Azhong's Writing Practice.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-13, 17:11

azhong wrote:The connotation of my father's head image, being despotic and stubborn, was just so ostensibly.

Very awkward. Here's my suggestion of a more fluid translation: "The implied despotism and stubbornness of my father's visage was only apparent."

azhong wrote:He was actually very kind in the later years of his life and, more often than not, stayed fragile and anxious. The reason he chose that style of his hair and mustache--marked contrasting markedly to each other--was indeed a puzzle.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-13, 17:40

To make sure, compared to connotate and ostensible, imply and apparent are the respective equivelents which are not so literary and unusual, and are thus preferred?

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-13, 17:53

azhong wrote:To make sure, compared to connotate and ostensible, imply and apparent are the respective equivalents which are not so literary and unusual, and are thus preferred?

I couldn't find any examples of 意含 being translated as "connotation", only as "implication", and it's rare to find ostensible used predicatively. So it's not a question of being too "literary" (since I think we've established that the register of the original text is quite literary) but both are somewhat unusual in their respective contexts.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-13, 18:04

But isn't connotation a synonym of implication, and ostensible, apparent?
Last edited by azhong on 2019-06-13, 18:15, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-13, 18:09

azhong wrote:But isn't connotation a synonym of implication, and ostensible, apparent?

There are no true synonyms in English.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-13, 18:12

Oh, you mean I can say
It's just ostensible despotism
but I can't say
The despotism is just ostensible
for the grammatical usage of ostensible.
Are you telling me that? Predicatively?

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-13, 19:25

azhong wrote:Oh, you mean I can say
It's just ostensible despotism
but I can't say
The despotism is just ostensible
for the grammatical usage of ostensible.
Are you telling me that? Predicatively?

No, that's not what I'm saying.

Perhaps I've misjudged your level of English and I should simply confine myself to correcting grammar and not worry about diction, stylistics, or register.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-14, 2:09

Yrs, perhaps.

I thank you for your help anyway. Whatever help you have been providing, I have been appreciating very much.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-07-26, 5:17

Below, I've translated one of my (Chinese) sentence into English, just as my language practice. Can you please have a look and give some grammatical or stylistic corrections if needed? Thank you in advance.

For those three years I bought your bao, not even once did I ever thought of, not at all even for just one second, giving a look on your face (long or short?), your eyes (with what motives and variations), or your smiles (major or minor, allegro or largo).

買您的包子那三年
一次也無,我從未想過
端詳端詳,就一秒鐘也好
您臉孔是短是長,您眼神
有什麼動機,什麼變奏
您的笑容大調小調,快板或慢板

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-26, 17:24

azhong wrote:For those three years I bought your bao, not even once did I ever thoughtthink of--not at all even for just one second--taking a look onat your face (Is it long or short?), your eyes (with What motives, what variations?), or your smiles (Major or minor, allegro or largo?).

1. The alternations here sound better to me as questions; the speaker hasn't ever looked at the person's face so they're speculating on what qualities it might exhibit.
2. The Chinese diction strikes me as rather formal and poetic, so you could use more formal and poetic English equivalents, e.g. "gaze upon your face" for "take a look at your face".
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-07-27, 4:17

Thank you very much, linguoboy.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-05-03, 1:43

(A passage of language practice, with my thanks in advance for your any comments.)

They chatted while making their breakfast. Their slight laughter was blown over by the mountain wind and embarrassed the sun, who soon got off his bed then, worrying about his personal reputation as their host.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2020-05-04, 15:59

azhong wrote:(A passage of language practice, with my thanks in advance for your any comments.)

They chatted while making their breakfast. Their slight laughter was blown over by the mountain wind and embarrassed the sun, who soon got off his bed then, worrying about his personal reputation as their host.

Grammatically flawless. "who soon got off his bed then" sounds a bit off. If you say someone "got off the bed", it usually means they were sitting on it. If they were sleeping (or at least lying down), you would say they "got out of bed". I don't know which you mean here. Also, "then" sounds better immediately after "who". You don't really need both "then" and "soon", since "then" by itself implies the action took place soon after the wind reached him.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-06-19, 1:15

Thank you in advance for your assistance comments to my passages for language practice below.

不曉得你抽菸不?
I am wondering if you smoke.

孩提時,家父常吩咐我跑腿買菸,買檳榔。
During my childhood, I was usually sent by my father for buying a pack of cigarettes together with a pack of betel nuts。

通常是因為來了客人,他必須留家中陪客。
It occurred mostly because friends of him called in.

檳榔和菸是某個階層的男人互相款待的零嘴。
Betel nuts and cigarettes are polite snacks for visitors among males of some social rank.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2020-06-19, 3:18

azhong wrote:During my childhood, I was usually sent by my father for buyingto buy a pack of cigarettes together withand a pack of betel nuts。

It occurredThis happened mostly because friends of hims called indropped by for a visit.

Betel nuts and cigarettes are polite snacks for visitors among males of some social rank.

This last sentence is grammatically correct but awkward as hell. I might rephrase it as "Among males of a certain social class, it's polite to offer betel nuts and cigarettes to visitors." "With some social standing" might be a more accurate translation of 某個階層, but it sounds almost laughably old-fashioned.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-06-20, 1:41

(Thank you in advance for your generous help.)

