2013年1月31日 星期四

The Treachery of Translators

The Treachery of Translators

The fact is, there were always going to be a lot of fish in “Vingt mille lieues sous les mers.” When a publishing house commissioned me to produce a new translation of Jules Verne’s 19th-century underwater epic, I was confident of bringing a degree of joyous panache to the story of Captain Nemo, his submarine, the Nautilus and that giant killer squid. But I had forgotten about its systematic taxonomy of all the inhabitants of the seven seas.
Somewhere around page 3 of “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” I got this feeling that I was starting to drown in fish. There are an awful lot of fish down there, and there were possibly even more in the middle of the 19th century. Whereas my ichthyological vocabulary, whether in French or English or indeed any other language, was severely limited. The fish (and assorted oceanic mammals), in other words, far outnumbered my linguistic resources. I now know I should just have boned up on fish, the way any decent, respectable translator would have done.
(Note to the decent, respectable translator: I teach a college class on translation but I accept your critique that I am long on theory and short on practice.)
Instead I started counting how many pages there were and calculating how much I was getting paid per fish. It didn’t add up. I realize now that I should have switched to “Around the World in Eighty Days” – there are far fewer fish in that one.
Jim Datz
My brilliant translating career hit another high when a French publisher invited me to translate Brigitte Bardot’s memoirs, “Initiales BB.” I had written a memoir about my childhood obsession with Bardot, so I said O.K. and suggested some modest revisions. It would have to be completely re-written from top to bottom and I would definitely take out all those exclamation marks. And I would put back in that affair with the English guy after she married Gunter Sachs – she should never have left that out! They took that as a “non.” Tant pis. All translators rewrite and rectify. Some even feel that they can do a better job of writing Bardot’s life than Bardot.
The law of karma is as unforgiving in the realm of translation as in any other and I was overdue for a taste of my own punishment. I had written a book about surfing in Hawaii called “Walking on Water,” which was eventually translated into Dutch. I had nothing to do with the translation and was simply presented with a fait accompli. My command of Dutch is negligible, but I thought I would test out “Lopen over water” by reference to a metaphor that was, if not my greatest contribution to literature, at least distinctively my own. There was a passage where I was drowning, but not feeling too put out about it, and I had written: “Death was warm and embracing like porridge.” I zeroed in on the sentence, but I couldn’t find anything even closely related to porridge. So I checked with a Dutch-speaking friend – could she tell me how the translator had done it?
“You’d better sit down,” she said.
The translator had not given my immortal metaphor the time of day. He had the same kind of hang-up about porridge that I had about fish. He took a shortcut right round it, passing seamlessly from the previous sentence to the one following. The porridge had not been lost in translation; it had been quite deliberately eradicated.
My first thought was to get on the next plane to Amsterdam and go and knock on his door. Maybe I could find some porridge and fling it in his face. My own transgressions, over the years, have taught me to be more tolerant and understanding. On the other hand, Herman, if you would like to put on gloves and shorts, we can resolve this matter in the ring, anytime.
It may have been this experience that caused me to write an article for a British newspaper titled, “Translation Is Impossible.” I was supposed to be reviewing a bunch of English-French dictionaries, but I happened to cite the classic Groucho Marx joke, which goes (in one of its variants), “You’re only as old as the woman you feel,” as an instance of the untranslatable. At least as far as French is concerned. You need a verb, “feel,” that functions both transitively and intransitively, and means something like “caress” and “my current emotional status” all at once. It doesn’t (so far as I know) exist in French. A couple of months later – inevitably – some friend in Paris sent me “La Traduction Est Impossible,” the French translation of my original article, which had been published in a Paris magazine.
Naturally the first thing I looked for was the translation of the Marxian pun. I was genuinely interested – I really wanted to know how the translator had pulled it off. And to think I had claimed it was impossible – I was about to be proved wrong! But translation is always an interpretation. In this case, the translator had written something like this, updating New York ’50s sexist humor into ’90s Parisian political correctness: “Here is an example of a sentence that is manifestly impossible to translate: ‘A man is only as old as the woman he can feel inside of him trying to express herself.’” So, in some sense, I felt vindicated, but also — as usual — betrayed by a graduate from the school of translation.
In my opinion, you don’t have to be mad to translate, but it probably helps. Take, for instance, the case of the late, great Gilbert Adair. He was translating into English the brilliant novel by Georges Perec, “La Disparition” – a lipogram written entirely without the letter “e.” (I had had a tentative go at eliminating the most frequently occurring letter in both English and French and failed utterly.) Adair even succeeded, for a while, in deleting “e” from his vocabulary. I met him for tea in London, while he was in the midst of it, at the Savoy hotel (it had to be the Savoy, not Claridge’s or the Grosvenor, obviously). When a waitress came around and asked if he would like “tea or coffee,” he frowned, gritted his teeth, and replied, “Lapsang souchong.”
Even his title is genius: “A Void” (think about it: He not only avoided the “e’s” in “The Disappearance,” but he also slipped in a dash of metaphysical angst and a cool play on words). The lesson I learned from Adair, a really serious translator, is this: You can’t get it right, so the only thing you can do is make it better.

