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翻译的“回译”问题:“T形台”英译

2012年02月02日16:39中国日报网我要评论(0)
字号:T|T

曾有人把美国的商务部翻译成 Department of Business Affairs,而英语(论坛)中美国商务部的说法应该是Department of Commerce。为什么会出现这样的问题?原因是汉语中美国“商务部”的说法是由英语Department of Commerce 翻译而来,我们在将其翻译回英语时,理所当然应还其本来面目,这样英语母语人士才会明白译者的所指。此种现象被称作“回译”。回译现象不仅出现在汉译英当中,在英译汉中也同样存在。例如,汉语中“国有企业”或“国企”的英译文是state-owned enterprise,这一翻译已被广泛接受,已成为英语中约定俗成的说法。因此,我们在英译汉时,也必须把state-owned enterprise 翻译成“国有企业”或“国企”。道理似乎很容易理解,但在翻译实践中,应该回译而没有回翻译的问题俯拾皆是。例如,有把“比基尼”(bikini)翻译成three-point bathing suit的;也有把“航空港”(airport)翻译为air harbor的;更有甚者,有人把戴乃迭 (Glady Yang) 的英文名字写成Dainaidie,把著名的俄罗斯作曲家柴可夫斯基(Tchaikovsky)的名字变成了Chaikefusiji,实在令人啼笑皆非。

有些词语在汉英两种文字中同时存在,许多汉语中的说法来自英语,因此在翻译时也有个“回译”的问题,比如,当我们要把“世界大学生运动会”翻译成英语时,我们就不能按字面翻译为The World's University Students' Sports Meet,而应该采用英语中原来的说法 Universiad (Beijing hosted the 2001 Summer Universiad successfully.)。

下面是对“T型台”英译的讨论,先请看国内媒体的有关英文报道:

例一:Showing off Manly Beauty onT-stage(Shanghai Star September 6, 2004)

On Nov 28th in 1999, the PARK97 bar located in Fuxing Park set up theT-Stageand covered the red carpet on it. The foreign and domestic models walked on it, combining the tradition and future; art and fashion at ease.

例二:A model descents in the air along a verticalT-stagein a "Fashion Show in the Air" held on the bank of Taiping Lake in Shanghai, east China, Oct. 23, 2004. (Xinhua photo/Dong Hongjing)

例三:People's Daily Online - Fashion Week Turns Into Feast for the Eyes:At the biannual China Fashion Week, the models paraded along theT-stagebrimming with energy, passion and a wild nature, which made them even more sexy and seductive.

从以上的例子中可以看出,作者想当然地认为“T型台”的英语说法就是 T-stage,而没有意识到这种说法有可能是错误的。我们在翻译这类词语时,应该具有一种意识:既然两种文化中共有同一概念或事物,那么在两种文字中必然会得到体现,而译者的责任就是要找到两种文字中对同一概念或事物的对应说法,在翻译时养成这种查证的习惯非常重要,它可以使我们避免许多不该出现的错误。人们大都知道 catwalk 是“走猫步”的意思,并不知道该词也有“T型台”的意思,请看 WordNet Dictionary 对 catwalk 的定义:

catwalk:the long, narrow stage that models walk along in a fashion show.

再看另外两个定义:

catwalk: narrow platform; "Models displayed clothes on a catwalk at the fashion show".

catwalk: a narrow platform extending from the stage into the audience in a theater or nightclub etc.

实际上,catwalk还有一个意思是指建筑上悬在高空的狭窄过道(a narrow path, raised above the ground, often built for workers to walk on outside a building that is being built or repaired),这大概就是为什么用 catwalk 来表示时装表演的舞台的缘故吧。

时装模特表演的舞台有时也未必都是T型,还包括L型或直线型,除了catwalk的说法之外,runaway ( 机场跑道) 和ramp (高速公路的引接式坡道)也可以指时装模特表演的舞台。请看 WordNet Dictionary 对 runway 的定义:

runway: this is the place where you walk when you're giving a live fashion presentation. It is also referred to as a catwalk or ramp and is always elevated above the crowd. A runway can be shaped like a "T", an "L" or a straight line.

知道了英语中“T形台”的说法,并不意味着就能够很好地运用该词,我们还必须了解它在句子中的用法、通常与哪些词汇搭配等等,这就需要我们通过例句进一不学习提高。请看下面的catwalk用法举例:

1. Ever wondered how a design gets from the sketchbook to the catwalk?

2. Suzie Ward walked onto the catwalk and won the Young Model of the Year Competition.

3. Full of confidence, the lanky all blond models sway on the catwalk with measured

steps one foot straight after the other.

4. The background music stopped and was replaced by an expectant hum, then that too ceased as the curtains parted and a man in a dinner jacket and black bow tie stepped out onto the catwalk.

5. Paraded down the catwalk by a dancer named Micheline Bernardi this new swimsuit designed by Louis Réard took the world's breath away.

6. She is slim with blonde hair and looks like a catwalk model.

7. People who don't know anything about it might assume that it simply involves standing in front of a camera or walking down a catwalk.

另外还需强调,catwalk和runway除了可以互换使用外,还通常放在一起使用,例如:

Experience: Catwalk/Runway Fashion Parades; Photographic (ad campaigns, fashion, photographic showcases/displays, portfolios); ...

I am available for work in Print, Sport, Glamour, Catwalk/Runway, Art, Promotional, Stage, TV/Film,...

最后需要指出,汉语中的“T型台”在泛指时装表演舞台的时候,其意义与 Catwalk/Runway 相同,而如果要特别强调舞台为T字型时,则可以说 "T" stage 或"T" shaped runway。请看下面的例子:

Large "T" shaped runway

36' runway w/ 32' "T" stage

"T" shape runwaywith black and white walls and black stripe

"T" shape runwaywith 8' and 12' high walls

"T" shape runwaywith 8' high backdrop walls

The club is on the smaller side but nice and cozy.The stage is in the popular"T" shape with catwalk.

结论:翻译时不能够想当然,必须要有“回译”意识。有些从英文翻译过来的中文是意译而不是直译的,那么在将其回译成英文时,就不能按照中文的字面意思去进行直译,而必须还原成英语原来的说法。

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