第六章  实用文本翻译(1):时政文翻译

 

 

 

时政翻译是我国对外宣传和政治文化交往中的一个重要组成部分,这一类文本大致可分为两类,一是关乎国家大政方针的政策文件,二是国家党政领导人的重要讲话,基本属于纽马克划分的“表达型文本”类型。由于“表达型”文本的功能“核心”(core)是“作者”(writer)的思想表达,因而作者的“个性成分构成了‘表达型文本’的‘表达’要素”(The personal components constitute the ‘expressive’ element of an expressive text——Newmark198840.),形成了表现作者个人语言风格的“个人习语”(idiolect),所谓“文如其人”。例如有人讲话热情洋溢,非常地“eloquent”,有人讲话简短干脆,有人讲话则有点含混隐晦等等,多少都带有些鲜明的个人印记;而另一方面,作为政府的文件和文告,这类文本虽没有多少作者的个人印记,但它代表的是国家和政府,涉及到国家的大政方针、基本政策,涉及到政治影响和国家形象,因而具有极大的权威性,其内容是不容译者任意篡改和随意发挥、强加入译者的个人行为特点的。因此,翻译中译者应尽可能地忠实于原文,“在语义、句法结构上尽其可能地用译文允许的形式将原文语境意义准确表达出来”(Newmark198139),以彰显此类文本的“个性”(personal components)。

 

61  时政翻译的特点

 

611  紧扣原文

 

我国著名翻译家时政翻译的前辈 程镇球 先生就一直认为,对于这一类文本,翻译时“首先,要紧扣原文,不得任意增删”,“紧扣原文,有时原文的词序也要很好注意,不要轻易颠倒,避免犯政治性错误”(程镇球:2003)。强调“紧扣原文”就是要突出“语义翻译”,即“尽可能地使用贴近原语的语义、句法结构将原文语境意义准确表达出来”。他在文中列举了一些因打乱原文词序而以词害意,导致读者强烈反应的例子。例如,1982年邓小平与当时的英国首相撒切尔夫人在谈到关于香港回归问题时讲的一句话:

 

1. (我担心在这个时期中会出现很大的混乱,而且这些混乱是人为的。)这当中不光有外国人,也有中国人,而主要是英国人。

 

最后一句开始的译文是这样的:

 

(1)These would be created not just by foreigners, chiefly Britons, but also by Chinese.

 

(1)颠倒了原文语序,把重点移到了后面(not only…but also…的语义重心问题),把制造混乱的人变成主要是中国人了。译者当时可能是认为,英国人也是外国人,把它们放在一起文字上要简洁一些,却不知词序一换,意义就走了样。后来译文改为:

 

(2)These would be created by Chinese as well as foreigners, chiefly by Britons.

                                         (程镇球:2003

 

你看,就是因为对一个小小的“not only…but also…”与“as well as”的理解问题就导致了如此大的危害,足见政治文章是多么讲究严谨缜密!再如:

 

2. 经验证明,关起门来搞建设是行不通的。中国的发展离不开世界

(1)Our experience shows that China can not rebuild itself with its door closed to the outside world and that it cannot develop without the help of other countries.

(2) Our experience shows that China can not rebuild itself behind closed doors and that it cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world.   (ibid)

 

(1)把“中国的发展离不开世界”译成了“没有别国帮助中国就不能发展”,严重歪曲了原义,译(2)就注意了分寸,意义准确得多。

因此, 先生指出,“政治文章上用词严格”,“要仔细衡量用词的政治含义和影响”,“紧扣原文,甚至一些小零件也不应放过”(程镇球:2003),实际上,他从另一个角度强调了“语义翻译”在时政文体翻译中的重要作用。

 

612  以“意”为重

 

