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《英语世界》翻译擂台第22期揭晓
《英语世界》翻译擂台第22期揭晓
作者:admin  发表时间:2018-2-11
 

翻译擂台(第22期)

时值农历丁酉岁末,本期擂台赛题选择了莫言先生描述过年心情的一段文字。审读参赛译文发现,很多朋友对原文的理解似乎还不太够,一些基本功(比如拼写)也略有欠缺。请大家仔细学习暨南大学翻译学院特聘教授林巍老师的逐句点评。

原文

[1]我小的时候特别盼望过年,往往是一过了腊月,就开始掰着指头数日子。[2]对于我们这种焦急的心态,大人们总是发出深沉的感叹,好像他们不但不喜欢过年,而且还惧怕过年。他们的态度令当时的我感到失望和困惑,现在我完全能够理解了。[3]我想长辈们之所以对过年感慨良多,一是因为过年意味着一笔开支,二是飞速流逝的时间对他们构成巨大压力。

——莫言

点评

原文选自诺贝尔文学奖获奖作家莫言的散文《过去的年》。固然,莫言以写小说见长,但是他的散文也朴实无华,带有乡土气。选段虽短,仍描绘出孩子与老人在“过年”这件事上的不同心态,颇有涵义。

[1]中,“我小的时候”参赛者译得最多的是“When I was young…”,可能是受到卡伦·卡朋特(Karen Carpenter)著名的《昨日重现》(Yesterday Once More)歌词的影响:When I was young / I’d listen to the radio / Waiting for my favorite songs(当我小时候,聆听收音机,等待着我最喜欢的歌曲)。当然,也有译成“When I was little / a kid/child/boy”等,但若用when I was growing up则比较模糊,不如during my childhood,类似的如:During my childhood, house doors could be left ajar at night.(儿时是可以夜不闭户的。)

对于“盼望”(过年),参赛者一般用了look forward to、hope for、long for、yearn for、expect等,但I special look forward显然有语法错误,而I had such an eager anticipation又过于正式,不如“… be fond of”自然,如:He is fond of retracing the experiences of his youth.(他喜欢回想少年时代的经历。)

对于“一过了腊月”,许多人译成“after the twelfth lunar month / as soon as the twelfth lunar month had passed / after the 12th month had gone / the moment December was over”等,但分析起来,“过了腊月”不就是正月、过年了吗?所以这是一种口头说法,实际是指“过了腊月一日”,即“一进入腊月”,可为“as soon as the first of twelfth lunar month had passed / at the very beginning of the twelfth mouth / when there was still a month away”等。

“掰着指头”,有的用了reckon/count the days、snapping fingers等,似太笼统,而count the days neared the hand、we started snapping fingers counting days又欠准确。

有的将“过年”译成了New Year,其实这是公历,即俗称的阳历;世界各国在古代虽都有不同的日期,但到了现代,大都使用了公元制纪年的1月1日。1912年1月1日,中华民国正式成立,这是亚洲第一个民主共和国,也是亚洲第一个实行共和立宪制的国家,由于孙中山在就职誓词中以“中华民国元年元旦”为结尾,故有了中国现代“元旦”的来历,同时将“过年”称为“春节”,英文为“Spring Festival / the Chinese New Year New Year”。

故此,该部分不妨译为:I was especially fond of the Spring Festival during my childhood. As soon as reaching the twelfth month of the Chinese lunar year, I started counting the days with my fingers.

