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英语修辞

它主要指那些没有相对固定格式的修辞性写作技巧,它与语法、语言结构和词汇的关系密切,只是为了修辞和立意新颖的缘故,对之做了一些调整。举一种情况进行说明:为了增加文采,强化文章的表现力,常常避免重复使用同一个词汇,而另选他词。这种无固定格式可循的消极修辞手段被称为Elegant Variation(求雅换词)。

英语中的”修辞“ 决非“文学语言”之专利,它已渗透到各种体裁,各类文体。即使是在Internet上,我们每日也能欣赏到五光十色、美不胜收的英语修辞。如:1. U.S. stocks decline; global markets churn(平行结构)2. Hurricane Bonnie hammers Carolina coast(比喻)等。再以科技英语为例,原本一本正经、味同嚼蜡的科技英语中也经常闪现修辞的光彩,如:Electric power becomes the servant of man only after the motor was invented.(只是在电动机发明之后,电力才开始造福人类。)再如:Alloys belong to a half-way house between mixture and compounds.(合金是介于混合物和化合物的中间物质。)英语广告对于修辞的运用更是“穷凶极恶”。如:What is your choice when inflation is slowly eroding the value of your nest eggs? (这是一家投资公司的广告,它把你平日的积蓄比作nest eggs,比喻独到,形象鲜活。)再如:Wash the big city right out of your hair. (广告里的big city即刻让人意识到the dirt of the big city,生动形象。)

英语的修辞可以分为消极修辞积极修辞两大类。

如在Elizabeth Razzi写的题为10 Ways to Lose Pounds 的文章中,“减肥”的表达竟有8种,文笔活泼,文采灿然:1. Try to shed a few extra pounds? 2. Studies show these efforts may shave off the pounds quickly. 3. Here are ten simple strategies that can help melt away your fat forever. 4. …like a logical way to peel off a few pounds. 5. …roughly the amount needed to burn off one pound. 6. You must eat less to lose weight. 7. A key obstacle to dropping extra pounds is after-dinner snacking. 8. 10 Ways to Lose Pounds. 以上8句中的斜体字让我们欣赏了英语词汇的活力与风采。遗憾的是,大部分精彩的用词不能直译。

求雅换词的手法之一是大字小用,或小词大用。如:Don’t take the low-fat label as a license to eat. 句子写得精彩,最难忘的是其中license一词。它是用途很广的大词。用在这里给人一种“头小帽大”的感觉,新颖别致。译文很难挽留此韵。(不能因为食品标明低脂肪,而敞开食用。)再如:If the term sounds unscientific to 20th-century ears,let us remember there is a definite connection between marshy lands and malaria… (如果这个术语对生活在20世纪的人听来不科学的话,那就让我们记住在沼泽地和疟疾之间有一定的联系……)。求雅换词的手法之二是科技词汇和日常用词的“错位”。如:Na?ve rats and frogs are said to have reacted wildly to such proposed experimented situation. Na?ve用于现代生物学时的含义为:not previously subjected to experimentation or a particular experimented situation.(据说,首次用来作实验的鼠和蛙对这种设定的环境改变都有剧烈反应。)再如:However,there are plenty of people who like tennis. It is the megagame. Mega的含义是兆,百万,是一个科技英语的词缀。使用在这里新义溢出。(但是许许多多的人喜欢网球,这是一项十分普及的运动。)

它主要指那些有相对固定格式的修辞性写作技巧。常见分类如下:

(Lexical Stylistic Devices)

metaphor(比喻),metonymy(借代),personification(拟人),irony(反语),hyperbole(夸张),understatement(低调),euphemism(委婉语),contrast(对照),oxymoron(矛盾修辞法),transferred epithet(移就),pun(双关),syllepsis(异叙),zeugma(粘连),parody(仿拟),paradox(隽语),chiasmus(交叉)

(Syntactical Stylistic Devices)

repetition(反复),catchword repetition(联珠),chiasmus(交叉),parallelism(平行结构),antithesis(反对),rhetoric question(设问),anticlimax(突降)

(Phonetic Stylistic Devices)

alliteration(头韵),onomatopoeia(拟声)

马克吐温在其著名游记A Tramp Abroad中,有这样一句:We had plenty of company in the way of wagon-loads and mule-loads of tourists------and dust. 句末的-----and dust看似寻常一笔,其实是一种不可多得的妙句,使用了英语中anticlimax的修辞格。如果不能识破,则让对照阅读原文者“饮恨”。如:同路的有许多旅客,有乘马车的,也有骑骡子的一路尘土飞扬。/ 我们的旅伴真不少,有乘马车的,有骑骡子的,还有滚滚尘土呢。

