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中国习惯用语英译

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·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 noisy.
 
老外听后,也许会感到困惑。他们有自己的说法:
A little knowledge (or learning) can be (or is) dangerous.(一知半解很危险)
 
或者说:
Still water runs deep.(静水深不可测)
 
也可以说:
He who knows the most says the least.(懂得越多的人,反而说得越少。)
 
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,是不会显要自己的能力)
 
·水落石出
 
有人照字直译为:As the water level sinks, the stones are exposed.
 
这样说,恐怕老外还是听不懂。他们的说法是:
All secrets may eventually come to light. (所有?z密最后总会曝光。)
 
也可以说:
Eventually, every secret will be disclosed.
 
·这山望到那山高
 
有人译成:The apples on the other side of the wall are the sweetest.(意思是:墙那边的苹果最甜)
 
当然,如要译成:
If you stand on a mountain, you feel the distant mountain seems higher than yours. 老外也勉强能接受。
 
而他们的最习惯说法是:
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)
 
或者说:
Wine reveals a person's true heart.
 
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 a long 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 than words. (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,还有英语里还有这样的说法:
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,老外就能了解:
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。)
 
·口蜜腹剑,笑里藏刀
 
有人译为 His mouth is honey; his heart is a sword.
 
外国人听了会对这样的比喻摸不着头脑,如果要形容某人“口蜜腹剑,笑里藏刀”,我们可以说 with honey on one's lip and murder in one's heart, 或者 honey-mouthed but dagger-hearted.也可以更直接的译成He is an evil man who has a mouth that praises and a hand that kills.
 
·少壮不努力,老大徒伤悲
 
有人译成 If you neglect study when you are young, what may happen to your old age?
 
这句问句会把老外问得云里雾里,因为他们?]有“学而优则仕”的思想,也不认为功课差,将来就会伤悲。他们劝告子女经常说的是Studying / working hard can lead you to a brighter / more promising future. (努力用功会带给你光明的前程。)
 
当然也可以对年轻人说:
Study hard when you are young. It will pay off when you get older. (年轻时好好努力,到老的时就会觉得学有所值。)
 
·学如行舟,不进则退
 
如果直译成:
Learning is like rowing upstream; not to advance is to drop back.
 
老外听后,也许会感到一头雾水。这样修改一下,表达可以清晰一些:
Learning seems like rowing upstream(逆流); if one does not advance, one will fall back. Learning is like rowing against the current(激流), if one does not advance, one will retreat. 更直接的说法是:
If you don't make proGREss, you will fall behind.
 
·一日为师,终身为父
 
有这样的译法:
He who teaches me for one day is my father for life.
If you are my teacher for even one day, you will be my teacher (mentor) all my life.
He who teaches me may be considered my father-figure for life.
这几种译法意思都是“老师即使对我只有一天的教诲,也会让我一生都受用不尽。”
 
外国人也有他们表达师生关系的谚语,如:
Teach others to fish and they will fish for a lifetime.(授人以鱼,不如授人以渔)
Give a man fish, he will have a meal; teach him to fish, he will have food all his life.
 
 ·忠言逆耳,良药苦口
 
有人译成
Faithful words are contrary to the ears; good medicine tastes bitter to the mouth.

       也有人反译为:
Bitter words are medicine; sweet words bring illness.
good advice often jars on the ears; bitter pills have good effects.

       这些说法,老外也会“一知半解”,不如直接一点说成:
Honest advice may be distasteful to the recipient.
Honest advice is hard to accept.
Truth is a hard pill to swallow.

       更简单的说就是:
Truth hurts.
 
 
·近墨者黑,近朱者赤
 
有人直译为:
one who stays near vermilion gets stained red, and one who stays near ink gets stained black.(vermilion 是朱砂或鲜红色的意思)

       也有人译成:
When you touch black, you become black; when you touch red, you become red.

       这种说法,恐怕老外一时无法理解真正含意。不过他们倒有这么说:
One takes the behavior of one's company. (一个人的行为,往往受到朋友的影响。) 或
One takes on the attributes of one's associates. (attributes 复数?r是指品质、特性;associates 指朋友、同事)

       简单的说,就是:
Watch the company you keep!(小心交朋友!)

       或者也可以说成:
As he who lies with dogs will ride with fleas, how could your son learn anything good by mixing with those people? (你儿子跟那些人混在一起,能学出个

.

中国习惯用语英译文章来源头牌英语[实用英语]
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