Thursday, 24 May 2007

Learning Chinese R/W way - Lesson 7

In this lesson, we shall learn some more words from machine translation and look at some bad Chinese.

Machine translation of English into Chinese (such as Babel Fish Translation) produces highly "Englishised" Chinese. For example, the following paragraph

I live in Melbourne Australia. It is in the Southern hemisphere. Here, the weather changes rapidly. We have four seasons in one day: spring, summer, autumn and winter.

is translated to
我住在墨爾本澳洲。它是在南半球。這裡, 天氣迅速地改變。有四個季節在一天: 春天、夏天、秋天和冬天。

The proper way should be
"我住在南半球澳洲墨爾本. 這裡天氣改變迅速,一日四季: 春夏秋冬."

First, when referring to places, we start from the largest to the more precise: 南(south) 半球(hemisphere) 澳洲(Australia) 墨爾本(Melbourne).

迅速地改變 is Englishized Chinese. In Chinese, we should change the word-order between verb and adverb 改變迅速. 迅速地 is the "adverbizing" version of 迅速. In Chinese, we don't distinguish between such grammatical variations.

春天 is a day in Spring. For season, we can just say: 春 or 春季.

Again, there is no need to add "adjustion" between nouns in the same category. So, we don't say 春夏秋冬.

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