翻译经验 | 12个培养翻译意识和技巧的妙招

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一个好的翻译人员必须具有高屋见瓴的视角,要懂得翻译的真谛是什么。要想提高汉英翻译水平,必须加强对上述各种意识的培养。必须养成多层次、多角度的思维习惯。

翻译意识和技巧培养方法包括的内容不少,比如:
  • 要对翻译的重要性有深刻的、充分的认识;
  • 要善于深入地准确地理解中文原文的意思;
  • 要注意各行各业的不同术语的选择。

翻译意识和技巧的培养需要涉及以下几个方面:

一、要对翻译的重要性有深刻的、充分的认识,翻译的对与错、好与坏有时会产生绝然不同的效果。

例如,天涯海角:不是 the End of the World ( 应为Land’s End / End of the Earth ) 。再如,一小时内免费送机票上门:不是 We give you tickets free of charge within one hour. ( 应为 We offer free delivery of your air tickets within one hour after your booking confirmation.)

二、要善于仔细地、深入地、准确地理解中文原文的意思。这是因为准确的理解是做好翻译的前提。

例如,摸着石头过河:不是 crossing the river by feeling the stones。( 而是 wade across the stream by feeling the way ) 正确的做法应该是按照下面的步骤去做:

1.“摸着石头过河”的字面意思如何理解?

2.它有什么暗含或延伸的意思?

3.英语里有没有相同或类似的说法?如果有,就可以直接借用;如果没有,是进行直译还是意译?

4.如果直译为 crossing the river by feeling the stones 是否能被外国人理解?

5.过河是乘船过 ( crossing by boat ) 还是淌水过 ( wading across ),动词用什么形式?

6.这里的河是大河、中河还是小河 ( river, stream, brook, etc.)?

7.摸的方式是用手摸还是用脚触?

8.石头是大石头还是小石头 ( rock, stone, pebble, etc.)?

9.如果意译为 learning by experiment / by trial and error 是否可取?

10.直译和意译相结合 wading across the stream by feeling the way 如何?

三、中文和英文的对应词有时意思并不相同或者不完全相同,不能照字面翻译。

例如,他的英语说得真好,就像外国人一样。不是 He speaks English so well, he sounds like a foreigner. 而是 He speaks English so well, he sounds like a native speaker.

拉动经济增长:不是 pull economic growth,而是push / lift / increase / boost / stimulate / spur / drive/fuel / speed up / accelerate / generate / fire up/ propel / facilitate / reinforce / aid / assist / support / promote / encourage / foster / (sustain / maintain)。

素质教育:不是 quality education,而是 caliber-focused education 或 trait-centered education。

四、有时候中文字面的意思表达不充分,部分信息被省略了或被隐藏起来了。

例如,特区是个窗口,是技术的窗口,管理的窗口,知识的窗口,也是对外政策的窗口。不是:The special zone is a window. It is a widow for introducing technology, management and knowledge. It is also a window for foreign policy. 而是 The special economic zones are a window opening onto the outside world. They are a window through which to bring in from abroad sophisticated technology, advanced managerial expertise and up-to-date know-how. It is also a window through which to disseminate China’s external policies.

再如,退耕还林:不是 return farmland to forest,而应该是 restore “woodland-converted farm-plots” back for afforesting 。春运:不是 spring transportation,而是 the rush / peak season of passenger transportation during the Spring Festival。

五、有些中文词语没有什么特殊涵义,而与之相对应的英文词语却有着特殊的涵义。

例如,与“便宜”、“价廉”相对应的“cheap,”它有时候会带有贬义,成为“质次价低”的意,如 cheap jewelries, cheap dresses, cheap furniture 等。我们可以说 I bought a cheap watch for my child,对小孩无所谓;但不能说 I bought a cheap dress for my girlfriend. 因为这样说会冒犯对方。在后一种情况下必须用 inexpensive 一词。

六、避免用中式英语进行表达,而要尽量用地道的英语进行表达。

假如我们要把“我过去学过一些法语,但现在都忘了,都还给老师了”这句话翻译成英语,最好不要说 I learned some French in the past. Now I have forgotten it. I’ve returned it to the teacher. 比较好的说法是 I used to know some French, but I’ve forgotten it. It has found its way back to my teacher.

再比如我们要用英语说“我攒了一大堆赃衣服,等着周末来洗,”最好不要说 I have accumulated a large amount of dirty clothes. I’m going to wash them at the weekend. 比较好的说法是 I have a lot of laundry to catch up at the weekend.

