定语从句的翻译技巧_笔译技巧与实践

时间:2020-03-31  栏目:理论教育  

定语从句的翻译技巧_笔译技巧与实践

第六节 定语从句的翻译技巧

在英语的各类从句中,定语从句可能是最为复杂的一种。而且由于英语和汉语之间的语法、句法差异以及习惯表达法的不同,在进行定语从句翻译时我们需要特别注意。

英语中,定语从句可被划分为限定性从句与非限定性从句两种,二者在句子中的位置一般处在其所修饰的先行词后面。限定性定语从句与非限定性定语从句的差别在于限定性定语从句对被修饰的先行词有限定制约作用,使该词的含义更具体、更明确。限定性定语从句不能被省略,否则句意就不完整。而非限定性定语从句与先行词关系不十分密切,只是对其作一些附加说明,不起限定制约作用。如果将非限定性定语从句省去,主句的意义仍然完整。

汉语中,定语作为修饰语通常在其所修饰的词前面,并且没有限制意义的强弱之分。因此,限定性与非限定性在翻译中并不是最重要的考虑因素。值得注意的是,英语里常见结构复杂的定语从句,而汉语中定语则不宜庞大复杂。所以,在翻译定语从句时,译者必须考虑到汉语的句法特点和表达习惯。如果英语的定语从句太长,无论是限定性的还是非限定性的,都不宜直接翻译成汉语中的定语成分,而应用其他方法处理。常见的定语从句翻译有以下几种方法。

一、前置法

定语从句的意义是作定语修饰语,特别是当定语从句较短,结构简单,与先行词的关系紧密时,通常把定语从句翻译到所修饰的先行词前面,译成“……的”。例如:

I have but one lamp in my heart by which my feet are guided.

我心中只有一盏指路明灯。

The people who worked for him lived in mortal fear of him.

受雇于他的员工们怕他怕得要死。

He had been too proud to acknowledge the fear that lies at the bottom of his heart.

他太骄傲了,不敢承认内心深处的那种恐惧。

The emphasis was helped by the speaker’s mouth,which was wide,thin and hard set.

讲话人那又宽又薄又坚毅的嘴有助于他加强说话的语气。

The sun,which had hidden all day,now came out in all its splendor.

被遮蔽了一天的太阳终于又露出了万丈光芒。

He who has never tasted what is bitter does not know what is sweet.

没有吃过苦的人不懂什么是甜。

Space and oceans are the new frontier which scientists are trying to explore.

太空和海洋是科学家们努力探索的新疆界。

His laughter,which was infectious,broke the silence.

他那富有感染力的笑声打破了沉默。

He liked his sister,who was warm and pleasant,but he did not like his brother,who was aloof and arrogant.

他喜欢热情快乐的妹妹,不喜欢冷漠高傲的哥哥。

The action it takes at any moment can’t be predicted,and people find that disturbing.

它随时可能采取行动却让人无从预测,这使人们觉得不安。

I was,to borrow from John,the spy who was to stay out in the cold.

借用约翰的话来说,我是一个被打入冷宫的间谍。

We were most impressed by the fact that even those patients who were not told of their serious ill were quite aware of its potential outcome.

让我们印象深刻的是即便是那些被隐瞒严重病情的病人,也深知其疾病可能带来的潜在后果。

二、后置法

有些定语从句的结构比较复杂,或者与先行词的关系不紧密,如果直接将定语从句翻译在其所修饰的先行词前面,会使汉语的定语太臃肿庞大,不符合汉语表达习惯而且对读者的理解造成了一定的困难。这种情况下,一般可以把定语从句用分译法译成一个句子放在先行词后面,变成并列分句。

(一)译为并列句,重复先行词

由于定语从句的先行词通常在定语从句中充当句子成分,在采用后置法翻译定语从句的时候,可以重复该先行词,也可以用代词进行代替。

She told the secrets to Jean,who told it to her friends.

她把秘密告诉了珍,珍又告诉了她的朋友。

Man possesses an expressive faculty that goes far beyond gestures,that allows and even compels him to express his thoughts,feelings,dreams,and intuitions.

人类所具有的表达能力远远比手势丰富得多,这种能力不仅使人能够自主和不自主地把他的思想、感情、梦想和直觉表达出来。

Carrie reached home in high good spirits,which she could scarcely conceal.

嘉莉兴高采烈地回到家,脸上挂着掩饰不住的喜悦之情。

Although he lacks experience,he has enterprise and creativity,which are decisive in achieving success in the area.

尽管他经验不足,但很有进取心和创造力,而这正是在这一领域取得成功的决定性因素。

You,whose predecessors scored initial success in physical research,have acquired greater achievements in this respect.

你们的先辈在物理研究方面取得了初步的成功,而你们则在这一领域获得了更大的成就。

(二)译为并列句,省略先行词

在保证译文流畅并完整的前提下,用后置法翻译定语从句时,先行词不必重复翻译出来。

They invented a new production system by which efficiency has now been rapidly increased.

他们发明出一种新的生产系统,采用之后效率已迅速得到提高。

The hearts are subjected to several diseases which are treatable by surgery.

心脏易受几种疾病的侵袭,但均可经手术治疗。

The four key negotiators resumed their talks,which continued well late into the night.

