Darkgaia: English and Chinese Translation Rules (Advanced)

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English and Chinese Translation Rules

Sentence Structure 句型/句子结构

English (Verb oriented sentence structure) (动词行谓语)

  • SV (intransitive)
  • SVO (transitive + object)/(Prep + verb + object)
  • SVOO (direct + indirect object)
  • SVC (linluing V / transitive V / verb to "be" + Complement)
  • SVOC
  • SVOA (Adverbial [壮语]) 壮中结构
  • SVA

Chinese (Subject + Predicate single sentences) (主谓单句)

  • 动词谓语句 (SV, similar to English)
  • 名词谓语句 (No verb, N + N)
  • 形容词谓语句 (主)(谓) (Theme and Rheme)
  • 主谓谓语句 [(主)( 谓 ) ]

Missing Subject Sentences (零主语句)

Chinese sentences need not necessarily have a subject (the subject can be omitted, or defined implicitly according the context). However, English sentences usually do. The translator must remember to replace the appropriate subject (also known as a "dummy subject") into the English sentence after translation.

Connecting Sentences (流水句)

These are Chinese sentences used to connect ideas in a Chinese paragraph. When translating into English, one must remember to observe the appropriate English sentence structure: The first clause followed by additional supplementary information.

"Is" Sentences (“是”字句)

The Chinese equivalent of "Is" is the word “是”. A translator must take note of the words before and after 是 in order to produce the correct equivalent logical translation in English.


English → Chinese

SVO[C] → [(话题),(说明)]

(eng) Subjects are usually noun-based. 英文的主语一般必须有具有名词性质

  • Noun Phrases
  • Infinitive Verbs
  • "What"
  • "That"

They can also be descriptions about time or locations (Proper Nouns) 也可以以时间或处所名词做主语

(eng) English contains the use of Marked Themes/Sentence structures to convey emphasis 英语也有“话题--说明”句子.

(zho) The subjects of Chinese Sentences need not necessarily be a noun/noun phrase 中文句子的话题并不一定是名词/名词词组

Tree Structures vs Branch Structures

(树式结构 vs 竹式结构)

(eng) Simple sentence structure: Subject + Predicate (基本的主干 → 主语+谓语)

  • Any further sentences or supplements branch from this basic sentence structure. (“树枝” 从主干发展出来的)

(zho) Do not conform to to one specific sentence structure (不存在一个主干结构,没有主干与树枝之分)

  • Relies on meaning and conjunctions to continually add clauses. (靠意思和虚词等关联词)

Importance of Subjects

English Chinese
Subject prominent 注重主语 Marked sentence structure 话题-说明
Subject-Verb based 主谓结构 Two form based 双分结构
Must have a subject, and the main verb is the focus of the sentence, the object will be acted upon by the verb 主语不可少,谓语中的动词是句子中心,谓语中的宾语是目标/承受着 What would be in the subject is the marked theme, which will be understood by the reader through context 处在主语位置的词 → 话题,读者通过语境理解内容
3 main syntax SVO (Must have Subject-Verb agreement) “三分结构” 主谓(动)宾 (必须有主谓一致) Ever-changing sentence contruction 灵活的句子结构
  • 定语 → Attribute
  • Standard sentence structure: Normally does not accompany contextual information, is the basic sentence structure, with fixed grammar rules. (顺装语序:最一般,不附带语境意义,基本句型,语序固定 【顺装句】)
  • Marked sentence structure: To emphasise certain details or utilise literary devices. (倒装语序:为了强调某个细节或达到某种修辞效果 【倒装句】)
  • Object-fronted structure: Demonstrate special meanings or grab the reader's attention to key points by placing the object in front of the verb. (宾语前置:表达特定的意义或引起读者对相关重要信息的注意时让宾语出现在动词之前。)

Contrasting Grammar Rules (语序的对比)

Linguistic Features English Chinese
Marked Structures(倒装) Effectively demonstrates linguistic features and affects nuances, while being flexible in sentence structures. 有效丰富的形态变化和语法手段,语序也比较灵活 Lacks the changes in nuance, and the sentence structure is fixed. Only passive sentence structures can be marked 缺乏形态变化,语序相对固定 只有"存现句"句法倒装句
Object-fronting(宾语前置) Usually only distanced from front (Object in front of subject) 一般只能远距离前置 (宾语在主语之前) Can be distanced or close to front (Object in front of verb) 可远/近距离前置(宾语在动词之前)
Adverbial/Complement(定语/状语) Can add to the front or back (Adverbial can be very long) 可前置/后置(定语很长) Usually fronted 一律/通常前置
Time(时间) Not strict about chronological order of sentence structure 不需严格按时间颇序安排句子 Based on chronological order to structure sentences 根据时间顺序安排句子
Order of descriptions(时空范固) The opposite of Chinese, but also not as rigid about this rule. 与汉相反,但没汉那么有规律 Big→Small, Top→Bottom, Far→Near, Whole→Parts, Background→Foreground 大→小,上→下, 远→近,整体→局部,背景→前景
Causality (因果) Flexible with causality, usually the effect is fronted 灵活一些,经常把结果前置 Cause→Effect 因→果
Emphasis (重点) Emphasis is fronted 重点前置 Emphasis is shifted to the back 重点后置