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[ 2019-01-30 ]

<談文論譯>中文四字套語 英文一字搞定   蘇正隆

有些中文四字成語/套語,如「處變不驚」,「遇缺不補」,「放無薪假」,「幸災樂禍」,在譯為英文時,有人會大費周章去 paraphrase,其實英文只需一字就可搞定。

1971年中華民國退出聯合國,國際社會紛紛支持「排我納匪」案,台灣成為國際社會之孤兒,於是蔣中正總統告軍民同胞,要國人「莊敬自強、處變不驚」。1978年的「中美斷交」,這個口號又再度響起,Yahoo 知識+「處變不驚」的英文是:To be calm and unfraid when facing dangers and sudden changes.

「處變不驚」類似英文的 sangfroid (ˈsäⁿ-ˈf(r)wä),Merriam-Webster的解釋是: “self-possession or imperturbability especially under strain” 例句:He displayed remarkable sangfroid when everyone else was panicking during the crisis. (在危急狀況下,大家都驚慌異常,他則處變不驚。)

「遇缺不補」 (attrition) 是人資管理用語,就是不訴諸裁員遣散 (layoff) 手段,讓員工以離職、退休的方式自然減少。(attrition is a reduction in the workforce caused by retirement or resignation, without plans to fill or replace that vacant job position.) What Is the Meaning of Attrition Used in HR? https://smallbusiness.chron.com

底下也是一例:
If your business faces financial circumstances in which a reduction in staff is necessary, your options are to reduce hours, lay off employees or slowly reduce your workforce through natural attrition. (Avoiding Layoffs Through the Use of Attrition)
https://smallbusiness.chron.com

「放無薪假」(furlough),根據 Merriam-Webster 的解釋,furlough是 “a temporary leave from work that is not paid and is often for a set period of time” 例句:One possible way to avoid layoffs is through furloughs—making workers take an unpaid leave of absence. (避免裁員的方式之一是放無薪假。)

「幸災樂禍」(schadenfreude) 也是中文四字套語,英文一字就搞定。維基百科的解釋是:
Schadenfreude is a complex emotion, where rather than feeling sympathy towards someone's misfortune, schadenfreude evokes joyful feelings that take pleasure from watching someone fail.
Schadenfreude是外來語,源自德文,還算常用,《麥克米倫高級英漢雙解詞典》有收,英文定義是:a feeling of pleasure some people have when bad things happen to someone else,中文解釋就是「幸災樂禍」。

(Jerome Su, Jan. 18, 2019; Revised Jan. 28, 2019)