当前位置:首页 >> 文学研究 >>

第十三节 委婉语与低调陈述


第十三节 委婉语与低调陈述 (Euphemism and Understatement) 1.英语委婉语 1999 年在美国进行的世界杯女足半决赛中,中国队以 5:0 狂 胜挪威队。赛后当中国记者问挪威教练: “你认为在决赛中中国队 能战胜美国队吗?”该教练回答道: “中国队今年两次打败了美国 队,如果在决赛中中国队取胜,没人会感到惊讶。但那将是场很困 难的比赛。 ”这位教练使用的就是委婉语。 英汉两种语言都有委婉语。光委婉这个概念就有多种叫法, 如:婉曲、委婉、婉转、讳饰、曲言、蓄意、用晦等等。它是一种文 化现象,是文明社会的产物,是人们感到直说某事可能受到怀疑、 拒绝、甚至厌恶,出于忌讳或礼貌,就通过谴词造句,或借用与某事 相应的同义词语,避免过于露骨,过于伤人或不太悦耳的词语,婉 转曲折地表达出来,这种特殊的雅语,或“镀了金的”词(gilded words)就是委婉语。委婉语给人留面子,易于说服别人,是一种有 影响的文风,适用于需要语言交际的众多场合。 使用委婉语常可收到幽默的修辞效果,如《剑桥第一证书英语 教程》第十二单元 PICNIC IN THE DINING-ROOM 一文中有这 样一句: Mr.Brown was in charge of the steering wheel but Mrs. Brown controlled the driving. 布朗先生操纵方向盘,但他的驾驶却受布朗太太控制。 这种看似一本正经的大实话所含的幽默比夸张的幽默更为含 蓄、深沉,耐人寻味,句中把 Mr.Brown 的惧内(“妻管严”)和 Mrs.Brown 的盛气凌人的性格特征刻画得惟妙惟肖,淋漓尽致。 使用委婉语可以保持良好的人际关系。请看下面一段对话: (平铺直叙) A:Will you go to the theater with me tonight? B:Sorry,I can’t. 甲:今晚你能陪我一起去剧院看戏吗? 乙:对不起,不能。 (委婉) A:Will you go to the theater with me tonight? B:I’d really love to.But unluckily I have to finish my term pa— per tonight because tomorrow is the deadline.But thank you all the same. 甲:今晚你能陪我一起去剧院看戏吗? 乙:我真想去。但不幸的是今晚我必须写我的学期论文, 因为明天就是最后期限。不过我还是要谢谢你。 英语可以通过语音、词汇和句子手段构成委婉表达方式。 1)语音手段 laboratory(实验室)一词重音本该在第一个音节上,但这与 lavatory(厕所)发音接近,为了避免联想,人们已习惯将 laboratory 的重音移至第二个音节上。

另外,该用降调的特殊疑问句改用升调,也往往给人以亲切和 有礼貌的感觉。 2)词汇手段 使语义美化或泛化是词汇手段的原则。如航空公司的机舱等 级本可分一、二、三等舱,为不损害旅客尊严,普遍改称豪华舱(De— luxe class 或 Premium class),一等舱(First class)和商务舱(Business (class)或旅游舱(Tourist class)。旅馆房间等级也分 Deluxe;First class;Standard;Private 等四档,避开了“二、三等”给旅客造成的 不愉快。 有时发现对方有有失礼貌的举动和行为,为善意地提醒对方, 义不过露过直,有欠文雅,就有意把话说得模糊些。例如当发现对 方裤子拉链(门襟)没合上,就可以说 Your fly is open.或 You’ve lost your licence.经常进出于礼貌场合的人经人一点就明白了。 在下面要列举的委婉语的适用场合中还有大量的此类例子。在下 表中,斜体词多数是忌讳语(Taboo Words)。由于其中多数是词、 词组和短语,因此除个别需作解释的外,省去了汉译。 常用词汇手段的场合 (1)表示“生老病死” 形容词: pregnant: expecting, in a family way fat: plump(女), stout(男), chubby(孩子) thin: lean(男), slim, slender, willowy, lithe, svelte(女 ) ugly: plain, homely old :elderly, senior, getting on in years, feeling one's age, in second childhood, past one's prime mad; insane: feeble-minded, not all there, soft in the head, unsound in mind, simple-minded, mentally ill heart disease : ( have )a heart condition vomit bag: bag for motion discomfort venereal disease: social disease funeral: memorial service undertaker: mortician graveyard: memory garden, cemetery, memorial park 英语中表达死的委婉词语特别丰富: 名词: death: the last call, the pay off, the one-way ticket, the last great change, the last sleep, a happy dispatch, one's last rest, the (dear)departed dead: finished, awake to immortal life 动词 die: (单词和动词短语 ) perish, succumb, suffocate, expire, decease, croak, depart, drown, fall, hang, demise abandon the world, answer the last call, be a day's (hour' s,

