Azhong's Writing Practice.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-07, 15:43

linguoboy wrote:
azhong wrote:For a lot ofSeveral times, when I faced a bathroom mirror...

Now I've roughly known it is for the first time and many times but not *for many times. What I'm curious is why did you use several times but not many times or just keep a lot of times?

Thank you.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-07, 15:48

azhong wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
azhong wrote:For a lot ofSeveral times, when I faced a bathroom mirror...

Now I've roughly known it is for the first time and many times but not *for many times. What I'm curious is why did you use several times but not many times or just keep a lot of times?

"A lot" is very colloquial and you're operating in a literary register. "Many" would work here, too.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-07, 15:58

And then he couldn't but scurry because it started drizzling and accordingly the clams tied on his waist clinked.

I hesitated quite for a while when I was writing this sentence -- tying or tied? Both sounds reasonable to me even now.

The clams were tying on his waist.(on-going)
The clams were tied on his waist. (passive)

Your explanation, please?

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-07, 16:03

azhong wrote:
And then he couldn't but scurry because it started drizzling and accordingly the clams tied on his waist clinked.

I hesitated quite for a while when I was writing this sentence -- tying or tied? Both sounds reasonable to me even now.

The clams were tying on his waist.(on-going)
The clams were tied on his waist. (passive)

Your explanation, please?

"Tying" is absolutely incorrect here. The clams aren't doing the tying.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-07, 16:14

Talking about being colloquial and literary, is it a basic rule that a synonym with less words is often more literally than one with more words? For example, many is more literary compared to a lot?And actually, in fact, as a matter of fact? And usually, more often than not? And so on.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-07, 16:24

azhong wrote:Talking about being colloquial and literary, is it a basic rule that a synonym with less words is often more literary than one with more words? For example, many is more literary compared to a lot?And actually, in fact, as a matter of fact? And usually, more often than not? And so on.

I don't think there's a strong tendency one way or the other. Literary equivalents are often wordier, even if it limit ourselves to adverbial expressions. E.g. "with exceeding smoothness" (literary) vs "very smoothly" (colloquial) or "as you are well aware" (literary) vs "as you know" (colloquial).

In general, I think learners try to look too hard for "rules". There aren't a lot of "rules" when it comes to languages. You just need to learn the usage, one word or expression at a time.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-07, 16:26

linguoboy wrote:"Tying" is absolutely incorrect here. The clams aren't doing the tying.

linguoboy wrote:
azhong wrote:I then recognized it as the overture of spring rain, and remembered some clothes were still hangeding outdoors.

Then why isn't it some clothes were still hung outdoors?
I'm confused...

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-07, 16:34

azhong wrote:
linguoboy wrote:"Tying" is absolutely incorrect here. The clams aren't doing the tying.

linguoboy wrote:
azhong wrote:I then recognized it as the overture of spring rain, and remembered some clothes were still hangeding[2] outdoors

Then why isn't it some clothes were still hung outdoors?
I'm confused...

Because clothes do hang!

"Hang" can be used both transitively ("They hang the clothes on the line") and intransitively ("The clothes hang on the line"). By "tie" can only be used transitively ("They tied their shoes"). *"The shoes tied" is not an acceptable sentence in English.

I'm not sure whether this explanation of so-called "unaccusative verbs" will help or hurt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unaccusative_verb#Unaccusativity_in_English. The point is that "tie" isn't this kind of verb so you need to use a passive past participle.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-08, 23:54

A question about the position of adverbial phrases. Comparing the three sentences below where too hard has changed its position, what do they delicately emphasize respectively?

⑴In general, I think learners try to look too hard for "rules".
⑵In general, I think learners try too hard to look for "rules".
⑶In general, I think learners try to look for "rules" too hard.

Thank you.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-09, 2:50

(Again, another translation practice. Thank you for your comments.)

When recalling their past, one usually thinks back to their previous generation, possibly for the reason that life does continue. Isn't my father's and grandfather's biological lives, to be specific, are lasting in my body? As an individual, I am surely a branch of my family life. And the rising of that illusion might concrete the feeling of tracing back on that account.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-10, 21:42

azhong wrote:⑴In general, I think learners try to look too hard for "rules".
⑵In general, I think learners try too hard to look for "rules".
⑶In general, I think learners try to look for "rules" too hard.

Honestly, I don't really detect much difference in emphasis between these three versions. Perhaps there's a slightly greater emphasis on "look" rather than "try" in the first one (which may be why I used it, above), but I actually think (2) is the most euphonic.

