When translating, we always meet some sentences with ambiguous meaning or intricate structure, making you confused and hard to properly make sense of them.

For example:

Source: Movies cannot be trimmed so that they are less than 2 seconds long.

How do you understand this sentence? You may translate it as follows:

无法剪切短片以便短片长度少于 2 秒。

It looks the translation is made against the source text, but what does it mean? The target readers may have no idea about the translated text. Therefore, the translation is unacceptable. Before translating, we should correctly understand the meaning of the sentence; otherwise, you may tend to go wrong in the translation.

Now let’s return to this sentence. Its meaning shall be that “you cannot trim the movie to make them less than 2 seconds long” or “the edited movie should last for 2 seconds at least”. Therefore, the translation should be:

不能剪切短片以使得短片长度少于 2 秒。


不能将短片长度剪切至少于 2 秒。

In this way, the readers may make clear what does it mean.

Read Also: The Translation of Webpage content

For another example:

Source: After 4 years when we last thoroughly looked at our structures in the light of the integration, it is now necessary to re-look at the shape and structure of the business.

There is another sentence to hard to capture its meaning. If you have not correctly grasped its meaning, please do not attempt to translate it. Otherwise, your translation may be as follows:


Obviously, the translation is unreadable let alone correct. Please note “last thoroughly looked at” is past sense, so the sentence should be understood as “the last time when we thoroughly looked at our structures in the light of the integration is 4 years ago, so now we should re-look at the shape and structure of the business”. Then the translation is suggested to be as follows:


From the above two samples, we can conclude please nerve hastily complete your translation if you still correctly make clear its meaning.