中文與英文的語法有著極大的差別,所以不能按照中文的語法將句子直譯為英文,必須注意到這些差異,才不會鬧出中文式英文的笑話。

Ex. 1
雖然我主修英文,但是我對藝術更有興趣
Although I major in English, I have more interest in art. *
Although I’m majoring in English, I’m more interested in art.

Major這字必須用在 過去式現在進行式 ,此外談到有興趣最好是用be interested in become interested in,不要用have interest in.

Ex. 2
我在國小時就接觸藝術
I approached art when I was studied in elementary school. *
I started to learn about art when I was in elementary school.

我接近藝術是中文的說法,英文裡應該說started to learn about art. 大多學生碰到要說在那兒「就讀」,都會用study一字,這是錯誤的用法。 應該說go to school,例如:What school do you go to ? 而不是What school do you study?*

逐漸接觸藝術之後,我發覺到藝術的偉大。
After touching the art step by step, I feel the art is great. *
After I got to know more about art, I felt it was great.

「逐漸接觸藝術」,學生翻譯為touching the art step by step也是中國式的英文,最好說get to know more

Ex. 3
我想我到八十歲也不會忘記它。
I think that I will not forget this thing when I’m eighty. *
I will not forget this experience when I’m eighty.
I don’t think (that) I will forget this experience when I’m eighty.

許多同學經常在句首用I think,但在英文裡很多時候是不必要的。I will not forget中已表示自己的認知, 可以直接說I will not forget this experience when I’m eighty. 如果堅持要用I think, 記得英文句的否定永遠放在主要動詞上,that連接受詞子句時經常可省略。 I don’t think (that) I will forget this experience when I’m eighty. 最後中文裡常會很廣泛地說說這件事,在英文裡要看事物的性質,如果很難找到合宜的字,就用this也可以。

Ex. 4
我發現學習英文不像以前那麼容易,因為我不能只瞭解一些簡單會話或文法。
I find that learning English now is not as easy as before because I can’t just understand some simple conversations or grammar. * I find (that) learning English now is not as easy as before, because it involves more than understanding some simple conversations or grammar.

這句話的語病是不能把前後兩子句的因果關係清楚連結起來,修正後用it代表學習英文, 強調現在學英文不能只學些會話與文法就夠了,因而比以前要困難。注意雖然從屬子句在後不需用逗號,但是because例外必須有逗號。

Ex. 5
我的體貼以及願意聆聽不同的想法,讓自己能夠營造團隊間的和諧氛。
Being thoughtful and listening to other’s different ideas made me know how to secure harmony among team members. * Being thoughtful and listening to other’s different ideas helped me learn how to secure harmony among team members. Being thoughtful and listening to other’s different ideas, I learned how to secure harmony among team members.

學生喜歡照中文意思「讓我…」翻譯成英文 let me, make me 是很奇怪用法,know狀態動詞,這裡必須用動作動詞learn.

Ex. 6
我總是無法準時完成作業。
I always did not finish my homework on time. *
Iseldom finished my homework on time.我一直都不知道我們是同一班的。
I always didn’t know we were in the same class.*
I never knew we were in the same class.每個人上課都不應該遲到。
Everybody should not come to class late.*
Nobody should come to class late.

上面三句是照中文句直譯成英文,所以出了問題。中文的頻率副詞不論肯定、否定都是同一個,否定時加一個「不」字就可以了,例如「總是」與「總是不」。但英文裡則要換一個頻率副詞,肯定 時用 always , 否定 時用 seldomnever