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关于冠词的使用
Thread poster: Zhaohong Chen

Zhaohong Chen  Identity Verified
Chinese to English
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Jul 6, 2010

科技英语中冠词的使用对于我来说一直是个难题。虽然经常查阅语法书,可是到了具体的稿件中就会不知该用哪个好。比如:一般说名词后带有of结构对前面的名词起修饰作用时,该名词前加the,可是也遇到过N种不加the的情况。我知道PROZ里面有许多高手,还请赐教。

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clearwater
China
Local time: 20:53
English to Chinese
on a case by case basis Jul 7, 2010

Zhaohong Chen wrote:

科技英语中冠词的使用对于我来说一直是个难题。虽然经常查阅语法书,可是到了具体的稿件中就会不知该用哪个好。比如:一般说名词后带有of结构对前面的名词起修饰作用时,该名词前加the,可是也遇到过N种不加the的情况。我知道PROZ里面有许多高手,还请赐教。

具体情况具体分析。
可否先请楼主大致列一下“N种不加the的情况”?
提醒一下:别用Google上的例句:)


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Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
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中学语法 Jul 7, 2010

我记得,初中课本曾经说过,当在某个特定语境中,某个名词的具体指代为受众所明确并都能接受时,这个名词可以首字母大写形式出现,免加冠词。如 Mum is washing dishes. Dad has been complaining about the referee the whole day.

在科技文章中,如果有些名词出现频率过高,到处都加冠词的话,可能使文体冗长,或许也可以上面的方式处理。

当然也不排出作者用错的可能。

以上仅我凭印象的阐述,不作任何用途(包括但不限于考试和翻译工作)的依据。


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nigerose  Identity Verified
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冠词、单复数 Jul 7, 2010

我不是什么高手,但也做过不少科技中译英稿件。如果是我专业领域和英译中做得多的领域的中译英稿件,总体上对我没多大难度,比如术语、句型表达。真正困惑的就是冠词和名词单复数这些中文中不存在的语法用法。我想这应该是有一定中译英经验的中国人都会碰到的共同问题。

光看语法书肯定不不够,我想还是需要从权威标准的英文文章中去总结实践规律。另外,对于具体的冠词、单复数问题,估计不同的English natives有时也会意见不一致。



[修改时间: 2010-07-07 07:55 GMT]


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Zhaohong Chen  Identity Verified
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就贴出以下我所翻译的段落吧。 Jul 7, 2010

clearwater
一时还真举不出来例子了。就拿我翻译的这两小段文字为例吧。能否指正一下其中有没有冠词(包括零冠词)用错的地方?反正就是对冠词的使用比较心虚,总觉得不够准确。


排烟温度是锅炉的基本参数之一,选择较低的排烟温度可以降低锅炉的排烟损失,有利于提高锅炉的热效率。如果锅炉的排烟温度降到足够低的水平,那么烟气中呈过热状态的水蒸气就会凝结而放出汽化潜热。
Flue gas temperature is one of the basic parameters for a boiler. Lower flue gas temperature can decrease flue gas loss for the boiler and improve its thermal efficiency. If the flue gas temperature of the boiler drops to a sufficiently low level, overheated steam in the flue gas will condense and give off latent heat of vaporization.
S型高效节能锅炉就是利用高效的烟气冷凝余热回收装置,大大降低排放烟气温度,使烟气中的水蒸汽得以冷凝,吸收利用水蒸汽凝结释放的汽化潜热,从而显著提高热效率的锅炉。
S-type energy-efficient boiler takes advantage of a highly-efficient flue-gas condensing and residual heat recovering device to largely reduce flue gas temperature, thereby steam in flue gas being condensed and absorbing/using latent heat of vaporization released during steam condensing, and finally and obviously improving the thermal efficiency of the boiler.



还有就是:中文科技文稿中经常出现这样的句子:“某某装置由____、____、_____、等构成。”其中未说明量的多少。这个时候冠词如何用呢?是全部用复数零冠词的形式吗?不知道这个问题是不是很幼稚?那就见笑了,还请指教一下。


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Thinkcell Wang  Identity Verified
China
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换个思路 Jul 7, 2010

探讨一下。

我想是不是可以换个思路考虑这个 of 前面的名词加不加 the 的问题。
下面是从牛津中摘出的几个相关的 the 的释意(可能有点长)
1、used to refer to sb/sth that has already been mentioned or is easily understood:
There were three questions. The first two were relatively easy but the third one was hard. ◆ There was an accident here yesterday. A car hit a tree and the driver was killed. ◆ The heat was getting to be too much for me. ◆ The nights are getting longer.

2、used to refer to sb/sth that is the only, normal or obvious one of their kind:
the Mona Lisa ◆ the Nile ◆ the Queen ◆ What's the matter? ◆ The phone rang. ◆ I patted her on the back. ◆ How's the (= your) baby?

