译文示例:大英百科中的中国(节译)

英文原文:大英百科/中文译文:活龙

China is a country of East Asia. It is the largest of all Asian countries and has the largest population of any country in the world. Occupying nearly the entire East Asian landmass, it occupies approximately one-fourteenth of the land area of the Earth. Among the major countries of the world, China is surpassed in area by only Russia and Canada, and it is almost as large as the whole of Europe.

中国地处东亚,是亚洲面积最大的国家,人口居世界第一位。它几乎占据了整个东亚大陆,领土面积约占地球陆地总面积的十四分之一,在世界各国中仅次于俄罗斯和加拿大,与整个欧洲相当。

China has 33 administrative units directly under the central government; these consist of 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities (Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin), and 2 special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The island province of Taiwan, which has been under separate administration since 1949, is discussed in the article Taiwan. Beijing (Peking), the capital of the People’s Republic, is also the cultural, economic, and communications centre of the country. Shanghai is the main industrial city; Hong Kong is the leading commercial centre and port.

中国有 33 个省级行政区域,其中包括 22 个省、5 个自治区以及重庆、北京、上海、天津 4 个直辖市和香港、澳门两个特别行政区。台湾岛自 1949 年以来一直处于不同于其它省份的行政管辖之下。该地区在“台湾”一文中有详细介绍。北京是中华人民共和国的首都,也是中国文化、经济和交通中心;上海是最大的工业城市;香港是最大的商业中心和港口。

Within China’s boundaries exists a highly diverse and complex country. Its topography encompasses the highest and one of the lowest places on Earth, and its relief varies from nearly impenetrable mountainous terrain to vast coastal lowlands. Its climate ranges from extremely dry, desertlike conditions in the northwest to tropical monsoon in the southeast, and China has the greatest contrast in temperature between its northern and southern borders of any country in the world.

中国自然环境极为多样、复杂。这里有世界海拔最高的地区,也有海拔极低的地方;从人类几乎不能穿越的山地到广大的沿海低地,从西北部极端干燥的沙漠气候到东南部的热带季风气候,中国各地的地势和气候差异极大。中国还是世界上南北温差最大的国家。

The diversity of both China’s relief and its climate has resulted in one of the world’s widest arrays of ecological niches, and these niches have been filled by a vast number of plant and animal species. Indeed, practically all types of Northern Hemisphere plants, except those of the polar tundra, are found in China, and, despite the continuous inroads of humans over the millennia, China still is home to some of the world’s most exotic animals.

中国复杂的地势和气候形成了各种各样的生态位,其广度在世界居于前列。在这些不同的生态位当中生存着众多的动植物物种。除了极地冻土地带的植物以外,北半球几乎所有的植物都能在中国找到。虽然在过去的几千年中人类不断侵袭自然环境,但中国仍然拥有一些世界上最为珍稀的动物。

Probably the single most identifiable characteristic of China to the people of the rest of the world is the size of its population. Some one-fifth of humanity is of Chinese nationality. The great majority of the population is Chinese (Han), and thus China is often characterized as an ethnically homogeneous country, but few countries have as wide a variety of indigenous peoples as does China. Even among the Han there are cultural and linguistic differences between regions; for example, the only point of linguistic commonality between two individuals from different parts of China may be the written Chinese language. Because China’s population is so enormous, the population density of the country is also often thought to be uniformly high, but vast areas of China are either uninhabited or sparsely populated.

对于世界其它地方的人们来说,中国最显著的特点莫过于其庞大的人口数量。人类中大约有五分之一是中国人,其中又以汉族为主,因此中国常被认为是一个民族单一的国家。但实际上,中国有众多的世居民族,数量之多在世界各国中非常少见。即使在汉族当中,不同地区人们之间也存在着文化和语言的差异。比如,中国不同地区的人在语言上的唯一共同之处是所使用的汉语书面语。中国人口众多,因此人们又常常认为中国各地的人口密度都很高,但实际上中国有大面积的国土无人居住或者人烟稀少。

With more than 4,000 years of recorded history, China is one of the few existing countries that also flourished economically and culturally in the earliest stages of world civilization. Indeed, despite the political and social upheavals that frequently have ravaged the country, China is unique among nations in its longevity and resilience as a discrete politico-cultural unit. Much of China’s cultural development has been accomplished with relatively little outside influence, the introduction of Buddhism from India constituting a major exception. Even when the country was penetrated by such “barbarian” peoples as the Manchu, these groups soon became largely absorbed into the fabric of Han Chinese culture.

中国有文字记载的历史长达四千余年,在人类文明之初就取得了辉煌的经济和文化成就,有过如此恢弘历史的国家在当今世界屈指可数。中国经受过无数次政治和社会动荡的严重破坏。作为独立的政治和文化整体,中国悠久的历史和动荡之后的恢复能力在世界各国中绝无仅有。除了从印度传入的佛教以外,中国在文化发展的过程中很少受到外部影响。即使在由满洲人等“蛮夷”统治的时期,中国也大都将这些民族融入到了汉文化当中。

This relative isolation from the outside world made possible over the centuries the flowering and refinement of the Chinese culture, but it also left China ill prepared to cope with that world when, from the mid-19th century, it was confronted by technologically superior foreign nations. There followed a century of decline and decrepitude, as China found itself relatively helpless in the face of a foreign onslaught. The trauma of this external challenge became the catalyst for a revolution that began in the early 20th century against the old regime and culminated in the establishment of a communist government in 1949. This event reshaped global political geography, and China has since come to rank among the most influential countries in the world.

