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法律文件中的英文长句如何翻译

来源:知了英语 编辑:知了 时间:2017-05-19

  做翻译,最难处理的莫过于长句。这里所谓的“长句”,不单纯就句子的长度而言,而且是指语法结构比较复杂、从句和修饰语较多、包含的内容层次在一个以上的句子。鉴于法律文件的目的、性质和文体特征,其长句出现的频率远远高于其他文字作品,这就给法律翻译造成了额外负担。因此,可以这样说,正确理解和翻译长句,是法律翻译成败的要素之一。

  翻译长句,首先要从语法分析入手理解句子的完整意思,而后在理解的基础上将其意思用通顺的汉语翻译出来。以“导论”中0.3节所给的长句为例,这个句子的主句(the Parties shall promptly consult and decide whether…)前面有一个很长的条件状语从句(if, after the signing of this Agreement, the Chinese government either at the State, provincial, municipal or local level adopts any new law, regulation, decree or rule, amends or repeals any provision of any law, regulation, decree or rule, or adopts any different interpretation or method of implementation of any law, regulation, decree or rule, which contravenes this Agreement or which materially and adversely affects a Party's economic benefit under this Agreement, then upon written notice thereof from the affected party to the other Party)和时间状语(then upon written notice thereof from the affected party to the other Party),在条件状语从句中,又夹带着一个时间状语(after the signing of this agreement)和一个定语从句(which contravenes this Agreement or which materially and adversely affects a Party's economic benefit under this Agreement)。主句本身也相当复杂,除了有主语加两个并立的谓语和宾语的基本句子结构外,两个谓语动词未完分别有方式状语(in accordance with the original provisions thereof as per the relevant provisions of the Contract Law of the People's Republic of China)及目的状语(in order to preserve each Party's economic benefit under this Agreement)和方式状语(on a basis no less favourable than the economic benefit it would have received if such law, regulation, decree or rule had not been adopted, amended, repealed or so interpreted of so interpreted or implemented)修饰。就是在后一个方式状语中,也还有一个作定语的虚拟句(it would have received of such law, regulation, decree or rule had not been adopted, amended, repealed or so interpreted or implemented)。纵观整个句子,内有主句又有从句,修饰语套修饰语,一个接一个叠加,一环扣一环相连,构成了复杂的修饰和被修饰关系。只有弄清楚句子里各个成分之间的相互关系,才有可能理解句子的完整意思。

  由于这个句子内部存在着复杂关系,要准确、通顺地译出原句的完事意思并不是一件容易的事情。比较英语和汉语这两种语言的句子结构,不难发现,英语可以凭借关联词形成很长的句子,而汉语却没有诸如关系代词和关系副词之类的关联词,因而也就不可能产生结构复杂的长句。英语复合句,各个成分之间都有适当的关联词加以连接,以表明它们之间的逻辑关系,这就使得句子各个成分的设置有较大的灵活性。汉语句子一般是按时间顺序和中国人的逻辑思维顺序编排的,即使不使用关联词,也能构成完整的意思。翻译长句,要按汉语的表达方式处理英语句子里错综复杂的关系。处理方法大致可归纳为两种:一种是基本上按英语原句的结构顺序翻译,另一种是按汉语的时间顺序和逻辑顺序翻译。本章将着重分析第一种翻译方法。

  按原句的结构顺序翻译

  (a)Each of the Shareholders shall exercise all voting rights and other powers of control available to it in relation to the Company so as to procure (so far as it is able by the exercise of such rights and powers) that at all times during the term of this Agreement, the provisions concerning the structure and organisation of the Company, and the regulation of its affairs set out in this Agreement, are duly observed and given full force and effect, and all actions reserved and given full force and effect, and all actions required of the Shareholders under this Agreement are carried out in a timely manner, and in particular (but not in derogation of the generality of the foregoing), that any meeting of the Board and every general meeting of the Company has the necessary quorum throughout and is conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, and shall execute and do and procure all other third parties, if necessary, to execute and do all such further acts, deeds, assurances and things as may be reasonably required so that full effect may be given to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

