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母語者與非母語者的語感
Thread poster: Wenjer Leuschel
Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
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Local time: 18:38
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Dec 26, 2005

在台灣某網站論壇上,有人貼出尹麗川寫的「生活本該如此嚴肅」的英文翻譯 "Life Should Be This Serious" 如下:

I gave him a casual glance
and wound up marrying him
and so we slept around a lot
although I never had a kid
I put on a pot of broth
And one day ran into the next
And we made a few casual friends
And the years slipped by
And we grew old and gray
And had one foot in the grave
When to our surprise we became a model for others
"They were made for each other, those two!"
... O, the life harmonious!
Then we took our final breath
And the sun cast a casual glance
Upon an empty balcony

另有人希望貼文者也貼出中文原詩,但有一位素以為自己的英文頂尖的人物,為了表示他認為登載那首詩的中文網站不值得一看,說:"The sight didn't worth the search."

有人說,應該說 "The sight wasn't worth the search." 才對。這一點應該很明白,但有人說 "The sight wasn't worth searching." 也是正確的,端視想要表示的重點何在。那位素以為自己英文頂尖的人物雖承認 "didn't" 為錯誤,但卻說 "wasn't worth searching" 為非母語者的不標準說法,母語者一定會說 "wasn't worth the search"。

在 KudoZ 上向母語者提問的結果見 http://www.proz.com/kudoz/1213988 一則。該詩中文如下:

我随便看了他一眼
我顺便嫁了
我们顺便乱来
总没有生下孩子
我随便煮些汤水
我们顺便活着
有几个随便的朋友
时光顺便就遛走
我们也顺便老去
接下来病入膏肓
顺便还成为榜样
“好一对恩爱夫妻”
…祥和的生活
我们简单地断了气
太阳顺便照了一眼
空无一人的阳台

詩歌的好壞往往是見仁見智的問題,但言語通暢與否卻有判準。母語者說 "The sight isn't worth the search." 的機率比 "The site isn't worth the search." 或 "The site isn't worth searching for." 低。後兩者屬於「通暢」,前者則是非母語者造出來的「還說得過去的句子」。

我想提出來討論的兩個議題,一是「如何消弭母語者與非母語者之間的語感差異?」,再是「在什麼樣的條件下,可以不需要母語者的協助,達成精確的翻譯表達?」

最後那個議題可以參考前述尹麗川的「生活本該如此嚴肅」的英文翻譯來討論。英文翻譯雖然是上乘文字,但我們可以看到原詩裡大量玩弄「隨便」和「順便」,英文的處理卻顯然並不完全。最明顯的是 "we made a few casual friends" 的意思,和「有幾個隨便的朋友」有相當的差距。

「語感」不是「文法」,能把語感解釋清楚,那就有可能成為文法的學問。這種功夫非常難得。順道問個笨笨的問題:一般說來,由母語者寫出來的文法分析較佳呢,還是由非母語者寫出來的文法分析較佳?


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stone118  Identity Verified
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這次這個 search 還真是非常 worth searching Dec 26, 2005

Wenjer 把這個討論「搜尋」的事件,演繹出了最佳的學習價值(如果如他在開題文中所提示的方向,大家可提供後續更多精彩的洞見,那這學習價值真是很大又可觀的!

我稍補充些說明:這個討論?铋_始是在台灣的遠流出版公司的討論版,聊齋,上產生的,其網址為 http://www.ylib.com/class/topic/default.asp?object=gossip

拜我們血氣方剛的年青前輩 Wenjer 之賜(說來話長,簡言之,Wenjer 在聊齋曾是個講話過於直接的狠角色,得罪了不少台灣網友,不過那都是過去好幾年的事了,只是記恨的「文人」實在很多!唉!),該聊齋的管理員竟展露出言論管制的長才,經常無理又無禮地隨意刪除討論帖子,故我近日對該論壇已經幾乎失去胃口與耐性。

但前一兩週從尹麗川這首詩而引發了我的好奇心,在聊齋上與人談起一些與英文有關的話題,特別就是我與其中一位發言人(Wenjer 前帖中所提的那位)就 search 這個動詞的用法而產生的討論,使我又在聊齋上發了許多帖子。Wenjer 也參與了許多相關的討論。但這些純談論文法、語感的帖子,目前大多已被該論壇管理員毫無理由、沒有任何說明地予以刪除,所以原始討論已完全不可得見。

