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驻外大使翻译“不折腾” 自感准确精彩表意恰当(转贴)
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Jan 19, 2009

中新网1月18日电 “不折腾”怎么翻译成英文?对于这个世界性的难题,中国驻纳米比亚大使任小萍也给出了自己的答案。她在中国外交部网站上发表文章,对这个困扰各路翻译精英的难题予以解答。

  她在文章中指出,最近,胡主席在庆祝改革开放30 周年讲话中说:“只要我们不动摇、不懈怠、不折腾,坚定不移地推进改革开放,坚定不移地走中国特色社会主义道路,就一定能够胜利实现这一宏伟蓝图和奋斗目标。”

  当时,“不折腾”三个字刚落音,人民大会堂观众席随即传来会心的笑声。在正式的场合宣示重大发展方向时,一贯严肃的胡锦涛突然冒出一句很普通的口语,显然让大家觉得十分亲切。但笑声也说明观众是听懂了“折腾”二字的所指,也听懂了“不折腾”的含义。

  任小萍大使认为,这是说,建国以来,因内外因素而走的冤枉路并不少。历次的政治运动和反复都给国家发展造成不少损伤,文化大革命是损伤最大的一次。改革开放也几经受挫,成功来之不易。如今,将过去的曲折、错误一律以“折腾”称之,表明中国不再做与经济发展无关的、内耗的路线辩论或政治斗争,“不折腾”的确有现实针对性,而且微妙贴切。


  但是,这个“不折腾”怎么翻呢?据说难坏了各路翻译精英们。

  任大使在网上收集了几种译法:供各位参考,希望起到抛砖引玉的作用:

  1、don't flip flop (别翻来倒去,朝三暮四)

  2、don't get sidetracked (别走岔路)

  3、don't sway back and forth (别反复)

  4、no dithering(不踌躇)

  5、no major changes (没有重大变化)

  6、avoid futile actions (不做无用工)

  7、stop making trouble and wasting time

  8、no self-consuming political movements (不搞自我消耗的政治运动)

  她认为,上述译法,觉得都不够准确,不够精彩,没有把“折腾”的全部意思表达出来。这里推荐一个译法,感觉比较恰当:

  avoid self-inflicted setbacks (不折腾)

  原因是:

  “self-inflicted” has the connotation of creating the unnecessary pain for one self.

  折腾 in Hu’s speech has a strong connotation that such kind of setback is self-seeking instead of being due to the interference from outside.

  “Setback” is a much better word than “trouble”, which an unseasoned translator would like to use in the first instance. “Setback” especially refers to the obstacle or difficulty encountered in achieving a strategic goal.

http://www.chinanews.cn/cul/news/2009/01-18/1532563.shtml


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ysun  Identity Verified
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到底谁是原创? Jan 19, 2009

先不谈“Self-inflicted Setback”是否译得“准确精彩表意恰当”。偶然看到黄树生于2009年1月3日发表的如下这篇文章后,感到有些迷惑。此文说,“有一位外国记者认为:“折腾”翻译“Self-inflicted Setback”比较贴切。” 再对照上面的“中新网1月18日电 ”,觉得此电中许多地方似乎与黄树生文章雷同、甚至一字不差。那么,到底是谁抄谁的?到底谁是“Self-inflicted Setback”的原创?
============================================
http://wuxitree.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!ACF087D1635C30C6!2226.entry

“不折腾”译说

黄树生(无锡市教育研究中心)

2008年12月18日,中共中央总书记胡锦涛在纪念党的十一届三中全会召开30周年大会上的讲话时,连续用了三个“不”,表明中国走社会主义道路的坚定不移决心:

