As no one else has replied to this thread and it seems to have reached its quietus, let me tell anyone who can be bothered to read on a bit about the problem.
A friend of mine, Chief Editor of the “Common Talk” weekly published English language pages in the Xiamen Daily, gave me a most astute description of the fundamental difference between a Chinese text and an English text. She said, “A Chinese text is like a bunch of grapes; an English text is like a string of pearls”. The standard, Western text linguistics way of expressing it is that English is a “theme-rheme” language; Chinese is a “topic-comment” language. I think my friend’s description is more informative.
Firstly, the Chinese language has a feature which operates at all levels, pretty easily described in Universal Grammar terms, namely that it does not permit adjuncts after the head — and its complement if there is one; in other words, all adverbial constructs come before the main verb or the main clause in the sentence; what we know as relative clauses following their noun antecedent occur as attributive constructions preceding the noun; and so on.
Secondly, a Chinese sentence consists predominantly of a string of what I call “minor sentences” separated by what look like commas, and mostly not having any overt complementiser marking the logical relations between them — think of it like as follows.
A sentence can go on for several lines; minor sentences are simple structures; indication of logical relationships is rarely given; the subject is only given when it changes; tenses don't exist; final position is most important.
Translating a Chinese text into English is therefore a matter of creating a string of pearls out of a bunch of grapes.
The translation I gave you is one possible solution to translating the first paragraph, one which stays pretty closely to the concept ordering of the Chinese. The problem is then compounded when we come to the second paragraph. As I suspected, although all of you chose different ways of following on from that, none of them bears any relation to the content of the second paragraph of the Chinese, a more-or-less straightforward translation of which would be something like:
In the world, the most selfless love is that of a mother for her child; the broadest horizon is the mind of a parent; a parent’s love and concern for their child is for any language in the world impossible to express.
In English, the first expression acts as the theme for the first sentence, which acts as a theme for the paragraph, “In the world” therefore has to be moved, but what to make the theme. It would normally be the link to the content at the end of the previous paragraph, yet that is:
To this day, whenever I hear it on the radio, it still moves me deeply and makes me yearn for my old home.
This Chinese text is a good example of the bunch of grapes metaphor. The next sentence following the “impossible to express” begins “I remember when I was little …” and after describing his innocence, he goes on to speak of how becoming a father himself opened his eyes to parental love.
The next paragraph begins with a sentence establishing that he’s now talking about when he was 10 years old and in 3rd grade of primary school; then a sentence saying his birthday is in the 10th month; then a sentence describing how hard life was at that time. It is only after that, as he begins to narrate the story of his birthday that year that a really coherent sequence gets established.
All of what precedes that narration does hang together around the theme of how much care and love parents have for their children and the sacrifices they make, but they do hang together like a bunch of grapes rather than evolve along a logical thread like pearls on a string.
So this text is a good example for my students (MA students of translation and interpreting) of a lesson they need to learn, that you are translating a whole text, not a string of words, not a string of phrases or clauses, not even a string of discrete sentences. How you translate the first sentence necessarily relates to how you translate the last sentence and everything in between.