日本語から英語への翻訳

sw_Editing
日本語から英語への翻訳はイデア・インスティテュートのお仕事のなかでも結構な割合を占めています。分野も 技術関係から経済、金融など多岐にわたっています。
そんな中「これはうまく訳されているな」と思うときは、原文の日本語より翻訳された英語を読んだ方が内容が理解できるとき です。

専門的な技術の資料などは、背景が分かっている人に向けて書かれた資料であることも多く主語や目的語が省略されていたり、長い一文にたくさん の要素が詰め 込まれていたりと、日本人でも一読ではよくわからない文が出てきます。それを英語のネイティブ が翻 訳するのはかなりの熟練が必要な作業であることは容易に想像していただけるのではないでしょうか。

まだ駆け出しの翻訳者や下手な翻訳者がよくやるのは日本語をそのまま英語に置き換えた「直訳」です。「直訳」が生まれる理由の多くは日本語が分かりにくく、英語では必要となる主語や目的語を補うことができず単語を置き換えただけのものを作らざるを得ないような場合です。翻訳者はしたくて「直訳」にしているのではないのです。

またよくあるもう一つの悪い翻訳は「極端な意訳」というか「超訳」です。ちょっと古い話ですがシドニー・シェルダンの小説の日本語版にはこのコピーがついていましたね(覚えていらっしゃる方がいると期待して)。これはエッセンスをつかんでまったく別の文に構築しなおすということですが、悪い場合の「超訳」は原文の意味が正確に理解できてないため別のアプローチで言い換えたり、端折ってしまったりすることです。「超訳」の厄介なところは英語として一見意味が通ってしまうことです。よく原文と読み比べてみると、何か足りない、なぜここをこのように言い換えたのか、と疑問がふつふつと湧いてきます。翻訳者に確認すると「この方が英語らしい」とか「英語に翻訳するとくどいし特に言わなくてもわかるから」というコメントが来て、「ネイティブが言うんだからいいのかな、、、
とますます謎が深まります。

不幸にもこのような「直訳」や「超訳」が発生してしまったら、とにかく何を原文がいいたいのかまず自分が理解して翻訳者が理解できる日本語に書きなおしたり足りない部分をおぎなったりして翻訳者に確認をすることです。そして正しい翻訳になって戻ってくるようにするしかありません。一度の往復で済まない場合同じ文に2回、3回も繰り返して、翻訳者が本当に理解して、こちらが望む翻訳が上がるまでとことんやります。この時、気を付けなければならないのはこちらの好みで修正を依頼しないことです。先ほどの「この方が英語らしい」というコメントは言い訳である場合と実際その通りである場合もあったりするわけです。

ベテランのとても優秀なそして分野に精通した翻訳者に難解な原文の翻訳をお願いしたとき、こちらが特にわかりやすい日本語に書き直さなくても最初の翻訳から日本語原文に対して過不足なく、かといって極端な意訳でもなく、流れは原文通りなのに英語として必要な主語や目的語が補われていて自然に頭に入ってくる文が上がってくるのです。翻訳者とのやり取りも私たちの仕事の中では大きな割合を占めていますので、最初からこのやり取りをする必要がない文が上がった時、「ああ、うまいな、この翻訳」としみじみ感動するのです。

そして翻訳者が誤解せず、苦労せず、わかりやすい翻訳を上げるために何をどう伝えていくか。それが私たち編集者の腕の見せ所なのです。

最後まで記事をご覧いただき、ありがとうございます。

株式会社イデア・インスティテュートでは、世界各国語(80カ国語以上)の翻訳、編集を中心に
企画・デザイン、通訳等の業務を行っています。

翻訳のご依頼、お問わせはフォームよりお願いいたします。
お急ぎの場合は03-3446-8660までご連絡ください。

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