I have been a translator several years. During these days, I often call to remembrance of this course from a fresh translator to skilled translator. I still can clearly remember that I felt so frustrated when I read the original text. I knew that there were two large questions for me: the first one was how to deal with long sentences; the second one was I had no knowledge of that industry.

1. How to deal with long sentences, which is still a large challenge for me even now. In my opinion, there are three steps.

1.1 Analyzing the sentence. The structure of long sentences is complex, often including several subjects and/or predicates and/or objectives and/or attributes and/or predicatives, etc. Therefore, we should analyze clearly the structure.

For example

On-line analog computers, commonly called relays, monitor these changes of conditions, make a determination of which breaker should be opened to clear the fault, and energize the trip circuits of those appropriate breakers.

Subject: On-line analog computers

Predicate: monitor, make, energize

Objective: these changes, a determination, the trip circuits

Commonly called relays, it is a past participle phrase as an attribute which modifies computer. Of + sentence or words, it is uses as an attribute which modifies nouns.

Read Also: Warnings and Tips for Fresh Translators

1.2 Translate sections one by one.

On-line analog computers: 在线模拟计算机

Commonly called relays:通常称为继电器

monitor these changes of conditions:监视这些条件的变化
make a determination of which breaker should be opened to clear the fault:确定应断开哪只断路器以清除故障

and energize the trip circuits of those appropriate breakers:并使那些合适断路器的解扣电路通电。

1.3 Write it down by our own words. Now, we have known the structure and the meaning of each section. Let’s express it by our own words and according to our Chinese habit.


There is a little change. “合适断路器” is changed to be “应该跳闸的断路器”. We make the fuzzy words become concrete, which enables reader more easily to understand the meaning.

2. In order to understand the original text and to translate it well, how can we get related professional knowledge immediately?

As a translator, we should extensively learn knowledge including IT, Medicine, law, fashion, etc. The original texts with various styles and contents will be translated.

For example, if you accept a task which is about medicine, you should consult and learn related knowledge immediately through baidu, google or other professional websites. Certainly we can open the customer’s company website if possible.

What’s more, we should pay attention to various news and even learn professional knowledge. Generally speaking, there are two ways: immediately consulting and daily learning.

Finally, I just would like to summarize that:

Please practice long sentences as more as possible.

Please extensively read articles with various style and learn various professional

knowledge. Besides, collecting useful websites or tools is also important.