於是我拉出問題到 Kudoz 上向英語母語者提問,該問題現也已得到完全解答我疑惑、讓我獲益良多的答案與更多學習。

文哲君對問題的思考則顯然更多層次,這可由他在開題文中提示的思考方向得知。對我來說,我對語文的喜好是從每一次、每一次、case by case 的 error and try、閱讀、應用之中繼續不斷地累積及進化,我倒不會像文哲君這樣有較具語言學敏感度的思考(畢竟他是學語言學出身的專家),所以又從他的開題文得到了另一種獲得學習的可能方向,實在令人感到一種與知識可以每天刷牙洗臉般接觸的飽滿喜樂感,真是不壞。


以上先說說前因,Wenjer 所點到的問題,再慢慢琢磨思考。

[Edited at 2005-12-26 11:32]

[Edited at 2005-12-26 11:35]


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Zhoudan  Identity Verified
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语感是解释不清楚的 Dec 26, 2005

所谓语感,我想就是语言感觉。既然是感觉,那就是非理性的成分居多,要解释非理性的东西恐怕不太可能。前段时间,有个老外朋友到我家吃饭,我问他这个吃不吃,那个吃不吃,他说:"You ate, I eat." 你吃我就吃。我当时就在心里犯嘀咕:为什么这两个“吃”,一个用过去时,一个用现在时?如果我来翻译“你吃我就吃”肯定不是这个样子。说实在的,非母语者要达到母语者的语感,我个人感觉不可能。在那个语言环境里生活多年,也许能达到near-native。非母语者也能获得一些语感,但因为是acquired,不是骨子里的,也就是不纯粹的。

文哲君提出的问题有好几个,三言两语很难讲明白。我想到一点写一点。有新想法的时候再来献丑。

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:

「語感」不是「文法」,能把語感解釋清楚,那就有可能成為文法的學問。這種功夫非常難得。順道問個笨笨的問題:一般說來,由母語者寫出來的文法分析較佳呢,還是由非母語者寫出來的文法分析較佳?


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
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容易搞錯的語感 Dec 26, 2005

依我的經驗,學習外文最不容易發展的語感就是對介系詞的語感。

比方說,"I sit on the table." 可能會被認為應該說 "I sit at the table."。吃飯時,當然不太可能有人 sit on the table,而是 sit at the table。但不在飯桌上時,偏偏真的有人會 sit on the table,像我這樣的非母語者肯定描述為 "He sat on the table."。

據說,母語者不會這樣說,不知是否屬實?

有一家台灣公司請人幫他們翻譯一份訓練銷售的教材,其中解說他們的產品和服務說:產品 A 擺脫委外,成本更低。

譯者把這標題譯為 "Product A eliminates outsourcing to lower costs." 審稿 (英語母語者,英格蘭人,報社編輯) 對此沒有異議,但台灣那家公司的台籍承辦人以自己的英文語感說,那樣的翻譯過於 word-by-word。

在美國生活了二十多年的譯者乾脆把整句改為 "Product A lowers costs.",「擺脫委外」不譯,他說標題下的文字內容反正說明了 product A 如何使成本更低。

你以為客戶因此會滿意嗎?呵呵,猜對了!語感」就是這樣的東西:Perfect is never enough!


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Last Hermit
Local time: 18:38
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sit ON the table=sit on (the) top of the table Dec 26, 2005

sit at the table denotes sitting by the table - mostly sitting in/on a chair beside the table.
 
Consult frequently e-Longman and e-Collins COBUILD, each of which has over a million example sentences. They also show you which noun or verb collates with which preposition.

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:

依我的經驗,學習外文最不容易發展的語感就是對介系詞的語感。

比方說,"I sit on the table." 可能會被認為應該說 "I sit at the table."。吃飯時,當然不太可能有人 sit on the table,而是 sit at the table。但不在飯桌上時,偏偏真的有人會 sit on the table,像我這樣的非母語者肯定描述為 "He sat on the table."。

據說,母語者不會這樣說,不知是否屬實?


