English tense is widely believed as one of the most problematic areas in the “interlanguage”, which includes non-native English speakers’ English writing and translations into the translator’s second language. This study aims to investigate the relationships between the tense choice in translation, the tense in the Chinese source text, and the translation competence of translators. A small Chinese-English parallel corpus has been built with 127 translations of Chinese press editorials by experienced native English speaking translators, experienced native Chinese speaking translators, and novice native Chinese speaking translators. Cross-tabulate analyses of this study have shown that the three groups of translators differ from one another significantly in their handling of marked Chinese... past tense verbs, while they do not when translating Chinese sentences with contextually marked tense. This study suggests that in order to improve their translation quality , (1) experienced native Chinese speaking translators need to increase the percentages of Present Simple, Present Progress, Present Perfect, and Past Simple, and reduce the percentag e s of Past Perfect in their translation ; (2) novice native Chinese speaking translators need to increase the percentages of Present Simple, and Present Progress, and reduce the percentages of Past Perfect, Past Simple, and Present Perfect in their translation.