3、used when explaining which person or thing you mean:
the house at the end of the street ◆ The people I met there were very friendly. ◆ It was the best day of my life. ◆ You're the third person to ask me that. ◆ Friday the thirteenth ◆ Alexander the Great

4、used to refer to a thing in general rather than a particular example:
He taught himself to play the violin. ◆ The dolphin is an intelligent animal. ◆ They placed the African elephant on their endangered list. ◆ I heard it on the radio. ◆ I'm usually out during the day.

5、enough of sth for a particular purpose:
I wanted it but I didn't have the money.

6、used with a unit of measurement to mean 'every':
My car does forty miles to the gallon. ◆ You get paid by the hour.

7、used with a unit of time to mean 'the present':
Why not have the dish of the day? ◆ She's flavour of the month with him.

就楼主的问题而言,以上前三种释意比较典型。我想,被修饰名词前能否加 the,是不是主要还是看一下 the 的基本用法,即这个名词是否是“特指”,包括上下文特指(上文提到的情况下文再次出现时)、因被修饰而构成特指的情况(如后面有修饰限定成分)、默认特指(虽然没有明确特指,但谈话双方都知道是指某个特定对象)。
如果这个名词不是特指,即使有修饰成分,可能也不需要加 the。
比如,我们看牛津中关于 of 的几个典型释意:

1、belonging to sb; relating to sb:
a friend of mine ◆ the love of a mother for her child ◆ the role of the teacher ◆ Can't you throw out that old bike of Tommy's? ◆ the paintings of Monet
Help Note: When you are talking about everything someone has painted, written, etc. use of. When you are referring to one or more examples of somebody's work, use by: a painting by Monet

2、belonging to sth; being part of sth; relating to sth:
the lid of the box ◆ the director of the company ◆ a member of the team ◆ the result of the debate

3、coming from a particular background or living in a place:
a woman of Italian descent ◆ the people of Wales

4、concerning or showing sb/sth:
a story of passion ◆ a photo of my dog ◆ a map of India

5、used to say what sb/sth is, consists of, or contains:
the city of Dublin ◆ the issue of housing ◆ a crowd of people ◆ a glass of milk

6、used with measurements and expressions of time, age, etc:
kilos of potatoes ◆ an increase of 2% ◆ a girl of 12 ◆ the fourth of July ◆ the year of his birth ◆ (old-fashioned) We would often have a walk of an evening.

7、used to show sb/sth belongs to a group, often after some, a few, etc:
some of his friends ◆ a few of the problems ◆ the most famous of all the stars

8、used to show the position of sth/sb in space or time:
just north of Detroit ◆ at the time of the revolution ◆ (AmE) at a quarter of eleven tonight (= 10.45 p.m.)

9、used after nouns formed from verbs. The noun after 'of' can be either the object or the subject of the action:
the arrival of the police (= they arrive) ◆ criticism of the police (= they are criticized) ◆ fear of the dark ◆ the howling of the wind

以上只是一点浅见,希望对问题讨论有所帮助。

Donglai 兄提到的例子也很有道理。


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Zhaohong Chen  Identity Verified
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还有就是机构的名称 Jul 7, 2010

Donglai Lou/nigerose
受益菲浅。 Thanks!

前两天有一份稿被翻译公司的终端客户(是个英语native speaker)修改过,其中有一条意见是“Remember, if it is the proper name of an organization, it often takes "the." For example, "My uncle works for the Ministry of Finance," NOT "My uncle works for Ministry of Finance." 这让我想起来一个问题,好像所有的公司名称都是不加冠词的呀?不知各位有何见解?


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Zhaohong Chen  Identity Verified
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So detailed Jul 7, 2010

多谢,BAIYU。

语法中的东西灵活运用到实际的翻译中还真是需要时间的积累。比如:“Goldwind, a provider of wind generating units, can trace back to 1998.”似乎在这种情况下,都是用a而不是the。


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Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
China
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掌握两条规则 Jul 7, 2010

Zhaohong Chen wrote:

Donglai Lou/nigerose
受益菲浅。 Thanks!

前两天有一份稿被翻译公司的终端客户(是个英语native speaker)修改过,其中有一条意见是“Remember, if it is the proper name of an organization, it often takes "the." For example, "My uncle works for the Ministry of Finance," NOT "My uncle works for Ministry of Finance." 这让我想起来一个问题,好像所有的公司名称都是不加冠词的呀?不知各位有何见解?


