
[The future tense of the verb (will depend)is sufficient to express futurity.]
A: we should adopt a series of measures to ensure that
B: we should adopt measures to ensure that
[Here the plural form of measures covers the sense of a series.]
Other unnessary nouns may be less easy to identify. Nevertheless, a little thought will reveal that they add nothing to the meaning of the sentence. When they are deleted the sense is not diminished, only clarified. Some examples:
A: following the realization of mechanization and electrification of agriculture
B: following the mechanization and electrification of agriculture
A: it is essential to strengthen the building of national defense
B: it is essential to strengthen national defense
A: at that time the situation in northeast China was still on where the enemy was stronger than the people’s forces
B: at that time the enemy will stronger than the people’s forces in northest China
[Situation is particularly dangerous noun. Not only is it generally unnessary, but it drags other unnecessary elements after it .]
A: the key to the solution lies in the curtailment of expenditure
B: the solution is to curtail expenditure
[Key is sometimes useful, but usually it too can be dispensed with. ]
A: inner-Party democracy is a subject that has been discussed in detail
B: inner-Party democarcy has been discussed in detail.
Read Also: Translations of Some Chinese Idioms (3)
There is one type of noun that deserves special mention, because it is the commonest unnecessary word in Chinglish. This is the general noun that serves only to introduce a specific noun to follow: “a serious mistake in the work of planning.”
In such constructions, the first noun announces the category of the second, in the case, it tells readers that “planning” falls into the category of “work.” That is something they already know. Accordingly , the first noun should be deleted: ” a serious mistake in planning.” Whatever function the category noun serves in Chinese, in English it is generally useless. All it add to the sentence is weight without substance.
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