印象中我爸不怎麼吃檳榔,菸倒是抽得不少。
I have the impression that my father seldom chewed betel nuts, though he did smoke quite a lot.

後來他有次住了院。那時他已經夠老了,智慧大概也長足了。那場疾病折騰他好幾個星期。雖然病因跟菸毫無關係,但是人困在病床上,不得不禁菸。可能是這個助力,他自己終於下決心,成功把菸給戒了。
Years later when he might get old enough with enough wisdom, he finally quitted smoking during an accident when he could not but stay in a hospital for weeks. Although his disease had nothing to do with cigarettes, to be celled in the hospital bed and suffering with Death might be an positive torture to help him beat his addiction.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-06-23, 2:33

Thank you in advance for your language assistance.

(我就讀的高中是一所老學校,有一棟年代久遠的建築,保存良好,至今仍可正常使用。如果它因為太年輕還沒資格列為文化古蹟,我估計應該也快了。這棟建物講述某一段亞洲史的戰爭和殖民主義 ,也展現某個時期的建築美學史。
對於某一群男性,之外,對於在校生它是驕傲的代號,對於校友它又添加青春的回憶。)

My high school is a historical one with a building in red bricks and white pillars, which is now aged but well-maintained and still standing functional. If it is not senior enough to be listed as a cultural monument, I estimate it will be soon in years. This building is of history a footprint of war and colonialism in Asia as well as a style of architectural aesthetics. And to us, a certain male flock once studied there, it means more something personal. It's a symbol of our self-pride and excellence during those teen years and, as getting modestly old, a memory of our arrogance and excellence.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-06-23, 4:21

I can't read your Chinese version, but since no one has responded to your post from last week and you've now posted another one, I'll give it a try...

azhong wrote:I have the impression that my father seldom chewed betel nuts, though he did smoke quite a lot.

This first part sounds fine.

azhong wrote:Years later when he might get got old and wise enough with enough wisdom, he finally quitted smoking during after an accident when he could not but stay had to stay in a/the hospital for weeks. Although his disease condition had nothing to do with cigarettes, to be celled stuck in the a hospital bed and suffering with having to contemplate his own death might be have been an positive torture incentive to help him beat his addiction.


Notes: It's not incorrect to say "stay in a hospital" but in my experience it's more common (in American English) to stay "stay in the hospital". Some other varieties of English prefer "stay in hospital", with no article.
I changed the word "disease" because earlier in your paragraph you said he was in the hospital due to an accident, and an accident would usually result in an injury or some other health problem, but not a disease. "His condition" could mean an illness or an injury; in this case would refer to whatever he was in the hospital for.

azhong wrote:My high school is a historical one with a red-brick building in red bricks and white pillars, which is now aged but well-maintained and still standingfunctional. If it is not senior old enough to be listed as a cultural monument, I estimate it will be soon in years. This building is historically of history a footprint of war and colonialism in Asia as well as an example of a certain style of architectural aesthetics. And to us, a certain male flock particular group of boys who once studied there, it means something more something personal. It's a symbol of our self-pride and excellence during those teen years and, as getting modestly old we get older, a reminder memory of our arrogance and excellence.


Notes: you can say "still standing" or "still functional," but it sounds less natural to say both together ("still standing functional"). "Still standing" means the building is still there, but it doesn't tell us if the building is still being used. "Still functional" tells us that the building is still being used as a school and I think this is what you want.
For "I estimate it will be soon", another option is "I estimate it will be in the next few years", if you want to specify that the timeframe involves a few years. Saying "soon in years" sounds awkward, though.
"Arrogance and excellence" sounds strange, because "arrogance" is always a negative trait, while "excellence" is a positive one. It sounds jarring to hear them together like this. If this is really what you mean (a reminder of both negative and positive traits), you might say "a reminder of our arrogance, but also of our excellence" to highlight that contrast. It would sound fine to me that way.
If you mean "arrogance" to be a more positive/good or neutral trait, such as what you referred to as "self-pride" earlier, you might repeat "self-pride", or simply "pride" ("a reminder of our pride and excellence").

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-06-23, 8:17

Linguaphile wrote:
azhong wrote:My high school is a historical one with a red-brick building and white pillars, ...


Hi. Thank you very much, and nice to meet you. This is Zhong from Taiwan. I love writing and take it a hobby to write in English.

Just to make sure, is the sentence above what you want to show me? I think it a bit awkward. I want to say the building is composed of red bricks and white pillars.

Thank you for your reply, and for your help again. Very helpful to me.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2020-06-23, 14:03

azhong wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:
azhong wrote:My high school is a historical one with a red-brick building and white pillars, ...


Hi. Thank you very much, and nice to meet you. This is Zhong from Taiwan. I love writing and take it a hobby to write in English.

Just to make sure, is the sentence above what you want to show me? I think it a bit awkward. I want to say the building is composed of red bricks and white pillars.

The corrected sentence doesn't imply that to me. I would simply say "My high school is a historical one built with red bricks and white pillars". "School" in English can refer to the entire institution or just the building, depending on context, and it's clear from context that you're only talking about the building for most of the paragraph.
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