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

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Tips on Practice (available in Chinese only)



"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。




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)。



"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?"

* * * *


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

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