Lecture 1 General Survey of Translation
Definition of Translation
a biblical story explains, at one time the whole earth had only one
language. People lived together and communicated with each other easily.
One day, they came up with a bold idea: to build a tower named Babel,
the top of which was high enough to touch heaven. God said, “Behold,
they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is
what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be
impossible for them”; he reasoned that anything that they put their mind
to would be possible. It was for this reason he confused their language
and then they were scattered each to their own kind over the face of the
earth and the project of building the tower was halted. Consequently,
people had to translate in order to understand each other.
we mean by the word translation? Translation, in fact, has three
distinguishable meanings for this word. It can refer to:
translating: the process (to translate; the activity rather than the
translation: the product of translating (i.e. the translated text);
translation: the abstract concept which encompasses both the process of
translating and the product of that process.
Translation, being a generally acknowledged complex process, is hard to
describe completely and thoroughly with a few words. Many famous
translators and translation theorists have been studying the definition
of translation from the views of linguistics, culture and intercultural
communication since ancient times. The meaning of translation are
changing constantly and are increasingly open to interpretations, so we
should study translation more flexibly.
Definitions Given by Chinese Scholars：
Definitions Given by Western Scholars
turn into one’s own language or another language
● A good
translation is one which the merit of the original work is so completely
transfused into another language as to be as distinctly apprehended and
as strongly felt by a native of the country to which that language
belongs as it is by those who speak the language of the original work.
According to Catford, translation is “ the replacement of textual
material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another
According to Newmark, translation is “ a craft consisting in the attempt
to replace a written message and/or statement in one language by the
same message and/or statement in another language”(2001a:7).
insists, “… translating consists in reproducing in the receptor language
the closest natural equivalent of the source language message, first in
terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style” (Nida,1969: 53)。（翻译就是在译入语中再现与原语的信息最切近的自然对等物，首先是就意义而言，其次是就文体而言）
Translation History in China
has an over five thousand-year long history of human civilization and a
three thousand-year history of translation. This paper is to provide a
chronological review highlighting translation theory and practice in
China from ancient to present times.
Translation Practice and Theory in Ancient China
earliest translation activities in China date back to the Zhou dynasty.
Documents of the time indicated that translation was carried out by
government clerks, who were concerned primarily with the transmission of
was during the Han dynasty that translation became a medium for the
dissemination of foreign learning. The Buddhist scriptures which were
written in Sanskrit needed to be translated into Chinese to meet the
need of Chinese Buddhists.
Zhi Liang (支亮),
During the two Jin dynasties, Southern dynasty and Northern dynasty,
translation of Buddhist scripture was officially organized on a large
scale in China. A State Translation School was founded for this purpose.
Sui Dynasty and Tang Dynasty (This period was the first peak of
translation in China.)
Translators in this period were mainly Buddhist monks. E.g, Xuan Zang（玄
Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty
Yuan dynasty to the Ming dynasty, the translation of sutras lost
With the arrival of western Christian missionaries, China came into
contact with Europe. To facilitate their relations with Chinese
officials and intellectuals, the missionaries translated works of
western science and technology as well as Christian texts assisted by
Chinese officials. They also introduced the Chinese classics to the
Xu Guangqi (徐光启)
, Yan Fu , Lin Shu
(1853-1921) was the most influential translator and translation theorist
in this period. Yan was a cultural intermediary who, at a critical
moment in history, sought to make European works of political and social
science accessible to the people. His most influential work are the1898
translation of Thomas Henry Huxley’s Evolution and Ethics (《天演论》，1893).
His list of translations includes Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776),
published in Chinese in 1902, Herbert Spenser’s The Study of Sociology (《原富》，1872)
and John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty (《群己权界论》1859),
both translations published in 1904, writings by Edward Jenks published
in Chinese in 1904, Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws (1748),
J.S.Mill’s A System of Logic (1843), translated in 1905, and William
Stanley Jevon’s The Theory of Political Economy (1878), translated in
famous of Lin Shu’s translation works are: La Dame aux Camelias(《巴黎茶花女遗事》),
Uncle Tom’s Cabin(《黑奴吁天录》),
Translation in Modern China
4th Movement which was the starting point of the new democratic
revolution in China opened a new chapter in history of translation in
China. Translators in this period of time, by comparison with those
during the late Qing dynasty, were more selective regarding source
texts. The quality and quantity of literary translation greatly
improved. Most of the world famous literary works, from both large and
small nations, were translated into Chinese.
Lu Xun (鲁讯)，Qu
Practice: Translation of Chinese classics and poetry into English;
Translation of Novels of other country into Chinese
Translation in Present China
Translation in China between 1949-1978
founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 enabled translation
to enter into a new era. Translation became a very important part of the
national cultural and educational cause. National organizations for
translators were established in order to protect the interests and
benefits of translators.
Large-scale translation: Marx and Lenin’s works. 2) In the 1950s:
scientific and technical works to meet the demands of the national
social and economic construction. 3) In the 1970s: translation of United
Nations documents after China was restored to its rightful seat in the
United Nations.4) Literary translation: separated from general
translation in China in this period, and literary translators became a
very important part of China’s literature and arts personnel.
Assessment of Translation
criteria of translation function both as the guiding principles for the
translation process and as the standards for determining the quality of
the translated works. The original text consists of two constituent
ingredients: content and form. Translation criteria generally involve
the treatment of these aspects.
Translation Criteria Put Forward by Famous Translators or Translation
well-known translators or translation theorists at home and abroad have
put forward criteria to judge the quality of a translation.
(1853-1921):Triple Principle of Translation
put forward this “Three-character Guide” in his preface to the
translation of T.H. Huxley’s book Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays(《天演论》译例言
Translation has to do three difficult things: to be faithful,
expressive, and elegant. It is difficult enough to be faithful to the
original, and yet if a translation is not expressive, it is tantamount
to having no translation. Hence expressiveness should be required too.……
of Changes says that the first requisite of rhetoric is truthfulness.
Confucius says that expressiveness is all that matters in language. He
adds that if one’s language lacks grace, it won’t go far. These three
qualities, then, are the criteria of good writing and, I believe, of
good translation too. Hence besides faithfulness and expressiveness, I
also aim at elegance. I strive for elegance not just to make my
translations travel far, but to express the original writer’s ideas
better, for I find that subtle thoughts are better expressed in the
vocabulary and syntax of pre-Han prose than those of the vulgar writings
of today. Using the latter often leads to distortion of meaning, which,
however slight, results in vast misunderstanding. Weighing the pros and
cons, I opted for the former, as a matter of necessity, not trying to be
first two criteria of being faithful to the original text in content and
being expressive in translation are generally acceptable, but his
interpretation of “elegance” has aroused plenty of criticism because, in
his opinion, one has to resort to the vocabulary and syntax of pre-Han
prose to achieve “elegance”. Yan Fu’s criteria are also controversial
for his emphasis on the equal status of the three conflicing principles.
Despite this, Yan’s criteria are still popular in China, but the
interpretation of his criteria has changed. Nowadays to many
translators, “elegance” implies “the safe and sound preservation of the
taste and shade of the original”(黄龙,
1988:90) or “运用读者所最乐于接受的文体,
(resemblance in spirit)
(reaching the acme of perfection)
transmigration of soul),
*Alexander Fraser TytIer (泰特勒):
Three Principles of Translation
Alexander F.Tytler,a famous British translation theorist, put forward
the classical criteria in his Essay on the Principles of
translation should give a complete transcript of the ideas of the
original work (译作应该完全传达原作的思想)；
style and manner of writing in the translation should be of the same
character with that of the original (译作的风格与笔调应当与原作保持一致)；
translation should have all the ease of the original composition(译作应当和原作一样流畅).
further points out that the above-said three principles are arranged and
ranked according to the order of their significance, and that, when they
are not simultaneously attainable, the first should be held to at the
sacrifice of the third principle, then the second .
A. Nida (奈达)：Functional
A.Nida, a famous American translation theorist, put forward his recent
interpretation of functional equivalence in his Language and Culture:
Context in Translating(2001:87):
minimal, realistic definition of functional equivalence: The readers of
a translated text should be able to comprehend it to the point that they
can conceive of how the original readers of the text must have
understood and appreciated it. (最低限度而又切合实际的功能对等定义：译文读者对译文的理解应当达到能够想像出原文读者是怎样理解和领会原文的程度).
maximal, ideal definition of functional equivalence: The readers of a
translated text should be able to understand and appreciate it in
essentially the same manner as the original readers did. (最高限度合乎理想的功能对等定义：译文读者应当能够基本上按照原文读者理解和领会原文的方式来理解和领会译文).
Criteria for Beginners of Translation
the variety of opinions, two criteria are almost unanimously accepted,
namely, the criterion of faithfulness/accuracy(忠实/准确)
and that of smoothness(流畅).
We may also take these two criteria as the principles of translation in
and “clearness and coherence” or “smoothness”
faithfulness, we mean translators should be faithful to the original
contents. What’s more, the translators should express the original
contents accurately and completely but should not change, distort(歪曲),
omit, cut or add or cancel the original contents. The reasons for this
may include: The contents usually refer to the facts, affairs,
and the thoughts, ideas, standpoints, and the emotions when the authors
are narrating, clarifying, and describing.
faithfulness, we also mean that the translators should keep the styles
of the original works, inclusive of styles of the nations, styles of the
age, styles of the language, and the personal language style of the
author. For example, in Ernest Hemingway’s works, due to his experience
as a war correspondent in reporting the two world wars and the Spanish
Civil War, the sentences used in his works are very concise. If you are
translating such works, using concise sentences may reflect the language
style of such kind of works.
Translators should not destroy or change or replace using his own the
original styles. If the original works is written by using colloquial
(spoken) style, the translation can not change it into written style. If
the original works is written in vulgar（粗俗的）
language, you can not translate it using elegant language. If the
original works is rich in western cultural colors, you can not put
eastern cultural color in your translation of the works.
Generally speaking, the translation should be similar to the original
works in styles of the nations, styles of the age, styles of the
language, styles of the cultures, and the personal language style of the
author. Just as Luxun said, “Translation should keep the characteristics
and styles of the original works”.
Dr. Mike Quinn has a research paper in hand.
does not work hard because she wants to earn money.
“Clearness and coherence” or “smoothness”（通顺）
clearness and coherence or smoothness, we mean the translation should be
clear, coherent or smooth, and easy for the readers to understand.
Language used in the translation should be standard modern language.
These phenomena should be excluded: translation sentence by sentence or
word by word. Besides, the translation should be clear not only in the
ideas, but also in structure and logic.
matter of fact, “faithfulness and smoothness” are actually the two sides
of the same thing. If you are too faithful to the original, namely, you
translate the original works sentence by sentence or word by word, the
readers will have difficulties in understanding your translation. On the
other hand, if don’t follow the contents or styles of the original
works, instead, you add or cancel a lot of things of the original works,
even though your translation is smooth, your translation is just adapted
speaking, in order to make the translation faithful and smooth,
translators should have a thorough comprehension of the original first,
and then express accurately the contents of the original in the target
language. Thorough comprehension and accurate expression are not easy,
but we have to learn to do so with the help of the criteria of
translation, namely, faithfulness and smoothness.
Translation proficiency: the Requirements of the Teaching syllabus for
the English Major (中国高等学校英语专业英语教学大纲对翻译教学的要求)
qualified translator has to be equipped with various aspects of
Generally speaking, requirements for translators can be summarized as
the materials to be translated are selected from English books, papers
and journals with extensive contents, topics, and themes. Translators
should be good at the application of correct standpoints, viewpoints,
and methods to help them to correctly analyze and thoroughly comprehend
the contents of the original works. As we have mentioned, thorough
comprehension is the premise of expression. Hence, when we are to
translate something, we have to comprehend the contents of the original
correctly with the help of correct standpoints, viewpoints, and methods.
Translators have to keep on improving the levels of both the foreign
language and the target language (here refers to the Chinese language).
Correct and thorough comprehension of the original contents and skillful
application of the target language is the premise to guarantee the
quality of the rendition(translation).
Translators should keep on absorbing various kinds of basic knowledge,
including the history, geography, politics, military knowledge,
diplomacy, economy, cultures, sciences, customs, and habits of the
countries concerned. The more a translator knows about the
above-mentioned knowledge, the better he or she can translate the
original works correctly, accurately, and even perfectly.
large body of men had met on the previous night, despite the elements
which were opposed to them, a heavy rain falling the whole of the night
and drenching them to the skin.这一大群人头天晚上还是聚到了一起，尽管老天与他们作对，整夜下着倾盆大雨，大家被淋得浑身透湿。
the elements which were opposed to them译作”尽管老天与他们作对”，读起来未免平板滞重、佶屈聱牙，如译作”尽管天公不作美”不仅传神达意，而且文字简练、十分得体。）
It is a
way, he says, of paying tribute to the rock’n’roll era that had a huge
impact on him as a child. So why did the idea come off the backburner
and on to paper and then celluloid? Celebrity burn-out is the answer.
Hollywood’s man with the golden touch had had a string of box-office
success, from Sleepless in Seattle to Toy Story and Apollo 13, and had
won Oscars two years in succession, for Philadelphia and then Forrest
[=rock and roll]一词于1951年因著名的电台音乐节目主持人艾伦·弗里德首次使用而流传开来。backburner是”次要地位；一时不重要的地位”。golden
in Seattle, Toy Story, Apollo 13, Philadelphia和Forrest
were sons of the men who had left their homes and taken to the mountains
with their broad swords by their side.他们都是那些抛妻别子、身带大刀进深山的好汉们的后代。
wagons of that time, drawn by horses or oxen, were too expensive for
moving heavy freight very far.
lady with a dog was lit.一位太太喝得醉醺醺的，带着一条狗。
Collegiate Dictionary 10th edition
by alcohol: drunk）
shut the window. I’m starving!” And her teeth chattered as she drunk
closer to the almost extinguished embers. (Wuthering Heights) “艾伦，把窗子关上。我快冻死啦！”她的牙齿在打战，一面蜷缩着身子，向快要熄灭的火炉靠拢些。
archaic or dial. perish with or suffer from cold）
they’re making five and six dollars a week. Maybe you want a raise a
family on that. Then you’ll be back here living with us again and I’ll
be spporting two families in one. Well… over my dead body.
entirely without my consent;后者的释义是：spoken
used to show that you are determined to prevent something from happening。无疑，这是一个口气很硬的表示拒绝的词语。）
Lecture 2 The Process of Translation
Nida proposes his four basic processes in translating which consist of
(1) analysis of the source text, (2) transfer from source to target
language, (3) restructuring in the target language, and (4) testing of
the translated text with persons who represent the intended audience.
analysis of the source text means a detailed treatment of both the
designative and associative meaning of the lexemes, the syntax, and the
process of transfer involves the shift from in the source language to
thinking in the target language which means the content has been
process of restructuring involves the organization of the lexical,
syntactic, and discourse features of the transferred text so as to
provide maximal comprehension and appreciation on the part of the
three of the above-mentioned processes are going on at the same time and
are largely below the level of consciousness. The testing of a
translation is an essential part in that it expresses so quickly any
problems which exist in a translation.
Basic Process of Translation
Generally speaking, we need to follow the basic process of translation
which consists of (1) accurate comprehension, (2) adequate
representation, and (3) revision.
