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常見的英文「同位格」錯誤
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: December 30, 2009 – 4:12 am

顏元叔教授編註、萬人出版社的《TIME 閱讀與鑑賞》出版於民國七十七年。這本中英對照註解的書籍在當時算是一項創舉,對於導引國人學習英文有很大的貢獻。版主這陣子為了補充站內資料,逐一審視書中列舉的文章,發現其中有不少謬誤之處,今天就跟網友談談版主看到的「同位格」錯誤。

 time-reading

翻開《TIME 閱讀與鑑賞》的第一篇 Rising Sun《上昇旭日》,該篇是介紹當年矽谷 (Silicon Valley) 昇陽公司 (Sun Microsystems) 的創業歷程。標題 (Rising Sun) 引用雙關語,一指昇陽公司日漸興隆,二指該公司猶如旭日初升。

A bright glow is rising above Silicon Valley’s gloomy horizon. In a computer industry plagued by layoffs and flat revenues, Sun Microsystems of Mountain View, Calif., has achieved phenomenal growth. Founded only four years ago, Sun boosted sales from $8 million in fiscal 1983 to $115 million in 1985. Over the same period, annual profits surged from $654,000 to $8.5 million. Run by Scott McNealy, 31, Andreas Bechtolsheim, 30, and William Joy, 31, a trio of workaholic wunderkinder, the company shows signs of staying power in a business in which success is often fleeting.

Sun’s specialty is workstations, high-powered desktop computers that perform as well as much larger and more expensive minicomputers. Favored by scientists and engineers, workstations can manipulate graphics and data many times as fast as standard personal computers. In its short life, Sun has captured 20% of workstation sales in the U.S., and is rapidly gaining on Chelmsford, Mass.- based Apollo, which first developed that kind of computer and still holds 39% of the market. The stakes in the competition are enormous: workstation sales are expected to surge from $735 million last year to $2.5 billion by 1989. 

Source: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,961467,00.html

translation

網友請看 “Sun’s specialty is workstations, high-powered desktop computers that perform as well as much larger and more expensive minicomputers” 這句,《TIME 閱讀與鑑賞》將這句話翻譯成:

太陽公司的專長是工作站、高性能的桌上型電腦,以及較大型與較昂貴的微電腦。
來源:《TIME 閱讀與鑑賞》第八頁

這句英文的中譯非常離譜,作者的意思是:

昇陽公司專精於工作站,那是一種高性能的桌上型電腦,執行效率不輸較大型且更昂貴的微電腦

或者

昇陽公司專精於製造工作站,而工作站是一種高性能的桌上型電腦,其執行效率不輸較大型且更昂貴的微電腦

workstation = high-power desktop computer (同位格) = a kind of desktop computer that performs as well as much larger and more expensive minicomputers (關係代名詞引導的子句形容 desktop computer)

《TIME 閱讀與鑑賞》是一本中英註解的書籍,Prefessor Robert Magliola 的英文講解正好替版主背書,摘錄如下:

This selection comes from the Economy and Business Section, and talks about young entrepreneurs who have founded a booming computer company. Their product is the computer “workstation,” a high-powered desktop computer much faster than the standard personal computer, and cheapter than the minicomputer.

Prefessor Robert Magliola 使用定冠詞 (the) 來定義 “workstation”、”personal computer”、”minicomputer”,相關細節請參照英文解說『冠詞用法的邏輯』。我們可以明顯看出,a high-powered desktop computer 就是同位格,補充說明 “workstation” 是何方神聖。

search-64

順道一提,or 也常用來接同位格,有人會誤以為 or 是「或者」的意思。

◎ geology, or the science of the earth’s crust (地質學,亦即研究地殼的科學) – or 是「亦即」的意思 (同位格)

◎ The wide-ranging Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, or ECFA, announced Thursday, will remove many of the last barriers to trade and investment across the Taiwan Strait.
(「星期四宣布締結的兩岸經濟合作架構協議 (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement),亦即 ECFA,包含廣泛,將可去除台灣海峽兩岸之間的貿易與投資障礙。」) – or 是「亦即」的意思 (同位格)

◎ Will you have tea, (or) coffee or bottled water? (你要喝茶、咖啡,還是瓶裝礦泉水?) – or 是「或者」的意思 (非同位格)

 

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