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考研英译汉词义的选择和引申(三)

2005-12-5 14:41 新东方 

  2004年试题分析

  Part B

  Directions:

  The relation of language and mind has interested philosophers for many centuries. (61) The Greeks assumed that the structure of language had some connection with the process of thought, which took root in Europe long before people realized how diverse languages could be.

  Only recently did linguists begin the serious study of languages that were very different from their own. Two anthropologist-linguists, Franz Boas Edward Sapir, were pioneers in describing many native languages of North and South America during the first half of the twentieth century. (62) We are obliged to them because some of these languages have since vanished, as the peoples who spoke them died out or became assimilated and lost their native languages. Other linguists in the earlier part of this century, however, who were less eager to deal with bizarre data from "exotic" language, were not always so grateful. (63) The newly described languages were often so strikingly different from the well studied languages of Europe and Southeast Asia that some scholars even accused Boas and Sapir of fabricating their data. Native American languages are indeed different, so much so in fact that Navajo could be used by the US military as a code during World War II to send secret messages.

  Sapir's pupil, Benjamin Lee Whorf, continued the study of American Indian languages. (64) Being interested in the relationship of language and thought, Whorf developed the idea that the structure of language determines the structure of habitual thought in a society. He reasoned that because the structure of habitual thought in a society. He reasoned that because it is easier to formulate certain concepts and not others in a given language, the speakers of that language think along one track and not along another. (65) Whorf came to believe in a sort of linguistic determinism which, in its strongest form, states that language imprisons the mind, and that the grammatical patterns in a language can produce far-reaching consequences for the culture of a society. Later, this idea became to be known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, but this term is somewhat inappropriate. Although both Sapir and Whorf emphasized the diversity of languages,Sapir himself never explicitly supported the notion of linguistic determinism.

  61.[答案] 希腊人认为, 语言结构与思维过程之间存在着某种联系。这一观点在人们尚未认识到语言的千差万别以前就早已在欧洲扎下了根。

  [分析] 难度 0.548; 区分度 0.601。考生平均得分 1.10 分。总体上讲, 该题的难度适中, 考生只要能正确理解 "assume" 的词义和含 "before" 的非限定性定语从句的句意就能译出全句。

  此句的难点有三处:1) 主句谓语动词 "assumed" 的译法。该词应译为:" 认为 " 、 " 以为 ", 但许多考生将其译成 " 推测 " 、 " 假想 " 。这里反映了如何正确选择词义的问题。 像"assume" 这样的单词, 一般都是多义的。考生应当根据上下文, 选择其中符合句意的词义。2) 非限定性定语从句 "which took root in Europe……" 的处理。考生应当知道, 既然是非限定性定语从句, 那就可以单独译成一句; 而且还得弄清楚该从句中关系代词 which 所指代的应当是主句中的 "the structure of language had some connection with the process of thought" 这样一个观点。3) 该非限定性定语从句用的是 "……before … " 句型。按照翻译技巧, 可以把 before 后面的部分处理成否定的意思, 如 "在人们尚未认识到语言的千差万别以前就早已在欧洲扎下了根"。类似的例子有 :We do want to buy something before prices go up. 在价格还没上涨之 前, 我们真的是想买点儿东西。

  62.[答案] 我们之所以感激他们(两位先驱), 是因为在此之后, 这些 (土著) 语言中有一些已经不存在了,这是由于说这些语言的部族或是消亡了, 或是被同化而丧失了自己的本族语言。

  [分析] 难度 0.509; 区分度 0.511。多考生反映, 该题有一定难度, 主要难在 "be obliged to " 的译法和 as 引导的从句的理解和翻译上。此题的难点在于 :1) 对动词 "oblige" 的用法的掌握。 oblige 常用成被动的形式 :be obliged to, 表示 " 感激、感谢 ", 如 :We are obliged to you for dinner. 我们感谢你请我们吃饭。 2) 考生还得弄清楚 "obliged to " 后的 "them" 是指谁? 前一句中提到了 两位人类学家兼语言学家 Franz Boas 和 Edward Sapir, 称他们是" 先驱 ", 按照英语代词指代的就近原则,"them" 应该指他们, 可以译成 "两位先驱"。 3) 由as引导的从句的理解和译法。首先, 应当明确 as 从句的性质, 弄清楚它究竟是由 because 引 导的原因状语从句中的时间状语从句还是原因状语从句。从句子的意思看,as 从 句应当属于说明有些语言为什么 "vanish" 消失或不复存在的缘由的原因状语从句, 因此在译该从句时, 可以用加词法, 译成 " 这是由于说这些语言的部族或是消亡了, 或是被同化而丧失了自己的本族语言"。