Accurate comprehension is a precondition for adequate representation, so
attention should be attached to gaining accurate comprehension. The
accurate comprehension may be gained through a good analysis of the ST
which involves analyzing the meaning of the ST on different levels, with
a focus on internal factors including cohesion and structural aspects
and external factors such as the viewpoint of the speaker, narrator, or
reader in terms of culture, attitude, time, and space, etc. Generally
speaking, the stylistic, semantic, pragmatic, contextual and logical
analysis need to be considered in a thorough text analysis.
understand the ST, we need know in what kind of style it is written. By
style, we mean a variety which correlates with the number and nature of
the addresses and the performer’s relationship to them. Styles vary
along a scale which may be roughly characterized as formal or informal.
Martin Joos suggested five styles: frozen, formal, consultative, casual
and intimate. Catford holds that as with registers, so styles,
translatability depends on “the existence of an equivalent style in the
Frozen style is used by professional speakers, for public address.
Sentences are constructed with the utmost care, and elaborate rhetorical
devices are used. The words or phrases are generally very precise, often
learned words of Latin origin.
Formal style is used in lectures, scholarly talks, or planned speeches.
Consultative style is used for conducting most business matters, but not
among close friends. The words used are generally those that come to
mind without too much deliberation.
Casual style is used for situations in which no social barriers are felt
by the parties involved, such as close friends in informal situations.
Sentences are often short and clipped, with auxiliary verbs and pronouns
frequently left out. Colloquialisms and slang are also fairly common.
Intimate style is used among members of the family or very close
friends. Intimate language is spontaneous, with hardly any constraint.
Such language often assumes shared knowledge between participants and
therefore is at times unintelligible to outsiders.
Compare the following sentences:
Visitors should make their way at once to the upper floor by way of the
Visitors should go up the stairs at once.
you mind going upstairs at once?
you all went upstairs, now.
you go, chaps!
semantic analysis is very important for a translator to make an accurate
and smooth translation. The meaning of a word is its use in the
language, not only its definition in the dictionary. A dictionary does
not require or forbid a particular sense of a word, but records the uses
that have been found for it. Now and then, a word is in the process of
acquiring a new sense or somewhat extending from its usual sense. The
dictionary definitions is, for the most part, a record of the denotation
of a word, and often cannot give its connotation. Words do not have
meanings; people have meaning for words. So, it is necessary to
understand the meaning of words accurately and use words effectively to
express the original ideas in the target language.
Meaning and Associative Meaning
seat oneself in a wooden chair
accept a university chair
chair the board meeting
condemned to the chair
George made great progress at school.乔治的学习有了很大进步。
Let us be great friends.
He has the reputation of being a blood-sucker.他是个臭名昭著的吸血鬼。
She has made a reputation for herself through hard work.
He wrote his 12th novel at the ripe age of 85.
The custom had its spring in another country.这种风俗起源于别的国家。（这里的spring的确切含义为”起源”。）
gain the accurate comprehension of the ST, therefore, we need know the
necessity of making a contextual analysis. We must understand the
meaning of a word from the words that come before or after it, as well
as the relevant cultural background.
politician without elbows is as lost as a politician without principles.
“I don’t know what you do with your brass,” said Mr.
“I spend it on you,” she said. “Always a good table,
you must have. Never anything short.”
Friendship cannot stand always on one side.
Far from eye, far from heart.
He has stolen a march on me.他比我抢先了一点。
Both semantics and pragmatics are concerned with meaning, but they are
different. Semantics traditionally deals with meaning as a dyadic
relation as in “What does X mean” while pragmatics deals with meaning as
a triadic relation as in “What did you mean by X”. Thus, meaning in
pragmatics is defined relative to a speak or user of the language,
whereas meaning in semantics is defined purely as a property of
expression in a given language, in abstraction from particular
situations, speakers or hearers.
you mind passing me the salt?
return the book tomorrow.
again and I’ll part with you once for all.
stubborn. He is pig-headed. I am strong-willed.你很执拗，他是头犟驴，而我却意志坚强。
Harry is a professor, but can’t spell.哈利是教授，奇怪的是不会拼写。（but这里表示惊奇，甚至遗憾。）
And you talked to him this way after all he had done for you.人家帮了你那么多忙，你怎么竟这样跟人家讲话呢？（and的使用频率很高，含义也很高，这里的and表示惊讶、不满或气愤。）
Adequate representation is the end of accurate comprehension. The target
test should be faithful to the original and reads naturally in target
language. The process of expression is in fact that of selecting or
looking for suitable signs to represent the meaning of the source
winds of November were like summer breezes to him, and his face glowed
with the pleasant cold. His cheeks were flushed and his eyes glistened;
his vitality was intense, shining out upon others with almost a material
girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the
world-marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid
houses, which are not homes because love is wanting..亲爱的姑娘们，我对你们期望很高，可并不是叫你们在世上出人头地-要你们去嫁给富人，仅仅因为他们有钱，有奢华的住房，缺少爱情的话，豪华的住房算不得上家。（英语ambitious既可表示”雄心壮志的”意思，也可表示”野心勃勃的”意思，这里选用褒义词”期望很高”翻译比较妥当。）
morning, and the new sun sparkled gold across the ripples of gentle sea.清晨，初升的太阳照着平静的海面，微波荡漾，闪耀着金色的光芒。（英语the
ripples of the gentle sea译成汉语时在结构上作了调整，这样译文念起来意思清楚，行文漂亮。）
was wonderfully calm and now it was rich with all the color of the
setting sun. In the sky already a solitary star twinkled.大海平静得出奇，晚霞映照的绚丽多彩，天空已有孤星闪烁。（英语原文两句译成汉语合为一句。）
appease their thirst its readers drank deeper than before, until they
were seized with a kind of delirium.
of new successes keep pouring in.
at making a living but often fail in making a life.我们善于谋生，却往往不会营造生活。
on standing against the rail; watching her, as she was taken to the
opposite bank of the river in a little boat.他一直倚着栏杆，目送她坐着小船划向河对岸。
on his way to China again.他又风尘仆仆地踏上了去中国的旅程。
were in port, my crew was responsible for moving, installing and
modifying the items to be tested the next week. To compound the
problems, our good ship Wyoming was declared to be unsafe.
compound the problems（使问题复杂化）和good（好端端的）。建议改译：入港后，舰上的官兵们忙着搬运、安装、调试仪器和设备，迎接下星期的试验。就在此时麻烦事来了：上级宣布我们这艘好端端的”怀俄明”号为不安全舰只。
careful review of the text, with special emphasis on accuracy and
consistency of rendering is always necessary. We may examine the
original to see if the translation is faithful to the ST, and then read
the translation to see if it is natural and idiomatic in target
language. According to Newmark, revision is a technique and we should
spend 50% ~ 70% of the time we take translating on revision, depending
on the difficulty of the text.
Literal Translation and Liberal Translation
Generally speaking, comprehension is of foremost importance, and
expression is the natural consequence of thorough comprehension.
However, in the practice of translation we may find that now and then
some words in their usual senses are very difficult to deal with because
of the disparity between the English and the Chinese languages. In this
case, we have to resort to some special means of translation. Literal
translation and free translation are two useful approaches in dealing
with such awkward situations.
so-called literal translation, superficially speaking, means “not to
alter the original words and sentences”; strictly speaking, it strives
“to keep the sentiments and style of the original”. It takes sentences
as its basic units and takes the whole text (discourse) into
consideration at the same time in the course of translation.
Furthermore, it strives to reproduce both the ideological content and
the style of the original works and retains as much as possible the
figures of speech. There are quite a lot of examples of successful
literal translation that have been adopted as idiomatic Chinese
expressions. For example, crocodile’s tears, armed to the teeth, chain
reaction, gentlemen’s agreement, and so on. Similarly, some Chinese
idioms also find their English counterparts through literal translation.
(one country, two systems ), and so on.
Here are some more examples:
Diligence is the mother of good luck.勤勉是幸运之源。
news is good news.
stitch in time saves nine.
swallow does not make a summer.
and patience will succeed.
Health is not valued till sickness comes.
not cut down the tree that gives you shade.
not, want not.
Success belongs to the preserving.
Stuff today and starve tomorrow.
not built in a day.罗马不是一天建起来的。
over a new page翻开新的一页。
Liberal / Free Translation
/ Free translation is an alternative approach which is used mainly to
convey the meaning and spirit of the original without trying to
reproduce its sentence patterns or figures of speech. This approach is
most frequently adopted when it is really impossible for the translator
to do literal translation. For example:
sixes and sevens
rains cats and dogs.大雨滂沱
cross the bridge till you get to it.不必担心过早。(不必自寻烦恼)
see any green in my eye?
above illustrations can not be translated literally，otherwise，the
Chinese rendition would make nonsense at all，let
alone the original meaning.
translation and free translation, however, are relative concepts. In
other words, there is no absolute “literal”，nor
entirely “free” version in the practice of translation, and
overemphasizing either of them would result in ridiculous consequences.
Let’s scrutinize the following two practical cases.
tiger cat, … British movies on public television，fluffy
blouses, the nuclear family, (Helen Snow，My
Apparently, these two Chinese versions are far from being perfect. Other
things aside, the rendering of the phrase nuclear family poses a serious
problem of representation. Version A renders “the nuclear family” as “核心家庭”
by means of literal translation. However, this version is too stiff,
therefore it fails to convey the original meaning to the Chinese
reader—for most Chinese, they have hardly any idea what “核心家庭”
really means. Version B adopts the approach of free translation and puts
it into “一夫一妻制”；evidently
it goes too far and distorts the author’s original intention, and in
doing so, the translator abuses the practice of free translation. In
fact, the nuclear family has nothing to do with either of the versions.
A close examination of its definition in an English-English dictionary
sheds light on this phrase: nuclear family, a family group that consists
only of father, mother and children. Therefore, the proper rendering of
the phrase should be words to this effect: a cozy small family, namely,
the Chinese equivalent “小家庭”.
English 2 :
Tse-tung was well bred, but inside he was made of steel, of hard
resistance, of tough tissue—the kind of tissue the Boxers thought they
had by magic, and bared their solar plexuses to foreign bullets.(ibid. )
“tissue” can hardly be rendered into Chinese either in literal
translation or free translation，nor
could the metaphor “inside he was made of steel” be properly rendered
without grasping the essence of the whole sentence. However，since
there is no corresponding expressions in Chinese, the translators tackle
them according to their own understanding. Inversion A，”tissue”
is freely rendered as “材料”
version B literally as”组织”(organic
tissue)—both fail to convey the original meaning and attitude of the
writer. By adopting translation skills such as amplification, omission，conversion
may translate the original English sentence as follows:
Here are some more examples:
life has its roses and thorns.
tub must stand on its own bottom.
lives in cottages as well as in courts.
is a bull in a China shop.
family is said to have at least one skeleton in the cupboard.
6. It is
raining cats and dogs.
dog has his day.
does not eat dog.
John, to disclose his long-held privacy means to strike the heal of
man who waters his grass after a good rain is carrying coals to
above analysis, we come to the conclusion that there is no obvious
distinction between literal translation and free translation, nor is it
necessary to distinguish one from the other. The key point for a
translator to grasp is to comprehend the original thoroughly, and then
put it into idiomatic Chinese. In the process of translation, specific
approaches such as literal or free translation may be of some help, but
we should avoid the two extremes. In the application of literal
translation, we should endeavor to rid ourselves of stiff patterns and
rigid adherence to translation rules, trying to be flexible; while in
the practice of free translation, we should be cautious of subjectivity,
avoiding groundless affirmation or arbitrary fabrication. Whatever the
circumstances, we may alternate or combine these two approaches when it
let’s check the following examples:
three customers remained in the bar.
here for good this time.
keep the fire burning when I’m out.
he is serious.” “等等，他不是说着玩儿的。”（不译：”等等，他是认真的。”）
down the button of the alarm-clock, he curled up for a last warm moment
under the bedclothes.
Clara, be firm with the boy!” “听我说，克拉拉，对这孩子可不能心软。”（不译：”...对这孩子要坚定”）
Oakhust drew the youthful speculator behind the door, and thus addressed
him: “Tommy, you’re a good little man, but you can’t gamble worth a
cent. Don’t try it over again.”
scientific and the metaphysical tempers still pursue their opposite
fought like a demon every inch of the way against poverty and
discouragement. (A.W. Long)
strength lay only in the lack of consciousness on the part of
years, his was the only kindness she ever knew, the only friendship that
solaced in any way that feeble, lonely soul.
begged the old gentleman to give the money to dear Rebecca, who must
want it, while she lacked for nothing.
save time, but might be considered irregular by the Germans, they are
sticklers for form.
bathed herself in the warmth of his feeling, which was as a grateful
blaze to one who is cold.
a one-horse palanquin,” said the old gentleman, who was a wag in his
Mr. Sedley’s jokes, Rebeoca laughed at them with a cordiality and
perseverance which not a little pleased and softened that good-natured
thought that she would be separated from her husband during his long and
dangerous journey saddened Mrs. Brown.
paralysis of the mind and will of grown-up men, raised as Christians,
supposedly disciplined in the old virtues, boasting of their code of
honour, courageous in the face of death on the battle fields, is
did, she need not coin her smiles so lavishly; flash her glances so
unremittingly; manufacturing airs so elaborate, graces so multitudinous.
could not see the Winter Palace with their own eyes, they could dream
about it--as if in the gleaming they saw before--as if there above the
horizon of European civilization was towering the silhouette of Asian
his own sarcophagus, a bold and infallible diplomat who was always
beating himself disgustedly for all the chances he had missed and
kicking himself regretfully for all the errors he had made. He was
tense, irritable, bitter and smug. (Catch-22)
Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when
the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free. An uninhabited house
of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbours in a
other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed
at one another with brown imperturbable faces. (James Joyce: Araby)
the last straw. I was very young: the prospect of working under a woman
constituted the ultimate indignity.
was the last straw.”用的是直译法，后面的部分用的是直译法。这是典型的直译与意译并用。
drinks in all the words and expressions which come to him in a fresh,
to him in a fresh, ever-bubbling spring”用了意译法。
Domestication and Foreignization
as a hare
a drown rat
stupid as a goose
stubborn as a mule
hare in a hen’s nest
as an oyster
wine and sell vinegar
goose that lays the golden eggs
like a fish
the wife of a parson, always the wife of a parson.
boy is a boy, two boys half a boy, three boys no boy.
was limp as a dish rag. My back felt as through it had been beaten with
as a dish rag，如直译为”像洗碟布一样柔软”，既不地道，又让人产生一种较恶心的感觉，不如用汉语中常说的”软得像一团棉花”加以归化。)
Everybody said how well the new Secretary was doing, but old Mr. Carr
said shortly, “Yes. New brooms sweep clean.”
brooms sweep clean的字面意思是”新扫把扫得干净”，比喻”新任职的人干得好”，和汉语中的”新官上任三把火”异曲同工，貌离神合。)
Among the blind the one-eyed man is King.
night I heard him driving his pig to market.
would have thought of Mr.Mottram doing so well? And so many of his
friends, too, that used to stay here? We were entertaining angels
was, as Bill afterwards expressed it, “during a moment of temporary
mental apparition”, but we didn’t find that out till later.
will be ice-skating in hell the day, when I vote the aid for them.
