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作为电视节目主持人,我在工作中常常会运用“峰终定律”。例如,做节目时,与开幕式相比,我们宁可把更多的精力集中在闭幕式上,这样可以加强观众对节目的印象。

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, chapter 17.

What is the meaning of 把更多的精力?

Baidu translate: As a TV presenter, I often apply the "peak to end law" in my work. For example, when making a program, we would rather concentrate more on the closing ceremony than on the opening ceremony, so as to enhance the audience's impression of the program.

Google translate: As a TV presenter, I often use the "peak-end rule" in my work. For example, when doing a program, we prefer to focus more on the closing ceremony than the opening ceremony, which can strengthen the audience's impression of the program.

As you can see, they both avoid translating this part. So this is my try:

我们(we)宁可(would rather)把(put)更多(more)的精力(energy)集中(to concentrate)在(in)闭幕式(closing ceremony)上(in)

I think I need a little help. Doesn't the 把 have the classical meaning here? Does it mean "to put"? Does my literal translation make sense? Why the translating engines don't translate this part: 把更多的精力?

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    the “把” here does take the meaning of put. 把更多的精力 is to put more energy (and time) in this context. The full translation would be: As compared to the opening ceremony, we would instead concentrate (put) more energy on the closing ceremony. (I merged put and concentrate just to be clear)
    – De Rien
    Sep 9 at 19:43
  • As suggested before, after word-by-word translation, always read it to see whether the sentence makes sense or not. A word often has more than one meaning and usage, and the word order of two languages can be different to express the same meaning.
    – r13
    Sep 9 at 21:57

2 Answers 2

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把 is a deposive marker that marks an object to be deposed of

  • [把 + 更多的精力(direct object) 集中(v) 在(on) 在闭幕式(indirect object)上]

  • [put more energy (and) concentrate (it) on the closing ceremony](topic + comment sturture) --> [ concentrate more energy on the closing ceremony] (SVO structure)

把 marks 更多的精力 as an object, that is to be deposed of by the verb 集中

Sometimes a translating engine would translate a sentence into a simpler SVO sentence and not translate it word by word in [topic + comment] form

Example:

把人打死 --> 打死人

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把 is a very useful word in the Chinese language. In general, people use it as a preposition with the meaning of to hold something in hand, to deal with something. It asks for an object to form a prepositional phrase. For example:

他卖了汽车. He sold the car.

汽车被他卖了. The car is sold by him.

他把汽车卖了. He sold the car.

In the third sentence, 把汽车 is a preposition phrase. The grammar function of 把 is to bring the actual object 汽车 to the front of the verb 卖. You can not just say 他汽车卖了, which is wrong in the Chinese language.

I am wondering whether or not this sentence pattern (word order) is from Japanese. 彼(他)は車(汽车)を売(卖)った.

I do not know a very proper translation of the third sentence into English. The speaker may want to emphasize the object (the car) to answer the question "他把什么东西卖了"? (What did he take and sell to get the money)?

As a general suggestion in Chinese-English translation, do not try to insert a specific verb to translate the word 把.

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