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世界各地20个极难翻译的单词

时间:2011-03-04 11:29:20  来源:  作者:

英语中至少有250,000个单词。但如果想当然的认为英语或其他任何语言能够准确的传达整个人类历程,就显得愚昧无知和妄自尊大了。

 

Here are a few examples of instances where other languages have found the right word and English simply falls speechless.
下面给出了一些例子,其他语言中有恰当的对应语,而英语在其面前则完全失色。

1. Toska

Russian – Vladmir Nabokov describes it best: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

1. Toska

俄国作家纳博科夫给出了精辟解释:“英语中没有哪个词能准确的传达toska的意思。从它最深最强烈的意思上来讲,是一种精神上极度痛苦的感觉,经常是没有缘由的。更浅一点来说,它是灵魂的隐约疼痛,一种没有目标的渴望,一种病态的思念,说不清的焦虑,是精神的痛苦和向往。在特殊情况下,它可能是对有某个特点的人的追求,是乡愁,或者相思。最后,它渐渐成了无聊,乏味的感觉。

2. Mamihlapinatapei
2. Mamihlapinatapei

Yagan (indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego) – “the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start”
雅冈语(南美洲火地岛的本土语言),“两人之间无语而意味深长的的凝视,此二人都想主动做什么可又不愿开始。”

3. Jayus
3. Jayus

Indonesian – “A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh”
印尼语,“因述说非常蹩脚和内容极度无聊而引人发笑的笑话。”

4. Iktsuarpok
4. Iktsuarpok

Inuit – “To go outside to check if anyone is coming.”
因纽特语,“去外面看看是否有人来。”

5. Litost
5. Litost

Czech – Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, remarked that “As for the meaning of this word, I have looked in vain in other languages for an equivalent, though I find it difficult to imagine how anyone can understand the human soul without it.” The closest definition is a state of agony and torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.
捷克语。《生命不可承受之轻》作者米兰昆德拉写到:“说到这个词的意思,尽管很难设想没有它人们要如何能理解人心,但我发现在其他语言中没有它的对应语。”最接近的定义是指一种突然看到自己的悲惨命运而产生的痛苦挣扎的状态。

6. Kyoikumama
6. Kyoikumama

Japanese – “A mother who relentlessly pushes her children toward academic achievement”
日语, “一位不遗余力督促孩子获得学业成就的严酷母亲”

7. Tartle
7. Tartle

Scottish – The act of hestitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.
苏格兰语,介绍他人时因忘记名字而犹豫踌躇的表现。

8. Ilunga
8. Ilunga

Tshiluba (Southwest Congo) – A word famous for its untranslatability, most professional translators pinpoint it as the stature of a person “who is ready to forgive and forget any first abuse, tolerate it the second time, but never forgive nor tolerate on the third offense.”
奇卢伯语(刚果西南部使用的混合语),这个词因其难以翻译广为人知,专业译者将其解释为一个人的境界,这个人“能原谅并忘记他人的第一次侵犯,容忍第二次,但绝不宽恕容忍第三次冒犯。”

9. Prozvonit
9. Prozvonit

Czech – This word means to call a mobile phone and let it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving the first caller money. In Spanish, the phrase for this is “Dar un toque,” or, “To give a touch.”
捷克语,这个词指打电话时响一次就挂断,让对方打回来以节省自己的钱。在西班牙语中,有个同样意思的短语,“Dar un toque”, 或英语中的“To give a touch.” (震一下)

10. Cafuné
10. Cafuné

Brazilian Portuguese – “The act of tenderly running one’s fingers through someone’s hair.”
巴西葡萄牙语, “轻柔的用手指划过某人头发的行为”

11. Schadenfreude
11. Schadenfreude

German – Quite famous for its meaning that somehow other languages neglected to recognize, this refers to the feeling of pleasure derived by seeing another’s misfortune. I guess “America’s Funniest Moments of Schadenfreude” just didn’t have the same ring to it.
德语,这个词很出名,因为其他语言不知怎么竟对这词的意思没有识别出。这个词表示看到他人的不幸而高兴。(幸灾乐祸 译者)我猜“美国最幸灾乐祸的滑稽时刻”和这个词的意思不尽相同。

12. Torschlusspanik

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