*Disclaimer: This sentence is not related in any way to any Gengo test material.
**Let's say this is the very first sentence of your source article to be translated.
It might explode during fermentation.
It might explode during the fermentation.
It might explode during a fermentation.
Do you think which is the correct answer?
If you chose one, would you say the others would be totally wrong in any translation?
And how sure are you about your choice?
Def not the last one, that one is 100% wrong ;)
I don't know any Japanese but the second two sentences are not correct English. The word "fermentation" does not take an article. Ever.
Unless you add something after it like I did ;)
---> the fermentation "process"
Which is actually what the original Japanese says, 発酵過程.
Yes, Lara, but then it is actually the word "process" that is taking the article rather than the word "fermentation". :)
And I just realized I didn't answer the other questions OP asked.
1) The only correct answer of the three given is number one.
2) The other two, as written, are totally wrong for the reason I stated above. The word "fermentation" does not take an article ever.
3) I am 100% sure of my choice.
“Biomass gasification has not been done like this before, nor has the fermentation,” said Peter Williams, chief executive of INEOS Bio.
I am not saying you are wrong. Just in real world, "fermentation" could imply the process of it. And nobody can be 100% sure exactly what the source word would imply unless you can read the source author's intention in his/her head.
If the context of the sentence is fermentation in general, then sentence #1 is correct or rather it is the most appropriate. If the sentence appears in a context where a fermentation process has been described or referred to, it is not only correct but also quite likely that you would use the definite article - "during the fermentation." In this case it can be understood as "during the fermentation (process) which was previously mentioned."
A more commonplace example would "during dinner" and "during the dinner". There is a subtle difference between them, largely dependent on context, but both are grammatically fine.
Precisely. JapanZone just pointed out exactly the possible issues, which I have been through for a long time in my test review history, related to the reviews of JP->EN tests.
First of all, I feel very relieved that there is someone who could understand exactly what my intention was with this post.
In Japanese, there is no articles in the frist place. Therefore, at some point of your translation, you need to CREATE an appropriate article by using some, if not full, IMAGINATION of yours.
The result could be either "during dinner" or "during the dinner."
Everybody knows the subtle difference in meaning between the two. However, since it is already a creation of a sort, I dare to say, nobody could assert that an answer is absolutely superior than the other in terms of grammatical correctness.
Nonetheless, my submissions(presumably, some other applicants' too) have been rejected, citing "alleged" article errors like "during dinner or the dinner" kind of issues on many occasions.
I can't claim the reviewers were wrong. But he/she can't claim vice versa.
Hope I can have a senior translator who is able to check my actual errors than variations in grammar in JP->EN tests in the future.
Forgot to mention, I fully agree to your explanation related to "(the) fermationation (process)" too. It was exactly my notion behind when I brought the words to attention.