只要我们不动摇、不懈怠、不折腾,坚定不移地推进改革开放,坚定不移地走中国特色社会主义道路,就一定能够胜利实现这一宏伟蓝图和奋斗目标。

其中,一贯严肃的胡锦涛突然冒出一句很普通的北方通用口语——“不折腾”,当时引起与会代表的会心一笑,这笑声显然说明大家听懂了“折腾”二字的所指,也听懂了“不折腾”的含义。
其后,关于“不折腾”的意义迅即在大陆网民间“折腾”起来,正在影响国际社会。有人从政治路线看,认为新中国成立以来,因内外因素而走了太多的冤枉路,包括多项政治运动、反右、大跃进、文革等,都给国家政治、经济发展造成不少损伤,文化大革命是损伤最大的一次。 有人从意识形态、经济发展路线看,认为改革开放的历程中,多次的左、右意识形态争议和风波,耽误了经济发展进程,让改革开放流于空转,直到1992年邓小平南巡后才再次开启,未来不应再走冤枉路。
关于“不折腾”,在12月底中国国务院新闻办主任王晨提出官方权威的解释:“最根本的就是坚定不移地走中国特色社会主义道路,坚定不移地坚持中国特色社会主义理论体系,就是这样一个道路,不是别的什么道路,就是这样一个理论体系,不是别的什么理论。”也就是说,如今中共将过去的曲折、错误一律以“折腾”称之,表明中国不再做与经济发展无关的、内耗的路线辩论或政治斗争,“不折腾”的确有现实针对性,而且微妙贴切。
中文内涵因此问题解决了。但是,对于希望了解中国想法的国际媒体来说,“不折腾” 三个字的英文如何准确地翻译,却折腾了世界上一大帮子媒体界的双语精英。台湾《中时电子报》和新加坡《联合早报》等海外媒体以《胡锦涛“不折腾” 英译折腾人》、《折腾“不折腾”》的标题报导了当前英语面临的窘境。
根据最新版《现代汉语词典》对“折腾”一词的解释,作为动词有三层基本含义:翻过来倒过去、反复做(某事)、折磨。[①]于是,“海词”在线英文翻译“折腾”[zhē teng]为①turn from side to side;②cause sb to fell depressed;③repeatedly do over[②]。日文解释为くもんする;さいなまれる苦闷 する。1.ごろごろと寝返りを打つ.2. 缲り返す。3.むやみなことをする.无茶をする。4.苦しめる.いためつける.いじめる.虐待する。
据《联合早报》报导,对“不折腾”这句中国北方口语,外国媒体至今的译法五花八门,包含“不要翻来倒去”(don’t flip flop)、“别走岔路”(don’t get side tracked)、“别反覆”(don’t sway back and forth)、“不踌躇”(don’t dithering),此外,还有翻译成“没有重大变化”(no major changes)者。但许多北京外籍媒体记者认为,这些译法都还不够准确,因为没有把“折腾”中隐含的“混乱”、“自我消耗”涵义体现出来。
笔者查阅了2009年元旦《中国日报》翻译胡锦涛讲话要点的英文版,使用的是“别反覆”(don’t sway back and forth)译法。

We should not sway back and forth, relax our efforts or get sidetracked. We must firmly push forward the reform and opening-up process and adhere to socialism with Chinese characteristics. In that way, we will achieve our grand blueprint and magnificent objectives.[③]

但并不能确定这是中共官定版本。国家权威解释依然缺席,似乎是预留了模糊空间让各家解读。中国国务院新闻办日前在提到这句口语时,现场译员干脆根据汉语拼音念出“bu zheteng”,再次引来现场一轮笑声。
闲聊时,笔者与英语媒体的朋友讨论上述译法,觉得都不够精彩,没有把“折腾”里头还带着的“混乱”、“自我消耗”涵义体现出来。如有一位外国记者认为:“折腾”翻译“Self-inflicted Setback”比较贴切。
Only used in the context of Hu’s speech.“只要我们不动摇、不懈怠、不折腾,坚定不移地推进改革开放”
self-inflicted” has the connotation of creating the unnecessary pain for one self.
折腾 in Hu’s speech has strong connotation that such kind of setback is self-seeking instead of being due to the interference from outside.
“Setback” is a much better word than “trouble”, which an unseasoned translator would like to use in the first instance. “Setback” especially refers to the obstacle or difficult encountered in achieving a strategic goal.