(10). “Until her husband won the pools, she was the most commonplace,
dowdy, illiterate creature imaginable, but now that she dresses herself
up like a society queen and nearly always remembers to sound her
aitches, people are already beginning to forget what she was like
feathers make fine birds.”
much rather see her once or twice and not do anything about it---what
could I do about it anyway? She’s a bit out of my class, don’t you
think? If I did try to do anything, I’d only get sent off with a flea in
flea in one’s ear的字面意思是”耳朵上有个跳蚤”，用来比喻”讥讽的话，刺耳的话”。send
sb. off with a flea in one’s ear意思是”用讥讽的话气走某人”，与汉语”碰一鼻子灰”意思相近，但如译为”用讥讽话气走某人”，则过于平淡，远不如”碰一鼻子灰”生动、俏皮。)
was so fond of talking that his comrades nicknamed him “magpie”.
There’s a people’s court waiting for him. His God-damned head is going
to be separated from his God-damned neck.
(14) I’m a diplomat, a linguist, altogether a bespectacled cream puff.
Beauty lies in lover’s eyes.
heads are better than one.
Never offer to teach fish to swim.
, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison waged a war of words against the
I am happy to note that those who are nowon the other side of the fence
are taking note and are now commencing to realize that their apathy or
their indifference has been a bit dangerous . . .
war of words”和”on
the other side of the fence”是完全可行的。
three years on that most sensational of the New York dailies he had been
the star man , the chiefmuckraker , the chief sleuth. His interest was
muckrakers have left a crusading tradition , and there is always a need
for the more responsible of them in most industrial societies.
of mustard seed
waggeth his ears
(take up) one’s cross
the cup and the lip
leopard change his spots
pearls before swine
bow at a venture
handwriting on the wall
the coach - wheel
hold the cards in one’s hand
shall be upon his shoulder
cat out of the bag
bricks without straw
throw/ lay salt on one’s tail
spoke in somebody’s wheel
in the cart
cart before the horse
wind and reap the whirlwind
horses in midstream
many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.
pieces of silver
one’s hands of
- tiger) “这几个字。
significant, she claims influence despite election results which showed
the environmental lobby to be a paper tiger. “( Doug Bandow)”But Britain
, leading from the front on this initiative , worries about a ‘paper
tiger’effect and is firmly against declaring numbers. “( Ian Black) The
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
that is seemingly dangerous and powerful but is in fact timid and weak”
long ago , al Qaeda’s leader dismissed America as a paper tiger. That
wasbefore the tiger roared.”
through Comparative Studies
we have covered all the translation theories and methods. However,
theories and methods are of little use unless applied in adequate
practice. Besides, one’s translation abilities are based on a two-way
course, i. e., a good command of
one’s mother tongue and the English language, and therefore, a
comparative study of the syntax and the basic structure of
source language and the target language would be of great
enhancing our comprehensive abilities. Comparative studies may be
conducted in both macroscopic and microscopic
namely, the comparison at language level and in various
individual cases. Since it is impossible for us to go into various
individual cases in detail, we are going to focus on the former.
Contrastive Analysis of the Words and Phrases
defenders of stalingrad.表示”生气”或”发怒”，有下面一些意义相同或接近的词：irate,
angry, indignant, wrathful, enraged, infuriated, incensed等。但它们各自涵义也不同。Angry表示一般生气；irate表示怒形于色；indignant表示义愤；wrathful表示盛怒；enraged表示狂怒；infuriated表示因忿恨而愤怒之意；incensed则有激怒之意。
chop, slice, mince, hack, hew, pare, slash, whittle, prune, truncate,
incise, excise; chisel等等。
go, stroll, saunter, trudge, plod, toddle, stride, march, trot, strut,
stalk, shuffle, wobble, amble等。
are seldom exactly synonymous.”英国语言学家C.L.雷恩说了一句有趣的话：”English
is among the easiest languages to speak badly, but the most difficult to
buildings are very like.
treat me like a guest.
enough, the ship will arrive in the port tomorrow.
I hope I
can drive the tractor like you do.（连词）
take, bring, fetch
cry, shout, call
the door behind you.--着眼点在人所处的位置
one’s back; lie on one’s stomach--以身体的前后为准
off your head
as a hare
like a fish
strong as a horse气壮如牛
cat on hot bricks
a sea of
one’s Sunday best
as a church mouse
priest, like people师高弟子强
one’s own boat
and the same
South, East and West
food, clothing and housing
threes and fours 三五成行
and sevens 乱七八糟
or two words三言两语
one in a
Contrastive Analysis of Sentences
According to some linguists, noticeably Mr. Lian Shuneng in his
Contrastive Studies on English and Chinese, ten contrasts indicate
the disparity between the English and the Chinese languages.
Synthetic vs. Analytic
is a synthetic language marked with inflexions (曲折变化形式)
while Chinese is an analytic language without any inflection, which is
usually implied in the context or explicitly shown in such words as “着、了、过”etc.
the wartime, years like these would have meant certain death for many
people. Many would have become beggars and others would have been
compelled to sell their children.
encouraged, they made a still bolder plan for the next year.
sentences are compact (聚集)
, namely, tightly combined with connectives or prepositions, while
Chinese is diffused(流散)，that
is, loose in structure.
integrated circuit has reduced by many times the size of the computer of
which it forms a part, thus creating a new generation of portable
has taken hold in the US to the effect that the only people who should
be encouraged to bring children into the world are those who can afford
lonely in a new land, he was described by his fellow workers and
students as cheerful, of a friendly nature, honest, and modest.
Hypotactic vs. Paratactic
English, clauses or phrases are coordinated with one another or
subordinated to one another syntactically while in Chinese they are
placed one after another without coordinating connectives.
colors of a rainbow range from red on the outside to violet on the
He had a
disconcerting habit of expressing contradictory ideas in rapid
present onslaught of vehicles poses a serious threat to urban life and
pedestrian peace of mind.
insect nibbles the green leaves.
eats the insect that nibbles the green leaves.
snake catches the toad that eats the insect that nibbles the green
Complex vs. Simplex
sentences are long and complex, while Chinese sentences are short and
simple. For example:
man-made substances are replacing certain natural materials because
either the quality of the natural product can not meet our
ever-increasing requirement, or, more often, because the physical
properties of the synthetic substance, which is the common name for
man-made materials, have been chosen, and even emphasized, so that it
would be of the greatest use in the fields in which it is to be applied.
Impersonal vs. Personal
uses more impersonal structures than Chinese does, as shown in the
happened to you?
suddenly struck me.
strange peace came over her when she was alone.
sound reached our ears.
elation overcame them.
began to take entire possession of him.
moment we stepped into the People’s Republic of China, care and kindness
surrounded us on every side.一踏上中华人民共和国国土，我们就随时随地地受到关怀与照顾。
thick carpet killed the sound of my footsteps.
Excitement deprived me of all power of utterance.
Passive vs. Active
have mentioned in the previous units, the passive voice is extensively
used in English, while Chinese sentences are usually active.
years ago it was thought unusual that programs could ever be called up
by viewers to be displayed on their TV screens at home.
volume is not measured in square millimeters. It is measured in cubic
Electrical energy can be stored in two metal plates separated by an
insulating medium. Such a device is called a capacitor, or a condenser,
and its ability to store energy is termed capacitance. It is measured in
Static vs. Dynamic
is static, and agent nouns are frequently used to replace verbs, while
Chinese is dynamic, using more verbs in a single sentence.
He is a
good eater and a good sleeper.他能吃能睡。
be a very bad learner; or else you must be going to a very bad teacher.
computer is a far more careful and industrious inspector than human
Abstract vs. Concrete
expressing the same idea English is more abstract while Chinese is more
absence of intelligence is an indication of satisfactory developments.
degree of carelessness, pre-operative and post-operative, on the part of
some of the hospital staff, took place.
Indirect vs. Direct
English sentences tend to use indirect ways of affirmation while Chinese
sentences are straightforward.
couldn’t feel better.
couldn’t agree with you more.
see you quick enough.
think the Council can or should remain indifferent to these most serious
violations of human rights.
feel that we should leave them isolated.
Substitutive vs. Repetitive
Generally speaking, English doesn’t use so many repetitions as Chinese
should help her since you have promised to do so.
failure; he had conquered it all his life, risen above it, and despised
it in others.
nations working apart created these problems; men and nations working
together must solve them.
Lecture 4 Diction
(The selection, extension,
elevation and degradation of word meaning)
fades, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.
“diction” we mean the proper choice of words and phrases in translation
on the basis of accurate comprehension of the original. In the practice
of translation, what perplexes us most frequently is how to find an
equivalent in the language to be translated into. Great care is called
for in the translation of “familiar”. English words into Chinese, as
their meanings vary with the change in collocation or context. Take the
following simple sentence, for example:
is building up.
context, both “tension” and “build up” may have various explanations.
Thus this English sentence may be translated into different Chinese
a noted linguist has observed, “the meaning of a word is its use in the
language”, and “each word, when used in a new context, is a new word”.
The above example is a good illustration of this saying.
comparison with Chinese, English words are generally more flexible both
in form and in meaning, therefore it is often a hard task for a
translator to find their Chinese equivalents that are suitable to the
occasion. Take the word “story” for example:
war is becoming the most important story of this generation.
is quite another story now.
reporters who were not included in the session broke the story.
He’ll be very happy if that story holds up.
Rita Haywoth’s story is one of the saddest.
young man came to Scotti’s office with a story.
Dec. the Post first reported that probes were being made in each of
those cities, but officials refused to confirm the story.
story about him became smaller and by and by faded out from the American
can judge from the context, the “story” in the above sentences indicate
different senses respectively:(1) “event”; (2) “situation”; (3) “inside
information”; (4) “statement”; (5) “experience”; (6) “law case”; (7)
“news”; (8) “report”.
Methods to Discriminate the Original Meaning of an English Word
English words are prone to various meanings, it is of vital importance
for a translator to discern the right meaning of a given word. And the
following are the major methods of discriminating word meaning suggested
by some linguists.
Judging from the Word Formation
to discriminate the original meaning of an English word, it is necessary
for us to have a knowledge of English lexicology , and specifically, a
knowledge of word formation, such as compounding, derivation,
affixation, blending, acronym, clipping, etc. A good command of them
will help to shed light on the correct meaning of some difficult words.
example, the word “parabiospheric”, which consists of para-(outside)
biologic) + spheric (having the form of a sphere). After a brief
analysis, we may safely put it into “外生物层的”.
more complicated instance,
“pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis”. This extremely long
word seems appallingly complicated. However, an anatomic study of its
composition enables us to get a clear understanding of its meaning:
pneumono- (of lung) + ultra- (beyond) + micro(very small) + scopic- (of
viewing or observing) + silico- (of silicon) + volcano + coni- ( koni,
of dust) + osis (forming the name of a disease). Even if we are not sure
of the equivalent of this medical term, we may roughly get the right
meaning of the
word: a kind of lung disease caused by extremely small silicon
particles. And a look into some dictionary leads us to the definite
4.1.2Judging from the Part of Speech
me have a look．
to be absolutely right about this issue．
answer that phone，but
I’ll be back right away．
righted itself after the big wave had passed．
drive on the left side of the road，not
the right side．
exercised his legal right as President to halt the investigation．
serves sb. right.
Judging from the References
meaning of a pronominal word, that is, what it refers to, is to be
judged from the references. The pronominal words include:
person pronouns; indefinite pronouns such as some，any，each，both;
and definite pronouns such as much, many, few ,little, etc. For example:
He (father) sent John to the university and was eager to have him
and demonstrative adverbs such as here, there, now , then, etc. For
is above wealth，for
this can not give so much happiness，as
References of comparison. For example:
hate blue shirt; white shirt suits me but gray is the most preferable.
the referential words “father”, “health”, “wealth” and “shirt” in the
above three sentences, it would be very difficult to make out the real
meaning of such words as “him”, “himself”, “this”, “that” and “the most
Judging from the Context and Collocation
meanings of the words “tension” and “story” in previous examples are
explicit enough in the context. Here is another example: develop.
of SARS developed．非典型性肺炎的症状出现了。
had hopes of developing light industry on quite a large scale．我们曾经希望大规模地发展轻工业。
animals are thought to have developed from sea animals．陆地动物被认为是由海洋动物进化而来的。
local government is planning to develop the western areas．当地政府计划开发西部地区。
photographer develops all his films．那位摄影师所有的胶卷都是由他自己冲洗的。
like to develop this idea a little more fully before I go on to my next
have succeeded in developing many new plants．科学家已经成功地培育出了很多的植物新品种。
“as luck would have it”在下列句中表示截然相反的意思：
luck would have it，no
one was in the hotel when the explosion took place．
luck would have it，there
was rain on the day of the camp．
observe the behavior of birds.
they observe Christmas Day in that country?
observed that we should probably have rain.
way of comment
law obliges parents to send their children to school.
were obliged to sell their house in order to pay their debts.
much obliged to you.
sb to do sth
~ me by closing the door.请替我关上门。
Collocation is also an inseparable factor in diction. Let’s look at the
word “delicate” in the following illustrations, where different
renditions are given to the same word so as to suit the collocation.
ear for music对音乐有鉴赏力
sense of smell灵敏的嗅觉
another example: raise.
cannot build a ship, a bridge or a house if you don’t know how to make a
design or how to read it.
Judging from Different Branches of Learning and Specialties
example, the word “base”:
lathe should be set on a firm base.
we all know，a
base reacts with an acid to form a salt.
transistor has three electrodes, the emitter, the base and the
AB is the base of the triangle ABC. AB线是三角形ABC的底边。(数学)
is on the second base.
Techniques Employed in Translating a Given English Word
Stylistics and Translation, Mr. Liu Miqing has suggested 7 techniques in
translating a given English word. We may add in another technique,
pictographic translation, to make up the total number of 8.
Deduction is to deduce the original meaning in the light of the
explanation of an English dictionary. This is a major means in
English-Chinese translation. For example:
— (AmE.) a student who interrupts his education to pursue some other
activity for a brief period
community—a social group or class having common interests
challenge — to question the lawfulness or rightness of (sth. or sb.)
a literal translation of the parts of a given English word.
be either from specific to general or from concrete to abstract, and
concrete to abstract)
(from specific to general)
(from concrete to abstract)
is more than transient everydayness.这远非一时的柴米油盐问题。(from
abstract to concrete)
to replace the words of the original expression with Chinese synonyms or
idioms according to different situations.
kill sb. as an example
withhold the handout.
was indeed a good riddance.他还是不在的好。
same is not true with a mortal illness.如果是得了不治之症(or.绝症)，情况就不一样了。
technique is commonly used when there is no corresponding Chinese
expression and all the above-mentioned techniques fail to make sense.
means to integrate two words of close meaning into one expression.
subtle and careful an observer一位如此精细的观察者
mendacity and dishonesty
grim and tragic Christmas
body and mind cramped by noxious work
this technique English words are translated according to their actual
technique is most frequently used in dealing with proper nouns
(especially the names of people and places，trademarks，etc.)
is also used in coinage where no existing Chinese expression is
Extension of Word Meaning
Conversion of Meaning
factors which are likely to influence investment spending do not stop
you like it or not, globalization is here to stay. We are not going to
reverse the trend.
products, if maintained properly and regularly, can at least see twenty
twenty years’ service
Abstract Extension of Meaning
more to their life than political and social and economic problem, more
than transient everydayness.
factory is famous for its arsenal of technical geniuses.
Everybody has his smiles and tears.
technological process was then a newcomer in the U.S., so application
was not numerous.
only nineteen, and is the baby of our crew.
He was a
man to let his heart rule his head.
practically on my knees but he still refused.
matter was finally settled under the table.
