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jiehunzheng

“if at all” vs. “if”

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jiehunzheng

I am an English-Chinese translator. But I don't know what's the meaning of "if at all". Can't find it in dictionary. Someone please help me. thanks ahead!

PS: maybe I could be of help in English-Chinese translation.

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liuzhou

It would be better if you show us what you are trying to translate. We can then explain in context.

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jiehunzheng

I realized that I should provide context when I completed my posting. But I can't find what I've posted in the forum lately.

This is what I am trying to translate:

The Messaging Performance Preference tuning option on JMS destinations enables you to control how long a destination should wait (if at all) before creating full batches of available messages for delivery to consumers.

and my translation:

通过 JMS 目标中的“消息传递性能首选项”调整选项,能够控制目标在要送往使用者的可用消息达到批处理限量之前的等待时间(如果都要等)。

My scope of translation is scientific (software localization).

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HashiriKata

Your example:

how long a destination should wait (if at all) before creating full batches =

how long a destination should wait (if it needs to wait at all (normally it doesn't need to)) before creating full batches

Another example:

What you should say (if at all) is... =

What you should say (you don't need to but if you need to say anything at all) is...

So:

"if at all" is best understood within a context but you can put it very roughly as below:

If at all = If there is a little chance of it = 需要的话

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jiehunzheng

Thanks for your detailed explanation, HashiriKata.

Now I have an understanding of "if at all".

One of the major difficulties in my translation is to find out hidden facts of words due to the "avoid repetition" nature of English.

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liuzhou

It simply means "how long should it wait, if it should wait at all."

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jiehunzheng

Thanks for your explanation.

I think I should translate them as "如有必要".

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jiehunzheng

Additional context:

The Message Performance Preference option includes the following configuration parameters:

Do Not Batch Messages 0 Effectively disables message batching. Available messages are promptly delivered to consumers.

Note: This is equivalent to setting the value of the connection factory's Messages Maximum per Session field to "1".

It is not necessary to "wait" when the "Do Not Batch Messages" parameter is added. This is why my translation is "如有必要".

In addition, I think my translation is according to the first two friends' explanation. Your understanding is probably all out of insufficient context due to my carelessness. Thank you anyway.

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