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Practical Workplace English [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2005-12-15 23:24:15 |Display all floors
Hello there,

I am new here but I am not a new comer (1) to forums.   

I am very irritated to see writing in far from perfect English.  There are too many silly mistakes made by users of English due to ignorance or incompetence.

Many simply dream to become a top English user, without spending much time reading, listening, writing or speaking the language.   I have summed it up in one of my blogs:-
http://blog.hexun.com/mdoinit

No matter how difficult it is to write in English, we must try it.  Without ever trying it out, you never learn it well.   I for one do not like to see Chinese being used in English forums except for explanation.  By this, I mean those who is fairly advanced already, not complete beginners.

Here is an example of an email from someone who worked in an educational institution in China.

Original
--------

Dear Botch,

thank you very much for your visiting. i am very pleased we had a happy talk. i reported our talk to my boss, Mr Lupeng. and i know that Butterfly English Language Center and Mickymouse International Education Center Corp) have signed contract already. all we talked yesterday are very clearly on that contract, including the quotation.

our task (Jingzhou Office) is to explain universities and colleges to students.

appreciate your coming again. have a nice weekend.


yours Julie Cai

MIECC, JINGZHOU OFFICE


Improved Version  (by MDOINIT)
------------------------

Dear Botch,

It was a pleasure meeting you in our offices yesterday.

Mr Lupeng, my supervisor, will be duly informed of the details of our meeting which covered the co-operative agreement between Butterfly English Language Center and Mickymouse International Education Center Corp) and a related quotation.

This Jingzhou Office can provide you with information on universities covered by the scholarship program and assist you with the applications from students. You are most welcome to approach us any time for further assistance.

We look forward to working with you to make the scholarship program a success.

Sincerely,
Julie Cai
MIECC (Jingzhou Office)


After comparing the two, I believe you folks can come to your own conclusion as to what is true natural English compared to Chinglish.

Until my next post,
QM ( mdoinit = I am doing it )


P.S.   I just realized that this has nothing to do with translation so I will continue with another post on translation here.


CORRECTIONS BY mdoinit himself:-
Found 8.10am (Friday, 16th Dec 2005):

" I am very irritated to see writing in far from perfect English."
"writing" should read "writings"
In fact, the whole sentence has to be re-written thus:-
"I am very irritated to see writings which are far from perfect English."

(1)  new comer should read newcomer

Hahaha...    A commission error like this is really doing much disgrace and disservice to me.

[ Last edited by mdoinit at 2005-12-17 12:44 PM ]

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Post time 2005-12-15 23:34:44 |Display all floors

Translation Practice

A friend of mine sent me a piece from a blogger.  I have it re-touched to illustrate the use of English.

Note:-   The translation below each Chinese paragraph is from my own hand.

Expecting a New Day 期待新一天
(Source: withheld by QM on the request of Liuyuhong )


经历过星期三清早的“洗劫”,心情也逐渐平复下来了。今天是星期一,又和往常一样回到了办公室上班。
My heart found peace again after the robbery on Wednesday morning. I showed up in the office like any other Monday.

前天在长沙的温度还有16度,昨天下午到北京刚下火车,就是零下好几度。北风那个吹,你叫我怎么活呀?哎,风太大。

It was 16C the day before yesterday in Changsha. When I embarked from the train in Beijing yesterday, it was a few degrees below zero. How could I survive the northerly winds? Ya, the wind was so fierce.

什么事情都过去了。一些基本的大问题也差不多都解决了,现在我可以轻松一下了。
It's all over now. Now that the few fundamental problems have been resolved, I feel so light.

今天的天气风格外的大,我甚至怀疑这么大的风的确能够加速路上行人脸上皮肤的老化,进一步增加皱纹指数。

The wind today was exceptionally strong. I even doubted if this really help accelerate the aging of the faces of the pedestrians, raising the wrinkle index.

幸福地是,本人办公室的条件非常不错,私人占用的空间很大,所以做一些筋骨活动来增加身体抵抗力是没有任何问题的。

Fortunately, the environment of my office is not bad at all - a lot of space for everyone working there. It is no a problem for someone to stretch a bit to improve body resistance.

