《中国传统文化关键字》白马非马 -英语翻译教程-中英双语赏析

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白马非马

A White Horse Is Not A Horse

白色的马不是马。“白马非马”是名家提出的一个重要命题,公孙龙子对这个命题进行了充分的讨论。他认为,“马”之名是用来指称马的形体的,而“白”之名是用来指称白色的。“白马”兼指马与白,因此与“马”所指称的是不同的事物。“白马非马”的命题意在指出,“马”之名无法精确指示马之中的白马、黄马、黑马所具有的特殊性。为了准确指称事物,就需要对名做出细致的辨析。

This is an important proposition made by the School of Names. Gongsunlongzi discussed this thesis in great detail. In his view, “horse” is a name of the physical body of a horse, whereas “white” is the name for white color. “White horse” refers both to “horse” and “white” and therefore is not the same thing as that which is referred to as “horse.” The proposition that “a white horse is not a horse” is meant to point out that the name “horse” can’t accurately refer to the particular characteristics of white, brown and black horses. More careful differentiation is necessary in order to indicate an object precisely.

🎈在第二句的翻译中,译文使用了whereas,用以比较或对比两个事实,表“然而,但是”之意,用在此句中表示horse和white所表达的截然不同的内容意义。

🎈在翻译「是用来指称马的形体的」时,译文并没有拘泥于汉语原文译作is used to,而是直接译作is the name of,使得译文简洁且符合英文的行文习惯。

🎈在最后一句的译文中,以More careful differentiation作主语,将「细致的辨析」(careful differentiation)拟人化,符合英语多用无灵主语的行文习惯。同时增译了more,表达出了原文中暗含的“更加”之意。

🎈重点表达

白马非马:A White Horse Is Not A Horse

名家:the School of Name

充分地:in great detail

指称:refer to

精确地:accurately

特殊性:particular characteristics

为了:in order to

表明,显示:indicate

细致地:precisely

意在,理应发生:be meant to

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