1. 没语境情况下,所有特指应都要加。
2. 除第一次出现外(可数加a/an,或复数形式,或不可数名词),其余时间加上基本没错,不加肯定会有错。
做翻译,还要以语法为纲啊。以上规则要是不信就算了,当我没说。

对了,我总结了一句话,为防人“盗版”,特在此处立照,以后大家引用要注明出处:)。

那就是“翻译第一阶段:看不懂瞎编”。

[Edited at 2010-07-07 02:21 GMT]


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Thinkcell Wang  Identity Verified
China
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Member (2009)
English to Chinese
同意 Jul 7, 2010

nigerose wrote:

我不是什么高手,但也做过不少科技中译英稿件。如果是我专业领域和英译中做得多的领域的中译英稿件,总体上对我没多大难度,比如术语、句型表达。真正困惑的就是冠词和名词复数这些中文中不存在的语法用法。我想这应该是有一定中译英经验的中国人都会碰到的共同问题。

光看语法书肯定不不够,我想还是需要从权威标准的英文文章中去总结实践规律。另外,对于具体的冠词、复数问题,估计不同的English natives有时也会意见不一致。




[修改时间: 2010-07-07 01:46 GMT]


英语环境长大的人估计少有这个困惑。多读这类标准权威的文章增加语感应该比死抠语法强。


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
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很难的 Jul 7, 2010

我在美国14年了,有7年整天跟NATIVE SPEAKER打交道,但还是没搞懂。

有时明明你感觉是特指,他们却连零冠词都不加(即不用复数,光秃秃的单数)。有时是因为名词转化为形容词了,例如WE ARE WORLD。有时是抽象化了,也就相当于形容词了。我说IN THE LAST 2 YEARS, 有个NATIVE SPEAKER说哪有这样说话的,不能有啧。气死我了。

[Edited at 2010-07-07 02:28 GMT]


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Thinkcell Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 20:53
Member (2009)
English to Chinese
同意 Jul 7, 2010

Zhaohong Chen wrote:

多谢,BAIYU。

语法中的东西灵活运用到实际的翻译中还真是需要时间的积累。比如:“Goldwind, a provider of wind generating units, can trace back to 1998.”似乎在这种情况下,都是用a而不是the。


同意,理论和实践还是有差距的,需要时间积累。

不过就这个例子而言,我想这个可能不是特指的情况,而是表示 Goldwind 属于这一类供应商。

举两个微软的例子:

Windows 7 is a version of Microsoft Windows, a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs, and media center PCs.

The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is the portion of Microsoft responsible for managing the firm's relationship with developers and testers: hardware developers interested in the operating system (OS), developers standing on the various OS platforms, developers leveraging the API and scripting languages of Microsoft's many applications.

一个是 a version:Windows 7 is a version of Microsoft Windows
一个是 the portion: The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is the portion of Microsoft

我想后者之所以用 the 而不用 a,是因为后面有限定修饰成分,因而变成了一个特定的 portion。

一家之言,哈哈。


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clearwater
China
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最好学的是语法,最难学的也是语法。 Jul 7, 2010

不好意思,我对汉译英不在行,更用不说楼主给出的几个例句这类题材的东东了:)

冠词虽“小”,但要真正掌握起来,很费劲,完全是个系统工程。如果楼主真有心的话,可以参阅《英语常见问题解答大词典》(赵掁才编著)。这本书里面有比较详细的解释,详见末尾1378页至1380页的冠词用法索引,相信对楼主会有比较大的帮助。

但感觉如是每个条目都阅读下来,头不大才怪:)别指望一两天之内就能消化、掌握。这东西,还得慢慢来。


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Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
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Native speakers Jul 7, 2010

jyuan_us wrote:

我在美国14年了,有7年整天跟NATIVE SPEAKER打交道,但还是没搞懂。

有时明明你感觉是特指,他们却连零冠词都不加(即不用复数,光秃秃的单数)。有时是因为名词转化为形容词了,例如WE ARE WORLD。有时是抽象化了,也就相当于形容词了。我说IN THE LAST 2 YEARS, 有个NATIVE SPEAKER说哪有这样说话的,不能有啧。气死我了。

[Edited at 2010-07-07 02:28 GMT]


Native speakers 就是凭养成的习惯说。就象我们说中文,仔细想想也有很多语病。


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clearwater
China
Local time: 20:53
English to Chinese
语法的度最难把握 Jul 7, 2010

想到了,顺便再多说几句,尽管对楼主没有实质性的帮助:)

记得以前学生时代学英语时,初高中阶段,我们只要掌握“一般情况下或通常情况下怎样的”语法原则。考试的时候,也以这个标准为准绳。但到了大学阶段,我们学的语法知识通常是初高中阶段的“一般情况下或通常情况下”之外的“例外”。由此可见,语法本来是个有些矛盾、模糊的东西。颇有点不可深究、只可意会的感觉。当然,这些并不代表因此可以不用深入研究语法,我只想说语法这东西有规律、但更有例外。


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