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Exotic 在中文没有对应词汇?
Thread poster: Jianjun Zhang

Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
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Sep 18, 2005

在研读In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation (Baker, 1992)一书的时候发现这样一个例子:


请看这一段英文:

Many of the species growing wild here are familiar to us as plants cultivated in European gardens - species like this exotic lily.

下面一段由翻译的中文回译为英文:

We are very familiar with many varieties of the wild life here, they are the kind grown in European gardens - varieties like this strange unique lily flower.

书中的评语如下:

Exotic has no equivalent in Chinese and other oriental languages. It is a word used by westerners tto refer to unusual, interesting things which come from a distant country such as China. The orient does not have a concept of what is exotic in this sense and the expressive meaning of the word is therefore lost in translation.

那么到底中文翻译是如何处理这个词的呢?

这里野生的许多种类我们很熟悉,是欧洲园林内种植的种类 - 像这一奇异的百合花等种类。


原来exotic在这里被翻译成“奇异”,回译的时候处理为"strange unique"。诸公以为如何?难道东方语言中真的没有与exotic相应之辞汇吗?

我的感觉,是翻译这句话的人犯了一个习惯性错误,误把自己的意思强加给了原作者。其实exotic当然不是strange + unique,而应该是(来自)异域的。

原闻各位前辈高见。

[Edited at 2005-09-18 02:03]


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Last Hermit
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中文用什么词形容漂亮的花卉? Sep 18, 2005

  这里有许多我们熟悉的野生物种,比如这株漂亮的/好看的/秀美的/秀气的/俏丽的/可人的/动人的/姣丽的/娇媚的/娇柔的/娇艳的/婀娜多姿的/妩媚的/瑰丽的/……百合,和我们所见欧洲人花园里培育的植物一样耳熟能详。

  注:“exotic”字典里通常作“充满异国风情的”,但这里作“漂亮”解。

Jianjun Zhang wrote:

在研读In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation (Baker, 1992)一书的时候发现这样一个例子:


请看这一段英文:

Many of the species growing wild here are familiar to us as plants cultivated in European gardens - species like this exotic lily.

下面一段由翻译的中文回译为英文:

We are very familiar with many varieties of the wild life here, they are the kind grown in European gardens - varieties like this strange unique lily flower.

书中的评语如下:

Exotic has no equivalent in Chinese and other oriental languages. It is a word used by westerners tto refer to unusual, interesting things which come from a distant country such as China. The orient does not have a concept of what is exotic in this sense and the expressive meaning of the word is therefore lost in translation.

那么到底中文翻译是如何处理这个词的呢?

这里野生的许多种类我们很熟悉,是欧洲园林内种植的种类 - 像这一奇异的百合花等种类。


原来exotic在这里被翻译成“奇异”,回译的时候处理为"strange unique"。诸公以为如何?难道东方语言中真的没有与exotic相应之辞汇吗?

我的感觉,是翻译这句话的人犯了一个习惯性错误,误把自己的意思强加给了原作者。其实exotic当然不是strange + unique,而应该是(来自)异域的。

原闻各位前辈高见。

[Edited at 2005-09-18 02:03]


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Shaun Yeo  Identity Verified
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求教于隐士兄 Sep 18, 2005

Last Hermit wrote:
这里有许多我们熟悉的野生物种,比如这株漂亮的/好看的/秀美的/秀气的/俏丽的/可人的/动人的/姣丽的/娇媚的/娇柔的/娇艳的/婀娜多姿的/妩媚的/瑰丽的/……百合,和我们所见欧洲人花园里培育的植物一样耳熟能详。
注:“exotic”字典里通常作“充满异国风情的”,但这里作“漂亮”解。

隐士兄好!各位好!
根据OED,exotic如当形容词使,有好几个意思,相关的大致可解为:
a. Belonging to another country, foreign, alien (obs.). b. In narrowed sense: Introduced from abroad, not indigenous. Now chiefly of plants (in popular language with added sense of ‘not naturalized or acclimatized’); also, of words, forms of speech or writing, fashions, etc.

那么,如果不引伸得太多,或可考虑“自外国引进的百合花……”?

另外,隐士兄,“耳熟能详”是否用得比较“冒险”了点?根据《中国成语大辞典》,其义为:听得熟悉,乃至可以详尽地复述出来。一是这familarity不一定是听来的,可能是本文作者本身研究所得;二是,作者固然熟悉,但不一定到了“能详”的程度。我这么说可能有点吹毛求疵,但因为没有上下文,译者无从得知,所以,翻译时或需求稳,以免失之武断?