七、根据不同场合,英语的表达有庄重 ( formal ) ?与随意 ( informal ) 之分。

比如“禁止吸烟”( No Smoking )、“请勿吸烟”( Thank you for not smoking ) 和“为了您和他人的健康,请勿在此吸烟”( For hygiene’s sake, please refrain yourself from smoking in this room. )下面两组例子中都各包含有 formal- normal - informal 三种文体风格( style ):

  • Please await instructions before dispatching items.
  • Please wait for instructions before sending items off.
  • Don’t send anything off until you’re told to do so.
  • Essential measures should be undertaken at the earliest opportunity.
  • One should undertake any necessary measures at the earliest opportunity.
  • You should do whatever you have to as soon as you can.

八、要注意各行各业的不同术语的选择。

比如我们要把“专业签证人员”翻译成英语,那么我们就要按照外交用语的习惯把它翻译为 visa officers,而不应该照字面上翻译成 specialized visa personnel。“安居工程” 的英译不是 housing project for low-income urban residents,而应该按照社会经济用语的习惯翻译为 the Affordable Housing Program; “信息化”的英译不是 informatization 或informationization,而应该按照高科技行业习惯翻译为 the spreading / sweeping information explosion / the information explosion process / trend; “外资企业”的英译不是 overseas-funded enterprises,而应该按照外贸行业习惯翻译为 enterprises with foreign investment / enterprises with foreign elements; 再比如,高速公路上的警示语“请勿疲劳驾驶,”翻译成英语不是 Don’t drive tiredly,按照交通法规术语应该翻译为Drowsy driving is dangerous 或 Drive alert, arrive alive。

九、注意汉语和英语之间的文化差异。

把“相声”翻译成英语不能只是翻译其形式,还要翻译其内涵。翻译成 cross talk 外国人不明白;不如翻译为 comic dialogue 更好懂。再如,假设我们要把“以外贸为龙头”翻译成英语,能不能直接翻译为 with foreign trade as the dragon head 呢?这样翻译是很难让外国人明白的,因为“以……为龙头”这个说法是源自耍龙灯的习俗,而多数外国人不一定熟悉中国人的这一习俗。为了取得好的翻译效果,最好是用能够跨越文化障碍的表达方法,如“火车头”或“旗舰”:with foreign trade as the locomotive / flagship。

但是不能机械地对待一切类似的翻译问题,我们的头脑里应该有一点辩证法。比如汉语的“鱼米之乡”(land of fish and rice),在英语里有一个类似的说法 land of milk and honey,但由于 land of fish and rice 外国人也能理解,不会造成跨化交流的障碍,所以我们可以采用 land of fish and rice的说法,以保留一点中国的特色。

十、对于暗含的意思,必须把它明白地翻译出来,这样便于外国读者理解。

例如,”东边日出西边雨,道是无晴却有晴”中的“晴”字,它是个双关语,有“天晴”和“爱情”的双重意思。我们在翻译的时候,必须做到二者兼顾:

  • It’s sunny in the east but in the west it’s raining hard.
  • Whether rain or sunshine, he’s the sunshine in my heart.

再如,“这种鞋油为您足下增光”中的“足下”也是个双关语,翻译的时候也必须把两层意思都表达出来:This shoe shine shines your shoes and you look great.

十一、有时候,比如翻译诗句,光翻译字面上的意思是不够的,还必须把字里行间的深度、力量和美感表达出来。

例如,朱门酒肉臭,路有冻死骨:不是 Wines and meats become rotten in the mansions; Dead bones become rotten at the doors of them, 而是:In the mansions, rolling luxury allows wine and meat to go rotten away;On the streets, grinding poverty causes dead bodies to freeze and decay.

十二、汉语和英语在语法语序和句子结构上都有很大的差别。

因此,在进行中译英的时候必须要考虑到这些方面的变化。例如,改革开放开放取得了巨大的成就:不是 The economic reform and the opening-up have made great achievements. 而是把“巨大的成就”当作主语,把主动语态变成被动语态:Great achievements have been made in the economic reform and in our efforts to open-up China to the outside world.

综上所述,一个好的翻译人员必须具有高屋见瓴的视角,要懂得翻译的真谛是什么。要想提高汉英翻译水平,必须加强对上述各种意识的培养。必须养成多层次、多角度的思维习惯。

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