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英语特殊句型的翻译

(2010-11-11 22:39:14)
标签:

杂谈

分类: CATTI
  

Translation of English Special Structures(英语特殊句型的翻译)
本章内容提要
这里所说的特殊句型,主要是指一些翻译难度较大的句型。熟悉这些句型并掌握它们的翻译技巧,是翻译训练中不可缺少的课程。
英语特殊句型是英译汉的一个难点。有些有比较固定的译法,有些则没有。所以翻译者如果遇到一些难译的特殊句型,就应该多分析,多思索,多联想上下文,多进行逻辑推理,切勿率尔动笔。这里不可能把英语所有的惯用结构和特殊句型都列全,只能列举一些典型结构,加以探讨翻译的一些特殊技巧及思路。
1. it作先行主语和先行宾语的一些句型的翻译。
  [例1] She had said what it was necessary to say.
  [译文] 要说的话她都说了。
  [例2] It is no time for me to hide anything.
  [译文] 什么东西都来不及藏起来了。
  [例3] It is not common for him to receive letters.
  [译文] 他难得接到几封信。
  [例4] How was it possible for so great a commerce to flourish?
  [译文] 这么大的贸易如何才能兴旺起来呢?
  [例5] Make it the first object to be able to fix and hold your attention upon your studies.
  [译文] 要把专心致志于学业并且持之以恒作为首要目标。
  [例6] The fog made it difficult to calculate the distance.
  [译文] 雾大得看不出距离来。 
[例7] Rumour has it that there will be war.
  [译文]谣传快要打仗了。
2.强调句型的翻译。
  [例1] It is not who rules us that is important,but how he rules us.    
  [译文] 重要的不是谁统治我们,而是看他怎样统治。
  [例2] It is to men like Edison that we should be grateful.    
[译文] 我们应该感激的是像爱迪生那样的人。
  [例3] It is only shallow people who judge by appearance.
  [译文] 只有浅薄的人才会以貌取人。
3.“a11+抽象名词”或“抽象名词+itself”的译法(=very+形容词)。
  [例1] He Was all gentleness to her.
[译文] 他对她非常温存。   
[例2] While she was waiting for the tinkling of the bell,a11 nerves,suddenly he stood before her.
  [译文] 她正十分紧张地等待着铃声响的时候,他突然站到了她面前。
  [例3] To his superiors,he is humility itself.
  [译文] 他对长辈十分谦恭。
  [例4] Washington was discretion itself in the use of speech,never taking advantage of an opponent,or seeking a short-lived triumph in a debate. 
  [译文] 华盛顿措辞非常谨慎,在辩论中从不欺骗他的对手,也不贪求一时的胜利。    
4.利用词汇重复表示强调的翻译。
  [例1] A crime is a crime a crime.
  [译文] 犯罪就是犯罪,没有什么好说的。
[例2] A movement is a government a government.
[译文] 政府就是政府,并不因为人们对它的看法而改变性质。
5.“something (much) of”  和 “nothing (1ittle) of” 的翻译。
“something of” 相当于 “to some extent”,表示程度。在疑问句或条件从句中,则为 “anything of”,可译为“有点”,“略微”等。“nothing of”译为“毫无”,“全无”。“much of” 译为“大有”,“not much of”可译为“算不上”,“称不上”,“little of” 可译为“几乎无”。 “something like” 译为“有点像,略似”。
[例1) They say that he had no university education,but he seems to be something of a scholar.  
[译文] 据说他并非受过大学教育,但他看上去好像有学者的样子。
[例2] He is very much Of a gentleman.
[译文] 他颇有绅士风度。
[例3] He is more Of a scholar than a teacher.
[译文] 与其说他是教师,不如说他是学者。
[例4] If he is anything of a gentleman,he will keep his promise,I should think.  
[译文] 他如果有一点点绅士风度,我想他会守约的。
[例5] There was nothing of the student about him,but very much of the miner.
[译文] 他全不像学生,倒像个矿工。
[例6] He knows something of everything.
