“一屁股债”的英译

日期:2017-11-15 / 人气: / 来源:http://www.rzfanyi.com/ 作者:译声翻译公司

汉语以债台状负债额,故负债等,亦称债台髙筑。不信请査《汉英词典》:负债累累和债台髙筑有它们的共同译名 be heavily in debt 和 be debt-ridden; 还有不同的译名 be up to ones ears in debt(债台

汉语以“债台”状负债额,故负债等,亦称“债台髙筑”。不信请査《汉英词典》:“负债累累”和“债台髙筑”有它们的共同译名—— be heavily in debt 和 be debt-ridden; 还有不同的译名 be up to ones ears in debt(债台高筑)和 be up to one's eyes in debt(负债累累)。

但这只是说这两个汉语四字语含义相同,而不是在其它方面也完全同一。例如,“债台高筑”比较形象,“负债累累”则是抽象的。因此,似乎得分一下工,让比较抽象的“be up to one's ears in debt”译“债台髙筑”。这样,也许更为贴切吧。

不管怎么说,两种译法中有一点是共同的:英语得以“be in debt”表达债或负债。但描述负债之重,英语未必要用“heavily” 而也可以,比如说,用deep:
1. The result was that his father cut his allowance, which soon put Charles deep in debt.
                                                              —True Detective, August 1980, p. 24
既然可以用deep,当然也可以更进一步用deeper:

2. The strike cost the company a small fortune: executives say it is now $340 million deeper in debt, and may have lost as much as 10 per cent of the British steel market during the stoppage.
                                                              一 Newsweek,April 14,1980, p. 30
但是用deep(er)同上文所说的heavily一样,也不是形象的描述。如是形象化的描述,则与上述“ be up to one's ears in debt”(“浑身是债”?)相类的还有“be up to one's ass(hole) in debt"(“ 背了一屁股债”?),请看实例:


3. With two children in college,he is up to his ass in debt .
                                                         —The Study of Current English, May 1980, p. 49 

在西方,举债往往得有什么东西作抵才行,所以债台高筑也意味着“押”台高筑:

4. George: Just drop it, Jeff!
Jeff: Yuh marry a dame with three kids,you buy a big house with mortgages up to your ass, you change your religion and you forget about business, great! Really great! (George swings at Jeff to punch his jaw)

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