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《中国关键词》英译实践探微

《中国翻译》   2017-11-07   【

  摘要:“中国关键词”多语信息传播平台由中国外文局、中国翻译协会、中国翻译研究院共同创建。鉴于此项目的重要性,有必要对政治话语特别是关键概念翻译的实践及理论问题进一步深入讨论。本文仅涉及中英翻译。本文强调翻译应既忠实原文,又注意向读者传递信息的需要。所谓忠实,是指忠实于原文核心思想内涵,而非词语的表面意思。忠实性要求确保基本概念准确,确保信息完整准确,在内在含义上做到不增不减。为了有效传递信息,笔者不认同强行将中文语言特点移植到译文里的做法,而强调需要尊重目标语的习惯,包括英语话语的形合性质、不同于中文的搭配及句型、实现行文连贯的方式及避免不必要的重复等等。

  关键词:政治话语;基本概念;忠实性;可读性;语言规范

  中图分类号:H059 文献标识码:A 文章编号:1000-873X(2017)02-0093-012

  《中国关键词》多语对外传播平台作为中国外文局、中国翻译研究院承担的国家项目,自2014年立项实施以来,经过短短两年多的努力,已构建起集图书期刊、互联网、移动社交媒体为一体的中国特色政治话语多语种、多媒体、多形态的对外传播平台,成为向国际社会解读、阐释当代中国发展理念、发展道路、内外政策、思想文化核心话语的窗口,受到国内外受众的广泛关注和好评。项目初见成效,是各方专家和相关机构部门共同努力和精心打造的结果。仅从词条的外文翻译来说,项目汇聚国内对外传播翻译实践领域的专家及充分了解中国国情的外籍专家,制定了翻译原则和规范,严格按照四个流程即:翻译、外籍专家改稿、核改稿、审定稿来操作。英文词条除经过上述流程外,还组织国内外资深专家进行了专题研讨。笔者直接参与了该项目的组织实施和英文词条的翻译及审改稿工作,本文结合《中国关键词》词条英译案例和专题研讨的成果,对政治文献的英译实践进行微观探讨。

  一、忠实于原文核心思想内涵

  按照项目定位,《中国关键词》收录的是当代中国发展理念、发展道路、内外政策、思想文化的核心话语,体现了党和国家的大政方针政策。因此,在翻译过程中必须首先要准确传达词条的基本概念与核心思想内涵,确保信息完整准确。

  (一)确保基本概念准确

  《中国关键词》内容主要包括词条术语和对该词条术语产生的背景及词条核心思想要义的解释,词条术语是关键词的基本构成。因此,在翻译过程中首先要准确表达这些术语的基本概念和内涵。试举几例:

  (1)“小康”

  自从建设小康社会的概念提出以来,“小康社会”的译法已有多种,最常见的也许是a moderately prosperous society。我们不赞成这种译法。虽然prosperous意为successful in material terms,而且我们承认该词语也用来描述目前所经历的成功,但需要指出的是,人们谈论prosperous时经常着眼于未来。究其词源,该词产生于拉丁字prosperus,其含义是doing well。来自词源的这一本意至今仍然是该词语的主要含义。我们说某个国家、某个社会、某个地区或某个家庭prosperous,就是说它们doing well,不一定意味着它们现在就很富裕或已达到某种富裕的水平,而是说目前情况很好,蒸蒸日上,前景可观。有鉴于此,prosperous可用来描述任何一种发展良好的状态,而无论现有发展程度或富裕程度为何。

  在prosperous前面加上一个修饰词moderately,就更值得商榷了,那就意味着not doing terribly well。Prosperous的近义词是thriving、flourishing、expanding、booming等等。Moderately prosperous也就是not so prosperous或somewhat thriving。在“小康”概念提出以来,中国经济一直蓬勃向上,一直prosperous, 按照“小康”的这一译法,把建设一个不那么繁荣的社会作为发展的目标,即从繁荣走向“不那么繁荣”,国外受众读到这种表述,肯定难以理解和产生歧义。

