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翻译中的谴词用句问题

2006-07-29 13:32

  基本的翻译技巧一般包括 1)。Diction(选词用字); 2)。Amplification(增益); 3)。Omission(省略);4)。Repetiton(重复); 5)。Conversion(转换); 6)。Restructuring(词序调整); 7)。Negation(正说反译,反说正译); 8)。Division(长句拆译)。我们将逐一为您介绍,欢迎点击。

  本期将阐述翻译中的遣词用字问题。

  遣词用字是任何翻译工作者自始至终需面临的一个现实问题。由于英汉分属不同的语系,所以在翻译时源语与译语之间往往没用相对固定的词义对应关系。本期用对比的方式归纳了英汉词字层次上的五种对应情况:1.完全对等,2.多词同义,3.一词多义,4.词义交织,5.无对等词语。

  词义辨析是遣词用字的前提。本期从四个角度探讨了如何判断某一英语词语的准确含义,即1.根据构词法辨别词义;2.根据指代关系辨别词义;3.根据上下文或词的搭配辨别词义;4.根据不同学科或专业类型辨别词义。

  在词义辨析的基础上,本期归纳了英语词语翻译的8种常用技巧:1.推演法,2.移植法,3.引伸法,4.替代法,5.释义法,6.合并法,7. 图形法和8.音译法。

  1. Correspondence Between English and Chinese at Word Level

----英汉词字层次上的五种对应情况

  In most cases there is no existing pattern for sentence translation, nor are there fixed rules for word transformation. Generally speaking, the correspondence between English and Chinese at word level may be categorized as follows:

  1) Word-for-word Correspondence

  This is most evidently shown in proper nouns and technical terms. For example:

  Marxism = 马克思主义

  Aspirin = 阿斯匹林

  2) One Word with Multiple Equivalents of the Same Meaning

  This is a common case in translation. For example:

  犬:dog, hound, spaniel, mastiff, pointer, setter, retriever, terrier……

  3) One Word with Several Equivalents of Different Meaning

  This is also very common in translation. For example:

  carry: 搬、运、送、提、拎、挑、担、抬、背、扛、搂、抱、端、举、夹、捧………

  走:walk, saunter, amble, stride, trudge, trapes, shamble, prance, scamper, clump, tiptoe …。

  羊: sheep, goat, ram, ewe, lamb……

  4) Equivalents Interwoven with One Another

  5) Words Without Equivalents

  In this case, an explanation is given instead of an equivalent. For example:

  clock-watcher: 老是看钟等下班的人

  阴: (in Chinese thought) the soft inactive female principle or force in the world

  阳: (in Chinese thought) the strong active male principle or force in the world

  (目不识)丁: (not know one's) ABC

  2. Methods to Discriminate the Original Meaning of an English Word

-----词义辨析

  Since English words are prone to various meanings, it is of vital importance for a translator to discern the right meaning of a given word. And the following are the major methods of discriminating word meaning suggested by some linguists.

  1) Judging from the Word Formation

  In order to discriminate the original meaning of an English word, it is necessary for us to have a knowledge of English lexicology, and specifically, a knowledge of word formation, such as compounding, derivation, affixation, blending, acronym, clipping, etc. A good command of them will help to shed light on the correct meaning of some difficult words.

  For example, the word “”parabiospheric“”, which consists of para-(outside) +bio-(biologic) +spheric (having the form of a sphere)。 After a brief analysis, we may safely put it into “”外生物层的“”。 Another more complicated instance, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. This extremely long word seems appallingly complicated. However, an anatomic study of its composition enables us to get a clear understanding of its meaning: pneumono- (of lung) +ultra- (beyond) + micro (very small) + scopic- (of viewing or observing) + silico- (of silicon)+ volcano + coni- ( koni, of dust) + osis (forming the name of a disease)。 Even if we are not sure of the equivalent of this medical term, we may roughly get the right meaning of the long word: a kind of lung disease caused by extremely small silicon particles. And a look into some dictionary leads us to the definite answer: 硅酸盐沉着病,肺尘病(一种矿工易染的病)。

  2) Judging from the References

  The meaning of a pronominal word, that is, what it refers to, is to be judged from the references. The pronominal words include:

  (1) third person pronouns; indefinite pronouns such as some, any, each, both; and definite pronouns such as much, many, few, little, etc. For example:

  He [father] sent John to the university and was eager to have him distinguish himself.

