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翻译中常犯的错误 中式英语之鉴100句

时间:2012-02-10 17:35  作者:山定子  来源:雨巷英语园地

中式英语之鉴100句(中国人常常要搞错的哦!看看你是不是?)

 

注:雨巷英语园地 is now closed. This 100 sentences is from a much bigger collection and discussion. 

01.   有他这颗扫帚星,什么事情都办不成。
[误] With a comet like him, nothing can be accomplished.
[正] With a jinx like him, nothing can be accomplished.注:“扫帚星”是中国人对“慧星”(comet)的俗称,因其后面象拖着的一条像扫帚一样的长尾巴而得名。在中国古代,“扫帚星”被认为是灾难的预兆,并被用来比喻不吉利的人或事;祸根:(person or thing that is thought to bring)bad luck(to sb/sth);curse。英语的 comet 虽然没有这层含义,但却有一个对应的说法,即 jinx。 例:There's a jinx on/Someone's put a jinx on this car: it's always giving me trouble. “这辆汽车上有什么妨人的东西,总给我找麻烦”。

02.   02.萝卜青菜,各有所爱。
[误] Some prefer radish but others prefer cabbage.
[正] Tastes differ.

03.   注:Tastes differ/vary 是句英语谚语,除此以外,原句还可翻译成 No dish suits all tastes 或 You can never make everyone happy 等。《新概念英语》第三册第23课的标题是:One man's meat is another man's poison,表达的很生动。 总之,应采取意译。

03.他一向嘴硬,从不认错。
[误] He has always got a hard mouth and never admit a fault.
[正] He never says uncle.
注:say (cry) uncle: to give up or in; to surrender; to admit defeat. Mainly used by boys, as when fighting。主要是男孩们打架时的用语,当一方想制服另一方时,就用命令的口气说:“Say uncle!”这时,有的孩子为了表示不服输,就是不说。后来,say uncle 就成了“服输”的代名词,而 not say uncle 就相当于“嘴硬”了。

04.老师很喜欢这个嘴甜的小姑娘。
[误] The teacher likes this sweet-mouthed little girl very much.
[正] The teacher likes this honey-lipped little girl very much.
注:中国人喜欢说“嘴甜”,但 honey-lipped 更符合英美人的语言习惯。

05.同学们都很讨厌他,因为他经常拍老师的马屁。
[误] The student all dislike him because he often pats the teacher's ass.
[正] The students all dislike him because he often licks the teacher's boots.
注:以前在欧洲,臣民见到国王与王后往往要葡匐到在,亲吻他们的靴子。后来,人们将 lick the boots 引申为“为了某种目的而讨好某人”,它与汉语的“拍马屁”含义一样。在美国英语中,“拍马屁”还有另一种说法,即 polish the apple,它典出以前的学生用擦亮的苹果来讨好老师。

06.你听说了吗?迈克把他的女朋友给甩了。
[误] Have you ever heard that Mike broke up with his girlfriend.
[正] Have you ever heard that Mike dumped his girlfriend.
注:break up with sb. 虽然表示“与某人分手了”,但并没说明是谁先提出来的。而 dump 的原意指“倾倒垃圾”,用在这里则表示像倒垃圾一样地甩掉。

07.我们要把祖国建设成为社会主义的现代化强国。
[误] We will build our motherland into a socialist modern powerful country.
[正] We will build our motherland into a modern powerful socialist country.
注:形容词作为修饰语在汉语和英语中都很常用,但使用的先后次序却有所不同。在英语中我们一般遵循“靠近原则”,即越能说明本质属性的修饰词越靠近它所修饰的名词,当从这一点看不出区别时,就靠词的长短来决定,短的在前,长的在后。原文中最能说明“国家”本质的定语是“社会主义的”,所以 socialist 要最靠近它所修饰的中心词。

08.人都是这山望着那山高,对自己的现状没有满意的时候。
[误] Almost all people think that the other mountain is higher than the one he's standing on. They never feel saisfied with what they've already got.
[正] Almost all people think that the grass is greener on the other hill. They never feel saisfied with what they've already got.
注:“这山望着那山高”是指人不满足于现状的心理,它在英语中已经有了现成的说法,即 the grass is greener on the other hill(他山的草更绿),因此我们借用即可,这样既方便又更有利于与西方人沟通。
09.中华人民共和国主席
[误] Chairman of the People's Republic of China
[正] President of the People's Republic of China
注:以前,我们一直将“主席”翻译为 chairman,例如:great leader Chairman Mao(伟大领袖毛主席)。其实“主席”与 chairman 并不等义,chairman 在英语中通常指会议或某一具体组织的负责人,它的权力和重要性不及中文的“主席”。这就是为什么1983年,在我国《宪法》的英译单行本中开始使用 President一词,并沿用至今。另外,国内仍有不少词典把“班/级长(学校的)”译为“class monitor”,这是“四人帮”时代的产物,那时的“班长”是专司监管学生的,所以译作“monitor”。而“班长”的正确译文应该是“class president”。

