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语翻译中如何灵活应对被动语态的翻译

英语和汉语两种语言中都存在被动语态。在英语中,被动语态的使用范围极为广泛,凡是在“不必要说出、不愿意说出或不知道动作发出者”的情况下,均可使用被动语态。在汉语中也有被动语态,通常通过“把”、“受”、“遭”或“被”等标志词体现出来,但是它的使用范围远远小于英语。因此,在很多情况下,英语中的被动语态都会翻译成主动结构。对于英语原句的被动结构,我们一般采取下列的方法:

一、翻译成汉语的主动句

将英语中的被动结构翻译成汉语的主动结构时,往往可以分成以下几种不同的情况。

① 保留英语原句中的主语。

例如:

1)All the tickets had been sold out when they arrived.

当他们到达时,所有的票都售完了。

2)Theatre will be reinvented and become much freer and more imaginative.

戏剧将脱胎换骨,变得更为自由,更富想象力。

3)Nuclear power's danger to health, safety, and even life itself can be summed up in one word: radiation.

核能对健康、安全、甚至对生命本身所构成的危险可以用一个词来概括:辐射。

② 将主语翻译为宾语。

在动作发出者不言自明或难以言明时,英语常用被动句。而汉语在这种情况下,往往需要添加“有人”、“大家”、“别人”、“人们”之类的泛称主语。例如:

1)I was told not to trust what I read in the newspaper.

有人告诉我不要相信报纸上的消息。

2)It could be argued that the radio performs this service as well, but on television everything is much more living, much more real.

可能有人会指出,无线电广播同样也能做到这一点,但还是电视屏幕上的节目要生动、真实得多。

3)It is generally accepted that the experiences of the child in his first years largely determine his character and later personality.

人们普遍认为,孩子们的早年经历在很大程度上决定了他们的性格及其未来的人品。

另外,下列的一些结构也可以通过这种方式进行翻译:

It is asserted that…有人主张……

It is believed that…有人认为……

It is generally considered that…大家(一般人)认为……

It is well known that…大家知道(众所周知)……

It will be said…有人会说……

It was told that…有人曾经说……

③ 将介词短语的宾语译成主语。

如果英语的被动句中包含by, in, for等引导的作状语的介词短语,一般可以将介词的宾语翻译成译文的主语,英语原句中的主语则一般需要翻译成宾语。例如:

1)A right kind of fuel is needed for an atomic reactor.

原子反应堆需要一种合适的燃料。

2)By the end of the war, 800 people had been saved by the organization, but at a cost of 200 Belgian and French lives.

大战结束时,这个组织拯救了八百人,但那是以二百多比利时人和法国人的生命为代价的。

3)Only a small portion of solar energy is now being used by human beings.

现在,人类仅能利用一小部分的太阳能。

④ 译成汉语的无主句。

例如:

1)Great efforts should be made to inform young people the dreadful consequences of taking up the habit of smoking.

应该尽最大努力告诫年轻人吸烟上瘾后的可怕后果。

2)By this procedure, different honeys have been found to vary widely in the sensitivity of their inhibit to heat.

通过这种方法分析发现,不同种类的蜂蜜对热的敏感程度也极为不同。

3)Many strange new means of transport have been developed in our century, the strangest of them being perhaps the hovercraft.

在我们这个世纪内研制了许多新奇的交通工具,其中最奇特的也许就是气垫船了。

另外,下列的一些结构也可以通过这种方式进行翻译:

It is hoped that…希望……

It is reported that…据报道……

It is said that…据说……

It is supposed that…据推测……

It must be admitted that…必须承认……

It must be pointed out that…必须指出……

It will be seen from this that…由此可见……

⑤ 译成带表语的主动句。

例如:

1)The decision to attack was not taken lightly.

进攻的决定不是轻易做出的。

2)The credit system in America was first adopted by Harvard University in 1872.

美国的学分制是1872年首先在哈佛大学实施的。

3)The manuscript was sent to the printer in London a few weeks before the Revolution.

手稿是在革命前几周寄往伦敦付印的。

二、译成汉语的被动语态

英语中的许多被动句也可以翻译成汉语的被动句,句中经常使用汉语中表示被动意义的一些标志词,如“被”、“给”、“遭”、“挨”、“为……所”、“使”、“由……”、“受到”等。例如:

1)These signals are produced by colliding stars or nuclear reactions in outer space.

这些讯号是由外层空间的星球碰撞或者核反应所造成的。

2)Over the years, tools and technology themselves as a source of fundamental innovation have largely been ignored by historians and philosophers of science.

多年来,工具和技术本身作为根本性创新的源泉在很大程度上被科学史学家和科学思想家们忽视了。

3)For a long period to come, most of China's elderly will continue to be provided for by their families.

在未来很长的一段时间里,中国的老年人仍旧要由他们的家庭来赡养。

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