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The sentence I am trying to translate: "Revolution was seen as desperate and dangerous." I am aware of the grammar pattern, sb 把革命视为危险的 for "see as." However, this usage is incorrect because the object following 视为 needs to be a noun, and the subject is unspecified.

Any help would be appreciated.

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I think "be seen as" can be translated as "被视为"/"被看作"/"被认为"/"在...眼里看来是".

As you mentioned, there should a noun following "视为", so we need to add it, however, in some informal situation, like in speaking Chinese, without this noun it's still ok.

In some case of English-Chinese translation, it is very common to change passive voice into active voice to indicate the subject by context, which is more close to Chinese language. In the translation below I use "People"(人们) as the subject, which can be changed in the certain context.

Here is my translation of "Revolution was seen as desperate and dangerous."

(过去)变革在人们眼里看来是铤而走险的举动。

(过去)搞革命被人们视作是铤而走险的举动。

(过去)人们认为变革是铤而走险的举动。

(过去)人们视搞革命为铤而走险的举动。

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I ended up changing the meaning slightly so I could use 被视为危险的行为, which did not require specifying a subject.

  • Why are you using 行为 here? – user3306356 Sep 16 '14 at 2:46
  • Because it is mandated by use of 视为, which can only be followed by a noun. – Jonson Sep 16 '14 at 3:50
  • Your translation sounds natural. But I'd like to point out that using 视为 without a subject is also accepted, because 行为 is implied here. If I were to translate this sentence without plugging in an additional noun, I might feel that something like 革命被视为孤注一掷而且危险的 is more natural, with 视为 being followed by two adjectives so they won't be "dangling" there. But maybe it's just me. – arax Sep 16 '14 at 15:14
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I don't think it is a problem. Because these usage(adj as noun) are quite often seen in 文言文,it also exist in modern Chinese。

至于幽暗昏惑而无物以相之 (幽暗昏惑,形容词作名词,叫人疑惑的地方)

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革命曾经被视为一种孤注一掷、铤而走险的行为。

And here is only for 30 characters restriction.

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