  63.[答案] 这些新近被描述的语言与已经得到充分研究的欧洲和东南亚地区的语言往往差别显著, 以至于有些学者甚至指责 Boas 和 Sapir 编造了材料。

  [分析] 难度 0.501,分度 0.621。翻译的部分尽管只有一句, 但该句结构完整, 用 "so……that ……" 串连而成, 意" 如此……以至于…… " 。其次, 句型 "be different from" 也值得注意, 意思是 "与……不同/差别 " 。再有就是 "accuse somebody of doing something", 意为 "指责某人做某事"。在词汇方面,"newly described languages"和 "well studied languages"属于相互对比的对象,译成"新近被描述的语言"和"得到充分研究的语言", 注意两个过去分词都用汉语的"被"和"得到"进行翻译。"Strikingly"作为副词修饰形容词 "different", 表示程度, 因此在英译汉中可以用表示程度的副词来表达, 如"差别显著" 、"惊人的差异"、"很大的不同" 等;"Fabricate"这个词有许多词义,包括"制造、编造、捏造",根据上下文,这里译成"编造"更符合该文的语气。

  64.[答案]Whorf对语言与思维的关系很感兴趣, 逐渐形成了这样的观点: 在一个社会中, 语言的结构决定习惯思维的结构。

  [分析] 难度 0.722; 区分度 0.524;均得分1.44 分。该题由于结构简单, 难度最低。绝大部分考生都译得不错。此题相比62和 65题, 结构很简单, 现在分词短语 "being interested……" 作表示原因的状语放在句首, 译成 "(由于)Whorf 对语言与思维的关系很感兴趣 "; 从句 " that the structure of language determines the structure of habitual thought in a society" 属于同位语从句, 进一步说明 "the idea"。在词汇方面, 主句谓语动词 develop 有许多意思, 根据上下文, 可以看出 Whorf 的这个思想是经过长期的研究逐渐形成的, 因此译成 " 逐渐形成 "。

  65.[答案]Whorf 进而相信某种类似语言决定论的观点, 其极端说法是: 语言禁锢思维, 语言的语法结构能对一个社会的文化产生深远的影响。

  [分析] 难度 0.378; 区分度 0.582。这个句子是五句中最难的一句, 但并非难在句法上, 而是在以下三个词组上 :"came to believe", "in a sort of linguistic determinism", "far-reaching consequences",以及插入语"in its strongest form" 上。在翻译这句话之前,应读懂前面的那一句:"He reasoned that because it is easier to formulate certain concepts and not others in a given language, the speakers of that language think along one track and not dong another." (Whorf 推导, 既然在某种语言中形成某些概念要比形成其他概念更加容易, 因此, 说这种语言的人会沿着一种轨迹而不是另一种轨迹进行思考。) 在前一句的基础上, 可以得知 Whorf 在他的推导之后 " 进而相信 " 某种类似语言决定论的观点,"a sort of" 是指一种不确定的观点, 这种观点在后面以 which 引导的同位语从句中表达清楚了。在 which 引导 的同位语从句中,"which" 作为关系代词, 既代替 "linguistic determinism", 又作为 同位语从句的主语, 该从句谓语动词states 后面跟了两个that 引导的宾语从句, 一句是 "language imprisons the mind"( 语言禁锢思想/思维 ); 另一句是 "the grammatical patterns in a language can produce far-reaching consequences for the culture of a society"( 语言的语法结构能对一个社会的文化产生深远的影响) 。最后的难点是整个语句的插入成分"in its strongest form"。既然是插入成分, 首先要明确its所指代的是什么。它是插在which之后的, 而 which 又是指代 "linguistic determinism"这个观点的, 因此可以把 "its strongest form" 理解成"语言决定论这个观点的极端形式/说法/表述"。

  [总评]

  从以上 5 句的答题情况看, 考生应注意以下几点 :1) 要理清句子结构和各成分之间的语法和逻辑关系 ;2) 学会根据上下文判断所译语句的特殊词义, 尤其是在一词多义的情况下;3) 学会掌握由as引导的从句的译法, 还有非限定性定语从句、同位语从句的理解和译法。 4) 学会 ……so ……that…… 句型的译法; 插入语的译法;5) 在词汇方面, 学会 be obliged to, accuse sb.of sth. 和 come to believe 的译法。

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