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口译员们是怎么同时应付两种语言的 – 译学馆
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口译员们是怎么同时应付两种语言的

How interpreters juggle two languages at once - Ewandro Magalhaes

In 1956, during a diplomatic reception in Moscow,
1956年 在一场莫斯科的外交招待会上
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told Western Bloc ambassadors,
苏联领导人尼基塔·赫鲁晓夫告诉西方集团大使
“My vas pokhoronim!”
“My vas pokhoronim!”
His interpreter rendered that into English as,
他的翻译把他的话翻译成英语时成了
“We will bury you!”
“我们会埋葬你们!”
This statement sent shockwaves through the Western world,
这句话震惊了西方国家
heightening the tension between the Soviet Union and the US
使在冷战期间苏联与美国的关系
who were in the thick of the Cold War.
更加紧张
Some believe this incident alone set East/West relations back a decade.
有一些人认为就这一事故使东西关系倒退十年
As it turns out, Khrushchev’s remark
最终证明发现 赫鲁晓夫的言辞
was translated a bit too literally.
有点被翻译得太按照字面意思了
Given the context, his words should have been rendered as,
鉴于上下文 他的话应该被翻译为:
“We will live to see you buried,”
“我们会活到看着你们下葬的”
meaning that Communism would outlast Capitalism,
意味着共产主义的存在会比资本主义长久
a less threatening comment.
一个比较没有威胁性的评论
Though the intended meaning was eventually clarified,
虽然赫鲁晓夫的本意最终被澄清了
the initial impact of Khrushchev’s apparent words
他表面上的用词一开始所造成的影响
put the world on a path that could have led to nuclear armageddon.
差一点就把世界推向了毁灭性的核战争这一条路
So now, given the complexities of language and cultural exchange,
所以现在 当我们考虑到语言与文化交流的复杂性
how does this sort of thing not happen all the time?
怎样才能避免这样的事情反复发生?
Much of the answer lies with the skill and training of interpreters
大部分答案取决于翻译官克服语言障碍上的
to overcome language barriers.
技术与培训
For most of history, interpretation was mainly done consecutively,
历史上来说 口译主要是以连贯的形式进行的
with speakers and interpreters making pauses to allow each other to speak.
发言者和翻译员会停顿以允许对方说话
But after the advent of radio technology,
但是在无线电技术问世后
a new simultaneous interpretations system was developed in the wake of World War II.
一种新的同声传译系统在二战后发展了起来
In the simultaneous mode
在同步模式下
interpreters instantaneously translate a speaker’s words
翻译者可以在瞬间把语发言者的话
into a microphone while he speaks without pauses.
在发言者说话时无间断地翻译到麦克风里
Those in the audience in which they want to follow.
观众可以选择自己想要听的语言
On the surface, it all looks seamless,
表面上看起来是无缝的
but behind the scenes,
但是在幕后
human interpreters work incessantly
人工口译员无间断的工作着
to ensure every idea gets across as intended.
以保证每一个观点都被正确翻译
And that is no easy task.
这可不是一个简单的任务
It takes about two years of training for already fluent bilingual professionals
即使是双语流利的专业人士也要经过两年的训练
to expand their vocabulary
去扩大他们的词汇量
and master the skills necessary to become a conference interpreter.
并且掌握要成为一名会议口译所需的技能
To get used to the unnatural task of speaking while they listen,
去适应听讲同步这么一个不自然的任务
students shadow speakers
学员们如影子般跟随者发言者
and repeat their every word
以相同的语言只字不漏地
exactly as heard in the same language.
重复发言者所说的每一个字
In time, they begin to paraphrase what is said,
随着时间的推移 他们开始改述发言者的话
making stylistic adjustments as they go.
实时进行风格调整
At some point, a second language is introduced.
在某个时刻 开始采用第二种语言
Practicing in this way creates new neural pathways
这样练习会在口译员的大脑神经中
in the interpreter’s brain,
产生一连串的化学反应
and the constant effort of reformulation gradually becomes second nature.
而持续努力的改造 逐渐成为第二本能
Over time and through much hard work,
随着时间的推移和非常刻苦的努力
the interpreter masters a vast array of tricks to keep up with speed,
口译员熟练地掌握了各种能跟上速度
deal with challenging terminology,
处理高难度的术语
and handle a multitude of foreign accents.
和处理大量外来口音的技巧
They may resort to acronyms to shorten long names,
他们可能会诉诸缩写来缩短较长的名字
choose generic terms over specific,
选择以通用词汇取代特定术语
or refer to slides and other visual aids.
或参考幻灯片和其他直观教具
They can even leave a term in the original language,
当他们在寻找最准确的同义词时
while they search for the most accurate equivalent.
他们甚至可以以原文语言留下一个术语
Interpreters are also skilled at
口译员们同时也擅于
keeping aplomb in the face of chaos.
在面对混乱的场面中保持沉着冷静
Remember, they have no control over who is going to say what,
你要记得 他们没法控制谁会说什么
or how articulate the speaker will sound.
或者发言者的发音是否清晰
A curveball can be thrown at any time.
随时都有可能会有突发状况
Also, they often perform to thousands of people
再说 他们经常在有成千上万人的会议上执行任务
and in very intimidating settings,
而且是在一些非常令人紧张的环境下
like the UN General Assembly.
比如说联合国大会
To keep their emotions in check,
为了控制自己的情绪
they carefully prepare for an assignment,
他们会仔细认真地准备一项任务
building glossaries in advance,
提前建立词汇表
reading voraciously about the subject matter,
大量阅读相关题材
and reviewing previous talks on the topic.
并回顾以前有关该话题的谈话
Finally, interpreters work in pairs.
最后 口译员们配对地工作
While one colleague is busy translating incoming speeches in real time,
当其中一个同事正在忙碌地对发言进行实时翻译
the other gives support by locating documents,
另一位则透过翻找文件
looking up words,
查找词汇
and tracking down pertinent information.
和追查相关信息来提供支持
Because simultaneous interpretation requires intense concentration,
因为同声传译需要精神高度集中
every 30 minutes, the pair switches roles.
每三十分钟 搭档就会交换角色
Success is heavily dependent on skillful collaboration.
成功很大程度上是建基于熟练的合作
Language is complex,
语言十分复杂
and when abstract or nuanced concepts get lost in translation,
而当一些抽象或微妙的概念在翻译过程中被丢失了
the consequences may be catastrophic.
后果或许是灾难性的
As Margaret Atwood famously noted,
正如玛格丽特·阿特伍德的名言所说
“War is what happens when language fails.”
“当语言失效的时候 战争就会爆发”
Conference interpreters of all people are aware of that
所有会议口译员比任何人更清楚地意识到这一点
and work diligently behind the scenes
并在幕后努力工作
to make sure it never does.
以确保这样的事情永不发生

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