四个负责人继续谈判,一直进行到深夜。

It is he who received the phone call that announced the successful merger.

是他接到电话,宣布公司并购成功。

三、融合法(www.guayunfan.com)

融合法是把定语从句和它所修饰的先行词结合在一起翻译,融合成一个简单句。

翻译时先对先行词进行适当的概括总结,形成主语,再将定语从句译成单句中的谓语部分。由于限定性定语从句与主句关系较紧密,所以融合法多用于翻译限定性定语从句,尤其是“there be”结构带有定语从句的句型。

I received the impression of a brutal,clever,competent man who,in business matters,at all events,would be pitiless.

我对这个人的印象是又冷酷又精明能干。这种人在生意上都很绝情。

She was a tall girl with the oval face,straight nose,fine eyes and full mouth that appeared to be characteristics of the family.

她身材高挑,椭圆形脸,直鼻梁,眉清目秀,嘴唇丰满,这些都是她家族的特征。

He paid that peculiar deference to women which every member of the sex appreciates.

他对女性殷勤,这种做法每个女人都赏识。

四、译成状语从句

限定性定语从句和非限定性定语从句有时兼有状语从句的职能,可以表示时间、条件、原因、让步、目的、结果等关系,翻译时可调整成并列分句、独立句和状语从句这几种形式。翻译时应先分析其逻辑关系,再选择相对应的复合句结构。例如:

She insisted on buying a swimming suit which she had no use for.

她虽然用不上,但仍坚持买一件游泳衣。

如果我们把上面的例子直译成“她坚持买一件她用不着的泳衣”或“她坚持买一件泳衣,这泳衣她不用”,显然是不通顺的,问题就在于这两句译文是套用定语词组和并列分句形式而译,因此我们在汉译中添加了表示让步的连词,将定语从句译成状语从句,既通顺又符合原句本意。

下面我们从六个方面来看定语从句译成状语从句的技巧。

(一)因果关系

After work,I immediately went to the French restaurant where my eldest daughter’s birthday party was going to be held.

一下班,我就立即去了那家法国餐厅,因为我的大女儿的生日聚会马上就要开始了。

She selected the diamond ring rather than the gold one which is much cheaper than the former.

她选择了那个钻石戒指,因为这个比那个金戒指值钱多了。

(二)结果关系

Copper,which is used so widely for carrying electricity,offers very little resistance.

铜的电阻很小,因此被广泛用于电力输送。

This kind of plant grows best in the tropical area,where there are enough sunshine and suitable temperature.

这种植物最为适宜在热带地区生长,因为在那里有充足的阳光和适宜的温度。

School programs will be much more responsive to what the child is capable of thinking,which will minimize over-challenge and under-challenge.

学校的课程将会更加适合学生的思考能力,从而减少课程过难或过于容易的现象。

Each course which a student attends gives him a credit which he may count towards a degree.

学生所上的每门课都将给他一个学分,当学生把所得学分累加到一定数量就可以获得一个学位。

(三)目的关系

Humans have the ability to modify the environment in which they live,thus subjecting all other life forms to their own peculiar ideas and fancies.

人类有能力改变自己的生存环境,从而使所有其他生命形态服从人类自己独特的想法和想像。

The new Republican Congress may be asked next year to underwrite a shift in the emphasis of foreign aid which would bring Pakistan into global defense system.

明年新的共和党国会可能会被要求批准调整对外援助的重心,从而将巴基斯坦纳入全球防御系统。

(四)让步关系

Electronic computers,which have many advantages,cannot carry out creative work and replace man.

虽然电子计算机有很多优点,但它们不具备开展创造性工作的能力,因此无法代替人类。

The consequences of their actions,which have yet aroused too much trouble and disapproval,have nevertheless given us a pause.

他们行为的后果,虽还未引发太多的麻烦和反对,却已经使我们举棋不定。

(五)条件关系

In a dispute between two states with which one is friendly,try not to get involved.

在两国发生争端时,如与该两国皆友好,则应避免卷入。

(六)转折关系

Actually,it isn’t,because it assumes that there is an agreed account of human rights,which is something the world does not have.

事实并非如此,因为这是以人们对人权有共同认识为基础的,而在当今世界这种共识并不存在。

五、复杂的定语从句

(一)如果先行词和定语从句之间有插入成分,并对整个句子起附加说明的作用,宜将其提前翻译

The old schedule is filled with too many unnecessary visits and welcome parties,in conclusion,which are not at all time and cost effective.

总之,旧的行程里安排了太多没有必要的访问和欢迎宴会,既费时又费财。

(二)as引导的定语从句一般放在先行词之前翻译,可译成“像……那样”

While egg-snatching is much noted,it is not as widely spread behavior among jays as it was once thought to be.

虽然这种偷蛋的行径是出了名的,但是他们这种行为在北美蓝松鸦里没有过去想像中的那样普遍。

(三)如果先行词和定语从句间有介词短语作状语成分,翻译时可将较长的定语从句译成独立分句,短的定语从句可提到中心词前面翻译

Thus there are times during a snowstorm when the temperature will suddenly drop and the snow will change to sleet and hail.

这样,在暴风雨期间,有时气温突然下降,雪会变成冰雨和冰雹。