1. Parody(仿拟)如果译者功底不凡,能知作者之所“仿”,那么,理解与翻译也就“水到渠成”。如:Clearly,when it comes to marriage,practicing beforehand doesn’t make perfect. 可以译成:显然,在婚姻问题上,婚前同居并不能令婚姻生活趋于完美。对待“仿拟”修辞格的方法之一是还原。所谓还原,即故意撇开成语的引申义,而“硬”用其字面义。如:若流感影响到了肠胃,那就只能饮用点茶水,要吃下其他东西就非常困难了。再如:Little John was born with a silver spoon in a mouth,which was rather curly and large. 英语成语to be born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth的含义是“出生在富贵之家”。这里,作者不用此引申义,而用字面意思。试译:小约翰嘴形弯曲,且大得出奇,好像生下来的时候嘴中含了一把银勺子似的。

2. Syllepsis(异叙)此修辞格的特点是用一个词(动词、形容词或介词)同时与两个词或者更多相搭配,巧用一词多义的特点。如:He first put a club in my hand when I was about ten. I threw a lot of tantrums in the upland hills of North Carolina,and clubs too. I was in such a rush to be good that he would urge me to “relax and enjoy the round. The game ends far too soon.” I didn’t have a clue what he meant. 试译:他第一次把高尔夫球棒放在我手里的时候,我大概十岁。在北卡罗来纳州的山中,我一次次发脾气,一次次把球棒扔掉。我急于求成,老爸总是劝我“放松点,慢慢打,比赛结束得太快了。”我一点儿也不明白他的意思

3. metonymy(借代)借代一般可以保留原文的修辞方式,不会引起误会,同时让译文多了一份词趣。如:So,during any five-week shape-up,focus more on the tape measure than on the bathroom scale. 译文A:因此,在此五周的减肥期内,要更多地注重自己的腰围,而不是自己的体重。译文B:因此,在此五周的减肥期内,把注意力放在量腰围的卷尺上,而不是放在浴室的磅秤上。

4. pun(双关)有许多看似无法在译文中挽留的原文形式的神韵和风采在译文中却得以挽留。如:First gentleman: Thou art always figuring disease in me,but thou art full of error,I am sound. Lucio: Nay,not as one would say,healthy; but so sound as things that are hollow; impiety has made a feast of thee. (整个对话之谐趣尽系双关词汇sound。)试译:绅士甲:你总以为我有那种病,其实你大错特错,我的身体响当当的。路奇奥:响当当的,可并不结实,就像空心的东西那样响当当的,你的骨头都空了,好色的毛病把你掏空了。

5. alliteration(头韵)英语辞格押头韵的手法历来被认为是不可译的,但是,面对alliteration,并不意味译者就无所作为。如下的两段译文就做了成功的尝试。如:Change is part of life and the making of character,hon. When the things happen that you do not like,you have two choices: You get bitter or better. 试译:变化是生活的一部分,而且也塑造了人的意志品德,亲爱的。当你不喜欢的事情发生了,你有两种选择:要么痛苦不堪;要么痛快达观。

6. metaphor(比喻)这个metaphor并非狭隘意义上的把A比作B的不使用比喻词(如as,like,as if等)的暗喻,而是广义上的英语词汇的比喻义。换言之,也就是英语词汇denotation(本义)之外的connotation(转义)。Peter Newmark在A Textbook of Translation中把英语中的比喻分成四类,令人耳目一新 have suggested elsewhere that there are four types of metaphor: fossilized,stock,recently created and original. 第一类:有学生在作文中写出如下句子:In the middle of the picnic,it started to rain cats and dogs,and everybody got soaked. 该句子被改为:While we were busy eating a picnic,a storm cloud suddenly appeared and everybody got soaked. 在A Dictionary of American Idioms中,写道:rain cats and dogs: To rain very hard; come down in torrents------A cliché.美国朋友说: If you use this metaphor,I will doubt if you are my grandfather’s uncle! 第二类:stock(常用的)这是指已被收入词典,但并不属于cliché范畴的比喻。 第三类的标准应该是:至少目前尚未被收入词典,同时又让人接受,并感到新意扑面. 第四类:original这种比喻并非随处可见,唾手可得。它是灵感思维的产物。这种比喻在词典上无踪影可觅,而且连参照物可能也没有。

7.明喻(Simile) 明喻是一种最简单、最常见的修辞方法,是以两种具有共同特征的事物或现象进行对比,表明本体和喻体的关系,两者都在对比中出现,其基本格式是“A像B”,常用的比喻词有as,like,as if,as though等。例如:He jumped back as if he had been stung,and the blood rushedsintoshis wrinkled face.(他往后一跳,好像被什么东西叮了一下似的,他那张布满皱纹的脸顿时涨得通红。)在《品尝家》一文中老人对“我”的慷慨施舍的反应如同被蜜蜂叮过一样,生动地刻画出一个处境凄凉内心却极度敏感的可怜老人的形象。

8.转喻(Metonymy) 转喻(即借代)是通过相近的联想,借喻体代替本体。例如:My 15 students read Emerson,Thoreau,and Huxley.(我的十五位学生读了爱默生梭罗赫胥黎的作品。)这是典型的转喻,以人名借代作品。又如 :Against the Oval Earth man,the first card I can play is the analogy of the sun and moon. (面对“地球卵形说”者,我能打的第一张牌是,太阳和月亮的相似性。)文中作者用具体第一张牌来借代抽象的“第一个论据”,更加生动形象,浅显易懂,也使语言新鲜活泼,富有表现力。

