hmmm....this is my homework for the Saturday's English translation class....lacking general background information...it rather confuses me. i need a deeper analysis of the sentence . could anybody here help me with this?

thanks in advance! with smile:)

This spirit of fair-play, which in the public school ,at any rate , is absorbed as the most inviolable of traditions ,has stood our race in good stead in he professions and especially in the administration of dependencies ,where the obvious desire of the officials to deal justly and see fair-play in disputes between natives and Europeans has partly compensated for a want of sympathetic understanding ,which has kept the English strangers in lands of alien culture.
This is obviously a very old quotation! What is it that you need to know?

It is basically saying that despite the fact that English officials in English colonies do not develop much understanding of the 'natives', the sense of justice and fairness they developed at posh private schools means that they can still adjudicate fairly between 'natives' and 'Europeans'.
Thank you for your reply !

......where the obvious desire of the officials to deal justly and see fair-play in disputes between natives and Europeans has partly compensated for a want of sympathetic understanding ,which has kept the English strangers in lands of alien culture.

the meaning of " compensate" is unfamiliar to me. it likes a metaphor. and I think it is this verb that causes the trouble.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
compensate - to balance something negative with something positive. The lack of sympathetic understanding is a negative thing about the English, but this is compensated for (balanced out by) their sense of justice and fair play.

'want' in this sentence means 'lack of''