Andy Martin
Andy Martin is the author of “The Boxer and the Goalkeeper: Sartre vs Camus.” He teaches at Cambridge University.

2013年1月26日 星期六

"口譯" vs 譯述


1921.5.5 胡適日記: 赴中美協進社的年宴,有熊秉三演說中國整理財政與新銀行團,頗有可可取之論;…..魏沖叔先生為之譯述。

Chinese McMansion, striking

We're seeing already that these Western themed developments are being supplemented by other theme styles. One in particular is the arrival of traditional Chinese themed communities. There's increasingly a Chinese McMansion that is going up next to the traditional French McMansion.

McMansion 非巨無霸建築. 凡是不雇其處的環境 採炫耀而(細部)低品質的暴發戶建築


Web definitions
McMansion is a pejorative term for a large new house which is judged as pretentious, tasteless, or badly designed for its neighborhood..

  1. Urban Dictionary: mcmansion

    www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mcmansion - CachedShare
    A large and pretentious house, typically of shoddy construction, typical of "upscale" suburban developments in the late 20th and early 21st centuri...


     In a striking backward glance to the opening of diplomatic relations between China and Japan in 1972, Mr. Xi said that ‘‘like the older generation of leaders, we should show a sense of national and historical responsibility and political wisdom, overcome the difficulties in bilateral relations and push relations forward.’’習近平異乎尋常?地回首往事,提到了中日邦交正常化之初的1972年,他說,“我們要像兩國老一輩領導人那樣,體現出國家責任、政治智慧和歷史擔當,推動中日關係克服困難,繼續向前發展。”

     "體現出國家責任、政治智慧和歷史擔當"順序與英文不同   除非是當初建交時中方的說法 待查

     此處 striking 可能採此義
     Strikingly new, unusual, or different. See synonyms at new.
    不過我想更合乎脈絡 的可能是下述"意有所指"的表演說法:
    (strī'kĭng) pronunciation
    Arresting the attention and producing a vivid impression on the sight or the mind. See synonyms at noticeable.

2013年1月23日 星期三

The books have gall/ The iniquities of the opium trade with China

陳舜臣《鴉片戰爭》蕭自強譯 台北:遠流1995 一套6冊

p.1030拼寫錯誤 正確的書名為: 蕭譯: 對中國鴉片貿易罪惡論
既然作者是神學家書名的INIQUITIES就是"諸不義" iniquity, income inequality, parity, disparity, eq...


 The infamous “Fifty Shades” S-and-M trilogy by E. L. James began as an e-book and became a publishing sensation by adding a frisson of “Story of O”-style bondage to an old-fashioned romance novel. And “Downton Abbey,” which was supposed to last only one season, is beginning its third on PBS on Sunday and is basically a romance novel with a thick dollop of “The Forsyte Saga.” The books have gall; the television series has Galsworthy.
 E·L·詹姆斯(E. L. James)寫的邪惡的性虐三部曲《格雷的五十道陰影》,一開始是電子書,由於在老式的愛情故事中加入了《O的故事》(Story of O)式的捆綁元素,所以具有了興奮點,出版後轟動一時。《唐頓莊園》最初只打算拍一季,現在它的第三季將於本周日(2013.1月6日——譯註)在PBS頻道開始播放;從根本上講,它是一個帶有濃重的《福爾賽世家》(The Forsyte Saga)色彩的愛情故事。那個三部曲充滿了厚顏無恥的性愛;而這部系列電視劇則具有高爾斯華綏(Galsworthy,《福爾賽世家》的作者——譯註)的深度。

紅標部分可能連THE BOOKS 和gall 都翻譯錯誤
The Forsyte Saga (有漢譯) 應該沒這種性愛?

2013年1月20日 星期日

誤譯: niche, workaholic, campy, mill about, extrovert


  After Paris and Moscow, Deng went back to China, and before long had ceased being “a cheerful, fun-loving extrovert.”莫斯卡回國之後不久,他就不再是一位“快樂的、愛玩鬧的、開朗的”小夥子了。

 開朗 [kai1lang3], adj., discerning, clear-minded; clear (weather), bright open (view).