  各股东应应其具有的与公司相关的所有表决权和其他控制权,以保证(就通过行使该等权利和权力可以保证而言)在本协议期限内任何时候,关于公司结构和组织的规定和本协议规定的公司事务的管理规则得到遵守并具有完全的效力,本协议项下要求股东采取的一切行动均已及时采取,告别是(但不得损害前述一般性原则)公司的任何董事会会议和每一次股东大会自始至终达到必需的法定人数,且根据本协议的规定召开,而且应签署和执行,并在必要时保证所有其他第三方签署和进行可能合理要求的一切进一步行动、契约、保证和事宜,以使本协议的条款和条件可以具有完全的效力。

  这个句子中,主语有两个并立的谓语+宾语的动宾词组:shall exercise all voting rights and other powers of control和shall execute and do and procure all other third parties, if necessary, to execute and do all such further acts, deeds, assurances and things,而且紧随其后又都是表示目的的状语。翻译也是按原句的这一基本结构进行的。

  (b)If in any case Party A, after having become bound to transfer any Shares and Loans pursuant to the provisions of this Clause X to Party B or a third party, shall fail or refuse to do so, the Company Secretary or any other person appointed by the Board shall be deemed to have been irrevocably authorized by Party A, with full power to execute, complete and deliver, in the name and on behalf of Party A, transfers of the Board may then register the purchaser or its nominee as holder of the Shares and issue to the purchaser or its nominee (as the case may be) a certificate of the same, and thereupon, Party A shall be bound to deliver up the certificates for the Shares, and upon such delivery, shall be entitled to receive the purchase price therefore without interest.

  如果甲方应有义务根据本条规定向乙方或第三方转让任何股份或贷款,而甲方却未进行或拒绝进行转让,公司秘书或董事会委派的任何其他人应被视为经甲方不可撤消的授权,有全权在购买人向公司支付购买价款后,以甲方的名义并代表甲方签署、完成并向购买人交付股份和贷款转让证,而后董事会将购买人或其指定的人登记为股份持有人,并向购买人或其指定的人(视情况而定)签发股权证,据此,甲方有义务交付股权证,交付后则有权获得不计利息的购买价款。

  上面的译文基本上也是按原句的顺序编排的,只有其中的一个状语against payment of the purchase price therefore to the Company 根据汉语时间状语的习惯位置向前推移了一步。

  英语和汉语是两种不同的语言,但在句子结构上毕竟还有相同点,大体上都具有是“主、谓、宾”的基本框架。只要英语句子可以按其原有的成分排列顺序转换成结构大体相同的汉语句子,翻译时就应当照办,而不必另起炉灶,更不能随意偏离翻译的基本原则,把翻译当作释义(paraphrase)。

  按汉语的时间先后和逻辑顺序翻译

  如果一个英语句子无法照着原有顺序翻译,就不得不考虑将原句的结构拆开,根据原义用汉语重新整合,以时间先后,因果、假设等逻辑关系相继译成一句或几句意思连贯、内容完整的句子。

  (a)The enduring significance of the Shanghai Communique is symbolized by the fact that two of the participants in the ceremony fifteen years ago –Ambassadors Han Xu and Winston Lord – are now charged with even greater responsibilities for promoting good relations between our two countries.

  15年前,曾参加上海公报签字仪式的两位人士,韩叙大使和温斯顿?洛德大使,现在都肩负着促进我们两国友好关系的更为重要的责任,这标志着上海公报具有持久的意义。

  上面的英语句子与译文在“时间”安排上顺序不一样,英语由现在提及过去的事情(韩叙和温斯顿?洛德都参加了15年前上海公报签字仪式),而汉语则先提过去的事情,由过去说到现在。同时,英语句子先说上海公报具有持久的意义,而后点明这表现为韩叙和温斯顿?洛德两位大使现在都肩负着促进我们两国友好关系的更为重要的责任;汉语则刚好相反,叙述时由“因”而“果”。这句长句的译文,正是按照汉语先过去后现在的时间顺序及因果关系重新安排英语原句各个内容层次的。

  (b)The progress to the statute book of the necessary legal infrastructure for electronic commerce has in many countries been delayed by a difficult and politically sensitive debate created by the concerns of law enforcement authorities that the widespread use of strong encryption may facilitate crime and terrorism to a degree that will de-stabilize civilized governments.