[译文] 他什么都知道一点,但样样都不精。
6.同格名词修饰的翻译。
同格名词是指of前后的两个名词都指同一个人或物,“of”以及它前面的名词构一个形容词短语,以修饰“of”后面的那个名词。如"her old sharper of a father",可译为:“她那骗子般的父亲”。
[例1] Those wolves of boys eat so much.
[译文] 那些狼一般的男孩子吃那么多。
[例2] She was an angel of a wife.
[译文] 她是一位天仙一般的妻子。
[例3] The child is a treasure of a son.
[译文] 那是一个宝贝儿子。
[例4] They gave Sally this little blue butt-twitcher of a dress to wear
[译文] 他们给莎莉一条扭动屁股的兰色短裙来穿。
7.“as...as...can(may)be” 的翻译。
[例1] It is as plain as plain can be.
[译文] 那是再明白也不过了。
[例2] You are as wrong as wrong can be.
[译文] 你大错而特错。
[例3] A lot of these boys were as green as green can be.
[译文] 这些男孩子许多都是精力充沛无比。
[例4] Since I have been in prison he has always been coming to see me,and at times he would talk to me,and was as good to me as could be.
[译文]自从我入狱以来,他常来看我;有时和我谈话,亲切得不得了。
8.“It is in(with)...as in(with)”的翻译。
[例1] It is in life as in a journey.
[译文] 人生好比旅行一样。
[例2] It is in studying as in eating;he who does it gets the benefits;and not he who sees it done.
[译文] 读书和吃饭一样,得到利益的是实际在吃的人,而不是在旁边观看的人。
[例3] It is with a machine as with a child that must always be taken care of.
[译文] 机器和小孩一样,须要时常加以照顾。
9.“as good as。..”的翻译。
(1)相等于,就像,几乎如;(2)实际上,其实,实在。
[例1] The merchant as good as promised the orphan boy,that he would adopt him.
[译文] 那商人等于许诺要把那孤儿收为养子。
[例2] Out of the eight men who had fallen in the action,only three still breathed;and of these two were as good as dead.
[译文] 八个在战斗中倒下的人,只有三个还未断气,而其中两个似已断气。
10.“may as well...as"和"might as well.。.as"的翻译。
“may as well as…”可译为“与其…,不如…,更好”,“以这样做……为宜”,“如同……,也可以……”等等。“might as well…as” 表示不可能的事,可译为“不啻……”,“犹如……”,“可与……一样荒唐”,“与其那样不如这样的好”等等。
[例1] One may as well not know a thing at all as know it imperfectly.
[译文] 与其一知半解,不如完全不知的好。
[例2] You may as well begin at once。
[译文] 你最好立即着手。
[例3] Friendship is a vase,which,if it is cracked by accident,may as well be broken at once.
[译文] 友谊好像花瓶一样,只要偶然发生裂痕,就很可能马上破碎。
[例4] You might as well throw your money into the sea as lend it to him.
[译文] 你借钱给他,不啻把钱扔到海里。
11.“to make...of” 的译法(使……成为……,把……当作)。
[例1] I will make a scientist of my son.
[译文] 我要把儿子培养成为一个科学家。
[例2] She often makes a hero of her husband.
[译文] 她常把她丈夫当作英雄,推崇备至。
[例3] She has made a conquest of a man.
[译文] 她使他拜倒在她的石榴裙下。
[例4] Men who have done great things,made stepping stones of their failure.
[译文] 成就大事业的人,都以失败为阶梯。
12.“too...+不定式”,“not(never)too...+不定式”,“too...not十不定式”的译法。
too...to...译为“太……而不能……”等。
[例1] She is too angry to speak.
[译文] 她忿怒得说不出话来。
[例2] The news is too good to be true.
[译文] 消息太好,恐不可靠。
“not too...to do”的意思是“并不太……所以能做……”
[例3] He is not too old to do it
[译文] 他还没有老到做不了这事的程度。
[例4] One is never too old to learn.
[译文] 活到老,学到老。
[例5] English is not too difficult to learn.
[译文] 英文并不太难学。
“too...not to do"的意思是“太……而很可能要做(不免要做出……)”,“太……而不会不”。
[例6] He is too angry not to say it.
[译文] 他在盛怒之下,不免要说出这样的话来。
[例7] The expression is well known to many students of French,but it is far too good not to be requited here.
