Translation of Noun Clauses

1. Noun Clauses, especially that guided with anticipatory such as “that”, “when”, “where”, could be generally translated in narrative ways. However, noun clauses which guided by “what”, “how” or “whether” is much more difficult to translate.

They often express concrete concepts, for example, “how things stand” is actually the meaning of “情况”, if we translated words by words as “事情是如何站着的”, it is badly wrong.. Therefore, in such kind of circumstances, we need to summarize or expand.

Let’s see some examples.

  1. My brother is not what he used to be.

Translation: 我弟弟不是他从前的那个样子了。或:我弟弟变了。

  1. What was once regarded as impossible has now become a reality.

Translation: 过去认为不可能/办不到的事现已变成了现实。

  1. What someone chooses to observe and the way one observes it must, after all, in part be a reflection of experience and of ideas to what is significant.

Translation: 某个人选择观察的事物及其观察的方式在某种程度上必须反映这个人的经历和他关于重大事件的想法。

  1. Unlike some traditional scientific research, however, what is lost in vigor and generalizability is perhaps gained in understanding.

Translation: 但是,与某种传统科学研究不同,在严密性和概括能力方面失去的东西或许会在认识过程中又失而复得。

  1. While we converse with what is above us, we do not grow old, but grow young.

Translation: 与高于自己的思想进行交流,人不会变得年老,只会变得年轻。

  1. The intentional termination of life of one human being by another-mercy killing-is contrary to that for which the medical profession stands and is contrary to the policy of the American Medical Association.

Translation: 有意识地去结束另一个人的生命——即安乐死术——既违反医学界的立场,也违反美国医学协会的宗旨。

  1. It isn’t much whether he works: the question is whether he works at all.

Translation: 他干多少并不重要,问题是他到底有没有干。

  1. I wonder not whether we shall be in time for the last bus but whether we’ll be able to get the front seats.

Translation: 我知道我们赶上最后一趟公共汽车是没有问题的,但不知能否有靠前的座位。

1. That’s where we differ.

Translation: 这是我们的分歧所在。

1. That was how they were defeated.

Translation: 他们就是这样给打败的。

2 “That” clause is used to express the strong will or surprise emotion.

1. Oh, that she were there!

Translation: 她要是在那里该有多好!

2. That a brother should be so perfidious!

Translation: 一个作兄弟的人居然如此不义!

3. That he should do such a thing!

Translation: 他竟会干出这种事来!

4. That nobody was killed or even slightly injured in such a serious accident was incredible.

Translation: 如此严重的事故竟然无一人伤亡,(这)真叫人难以置信。

Read Also: Contrast Analysis on Translation version and Edited Version I