2016年2月26日 星期五

隱形雙關語

2016年2月26日

張華先生在譯者社團貼文:

//一句隱形雙關語的翻譯

《認識媒體》(鄭明萱譯,貓頭鷹出版社,原著Understanding Mediap.300

女人拒絕在家接受命令,結果出門去卻又成了速記員。
women refused to be dictated to and went out and became stenographers.
關鍵在於 stenographer的任務隱藏 taking dictation(記述口述),和上文的to be dictated有雙關意思,很難譯出。//

謝孟宗先生回應如下

//「女人在家不願聽話,卻又在外當速記員拚命抄錄別人的話。」
「女人在家不願聽話,卻又在外當速記員偏得聽話。」

在翻譯社團看到前輩譯友略論鄭明萱女士譯文以及原文。誠如前輩譯友所提,原文難譯處在於 dictate一語雙關。我參酌鄭女士原譯想了一下,想出如上兩種譯法。我並不反對「說明體」,關鍵在於是否非說明不可,又或者該說明多少。此處譯文若不加說明,恐難讓讀者領略。幸好,我的兩句譯文大概都保有原文語帶雙關的趣味(即便第一句的「拚命」稍嫌「加料」了。)//

雙關語是文字遊戲,通常很難譯,有時甚至無法譯,只能解釋。但雙關語的趣味,往往要靠讀者自己體會;若要由譯者加以解釋,可能會變得索然無味。

在上例中,原文這個隱藏版雙關語有多大的趣味,見仁見智:英文程度好的人,可能覺得很巧妙;英文程度不夠好的人,可能根本看不出來;當然也可能有人覺得這是文人無聊遊戲,一點也不有趣。我個人覺得這個 hidden pun不是很有趣。

但無論如何,這一句要譯得好,確實頗費思量。鄭明萱女士選擇的譯法,是不點破,留待讀者自己體會。這可能是考慮到原文的語帶雙關是隱藏起來的,如果譯為「女人在家不願聽話,卻又在外當速記員偏得聽話」便太著跡了,偏離了原文的含蓄況味。可是如此一來,「女人拒絕在家接受命令,結果出門去卻又成了速記員」又會失落了原文的 pun,因為讀者沒看過原文的話,很難聯想到 to be dictated became stenographers隱含的雙關意思。

我之前說過:翻譯確實有其極限,譯者只能盡力而為。雙關語的翻譯,大概正屬於這種情況:譯者再怎麼挖空心思,譯文也難以盡善盡美。

8 則留言:

  1. 以下如果有任何人可以翻譯得到,乃絕世奇才,我就五體投地:

    The National Poetry Contest had come down to two semifinalists: a Yale graduate and a redneck from Wyoming. They were given a word, then allowed two minutes to study the word and come up with a poem that contained the word. The word they were given was "Timbuktu".

    First to recite his poem was the Yale graduate. He stepped to the microphone and said:

    Slowly across the desert sand
    Trekked a lonely caravan.
    Men on camels, two by two
    Destination---Timbuktu.

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  2. (cont'd)

    The crowd went crazy! No way could the redneck top that, they thought. The redneck calmly made his way to the microphone and recited:

    Me and Tim a-huntin went,
    Met three whores in a pop up tent.
    They was three, and we was two,
    So I bucked one, and Timbuktu.

    The redneck won hands down!

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  3. 仰首自決的女人,卻終日俯首聽言做速記。

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    1. 很好。但放在書中,就必須考慮上下文,未必可以這樣譯。

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  4. 這個隱形雙關語其實可以寫成明雙關:
    women refused to take orders and went out and took dictations.
    這樣就顯得直白了。

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    1. 英文嗰邊冇得改㗎,因為呢啲係鬼佬 wordplay。例子:

      To some people, marriage is a word, to others, it’s a sentence.

      A double negative forms a positive, but apparently there is no language where a double positive is a negative. Yeah, right.

      A Pepsi executive has been fired; he tested positive for Coke.

      此種文字遊戲其實唔適合翻譯,lost in translation. 正如「又要威又要戴頭盔」你點翻譯都冇可能保留到原文之神韻。

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  5. 一點狗尾續貂的淺見,歡迎參考。 :)

    http://fredjame.com/2016/02/26/english-pun/

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