[译文] 这句话是学法文的学生都知道的,不过实在说得太精彩,所以这里不免要再次引用一下。
13.“only (not,a11,but,never) too...to do so” 和“too ready (apt) to do"的译法。
凡是“not",“all",“but"等词后+“too...to",不定式都失去了否定意义。在"too ready(apt)+to do"结构中,不定式也没有否定意义。
[例1] You know but too well to hold your tongue.
[译文] 你还是闭嘴的好。
[例2] They are all too satisfied to take the opinions of others without the pain of thought for themselves.
[译文] 他们都非常满足于接受别人的意见,而自己懒得去思考问题。
[例3] I shall be only too pleased to do my best in that line of work.
[译文] 我很高兴尽力去做那方面的工作。
14.“no more...than...” 句型的译法。
[例1] A home without love is no more a home than a body without a soul is a man.
[译文] 正像没有灵魂的躯体不成其为人一样,没有爱情的家庭也不成其为家庭。
[例2] The gospel of making a fortune is no more true than what I tell you.
[译文] 你们所说的致富之道跟我讲的一样是靠不住的。
15.“not so much...as"和"not so much as...”结构的译法。
“not so much...as” =“rather than",其中的as有时可换用 but rather",可译为:“与其说是……毋宁说是……”。而“not so much as” =“without(not)even,”可译为“甚至……还没有”。
[例1] The oceans do not so much divide the world as unite it.
[译文] 与其说海洋把陆地分开,不如说海洋把陆地连在一起。
[例2] Success in life does not depend so much on one’s school record as on one’s honesty and diligence.
[译文] 一个人事业的成功并不取决于他在学校时的学习成绩,而是取决于他的诚实与勤勉。
[例3] The great use of a school education is not so much to teach you things as to teach you the art of learning.
[译文] 学校教育的最大效用,不在于授人以鱼,而在于授人以渔。
16.“Nothing is more...than"和"Nothing is so...as"结构的译法。
“Nothing is more...than"和"Nothing is so┅ as"都具有最高级比较的意思,“nothing"可换用“no”,“nobody”,“nowhere",“little”,“few",“hardly”, “scarcely”等等。可译为“没有……比……更为”,“像……再没有了”,“最……”等。
[例1] Nothing is more precious than time.
[译文] 没有什么比光阴更可贵的东西了。
[例2] No complaint is more common than that of a scarcity of money.
[译文] 最普遍的抱怨就是说钱不够用。
17.“cannot...too...”结构的译法。
“cannot...too...”意为“it is impossible to overdo...”或者“the more…the better...”,即“无论怎样……也不算过分”。“not” 可换用"hardly",“scarcely"等,“too”可换用"enough",“sufficient” 等。
[例1] You cannot be too careful.
[译文] 你越细心越好。
[例2] This introduces a fact of an importance that cannot be overstressed.
[译文] 这介绍了一个事实,其重要性无论怎样强调都不为过。
[例3] That which is good cannot be done too soon.
[译文] 好事做得愈快愈好。
18.“否定+but"结构的译法。
在否定词后面的but,具有"which not",“who not",“that not'’等等否定意义,构成前后的双重否定。可译成“没有……不是”或“……都……”等。
[例1] Nothing is so bad but it might have been worse.
[译文] 事情虽糟,但还不是最糟的。
[例2] There is no one but hopes to be rich.
[译文] 没有人不想发财。
19.“否定十until(till)”结构的译法。
在否定词“no”,“not",“never",“little",“few",“seldom"等的后边所接用的"until/till",多数情况下译为“直到……才……”,“要……才……”,把否定译为肯定。
[例1] Nobody knows what he can do till he has tried.
[译文] 任何人都要试一试,才知道他能做什么。
20.“not so...but"和"not such a...but” 结构的译法。
这两个结构和“否定+but"的结构差不多,不同之点是这两个结构中的"but"是含有"that…not"意味的连接词,表示程度。可译为“还没有……到不能做……的程度”,“并不是……不……”,“无论怎样……也不是不能……”等。
[例1] He is not so sick but he can come to shcoo1.
