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GRE阅读短文系列翻译(请大家品评指点)
Thread poster: Seaguest
Seaguest  Identity Verified
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Oct 3, 2005

译文:
社会科学不太可能象其他学科那样,以其成就而获得肯定。比较有道理的解释是,因为社会科学的理论和概念框架特别容易被人理解吸收:人类智力在领会那些关于自身事务的真相方面尤为敏锐快捷。因此一旦社会科学的研究成果得到确认并被分门别类,就会很迅速地变成老生常谈,随之也就无法作为科学进展的标志而引人注目了。

与这种低估社会科学的现象形成奇异对比的是另外一种在许多人看来是对社会科学过分滥用的情形。人们征用博弈论来研究分合无常的国际同盟、呼召评估研究来揭示社会计划的成败,把各种经济学和人口统计学模型变成用以检查社会保障制度财务基础的权威性工具。但是,这种迫不及待地应用社会科学理论的做法本身却是有情可原的:公共政策必须接二连三地制定出来,而决策者们不无道理地认为,即使是用不确定的结论和未经证实的理论来作决策依据也比无凭无据要好。

原文:
The social sciences are less likely than other intellectual enterprises to get credit for their accomplishments. Arguably, this is so because the theories and conceptual constructs of the social sciences are especially accessible: human intelligence apprehends truths about human affairs with particular facility. And the discoveries of the social sciences, once isolated and labeled, are quickly absorbed into conventional wisdom, whereupon they lose their distinctiveness as scientific advances.

This underappreciation of the social sciences contrasts oddly with what many see as their overutilization. Game theory is pressed into service in studies of shifting international alliances. Evaluation research is called upon to demonstrate successes or failures of social programs. Models from economics and demography become the definitive tools for examining the financial base of social security. Yet this rush into practical applications is itself quite understandable: public policy must continually be made, and policymakers rightly feel that even tentative findings and untested theories are better guides to decision-making than no findings and no theories at all.



[Edited at 2005-10-03 16:28]

[Edited at 2005-10-05 18:02]


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Seaguest  Identity Verified
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2 Oct 3, 2005

在整个人类历史上,看人吃饭或当着别人的面吃饭都是很犯忌的行为。人们一直想将这些忌讳与各种不恰当的社会关系联系起来加以解释,比如一方已经饥肠辘辘,而另一方还没到满足身体需要的时候;或者一方已经酒足饭饱,而另一方却似乎还在不顾体面的大吃大喝。无疑各种禁忌当中确实有这些因素,但存在着的另外一个因素却更具根本的重要性。在史前时代,当食物极其宝贵而旁边的人又是饥饿难耐时,不把仅有的那点食物分出一半来给人是无法想象的,因为每一个眼神都是在哀求救命。而且在那个时代,人们生活在核心家庭或大家族中,分享食物等于支持自己的家庭,广义地说,其实就是在保全自我。


Throughout human history there have been many stringent taboos concerning watching other people eat or eating in the presence of others. There have been attempts to explain these taboos in terms of inappropriate social relationships either between those who are involved and those who are not simultaneously involved in the satisfaction of a bodily need, or between those already satiated and those who appear to be shamelessly gorging. Undoubtedly such elements exist in the taboos, but there is an additional element with a much more fundamental importance. In prehistoric times, when food was so precious and the on-lookers so hungry, not to offer half of the little food one had was unthinkable, since every glance was a plea for life. Further, during those times, people existed in nuclear or extended family groups, and the sharing of food was quite literally supporting one’s family or, by extension, preserving one’s self.


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
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乖乖! Oct 3, 2005

乖乖,你怎麼老是找這種特難的文章來譯的?

因手上工作壓力大,暫時無法詳讀,不過第一道文本的 arguably 譯成 "比較有道理",我覺得不大準確,也許改為 "還可商榷" 會比較接近那個字詞的原本意義。

至於第二道文本的內容,讓我想起每次在某友人家吃飯時,他家裡的狗在桌邊一副乞求的表情,令我感到極為難堪,只能對那條狗說:Ivan, nicht betteln! (伊凡,不要乞討!) 我的朋友總是哈哈大笑,學著我說:Ivan, nicht betteln!

