被動語態的譯法
Translation Methods of Passive Voice


 


英語中被動語態的使用範圍極為廣泛,尤其是在科技英語中,被動語態幾乎隨處可見。凡是在不必、不願說出或不知道做動作者的情況下均可使用被動語態。因此,掌握被動語態的翻譯方法極為重要。中文也有被動語態,通常藉由「把」或「被」等語詞體現出來,但它的使用範圍遠遠小於英 文被動語態的使用範圍,因此英文的被動語態在很多情況下都翻譯成主動結構。 對於英文的被動結構,我們一般採取下列的譯法:

  1. 翻譯成中文的主動句。英文的被動結構翻譯成中文的主動結構又可進一步細分為下列幾種不同的情況。
     
    1. 英文原文中的主詞在中文譯文中仍做主詞。在採用此法時,我們往往在譯文中使用 「加以」、「經過」、「用...來」等語詞來體現原文的被動含義。例如:

      Other questions will be discussed briefly. (其他問題將簡單地加以討論)

      In other words mineral substances which are found on earth must be extracted by digging, boring holes, artificial explosions, or similar operations which make them available to us. (換言之,存在於地球上的礦物,就是須經過挖掘、鑽孔、人工爆破或類似作業才能獲得的物質)

      Nuclear power's danger to health, safety, and even life itself can be summed up in one word: radiation. (核能對健康、安全,甚至對生命本身所構成的危險,可以用一個詞 -- 輻射 -- 來概括)
       
    2. 將英文原文中的主詞翻譯成受詞,同時增加泛指的語詞 (人們,大家等) 來做為主詞。例如:

      It could be argued that the radio performs this service as well, but on television everything is much more living, much more real. (可能有人會指出,無線電廣播同樣也能做到這一點,但電視上的節目要來得生動、真實許多)

      It is generally accepted that the experiences of the child in his first years largely determine his character and later personality. (人們普遍認為,小孩早年的經歷在很大程度上決定了他們的性格及其未來的人品)

      此外,下列的結構亦可採用這種方式來翻譯:

      It is asserted that... 有人主張...
      It is believed that... 有人認為...
      It is generally considered that... 大家 (一般) 認為...
      It is well known that... 大家都知道 (眾所周知)...
      It will be said... 有人會說...
      It was told that... 有人曾說... 
       
    3. 將英文中由 by, in, for 等所引導來做副詞的介詞片語翻譯成中文譯文的主詞,在此情況下,英文原文中的主詞一般被翻譯成受詞。例如:

      A right kind of fuel is needed for an atomic reactor. (原子反應爐需要一種合適的燃料)

      By the end of the war, 800 people had been saved by the organization, but at a cost of 200 Belgian and French lives. (大戰結束時,這個組織拯救了八百人,但那是以犧牲二百位比利時人和法國人的生命做為代價)
       
    4. 翻譯成中文的無主句。 例如:

      Great efforts should be made to inform young people especially the dreadful consequences of taking up the habit. (應該盡最大努力告知年輕人吸煙的危害,尤其是上癮後的可怕後果)

      Many strange new means of transport have been developed in our century, the strangest of them being perhaps the hovercraft. (在我們這個世紀發展出許多新奇的交通工具,其中最奇特的也許就是氣墊船了)

      此外,下列的結構亦可採用這種方式來翻譯:

      It is hoped that... 希望...
      It is reported that...  據報導...
      It is said that... 據說...
      It is supposed that... 據推測...
      It may be said without fear of exaggeration that... 可以毫不誇張地說...
      It must be admitted that... 必須承認...
      It must be pointed out that... 必須指出...
      It will be seen from this that... 由此可見...
       
    5. 翻譯成以形容詞來修飾的主動句。例如:

      The decision to attack was not taken lightly. (進攻的決定不是輕易作出的)

      On the whole such a conclusion can be drawn with a certain degree of confidence, but only if the child can be assumed to have had the same attitude towards the test as the other with whom he is being compared, and only if he was not punished by lack of relevant information which they possessed. (大體來說, 得出這樣的結論是有一定程度之信心的, 但必須具備兩個條件:能夠假定這個小孩對測驗的態度與跟他比較的另一位小孩的態度相同;他也不會因缺乏別的小孩 已具有的相關知識而被扣分) -- 注意:這句共有4個被動態。

  2. 翻譯成中文的被動句。英文中有許多被動句可以翻譯成中文的被動句。這通常以「被」、「給」、「遭」 、「挨」、「為...所」、「使」、「由...」、「受到」等語詞來表示。例如:

    These signals are produced by colliding stars or nuclear reactions in outer space. (這些信號是由外太空的星球碰撞或是核子反應所造成)

    Natural light is actually made up of many colors. (自然光實際上是由許多種顏色所組成)

    The supply of oil can be shut off unexpectedly at any time, and in any case, the oil wells will all run dry in thirty years or so at the present rate of use. (石油的供應可能隨時會被中斷;無論如何,以目前的使用速度來看,只需30年左右,所有的油井都將枯竭)

    Early fires on the earth were certainly caused by nature, not by Man. (地球上早期的火肯定是由大自然而不是人類所引燃)

    The behavior of a fluid flowing through a pipe is affected by a number of factors, including the viscosity of the fluid and the speed at which it is pumped. (流體在管子中流動的情況,受到諸如流體粘度、泵送速度等諸多因素的影響)

Guide to Grammar and Writing