《心理学》[名]外向性の[社交的な]人, 外向型の(⇔introvert).━━[形]外向性[型]の.[ドイツ語Extravert←(ラテン語exta-外を+verter向く). △VERTEX...
[形]外向的な, 社交的な.
While Deng believed that science and technology were important — as have many Chinese reformers since the late 19th century — he feared that the humanities and social sciences could be seedbeds of heterodoxy; he never hesitated in punishing intellectuals, whose divergent views could “lead to demonstrations that disrupt public order.” It is telling that for Deng perhaps the worst development in the Communist world after Tiananmen was the execution on Dec. 25, 1989, of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife. Ceausescu was the only Eastern European leader whose troops had fired on civilians.
Vogel calls Tiananmen a “tragedy,” and quotes Deng brushing aside doubts from colleagues that using troops to smash the uprising would disturb foreigners; “Westerners would forget.” Actually, it is young Chinese for whom the demonstrations in over 300 cities are a dim fact absent from their history lessons. Vogel’s account of the crackdown is largely accurate, although he omits the shooting down on Sunday morning of many parents milling about at the edge of the square, searching for their children. In this, as in other parts of this narrative, Vogel could have spoken with journalists who were there, and not just read their accounts. (I declare an interest; I saw these events.) What is disappointing is Vogel’s comments about why “the tragedy in Tiananmen Square evoked a massive outcry in the West, far greater than previous tragedies in Asia of comparable scale.”
 傅高義稱天安門事件是一場“悲劇”,還提到鄧的同事提出質疑,說使用軍隊鎮壓起義會惹怒外國人,鄧對此不以為然:“西方人會忘記的。”實際上,年輕 一代的中國人對這次在300多個城市爆發的示威只有模糊的認識,因為他們的歷史課上沒有提到這件事。傅高義對這次鎮壓的描述大部分是準確的,不過他遺漏了 一點:周日早上,很多在廣場邊緣尋找自己孩子的父母被槍殺了。關於這一點,以及其他一些部分,傅高義本可以與當時在場的記者交流一下,而不只是閱讀他們的 記述(作為這些事件的目擊者,我表示願意與他交談)。令人失望的一點是,傅高義提出了這樣的疑問:為什麼“天安門悲劇在西方社會引發了大範圍的強烈抗議, 強度遠遠大於之前在亞洲發生的類似規模的悲劇”?



mill  2 ((略式))〈家畜・人の群れが〉あてもなく動き回る, ぐるぐる回る;うろつく((about, around))mill about - move about in a confused manner      
A crowd of people milled about in the park.


It is difficult to overstate the column’s influence on American culture at midcentury and afterward: in popular parlance, Dear Abby was for decades an affectionate synonym for a trusted, if slightly campy, confidante. 在上世紀中葉及以後,說到這個專欄對美國文化的影響,無論怎麼形容可能都不過分:在流行語中,幾十年里,“親愛的艾比”成了密友的同義詞,這位充滿愛心的朋友值得信賴、雖然或許有點狎昵,但可以分享秘密。Dear Abby

 campy是20世紀西方文化的"關鍵字"  可參考Susan Sontag的專論.

The adjective
Meaning #1: providing sophisticated amusement by virtue of having artificially (and vulgarly) mannered or banal or sentimental qualitiesadj. - "假仙"(台語裝) 模作樣的, 同性戀的, 不自然的
Synonym: camp
 slap, campy/camp2, slapstick, scatterbrain, slam,...
 1. 狎昵
 注音一式 ㄒ|ㄚˊ ㄋ|ˋ
 漢語拼音 xi  n   注音二式 shi  n 


 Nor is workaholic study encouraged. A South Afr​​ican relative of mine started his first “supervision” at Cambridge by confessing that he hadn't read every single book on the reading list. “Good God,” said his supervisor, “nor have I. I put them down hoping that you'd look at a couple, and tell me what they said.”大學也不鼓勵學生用功學習。我的一位南非親戚在劍橋第一次接受“督導”時,承認閱讀書目上的書一本也沒有讀。 “上帝啊!”導師對他抱怨道,“我也沒讀。我還以為你能看幾本、然後告訴我那些書都講了什麼呢。”take over, jolly, banter, wing it, workaholic

 workaholic 強烈/過份字眼:工作 中毒/狂.....不只是"用功"

貢布里希(Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich 1909 -2001)訪談錄: 《藝術與科學貢布里希談話錄和回憶錄》(杭州: 浙江攝影出版社,1998)為進入貢布里希的世界的入門書。頁235

".....圖像的生態龕位......"為 硬譯/亂譯


News Trends Tilt Toward Niche Sites

As news surges on the Web, news giants are being outmaneuvered by smaller sites that have passionate audiences and sharply focused information.

