The Government Work Report (GWR), as an official political document, is a review of the past and a plan of the future. It introduces a lot about China, such as political principles, economy, education, national defense and people’s well-being, and provides a window for people to learn about China. The English version of GWR is related to our national image. This paper researches on long sentences in Government Work Report 2019, especially its first part—2018 in review, from lexical level, syntax level and discourse level. Through the study of features of long sentences in GWR, the author classifies them into three types— condensed sentences, parallel sentences and non-subject sentences. Based on comparison between the Chinese and English version of GWR, three basic translation standards are put forward—accuracy in expression, equivalence in style and coherence in logic. By analysis of examples, some translation methods are summarized, such as conversion of words, conversion of voice, addition of subject, addition of connecting words and division, which have significant influence on long sentence translation.
Key Words: Government Work Report; long sentences translation; translation methods; translation standards
1 Introduction 1
2 Literature Review 3
2.1 Research on long sentence translation 3
2.2 Research on long sentence translation of Government Work Report in China 3
3 Long sentences translation in Chinese Government Work Report 5
3.1 Types of long sentences in Government Work Report 5
3.2 Standards for translation 8
4. Case Study: 2019 Government Work Report 10
4.1 On lexical level 10
4.2 On syntax level 11
4.3 On discourse level 12
5 Conclusion 16
Translation of Long Sentences in Chinese 2019 Government Work Report
Report on the Work of Government, as an official document, is delivered by premier of China’s State Council annually in two sessions. This report can be divided into three parts: the review of the past year, overall requirements and policy directions in the next year as well as the tasks for the following years. It introduces a lot about China ranging from national economy, diplomacy principles, ethnic culture to people’s wellbeing. It provides guides for government work and policies about businesses and people’s ordinary lives. Thus great attention has been drawn from all over the country.
In addition, with the deepening of reform and opening up and the construction of socialist modernization, China has attracted worldwide attention. More and more foreigners are eager to know about China and hope to seek business cooperation or investment opportunities in China.(Yu: 2015) And this report provides a window for them to get the latest information about China.(武光军: 2014) Considering English is still the lingua franca, the C-E translation of the report has been popular among translators or even English-major students. Plenty of researches have been done on C-E translation of Government Work Report.
However, lots of translators feel pressured about this translation. On the one hand, this report is a represent of China. If translated inappropriately, serious misunderstandings or even diplomatic disputes will be caused. It may damage our nation’s international image and lead to irretrievable losses. On the other hand, it is difficult to do this translation because of the unique features of GWR. Long sentences are one of the most striking features of GWR, some of which are even more than 100 words. These long sentences account for the vast majority of GWR, which are quite difficult to understand let alone translating them. To some extent, the quality of our translation is decided by translation of these long sentences, whose accuracy has an effect on the smoothness of the version. Actually, it is common to see but hard to deal with these long sentences in our translation work because of their complex sentence structures, easy-misunderstanding logic relationship or the gap between these two languages. Thus methods on translation of long Chinese sentences need to be mainly emphasized.
2 Literature Review
2.1 Research on long sentence translation
Long sentences have always been a tough problem both in C-E or E-C translation. The average length of English sentence is 17.8 words or so. Connecting words and clauses are frequently used in English, which cause an effect of overt-cohesion.(连淑能: 1993) The Chinese sentences are usually composited by 7 to 12 words.(连淑能: 1993) But there are still lots of long sentences in written form. In recent years, many scholars have written articles to share their research achievements on this topic.