Hamleted at a chance and regretted for it.
canoe Titanicked on the rock in the river.译文：小船在河上触礁遇难。
Concrete Extension of Meaning
interest rates have see-sawed between 10 and 15 percent.
drain has been Kangding’s No.1 concern; as a matter of fact, it has been
an epidemic in this area.
a mixture of the tiger and the ape in the character of the imperialists.
life has its roses and thorns.
Great Wall is a must for most foreign visitors to Beijing.
He was a
fight against corruption and injustices.
I knew I
would encounter extremes of weather.
voices have been raised demanding the setting up of an Arab common
like to build a colored society where all men have equal opportunity.
visited all the tourist attractions in the city.
Extension According to Idiomatic Way in Chinese
translation of poetry，especially
very special difficulties，and
the better the original poem，the
harder the translator’s task．译诗，特别是以诗译诗，有十分特殊的困难。原诗越是精彩，译者的任务就越艰巨。
swallow flew round and round her，touching
the water with his wings，and
making silver ripples．燕子在她身边不停地飞来飞去，用它的翅膀点水，激起许多银色的涟漪。
burning question of my childhood had been richly answered.
like a fish out of water.
stands head and shoulder above his classmates in playing tennis.
turn your back on friends who are down and out.
cranes that have already paired off, dancing reinforces the union—it’s a
sort of annual renewal of “vows.”
Elevation and Degradation
He was a
man of high renown (fame).
demanding boss, he excepted total loyalty and dedication from his
who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it.
polite and always gave advice willingly,” she recalled.
aggressive country is always ready to start a war.
aggressive young man can go far in this firm.
enemy’s scheme went bankrupt.
mapped out a scheme.
people think he is one of the most ambitious politicians of our times.
ambitious girl wants to become a world champion.
pursued an aggressive policy after he seized power.
aggressive young man can go far in this firm.
stubborn boy refused to listen to his parents’ advice.
invaders met a stubborn resistance from the local people.
president promised to work to repeal state and federal laws that
discriminate against women.
By a 6-3
vote, the court held that this official discrimination did not violate
in different ways”，不含任何贬义。如果我们取”歧视”来一意翻译显然不合适，因此在这里应译为”区别对待”这个中性词。类似的例子还包括下面的”flatter”和”perfect”等词：
too obviously flattering the gentleman by saying that he was the most
courageous man he had ever seen.
Brown felt greatly flattered when he received the invitation to deliver
perfect plan was greatly appreciated.
the perfect crime found out?
been conferring with out allies on the crucial question of whether and
when the island should be invaded.
bright and ambitious.
incited him to go into further investigation.
I ere I saw Elba.
are you glad you are king?)
late than the late. (原文为美国高速公路上矗立的安全警示牌）
Lecture 5 Conversion
Definition of Conversion
Conversion, one of the commonly adopted translation techniques, means
the change of parts of speech in translation. Owing to the syntactical
differences between English and Chinese, it is usually impossible for a
translator to keep to the original part of speech in the process of
translation. For example:
English: This watch never varies more than a second in a month.
English verb “varied” can hardly be rendered into Chinese by the same
part of speech without spoiling the original meaning. As a matter of
fact, a word belonging to a certain part of speech in one language
sometimes has to be converted into a different part of speech, so as to
bring forth a readable and coherent sentence.
Conversion in E-C Translation
Generally speaking, conversion of parts of speech in E-C translation
takes the following forms:
Conversion into Verbs
the most remarkable differences between English and Chinese syntax is
the use of the verb. It is taken for granted that an English sentence
contains no more than one predicate verb, while in Chinese it’s not
unusual to have clusters of verbs in a simple sentence. Take the
following sentence for example.
English: Families upstairs have to carry pails to the hydrant downstairs
verbs are clustered in the Chinese version for an English simple
sentence. This indicates obviously that in English-Chinese translation
the conversion of English words of various parts of speech into Chinese
verbs is a matter of common occurrence.
Converted into Verbs
sight and sound of our jet planes filled me with special longing.
have found application for the exploration of the universe.
my little brother is a better teacher than I.
Verb-derivated Nouns Converted into Verbs
operation of a machine needs some knowledge of its performance.
have found application for the exploration of the universe.
the characteristics of the Chinese language is the predomination of the
acquaintance of world history is helpful to the study of current
UN document calls for the settlement of the Middle East conflict on the
basis of Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and Arab
acknowledgement of Israeli’s right to exist.
of the growth of other kinds of transport, railroads continue to be the
backbone of the transportation industry.
to the introduction of our reform and opening policy, our comprehensive
national strength has greatly improved.
Nouns Means Actions Conerted to Nouns
appearance of the book on the market caused a sensation.这本书在市场上出现时，轰动一时。
through his office window offers a panoramic view of the Washington
Monument and Lincoln Memorial.从他的办公室窗口可以一眼看到华盛顿纪念碑和林肯纪念馆的全景。
sight and sound of our jet planes filled me with special longing.看到我们的喷气式飞机，听见隆隆的机声，令我特别神往。
er Nouns Converted to Nouns
is a well-known singer.
my classmates are good singers.
He is no
smoker, but his father is a chain-smoker.
He was a
Nouns in Idioms Converted to Verbs
took a final look at Iron Mike, still intact in the darkness.
news bulletin, shorter than usual, made no mention of the demonstration.
exposure to TV programs will do great harm to the eyesight of children.
pupil is a good writer.
2. He is
a lover of Chinese culture.
very thought of you makes me happy.
Difference between the social systems shall not be an obstacle to their
has a good command of the English language.
book is a reflection of Chinese society the 1930s.
successful scientist must be a good observer.
some cases, deserts are the creation of destruction of virgin forest.
In their work, they pay much attention to the
combination of theory with practice.
Prepositions Converted into Verbs
computer is of high sensibility.
shaft turns about its axis.
“Coming!” Away she skimmed over the lawn, up the path, up the steps,
across the veranda and onto the porch. “来啦！”
be with you in a few minutes.
House was between the sheets by twelve. 12点的时候，豪斯上校已经睡在被窝里了。
police are after you.警察正在追捕你。
went out after new mineral resources.他们外出寻找新的矿源。
named after his father.吉姆的名字是仿照他父亲的名字取的。
here on business.我是出差来这里的。
Applicants must be above the age of 25.申请人的年龄必须超过25岁。
He is a
man after my own heart.他是一个合我心意的人。
behavior was against the rules of the hospital.你的行为违反了医院的规定。
to the classroom for books.他去教室取书。
been at work all day．我整天都在工作。
in red is my cousin.那个穿红衣服的女孩是我表妹。
teacher entered into the classroom，book
present for Mary
written in English
Baker Priest, the treasurer of the United States, is from a poor miner
officials worked long hours on meager food, in cold caves, by dim lamps.
is needed to move an object against inertia.
Adjectives Converted into Verbs
English adjectives after a link verb indicating one’s consciousness,
feelings, emotions, desires, etc. are always converted into Chinese
verbs. These words include: confident, certain, careful, cautious,
angry, sure, ignorant, afraid, doubtful, aware, concerned, glad,
delighted, sorry, ashamed, thankful, anxious, grateful, able,
have said that they are not sure they can save his life.
that she was able to send a message was a hint. But I had to be
the substances are soluble in water.
were ignorant of the structure of the atom，
it would be impossible for us to study nuclear physics.如果不了解原子的结构，我们就不可能研究核物理学。
sure they will win the basketball game.我相信他们将打赢这场篮球赛。
couple is fond of modern music.这对夫妇喜欢现代音乐。
after Jimmy Carter’s election as president, his advisers were reported
as recommending lower taxes and higher government spending.
Adverbs Converted Into Verbs
in, off, over, up, out等，当它们在作句子的主语补足语、宾语补足语，或其他句子成分的时候，可以根据它在句子中的意思，翻译成汉语的动词。
performance is on.
in the tank is up.
careful investigation they found the design behind.
ran out, he forgot to have his shoes on.
switch is off，the
circuit is open and electricity doesn’t go through.
case the temperature in the furnace is up.
experiment has been over.
old man became happy at her words.
is the present from his girlfriend.
3.Neither gold nor stone are soluble in water.
Conversion into Nouns
account for an overwhelming part of the vocabulary either in Chinese or
in English, and the conversion between nouns and other parts of speech
is also frequently adopted in English-Chinese translation.
Converted into Nouns
verbs that are derived from nouns can hardly be translated literally so
they are usually converted into nouns.
Formality has always characterized their relationship.
S. spy satellites are designed to burn up in the earth’s atmosphere
after completing their mission.
factory must aim at an increase in production.
shake your head it usually means “no.”
was full of books and weighed a ton.
abstentions marked the French elections.这次法国选举的特点是弃权的人多。
personifies beauty and grace.她是美丽与优雅的化身。
original work impressed every attendant of the conference deeply．他们创造性的工作给每个与会者留下了深刻的印象。
ten-year-old girl behaves as an adult．这个十岁女孩的举止像个大人。
well-dressed man, who looked and talked like an English, got into the
house you if the hotels are full.
Adjectives Converted into Nouns
Adjectives with the definite articles to indicate categories of people，things，or
adjectives used as predicative to indicate the nature of things may also
be converted into nouns.
their best to help the sick and the wounded.他们尽了最大的努力，帮助病号和伤员。
Hood and his merry men hated the rich and loved and protected the poor.罗宾汉和他的伙伴们痛恨阔人，热爱并保护穷人。（定冠词+形容词）
their best to help the sick and the wounded.他们尽了最大的努力去帮助病人和伤员。
middle-aged suspect everything，
the young know everything. —— Oscar Wilde老年人什么都相信，中年人什么都怀疑，少年人什么都懂。—王尔德
given conditions, the harmful can be transformed into the beneficial.在一定条件下，坏事可以变成好事。
Stevenson was eloquent and elegant------but soft.史蒂文森有口才、有风度，但很软弱。
were considered insincere.他们被人认为是伪君子。
not as dense as water.
article the author is critical of man’s negligence toward his
interest in people’s deepest feelings characterizes all her writings.
was motivated by a desire to reach a compromise.
earth on which we live is shaped like a ball.
Pronouns Converted into Nouns
pronouns are more frequently used than Chinese pronouns. In order to
make clear what they really refer to，we
sometimes have to convert them into nouns，i.e.,
to repeat the nouns that they stand for.
waves are similar to light waves except that their wavelength is much
specific resistance of iron is not so small as that of copper.
result of this experiment is much better than those of previous ones.
Conversion into Adjectives
English-Chinese translation there are some circumstances in which
various other parts of speech in English can be converted into Chinese
Converted Into Adjectives
Sometimes it is more convenient for a translator to convert an English
noun into a Chinese adjective.
pallor of her face indicated clearly how she was feeling at the moment.她苍白的脸色清楚地表明了她那时的情绪。
experiment was a success.这个实验很成功。
Independent thinking is an absolute necessity in study.学习中的独立思考是绝对必须的。
security and warmth of the destroyer’s sick bay were wonderful.
talked for some time with Bundy, and his questions reflected the
enormity of his doubts.他同邦迪谈了一会，他提出的问题反映出他有很大的怀疑。
deeply convinced of the correctness of this policy and firmly determined
to pursue it.我们深信这一政策是正确的，并有坚定地决心继续奉行这一政策。
Adverbs Converted Into Adjectives
adverbs are used more extensively than Chinese adverbs；and
many of them can be converted into Chinese adjectives.
Earthquakes are closely related to faulting.地震与断裂运动有密切的关系。
demonstrated that gases are perfectly elastic.已经证实，气体具有理想的弹性。
can English adverbs be converted into Chinese adjectives, but also into
physically weak but mentally sound.
Conversion into Adverbs
Sometimes, for the sake of convenience, some parts of speech in English
may be converted into Chinese adverbs in English-Chinese translation.
Adjectives Converted into Adverbs
the most common case when a noun modified by an adjective is converted
into a verb in the Chinese version. Sometimes，it
is just for the sake of convenience.
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。
when we study their properties can we make better use of the materials.只有研究这些材料的特性才能更好地利用它们。
helicopter is free to go almost anywhere.直升飞机几乎可以自由地飞到任何地方去。
and Verbs Converted into Adverbs
conversion is adopted to make the version conform to the idiomatic
the honor to inform you that your request is granted.我荣幸地通知您，您的请求已得到批准。
mayor earned some appreciation by the courtesy of coming to visit the
evaporation at the heating-surface tends to make the steam wet.
Conversion of Sentence Elements
Conversion in a broad sense includes the conversion of the “active
voice” into the “passive” (which is to be covered separately in UNIT 7).
Sometimes, it may involve the change of various elements of a sentence,
such as from the subject to the object，and
vice versa. For example:
and light are given off.火柴燃烧时发出光和热。
the subject to the object)
sort of stone has a relative density of 2.7.这种石头的相对密度是2.7。
the object to the subject)
must be taken at all times to protect the instrument from dust and damp.应当始终注意保护仪器，不使其沾染灰尘和受潮。
the subject to the predicate)
comparison of them will show you the difference.
the subject to the adverbial, from the object to the subject)
Conversion is also a common practice in Chinese-English translation. As
mentioned above, the Chinese language abounds with verbs and its
sentences are comparatively short and straightforward. When translated
into English, many of the Chinese verbs have to be converted into other
parts of speech such as nouns, adjectives, prepositions or preposition
phrases, and so on.
Lecture 6 Amplification
Amplification, also called addition, means supplying necessary words in
our translation on the basis of accurate comprehension of the original(增词法指的是在英汉翻译中适当增加原文中无其形而有其义的词语，以使译文自然通顺，完整、贴切地表达原文的思想内容。).
As a matter of principle, a translator is not supposed to add any
meaning to or subtract any meaning from the original work. However, this
does not mean that a translator should refrain from supplying necessary
words to make his/her version both accurate in meaning and in keeping
with the idiomatic use of the language to be translated into. In fact,
it is precisely for the purpose of "faithful representation" of the
thought of the author that we often resort to "amplification". This is
because English and Chinese are two entirely different languages and
each has its own historical and cultural background. Therefore, many
ideas, idiomatic expressions and shorthand words, etc. that are well
understood in the country of their origin can hardly make sense to
people abroad. In this case, it is unimaginable for a translator to
stick to the original pattern without alteration and consequently
amplification is adopted in dealing with such occasions.
the following examples.
is often just an idea away.
dust, the uproar（喧嚣）and
the growing darkness threw everything into chaos.
Generally speaking, there are three considerations in amplification
these aim at making the Chinese version more accurate and clear, and
hence more readable.
Since English and Chinese are different in expressions, what is full in
meaning in the former may be considered insufficient in the latter. In
translation, amplification is needed to make sematic completion.
