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请问各位英文好手"To be or not to be. . . ." 的中文该怎么翻? (来源:英语博客 http://space.englishcn.com)

 

整句是"To be, or not to be: that is the question.”这是莎士比亚剧本「哈姆雷特」(音译)或「王子复仇记」(意译)第三幕、第一景中的一句话。用现代语言来说,就是:The problem of existence or nonexistence confronts us.

国内有三个不同的译本:

梁实秋先生(已故莎士比亚权威)的译文是:

「死后是存在还是不存在--这是问题。」

朱生豪先生的译文是:

「生存还是毁灭,这是一个值得考虑的问题。」

虞尔昌先生(曾任台大外文系主任)的译文是:

「存在与否,那才是问题。」

 

后来名人套用这句话改写的句子很多,

例如:

1. To buy or not to buy: that is the question.

2. To pay or not to pay: that was the question.

3. To speak or not to speak: that is the question.

4. To be or not to be married: that was the question.

5. To eat roast chicken or not to eat roast chicken, that is the question.

(见p.554, Dictionary of English Quotations).

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(2)

be psyched是什么意思?

 

be psyched或  be psyched up (特别是美国用法)对某件事情预作心理准备。

例如:The new teacher should be psyched for her first class.

 

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(3)

Nothing venture, nothing have.

 vs.

No pains, no gains.

 

这两句的意义是一样的吗? 不一样。

 

第一句话的意义是「不入虎穴,焉得虎子」。第二句话的意义是「吃得苦中苦,方为人上人」(一般英汉字典均译为「不劳则无获」,我翻译为「吃得苦中苦,方能有所成」。BBS上回应「不入虎穴,焉得虎子」的英译,众说纷纭。

我的回应:根据 Ronald Ridout & Clifford Witting 所著之English Proverbs Explained(英文谚语800句)中第523句,原文是:Nothing venture, nothing have.

它的英文解释是:

This advises bold action.   If you are not prepared to take risks you cannot expect to get results.

例如:A: I want to borrow the car for the weekend, but I don’t think Dad will let me have it.

B: Go and ask him.  Nothing venture, nothing have.

类似的谚语(similar proverbs)有:Nothing stake, nothing draw. (521句)

Fortune favours the bold.(524句)

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I make it a rule that the first thing I do every day is listen to an English radio program.
请问以上句子中为何有两个Verb?

All we can do is to wait for him.(正式写法)

All we can do is wait for him. (口语常省略to)

--见五南图书出版公司英汉活用辞典p. 66)

 

All I did was (to) touch the window. (口语可省略to)

The first thing was to make some coffee. (正式写法)

--见牛津大学出版社--Oxford University Press--出版之

Practical English Usage  p. 116 (1995 New Edition)

作者:Michael Swan

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(5)

我太杞人忧天了,怎么说?

 

English Proverbs Explained (英文谚语800句)一书中第496句:

Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you.中译为

「天下本无事,庸人自扰之」,即勿杞人忧天。因此「我太杞人忧天了」可改写此谚语英译为I trouble trouble too much before trouble troubles me.

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(6)

ad hoc 是什么意思?

ad hoc 为拉丁字,1659年作副词用,1879年又可作形容词用。意思是「特别的」、「完全针对当前某一特定问题的」。例如:

an ad hoc committee 一个特别委员会。

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at the beach vs.  on the beach

 

1. at the beach与  on the beach的意义一样。

例如:They are taking a holiday at / on the beach. 他们在海边度假。

2. on the beach(俚语) (船员因失业)下船上岸; 失业,落魄。

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(8)

 

有 fall down 这个词组吗?

 

有 fall down 这个词组。如果词组的第一个字是动词,我们称它为词组动词(phrasal verb) 见 p. 101, Collins Cobuild Dictionary Phrasal Verbs.

 

1.      跌落: He fell down.

2.      散落: The pile of books fell down.

3.      崩蹋: The new bridge fell down.

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(9)

 

It turns out that. . . .这是什么意思?

变成为…的结果;结局变成;(事情)证明是…(to + V; that clause)
例如:as things turned out事情的结果是…
           As it turned out, I need not have bothered.  结果证明我原本不必担心。
            Life did not turn out the way I thought it would.  人生并非如我想象那般。

 
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