知识分享   汉译英中需要注意的四个特殊问题

flyone |浏览4371次
| 2009-04-15 00:47

一、不合习惯的说法


不同的民族有不同的习惯和表达方法。一句话,一个词,在一个国家表达的是好意,引起人们好的联想和情感,在另一个国家转达的可能是坏意,引起人们不好的联想和情感。如果翻译不注意,就有可能引起误解或不快。而如果我们注意这些差异,在译文中加以运用,就可以收到较好的效果。在翻译不涉及政治、经济等重要问题,只涉及生活习惯、日常用语时,可以更灵活些,按照译入语的习惯说法表达意思。


1、见面问候


中国人见面时喜欢问:吃过了吗? Have you had breakfast(lunch, supper)?到哪去?Where are you going?这都不是外国人在见面问候时会问的问题。如果见面就问外国人“到哪里”,人家会以为你要了解人家的私事,对你会产生反感。外国人喜欢问:“你好吗?”这句话可以有不少表达方法,如How are you? How do you do ?How have you been doing? Hello! Hey!等。用哪一句来表达你的问候,取决于你与被问候人的关系密切程度。总之,这一类的问候语,直译可能会让人感到莫名其妙,还是按外国人的习惯翻译较好。


2、对病人的问候


中国人喜欢对病人深表同情。但外国人则轻易不愿表现出其弱的一面,对他们表达过分同情的话未必会收到好的效果。例如:中国人在听说一个人生病后可能会说:得知贵体欠佳,深感不安和关切。直译:I was rather disturbed by and concerned about your illness.但这样翻译会使感到病情很重,只能加重病人的顾虑,达不到安慰病人的目的。按照英文的表达习惯,可译为:I am sorry to hear about your illness and wish you a speedy recovery.这样翻译既表达了讲话者的难过心情,又表达了希望病人尽快康复的愿望。


3、对待他人的表扬和感谢


在受到表扬或感谢时,中国人往往比较谦虚,会说:“这没什么。”“这是我应该做的。”或者,“哪里,哪里,我还做得很差。”如果直译:It is nothing. This is my duty. This is what I should do. Well, I have not done very well. There is still much to be improved.所有这些谦恭的话,在外国人听起来,都会显得做作。西方人通常会说:It’s my pleasure.


Thank you for your kind words. I feel flattered.翻译这些话时,宜根据西方的习惯来译。


4、迎接外宾时


中国人迎接远道而来的客人时常常会说:“一路上辛苦了。累不累?”You must have been tired after the long flight(journey)而外国人喜欢在别人面前显得年轻、有朝气,不喜欢被人认为体弱,或有疲劳感。因此,上述问候话直译效果不好,可译成:How was the flight? Have you had a pleasant flight?或者You have had a long flight.


二、不够委婉的语气


有时有人讲话比较直率、唐突,直译可能会使人感到不太客气,甚至会失礼。译员应学习委婉说法,在翻译时把握好语气。但为外交斗争需要而使用针锋相对的语言除外。


例1 中国可作为贵国资源性产品的稳定市场,同时中国的许多工业产品可满足贵国市场的需要。


直译:Your resource-based products can find a stable market in China and Chinese industrial products can meet the needs of your market.这么直译也许会让人担心,以为我们的工业品要去占领他们的市场。同样的意思可以翻得更客气一些。如:You may find a stable market in China for your primary products and may also get a number of industrial products from China to meet some of your needs.


例2 我想向大家介绍一下你们所关心的经济问题。


直译:I wish to talk on China’s economic development in which you are interested.


这样翻译,显得讲话者太肯定听众会对他所讲内容感兴趣。尽管讲话者知道听众是有兴趣的,但说得客气一点效果更好。可译为:I would like to brief you on China’s economic development, which might be of interest to you.


另外,我们打交道的人大多是上层人士,我们必须学会使用礼貌文雅的语言,否则,会产生距离、反感,从而失去朋友,有损我形象。


1974年,加拿大“白求恩纪念委员会”访华代表团中有一位团员对我接待官员说,我方翻译像警察,原因是那天早晨,翻译到他房间对他说:You have breakfast at 8, get your luggage downstairs at 8:30 and leave here for the airport at 9.OK?语言简单、生硬、不礼貌,给外宾留下了不好的印象。建议对外宾说:Breakfast is at 8. Would you please get your luggage downstairs at 8:30?we are going to leave here for the airport at 9.


曾有一位女翻译招呼外宾时,大声喊叫“Hello”而不知道说:"Excuse me",在宣布事情时总是:Attention please.而不是说:Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please.结果一位外宾对此感到不快,说:I don’t want to talk to that wild girl.要人帮忙时,我们时常会说:你能告诉我到×××地方怎么走吗?你能说英语吗?等。如果英文译成:Can you tell me how to get to……?Can you speak English?那将是很不客气的问话。对方会以为你怀疑他的能力。因为英文字can表示能力。如果改为could,含义就不同了。可以译为:Could you please tell me how to get……? Do you speak English?一个陌生人问你如何去某地时,你很可能传说:“最好坐公共汽车去。”如将这句话译为You’d better take a bus,听起来不够礼貌。因为You’d better……这个句型含有You have a duty to do something,或You have an obligation to…的意思。是一种命令语气,常用于晚辈或下属。因此,这样翻译不够礼貌。这句话有许多客气的表达方法。


如:I suggest you take a bus.


It might be better to take a bus.


Perhaps you might like to take a bus.


Why not take a bus?


I think the best way is by bus.


总之,我们翻译工作者必须学会礼貌用语,委婉表达法。中国驻悉尼总领事段津在谈到对外往的沟通艺术时曾介绍了一些礼貌用语。如:在对别人的意见表示不同看法时可以说:


I have to disagree with you, but I would think…或者Well, there’s a point in what you said, but …对某件事表示不同意见时,可以说:Would it not be better if…请别人帮忙时,可以说:Could you do me a favour, 或者Excuse me ,I have a problem,…等等。在绝别人要求时,可以说:I am afraid it doesn’t work.或者I wonder whether it will work, but I’ll try my best.


一些学识渊博、经验丰富的外交官非常善于使用委婉客气的语气来表达不同意见。譬如,一个外国代表团在一次国际会议上,是这样对一个国际会议领导职位侯选人的提名表示不同意见的。他说:


"As an experienced Minister with a distinguished record of service, we are confident that he has all the attributes to be an outstanding president of this Conference…but I have to place before you some of the reservations that we have about this nomination. If I may, I will share with you some of our concerns. Such a presidency will be misread by those outside the ILO as signaling that…”


可以译为:他是一位有经验的部长,并做出了出色的成绩。我们相信,他完全具有条件,可以成为一个杰出的会议主席。但是,我不是不陈述我们对于这一提名的保留意见。请允许我向你们谈谈我们所关注的一些问题。这一主席的提名会被国际劳工组织以外的人误解为发出一个……的信号。”这位团长既清楚地表达了反对意见,但又讲得非常委婉、客气。这些表达方法很值得我们学习、借鉴。

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