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翻译用词要简洁

2006-07-05 11:40

  “简洁”的反面是“罗嗦”。好文章要简洁,不应罗唆。下列两个句子中,(a) 属罗唆型,(b) 是简洁体:

  (1) a. The stranger was conveyed to his place of residence in an intoxicated condition.

     b. The stranger was carried home drunk.

  (2) a. No one sees the necessity for a meeting now.

     b. No one feels it necessary to meet now.

  用词要怎样才算是简洁呢?下面是三个可以遵循的原则:

  1. 删除掉不必要的字眼,如:

  (3) The downpour, which started last night, has come to a stop now.

  这里的形容词从句“which …… night”可有可无,无比有好,最好去掉,然后再把句子简化如下:“Last night's downpour has stopped now.”

  (4) It happened that Mr. Yap was elected to the position of Chairman of the well-established Singapore Literature Society that existed in this country.

  这个句子内容简单,但却有24个字,其中有个主句和两个从句,显然(口罗)唆复杂了些,可以简化如下:

  “Mr. Yap was elected Chairman of this country's well-established Singapore Literature Society.”

  2. 试用一个贴切的词取代几个同义词,如:

  (5) David, the director, called me up on the phone.

  这里的“on the phone”和片语动词“called up”发生冲突,只好把它牺牲了,或把句子改写:“David,  the director, called me up./David, the director, telephoned me.”

  (6) John walked very hastily down the street leading to the bus station.

  这里的“walked very hastily”和“hurried”同义。为什么弃简从繁呢?

  3. 试把过于冗长的句子加以节缩,如:

  (7) The increasing filthy water in some areas through pollution has troubled and upset environmental scientists for a period of one and a half decades.  → The increasing water pollution in some areas has upset environmental scientists for 15 year.

  (8) All students in college are required to take different tests. These tests are for the purpose of determining what courses the students are suitable to take.  → All college students are required to take different tests to determine what courses suit them.

  (9) Although the story is supernatural in nature, the story-teller manages to put over his point and show the effects on a person when he is confronted with the fact that there exists a certain degree of evil in everyone's physical make up.  → The story-teller uses supernatural elements to imply that there is a certain degree of evil in a person.

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