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Refer to the sentence "I have two dogs that catch anything I throw except those too heavy". If we are to translate the sentence into Chinese, we may say "我有兩隻能接住我丟的任何不是太重的東西的狗", which is awkward.

If you think the above is okay, simply construct another sentence with a long clause, say the sentence "Find a thing that looks like a tree but not a tree, that smells like a dog but not a dog, and when I throw which then which bounces off". Then it is difficult to find an idiomatic Chinese version of the sentence (I am a native Chinese speaker).

So I am after a general way to translate such sentences.

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I am too a native Chinese speaker. In this situation if you don't want to sound too foreign, I suggest you make a good use of comma and pronouns and other explicit and implicit conjunctions.

For example:

  • I have two dogs that catch anything I throw except those too heavy

    我有两只狗,只要不是太重,我扔什么它们都能接着。

  • Find a thing that looks like a tree but not a tree, that smells like a dog but not a dog, and when I throw which then which bounces off

    找个东西,看着像树不是树,闻着像狗不是狗,然后我一扔,它能弹起来。

The difference here is that comma in English only denotes pause, clauses are still have to be connected by conjunctives. In Chinese, you can use comma connect two independent clauses without any special grammatical devices.

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  • Ah, thanks very much. Yes, it is comma that smooths such a translation. – Megadeth Feb 26 '15 at 6:28
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"I have two dogs that catch anything I throw except those too heavy". is none too good English, try:

"I have two dogs that catch anything I throw, as long as what I throw is not too heavy."

Then put that in Chinese. Chinese is not my strong point, I'd rather leave that to you! Maybe '我有兩隻能接住我丟的任何,只要不是太重的東西的狗' Isn't that too many 的s???

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