蘇老師專欄

[ 2018-09-05 ]

〈談文論譯〉翻譯與文化差異:再談學長姊、學弟妹英文?   蘇正隆

昨天回答讀者詢問「學長/學姊」、「學弟/學妹」的英文mentor/mentee,有人提出文鶴出版的「校園美語應用手冊」第336頁,學長/姊:upperclassmen;學弟/妹:underclassmen,比較適合於國內的情況。這點我有所保留。

翻譯不能只是一個蘿蔔一個坑,對號入座那麼單純,不同文化間有時很難有完全對應的翻譯,而且往往要根據上下文來決定怎麼譯。

中文「學長/學姊」、「學弟/學妹」同時帶有親暱及尊敬的意涵,但英文upperclassman主要指美國高中11 & 12年級或大三、大四的高年級生,是中性,有時還帶有貶義。如底下三個例子中的upperclassman是中性,但與中文「學長/學姊」意思、用法不太一樣,若翻成「學長/學姊」也不合適:

I've made it a tradition to go to New York City every fall break, especially since a lot of my upperclassman friends (我高年級的朋友) graduated and went to the city to work. (October | 2011 | University of Rochester Admissions Blog)

I was personally inspired by those early success stories and in my Junior year (大三那年) some friends and I co-founded Vostu…The experience with Vostu marked my upperclassman years (大三、大四那兩年) at Harvard. (www.quora.com/How-entrepreneurial-are-Harvard-students)

I was a sophomore (大二) when IDeATe was first announced and about to go into my upperclassman years (即將升大三). I joined IDeATe on a whim because many of my friends who all had interests in both computer science and art were joining the program. (Calling All Innovators | Carnegie Mellon Office of Admission)

至於upperclassman略帶有貶義的,Urban Dictionary有許多例子,以下為其中之一:
Eleventh Grader: YES! We're eleventh graders! That makes us upperclassmen!!! 
Ninth Grader: Uh-ohh... I'm afraid of getting in the way of an upperclassmen (老大)...

還有大學「高年級生宿舍」是upperclassmen dorm;「大一大二生宿舍」是underclassmen dorm;新生宿舍是freshman dorm。但中文不會說「學長/學姊宿舍」或「學弟/學妹宿舍」。注意,高年級生宿舍,大一大二生宿舍的upperclassmen, underclassmen 習慣用複數,但新生宿舍的freshman要用單數。
(Jerome Su, Sept 5, 2018)