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Lecture 2 Contrast and Comparison Between English and Chinese


Lecture Two Contrast and Comparison Between English and Chinese Language
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I. Family: Chinese Language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family, while Engl

ish language belongs to the Indo-European family. II. Type: Chinese language is a kind of analytic language and it has no inflection. The nouns in Chinese language will not change into plural form by changing its own form, neither will the verbs change into past, present or future tense by changing its own form. English language belongs to synthetic-analytic language and it has various kinds of inflections. E.g. table (tables), run (ran, run), the boy’s (’s) , she sings(-s), beautifully(-ly).

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III. Writing system: Chinese: ideographic script: the basic unit of it is character. 象形(pictograph):雨,山,虫,果,小 指事(indicative character):上,下,高 会意(associative character):森,品 形声(morpheme-phonetic character):烤, 评 English: alphabetic script IV. Vocabulary: Difference in parts of speech: Both Chinese and English language have content words and empty words.

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Chinese: content words: (nouns, adjectives, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, numerals, classifier measure words, etc.) and empty words (prepositions, connectives, interjections, auxiliary words(助词)---“的,地,得”(结构助词); “着,了,过”(时态助词);“吗,呢,吧,啊, 嘛”(情态助词)) English: Content words (nouns, adjectives, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, numerals), empty words (prepositions, connectives, auxiliary words and articles) Chinese: classifier measure words English: articles

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V. syntactic structure:

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5.1 1. I worked very hard on this book. 这本书我花了很多心血。 2. He isn’t interested in things like watching TV, listening to songs, or dancing. 看电视、听歌、跳舞这类活动他都不感兴趣。 3. You don’t grow the grain you eat and you don’t make the clothes you wear.

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你吃的粮食不是你自己种的,你穿的衣服也不是你 自己做的。
English: (subject-prominent) Chinese: (topic-prominent) “出现在句首的成分犹如文章的‘题目’, 而后面 的部分则是就这个题目作‘文章’,说明它的实际 含义。”

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家里的事情,你不用管,你干你的正经事去。 这袋米三个人吃。 会议室里正在开会。

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5.2

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1. I bought 7 books which cost me 7 Yuan. When I took them back home I found they were just half new. 我买了7本书,一共7元钱,拿回家一看,都是半旧半新的。 2. When I try to understand what it is that prevents so many Americans from being as happy as one might expect, it seems to me that there are two causes, of which one goes much deeper than the other. 为什么如此众多的美国人不如想象中那样幸福呢?我认为原 因有二,而两者又有深浅之分。

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3. The isolation of the rural world, because of distance and the lack of transport facilities, is compounded by the paucity of the information media.
(To compound a problem, difficulty, or mistake means to make it worse by adding to it. )

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由于距离远,又缺乏交通工具,使农村社会与外界隔绝,而 这种隔绝,又由于通讯工具的不足而变的更加严重。 (Because there is a great distance and there are not enough transport facilities, the rural world is isolated. This isolation has become more serious because there are not enough information media.)

4. Mr. Kennedy apparently was hit by the first of what witness believed were three shots. ? 肯尼迪总统明显的是被目击者相信开了三枪 中的第一枪击中的。 ? 据目击者说,凶手共开了三枪,肯尼迪显然 是被第一枪击中的。

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English sentence structuring depends more on hypotaxis which mainly employs grammatical means form or organize the sentences while Chinese sentences structuring depends much more on Parataxis which mainly makes use of the logical relations within the sentences. So the English sentence structures are usually rather compact, and the Chinese sentence structures are usually quite curtailed and concise. Chinese: covert coherence English: overt coherence

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Wang Li once said, “The western grammar tends to be stiff and tough, while the Chinese grammar seems to be soft and flexible. Therefore the Chinese grammar mainly expresses meaning. The English people usually bind up the parts to make a whole article while the Chinese people usually like cutting up the whole article into its parts.” (西洋语法是硬的,没有弹性;中国语法是软的,富有弹性, 所以中国语法以达意为主.英国人写文章往往化零为整,而中 国人写文章往往化整为零.) 庄绎传:“我感觉汉语的句子结构就好比一根竹子,一节一 节地接下去,而英语句子的结构好比一串葡萄,主干可能很 短,累累果实附着在上面。”

