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翻譯技術, 跨文化翻譯

卡特總統「拋棄美國」!--翻譯的文化敏感度

語言是文化的產物,翻譯和文化有著密不可分的關係,不論是原始語言或是目標語言,都會深刻的被其文化背景所影響。尤其是在商務翻譯之中,一個短語可能看似十分簡單好翻譯,卻可能是深藏著文化的精妙之處。而此精妙之處,要是沒有被發現和順利轉達,則可能傳達成完全相反的含意。也因此,翻譯關鍵性的內容時,缺乏深厚文化背景的翻譯是十分危險的!

字面上和語境上的含意

翻譯者針對每一個翻譯的句子,都必須要能決定其中文化脈絡的重要性,包括其中詞語真正的含意,可能不僅僅是字面上的含意而已,並且在目標語言中也要用合理的方式傳達到其文化語境中。
許多的機構和常規只存在於一種文化中,而不存在於其他文化之中。根深蒂固的信仰體系,文化與文化之間所堅信的真理也各有不同。而這個特殊文化基礎上的心理實體與其語言中的詞彙是緊密相連的,並且僅存在於此一語言之中,無法被複製到其他語言裡。這樣的情況下,如何將這樣獨特的文化脈絡與功能翻譯出來?只能寄予期望於同時涉足於原始語言與目標語言這兩種文化的人,能做出合理的解釋了。

禁忌、價值觀的差異

對於一個文化來說是極度禁忌的話題,可能卻是另外一個文化的中立話題。需要謹慎地處理在語言中與文字、符號相關的道德、精神價值,找到與其相等含意的翻譯。因為,通常最糟糕的混淆翻譯情況,就是發生在價值觀層面的翻譯上。

1977年美國總統卡特前往波蘭時,美國國國務院聘用了一位不常翻譯波蘭語的俄羅斯隨行翻譯員。透過此翻譯人員的口譯,卡特總統的原話「當我離開美國時 (when I left the United States)」卻被翻譯成了「當我拋棄美國時(when I abandoned the United States)」;另外還有「你嚮往的未來(your desires for the future)」,被翻譯成「你慾望的未來(your lusts for the future)」,最終這些錯誤成為了媒體的大笑柄,也成為了卡特總統不願再被提起的尷尬時刻。

當冷戰時期蘇聯領導人赫魯雪夫(Nikita Khrushchev)在聯合國說出了他的經典名言「我們會埋葬你們(we will bury you)」時,其實他是說「我們會活得比你們長久(we will outlast you)」,不嚴謹的俄語翻譯失誤,卻被廣泛解釋成即將進攻的威脅。

還有很多例子指出了文化敏感度在翻譯中的重要性,一個錯誤可能會導致成本高昂的產品重新定位過程、股價暴跌的情況、甚至引發衝突戰爭。
文化給予了語言不同的語境,同樣的詞句從一個文化傳播至另一個,可能就會含有些微的差異,甚至是翻天覆地的改變,這些含意的改變有時候也代表了或大或小的價值觀差異,是在翻譯過程當中極需要被重視的!

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