Please help me translate this sentence.

May 21, 2010, 03:07 AM posted in I Have a Question

Hi everybody,

I would be very, VERY grateful if someone can help me out (and actually sooner rather than later would be better in this case, but beggars can't be choosers).  I'm doing a bit of translating work, and the following highlighted portion is bothering me, especially the part in blue.

现实中的城市显 然更为宏大,屹立于黄浦江畔东岸的这座大厦,填补了这处由泥沙淤积而成的土地上缺少高度的遗憾。 很久以来,只有从 东面大海上飞来的海鸥,和每 年迁徙的候鸟经过这里时,才能顺带看一眼底下的人群,和不断变化的城市。

I included the second sentence for context only.  Now here is my current translation:

The actual city is obviously much more massive.  It is a source of great regret that this land on the east bank of the Huangpu River that was once covered with precious silt sediment has been covered up by this large building. 

Now here is what is bothering me:

  1. Am I right to break the original Chinese sentence into two sentences?  It seems to me that "现实中的城市显 然更为宏大" and "屹 立于黄浦江畔东岸的这座大厦,填补了这 处由泥沙淤积而成的土地上缺少高度的遗憾" are two separate ideas, but perhaps I just don't get the idea being expressed.
  2. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around.  It seems to me that 缺少 does not modify 高度的遗憾 .  I think per the second sentence, 缺少 refers to a lack of sedimentary land.  Thus, I said "precious silt sediment".  Does this seem right?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.  And by the way, I know the English has to be cleaned up a bit.  I just want to get the meaning down first.

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May 21, 2010, 04:00 AM

Oh, I think I get it. I think the writer is trying to say something like this:

Nowadays the city is much more massive. It isn't regretable that this tall building is covering the sedimentary bank. Long ago only seagulls and migratory birds could get a glimpse of the large group of humans and the unceasing change that was happening below.

What do you guys think? Any Chinese around here today?

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May 21, 2010, 04:24 AM

Hi xiaophil

Here are very rough (and free) translations (due to my limited English ability...hehe) I hope you can decode my clumsy English.

现实中的城市显然更为宏大, your translation is OK

屹立于黄浦江畔东岸的这座大厦,this building that stands on 黄浦江畔东岸


regrettably there was no high building on this land, which is made of silt and sediment,before, but now this new building makes up for the "shortage of hight".


only seagulls and migratory birds could see people and ever-changing city on from the air before, but now even we human beings can also see them from the air, thanks to this building

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Hi Changye,

Thanks a lot. I can see I was getting closer, but still was wrong about one part. I think my problem was with the word 填补. I thought that it literally meant to "'fill' in the land", But now I believe it means to "'fulfill' a need", and in this case the need would be a so-called high altitude place to see the city. Is that right?

Your English is great, by the way.