[Edited at 2005-09-18 05:05]


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Shang
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不是本地即是外来物种 Sep 18, 2005

根据来源地分类,物种要么是本地物种,要么是外来物种(其中许多是有害的--在新环境下没有天敌抑制它们的生长)。所以,Exotic除了“外来”之外别无他意。

翻译回去的句子没有处理好:译者不知道外来物种是个专业术语,结果闹了个笑话。

可以判断当地原来并没有这种lily,是人工从外地/外国引入的。

[Edited at 2005-09-18 05:12]


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
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要么是回译者中文太滥, 要么是大师编的. 以此为论据说明他自己的论点, 有点不足为凭 Sep 18, 2005

Jianjun Zhang wrote:

原来exotic在这里被翻译成“奇异”,回译的时候处理为"strange unique"。诸公以为如何?难道东方语言中真的没有与exotic相应之辞汇吗?



这位回译者看不懂奇异是一个词. 最让人烦躁的就是很多机构通过回译评价你的译文. 可是, 回译文和原文的DISCREPANCY, 90%都是回译者译错了.

不过也有很爽的时候. 有的机构有时会要求你同时提供译文和回译. 这不纯属糊弄局儿吗?


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Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
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严重同意jyuan兄 Sep 18, 2005

jyuan_us wrote:
这位回译者看不懂奇异是一个词. 最让人烦躁的就是很多机构通过回译评价你的译文. 可是, 回译文和原文的DISCREPANCY, 90%都是回译者译错了.

不过也有很爽的时候. 有的机构有时会要求你同时提供译文和回译. 这不纯属糊弄局儿吗?


这个例子实有牵强附会之嫌。


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Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
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Hee hee, but is it exact? Sep 18, 2005

Last Hermit wrote:
  这里有许多我们熟悉的野生物种,比如这株漂亮的/好看的/秀美的/秀气的/俏丽的/可人的/动人的/姣丽的/娇媚的/娇柔的/娇艳的/婀娜多姿的/妩媚的/瑰丽的/……百合,和我们所见欧洲人花园里培育的植物一样耳熟能详。

  注:“exotic”字典里通常作“充满异国风情的”,但这里作“漂亮”解。

可是,前辈如果认为exotic在这里的意思是漂亮的/好看的/秀美的/秀气的/俏丽的/可人的/动人的/姣丽的/娇媚的/娇柔的/娇艳的/婀娜多姿的/妩媚的/瑰丽的/……等,原文作者可选用诸如beautiful/good looking/pretty/elegant/agreeable/attractive...之类的词。选用exotic应该还是想表达与这些词不同的心情吧。


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Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
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书之著者 Sep 18, 2005

The author:

Mona Baker is a freelance lecturer and consultant on translation. She's an Honoraray Research Fellow of UMIST and member of the advisory panel of the British Center for Literary Translations.

The translator for the Chinese text:

Not found in the book, but Chinese and Japanese texts required additional help to analyse; this was competently provided by MIng Xie (Chinese) and Haruko Uryu (Japanese), both at the University of Cambridge.

作者和提供帮助的人应该都是很专业的业内人士,而且从书中看作者本身也是Practicing translator,并非纯理论家。再看:

Back-translation, as used in this book, involves taking a text (original or translated) which is written in a language with which the reader is assumed to be unfamiliar and translating it as literally as possible.(我想这是作者的搞研究的需要,并非有意瞎翻。如果我们遇到这样的回译,当然要向客户指出那是多么的机械和误导。)

我想不管它原文翻译的整体质量(因为编写教材需要顾及的内容很多,也许出于某种目的需要此种翻译标准),但就exotic一词而言,作者未免有些武断。


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Xiaoping Fu  Identity Verified
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笑话 Sep 18, 2005

jyuan_us wrote:

Jianjun Zhang wrote:

原来exotic在这里被翻译成“奇异”,回译的时候处理为"strange unique"。诸公以为如何?难道东方语言中真的没有与exotic相应之辞汇吗?



这位回译者看不懂奇异是一个词. 最让人烦躁的就是很多机构通过回译评价你的译文. 可是, 回译文和原文的DISCREPANCY, 90%都是回译者译错了.

不过也有很爽的时候. 有的机构有时会要求你同时提供译文和回译. 这不纯属糊弄局儿吗?