但另一方面,时政翻译的这种“紧扣”原文又并非死“扣”结构而损害意义,从更多意义上说,是“紧扣”原文的内容和作者的思想,倘若译文貌合神离甚至以辞害义,则不可一味盲从。因此,我国另一位资深翻译权威 王弄笙 先生也认为:“从事外事翻译必须结合业务熟悉政策,对重要的词,特别是涉及到领土主权、重大国家利益的词,要保持清醒的头脑,掌握好分寸。不仅要译出词的表面意思,而且要表达出词义的深刻内涵”。在谈到表达词义内涵时,他进一步指出,要“吃透中文的精神,以‘意’为重,摆脱中文字面的束缚,按照英语的习惯,表达原文的内涵”,并强调:“翻译要求忠实准确地表达原义,同时又要使译文通顺易懂。译文既要扣得紧,又不能太死;既要灵活,又不能活得出格”,“译文要精炼,语言要自然,用字要朴实”(王弄笙,2002)。从这个意义上说,“紧扣”原文是原则,以“意”为重是根本。所以“紧贴原文语义结构”不能以牺牲意义为代价,不然会得不偿失,反倒背离了原文。因此,译文能“紧扣”则“紧扣”,不能“紧扣”则应以“意”为重,准确通顺地表达原义。例如:

 

1中国有两点是靠得住的,一是讲原则,二是说话算数。

(1)On two points China can be account. First, it upholds principle and second, it keeps its words.             仅仅两点)

(2) China can be account on. Among other things, first, it upholds principle and second, it honors its words.    至少有两点) 王弄笙,2002

 

(1)紧扣原文词义和结构却偏离了原义,译(2)适当变通却更贴近原义。

 

2农民增加了对农业的投资,这样相对减少了国家对农业的直接投资。

(1)The peasants have increased their investment in agriculture. This has relatively reduced direct investment in agriculture by the state.

(2) Increased peasant investment in agriculture means relatively less direct investment in agriculture by the state.      (ibid)

 

(1)基本“字对字”,句式松散;译(2)改变了形式调整了结构反倒更简洁达意。

 

3必须努力体现发展面向现代化、面向世界、面向未来的,民族的科学的大众的社会主义文化的要求,促进全民族思想道德素质和科学文化素质的不断提高,为我国经济发展和社会进步提供精神动力和智力支持

We should meet the requirements of the national, scientific and popular socialist culture that develops toward(in orientation to oriented to) modernization, the world and the future, enabling them to upgrade the ideological and ethical qualities and scientific and cultural qualities of the whole nation and to provide the motive power and support culturally and intellectually.

 

既没有“embody(体现)和“face(面向),也没有汉语的重复结构,突出了其实际意义的表达。

 

62  时政翻译常用技巧和手法

 

621  形象用语的处理

 

汉语历来有使用形象加强表达的传统,现实社会中人们也喜欢用些群众所喜闻乐见的形象表达来增强语言的感染力,因此,即使在极正式的政治、经济又件中也不时闪现出这类活泼、生动的形象表达,如“豆腐渣工程”(jerry-built project)、“一条龙服务”(a coordinated service)一站式服务”(one-stop services)、“一刀切”(adopt identical way and standard)、“条块分割”(departmental and regional barriers)等等,极大地增强了宣传效果。然而翻译时,由于这类带有典型中国文化色彩的形象表达大多在英语中不易找到相应的对等词,因而直译与意译应视情而定,不可脱离上下文语境的约束。一般而言,形象的翻译不外乎有下面几种情况:

一. 形象相同,喻义相近,这种情况下最宜采用直译法。例如:

 

1做一个快乐的单身白领丽人

To be a happy singlewhite-collar lady.

 

2在治理通货膨胀时,注意保持经济持续增长,成功实现“软着陆

In dealing with inflation, we paid attention to ensuring sustained expansion of the economy and a successful “soft-landing”.

 

3为获取更多的财富,他们还向政治领域渗透,千方百计拉拢腐蚀党政干部,寻求“保护伞

To gain more property, they spare no effort to draw in leaders of the Party and the Government as an umbrella for their criminal activities.

 

4宁夏正将旅游作为新型产业、朝阳产业支柱产业来培育

Ningxia is developing its tourism sector as a new, rising and pillar industry.

 

5大规模的选拔性统一考试是一把锋利的“双刃剑”,“一考定终身”的弊端也给中学教育、高等教育以及考生和全社会带来了一系列问题。

The national college entrance examination is also a double-edged sword. A series of educational and social problems have cropped up due to various flaws in the examination system.

