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多年目睹之怪英文 (1) – 紐約時報的報導
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: April 11, 2009 – 7:52 am

本篇討論紐約時報特派記者撰寫的英文,報導內容是關於馬英九被起訴的事件。我們可從中看到,如果將中文的時態觀念硬生生套入英文結構,會發生什麼樣的錯誤。想不到,大名鼎鼎的《紐約時報》竟然也會犯這種不該犯的錯誤。

原文節錄於下:

 

Last year, Mr. Ma was indicted over the use of funds while he had been mayor of Taipei several years ago. The Supreme Court later cleared him of the charges, paving the way for his presidential candidacy.

(Resource: The New York Times : Former President of Taiwan Is Detained in a Corruption Inquiry; By DAVID BARBOZA; Published Date: November 11, 2008 )

 

livejournal

(版主解說)
這位紐約時報記者所寫的第一個句子 (標為紅色),整個文法結構混亂(嚴格說來應該是錯誤的句子),一個句子裡處理太多的資訊,鐵定會讓不知情的老美會錯意。

照這個句型,indicted 與 while 在時間上有所重疊。下面是正確的英文例句:

While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, “For the love of God! Go! Go! Go!.”
(我坐在哪裡的時候,背後的男子開始鬼吼鬼叫,然後把頭伸出窗戶,大喊:「快啊,衝! 衝! 衝! 。」)

版主的印象是,馬英九卸任後才被起訴,所以上述的報導邏輯顯然不對。紐約時報的記者應該是想要用 「while 的附屬子句」來修飾 “use of funds”。可惜,英文絕對不能這麼寫,這樣有違英文的文法規則。以下是版主修正的句子:

(修正一) Last year, Mr. Ma was indicted of misusing his monthly allowance during his eight year tenure as mayor of Taipei.

或者

(修正二) Last year, Mr. Ma was indicted of misusing the monthly allowance (that) he was granted while serving as mayor of Taipei a couple of years ago.

 

© 天地無用 – 狂飆英語的樂園





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