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错译?这句中of the men究竟和哪个并列?
文章来源:高斋CATTI 发布时间:2020-08-07 10:28 作者:admin 点击:

前几天,我们在“高斋CATTI”上发了钱歌川《翻译的基本知识》的读书笔记的一句话,不少粉丝留言给出了自己的译文。今天和大家探讨下翻译这句话的难点所在。

01

原文:We sometimes fall in with persons who have seen much of the world, and of the men who, in their day, have played a conspicuous part in it, but who generalize nothing and have no observation, in the true sense of the world.

这句话选自英国神学家John Henry Newman所著的《大学教育的范围与性质》

为了方便大家理解,我把完整的一段话放在这里:

In like manner, we sometimes fall in with persons who have seen much of the world, and of the men who, in their day, have played a conspicuous part in it, but who generalize nothing, and have no observation, in the true sense of the word. They abound in information in detail, curious and entertaining, about men and things; and, having lived under the influence of no very clear or settled principles, religious or political, they speak of every one and every thing, only as so many phenomena, which are complete in themselves, and lead to nothing, not discussing them, or teaching any truth, or instructing the hearer, but simply talking. No one would say that these persons, well informed as they are, had attained to any great culture of intellect or to philosophy.

从这段中They abound in information in detail, curious and entertaining, about men and things我们可以看出,作者在说这样一种人:他们久经世故,也熟知很多人和很多事,他们知道很多信息,但是却没有因久经世故和熟知很多人而总结出很多人生见地。

02

原文:We sometimes fall in with persons who have seen much of the world, and of the men who, in their day, have played a conspicuous part in it, but who generalize nothing and have no observation, in the true sense of the world.

我们先来分析一下这个句子的结构:

1. 主干是we sometimes fall in with persons,其中who have seen much of the world, and of the men who, in their day, have played a conspicuous part in it和who generalize nothing, and have no observation, in the true sense of the word是persons的定语从句;

of the men和of the world并列,完整的结构是have seen much of the world, and seen much of the men;

这里容易判断错结构,有的人可能理解为we sometimes fall in with persons和we sometimes fall in of the men who, in their day, have played a conspicuous part in it,但是其实没有fall in of sb这种用法。

2. who, in their day, have played a conspicuous part in it是the men的定语从句;

03

那有的人可能会问“of the men和of the world并列,完整的结构是have seen much of the world, and seen much of the men”,那much of可以修饰可数名词the men吗?

1. 常见的用法是much of修饰不可数名词或者是抽象名词,修饰抽象名词的时候名词前有the,如汉英大词典例句:

Much of the opposition to this plan has come from the media.

该计划的主要反对声音来自媒体。

2. 单独的Much of the world可以指世界上许多国家,或者世界大部分地区,例如外刊例句:

Throughout much of the world, auto market prospects appear sluggish.

在世界大部分地区,汽车市场的增长前景似乎都很不妙。

但是seen much of the world是一个固定表达,指的是见多识广、久经世故的、深谙世故的,同义词是sophisticated,比如英语专业四级考试听力题库中就有这么一句:

听力原文:Terry is anything but stupid, because he has seen much of the world.

问题:What can we inter about Terry?

A.Terry is very stupid.

B.Terry is very much worldly.

C.Terry is very sophisticated.

D.Terry has not seen anything.

答案是C。

3. Much of也可以修饰可数名词,注意名词前有the,含义是许多不过现在这种用法不常见,例如联合国网站上(documents-dds-ny.un.org)一份2010年的文件中就有这么一句话:

Much of the efforts resulted in crack downs by government sponsored gangs that routinely violated rights of citizens.

很多这些努力招致了政府主导的一些集团的镇压,而这些集团经常侵犯公民的权利。

再例如外国新闻网站(apnews.com)新闻报道的一句话:

The U.S. government on Friday announced a seventh straight monthly increase in people being arrested or denied entry along the Mexican border, erasing much of the early gains of President Donald Trump's push to tighten the border.

再如外国政府网站(archives.gov)例句:

The von Trapps never saw much of the huge profits The Sound of Music made.

维基百科例句

After the surrender of France, Balbo was able to shift much of the men and materiel of the Italian Fifth Army on the Tunisian border to the Tenth Army on the Egyptian border.

可见,much of可以修饰可数名词,今天是much of修饰the men,注意有the;much of the men是指许多人。

4. See much of the men和see much of the world一样,不是真的具体见过世界,see much of the world指久经世故,而See much of the men指熟知很多人,而不一定是见过,比如有的人说起名人那可是如数家珍。

5. the men who, in their day, have played a conspicuous part in it中in their day是定语从句中的,所以指的the men,而不是persons的。

04

根据上面的讲解,我们看看这句话该怎样翻译:

原文We sometimes fall in with persons who have seen much of the world, and of the men who, in their day, have played a conspicuous part in it, but who generalize nothing and have no observation, in the true sense of the world. 

钱歌川译我们有邂逅一些熟悉世故的人和一些曾经见过许多在其全盛时代叱咤风云,世界安危所系的有名人物的人,但是他们却不能归纳出一点什么来,也毫无真正的观察力。

高斋参考译文我们有时遇见一些久经世故的人,他们熟知各大风云人物/举足轻重的人物,但这些人却对世界的本质知之甚少,也对其毫无洞察力。

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