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探究中文在政治文献外翻中的重要性
——以2015年全国人大常委会工作报告英文翻译为例
作者:朱艳辉    来源:《中央文献翻译通讯》
网络编辑:时佳 发布时间:2015-11-30 打印本页 发表评论】【关闭窗口
摘要:政治文献的内容多为党和政府的大政方针,对各方面具有指导意义。政治文献翻译则能够让国外读者了解中国的政策和发展情况。既然要介绍给国外读者,就一定要介绍得准确。因此,政治文献翻译中最重要的一点,就是准确。准确不是形式上的一一对等,译者应该实现的,是意思上的对等和一致。要做到这一点,就必须透彻理解中文,进而用外文以适合于外文的形式准确地进行表达。
关键词:政治文献;翻译;意思;理解

  理解原文是所有译者在翻译过程中必须经历的阶段。区别在于,不同译者面对的原文种类不同,遇到的麻烦也不尽相同。对政治文献译者而言,难点多在文献的语言风格,比如文字多是名词动词,少有表示连接或转折的助词,动作的主体很少出现,句子多为并列结构,逻辑关系不明显,句子大多很长。这就给透彻理解原文造成较大困难。

  很多时候,我们看到一段话、一个句子,读一读,不觉得有什么,但当我们开始翻译,却有无从下手的感觉。这是因为我们没有找到其中的逻辑关系,所有的内容都在文中列出来了,如果直接按照中文翻译,把所有内容罗列出来,得到的译文根本不符合目标语言的习惯,只能是中国式的外语。更严重的是,有时会传达出错误的意思,或者说不准确的意思。这就是错译,是政治文献翻译必须避免的。究其原因,是没能彻底理解原文,没能找出其中隐藏的关系。

  准确理解中文,有几个层次,或者说步骤:首先,准确理解词语词汇的意思;其次,准确理解句子的意思;再次,将多个句子作为一个语段,准确理解内在的整体含义。

  本文以2015年全国人大常委会工作报告英文翻译为例,尝试解析几个层次的中文理解在翻译过程中的作用,对译文质量产生的影响。

  一、准确理解词语词汇

  政治文献的内容涵盖各个方面,译者不管平时花多大功夫来积累知识和词汇,也难免遇到不熟悉的内容。这时,译者就需要耐下心来,仔细查找,搞清含义,方能确保准确,不可存侥幸心理。

  例1

  听取审议最高人民检察院关于刑罚执行监督工作情况的报告

  初译:listen to and deliberate on the Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s report on the enforcement of and oversight over penal decisions

  刑罚执行监督工作,简单来看,很容易理解为刑罚的执行和监督。但是,最高人民检察院显然不应负责刑罚的执行,这是法院、公安机关、监狱等机关的职责。经过检索,我们发现,刑罚执行监督,是指人民检察院对人民法院判处刑罚的执行情况进行的法律监督。

  修正:listen to and deliberate on the Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s report on its oversight over the enforcement of penal decisions

  例2

  完善授权立法

  初译:improve legislation on granting powers

  所谓授权立法,不是规定授权必须如何进行的法律,而是指立法机关(议会)在它所制定的一项大的原则立法中,规定将某些具体事项的立法权授予给某个行政部门、专门设立的机关、司法机关或地方国家机关。授权立法授予的是立法权。事实上,授权立法有固定的英文说法,就是delegated legislation。

  修正:improve delegated legislation

  这一层面上的准确理解中文,是翻译过程中最基本的要求,译者只要平时注重积累知识,在翻译实践中肯花功夫,不怕麻烦,愿意查找,相对还是比较容易确保的。当然,很多词汇具有中国特色,在外文中没有意思对等的词汇和说法,这时就需要译者进行创造,但准确理解中文仍然是最基本的要求。

  二、准确理解句子

  从词汇短语到句子,是一个大的跨越,要做到准确理解,需要付出更大努力和耐心。要准确理解句子,就必须准确理解组成句子的各个词语以及各分句之间的关系。大多数词语都可以表达很多含义,不同语境下,表达的意思并不相同,这就要求译者具体情况具体分析,搞清词语在具体语境下的含义,方能正确地传达意思。在此基础上,才能准确把握句子的完整意思,避免在语言转换过程中,产生意思上的偏差。

  例3

  委员长会议组成人员带队深入基层,实地了解县乡人大工作和建设情况,研究探讨加强改进工作的新思路,好办法。

  初译:Study groups led by members of the Chairperson’s Council visited primary-level organizations to obtain hands-on information about the work and development of people’s congresses in counties and townships and discussed new ideas and good approaches to improve their work.

