如何翻译“全面建设小康社会”
[ 2006-09-14 14:43 ]

作者:丁衡祁 陈小全

将"全面建设小康社会"翻译成英语,首先要把握"小康"一词的含义。《辞海》对"小康"的解释是:经济比较宽裕可以安然度日;儒家所说的比"大同"理想较低的一种社会。因此,从历史的角度看,"小康"一词的基本含义是"经济上比较富裕"。现在我们所说的"小康",是指温饱和富裕之间的那个阶段。根据"十六大"文件中的有关内容,"小康社会"的意义包括:到2020 年,国内生产总值比2000年翻两番;社会主义民主和法制更加完善;全民的思想道德素质、科学文化素质和健康素质明显提高;可持续发展能力不断增强,生态环境得到改善。因此,我们今天所说的"小康"含义要宽广得多,但归结起来是指我国社会总体发展达到一种较好的水平。

  在翻译"小康"时,我们不可能将其所有含义译出,必须抓住其核心意思。通过学习,我们认为《三个代表重要思想通俗读本》中的一段话可作为"小康"的中心意义,在此基础上将其翻译成英语。这段话是这样说的:"人均国民生产总值达到大约800美元,老百姓生活虽不富裕,但日子比较好过,这就算达到小康水平。"因此,我们可从日子"不富裕",但"比较好过"出发,在英语中寻找最接近的表达方式。

目前,一些书籍和出版物大多采用well off表达"小康"的概念,"全面建设小康社会"的英译虽有不同,但均在well off的基础上扩展而成。例如:building a well-off society in an all-round way;develop the well-off standard of living;bring China into a well-off society of a higher level等等。经研究我们发现,well off的意义相当不确定,用它来表达"小康"的意思并不妥当。例如,Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary所给的定义是rich,例句是Her family was very well-off.。很显然,我们所说的"小康"还够不上rich。Random House Dictionary 所给的定义是live in a satisfactory condition with sufficient possessions for a comfortable living。另外,Random House Learner's Dictionary 对 well-off 的解释是 well-to-do和 prosperous; 而对well-to-do 的解释又是comfortably prosperous和 wealthy。这些定义和解释的意思很清楚:well-off是指令人满意的生活条件,具备充足的物质条件,可以过上惬意舒适的生活。按照该定义,如果说一个人well off,他就应该有自己的房子和汽车,衣食住行游,样样不用愁。但从我国总体情况来看,我们所说的"小康"依然够不上这样的标准。另一方面,许多英语母语人士也认为,well off 比我们所说的"小康"更富裕。我们再来看Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary (10th Edition) 对well off的定义:1 : being in good condition or favorable circumstances 2 : having no lack -- usually used with for 3 a : being in easy or affluent circumstances b : suggesting prosperity。从该定义中,我们可以看出well off一词的意义并不确定。关于well off意义的不确定,有大量例句可以证明,现选少量列出:

  1. Because my parents were not well off, I would have to win a scholarship.(指一般意义上的富裕)
2. Our family, which lived in Renishaw Road in Nottingham, was always well off, if never rich. (指中等程度的富裕)
3. We were born on the same council estate - Shiregreen, in Sheffield, both were well off by council house standards first with a telly and matching frocks and knickers. (指低标准的富裕)
4. Can there remain any public consensus on the social structure if divisions between the well-off and the poor widen? (与贫穷相对应)
5. They are fine in Cookstown when you are looking at a working population of 8 or 9,000 people, but in Belfast travel-to-work area you are looking at something like 150,000 people and that confuses the well-off and the very impoverished. (与赤贫相对应)
6. Mr. Shahiduddin is well off by village standards, but still he is not a very rich man,' replied Dr. Haidar. (按农村标准的富裕)
7. The poor or less well off who cannot afford private health and pay school fees. (比贫穷稍好一些的富裕)
8. His parents are well-off farmers in Somerset, and although he went to the prestigious Ampleforth school, he spent only a year after taking his A levels at agricultural college before becoming a BMW car salesman.(富裕农民)
9. Children from well-off families would rather play computer games than go outside. (富裕家庭)
10. It's a pity her two husbands left her so well off that she hasn't had to worry about money. (富裕到花钱不用愁的地步)
11. Except for a very few rich people, they are all financially much less well off than they were. (比富人差一些的富裕)
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