成语的英文翻译方法

成语大全 时间:2017-08-08 编辑:杨威 手机版
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  翻译需要克服语言和文化的双重障碍。就语言而言,最大的障碍莫过于原语中独特的结构形式;就文化而言,莫过于独特的民族特征。如果独特的语言形式又表现了民族性极强的思想内容,翻译应变得更难了。汉语中的四字结构,正是一种独特的语言结构形式,这种语言结构形式是我国人民在长期实践和认识过程中提炼出的语言结晶,不但结构工整紧凑,具有很强的表现力,令人读之悦目,听之悦耳,而且从结构形式上来看,在英语语言中一般找不到相应地的表达方式,从所表达的意义来看,又深深地植根于民族文化之中,具在极强的民族性。因而,在汉译英时如何将它们正确无误地翻译成英语,对我们中国学生来讲的确是一个很大的困难。

  汉语的四字结构大多为成语,但也有一般性的四字表达方式。

  成语

  成语是汉语词汇中特有的一种长期沿习使用的固定短语,它们的来自于古代经典或著名著作,历史故事片和人们的口头流传,意思是精辟,往往隐含于字面意义这中,不是其构成成分意义的简单相加,具有意义的整体性。成语的结构紧密,一般不能任意变动词序,抽换或增减其中的成分,具有结构上的凝固性。其形式以四字格居多。也有少量三字格和多字格的形式。

成语的English翻译方法

  汉语成语具有比喻丰富,形象生动的特点,给人一种生动传神,淋漓尽致的感觉。另外,汉语成语学有言简意赅,琅琅上口的特点,既简洁,又富有文采,是读者所喜闻乐见的表达方式。成语好比一面镜子,它反映出一个民族或一个文化的特点。1. 褒贬

  同一词汇,在汉英两种语言中褒贬不一。例如“狗”字在汉语成语中通常含有贬义,而在英语中却不同。请看以下例子:

  狐朋狗 友:比喻不正派的朋友。a gang of scoundrels/a pack of rogues.例如:你也别过于相信那些狐朋狗 友。

  狗急跳墙:把狗惹急了,能跳越高墙。比喻坏人穷途末路时不计后果,铤而走险。A cornered beast will do something desperate/A cornered beast will do something/just as a dog will leap over a wall in desperation. 例如:困兽犹斗,敌人在濒临灭亡的时候,会狗急跳墙的,我们要加倍提高警惕。

  狼心狗肺:形容心肠狠毒,多就忘恩负义者而言。be as cruel as a wolf/cruel and unscrupulous/brutal and cold-blooded/completely without conscience/heartless and ungrateful/rapacious as a wolf and savage as a cur/the heart of a (wild)beast; wicked-hearted /with the heart of a wolf。例如:哪知这贼子恁般狼心狗肺,负义忘恩!

  狗苟蝇营(蝇营狗苟):像狗似的无耻,像苍蝇那样逐臭,比喻到处钻营,而手段卑劣。ingratiate oneself with someone to gain one’s ends.例如:到底狗苟蝇营,依然逃不了对明烛照。——《孽海花》

  狗胆包天:斥责别人胆子太大,敢于胡作非为的人。 have monstrous audacity.例如:你狗胆包天!竟敢继续煽动 群众。

  望子成龙:盼望儿子成长为有出息,有作为的人。expect one’s son to be talent/hope one’s son will turn out a dragon.例如:他望子成龙心切。

  而在英语习语中,“dog”一词常用来比喻人的行为,通常是没有贬义的。如:You are a lucky dog. (你是个幸运儿。) Every dog has his day. (凡人皆有行意日。) Old dog will not learn new tricks.(老人学不了新东西。)等等。

  再如:“龙”字在汉语中是中国人的象征。它的英语对应词是“dragon”,而“dragon”的意思却是 a mythical monster traditionally represented as a gigantic reptile having a lion’s claws, the tail of a serpent, wings, and a scaly skin(龙是一种传说中的怪物,一般被描述成有狮爪,蛇尾,翅膀及带鳞的皮肤);a fiercely vigilant or intractable person (严密警戒的人;相当警惕或难以驾驭的人); something very formidable or dangerous (可怕的或危险的东西); any of various lizards, such as the Komodo dragon or the flying lizard(蜥蜴的一种,如巨蜥或飞蜥)。

  2. 历史典故

  汉英两种语言中还有大量由历史典故形成的习语。这些习语结构简单,意义深远,往往是不能从单词字面意义去理解和翻译的。例如汉语中:

  东施效颦:《庄子·天运》中故事。blind imitation with ludicrous effect/ play the ape/ look all the uglier by mimicking the beauty.