  基层是具有中国特色的词汇,可以指代很多东西,外文中没有意思能够完全对应的词汇。在很多情况下,基层翻译成primary-level organizations是可以的。但这句话里的基层显然不是primary-level organizations,这里讲的是全国人大加强与地方人大的联系,从而帮助地方人大改进工作。从全国人大常委会委员长会议的角度来说,结合这句话的前后逻辑,这里的基层指的是县级和乡级全国人大,深入基层就是亲自到访县乡人大,以便更好了解它们的情况,帮助它们改进工作。

  修正:Study groups led by members of the Chairperson’s Council visited county- and township-level people’s congresses to obtain hands-on information about their work and development and discussed with them new ideas and good approaches for improving their work.

  例4

  坚持问题导向,增强监督工作针对性和实效性。

  初译:We kept to a problem-oriented approach and made our oversight work more targeted and effective.

  这里,“坚持问题导向”和“增强监督工作针对性和实效性”是互为因果的关系,可以理解为前者的结果是后者,或者后者的实现,是通过前者来完成的。接下来,就需要考虑这句话的主体。这句话是一个大标题,下面讲述的内容主要是监督工作的开展情况,所以,主体应该是监督工作,问题导向只是方式。

  修正:We made our oversight work more targeted and effective by adhering to a problem-oriented approach.

  例5

  实现立法与改革决策相衔接,做到重大改革于法有据,立法主动适应改革和经济社会发展需要,发挥立法的引领和推动作用。

  初译:We will link our legislative work with our decisions on reform to make sure that all of our major reforms have a legal basis and that legislative work is carried out proactively to meet the needs of reform as well as economic and social development, and let legislation play its guiding and driving role.

  这份报告是全国人大常委会工作报告,这里的we是常委会,那么立法工作的主语可以是we,但改革的主语不应是常委会,而是国家或者政府,这里讲述的是全国人大常委会需要如何开展立法工作,以便与国家的改革发展相互呼应、促进。同样,发挥立法的引领和推动作用翻译为let legislation play its guiding and driving role并不明确,根据上下文,引领和推动的对象显然是国家的改革和发展。

  修正:We will coordinate our legislative work with the country’s decisions on reform to make sure that all of the country’s major reforms have a legal basis, and that legislative work is carried out proactively to meet the needs of reform as well as economic and social development, thereby letting legislation play its role of guiding and driving reform and development.

  政治文献中有很多具有中国特色的词汇和说法,一样的话语,被不同部门用在不同场合,其含义可能千差万别。这些词汇和说法没有用之四海皆准的译法,只能根据具体情况,创造性地进行翻译。而在创造过程中,最重要的,就是准确理解中文,避免照抄直搬。

  三、准确理解语段的整体含义

  从句子到语段,又是一个大的跨越,需要译者付出更大努力,方能在准确理解词汇和句子的同时,把握住语段的整体含义,在语言转换过程中,做到前后呼应,宛如一体。

  例6

  改进常委会会议组织工作,坚持会议安排服从议程任务,注重提高审议质量。常委会会议上,委员们准备更加充分,发言更加踊跃,针对性和实效性明显增强。

  初译:We improved the organization of Standing Committee meetings and arranged meetings according to the agendas at hand, in an effort to raise the quality of deliberation. At Standing Committee meetings, committee members were more fully prepared and more eager to express their opinions, and their deliberations were better targeted and more effective.

  这两句话讲述的是常委会如何改进了会议的组织工作,并从而实现了怎样的效果。乍看上去,第一句中文好像就是并列的三个短句,但对内容进行过一番研究之后,我们发现这其中是有着因果和目的关系的,译文准确表达了原文的意思。但第二句话的译文有一点问题。译文的形式与中文原文完全一致,但我们研究之后发现,这其中也是含有层次关系的:因为会议的组织工作有了第一句所传达的改进,使得委员们准备更加充分,从而使得他们在会上能够更加踊跃地发言,他们的讨论也更加具有针对性和实效性。修正之后,译文更加顺畅,意思的表达也更加清楚。

  修正:We improved the organization of Standing Committee meetings and arranged meetings according to the specific agendas at hand in an effort to raise the quality of deliberation. As members of the Standing Committee were more fully prepared, they were more eager to express their opinions at meetings, and their deliberations were better targeted and produced more tangible results.

  例7

  密切人大代表与人民群众的联系,研究制定代表联系人民群众工作意见,推进全国人大代表履职平台建设,支持全国人大代表参加所在地方人大代表联络站活动,广泛、直接听取群众意见,畅通社情民意反映渠道,更好汇聚民智。

  初译:We will foster closer ties between deputies and the people; introduce guidelines on helping deputies to maintain these ties with the people; set up a platform for NPC deputies to better perform their duties; encourage NPC deputies to participate in the activities of the deputy contact offices of their respective local people’s congresses; extensively and directly listen to people’s suggestions; and open channels for absorbing and expressing social conditions and public sentiment in order to better pool together and draw from the wisdom of the people.