[译文] 他并没病到不能上学的程度。
[例2] No man is so foolish but he may give another good counsel sometimes.
[译文] 无论怎样愚笨的人有时也能给别人提出好的忠告。
21.“疑问词+should...but" 结构的译法。
这个结构表示过去的意外的事,意为"none…but",可译为“除了……还有谁会……”,“岂料”,“想不到……竟是……”等。
[例1] Who should write it but himself?
[译文] 除他本人以外还会有谁写呢?
[例2] Who should come in but his first wife?
[译文] 除了他的正房妻子谁会进来呢?
22.“who knows but(that)...”和"who could/should...but” 结构的译法。
这个结构是反问形式,一般意译为“多半”,“亦未可知”等等,有时也可直译。
[例1] Who knows but(that) he may go?
[译文] 他多半会去的。(或译:他会去也未可知。他兴许会去的。)
[例2] Who knows but(that) he may do such a thing at his old age?
[译文] 谁知道他那么大年纪竟干出那种事来!
23.“祈使句十and"和“祈使句+or"结构的译法。
“祈使句十and"表示“If…,you...”;“祈使句+or”表示“If not…,you...”。
[例1] Add love to a house and you have a home.Add righteousness to a city and you have a community.Add truth to a pile of red bricks and you have a school.
[译文] 一所房子加上爱心,你就有了一个家;一个城市加上正直守法,你就有了一个社区;在红砖房子里加上真理,你就有了一所学校。
[例2] Don’t go too close to him,or you’ll be found fault with.
[译文] 不要太接近他,不然他就会找你的岔子的。(或者译为:如果你去接近他,他会挑你的毛病的。或者进一步意译为:不能和这个人太套近乎,因为谁接近他,他就会挑谁的毛病。)
24.“名词+and"结构的译法。
在这个结构中,名词等于状语从句,或表示条件,或表示时间。
[例1] A word,and he would lose his temper.
[译文] 你再说一句他就要生气了。
[例2] A turn of the path and we were in a fairyland,whose existence no one a hundred yards off would have suspected.
[译文] 从那条路转个弯进去,我们便到了一个仙境,只消离开那里一百码的地方,就没有人会想到有那么一个仙境存在了。
25.“as…,so…”结构的译法。
这里的“so”的意思是"in the same way"(也是如此)。此结构表明两个概念在程度上和关系上相似。
[例1] As rust eats iron,so care eats the heart.
[译文] 忧能伤人,犹如锈能蚀铁。
[例2] As fire tries gold,so does adversity try courage.
[译文] 正如火可以试金一样,逆境也可以考验人的勇气。
26.“if any” 结构的译法。    
“if any" 和“if ever",意思是“果真有……”,“即使有……”,表示加强语气。与此类似的还有:“if anything"(如有不同的话,如果稍有区别),“if a day"(=at least,至少)。   
[例1] There is little,if any,hope.    
[译文] 希望甚微。
[例2] It occurs seldom if ever.
[译文] 即便有事,也必然不多。
[例3] If anything,he is a little better today.
[译文] 如果说有什么不同,他比昨天略微好了一些。
27.“be it ever(never)so" 和"let it be ever(never)so" 结构的译法。    
这里,“be it” 中的“be”是古英语假设语气的遗留形式,现代英语则使用"let it be"。“ever so"和 “never so"都表示同一意思,都表示"very"。   
[例1] Be it ever so humble(let it be ever so humble),home is home.
[译文] 无论怎样简陋,总是自己的家。
[例2] A man thinking or working is always alone,let him be where he will.    
[译文] 一个人在思想或工作时总是孤独的,无论他在什么地方都一样。
[例3] Let it ever be so weak,there is nobody but loves his country.    
[译文] 无论国家怎样的弱小,她的臣民都热爱她。    
28.“the last+不定式”和"the last+定语从词” 结构的译法。
这种结构中的"last"意思是"the least likely",用于否定性推论。可译为“最不大可能的”,“最不合适的”,由原意的“最后一个……”变成“最不可能……的一个”。
[例1] He is the last man to accept a bride.
[译文] 他决不是受贿赂的人。    
[例2] The very last thing Of which man can make his boast is his knowledge.
