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    英汉口译中文化因素的传达

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    摘要:英汉口译是通过口头表达,将信息由英语转换成汉语的语言交际行为。英汉口译所涉及的因素颇多,其中文化因素的传达尤为重要。不同的文化背景决定了语言的表达方式,因此,译者在口译过程中要采取转换、解释等技巧将文化内涵传达给听众。本文主要探讨口译过程中文化因素传达的内涵、技巧及意义。 
      关键词:英汉口译;文化因素;传达;文化背景 

      摘要:英汉口译是通过口头表达,将信息由英语转换成汉语的语言交际行为。英汉口译所涉及的因素颇多,其中文化因素的传达尤为重要。不同的文化背景决定了语言的表达方式,因此,译者在口译过程中要采取转换、解释等技巧将文化内涵传达给听众。本文主要探讨口译过程中文化因素传达的内涵、技巧及意义。 
      关键词:英汉口译;文化因素;传达;文化背景 
      Abstract:E-C interpretation is a kind of communicative behavior in which information in English is converted into Chinese by oral expressions. Among the factors in E-C interpretation, the most important one is cultural factor. Different cultural backgrounds determine the form of expression. So, during E-C interpretation, the interpreter should have to pass on the cultural connotation to the listeners by explanation or conversion. This article aims to explore the connotations, techniques as well as its importance of transmission for cultural factors in E-C interpretation. 
      Key words:E-C interpretation; cultural factors; transmission; cultural background    
      1Introduction 
       
      It goes without saying that both English and Chinese languages are endowed with profound culture. Language is an important carrier of culture. Different Languages reflect different cultures. What’s language? “In the broadest sense, language is the symbolic representation of a people, and it comprises their historical and cultural backgrounds as well as their approach to life and their ways of living and thinking” And what about culture? According to the definitions of sociologists and anthropologists, the term “Culture” refers to the total pattern of beliefs, customs, institutions, objects, and techniques that characterize the life of a human community. (Deng Yanchang, Liu Renqing, 1989). Language is a very special component of culture. As a symbolic system of human communication, language is part of the conventional culture. Most of the languages are contained within their cultures, and a society’s language is an aspect of its culture. There is a dialectical relationship between language and culture. Every language is part of a culture and every culture is part of a language. As such, language can’t but serve and reflect cultural needs. The two are intricately interwoven such that one cannot separate the two without losing the significance of either language or culture. Thus, the relation of language to culture is that of part to whole. Culture is really an integral part of the interaction between language and thought. Cultural patterns, customs, and ways of life are expressed in language. For example, Eskimo tribes commonly have as many as seven different words for snow to distinguish among different types of snow. In African cultures of the equatorial forests, there is no word at all for snow. 
      We shall not go further into the relationship between language and culture. What needs to be stressed here is that the two interact, and that understanding of one requires understanding of the other. 
      What we call “cultural factor” refers to beliefs, customs, social systems, institutions, objects, techniques, ways of thinking, family patterns, etc that comprise the culture. The criteria of interpretation differs from person to person, which, in general sense, are quickness, exactness and fluency. E-C interpretation covers broad contents in which the transmission of cultural factor is not only important but also can’t be ignored. 
       
      2The transmission of the connotation of cultural factors 
       
      Just as we mentioned above, cultural factors refer to beliefs, customs, social systems, institutions, objects, techniques, ways of thinking, family patterns, etc that comprise the culture. So, it’s obvious that the transmission of the connotation of cultural factors is to pass on what comprise the culture stemmed from the English-speaking countries to the listeners in E-C interpretation. 
       
      It goes without saying that both English and Chinese languages are endowed with profound culture. Language is an important carrier of culture. Different Languages reflect different cultures. What’s language? “In the broadest sense, language is the symbolic representation of a people, and it comprises their historical and cultural backgrounds as well as their approach to life and their ways of living and thinking” And what about culture? According to the definitions of sociologists and anthropologists, the term “Culture” refers to the total pattern of beliefs, customs, institutions, objects, and techniques that characterize the life of a human community. (Deng Yanchang, Liu Renqing, 1989). Language is a very special component of culture. As a symbolic system of human communication, language is part of the conventional culture. Most of the languages are contained within their cultures, and a society’s language is an aspect of its culture. There is a dialectical relationship between language and culture. Every language is part of a culture and every culture is part of a language. As such, language can’t but serve and reflect cultural needs. The two are intricately interwoven such that one cannot separate the two without losing the significance of either language or culture. Thus, the relation of language to culture is that of part to whole. Culture is really an integral part of the interaction between language and thought. Cultural patterns, customs, and ways of life are expressed in language. For example, Eskimo tribes commonly have as many as seven different words for snow to distinguish among different types of snow. In African cultures of the equatorial forests, there is no word at all for snow. 
      We shall not go further into the relationship between language and culture. What needs to be stressed here is that the two interact, and that understanding of one requires understanding of the other. 
      What we call “cultural factor” refers to beliefs, customs, social systems, institutions, objects, techniques, ways of thinking, family patterns, etc that comprise the culture. The criteria of interpretation differs from person to person, which, in general sense, are quickness, exactness and fluency. E-C interpretation covers broad contents in which the transmission of cultural factor is not only important but also can’t be ignored. 
       
