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复合长句翻译初探——顺译与倒译

在从事英语翻译的这些年,最让人费时处理的往往是英语中的长句,尤其科技英语,句子层次多且复杂,句子中并列成分多,各种短语,修饰语多,并列成分或各种从句多。决定翻译之前首先要弄清英语原文的句法结构,即长句中词与词、短语与短语、词与短语、句子与句子、主句与从句、从句与从句等各个结构层次之间的逻辑关系及意思。在理清关系时,要抓句子核心内容,逐层理清关系,再按照汉语的表达方式与习惯翻译出全句,尽量做到不拘泥于原文的形式,正确地表达原文。在此,我们试着分析顺译与倒译两种翻译方法。
  1. 顺译
如果英语长句所讲述的事情是按照时间顺序或按照逻辑关系安排的,并与韩语表达方式基本一致时,就可以按照原文的顺序翻译。 If such alloys possess other properties which make them suitable for die casting, they are obvious choices for the process, because their lower melting point will lead to longer die lives than would be obtained with alloys of higher melting points. 分析:本句由一个主句和四个从句组成,句法结构依次是:(1)If such alloys possess other properties which make them suitable for die casting 是 if 引导的条件状语从句,其中包含 which 引导的定语从句修饰名词 properties; (2)they are obvious choices for the process 是主句;(3)because their lower melting point will lead to longer die lives 是because 引导的原因状语从句;(4)than would be obtained with alloys of higher melting points 是more…than 结构的比较状语从句。采用顺译,先翻译第(1)部分:如果这类合金具有使它们适于压铸的其他性能,定语从句译为“的”字结构的定语,即使它们适于压铸的;再翻译第(2)部分:它们显然可以被选来用于压铸;然后翻译第(3)部分,即原因从句:因为它们熔点较低,(所以)……可以延长压铸模寿命,(注意:翻译原因状语从句时采用了分译法),即将其主语部分译成一个分句;最后翻译第(4)部分:比起高熔点合金来,并将此插在原因状语从句中。 译文:如果这类合金具有使它们适于压铸的其他性能,它们显然可以被选来用于压铸,因为它们熔点较低,与高熔点合金相比,它们可以延长压铸模寿命。

  1. 倒译
(7)Scientists are learning a great deal about (2)how the large plates in the earth’s crust move, (3)the stresses between plates, (4)how earthquakes work, (6)and the general probability (5)that given place will have an earthquake, (1)although they will cannot predict earthquakes. 分析:本句是一个主句,四个并列介词宾语(包括两个介词宾语从句、两个介词短语),一个同位语从句和一个让步状语从句组成。具体句法结构如下:(1)是although 引导的让步状语从句;(2)是介词宾语从句;(3)是名词短语做介词宾语;(4)是介词从句;(5)是同位语从句修饰宾语 probability;(6)是名次短语做介词宾语;(7)是主句。这个句子采取倒译法:(1)尽管科学家仍无法预测地震;再翻译四个并列介词宾语中的前三个:(2)、(3)、(4)地壳中的大板块如何运动,板块间的压力如何,地震如何发生;然后翻译带同位语从句的第四个介词宾语(5)和(6):某地区发生地震的一般概率为多少。最后翻译主句(7):他们了解得越来越多。 译文:尽管科学家仍无法预测地震,但对地壳中的大板块如何运动、板块间的压力如何、地震如何发生、某地区发生地震的一般概率为多少,他们了解得越来越多。



注:顺译或倒译并不是绝对的,不是指句子每个局部成分从后面往前面翻译,而是句子整体结构上顺译或倒译。

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