據說,生物在進食、如廁、睡眠和交媾的時候,防衛力量最為薄弱,因此生物在從事那些活動時會找尋掩蔽的地方--這也許是那些 taboos 的由來吧?:D

[Edited at 2005-10-03 19:16]


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Seaguest  Identity Verified
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我比较喜欢小动物 Oct 3, 2005

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:

乖乖,你怎麼老是找這種特難的文章來譯的?

因手上工作壓力大,暫時無法詳讀,不過第一道文本的 arguably 譯成 "比較有道理",我覺得不大準確,也許改為 "還可商榷" 會比較接近那個字詞的原本意義。

至於第二道文本的內容,讓我想起每次在某友人吃飯時,他家裡的狗在桌邊一副乞求的表情,令我感到極為難堪,只能對那條狗說:Ivan, nicht betteln! (伊凡,不要乞討!) 我的朋友總是哈哈大笑,學著我說:Ivan, nicht betteln!

據說,生物在進食、如廁、睡眠和交媾時的時候,防衛力量最弱,因此生物在從事那些活動時會找尋掩蔽的地方--這也許是那些 taboos 的由來吧?:D


Wenjer前辈,你讲得很有意思啊,那种滑稽场面让人想起来都忍俊不禁呢。我其实很喜欢猫狗之类的,只是没有机会自己养一个。我一个朋友现在乌干达,养了一只大猫,两只眼睛跟灯泡似的,别提多好玩了。

“arguably”按照常理应该翻译成“还可商榷”之类的意思。但我感觉“商榷”虽然表面上是中性词,但在中国的语言习惯中,它带有不赞成或挑战某个观点的意味,而这里作者似乎是要表明对后面那个观点的赞许之意,即作者是从积极的一面而不是从消极的一面来看待后面的观点。我想把这层意思给译出来,就翻译成这样了。觉得有点拖拉了点,把一个词译成了句子。但想了半天没有更好的译法,请你还有其他前辈能指点一下。


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Xiaoping Fu  Identity Verified
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未定之见 Oct 4, 2005

Seaguest wrote:
“arguably”按照常理应该翻译成“还可商榷”之类的意思。但我感觉“商榷”虽然表面上是中性词,但在中国的语言习惯中,它带有不赞成或挑战某个观点的意味,而这里作者似乎是要表明对后面那个观点的赞许之意,即作者是从积极的一面而不是从消极的一面来看待后面的观点。我想把这层意思给译出来,就翻译成这样了。觉得有点拖拉了点,把一个词译成了句子。但想了半天没有更好的译法,请你还有其他前辈能指点一下。


“Arguably”在这里不是表示赞许,而是表示一定程度的保留。意思是说,我认为是这样,尽管这种观点还没有得到确定不移的证明。英文论说文经常有这样的说法,尤其是在社会科学领域。因为社会科学的理论大部分都是“arguable”的。有点像中国人写论文时喜欢说的:“依本人未定之见”、“我们的初步看法”,等等。


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
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未定之見 Oct 4, 2005

Xiaoping Fu wrote:

“Arguably”在这里不是表示赞许,而是表示一定程度的保留。意思是说,我认为是这样,尽管这种观点还没有得到确定不移的证明。英文论说文经常有这样的说法,尤其是在社会科学领域。因为社会科学的理论大部分都是“arguable”的。有点像中国人写论文时喜欢说的:“依本人未定之见”、“我们的初步看法”,等等。


我想說的是 "這個看法還有商榷的空間"。比較漂亮的說法當然是 "未定之見"。


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Xiaoping Fu  Identity Verified
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饱汉子,饿汉子 Oct 4, 2005

Seaguest wrote:

比如一方已经饥肠辘辘,而另一方还没到满足身体需要的时候;或者一方已经酒足饭饱,而另一方却似乎还在不顾体面的大吃大喝。

…… either between those who are involved and those who are not simultaneously involved in the satisfaction of a bodily need, or between those already satiated and those who appear to be shamelessly gorging.