[译文] 人类对于自己的知识是决不可以夸口的。
[例3] Romantic is the last thing I am.
[译文] 我决不是什么浪漫的人。   
29.“so...that...”句型的译法。
这个句型的意思是“如此……,以致于……”,但在翻译成汉语时,许多情况下,并不是一定要译成“如此……以致于·.….”,而是变通表达其含义。与此类同的还有“such...that..,”句型和“such...as...”句型。
[例1] He ran so fast that nobody could catch him up.
[译文] 他跑得那么快,谁也赶不上。
[例2] It so happened that he was not at home.
[译文] 他碰巧不在家。
[例3] The streets were so crowded that our car had to go very slowly.  
[译文] 街上太拥挤,汽车只能慢慢地走。
[例4] I do not think anyone writes so well that he cannot learn much from Fowler’s Dictionary.
[译文] 我觉得谁不从《福勒大词典》多多学习,就写不出很好的文章。
[例5] May we so live that our children’s children may look upon us as having set them an example.
[译文] 愿我们的生活方式能够垂范子孙万代。
[例6] This book is written in such easy English as beginners can understand.    
[译文] 这本书是用初学者也能读懂的浅易英文写的。
30.“more+than+原级形容词(副词)”结构的译法。
 这是将不同性质加以比较,其中的"more"有"rather"的意思 (即“毋宁”)。
[例1] It is more than probable that he will fail.
[译文] 十之八九,他会失败。
[例2] He is more shy than unsocial.
[译文] 他害羞,不是不爱社交。
[例3] He is more dead than alive.
[译文] 与其说他活着,不如说他死了。   
[例4] She was dressed more than simply.
[译文] 她的穿戴岂止是朴素,简直近乎破烂。
31.“more than+动词”结构的译法。   
这种结构表示动词的程度,可译为“异常”,“岂止”,“十二分地”等。
[例1] This more than satisfied me.
[译文] 这使我十二分的满意。
[例2] He more than hesitated to promise that.
[译文] 他答应那件事时岂止是犹豫不决,简直等于拒绝。
[例3] More is meant than meets the ear.
[译文] 有言外之意。(或:有弦外之音)
[例4] Rose’s cheeks were more than touched by the sun.
[译文] 露丝的面颊饱受阳光的灼晒。
32.“good and...”的副词用法,译为“非常”,“很”等。
类似还有"nice and...”,“fine and...”,“lovely and...”,“bright and...”,“rare and...”,“big and...”等,均表示程度。
[例1] The apples are good and ripe.
[译文] 这些苹果都成熟了。
[例2] I am good and tired.
[译文] 我很疲倦。   
[例3] The boy was bad.Yes! He Was good and bad.
[译文] 那孩子坏呀。对!真是坏得没法说。
[例4] The house stands nice and high.
[译文] 那房子很高。
[例5] You’ll make yourself fine and beholden to Aaron.
[译文] 你对爱伦要特别感激才是。
[例6] I was rare and hungry.
[译文] 我特别饿。
[例7] The room is snug and warm.
[译文] 这房间很暖和舒适。
[例8] I wish your eyes would always flash like that,for it looks so nice and manly.
[译文] 我希望你的眼睛永远炯炯有神,因为那样颇具男子气概。
33.“and that" 结构的译法。    
这个"and that"应译为“而且……”,表示对它前面陈述部分的语气加强,“that"代表前面的整个陈述部分。 
[例1] Return to your work,and that at once.
[译文] 回去工作,而且要马上回去。
[例2] The snow began to come down and that in earnest.
[译文] 开始下雪了,而且下得很大。    
34.“at once…and"结构的译法。
这个结构译为“既……又……”,起相关连接的作用。相当于“both...and...”。   
[例1] The novel is at once pleasing and instructive.
[译文] 那部小说既有趣味又有教益。
[例2] I Was at once comforted and terrified by this thought.
[译文] 我一产生这个念头,安心与恐惧便结伴而来。
35.“in that...”结构的译法。
这个结构的意思是“在那一点上(方面)”,可译为“因为”。类似的结构还有"in this...”。
[例1] The budget is unrealistic in that it disregards increased costs.