Knitters Click Needles for Sexy Undergarments

Knitting is a favourite past time for many, but for some, it’s a serious business. And for others, a passion.

In mall regional town near Hannover, a husband and wife team have put together a knitting circle, to cater for a very specific niche market – the ‘Wool Fetishist’.
With their label "Wolltraum", the couple is providing a unique range of hand-knitted products for people with a taste for personal woolen wares around the world.

niche:名詞,利基、商機;(人或物)適當位置。She has found her niche in this business.(她已經找到她在這行的利基。)


niche industry》「すき間産業」に同じ。
1 (人・物に)適した地位, 適所((for, in ...)).
2 壁がん:像・花瓶などを置くための壁などのくぼみ.
3 ニッチ, 市場のすき間
a niche market
ニッチマーケット, すきま市場
a niche product
ニッチプロダクト, すきま製品(niche marketで売られる製品).
4 《生態学》生態的地位.
5 《医学》ニッシェ:胃などの内壁のX線像に見えるくぼみ.
1 ((通例受身または〜 -self))…を(適所に)置く, 安置する
keep one's niche
2 〈像を〉壁がんに収める.
[中フランス語←俗ラテン語nidiculāre (nidus巣+-cul指小辞+-āre不定詞語尾=小さな巣を作る)]

above all else:副詞片語,最重要的。例句:He loves his family above all else.(他最愛他的家庭。)

2013年1月19日 星期六

多重譯: she , Internet, he "Fresh Prince" theme song 64命

同字/詞而有多異名者要等時間才能見真章. (電影和書籍名稱會因各區域的文化而改變不計)

譬如說 she 可有他與她.  (她是20世紀新造字)
internet 現在至少有三種翻譯: 網際網路 (此四字太麻煩  台灣採用)或互聯網
[名]((the 〜))インターネット:全世界にまたがるコンピュータネットワークの集合体(▼the Netともいう) an Internet caféインターネットカフェ.
'Fresh Prince' theme song after it's been Google translated 64 times
Los Angeles Times
If you're a '90s kid, then you probably know all the words to the "Fresh Prince" theme song. But do you know what the lyrics would be if you translated them into Mandarin and back to English? Worse, what if you translated the lyrics into Mandarin, took ...

2013年1月9日 星期三

蕭珊譯 Ivan Turgenev 中短篇小說《草原上的李耳王》 Resignation by Friedrich von Schiller

Ivan Turgenev 中短篇小說選《草原上的李耳王》蕭珊譯上海文藝出版社等  2011

作者簡介 · · · · · ·

19 世紀俄國現實主義小說家、詩人、劇作家。他的小說迅速及時地反映了當時的俄國社會現實,其語言簡潔、樸質、精確、優美,為俄羅斯語言的規範化作出了重要貢 獻。本書集中收入了屠格涅夫的《初戀》、《阿霞》等著名中短篇小說,從這些凝練、動情的篇章裡,我們可以讀出作者對於“青春”欲說還休的摯誠與惆悵。

目錄 · · · · · ·

附錄懷念蕭珊  (1979.1.16  我很喜歡她翻譯的普希金和屠格涅夫的小說  雖然譯文並不恰當   也不是普希金和屠格涅夫的風格它們卻是有創造性文學作品......" 頁427
HC按:本書的注解很可以  不過先後順序有缺點     小說中多次談到席勒的"順從命令"  現在網路上可讀英文翻譯:

"Give me the woman precious to thy heart,
   Give up to me thy Laura!
Beyond the grave will usury pay the smart."—
I wept aloud, and from my bleeding heart
   With resignation tore her.

Resignation by Friedrich von Schiller

Yes! even I was in Arcadia born,
   And, in mine infant ears,
A vow of rapture was by Nature sworn;—
Yes! even I was in Arcadia born,
   And yet my short spring gave me only—tears!

Once blooms, and only once, life's youthful May;
   For me its bloom hath gone.
The silent God—O brethren, weep to-day—
The silent God hath quenched my torch's ray,
   And the vain dream hath flown.

Upon thy darksome bridge, Eternity,
   I stand e'en now, dread thought!
Take, then, these joy-credentials back from me!
Unopened I return them now to thee,
   Of happiness, alas, know naught!

Before Thy throne my mournful cries I vent,
   Thou Judge, concealed from view!
To yonder star a joyous saying went
With judgment's scales to rule us thou art sent,
   And call'st thyself Requiter, too!