这段话的前半部分译错了。原文的“involved”和“not involved”共用状语“in the satisfaction of a bodily need”。因此,这句话的意思是“一方进行着满足肉体需要活动,另一方在同一时间没进行这种活动”,说白了就是“吃着的人”和“没吃的人”。

后半部分意思没错,但措辞还需斟酌。中文“酒足饭饱”这个成语暗示“大吃大喝”了一顿,像是刚刚赴过饭局,这是原文没有的意思。原文只是说“already satiated”,即“已经饱了”,可能只吃了一小口就饱了,可能他家有很多吃的,随时吃零食。:-) 而“appear to be shamelessly gorging”译为“大吃大喝”也太像饭局了。不如改为“狼吞虎咽”。我觉得,前一个“关系”的对比在于“吃着的”和“没吃着的”,而后一个“关系”则在于饱了的人从容,还没饱的人则显得狼狈。
这就是所谓“inappropriate social relationships ”,即“不相称的社会关系”,译为“不适当的社会关系”不太好懂。

[Edited at 2005-10-04 03:22]


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Seaguest  Identity Verified
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感谢两位前辈的指点 Oct 4, 2005

Wenjer先生前面问我为什么总找这么难的文章来翻译。没有办法呵,我现在看到的净是这样的东西。但我以为这对我自身的能力是一个难得的提高机会。我不仅可以多向前辈学习请教,也能够凭借对这些疑点难点的克服来更上层楼。

非常感谢傅先生的悉心指点。在傅先生的启发下,我对原译作了些改动,请前辈和同行再审查一下。

关于“Arguably”,我想把它翻译成“以我愚见”。我现在以为作者是要表达他自己对某种现象的解释,所以这个“Arguably”其实是说别人可以对他将要提出的观点进行商榷,将其翻译成中国人习惯的谦辞比较合适。我以前没有想到这是作者在阐述自己的观点,所以对这个词老是把握不住。傅先生的点拨让我有茅塞顿开之感。

关于傅先生指出的第二个问题,我现在想译成:“人们一直想将这些忌讳与各种不相宜的社会关系联系起来加以解释,比如一方已在进食,而另一方还没感觉肚子饿;或者一方已然吃罢,而另一方却还在旁若无人地狼吞虎咽”。我觉得这样更接近原意、也更精练吧。


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Seaguest  Identity Verified
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3 Oct 4, 2005

传统研究面对的只是墨西哥人和美国对墨美文化的诠释。现在我们也必须从我们墨西哥裔美国人的角度对所经历过的文化进行一番审视:先是主权民族,接着变成了新来殖民者的同胞,最终沦为被征服了的民族——成了在自己的土地上被特许存在的少数民族。

当西班牙人率先来到墨西哥时,他们与土著印第安人通婚,并吸收他们的文化。当1800年代早期墨西哥获得德克萨斯时,这一以同化为手段的殖民化政策被保留了下来,使得土著印第安人得以融入墨西哥人的生活并担任公职。到了1820年代,适宜种植棉花的土地将美国人吸引到德克萨斯。随着人数的不断增加,通过征服当地人来获得土地就成为压倒一切的政策。两种意识形态反复碰撞,并在一次导致美国人获胜的军事冲突中达到顶点。于是,我们被突然剥夺了父辈的文化,为了生存,我们不得不逐渐发展出墨西哥裔美国人所独有的思维模式和行为模式。



Traditional research has confronted only Mexican and United States interpretations of Mexican-American culture. Now we must also examine the culture as we Mexican Americans have experienced it, passing from a sovereign people to compatriots with newly arriving settlers to, finally, a conquered people—a charter minority on our own land.

