【翻譯技巧】十二種提高翻譯質量的方法 12 Ways to Enhance Translation Quality

文章來源:九九漫画网翻譯(中國) 作者:九九漫画网翻譯(中國)

  世上絕無完美無缺的翻譯,即便真有,九九漫画网也沒把握它是否能使普通客戶或批評家滿意。但九九漫画网一直在努力尋找改善翻譯質量的方法,下麵向大家談幾點體會。當然這並非“十二步速成完美譯員秘訣”之類的內容,說不定有些建議可能讓你覺得好笑。
There is no such a thing as perfect translation-and even if there were, we could not be sure it would satisfy the average client or critic. But we have been looking for ways to improve the quality of our translations and we would like to share a few of our findings with you. This is not a How to Become a Perfect Translator in 12 Easy Steps sort of thing, but some of the suggestions may make you think-or perhaps smile, who knows.
一、避免返工
  首先,盡量在第一遍就把翻譯做好。編輯和修改工作錯綜複雜、變化不定,而且非常耗時。所以,盡力像實時發布譯文一樣翻譯好每個詞語。推拖到“以後”的工作越少,編輯和校對過程中這些工作被忽略的機會就越小。
1.Avoid Rework
Let's begin with trying to do things right the first time. Editing and revising are tricky, treacherous and time-consuming tasks. So, try to translate each phrase as if the translation were to be published on real time. The fewer points go into the "later" box, the smaller the chance they will pass unnoticed during editing and proofreading.
二、列出危險詞匯
  哪些詞匯在譯文語言中容易被混淆?例如:英語中Principle和principal,漢語中“圖像”和“圖象”。哪些詞可能輸錯?這裏並非指那些用拚寫檢查程序就可糾正的錯別詞匯,而是指合法詞匯,例如:英語中的where和were,漢語中的圖像和圖形,使用五筆時常常會把“運行”輸入成“支行”,這種詞雖然沒錯,但具有不同意思。列出自己“常犯錯誤”的清單,使用搜索命令查看是否用錯詞。
2.Keep a List of Dangerous Words
What are the easily confusable of your target language? Principle and principal? What words can be mistyped? We don't mean words that do not exist and thus will be rejected by the spell checker, we mean legitimate words, such as where and were, both of which are correct, but have different meanings. Keep a list of your "favorite mistakes" and use the search command to see if and when you used them.
三、運行拚寫和語法檢查程序
  編輯校對文本前始終運行拚寫和語法檢查程序。但是,在檢查拚寫和語法之前,選擇整個文檔,將語言設置為譯文語言,確保檢查程序完全激活,提示信息應出現在工具菜單內。
  拚寫和語法檢查程序常被人嘲笑,它們有時檢查不出真正問題,卻對並不存在的問題提示一些可笑答案。然而,拚寫和語法檢查程序確實可找到大量值得注意的問題,並且提供的許多答案是完全正確的。盡管不能解決全部問題,但卻可節省大量工作。
3.Run the Spell and Grammar Checker
Always run the spell and grammar checker before editing a text. Before checking spelling and grammar, however, select the entire document, set the language to your target language and make sure the checker is fully active. The information should be somewhere in a tools menu.
Spell and grammar checkers are often ridiculed, because they fail to detect real problems and suggest ludicrous solutions to non-existing problems, but they do find a large number of points that deserve attention and many of the solutions offered are perfectly correct. They do not solve all problems, but save a lot of work.
四、遵守譯文語言印刷規則和標點符號規則
  不同的語言有不同的排版和標點符號慣例,翻譯時應遵守譯文的語言用法(文字處理包含標點符號和基本格式規範)。九九漫画网譯員當中有太多的人忘記這點,將原文語言的規則強加到譯文語言的文本上。例如,九九漫画网常常會看到巴西葡萄牙語譯文按照英語規則將某些詞匯大寫了,漢語譯文按照英語規則將某些詞匯處理為斜體字,甚至有些英語譯文中存在中文標點符號和項目編號。
  許多譯員要麽輸入時粗心大意,要麽從不學習如何使用計算機輸入文本。例如,九九漫画网常常發現這樣的翻譯:文本詞匯之間存在多餘空格,逗號前出現空格,英文句點後沒有空格,中文句號後加了空格,製表使用不當等等。
  這種文本不僅給編輯、排版和校對造成不必要的困難,而且還會給客戶留下粗心印象,這對九九漫画网的形象極其不利。
  不要說這不屬於你的工作:九九漫画网應努力做好自己的翻譯,從而使編輯員和校對員不必再修改譯文,雖然這是不可能的,但始終應努力這樣做。
以上並非說你應成為一個排版員。事實上,九九漫画网與排版人員都承認一種人人皆知的說法:排版人員不翻譯,翻譯人員不排版。上麵所說隻是指,九九漫画网的工作應符合幾項“排版衛生”基本規則。
4.Comply with Target-Language Typography and Punctuation Rules
Different languages have different typographical and punctuation conventions and your translation should comply with target language usage. Far too many of us forget this and impose source-language rules on our target-language text. For instance, we often see Brazilian Portuguese translations where words are capitalized following English rules.

