#150 The Translated Tone Exposes You 翻译腔暴露了你

“我的老伙计们,你们好!我和你们没有见面已经一个星期了!真是见鬼,我怎么在用翻译腔说话?作为一个中文老师,我的中文太不好了!看在上帝的份上,快停下来吧。”

停停停,你可能觉得,今天我说的话很奇怪,一点儿都不像中国人。没错,我刚刚有很重的翻译腔。有翻译腔的中文很奇怪,听着不像中国人。为什么一些人会有翻译腔?我们怎么样避开翻译腔,把中文说得更好,说得更自然?今天,我们一起来聊一聊吧。

所以,翻译腔是什么呢?中文里的翻译腔,意思是一些中文的句子,用了英文的习惯。比如,有一些中文和中国文化里很少见的词,像“老伙计”“上帝”“见鬼”等等。我们在中文里很少这样说。除了这些很少见的词,翻译腔的句子一般更长。为什么一些人说话会有翻译腔呢?那是因为,他们在说中文的时候,想的还是英文,或者其他语言。

那么,我们怎么样把中文说得更自然呢?我们可以说一些和英文有关的例子。

因为西方文化和中国文化很不一样,英文和中文也很不一样。比如,英文里有“God”“Oh my god”“Thanks god”,中文里,我们一般说“天呐”“我的天呐”。不要说:“我的上帝啊,我的儿子在哪儿?”要说:“天呐,我的儿子到底在哪儿?”比如,英文里有“Mate”“Pal”“My friend”“My love”,中文里,我们一般说“兄弟”“哥”“姐妹”“亲爱的”“亲”。不要说:“我的伙计,你好吗?”(How are you, my pal?) 要说:“兄弟,最近怎么样?”不要说:“我的朋友,谢谢你的帮忙非常多!”(Thank you so much for your help my friend!) 要说:“亲,太谢谢你了!”

同样的意思,英文比较长,中文比较简单。比如,我们知道英文里的“as”,中文里是“作为”。可是,“As a teacher, he works very hard”,如果我们说“作为一个老师,他工作很努力”,这句话就有一点儿翻译腔。自然的中文应该是这样的:“他是一个很努力的老师。”我们也知道,when,中文里是“当……的时候”,可是, “When you finish your homework, send it to your teacher”,如果我们说“当你完成你的作业的时候,发给你的老师”,这句话也有翻译腔。自然的中文应该是:“作业做完了就发给你的老师”。我们也知道英文里的“and”,中文里是“和”,可是“In the park, we sang and danced”,如果我们说“我们在公园里唱歌和跳舞”,也有翻译腔。自然的中文应该是:“我们在公园唱歌跳舞”。也就是说,英文里的一些词,不一定要翻译成中文。

英文里的被动句(passive voice)比较常见,但是在中文里没有那么常见。比如,“His opinion isn’t accepted”,如果我们说“他的意见不被接受”,听着有点奇怪,因为有翻译腔,自然的中文应该是这样的:“人们不接受他的意见”。又比如,“Her work is not appreciated by her students”,如果说:“她的工作不被她的学生欣赏”,太奇怪了,翻译腔很重,自然的中文应该是:“她的学生不尊重她的工作。”

说了很多的例子,现在,你明白什么是翻译腔了吗?其实,我们学一个语言,有时候有翻译腔,这是很正常的。只要我们多听多说,我们的中文也会说得更自然。如果你喜欢这个主题,可以在MaoMi Chineses上给我留言,我可以聊更多翻译腔的例子。

"Hello, my old pals! It's been a week since we last met! It's really strange, why am I speaking with a translated tone? As a Chinese teacher, my Chinese is not good at all! For heaven's sake, please stop it quickly.

Stop, stop, stop. You might think that what I just said is very strange and doesn't sound like a Chinese person at all. Yes, I just had a heavy translated tone. Translated-tone Chinese sounds strange, not like a native Chinese speaker. Why do some people have a translated tone? How can we avoid the translated tone and speak Chinese better, speak more authentically? Today, let's chat about it together.

