I sometimes work on English to Chinese subtitle translation, which I need longer working time because I don’t read Chinese books very often. Thankfully, in recent years I flipped through relaxing books of Hong Kong writers Yi Shu and Chua Lam. And I brought their direct expression of Chinese language to use when working on subtitles. Their method is quite good.
No wonder Hong Kong lyricists Albert Leung and Wyman Wong honoured her as guru. And director Vincent Kok also admired her.
Why do I read few Chinese books? The answer is pathetic. I have not come across books of good Chinese standard since graduation from NTNU. When I read Chinese I usually read Traditional Chinese books published in Taiwan and Hong Kong. It still is very rare to find a writer of good Chinese standard.
Which is why I have been indulging in the world of English language. Read any news report and analysis and commentary article published in Britain and Australia, you will see that the writers do not write with confusing grammar. Nor did they trample their own language as if it is a language without dignity.
American English is of more liberal style. I still read American English books and magazines but their style can’t influence me.
For new translators who wish to earn a living by working on English / Japanese to Chinese subtitling, they should always read Traditional Chinese books and classic Chinese literature to nurture good writing skills.