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翻译技巧:这些翻译意识你具备吗?

翻译意识和技巧的培养需要涉及以下几个方面:

第一: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.)

第二: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?

第三: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。

第四: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。

第五: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。

第六: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.

第七: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.
第八: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。

第九: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