[译文] 此预算不符合实际,因为它忽视了增加的费用。
[例2] Some things they do in that they are men...some things in that they are men misled and blinded with error.
[译文] 他们做的某些事情之所以好,是因为他们是人;……他们做的某些事情之所以不好,是因为他们受了误导与蒙蔽。
36.“the name notwithstanding" 结构的译法。
在这个结构中"notwithstanding"是介词,这个介词可以置前,可以置后,比如也可写成:"notwithstanding the name”。起让步状语的作用。
[例1] Some people think of the storage battery as a sort of condenser where electricity is stored.But this is an entirely wrong conception,the name notwithstanding.
[译文] 有人认为蓄电池组是把电储蓄起来的一种蓄电器。但这是一个完全错误的概念,尽管其名称如此。
[例2] This notwithstanding,I still want to go.
[译文] 尽管如此,我还是想去。
37.“Every...not"和"A11...not"结构的译法。
“Every...not”表示“不见得每个……都是……”;"A11...not”表示“不见得所有……都是……”的意思。
[例1] Every man is not polite,and all are not born gentlemen.    
[译文] 不见得每个人都懂礼貌,也不见得所有的人天生都是文质彬彬。
[例2] All that glitters is not gold.
[译文] 闪闪发光的不一定都是金子。
38.“have only to...do"结构的译法。      
此结构表示“只须(消)……就能……”的意思。
[例子] We have only to turn to that extraordinary discovery made by Edison to see the significance of it.
[译文]我们只消研究一下爱迪生所做出的杰出发现就可以看到其重大意义。
39.“not(no)...unless...”句型的译法。 
译为“除非……否则(不然)……”。
[例子] No increase in output can be expected unless a new assembly line is installed.
[译文] 除非安装一条新的装配线,否则提高产量是没有指望的。
40.“better...than...”句型的译法。
[例子] Better my life should be ended by their hate,than that hated life should be prolonged to live without your love.
[译文] 我宁可死在他们的仇恨之下,也不愿意延长这可恨的生命而得不到你的爱。
41.“as it were”是一个非常常用的插入语,意思是“好像”,“可以说”等。译时视上下文而定。有时不译出。    
[例子] A piece of iron near a magnet,though apparently separate from it,feels,as it were,the threads of this attachment.
[译文] 靠近磁铁的铁块,虽然明显地跟磁铁分离着,却似乎可以感觉到这种引力线的存在。
42.复杂结构的翻译。在下面例句中,由于anyone的定语从句过长,把谓语must realize提到定语从句之前。如分析不透这种结构,翻译就有可能出现失误。
[例子]Though faith and confidence are surely more or lass foreign to my nature,I do not infrequently find myself looking to them to be able,diligent,candid,and even honest.Plainly enough,that is too large an order,as anyone must realize who reflects upon the manner in which they reach public office.
[译文]虽然我生来就没有多少信仰和信心,但是我还是常常发现自己期待着他们(政治家)有才能、勤勉、坦诚乃至诚实。很明显,无论谁认真想一想这些人是如何步人宦途的,都会认识到这一要求对他们来说是太高了。
43. “not...any more than...”译为:“不能……,正如不能
[例子] One cannot learn to sketch and express himself graphically only by reading about it anymore than one can learn to swim while standing by the pool.
[译文]人们不可能仅仅通过阅读有关制图的书来学会制图或用图来表达自己的思想,正如人们不可能站在游泳池旁就学会游泳一样。
44.“Be that as it may” 是"Let it be that as it may"的省略形式,是由“be”引起的另外一种假设结构,意思是“虽说如此,尽管这样”。
[例子]It is said that the nerve poison is the more primitive of the two,that the blood poison is,so to speak,a new product from an improved formula.Be that as it may,the nerve poison does its business with man far more quickly than the blood poison.
[译文]据说,侵害神经的毒液在这两种毒液中是较为原始的一种;而毒害血液的毒液,可以说是一种用改良的配方制造出来的新产品。但是,侵害神经的毒液对人的危害远比毒化血液的要来得快。

《英汉互译实用教程》-宋天锡国防工业出版社(2000)

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