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中進英翻譯系列講座(二)
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: January 13, 2015 – 7:51 am

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各位網友好,從今天起,「天地無用」網站要分享一系列英文翻譯與寫作的專題文章。有心學習「高階」翻譯與英文寫作的網友必定可以從中學到版主寶貴的實務經驗與技巧,請大家廣為宣傳。

參考文章:中進英翻譯系列講座(一)

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【範例二】

流言難免是虛張聲勢,危言聳聽,鬼魅魍魎一起來,它們聞風而動,隨風而去,摸不到頭,抓不到尾。然而,這城市裏的真心,卻唯有到流言裏去找的。無論這城市的外表有多華美,心卻是一顆粗鄙的心,那心是寄在流言裏的,流言是寄在上海的弄堂裏的。這東方巴黎遍佈遠東的神奇傳說,剝開殼看,其實就是流言的芯子。就好像珍珠的芯子,其實是粗糙的沙粒,流言就是這顆沙粒一樣的東西。
來源:《長恨歌》,王安億著,麥田出版,第23頁。

「分析」階段:譯者可將中文原文切分成數個短句,每個短句代表一個意群,如下:

1. 流言虛張聲勢,危言聳聽。
2. 流言鬼鬼祟祟起來,便會捉摸不定。
3. 這城市(上海)的真心唯有到流言裡去找。
4. 這城市(上海)外表華美,心卻是粗鄙的。
5. 粗鄙的心在流言裏,流言又在弄堂裏。
6. 上海號稱東方巴黎,有許多遠東的神奇傳說。
7. 傳說的核心就是流言。
8. (列舉實物來準備描摹難以捉摸的流言)珍珠的核心是粗糙的沙粒。
9. (明喻)流言就像珍珠核心中的沙粒。

「轉換」階段:每一個意群會在譯者腦海中形成圖像。如果圖像模糊,譯者就會依賴文字來翻譯並適時調整語序。排除枝枝節節之後,這段文字應該可以形成下面的圖像:

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「重建」階段:對於以中文為母語的譯者來說,如果英文寫作能力太差,在這個階段會面臨極大的困境。我會在後續章節分析中英文差異、講解重要文法、條列常見句型、分析如何拆解中文、刪除中文冗詞,以及找出對應句型。融會貫通這些面向之後,才能奠定中進英的翻譯基礎。現在讓我們來分析下面的譯文:

譯文:Gossip cannot help but be swashbuckling and sensational. It travels in the company of monsters and goblins; rising with the wind, its elusive tail can never be caught. Only in gossip can the true heart of this city be found. No matter how gorgeous and splendid the city may look on the outside, its heart is vulgar. That heart is born of gossip, and gossip is born of the Shanghai longtang. Magnificent tales of the Far East can be heard all over this Paris of the Orient; but peel away the outer shell and you will discover that gossip lies at its core. Like the center of a pearl – which is actually a rough grain of sand – coarse sand is the material of which gossip is made.
– by Michael Berry & Susan Chan Egan, The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, P. 10.

translation

(註解)
Michael Berry與Susan Chan Egan將原文拆解如下:
流言難免是虛張聲勢,危言聳聽,//鬼魅魍魎一起來,它們聞風而動,隨風而去,摸不到頭,抓不到尾。//然而,這城市裏的真心,卻唯有到流言裏去找的。//無論這城市的外表有多華美,心卻是一顆粗鄙的心,//那心是寄在流言裏的,流言是寄在上海的弄堂裏的。//這東方巴黎遍佈遠東的神奇傳說,//剝開殼看,其實就是流言的芯子。//就好像珍珠的芯子,其實是粗糙的沙粒,流言就是這顆沙粒一樣的東西。

這些被拆解的意群大小合適,不會讓對應的譯文過於冗長或複雜。然而,我對原文的詮釋跟這兩位譯者的看法略有不同。

首先,我認為「鬼魅魍魎一起來」並非真的指鬼怪,應該解釋為「鬼鬼祟祟」,所以將這句話直譯成in the company of monsters and goblins並不妥。其次,「它們」表示各種流言蜚語,但譯文是rising with the wind, its elusive tail can never be caught,這種寫法是犯了「懸吊句」的錯誤,而且譯者將「摸不到頭」跳過不翻,可能是迎合西方讀者而採取的武斷手法。最後,譯者將句末的「流言就是這顆沙粒一樣的東西」翻譯成coarse sand is the material of which gossip is made,我認為這樣不妥,因為流言是虛無飄渺的東西,不可能能以實體的沙當成製作材料。其實,王安億是把流言比喻為沙粒,讀者只要參照轉換階段的附圖,便能清楚勾勒出原文的邏輯層次。

根據前述理由,我將譯文調整了一下:

Gossip is inevitably swashbuckling and sensational. It travels in a sneaky way, rising and going with the wind, and you can never catch its elusive head or tail. However, only gossip can reveal Shanghai’s true heart. No matter how gorgeous and splendid the city’s glittering façade is, its heart is indeed base and vulgar. That heart is spawned by common gossip, born out of the city’s longtang. The legends of the Far East can be heard all over Shanghai, affectionately known as the “Paris of the Orient.” Peeling away those great tales’ shells, you will notice that gossip lies at the core. As the heart of a pearl is actually a rough grain of sand, gossip can be analogically described as that grain of sand.

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