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Here's the start of a short story I'm writing:

首先,大多数人强烈反对它,说人一定不要“扮演上帝”。当时他们害怕极了,对于未来的效果有关心。人性会怎么改变?人有很多批评:使用它以后,人还是人吗?用这种技术就是根本不自然的。这些论点使世界政客也反对它,而且除了世界上最伟大的科学家,谁都不允许用这种技术。

其实这只是正式的说法,真实的故事也许我们再也并不确切知道。有人说各个政府认识这种技术太强大了,不想只让别国开发这危险的技术,所以世界的政府都偷偷地进行研究。有人责备异常的科学家,就卖了这项技术然后跑去退休了。现在有一件肯定的事,这项技术是无处不在的,而它是惊人的。

我叫周子望。大约二十年以前科学家发明了一项是会改变世界的技术。那时候我就是个小朋友,并不知道科学家进行那么重要的研究。无论如何,这新种技术会对我一生中有巨大的影响。

I'm asking for a critique of my writing (analogous to what CodeReview.SE does for code). Please describe how it can be improved. Part of the motivation is to identify my weaknesses, and identify better writing styles. The words in links are new for me.

I'm trying to build some mystery as to what this powerful new technology actually is, and what impact is has had on Zhou Ziwang's life.


Here's the basic idea in English:

At first, most people were strongly against it, saying we definitely don't want to play God. At that time people were fearful, worried about future consequences. How will mankind change? People had many criticisms: After using it, will a person still be a person? Using this technology is fundamentally unnatural. These arguments caused world politicians to also oppose it, and further, except for the world's leading scientists, nobody was permitted to use this technology.

Actually, this is just the official explanation, the real story we'll perhaps never know for sure. Some people say every government recognizes this kind of technology is powerful; they don't want to simply let other countries utilize this dangerous technology, so the world governments secretly conduct research. Some people blame rogue scientists, selling the technology and then fleeing into retirement. Now one thing is for sure, this technology is everywhere, and is astonishing.

I'm Zhou Ziwang. About 20 years ago, scientists discovered a technology that would change the world. That time, I was a little kid, and did not know scientists were conducting this kind of important research. In any case, this new technology has had a profound impact on my life.

I include in case of "this makes absolutely no sense" sentences, but I'm not really concerned about the English.

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    要人批改這個長度的文字,應該要付費了 – Tang Ho Nov 22 at 5:11
  • @TangHo you should voice your concern in chinese.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1621/…. – droooze Nov 22 at 5:17
  • 确实,这样的长度劳神费力了,是我最多也只会给个自己的翻译。 – Toosky Hierot Nov 22 at 7:50
  • @ Toosky Hierot 不作解釋直接改寫的話就簡單了,給我十多分鐘就能完成。 – Tang Ho Nov 22 at 7:56
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I write my piece of paragraph based on your English excerpt without referring to your own try. And hopefully it will meet your aim to identify a better style.

起初,多数人强烈反对,称人决不能僭作神明。当时,对未来后果的忧惧笼罩着大众。人类将如何演变?对此批判四起:一旦施用,人还称得上人吗?这种技术本质有违自然。诸此论调,引起世界各国政要也加入反对阵营,结果,除领军科学家外,无人许可应用该项技术。

其实这不过是官方说辞,真相恐怕永不能为我们所确认。有传每个政府都清楚该技术之威力,但皆不愿让他国轻易利用,故只能隐秘开展研究。一些人谴责那些科学异端出卖科技后退休跑路,但无可否认,现在它已经随处可见,令人惊骇。

我是周子望。约二十年前,科学家就已经开发出这足以改变世界的技术,而此时还是小孩的我无从知晓如此重要的研究正进行着。不论如何,这项新技术给我的人生带来了深远的影响。

Comments:

In Chinese writing, you are supposed to drop, merge, and change the expression of subjects constantly, and compact several topic-related sentences into one using link words. After all, Chinese sentences are separated by topics, instead of grammatical clauses.

Concision is virtue. Avoid too many grammatical words such as 的/地/得.

Chinese lacks "tense" in the grammar aspect, but it doesn't mean you are supposed to pay no attention to time.

  • In any case, this new technology has had a profound impact on my life.

