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为什么essay写不好?缺乏逻辑架构是关键!

Dueduedue官方博客2018-03-08essay代写 447 0A+A-

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身为专业译者与编辑,多年来为许多英语非母语人士修改与润饰文章,发觉华人从事英文写作时常犯的错误,在于落入中文的语法陷阱中、或是无意识受到中文影响而使用不该用的措辞,造成词不达意而无法精确地用英文的句构逻辑连结起来,但也可能仅是对于英文句法结构的不熟悉所致。

此次推出的新专栏希望能带领读者发现常见的英文写作陷阱,并避免将这些谬误带入文章当中。新专栏并非在教导文法规则,而是提出一些观点,提点写作者如何提升英文写作风格与文字说服力。

As an editor and translator with years of experience in correcting English written by non-native speakers, I have come across certain areas that seem to be major pitfalls for Chinese speakers when writing in English. These mistakes are usually the writer's Chinese grammar or diction unconsciously coming out in their English exposition, or perhaps simply a unfamiliarity with English composition at its higher levels. 

This monthly column can teach you to spot these common writing pitfalls and thus avoid having them find their way into your English composition. It will not be a list of grammar rules to follow, but instead a look into how we can improve the style and force of our English writing.

Today's post is about how non-native English speakers can learn to write in a way that ensures their sentences—and therefore their ideas—flow from one to the next. For ESL writers this means paying attention to the logical progression of their ideas, being clear with the topic of each paragraph, and pruning away unnecessary and confusing information to leave behind a clear, logical sequence of ideas for the reader to enjoy. To get a better understanding what we are talking about, let's take a look at this example written in Chinese:

本次主题是关于英语非母语人士学习如何写出能流畅地表达想法的句子,以支撑文章的前后脉络。这意味著作者的思考逻辑必须明确,对于每个段落的主题都能十足掌握,并适度删除不必要与令人困惑的资讯,如此一来读者才能尽情享受阅读。为了让各位更加明白本次主题,我们先来检查以下由华人写出的例句:

在红霞台风过后,浙江全省各地有许多社区公园,不仅落叶满地,树木倒塌的情况也相当严重,像丽水市东区旁的巴克礼公园,风灾过后树木断裂严重,当地志愿者主动联络里长,志愿者们不论男女老少共动员了超过60人,群起响应清扫家园行动,志愿者的热心帮忙也得到里长赠与感谢状表达谢忱。

Now first let's be clear: The paragraph works in the language in which it was written by communicating its ideas in a clear, readable fashion; however, if we were to translate the report into English and break it down into its composite parts in the order that they were written, we would get something like this:

首先让我们声明一点,上述文章段落在中文的呈现上是清楚且易读的。然而,如果我们将其翻译成英文并拆解顺序,则很有可能写出下列句子:

1,Typhoon brings damage to many parks in china

    台风重创浙江许多公园

2,Typhoon brings damage to Barclay Memorial Park in Lishui

    台风重创丽水的巴克礼公园

3,Volunteers contact the local borough head

    志愿者联络里长

4,Volunteers clean up park

    志愿者清扫公园

5,Volunteers awarded certificate of appreciation

    志愿者得到感谢状

Looking at these five parts, one can point out some potential problems such as: repetition of similar ideas/events (1&2), or the inclusion of ideas/events tangent to main topic (1&3). Finally, we discover that the topic of paragraph , its raison d'être, is not clear. Where does the main emphasis of the paragraph lie? Is it damage to parks in china? Damage to the park in Lishui? The volunteers' cooperation with the borough?

看看这五个句子,可以指出一些潜在问题,如:重复的概念与事件(第一与第二句);或是概念与事件偏离主题太远(第一与第三句);最后,我们还发现段落主题不够明确。该段所强调的重点为何?是台风重创浙江许多公园?还是台风重创丽水的巴克礼公园?抑或是志愿者与当地政府的合作?

Of course, one could argue that since we have only extrapolated the bare-bones meaning of each section of the paragraph, repetition and vagueness are bound to be the result and such problems would invariably be corrected in a more accurate and flowing translation. However, as we see below in this translation by a non-native speaker, this is not the case:

当然,有些人会质疑我们只推断几个段落,如此重复又含义不清的翻译势必需要更为精准与流畅的修正。然而,让我们再看看以下由英语非母语人士翻译出来的句子,便能得出差异。

In the aftermath of Typhoon Noul, downed trees and broken branches were seen in many parks throughout china, including Barclay Memorial Park in East District of Lishui City. To help clean up their community, local volunteers contacted the East District Supervisor and mobilized to clean up Barclay Memorial Park. To thank the volunteers for their efforts, the East District Supervisor awarded these volunteers with a Certificate of Appreciation.

