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笔译考前必看实用翻译技巧 5

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五、汉语成语翻译的多样性

例:欢天喜地

1)宁荣两处上下内外人等,莫不欢天喜地。(曹雪芹:《红楼梦》,第十六回)

Then high and low alike in both mansions were filled with joy.

2)那小厮欢天喜地,答应去了。(曹雪芹:《红楼梦》,第三十九回)

The boy assented and made off in high spirits.

3)我才已经和他母亲说了,BANNED已经欢天喜地应了。(曹雪芹:《红楼梦》,第七十二回)

I've spoken to Chaixia's mother and she's consented gladly.

4)两个小头目听了这话,欢天喜地,说道:“好了!众人在此少待一时。”(施耐庵:《水浒传》,第十七回)

The junior officers were delighted.“Excellent,” they said. “Just wait here a little.”

5)不论归迟归早,那妇人顿羹顿饭,欢天喜地服侍武松,武松倒过意不去。(施耐庵:《水浒传》,第二十四回)

Whenever he returned home,whether early or late,Golden Lotus had food ready.She served him with obvious pleasure.It rather embarrassed him.

6)得蒙差遣,欢天喜地,收拾枪刀。(施耐庵:《水浒传》,第六十三回)

Happy with their mission,they gathered their weapons.

7)石宝得胜,欢天喜地,回城中去了。(施耐庵:《水浒传》,第九十五回)

The victorious Shi Bao returned to Hangzhou in jubilation.

8)他们没有杀人的罪名,又偿了心愿,自然都欢天喜地的发出一种呜呜咽咽的笑声。(鲁迅:《呐喊》中的《狂人日记》)

Then they can enjoy their hearts’ desire without being blamed for murder.Naturally that delights them and sets them roaring with laughter.

汉语成语“欢天喜地”形容非常高兴,其中“欢”和“喜”表示高兴,“天”和“地”表示“非常”的意思,并非真正表示“天地”。这是汉语文学作品中常用的成语之一。像这样的成语并不能根据其字面意思来翻译,“天”和“地”不能译成,heaven和earth。这条成语可根据原文的实际含义来翻译:to be highly elated。我们也可用对等的英语成语来翻译:to go into raptures;to be in high glee。上面8个例句中的“欢天喜地”采用了8种不同的译法,充分显示了多样性译法的优越性:1)were filled with joy;2)in high spirits;3)gladly;4)were delighted;5)with obvious pleasure;6)happy;7)in jubilation;8)delights。

在采用多样性翻译方法时,可参考英语的和汉语的同义词词典,也可参考英汉和汉英词典。比如,在翻译汉语成语“大惊小怪”时,我们可以先参考英语同义词词典,查fussy这一基本词条,同时再参考汉英成语手册,查“大惊小怪”的各种英译。综合以上两类词典里的相应词语和词组,“大惊小怪”就会有大量的多样性译法:

(1)be surprised or alarmed at sth quite normal

(2)be surprised or alarmed at sth perfectly common

(3)make a fuss about nothing

(4)make unnecessary ado about trifles

(5)make a fuss about(sth)

(6)fuss about[over]sth[trifles]

(7)much ado about nothing

(8)much[great]cry and little wool

(9)a flurried[hurried]ado about trifles

(10)get alarmed for[about]nothing

(11)get nothing for nothing

(12)get all stirred up over nothing

(13)make a terrible to-do about sth

(14)a storm in a teacup

(15)a tempest in a teapot

(16)a teapot tempest

(17)a tempest in a barrel

(18)a tempest in a bucket

(19)create about(it)

(20)like a hen with one chick[chicken]

(21)alarmism

(22)fussy

(23)get jittery for nothing

(24)great alarm at a little bogey


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