Literal Translation and Free Translation

1直译不等于硬译(word-for-word translation/mechanism) To restrain by the form of the original and seek for the complete conformation to the original literally and structurally, such kind of translation, though it conforms perfectly to the original literally and structurally, has gone a long way astray from the original in content. This is called mechanism in translation. Examples: (1)It was an old and ragged moon. 译文一:那是一个又老又破的月亮。 译文二;这是一弯下弦残月。 评析:“译文一”用“又老又破”来对应old and ragged,以致产生令中国读者十分费解的“又老又破的月亮”,是硬译。而“译文二”在保留原文的old and ragged比喻形式的同时,又充分考虑了中国读者对“月亮”的表达习惯,是直译。 (2)I guessed vaguely from my mother’s signs and from the hurrying to and fro in the house that something unusual was to happen. 译文一:我猜到摸模糊糊从母亲的手势和匆忙去来在房子里某件事不寻常要发生。 译文二:从家里人来回匆忙的走动及毋亲的手势,我隐隐约约地猜到有什么不寻常的事就要发生。 评析:“译文一”拘泥于原文形式,一味追求形式对等,以致令读者不知所云,是硬译。而“译文二”在尽量保留原文的语言形式的同时,词序上作了必要的调整,因而比较符合译话习惯,读者能够看懂,是直译。 (3)橱窗里摆着的是什么东西? 译文一:Shop window in displayed is what thing? 译文二:What’s that in the shop window? 评析:“译文一”一味追求字字对应,既不合语法,也不符合英语表达习惯,英美读者根本看不懂,是硬译。而“译文二”不但基本符合原文的语言形式,而且行文符合英美人的语言习惯,是直译。 2意译不等于胡译(liberalism) To divorce from and add something to the original at will on purpose of making the version smooth, such kind of rendering is called liberalism in translation. As a result, such version has gone too far from the original both in form and content, and done to its style. Examples: He is lying on his back, fixing his eyes on the shining stars in the sky. 译文一;他坦腹高卧,遥望星空,神游天际。 译文二:他仰卧着,直目天空中闪烁的群星。 评析:“译文一”是胡译.译者为了表达生动,随意添加了原文不存在的“高卧”、“迢望”、“神游”等意思。而“译文二”的“仰卧”、“直目’等词语虽然与lying on his back和fixing his eyes不直接对应,但译出了内在意思,属于意译。 直译与意译的运用 1.能直译就尽量直译 Walls have ears. 直译:隔墙有耳。 Rome was not built in a day. 直译:罗马的建成非一日之功。 A rolling stone gathers no moss. 直译:滚石不生苔。 Chance generally favors the prudent. 直译:机遇偏爱深谋远虑者。 Among the blind the one-eyed man is king. 直译:盲人国里,独眼称王。 时间就是金钱。 直译:Time is money. 知彼知己,百战不殆。 直译:Knowledge of the enemy and oneself enables one to fight a hundred battles without defeat. 滴水穿石。 直译:Constant dropping of water wears away stones. 2.不能直译就采取意译 Examples: Do not cross your bridge before you come to it. 意译:不要杞人忧天。 Give a dog a bad name and hang him. 意译:谗言可畏。 He that lives with cripples learns to limp. 意译:近朱者赤,近墨者黑。 Diamond cuts diamond. 意译:强中更有强中手。 此地无银三百两。 意译:The more is concealed, the more is revealed. 不入虎穴,焉得虎子。 意译:Nothing venture,nothing gain. 挂羊头,卖狗肉。 意译:Cry up wine and sell vinegar. 3.直译和意译并用互补 e.g. 在危急关头,他们孤注一掷,为最后的胜利奠定了基础。 译文:In the emergency, they bet their bottom dollar, thus laying the foundation for the ultimate victory.

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