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专家谈翻译“八戒”

    来源:新东方  浏览次数:4218  添加时间:2008/2/5

英语学习者一般愿做英译汉题目,怕做汉译英题目。由于历史和文化上的差异,汉英词语之间存在着或显或隐的翻译上的陷阱,导致汉译英远比英译汉易于出错。用鲁迅的话说,就是词典不离手,冷汗不离身。这提醒译者必须对这些差异心中有数,然后再调和这些差异,摆平这些差异。为此,要迈好下面八道坎儿,时刻要留心这八条戒律”——只想为你擦亮满天星光,以免在熟路上迷失方向

一、戒从一而终

汉语言简意赅,句子灵活,往往是一个汉语词汇对应N个英语词汇,具体到在本句中应该采用那个意项,务必抓住精神实质,不可以不变应万变。至于怎么应变,这就是显示译者功力的地方了。

比如:都是问题,下面的翻译各不相同,几乎是打一枪换一个地方。

共同关心的问题 questions of common interest

解决问题 solve a problem

问题的关键 the heart of the matter

关键问题 a key problem

原则问题 a question/ matter of principle

悬而未决的问题 an outstanding issue

没有什么问题 Without any mishap

摩托车有点问题。 Something is wrong with the motorcycle.

问题不在这里。 That is not the point.

最近揭发出相当严重的贪污、受贿和官僚主义问题。 Serious cases of embezzlement, bribery, and bureaucracy have been brought to light recently.

译者要掌握这种汉英翻译中的游击战术,翻译家应是不同文化王国边境线上的游击战略家

沙博里将《水浒传》译为:Outlaws of the Marsh(沼泽地上的亡命之徒)。杨宪益译将屈原的《国殇》译为:For Those Fallen for Their Country,北外出版社将《儒林外史》译为:The Scholars。这些都是译者吃透了原文的原意而译出的佳作。

二、戒望文生义,机械直译

这多半是初学者犯的毛病,他们易于被表面现象所迷惑,做出令人啼笑皆非的事情。

黄牛(yellow cow——ox前误后正,下同)黄鹂(yellow bird ——oriole

从小青梅竹马(green plum bamboo horse——grew up together)

黄瓜( yellow melon——cucumber) 紫菜(purple vegetable ——laver

白菜( white vegetable ——Chinese cabbage)

红木(red wood——pad auk) 红豆杉(red fir——Chinese yew)

黑社会(black society ——sinister gang)


三、戒水土不符,习惯搭配失当

这的确是难度系数较大的问题,它要求译者既有较高的中文修养,又要有较高的英文造诣,一知半解的人常常在此翻车。如:

写罢,掷笔在桌上。又歌了一回,再饮数杯酒,不觉沉醉,力不胜酒,便呼酒保计算了,取些银子算还,多的都赏了酒保。

And tossed the pen on the table. He intoned the verses to himself, then downed a few more cups of wine. He was very dunk. Song-Jiang asked for the bill, paid, and told the waiter to keep the change.(沙博里译《水浒传·浔阳楼宋江吟反诗》)

目前,《水浒传》最好的英译本要数沙博里先生的本子了。沙博里出生在美国,青年时来到中国,一住就是半个多世纪。为了译好《水浒传》,据说他潜心研究了山东的地方志和旧时方言,可谓精诚所致,译著既。然而历史告诉我们,中国古人没有用过钢笔,宋时用的还是毛笔,故the pen 应改为the writing-brush

白洋淀的导游牌上,红菱被硬硬地翻译成Red Ling。菱角有对应词的,应改为Red Water Chestnut。这里常常有外国人参观,如此翻译,令人汗颜!

