【翻译武侠小说有哪些难点,可以如何解决】- 上海语通翻译有限公司
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翻译武侠小说有哪些难点,可以如何解决

和中国传统文学的翻译差不多,很多中国文化特色是无法翻译成优美的英文的,比如中医术语、古典诗词、中文双关语,实际上没有特别好的解决良法,有的是硬译加注释,有的是适度改变一下原文含义再归化成目的语言,有的干脆就删掉。

下面我举一段《鹿鼎记》第八回《佳客偶逢如有约 盛名长恐见无因》的例子看翻译是怎么解决一些问题的,译者John Minford,翻译过《道德经》《周易》《孙子兵法》《聊斋志异》《红楼梦》,是一个很有经验和学养的英国汉学家。

众香主散后,陈近南拉了韦小宝的手,回到厢房之中,说道: When the other Masters had gone, the Helmsman took Trinket by the hand and led him back to the room where he had had his interview.

点评:香主译为Master,总舵主译为Helmsman,韦小宝译作Trinket Wei。

“北京天桥有一个卖膏药的老头儿,姓徐。 ‘In the Bridge of Heaven district of Peking,’ he told Trinket when they were alone together, ‘there is an old man called Xu who sells medicated plasters.

点评:行文上加了一小句。

别人卖膏药的旗子上,膏药都是黑色的,这徐老儿的膏药却是一半红,一半青。你有要事跟我联络,到天桥去找徐老儿便是。 You can tell him apart from the other plaster-sellers because they all have a black plaster displayed on their flags, but the one on his flag is red and green. If you ever want to get in touch with me about anything, go to the Bridge of Heaven and look for this old man.

点评:这句基本忠实于原文。

你问他:‘有没有清恶毒、使盲眼复明的清毒复明膏药?’ When you’ve found him, you must say, “Have you got anything for tartar poisoning?” You know, “tartar” as in tartar emetic–the stuff they use in medicine.

点评:关键点来了,「清毒复明」是双关语,既是医学术语,又指「反清复明」的天地会宗旨。如果直译很难处理,作者改为tartar poisoning,tartar是一种药物,也可以是鞑靼人,多指蒙古、突厥族源的北部少数民族,和「满清鞑子」不完全是一回事,但北方少数民族总是被汉族泛称为「鞑子」,也算是双关起来了。译者还在最后面增加了一句解释性的话,帮助读者理解。

他说:‘有是有,价钱太贵,要三两黄金、三两白银。’你说:‘五两黄金、五两白银卖不卖?’他便知道你是谁了。”韦小宝大感有趣,笑道:“人家货价三两、你却还价五两,天下哪有这样的事?”陈近南微笑道:“这是唯恐误打误撞,真有人向他去买‘清毒复明膏药’。他一听你还价黄金五两、白银五两,便问:‘为什么价钱这样贵?’你说:‘不贵,不贵,只要当真复得了明,便给你做牛做马,也是不贵。’ He’ll say, “Yes, but it’s very expensive. Three taels of gold and three taels of silver.” Then if you say, “Would you take five taels of gold and five taels of silver for it?” he’ll know who you are.’ Trinket was intrigued. That’s a funny sort of bargaining–offering five taels when the price is only three, ‘ said Trinket laughing. ‘It’s a safeguard, ‘ said the Helmsman with his little smile. ‘Just in case someone did, by pure coincidence, ask for a cure for tartar poisoning. When he hears you offering five taels of gold and five taels of silver, he’ll ask you why you want to pay so much, and you must say, “It’s not a lot. I’d do anything at all to get rid of the Tartar poison.”

点评:这一大段比较忠实于原文,不过语气风格还是略有差异。

他便说:‘地振高冈,一派溪山千古秀。’你说:‘门朝大海,三河合水万年流。’

点评:问题来了,天地会的切口诗被删掉了,而且不止这一处,后文凡是出现这句切口的地方都被删除。虽然不影响对暗号的实际效果,但比起原文的风味,总是有所损失。

他又问:‘红花亭畔哪一堂?’你说:‘青木堂。’ Then he’ll ask you, “Which Lodge beside the Red Flower Pavilion?” and you must say, “The Green Wood one.” 点评:堂、亭分别译成Lodge和Pavilion。

他问:‘堂上烧几炷香?’你说:‘五炷香!’烧五炷香的便是香主。 Then he’ll ask you, “Who burns the joss-sticks in the Lodge?” and you say, “The Master.”

点评:这句话就是在意译了,烧几株香代表不同的地位估计直译了老外是很难理解的。

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