Do other fluent speakers have an opinion?
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-10, 21:50

This one is really awkward. It might help to have the original just to check whether I even understood it correctly.
azhong wrote:When recalling theirone's[1] past, one usually thinks back to their previous generation, possibly for the reason that life does continue. Isn'tAren't my father's and grandfather's biological[2] lives, to be specific, are lasting in my body? As an individual, I am surely a branch of my family life. And the rising of that illusion might concrete the feeling of tracing back on that account[4].

[1] "One" and singular "they" belong to different registers. For best results, you should consistently use one or the other.
[2] "Biological" literally means "having to do with the study of life", so "biological life" sounds jarringly redundant.
[3] I know that "make concrete" is sometimes given as a meaning of concrete as a verb, but this usage sounds extremely awkward to me. I would use "concretise", or I would rephrase the sentence entirely.
[4] I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. What does the the "that" in "on that account" refer to? The whole sentence is bizarre.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-06-10, 23:28

linguoboy wrote:Do other fluent speakers have an opinion?


Same as yours. 1 stresses the trying, 2 stresses the looking (but I can't think what actual difference that makes to the meaning of the sentence), and 3 probably stresses the trying, but sounds less natural than the other two.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-11, 11:21

linguoboy wrote:This one is really awkward. It might help to have the original just to check whether I even understood it correctly.

(Sure, and here we go but just with a small reminding: some phrases the author has created are not idiomatic, and I suggest you not to learn.)

人們 回索 過往,
people back-ask past
常 會 追想到 上一輩 去,
Usually will run_after-think-to the-previous-generation
因為 生命體 是 連續的 呢。
Because life-object is continuous
azhong wrote:When recalling theirone's[1] past, one usually thinks back to their previous generation, possibly for the reason that life does continue.


具體說:
specificly say
父親、祖父的生物生命,
fater's grandfather's biological life
不正在我身體內延續著嗎?
aren't in my body lasting
Isn'tAren't my father's and grandfather's biological[2] lives, to be specific, are lasting in my body?


個我 確定 是 家族生命 的 一支。
induvidual-I certainly is family-life of a-branch.
As an individual, I am surely a branch of my family life.


那 幻象 的 浮現,
that illusion of emergement
也許 就是 這種 溯往 情緒 的 具象化。
perhaps is this tracing-back emotion of materialization
And the rising of that illusion might concrete the feeling of tracing back on that account[4].


To explain, I intended to use on that account as a synonym of therefore as the sentence below:
Because of the emotion of tracing my life back to the previous generation, the illusion therefore appeared when I looked at the mirror.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-11, 14:55

azhong wrote:
linguoboy wrote:This one is really awkward. It might help to have the original just to check whether I even understood it correctly.

(Sure, and here we go but just with a small remindingcaveat: some phrases the author has created are not idiomatic, and I suggest you not to learn them.)

人們 回索 過往,
people back-ask past
常 會 追想到 上一輩 去,
Usually will run_after-think-to the-previous-generation
因為 生命體 是 連續的 呢。
Because life-object is continuous
azhong wrote:When recalling theirone's[1] past, one usually thinks back to their previous generation, possibly for the reason that life does continue.

Seems to me "追想" is better translated as "recall" and for "回索" you need to come up with a different word.

"生命體" seems more concrete than "life". Maybe "living body"?

azhong wrote:具體說:
specificly say

"Specifically they say..."

He sets it off as a quote in the original, so I would do the same in translation.

azhong wrote:父親、祖父的生物生命,
fater's grandfather's biological life
不正在我身體內延續著嗎?
aren't in my body lasting
Isn'tAren't my father's and grandfather's biological[2] lives, to be specific, are lasting in my body?

Any idea why he says "biological life" here as opposed to just "life"? What other kind of life is he contrasting it to?

azhong wrote:個我 確定 是 家族生命 的 一支。
individual-I certainly is family-life of a-branch.
As an individual, I am surely a branch of my family life.

"Family life" is an existing compound in English which refers to the existence of individuals within a family setting (i.e. "家庭生活"). I would tentatively translate 家族生命 as "the life of a/my family".


azhong wrote:那 幻象 的 浮現,
that illusion of emergement

that illusion's emergence

If you translate 的 as "of", you have to reverse the elements. Normally when glossing, we would use an abbreviation like "POSS" (for "possessive").

azhong wrote:也許 就是 這種 溯往 情緒 的 具象化。
perhaps is this tracing-back emotion ofPOSS materialization
And the rising of that illusion might concrete the feeling of tracing back on that account[4].



azhong wrote:To explain, I intended to use on that account as a synonym of therefore as the sentence below: Because of the emotion of tracing my life back to the previous generation, the illusion therefore appeared when I looked at the mirror.

