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定语从句可以分为限制性定语从句和非限制性定语从句两种,两类定语从句在翻译方法上基本类似, 因此我们把它们放在一起介绍。在翻译定语从句时,我们经常采用下列的翻译方法:
  一、前 置 法
  把英语原文的定语从句翻译成带“的”的定语词组, 放置于被修饰的词之前, 将英语原文的复合句翻译成汉语的简单句, 这种方法一般用于限制性定语从句比较短的情况。
一些较短的具有描述性的非限制性定语从句也可采用前置法, 但没有限制性定语从句使用得普遍。例如:
  例1.For example, one function of friendship seems to fulfill is that it
supports the image we have of ourselves, and confirms the value of the
attitudes we hold.
  例如, 友谊的一个作用似乎是支持我们在自己心目中的形象, 并使我们持有的价值观念更加坚定。
  例2.The first two must be equal for all who are being compared, if any
comparison in terms of intelligence is to be made. (92年考题)
  如果要从智力方面进行任何比较的话, 那么对所有被比较者来说, 前两个因素 必须是一样的。
  例3.The first method is to give a synonym, a word that has nearly the
same meaning as the word you wish to define: face for countenance, nervousness
for anxiety.
  第一种方法是同义词法, 即给出一个与 要释义的词在意义上几乎相同的, 如用face表示countenance, 用nervousness表示anxiety.
  例4.Behaviourists, in contrast, say that difference in scores are due
to the fact that blacks are often deprived of many of the educational and
other environmental advantages that whites enjoy. (90年考题)
  相反, 行为主义者认为, 成绩的差异是由于黑人常常被剥夺了白人在教育及其他外界环境方面所享有的许多有利条件而造成的。
  例5.The method of scientific investigation is nothing but the expression
of the necessary mode of working of the human mind; it is simply the mode
by which all phenomena are reasoned about and given precise and exact explanations. (来源:EnglishCN英语博客基地)
(94年考题)
  科学研究的方法不过是人类思维活动的必要表达方式, 也就是对一切现象进行 思考并给以精确而严谨解释的表达方式。
  例6.A youngster who has no playmates of his age living nearby may benefit
greatly from attending nursery school.
  附近没有同龄伙伴和自己玩的儿童,上托儿所可以得到很多的益处。
  二、后 置 法
  当定语从句较长时, 如果翻译成前置的定语, 就会不符合汉语的表达习惯, 在这种情况下, 往往把该定语从句翻译成并列的分句, 放置于原来它所修词的后面。另外在处理此类定语从句时,
一般遵循的原则是: 若保留先行词, 则在第二个分句中加以重复, 若省略, 则两个并列分句中均不再保留。当然, 在实№的翻译过程中也有例外。
  例1.All the water that flows through the wide pipe in a second must somehow
get through a narrow part too, which it can do only by going faster.
  在一秒钟内流过粗管子的全部水量, 一定会以某种方式通过细管子, 这只有靠加快流速才能做到。
  例2.Perhaps light is some sort of electric wave, whose nature we do not
yet understand.
  也许,光是某种电波,其性质我们尚不清楚。
  例3.They are striving for the ideal which is close to the heart of every
Chinese and for which, in the past, many Chinese have laid down their lives.
  他们正在为实现一个理想而努力, 这个理想是每个中国人所珍爱的, 在过去,许多中国人曾为了这个理想而牺牲了自己的生命。
  例4.This will be particularly true since energy pinch will make it difficult
to continue agriculture in high-energy American fashion that makes it possible
to combine few farmers with high yields. (91年考题)
  这种困境将是确定无疑的, 因为能源的匮乏使农业无法以高能量消耗这种美国耕种方法继续下去了, 而这种耕种方式使投入少数农民就可获得高产成为可能。
  例5.“In short”, a leader of the new school attends, “the scientific revolution,
as we call it, was largely the improvement and invention and use of a series
of instruments that expanded the reach of science in innumerable directions.”
(94年考题)
  新学派的一位 袖人物坚持说:“简而言之, 我们所称谓的科学革命, 主要指一系列器具的改进、发明和使用, 这些改进、发明和使用使科学发展的范围无所不及。
  例6.The food supply will not increase nearly enough to match this, which
means that we are heading into a crisis in the matter of producing and
marketing food. (91年考题)
  食品的供应将赶不上人口的增长, 这就意味著我们在粮食的生产和购销方面正陷入危机。
  三、翻译成状语从句
  英语中有些定语从句, 兼有状语从句的职能, 在逻辑上(即意义上)与主句有状语关系, 说明原因、结果、让步、假设等关系, 翻译时应善于从英语原文的字里行间发现这些逻辑上的关系,
然后翻译成汉语中相应的偏正复合句。例如:
  例1.He did not remember his father who died when he was three years old.
  他不记得他父亲了, 因为他父亲死时他才三岁。
  例2.However, iceberg water could be extremely cheap for some countries
when compared with desalination, a process which requires much more fuel
and much more money.
  不过, 对某些国家来讲, 用冰山化水比海水脱盐相比, 费用可能极为便宜, 因 为脱盐过程 要更多燃料和更多的资金。
  例3.Anyone who thinks that rational knowledge need not be derived from
 
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