下面的几段译文就较好地照顾到了西方人的思维和理解习惯。

老者道:西方却去不得。那山离此有六十里远,正是西方必由之路。却有八百里火焰,周围寸草不生,若过此山,就是铜脑盖,铁身躯,也要化成汁哩。

“It’s impossible to get to the west,” the old man replied, “The mountains are about twenty miles from here. You have to cross them to get to the west, but they’re over 250 miles of flame. Not a blade of grass can grow anywhere around. Even if you had a skull of bronze and a body of iron, you would melt trying to cross them.”

(詹纳尔译《西游记·孙悟空一调芭蕉扇》)

美国把贸易和人权扯在一起,只会损害两国的经济利益。

The US policy of linking trade with human rights can only bring harm to the economic interests of the two countries.

关起门来搞建设是不成的,中国的发展离不开世界。 China can’t develop in isolation from the rest of the world.

四、戒主语暗淡

主语是句子的灵魂, 定住译文的主语的是关键的一步棋。主语定偏了,整个句子将显得松散乏力,甚至会误导读者。

如果这个问题不解决,势必影响两国的利益。

Failure to settle this issue is bound impair the relations between the two countries seriously.

If the problem is not solved , it is sure to affect the interests between the two countries

在上面的两种译文中,显然第一种译文主语选得好,句子流畅。

共同的利益把我们两个伟大的国家连接在一起。

What holds our two great nations together is the cement of common interests.

此句主语部分处理得颇为干练。

操吴戈兮披犀甲,车错毂兮短兵接。

We grasp huge shields, clad in Rhinoceros Hide;the Chariots clash, the Daggers gashing wide.(杨宪益译《屈原·国殇》)

屈原一开篇就操吴戈兮披犀甲,车错毂兮短兵接,显然需要补充应有的主语。在《国殇》诗中,后面还有身既死兮神以灵,子魂魄兮为鬼雄的句子,可见屈原是以局外人的视角来写为国捐躯的将士的,而非把自己混为军中一员。译文中的主语应改为“They”较妥。

厨房里少了一条鱼,主人发誓要一查到底,揪出偷鱼的贼。

Finding a fish in kitchen was lost, the host swore to find out the thief who stole the fish.

尽管汉语中似乎有厨房”“主人两个主语,译者果断地选定了the host作主语。打点清晰,增强了句子的内聚力。

夏威夷的沙滩上,椰影婆娑,海风习习,一妙龄女郎正躺在白色的塑料椅上养神。

On the Hawaiian sandy beach, the coconut palms are whirling, the congenial sea breeze is blowing, and a young lady is lying in the white plastics chair resting to restore energy.

因为是轻松读本,又是描述性的文字,使用三个主语the coconut palmsthe congenial sea breezea young lady仍是可取的。

五、戒结构单调,组合生硬拉郎配

由于汉英结构不同,表达方式迥异,硬性翻译不仅读起来别扭,而且会闹出笑话。这就要求译者在翻译时灵活使用整合的技巧,将句子整合,凸显汉语中所隐含的层次,补充所缺失的成分。有时要将简单句译成并列句,有时将并列句译成主从句。

在纪念大学毕业20周年聚会时,我忽然问起原来的班主任:我个子又不矮,怎么把我安排在了第一排呢?

At the reunion party for 20 anniversary of graduation from university, I suddenly asked my former teacher in charge of our class then:" Since I am not of short stature, how did you arrange me at the first row?"

一个高度近视的女博士去擦鞋店擦高统靴,秃头老板亲自蹲下来给她效劳。

When a woman doctor who suffers a severe myopic went to shoes-polishing shop for her buskinsthe bald boss squatted down to serve her personally.

黑体字部分,正是契合了英语的表达习惯。

六、戒愚忠,不谙增减之道

我们耳熟能详的东西外国人可能会感到一头雾水,译者需要增加必要的说明和补充或者减译。否则,外国人会不知所云。毕竟,汉译英最终是给外国人看的。

例如:风水

fengshui——the location of a house or tomb, supposed to have an influence on the fortune of a family.

