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那里山势之险让你难以想象。

I've translated the above sentence into the following one.

That mountain('s terrain)'s danger makes you difficult to imagine it.

Seems the above English sentence is broken.

How this original sentence can be parsed??

Not only this Chinese sentence, a Chinese sentence often has a high degree of freedom of order of its words compared to English ones.

For instance, 家里跑来了一只猫。A cat ran into a house.

This Chinese sentence seems taking the structure of OVS.

Do you know some magic book which can be used to parse almost every Chinese sentences?

I may ask the last question which I posted here in another post.

3 Answers 3

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On translation, I'll try to understand the meaning of the source sentence, then identify the keywords and find the closest matches from the destination language that makes the sentence grammatically correct and not lose the original meaning.

那里山势之险让你难以想象

  • The rugged mountain terrain out there is unimaginable to you.

  • The rugged mountain terrain out there is beyond your/one's imagination.

I think both of the above closely match the meaning of the original, and are acceptable translations.

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I made up a new noun: steepitity

I would parse your sentence like this:

那里 山势 之 险峻 让 你 难以 想象。
there mountainside zhi steepitity make you hard imagine
The treacherous terrain of the mountains there is hard to imagine.

Taking random statements out of their context will always lead to interpretation difficulties. That said, 1. below seems to express more surprise than 2. below, which seems more like a simple statement of fact. The actual context would reveal the true sense.

1. 家里跑来了一只猫。
   Into the house ran a cat!
2. 一只猫跑来了家里。
   A cat ran into the house.
   
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The Question: How is this sentence parsed? "那里山势之险让你难以想象。"

It includes two sentences (or clauses).

(1) 那里山势之险 (a noun clause) = 那里山势的险峻 = The steepness of that mountain

(2) 让你难以想象 = You can't imagine

那里山势之险让你难以想象。 = You can't imagine how steep that mountain is.

The sentences like 什么情况难以想象,什么事情难以相信 are often used in Chinese.

The second sentence 家里跑来了一只猫。= To our house, there comes a cat. (It is OK to invert the order of the words.)

"家里" is an adverb. 跑来了一只猫 = 一只猫跑来了 is SV. There is no object in the sentence.

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