[新东方]2006年考研英语翻译深入剖析

考研英语 时间:2007-04-05 我要投稿
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Is it true that the American intellectual is rejected and considered of no account in his society? I am going to suggest that it is not true. Father Bruckbergen told part of the story when he observed that it is the intellectuals who have rejected American. But they have done more than that. They have grown dissatisfied with the role of intellectual. It is they, not American, who have become anti-intellectual.

First, the object of our study pleads for definition. What is an intellectual? (46) I shall define him as an intellectual who has elected as his primary duty and pleasure in life the activity of thinking in a Socratic(苏格拉底) way about moral problems. He explores such problems consciously, articulately, and frankly, first by asking factual questions, then by asking moral questions, finally by suggesting action which seems appropriate in the light of the factual and moral information which he has obtained. (47) His function is analogous to that of a judge, who must accept the obligation of revealing in as obvious a manner as possible the course of reasoning which led him to this decision.

This definition excludes many individuals usually referred to as intellectuals—the average scientist for one. (48) I have excluded him because, while his accomplishments may contribute to the solution of moral problems, he has not been charged with the task of approaching any but the factual aspects of those problems. Like other human beings, he encounters moral issues even in everyday performance of his routine duties—he is not supposed to cook his experiments, manufacture evidence or doctor his reports. (49) But his primary task is not to think about the moral code, which governs his activity, any more than a businessman is expected to dedicate his energies to an exploration of rules of conduct in business. During most of his walking life he will take his code for granted, as the businessman takes his ethics.

The definition also excludes the majority of factors, despite the fact that teaching has traditionally been the method whereby many intellectuals earn their living. (50) They may teach very well, and more than earn their salaries, but most of them make little or no independent reflections on human problems which involve moral judgment. This deion even fits the majority eminent scholars. “Being learned in some branch of human knowledge is one thing, living in public and industrious thoughts,” as Emerson would say, “is something else.”

纵观今年的考研翻译题目,我们觉得其难度适中。与近三年的考题相较,2006年的翻译比2004的难,而比2005容易一些。换而言之,今年试题的难度值应该介于0.52与0.53之间。另外,本篇翻译题目就其文体而言,仍然属于近年非常热门的社会科学类文章。由此可见,考研翻译难度总体趋于稳定已成定局。

盘点今年考题,我们发现:传统的考点出现了一边倒的局面,如定语从句、比较结构、指代关系等考点的出现频率有所上升(2004—2006全是如此),而宾语从句、主语从句、表语从句、被动结构、插入结构等送分型考点的重要性则相对降低。此外,定语从句和指代关系的难度有所下降,而比较结构的难度则有所上升。较之以往,今年的考题,对学生实际运用英语的能力有更高的要求。

以下,我们将逐一分析此次考试的五道试题:

46:I shall define him as an intellectual who has elected as his primary duty and pleasure in life the activity of thinking in a Socratic way about moral problems.

很明显,本题是以定语从句作为分水岭的,我们由此将句子分成两部分:即主句和定语从句。前一部分中,有以下得分点值得关注:首先,我们应该可以把握“define…as”(把……定义为……)这个词组。然后,我们需要对 “him”做一些处理。这里的“him”我们既可以翻译成为“知识分子”,也可以省略不译。也就是说,前句我们可以翻译成:“我会把‘知识分子’定义为这样的人,他们……”或者是“我对于‘知识分子’的定义是……的人”。再次,本句中出现的“intellectual”(知识分子)是一个高频词汇,曾经在历年的考研试卷中出现过至少20次。在2003年的62题中,“intellectual enquiry”翻译为“知识探究”,可见,“intellectual”本身是一个一词多义的高频词,我们考生在平时的复习过程中需要给予这样的小词以足够的关注。

后一部分,是由who引导的定语从句。在这个从句中,我们首先注意到一个词组“elect…as”(把……作为)。进而我们不难发现,这里由于句子本身的宾语比较长,因此宾语补足语被前置了。即本来是elect A as B这样一个结构,但由于A太长,最终变成了elect as B A这样一个结构,即elected as his primary duty and pleasure in life(B) the activity of thinking in a Socratic way about moral problems(A).从语法角度讲,这就是把S+V+O+C 主谓宾补结构(S=主语;V=谓语;O=宾语;C=宾补)中的C前置成为S+V+C+O。同样的结构,以往也曾考过,比如2003年第65题,本来是make something possible,但由于something以及它的修饰成分太长,结果变成了make possible something (which makes possible immense amounts of concrete research and understanding)。同样是possible作为句子的宾补,如果something是短宾语,那么适用make something possible的结构,而如果something是长宾语,那么就适用make possible something的结构。

最后,本句中出现的“moral”(道德)一词也是历年考研试卷中的高频词汇,已经考察近30次了。

综上,本句可以翻译为:“我会把‘知识分子’定义为这样的人,他们把以苏格拉底的方式来思考道德问题的活动作为人生的主要任务和乐趣。”

47:His function is analogous to that of a judge, who must accept the obligation of revealing in as obvious a manner as possible the course of reasoning which led him to this decision.

本句同样考到(非限制性)定语从句,所以句子也可以分成主句和定语从句两部分。主句部分相对容易,而这其中“analogous”算是个难词。但是有上下文“to that (function) of a judge”这本身就显示“his function”和“that of a judge”之间是某种类比关系。而此处的“analogous”正是“类似”的意思。

定语从句部分则相对较难,也是本句翻译的关键。众所周知,理解长难句的关键是找出主干,本句定语从句的主干就是“who must accept the obligation”,而“obligation”后面全部是修饰成分——整个定语从句是从句套从句的复杂结构,无法很好地融合在同一个修饰成分中,所以不妨采取后置法,通过重复先行词把本句定语从句译成:“后者(即法官—作者注)必须接受如下(这一)义务,即……”。

此外,这个定语从句对语言的运用能力要求更高,比如“in as obvious a manner as possible”是“reveal”(揭示)的“manner”(方式),因此,本结构亦可作“in a manner as obvious as possible”(以尽可能浅显的方式)。

再比如,“revealing”的宾语本来是“the course of reasoning which led him to this decision”,但中间插入了较长的方式状语“in as obvious a manner as possible”,这就给理解造成一定困难。

还有,which led him to this decision是一个简短的定语从句,可以作为一个修饰成分。因此我们不妨采用前置法,把该定语从句作为中心词的修饰语。其中值得注意的是“lead to”这个词组在考研翻译中也已经出现数次了。

由此,我们可以如下翻译:“知识分子的作用与法官类似,后者必须接受如下义务,即以尽可能浅显的方式揭示导致他做出某一决定的推理过程。”

48:I have excluded him because, while his accomplishments may contribute to the solution of moral problems, he has not been charged with the task of approaching any but the factual aspects of those problems.

纵观全句,句子虽长,可是理解还是比较简单的。主要是主句加上一个本身带有让步状语从句的原因状语从句。

主句部分主要考察了指代关系。其中,当第一次出现代词“him”的时候,考生不难发现它指代的就是最近的中心词“average scientist”(一般科学家)。而在后面的原因状语从句中,则再一次考察了“his”的指代关系。根据“代一不代二”的原则,同句出现反复指代,那么只要翻译首次出现的代词即可。因此,这里的“his”可以直接翻译为“他的”。