故宫位于北京市中心，是明清两代24位皇帝的皇宫。1 故宫首建于明成祖年间，历时14 年竣工。2 没有皇帝特许，禁止任何人进宫，因此这里又叫“紫禁城”。故宫外观呈长方形，是世界上最大的宫殿群，占地约72万平方米，四面环绕着52米宽的护城河和10 米高的城墙。3 城墙四面各有一座城门，南北门相距961米， 东西门相隔753米。4 故宫分为两部分。南部又称外朝，是皇帝行使最高权力的地方；北部又称内廷，是皇帝和皇室生活的场所。5 由于黄色是皇族的标志，故宫内以黄色为主。6 屋顶铺的是黄色琉璃瓦， 宫里的装饰品也被漆成黄色。 但是有一个例外，皇帝的书斋文渊阁是黑顶，原因是当时人们认为黑色代表水，可以灭火。7 故宫用作皇宫约有五百年历史，藏有大量奇珍古玩。8 1987年，故宫被联合国教科文组织列为世界文化遗产。现在，故宫已成为全世界最受欢迎的景点之一，对国内外游客开放。
Lying at the center of Beijing, the Palace Museum was the imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was built during the reign of Emperor Chengzu of the Ming Dynasty, taking 14 years to complete. It was forbidden to enter without special permission of the emperor. Hence it is also named the Forbidden City. Rectangular in shape, the Palace Museum is the world’s largest palace complex, covering an area of some 720,000 square meters, surrounded by a 52-meter-wide moat and 10-meter-high walls. The walls have a gate on each side. The distance between the south and north gates is 961 meters, while the distance between the east and west gates is 753 meters. The Palace Museum is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court, was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court, was where the emperor lived with his royal family. Since yellow is the symbol of the royal family, it is the dominant color in the Palace Museum. Roofs are built with yellow glazed tiles, and decorations in the palace are also painted yellow. However, there is one exception. Wenyuange, the royal library, has a black roof. The reason is that it was believed black represented water and could extinguish fire. Having been the imperial palace for some 500 years, the Palace Museum houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. In 1987, the Palace Museum was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. The Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions worldwide, open to tourists from home and abroad.
1 将故宫的地理位置译为状语，符合英文表达习惯。“位于北京市中心”也可以译为 Located in the center of Beijing或Situated at the center of Beijing。
2 “明成祖年间”意即明成祖在位期间，故译作during the reign of Emperor Chengzu of the Ming Dynasty。遇到类似表达，可以套用。如“清康熙年间”可译为during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty。
5 “又称”这里译作or，表达的意思比译为also called 更简洁。
6 本句重点讲故宫的颜色，所以译文以黄色为中心组织句子，译法灵活。“以黄色为主”， 意即黄色是故宫的主色调，故译作it is the dominant color。