最近公司的人似乎特别倒霉,好几个同事都丢了东西,甚至还有被抢的事例接踵发生。事情也来的莫名其妙,每个人都被这种来自何方的“妖气”和西伯利亚“冷气”都镇的软弱无力。

A few bad lucks hit the people in the office lately. A few colleagues dropped their belongings or had them removed by robbers. All these happened out of the blue. Everyone was overpowered by this devilish air and Siberia cold wind.

不过新的星期一,自然会期待新气象,期待新待遇,期待新心情,期待新“生活”。

Anyway, on a brand new Sunday, a new atmosphere is naturally in our expectation - new treats, new mood and new lives.


The blogger’s own translation:-

My sunny smiles came back after experiencing the unlucky matter. It’s Monday today and I come back to work in the office as usual.

It’s very warm in Changsha the day before yesterday while it dipped freezing when I arrived in Beijing yesterday afternoon. The northern wind was blowing hard and what could I do under the super-windy-weather circumstances?

Everything has been past and my own problems have been basically solved and I can relax for a while. It’s super windy this morning and I suspect that the wind can undoubtedly accelerate the aging of the face skin of the people in the street, further adding the wrinkle index. Luckily, my office’s working conditions are comparatively nice and my private space is big and it’s no problem with me doing some physical exercise to build up my body.

It looks increasingly likely that some colleagues in my company are very hapless. The cases just happened without rhyme or reason. Many of us are still wondering why everyone has seemingly been pressed down to flabbiness and impotence by the evil spirit from nowhere and the cold from Siberia.

Anyway, it’s a new Monday today and naturally I will anticipate the new weather, a new encounter, a new love and a new life. Just kidding around lar.

[ Last edited by mdoinit at 2005-12-15 11:39 PM ]

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Post time 2005-12-15 23:37:22 |Display all floors

A few more pieces from my own hands (translation)

Someone sent me this Chinese piece and challenge my translation skills.

枯藤老树昏鸦,
小桥流水人家,
古道西风瘦马,
夕阳西下,
断肠人在天涯。

My translation:-

Sleepy crows resting on the dryout branches of an old tree,
Streams running under the small bridges of the houses,
Thin horses trekking the forgotten trails in westerly wind,
Sunset finding its path in the west,
Souls with broken hearts finding their way in the horizon.

At the end of the day, Chinese is a marvellous language for stuff like that. You can have a wider interpretation with all the 'verbs' missing.

A piece written in English with just 'nouns' makes no sense at all. It's incomplete English writing at best.

Have fun!

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Post time 2005-12-15 23:39:09 |Display all floors

Challenged by a professor of English

先天下之忧而忧,後天下之乐而乐。

This is what I rendered at the time I was challenged by a professor of English who attended my English salon.

I picked up the chalk and wrote on the board this:-

"Worry before it gets to others, enjoy after others have it."

QM

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Post time 2005-12-15 23:42:27 |Display all floors

穷则独善其身,达则兼善天下

My close friend sent me his translation like this:-

"If poor, they (men of antiquity) attended to their virtue in solitude; if advanced to dignity, they made the whole empire virtuous as well. "


穷则独善其身,达则兼善天下

I tend to put these in the very simple English words thus:-

"Poormen take care of themselves only; the rich look after the world as well."

I remain simply QM.

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Post time 2005-12-16 03:05:17 |Display all floors

I can still put up with your imperfection, though.

I will by no means be irritated, I mean.

===================
Just a few points nitpicked:

I am new here but I am not a new comer to forums.
=> I am new here but I am not a NEWCOMER to forums.

I for one do not like to see Chinese being used in English forums except for explanation.  By this, I mean those who is fairly advanced already, not complete beginners.

=>  By this, I mean those who ARE fairly advanced already, not complete beginners.

It was 16C the day before yesterday in Changsha. When I embarked from the train in Beijing yesterday, it was a few degrees below zero. How could I survive the northerly winds? Ya, the wind was so fierce.
=>
It was 16C the day before yesterday in Changsha. When I DISEMBARKED (?) from the train in Beijing yesterday, it was a few degrees below zero. How could I survive the NORTH winds? Ya, the wind was so fierce.

[ Last edited by tumujerome at 2005-12-16 03:13 AM ]

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Post time 2005-12-16 03:34:51 |Display all floors

Thanks for the examples, mdoinit.

Let me join the discussion with some suggestions and comments of my own.