Rhetorically considered, amplification is required to secure clearness
of the version.
the experiment using a wooden ruler，a
pencil and a rubber eraser.
is said to be the thirteenth element in the periodic table.
sun rose slowly from the calm sea.
dim clouds was swimming a crescent moon.
east and the south a faint pink is spreading.
was winding its ways through the valley into the river.
was a complete lie.
they had a quarrel.有一次，他们争吵了一番。
her a sly look.
extremely worried about her, but this was neither the place nor the time
for a lecture or an argument.
squeezed his sister too and gave her a gentle push.
might just take a look at my coat before this afternoon. See if it wants
Supplying Plural Signs
is the king of animals.
bubbles rising from under the water.
earth trembled as with the tramps of horses and murmur of angry men.
mountains began to throw their long blue shadows over the valley.
individual human existence should be like a river — small at first,
narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past
boulders and over waterfalls.
known to all, air is a mixture of gases.
experiments, scientists learned that ocean currents there are erratic
than they had thought.科学家们从这些实验得知，那里的洋流远比他们以前想像得更不稳定。
almost put it down as a general rule in this town that presidents often
invite “honest criticism” from their aides.你几乎可以把这一点看成首都的一种惯例：历届总统经常请他们的助手们提出
acute problems exist among them.他们之间存在着种种非常尖锐的问题。
drove in a black limousine, past groves of birch trees and endless rows
of identical new buildings.他们乘坐一辆黑色轿车，经过一丛丛的白桦树和看不到尽头的一排排千篇一律的新住宅。
bloom all over the yard.朵朵鲜花开满了庭院。
went flying off to Mexico.记者纷纷飞到墨西哥去了。
Supplying Tense Signs
never thought I’d be happy to find myself considered unimportant. But
this time I was.以往我从未想过，当我发觉人们认为我是无足轻重时，我会感到高兴。但这次情况确是如此。
imagined it to be merely a gesture of affection, but it seems it is to
smell the lamb and make sure that it is her own.原来我以为这不过是一种亲热的表示，但是现在看来，这是为了闻一闻羊羔的味道，来断定是不是自己生的。
man had taught the boy to fish and the boy loved him.原来老头儿已教会了孩子捕鱼，所以孩子很爱他。
looked older than his age，
for he had had a hard life.斯梯芬看起来比他实际的年龄要老些，因为他曾经历过艰苦的生活。
always been able to control things. Now control was getting away from
all of them.他们从前一向是能够控制局面的，现在他们大家正在丧失控制了。
man said, " They say his father was a fisherman. Maybe he was as poor as
prose is elaborate rather than simple. It was not always so.
it quite well as I know it now.
insisted to this day that she thought I was just joking.
high-altitude plane was and still is a remarkable bird.
the football match, he still has an important meeting.
evening, after the banquets, the concerts and the table tennis
exhibitions, he would work on the drafting of the final communique.
my family, my friends were more than enough to fill my time.
could count on his restraint or rationality.
dismissed the meeting without a closing speech.
after getting up
before going to bed
you borrow, then you beg.
after day he came to his work—sweeping, scrubbing, cleaning.
typewriter is indeed cheap and fine.
He is a
complicated man – moody, mercurial, with a melancholy streak.他是一个性格复杂的人—喜怒无常，反复多变，有些郁郁寡欢。
wrinkled and black, with scant gray hair.
weary but game, decided to take a break.
all preparations were made, the planes were flown across the U.S. to San
to arms is not the best solution to a quarrel between countries.国与国之间的争端诉诸武力，并不是最好的解决方法。
development of economy remains one of the priorities of the Chinese
the patriot rise within his breast.
allowed the husband to be overruled by the judge, and declared his wife
Supplying Adjectives and Adverbs
Canty, born in rags and dirt and misery, what sight is this!
meeting to begin in just a couple of hours, I hadn’t time to worry about
will make a man of him”, said his father.
doubtlessly expected hugs, tablefuls of food, tears, laughter, and
conversation followed by more conversation, then hugs and more hugs all
over again, without end.
films of those days, all too often it was the same one: boy tractor
driver meets girl tractor driver; they fall in love and drive tractors
then his boots shone.
crowd melted away.人群渐渐散开了。
lingered long over his letter.
I was, and remain, grateful for the part he played in my release.
was, is and always will be trying to improve his living conditions. (注意时态）
no case will the neighbors look on with folded arms. (译出复数）
two weeks saw up-to-the standard machine parts being turned out.
judge let him off with warnings not to cause trouble again.(译出复数）
first electronic computers went into operation in 1945. (增加量词）
helps to save coal and reduce the cost of electricity.(谈及电厂）（增加动词）
remembered the fear and anger in the gunmen’s voices because John was
being slow. (增加动词）
the original project were suggested at the meeting yesterday. (增加名词）
arrogance of the aristocracy helped to lead to the French Revolution. (增加名词）
Jefferson’s courage and idealism were based on knowledge. (增加形容词）
the meeting he made a speech—eloquent and energetic. (增加副词）
fan, with its modern, elegant, bright, and harmoniously colored design,
is an excellent electrical household appliance for cooling purpose on
hot summer days.(增加必要的名词）
Supplying Summarizing Words
short, and so on, etc.等等，翻译时可分别译为“总之”、“等待”。但有时英语句子中并没有概括词，而翻译时却往往了增加“两人”、“双方”、“等”、“等等”、“凡此种种”等概括词，同时省略英语中的连接词。
Militarily, politically and economically军事、政治、经济等各方面
U.S. and Britain held this conference.中、美、英三国举办了这次会议．
thesis summed up the new achievements made in computers, artificial
satellites and rockets.论文总结了计算机、人造卫星和火箭等三方面所取得的新成就．
little over a decade ago, Professors Hoyle, Bondi, and Gold, working at
Cambridge, proposed an entirely different scheme.然而十多年前，剑桥大学的霍伊尔、邦迪和哥尔德三位教授却提出了完全不同的学说。
between mathematics and the life sciences has been strengthened by the
emergence of a whole group of applied mathematics specialties, such as
biometrics, psychometrics, and econometrics.生物统计学、心理测验学、计量经济学等一大批应用数学专业学科的出现，大大加强了数学和生命科学之间的联系。（注释：原句中的连接词and被省略掉。）
Supplying Mood Auxiliaries
take it seriously. I’m just making fun of you.
me, I didn’t agree from the very beginning.
described it (Latvia)—its forests, its little villages, its people, its
fierce nationalism—with an eloquence that could only arise out of deep
love for one’s motherland.
entirely possible that things are being done for my release right now
and that it takes time to do this.
six or eight thousand men,” returned Montcalm, with much apparent
indifference….(J. F. Cooper，
The last of the Mohicans) “那也只不过六千到八千人罢了，”蒙卡姆显然满不在乎地说，……
like Chinese food. Lots of people do these days, sort of the fashion.
mistakes had made, bad ones.
heard later, were sent to college, at the government expense, while one,
it was rumored, had attempted to blackmail the Agency. Unsuccessfully.
is known to all, there is a great difference between the syntactic
structures of the two languages. In English there are many elliptical
parts in the context which are very important to the Chinese readers. In
translation, they should be supplied.
Supplying the Ommitted Parts in Answers to Questions
your book? Yes, it is.
it is = yes, it is mine.)
you want Mr. Smith to be your tutor? Yes, of course I do.
Supplying the Ommited Verbs
Reading makes a full man; conference a ready man; writing an exact man.
concened to develop the bilities of all our students to the full, not
just their academic ability.
retreat, we never have and never will.
conductor has the least resistance and the poorest the greatest.
Supplying the Ommited Parts in the Clauses of Comparision
Better be wise by the defeat of others than by your own.
system of job responsibility can be adopted where the conditions are
ripe and not otherwise.
say to you, without any flattery, that the Chinese way of cooperation is
more inventive and fruitful than others.
(others= the way of cooperation of other countries)
Supplying the Ommitted Parts in the Implied Conditional Clauses
without Adolf Hitler, there almost certainly would never have been a
Third Reich. (对过去事实的虚拟）
time of Kennedy’s assassination, Kissinger felt that a second term would
have led either to greatness or to disaster.（a
second term = a second term of presidency for Kennedy）
thorough testing might have caught the failure initially.
I am in
charge of the depot, only I. people will hold me responsible but not
another Chinese proverb says: three cobblers with their wits combined
equal Zhuge Liang the mastermind.
their wits combined"和the
whole air is so distinguished! She doesn’t take after her father,
son-in-law of our old Ancestress，but
looks more like a Chia. No wonder our Old Ancestress couldn’t put you
out of her mind and was forever talking or thinking about you.
of our Old Ancestress来表示黛玉的身份，以解决交织在一起的语言问题和社会背景问题，忠实地再现了原文的隐含意义。
advantages of the hall are bright, spacious, fashionable and without
talked about wage, price, and inflation. (增加概括词）
bought a red Fiat last month.
little boy had brought with him knife, scissors and what not, tinkling
in his pocket. (增加语气词）
Everybody will remember this promise as we will.
Matter can be changed into energy, and energy into matter.
will change into vapor.
more expensive than it was last time, but not as good.
9.——Shall I bring you a dictionary or an encyclopedia?
is the solid state, water the liquid state, and water vapor the gaseous
Seeing falsely is worse than blindness and speaking falsely than
is a lucky place; if it is not, why do more and more people come to live
plants grow well in certain areas, but not in others, for they do not
have the ability to adapt themselves to foreign climate.
molecules of hydrogen get closer and closer with the pressure.
Courage in excess becomes foolhardiness（蛮勇，愚勇），thrift
man who rises above the common level has received two educations：the
first from his teachers，the
personal and important，from
makes a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man;
Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtle; natural
philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend.
Nida says: “In terms of certain concepts arising from
generative-transformation grammar, the analytical process consists
primarily in determining the underlying meaning. The transfer normally
takes place on this underlying level, since languages appear to be more
alike in their substructures than in their surface structures” And so in
some sense, translation is a kind of transformation from the surface
structures to the substructure and vice versa. And then in translation,
supplementation is necessary at several levels.
the Lexical Level
then had not lost its exclusiveness.
not talked to a white-man for months. He began to tell stories.
cruel master grudged him even the food he ate.
the Phrase Level
came to, he could not, for a moment, recognize his surroundings.
trickster had fobbed him off with this story.
the Sentence Level
went in to dinner. It was excellent, and the wine was good. Its
influence presently had its effect on them. They talked not only without
acrimony, but even with friendliness.
a damned food. Remember I’m not a gentleman. I know how to use my hands.
shortest cut would take us five hours to get there.
the Discourse Level
who remained faithful to him, knew how to cook native food.
rounded just such a cape toward sunset, the most easterly point of a
continent, dramatically high and lonely, a great purple mountain
overhung by a great purple cloud.
Lecture 7 Repetition
try to translate the following sentences:
particularly interested in the articles on and by Lu Xun.
husband’s murder shook her faith not only in the legal system，but
in people as well.
is an important element in both English and Chinese expressions. It is
wiedely used to avoid obscurity and ambiguity. But the two languages
differ in the ways to get emphasis. In rhetoric emphasis is used to make
the speech effective and vivid. In translation, we have, according to
the context, three purposes for repetition: repetition for clearness;
repetition for force and repetition for vividness.
Repeition for Clearness
our discourse, obscurity is cured by logical arranging of words or word
groups in accordance with good usage of the language. And ambiguity is
often remedied by skilful repetition of words in translation. For the
sake of clearness we can do repetition in many ways.
must be cultivated to have the ability to analyze and solve problems.
would be very reluctant to postpone or cancel the meeting.
use natural science to understand and change nature.
foreign embassy is a clear violation of international law—in particular
of the Geneva Convention.
caught a glimpse of the leading motorcycles and of motorcyclist falling
down upon the ground.
ma a book which I kept to this day.
Yesterday afternoon, I met an old friend of mine, who said that he would
go abroad the next week.
travels more quickly than sound does.
do that work very well if you want to.
growth needs sunshine, air and water as well.
robot has accomplished the assigned task and excellently indeed.
went with him to the meeting，I
had never spoken in public. I knew nothing about public meetings or
silks of China are better than those of any other countries.
Translation from English into Chinese is not so easy as that from
English into French.
failure; he had conquered it all his life, risen above it, despised it
advocated the principle of peaceful coexistence, which is now growing
more and more popular among the nations of Asia and Africa.
their conclusions are not pie in the sky—they’re based on an astonishing
experiment in which a dog was frozen for 15 minutes, but then revived in
vagrant believes that poverty has its advantages.
has his own way of making friends.
there is plenty of sun and rain, the fields are green.
and others... (some..., others...)连用的句子，译成汉语时主语往往是谓语重复形式的“的”字结构，有时也可以用“有的...，有的...”或者“一些...，一些....”的句式。
wait a moment.
met with great difficulty in learning organic chemistry.
cities utilize these funds for education，police
and fire departments，public
works and municipal buildings.
Ignorance is the mother of fear as well as of admiration.
People forget your face first, then your name.
3. For a
good ten minutes, he cursed me and my brother.
should think more of others than of ourselves.
Atmospheric pressure decreases with increase in altitude and so does
the density of the atmosphere.
letter V represents “very”, I “important”, and P “person”. That’s what
scientist constantly tries to defeat his hypotheses, his theories, and
best of all governments is that which teaches us to govern ourselves.
have your business and I have mine.
you want to go you may; I have no objection to your going.
or shine, I’ll go there.
became a famous actress—all by herself.
used to be Japan’s position—but not China’s.
spends most of his money not only on books, but on paintings.
will no longer be a nation subject to insult and humiliation.
is absolutely necessary and perfectly just, and the whole nation
understands that it is so.
Revolution means the emancipation of the productive forces, and so does
Repetiting for Force
been discussed, emphasis is to be secured by skillful repeating the
important words. This principle holds true both in English and Chinese.
In translation, such kind of repetition should be maintained in the
Chinese version, or emphasis is to be secured in some other ways.
while you work, play while you play.
never parley. We will never negotiate with Hitler or any of his gang.
fight him by land, we shall fight him by sea, we shall fight him in the
air, until, with god’s help, we have rid the earth of his shadow and
liberated its people from his yoke.
Repetition for Vividness
been discussed in the very beginning of the lecture, repetition is
widely used to secure emphasis not only in English but also in Chinese.
To make the version natural and idiomatic, we may use the Chinese
rhetorical device of repetition here and there though are no equivalent
devices in the original.
The Repetition by Means of Reduplicated Syllables
do it again.
go to Paris, don’t forget to see Mary.
miller smiled and said….
stamped off, growling as he went.
is always in rags, as if he were an orphan.
knows that it was Mary who nursed him day and night.
his experiment report was all written out neatly.
very slight and very scattering ripples of half-hearted hand-clapping
the Second World War, China had been overrun by Japanese invaders.
priorities were established there.
showed himself calm in emergency situation.
questions were evidently unexpected to the slow-witted spokesman, who
instantly found himself tongue-tied.
anger vanished and he burst out laughing.
Scientific exploration, the search for knowledge has given man the
practical results of being able to shield himself from the calamities of
nature and the calamities imposed by other men.
trial, in his opinion, was absolutely fair.
fancy any longer. To you，
he is absolutely a man of loyalty.
was a time of triumph for the many, it was a painful period for the few.
tardiness, carelessness and appalling good temper, we had nothing to do
seek; search, search;
cold; bare, bare；
grief; cruel, cruel grief.
warm, then like the autumn cold again,
to calm the heart!
but seek in vain,
and search again;
so sad, so drear,
lonely, without cheer.
is blue, blue;
steppe wide, wide;
grass that the wind has battered low;
and oxen roam
grows the grass upon the bank,
willow shoots are long and lank.
sweet, clever, attractive, economical, sensible little girl, free at
are exceptions to every rule.
2. I had
been completely honest in my replies, withholding nothing.
people realized how hard Edison worked, often twenty hours a day.
stood there, his whole attention fixed upon the motions of her finger.
of the characteristics of light is that it travels in all directions
from the sources of light.
black parents, angered by the way their children were treated, accused
the school of gross ingratitude and cowardice.