  其实,所谓小康,是有客观标准的。1991年国家统计与计划、财政、卫生、教育等12个部门的研究人员组成的课题组,按照中央、国务院提出的小康社会的内涵确定了16个基本检测值。这16个指标涉及人均国内生产总值、城镇人均可支配收入、农民人均纯收入等等。这些都是客观标准,反映的不是发展的势头,而是发展的结果。

  因此,我们认为,用a moderately well-off society来表示“小康社会”是比较恰当的。Prosperous与well-off的区别主要有以下几点:1)prosperous一般带有很大的相对性和主观性,而well-off可以具有绝对性和客观性;2)prosperous反映过程(势头、前景),而well-off反映结果(实际状况)。还有更重要的一点是,用moderately修饰prosperous,限定了发展的势头,而用moderately修饰well-off,只限定了“康”的程度,而这正是“小康”的本意。

  (2)“依法治国”与“法治建设”

  “依法治国”,有人将其译成governing the country in accordance with the law,其他译法还有:rule according to the law、law-based governance等等。应该承认,与把“小康”译成moderately prosperous的情况不同,以上译法与原文内涵不一定有特别大的偏离。但所有这些译法都带有一种connotation,即此前的做法都是govern/rule not according to the law。不过,人们始终可以对某一概念加以进一步解释,使其含义更加明确。我们在此想问的问题是,在英语里已有对应概念(the rule of law)的情况下,我们究竟有没有必要制造新概念?

  从“依法治国”的词语组合来看,就是在“法治”的基础上增加两字“依”和“国”,把两字改为四字(这在酷爱四字结构的中文里有时是出于文字表达的需要)应该在实质内涵上没有发生变化。当然,可以认为加上“国”字后便强调了国家层面,但要指出的是,我们谈论法治问题时本来就是谈国家层面的问题,而且英语里的the rule of law一般也指国家层面的情况。

  再来看the rule of law,词典(如dictionary.com)对the rule of law的解释是,the principle that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced; the principle of government by law。维基百科的解释是:The rule of law is the legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials。这与中文里“法治”或“依法治国”的概念基本相同。

  事实上,关于the rule of law,有许多不同的定义,大家有不同的解释。美国律师协会(American Bar Association)也承认,法治这个术语很常用,但很难定义(The rule of law is a term that is often used but difficult to define)(见https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/publiced/features/Part1DialogueROL.authcheckdam.pdf)。虽然the rule of law是一个普遍性概念,世界各国在这方面都有自己特定的做法。我国主张的“法治”在内涵上必然也不完全等于某些其他的the rule of law的概念。于是,有人认为中文的“法治”与the rule of law有别,应该用别的术语来表达。照此说法,世界各国都推行相互有别的the rule of law,是否就意味着世界上需要有无数种特定术语来描述这个概念?必须承认,尽管中文的“法治”与关于the rule of law的某些定义有别,但共性是主要的,差别是次要的。

  关于“法治建设”,有人将其译成legal construction,这种字面机械对应翻译是比较离谱的。“XX建设”在中文里常用,但在翻译成英文时,多数情况下需要根据上下文语境灵活处理。前面讨论过,“法治”可译成the rule of law,“法治建设”,我们认为promoting the rule of law应是一种比较恰当的选择,至少国外受众能够读懂和理解。

  (3)“命运共同体”

  “命运共同体”官方最早提供的译文是a community of common destiny。Destiny一词的使用似乎带有一种宿命观,因为destiny is the force that controls what happens in the future。实际上,“命运共同体”是指在追求本国利益时兼顾他国合理关切,在谋求本国发展中促进各国共同发展。按照这一理解,我们认为a community with a shared future是比较恰当的译法。后来,中国驻联合国代表团采纳了这种译法,要求联合国口译部门将“命运共同体”改译为a community with a shared future。

  (4)“民族复兴”

  一种常见的译法是rejuvenation of the nation。这种译法虽然在内涵上应该说没有错,但rejuvenation的最基本的含义的making ... look or feel younger, 最通常是用于化妆品护肤品广告。这里谈的是民族复兴,似乎还是避免使用这样的词为上策。我们认为用national renewal也许合适一些。

