英语四级六级培训课程

“中国特点”表达的英语翻译辨析

时间:2022-6-16 作者:江沪英语网

1. 有他这颗扫帚星,任何事情都办不成。

[误] With a comet like him, nothing can be accomplished.

[正] With a jinx like him, nothing can be accomplished.

注:“扫帚星”是中国人对“慧星”(comet)的俗称,因其后面拖着一条像扫帚一样的长尾巴而得名。在中国古时候,“扫帚星”被觉得是灾难的征兆,并被用来比喻不吉利的人或事;祸根:(person or thing that is thought to bring)bad luck(to sb/sth);curse。英语的comet 虽然没这层含义,但却有一个对应的说法,即jinx。

例:There’s a jinx on/Someone’s put a jinx on this car: it’s always giving me trouble. (这辆汽车上有哪些妨人的东西,总给我找麻烦。)

2.萝卜青菜,各有所爱。

[误] Some prefer radish but others prefer cabbage.

[正] Tastes differ.

注:Tastes differ/vary是句英语谚语,除此以外,原句还可翻译成 No dish suits all tastes 或 You can never make everyone happy 等。除此之外,大家还可以如此说:One man’s meat is another man’s poison. 总之,应采取意译。

3.他一向嘴硬,从不认错。

[误] He has always got a hard mouth and never admit a fault.

[正] He never says uncle.

注:say (cry) uncle: to give up or in; to surrender; to admit defeat. Mainly used by boys, as when fighting. 这句话主如果女生们打架时的用语,当一方想制服另一方时,就用命令的口气说:“Say uncle!” 这个时候,有些小孩为了表示不服输,就是不说。后来,say uncle 就成了“服输”的代名词,而 not say uncle 就等于“嘴硬”了。

4.老师非常喜欢这个嘴甜的小女孩。

[误] The teacher likes this sweet-mouthed little girl very much.

[正] The teacher likes this honey-lipped little girl very much.

注:中国人喜欢说“嘴甜”,但 honey-lipped 更符合英美人的语言习惯。

5.同学们都非常讨厌他,由于他常常拍老师的马屁。

[误] The students all dislike him because he often pats the teacher’s ass.

[正] The students all dislike him because he often licks the teacher’s boots.

注:以前在欧洲,臣民见到国王与王后总是要亲吻他们的靴子。后来,大家将 lick the boots 引申为“为了某种目的而讨好某人”,它与汉语的“拍马屁”含义一样。在美国英语中,“拍马屁”还有另一种说法,即 polish the apple,来自于以前的学生用擦亮的苹果来讨好老师。

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