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汉语重“意合”,英语重“形合”。了解了 这些差异,我们在英译汉时,不能将英语中 的显性标志都照译过来,这样会“得其形似, 则失其气韵。”;而要以神统形,在不造成 误解的前提下,将其连接手段由显变隐。反 之,汉译英时,我们要“以形统神”,将汉 语中的隐性连贯化作英语的显性连接,化隐 为显。

If you confer a benefit, never remember it; if you receive one, remember it always. ? 汉译一:如果你给他人好处,不要记住它; 如果你得到好处,则永远记住它。 ? 汉译二:施恩勿记,受恩勿忘。
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5.3

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1.His chief contribution was making me realize how much more than knowledge I had been getting from him. 他使我认识到,我从他那里学到的,远远不只是知识,这是 他最大的贡献。 2. The people of a small country can certainly defeat aggression by a big country, if only they dare to rise in struggle, dare to take up arms and grasp in their own hands the destiny of their own country. 小国人民只要敢于起来斗争,敢于拿起武器并掌握自己的命 运,就一定能打败大国的侵略。

Difference in sentential barycenter ? In an English complex sentence, the main clause, usually occurs initially, is the main part. A Chinese complex sentence is usually organized according to the temporal and logical order, placing the most important information at or near the ending.
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5.4 5.4.1

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1. The doctor arrived extremely quickly and examined the patient uncommonly carefully; the result was that he recovered very speedily. The doctor’s extremely quick arrival and uncommonly careful examination of the patient brought about his very speedy recovery. 医生迅速到达,并非常仔细地检查了病人,因此病人很快康复了。 2. Freedom-loving people everywhere condemned them because they violated the agreement reached at Helsinki and abused basic human rights in their own country. The abuse of basic human rights in their own country in violation of the agreement reached at Helsinki earned them the condemnation of freedom-loving people everywhere. 他们违反在赫尔辛基达成的协议,在国内侵犯基本人权,因此受到了各 地热爱自由的人们的谴责。
(Nominalization)

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5.4.2

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1. He is a good eater and a good sleeper. 他能吃能睡。 2. I used to be a bit of a fancier myself. 过去我也常常有点喜欢胡思乱想。 3. The computer is a far more careful and industrious inspector than human beings. 计算机比人检查得更细心、更勤快。 4. Every country is the best judge of what is required to safeguard its national security. 每个国家需要什么来保卫国家安全,只有它自己才能作出最好的判断。 a hard worker=someone who works hard 工作勤奋的人 a slow walker=someone who walks slowly 走路很慢的人 a good thief=someone who thieves well 很会偷窃的人 a bad sailor=someone who often gets seasick 会晕船的人
(agentive nouns vs. verbs)

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5.4.3

1. He is at his books. ? 他在读书。 ? 2. He has someone behind him. ? 有人给他撑腰。 ? 3. Is this train for Chicago? ? 这趟火车是开往芝加哥的吗?
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(Prepositions vs. verbs)

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Some other examples of a phrase formed by a noun plus a preposition. :

Give rise to (arouse) make contact with (meet) Arrive at a decision (decide) Bring to a conclusion (finish) Undertake a study of (study) Take into consideration (consider) Afford an opportunity to (allow) Carry out experiments (experiment) Conduct an investigation into (investigate)

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5.5. 1. What has happened to you? 你出了什么事啦? 2. An idea suddenly struck me. 我突然想到了一个主意。 3. Not a sound reached our ears. 我们没有听到任何声音。 4. A great elation overcame them. 他们欣喜若狂。 5. Alarm began to take entire possession of him. 他开始变得惊恐万状。

6. The sight of the big tree always reminds me of my childhood. ? 一看到那棵大树,我便想起了童年的情景。 ? 7. My heart went out to the old warrior as spectators pushed by him to shake Darrow’s hand.
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观众从他身边挤过去争相与达罗握手时,我 很同情这位久经沙场的老将。 ? (Impersonal vs. Personal)
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