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Techniques of Direct Translation and Sense-for-sense Translation Commonly Used in English-Chinese Translation Services – Experience of The Taichung Br

Author:admin   Joined:2019/1/31   Clicks:2385 Secondary

There are two ways of English-Chinese translation services, “direct translation” and “sense-for-sense translation”. Direct translation refers to the translation that stick to the meaning and structure of the original source text. As the English and Chinese languages are similar in certain aspects, translation from English to Chinese can sometimes be directly translated. However, differences remain between the two languages. If translation is done directly for the entire article, Chinglish is bound to exist. At such times, sense-for-sense translation is needed to break free from the structure of the original source text when complying with the content of which, giving the translation done the grammatical structure of the Chinese language.

Nonetheless, “direct translation” does not mean “translating from word to word”. Similarly, “sense-for-sense translation” does not mean “translating freely without reign”.

If the structure of the original source text is indifferent to that of the Chinese language, one can simply translated according to the text given. However, if the structure of the original source text is distinctly different to that of the Chinese language, direct translation of which can be a total disaster, making English-Chinese translation a complete mess of words that readers can’t even understand the meaning of the text itself. Therefore, we must make full use of methods such as transition of part of speech, component of words, order of words to make the sentences more fluent and easier to be understood.

Only on the basis of having correctly understood the sentences of a passage, one can make use of methods of translation to ‘fix’ the structure of the original source text using the normative Chinese expression to achieve “sense-for-sense translation”. From the experience, it is clear that most of the English-Chinese translation must be conducted by the method of “sense-for-sense translation”.

For “sense-of-sense translation” of English-Chinese translation services, translators from Taichung emphasize on control. If “sense-of-sense translation” is understood as understanding the original source text by subjective understandings, one might forget to analyze the structure of the original source text. By such, translators would only consider the literal meaning of the words when constructing their own translated sentences, resulting in a mess of translation with chaotic sentence structure and even mistranslated sentences.

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