Okay; it helps a lot to know that this paragraph continues the one you previously translated. That gives me valuable context for assessing the translation.

I don't see "rising" in the Chinese at all. (And emotions typically "arise" in any case.)
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-12, 4:56

linguoboy wrote:Any idea why he says "biological life" here as opposed to just "life"? What other kind of life is he contrasting it to?

I guess the auther specifically mentioned about our genetic inheritance, which is usually concerned only to be related with our physical life/body. But that's my personal guess.

And, by the way, just like what I have been doing here, I do not really want to translate an article; I just try to learn English from translation or writing.

So, how about this revised one below?

When thinking back to one's past, one usually recalls their previous generation. And the possible reason might be that life does continue because, to say specifically, aren't my father's and grandfather's genetic lives lasting in my body? As an individual, I am surely a life branch of my family. And the illusion's emergence, on that account, have perhaps materialized the emotion of tracing back.

Does it sound better or worse if I cut the brginning sentences in a different way below?

When thinking back to one's past, one usually recalls their previous generation. The possible reason might be that life does continue. To say specifically, aren't my father's and grandfather's genetic lives lasting in my body?

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-12, 15:35

azhong wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Any idea why he says "biological life" here as opposed to just "life"? What other kind of life is he contrasting it to?

I guess the auther specifically mentioned about our genetic inheritance, which is usually concerned only to be related withto our physical life/body. But that's my personal guess.

And, by the way, just like what I have been doing here, I do not really want to translate an article; I just try to learn English from translation or writing.

But how can I judge if your English is correct if I don't know what it is you're trying to express? If you create grammatical sentences that don't reflect what you actually want to say, is that really learning a language?

azhong wrote:When thinking back to one's past, one usually recalls their previous generation.

"their previous generation" is confusing/meaningless in English. That's why I suggested the change to "the previous generation". (This also avoids the stylistic error of using "their" to refer back to "one".)

azhong wrote:And the possible reason might be that life does continue because, to say specifically, aren't my father's and grandfather's genetic lives lasting in my body? As an individual, I am surely a life branch of my family.

1. "life branch" is meaningless/confusing in English. Prefer "a branch of the life of..."
2. "to say specifically" is very awkward. Again, I suggested an alternative to this above.

azhong wrote:And the illusion's emergence, on that account, havehas perhaps materialized the emotion of tracing back.

Does it sound better or worse if I cut the beginning sentences in a different way below?

When thinking back to one's past, one usually recalls their previous generation. The possible reason might be that life does continue. To say specifically, aren't my father's and grandfather's genetic lives lasting in my body?

This version sounds better (though it still contains the flaws previously enumerated.)
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-13, 3:11

linguoboy wrote:2. "to say specifically" is very awkward.

How about to be specific? Or just specifically?

The possible reason might be that life does continue. To be specific /Specifically, aren't my father's and grandfather's genetic lives lasting in my body?

linguoboy wrote:Does it sound better or worse if I cut the beginning sentences in a different way below?

rewrite? Or revise?
Does it sound better or worse if I rewrite /revise the beginning sentences in a different way below?

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2019-06-13, 14:56

azhong wrote:
linguoboy wrote:2. "to say specifically" is very awkward.

How about to be specific? Or just specifically?

Both of those are better.

azhong wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Does it sound better or worse if I cut the beginning sentences in a different way below?

rewrite? Or revise?
Does it sound better or worse if I rewrite /revise the beginning sentences in a different way below?

It sounds pleonastic. "Rewrite"/"revise" already implies "a different way".
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2019-06-13, 17:03

Another practice passage. Thank you.

父親 頭顏 所意含的 獨裁 與 固執,
father head-face where-connotate despotism and stubbornness

只是 表象 如此,
only appearance so

實際 父親的 晚年 十分 仁慈,
actually father's later-years
very kind

常 處於 脆弱 與 不安 之中。
usually stayed fragility and anxiousness inside

為什麼 選擇 那樣 衝突的 髮鬚 形式,
why choose that conflicting hair-mustache form

的確 讓人 不 解 的。
indeed let people not understand

The connotation of my father's head image, being despotic and stubborn, was just so ostensibly. 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 to each other--was indeed a puzzle.


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