  在许多国家,执法机关担心严格加密的广泛使用,会给犯罪分子和恐怖活动提供方便,从而破坏文明政府的稳定。这种担心引起了一场难以解决的、政治上敏感的辩论。而这场辩论则延误了必要的电子商务法律归入法典的进程。

  这句句子包含的信息量大,内容一层又一层,各个成分环环相扣,根本无法用一个汉语句子来翻译。首先,主语又长又复杂(The progress to the statute book of the necessary legal infrastructure for electronic commerce),而且因修辞关系出现换位现象(to the statute book与of the necessary legal infrastructure for electronic commerce前后倒置)。状语(by a difficult and politically sensitive debate)后面有定语修饰语(created by the concerns of law enforcement authorities),而定语又带同位语从句(that the widespread use of strong encryption may facilitate crime and terrorism to a degree that will de-stabilize civilized governments),同位语中又有状语(to a degree that will de-stabilize civilized governments)。

  根据以上分析,英语原句的内容可以分为三层:一层是执法机关担心严格加密的广泛使用会产生怎样的后果,一层是这种担心引起了一场辩论,还有一层是说这场辨论所导致的结果——延误了必要的电子商务法律归入法典的进程。这是按汉语逻辑思维自然形成的因果关系的链接。而从英语句子结构来看,上述第一层和第三层的内容次序刚好相反,英语倾向于把信息的重心放在句首,先陈述一个事实(电子商务法律归入法典的进程被延误了),而后说明该事实发生的原因(是因为一场难以解决的、政治上敏感的辩论),中间的一层意思则表明辩论的由来(执法机关的担心)。这句英语句子的翻译过程,实际上是按汉语所习惯的逻辑顺序来表达原文的确切意思,而这正是翻译所要达到的目的。

  (c)Each Party hereby agree to indemnify, hold harmless and defend the other Party from and against any and all claims, suits, losses, damages and disbursements (including legal and management costs) arising out of any alleged or actual breach of failure to comply with the terms and conditions hereof including but not limited to any infringement of the other Party's intellectual property or other rights occurring as a result of the offending Party's fault, omission or activities in connection with the Project.

  各方谨此同意,困一方被指控违反、实际违反或未遵守本协议条款和条件包括但不限于由于违约方与项目有关的过错、不作为或活动导致对另一方和知识产权或其他权利的侵犯,而引起的任何和所有索赔、诉讼、损害和支出(包括律师费和管理费),该违约方须向另一方做出赔偿,使另一方免受损害,并为其进行抗辩。

  同前面的句子一样,英语把信息的重心放在句首,先表明各方同意的事项(indemnify, hold harmless and defend the other Party),然后规定因什么原因引起的损失和损害才会给予赔偿(arising out of any alleged or actual breach or failure to comply with the terms and conditions)。作为补充内容,句中夹入包括因其他原因(as a result of the offending Party's fault, omission or activities in connection with the Project)发生的侵权(infringement of the other Party's intellectual property or other rights)。译文则是按汉语的逻辑思路,先表明因何原因,一方才向另一方做出赔偿。(顺便提一下,理解这句英语句子时,要把句中隐含而汉有明示的成分考虑在内,译文里增添的“一方”和“该违约方”是为了明确地译出原文的意思所必需的。)

  翻译长句,对英语句子进行拆分和整合,必须是在全面、准确理解原义的基础上进行。译者要做到心中有数,统揽全句,把握细节,才不至于在复杂的结构中迷失方向。下笔翻译时,要紧扣原句的意思而不拘泥于原句的结构,把一层一层内容按汉语的时间先后和逻辑关系恰当地链接在一起,最终组合成既忠实又通顺的译文。

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