  叶公好龙:professed love of what one actually fears/ like Lord Ye claimed to be found of dragons but was mortally afraid of them.

  夜郎自大:ludicrous conceit of the king of Yelang-parochial arrogance

  班门弄斧:display one’s slight skill before an expert.

  名落孙山:fail in a competitive examination/ be flunked.

  历史典故是最具民族特色的,汉语是这样,英语也是如此。典故通常是不能按照字面对译的,典故通常要采取意译或解释或加注释的办法来翻译。例如英语中的"John can be relied on. He eats no fish and plays the game.”中国读者看了,就不知所云。“eat no fish”是英语里的一个典故,是表示“忠诚”的意思。而“play the game”的意思是(比赛,游戏中)按规则做;正直诚实,光明正大。因此,上句可译成,“约翰为人可靠,他既忠诚又老实”。

  3. 共性成语

  一败涂地: meet one’s waterloo/ bite the ground/hunt grass/suffer a crushing defeat.

  趁热打铁: strike while the iron is hot/Hold a wolf the iron is hot.

  熟能生巧: Skill comes from practice/ Practice makes perfect.

  挥金如土: spend money like water/squander money like dust.

  破釜沉舟: burn one’s boats/burn one’s bridge /throw away the scabbard.

  雪中送炭: to offer fuel in snowy weather./help in one’s hour of need.

  一人得道,鸡犬升天: Even the dog swaggers when its master win favor.

  瓜田李下: in a melon patch or a plum tree—in suspicious circumstances or surroundings/Neither adjust your shoe in a melon patch, nor your hat under a plum tree.

  非成语

  移步换景: a different view with every step/take a step and the scenery will chang

  曲径通幽: a winding path leading to a secluded place

  诗情画意: poetic lyricism and picturesque concept

  金碧辉煌: in splendid colours

  阡陌纵横,鸡犬相闻,风和日丽,鸟语花香的一片新天地: a new land with crisscrossed fields, bright sunshine, gentle breeze, cocks crowing, dogs barking, birds singing and flowers blooming

  另外,在广告用语中,四字结构用得更多,例如:

  典雅大方: elegant and graceful

  香浓可口: aromatic character and agreeable taste

  软硬适中: neither too hard nor too soft

  大补无气: reinforce vital energy

  畅销全球: sell well all over the world

  花色繁多: a wide selection of colors and designs

  用料上乘: selected material

  甜而不腻: agreeable sweetness

  安心益气: make one feel at ease and energetic

  交货及时: timely delivery guaranteed

  品种迭出: New varieties are introduced one after anther.

  随意小酌: Light snakes are ready on request

  老少良伴: Good companies for children as well as for adults.

  旅游胜地: a tourist stand

  经验独特: Experience is out copyright.

  鲜花美人,倾诉衷肠: Flowers by beauty speak from the heart.

  随意挑选,保君满意: choose once and choose well

  体积虽小,颇具功效: compact impact

  一夫当关,万夫莫开: One warrior deployed in the pass makes thousands of burglars loose heart.

  三心二意,照样钓鱼: For all your double-mindedness, fishing goes on just the same.

  (操作)简单: It’s simple.

  用途广泛: It’s versatile.

  (复印)迅速: It’s fast.

  图文清晰: It’s intelligent.

  功能齐全: It’s powerful.

  名副其实: It’s everything a copier philosophy should be.

  琳琅满目: a superb collection of beautiful things/wide choice.总之,不论是四字成语,还是非成语,应注意以下原则:

  1. 形象性原则。

  2. 简练性原则

  3. 不可滥用字面意义直译法

  4. 尽量少用意译法和直译法——注释法

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