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Kenny同志

Translation of a piece of news

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Kenny同志

从昆明市昨日“应征女青年初检初审”现场获悉,今年对应征者虽然取消了才艺展示一项,但身高从去年的161厘米调高到162厘米,另外,女大学生应征者增加并已接近半数。

According to the Conscription Authority of Kunming city, though female applicants are not required to show their talents that may inspire a favorable decision from the interviewers, they have to be at least 162cm to be inducted this year, instead of 161cm last year; another notable thing about the conscription is that more female college graduates have signed up for the military service, accounting for about ½ of all female applicants.

Do you feel anything different reading China Daily compared with your experiences with an American or British newspaper (in linguistic terms only)? Here's a piece of translation I did this afternoon, for fun and improvement of my skills, hehe. Of course I know it's not perfect. So now I am inviting comments. And if you think it needs a rewrite (to be perfect) I would be very glad to see it.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

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daofeishi

Your translation is grammatically correct, but I'll give you my opinion about how it could be changed for clarity.

According to the Conscription Authority of Kunming city,

"Conscription" usually means that you are forced to do military service involuntarily. Since we are talking about women who apply voluntarily, that might not be the right word to use? It's a fairly liberal translation of "从昆明市昨日“应征女青年初检初审”现场获悉", and it might perhaps be better with a translation closer to the original?

[...]though female applicants are not required to show their talents that may inspire a favorable decision from the interviewers,[...]

Because of the long subclause "[...]that may inspire a favorable decision from the interviewers", the sentence doesn't flow that well. Is it possible to find a better word describing a 才艺展示? Like "practical skill assessment", perhaps? I don't know exactly what is meant by "talent" in this context.

they have to be at least 162cm to be inducted this year, instead of 161cm last year

"Instead" is used to describe something that is chosen as a replacement for something else ("they had no more coffee, so I had a cup of tea instead"), or that is the preferred alternative to something else ("It is fine that he sends me emails, but I wish be would call me instead."). I don't think I would use the word "instead" here (but perhaps someone disagrees with me?) What about something like "as opposed to..." or "up from..."?

another notable thing in the conscription

Usually, talking about "a notable thing about X", "an interesting thing about X", "a good thing about X",..., sounds sloppy and should be avoided. Instead, talk about "what is noticeable about X", "what is interesting about X", "what is good about X".

[...]signed up for the military service[...]

We usually talk about "signing up for military service" (without the 'the'), but I am not sure about the reason for it.

How would something like this be?

From yesterday's screening of female military applicants, we learned that women are no longer required to undergo a practical skill assessment as part of the military application process. They are instead met with a new height requirement of 162 cm, up from last year's 161 cm. According to the authorities, there has been an increase in applications from female college students, who now account for almost half of the total number of female applicants.

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Kenny同志

Excellent comment, Daofeishi, thank you!

A free lesson!

I think it’s very hard for a nonnative speaker to know exactly how a native speaker would feel about an English text; at least this is true for me. Nonetheless, I will keep improving.

:)

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daofeishi
I think it’s very hard for a nonnative speaker to know exactly how a native speaker would feel about an English text;

That is how I feel about Chinese too. I am impressed with your grammar and structure. What it comes down to now is to find out what is the most "natural" way of expressing what you want to say in English. I guess all that is to it is to remember that 熟能生巧 :)

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