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
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謝謝你,Last Hermit! Dec 26, 2005

Last Hermit wrote:

sit ON the table=sit on (the) top of the table


沒錯的,我的意思不是「坐在飯桌邊」,而是「坐到飯桌上」。這樣的說法當然很少用,但我們有可能說「那個傢伙竟然坐到桌上去」,英文應該也能這樣說吧。

英文的介系詞還好,德文和俄文的介系詞可更是麻煩。那一類的語感大概也只能多讀多聽才會植入腦袋裡,否則用中文想當然爾來想,翻譯的結果就是說不通。

那些 e-工具確實是好工具,多謝指點。


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Last Hermit
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愚见以为 Dec 26, 2005

  'Product A eliminates outsourcing to lower costs' 也许可以简化为'Product A - eliminates your outsourcing costs',这样更符合strapline/tagline的要求。

  或者干脆改为'Product A - zero outsourcing costs''?

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:
有一家台灣公司請人幫他們翻譯一份訓練銷售的教材,其中解說他們的產品和服務說:產品 A 擺脫委外,成本更低。

譯者把這標題譯為 "Product A eliminates outsourcing to lower costs." 審稿 (英語母語者,英格蘭人,報社編輯) 對此沒有異議,但台灣那家公司的台籍承辦人以自己的英文語感說,那樣的翻譯過於 word-by-word。

在美國生活了二十多年的譯者乾脆把整句改為 "Product A lowers costs.",「擺脫委外」不譯,他說標題下的文字內容反正說明了 product A 如何使成本更低。

你以為客戶因此會滿意嗎?呵呵,猜對了!語感」就是這樣的東西:Perfect is never enough!


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
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語境、語感 Dec 26, 2005

Last Hermit wrote:

  'Product A eliminates outsourcing to lower costs' 也许可以简化为'Product A - eliminates your outsourcing costs',这样更符合strapline/tagline的要求。

  或者干脆改为'Product A - zero outsourcing costs''?


Zero outsourcing costs 是個好選項,不過內容說,在某個工作量以下,使用 A 產品可省下委外的不便和成本。若是 zero outsourcing costs,則完全不需委外,這又和事實不符,因為某個工作量以上還是需要委外辦理。

翻譯就是這麼回事,整個語境相當重要,否則也談不上語感了。


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Last Hermit
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In that case, "eliminate" is also a misnomer. Dec 27, 2005

You may want to consider "minimise", namely, 'Product A - minimises your outsourcing costs'.

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:

Last Hermit wrote:

  'Product A eliminates outsourcing to lower costs' 也许可以简化为'Product A - eliminates your outsourcing costs',这样更符合strapline/tagline的要求。

  或者干脆改为'Product A - zero outsourcing costs''?


Zero outsourcing costs 是個好選項,不過內容說,在某個工作量以下,使用 A 產品可省下委外的不便和成本。若是 zero outsourcing costs,則完全不需委外,這又和事實不符,因為某個工作量以上還是需要委外辦理。

翻譯就是這麼回事,整個語境相當重要,否則也談不上語感了。


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
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Great! Dec 27, 2005

Last Hermit wrote:

You may want to consider "minimise", namely, 'Product A - minimises your outsourcing costs'.



That's the word!


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Shaun Yeo  Identity Verified
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Just my 2 cent's worth Dec 27, 2005

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:
Last Hermit wrote:
You may want to consider "minimise", namely, 'Product A - minimises your outsourcing costs'.

That's the word!

If you are talking about copywriting, then anything goes. But as far as translation is concerned, I think it may not be as faithful as it should be.
Your original text (產品 A 擺脫委外,成本更低) talks about lowering the cost of product A by doing away with outsourcing, NOT minimizing outsourcing cost. In fact, when it does away with outsourcing, there is no cost incurred in that aspect. So, there is nothing to be minimized.
Just my 2 cent's worth


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
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你這是另一個觀點 Dec 27, 2005

Shaun Yeo wrote:

Wenjer Leuschel wrote:
Last Hermit wrote:
You may want to consider "minimise", namely, 'Product A - minimises your outsourcing costs'.

That's the word!

If you are talking about copywriting, then anything goes. But as far as translation is concerned, I think it may not be as faithful as it should be.
Your original text (產品 A 擺脫委外,成本更低) talks about lowering the cost of product A by doing away with outsourcing, NOT minimizing outsourcing cost. In fact, when it does away with outsourcing, there is no cost incurred in that aspect. So, there is nothing to be minimized.
Just my 2 cent's worth


事實上,產品 A 的成本並不能省,要買了產品 A 才能省去委外的成本。文本內容很明白,只是標題不清楚而已。這也就是我們 (翻譯者、審稿人和接案人) 最後決定乾脆用 Product A lowers costs 的原因:Anything goes!


