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笑点的表达与句式选择   

2009-08-25 13:32:40|  分类: 幽默技巧 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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April Fool[1]

April 1st is a day on which, in some countries, people try to play tricks on others. If one succeeds in tricking somebody, one laughs and says, ‘April Fool!’, and then the person who has been tricked usually laughs too.

One April lst, a country bus was going along a winding road when it slowed down and stopped. The driver anxiously turned switches and pressed buttons, but nothing happened. Then he turned to the passengers with a worried look on his face and said, “This poor bus is getting old. It isn’t going as well as it used to. There’s only one thing we can do if we want to get home today. I shall count three, and on the word ‘three’, I want you all to lean forward as suddenly as you can. That should get the bus started again, but if it doesn’t, I’m afraid there is nothing else I can do. Now, all of you lean back as far as you can in your seats and get ready.”

The passengers all pressed back against their seats and waited anxiously.

Then the driver turned to his front and asked, “Are you ready?”

The passengers hardly had enough breath to answer, “Yes.”

“One! Two! Three! ” counted the driver. The passengers all lean forward suddenly and the bus started up at a great rate.

The passengers breathed more easily and began to smile with relief. But their smiles turned to surprise and then delighted laughter when the driver merrily cried, “April Fool!”

“愚人节受骗啦!”

在某些国家,四月一日这天是人们用来设法捉弄旁人的日子。如果一个人在捉弄人时获得成功,这个人就会笑起来并且叫道,“愚人节受骗啦!”而受到愚弄的那个人通常也会跟着 一起笑越来。

     有一年的四月一日,一辆乡间公共汽车正沿着一条蜿蜒的道路向前开行,然后却慢慢减速并停了下来;司机焦急地拧开关,揿按钮,但却仍然无济于事。于是,他面带忧愁地转身对着乘客们说道:“这辆倒霉的车子已经老掉牙了,它已经不能跟从前一样跑得那么好了。今天,如果我们想回家的话,唯一的办法就是大家来做件事情。我来数一、二、三,当数到“三”时,我要求你们所有的人都尽你们最大的力气往前面纵身,这样就能使汽车重新发动起来。如果这一招不灵的话,恐怕我也就再也无法可想了。现在,你们大家都在座位上尽可能往后靠得更紧些,同时作好准备。”

    乘客们一个个乖乖地紧靠着座位,并且焦急地等待着。

    于是,司机转过身去问道,“都准备好了吗?

    乘客们由于都用劲憋着气,好容易才答道:“好了”。

    “一!二!三!”司机数道。乘客们全都突然往前面一纵身──汽车也就以极大的速度发动起来了。

乘客们这才感到呼吸轻快起来,如释重负地开始微笑,但当他们听到司机快活地大声叫道,“愚人节受骗啦!”时,他们的微笑首先是变成吃惊的悄笑,然后再变成欢快的哈哈大笑。

司机的这句“ April Fool ”就是幽默的笑点,因为是它使得乘客们先是一惊,继而恍然醒悟:上了司机的当,成了“ April Fool ”了。它就像幽默的开关按纽,一触到它幽默就(而且也只有触到它幽默才)发生剧变,故事就陡然急转而豁然开朗,出人意料又趣味暴增。英文版中,甚至连在时间上后发生的动作“ turned to surprise and then delighted laughter (变成惊讶接着又变成开心地大笑了)”也提到了前面,而借助 when ”从句的后置把笑点保持在最后。这是贯彻幽默的尾重原则的绝佳范例。

汉译版在处理幽默的笑点时,把 “…when…”这种 “先 主句后从句”的句式结构翻译成“当…时,…”这种“先从句后主句”的句式,这样虽符合汉语表达习惯,但是,却违反了幽默的尾重原则。结果笑点之后仍有很多次要信息,笑点湮没于长句中,没有得到应有的突出强调。

从翻译角度看,转换一下句式,似无不可,可是,从幽默角度看,这却是严重乃至是致命的错误,因为幽默会因此效果大减。表面上是句式转换问题,实际上却是原文的幽默如何等效传递的问题。因此,可以说,归根结蒂是一个易忽略的较严重的翻译错误。

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