拙劣的翻譯

Travis1997
2018-05-13 看过

案:譯名不統一(niche一時作小生境一時作小生態)等問題就不說了,但此書曲解作者原意之處實在太多。李明歡是華僑史大家,犯下這些錯誤實在難以接受。更難以接受的是,在豆瓣和知網見不到哪怕一篇書評討論翻譯問題。我並非刻意對著原文挑錯,只是根據有限知識發現不合情理的段落才檢查原文。假如刻意糾錯,問題只會更多。


頁52:

15世紀50年代,當鄭和下西洋途徑馬六甲時,雖然還不清楚那裡是否已形成中國人的聚居地,但已經在那兒發現了中國的船隻。

鄭和逝世於1433年。檢查原文頁58後發現是譯者搞錯了:

Zheng He’s naval expeditions of the 1420s had found Chinese ships there, though it is uncertain whether there was a settled Chinese community.

頁56:

在認識到華人在巴達維亞與中國貿易中所具有的絕對優勢後,荷蘭在17世紀90年代解散了當時已經麻煩不斷的荷蘭東印度公司,所有貿易業務一概轉移到了華商及相關航運公司手中。

荷蘭東印度公司在1799年倒閉。翻查原文頁62才知道李明歡完全曲解孔飛力的原意:

Realizing the advantages held by Chinese in the direct Batavia–China trade, the Dutch East India Company in the 1690s abandoned that vexatious enterprise entirely and turned it over to Chinese merchants and shippers.

孔飛力的原意是荷蘭東印度公司把巴達維亞–中國航線的貿易轉由華人承擔,"that vexatious enterprise"單指巴達維亞與中國貿易,絕非整個荷蘭東印度公司。

另引Chinese Circulations: Capital, Commodities, and Networks in Southeast Asia頁228作參考:

The Gordian knot was cut through in the 1690s when the high government at Batavia decided to give up trading in China using its own vessels. The transactions there yielded such meager profits and were so hindered by the local mandarins that the same ships could ply more rumunerative routes in the Indian Ocean.

頁77:

1679年,粵籍和桂籍兵士大約3000人,為逃脫清軍追殺,乘坐50艘戰船進人了越南。阮氏當局視這批清朝兵士為政治難民,允許他們定居於人煙荒蕪的湄公河三角洲地區。

這段表述是很有問題的。那些逃難士兵本身就被清軍追殺,怎能叫「這批清朝兵士」?查原文頁81:

In 1679, 3,000 armed Chinese soldiers from Guangdong and Guangxi, fleeing the Manchu invaders, arrived in a flotilla of fifty junks and were granted asylum in the sparsely settled Mekong delta.

原文用Manchu invaders和Chinese soldiers,分得清清楚楚。


頁118:

是的,對於一個能夠得到「司機」崗位的移民來說,他一天的工薪可能有一元,但是, 對眾多勞工而言,他們的日平均薪資可能還不到上述金額的四分之一。

「司機」的崗位為何薪資就比較高?查原文頁120:

It may, indeed, be possible for an immigrant who obtains the post of “driver” to earn a dollar a day, but the average earned by immigrant labourers is considerably less than a fourth of that amount.

"Driver"並不只有一個解釋,查看牛津網路字典還有其他含義:slave-driver: a person who makes people work extremely hard。此處"driver"當指「監工」而非「司機」。


頁140:

在直到那之前不久才廢除奴隸制的非洲(尤其是聲名狼藉的秘魯和古巴),來自中國的契約華工在那裡繼續掙扎於准奴隸制的壓迫之下。

秘魯和古巴都不在非洲。

查原文頁140:

In societies where African bondage had only recently ended (notoriously Peru and Cuba), Chinese indentured laborers suffered under a persisting culture of slavery.

因此翻譯應該是「在直到那之前不久才廢除非洲(强制)奴隸制的社會」。


頁208:

1857年,加利福尼亞最高法院以外貿規制是國家權力,而不是聯邦權力為由,否決了對運送華人移民的輪船公司課以特別稅款的法案。

原文頁206:

In 1857, the California Supreme Court struck down a special tax on shipping companies carrying Chinese immigrants on the ground that regulation of foreign commerce was a national, not a state, prerogative.

State的翻譯應為州份而非聯邦。


頁214:

不過,除了債務之外,由非白色人種的非自由勞工組成的社團,即一個由非洲奴隸建立和維系的具有悠久歷史的社團,也更凸顯出投射於加州華人身上的所謂的奴隸形象。

檢查原文:

Indebtedness aside, however, the association of unfree labor with nonwhite races, an association created and maintained by the long history of African slavery, sharpened the slave image projected on Chinese in California.