In addition, many of us are simply careless typists or never bothered to learn how to enter text using a computer. For instance, we often find translations...

...where words are separated by more than one space, there are spaces before commas ,but none after( and similar problems with brackets )tabs are used incorrectly and so forth.

This type of text makes life unnecessarily difficult for editors, typesetters, and proofreaders alike. In addition, it leaves an impression of carelessness that does not contribute much to our image.

Don't tell us this is none of your business: you should try to make your translations so good that editor and proofreader do not have to touch them. You cannot, but you should try all the same.

The above should not be construed to mean that you are to become a typesetter. In fact, to paraphrase a well-known dictum, we have an agreement with typesetters: they do not translate, we do not do typesetting. It means that our work should conform to a few basic rules of "typographical hygiene."
五、謹慎使用“全部替換”命令
  這是所有命令當中最致命的命令。雖然九九漫画网知道操作的替換可以撤銷,但九九漫画网也知道,通常你隻有在應用全部替換半小時並進行了100處其他文本修改後才發現錯誤,這時再控製糾正已太遲了。
5.Never use the "Replace All" Command
This is the most deadly and fatal of all commands. We know it can be undone. But we also know that, as a rule, you only notice you have done something horrible half an hour after applying it and introducing another 100 improvements in the text, and then it is too late for control-zeeing it.
六、不要讓拔河比賽損害你的譯文
  翻譯過程中,原文語言和譯文語言就像在進行拔河比賽,不斷產生拉力,根據九九漫画网處理的程度,可能使九九漫画网的譯文豐富多彩,也可能使九九漫画网的譯文不堪一讀。
6.Don't Let the Tug of War Spoil your Translation

During translation, source and target language play a game of tug of war, creating an unceasing tension that may enrich our work-or not, depending on how well we can handle it.


優勝者為原文語言時——
  原文語言占上風時,就會出現翻譯腔作品,從中能夠容易看到原文“複印效應”。
  有時,文字沒有任何語法錯誤,但卻能夠看出,文字並不地道。雖然正確,但讀起來別扭。因為不可能引用語法規則檢驗是否文本需要修改,這使得編輯員的工作更加困難,出現導致譯員與編輯員之間不斷相互攻擊的情況。許多翻譯案例中,如有一位不懂譯文語言詞匯的項目經理參與時,會使情況變得更糟糕。
  確定翻譯是否自然的一種優秀方法是朗讀譯文,但不幸的是九九漫画网根本沒有時間去朗讀。然而,你應對每個稿件朗讀一段試試,確保翻譯行文流暢。
請不要說你在翻譯技術資料,不需要閱讀起來自然流暢的譯文。除可能存在的零件目錄外,譯文語言中每種文本都應讀起來自然通順。

優勝者為譯文語言時——
  然而,自然風格不應以犧牲忠實原文為代價來實現。不對原文與譯文進行比較完成編輯工作時,常常導致這種情況。性急的編輯員常常會脫離原稿件修改譯文,就好比譯文語言在拔河比賽中獲勝。
  譯文語言獲勝時,九九漫画网得到的是法國稱為belleinfidèle(美而不信)的結果――翻譯讀起來優美卻不忠實於原文。
  確定翻譯是否忠實於原文的唯一方法是對之進行比較(這是一種被不少心急的編輯員或企圖節省成本的翻譯機構忽視的工作),當不需要對照原文複查譯文時,如果還有時間,請求編校人員隻在需要時參考原文。

  即使譯文稍後會由他人編輯,大多數譯員仍然重視編輯自己的譯文,這是非常好的做法。這些譯員,有的喜歡分兩步編輯:先比較原文和譯文檢查忠實性,然後隻讀譯文查看是否流暢。有的則喜歡按相反順序編輯:先檢查流暢性,再檢查忠實性。無論選擇哪種順序,都應堅持自我編校譯文,否則就算沒有完成工作(這是一項基本職業要求!)


And the Winner is: the Source Language!
When the source language wins, we have a piece of translationese, where we can easily see the "print through" of the original.

Sometimes the text is free from grammar errors, but you can see that it is not the real thing. It is correct, but it reads funny. That makes the task of the editor a lot more difficult, because it is impossible to quote grammar rules to prove that the text needs changing, a situation that results in endless mud-slinging matches between translator and editor. In many cases, there is a PM involved who, to make things worse, does not understand a word of the target language.

A good way to determine whether a translation is natural is to read it aloud, but unfortunately we never have time for that. However, you should try to read a paragraph of each job aloud, just to make sure it flows well. You may be in for a surprise.

