The Relationship between"Faithfulness,Expressiveness,Elegance"and Tytler's Three Translation Princip

减小字体 增大字体 作者:佚名  来源:www.zhonghualunwen.com  发布时间:2010-05-24 16:51:16

[摘 要]Tytler puts forward his three general rules of translation in his Essay on the Principles of Translation.Yan Fu suggests his translating criteria in Introductory Remarks on Translating T.H.Huxley's Evolution and Ethics.This paper compares the two theories comprehensively.Through comparison,it is found that the two theories have some similarities,but they are different at the same time,because of different cultural background and resources.
  [关键词]relationship faithfulness expressiveness elegance three translation principles
  [中图分类号]H159[文献标识码]A[文章编号]1009-5489(2010)06-0112-02
  
  In 1790 in his Essay on the Principles of Translation,Alexander Fraser Tytler put forward the definition of a good translation.
  "I would therefore describe a good translation to be:That,in which the merit of the original work is so completely transfused into another language,as to be distinctly apprehended,and as strongly felt,by a native of the country to which that language belongs,as it is by those who speak the language of the original work."
  Based on the definition of a good translation,Tytler gave three general laws of translation.
  1.That the translation should give a complete transcript of the ideas of the original work.
  2.That the style and manner of writing shall be of the same character with that of the original.
  3.That the translation should have all the ease of original composition.
  As for the three general rules of translation,Tytler gives detailed and clear explanation.He suggests that a translator should attend to the sense and spirit of his original,to make himself perfectly master of his author's ideas and to communicate them in those expressions which he judges to convey them best.A good translation should not only convey the ideas and sentiments of the original author,but his style and manner of writing,which cannot be done without a strict attention to the arrangement of his sentences,and even to their order and construction.
  When it comes to the question that whether a translator is allowed to add something to or take something from the original,he writes,
  "Whether it is allowable in any case to add to the ideas of the original what may appear to give greater force or illustration,or to take from them what may seem to weaken them from redundancy.It must be observed,that the superadded ideas must have the most necessary connection with the original thought,and actually increase its force.And,on the other hand,that whenever an idea is cut off by the translator,it must be only such as is an accessory,and not a principal in the clause or sentence.It must likewise be confessedly redundant,so that its retrenchment shall not impair or weaken the original thought."
  In Tytler's point of view,the three translation principles are closely related to each other and he described their relations in a detailed and systematic way.
  "Next in importance to a faithful transfusion of the sense and meaning of an author,is an assimilation of the style and manner of writing in the translation to that of the original.This requisite of a good translation,is more difficult to be attained than the former;for the qualities requisite for justly discerning and happily imitating the various characters of the style and manner,are much more rare than the ability of simply understanding an author's sense.A good translator must be able to discover at once the true character of his author's style.He must ascertain with precision to what class it belongs;whether to that of the grave,the elevated,the easy,the lively,the florid and ornamented,or the simple and unaffected;and these characteristic qualities he must have the capacity of rendering equally conspicuous in the translation as in the original.If a translator fails in this discernment,and wants this capacity,let him be ever so thoroughly master of the sense of his author,he will present him through sa distorting medium,or exhibit him often in a garb that is unsuitable to his character."
 Tytler believes that to have all the ease of original composition is the most difficult part of translating.He explains the reason in detail by comparing translation to painting.He writes,
  "It is difficult,even for a capital painter,to preserve in a copy of a picture all the ease and spirit of the original,yet the painter employs precisely the same colors,and has no other care than faithfully to imitate the touch and manner of the picture that is before him.If the original is easy and graceful,the copy will have the same qualities,in proportion as the imitation is just and perfect.The translator's task is very different.He uses not the same colors with the original,but is required to give his picture the same force and effect.He is not allowed to copy the touches of the original,yet is required,by the touches of his own,to produce a perfect resemblance.The more he studies a scrupulous imitation,the less his copy will reflect the ease and spirit of the original.How then shall a translator accomplish this difficult union of ease and fidelity? To use a bold expression,he must adopt the very soul of his author,which must speak through his own organ."

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