Association除了解作「社團」,亦可解作「聯繫」。我會如此翻譯:「不過,除了債務之外,由具有悠久歷史的非洲奴隸制度所形成和維持的非白色人種和非自由勞工之間的聯繫,也加深了投射於加州華人身上的所謂的奴隸形象。」


頁219:

「林肯之黨」也沒有提倡應當給予獲得自由的奴隸以平等的公民權和平等的社會地位。

原文頁215:

Nor did the “Party of Lincoln” promote civic and social equality for freed slaves.

"Party of Lincoln"即是共和黨,此處之所以用"Party of Lincoln"是以林肯追求平等的政治目標反襯共和黨歧視的主張。最近Quora便有人譏諷為何"Party of Lincoln"變成"Party of Trump"。譯者可以在正文翻譯作共和黨,註釋作補充說明。


頁238:

由於澳洲在1901年之前還是一個單獨的殖民地,而不是英聯邦的成員,因此,它就可以通過殖民地自己的立法,制定出針對華人的排華法案。

這段突然冒出個英聯邦很突兀,檢查原文頁232:

Because Australia was not federated as a commonwealth until 1901, its separate colonies, through their own legislative bodies, were able to pass exclusion acts against Chinese.

整段譯文都有問題。Commonwealth不指英聯邦(Commonwealth of Nations),而是指澳大利亞聯邦(Australian Commonwealth)。Its separate colonies指六個自治殖民地(昆士蘭、新南威爾士、維多利亞、塔斯馬尼亞、南澳大利亞和西澳大利亞),而非整個澳洲。因此翻譯當如此:「由於澳洲直至1901年才組成一個聯邦,各殖民區可以通過各自的立法機關制定出針對華人的排華法案。 」


頁257:

著名的社會活動家林文慶本人是一位土生華人,他在1919年曾經寫道:中國,一個「從大海上升騰而起的祖國」,呼喚著他的所有子民,無論生活在其疆域之內,還是生活在異國他鄉,都共同致力於「它的地位的提升」。

但在此譯本的頁260又重新交待林文慶的生平事跡,而且他的言論觀點跟上面不一樣。檢查原文,上面頁257引文不是林文慶(Lim Boon Keng),而是林群賢(Liem Koen Hien)。


頁335:

不出意外,第八章有刪節。原書頁328收錄了土改迫害僑眷家庭的史料:

“Land Reform” and Overseas Chinese Dependents (1951)
[The “land reform” movement (in which land redistribution, persecution or execution of thousands of landlords, inevitably targeted some families of overseas Chinese in the emigrant-sending regions of Guangdong and Fujian) was terrifying to many overseas Chinese. Emigrants’ families who had invested remittances in land and houses or who (lacking male labor power) had rented out their land to be farmed by others were classed as “landlords.” Sensational stories in the anti-Communist press, such as the following selection, were calculated to make overseas Chinese fear that the corridors to their home villages would be cut off.]
“Reported by Reuters, Singapore: Families of overseas Chinese forced to commit mass suicide. Four families of overseas Chinese, old and young, twenty-seven persons in all, took poison in response to death threats from the Communist Office of Investigation. . . .
“And another case, even more cruel: In the port city in the eighth district of Chaoyang (Xiagang) the Communist Party categorized Chen Dalu, age 65, whose son had emigrated to Nanyang to seek a living, as an ‘overseas Chinese landlord.’ Only his niece and grandson were left at home with him. The family owned three mu of land [less than half an acre]. Because the niece had been helping the old gentleman manage his affairs she was charged with being an ‘accomplice.’ The Communist cadres sent a gang of thugs to force the niece to strip naked, and ordered Chen Dalu to have sex with her. They forcibly stripped him naked, too, and made the two embrace. Afterward the two killed themselves out of shame. All Chaoyang people are well acquainted with this story.
“Other incidents involved communist massacres of overseas Chinese families and returned emigrants. On April 21 of this year [1951], at Dajiangxu, the Communists killed returned emigrants in Hengyong village, Liu Muqing and the ‘landlord’ Li Zhutao and his son Li Duomin. In all, since this spring the Communists have killed many people in Taishan, three-fourths of whom have been either qiaojuan or returned emigrants. Our siyi countrymen who live overseas are probably aware of their own kinsmen who have been unjustly put to death and will forgive our inability to relate the circumstances of each such person [there follows a list of forty-four persons allegedly killed by the Communist authorities since January in Taishan], two thirds of whom were qiaojuan or returned emigrants. . . .
“As to the correspondence between qiaojuan and their overseas kinsmen: every word of the letters we have received from our hometowns has been read by the Communist personnel. Those qiaojuan in the cities that are under control of the Communists of course cannot send a letter before it has been examined. If you purposely leave out your own name and address, the Communists will assign a special agent at the post office to track you down. How much the more will they check the foreign name and address to which you send a letter! The Overseas Chinese Association and the Communists’ own ‘Overseas-Chinese Section’ and ‘Overseas Chinese Bureau’ carefully register all such items of information.”

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