When the Spanish first came to Mexico, they intermarried with and absorbed the culture of the indigenous Indians. This policy of colonization through acculturation was continued when Mexico acquired Texas in the early 1800’s and brought the indigenous Indians into Mexican life and government. In the 1820’s, United States citizens migrated to Texas, attracted by land suitable for cotton. As their numbers became more substantial, their policy of acquiring land by subduing native populations began to dominate. The two ideologies clashed repeatedly, culminating in a military conflict that led to victory for the United States. Thus, suddenly deprived of our parent culture, we had to evolve uniquely Mexican-American modes of thought and action in order to survive.


[Edited at 2005-10-05 05:49]


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Xiaoping Fu  Identity Verified
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没吃就是不饿? Oct 5, 2005

Seaguest wrote:

Wenjer先生前面问我为什么总找这么难的文章来翻译。没有办法呵,我现在看到的净是这样的东西。但我以为这对我自身的能力是一个难得的提高机会。我不仅可以多向前辈学习请教,也能够凭借对这些疑点难点的克服来更上层楼。

非常感谢傅先生的悉心指点。在傅先生的启发下,我对原译作了些改动,请前辈和同行再审查一下。

关于“Arguably”,我想把它翻译成“以我愚见”。我现在以为作者是要表达他自己对某种现象的解释,所以这个“Arguably”其实是说别人可以对他将要提出的观点进行商榷,将其翻译成中国人习惯的谦辞比较合适。我以前没有想到这是作者在阐述自己的观点,所以对这个词老是把握不住。傅先生的点拨让我有茅塞顿开之感。

关于傅先生指出的第二个问题,我现在想译成:“人们一直想将这些忌讳与各种不相宜的社会关系联系起来加以解释,比如一方已在进食,而另一方还没感觉肚子饿;或者一方已然吃罢,而另一方却还在旁若无人地狼吞虎咽”。我觉得这样更接近原意、也更精练吧。


没吃不一定是不饿,很可能是没饭可吃。 “还没感觉肚子饿”有点过度解释,而且可能是向不正确的方向偏离。


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Seaguest  Identity Verified
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明白了 Oct 5, 2005

Xiaoping Fu wrote:

没吃不一定是不饿,很可能是没饭可吃。 “还没感觉肚子饿”有点过度解释,而且可能是向不正确的方向偏离。


这里直译为“而另一方则还没吃”就可以了。是这样吗?


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宪法 Oct 5, 2005

Seaguest wrote:
在自己的土地上被特许存在的少数民族。
a charter minority on our own land.

我认为,“charter minority”的意思不是“被特许存在的少数民族”。少数民族的存在不需要特许,他们的存在是一个既定的事实。我理解,“charter minority”的意思是在宪法(或宪章)中得到承认、权利得到法律保护的少数民族。比如中国有55个少数民族,一个也不多,一个也不少,这是宪法肯定的。

可以考虑译为:“法定的少数民族”。


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我对charter minority的思考 Oct 5, 2005

Xiaoping Fu wrote:

Seaguest wrote:
在自己的土地上被特许存在的少数民族。
a charter minority on our own land.

我认为,“charter minority”的意思不是“被特许存在的少数民族”。少数民族的存在不需要特许,他们的存在是一个既定的事实。我理解,“charter minority”的意思是在宪法(或宪章)中得到承认、权利得到法律保护的少数民族。比如中国有55个少数民族,一个也不多,一个也不少,这是宪法肯定的。

可以考虑译为:“法定的少数民族”。


傅先生,当初之所以翻译成“特许存在的少数民族”,主要是考虑到charter这个词本身的意味还有就是美国的一些历史事实。charter是本义是宪章和特许状,是由中世纪的国王颁给某个城市允许其自治的法律文件,对城市和国王都有约束力。另外,美国过去在处理印第安人问题时设了许多保留地,专门给印第安人居住和自治。这样就造成了一个问题:根据charter,印第安人并不是生在哪里就可以住在哪里的,他们必须搬到白人为他们划定的区域内居住。于是,德克萨斯印第安人对于属于自己的土地反而作不了主,必须接受另外一个权威的判决。这其实是指印第安人主权的沦丧。所以它与中国少数民族的情况不一样。中国的少数民族政策是区域自治,聚居人口多的自然形成一个自治单位,没有为了实行少数民族自治而把一个地方的人强制迁移到另外一个地方的。而且中国少数民族的地位和权利是由政府直接规定的,不象美国那样是由少数与多数订立契约确立的。如果用“法定的少数民族”这种中立的译法,我感觉体现不出作者所要表达的特定意味。作者其实是要表达墨西哥印第安人从独立到受制于人这种由地位落差所产生的痛苦感,只有把这种感觉表达出来才算是真正忠实于原意。


