Definition of work conversion

The word conversion refers to converse a word class in English into another word class in Chinese.The root cause for this phenomenon lies in the great difference between expression ways in English and Chinese. During translation, translators shall convert word class in accordance to the expressions in Chinese

Necessarity of Word Class Conversion

Through the conversion of world class, translators can correctly convey the meaning of original text and make the translation natural and smooth.

For example:

This watch never varies more than a second in a month.

这块表一个月的误差从不超过一秒. (verb to noun)

Families upstairs have to carry pails to the hydrant downstairs for water.

住在楼上的人家得提着水桶去楼下的水龙头打水。(preposition to verb)

Humans are thoughtful and creative, possessed of insatiable curiosity.

人类善于思考,富于创造,充满求知欲。(adjective to verbal phrase)

According to statistics, in an excellent translations, the sentences translated using word class conversion can account for about 1/3 to 1/2. Therefore, the conversion is one of the most commonly used methods in translation. It is no exaggeration to say that, no flexible use of conversion, no decent translation.

Common ways to convert word class in E-C translation

The conversion can be made between any two word classes:

Noun to verb or verbal phrase, noun to adjective or adjective phrase, adverb to adjective or adjective phrase, adverb to verb or verbal phrase, preposition to verb or verbal phrase, preposition to conjunction, etc.

Meanwhile, after conversion, the sentence constituents also change.

Other word classes to verb:

The sight and sound of our jet planes filled me with special longing.

看到我们的喷气式飞机,听到隆隆的机声,我感到特别神往。(noun to verb)

I found him at his book in the library.

我发现他在图书馆看书。(preposition to verb)

We are hopeful of success in the business.

我们希望做成这笔生意。(adjective to verb)

Pronoun to noun

Radio waves are similar to light waves except that their wavelength is much greater.


Adverb to noun

She is physically weak but mentally sound.


These parts must be proportionally correct.


Adjective to noun

In the fission processes the fission fragments are very radioactive.


Other word classes to adverb

Rapid evaporation at the heating-surface tends to make the steam wet.

加热面上的迅速蒸发,往往使蒸汽的湿度变大。(verb to adverb)

Below 4℃, water is in continuous expansion instead of continuous contraction.

水在4度以下就不断地膨胀,而不是不断地收缩。(adjective to adverb)

Examples on conversion of word class are too numerous to mention one by one; in practical translation, we shall use the conversion flexibly according to actual conditions, to effectively convey the meaning of original text to readers.