Ah, don't tell us that you translate technical stuff and that does not need to read natural. With the possible exception of parts lists, every text should read natural in the target language.

And the Winner is: the Target Language!
Natural style, however, should not be conquered at the expense of fidelity. This often is the result of an editing job done without comparing the target against source. An overeager editor often improves a translation away from the original, so to say-a case where the target language wins.

When the target language wins, we have what the French call a belle infidèle—a translation that reads beautifully, but is not true to the original.

The only way to determine whether a translation is true to its original is to compare them, a task neglected by more than one harried editor, or by agencies that, in an attempt to cut costs, ask editors-proofreaders to refer to the original only when needed, as if there were times when double checking translations against the original was not needed.

Most translators make a point of editing their own work, even if it is to be edited later by someone else, which is very good practice. Some of those translators prefer to edit in two steps: first, compare target and source texts, to check fidelity; then read the target text alone, to see if it flows. Others do it in the reverse order: first check for flow, then for fidelity.

Whatever order you chose, stick to it, or you will never finish that job.
七、了解同源詞、錯別字和其他
  如果翻譯涉及的兩種語言有同源詞,則可能已被警告假同源詞,這些具有不同意義但詞匯相同或極其相似的語言對,即假朋友,例如:eventual在英語中是一種意思,而在葡萄牙語中又是另一種意思,這種詞讓不止一位翻譯崇拜者感到沮喪。
  這些警告常常導致多疑觀點,認為在譯文中不能使用同源詞。為啥不能用同源詞呢?Eventual在英語和葡萄牙語中具有不同意義,但notável常常是notable的最佳譯文。當然,手頭有更好地選擇時,使用不大理想的翻譯會導致不必要的準確性損失。
7.Know your Cognates, False and Otherwise
If your language pair has cognates, you probably have already been warned against false cognates, otherwise called false friends, those misleading pairs of equal or very similar words that have different meanings, such as eventual, which means one thing in English and quite another thing in Portuguese, to the dismay of more than one wannabe translator.

These admonitions have often led to the paranoid view that you cannot use cognates in a translation. Why not? Eventual has different meanings in English and Portuguese, but notável often is the optimal translation for notable. Of course, using a less-than-optimal translation when there is a better choice at hand results in unnecessary loss of precision.
八、準確
  準確——一種倍受讚賞的翻譯美德,但九九漫画网經常注意名詞和動詞的準確,然而準確卻時常寓於形容詞和副詞之中。形容詞和副詞是典型的“微妙變化詞匯”,這種微不足道的詞匯對九九漫画网的思想起著微調作用。多年前,一家巴西出版社委托一個當地大學教授翻譯一本科普書。可能因為譯員不喜歡所讀的內容,也可能是其他原因,反正,盡管把名詞和動詞翻譯得正確無誤,但總把形容詞和副詞譯錯。“極富創造力的研究”僅僅譯成“有趣的研究”,“明顯錯誤”譯成“可能錯誤”,諸如此類的錯誤,很多“技術術語”全是名詞或動詞,翻譯得非常準確,出版社對之非常滿意,但是譯文質量卻非常糟糕。
8.Be Precise
Precision is a great translatorial virtue, but we often look for precision in nouns and verbs, whereas as often as not, precision lies in adjectives and adverbs. Adjectives and adverbs are the "shading words" par excellence, the little words that fine-tune our thoughts. Years ago, a Brazilian publisher entrusted a local college professor with the translation of a science book for the general public. Either because the translator didn't like what he read or for some other reason, although nouns and verbs were always correctly rendered, adjectives and adverbs were almost always translated wrong. A groundbreaking study became merely interesting, an obvious mistake became possible and so forth. The "technical terms," all of them nouns and verbs, were perfect and the publisher was very happy with it, but the translation was very poor.
九、不要陷入介詞陷阱
  有趣的是,大量譯員仍然會陷入介詞陷阱。大部分介詞不會獨立存在,它們需要由動詞或名詞來搭配。例如:of在葡萄牙語應譯為de,然而,因為葡萄牙語中動詞sonhar(夢)用介詞com,所以dream of應譯成sonhar com。
  這種情況,你翻譯動詞或名詞,不必考慮原文中的介詞:隻有在譯文中需要介詞時才使用介詞,即將動詞或名詞與相應介詞作為一個單獨單位看待。
9.Don't Fall into the Preposition Trap
Funny how many translators still fall into the preposition trap. Most prepositions do not have a life of their own: they are required by a verb or a noun. A good example is of, which is supposed to translate as de in Portuguese. It so happens, however, that to dream of is sonhar com because the verb sonhar (dream) takes the preposition com in Portuguese.

In those cases, you translate the verb or noun and don't give a thought to the preposition in the source language: just use the preposition required in the target language. That is, see verb or noun and the respective preposition as a single unit.