  这长长的一句话非常典型,各个分句间全部由逗号连接,一句接一句,表面上看,没有什么层次或关联可言。那么,译文是不是可以按照中文的格式,一句一句地列出来呢?我们仔细分析之后发现,这样处理是有问题的,不仅不符合英文的文法习惯,而且没有找出原文隐藏的层次关系,有些地方甚至导致了意思发生偏差。

  全国人大常委会本身无法让人大代表与人民群众的联系更加密切,只能通过制定代表联系人民群众工作意见,来帮助代表与群众建立更加密切的联系。“密切人大代表与人民群众的联系,研究制定代表联系人民群众工作意见,推进全国人大代表履职平台建设,支持全国人大代表参加所在地方人大代表联络站活动”都是广泛、直接听取群众意见和畅通社情民意反映渠道的方式,通过这些方式,要达到的效果是更好地汇聚民智。这样,整句话的逻辑关系和层次就找出来了,译文更加清楚、明确。

  修正:We will introduce guidelines on helping deputies maintain contact with the people in order to foster closer ties between deputies and the people. We will set up a platform for NPC deputies to better perform their duties, and encourage them to participate in the activities of the liaison offices of their respective local people’s congresses. Through these efforts to extensively and directly listen to people’s suggestions and to give expression to social conditions and public sentiment, we will be able to better pool together and draw from the wisdom of the people.

  例8

  我们召开|“深入开展宪法宣传教育大力弘扬宪法精神”座谈会,认真学习贯彻习近平总书记重要指示精神,强调要紧密结合中国近现代历史特别是中国共产党领导人民长期奋斗的光辉历程,紧密结合我国改革开放和社会主义现代化建设取得的辉煌成就,紧密结合我国全面推进依法治国的实践成果,紧密结合实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦,深入开展宪法宣传教育,使宪法精神深入人心,以宪法精神凝心聚力,推动宪法全面贯彻实施。

  初译:In order to thoroughly study and implement the guiding principles of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions and enhance our awareness of the Constitution, we held forums on “Intensifying Publicity and Education on the Constitution and Vigorously Promoting the Spirit of the Constitution”. In light of the modern and contemporary history of China and especially the grand history of the CPC leading the Chinese people in the long period of arduous struggle, in light of the great achievements made in China’s reform and opening up and the socialist modernization, in light of the achievements made in the praxis of comprehensively advancing the law-based governance of China, and in combination with our efforts to realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, we must make intensive efforts to promote publicity and education on the Constitution to ensure that the spirit of the Constitution becomes instilled into the hearts of the people, thereby achieving a rallying of the people’s will and energy, a consolidation of the authority of the Constitution and our other laws, and the promotion of the full enforcement of the Constitution.

  这一大段话,在语义上,毫无疑问组成了一个不可分割的整体。原文虽长,但语义连贯,排比句的使用使得各分句的语义清晰、明确,虽然整段话的重点在最后才出现,但由于语义上的衔接,整段话读起来,并不令人感到费力,这也是汉语语言的特色所在。但英文的特点不是这样,英文的衔接需要具体的单词来实现。经查,全国人大召开的“深入开展宪法宣传教育大力弘扬宪法精神”座谈会只有一次,所以应为单数。译文将原文的一句分为两句,思路非常正确,可惜两句之间失去了衔接,联系并不清晰。修正后,两句的衔接更加清楚,第二句的重点和句内各部分的关系都更为明确,在意思上与原文更加对等。

  修正:In order to thoroughly study and implement the guiding principles from General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions, we held a forum on intensifying publicity and education on the Constitution and energetically promoting the spirit of the Constitution. At the forum, we emphasized that intensive efforts must be made to strengthen publicity and education on the Constitution so as to instill the spirit of the Constitution into the hearts of the people, rally the people’s will and energy, and ensure full enforcement of the Constitution, and that these efforts must be made in light of the modern and contemporary history of China and especially the grand history of the CPC leading the Chinese people in the long period of arduous struggle, in light of the great achievements made in China’s reform and opening up and socialist modernization, in light of the experience gained in fully advancing the law-based governance of China, and in combination with our efforts to realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

  政治文献采用的句子大多很长,翻译过程中,必须跳出原文行文的局限,找出话语间的层次关系,从而脱离中文,从译入语的角度,创造性地进行翻译。译者需要追求的准确和对等,是意思上的准确和对等,而非形式上的准确和对等。正好相反,有时必须抛开形式,才能实现意义上的准确和对等。

  政治文献翻译是枯燥的。从看似毫无层次、一顺而下的中文行文中找出隐藏其中的层次和关系,应该能够为译者提供一丝趣味、一小块创造的余地。每个译者对文字的理解和看法都可能不同,本文仅提供一个思路,一个加深文字理解的思路,以供参考。

(作者单位:中共中央编译局中央文献翻译部英文处)

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