  他送约翰上大学,巴望能让儿子出类拔萃。

  (2) demonstrative pronouns, such as this, that, these, those, and demonstrative adverbs such as here, there, now, then, etc. For example:

  Health is above wealth, for this cannot give so much happiness as that.

  健康比财富更重要,因为财富不能像健康那样给人以幸福。(or: 因为后者不能像前者那样给人以幸福。)

  (3) references of comparison. For example:

  I hate blue shirt; white shirt suits me but gray is the most preferable.

  我讨厌穿蓝衬衫,喜欢穿白衬衫,而最喜欢穿灰衬衫。

  Without the referential words “”father“”, “”health“”, “”wealth“” and “”shirt“” in the above three sentences, it would be very difficult to make out the real meaning of such words as “”him“”, “”himself“”, “”this“”, “”that“” and “”the most preferable“”。

  3) Judging from the Context and Collocation

  The meanings of the words “”tension“” and “”story“” in previous examples are explicit enough in the context. Here is another example: develop.

  1. His plane developed engine trouble only seven miles after takeoff. (发生故障)

  2. Modern aircraft are so heavy that the wings must develop a very large lift force in order to sustain the aircraft. (产生升力)

  3. Inspired by these ideas, in 1752 Franklin developed a practical lightning rod. (发明避雷针)

  4. A hypothesis is a specific statement developed by a scientist from observations.(得出论断)

  5. Until the domain theory of magnetism was developed, they did not have much success. (提出理论)

  6. To develop the capabilities of the geophysical prospecting, the renewal of the techniques and equipment is the first thing to be considered. (提高能力)

  7. Most of the money came from selling the secret of a new type of potato he had developed. (培育新品种)

  8. As young Goddard grew into manhood, he developed tuberculosis. (患上结核病)

  9. We must develop all the natural substances in our country which can make us rich.(开发资源)

  10. Several attempts have been made through the years to develop the deposit.(开采矿床)

  11. In developing a design, the engineer must apply his knowledge of engineering and material science. (进行设计)

  Collocation is also an inseparable factor in diction. Let's look at the word “”delicate“” in the following illustrations, where different renditions are given to the same word so as to suit the collocation.

  Delicate skin 娇嫩的皮肤/ porcelain 精致的瓷器/ upbringing 娇生惯养/ living 奢侈的生活 /stomach 容易吃坏的胃/vase 容易碰碎的花瓶 / diplomatic question 微妙的外交问题

  /difference 讲不大清楚的差别 / surgical operation 难做的外科手术/ear for music 对音乐有鉴赏力

  /sense of smell 灵敏的嗅觉/touch 生花妙笔 /food 美味的食物

  4) Judging from Different Branches of Learning and Specialties

  For example, the word “”base“”:

  (1) The lathe should be set on a firm base.

  车床应安装在坚实的底座上。 (机械)

  (2) As we all know, a base reacts with an acid to form a salt.

  众所周知,碱与酸反应生成盐。 (化学)

  (3) A transistor has three electrodes, the emitter, the base and the collector.

  晶体管有三个电极,即发射极,基极和集电极。(电子)

  (4) Line AB is the base of the triangle ABC.

  AB线是三角形ABC的底边。(数学)

  (5) He is on the second base.

  他在二垒。(体育)

  3. Some Techniques Employed in Translating a Given English Word

----英语词语翻译的8种常用技巧

  In his Stylistics and Translation, Mr. Liu Miqing has suggested 7 techniques in translating a given English word. We may add in another technique, pictographic translation, to make up the total number of 8.