有个侦查连夜行军训练。连长下命令:“向后传,脚步放轻!”。传给最后一名战士时仍是“向后传,脚步放轻!”。连长让通信兵跑到队尾看看口令传对了没有。这通信兵是山西人,他跑回来说:“报告连长,刚才传的口令是‘决不放枪!”连长大怒,训斥道:“不是‘决不放枪’,是‘脚步放轻’!通信兵一脸错愕:“是‘决不放枪’呀”?:-D


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chica nueva
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植物学等: exotic = 外来 Sep 18, 2005

植物学等: exotic = 外来

indigenous/exotic = native/introduced

九宫山自然保护区本土和外来珍稀濒危植物的澄清 - [ Translate this page ]
自然保护区管理部门不仅要建立本土物种的档案,也应建立外来物种的档案。 关键词九宫
山自然保护区;珍稀濒危植物;本土种;外来种;保护. Clarification of Indigenous and
Exotic Rare and Endangered Plant Species in Jiugongshan Nature Reserve ...
202.127.158.11/kp/yyzy/cscd/swu/cscd/wuhan/20040114.htm - 6k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

乡土植物及其在天津城市绿地中的应用研究|http://www.channelwest.com - [ Translate this page ]
关键词】乡土植物; 城市绿地; 外来树种; 树种规划. Studies on Indigenous Plants
and its Application in Urban Green Space of Tianji ... 【Key words】 indigenous
plants; urban green space; exotic plants; tree species planning ...
kmmeeting.com/news/list.asp?id=1094 - 19k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

exotic = 1 unusual and exciting eg exotic clothes 2 from a distant and interesting country eg exotic food, exotic smells (朗文进阶词典) - yes, there are Chinese words for this...

It sounds like an uninformed comment or a myth to me...

exotic (etymology) - exotic is derived from L.< Gr. exotikos < exo, outside
exotic = (adj) 1 foreign, not native 2 strangely beautiful, enticing, etc. (n) 1 a foreign or imported thing 2 a plant that is not native (Collins Concise English Dictionary)

The writer's comment is ignorant nonsense and poorly written. She has 1 conflated the two meanings of exotic in English ('exotic lily' is ambiguous actually. Without context here you don't know which meaning is intended, the botanical or the general) 2 passed on a myth about Chinese language which some Westerners might like to believe but which is simply not true. (Having said this it works the other way too. There are myths around in China about the West which are simply not true too, but which people like to believe, and there are myths about how different Chinese language is and how difficult it is to learn and so on...)

[Edited at 2005-09-19 01:46]

Don't forget China has used 洋 in this way for many years to denote foreign/exotic/different and 外来(introduced), also 胡(胡萝卜),番(番茄).Any empire or civilisation has its outsiders, and world history means plants and animals have been introduced to most countries.

[Edited at 2005-09-19 02:05]


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wherestip  Identity Verified
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IMHO Sep 18, 2005

The author has a valid point in that it's not always possible to find a one-to-one equivalent for every term. Languages originate from everyday life, which differs culture to culture. There are bound to be differences in the terms people use.

The main purpose of translating forward and back is to verify that the intended translation is not totally out of whack. In this case it was a scholarly exercise to prove a point.

As for "exotic", "奇异的" seems to be a pretty good translation. Some others that come to mind would be "别致的" or "别具异国他乡风味的". IMHO there were plenty of better examples that the author could have chosen to prove her point.

[Edited at 2005-09-18 18:49]


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Last Hermit
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俺可能有点神志不清 Sep 18, 2005

  这“exotic”的第一义项就是指“生于异域”的,可俺受NODE的影响,弄了一大堆形容词出来:


  看来,俺不宜一心二用。
  “还有大鱼要煎”。容后!



Shaun Yeo wrote:

Last Hermit wrote:
这里有许多我们熟悉的野生物种,比如这株漂亮的/好看的/秀美的/秀气的/俏丽的/可人的/动人的/姣丽的/娇媚的/娇柔的/娇艳的/婀娜多姿的/妩媚的/瑰丽的/……百合,和我们所见欧洲人花园里培育的植物一样耳熟能详。
注:“exotic”字典里通常作“充满异国风情的”,但这里作“漂亮”解。

隐士兄好!各位好!
根据OED,exotic如当形容词使,有好几个意思,相关的大致可解为:
a. Belonging to another country, foreign, alien (obs.). b. In narrowed sense: Introduced from abroad, not indigenous. Now chiefly of plants (in popular language with added sense of ‘not naturalized or acclimatized’); also, of words, forms of speech or writing, fashions, etc.

那么,如果不引伸得太多,或可考虑“自外国引进的百合花……”?

另外,隐士兄,“耳熟能详”是否用得比较“冒险”了点?根据《中国成语大辞典》,其义为:听得熟悉,乃至可以详尽地复述出来。一是这familarity不一定是听来的,可能是本文作者本身研究所得;二是,作者固然熟悉,但不一定到了“能详”的程度。我这么说可能有点吹毛求疵,但因为没有上下文,译者无从得知,所以,翻译时或需求稳,以免失之武断?


[Edited at 2005-09-18 05:05]


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Xiaoping Fu  Identity Verified
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context!!! Sep 18, 2005

wherestip wrote:

The author has a valid point in that it's not always possible to find a one-to-one equivalent for every term. Languages originate from everyday life, which differs culture to culture. There are bound to be differences in the terms people use.

