The Translator's Guide to Chinglish
This book can be used either in the classroom or for independent study. It is addressed primarily to Chinese translators and to advanced students of English who are practicing translation. Naturally, readers who open this book will have reached varying levels of skill in their second language. But to one degree or another, the work of all but the most highly trained and experienced among them will inevitably contain elements of Chinglish. Chinglish, of course, is that misshapen, hybrid language that is neither English nor Chinese but that might be described as "English with Chinese characteristics." The purpose of the book is rather to show translators—and, by extension, others who are writing directly in English—how to recognize elements of Chinglish in a first draft and how to revise it so as to eliminate those elements. In other words, this book is intended to help them turn their work into real English such as might have been written by an educated native speaker of the language.
All authorities on the style of English prose agree that good writing is concise. Careful writers say what they mean in as few words as possible.
A classic statement of this precept appears in the famous little book of William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White, The Elements of Style Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
It follows that any words which perform no useful function in the sentence—that is, which add nothing to the meaning—should be edited out.
- To the Reader
- Part One: Unnecessary Words
- Part One: I. Unnecessary Nouns and Verbs
- Part One: II. Unnecessary Modifiers
- Part One: III. Redundant Twins
- Part One: IV. Saying the Same Thing Twice
- Part One: V. Repeated References to the Same Thing
- Part One: VI. Summing it All Up
- Part Two: Sentence Structure
- Part Two: VII. The Noun Plague
- Part Two: VIII. Pronouns and Antecedents
- Part Two: IX. The Placement of Phrases and Clauses
- Part Two: X. Dangling Modifiers
- Part Two: XI. Parallel Structure
- Part Two: XII. Logical Connectives
- Part Two: XIII. Summing it All Up
- Part Three: Supplementary Examples
- Key to Exercises
- Selected Bibliography
- Copyright Page