  (5)“从要素驱动转向创新驱动”

  有人将“从要素驱动转向创新驱动”译成transition from a low-skilled economy to one driven by innovation。我们觉得这种译法不够确切,因为要素驱动是指主要依靠各种生产要素的投入(如土地、资源、劳动力等等)来推动经济增长。而仅仅用low-skilled不能涵盖各种要素。考虑到“要素驱动”这一术语本身译自英文factor-driven,而且在相关中文语境里使用时的含义仍然与factor-driven相当,故应该以factor-driven来表示。

  (二)确保信息完整准确

  政治文献的翻译无疑要讲政治,在翻译过程中译者一定要在吃透原文确切含义的基础上选用最恰当的英文词语,或进行适当调整和变通,以确保原文信息能够完整、准确地表达出来,简单、机械、随意从字典里选取一个词或短语,仅从字面上对号入座肯定是不行的。

  1.权力不论大小,只要不受制约和监督,都可能被滥用。

  【原译】Any power, more or less, can be misused if it is not subject to constraints and oversight.

  译文里的more or less并没有反映权力的大小,而只能作为副词短语修饰动词misuse,意思是to some extent,那就完全偏离原文的意思。有的人可能会想到用big or small来表示,那也不恰当,如果用any power, big or small,那可以被理解是“任何国家,无论大小”。因此,对于这里的(权力)大小,我们不宜从字面上考虑。

  【改译】Power is susceptible to abuse at all levels if it is not subject to constraints and oversight.

  2.中国将力争到2020年,基本形成适应创新驱动发展要求的制度环境和政策法律体系,为进入创新型国家行列提供有力保障。

  【原译】By 2020 China aims to create an institution, a legal system and a set of policies to guarantee that it becomes one of the innovative countries in the world.

  从字面上看,译文似乎包含了原文的所有要素,但如果稍加注意,就会发现有多处不确切。首先,create an institution的意思是“设立一个机构”,而原文是“形成……制度环境”。译文里谈的是建立一个具体的实体,而原文含义是形成一套体系,两者差别甚大。其次,从表面来看,becomes one of the innovative countries in the world相当于“进入创新型国家行列”,因为innovative countries似乎就是“创新型国家”。但是,两者在程度上是很不一样的,innovative countries普普通通,任何国家都可以有此称号,因为任何国家无论总体创新水平多么落后,都必然在某些方面具有创新性。而“创新型国家”虽然表面上没有以最高级显示,但真正含义却是:one of the world抯 most innovative countries。

  【改译】China seeks to have in place by 2020 an institutional, legal and policy framework for innovation-driven development so as to provide a solid basis to put China on track to become one of the world抯 most innovative countries.

  3. 2013年6月,中国国家主席习近平与美国总统奥巴马在安纳伯格庄园会晤,提出共同努力构建中美新型大国关系。关于中美新型大国关系的内涵,习主席在会晤中用三句话作了概括:一是不冲突、不对抗,二是相互尊重,三是合作共赢。不冲突对抗,是构建中美新型大国关系的必要前提。相互尊重,是构建中美新型大国关系的基本原则。合作共赢,是中美构建新型大国关系的必由之路。

  【原译】In June 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping held meetings with United States President Barack Obama at the Annenberg Retreat in California, where he put forth the proposal of constructing a new model of major power relations between the two countries. Xi summarized the connotations of the new relationship model in three phrases during the meetings: no conflict and no confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation. “No conflict and no confrontation” is a prerequisite of the new model of major power relations between the two countries; “mutual respect” is the basic principle for this new model; and “win-win cooperation” is the only way to turn this vision into a reality.