在红霞台风过后,浙江全省各地有许多社区公园,不仅落叶满地,树木倒塌的情况也相当严重,像丽水市东区旁的巴克礼公园,风灾过后树木断裂严重,当地志愿者主动联络里长,志愿者们不论男女老少共动员了超过60人,群起响应清扫家园行动,志愿者的热心帮忙也得到里长赠与感谢状表达谢忱。

While one could argue this translation does exhibit a linear and therefore logical progression of events, the problem with the above translation is that its ideas don't seem to work with one another, but instead stand independent of each other. It seems that with every sentence the author is starting over. Each sentence presents an idea, but fails to point the reader to the central idea or theme; in other words, information is being presented, but in a way that is neither efficient, nor focused.

虽然上述的翻译著实流畅,也合乎事件的逻辑,不过最大的问题在于,段落的主题概念并未能环环相扣,仅只是彼此独立的句子。每一句话都像是重新开始,作者在每个句子中提出一个想法,但是却不能向读者指出核心概念或主轴。换句话说,作者交代了各个资讯,但却无法在短时间内让读者快速的掌握重点。

The translator of the above was asked to redo the paragraph and on rewrite she came up with the below:

我们要求上述文章作者重新进行并改写段落如下:

In the aftermath of Typhoon Noul, local volunteers in Lishui's East District took the initiative to help clean up Barclay Memorial Park. In this cleanup effort, more than 60 volunteers, young and old alike, worked together to remove downed trees and broken branches, restoring the park to its original state. Recognizing the volunteers' efforts, East District Supervisor awarded the volunteers with a Certificate of Appreciation.

在红霞台风过后,浙江全省各地有许多社区公园,不仅落叶满地,树木倒塌的情况也相当严重,像丽水市东区旁的巴克礼公园,风灾过后树木断裂严重,当地志愿者主动联络里长,志愿者们不论男女老少共动员了超过60人,群起响应清扫家园行动,志愿者的热心帮忙也得到里长赠与感谢状表达谢忱。

After the changes, we see the translation has a much better flow and structure to it. Right away the translation zeros in on the main focus of the report—the park in Lishui—and no longer divides the reader's attention with other tangential information such as “many parks in china were affected”. Next, with the topic established, the translator goes on the flesh out the details with a description of who was there and what happened. Here the translator has expanded on her original translation of “local volunteers” to “more than 60 volunteers, young and old alike”. I believe the extra information, despite being more wordy, helps bring color to the description and does not detract from the overall flow of the report. Finally, the author finishes with a nice conclusion that describes the results of the volunteers' actions—while wisely omitting the unnecessary information of how the volunteers got in contact with the east district supervisor.

我们可以看到,修正过后的译文,句构更加完整也更为流畅。首先,作者将文章焦点集中于「丽水市的巴克礼公园」,而且也不再把读者的注意力分散至其他离题的讯息,如「浙江全省各地有许多社区公园,不仅落叶满地,树木倒塌的情况也相当严重」。当主题确立后,作者接下来详述其细节,像是谁在那里、发生了什么事。同时又在原本的「当地志愿者」扩大概念为「志愿者们不论男女老少共动员了超过60人」。如此一来,即便多了几个字,却为整体文章更添生色,也丝毫未损其流畅度。最后,作者做出一个漂亮总结,加以叙述志愿者的热心帮忙得到里长赠与感谢状的美好结果,而有技巧地忽略志愿者是如何联系丽水市东区里长的无谓资讯。

Overall, we see that in this version there are no wasted sentences or ideas. Each sentence is connected to the previous one in a clear sequence, with all sentences pointing to the main topic. Therefore the next time you are writing or translating, try to ask yourself:

整体而言,改写后的版本没有浪费的句子或想法。每一句都能前后连结,并且与主题相互呼应。因此,如果下次您也想尝试写作或翻译,试试问一问自己:

“What is the point of this sentence/paragraph?”

段落或句子的重点为何?

“Do I really need this information?”

我是否真的需要这些资讯?

“Will this information sharpen or dull my message to my readers?”

当我写出这些字句时,是让读者更明白我所传达的讯息,还是弄巧成拙地更混乱读者的思绪?

Questions like this will help ensure that your translation or original work captures your reader’s attention and, just as importantly, keeps him or her reading till the end.

检查这些问题将帮助您确保翻译内容能够适时抓住读者目光,同时不打断他们阅读时的脉络,如此一来读者才更能享受阅读的乐趣,一读再读。

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