Possible Ambiguity
Thread poster: Alan Wang

Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:30
English to Chinese
+ ...
Apr 13, 2015

I came upon a sentence the other day of which I am still not quite sure how to make of it, and would be grateful if someone can help.


It was suggested that the integrated approach utilised in British policies on conflict prevention should not be limited to one government, and that pooling more resources would facilitate understanding of the responses, resources and thoughts of others within the international community.


Is there some major ambiguity surrounding this sentence or is it crystal clear in its meaning?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:30
Chinese to English
Not crystal Apr 13, 2015

I don't think there's major ambiguity, but it's a classic bit of "bureaucratese". It's not particularly easy to understand.


It was suggested that the integrated approach utilised in British policies on conflict prevention should not be limited to one government, and that pooling more resources would facilitate understanding of the responses, resources and thoughts of others within the international community.


British govt has good integrated policies; international body says we should integrate across governments as well; and that this integration (and pooling of resources) would improve international understanding.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

J.H. Wang
China
Local time: 16:30
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
个人的一点看法 Apr 13, 2015

Alan Wang wrote:

I came upon a sentence the other day of which I am still not quite sure how to make of it, and would be grateful if someone can help.


It was suggested that the integrated approach utilised in British policies on conflict prevention should not be limited to one government, and that pooling more resources would facilitate understanding of the responses, resources and thoughts of others within the international community.


Is there some major ambiguity surrounding this sentence or is it crystal clear in its meaning?



理解这个句子需要一点背景知识,不过,多读几遍,感觉也可以读懂。我尝试翻译如下:


建议英国的冲突预防政策中所使用的综合协调方法不应仅限于一个政府(意思是说,应该将这种方法扩大到其他相关的政府),集中更多资源会有利于对国际社会中其他方面的反应、对策(方略)和想法的理解。


不当之处,请大家多指正。


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:30
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great Apr 13, 2015

Thanks Phil. I think you have cleared a doubt.
And thanks to J.H.Wang for giving your understanding of it.

When I said there could be a major ambiguity, I mean one could read “not be limited to one government” as denoting: it’s a good thing, so should be promoted and shared, and other governments should adopt this approach as well. According to you, this is not what the write has in mind when s/he wrote it.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:30
Chinese to English
确实挺模糊的 Apr 14, 2015

Alan Wang wrote:

...one could read “not be limited to one government” as denoting: it’s a good thing, so should be promoted and shared, and other governments should adopt this approach as well. According to you, this is not what the write has in mind when s/he wrote it.

没错,单独看那句话,有歧义:每个政府应该整合自己的政策,还是所有政府应该参与多国政策大整合。只是看到第二句 "pooling more resources...facilitate understanding...of others within the international community" 才知道是指国际协调方案。


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:30
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Four persons have worked on this Apr 14, 2015

I don't know if this sentence is representative or not in the sense that how poor or bad translation could have come out.

As a fact, the translation of it has been worked out or at least checked on by four persons and it comes out in the end to be very much below standard if not outright wrong. The four persons: the translator, the proofreader (me, actually), the reviewer at the agency, the last editor/reviewer (the insider) at the organization which issued this report.

I happen to have these four versions, so i can say this. I am not proud of it of course. But it seems that i was the only person who actually got the true structure and meaning of the sentence, only failed to produce a clear and good translation in my effort of revising what the translaor has done, using a too word for word translation. The reviewer at the agency just slipped it through and the last editor, while making many splendid adjustments in other places, failed completedly at this one, actually made it far worse (不应局限于某个政府,改成了“不能局限于某一届政府”).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

J.H. Wang
China
Local time: 16:30
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
翻译修订 Apr 14, 2015

再考虑了一下,为了使前面的译文更加地道、明白,修订如下:

建议英国的冲突预防政策中所使用的综合协调方法不应被限定仅用于一个政府,将更多资源集中共用会有利于理解国际社会中其他方的反应、对策和想法。

感觉 be limited to 将翻译为“被限定仅用于”更加清楚明白。后半句的措辞修改后行文会更流畅,意思也更准确、清楚。

供各位参考。

[Edited at 2015-04-14 09:55 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:30
Chinese to English
试译 Apr 14, 2015

It was suggested that the integrated approach utilised in British policies on conflict prevention should not be limited to one government, and that pooling more resources would facilitate understanding of the responses, resources and thoughts of others within the international community.