  译文的第一个问题是“内涵”的所谓对应词connotations有误。这可能是一个普遍性的误解,许多人都把“内涵”译成connotations,许多正式文件的官方译文里也是这样译的。在不少人看来这是“铁定”的译法。但必须指出,这是错误的译法。所谓connotation是指the associated or secondary meaning of an expression,也就是“弦外之音”,而不是“内涵”。修改后的译文里没有以“内涵”的名词形式直译,而是以动词形式(boils down to)加以表示。在不少情况下,我们也可以用the essential meaning等来表示“内涵”。例如:

  “企业家精神”成为人们挂在嘴边里的一个概念,也就是最近这十几年当中的事。“企业家精神”的内涵是对机会的抓取,对于创新的热情,以及对冒险的渴望。

  这句话可译成:

  “Entrepreneurial spirit” has become a catchphrase only in the past ten or more years. Its essence manifests itself in a readiness to seize a chance, an enthusiasm for innovation, and an eagerness to take risks.

  例3译文的第二个问题应该属于本文第二部分关于语言表达的问题,但因为出现在此处,也附带加以讨论。原文里先是谈到三点(不冲突、不对抗;相互尊重;合作共赢),紧接着对这三点分别加以解释。中文这种行文安排是可行的,因为中文不怕重复,但在译文里照搬原文结构,就会过分罗嗦重复,因此上策是将后面的分别解释与前面的三点合并处理,从而避免不必要的重复。

  【改译】Meeting with President Barack Obama of the United States at the Annenberg Retreat in California in June 2013, President Xi Jinping of China proposed building a new model of major-country relations. This new model, in his words, boils down to three principles: (a) no conflict or confrontation, which is a prerequisite; (b) mutual respect, which provides the basis for healthy major-country relations; and (c) mutually beneficial cooperation, which provides the means to turn this vision into a reality.

  4.在学有所教、劳有所得、病有所医、老有所养、住有所居上持续取得新进展。

  【原译】The CPC needs to make steady progress in ensuring that those wanting education can receive it, those needing jobs can find them, those requiring medical care can enjoy it, those looking for affordable housing can find it, and the old people cared for.

  译者真的想译出其中的每一个字,结果这个译文的十分明确的言外之意(connotation)就是those who do not want education will not receive it; those who do not need jobs cannot find them; those who do not ask for medical care will not enjoy it; and those who are not looking for affordable housing will not have it. 中文原文实际上是借助中文表达的特点,把本来可以更简单的说法说得更加生动一些,但这种语言现象在中文里行得通,搬到英语里意思就大变样,就严重偏离原文要旨。而翻译最根本的任务是准确反映原文的真正含义,那就是:

  【改译】Efforts should continue to improve access to education, employment, medical services, elderly care, and affordable housing.

  5.实行民主集中制,还要求“尊重多数,保护少数”,反对无政府主义的“大民主”,反对把个人意志凌驾于集体之上。

  【原译】Democratic centralism also calls for respecting the majority while protecting the minority, opposes anarchic 揼reater democracy?and is against putting one抯 will above that of the collective.

  “尊重多数,保护少数”的本意是指尊重多数人的意见,保护少数人的权利,在英语里只说respecting the majority while protecting the minority是不够全面的。另外,putting one抯 will above that of the collective 中的one抯指什么是不清楚的,the collective指什么也是不清楚的(可以指某个合作社)。因此, “把个人意志凌驾于集体之上”的含义没有得到确切反映。

  【改译】Democratic centralism also calls for respecting the opinions of the majority while protecting minority rights. It rejects anarchic democracy on the one hand and any tendency to allow the will of any individual to override collective wisdom on the other.

  6.转变政府职能的核心要义,是要切实做好“放管”结合。“放”是放活,而不是放任;“管”要管好,而不是管死。

  【原译】The key for transforming government functions is to strive for a proper balance between delegation and control. “To delegate” is to activate the market, not to let things run loose while “to control” means to exercise appropriate management, not to bring things to stagnation.

  译文不准确的一处是 activate the market,那就意味着市场过去是没有投入使用的,activate是启用。另外,称政府要exercise appropriate management的说法也不确切。政府对经济活动的职能是regulation(监管),而不是management。Management是企业的事,是指the organization and coordination of the activities of a business,是具体的日常活动。此外,key for transforming则存在语法问题。

  【改译】The key to transforming government functions is a right balance between delegation and the exercise of control. To delegate authorities is meant to inject more vitality into economic activities, rather than embracing an unqualified laissez-faire approach. To exercise control is to ensure that the market functions appropriately, rather than stifling the economy with regulatory overreach.

