Yao Shun Translation Tips on Practice - 怎樣請求收拾房間?

Yao Shun translation services
Tips on Practice (available in Chinese only)
 
怎樣請求收拾房間?

"請你收拾好這個房間。"

這句話怎樣翻譯做英文?

"Please clean up your room" ,可以吧?

可以的,沒有錯-- 如果是要「翻譯做英文」的話。

不過從專業翻譯的層面來說,肯定不會「收貨」。

以完成工作任務而論,根本不入流。

翻譯,表面上翻譯文字,其實本質應該是傳達出意義。

上述的譯文傳達了意義的語意內涵(semantic content-- 講者要求受者做某件事:收拾好房間(二人此刻廁身那處,大概是受者使用的地方)),卻未曾傳達出這句話(其實是此傳意事件)的力量 (communicative force)。

後者往往重要好多倍(視乎傳意事件的性質與語氣等而定)。

原來「這句話怎樣翻譯做英文?」是問錯了問題,專業翻譯關心的卻是「此情此景,(地道的)英文使用者總會怎麼樣表達?」

"Please clean up your room" 諸如此類(直譯字面)絕對不可接受,因為不管用什麼語氣講出來,此語恐怕都挺不留情面。

中文的「請」通常傳達出客氣的感覺,英語的"please" 則未必。

相信地道的英文使用者倒會說:"Can you clean up the room?" -- 。這樣才是表示稍為客氣的「常態」。("Can you... ?" 是好使好用的請求表達方式。)

想更地道又有禮,也可以講成:"Can you clean up the room a bit?"

如果雙方並不是好熟絡(例如並非老媽子命令女兒),需要保持距離(例如女兒的朋友遠道來訪小住),相信這樣說才得體:"You may clean up the room right now."

更更有禮又有教養的講法:"Do you think you could clean up the room now?"


* * * *

講得出想講的心意,只是學習外語的初階段本事。用人家受落的講法表達出來,方才修成正果。關鍵在哪?語感是也。

翻譯,亦如是。這叫做譯出語用意義 (pragmatic meaning) 。

Anni logo
American Translations Association
Corporate Member of
American Translators Association
ATA Corporate Member Number 232782
Translators Association of China
First Corporate Member
in Hong Kong of
Translators Association of China
We have done our best to ensure the tips posted here are correct and reliable. However, most of them are reflections of translators' experience and should not be construed as professional advice. By clicking into any tip, you fully understand and accept the above statements and agree to absolve us of liability (if any) for any losses which may be incurred by you as a result of any incorrect information contained in such tips.