[2]中,“对于我们(这种焦急的心态)”,许多人以为非用at such eagerness of、to our、for our attitude、towards children’s eagerness等的介词短语,不足以对等;其实未必,如:对于我们,自此人人感到了工作危机。(From then on, everyone senses a threat of job security.)故不妨直接以Our anxiety为主语,展开全句。

对于“好像他们(不但不喜欢过年)”,一般用了“as if they…/ they seem to…”,少数用了“It seemed to me…”;相对而言,后一种更贴切。这是一种行文和翻译中的视角转换,即对所叙述的事情以不同的视角切入,对信息作重新的选择和组合,以求更为确切、便利的表达,这在翻译中是一种常见的方法,如:只要稍稍具有现代世界地理眼光的人,都会看中上海。按通常视角,似可译成“Anyone who has a vision of modern world geography will fancy Shanghai.”,但这里作者实际强调的是从“世界地理”角度,故不妨以此切入:From a modern geographical perspective, Shanghai is a good proposition. 即将视角从“人”变成了“物”。再如:一百年前,科学界发生了划时代的变化。一般可译成“A hundred years ago, the epoch-making changes took place in the scientific community.”,但将视角转换后,不妨译为:A hundred years ago, science saw the epoch-making changes in its community. 在文学翻译上,这种变化更多,如沈从文的小说《丈夫》的开篇句“落了春雨,一共有七天,河水涨大了。”,可有至少三种译法:①That spring, it rained for 7 days and the river rose. ②That spring, after a whole week’s rain, the river rose. ③Seven days of spring rains have left the river swollen. 此句的中心在“河水涨了”,前两个译文的视角和原文相同,最后一个则从rain着眼,变换了信息切入角。

对“大人们”,很多人译成了adults,但该词的本义是a fully grown person who is legally responsible for their actions(法律上指能为自己的行为负责的成年人),即是一个法律概念,而此处的意思是相对儿童来讲的长辈,故应为the elderly (注意定冠词)。同时,对于其中的两个“过年”,不宜重复Spring Festival或the Chinese New Year。一般来讲,教授英文写作的教师都会告诉学生:Never use the same word or write the same thing twice in a sentece unless you are repeating intentionally for emphasis or for clarity. 相对而言,英文不喜欢重复,而中文则不怕重复,因而在中译英时,需特别注重“替代”。如:即便是在那个小房间里抽烟也不好,因为若有人在那里抽烟,整个体操房会被污染的。若按其表面意思,可译成:Even smoking in that little room is not good, because if a few people smoked there, the whole gym would be polluted. 其中划线部分可用it代替,使译文有所变化、精简:Even smoking in that little room is not good, since it can still pollute the gym as a whole. 再如,鲁迅的《孔乙己》的开篇:“鲁镇的酒店的格局,是和别处不同的:都是当街一个曲尺形的大柜台,柜里面预备着热水,可以随时温酒。”著名翻译家杨宪益和戴乃迭的初版翻译成:The layout of Luzhen’s taverns is unique. In each, facing you as you enter, is a bar in the shape of a carpenter’s square where hot water is kept ready for warming rice wine. 即以layout 为主语,似与原文完全吻合,但因整篇故事是围绕“酒店”展开的,故不免显得有些刻板、不确切,于是再版时改为:The wine shopsin Luzhen are not like those in other parts of China. They all have a right-angled counter facing the street, where hot water is kept ready for warming wine. 即以The wine shops为主语,同时在第二句中以They替代了前面的The wine shops,不但简洁,而且前后呼应,流畅自然。

[2]整句而言,对其中的“不喜欢”“惧怕”“失望”“困惑”等的词序表述,参赛者一般都遵循原文进行翻译,典型的,如:However, grown-ups were always sighing with deep distress towards children’s eagerness and anxiety, as if they didn't expect even worry about New Year, which was a frustration and perplexity to me. / We children were so anxious, while the elder, with heavy sighs, seemed to dislike and even fear it, which made me dismayed and confused. / The adults, however, sighed deeply for our raring manners, looking like they not only not longing for it, but also fearing of it. I was really confused by and disappointed with their negative attitudes then. 其实,译文不一定遵循原文的词序,而可根据对作者意思的理解,在翻译中加以重组和诠释,类似的例如:我们知道,对患者来说,某种疾病虽然病因和病理是稳定的,但是受到内外多重因素的影响,它的个体化、阶段性表现却是变化不定的。如果按原文的结构和词序翻译,会非常冗赘,故不妨围绕其中心意思展开:The cause and pathology of a certain disease are relatively unchanging, but their clinical manifestations are different in different patients and at different stages of disease, being influenced by both internal and external factors. 其中特别是对划线部分的词序作了调整,以便捋顺其意,便于表述。

就此而言,该部分不妨译为:Our anxiety was such that the elderly couldn’t help but sigh deeply. Their attitude towards the Spring Festival disappointed and puzzled me; it seemed to me that they not only disliked the celebrations but actually dreaded it! Nowadays I fully understand what they felt.

