Chinese Resources

Friday, February 1, 2013

Translation Practice 2.0

My mini translation challenge continues this week with another post from Seth's Blog. I ran into some issues with this one, and ended up putting my work on Lang-8 to be checked by a native speaker. My biggest issue was whether to add a subject to the sentence or not, or when to add "mistake," since Chinese is a pro-drop language.

I wrote the post in simplified Chinese, since most Lang-8 users are from Mainland China.

Here is my original work, as you can see there are parts that were unclear to me:

Two kinds of mistakes

一种错误是过分的防守现状, 投资太多的时间与力量放在保持目前的状况。
There is the mistake of overdoing the defense of the status quo, the error of investing too much time and energy in keep things as they are.
And then there is the mistake made while inventing the future, the error of small experiments gone bad.

We are almost never hurt by the second kind of mistake and yet we persist in making the first kind, again and again.

Here is the Lang-8 user corrected version:





Truth be told, I don't know how well the corrections capture the original meaning, I'll need to discuss with a native speaker. The confusion, for me, comes from the 即使再...也 portion of the third section. I understand that 即使...也 and 再...也 can both be used as a sort of concession of a truth or outcome, for example: 
  • 即使你去了也沒用 (Nothing would have changed even if you had gone)
  • 你到了北京,時間再緊也要去看老師 (When you arrive in Beijing, however tight your schedule is, you must go to visit your teacher.
But, can they both be used together? Furthermore, is that what Seth is saying with the line "the error of small experiments gone bad? I don't think so.

I'll have to give this one some more thought, but I would encourage anyone who has an opinion to comment below. I look forward to uncovering the mystery, and of course, learning a great deal in the process! Stay tuned for the next episode of this mini challenge sometime next week!

The original blog post from Seth can be found here.


  1. I have heard about this lang-8 site but i havent really used it yet. Is this your first time using lang-8? If not, how long have u been using it?

    1. I've used Lang-8 on and off for a over a year. It is a great resource for getting native speaker feedback on journal entries, or anything you are writing in Chinese. How one uses Lang-8 or similar sites really depends on what your goals are. I could write a lot more about this here, but I think I'll make a point of addressing this issue in a blog post. Either way I think you should try it out. The site is free, and a great language learning tool!

  2. The translation of 即使再...也 portion from Lang-8 is wrong, I think the meaning of third section in Chinese should be:
    另外一種錯誤則發生在創造未來的時候,這個錯誤導致(你的 or 我們的)小實驗失敗了。

    I added a few words that does not exist in the English version to make it more easier for reader to get the meaning of what the author want to say.


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