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中国习惯用语英译

作者:admin    文章来源:盐田区外国语学校    更新时间:2017-10-21

中国习惯用语英译
  
  一桶水摇不响,半桶水响叮当
  有人照字面译成:The full pot of water makes no sound,the half-empty pot of water is nmsy.
  老外听后,也许会感到困惑。他们有自己的说法:A little knowledge(or learning)canbe(or is)dangerous.(一知半解很危险。)或者说:Still wa-ter runs deep.(静水深不可测。)也可以说:He whoknows the most says theleast.(懂得越多的人,说得越少。)
  至于“大智若愚”,通常可以这么说:A truly wise person does not show off his(her)ability.(真正聪明的人,是不会显示自己的能力的。)
  水落石出
  有人照字直译为:As the water level sinks,the stonesare exposed.老外的说法是:All secrets may eventually come to light.(所有秘密总会曝光。)也可以说:Eventually,every secret will be disclosed.
  这山望着那山高
  如要译成:If you stand on a mountain.you feel the dlstant mountain seems higher than yours.老外也勉强能接受。而他们的习惯说法是:The grass always looks greener on the other side.(另一边的草,看来总是绿些。)
  烈火炼真金,患难见真情
  有人译成:Fire is the test of gold;adversity is the test of friendship.这句译文,虽然很好,老外也能了解,但是他们还有另外的说法:Liquor brings out a person’s true color.(烈酒能显示一个人真正的特色。)虽然老外不用“烈火炼真金”的比喻,但有“路遥知马力”的说法:By along road.we know a horse’s strength;at times of difficulty,we discover a friend’s true character.
  雷声大,雨点小
  有人译为:The thunder roars loudly,but little rain falls.或者说:All we hear is thunder,but no rain falls.虽然这样直译比较容易理解,但是老外的说法是这样的:Actions speak louder thanwords.(行动胜于言谈。)或All we hear is words,but there is no action.(只动嘴不动手。)或Actions and words should go hand in hand.(言行必须一致。)
  另外,里还有这样的说法:An empty barrel makes biggest Sound.(空洞的话说得太多了。)
  人不可貌相,海水不可斗量
  有人译为:A man can not be known by his look.nor can the ocean be measured by a dipper.这样的译法只是直译,如果能够稍加修改,老外就更容易理解:A man can not be judged by his appearance.nor can the water in the sea be measured by a bucket.
  不过,老外通常的说法是这样的:We can not judge a person by appearance only.或You can not judge a book by its cover.(意思是:一本书的好坏取决于它的内容,而不是它的封面装帧的漂亮与否。)

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