I'm trying to describe the plot of the work 红楼梦 using the phrase "the 贾 family's decline". The word for decline, though is confusing me. After putting "decline" through a few online translators, I've received the word 衰落. But when I reverse the translation to check it, sometimes I get decline and sometimes decadence, which is not what I'm trying to say. Is there a more appropriate word in this context to say decline without the implication of decadence?
The phrase you are looking for is "come/go down in the world", meaning to lose wealth or high social rank in one's past. It can be translated to Chinese as "家道中落".
The term 'decadence' should be translated as '沈溺與腐化' (indulge and corrupt)
The term 'decline' should be translated as 衰落 (decline/ descend); 衰退 (decline/ recede); 減弱 (decline/ weakening); 減少 (decline/ decrease)
I don't think translating '衰落' as 'decadence' is accurate.
Translate "the 贾 family's decline" as "贾家的衰落" is a correct translation.
衰落: decline/ descend from a high status or position
衰退: decline/ recede from the front or forward position
減弱: decline/ weakening in strength
減少: decline/ decrease in number or amount