[3]中,“我想”,很容易翻译成I think、I believe that、I assume、I guess等,但in my opinion、from my perspective、my viewpoint is等, 则不像文学作品而更像学术论文中的语言。其实,结合前面的“失望和困惑”到后来的“我完全能够理解了”,这里不妨用In/To my understanding,以表达更深一层的体会,类似的如:①我想有些问题是没答案的。(In my understanding, not everything has an answer.)②In my understanding, Buddhism is a multi-cultural social education.(我认为佛教是一种多元文化的社会教育。)

对于“一是……,二是……”的句式,许多人忠实地译成“First, celebrating the New Year means putting them to a lot of expense. Second, the fleeting days put considerable pressure on them. / firstly, celebrating the New Year means an expense; secondly, the flying passing time produces huge pressure on them. / First, the observance of Spring Festival brings about an excessive deal of expenditure. Second, the fast elapse of time constitutes a great pressure on them. / I think the reasons why the elders had mixed feelings towards celebrating the Spring Festival are twofold— firstly it meant an expenditure; secondly the flying time posed great pressure on them.”等。然而,译文对此不必过于拘泥,而可将其融入一整句中,如“…not only…, but also…”等。同时,“构成的巨大压力”一般都理解成了指“二是飞速流逝的时间对他们”而言的,如“Maybe one of the reasons why the eldership were filled with sort of thought is the celebration of New Year signified an expenditure; and the other is the slipping time played an significant role in their massive pressure.”,其实,此句是有歧义的,因为“一笔开支”又何尝不是一种“压力”?

故在译文中不妨将此打通处理:In my understanding, for the elderly, every time the Spring Festival comes round, they feel oppressed not only by the considerable expenditure but also by the flight of time.

总之,译文在吃透原文意思的基础上,不妨放开尺度,增加灵活性,从而做到“万变不离其宗”。

优胜译文

译文1@manny

When I was little, I always yearned for the Spring Festival to come. Hardly had it been the twelfth lunar month, when I began to count the days. The adults, however, invariably sighed deeply to our eagerness as if they not only disliked the Festival, but even dreaded it, which, back then, made me feel very disappointed and confused. But now, I completely understand. I think the reason why the Festival invoked such sentiments in the elders’ hearts is, for one thing, it meant a large expense; for the other, it came as a reminder to them that how time flew, which gave them great pressure.

译文4@Lyy

When I was a child, I was always looking forward to celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. Upon stepping into the twelfth lunar month,I began to count days for its arrival. However, contrary to our eagerness, adults always uttered deep sighs, as if they were not only reluctant to celebrate it, but also afraid of it. Although their attitude made me disappointed and confused at that time, I can fully understand them now. I think the reason why they have so many different feelings towards the Lunar New Year lies in two sides: one is that celebrating the Lunar New Year means spending a large amount of money, the other one is that the flying time poses a great pressure on them.

译文5@阿涵Robin

I was always expecting the Spring Festival when I was young. Once the twelfth lunar month came, I would start to count the days. In contrast to our anxiety for the festival, the adults were always sighing deeply, as if they not only disliked the Spring Festival but also feared it. Their attitudes disappointed and puzzled me at that time, but I can totally understand now. Confronted with the Spring Festival, the adults,I think, sigh for two reasons. One is that the Spring Festival means large expenditure. The other is that the fleeting time overwhelms them with immense pressure.


恭喜这三位朋友,请尽快与公众号联系(可直接私信告知真实姓名、联络电话和带邮编的详细邮寄地址)。

来源:英语世界  日期:2018年2月4日

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