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  1. #1
    rocking is offline Junior Member
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    Question Please help with the style

    The following is my translation from a very scholarly Chienese text. In order to retain its style, could I get better in style?(please feel free to give your versions as this is for practice only.)

    The fact that Chinese ang English are intrinsically different renders it possible in translation to restructure or reword in the target language in order to convey the message faithfully. Mere retaining to its original form is likely to result in wordiness or distortion of message.


    How do you like the second more literal version below? Do you think the two are of the same text?


    Since the Chinese language and its Western counterparts are fundamentally different, there is no shortage of needs to make cosmetic changes by adding, subtracting or altering phraseology in translation. An overemphasis on matching the expressions or imitating the original words used with exactitude could lead to the obscurity of meanings.
    Last edited by rocking; 25-Jul-2009 at 10:37. Reason: self revision

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    Wink Re: Please help with the style

    Quote Originally Posted by rocking View Post
    The following is my translation from a very scholarly Chienese text. In order to retain its style, could I get better in style?(please feel free to give your versions as this is for practice only.)

    The fact that Chinese ang English are intrinsically different renders it possible in translation to restructure or reword in the target language in order to convey the message faithfully. Mere retaining to its original form is likely to result in wordiness or distortion of message.


    How do you like the second more literal version below? Do you think the two are of the same text?


    Since the Chinese language and its western counterparts are fundamentally different, there is no shortage of needs to make cosmetic changes by adding, subtracting or altering phraseology in translation. An overemphasis on matching the expressions or imitating the original words used with exactitude could lead to the obscurity of meanings.
    Hi,

    I'll try to rephrase both passages.

    The fact that Chinese and English are fundamentally different makes it possible, and beneficial, to restructure or reword a text when translating in order to convey the message faithfully. Retaining its original form is likely to result in wordiness or distortion of the message.

    I feel skeptical about using "intrinsically" in this particular way. I feel that "fundamentally" is a wiser choice.

    And I've just noticed that it's the choice in the more literal version.

    Since the Chinese language and its Western counterparts are fundamentally different, the need to revise by adding, subtracting, or altering phraseology in translation is well justified. An overemphasis on precisely matching the expressions or imitating the original words could obscure the meaning of a translation.


    So these are my rewrites for your texts. Please, post follow-up questions if you have any.


  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Please help with the style

    Quote Originally Posted by rocking View Post
    The following is my translation from a very scholarly Chienese text. In order to retain its style, could I get better in style?(please feel free to give your versions as this is for practice only.)

    The fact that Chinese ang English are intrinsically different renders it possible in translation to restructure or reword in the target language in order to convey the message faithfully. Mere retaining to its original form is likely to result in wordiness or distortion of message.


    How do you like the second more literal version below? Do you think the two are of the same text?


    Since the Chinese language and its Western counterparts are fundamentally different, there is no shortage of needs to make cosmetic changes by adding, subtracting or altering phraseology in translation. An overemphasis on matching the expressions or imitating the original words used with exactitude could lead to the obscurity of meanings.
    I prefer the more literal version.
    There are problems with your shorter version. It would be okay if these were fixed:
    Firstly, I originally read it that
    The fact that Chinese and English people are intrinsically different ... The literal version makes clear that it's the language that is fundamentally different. (So keep 'language' whichever version you decide on).
    renders it possible - I believe "renders it necessary" is the meaning.
    retaining to its original form - "retaining it's original form", or "sticking to its original form"

  4. #4
    rocking is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Re: Please help with the style

    Many thanks for both of you and your advice.

    Neither of you made any comments on "its Western counterparts"; does that mean it is acceptable to say so? Which is better compareing to "Western languages"?

    Could you give more examples to show the differences between "intrinsically" and "foundamentally"?

    After my last posting, I revised my translation into

    "The fact that our mother tongue and the Western languages are intrinsically different renders it imminent in translation to restructure and rephrase in the target language. The attempt of retaining the mere form of the source language risks wordiness and meaning distortion."

    Any comments please? Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Please help with the style

    Quote Originally Posted by rocking View Post
    Many thanks for both of you and your advice.

    Neither of you made any comments on "its Western counterparts"; does that mean it is acceptable to say so? Which is better compareing to "Western languages"?
    You can use 'counterparts'. I don't like the idea of "our mother tongue". If you are translating it into English, then English people will read it, and "our mother tongue" means nothing unless they know you are Chinese.
    "The fact that our Chinese tongue and the Western languages are intrinsically different ...

    Could you give more examples to show the differences between "intrinsically" and "fundamentally"?
    In this context, they mean pretty much the same. You could use them both.
    Intrinsic means 'inherent within the nature of a thing'.
    Fundamental mean 'at a basic level; at the foundations'.
    are intrinsically and fundamentally different ...

    After my last posting, I revised my translation into

    "The fact that our mother tongue and the Western languages are intrinsically different renders it imminent in translation to restructure and rephrase in the target language. The attempt of to retain ing the mere form of the source language risks wordiness and meaning distortion."
    Why imminent? I don't understand your meaning here.
    No, the differences render it necessary to rephrase. If you want the translation to be understood, you must rephrase, because the languages are so instrinsically and fundamentally different. If you want a softer phrase, maybe 'renders it advisable/prudent/wise'.


    Any comments please? Thanks.
    I think that if you are going to translate a venerable person from the past, you should try to be faithful to the original meaning. But then, he is advising not to do that! So, it's a dilemma.
    Of course, if it's only for personal practice, it doesn't matter.

  6. #6
    rocking is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Please help with the style

    I truly appreiciate your advice and help. It just happens that I have to think of several possible versions before deciding on one. Lucky to have this rare opportunity to take advantage of your judgements, which I cherish greatly and will build upon my own! THanks!

    Oh, by the way, I mistook imminent for a synonym of "inevitable".

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