Results 1 to 6 of 6
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 773
    #1

    Which sentence is better?

    Hello everyone,

    Regardless of the original which sentence is more standard? One is from my textbook, the other is translated by me.

    Textbook: Overseas visitors should remember that it is often unnecessary to eat more than a single mouthful of a dish at a Chinese banquet.
    Mine : Foreign guests should keep in mind that they should only taste a little bit instead of having too much at a Chinese banquet.


    Waiting for your opinions here?


    Regards

    Sky

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 1,211
    #2

    Re: Which sentence is better?

    They have entirely different meanings.
    The text book assures me that it is not rude if I do not clean my plate, or take a large helping of everything offered to me.

    Your sentence tells me I had better eat before I go to your banquet, for I should not eat very much at your table (lest I appear barbaric).

  1. Noego's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 583
    #3

    Re: Which sentence is better?

    Hello there!

    I wouldn't agree with your translation but again it depends on what you are trying to convey.

    Overseas visitors should remember that it is often unnecessary to eat more than a single mouthful of a dish at a Chinese banquet.


    You translation sounds more imperative than the original sentence.

    The sentence quoted above sounds more like a suggestion to me, something to keep in mind. Whereas your translation sounds more authoritative, commanding.

    Besides the original uses the word often which means that this suggestion is not an absolute and applies frequently but not all the time.

    In other words, I believe that your translation should be stated as more of a suggestion rather than as an imperative.

    That's my take on it. Let's see what the others have to say about it.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 773
    #4

    Re: Which sentence is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    They have entirely different meanings.
    The text book assures me that it is not rude if I do not clean my plate, or take a large helping of everything offered to me.

    Your sentence tells me I had better eat before I go to your banquet, for I should not eat very much at your table (lest I appear barbaric).
    I feel the two sentences are very similar!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 1,211
    #5

    Re: Which sentence is better?

    Textbook: Overseas visitors should remember that it is often unnecessary to eat more than a single mouthful of a dish at a Chinese banquet.
    Mine : Foreign guests should keep in mind that they should only taste a little bit instead of having too much at a Chinese banquet.


    Okay, let's look at it in three parts.

    Overseas visitors should remember that = Foreign guests should keep in mind that
    at a Chinese banquet. = at a Chinese banquet.


    The difference is here in the middle:
    it is often unnecessary to eat more than a single mouthful of a dish
    they should only taste a little bit instead of having too much


    The first one is very clear: You do not need to eat a lot.
    The second one is equally clear: You should NOT eat a lot.

    The first assures me that, should I not wish to eat everything offered, it is culturally acceptable for me to say no thank you.
    The second says that it would be inappropriate for me to eat very much.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #6

    Re: Which sentence is better?

    Let me give you two sentences and tell me if they sound the same to you.

    When you see someone you know while at the hardware store, it's okay if you don't do more than smile and wave.

    When you see someone you know while at the hardware store, don't have a long conversation; just smile and wave.

    That is the difference between your two sentences.

Similar Threads

  1. sentence structure question
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 17-Jan-2008, 10:53
  2. the whole sentence used as a noun
    By hamoodee in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-Oct-2006, 16:55
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Sep-2006, 14:07
  4. Attributive Clause - China Needs Your Help
    By ChinaDavid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-Jan-2005, 16:56
  5. grammar
    By jiang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 17-Dec-2003, 20:02

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •