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    非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤之六:時間與地點 (Time and Place)

  • 2016-06-23
  • 我們來到非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤系列專欄的最後一篇,主題將探討先後順序與背景設定,簡單來說就是時間與地點。 1) Government officials work with local volunteers to provide seeds to farmers in several townships where rice farming is the predominant way of life. 1) 政府官員與當地志工合作,提供水稻種子給數個鄉鎮農民種植,而稻作農業是這些鄉鎮農民賴以為生的主要方式。 2) Rice farming is predominant in the townships of A and B, which sit 80 miles away from Yangon. More than 10,000 farmers have been out of work. 2) A鎮與B鎮距離仰光80哩遠,其稻作農業是主要耕作方式。一萬多名的農民都已經失業了。 儘管上面兩個例句寫得相當不錯,然而仍面臨到語句模糊不清的寫作錯誤,因為未能做出清楚的先後順序與背景設定。 更多內容,請參閱TPS電子報、Facebook與 Blog的最新資訊。  TPS Team ...
  • 文章來源:TPS News

    Common writing errors by non-native speakers of English #6: Time and Place 非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤之六:時間與地點

  • 2016-06-20
  • 我們來到非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤系列專欄的最後一篇,主題將探討先後順序與背景設定,簡單來說就是時間與地點。特別是如果您有數個「行進中的角色」在您的寫作中,亦即「在不同的情境中有不同的人物」,倘若能夠有效地在文章中添加時間和地點的修飾語,將有助讀者將您的想法拼湊完整,享受更順暢的閱讀。當您進行寫作或翻譯文學作品時,時間的先後順序與地點的背景設定尤其重要,最好盡可能地表達清楚及完整。現在就讓我們看看以下兩句由華語學生所練習的新聞寫作。 For the final column in our series on common writing mistakes by non-native speakers, we will be talking about sequence and setting, or more simply time and place. Especially if you have several “moving parts” in your writing—i.e. different actors in different situations—the judicious addition of time and place qualifiers can do wonders in helping your readers put together a clearer mental picture of your ideas. This is particularly important when writing or translating nonfiction, where the emphasis is on delivering your message in the clearest, most accessible way possible. Let’s now take a look at the following examples, both of which were taken from a news writing exercise done by Chinese students. 1) Government officials work with local volunteers to provide seeds to farmers in several townships where rice farming is the predominant way of life. 1) 政府官員與當地志工合作,提供水稻種子給數個鄉鎮農民種植,而稻作農業是這些鄉鎮農民賴以為生的主要方式。 2) Rice farming is predominant in the townships of A and B, which sit 80 miles away from Yangon. More than 10,000 farmers have been out of work. 2) A鎮與B鎮距離仰光80哩遠,其稻作農業是主要耕作方式。一萬多名的農民都已經失業了。 Although the above sentences are quite good, they still suffer from ambiguity due to their failure to make clear sequence and setting. Let’s look at the first sentence: 儘管上面兩個例句寫得相當不錯,然而仍面臨到語句模糊不清的寫作錯誤,因為未能做出清楚的先後順序與背景設定。 1) Government officials work with local volunteers to provide seeds to farmers in several townships where rice farming is the predominant way of life. 1) 政府官員與當地志工合作,提供水稻種子給數名鄉鎮農民種植,而稻作農業是這些鄉鎮農民賴以為生的主要方式。 While you could argue that this sentence is grammatically OK, it remains unnecessarily vague in its timeline. The problem is that we don't know when the events described are talking place. Last year? Last month? Still ongoing? For the sake of clarity, when introducing new information to the reader, I would encourage ESL writers to do their best to spell out a timeframe or setting whenever possible. With this in a mind, perhaps a better version of the sentence would be: 儘管您可能會覺得這句話文法正確,不過該句仍然在時間軸上存在不必要的模糊。問題在於我們不知道事件的發生時間。去年?上個月? 還是正在進行中?為了使讀者更加清楚事件的脈絡,我鼓勵英語作為第二語言的作者,當您提出新資訊時,盡可能地勾勒出或設定好時間框架。當您謹記此規則,或許更好的版本為: a) Government officials are currently working with local volunteers to provide seeds to farmers in several townships where rice farming is the predominant way of life. a) 政府官員目前正與當地志工合作,提供水稻種子給數名鄉鎮農民種植,而稻作農業是這些鄉鎮農民賴以為生的主要方式。 or 或者 b) In August, government officials worked with local volunteers to provide seeds to farmers in several townships where rice farming is the predominant way of life. b) 今年八月,政府官員與當地志工合作,提供水稻種子給數名鄉鎮農民種植,而稻作農業是這些鄉鎮農民賴以為生的主要方式。 A timeframe also goes a long way in helping the reader know what to expect in the exposition that will come. For example, in sentence A we can reasonability infer that the following content will be about the cooperation that is currently happening between the government and volunteers. Turning to B, it would not be far-fetched to assume that since we know the cooperation has been completed, in the following sentences, we are going to hear about the results of such cooperation—whether positive or negative. As you can see, with just a simple addition of time or place qualifiers, we have subtly adjusted the reader’s expectation regarding the content to come—that, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of writing with clarity! 時間框架有助於讀者得知事件的發展。舉例來說,上述A句指出「目前正與」,可以合理推斷出,接下來的內容將有關政府官員與志工的合作。至於B句是過去式,政府官員與志工的合作已經完成,所以不難猜測出之後的句子將提及合作的結果(不論是正面還是負面)。如您所見,只要寫出時間或地點,我們就能巧妙改變讀者對文章的預期。各位,這就是─寫作清晰的魔力! Let’s go on to our second example: 讓我們來看看第二個例句: 2) Rice farming is predominant in the townships of A and B, which sit 80 miles away from the capital. More than 10,000 farmers have been out of work. 2) A鎮與B鎮距離仰光80哩遠,其稻作農業是主要耕作方式。一萬多名的農民都已經失業了。 The problem here is one of setting. In introducing a group of people to us (10,000 famers), the author has neglected to information us where those 10,000 farmers are located. Again, for clarity’s sake, we need to add a qualifier. There are several ways we can do this. We can place the farmers in the townships (as was done in example A and B), or we could place them somewhere else in the country (as was done in example C). Of course, if this was a real news report, we would not have the liberty of choosing where these farmers are located, however, we would still have to ensure their location was clear to the reader. 此句問題在於缺少主角的地點設定。作者向我們介紹了一群人(一萬名的農民),但是卻沒有告訴我們這一萬名農民的位置。再一次地,為了讓讀者更清楚文章的架構,我們需要加入修飾語。有幾種方法像是將農民設定於鄉鎮裡(如下列例句A、B),或是置於全國 的某處(如例句C)。當然,若這是真實的新聞報導,我們不能任意決定農民的位置,必須據實以報,確保蒐集足夠的資訊讓讀者清楚知道農民的位置。 a) Rice farming is predominant in the townships of A and B, which sit 80 miles away from the capital. More than 10,000 farmers there have been out of work. a) A鎮與B鎮距離仰光80哩遠,其稻作農業是主要耕作方式。在那裡一萬多名的農民都已經失業了。 or 或者 b) Rice farming is predominant in the townships of A and B, which sit 80 miles away from the capital. More than 10,000 farmers in the two townships have been out of work. b) A鎮與B鎮距離仰光80哩遠,其稻作農業是主要耕作方式。A、B兩鎮裡超過一萬多名的農民都已經失業了。 or或者 c) Rice farming is predominant in the townships of A and B, which sit 80 miles away from the capital. Currently more than 10,000 farmers from around the nation have been out of work. c) A鎮與B鎮距離仰光80哩遠,其稻作農業是主要耕作方式。全國目前有超過一萬名的農民都已經失業了。 In the above sentences, the additions help make clear where exactly the farmers are to be found. Although this seem like an obvious solution, you would be surprised by how many times I have had to add such “obvious solutions” when editing work by non-native speakers. Therefore, the lesson here is: when reviewing your written work, ask yourself if every actor is accounted for. In other words, will your reader know where to put the actor you have introduced in the mental picture he or she is developing as they read your work? 上述句子中,添加農民位置的詞彙有助於讀者的閱讀。然而,此解決方法看起來雖然顯而易懂,卻是非英文母語者常見的寫作錯誤。每當我進行校稿時,您會無法相信我校正了多少次這樣「顯而易懂的解決方法」。因此,本篇主要課題是,當您回顧寫作文章時,問問自己每位角色的時間地點設定是否完善。換言之,您的讀者能否將您描繪的故事圖像,拼湊成一幅完整的畫作。 While today’s discussion might seem simple, I believe it is one of the most important areas that a non-native speaker can focus on once he or she reaches a reasonable proficiency of written English. Missing time and place qualifiers is one of the mistakes that I see the most in my editing, which is unfortunate because it is also one of the easiest for an author to notice beforehand and fix. 今日主題看似簡單,然而我相信這是非英文母語者學習寫作時非常重要的一環,足以看出作者對於英文寫作的熟練程度。文章中缺乏時間與地點是我在英文編輯時最常見的錯誤之一,也常為文章感到可惜,因為這是只要作者多用心便可察覺到的錯誤並能事先加以修正的地方。 Well that’s it for this month. We hoped you all enjoyed reading this column and if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us at TPS. 以上是本次的專欄重點提醒各位寫作者的常見錯誤,希望大家喜歡此專欄內容並有所助益。若您有任何疑問或建議,請隨時與我們TPS聯繫。 更多內容,請參閱TPS電子報、Facebook與 Blog的最新資訊。 TPS Team ...
  • 文章來源:TPS News

    非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤之五:缺乏邏輯架構 (Unclear Logic & Structure)

  • 2015-11-03
  • 本次主題是關於英語非母語人士學習如何寫出能流暢地表達想法的句子,以支撐文章的前後脈絡。這意味著作者的思考邏輯必須明確,對於每個段落的主題都能十足掌握,並適度刪除不必要與令人困惑的資訊。如果您也想嘗試寫作或翻譯,試試問一問自己: 段落或句子的重點為何? 我是否真的需要這些資訊? 當我寫出這些字句時,是讓讀者更明白我所傳達的訊息,還是弄巧成拙地更混亂讀者的思緒? 檢視這些問題將幫助您確保翻譯內容能夠適時抓住讀者目光,同時不打斷他們閱讀時的脈絡,如此一來讀者才更能享受閱讀的樂趣,一讀再讀。 更多內容,請參閱TPS電子報、Facebook與 Blog的最新資訊。  TPS Team ...
  • 文章來源:TPS News

    Common writing errors by non-native speakers of English #5: Unclear Logic & Structure 非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤之五:缺乏邏輯架構 (Unclear Logic & Structure)

  • 2015-10-29
  • 身為專業譯者與編輯,多年來為許多英語非母語人士修改與潤飾文章,發覺華人從事英文寫作時常犯的錯誤,在於落入中文的語法陷阱中、或是無意識受到中文影響而使用不該用的措辭,造成詞不達意而無法精確地用英文的句構邏輯連結起來,但也可能僅是對於英文句法結構的不熟悉所致。此次推出的新專欄希望能帶領讀者發現常見的英文寫作陷阱,並避免將這些謬誤帶入文章當中。新專欄並非在教導文法規則,而是提出一些觀點,提點寫作者如何提升英文寫作風格與文字說服力。 As an editor and translator with years of experience in correcting English written by non-native speakers, I have come across certain areas that seem to be major pitfalls for Chinese speakers when writing in English. These mistakes are usually the writer’s Chinese grammar or diction unconsciously coming out in their English exposition, or perhaps simply a unfamiliarity with English composition at its higher levels. This monthly column can teach you to spot these common writing pitfalls and thus avoid having them find their way into your English composition. It will not be a list of grammar rules to follow, but instead a look into how we can improve the style and force of our English writing. Today’s post is about how non-native English speakers can learn to write in a way that ensures their sentences—and therefore their ideas—flow from one to the next. For ESL writers this means paying attention to the logical progression of their ideas, being clear with the topic of each paragraph, and pruning away unnecessary and confusing information to leave behind a clear, logical sequence of ideas for the reader to enjoy. To get a better understanding what we are talking about, let’s take a look at this example written in Chinese: 本次主題是關於英語非母語人士學習如何寫出能流暢地表達想法的句子,以支撐文章的前後脈絡。這意味著作者的思考邏輯必須明確,對於每個段落的主題都能十足掌握,並適度刪除不必要與令人困惑的資訊,如此一來讀者才能盡情享受閱讀。為了讓各位更加明白本次主題,我們先來檢視以下由華人寫出的例句: 在紅霞颱風過後,台灣全省各地有許多社區公園,不僅落葉滿地,樹木倒塌的情況也相當嚴重,像台南市東區旁的巴克禮公園,風災過後樹木斷裂嚴重,當地志工主動聯絡里長,志工們不論男女老少共動員了超過60人,群起響應清掃家園行動,志工的熱心幫忙也得到里長贈與感謝狀表達謝忱。 Now first let’s be clear: The paragraph works in the language in which it was written by communicating its ideas in a clear, readable fashion; however, if we were to translate the report into English and break it down into its composite parts in the order that they were written, we would get something like this: 首先讓我們聲明一點,上述文章段落在中文的呈現上是清楚且易讀的。然而,如果我們將其翻譯成英文並拆解順序,則很有可能寫出下列句子: 1) Typhoon brings damage to many parks in Taiwan     颱風重創台灣許多公園 2) Typhoon brings damage to Barclay Memorial Park in Tainan     颱風重創台南的巴克禮公園 3) Volunteers contact the local borough head     志工聯絡里長 4) Volunteers clean up park     志工清掃公園 5) Volunteers awarded certificate of appreciation     志工得到感謝狀 Looking at these five parts, one can point out some potential problems such as: repetition of similar ideas/events (1&2), or the inclusion of ideas/events tangent to main topic (1&3). Finally, we discover that the topic of paragraph, its raison d’être, is not clear. Where does the main emphasis of the paragraph lie? Is it damage to parks in Taiwan? Damage to the park in Tainan? The volunteers’ cooperation with the borough? 看看這五個句子,可以指出一些潛在問題,如:重複的概念與事件 (第一與第二句);或是概念與事件偏離主題太遠 (第一與第三句);最後,我們還發現段落主題不夠明確。該段所強調的重點為何?是颱風重創台灣許多公園?還是颱風重創台南的巴克禮公園?抑或是志工與當地政府的合作? Of course, one could argue that since we have only extrapolated the bare-bones meaning of each section of the paragraph, repetition and vagueness are bound to be the result and such problems would invariably be corrected in a more accurate and flowing translation. However, as we see below in this translation by a non-native speaker, this is not the case: 當然,有些人會質疑我們只推斷幾個段落,如此重複又含義不清的翻譯勢必需要更為精準與流暢的修正。然而,讓我們再看看以下由英語非母語人士翻譯出來的句子,便能得出差異。 In the aftermath of Typhoon Noul, downed trees and broken branches were seen in many parks throughout Taiwan, including Barclay Memorial Park in East District of Tainan City. To help clean up their community, local volunteers contacted the East District Supervisor and mobilized to clean up Barclay Memorial Park. To thank the volunteers for their efforts, the East District Supervisor awarded these volunteers with a Certificate of Appreciation. 在紅霞颱風過後,台灣全省各地有許多社區公園,不僅落葉滿地,樹木倒塌的情況也相當嚴重,像台南市東區旁的巴克禮公園,風災過後樹木斷裂嚴重,當地志工主動聯絡里長,志工們不論男女老少共動員了超過60人,群起響應清掃家園行動,志工的熱心幫忙也得到里長贈與感謝狀表達謝忱。 While one could argue this translation does exhibit a linear and therefore logical progression of events, the problem with the above translation is that its ideas don’t seem to work with one another, but instead stand independent of each other. It seems that with every sentence the author is starting over. Each sentence presents an idea, but fails to point the reader to the central idea or theme; in other words, information is being presented, but in a way that is neither efficient, nor focused. 雖然上述的翻譯著實流暢,也合乎事件的邏輯,不過最大的問題在於,段落的主題概念並未能環環相扣,僅只是彼此獨立的句子。每一句話都像是重新開始,作者在每個句子中提出一個想法,但是卻不能向讀者指出核心概念或主軸。換句話說,作者交代了各個資訊,但卻無法在短時間內讓讀者快速的掌握重點。 The translator of the above was asked to redo the paragraph and on rewrite she came up with the below: 我們要求上述文章作者重新進行並改寫段落如下: In the aftermath of Typhoon Noul, local volunteers in Tainan’s East District took the initiative to help clean up Barclay Memorial Park. In this cleanup effort, more than 60 volunteers, young and old alike, worked together to remove downed trees and broken branches, restoring the park to its original state. Recognizing the volunteers’ efforts, East District Supervisor awarded the volunteers with a Certificate of Appreciation. 在紅霞颱風過後,台灣全省各地有許多社區公園,不僅落葉滿地,樹木倒塌的情況也相當嚴重,像台南市東區旁的巴克禮公園,風災過後樹木斷裂嚴重,當地志工主動聯絡里長,志工們不論男女老少共動員了超過60人,群起響應清掃家園行動,志工的熱心幫忙也得到里長贈與感謝狀表達謝忱。 After the changes, we see the translation has a much better flow and structure to it. Right away the translation zeros in on the main focus of the report—the park in Tainan—and no longer divides the reader’s attention with other tangential information such as “many parks in Taiwan were affected”. Next, with the topic established, the translator goes on the flesh out the details with a description of who was there and what happened. Here the translator has expanded on her original translation of “local volunteers” to “more than 60 volunteers, young and old alike”. I believe the extra information, despite being more wordy, helps bring color to the description and does not detract from the overall flow of the report. Finally, the author finishes with a nice conclusion that describes the results of the volunteers’ actions—while wisely omitting the unnecessary information of how the volunteers got in contact with the east district supervisor. 我們可以看到,修正過後的譯文,句構更加完整也更為流暢。首先,作者將文章焦點集中於「台南市的巴克禮公園」,而且也不再把讀者的注意力分散至其他離題的訊息,如「台灣全省各地有許多社區公園,不僅落葉滿地,樹木倒塌的情況也相當嚴重」。當主題確立後,作者接下來詳述其細節,像是誰在那裡、發生了什麼事。同時又在原本的「當地志工」擴大概念為「志工們不論男女老少共動員了超過60人」。如此一來,即便多了幾個字,卻為整體文章更添生色,也絲毫未損其流暢度。最後,作者做出一個漂亮總結,加以敘述志工的熱心幫忙得到里長贈與感謝狀的美好結果,而有技巧地忽略志工是如何聯繫台南市東區里長的無謂資訊。 Overall, we see that in this version there are no wasted sentences or ideas. Each sentence is connected to the previous one in a clear sequence, with all sentences pointing to the main topic. Therefore the next time you are writing or translating, try to ask yourself: 整體而言,改寫後的版本沒有浪費的句子或想法。每一句都能前後連結,並且與主題相互呼應。因此,如果下次您也想嘗試寫作或翻譯,試試問一問自己: “What is the point of this sentence/paragraph?” 段落或句子的重點為何? “Do I really need this information?” 我是否真的需要這些資訊? “Will this information sharpen or dull my message to my readers?” 當我寫出這些字句時,是讓讀者更明白我所傳達的訊息,還是弄巧成拙地更混亂讀者的思緒? Questions like this will help ensure that your translation or original work captures your reader’s attention and, just as importantly, keeps him or her reading till the end. 檢視這些問題將幫助您確保翻譯內容能夠適時抓住讀者目光,同時不打斷他們閱讀時的脈絡,如此一來讀者才更能享受閱讀的樂趣,一讀再讀。 That’s it for this month. We hoped you all enjoyed reading this column and if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us at TPS. 上述這些就是本月份提點各位寫作者的常見錯誤,希望大家喜歡此專欄內容並有所助益。若您有任何疑問或建議,請隨時與我們TPS聯繫。 更多內容,請參閱TPS電子報、Facebook與 Blog的最新資訊。 TPS Team...
  • 文章來源:TPS News

    非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤之四:冠詞省略與誤用(The Omission or Misuse of Articles)

  • 2015-09-03
  • 當您在說英文或英語寫作時出現冠詞誤用的情形,很容易不小心透露出您是外國人或是英語「非母語」人士。不幸的是,許多華人在使用上不僅經常將冠詞省略,而且有時候混用或使用時機不正確。 定冠詞與不定冠詞之間的區別為何?一個簡單的定義是:定冠詞用於特定名詞之前,不定冠詞則用於修飾普通、非特定名詞。舉例而言,如果我說 “I want the book for Christmas”「我想要那本聖誕節的書」,其中定冠詞「the」意指我想要「那本」特定的書籍。 關於定冠詞使用時機的規則有許多條。您困惑了嗎?別擔心,就連英語母語人士也未必全部都懂,但是您可以經由一些練習,就能掌握基本原則。 更多內容,請參閱TPS電子報、Facebook與 Blog的最新資訊。  TPS Team ...
  • 文章來源:TPS News

    Common writing errors by non-native speakers of English #4: The Omission or Misuse of Articles 非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤之四:冠詞省略與誤用(The Omission or Misuse of Articles)

  • 2015-08-29
  • 身為專業譯者與編輯,多年來為許多英語非母語人士修改與潤飾文章,發覺華人從事英文寫作時常犯的錯誤,在於落入中文的語法陷阱中、或是無意識受到中文影響而使用不該用的措辭,造成詞不達意而無法精確地用英文的句構邏輯連結起來,但也可能僅是對於英文句法結構的不熟悉所致。此次推出的新專欄希望能帶領讀者發現常見的英文寫作陷阱,並避免將這些謬誤帶入文章當中。新專欄並非在教導文法規則,而是提出一些觀點,提點寫作者如何提升英文寫作風格與文字說服力。 As an editor and translator with years of experience in correcting English written by non-native speakers, I have come across certain areas that seem to be major pitfalls for Chinese speakers when writing in English. These mistakes are usually the writer’s Chinese grammar or diction unconsciously coming out in their English exposition, or perhaps simply a unfamiliarity with English composition at its higher levels. This monthly column can teach you to spot these common writing pitfalls and thus avoid having them find their way into your English composition. It will not be a list of grammar rules to follow, but instead a look into how we can improve the style and force of our English writing. Today we are going to discuss a small, but frequent problem that ESL learners exhibit when writing in English: the omission or misuse of articles. 今天我們要討論一個英語非母語學習者在寫作時常見的小問題:冠詞省略與誤用。 First off, let’s do a quick review on articles. English has two articles: 首先,來做個快速檢視。英文有兩種冠詞: 1) ‘the’—the definite article 第一種是定冠詞「那個(the)」。 2) ‘a/an’—the indefinite article. 第二種是不定冠詞「一個(a/an)」。 There is almost no easier way to make your English sound foreign or “non-native” than to misuse articles in speech or writing. Unfortunately, for many Chinese speakers, articles are not only often omitted, but at times mixed up, or used when they are not required. 當您在說英文或英語寫作時出現冠詞誤用的情形,很容易不小心透露出您是外國人或是英語「非母語」人士。不幸的是,許多華人在使用上不僅經常將冠詞省略,而且有時候混用或使用時機不正確。 So what is the difference between the definite article and indefinite article? 那麼,定冠詞與不定冠詞之間的區別為何? One simple definition would be: A definite article is used in front of specific nouns, while the indefinite article is used to modify general, non-specific nouns. 一個簡單的定義是:定冠詞用於特定名詞之前,不定冠詞則用於修飾普通、非特定名詞。 So, for example, if I say “I want the book for Christmas” the definite article ‘the’ points to the fact that I want a very specific book. 所以,舉例而言,如果我說「我想要那本聖誕節的書」,其中定冠詞「the」意指我想要「那本」特定的書籍。 But if I say “I want a car for Christmas” the use of the indefinite article means that I am not asking for a specific car, in fact, any car will do. 但如果我說「我想要一台用於聖誕節的車」,此句使用不定冠詞意味著,我沒有要求某輛特定的車,而是任何一輛車都可以。 However, if the person I was talking to referred back to that same car, he would use the definite article since he would be talking about a very specific car (i.e. the car that I want for Christmas) and one that I had mentioned previously. 然而,若跟我對談的這個人提到前句我所說的那台車,他需要使用定冠詞,因為他是指一輛特定的車(亦即前述所指那輛我想要用於聖誕節的車)。 Therefore, we can also understand the use of the definite and indefinite article by looking at the overall context of the sentence(s). For example, the indefinite article is often used to introduce new information, or something that is unfamiliar to the listener/reader: 因此,我們也可以透過理解句子上下文的方式,來決定應使用定冠詞或不定冠詞。例如,不定冠詞常用於介紹新的資訊,或是一些聽眾或讀者不熟悉的事物。 1)I saw a car yesterday. 昨天我看見一輛車。 2)Tomorrow a plumber is going to come over. 明天有一位水管工人會過來一趟。 (In both cases, the speaker or writer is introducing something new to the listener/reader.) (在這兩種情況下,說話者或是寫作者都在介紹新的事物給聽眾或讀者。) Using the definite article, however, we are signaling that the listener/reader probably knows what we are referring to; either because it is common knowledge, or because it is something we have mentioned previously: 然而,當使用定冠詞的時候,聽眾或讀者或許知道我們所指涉的事物;因為那是一般常識,或是我們先前提過的事情。 1) I saw a car yesterday. It reminded me of the car that you said you wanted for your birthday. 昨天我看見一輛車。那使我回想起你說過你生日時想要的那輛車。 2) Tomorrow the plumber is going to come over.(Perhaps reminding the speaker of something that both parties were already aware of) 明天那位水管工人會過來一趟。(或許說話者與被提醒者都已經知道這件事。) There are also dozens of rules regarding where you can or can not use the definite article. Confused yet? Don’t worry, articles and their use are confusing for even native speakers, but with a little practice you can get the general rules down. 關於定冠詞使用時機的規則有許多條。您困惑了嗎?別擔心,就連英語母語人士也未必全部都用得正確,但是您可以經由一些練習掌握基本原則。 Let’s now take a look at some sentences written by non-native English speakers and see where they went wrong. 現在讓我們看看以下由英語非母語人士寫成的句子,並找出定冠詞使用錯誤的地方。 Problem: Missing ‘the’ 狀況:少了「那個(the)」 1)Back then, a volunteer of (the) local chapter started recruiting members at a local supermarket. 當時,(那個)地方分會的志工開始在當地的超級市場招募成員。 2)Volunteers from Tokyo mobilized to visit (the) rescue centers and hospitals where (the) victims were sent. 東京的志工動員起來前往(那些)救援中心和醫院,去探望(那些)受害者。 3)The movement has also united people from different faiths to work together on behalf of (the) survivors. 這場運動也結合了不同信仰的人,為(那些)倖存者團結起來,齊心協力一起工作。 Problem: ‘a’ mistakenly used in place of ‘the’ 狀況:在應該使用「那個(the)」的地方卻用了「一個(a)」 1)Despite the makeshift operation room, the doctors conducted a (the) surgery with full confidence. (The definite article here is correct as the sentence is referring to one particular surgery.) 儘管是臨時替代用的手術室,醫生對於一場(那場)手術仍深具信心。(在這裡使用定冠詞「那個(the)」才是正確的,因為是指一場特定的手術。) Problem: ‘the’ mistakenly used in place of ‘a’ 狀況:在應該使用「一個(a)」的地方卻用了「那個(the)」 1) The sign was posted above the camp. Volunteers said the sign was important for keeping peace in the camp. (Here “the sign” should be “a sign” as this is new information for the reader.) 那個標誌被張貼在難民營上。志願兵說該標誌對於難民營維持和平是非常重要的。(在這裡應該要寫「一個標誌」而不是「那個標誌」,因為這對於讀者來說是一則新資訊。) Problem: ‘the’ used where not needed 狀況:不該使用「那個(the)」 1)Passang Lama is always seen wearing a long ponytail as it is a tradition in the Tibet for men and women to wear their hair long. (No ‘the’ in front of country names…although there are a few exceptions to this rule) Passang喇嘛總是綁著長馬尾,因為那是那個西藏男女的傳統風俗。(即使會有少數的例外情形,但通常不應在國名前面加上定冠詞「那個(the)」) 2)Volunteers of the Taipei’s Nangang District called on members of the community to join the event. (No ‘the’ in front of city/street/names) 那個台北南港區的志工呼籲社會各界加入此次的活動。(在城市、街道、名稱前面不應加上定冠詞「那個(the)」) That’s it for this month. We hoped you all enjoyed reading this column and if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us at TPS. 以上就是本月份提點各位寫作者的常見錯誤,希望大家喜歡此專欄內容並有所助益。若您有任何疑問或建議,請隨時與我們TPS聯繫。 更多內容,請參閱TPS電子報、Facebook與 Blog的最新資訊。 TPS Team ...
  • 文章來源:TPS News

    非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤之三:被動語態(Passive Voice)

  • 2015-07-20
  • 當我們使用主動式時,必須要有主詞—動詞—受詞這樣的標準結構。被動語態呈現相反的句構,受詞(或是人)接受到動作而成為句子的主詞,但是行為者卻被移至句尾(或有時候完全省略)。讓我們看看下面的例句: Hundreds of volunteers were mobilized this morning to assist with the loading, as all hope these supplies may reach the hands of the survivors as soon as possible. 今天早上 數百名志工 被動員起來去協助裝載補給品,因為 所有 希望這些物資能盡快送到倖存者的手中。 這個例句可以同時示範被動語態如何使用正確與不正確。如果我們的句子是「今天早上數百名志工被動員起來去協助裝載補給品」,那麼這就是善用被動語態。為什麼呢?因為在本例句中的「行為者」(也就是動員志工的某人或某團體)在整句話的涵義裡並沒有接受動作者(也就是被動員起來的數百名志工)來得重要,因此使用被動語態時將行為者刪掉是比較好的。 更多內容,請參閱TPS電子報、Facebook與 Blog的最新資訊。  TPS Team ...
  • 文章來源:TPS News

    Common writing errors by non-native speakers of English #3: Passive Voice 非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤之三:被動語態(Passive Voice)

  • 2015-07-16
  • 身為專業譯者與編輯,多年來為許多英語非母語人士修改與潤飾文章,發覺華人從事英文寫作時常犯的錯誤,在於落入中文的語法陷阱中、或是無意識受到中文影響而使用不該用的措辭,造成詞不達意而無法精確地用英文的句構邏輯連結起來,但也可能僅是對於英文句法結構的不熟悉所致。此次推出的新專欄希望能帶領讀者發現常見的英文寫作陷阱,並避免將這些謬誤帶入文章當中。新專欄並非在教導文法規則,而是提出一些觀點,提點寫作者如何提升英文寫作風格與文字說服力。 As an editor and translator with years of experience in correcting English written by non-native speakers, I have come across certain areas that seem to be major pitfalls for Chinese speakers when writing in English. These mistakes are usually the writer’s Chinese grammar or diction unconsciously coming out in their English exposition, or perhaps simply a unfamiliarity with English composition at its higher levels. This monthly column can teach you to spot these common writing pitfalls and thus avoid having them find their way into your English composition. It will not be a list of grammar rules to follow, but instead a look into how we can improve the style and force of our English writing. In English we have both the passive and active voice. For those who are unfamiliar with the difference, why don't we do a quick review? 英文有主動與被動兩種語態。對於那些不熟悉兩者差異的讀者,我們何不來個簡單回顧呢? When using the active voice, we have the standard subject—verb—object construction. 當我們使用主動式時,必須要有「主詞—動詞—受詞」這樣的標準結構。 He eats the pie.        他    吃     派。 S      V        O           主詞 動詞  受詞 I will see him on Friday.     星期五我將會看到 他。 S       V     O                                        主詞 動詞 受詞 Passive voice is reversed; the object/person receiving the action becomes subject of the sentence, while the actor is moved to end of the sentence (or is sometimes entirely absent). 被動語態呈現相反的句構。受詞(或是人)接受到動作而成為句子的主詞,但是行為者卻被移至句尾(或有時候完全省略)。 He eats the pie. —active 他吃派。—主動式 The pie was eaten by him. —passive 派被他吃了。—被動式 I will see him on Friday. —active 星期五我將會看到他。—主動式 He will be seen by me on Friday. —passive 星期五他將會被我看到。—被動式 Today’s topic is a bit tricky as use of the passive voice is not wrong and sometimes even preferred over the active voice. However, unless you are writing for an academic journal where the use of the passive voice is usually required, taking steps to counter the overuse of passive voice will go a long way in helping with the overall readability of your sentences and ideas. Let’s now take a look at some English sentences written by Chinese speakers that illustrate this idea. 這一次的主題有點複雜,因為使用被動語態並沒有錯,有時甚至優於主動語態。然而,除非您正在寫一篇學術期刊,期刊通常需要使用到被動語態,否則,減少大量使用被動語態,才能幫助讀者在閱讀的過程中更快了解句意。現在就讓我們來看看一些由華人寫出來的英文句子,恰好說明了這種情形。 1)Hundreds of volunteers were mobilized this morning to assist with the loading, as all hope these supplies may reach the hands of the survivors as soon as possible.  今天早上數百名志工 被動員起來去協助裝載補給品,因為所有希望這些物資能盡快送到倖存者的手中。 Interestingly enough, this first example shows how the passive voice can be used both correctly and incorrectly. If our sentence was “Hundreds of volunteers were mobilized this morning to assist with the loading” then this would be a perfectly good use of the passive voice. Why? Because in this example, the actor, (i.e. the group or person that mobilized the volunteers) is not as important to the overall meaning of the sentence as the recipient of the action (i.e. the hundreds of volunteers who were mobilized) and thus it can be safely left out by using the passive voice. 有趣的是,第一個例句可以同時示範被動語態如何使用的正確與不正確。如果句子是「今天早上數百名志工被動員起來去協助裝載補給品」,那麼這是使用被動語態的好示範。為什麼呢?因為在本例句中的「行為者」(也就是動員志工的某人或某團體)在整句話的涵義裡並沒有接受動作者(也就是被動員起來的數百名志工)來得重要,因此使用被動語態時將行為者省略是比較好的。  The problem is that the author continues with “as all hope these supplies may reach the hands of the survivors as soon as possible.” “All” is an indefinite pronoun that stands in for the subject of the sentence; however, since the author has used the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is unknown. As a consequence, we are left in the dark regarding the identity of the person/entity the pronoun “all” is being used in place of. To address this problem, returning the sentence back to the active voice seems to be our best bet. Here are some possible solutions: 問題在於,當作者在後面接著寫「因為所有希望這些物資能盡快送到倖存者的手中」。「所有」是用來當作句子主詞的不特定代名詞;然而,由於作者已在前一句使用被動語態,此時句中的主詞未知。但後一句寫出「所有」這個不定代名詞,反而會讓讀者不知「all」是指誰而感到模糊不清。為了避免這個狀況,將句子改成主動語態似乎是我們最好的選擇。下面是一些建議的寫法:                S                V                           O  1a)The church mobilized hundreds of volunteers this morning to assist with the loading; it hopes the supplies may reach the hands of the survivors as soon as possible.          主詞                  動詞       受詞  1a) 教會 今天早上動員了 數百名志工 去協助裝載補給品; 它 希望這些物資能盡快送到倖存者的手中。 or  或者                           S                            V                                                       O 1b)Hundreds of volunteers mobilized this morning to assist with the loading, all in the hopes that the supplies may reach the hands of the survivors as soon as possible.               主詞                          動詞                 受詞 1b)數百名志工 今天早上 動員起來 去協助裝載補給品,所有人都希望這些物資能盡快送到倖存者的手中。  Now our second example: 現在讓我們看看第二個例句: 2)With the assistance of countries across the globe, it is hoped that Nepal and its citizen can regain the strength to face the long road to recovery. 因為有來自全球各地的援助,它希望尼泊爾和其人民能夠重新獲得力量去面對漫長的復甦之路。 Once again the passive voice here is not wrong, simply awkward. If, in the preceding sentence, the author made clear who is it that “hopes”, then our example might stand as it is. However, I believe this sentence would be considerably strengthened by changing it to the active voice. One example: 再一次強調,被動語態在這裡並沒有錯,只是顯得尷尬不合適。若作者在前一句明確寫出是誰「希望」,那麼例句句義的呈現會更加完整。然而,我認為此句使用主動式才能更加重句子的語氣。例如:  2a)With the assistance of countries across the globe, charity organizations hope that Nepal and its citizens can regain the strength to face the long road to recovery. 因為有來自全球各地的援助,慈善機構希望尼泊爾和其人民能夠重新獲得力量去面對漫長的復甦之路。 In conclusion, when using passive voice it is important to ask yourself if your sentence is adequately clear. Sometimes we don’t care about the actor of a sentence, or perhaps the actor can be inferred from context, in situations like this the passive voice can be more direct and clear. However, when in doubt stick to the active voice. Your readers will thank you.  總而言之,當使用被動語態時,請問問自己句子是否表達得夠清楚。有時候我們不在乎句子的行為者,或是從文中就能推測出行為者是誰,諸如這些前提下,那麼可以使用被動語態讓句子更直接和明確。然而,每當感到不確定時,就使用主動語態吧。相信您的讀者會感謝您。 That’s it for this month. We hoped you all enjoyed reading this column and if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us at TPS. 上述這些就是本月份首要提點各位寫作者的常見錯誤,希望大家喜歡此專欄內容並有所助益。若您有任何疑問或建議,請隨時與我們TPS聯繫。 ...
  • 文章來源:TPS News

    非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤之二:修飾語錯置(Misplaced Modifiers)

  • 2015-06-11
  • 本專欄此次重點在於介紹分詞片語如何扮演形容詞的角色,以達到修飾名詞的作用。修飾的其中一項最重要原則就是讓修飾語盡可能地貼近想要描述的字詞。讓我們看看下面的例句: Filled with hope after receiving the aid, the volunteers hope the tenants of the hotel can one day join their ranks and work to help others in need. 志工在接受援助後充滿希望,期待飯店的房客有一天能加入他們的行列,以實際行動幫助有需要的人。 「接受援助後充滿希望」是當作形容詞使用的分詞片語,意指一個人或一群人「充滿希望」。然而,緊接著片語之後的是名詞「志工」,這就是我們所說的修飾語錯置,因為「接受援助後充滿希望」的人並非志工而是「飯店的房客」。如果我們要重新將句子改寫正確,需要將修飾語移動至適切的字詞旁邊。 Filled with hope after receiving the aid, the tenants will perhaps one day join the ranks of the volunteers and work to help others in need. 房客在接受援助後充滿希望,期待有一天能加入志工的行列,以實際行動幫助有需要的人。 更多內容,請參閱TPS電子報、Facebook與 Blog的最新資訊。  TPS Team ...
  • 文章來源:TPS News

    Common writing errors by non-native speakers of English #2: Misplaced Modifiers 非英文母語者常見寫作錯誤之二:修飾語錯置(Misplaced Modifiers)

  • 2015-06-08
  • 身為專業譯者與編輯,多年來為許多英語非母語人士修改與潤飾文章,發覺華人從事英文寫作時常犯的錯誤,在於落入中文的語法陷阱中、或是無意識受到中文影響而使用不該用的措辭,造成詞不達意而無法精確地用英文的句構邏輯連結起來,但也可能僅是對於英文句法結構的不熟悉所致。此次推出的新專欄希望能帶領讀者發現常見的英文寫作陷阱,並避免將這些謬誤帶入文章當中。新專欄並非在教導文法規則,而是提出一些觀點,提點寫作者如何提升英文寫作風格與文字說服力。 As an editor and translator with years of experience in correcting English written by non-native speakers, I have come across certain areas that seem to be major pitfalls for Chinese speakers when writing in English. These mistakes are usually the writer’s Chinese grammar or diction unconsciously coming out in their English exposition, or perhaps simply a unfamiliarity with English composition at its higher levels. This monthly column can teach you to spot these common writing pitfalls and thus avoid having them find their way into your English composition. It will not be a list of grammar rules to follow, but instead a look into how we can improve the style and force of our English writing. Misplaced Modifiers (or do you know where your participle phrase is pointing?) 修飾語錯置 (您能正確區分分詞片語的意義嗎?) Let’s look at the following three phrases. Can you tell what they all have in common? 讓我們看看下面三個例句。您能找出他們的共同點嗎? Filled with hope after receiving the aid, 接受援助後充滿希望 Since joining the WHO, 自從加入世界衛生組織後 By bringing desperately needed supplies, 透過帶來急需的物資 Simply put, they are all participle phrases. 簡而言之,他們都是分詞片語。 There are many rules detailing the functions and uses of a participle phrase and I encourage you to look them up, however, for the scope of this column it is suffice to say that participle phrases act as adjectives modifying a noun. And one of the cardinal rules of modification is to get the modifier as close as possible to the word it describes. 分詞片語有許多規則與使用的功能和用途,建議大家可以多多查閱字典並詳讀研究。然而,本專欄此次重點在於介紹分詞片語如何扮演形容詞的角色,以達到修飾名詞的作用。修飾的其中一項最重要原則就是讓修飾語盡可能地貼近想要描述的字詞。 Now we can look at the entire sentences (all three of which were written by non-native speakers): 現在讓我們看看下面三個例句(皆由英語非母語人士所寫): 1)Filled with hope after receiving the aid, the volunteers hope the tenants of the hotel can one day join their ranks and work to help others in need. 志工在接受援助後充滿希望,期待飯店的房客有一天能加入他們的行列,以實際行動幫助有需要的人。 2)Since joining the WHO, many medical supplies could now be imported to Taiwan. 許多醫療用品自從加入世界衛生組織後,都可以進口到台灣了。 3)By bringing desperately needed supplies, many lives have been saved by the volunteers. 許多生命透過帶來急需的物資,才得以被志工拯救。 Let’s look at the first sentence. 首先我們來檢視第一句。 Filled with hope after receiving the aid, the volunteers hope the tenants of the hotel can one day join their ranks and work to help others in need. 志工在接受援助後充滿希望,期待飯店的房客有一天能加入他們的行列,以實際行動幫助有需要的人。 “Filled with hope after receiving the aid” is a participle phrase that, acting as an adjective, points to a someone or a group of people being “filled with hope”. However, immediately following the phrase we have the noun “the volunteers”. This is what we call a misplaced modifier, as the people who are “filled with hope after receiving the aid” are not the volunteers, but “the tenants of the hotel.” This mix-up occurred because the author of the sentence allowed the modifier (Filled with hope after receiving the aid) and its object (the tenants of the hotel) to stray too far apart, thus leading to confusion regrading the true object of the modifying participle phrase. If we are to rewrite this sentence correctly, we need to move the modifier next to the appropriate word: 「接受援助後充滿希望」是當作形容詞使用的分詞片語,意指一個人或一群人「充滿希望」。然而,緊接著片語之後的是名詞「志工」,這就是我們所說的修飾語錯置,因為「接受援助後充滿希望」的人並非志工而是「飯店的房客」。之所以會發生這種混淆,是因為作者讓修飾語(接受援助後充滿希望)與要描述的對象(飯店的房客)距離太遠,從而導致分詞片語修飾了錯誤對象的混亂句型。如果我們要重新將句子改寫正確,需要將修飾語移動至適切的字詞旁邊。 Filled with hope after receiving the aid, the tenants will perhaps one day join the ranks of the volunteers and work to help others in need. 房客在接受援助後充滿希望,期待有一天能加入志工的行列,以實際行動幫助有需要的人。 And remember that a participle phrase can come after the word it modifies: 請記住分詞片語也可以跟在想要修飾的字詞後面: The volunteers hope that one day the tenets, filled with hope after receiving the aid, will join their ranks and work to help others in need. 志工期待有一天接受援助後充滿希望的房客能加入他們的行列,以實際行動幫助有需要的人。 A quick look at our second sentence shows us a similar problem: 類似的問題出現在第二句話,讓我們快速瀏覽一下: Since joining the WHO, many medical supplies could now be imported to Taiwan. 許多醫療用品自從加入世界衛生組織後,都可以進口到台灣了。 We have the participle phrase “since joining the WHO” which is mistakenly modifying the word “medical supplies” instead of Taiwan. After all, it is Taiwan that joined the WHO, not the medical supplies! So, like with our first sentence, we need to bring the modifier and the word it describes closer together: 此句的分詞片語「自從加入世界衛生組織後」,原本應指台灣卻錯誤修飾了「醫療用品」。畢竟,加入世界衛生組織的是台灣而非醫療用品!如同第一個例句所示範的,我們必須將修飾語和描述的字詞放在一起: Since joining the WHO, Taiwan now imports many medical supplies. 台灣自從加入世界衛生組織後,可以進口許多醫療用品了。 As for our third sentence, I will leave it to our readers. Just follow the above two examples and you should have no problem. 至於第三句,就讓我留給各位讀者吧。只要按照上面兩個例子作更改,相信您一定可以改得更加通順且正確。 That’s it for this month. We hoped you enjoyed this month’s column and if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us at TPS. 上述這些就是本月份首要提點各位寫作者的常見錯誤,希望大家喜歡此專欄內容並有所助益。若您有任何疑問或建議,請隨時與我們TPS聯繫。 ...
  • 文章來源:TPS News
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