Yao Shun Translation Tips on Practice - 有家室未必有family?

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有家室未必有family?

"Have you got a family?"

這句話是翻譯師阿祥的陰招,故意讓同學知錯──他們十之八九譯做中文:

    •  你有家庭嗎?

    •  成家立室了沒有?

都錯。

阿祥早年學英文也未曾特別留意到這個概念的陷阱,直到留學英國寫博士論文時發生了這件事。

事緣女兒出世後,不方便住大學宿舍,於是租下了一間複式樓房,兩層共一廳三房。多了房間空出便想一嘗做二房東的滋味:一來窮學生可省則省,幫補房租,二來有同居人氣,彼此照應倍覺方便,三來還免費補習英文(有人同居天天閒聊,正是令外語突飛猛進的妙法。)

在街頭的郵局登了小廣告,翌日即有研究生模樣的英國男士造訪,道明來意,剛巧兩歲的小女哭了起來,還在地氈上撒尿,此君即時面色一沉,講了這句話,揚長而去:

    •  "I didn't realize t'is a family situation."

祥嫂和我口定目呆,幾乎不知道發生了甚麼事。良久慎思,才明白他的意思:你們這兒有小孩,早該在廣告中聲明,免浪費大家時間。他未必憎厭小鬼頭,也許只是想靜靜做研究。

我們恍然大悟,不是嗎?英語人結了婚是"got married", "tied the knot",二人世界是未算有"family"的,有了孩子才是"family".

所以,"Do you have a family"的正確譯法應該是:有了孩子沒有?

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