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          翻譯天地| 軍事文本中那些暗藏玄機的表達

          2021-11-16

            英文版軍事類書籍中不乏專業性較強的特色術語與表達。它們看似簡單易懂,實則暗藏玄機。要將這些表達恰如其分地譯成中文,往往考驗譯者的脫殼能力。

            您或許有過這樣的經歷:英語句子中的單詞都認識,但翻譯時卻感到無從下手。那么,不妨跳出原文語義層面的束縛,從虛實角度加以變通,或許就能破解玄機、豁然開朗。

            我們來看一看關于無人機領域的幾個例子。文中隱去原句出處等細節信息,對兩版譯文進行比較并進行思路拆解,供譯者參考。

          攝圖網_500993868_中國革命軍事博物館空中戰鷹(企業商用).jpg

            【化虛為實】

            抽象表達具體化

            例:> UAV controllers now gained the ability to observe “pattern of life,” and to select the optimum time to engage the target, ideally without civilians nearby. The age of the drone now dawned.

            譯文a:如此一來,無人機管制官能夠憑此觀察敵方的“生活方式”,并選擇最佳時機與目標交戰,確保不誤傷周圍的平民。于是,無人機的時代拉開了序幕。

            譯文b:如此一來,無人機操控員就能將敵方的“一舉一動”盡收眼底,并選擇最佳時機攻擊目標,避免誤傷周圍平民。至此,無人機時代拉開了序幕。

            原句中“pattern of life”的字面意思是“生活方式”。譯文a將這種抽象的表達直接截取詞典釋意對號入座,是一種機械、單調的轉換,使譯文顯得突兀?!坝^察敵方的生活方式”過于籠統,實際脫離了語境。而脫離語境的翻譯是毫無意義的。同時,原文想要突出無人機偵察能力這層含義也會損失殆盡。

            當然,為了正確領會原文內涵,查詞是一道重要工序。對pattern of life進行查詢后,我們發現,Wikipedia對于pattern-of-life analysis有如下解釋:

            Pattern-of-life analysis is a method of surveillance specifically used for documenting or understanding a subject's habits. This form of observation is generally done without the consent of the subject, with motives including but not limited to security, profit, scientific research, regular censuses, and traffic analysis.

            我們又將這一表達放到武裝無人機(armed drone)領域進行了搜索。在美國聯邦黨人法律和公共政策研究學會網站(https://fedsoc.org/)上,得到了這樣的描述:

            The pattern of life analysis allows drone operators to predict when a target vehicle is likely to be in a sufficiently remote area to greatly reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties.

            由此可見,pattern of life analysis有助于確定無人機的打擊時機,以盡可能避免平民傷亡,與原文表述相仿。為此,譯文b加以變通,將“生活方式”這一抽象表達具體化,改為“一舉一動”,將無人機的偵察實力展現在讀者眼前,使原文明晰化,加深讀者印象,雖貌離而神合。

          攝圖網_501129400_武漢木蘭水鎮飛機模型(企業商用).jpg

            【化實為虛】

            具體概念抽象化

            例1:> As a scarce resource, they were most often provided to very senior headquarters or favored special operations units. Senior leaders at times became enamored with the “soda straw” view provided by UAVs, to the neglect of more comprehensive situational awareness.

            譯文a:作為稀缺資源,無人機往往只提供給高級別的總部或被看好的特種部隊。有時,高層領導會過度依賴無人機提供的“飲料吸管”視圖,而忽視了更全面的態勢感知。

            譯文b:作為稀缺資源,無人機通常供高級指揮部或被推薦的特種部隊使用。有時,高級指揮官會過度依賴無人機的“狹隘”視野,而忽視了更全面的態勢感知。

            譯文a將“soda straw”直接譯成“飲料吸管”。在漢語中,這一具體表達并無任何引申含義。若照搬詞典釋意,可能會令譯文難以卒讀。英譯漢時,首先考慮采用保留源語言文化色彩的異化譯法,以增加譯文的可讀性,比如armed to teeth(武裝到牙齒),但是,若異化不了,則需考慮虛化。從網上的資料中,我們可以查到關于“soda straw”的相關解釋:

            If operators assess that the first missile missed they would maintain the close-up field of view (often analogized to “looking through a soda straw”) to fire a second missile at the target.

            One concern was the “soda straw” effect of viewing the world through the tight focus of the camera lens and thus missing important nearby activity.

            由此可見,“soda straw” view的內涵實為narrow field of view,即將無人機攝像機鏡頭類比為管子,引申為“狹隘”之意?!發ooking through a soda straw”也與中文里的“管中窺豹”同理,指狹窄而片面的視角。但在中文語境下,“吸管視圖”并無“管中窺豹”的引申含義。因此,譯文b將實意虛化,以傳達出原文內涵,使譯文通順、達意。

            例2:> As the glass ceiling of a kind of old boys’ network of drone users came crumbling down in 2020, the overall picture was still of a powerful America and a bunch of other countries trying to keep up.

            譯文a:2020年,無人機使用國之間類似于“老男孩網絡”的玻璃天花板被打破,整體來看,美國仍然實力雄厚,同時其他不少國家奮起直追。

            譯文b:2020年,無人機使用國之間曾建起的“關系網”如同玻璃屋頂般轟然崩塌。因此,從整體來看,美國在無人機領域仍然實力雄厚,而其他不少國家也在奮起直追。

            譯文a將“old boys”譯為“老男孩”。從網絡釋義來看,“老男孩網絡”這種說法的確存在。牛津詞典對old boy network的解釋如下:

            (especially in the past) the situation in many British companies, government departments and branches of the armed forces where people give jobs and other privileges to 'old boys' (= former students) of the public school or university that they went to (often disapproving).

          攝圖網_500993872_中國航空博物館空中之魂(企業商用).jpg

            由此可見,old boys’ network通常指校友關系網,含貶義。本例的前文概述了無人機的研發與使用,即此前全球大多數國家都并無自主研發的無人機,而是向美國、以色列等無人機強國進行采購,使用國之間由此建立起采購關系網。而放在本例語境之下,“老男孩網絡”這一說法經不起推敲,無法準確傳達意境。

            因此,化實為虛,譯為“關系網”就能讓讀者一目了然。從邏輯層面來講,本例中“關系網”的破裂也順理成章了。

            總之,面對軍事文本中那些暗藏玄機的英文表達,巧用虛實轉換技巧,或許能讓譯文增色不少。

            【本期稿件來源】翻譯中心 Vivian

            【文中資料來源】

            https://fedsoc.org/commentary/publications

            https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/predator-drone-transformed-military-combat

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