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Last Hermit
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与时并进 Dec 27, 2005

  大概在二十年前,有人在《中国翻译》上撰文,说在英语中把介词放在句末是不当或不妥的。鄙人阅后即视此为金科玉律,不但铭记于心,而且时时留心母语人士行文是否按本子办事。却发现,不守规矩者殊多。其时,虽然仍旗帜鲜明地拥护本子,但毕竟离经叛道者太多,心中难免存疑,心旌有些动摇。于是乎,只好give it the benefit of the doubt(法律上一般译“无罪推定”,窃以为大可以译作“姑妄信之”)。
  阙疑至上世纪九十年代中,D版光盘软件“大行其盗”,鄙人像主妇们逛市场似的,几乎天天光顾D版市场。终于,有一天发现Microsoft Bookshelf,当中包括自己梦寐以求的American Heritage Dictionary,大喜,买回家即迫不及待地装在Windows 95上。与她终日厮磨不说,最重要的是她让我知道,原来有很多框框条条其实是陈旧的,早已不合时宜。由此,鄙人也加入了离经叛道者行列。

Usage Note:
It was John Dryden who first promulgated the doctrine that a preposition may not be used at the end of a sentence, probably on the basis of a specious analogy to Latin. Grammarians in the 18th century refined the doctrine, and the rule has since become one of the most venerated maxims of schoolroom grammar. But sentences ending with prepositions can be found in the works of most of the great writers since the Renaissance. English syntax does allow for final placement of the preposition, as in We have much to be thankful for or I asked her which course she had signed up for. Efforts to rewrite such sentences to place the preposition elsewhere can have stilted and even comical results, as Winston Churchill demonstrated when he objected to the doctrine by saying “This is the sort of English up with which I cannot put.” •Sometimes sentences that end with adverbs, such as I don't know where she will end up or It's the most curious book I've ever run across, are mistakenly thought to end in prepositions. One can tell that up and across are adverbs here, not prepositions, by the ungrammaticality of I don't know up where she will end and It's the most curious book across which I have ever run. It has never been suggested that it is incorrect to end a sentence with an adverb.

Excerpted from the American Heritage Dictionary ( http://www.bartleby.com/61/7/P0530700.html )
==================

  其实,只需要在Google里面搜索一下,也能找到reputable precedents:
  在Google里面输入"worth searching for":.guardian.co.uk
  注意:
  1)"worth searching for"是精确查找worth searching for
  2):.guardian.co.uk是在The Guardian里面查找

  有兴趣的朋友,不妨把:.后面换成washingtonpost.com, nytimes.com等著名报刊看看。



Wenjer Leuschel wrote:

在台灣某網站論壇上,有人貼出尹麗川寫的「生活本該如此嚴肅」的英文翻譯 "Life Should Be This Serious" 如下:

I gave him a casual glance
and wound up marrying him
and so we slept around a lot
although I never had a kid
I put on a pot of broth
And one day ran into the next
And we made a few casual friends
And the years slipped by
And we grew old and gray
And had one foot in the grave
When to our surprise we became a model for others
"They were made for each other, those two!"
... O, the life harmonious!
Then we took our final breath
And the sun cast a casual glance
Upon an empty balcony

另有人希望貼文者也貼出中文原詩,但有一位素以為自己的英文頂尖的人物,為了表示他認為登載那首詩的中文網站不值得一看,說:"The sight didn't worth the search."

有人說,應該說 "The sight wasn't worth the search." 才對。這一點應該很明白,但有人說 "The sight wasn't worth searching." 也是正確的,端視想要表示的重點何在。那位素以為自己英文頂尖的人物雖承認 "didn't" 為錯誤,但卻說 "wasn't worth searching" 為非母語者的不標準說法,母語者一定會說 "wasn't worth the search"。

在 KudoZ 上向母語者提問的結果見 http://www.proz.com/kudoz/1213988 一則。該詩中文如下:

我随便看了他一眼
我顺便嫁了
我们顺便乱来
总没有生下孩子
我随便煮些汤水
我们顺便活着
有几个随便的朋友
时光顺便就遛走
我们也顺便老去
接下来病入膏肓
顺便还成为榜样
“好一对恩爱夫妻”
…祥和的生活
我们简单地断了气
太阳顺便照了一眼
空无一人的阳台