10.转战南北
[误] fight south and north
[正] fight north and south注:在地理方位的表达习惯上,中英文有一定的区别。中国人习惯于先“东西”后“南北”,而且在涉及“南北”时,习惯于先说“南”,再说“北”,如:“南征北战”、“南来北往”等。而英美人与此正好相反,如“江苏在中国的东南部”英文是 Jiangsu is in the south-east of China, 而“新疆在中国的西北部”应译为 Xinjiang is in the north-west of China。

11.这个教授教得很烂。
[误] The professor teaches badly.
[正] The professor is so terrible.
注:有人认为第二句的意思是“这个教授很可怕”,其实不然。英语中 terible 意思很灵活,例如:feel terrible 指身体“不舒服”; The food is terrible 则是说食物“难吃极了”。而第一句纯属中文式的表达。

12.北京申奥成功的消息令我们热血沸腾。
[误] Beijing's winning the bid for the Olympics makes our blood boil.
[正] Beijing's winning the bid for the Olympics makes us excited.
注:make one's blood boil 是指“激怒某人”,而非“使人激动”。英语中“使人激动”的说法除了 make one excited,还有较为口语化的 make one's spine tingle。

13.别听他们胡说八道,根本就没那回事。
[误] Don't listen to their babbling. Nothing of the sort.
[正] Don't be fooled by their babbling. Nothing of the sort.
注:原文中的“听”不能用 listen to 来表示,因为 listen to 指“听”的动作,而原文中的“别听”不是不让他“听”,而是劝告他“不要听信”,因此,用 not be fooled by 才更达意。

14.我们这儿的人都觉得他有婚外恋。
[误] Pepple around here all feel that he has affairs outside his own marriage.
[正] Pepple around here all feel that he is leading a double life.
注:affair 本身就指“私通”或“暧昧关系”,当然是“婚外”的事,所以 outside one's own marriage 无疑是多此一举了。英语中“有婚外恋”的地道说法应该是 lead a double life。

15.别看别人不把她当回事,在家里她可是父亲的掌上明珠。
[误] Although other people never take her seriousy, she is the pearl on her father's hand at home.
[正] Although other people never take her seriousy, she is the apple of her father's eye at home.
注:中英文常用不同的喻体表明相同的喻义,“掌上明珠”与 the apple of one's eye 就是一个很好的例子。这种情况我们一般应尊重各国文化和习俗,翻译时取目的语的固定说法,而不必直译,这有助于将意思更有效地传达给读者。the apple of one's eye 源自圣经《旧约》,当时人们用 apple 指人的瞳孔。尽管瞳孔现在已经用 pupil 来表示,不再是 apple 了,但这一用法却延续了下来。

16.都十点钟了。起床了,懒虫!
[误] It's ten o'clock. Get up, lazy worm!
[正] It's ten o'clock. Get up, lazy bones!
注:“懒虫”并非真是一条虫,只不过被用来形容人很懒惰罢了。英语里与之对应的说法是 lazy bones(懒骨头)。注意,这里的 bone 应以复数形式出现,也许是因为不会只有一根骨头懒吧!

17.我唯一的资本就是勤奋。
[误] My only capital is diligence.
[正] My only means to success is diligence.
注:原文的“资本”是借喻,实际指“可以依靠并取得成功的手段”。而英语的 capital 指 money used to produce more wealth or for starting a business,并没有中文那样的引申意思。所以,这里的“资本”不能与 capital 画等号。也有人用 advantage 来翻译“资本”,虽然不尽意,但至少可以让读者理解。

18.这家商店开辟了休息处,受到顾客的称赞。
[误] This department store has set up a resting-place, much to the customers' appreciation.
[正] This department store has set up a lounge, much to the customers' appreciation.
注:英语的 resting-place 虽然有“休息处”的意思,但更经常的是用来指“坟墓”,即“最后安息之处”。因此,把公共场所的“休息处”译为 resting-place 不很合适。也有人将它译为 rest-room,但那更不妥当,因为英语中的 rest-room 是“厕所”的委婉说法,而“休息处”不是这个意思。

19.大家都怀疑汤姆是个间谍。
[误] Everyone doubts that Tom is a spy.
[正] Everyone suspects that Tom is a spy.
注:doubt 作“怀疑”讲,是“不相信”的意思;而 suspect 作“怀疑”讲,是指“对...有所察觉”。第一句译文犯了两个错误:首先,doubt 不能接 that 从句,只有not doubt that 和 doubt if/whether;其次,它所表达的意思是“大家对汤姆是间谍这件事表示怀疑”,即“大家不相信汤姆是间谍”,与原文的意思恰好相反。

20. 我们俩关系最好,他经常来我这儿蹲饭吃。
[误] We are best friends. He always comes here to have meals for free.
[正] We are best friends. He always comes here to bum meals off me.
注:第一句只表明“他常到我这儿来白吃白喝”,但朋友这间那种亲密关系没有体现出来。而 bum sth. off sb. 指向非常熟的朋友要一些不起眼的小东西,而朋友也不会介意还不还

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