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一條人生的路

English translation: life's path

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Chinese term or phrase:一條人生的路
English translation:life's path
Entered by: R. A. Stegemann
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16:04 Jan 26, 2004
Chinese to English translations [PRO]
Linguistics / 中文文法
Chinese term or phrase: 一條人生的路
人生的路,沒有一條是容易走的,可是也沒有太難的。

This is my most challenging sentence so far. I have rendered it as "Life's path is not an easily travelled one, but it is also not a very difficult one." I would like to simplify it into something more wieldly, such as "Life's path is neither so easy nor too difficult". Notwithstanding, there are some important grammatical tank blocks that have left me at a standstill.

Question: Would it have been correct and vastly simpler had the author of the sentence not written 人生的路不是容易走的,可是也不是太難的?

One explanation for the author's rendering of this somewhat simple thought might be: prove that life is never very easy, and here's the grammar to prove it!

What are your thoughts?
R. A. Stegemann
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 23:36
'None of the paths of life is easy to walk, but neither is any one too difficult.'
Explanation:
This is clearly context-sensitive, so I may be off the mark stylistically. The central problem is conceptual - Western people don't easily think of life as a discrete phenomenon with each of us individuals walking a strand of it. You might try: 'None of the paths life sets before us is easy to walk, but neither is any one too difficult.' As for your simplification of the source text, I think it rather cuts away some of the author's intended meaning.
Selected response from:

Peter Smith
Taiwan
Local time: 22:36
Grading comment
This is how it was finally translated:

Life's path is not one that is easily travelled, but it is one that we can all make.

Explanation:
The double negative construction with the conjunction but (or however), is simply awkward in English, and should be avoided. It is for this reason that the phrase 沒有太難的 was turned into the affirmative opposite of what is written in Chinese.

As you can see I have sought to retain the notion that there is only one path for each individual and everyone must travel it. The word "travel" could easily be replaced with "walk", but who walks the whole time? Moreover, 走 can also mean run.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5'None of the paths of life is easy to walk, but neither is any one too difficult.'Peter Smith


  

Answers


15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
'None of the paths of life is easy to walk, but neither is any one too difficult.'


Explanation:
This is clearly context-sensitive, so I may be off the mark stylistically. The central problem is conceptual - Western people don't easily think of life as a discrete phenomenon with each of us individuals walking a strand of it. You might try: 'None of the paths life sets before us is easy to walk, but neither is any one too difficult.' As for your simplification of the source text, I think it rather cuts away some of the author's intended meaning.

Peter Smith
Taiwan
Local time: 22:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
This is how it was finally translated:

Life's path is not one that is easily travelled, but it is one that we can all make.

Explanation:
The double negative construction with the conjunction but (or however), is simply awkward in English, and should be avoided. It is for this reason that the phrase 沒有太難的 was turned into the affirmative opposite of what is written in Chinese.

As you can see I have sought to retain the notion that there is only one path for each individual and everyone must travel it. The word "travel" could easily be replaced with "walk", but who walks the whole time? Moreover, 走 can also mean run.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Beth Dennison
3 hrs

agree  Kvasir: i would put it: "... but none of them is too difficult." In John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, life is depicted as a journey.
3 hrs

agree  Lu Zou: agree with Kvasir
5 hrs

agree  HymnLau: Me too.
17 hrs

agree  Chinoise
22 hrs
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