  1) Deduction(推演法)

  Deduction is to deduce the original meaning in the light of the explanation of an English dictionary. This is a major means in English-Chinese translation. For example:

  Stopout —— (U.S.) a student who interrupts his education to pursue some other activity for a brief period 辍学学生

  community—— a social group or class having common interests ……派(界),……界人士

  challenge —— to question the lawfulness or rightness of (sth. Or sb.) 对……表示怀疑, 质疑; 对……提出异议

  2) Transplant(移植法)

  That is a literal translation of the parts of a given English word.

  Microwave 微波 supermarket 超级市场

  splashdown 溅落 dataphone 数据送话(机)

  3) Extension(引伸法)

  This may be either from specific to general or from concrete to abstract, and vice versa.

  Bottleneck 瓶颈→交通狭口→阻塞 (from concrete to abstract)

  brain trust 脑托拉斯→智囊团 (from specific to general)

  brain drain 脑排干→人才外流→人才流失 ( from concrete to abstract)

  It is more than transient everydayness. 这远非一时的柴米油盐问题。(from abstract to concrete)

  4) Substitution(替代法)

  This is to replace the words of the original expression with Chinese synonyms or idioms according to different situations.

  To kill sb. As an example杀一儆百 (or: 杀鸡给猴看 )

  Please withhold the handout.请不要发这些材料。

  He was indeed a good riddance.他还是不在的好。

  The same is not true with a mortal illness. 如果是得了不治之症 ( or: 绝症),情况就不一样了。

  5) Explanation(释义法)

  This technique is commonly used when there is no corresponding Chinese expression and all the above-mentioned techniques fail to make sense.

  Mindlessness 思想上的浑浊状态

  togetherness 不分彼此的集体感

  redshirt 美国大学中在体育方面有发展前途的学生

  swan song 绝唱,辞世之作、归天之作

  a throwaway society 一个大手大脚、浪费成风的社会

  6) Combination(合并法)

  This means to integrate two words of close meaning into one expression.

  So subtle and careful an observer 一位如此精细的观察者

  his mendacity and dishonesty 他的狡诈

  a grim and tragic Christmas 一个惨淡的圣诞节

  the body and mind cramped by noxious work有害工作造成的身心困顿

  7) Pictographic Translation(图形法)

  By this technique English words are translated according to their actual shapes.

  H-beam 工字梁 O-ring 环形圈

  U-steel 槽钢 V-belt 三角皮带

  X-brace 交叉支撑 Y-curve 叉型曲线

  8) Transliteration(音译法)

  This technique is most frequently used in dealing with proper nouns (especially the names of people and places, trademarks, etc.)。 Besides, it is also used in coinage where no existing Chinese expression is available.

  Wall Street 华尔街 The Times 泰晤士报

  Pentium 奔腾 (计算机微处理器) Citroen 雪铁龙(汽车商标)

  quinine 奎宁(一种树皮名称) clone 克隆

  Internet 因特网 hacker 黑客

  4. Diction in Chinese-English translation

  Diction in Chinese-English translation is somewhat different from that in English-Chinese. If the crux of the latter lies in picking out the right Chinese word from those we know very well, the former then is much more difficult - we have to deal with an English vocabulary that we are not so familiar with. For example, the familiar Chinese adjective “”老“”, so simple and common a word, when used in different contexts, the English equivalents rarely keep to its original meaning “”old“”- that explains why we are often frustrated when trying to find out an accurate English equivalent for a certain Chinese word.

  (1) 老战士 a veteran

  (2) 老领导 a senior leader

  (3) 老师傅 a master craftsman

  (4) 老闺女 the youngest daughter

  (5) 老黄牛 a willing ox

  (6) 老芹菜 overgrown celery

  (7) 老皇历 last year's calendar

  (8) 老生常谈 commonplace

  Apparently, the translation of the same original word varies with context and collocation, and there is no fixed pattern to follow either in English-Chinese or Chinese-English translation. A qualified translator must be aware of this circumstance and make conscientious and constant efforts to achieve the best effect.“

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