经历过星期三清早的“洗劫”,心情也逐渐平复下来了。今天是星期一,又和往常一样回到了办公室上班。
My heart found peace again after the robbery on Wednesday morning. I showed up in the office like any other Monday.
>>
Suggestion: I showed up in the office as I would any other Monday.
Comments: You can’t show up in the office “like any other Monday” – you can’t equate yourself to Monday. You can say: today is like any other Monday – here you are equating today with any other Monday, which is OK.

前天在长沙的温度还有16度,昨天下午到北京刚下火车,就是零下好几度。北风那个吹,你叫我怎么活呀?哎,风太大。

It was 16C the day before yesterday in Changsha. When I embarked (disembarked) from the train in Beijing yesterday, it was a few degrees below zero. How could I survive the northerly winds? Ya, the wind was so fierce.
>>
Suggestion: It was 16C the day before yesterday in Changsha, but quite a few degrees below zero when I got off the train in Beijing. North winds a blowin’, how am I going to survive? Gosh, it’s just too much.
Comment: The blogger is contrasting the balmy 16C weather in Changsha and the bitter sub-zero temperature in Beijing, so it is better to put this in one sentence. Also, embark/disembark is too formal for a blog, when everything else is informal, e.g., “ya/gosh”. I think “got off” or “stepped off” is better.
Note: 北风那个吹 is taken from the theme song of 《白毛女》, so I am using "north winds a blowin'" to match the style.

什么事情都过去了。一些基本的大问题也差不多都解决了,现在我可以轻松一下了。
It's all over now. Now that the few fundamental problems have been resolved, I feel so light.
>>
Suggestion: With most of the major issues resolved, I can now relax a bit.
Comment: Feel so light can also mean physically light because you have been on a diet. Best to avoid confusion by using “relax”, a term that is closer to the original meaning of 轻松 anyway. Also, avoid translating 问题 to problems unless you know explicitly it is a problem. 问题 can be a problem, a question, a misunderstanding, an inconvenience, something to do, etc. So “issue” is a better word.

今天的天气风格外的大,我甚至怀疑这么大的风的确能够加速路上行人脸上皮肤的老化,进一步增加皱纹指数。

The wind today was exceptionally strong. I even doubted if this really help accelerate the aging of the faces of the pedestrians, raising the wrinkle index.
>>
Comment: My understanding of 我甚至怀疑这么大的风的确能够加速 is that: I suspect the strong wind can indeed accelerate the aging… (Whereas your version means it cannot accelerate the aging…)

幸福地(的)是,本人办公室的条件非常不错,私人占用的空间很大,所以做一些筋骨活动来增加身体抵抗力是没有任何问题的。

Fortunately, the environment of my office is not bad at all - a lot of space for everyone working there. It is no a problem for someone to stretch a bit to improve body resistance.
>>
Comment: Here the blogger is talking about her own office/work area – she has a lot of private space and can do a bit of stretching exercise in her own area.

最近公司的人似乎特别倒霉,好几个同事都丢了东西,甚至还有被抢的事例接踵发生。事情也来的莫名其妙,每个人都被这种来自何方的“妖气”和西伯利亚“冷气”都镇的软弱无力。

A few bad lucks hit the people in the office lately. A few colleagues dropped their belongings or had them removed by robbers. All these happened out of the blue. Everyone was overpowered by this devilish air and Siberia cold wind.
>>
Comment: 好几个同事丢了东西 A few colleagues lost their belongings (it really means the items were stolen)
好几个同事。。。被抢 The subject here is 好几个同事 – they were robbed, not removed by robbers.
Siberia cold wind --> cold air from Siberia OR Siberian cold air – cold air to be symmetrical with devilish/evil air.

不过新的星期一,自然会期待新气象,期待新待遇,期待新心情,期待新“生活”。

Anyway, on a brand new Sunday, a new atmosphere is naturally in our expectation - new treats, new mood and new lives.
>>
Suggestion: Anyway, as it is a new Monday, I naturally hope that things can start fresh - fresh weather, fresh deals, fresh feelings, and fresh routines.
Comment: Why does the blogger expect new things? Because it is a new Monday. So I suggest adding “as it is” after the first comma to make the logic clear. Also, 新气象,新待遇,新心情,新“生活”are not sure things, so you can’t “expect” them like you expect to go to bed everyday. Here I think “hope” is a better word.

[ Last edited by laoxianggg at 2005-12-16 08:05 AM ]

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