 

二、源、译语中都有约定俗成的形象用语,喻义相近但本体不同,这种情况可顺从译文习惯,其最大的特点是,汉、英语各自都有形象表达,且约定俗成,尽管本体不同,但都指向同一喻义,异曲同工。例如:

 

汉:暗箱操作

英:under-the-counter operations柜底

汉:裙带经济

英: crony economy密友

汉: 白条

英:to issue IOUs欠条

汉:清理“三角债”。

英:To break up thedebt chain(债链)

汉:拳头”产品

英:knocked-out products击倒

 

再看几个具体实例:

 

1加快培育一批辐射面广、带动力强龙头企业

We will step up the development of a number of leading enterprises playing the role of a powerhouse over a large area.  ——中国翻译,“汉英时事政经词语选登

 

“龙头”变“领头”,认知角度不同,但实质一样,唯一的遗憾是汉、英读者审美感受不太一样。

 

2现实中存在的一些领导在职不作为、责任心不强、爱做官样文章、搞形式摆花架子以及干部队伍建设中能上不能下、庸不让贤等问题

Problems exist in China’s system of bureaucracy—officials’ inadequate performance, their poor sense of responsibility, excessive red tape, formalism, and extreme difficulty in replacing unqualified personnel with competent people.

 

“官样文章”变“(捆文件的)红带子”,不同的社会背景,各自表述,殊途同归。

 

3.一个人在原企业的优秀业绩可以为他今后求职提供敲门砖

An employee’s previous outstanding performance is a very important stepping stone to his or her job hunting.

 

“敲门”的“砖头”变“踏脚”的“石头”,思维角度的确大不一样。

 

三、原文喻义在译文中确实无形象来设喻,此时可根据原文喻义采用释意的方法。这种译法的好处是意义准确,不会歪曲原义,不足的是,原语的形象和文化色彩丧失殆尽。例如:

 

1不少正在读研的学生认为,现在的人才市场是水涨船高,越早考研含金量会越高。

Many postgraduate students agree that the talent market always favors those with a higher educational background, so earlier is better in this regard.

 

原文有两个形象用语:“水涨船高”与“含金量”,译文都根据上下文做了变通,若直译为“when the river rises the boat goes up too”和“the content of gold”,用在此处定会十分滑稽,故去形留义,准确而又通俗易懂。

 

2决不允许擅自将耕地改为非农用地,这是一条不可逾越的“红线

Conversion of cultivated land to non-agricultural land without authorization will never be allowed. This is where we draw the line.

 

尽管译得地道,也有“线”的形象,但已无汉语“警示”的“红色”,下一例情况基本相同:

 

3创建中国企业员工“红黑档”主要有两个目的:一是建立中国职业人的个人信誉认证体制,二是为中国企业提供一个更好的员工激励机制。

The establishment of the Online Employees’ Performance Appraisal and Assessment Management System has two objectives: First, establishing a personal credibility assessment system.. Second, establishing an effective enthusiasm stimulation mechanism.

 

4要大力精简会议和文件,切实解决当前严重存在的“文山会海”问题。

No effort should be spared to cut the number of meetings and official papers to a minimum.

 

无“山”无“海”,只有“山”、“海”的喻义:“大量的”。

 

5北京商务中心区将在区域规划、配套设施建设、政府服务、政策制定上突破现有框架,率先实现国际接轨

The CBD will also conform to the international practice in facilities construction, government service and policy formulation.

 

接轨没有“轨”,只有“conform to”(一致)。

对于“接轨”的译法, 王弄笙 先生建议用下述三种表达为宜:

 

使中国经济与世界接轨

a. so that the economy of China will converge with that of the world

b. adopt China ’s economy to international practice

c. make China ’s economy conform to international practice  (王弄笙:2002

                                                     

但也有保留形象的,如下例,但却由“轨”变成了“线”,而后一个“轨迹”则完全转译为“目标”:

 

1)“与世界接轨”,是北京改革开放20多年的基本轨迹

To be in line with international practices is the goal set by Beijing since China ’s introduction of the reform and opening policy more than 20 years ago.

 

但下面“接轨”和“轨”的译法又有变化,且其中的“软规则”则完全采用了直译法:

 

2)既然双赢需要相互的适应和妥协,那么要来中国求的外国商家,就也得量一量中国的、摸索一下中国的惯例,否则即使在硬规则上赢了,也可能陷在软规则里动弹不得。接轨不应该、也不可能是单向的,各做调整、相互适应,才是双赢的基础。

Since a win-win situation requires mutual concession and compromise, then foreign enterprises that hope to make gains on the Chinese market should understand China ’s traditions and conventions, otherwise they will be trapped in the “soft rules” in China . The realization of a win-win situation should be based on mutual adaptation and adjustment, rather than one side following the other side’s practices.