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
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只談內容 Oct 5, 2005

Seaguest wrote:

Traditional research has confronted only Mexican and United States interpretations of Mexican-American culture. Now we must also examine the culture as we Mexican Americans have experienced it, passing from a sovereign people to compatriots with newly arriving settlers to, finally, a conquered people—a charter minority on our own land.

When the Spanish first came to Mexico, they intermarried with and absorbed the culture of the indigenous Indians. This policy of colonization through acculturation was continued when Mexico acquired Texas in the early 1800’s and brought the indigenous Indians into Mexican life and government. In the 1820’s, United States citizens migrated to Texas, attracted by land suitable for cotton. As their numbers became more substantial, their policy of acquiring land by subduing native populations began to dominate. The two ideologies clashed repeatedly, culminating in a military conflict that led to victory for the United States. Thus, suddenly deprived of our parent culture, we had to evolve uniquely Mexican-American modes of thought and action in order to survive.


這兩段文字讓我感到有趣的是:雖說傳統的墨美文化研究只是從美國和墨西哥的觀點做詮釋,而作者要從墨裔美國人的歷史經驗審視墨美文化,作者顯然還是以墨西哥人身分看事情:先是主权民族,接着变成了新来殖民者的同胞,最终沦为被征服了的民族——成了在自己的土地上被特许存在的少数民族。

墨裔美國人是 "美化的墨西哥人" (有點像台灣的 "漢化的平埔族人"),要墨裔美人回歸墨西哥祖國,那恐怕是一萬個不願意,但要說他們是完全的美國人,似乎他們也不肯。這不正是後頭說到的 "uniquely Mexican-American modes of thought and action" 嗎?


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这可能是失败文明共同的处境吧 Oct 5, 2005

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:

Seaguest wrote:

Traditional research has confronted only Mexican and United States interpretations of Mexican-American culture. Now we must also examine the culture as we Mexican Americans have experienced it, passing from a sovereign people to compatriots with newly arriving settlers to, finally, a conquered people—a charter minority on our own land.

When the Spanish first came to Mexico, they intermarried with and absorbed the culture of the indigenous Indians. This policy of colonization through acculturation was continued when Mexico acquired Texas in the early 1800’s and brought the indigenous Indians into Mexican life and government. In the 1820’s, United States citizens migrated to Texas, attracted by land suitable for cotton. As their numbers became more substantial, their policy of acquiring land by subduing native populations began to dominate. The two ideologies clashed repeatedly, culminating in a military conflict that led to victory for the United States. Thus, suddenly deprived of our parent culture, we had to evolve uniquely Mexican-American modes of thought and action in order to survive.


這兩段文字讓我感到有趣的是:雖說傳統的墨美文化研究只是從美國和墨西哥的觀點做詮釋,而作者要從墨裔美國人的歷史經驗審視墨美文化,作者顯然還是以墨西哥人身分看事情:先是主权民族,接着变成了新来殖民者的同胞,最终沦为被征服了的民族——成了在自己的土地上被特许存在的少数民族。

墨裔美國人是 "美化的墨西哥人" (有點像台灣的 "漢化的平埔族人"),要墨裔美人回歸墨西哥祖國,那恐怕是一萬個不願意,但要說他們是完全的美國人,似乎他們也不肯。這不正是後頭說到的 "uniquely Mexican-American modes of thought and action" 嗎?


其实也有点象中国呵,过去是回不去了;但要完全融入世界,完全接受另外一套外来文化,也是心不甘情不愿。说到底是自尊心在作怪。


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