Yao Shun Translation Tips on Practice - 為甚麼中國南方城市非刪不可?

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為甚麼中國南方城市非刪不可?

年前,本地某日報新聞版刊出了一段報導,開頭一句是:「中國南方城市廣州昨午發生水災……」。這樣的報導,諸君覺得有甚麼不妥?

今時今日,大概絕少會有這種現象出現。你又知道是為甚麼嗎?

原來那個世代,中文報刊的世界新聞(包括內地新聞,因為中國大陸是香港這個殖民地的「外國」──羅湖邊境有指示牌大字指示「TO CHINA往中國」)全都是由英語發稿的外國電訊(源自路透社、法新社、美聯社等)譯過來的。前述那句話的原文相信就是"There was a flood in Guangzhou, the southern Chinese City yesterday."

懂得中文的讀者,會有一位不曉得廣州是城市、位處華南嗎?何必浪費寶貴篇幅花大家的時間精力去講明明無需講的廢話?(傳意的金科玉律乃是「長度與大量成反比例。)這句話譯成「廣州昨天水浸」,理想得多囉。

事緣當年的外電新聞都是由未受過科班培訓水平參差的譯員在報館裡極大時間壓力下翻過來的,不少從業員迷信「忠於原文」,於是有碗話碗有碟話碟照搬過來,又無需負額外責任。(如果刪掉了Southern Chinese city可能上級怪責追究?)

今天難得再有此類事情發生,証明時代進步了:

(1) 讀者對報導質素要求提高了;
(2) 譯員和傳媒中人水平提高,見識不同,比較專業;
(3) 減少依賴外電(因為內地容許進去採訪,傳媒各自派員長駐廣州,而且內地傳媒愈
益自由發揮)。

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