  (三)确切表达成语典故在文献中的实际含义

  翻译成语典故主要应考虑三点:一是尽量保留原有典故的形象及寓意,二是尽量确切体现典故在文章中的实际含义,三是尽量使典故的形象及寓意天衣无缝地融入文章论述之中。其中第二点最重要,是压倒一切的,离开这一点,别的就无从谈起。如遇译文实在难以保留典故中的形象,那就只能“忍痛割爱”,放弃典故,着力体现典故中实际想要传递的信息,着力完成第二点任务。不仅是时政翻译,而且在包括文学翻译在内的各类翻译工作中,都会碰到这种情况。有时,硬译典故形象不仅不能为译文增辉,使之更加生动,反而制造多余的噪音,喧宾夺主,严重影响实质信息的传递,结果得不偿失。总之,传递实质信息永远是第一位的。如何在译文里处理成语典故,需根据成语典故在文章中或在特定场合使用时的重要性而定。如果成语典故在文章中举足轻重,那么必须在译文里如实再现其形象及寓意。以下的例子均属这种情况:

  (1)“治大国如烹小鲜”

  这个成语集体讨论时决定译成:Governing a large state is like cooking a small fish: it must be handled with great care.在单独出现的情况下,似有必要加上补充说明。如果仅仅用了like cooking a small fish,则成语的实质信息并不明确。“如烹小鲜”隐含有“丝毫不敢懈怠,丝毫不敢马虎”的意思,在中国文化里也许不需进一步解释,而译成英语后,like cooking a small fish没有与“谨慎”直接挂钩,补充解释还是必不可少的。不过,在特定上下文里,补充解释可以省略,如:“治大国若烹小鲜”一语出自中国古代思想家老子所著的《道德经》。意思是说治理大国,如同烹煮小鱼,关键在掌握好火候、调和好味道,而不可以不断翻搅。

  The adage “governing a large state is like cooking a small fish” came from Daodejing by Laozi, an ancient Chinese thinker. Just as cooking a small fish requires careful heat control, right seasoning, and a minimal amount of stirring, so governing a large state is a delicate balancing act that must be performed with the highest level of care.

  (2)“大道至简”

  集体讨论的译文是Great truths are always simple。这样翻译也是为了尽量体现典故的原汁原味。具体用法如下:

  “大道至简”是中华传统道家哲学学说,道在中国哲学中,是一个重要的概念,表示“终极真理”。此一概念,不单为哲学流派诸子百家所重视,也被宗教流派道教等所使用。“大道至简”的基本含义是,大道理(基本原理、方法和规律)是极其简单的,简单到一两句话就能说明白。

  “Great truths are always simple” is an important concept of Daoism and traditional Chinese philosophical thinking. “Great truths” are ultimate truths. This concept not only featured prominently in philosophical works across different traditions, but also was embraced by many religious thinkers. It means that fundamental principles, approaches and guiding rules are invariably straightforward and can be explained very concisely in simple words.

  (3)“打铁还需自身硬”

  虽然这一成语的含义在英语里本来就有类似的说法,如A good example is the best sermon,但我们还是采用了体现中文成语原有形象的译法:It takes a good blacksmith to make good steel. 这是考虑到保留原有形象在英语里仍然是说得通的,成语的含义也仍然能得到传递。在这种情况下,我们不妨保留原有形象。不过,必要时也可用英语成语加以补充说明。例如:

  “打铁还需自身硬”,是中国流传已久的通俗名句,意思就是要从自己做起,以身作则,言传身教,率先垂范。

  “It takes a good blacksmith to make good steel” is a popular Chinese adage. It means that only by conducting yourself honorably can you expect others to do the same, or in other words, only a good example can serve as the best sermon.