      2The transmission of the connotation of cultural factors 
       
      Just as we mentioned above, cultural factors refer to beliefs, customs, social systems, institutions, objects, techniques, ways of thinking, family patterns, etc that comprise the culture. So, it’s obvious that the transmission of the connotation of cultural factors is to pass on what comprise the culture stemmed from the English-speaking countries to the listeners in E-C interpretation. 

    (1)To be an interpreter, what he or she should convey in E-C interpretation? Maybe someone would say “I’ll interpret what he or she says” The answer to the above question may be right or wrong. For example, a foreigner says “How about having supper together tonight? Go Dutch.” If it is interpreted as:“今晚一起吃饭如何?去荷兰,”the Chinese listeners might think that you would invite him or her to have supper in Dutch or in a certain restaurant named Dutch. Here “Go Dutch” means “pay your bill yourself ‘not’ to have dinner in Dutch or a Dutch Restaurant.” The example reflects one kind of characteristics of culture. On the contrary, if someone in China invites you to have dinner with him or her, he/she will pay the bill. This phenomenon is called cultural difference. There are plenty of examples to show the cultural difference between English and Chinese. Chinese has a complex system of kinship terms. It distinguishes“外甥、侄子、堂兄、表兄、姑母、姨母、姑夫、舅父、姨夫、外祖母、外祖父”,While in English there are no counterparts. This is because the Chinese are more particular about these relation distinctions while the English people do not need to make these distinctions so often. Therefore, an interpreter has to pass profound knowledge about the cultural connotation of English-speaking countries. In this way and only in this way, he or she can convey the cultural connotation in E-C interpretation. This is the main point of cultural factor transmission. 
      (2)The requirements of cultural factor transmission 
      The interpreter should have to interpret not only what the speaker says but also what he or she really means. Cultures differ from one another, and each culture is unique. Language is influenced and shaped by culture and it reflects culture. Different language backgrounds determine the form of language expression. For instance, “It was Greek to me” in one of Shakespeare’s plays “Julius Caesar” means “I know nothing about it.” It means“一窍不通”in Chinese. So the requirements of cultural factor transmission, in my opinion, are: 
      1)to convey the real meaning of culture 
      Some phrases and sentences in English have inner meaning. It’s difficult for our Chinese interpreters to grasp. What we must do is to put across the meaning(not every individual word in the given phrases or sentences)in the light of the context. For example: 
      “It’s very kind of you”→“您太客气了” 
      “That won’t be the end of the world”→“天塌不下来” 
      “He is braver than wise”→“他有勇无谋” 
      “Take care how you do so”→“千万别这样做” 
      “Pull sb’s legs”→“嘲弄某人” 
      Similarly, in interpreting this English sentence, “This piece of information has not been made public yet, so keep it under your hat”, we can grasp the real meaning of the sentence from the context and render it into.“这条消息尚未发表,因此你要保密。” 
      2)to transmit the attributes of culture 
      The term “attribute” here means “a quality or feature, especially one that is considered to be good or useful”(Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 1997).The attributes of a culture also refer to the good or useful parts of its language. To be a good interpreter, one should certainly interpret the good and useful parts of the target language. For instance. Some foreigners often speak coarse language, such as “Fuck” “Damn it” , which are better not to be interpreted for the listeners’ sake. Fortunately, some good expressions, such as “go and see” “Trust the future; trust the young” are widely accepted by Chinese people. With the development of science and technology, people in different countries will get to know each other better.

    3)to pass on the connotation of culture 
      Some words or phrases in English reflect the connotation of its culture, such as idealism and materialism. As a term of philosophy, idealism, its opposite is materialism, doesn’t contain any ameliorative or derogatory meaning in English. But it is different in Chinese, which means.“唯心主义”On the contrary, materialism means“唯物主义”in Chinese, which is an ameliorative word. But the two terms “idealism” and “materialism” are not always ameliorative or derogatory. For example: 
      “I came here out of conviction and idealism.” 
      我是抱着信念和理想而来的。 
      “A lot of people are prepared to turn their back on the materialist way of life.” 
      很多人都准备放弃追求物质享受的生活方式。(A Dictionary of British and American Culture , Hu Wenzong 1995) 
      From the above examples, we can see that “idealism” is ameliorative and “materialism” is derogatory. 
      The above requirements may be somewhat abstract, But in fact, it is what an interpreter has to do. 
       
      3The techniques of cultural factors’ transmission 
       
      In the case of E-C interpretation, which involves two well-developed languages that are carriers of two vastly different cultures, techniques do play a helpful role. Besides explanation and conversion, techniques of E-C interpretation include subordination, diction, implication, omission, negation and division, etc. But explanation and conversion are the two basic techniques of cultural factors transmission. 
      As far as the content of E-C interpretation is concerned, it includes conversation, interview, ceremonial speech, informative speech, persuasive speech, academic speech, business speech, popular science speech etc. No matter what kind of interpretation is, it can’t avoid cultural factor transmission. How to transmit the cultural factors of target language is the problem most interpreters face. Here’s how. 
     


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