9.拟人(Personification) 拟人是把人类的特点、特性加于外界事物上,使之人格化的修辞格。例如:… four evergreen shrubs stood at each corner,swheresthey struggled to survive the dust and fumes from a busy main road.(……四丛常绿灌木分别位于每个角落,它们忍受着从繁忙的大街上吹来的尘烟,挣扎着活下去。)“挣扎”是有生命的物体的动作,作者给自然的花草赋予了生命,使它人格化。

10. 夸张(Hyperbole)夸张是一种故意言过其实,或夸大或缩小事物的形象,借以突出事物的某种特征或品格,鲜明地表达思想情感的修辞方式。例如:Vingo sat stunned,looking at the oak tree. It was covered with yellow handkerchiefs20 of them,30 of them,maybe hundreds.(文戈坐在那儿望着橡树惊呆了。树上挂满了黄手绢二十条,三十条,或许几百条。)此句中20 of them,30 of them,maybe hundreds就是运用了夸张的手法,主观地渲染了气氛。

11.反语(Irony) 英语修辞格irony就是说反话,用反面的话来表达正面的意思。这种修辞格可用来进行讽刺,但多数是用来表达一种善意的幽默或俏皮,故意说出与本意相反的话,例如:Slowly the old lady stooped to pick it (the cheque ) up. Her present,her lovely present. With trembling fingers she tore itsintoslittle bits. (老太太慢慢地弯下腰,把支票从地上捡起来,她的礼物,她的可爱的礼物!用颤抖的手指把它撕得粉碎。)老太太八十岁寿辰那天,急切地盼望女儿回家看望她,稍稍安慰她那颗孤寂的心,然而盼来的却是女儿的一张冷冰冰的支票,这当然不是老人心爱的礼物。故此处her lovely present是典型的irony,是句反话

12.类比(Analogy)

It is also a form of comparison, but unlike simile or metaphor which usually uses comparison on one point of resemblance, analogy draws a parallel between two unlike things that have several common qualities or points of resemblance.

13.Metaphor(暗喻)

It is like a simile, also makes a comparison between two unlike elements, but unlike a simile, this comparison is implied rather than stated. 隐喻(metaphor)这种比喻不通过比喻词进行,而是直接将用事物当作乙事物来描写,甲乙两事物之间的联系和相似之处是暗含的。 For example, the world is a stage./ The diamond department was the heart and center of the store。

14.chiasmus(交叉)

交叉(chiasmus)是英语中一种常用的修辞方式。例如:Knowing something of everything and everything of something.著名学者周海中教授曾在《论英语交叉结构》一文中对这一常用的修辞方式作了全面而深入的研究。他认为,这一修辞格具有很高的美学价值和积极的修辞作用。

保留原文

即: to find an equivalent image. 如:Ani began pounding and yelling to be let out as the car screeched from the parking lot. But rock music blaring from the radio speakers drowned him out. 试译:当汽车从停车场急速驶过时,Ani开始猛烈敲打和大声呼喊,但是从车内喇叭发出的摇滚音乐淹没了他发出的声音。再如:The policemen who patrolled the big city slum area that summer were sitting on a volcano. 那年夏天,在城市大贫民区巡逻的警察如同坐在火山口上。

实行翻译“补偿原则

所谓以补偿方法译比喻,就是在寻找对等形象无门的情况下,使用变通的方法,尽可能地对译文中比喻形象的流失作某些补偿,以求得译文与原文大致相等的可读性。如:Cavorting and diving at breathtaking speeds,the beautiful birds (指鹰) mirrored each other in flight. A. 在空中翻飞嬉戏,时作闪电式俯冲,矫健的鹰双双携游于碧空。B. 在空中翻飞嬉戏,时作闪电式俯冲,矫健的鹰比翼齐飞,形影相随。再如:But after six years of a stormy marriage,Cewe decided to end it. She didn’t want her son to grow up thinking that kind of relationship was normal. 试译:六载婚姻生活,风雨交加,Cewe决定结束这种婚姻。她不愿让她儿子在这样的环境里长大成人,并误以为这样的关系是正常的。又如:Rudy knew they had severed the wrong rope and that it was the thick tow line that trapped him. “Try cutting the other rope!” said Rudy,his hopes,and his grip,eroding. 试译:Rudy发现他们割错了绳子,是那根粗的牵引绳缠住了他。“把另一根绳子割断!”Rudy说。此刻,他的希望,他的握力,似油将尽、灯将灭。再如:The following week was family conference,something I dreaded. This was the day the dirty laundry got hung out to air in a private session between parent,child and counselor. 试译:下周将开家长会,这正是我害怕的。在这一天,家长、孩子和辅导员将开私下的碰头会,列数孩子做的坏事。再如:The operation may not succeed; it’s a gamble whether he lives or dies. 手术不一定成功,能否保住他的生命没有把握。

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