So, what is a translated tone? In Chinese, a translated tone means using English habits in Chinese sentences. For example, there are some words in Chinese and Chinese culture that are rarely used, such as "老伙计" (old pals), "上帝" (God), "见鬼" (see ghosts), etc. We rarely say these things in Chinese. In addition to these rarely used words, sentences with a translated tone are generally longer. Why do some people speak with a translated tone? It's because when they speak Chinese, they are still thinking in English or another language.

So, how can we speak Chinese more authentically? We can give some examples related to English.

Because Western culture and Chinese culture are very different, English and Chinese are also very different. For example, in English, there are "God," "Oh my god," "Thanks god." In Chinese, we generally say "天呐" (Oh my), "我的天呐" (Oh my god). Don't say, "我的上帝啊,我的儿子在哪儿?" (My God, where is my son?) Say, "天呐,我的儿子到底在哪儿?" (Oh my, where is my son?) For example, in English, there are "Mate," "Pal," "My friend," "My love." In Chinese, we generally say "兄弟" (brother), “哥(big brother)” "姐妹" (sister), "亲爱的" (dear), "亲" (darling). Don't say, "我的伙计,你好吗?" (How are you, my pal?) Say, "兄弟,最近怎么样?" (Brother, how have you been?) Don't say, "我的朋友,谢谢你的帮忙非常多!" (Thank you so much for your help, my friend!) Say, "亲,太谢谢你了!" (Dear, thank you so much!)

The same meaning, English is longer, Chinese is simpler. For example, we know the English "as," in Chinese, it is "作为" (as). However, "As a teacher, he works very hard." If we say, "作为一个老师,他工作很努力" (As a teacher, he works very hard), this sentence has a bit of a translated tone. Natural Chinese should be like this: "他是一个很努力的老师" (He is a very hardworking teacher). We also know "when" in English, in Chinese it is "当……的时候" (when). However, "When you finish your homework, send it to your teacher." If we say, "当你完成你的作业的时候,发给你的老师" (When you finish your homework, send it to your teacher), this sentence also has a translated tone. Natural Chinese should be: "作业做完了就发给你的老师" (Send your homework to your teacher when it's done). We also know the English "and," in Chinese it is "和" (and). However, "In the park, we sang and danced." If we say, "我们在公园里唱歌和跳舞" (We sang and danced in the park), this sentence also has a translated tone. Natural Chinese should be: "我们在公园唱歌跳舞" (We sang and danced in the park). That is to say, some words in English do not necessarily have to be translated into Chinese.

Passive voice in English is more common, but in Chinese, it is not so common. For example, "His opinion isn't accepted." If we say, "他的意见不被接受" (His opinion is not accepted), it sounds a bit strange because it has a translated tone. Natural Chinese should be like this: "人们不接受他的意见" (People do not accept his opinion). Another example, "Her work is not appreciated by her students." If we say, "她的工作不被她的学生欣赏" (Her work is not appreciated by her students), it sounds strange, with a heavy translated tone. Natural Chinese should be: "她的学生不尊重她的工作" (Her students do not respect her work).

After talking about many examples, do you now understand what a translated tone is? In fact, when we learn a language, sometimes we have a translated tone, and that's normal. As long as we listen and speak more, our Chinese will become more natural. If you like this topic, you can leave me a message on MaoMi Chinese, and I can chat about more examples of a translated tone."

2 thoughts on “#150 The Translated Tone Exposes You 翻译腔暴露了你”

  1. 谢谢你呀,Molly! 太有意思了!听完这一集我才明白我用的翻译腔也不少。好像为了自然的说话,应该根本思维的方法就改变。真的很难啊,但是多多听你的博客也很帮助的我们。非常感谢!

  2. I think this topic is really useful for Chinese learner. Hope you can give more topic like this. Thanks for your effort!

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