 

四.去掉形象完全不译。这种情况下,原文的形象一般只是上下文语气的延伸或补充,意在加深印象和强化语气,其喻义已隐含在特定的上下文中。为避免行文累赘或语义重复,一般可省去不译。

 

1发挥中心城市的集聚功能辐射作用以线串点,以点带面,带动周围地区发展。

Major cities connected by such lines should serve as economic centers and play leading roles in the development of their adjacent areas.

 

2既然要以公众人物的身份吃这碗饭,就应该知道这碗饭不是那么好吃的,代价之一就是时刻面临着被人拎出来说三道四的危险。

As a public figure, he should know that one of the costs he has to pay is the risk of being gossiped about by the general public.

 

3本届高交会将为参展的国内外企业、科研院所、高等院校、投资机构和中介机构,提供良好的支持和服务平台

The trade fair will serve both foreign and domestic enterprises, research institutes, institutions of higher learning, investment organizations and intermediaries.

 

这一“平台”其功能基本相当于一个范畴词,原文“提供良好的支持和服务”语义完全到位,若再添“platform”一词,反倒会产生误解,以为真要在会馆搭建一“台子”。

 

622  句型结构的调整

 

课堂翻译练习(汉译英)

 

1. 大力发扬艰苦奋斗励精图治知难而进自强不息的精神

2. 过去五年,全国各族人民在中国共产党领导下,团结奋斗,开拓创新,各个方面取得了重大成就

 

对于汉语“团结奋斗,开拓创新”、“团结奋斗,开拓进取”、“艰苦奋斗、自强不息”、“变革创新、努力奋斗”甚至还有“自力更生、艰苦奋斗”等这一类四字句并列的表达,究竟该如何译?

 

1过去的一年.全国人民团结奋斗,开拓进取,社会主义现代化事业取得重大成就。

(1) In the last yearthe Chinese people united and worked hard, pioneered and forged ahead, and made great achievements in the cause of China’s socialist modernization.

 

字字对应,岂不太死板?

 

(2) With a spirit of unit, diligence and enterprise, the Chinese people strived forward and made great achievements in the cause of China ’s socialist modernization in the last year.

 

虽分了主次,但层次仍不太清楚,表达也很累赘,还是不合英语习惯。

 

(3)In the pastthe Chinese people worked hard with a united and pioneering spirit, achieving great success in the drive for socialist modernization.

 

这一译文以“奋斗”为逻辑语义重心,其他动词短语或句子围绕这一主干空间搭架,全句主次分明,语义逻辑关系外显,符合英语的文法和习惯。可见,推不推敲原文语义逻辑内涵效果大不一样,翻译时应特别注意根据整体行文布局的要求行文用字,不可逐字直译:

 

2自力更生、艰苦奋斗:to work hard and self-reliantly

     变革创新、努力奋斗:to work hard for change and innovation.

 

3我们必须解放思想实事求是扎实工作开拓进取……

We should emancipate our minds, seek truth from facts and work hard and creatively.

 

前三个四字结构基本照字直译,最后一个转换为一个副词,这是原文逻辑语义的要求,尽管句式结构有了变化,却同样承续了原文的气势。

 

4中国古代文明的发展,是中华民族艰苦奋斗、自强不息的结果

The fruits of China ’s ancient civilization were brought about by the tireless efforts and hard work of the Chinese nation.

 

注:“自强不息”有多种译法:to strive constantly to become strongerto strive constantly to strengthen oneselfto strive constantly for self-strengtheningto strive constantly for self-improvement

 

汉、英语句式结构上的差异,从形式上看,基本可用“竹型”与“树型”之差来形容。句型越复杂,信息量越大,其差异愈加明显。翻译时应分析原文内在的逻辑语义关系,特别要弄清汉语流水句各小句间的逻辑主次关系,在译文中重新谋篇布局,结构上该分则分,该合则合,该打乱则打乱,以尽量保证译文的规范与地道。

 

1语言这个东西,不是随便可以学好的,非下苦功不可

 

有人不假思索照直译为:

 

(1) Language is something difficult to learn well and to learn it well one has to study very hard.