例如:(美国对台)三不政策

会当凌绝顶,一览众山小。

One day I shall climb

Clear to the summit,

See how small surrounding

Mountain tops appear as they lie below me

(新西兰人路易·艾黎译《杜甫·望岳》)

I can't open my eyes to watch you jumping into the fiery pit, for I will shut my eyes at the time.

我不会眼睁睁看着你往火坑里跳,到时候我会闭上的。

不要嫌我黑,两眼放光辉;不要嫌我瘦,一身好精肉。

Do not Cold-shoulder me for my swarthy(黝黑的) face, but I have a pair of bright piercing(敏锐的) eyes;

Do not Cold-shoulder me for my slight figure, but I’m lean and healthy.

文中the location of a house or tomb, supposed to have an influence on the fortune of a family.

on support for Taiwan independence, no support for a two-China policy, and on support for Taiwan membership in international organizations on the basis of statehood.

七、戒语句重复

汉语多重复,以强化语气;英语则要尽量避免重复。

先生曰:狼负我,狼负我!狼曰:吾非固欲负汝。天生汝辈,固需吾辈食也。

"You are an ungrateful beast," complained the man.

"Not at all," retorted the wolf, "it is not that I’m ungrateful, but you men were created for us to devour."

(颜惠庆译《马中锡·中山狼传》)

王曰:此鸟不飞则已,一飞冲天;不鸣则已,一鸣惊人。

"The bird may not have flown yet", replied the King,"Once it does, it will soar to the sky. I may not have cried out yet, but once it does, it will startle everyone."

(杨宪益译《史记·滑稽列传》

阿凡提借了财主一锭金子,还他时给了他两锭。

Afanty borrowed a small ingot of gold from a moneybags, but repaid him two ones.

(选自艾临《幽默新大陆》)

又斗争,又团结,以斗争的手段,达团结之目的。

Unity, struggle, unity through struggle.

中国人也好,外国人也好,死人也好,活人也好,对的就是对的,不对的就是不对的。

What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong, no matter what it concerns, the Chinese or foreigners, the dead or the living.

八、戒另起炉灶,走失精气神,沦为法国作家梅纳日所批评的不忠的美人”——即语言优美但不忠于原文。(参见20050826日《济南日报》: 艾临文章《不忠的美人与忠实的美人——写在〈每天幽它一默〉出版后》)严复在翻译《天演论》时偶 有为而不(见陈廷佑《英文汉译技巧》)。译文要力求其,尽可能契合汉语原来句子的气势、情绪和结构。

例如,元朝人王实甫写下了《西厢记》,张雪静改编后并作了翻译——

掏出张生那封信,回头环视见梳妆台上的梳妆盒,眼睛一转,心里说有了,将信放了进去,合上盖时故意压了一角露在外面。

Rose took out Zhang’s letter, she thought, “It would be better to put it in her make-up case, and letter find it herself.” So she put the letter in the case, leaving a corner of it sticking out, so that it would be quickly noticed.

不难看出,译文与原文相去甚远,互不吻合,成了两张皮

我们不希望这件事影响中美关系。

China hates to see Sino-US relations damaged by this incident.

China hates to“We don’t hope”贴切。

吾十五有志于学,三十而立,四十而不惑,五十而知天命,六十而耳顺,七十而从心所欲不愈矩。

At fifteen, I had my mind bent on learning truth; at thirty, my words deeds were appropriate; at forty, I perceived truth and doubts ceased; at fifty, I understood what heaven had mandated for mankind; at sixty, I could comply with the appointments of heaven; at seventy, I could do as my heart desired, and never swerved from the path of right.

(金沛霖译《论语》)

你已经死在过深的怨愤里了吗?

死?不,不,我还活着——

请给我以火,给我以火!

Have you perished in this deep rancor and bitterness?

Death? No, no. I’m still alive.

Please give me a light, give me a light!

(欧阳桢等译《艾青·煤的对话》)

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