英語介系詞的翻譯
Translation of English Prepositions


 


英語中的介詞大多含義靈活,一詞多義多用。除了一些常用片語已有譯法外,大部分的介詞都須從其基本意義出發,連貫上下文加以靈活處理。下面將簡要地介紹介詞的幾種基本譯法。

  1. 轉譯:英語中常用介詞來表達動作意義。中譯時,可將介詞轉譯成動詞。

    a. 在作主詞補語的介詞片語中,介詞常轉譯為動詞,而連綴動詞則省略不譯。如:

        This motorbike is out of repair. (這部機車失修)

       
    b. 在作目的或原因副詞的介詞片語中,介詞有時轉譯成動詞。如:

         The plane crushed out of control. (這架飛機失去控制而墜毀)

     The letter E is commonly used for English. (E這個字母常被用來表示英語)

     
    c. 在作條件、方式或方法副詞的介詞片語中,介詞有時轉譯成動詞。如:

        But even the larger molecules with several hundred atoms are too small to be seen with the best optical microscope. (但是,即使有幾百個原子的分子也是太小了,用最好的光學顯微鏡也看不見它們)

     
    d. 介詞片語作補語時,其中介詞常轉譯成動詞。如:

     Heat sets these particles in random motion. (熱量使這些粒子作隨機運動)
     

  2. 增譯:增詞不是無中生有,而是要根據上下文,尤其是根據與介詞搭配的動詞或形容詞的含義適當地增詞。有不少情況,句中與介詞搭配的動詞或形容詞並未出現,而原文結構無法把意思表達清楚,甚至易於造成誤解,此時就需要增詞。譬如說,"That's all there is to it." (那就是與此有關的全部內容) -- 句中 to = related to;"The engineer was taken ill with consumption. It was flour on the lungs, the doctor told him at the time. (這個工程師得了肺癆。當時醫生對他說,那是由於麵粉對肺部的影響所造成) -- 句中 on = effect。

    因此,熟悉介詞與動詞或形容詞的習慣搭配是增詞與正確理解詞義的一項重要手段。

     
     
  3. 分譯:介詞片語作形容詞時,往往是形容詞子句的一種減化形式。介詞片語作副詞時,有時是副詞子句的減化形式。有些介詞片語還是對等子句的減化形式。因此中譯時,有的可以拆句分譯。

    a. 譯成對等子句。如:

       The porous wall acts as a kind of seine for separating molecules. (多孔壁的作用就像篩子,它把不同質量的分子分開)

       
    b. 譯成讓步子句。如:

         With all its disadvantages this design is considered to be one of the best. (這設計儘管有種種缺點,仍被認為是最佳設計之一)

     
    c. 譯成真實或假設語氣的條件子句。如:

        Man's warm blood makes it difficult for him to live long in the sea without some kind warmth. (人的血液是熱的,如果得不到一定的熱量,人就難以長期在海水中生活)

     
    d. 譯成原因子句。如:

     We cannot see it clearly for the fog. (由於有霧,我們看不清它)

       The machine is working none the worse for its long service. (這部機器並不因使用的時間長而使性能變差)

    e. 譯成目的子句。如:

       This body of knowledge is customarily divided for convenience of study into the classifications: mechanics, heat, light, electricity, and sound. (為了便於研究起見,通常將這門學科分為力學、熱學、光學、電學和聲學)
     

  4. 不譯:不譯或省略翻譯是在確切表達原文內容的前提下使譯文精簡,合乎中文規範,絕不是任意省略某些介詞。表示時間或地點的英文介詞,譯成中文如出現在句首,大多不譯。如:

    There are four seasons in a year. (一年有四季)

    Many water power plants have been built in the country. (這國家已興建許多水力發電廠)

    •有些介詞如 for (為了),from (從...),to (對...),on (在...時) 等,可以不譯。如:

    The barometer is a good instrument for measuring air pressure. (氣壓計是測量氣壓的良好儀器)

    The air was removed from between the two pipes. (兩根管子之間的空氣已抽出)

    Answers to questions 2 and 3 may be obtained in the laboratory. (問題2和3的答案可能在實驗室中得到)

    Most substances expand on heating and contract on cooling. (大多數物質熱脹冷縮)

    •表示與主詞有關的某一方面、範圍或內容的介詞有時不譯,這時可把介詞的受詞譯成中文主詞。如:

    Something has gone wrong with the engine. (這部引擎出了毛病)

    Gold is similar in color to brass. (金子的顏色和黃銅相似)

    It's never occurred to me that bats are really guided by their ears. (我從未想到蝙蝠居然是靠耳朵引路的)

    •不少 of 介詞片語在句中作形容詞,其中 of (...的) 往往不譯。如:

    The change of electrical energy into mechanical energy is done in motors. (電能變為機械能是藉由馬達來完成的) -- of 片語和 change 在邏輯上有主詞動詞關係,可譯成主詞動詞結構。

    Some of the properties of liquid crystal displays listed below. (現將液晶顯示器的一些特性臚列如下) -- 第一個 of 片語和 some 在邏輯上有部分關係,of 不譯出。

     

  5. 反譯:在一些情況中,有的介詞片語如不從反面著手,譯文就不通,這時必須反譯。如:

    •beyond, past, against 等表示超過某限度的能力或反對...時,其片語有時用反譯法。如:

    Some of his poems are past comprehension. (他的某些詩作無法理解)

    There are some arguments against the possibility of life on this planet. (有些論據不同意這行星上可能有生物)

    Radio telescopes have been able to probe space beyond the range of ordinary optical telescopes. (無線電望遠鏡已能探測普通光學望遠鏡達不到的宇宙空間)

    •off, from 等表示地點,距離時,有時用反譯法。如:

    The boat sank off the coast. (這隻船在離海岸不遠處沉沒了)

    •but, except, besides 等表示除去、除外時,有時用反譯法。如:

    Copper is the best conductor but silver. (銅是僅次於銀的最佳導體)

    •from, in 等介詞片語作補語時,有時用反譯法。如:

    An iron case will keep the Earth's magnetic field away from the compass. (鐵箱能使地球磁場影響不了指南針)

    The signal was shown about the machine being order. (信號顯示機器設有毛病)

Guide to Grammar and Writing