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Translation from Boya Hanyu - Intermediate

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xianhua

在这个满天明星没有月亮更不要太阳的时候, 我常以落伍者的心态听着曾经热爱并继续热爱的古典音乐.

Any takers for a translation? Also, I'd be interested to know if anyone feels that this type of sentence is not exactly typical of something you'd see written in every day Chinese.

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jbradfor

In the darkness between the sun setting and the moon rising, with a mood of times gone by, I often listen to the classics I once loved and have always loved.

[if that's intermediate, I need to change my "level" setting!]

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xianhua
[if that's intermediate, I need to change my "level" setting!]

Assuming you mean the sentence is of a higher standard than average intermediate material, and not the converse, then I agree. Boya Hanyu is generally fine until I meet a sentence like this and feel totally lost.

I've just edited it to read 明星 instead of 明显.

Awesome translation by the way.

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jbradfor

I've just edited it to read 明星 instead of 明显.

Ah. That makes more sense. Then we'll have to change "In the darkness" to something like "Under a starry sky" or something like that.

BTW, does this count as "purple prose"? [i just like to link to posts that start "jbradfor is right." I just can't hear that enough :blink: ]

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SiMaKe

[if that's intermediate, I need to change my "level" setting!]

I think you need to change your level.;)

...to advanced!:clap

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Kenny同志

在这个满天明星没有月亮更不要太阳的时候, 我常以落伍者的心态听着曾经热爱并继续热爱的古典音乐.

Bad Chinese! The first part doesn't make sense to me. Also, the second part is very badly written.

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jbradfor

Phew! I was hoping you'd say that. And, I'd hazard a guess, so was xianhua.

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roddy

Hold your horses here folks. Have a read of the whole piece. Put that sentence into context - particular all the heavenly bodies, and the sense of constancy in a changing world. You may also want to note who wrote it (陈村, I'm 85% sure) and wonder if perhaps you need to elaborate on 'bad Chinese!'.

No, it's not an everyday sentence, but it's not meant to be. Read the whole thing and I think it makes perfect sense. Wouldn't want to have to translate it though.

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Kenny同志

Originally written by Roddy

and wonder if perhaps you need to elaborate on 'bad Chinese!'.

After reading the whole text twice (I didn't quite understand the text the first time), I have to say some of the sentences are very badly written. Take this one, "我们丧失了一心一意的虔诚,代以心猿意马不动感情内心刀枪不入。(this sentence is picked out at random)" for example, doesn't "piousness" itself suggest 一心一意ness? To my knowledge, it does. 一心一意 here is simply redundant. What’s worse is in the second part, which, IMHO, should be set apart by 顿号s, but which in fact is not. The writer mingles the three phrases, 心猿意马、不动感情、内心刀枪不入 together, totally ignoring the grammatical rule that 代以 is followed by a noun or nouns.

As for the sentence, “在这个满天明星没有月亮更不要太阳的时候, 我常以落伍者的心态听着曾经热爱并继续热爱的古典音乐.” which was thrown out by the OP, I have to ask the author, what does “更不要太阳的时候” mean? How can you (the author) be able to 常听(listen on a regular basis or often listen to) the classical music at 这个时候(on this particular occasion or on this night)? Wouldn't it be better to say, 在满天明星,没有月亮的夜晚,我常以落伍者的心态听我曾热爱并继续热爱的古典音乐?

PS: the whole text reminds me of the vernacular Chinese in the teens of the twentieth century. Tangled!

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xianhua

The text is indeed an extract from 陈村's 古典的人. Given that two native speakers have had trouble understanding this, I really question why it's included in an intermediate text book.

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Kenny同志

It should be added that some writers, if not many, are well-known for their thoughts, not for the fluidity, conciseness and elegance of their written words. An interesting case is that, Lu Xun, one of the greatest and most important Chinese writers in the twentieth century, are renowned for his profound thoughts as well as the greatness of this words, nevertheless, some of his works are highly Anglicised and not-so-good or even bad in today’s view. To my mind, a writer must in the first place be able to write smoothly and neatly. If he fails to do so, for all the valuable thoughts in his works, he merely can be called a thinker at best.

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