 

典型的汉式英语,罗嗦松散,不合英语表达习惯。

 

(2)The mastery of language is not easy and requires painstaking effort.

(钟述孔,198399

 

这一译文行文用字地道得多,结构也更合理。

 

2. 认真贯彻一要吃饭、二要建设的方针,合理调整财政支出结构,区别轻重缓急,//该保的一定要保,该压缩的要坚决压缩。

We must conscientiously carry out the principle of “subsistence first, development second” and rationally adjust the pattern of expenditures and do things according to the order of their importance and urgency. // Funding must be guaranteed for what must be done and, for what is not important or urgent enough, funding must be cut.

 

原文竹型排列五个小句根据内在逻辑语义划为两大块:前者为总体,后者为细节。对“该压缩的”一句根据上下文内容上做了增译,意义更明确。

 

3中国的野生动物,种类繁多,堪称世界种群量(populations)最多的国家之一,拥有4400种脊椎动物(vertebrates)世界分布总量的百之十强。

(1) China is known as one of the world's most diverse populations of wild animals for their variety of species. With 4,400 species of vertebrates, it takes more than 10 percent of the world total distributions.

(2) China is home to one of the world's most diverse populations of wild animals with its 4,400 species of vertebrates, accounting for over 10 percent of the world-wide total.

 

汉语以意合句,语气连贯,但结构松散,无显性语义标记。译文(1)基本按原文结构行文用字;译文(2)作了必要调整,将头三个分句用-SV主干结构统一,后两分句分别用介词短语和V-ing短语引出,表SV主干句的伴随和结果,化零为整,统一了句式。相对而言,比译(1)更合英语习惯。

 

4北京首都国际机场现有两条跑道、两个候机楼、75个标准停机位,2008年以前,机场将进行大规模的扩建,再增加1条跑道、1座候机楼、55个标准停机位,使年客运能力达到4800万人次。

 

若不推敲原文语义关系,一句句对照来译,译文可能是这样:

 

(1) Beijing ’s Capital International Airport now has two runways, two terminal buildings and 75 aircraft waiting bays. Before 2008 it will expand on a large scale by adding one runway, an additional terminal building and 55 standard aircraft waiting bays to improve its annual passenger handling capacity up to 48 million people.

 

虽很通顺,但原文一、二句的语义关系未很好地联系起来。若按英语习惯,似乎这样更好一些:

 

(2)Based on its two runways, two terminal buildings and 75 aircraft waiting bays, Beijing ’s Capital International Airport will undergo before 2008 its large-scale expansion, adding one runway, an additional terminal building and 55 standard aircraft waiting bays for an annual passenger handling capacity up to 48 million people.

 

但翻译这类文本时,也有根据需要一句一顿的:

 

4经过近30年的努力,中国成功地探索了一条具有本国特色的综合治理人口问题的道路,//逐步形成了适应市场经济要求的//人口调控体系和计划生育工作管理体制,//人口与发展取得了举世瞩目的成就,//公民的生存权、发展权和经济、社会、文化权利显著改善。

After nearly 30 years of efforts, China has successfully found its own way to have an integrated approach to the population issue with its own national characteristics.//A system of regulating and adjusting the population growth with a proper family planning program management has gradually come into being.//This is a system in keeping with the market economy.//China’s population and development program has achieved universally acknowledged success.//The citizens’ rights to subsistence and development and their rights in the socio-economic and cultural fields have been notably improved.