Here,—say they,—terrors on the bad alight,
   And joys to greet the virtuous spring.
The bosom's windings thou'lt expose to sight,
Riddle of Providence wilt solve aright,
   And reckon with the suffering!

Here to the exile be a home outspread,
   Here end the meek man's thorny path of strife!
A godlike child, whose name was Truth, they said,
Known but to few, from whom the many fled,
   Restrained the ardent bridle of my life.

"It shall be thine another life to live,—
   Thy youth to me surrender!
To thee this surety only can I give"—
I took the surety in that life to live;
   And gave to her each youthful joy so tender.

"Give me the woman precious to thy heart,
   Give up to me thy Laura!
Beyond the grave will usury pay the smart."—
I wept aloud, and from my bleeding heart
   With resignation tore her.

"The obligation's drawn upon the dead!"
   Thus laughed the world in scorn;
"The lying one, in league with despots dread,
For truth, a phantom palmed on thee instead,
   Thou'lt be no more, when once this dream has gone!"

Shamelessly scoffed the mockers' serpent-band
   "A dream that but prescription can admit
Dost dread?  Where now thy God's protecting hand,
(The sick world's Saviour with such cunning planned),
   Borrowed by human need of human wit?"

"What future is't that graves to us reveal?
   What the eternity of thy discourse?
Honored because dark veils its form conceal,
The giant-shadows of the awe we feel,
   Viewed in the hollow mirror of remorse!"

"An image false of shapes of living mould,
   (Time's very mummy, she!)
Whom only Hope's sweet balm hath power to hold
Within the chambers of the grave so cold,—
   Thy fever calls this immortality!"

"For empty hopes,—corruption gives the lie—
   Didst thou exchange what thou hadst surely done?
Six thousand years sped death in silence by,—
His corpse from out the grave e'er mounted high,
   That mention made of the Requiting One?"

I saw time fly to reach thy distant shore,
   I saw fair Nature lie
A shrivelled corpse behind him evermore,—
No dead from out the grave then sought to soar
   Yet in that Oath divine still trusted I.

My ev'ry joy to thee I've sacrificed,
   I throw me now before thy judgment-throne;
The many's scorn with boldness I've despised,—
Only—thy gifts by me were ever prized,—
   I ask my wages now, Requiting One!

"With equal love I love each child of mine!"
   A genius hid from sight exclaimed.
"Two flowers," he cried, "ye mortals, mark the sign,—
Two flowers to greet the Searcher wise entwine,—
   Hope and Enjoyment they are named."

"Who of these flowers plucks one, let him ne'er yearn
   To touch the other sister's bloom.
Let him enjoy, who has no faith; eterne
As earth, this truth!—Abstain, who faith can learn!
   The world's long story is the world's own doom."

"Hope thou hast felt,—thy wages, then, are paid;
   Thy faith 'twas formed the rapture pledged to thee.
Thou might'st have of the wise inquiry made,—
The minutes thou neglectest, as they fade,
   Are given back by no eternity!"

  • [rèzignéiʃən]
1 [U]辞職, 辞任;[C]辞表, 辞職願
the resignation of a cabinet
hand in [=send in, give, offer] one's resignation
2 [U]あきらめ, (…に対する)忍従((to ...)) 任苦任怨
blind resignation to authority
accept one's fate with resignation
3 [U](権利などの)放棄, 断念((of ...)).

 Ivan Turgenev

2013年1月4日 星期五

"鐘の声 "vs 鐘磬



驕奢者之不久長,只如春夜的一夢,強梁者終敗亡,恰似風前的塵土。----《平家物語‧祇園精舍》周作人譯 北京: 中國對外翻譯出版公司,2001,頁3

驕奢之人不長久,好似春夜夢一場;強梁霸道終殄滅,恰如風前塵土揚。----《平家物語‧祇園精舍》申非譯 北京:燕山出版公司,20 00,頁1

 -----2013.1.5 "鐘の声 "vs 鐘磬

平家物語日本語平家物語へいけ ものがたり Heike Monogatari),成書於13世紀日本鎌倉時代)的軍記物語,作者不詳,記敘了1156年-1185年這一時期源氏平氏政權爭奪。

 鐘磬是古漢文的習語. 我現在還沒弄清楚"祇園精舎"有無"磬".......

林謙三《東亞樂器考‧梵钟形态里的印度要素》錢稻孫譯 北京: 人民音乐出版社,1999,頁52-56

原文 譯文
平家物語 巻第一
第一句 祇園精舎 ぎおんしょうじゃ