网络上有博文大赞直接英译“不折腾”[bù zhē teng]表现了中共的智慧。或许,“bu zheteng”将成为英语当中的专属名词。
现代中国人为英语增加词汇,之前有先例。像宇航员,美国的叫“astronaut”,苏联的叫“cosmonaut”,2003年以后航天词库中又新增了“taikonaut”(源自“太空”的汉语拼音taikong),指中国的宇航员。一个国家国力增长,或受关注的程度增加,就有机会为外语词库做贡献。[④]

2009年1月3日


[Edited at 2009-01-20 06:55 GMT]


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wherestip  Identity Verified
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A Better Choice of Words Jan 19, 2009



黄树生:

据《联合早报》报导,对“不折腾”这句中国北方口语,外国媒体至今的译法五花八门,包含“不要翻来倒去”(don’t flip flop)、“别走岔路”(don’t get side tracked)、“别反覆”(don’t sway back and forth)、“不踌躇”(don’t dithering),此外,还有翻译成“没有重大变化”(no major changes)者。但许多北京外籍媒体记者认为,这些译法都还不够准确,因为没有把“折腾”中隐含的“混乱”、“自我消耗”涵义体现出来。
笔者查阅了2009年元旦《中国日报》翻译胡锦涛讲话要点的英文版,使用的是“别反覆”(don’t sway back and forth)译法。



It's either "don't dither" or "no dithering". You usually don't say "don't dithering".

But anyway, I agree with the argument that "... 没有把“折腾”中隐含的“混乱”、“自我消耗”涵义体现出来。"

I believe it is the Foreign Ministry's job to clarify to the world what the speaker meant, instead of engaging in this game of one-upsmanship in English translation, or even stooping to the low of taking credit from others. After all, they are the ones who have access to the source. Once the original meaning in Chinese is clearly understood, it is not rocket science to find the appropriate equivalent English words.

However, I agree that the phrase "no self-inflicted setbacks" is a lot better than the other translations. At least it is closer to what I understand the Chinese phrase "不折腾" to be. Except that setbacks are usually not known until afterwards. How would someone recognize a setback until it is all said and done?

The nature of this whole thing is guidance from the top official on what not to do. If one knows ahead of time that some kind of action will cause a setback, yet engages in that action anyway, it really should be called "sabotage".

That's the reason for my suggestion of "refrain from capricious experimentation that ends up defeating the common goal", among several others in the other thread on this topic.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


p.s. Actually, come to think of it, "No sabotage" is not too bad - it's short and to the point, especially provided the 折腾 referred to was deliberate and intentional to harm. Again, that, only the speaker could explain.



[Edited at 2009-01-19 16:30 GMT]


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ysun  Identity Verified
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“老大难”问题 Jan 19, 2009

wherestip wrote:

I believe it is the Foreign Ministry's job to clarify to the world what the speaker meant, instead of engaging in this game of one-upsmanship in English translation, or even stooping to the low of taking credit from others. After all, they are the ones who have access to the source. Once the original meaning in Chinese is clearly understood, it is not rocket science to find the appropriate equivalent English words.

However, I agree that the phrase "no self-inflicted setbacks" is a lot better than the other translations. At least it is closer to what I understand the Chinese phrase "不折腾" to be. Except that setbacks are usually not known until afterwards. How would someone recognize a setback until it is all said and done?

The nature of this whole thing is guidance from the top official on what not to do. If one knows ahead of time that some kind of action will cause a setback, yet engages in that action anyway, it really should be called "sabotage".

Steve,

我完全同意你的分析。对于这个似乎已经成了“老大难”的问题,有关部门可以先请教一下胡锦涛,待深刻领会他的本意之后,再研究出一个统一的官方译法。如果觉得不必请教胡锦涛,也可先研究出一个统一的官方解释,再相应地提出统一的官方译法。其间也可向在新华社、中央电视台以及 China Daily 等单位工作的外国专家们征求一下意见。重要的是要能够提出一个较好的正式译法,而不是能够提出较好的译法。外交部也许是想利用任小萍大使的说法挣回一些面子。对于任小萍大使的能力,我还是很佩服的。

黄树生的文章是写得比较乱,有些地方还不大通顺。但其中披露了一个事实:是一位外国记者先提出 “Self-inflicted Setback” 的译法。 不谋而合完全是可能的。但几乎一字不差地抄袭黄树生的文章段落,这种做法则不可取。


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chica nueva
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No chopping and changing? Jan 20, 2009

No chopping and changing?

[Edited at 2009-01-20 09:42 GMT]


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ysun  Identity Verified
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‘折腾’的反义词 Jan 20, 2009

lai an wrote:

-> 在这儿‘折腾’的反义词是什么,同仁们怎么认为?