鉴于英国有关冲突预防的政策已经实现多部门协调,有提案说,协调范围应该扩大到多个政府,而且随之而来的跨国资源共享可以促进国际社会各国更清晰地理解彼此的应急举措、资源、思想等。

(我觉得最好不要用“限”字)

[Edited at 2015-04-14 07:34 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-04-14 07:50 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

J.H. Wang
China
Local time: 16:30
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
对 suggest 含义的一点讨论 Apr 14, 2015

我最初把 suggest 理解为“建议”。后来结合原文中的两个句子考虑,感觉这个理解不太通。Phil 把它理解为“提议”。不过,我感觉它这里似乎取另外一个义项: state or express indirectly,就是“暗示”的意思。


不知道各位有何高见?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:30
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bravo Apr 14, 2015

Phil: Judging from this excercise, I would say that you can definitely do E-C translation now. With your necessarily quick and unfailing understanding of the source language, and your becomingly impecable Chinese, you seem to be already a "big fish" in this direction. The question is: will they be able to afford you?


[Edited at 2015-04-14 15:21 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

J.H. Wang
China
Local time: 16:30
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
句子的结构分析 Apr 14, 2015

其实,原文的句子结构是这样的:It was suggested that the integrated approach utilised in British policies on conflict prevention should not be limited to one government, and (It was suggested) that pooling more resources would facilitate understanding of the responses, resources and thoughts of others within the international community.

如果把 suggest 理解为“建议”、“提议”的话,后面的那一句 and (It was suggested) that pooling more resources would facilitate understanding of the responses, resources and thoughts of others within the international community 就很难说得通了。


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:30
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
翻译难点 Apr 14, 2015

如果说此句英语对于非母语人士来说,易读出歧义,转为汉语表达,稍不注意会有几倍的可能性、从而真正的产生歧义。这大概就是这句的翻译难点所在。

J.H. Wang wrote:

再考虑了一下,为了使前面的译文更加地道、明白,修订如下:

建议英国的冲突预防政策中所使用的综合协调方法不应被限定用于一个政府,将更多资源集中共用会有利于理解国际社会中其他方的反应、对策和想法。

感觉 be limited to 将翻译为“被限定用于”更加清楚明白。后半句的措辞修改后行文会更流畅,意思也更准确、清楚。

供各位参考。


Direct link Reply with quote
 

J.H. Wang
China
Local time: 16:30
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
其实,准确的中文表达也是一门高难度的技术活 Apr 14, 2015

Alan Wang wrote:

如果说此句英语对于非母语人士来说,易读出歧义,转为汉语表达,稍不注意会有几倍的可能性、从而真正的产生歧义。这大概就是这句的翻译难点所在。

J.H. Wang wrote:

再考虑了一下,为了使前面的译文更加地道、明白,修订如下:

建议英国的冲突预防政策中所使用的综合协调方法不应被限定用于一个政府,将更多资源集中共用会有利于理解国际社会中其他方的反应、对策和想法。

感觉 be limited to 将翻译为“被限定用于”更加清楚明白。后半句的措辞修改后行文会更流畅,意思也更准确、清楚。

供各位参考。



其难度与准确的原文理解不相上下,如果不是更难的话。而这一点往往会被我们自以为中文是母语的译者所忽略。


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:30
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
完全同意 Apr 14, 2015

方块字的确不容易码得好。

J.H. Wang wrote:

其难度与准确的原文理解不相上下,如果不是更难的话。而这一点往往会被我们自以为中文是母语的译者所忽略。


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Possible Ambiguity

Advanced search






LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search