  二、语言表达符合译入语规范和习惯

  准确表达原文思想内涵是政治文献翻译的第一要义,但是,在此基础上,还应尽量做到语言表达流畅,符合译入语的语言规范和习惯,以使国外受众更易于阅读、理解和把握文献的思想内涵。对于政治文献的翻译来说, 特别是对于英语非母语的译者来说,这也许是更大的挑战。通过《中国关键词》的翻译实践,我们认为在政治文献翻译过程中,似可在以下几个方面做出努力:

  (一)按照英语习惯处理中文特有意合结构

  一般认为中文是意合型语言,经常用并列结构,各个成分之间的关系不必在形式上标明,同时形式上并列的成分在意义上经常不一定并列;而相比之下,英语是形合为主的语言,语言各成分之间的关系一般都在形式上标明,意义上不能并列的成分一般不予作为并列关系排列。因此,中文里十分常用的并列结构经常不能照搬到英语里。例如:

  1.其目的就是要解放和发展生产力,实现国家现代化,让中国人民富裕起来。

  【原译】All this was designed to liberate and develop productive forces, modernize the country and make the Chinese people prosperous.

  在以上例子里,中文用了三个动宾词组,表面上看三者是并列关系,似乎我们要做三件不同的事情,而实际上这三件事情相互密不可分。翻译时如果放弃原文的并列结构,能更加有效地传递原文的信息。

  【改译】Aimed at dismantling the economic straitjacket and unlocking the growth potential, the reform program put China on a path to modernization and prosperity.

  2.市场决定资源配置是市场经济的一般规律,健全社会主义市场经济体制必须遵循这条规律,着力解决市场体系不完善、政府干预过多和监管不到位问题,推动资源配置依据市场机制实现效益最大化和效率最优化。

  【原译】 It is a general rule of market economies

  that the market determines the allocation of resources. To improve its socialist market economy, China must follow this general rule, establish a robust market, control excessive government intervention, address insufficient government oversight, and ensure that resources are allocated in the marketplace most effectively and efficiently.

  中文原文“必须”后面用了三个并列的动宾结构。在第二个动宾结构中,另有三个貌似并列的词组(主谓词组),即“市场体系不完善”、“政府干预过多”和“监管不到位”。由于作者用了“着力解决……问题”的结构来涵盖这三个问题,所以也可以将其视为另外三个并列的动宾结构,即“着力解决市场体系不完善问题”、“着力解决政府干预过多问题”和“着力解决监管不到位问题”。原译文的译者就是这样看待这种结构的,在译文用了五个并列的动宾词组。但在英语里有些成分不宜并列,如 control excessive government intervention和address insufficient government oversight,这两者在意思上是矛盾的。既然是矛盾的,这种矛盾关系在形式上就需要予以反映,需要有转折(以转折符号来显示),而不应以并列形式存在。另外,原文里最后的动宾结构(“推动资源配置依据市场机制实现效益最大化和效率最优化”)虽然表面上看似乎与其他词组并列,实际上可以被看成是前面动作的目的或结果。根据这一分析,我们似乎可翻译如下:

  【改译】A general rule embraced by market economies, the preeminence of the market in allocating resources should also be a feature of our socialist market economy. To this end, efforts should include building a robust market, and rolling back excessive government intervention while also addressing insufficient government oversight in some areas, so as to promote the market抯 role in maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency in resource allocation.

  3.中国实施创新驱动发展战略,就是要推动以科技创新为核心的全面创新,坚持需求导向和产业化方向,坚持企业在创新中的主体地位,发挥市场在资源配置中的决定性作用和社会主义制度优势,增强科技进步对经济增长的贡献度,形成新的增长动力源泉,推动经济持续健康发展。

  【原译】 To implement the strategy of innovation-

  driven development, China will promote overall innovation, particularly scientific and technological innovation, remain demand-driven and industrialization-oriented, ensure that enterprises play the principal role in innovation, let the market play the decisive role in allocating resources, and take full advantage of the socialist system. It will enhance the contribution made by scientific and technological advancements to economic growth, create new engines of growth, and sustain sound economic development.

