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日常英语口语:小议英汉翻译时的对应问题

2015-03-06 14:54   类别:语法   来源:   责编:Simple

日常英语口语:

英语和汉语一般都有对应的语汇或习语,然而在处理具体问题时,常常不能完全对应。

比如汉语习惯称亚洲“四小龙”,英语虽然可译成the Asian “four dragons”,但西方人大都叫the Asian “four tigers”或“four tigers” in Asia,因为在西方人的眼里,dragon是一种类似鳄鱼或蛇、长有翅膀而且会喷火、常常看守着金银财宝的怪物。

单个词尚且如此,成语和谚语就更难对应了,有时甚至连原文的踪迹都没有了,如 “Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs”,如果按照字面直译成“不要教你的奶奶磕鸡蛋”,让人看了会莫名其妙。要是意译为“不要班门弄斧”,就既表达了原意,也符合汉语习惯。

和汉语一样,英语的成语也很多,但其中大部分都很难对译成汉语成语,这时一般采取意译。如:

1.Like talking to a brick wall(对牛弹琴,瞎子点灯白费蜡),意为to waste one's breath trying to persuade someone who is so obstinate to listen to reason;例句:He is so dogmatic; it's like talking to a brick wall arguing with him.

2.To make bricks without straw(巧妇难为无米之炊),意为to try to achieve some result with inadequate means;例句:We were unable to give you an opinion because you didn't give us the information we needed. We can't make bricks without straw.

3.The rotten apple(害群之马,败家之子)意为the one bad person among a number of good ones;例句:His youngest son was the rotten apple.

4.To pay back in the same coin, to pay sb. back in his own coin, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,(以眼还眼,以牙还牙,以其人之道还治其人之身)意为to retaliate by using the same method;例句:Jukes has attacked us in his advertisement overseas; we will pay him back in the same coin.

5.To have a heart of gold(有一副菩萨心肠)意为to be a kind, generous, forgiving person whose qualities are much appreciated.

6.Walls have ears(隔墙有耳)意为You must be very careful what you say because someone may be eavesdropping.

有时,英语中也会出现包含着形象、比喻、拟人等手法的长句,在汉语中很难找到对应的语汇,这时只能根据上下文的意思,或整篇文章的中心思想,在不损失、冲淡甚至歪曲原意的基础上进行适当处理。请看以下例子: CED Finklestein: He needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat. 总经理芬克斯泰因:他需要拿出一个绝招来(直译:他需要从自己的帽子里抓出一只兔子来)。

在汉译英时同样应注意这一点。1992年北京国际拍卖会手册上有一位领导人的题词是:一锤定音,双方买卖即成。我的译文是:A hammer gives the final word, and a deal is concluded between the buyer and seller.“一锤定音”几个字很形象,但比较难处理。拍卖的实际操作是由拍卖主锤师用木锤敲桌梆的形式来决定交易,而不是“成交”之类的话语。因此同时采用了直译和意译两种手法,即:一(A hammer)、双方买卖即成交(a deal is concluded between the buyer and seller)和定音(gives the final word)。这里用“final word”(或final say)指“拍板”,“敲定”,即决定下来,这样处理既忠实原文又生动贴切。如果完全直译成“A hammer decides (sets) the tune…”读者可能以为是乐队指挥真的在那里定音呢。

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