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A translation question. In the book I'm working on, a woman returns to the 小白楼, where she spent part of her childhood. It's evening. She describes it:




My question: what does that last phrase, 央心孤岛, mean here? I assume it is 'lonely island' or 'uninhabited island' or something along those lines, but I can't find it anywhere and I'd like to make sure.


Thanks in advance for any useful pointers!

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I may be way off here, but I would try translating it as: '...seen from afar, it looks like the heart of a desert island."

...and see if it fits. Even though the Chinese original seems quite different.


The Paper Republic translation exercise is teaching me to be bolder and take liberties.


Edited to add: alternatively, it may be that the other side with the house looks like a desert island at the centre of the lake. It fits the Chinese better, but it seems more prosaic. 




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  • 1 year later...

A very belated thank you to @Luxi!


In the end, I asked the author, and she explains:  “央心”强调了它似乎居于湖水中央,而且应该是唯一的岛。在中文里,央心孤岛听起来比较美。


So Luxi's second reading was correct. Putting this here in case anyone searches for this phrase in the future.

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