  原文在“就是”后面跟着七个并列的动宾结构,译文把前面五个动宾词组改为六个,后面另起一句,但保留原有的最后三个并列的动宾词组。总体来看,译文基本上沿用了原文里众多并列动宾结构的组合方式。但问题是这些动宾词组从实际意义上讲并不都是并列关系,在英语里如此排列不合逻辑。比如,英语里第一个词组(promote overall innovation)与第二个(remain demand-driven)就无法并列,主语都是China,称China will remain demand-driven是说不通的。另外,从意义上来说,take full advantage of the socialist system也不能被视为是与其他事项平行的事项,所以在形式上也不应保持并列关系。在最后部分,虽然原文有三个并列词组,但三者显然也不是并列关系,后面两项应该是对前一项的进一步说明,所以翻译时保持原有结构是不可取的。

  【改译】 China抯 innovation-driven development

  strategy aims at encouraging innovation in all areas, particularly scientific and technological innovation. Innovation should be demand-driven in response to the needs of industrialization. Businesses are major players in delivering innovation, and the market should play the decisive role in allocating resources. The full potential of our socialist system should be explored. The strategy seeks to enhance the contribution of scientific and technological advances to economic growth, which would serve as a new growth driver and help sustain sound economic development.

  (二)按照英语习惯调整词语组合及行文安排

  翻译的本质就是用另一种符号系统为已经用一种符号系统编制的信息重新编码。所要传递的是信息,而不是编制信息的符号。译者需要在吸收原有信息的基础上,根据新环境的编码规则和习惯再现这些信息。因此,无论在词语或词组层面,还是在分句或句子层面,甚至在语篇层面,都不必紧紧盯住原文的单词、搭配方式、组合方式,而应真正理解消化原文的实质信息。这些信息在译文里的表达完全依据译文的习惯和表达需要。例如:

  1.中国提出的全球经济治理的根本目标是推动经济全球化朝着均衡、普惠、共赢方向发展。

  【原译】 The idea of global economic governance proposed by China aims at promoting the growth of economic globalization in the direction of balance, universal benefits and win-win results.

  贴字面把“朝着均衡、普惠、共赢方向发展”译成in the direction of balance, universal benefits and win-win results是不通的。“方向”在中文里经常是为了组合文字的需要而用的,本身不包含信息要素,因此不必硬译。

  【改译】 The goal of improving global economic governance is, in our view, to transform economic globalization into a balanced, win-win process that bring benefits to all.

  2.摸着石头过河,是富有中国特色、中国智慧、符合中国国情的改革方法。摸着石头过河就是摸规律。对于必须取得突破但一时还不那么有把握的改革,就先行试点,尊重实践、尊重创造,鼓励大胆探索、勇于开拓,取得经验、看得准了再推开。

  【原译】Crossing the river by feeling the stones is an approach to reform that is full of Chinese characteristics and wisdom and suits the national conditions of China.

  It means trying to figure out the rules and laws in doing something. When a breakthrough is required in the country抯 development but people are not sure how to make it happen, the country starts out by conducting trials, respects praxis and creativity, encourages people to boldly explore and break new ground.

  Then, when the country has gained experience and is completely clear about how things work, it carries out the reforms across the board.

  “摸规律”按字面翻译成figure out the rules and laws不妥当,这里的“规律”与rules and laws毫无关系,“摸规律”实际上强调的就是探索。对于“尊重实践、尊重创造”,把中文搭配方式(respects praxis and creativity)搬到英语里,属生搬硬套。对整段话的处理,我们无法也不必追求“一个萝卜一个坑”,不必照搬中文语序,在把握各个基本要素的基础上,词语的组合及句型的安排完全根据英语表达的需要而定。

  【改译】Crossing the river by feeling for stones is a distinctly Chinese approach to reform, one that embodies Chinese wisdom in addressing issues specific to contemporary China. It calls for prudence in feeling our way forward in unfamiliar territory, and testing the waters before a major course of action aiming at achieving breakthroughs is launched. It encourages innovation, exploration, and trailblazing efforts, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of identifying and promoting best practices on the basis of lessons learned.

  3.中国主动适应并积极参与世界格局变革调整进程,以负责任大国形象展现在世人面前。

  【原译】China is adapting itself to and actively participating in changes to the world order and has the image of a responsible big power.

  中文原文在表面上似乎谈两件事情,但