 

一句一顿,斩钉截铁,语气强烈,充满自信,原文用逗号分开的汉语小句在译文中全都改变为独立的单句。可见,译文是分是合,须根据原文语义内容灵活处理。有时,简短的句式可加强语气,体现说话人行事果断、说话简要的风格,不失为一种合理的处理手法。

 

623  解释性翻译

 

一般而言,翻译时若能保留原文形式而不产生理解上的障碍,则尽可直译。但是,由于汉、英语间文化差异太大,要想在各自语言中找到完全等同的表达形式几乎不可能。尽管有些也可改译或套用译语相似的习语来表达,效果虽皆大欢喜,却失去了原味,且不符合时政翻译“紧贴原文”的宗旨,因为这类表达反映了我国独特的国情,表达的是中国的“traditional concepts”。在这种情况下,翻译时往往用阐释的手法来处理这类问题,以保留原语的文化特色。例如:

 

1有的地方热衷于搞华而不实的“形象工程”、“政绩工程”,市政建设盲目追求高档次、高标准。

 

   “形象工程”、“政绩工程”这是中国社会主义市场经济特有的产物,如果简单照字译为“image project”“post-achievement project”,恐怕不易理解。

 

Some local authorities like to build ostentatious projects designed to build their own images or show their achievements. In urban development, they indiscriminately pursue things of the highest grade or standard.

 

2传统的早婚早育多子多福重男轻女等观念逐渐被晚婚晚育少生优生生男生女都一样等科学、文明、进步的观念所取代。

The traditional concepts of “early marriage, early childbirth”, “the more sons, the more happiness” and “men are superior to women” has been gradually replaced by the scientific and advanced concepts of “late marriage, and later childbearing, fewer and healthier births” and “boys and girls are equal”.

 

3读书就是挣大钱娶美女”的看法无疑并无任何新鲜之处,它无非是古话书中自有黄金屋,书中自有颜如玉的现代直译。这个观点由于其个人主义功利主义而被现代教育观念所抛弃,但也不能否认,它的确是很多人刻苦读书的直接动力。

The view that the purpose of study is to earn lots of money and marry a beauty is nothing more than an interpretation of the old saying “through study, one can find a gold house and a beautiful woman.” This individualist and utilitarianist thought have been discarded by modern education concepts. However, we can’t deny that this idea is still the driving force for many students.

  

汉语斜体部分句子最好照直阐释,因为它们是作为直接引语而用于文中的,是原作者思想的核心内容,不可随意篡改或删减。当然,作为应用型文本,其主要功能还是表达原文信息内容,大可不必为体现原古汉语形式而过分追求与其对应的古英语译出,那样只会得不偿失,导致“译犹未译”的结果。

 

4以人为本”的人格价值观念同“以和为贵”、“海纳百川”等和平与发展的思想主张,对中华文明与其他文明间的交流和融合产生着重要影响。

Chinese culture advocates such values and concepts as “People come first”, “conciliation is invaluable” and “the sea is able to take in hundreds of rivers,” which have produced a positive influence on the exchange and integration of Chinese civilization and other civilizations.

 

5我们要振作精神,下苦功学习。下苦功三个字,一个叫下,一个叫苦,一个叫功,一定要振作精神,下苦功。

We should bestir ourselves and make arduous efforts in our study. Mark these three words,make”, “arduous”, “efforts”, we must bestir ourselves and make arduous efforts.

 

不是“bestir ourselves and study with painstaking efforts”,完全是考虑到全句行文的需要,与汉语行文方式对应。

 

6西方的文化是以个人为核心,中国文化则以群体为核心。在中国,起核心作用的是“家”,这点在语言上也有所反映,如自己称“自家”,别人是“人家”,全体是“大家”,全国是“国家

Western culture takes individual as its core while Chinese culture group as its core. In China , “family” plays an essential role, which can also be seen in its language. For example, Chinese people call themselves Zi Jia”, “Jiain Chinese means “family”, but “Zi Jia” actually means “myself; ourselves” or “ my own; They say Ren Jia” to refer to “others; Da Jia” to “we all ” or “the whole; and Guo Jia” to “a nation” or “a country, each with the same word “Jia” in it.

 

7两个娃娃在观灯戏狮狗。以“”、“”、“”等谐音,题作“莲灯太师”。 古代官制,太师为三公之首。故为祝愿发迹升官之颂辞。
    Two boys are playing with a lotus lantern, a lion and a dog. There are four Chinese characters in the picture: lian, deng, tai and shi, which are homonymous with the four Chinese characters in meaning: lotus (successive), lantern (ascend), and the majestic lion('taishi", the emperor's tutor), elucidating the theme of the picture: to be successively promoted to the post of 'taishi" (the head of the three highest-rank officials under the emperor in ancient China: Taishi, Taifu and Taibao). The picture is now often used to express people’s good wish: to win promotion and get rich.