常见中文谚语/俗语翻译为英语的方法

时间:2017-08-18 18:44 作者:未知 点击:

1、“天下无不散的宴席”如果直译为:
“There are no feasts in the world which do not break up at last.”
老外听后,也许很难体会其中意义。如果按照美语说法,也许更易理解:
“All good things come to an end.(意思是:所有好的事情,总有结束的一天。)”;
假如是指好友最后也有分别的一天,那么可以说:
“Eventually,all bosom friends will drift apart.(bosom friend是指知心的好友)”。巴士英语www.xiao84.com

2、人山人海:在诗词用语(poetic expression)里,老外也有使用:
“a (the) sea of faces”,颇有咱的“人山人海”的味道。例如:
Looking out upon the sea of faces, Mr. A delivered a touching speech.(望着一片人山人海的听众,A先生发表一篇动人的演说。)
Standing at his podium, President Clinton saw a sea of faces waving at him.(克林顿总统站在讲台上看到人山人海的人群挥手向他致意。)。
可见,说话者通常要在台上或高处,才有“人海”的感觉。因此,可以说:
“I saw a sea of faces from the top of the building. ”
但在平地的人群中,就不说:
“I saw the sea of faces.”
也不说:
“There is a sea of faces.”
只说:
“I saw a large crowd of people.”

3、家家有本难念的经:有人译成:
“Every family cooking - pot has a black spot.”(意思是:每个家庭的锅子都有黑色的污点。)
这样说法,老外恐怕不能充分了解。不过老外最常的说法是:
“Many families have skeletons in the closet.(许多家庭的衣柜里都有骨骸,骨骸就是指家丑。)”;
或者说:
“Every family has its own source of shame.(每个家庭都有自己的丑事)”;
说白些,就是:
“Every family has its own problem.”

4、平时不烧香,临时抱佛脚:有人照字直译为:
“When times are easy, we do not burn the incense,but when the trouble comes, we embrace the feet of the uddha.”
这种说法,老外也会一知半解。美语里一般说法是:
“Worship God every day; not just in times of adversity.(要每天敬拜神,不是只在困难时。)”;
对学生也可以说:
“If you study hard every day, exams will not seem overwhelming.(如果你每天用功,考试就不会形成压力。)”

5、挂羊头,卖狗肉:有人照字直译为:
“He advertises mutton, but sells dog’s flesh.”或“He hangs up a sheep’s head at the shopfront and sells dog meat.”
这两种译法,恐怕老外都难理解,尤其谈到“狗肉”,他们更会反感,因为狗是他们最爱的宠物,不过老外倒有相近的说法:
“He applied bait-and-switch factics in business.(他经商的策略是先引诱顾客来,再改变货物的品质。)”,“Bait-and-switch”当名词用,也可不用连字号“This store uses bait and switch policy.”或者简单的说:“Let the buyer be aware!(让消费者提高警觉)”或“Say one thing and do another.”

6、一言既出,驷马难追:有人译成:“One word lets slip and four horses will fail to catch it. 或 A statement that once let loose cannot be caught by four galloping horses.”这两种说法,中文味道嫌重,老外未必理解。不过他们倒有类似的说法:“A word once let go cannot be recalled.”或者说:“ You can not take back what you have said.(你说出的话,就不能再收回来。)”

7、祸从口出,言多必失:有人译为:“The mouth is the gate of misfortune and evil.”老外听了,恐怕不能完全理解。最好说成:“Careless talk leads to trouble.(不小心说话,会带来麻烦)或“The less said the better.(说的愈少愈好)”甚至也可以说:“Shut the mouth and open the eyes.(闭嘴少说,张眼多看。)”

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