詩歌的好壞往往是見仁見智的問題,但言語通暢與否卻有判準。母語者說 "The sight isn't worth the search." 的機率比 "The site isn't worth the search." 或 "The site isn't worth searching for." 低。後兩者屬於「通暢」,前者則是非母語者造出來的「還說得過去的句子」。

我想提出來討論的兩個議題,一是「如何消弭母語者與非母語者之間的語感差異?」,再是「在什麼樣的條件下,可以不需要母語者的協助,達成精確的翻譯表達?」

最後那個議題可以參考前述尹麗川的「生活本該如此嚴肅」的英文翻譯來討論。英文翻譯雖然是上乘文字,但我們可以看到原詩裡大量玩弄「隨便」和「順便」,英文的處理卻顯然並不完全。最明顯的是 "we made a few casual friends" 的意思,和「有幾個隨便的朋友」有相當的差距。

「語感」不是「文法」,能把語感解釋清楚,那就有可能成為文法的學問。這種功夫非常難得。順道問個笨笨的問題:一般說來,由母語者寫出來的文法分析較佳呢,還是由非母語者寫出來的文法分析較佳?


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 18:38
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
描述文法與規定文法 Dec 27, 2005

Last Hermit wrote:

  大概在二十年前,有人在《中国翻译》上撰文,说在英语中把介词放在句末是不当或不妥的。鄙人阅后即视此为金科玉律,不但铭记于心,而且时时留心母语人士行文是否按本子办事。却发现,不守规矩者殊多。其时,虽然仍旗帜鲜明地拥护本子,但毕竟离经叛道者太多,心中难免存疑,心旌有些动摇。于是乎,只好give it the benefit of the doubt(法律上一般译“无罪推定”,窃以为大可以译作“姑妄信之”)。
  阙疑至上世纪九十年代中,D版光盘软件“大行其盗”,鄙人像主妇们逛市场似的,几乎天天光顾D版市场。终于,有一天发现Microsoft Bookshelf,当中包括自己梦寐以求的American Heritage Dictionary,大喜,买回家即迫不及待地装在Windows 95上。与她终日厮磨不说,最重要的是她让我知道,原来有很多框框条条其实是陈旧的,早已不合时宜。由此,鄙人也加入了离经叛道者行列。

  其实,只需要在Google里面搜索一下,也能找到reputable precedents:
  在Google里面输入"worth searching for":.guardian.co.uk
  注意:
  1)"worth searching for"是精确查找worth searching for
  2):.guardian.co.uk是在The Guardian里面查找

  有兴趣的朋友,不妨把:.后面换成washingtonpost.com, nytimes.com等著名报刊看看。





在學校時,那些老師老愛強調不該用介系詞結束一個句子。但事實上我早發現了那些母語者常常使用看似以介系詞結尾的句子,也大膽地那樣造句使用,絕少讓母語皺眉頭。

有時我覺得文法參考之用的,應該是歸納描述某個語言的使用狀況,並加以解說,不應該是硬性規定的條文,否則如周丹君所舉的例子 "You ate, I eat." 根本不會發生才對。但我們都知道,語言的現象絕對不是可完全以邏輯分析來解說的。語言裡有許多非理性的成份,那是約定俗成的規矩,而約定有可能改變,我們怎有可能死守三千年前的語言使用法呢?

由於我們是說華語長大的,所以輕鬆愉快脫口就能說出通暢的語句,但學習外語時,情況和那些學習華語的外國人一樣,很難進入狀況。

我的困惑是:語感的障礙到底在哪裡?非母語者造出來的句子能懂,也符合文法,又讀起來通暢,為什麼母語者讀起來還是會覺得有彆扭的地方呢?

[Edited at 2005-12-27 13:42]


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:38
English to Chinese
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我的感觉是 the sight 跟 the search 有对称的美感 :-) Dec 27, 2005

Last Hermit wrote:
其实,只需要在Google里面搜索一下,也能找到reputable precedents:
  在Google里面输入"worth searching for":.guardian.co.uk
  注意:
  1)"worth searching for"是精确查找worth searching for
  2):.guardian.co.uk是在The Guardian里面查找

  有兴趣的朋友,不妨把:.后面换成washingtonpost.com, nytimes.com等著名报刊看看。



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