Today we take a break from showcasing Chinese literature to feature the epilogue from the Chinese translation of Philip K. Dick's well-known short novel, A Scanner Darkly
. As fans of PKD, we found the full translations to a number of his books buried in the foreign literature section of the Xinhua bookstore at Xidan and thought it might be worthwhile highlighting a passage as an example of a fairly straightforward English to Chinese translation.
On a related note, reading foreign literature in translation is an excellent strategy for making rapid progress towards communicative fluency, partly because Chinese translators tend to render complex phrasings into more commonplace expressions, and partly because native works often embrace obscurity in service to literary style. For someone working to master functional Chinese, reading foreign books in translation can be a good strategy for accelerating your exposure to the most high-frequency language you can really use: you'll spend less time consulting the dictionary and perhaps enjoying the writing more as well.