The main purpose of translating forward and back is to verify that the intended translation is not totally out of whack. In this case it was a scholarly exercise to prove a point.

As for "exotic", "奇异的" seems to be a pretty good translation. Some others that come to mind would be "别致的" or "别具异国他乡风味的". IMHO there were plenty of better examples that the author could have chosen to prove her point.

[Edited at 2005-09-18 18:49]


我同意 wheretip 的看法。在一定的语境中,exotic 翻译为“奇异的”是个不错的。如果我们查一下汉英词典,“奇花异草”多半翻译成“exotic flowers and rare herbs ”。

在讲解词与词的对应问题时,不能忘了一切都取决于语境,这是翻译的金科玉律。


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
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中国人把来自非本土的东西描述为位“充满异国情调的”,“风情万种”...... Sep 18, 2005

建军,及在座诸位,

我在翻译中,也遇到过苦思冥想多日还对翻译不满意的经历,总想做到百分之百的贴切。要做到字字句句百分之百的吻合和贴切真不容易。我不认为这是绝对的,我更注意的是意境的比较和贴近,留一点想象空间是无妨的。

说起“exotic”的例子,西方人描述东方或来自东方的人和物的时候,喜欢使用这个字。像Last Hermit指出的“第一义项就是指‘生于异域的’”。也可以更进一步理解为来自东方的,而且让人向往的。同理,中国人也有相对应的感受,把来自非本土的东西描述为位“充满异国情调的”,“风情万种”等。我认为中国人在描述对异域环境和人物的感受时,是有相对的表达文字的。

Kevin


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David Shen  Identity Verified
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I like your discussion and want to join. Sep 19, 2005

看了各位的热烈讨论, 也想参加说几句: 象EXOTIC这类单词英文里还真不少. 它们的对应词汇并非是中文里面没有, 而是往往有好几个, 就看与之搭配的是什么. (世界各大文明至今, 你有我没有的东西实在已经很少.尤其是个概念.)

可对我们译者来说, 这类可灵活处置的单词既可让我们煞费苦心,又给我们充分发挥的余地.不是吗? (在名词上,译制时想要修辞好一点都不行, 也没必要.) 这类词并不属于一词多意, 而往往是一个概念.只不过中文里这个概念可能要用一连串的字才能说清楚, 甚至是一个意群, 而英语中就是由一个单词来承担的.这类单词不只限于形容词, 名词也有. 记得当学生时, 有一次作业专门让我们译一些个词典里查出来也是模棱两可的词儿. (一个学期的泛读课之后.) 其中有个 serendipity, 被译得五花八门, 全班同学没有相同的. 最后老师说这个词是个概念, 前人译过: “歪打正着.”

在这以前总以为汉语词汇比英语单词言简意赅, 古汉语更顶用. 谁知英文里也会有这类东西.让你非刮目相看不可.

就说EXOTIC这个词吧, 我认为原译很好. 常言道“奇花异草”原译的"奇异"不是很贴切吗? (Foreign这层意思已经有了)

那么EXOTIC也是美丽的吗?当然啰!就象 Last Hermit 说的. 要是后面跟的是女子, 就是那就象 Kavin 说的"异国情調." 但这儿是花草,"奇异"就够说明是美的了, 还昂贵呢. 我有几个相交二十多年无话不谈的白人朋友,有几次谈及好来坞选华裔女演员,为何总挑些实在让华人难以恭维的脸庞, 他们的回答几乎同出一辙: Oh! she looks very exotic to me.

其实我们也一样. 八十年代我在国内美术学院呆过多年,与不少画家成了好友.得知一些他们的创作源泉嗜好和习性.大多人物画家,一年一度的外出写生不是往新疆跑就是往丽江去. (当时所能到达之极限) 那年代画家还没现在这么富呢. 而且杭州上海西施玉环似的人儿多得是.可他们对这种美丽已习以为常,信手拈来.而每次写生回来的画家总是乐滋滋的,好象采药的从山里背回了满满的箩框.因为在那儿看到的人物使他们"兴致勃发".我有幸随行西南多次,有时创作的冲动还令他们呼吸加快,手臂颤动. (That's exciting!)

回到原句. "奇异"虽说不错, 但句子结构我认为Last Hermit的更好.(具体用词可别让我现丑.愿听各位高见.)

小平先生这个笑话倒是绝妙的比喻.应该成为一个经典,而且我们译者要常引用. 但要让那些想凭回译法来辨认译文好坏的人明白这一点,大家看用什么办法好呢?

谢谢 Jiangjun 抽出了一个引发那么多讨论的话题.


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Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

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Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

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