Lecture 8 Omission
a technique opposite to amplification. True, a translator has no right
to subtract any meaning from the original work. But it does not follow
that he should refrain from omitting any words at all in translation. In
fact, one of the marked differences in syntax between English and
Chinese is the disparity in wording. What is regarded as a natural or
indispensable element in one language may be regarded as superfluous or
even "a stumbling block" in the other. Take the following English
sentence and its Chinese version for example:
Original English: The time-keeping devices of
electronic watches are much more accurate than those of mechanical ones.
comparison between the Chinese version with the English original shows
that many of the "redundant" English words have been omitted in the
Chinese translation, otherwise, the Chinese sentence would sound wordy
and unnatural. Therefore, a manipulation of the technique "omission" is
always called for in English-Chinese translation. On the other hand,
some Chinese sentences, when translated into English, also need to be
rid of redundant wording so as to conform to idiomatic English
1. It is
John resumed his experiment as soon as he came into the laboratory.
took this opportunity to inform you that we are now in a position to
make a prompt shipment of the merchandise.
“take this opportunity”和“in
speaking, omission in English-Chinese translation is used to achieve the
effect of succinctness, especially in dealing with excessive use of
English pronouns and such functional words as the article, the
preposition, the conjunction, etc.
In translation, we have, according to the context, two purposes for
omission: Grammatical Consideration and Rhetoric Consideration.
8.1.1Omission of Pronouns
many wonderful ideas, but I only put a few into practice.
order, we cannot complain, we cannot bargain, we cannot question and we
cannot suggest chages.
significance of a man is not in what he attained but rather in what he
longs to attain.
seven days in a week.
He is a
good friend that speaks well of us behind our backs.
take off the old picture and throw it away.
looked at him as if to thank him for it.
listened to me with her rounded eyes.
should concern ourselves here only with the structure of atoms.
the people who are really powerful.
only shallow people who judge by appearance.
better to do well than to speak well.
Ommission of Connectives
is bright, and the sky is clear. (省略并列连词and）
As it is
late, you had better go home.
is the day when I was least busy.(省略表示时间的连接词）
out of the question to fly to the moon in the past.
is setting down beyond the western hill.
of being alone is a primary reason they are staying together.
the book you wanted.
I lost a
bat and a ball. The bat was found, but the ball was gone.
Omission of Prepositions
1, 1997, Hongkong returned to the People’s Republic of China.
space shuttle will return to earth on Monday next as scheduled.
winter, it is much colder in the North than it is in the South.
translation. the preprosition after the verbs are usually remained.
in my brother’s house.
Omission of Verbs
must be effected within the time stated on the purchase order.
pressure gets low, the boiling-point becomes low.
power plant gives factories its constant supply of electricity.（省略动词）
8.2.1Omission of Some Repeteated Words or Phrases
party shall cancel the contract without sufficient cause or reason.
Mr. James had passed to her Maker somewhere about 1930.
Omission of Some Words or Phrases that are not Necessary in Idiomatic
happens, we did not meet there.
also a country of people with a passionate love of flowers and trees and
intense dedication to the welfare of children and to the work ethic.
part, we fully realized that, to avoid the possibility of any further
cease-fire violations, the troops must be withdrawn.
curtseyed again, and would have blushed deeper, if she could have
blushed deeper than she has blushed all the time.
purpose of insurance is to provide protection against financial loss at
a reasonable cost. (省略冠词）
assure you of our prompt attention to this matter. (省略代词）
your TV set does not work properly, you’d better not have it fixed. Just
buy a new one.
do we feel cooler when we fan ourselves?
5. It is
too late for another try. (省略it）
so noisy in the bar and I can’t bear it.
was clearly the headmaster himself that opened the door.
are a variety of population problems in all parts of the world. (省略前置词）
9. Europeans came to the Japanese Islands in the 16th century.
Isaac Newton, theoretical physicist and mathematician, was born in 1642.
There must be some people in the room, for I heard a voice. (省略连词）
Telephone communication is now widespread and efficient. (省略连词）
was a masterly appointment. (省略动词）
These developing countries cover vast territories, encompass (V，包含，包括）
a large population and abound（V，富于）
in natural resources.
Stainless steels possess good hardness and high strength. (省略动词）
is desirable that the meeting should be held as soon as possible.
have tested 200 types of cloth, none of which is completely waterproof.
had learned a lot from the workers and technicians.
cessation of the present restrictions cannot be made.
Their respective destiny are becoming increasingly interdependent.
Before the night was far advanced, they began to move against the enemy.
must make painstaking effort before one could succeed in mastering a
can finish the work so long as you give me time.
are looking forward with interest to you reply.
love my love with an E, because she’s enticing; I hate her with an E,
because she’s engaged; I took her to the sign of the exquisite, and
treated her with an elopement; her name’s Emily, and she lives in the
East. ( Charles Dickens, David Copperfield)
engaged, exquisite, elopement，
is an ill wind that blows nobody good.
is ... that ...")，理解起来有点困难。“对谁都没有好处的风才是坏风”，也就是说大多数情况下风对人都是有好处、有坏处，在引申一步就是成了上面的译句。林佩耵在《中英对译技巧》一书中（第68页）还给了几个相同结构的英文句子。翻译的前提是理解。有人指出。市面上见到的翻译作品，有好多都带有因理解不正确而产生的低级错误，“信”都谈不上还妄谈什么“达”和“雅”！初学翻译的朋友，在理解原文上当不遗余力。
language was almost unrestrained by any motive of prudence.
a livelihood,and then practise virtue.
enjoy the clean voluptuousness of the warm breeze on my skin and the
cool support of water.
Lecture 9 Affirmation and
linguists have pointed out, every language has its peculiarities in
negation. And there is indeed an important, though often neglected,
difference between English and Chinese in negation. It is a difference
in the way of thinking and in the mode of speaking. A close study of
them may shed light on this discrepancy.
at some examples:
Admission by invitation only.
rains in Cleveland today, volunteers will stand in lines with umbrellas
to keep voters dry.
mater should be added after this contract comes into force, then such a
matter shall be agreed upon by both sides through friendly consultations
and confirmed by means of exchanging official documents.
swimming without cap.（反）
area, staff only.
above illustrations we may see clearly that what is affirmative in form
in one language may often mean something negative in another. Generally
speaking, English negative words and expressions fall into the following
(1) “Full negatives”: no, not, none, never, nothing,
nobody, nowhere, neither, nor;
(2) “Semi negatives”: hardly, scarcely, seldom, barely,
few, little, etc.
(3) “Partial negatives”: not every, not all, not both,
not much, not many, not always, etc.
(4) “Words with negative implication”: fail, without,
beyond, until, unless, lest, ignorant, refrain, refuse, neglect,
absence, instead of, other than, except, rather than etc.
translated into Chinese, these negative words should be readjusted
according to different context. And the following are various cases of
negation in E-C translation.
Affirmative in English, but Negative in Chinese
a chance was denied (to) me. (v.)
is what we want most，but
use worst. (adv.)
have read your article. I expect to meet an older man. (adj.)
was beyond his power to sign such a contract. (prep.)
guerrillas would rather fight to death before they surrendered. (conj.)
feel great anxiety about his sickness. (n.)
criminal is still at large. (phrase)
it worked once, it can work twice. (sentence)
Negative in English, but Affirmative in Chinese
just opposite to the previous case.
doubt was still unsolved after his repeated explanation. (v.)
carelessly glanced through the note and got away. (adv.)
the articles are untouchable in the museum. (adj.)
manifested a strong dislike for his father’s business. (n.)
lose time in posting this letter. (phrase)
flight couldn’t long escape notice. (sentence)
English Words, with Either Affirmative or Negative Equivalents in
new to the work.
is free with his money.
realized that he was in trouble.
station is no distance at all.
no less than a fraud.
works of art were left intact, the money gone.
Double Negative for Emphasis
negative in English, as in Chinese, is used for emphasis. In this case
we may either drop both the negative word or keep to the original,
depending on which version is idiomatic in Chinese.
is no rule that has no exception.
is not any advantage without disadvantage.
never rains but it pours.不雨则已，雨必倾盆。
is impossible but that a man will make some mistakes.人不会不犯错误。
am not reluctant to accept your proposal.
significance and importance can never be overemphasized.
an indirect way of expressing a strong affirmative, and when translated
into Chinese, the emotion of the original should be properly kept.
didn’t half like the girl.
couldn’t feel better.
couldn’t agree with you more.
that isn’t what I want!
can’t see you quick enough.
Traps in Negative Structure
practice of translation, we may find now and then that some negative
structures can hardly be rendered into Chinese literally，and
sometimes even their original meaning could be elusive. This is where we
are liable to make blunders. The following are some typical patterns
that call for attention.
engine didn’t stop because the fuel was finished.
scamp your work because you are pressed for time.
In that city, we had never suffered discrimination
because we were Jews.
version is not placed first because it is simple.
The importance of this conference cannot be
I shall never be able to stress too much for your
cannot be too careful in proofreading.
that glitters is not gold.
cities did not look like as they do today.
everything is not straightened out.
both cannot go.
the instruments are not precision ones.
read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; each invokes His aid
against the other. The prayers of both could not be answered.
may leave at once for all I care.
seemed as fresh as ever, for all that I never saw him drink or eat.
is a good workman that never blunders
is a long lane that has no end.
is an ill wind that blows nobody good.
United States, everyone can buy a gun. (正译)
United States, guns are available to everyone. (反译)
obtain this information on the Internet.
information is accessible/available on the Internet.
he had a new idea. (正译)
suddenly thought out a new idea. (正译)
idea suddenly occurred to/struck him.
could not understand me. (正译)
failed to understand me. (反译)
hardly be rated as a bright student. (正译)
anything but a bright student. (反译)
Please withhold the document for the time being.
is not kicking out Western Imperialism
order to invite other new masters.
didn’t love her because she was beautiful.
world today is far from peaceful.
is worthy of being called a great army of the people.
window refuses to open.
failed to get to school on time yesterday.
excluded children (from) getting in.
building is in a state of neglect.
this is beyond my ability.
rather than you, should do the work.
truth is quite other than what you think.
was refused admittance by them.
opportunity is not likely to repeat itself.
evidence is conclusive, excluding all possibilities of doubt.
White has refrained from making any official comment on the coup in that
served to strengthen instead of weaken our determination (or: That
strengthened, rather than weakened, our determination.)
for the workers’ help, we should not have succeeded in this experiment.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “All criminals are not murderers.”
all men are not born to reign.
children are not clever.
noes make a yes.），但作为一种粗俗英语或亚标准英语，一直被以英语为母语的人们，特别是英语国家的不少劳动人民在使用，表示强调否定之义。这种双重否定的语言现象在不少书中，如马克·吐温的The
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn一书中使用得很多。遇到这类的句子，一定要认真研究上下文，弄清它到底是肯定还是否定。如果是一种亚标准英语，就不要译成肯定意思。
never thought of nothing wrong.
never thought of anything wrong.）
would not eat themselves, and would not let others neither.
was extremely sorry for the shortness of time.
kept in the dark about the transaction of the company.
Before I could say "thank you", the postman had disappeared around the
have read your articles. I expect to meet an old man.
may be out on weekends.
dived into the water fully clothed and rescued the children.
never gave up in face of difficulties.
can never be too careful in one’s work.
The scientist must approach the familiar just as carefully and cautiously as he does the unfamiliar.
He was absent from his own country last year.
He dived into the water fully clothed and rescued the children．
He was extremely sorry for the shortness of time.
I do think that it is beyond his power to fulfill the task．
lecture was interesting but as far as I am concerned, the speaker was
speaking over my head.
The plan as it is leaves much to be desired．
Lecture 10 Division &
follow the original sentence structure in translation, we may find it
hard to reproduce the original thought. Besides other ways to deal with
this case, we may divide such a sentence into two or more parts by
picking out those words, phrases or clauses which are "hard nuts to
crack" and making them into Chinese word-groups, clauses or sentences,
coordinate or subordinate.
division, we have to determine where to divide, how to divide, what the
subject or the predicate of the new clause or sentence should be, and
how to rearrange various parts of the original sentence. These may
involve such techniques as Conversion, Addition and Inversion.
Picking Out of Words
advisable to pick out those words which are hard to reproduce in the
origins and expand them into Chinese word-groups, clauses or sentences.
There are usually three steps to deal with such words:
Determine which word(s) to pick out;
Apply Conversion or Addition, if necessary, to make the translated
version smooth and well-connected;
Rearrange the word order according to the Chinese mode of expression.
reminded me of what I should otherwise have forgotten.
headlines of the Paris and London newspapers were big, black，and
frightened. (The Winds of War)
3. I had
unforgivably in a stealthy manner, peeped at her correspondence.
relentlessly tear at the flowers they see.
sailors swarmed into a laughing, cheering ring around the two men.
present people have a tendency to choose the safety of the middle-ground
shall be glad of your company on the journey.
filled neatly two columns of the single-sheet issue with his article.
this time our poor bewildered families had been kept in secret at
had seen the dictionary, flying over the pavement of the little garden,
fall at length at the feet of the astonished Miss Jemima. (Vanity Fair)
time could have been more profitably spent in making a detailed
investigation. (= If the time had been spent in making a detailed
investigation, it culd have been more profitable.)
sister-in-law is a nice pretty woman? (Vanity Fair)
showed us a terrifying film about flash-flooding. (N. Rigg)
can believe that I have worked that moment over and over again，in
a sad attempt to send time back and resolve the event in a less tragic
way. (N. Rigg)
Picking Out of Phrases
Participle phrases, noun phrases, and prepositional phrases, etc., if
hard to reproduce in the original structure, may likewise be picked out
image of a sudden wall carrying the man and his car away in an instant
is still imprinted on my mind. (N. Rigg)
Somehow our path took us toward the park, across the footbridge high
above the Roolling waters of the Los Angeles River. (N. Rigg)
was at this time in his late fifties, a tall, elegant man with good
features and thick waving dark hair only sufficiently graying to add to
the distinction of his appearance.他这时已是将近六旬的人，高个儿，一表人才，眉目清秀，卷发又多又黑，略带花白，恰好衬出他那堂堂的仪表。
Splitting of Complex Sentences
adjective clause for example. The English adjective clause and the
Chinese attribute in the form of a word-group—there
is no such term as "定语从句"
not only syntactically, but semantically as well. Syntactically
speaking, the adjective clause is placed after the noun it modifies with
a connective (or omitted), while the Chinese attribute is placed before
the noun it modifies with or without a "的".
Semantically speaking, the Chinese attribute in most cases only modifies
or restricts the noun, while the English adjective clause plays a wider
range of roles: it may denote restriction or non-restriction, add
description or explanation, and express reason, result, purpose,
condition, or concession. That is, though it is called an "adjective
clause", it may function like an adverbial. Moreover, one clause may
govern or modify another, rendering the sentence long and complex.
However, such sentences hardly exist in Chinese, so English complex
sentences are often split up in translation.
Separate the Adjective Clause from the Main Clause
adjective clauses may be translated into separate clauses or sentences,
or subordinate clauses which function as adverbials denoting reason,
result, purpose, condition, concession, etc. Here are some examples to
illustrate this point.
Translate adjective clause into separate clauses or sentences.
drafted in moderate terms，which,
despite its flaws，we
shall support, is primarily an appeal.
Bright sunshine flooded the street where a group of boys in Sunday
clothes were playing ball. (A. Maltz: Sunday Morning on Twentieth
was the period when Einstein began the research which resulted in the
creation of his famous theory of Relativity.
Translate adjective clauses into Chinese subordinate [adverbial]
However we should not give much credence to this tale, which is more
likely spread to make fun of the supposedly stingy nature of the Scots.