消停、安定

[Edited at 2009-01-20 01:51 GMT]


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wherestip  Identity Verified
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反义词 Jan 20, 2009

ysun wrote:

lai an wrote:

-> 在这儿‘折腾’的反义词是什么,同仁们怎么认为?


'折腾' 的反义词

消停、安定



That reminds me. In the other thread, one of my suggestions was "don't vacillate and cause instability".

Something like "no shenanigans that cause instability" also sounds pretty good to me.


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wherestip  Identity Verified
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驻纳米比亚大使的讲话 Jan 20, 2009



  7、stop making trouble and wasting time

  8、no self-consuming political movements (不搞自我消耗的政治运动)



These two from that list compiled by the Chinese Ambassador to Namibia sound good to me also, depending on what in essence President Hu meant in his speech.

On the other hand, the rest in that list strikes me as rather superficial interpretations of the phrase "不折腾".



[Edited at 2009-01-20 04:36 GMT]


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ysun  Identity Verified
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安定 Jan 20, 2009

wherestip wrote:

That reminds me. In the other thread, one of my suggestions was "don't vacillate and cause instability".

Something like "no shenanigans that cause instability" also sounds pretty good to me.

四人帮刚倒台时的说法是“要坚持安定团结的方针”。邓小平也说过:“没有一个安定团结的政治局面,就不能安下心来搞建设。”“压倒一切的是稳定。” 胡锦涛所说的“不折腾”大概也是这个意思。


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ysun  Identity Verified
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也许是中新网误会了任小萍大使的意思 Jan 20, 2009

中新网1月18日电的标题是《驻外大使翻译“不折腾” 自感准确精彩表意恰当》。但我想,任小萍大使恐怕还不至于“自感准确精彩表意恰当”,也不至于把别人的译法说成是自己的。事情大概就坏在那些抬轿子、吹喇叭的人身上。我注意到,中新网1月18日电曰,“她认为,上述译法,觉得都不够准确,不够精彩,没有把“折腾”的全部意思表达出来。这里推荐一个译法,感觉比较恰当:avoid self-inflicted setbacks (不折腾)。” 既然是“推荐”,那就说不定她推荐的就是那位外国记者的译法,但最好说得明确些,以免别人误解。她推荐别人的译法,“感觉比较恰当”,那是完全合乎情理的。说不定连下面那段话也是那位外国记者说的:
“self-inflicted” has the connotation of creating the unnecessary pain for one self.
折腾 in Hu’s speech has a strong connotation that such kind of setback is self-seeking instead of being due to the interference from outside.
“Setback” is a much better word than “trouble”, which an unseasoned translator would like to use in the first instance. “Setback” especially refers to the obstacle or difficulty encountered in achieving a strategic goal.


我到中国外交部网站上查了一下,但没查到任小萍大使的原文。


[Edited at 2009-01-20 06:01 GMT]


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Li Cao  Identity Verified
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No Z turn Jan 20, 2009

我看到的最新翻译是“no Z turn“
觉得挺合适,发音相近,意思也很切合。


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ysun  Identity Verified
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依我看是“胡折腾” Jan 20, 2009

Just kidding!
Li Cao wrote:

我看到的最新翻译是“no Z turn“


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Jason Young  Identity Verified
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有意思 Jan 20, 2009

Li Cao wrote:

我看到的最新翻译是“no Z turn“
觉得挺合适,发音相近,意思也很切合。


简洁、形象、不失中国特色,喜欢这个译法。


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wherestip  Identity Verified
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Z-turns Jan 20, 2009

I don't know about other English-speaking countries, but here in the U.S. I've heard of U-turns and hairpin turns.

The only "Z-turns" I've heard of over here are for lawn mowers that have zero-turn capability.

But "no Z-turns" is probably understandable. IMO "no erratic actions" is pretty much the same thing.

"No zigzags" or "avoid zigzags" are also easily understandable. In my opinion, why reinvent the wheel?



[Edited at 2009-01-20 12:57 GMT]


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wherestip  Identity Verified
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switchback Jan 20, 2009

Switchback is another word already in existence for those types of treacherous roads.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/switchback


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驻外大使翻译“不折腾” 自感准确精彩表意恰当(转贴)

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