  • 无论如何,这新种技术对我一生中有巨大的影响。(x)

  • It is very helpful putting them side-by-side and comparing the differences. Thank you! – Becky 李蓓 Nov 22 at 9:04
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    Isn't your translation a bit too "classical"? The English text seems to be more "spoken". – Sweeper Nov 22 at 9:37
  • @Sweeper Is it so? What I wrote is certainly modern Chinese. It's just a bit "formal" or "proper". QwQ. – Toosky Hierot Nov 22 at 9:41
  • It is a choice of style. As a speech, mixing classical with contemporary phrase make it more formal and elegant – Tang Ho Nov 22 at 9:42
  • A more casual style of speech: 初时很多人都大力反对,说人绝不能当自己是神。对这科技可能会带给末来的影响深感忧虑。对人类将会如何演变的题目议论纷纷。 :"使用这种科技之后,人还算是人吗?这科技本身就有违自然。" 跟据这些论调,各国政府也相继加入了反对阵营。最后除了最顶尖的科学家外,其他人都不被允许研究该项技术... – Tang Ho Nov 24 at 2:42
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首先,大多数人强烈反对它,说人一定不要“扮演上帝”

At first, most people were strongly against it, saying we definitely don't want to play God.

  • "At first" is not translated as "首先". It should be translated as "最初"

  • 大多数人强烈反对它 (most people were strongly against it) . Unlike in English, the object "it" is not needed in Chinese, The sentence should be 大多数人都强烈反对

  • 说人一定不要 (saying we definitely don't want to) Poor choice of words, "一定不要" implies "certainly don't want to have". Better write "说人絕對不能"

  • “扮演上帝 (play God) "Play God" here doesn't mean "play the role of God in a play" (扮演上帝), it means "Act as if you were God" (當自己是神)

最初大多数人都强烈反对,说人絕對不能當自己是神

~

当时他们害怕极了,对于未来的效果有关心。At that time people were fearful, worried about future consequences.

  • 害怕极了 (extremely fearful) is not appropriate here, it implies "fear of immediate and great harm ", For the fear of uncertainty, you should write "感到有點害怕"(felt a bit of fear)

  • 效果(effect) should be changed to 影響(effect). The difference between the two is, 效果 is generally the effect of intentional action; and 影響 can be the effect of intentional or unintentional action

  • "worried about" is not "有关心" (have cared) in Chinese, it is "擔心"

  • 对于未来的影響 lack a subject, it should be 对于(它对)未来的影響

当时他们感到有点害怕, 对于它对未来的影响有点担心

~

人性会怎么改变? 人有很多批评:使用它以后,人还是人吗?

  • 人 should be 人们.

  • 使用它以后,人还是人吗? should be in quotation

  • add "有人甚至說" (some people even said) before the quotation because not all people voicing this same concern

人们有很多批评,有人甚至說:"使用它以后,人还是人吗?"

~

用这种技术就是根本不自然的。 Using this technology is fundamentally unnatural

  • 就是根本 (is fundamentally) -->根本就是

  • 用 is a verb, 不自然的 is an adjective

  • 不自然的 (unnatural) is a little bit weak, suggest replace 不 with 违反, and you can skip the adjective marker 的 at the end because there's no noun following it.

使用这种技术根本就是违反自然。

~

这些论点使世界政客也反对它 These arguments caused world politicians to also oppose it

  • 论点 (arguments) doesn't cause anything. "Believe in arguments" cause people to act.

  • 世界政客 = world politician. The term '世界' doesn't clarify it is 'the whole world' or 'of the world'. politicians doesn't represent government

  • 也(too) --> 都(all)

  • Better clarify the object of objection and replace the pronoun 它 with the actual object "硏究这项技术" (research this technology)

根据这些论点,各国府政都反对硏究这项技术

(I can't finish the entire essay in one setting, to be continued)

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My general critique is you often pick the wrong term by rely on Google translate too much. Take 效果(effect) and 影響 (effect) from my other answer to your post for example.

The only way to fix this is for you to study the difference between similar Chinese terms that can be translated to a same English word.

Another flaws in your writing is wordiness.

See the example below:

大约二十年(以)前科学家发明了一项(是)会改变世界的技术

大约二十年前科学家发明了一项会改变世界的技术

Omit '以' in '以前' and '是' in '是会' make your sentence flow smoother.

Another example of wordniess:

真实的故事 -->实情

To reduce wordiness, you should review every sentence and see which word can be omitted without changing the meaning you wanted to express.

Another flaw in your writing is some sentence would miss a conjunction

For example: 也许我们再也不确切知道 --> 也许我们再也不(能)确切知道

It is likely due to carelessness. Just check carefully to see if there are needed conjunction gone missing.

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