Matter has certain features or properties that enable us to recognize it
There is a minimum size for the reactor at which the chain reaction will
just work. (condition)
gas occupies all of any container in which it is placed. (concession)
enemy decided to send an envoy, who was to sue for peace. (Purpose)
was trying to sell a snake-shaped ring which was found to be Walenn’s.
(Galsworthy: The First and the Last) (main clause, time)
Translate adjective clauses into Chinese word-groups.
aggressor is the one who has doomed one entire people to live on
international charity, in the midst of concentration camps where
sickness, squalor and desolation are rife. (就是那个)侵略者，把整整一个民族害得只能靠国际救济，在难民营里过活，疾病蔓延，污秽不堪，一片凄凉。
would have had to live the rest of their lives under the stigma that
they had recklessly precipitated an action which wrecked the Summit
Conference and conceivably could have launched a nuclear war.
Separate Other Clauses from the Main Clause
Inversion often requires division. We may separate other clauses from
the main clause and rearrange the word order, rendering the main clause
or the subordinate clause into Chinese independent element (独立成分)
or extra-position element
l. It is
a familiar fact that nothing in nature will either start or stop moving
Secretary, do you share the view that too many people are talking too
much about Iraq?
Splitting of the Whole Sentence (拆译整个句子)
is often needed to translate colloquial expressions, complex and long
sentences. It should be noted that shorter expressions or sentences are
generally preferred in Chinese.
Bernard Shaw: Pygmalion, 1913,
what if I did? I’ve as good a right to take a taxi as anyone else.
can you be such a foolish ignorant girl as to think you could afford to
pay Mr. Higgins?
you wouldn’t have the fact to ask me the same for teaching me my own
language as you would for French.你总没那么厚脸皮要咱一样多的钱吧？这是教本国的话，又不是教法文。
necessity of division is largely due to the different features in
sentence structure: hypotaxis (形合法)
or “architectural style”（楼房建筑法）of
English and parataxis（意合法）or
modifiers, with longer phrases and adjective clauses in particular,
should often picked out and separated from other parts of the sentence
as to make the Chinese version smooth and idiomatic. The reason why
longer English adjective clauses are arranged in translation lies in
the fact that Chinese has no English-like “adjective clauses”, the
Chinese attribute should be placed before the noun and is thereby
considerably limited in length because—
Hypotactic vs. Paratactic (形合与意合)
is the dependent or subordinate construction or relationship of clauses
with connectives, for example, I shall despair if you don’t come.
English sentence building is featured by hypotaxis.
the arranging of clauses one after the other without connectives Showing
the relation between them, for example, The rain fell; the river
flooded; the house washed away. Chinese sentence building is featured
clarify the relations between words, phrases or clauses, English more
often resorts to overt cohesion(显性接应),
frequently using various cohesive ties such as relatives (relative or
conjunctive pronouns and adverbs, e.g. who, whom, whose, that, which,
what, when, where, why, how), connectives (coordinate or subordinate
and, or, but, yet, so, however, as well as，(n)either…(n)or…，when,
while, as, since, until, so…that…,
unless, lest), prepositions, and some others.
I try to understand what it is that prevents so many Americans from
being as happy as one might expect, it seems to me that there are two
causes, of which one goes much deeper than the other.
Change of information, if any, concerning the contents of this section
will be found in the appendix at the end of this book.
contrast, Chinese more frequently relies on covert coherence (隐性连贯)
on temporal or logical sequences. Instead of using various cohesive ties
such as relatives, connectives and prepositions as in English, Chinese
more often resorts to word order, contracted sentences (紧缩句),
and some grammatical or rhetorical devices such as repetition,
antithesis, and parallelism. Compare English with Chinese:
not attack unless we are attacked·
won’t come here, I’ll not go there.
this time a foo1.
all is over, ambition never dies.
does not advance falls backward. / Move forward, or you’ll fall behind.
(1984:141) points out，
opposite of division is condensation, a teachnique employed to achieve
conciseness and contractedness in translation. On the other hand, we may
pick out a word or a phrase from a simple sentence and make it into a
word-group, a clause or a sentence, or we may split a complex sentence
into two or more clauses or sentences; on the other hand, we may
condense a phrase into a word, a clause into a word-group, a complex or
compound sentence into a simple sentence, or two or more simple
sentences into one simple sentence, to make our translation concise or
Condensation in English-Chinese translation further testifies to the
difference between hypotaxis of English and parataxis of Chinese.
Condensation of Phrases and Clauses
the course of the same year, war broke out in that area.
one has told them about the British custom of lining up for a bus so
that the first person who arrives at a bus stop is the first person to
get on the bus.
that moment on, Kissinger told us, their problem was to gear the
negotiation in such a way that it would support their military
the earliest opportunity he ordered the cavalry to ride out and clear
the level ground in the occupation of the enemy.
must buring forward a new design at the earliest possible date.
Nature is bountiful in her variety, yet economical in the way she makes
this continues the land will soon look like a desert.
Condensation of Complex Sentences into Simple Sentences
we praise the Chinesee leadership and the people, we are not merely
is no time when the circulation of water does not take place.
Mercury expands as it gets hotter and contracts as it cools.
acting of plays was something to which the educational theory of the
Renaissance attached high importance. (= The acting of plays was granted
high importance in the educational theory of the Renaissance.)
5. It is
this emphasis which it lays upon the unity of a work of art that the
classical conception seems principally opposed to the romantic. (= The
principal difference between the classical conception of a work of art
and the romantic one seems to lie in whether emphasis is laid upon its
save embarrassment to people still living I have given to the persons
who play a part in this story names of my own contriving, and I have in
other ways taken pains to make sure that no one should recognize them.
Condensation of Compound Sentences into Simple Sentences
1844 Engels met Marx, and they became friends. 1844年恩格斯与马克思相遇并成了朋友。
was midnight, and there was not a single soul on the street.
time was 10:00 p.m., and traffic on the street was light.
Florence the river Arno runs down to Pisa, and then it reaches the sea.
Condensation of Two or More Simple Sentences into One Simple Sentence
was very clean. His mind was open.
had a long discussion with him. He got nowhere.
Constructive criticism should not break friendship. It should breed
was early morning on August 5, 1990. The sea was calm. 1990年8月5日清晨，海上风平浪静。
Many proverbs or maxims are condensed or contracted when translated into
knows most says least.
who would gather roses must not fear thorns.
“Take this” is better than two “I’ll give you”. (Spanish proverb)
best fish smell when they are three days old.
the wind and reap the whirlwind.
who grasps too much holds nothing fast.
hay while the sun shines.
made your bed, so now you must lie on it.
care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.
me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.
Lecture 11 Translation of the Passive Voice
use of passive voice is considered to be one of the outstanding features
of the English language, especially in its scientific works. And the
following is a typical example:
is found deep in the ground its presence cannot be determined by a study
of the surface. Consequently, a geological survey of the underground
rock structure must be carried out. If it is thought that the rocks in a
certain area contain oil, a “drilling rig” is assembled. The most
obvious part of a drilling rig is called “a derrick”. It is used to lift
sections of pipe, which are lowered into the hole made by the drill. As
the hole is being drilled, a steel pipe is pushed down to prevent the
sides from falling in. If oil is struck a cover is firmly fixed to the
top of the pipe and the oil is allowed to escape through a series of
short section of 14 predicate verbs, the passive accounts for 13.
Generally speaking, English passive voice is preferable in the following
the active subject is unknown or cannot be readily stated
Rome was not built in a day.
the actor (or doer of the action) is known but need not be mentioned
Visitors are requested not to touch the exhibits.
the actor is emphasized for some special purpose
three machines can be controlled by a single operator.
the passive structure is used as a stylistic device to avoid the
incoherence of structure shifting
John was a lawyer’s son and was destined to the bar.
passive voice in Chinese is less commonly used in comparison with the
English on account of the flexible syntax of the Chinese language.
Therefore, in dealing with E-C translation, we should avoid sticking to
the original pattern and try to convert the passive voice into various
Chinese sentence patterns.
following are usual methods of translating English sentences in the
Passive Voice Converted into Active Voice
The Original Subject Unchanged
gas can be liquefied and bottled or piped into homes.
2. It is
reported that another man-made earth satellite has been put into orbit.
Whenever two objects are rubbed together, electrons are transferred from
one object to the other.
Preventable evils – starvation, disease, slavery and war – now continue
solely because we are tied to out-dated political and economic systems.
Use the Chinese pattern
Retaining the Original Subject.
rate of motion or the speed of an object is given in units of length and
question will be discussed in the next chapter.
must be dealt with at the appropriate time.
Changing Wording while Retaining the Original Subject
are paid for this.
was attentive to the signs of public opinion and disposed to be guided
by them when right.
culture of antiquity was rediscovered.
prepared to face about and march back to Princeton, to be governed by
circumstances and the movements of General Lee.
Hitherto he had been held in check by superior considerations and by the
controlling interference of Congress.
Debtors of English merchants, they will be deprived of their liberty if
they take the smallest step.
has been pursued day by day, and year by year, by a most phenomenal and
Before reaching his teens, Christopher was firmly installed an official
second violinist in the court orchestra.
Convert the Verbs in Passive Form into Chinese Nouns
hall is air-conditioned and beautifully lighted.
electric current is defined as a stream of electrons flowing through a
Changing Original Object into Subject
1. It is
well known that the compass was invented in China more than two
thousands years ago.
when the pressure stays the same, great changes in air density are
caused by changes in temperature.
cooperation – this association – will be strengthened by our talks this
week in Beijing – the first such talks ever between Prime Ministers of
China and Australia.
that is cooled suddenly shrinks as some of the moisture is squeezed out,
and clouds are formed.
Adding a Proper Subject to Make the Chinese Version Smooth
According to G. Leech and J. Svartvik (1974:258), the by-phrase
containing the agent of a passive clause is only required in specific
cases (in fact, about four out of five English passive clauses have no
agent). The passive is especially associated with impersonal style (e.g.
in scientific and official writing), where the question of who is the
agent (i.e. who performs the action described by the verb) is
unimportant and often irrelevant. O. Jespersen and R. Quirk hold the
similar view about the agent in the passive. In Chinese, however, as
pointed out, “中国正常的被动式是必须把主事者说出来的。”吕叔湘and
also hold that “在形式上，’被’字底下一般要有宾语，表示主动者”,
though there is an increasing tendency toward omitting the agent in the
translation, the unknown or unimportant agent of an English passive may
be supplied by using the indefinite subject like
the definite subject like
to the context, thereby making the translated sentence active in form.
Voices were heard calling for help.
2. It is
now understood that atoms can be further divided into smaller particles.
Common ferrous heat treating processes with the case hardening left out
are briefly discussed.
went on to say that a living protein would probably be prepared
chemically in another hundred years to come when the composition of
protein became known.
was startled when the menu was brought, for the prices were a great deal
higher than I had expected.
6. Not a
voice, or hand, or even an eye was raised.
atomic weapons were used for the first time Winston Churchill described
the power of the atom as “a revelation long mercifully withheld from
The Passive voice Converted into a Sentence without a Subject
translating, the Chinese “executive form” with causative
mechanical energy can be changed back into electrical energy by a
resistance can be determined provided that the voltage and current are
resistance must be given careful consideration when the aircraft is to
Passive Structure remaining Unchanged
Robert was dismissed by the boss of the factory.
factory was seriously damaged during the earthquake.
Translation of the Idiomatic Passive
translating some idiomatic English passive like the following, we
usually use the character
or supply indefinite subjects like
or use no-subject or subject-omitted expression to turn the passive into
1. I was
told that …我听说……
2. It is
must be admitted that…必须承认……
4. It is
will be seen from this that…由此可见……
has been objected that…有人反对说……
7. It is
sometimes asked that…人们有时会问……
8. It is
9. It is
is recommended that…
Passive Voice replaced by Other Structures
cases, however, the passive voice in English cannot be rendered into
good Chinese by any of the above means. Therefore, it is up to the
translator to adjust or remold the whole structure, trying to find a
readable and smooth Chinese version.
village is populated by about 13000 farmers.
trees are denuded of leaves in winter.
news was pass on by word of mouth.
has been wedded to translation.
and her husband have been asked out for the banquet.
Nowadays people usually prefer driving to being driven.
Lecture 12 Translation of the English Noun Clause
English noun clause falls into four kinds: the subject clause, the
object clause, the predicative clause and the appositive caluse, which
function as a noun in a complex sentence. The crux of translating the
English noun class lies in a proper arrangement of its order.
Translation of the Subject Clause
1. It is
reported that the Summit Meeting will be held in December.
could be argued that the radio performs this service just as well; but
on television everything is much more living, much more real.
3. It is
well known that alloy is a metal product containing two or more
4. It is
quite possible that someday John will come to see you again.
5. It is
frequently the case that his car breaks down on the highway.
6. It is
a matter of common experience that bodies are lighter in water than they
are in air.
B. “It +谓语（表语）+that”句型
7. It is
strange that she has failed to see his advantages.
goes without saying that plants cannot grow without sunshine.
9. It is
quite obvious that the girl still loves you deeply.
follows that the Chinese comrades consider Korea’s cause as their own.
whatever, whoever, when, whether等引导出的主语从句通常可按正常语序译出。如：
is hard is to do good all one’s life and never do anything bad.
the students find most difficult in English is its idiomatic usage.
Whatever was said here must be kept secret.
will monitor the class is not decided yet.
her parents will come hasn’t been under consideration.
Translation of Object Clause
have not made up my mind as to what elective course I am to take next
shows that something unexpected may have turned up.
Feng always thought how he could do more for people.
was never satisfied with what she had achieved.
Zhang San replied that he was very sorry.
leave it to your own judgment whether you should do it.
made it clear to the students that they must hand in their assignments
before 11 a.m.
think it quite true that he ventured out to Shangri-la.
Whether they like it or not, I don’t care.
they were asked to do in 10 days, they finished in two.
Translation of the Appositive Clause
According to Synder, my cousin, Oswald mentioned this matter.
two like to go there.
son, my employer’s nephew, was himself an assistant in the shop.
in there hours we reached our destination, A prison.
theory must go hand in hand with practice is a principle we should
always keep in mind.
is a common knowledge that weight is a pull exerted on an object by the
you decided whom you are to nominate as your candidate?
is where you are wrong.
had to face the fact that our prospects were less than good.
the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive:
for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistorical
acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have
been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life,
and rest in unvisited tombs.
Lecture 13 Translation of English Attributive Clauses
Attributive clauses are widely used in English. In many cases, sentences
are made very long because of attributive clauses. Hence it is important
to have a correct comprehension and an accurate translation of attribute
clauses. Different attributive clauses may express different meaning
such as purpose, concession, result and so on. An attributive clause
usually follows the word it modifies. This is different from Chinese. In
Chinese there is no post-position attributive and there can’t be too
many modifiers preceding the modified word. All this causes changes in
translating some sentences which contain attributive clauses.
Translating into Prepositive Attribute
the most common practice of translating English attributive clause that
it not too long. In this case, an English restrictive attributive clause
is translated into prepositive attribute. By doing so, we have actually
converted an English complex sentence into a Chinese simple sentence.
don’t like people who lose their temper easily.
2. He is
wisest who is honest.
will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts
and those who harbor them.
and oceans are the new world which scientists are trying to explore.
laughter, which was infectious, broke the silence.
6. To be
sure, a great rebuilding project would give jobs to many of those people
who need them.
recent years, however, people have begun to become aware that cities are
also areas where there is a concentration of problems.
sun, which had hidden all day, now came out in all its splendor.
liked his sister, who was warm and pleasant, but he did not like his
brother, who was aloof and arrogant.