中国在几千年的历史长河中与外部世界相对隔绝,但也因此发展出了繁花似锦、博大精深的中华文化。但这种隔绝状态也让中国在十九世纪中叶面对西方技术强国时措手不及。中国在面对西方列强入侵时几无抵抗之力,从此开始了长达一个世纪的衰落和破败。列强的入侵所造成的创痛在二十世纪初的中国引发了一场推翻旧有制度的革命。这场革命最终于 1949 年产生了由共产党领导的政府。这一事件改变了世界政治格局,中国从此成为了一个有着巨大影响力的国家。

Central to China’s long-enduring identity as a unitary country is the province, or sheng (“secretariat”). The provinces are traceable in their current form to the Tang dynasty (AD 618–907). Over the centuries, provinces gained in importance as centres of political and economic authority and increasingly became the focus of regional identification and loyalty. Provincial power reached its peak in the first two decades of the 20th century, but, since the establishment of the People’s Republic, that power has been curtailed by a strong central leadership in Beijing. Nonetheless, while the Chinese state has remained unitary in form, the vast size and population of China’s provinces—which are comparable to large and midsize nations—dictate their continuing importance as a level of subnational administration.

中国这个单一制国家有着悠久的历史,“省”(原为一种“官署”名)在国家中起着举足轻重的作用。中国目前的省份可以追溯至唐代(公元 618 年—907 年)。在一千多年的发展过程中,省作为地方政治和经济中心的地位日益重要,也越来越成为地方身份认同和忠诚感的中心。省的势力在二十世纪头二十年里达到了顶峰,但自人民共和国成立以来,省的势力受到了强势北京中央政府的削弱。可是,中国尽管在形式上仍然是单一制国家,但面积与人口均与中等规模国家甚至大国相当的各省在省级政区管理中仍然占据着重要的地位。

27 thoughts on “译文示例:大英百科中的中国(节译)

  1. 现在有人抨击中国翻译界“没有责任与底线”,作为一名翻译,我不敢说什么。报酬低是真的,但假如有人出高价,译员们就能翻译出好东西了吗。比如我翻译的这篇,谁来看下一千字值多少钱?

    1. 经学习,并与博主讨论,此处翻成“单一制”国家更恰当,更客观科学,更符合整体行文风格。

    2. 单一制国家是一种国家的形式,大一统是这种形式的一个类型。单一制的国家权力从上往下发散,就是说,从理论上来讲,中央可以收回任何地方的权利。联邦制的国家正好相反,权利由下向上集中。从理论上来讲,只有地方明确上交的权力中央才有。但只是理论而已。中国地方的权力当然很大,体量摆在那里。俄罗斯和美国也是联邦制的,但中央的权力也是很大的。我觉得最后就成了鸡和蛋的之间的关系。都TM一样。

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  6. 人类中大约有五分之一是中国人,有些饶舌,人类好像是个整体概念,是为了跟动物区分开的时候才说人类。

  7. 省的势力在二十世纪头二十年里达到了顶峰,省的实力不太合适,这里应该说的是地方自治到中央集权过渡,power翻译成势力,似乎不能表达意思,是地方的权利收归中央政府

    1. Provincial power 说的就是“省的势力”,没什么合适的。它没有你说的“应该”的“地方自治”。如果你知道中国历史,民国1912年成立,成立之后的10年军阀混战,中央政府控制不了,也就是原文说的“在二十世纪头二十年里达到了顶峰”。

  8. 中国经受过无数次政治和社会动荡的严重破坏。作为独立的政治和文化整体,把frequent翻译成无数次有些夸大,最好频繁即可。

  9. Central to China’s long-enduring identity as a unitary country is the province, or sheng (“secretariat”). 长期以来,中国一直是一个单一制国家,“省”(原为一种“官署”名)在国家中起着举足轻重的作用。

    1. 删掉修饰部分就是 Central to China’ identity is the province. identity 这里的意思是独特的身份,指“中国作为单一制国家的这种身份”时间很长,意思就是“中国这个单一制国家有着悠久的历史”咯。

  10. 问题:大英百科全书那篇文章看了一下前两端。第一段没什么问题,只是感觉译文的句子数量少于原文,可能会感觉一句话里的信息量稍大。

  11. 问题:第二段 separate administration 译成”不同于其它省份的行政管辖“不太对,separate不是different。 is discussed不用翻译出”了“,discuss这里是单向的介绍,不是讨论。后面的communications centre不是交通,是通讯。形容上海的main不一定是最大,同样形容香港的leading也一样。

    1. 回答:1.我知道separate不是different,为了政治正确(台湾是中国一部分,跟大陆没有seperate)我这么翻译的。2.discuss 确实译错了,刚查词典,它还有write or talk about in detail的意思 3. communications centre 确实是交通中心,communications 是多义词,比如交通银行 Bank of Communications,没有“北京是通讯中心”的说法 4. 翻译成“上海是最大的工业城市;香港是最大的商业中心和港口”是因为定冠词 the(特指),不是 a。至少在文章 写成的1994年,“上海确实是最大的工业城市;香港也确实是最大的商业中心和港口”,香港刚回归中国的时候GDP占中国的1/4,现在是3%。这些都是事实。可以验证 the 的独特用法——特指,中国人不容易理解的用法。

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