How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serious)

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Re: How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serio

Postby John Yu » 23 Jan 2011, 22:48

tsukinodeynatsu wrote:A trick I use if I have writer's block, though, is to write something rambling and terrible in English. It has to be rambling, or you miss the 'circular logic' thing in Chinese. Then you start translating it loosely - changing words, adding in sentences when you get 'inspired' or catch a train of thought etc. It turns out OK....


What an interesting way of writing...I never heard of anyone doing that before.
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Re: How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serio

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 24 Jan 2011, 09:20

Try it and let me know if it works universally :)
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Re: How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serio

Postby archylgp » 24 Jan 2011, 12:31

@ tsukinodeynatsu --

What do you mean by circular logic? Can you give an example?
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Re: How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serio

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 24 Jan 2011, 21:54

This thread: viewtopic.php?f=40&t=85593
has lots of examples XD

(Most of what he describes isn't seen as bad writing in Taiwan, you see; it's just how things work. 'Circular Logic' is my term for it - round and round and round we go, and we'll just allude to the main point.)

This book is a textbook of mine:
http://fliiby.com/file/45777/7ue59adm46.html (link is simplified, haven't found an online version in traditional yet)

and a really good example of 'circular logic'. Clear, definitive points aren't really utilised, and the main point is instead driven home via repetition. A paragraph can have many sentences similar to an English 'topic sentence'.

I don't know why, but I can't really adapt to this style of writing (apparently it's just seen as 'bad writing' in HK and China now, but it's still 'good writing' in Taiwan). I'm studying this subject now from a book of exam questions and answers.... as, being an exam answer book, it's a lot more summarised and clear-cut.
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Re: How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serio

Postby Chris » 24 Jan 2011, 22:01

Examples:

"In order to solve the problem, we will .... , thereby solving the problem." (What I call an ABA sentence)

"The problem was caused by ........ was the cause of the problem." (Two equivalent statements grafted onto each other)

Sometimes I wonder if the writer forgot how the sentence started by the time he reached the end, but I see such sentences with such frequency that I wonder if it's just a form of Chinese rhetorical style.
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Re: How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serio

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 25 Jan 2011, 09:07

I'm really not sure.

But I know that the general consensus is different to the West.

In English: Your reader can't understand you = you're a bad writer = you're stupid
In Chinese: Your reader can't understand you = you're too clever for them = they're stupid

Hence the passivity in classes and stuff - asking questions doesn't mean that the teacher was unclear, it just means you were too dumb to understand it.
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Re: How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serio

Postby John Yu » 25 Jan 2011, 11:45

Hmmm...not exactly the most conducive attitude toward learning...although I do remember some students in my university classes (in the US) who wasted everyone's time with stupid questions, which is something that never happened when I audited a class at a local university here in Taiwan.
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Re: How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serio

Postby Hellstorm » 25 Jan 2011, 21:37

tsukinodeynatsu wrote:But I know that the general consensus is different to the West.

In English: Your reader can't understand you = you're a bad writer = you're stupid
In Chinese: Your reader can't understand you = you're too clever for them = they're stupid


German is the same as Chinese. :) If your style of writing is too easy, the content is not good. So you have to write as complicated as possible. I think, in Japanese it's also like that.
Maybe English is the only exception? ;)

But I actually like that style of writing :lol:
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Re: How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serio

Postby Chris » 25 Jan 2011, 22:10

English used to be like that, but then people realized it was too easy to BS people through obfuscation.
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Re: How to write Chinese essay/translate FROM English (serio

Postby archylgp » 26 Jan 2011, 12:01

Thanks for the examples :)

I've noticed this: "Clear, definitive points aren't really utilised, and the main point is instead driven home via repetition. A paragraph can have many sentences similar to an English 'topic sentence'."
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