Translating into Postpositive Attribute
Sometimes, an English sentence with a restrictive attributive clause is
too long or too complicated for the translator to take as a single
sentence. In this case, we may divide it into two or several parts,
placing the attributive clause after the principal clause to conform to
the Chinese usage, repeating the antecedent being modified.
Smith, who came to see me yesterday, is a relative of my wife’s.
was awarded a gold medal, which the whole family considered a great
eagle catches the snake that gobbles the toad that swallows the insect
that nibble at green leaves.
volume is prepared as examples for writing compositions which, as it
were, has been taken as a difficult task.
Matter is composed of molecules that are composed of atoms.
listen, I met a man, who said you could solve this problem.
light comes from the sun, which is a mass of hot, glowing gas.
blamed me for everything, which I thought very unfair.
books, which are only a small part of my collection, I picked up in
seem to enjoy those rewards which they had purchased by a course of
unmerited fatigue, and by victories which almost exceeded belief.
told the story to John, who (=and
he) told it to his brother.
mixture here we mean combining the principal clause and the attributive
clause into a single Chinese sentence without any distincition. This
method is usually adopted in translation English “there be …” structure.
is a man downstairs who wants to see you.
is a man翻译成“有人”，然后将定语从句译成句子的谓语部分。）
our factory, there are many people who are much interested in the new
are many people翻译成“许多人”，作译文的主语，然后将定语从句译成句子的谓语部分。）
used a plane of which almost every part carried some indication of
had a balance at her banker’s which would have made her beloved
are many people who want to select this major.
are the only person who could do it.
has a son of twenty who is now at the college.
was the first time I had serious trouble with my leader.
Translating into Adverbial Clause
attributive clauses (both restrictive and non-restrictive) function as
the adverbial in the complex sentence, having a very close logic
relationship with the principal clause and indicating the cause, result,
purpose, time, condition, concession, etc.
Translating into Adverbial Clause of Time
driver who is driving the bus mustn’t talk with others or be
Translating into Adverbial Clauses of Cause
showed no further wish for conversation with Mrs. Smith, who was now
more than usually insolent and disagreeable.
Translating into Adverbial Clauses of Condition
become desperate for work, any work, which will help them to keep alive
Translating into Adverbial Clauses of Concession
insisted on buying another house, which he had no use for need.
Translating into Adverbial Clauses of Purpose
wishes to write an article that will attract the public attention to the
2. He is
collecting authentic material that proves his argument.
Translating into Adverbial Clauses of Result
tried to stamp out the revolt, which spread all the more furiously
throughout the country.
Translating into Adverbial Clauses of Adversative
was very patient towards the children, which her husband seldom was.
whose wife is ill, cannot come to the party.
insisted on buying another coat, which he had no use for.
Norway is, quite naturally, paying great attention to developments in
Europe and in the Atlantic community, which are so instrumental to the
maintenance of peace and security in our part of the world.
arms drive, which brings huge profits to the monopolists, weighs heavily
on the working people and seriously worsens the economy of the country.
are few of them but (who don’t) admire your achievement.
house was more luxuriously decorated than suited his taste.
computer, which seems to play the role of a human brain, is often called
an electronic brain.
took Chinese medicine which relieved her symptoms.
There is no bad habit that may not be cured by a strong willpower.
newswoman wishes to write an article that will attract public attention
sun, which had hidden all day, now came out in all its splendor.
was an old woman, tall and shapely still, though withered by time, on
whom his eyes fell when he stopped and turned.
remarked now he took a different seat from that which he usually
occupied when he chose to attend divine worship.
who has never tasted what is bitter does not know what is sweet.
she turned the corner a new idea occurred to her, which made her stop
did not remember his father who died when he was three years old.
civilization that encourages the motive of self-interested calculation
to rule every sphere of social life is on a sure path to moral
Lecture 14 Translation of Long Sentences
Translation of long English sentences involves not only a mixed
application of various techniques but also a careful analysis of their
grammatical structures and logical sequences. That is to say, on one
hand, to achieve accurate comprehension a translator should take pains
to decode the logical sequence of a long sentence in addition to its
grammatical relation, on the other, to achieve appropriate reproduction
a translator should make no less efforts to rearrange various parts
according to the Chinese way of thinking than to applay translation
techniques, such as Diction, Conversion, Omission, Repetition,
Inversion, Negation, Division, and Condensation.
Features of Long English Sentences
speakers build up long sentences in an “architectural style”. They pay
more attentiontoconstruct “spatial structure”, often regardless of
temporal sequences. It seems to us Chinese that they build basic
structures in five patterns, namely, S+V, S+V+P, S+V+P, S+V+o+O, and
S+V+O+C as mainstays, with words, phrases, or clauses as members of
sentences, then join, directly or indirectly, various kinds of nexuses
composed of word, phrases, or clauses as modifiers, to the mainstays of
the basic structures. Here, among other things, English inflection and
function words play important roles in connecting various parts
grammatically and in showing their relations logically. This is why we
often stress that various parts in English sentences are generally
arranged in hypotaxis.
English language is characterized by its frequent use of some hereditary
inflections and a great variety of connectives, such as propositions,
prepositional phrases, conjunctions, relative pronouns, relative
adverbs, which are enriched by the verbals (participles, gerunds, and
infinitives). All of these serve as ways to connect one part with
another grammatically and logically.
English sentence, simple or compound, complex or compound-complex, may
be made complicated grammatically because of the following:
Compound or co-ordinate elements: co-ordinate subjects, verbs, objects,
predicatives, object complements, attributes, and adverbials, etc.
or clauses used as modifiers: prepositional phrases, participial
phrases, infinitival phrases, attributive clauses, and adverbial
or clauses used as members of the sentence: prepositional phrases,
participial phrases, infinitival phrases, gerundial phrases, verbal
phrases, subject clauses, object clauses, and predicative clauses, etc.
Supplementary elements : appositives, parentheses, independent elements,
and absolute constructions, etc.
Separation of one part from another by modifiers or supplementary
elements in the sentence
take some examples to analyze：
Behaviorists suggest that the child who is raised in an environment
where there are many stimuli which develop his or her capacity for
appropriate responses will experience greater intellectual development.
Behaviorist suggest that-clause
who is raised in an environment为定语从句，所修饰的先行词为child；
where there are many stimuli为定语从句，所修饰的先行词为environment；
which develop his or her capacity for appropriate responses为定语从句，所修饰的先行词为stimuli；
2. For a
family of four，for
is more convenient as well as cheaper to sit comfortably at home，with
almost unlimited entertainment available，than
to go out in search of amusement elsewhere.
is more … to do sth than to do sth else.
it is more convenient as well as cheaper to …
to sit comfortably at home，并与第三个谓语结构to
go out in search of amusement elsewhere作比较。
a family of four作状语，表示条件。另外，还有两个介词短语作插入语：
almost unlimited entertainment available，其中第二个介词短语作伴随状语，修饰to
sit comfortably at home.
Common Ways to Translate Long Sentences
following are the major steps to translate a long sentence:
Step 1: Find out the basic pattern: SV, SVP, SVO, SVoO, SVOC?
Step 2: Find out the subordination: modifier or modified?
Step 3: Find out the meanings of words: meing in a given context?
Step 4: Find out the grammatical relations: tense, aspect, voice, mood,
Step 5: Find out the focus, temporal or logical sequences
Step 6: (Re)arrange various parts according to Chinese ways of thinking
and modes of expression
Step 7: Revise, modify and polish the draft
Follow the Original Order
Some of long English sentences follow the same temporal or logical
sequence as Chinese. If so, maintain the original order in translation.
Africa I met a boy, who，crying
as if his heart would break, said, when I spoke to him , that he w as
hungry because he had had no food for two days.
to the twentieth century, women in novels were stereotypes of lacking
any features that made them unique individuals and were also subject to
numerous restrictions imposed by the male-dominated culture.
consider a human soul without education, like marbles in the quarry,
which shows none of its inherent beauties, until the skill of the
polisher fetches out the colors, makes the surface shine, and discovers
every ornamental cloud spot and vein that runs through the body of it.
Through this dark avenue I had a distant view of the cloister, with the
figure of an old verger, in his black gown, moving along their shadowy
vaults, and seeming like a specter from one of the neighboring tombs.
for the unfortunate people who can command everything they want, who can
gratify every caprice and lay their hands on almost every object of
desire—for them a new pleasure, a new excitement is only an additional
Invert the Original Order
English sentences, simple or complicated, may not arrange themselves in
the same temporal or logical sequence as Chinese. If so, we must invert,
partly or completely, the word order of the original, often employing
Division as well.
therefore becomes more and more important that, if students are not to
waste their opportunities, there will have to be much more detailed
information about courses and more advice.
goes fast for one who has a sense of beauty, when there are pretty
children in a pool and a young Dianna on the edge, to receive with
wonder anything you can catch!
goes fast; 2个定从：who
has a…/ (anything) you can …1个时状从：when
Insects would make it impossible for us to live in the world；
they would devour all our crops and kill our flocks and herds，if
it were not for the protection we get from insect-eating animals.
Various machine parts can be washed very clean and will be as clean as
new ones when they are treated by ultrasonics, no matter how dirty and
irregularly shaped they may be.
(the poor) are the first to experience technological progress as a curse
which destroys the old muscle-power jobs that previous generations used
as a means to fight their way out of poverty.
Split a Long Sentence into Shorter Parts or Sentences
Inversion often goes hand in hand with Division. In a long sentence the
main clause and the subordinate clauses or modifiers may not be closely
related. These are often split into several parts or sentences in
number of the young people in the United States who can’t read is
incredible about one in four.
was wisely determined to give up smoking.
prisoners are permitted to receive Red Cross food parcels and write
Taking his cue from Ibsen’s A Doll’s House，in
which the heroine，Nora，leaves
home because she resents her husband’s treating her like a child，the
writer Lu Xun warned that Nora would need money to support herself；she
must have economic rights to survive.
Television, it is often said, keeps one informed about current events,
allow one to follow the latest developments in science and politics, and
offers an endless series of programs which are both instructive and
is often said”，三个并列的谓语结构，还有一个定语从句，其中三个并列的谓语结构尽管在结构上属于同一个句子，但都有独立的意义，因此在翻译时，可以采用分句法，按照汉语的习惯把整个句子分解成几个独立的分句，翻译成：人们常说，通过电视可以了解时事，掌握科学和政治的最新动态。从电视里还可以看到层出不穷、既有教育意义又有娱乐性的新节目。
Suddenly the door bursts and the Time Traveler appears, dirty,
disheveled, and bed ragged, with a nasty cut on his chin.
disheveled, bed ragged,
his failures in life came the fears for the future.
wanted to laugh at their harmlessness.
failure to observe the safety regulations resulted in an accident to the
Combined Use of Different Techniques
English sentences are hard to render into Chinese if only one of the
above three strategies were employed singly. Thus, combining the three
different techniques together on the basis of a good logical, spatial,
and chronicle understanding of the sentence would help us tackle the
problem and present native Chinese expressions.
Neither sorrow nor regret followed my passionate outburst.
People were afraid to leave their houses, for although the police had
been ordered to stand by in case of emergency, they were just as
confused and helpless as anybody else.
visited the neighboring villages, and added greatly to my stock of
knowledge, by noting their habit and customs, and conversing with their
sages and great men….
has changed, many experts believe, is that Americans have grown more
reluctant to cast stones at friends and neighbors who fail to meet the
moral standards they set for themselves.
Towers, domes, … and arches have been formed over millions of years of
weathering and erosion, and the process continues, constantly reshaping
this fantastical rock garden.
Decision must be made very rapidly; physical endurance is tested as much
as perception, because an enormous amount of time must be spent making
certain that the key figures act on the basis of the same information
the present century was in its teens, and on the sunshiny morning in
June, there drove up to the great iron gate of Miss Pinkerton’s academy
for young ladies, a large family coach, with two fat horses in blazing
harness, driven by a fat coachman in a three-cornered hat and wig, at
the rate of four miles an hour.
Techniques in Long Sentence Translation
1582 Richard Mulcaster, one of the earliest English grammarians, who
paid attention to this problem, wrote the English tongue is of small
reach, stretching no further than this land of ours.
the same village, and in one of these very houses (which, to tell you
the precise truth, was sadly time-worn and weather-beaten), there lived
many years since, while the country was yet a province of Great Britain,
a simple good-natured fellow of the name of Rip Van Winkle.
Changing the Order of Some Words
Divorce is less culturally acceptable in a society that is
most Tokyo people the advantages of their town until recently outweighed
Translate Words into Sentence
1. A mix
of arrogance and continued fear of Iraqi intentions colors Kuwaiti
reactions of no fly zones.
a mix of …的含意，可以添加几个字“一方面”。
Established in 1960s when federal money flowed, the clinics are now a
shadow of their former selves. Patients wait hours while the undermanned
and sometimes short-tempered staff struggle to meet the demand.
always lived ahead of his salary.
have never outgrown my delight in movies; I am there for every good
should doctor say, for example, to a 46-year-old man coming in for a
routine physical check-up just before going on vacation with his family
who though he feels in perfect health, is found to have a form of cancer
that will cause him to die within six month?
choice tobaccos plus modern filter make Peter Stuyvesant the
international passport to smoking pleasure.
much pride in our ultra-modern aircraft as we do in our old-fashioned
ideas about service.
Lecture 15 Comprehensive Application of Major Techniques in E-C
my last holiday in the Bahamas, as I walked along the beach feeling the
gentle waves wash over my feet, I felt part of universe, even if only a
minuscule one, like a grain of sand on the beach.
I had to restrict the size of my practice, I felt a closer empathy with
I walked into the Intensive Care Unit there was an awesome feeling
knowing I, too,
had been a patient there.
was a special satisfaction to comfort my patients with cancer, knowing
that it is possible to enjoy life after the anguish of that diagnosis.
gave me a feeling to see the sparkle in one patient's eyes-a man with a
total laryngectomy-when I asked if he would enjoy a cold beer and went
to get him one.
one realizes that our time on this earth is but a tiny fraction of that
within the cosmos, then life calculated in years may not be as important
as we think.
measure life in heartbeats?
life is dependent on such an unreliable function as the beating of the
heart, then it is fragile indeed.
only thing that one can depend upon with absolute certainty is death.
walked along the beach feeling the gentle waves wash over my feet”
I, too, had been a patient there这一分词短语转换成由
that it is possible to enjoy life after the anguish of that diagnosis这一分词短语切分成译文中的三个分句。
gave me a feeling to see the sparkle in one patient’s eyes分成译文中的两个分句。
once remarked that the British and the Americans are two peoples
separated by the same language.
epigrams exaggerate for effect, and this one is no exception.
it is, nevertheless, undeniably true that some commonly used words mean
different things in these two cultures.
the seemingly single term-”the government.”
parliamentarians trained in British terminology, “the government” means
“the cabinet: a group of the legislature’s own members, chosen by it to
devise public policies, to manage the legislature’s major activities,
and to exercise executive powers.
theory, at least, the government continues office only so long as it
commands the support of a majority of the legislature.
that support, it may be turned out of power at almost any moment.
Americans say “the government,” they mean something quite different: it
connotes the whole governmental structure-executive, legislative and
assume a situation in which the branches of government are deliberately
separated and in which the powers of each check and balance those of the
once remarked that the British and the Americans are two peoples
separated by the same language.