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I just started work on a new translation project for a client –– translating a Chinese document that talks about conflict resolution strategies. The original author really likes to use this particular sentence pattern: "在目标为。。。时使用."

Example:

" 妥协: 在目标为越过矛盾这一障碍并一齐向前看时使用."

I translated the above sentence as "Compromising: used in situations where the goal is to overcome the obstacles created by the conflict and look to the future."

What do people think? Is this an appropriate way to translate this sentence pattern, or is it a bit too loose?

  • The original sentence might need some refining. It is a massive run-on sentence. If you follow his grammar structure, your translation would turn out as messy. – Tang Ho Dec 7 '19 at 4:38
  • 可能整套书都是这种调调的写法,应当是自成一种标准的风格。就像许多卡牌游戏的说明,就算语法上有些问题,还是会按照关键字书写。 – Toosky Hierot Dec 7 '19 at 5:01
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I would render it thusly (like that word!):

妥协:
A compromise:

在目标为越过矛盾这一障碍并一齐向前看时使用。
(a lowering of your demands) with the goal of overcoming conflicting views while at the same time looking forward.

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"妥协": 在目标为越过矛盾这一障碍并一齐向前看时使用."

Compromise:

Use it when the goal is to overcome the obstacle of conflict and look forward together

~

"妥协": 在目标为越过矛盾,一起前瞻时使用."

Compromise:

Use compromise when the goal is 'to overcome conflict and look forward together.'

"这一障碍" in "越过矛盾这一障碍" is redundant because "越过矛盾" already indicated 矛盾 is an obstacle.

I disagree with omitting 一齐 (together) in 一齐向前看

Translate "一齐向前看" as "look to the future" is not incorrect, but it can be reduced to "looking forward together" to avoid wordiness.

In general, your translation is much more readable than the original, good job!

[1. 在目标为] [2. XXX] [3. 时使用].” (Chinese grammar)

[3. use it when] [1. the goal is] [2. XXX] (English grammar)

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