year's) purchase, be called home, be called to God, become one with nature, be done for, be gathered to one's fathers(people), be gone (under), be in Abraham' s bosom, be laid in one' s grave, be laid to rest, be no more, be on the lift, e put away under the ground, be washed up, bite the bullet, blow off, breathe one's last, burn out, cash in, cease to think, check in, check out, close one' s eyes, conk out, cross the river, cross the Styx, cut off, depart to the world of shadows, descend to the grave, drop off, drop short, end one' s day, fade away, fall asleep, free sb. from earthly cares, give up the ghost, go by the board, go home feet first, go off, go off the books, go the way of all flesh, go to better world (land), go to glory, go to grass, go to heaven, go to Nirvana, go to one' s account, go to one' s last home, go to one's resting place, go to one's reward, go to sleep, go up, go west, hand in one's check, hand in one's chips, have a fret in the grave, hop the twig, join the choir invisible, join the majority, join the spirits of one' s lost family, keel over, kick in, kick off, kick the bucket, kick up one' s heels, laugh into eternity, lay down one' s life, leave this world, lie in the tomb, long home, pass away, pass in one's chips, pass out (on, over), pass over to the great beyond, pay the debt of nature, pay the supreme sacrifice, peg out, pop off, push up daisies, release souls from suffering, rest in peace, return to dust, return to the earth, shuffle off the mortal coil, shut the shop, slide into oblivion, slip through one' s fingers, snuff out, tip off, tip over the perch, turn up one' s heels, turn up one' s toes, yield(up) the breath (介词短语)all over with one .... at the last gasp, on one's last legs, under hatches, near one' s end (从句)when one's clock strikes... (句子) number is up; one' s time has been reached... (2)表示“贫穷” dismiss: be out of job, be fired, be between jobs, be selected out, be terminated get the sack: lay off, ease out, give(get) the walking ticket, give (get)pink slip poor: needy, underprivileged, (the) indigent, (the)deprived, (the) disadvantaged, (the) underdeveloped, (名词 ) the have-nots, penniless ( bankrupt ): hard up, badly off in debt : in cash advance, in difficulties, in embarrassing obligation to, on dole, on relief, on welfare benefits, in reduced circumstances, out of pocket, put of the game slum: substandard housing labor strike: an industrial action (3)表示“犯罪” burglary: surreptitious entry wiretapping: intelligence gathering

violence: action murder ( v. ): take care of, get rid of young criminals :juvenile delinquents prison: correction center prostitute: call girl, street girl, business girl whore: street walker, sex worker brothel: sporting house, cat house, fancy house house of prostitute: whore house, call house, crib prostitution :the oldest profession in the world sentence sb. to (so many)years in prison (judge's statement ): be sent to the big house, be sent up the rivers, be living at the government' s expense (the statement of the criminal, his family or friends) (4)表示“性” knowledge of sea:: the facts of life pornographic movies: adult films, X-rated films free low: trial marriage illegitimate child: love child homosexual: gayman homosexual life: gay life bastard, son of a bitch: single child sexual organs: private parts breast:chest, (mammary)charms. buffers, globe, paps, tits: bosom, top part bise:c ( ual ): AC/DC have sea: with, fuck, screw, knock up: :make love(do it, have it)with,go to bed with, trouble sb. , have a normal married life (5) 表示“排泄” menstruation:having one's periods, having one's friend with one, losing water toilet, lavatory, closet: public comfort station, washroom, retiring room, bathroom, rest room Men' s (lavatory) : Gent' s, the john, Men, head (navy), water closet(W. C. ) Women' s ( lavatory ): Ladies', the powder room, Mrs. Jones 动词: urinate, defecate, shit: pay a call(of nature), wash hands, make oneself comfortable, see one's aunt, take precautions before the day' s outing, do number one, go round the corner, go to see a man about a dog, have a run-out, spend a penny(只用于女性 ), pass one' s motions( bowels, stools), go to the bathroom, do one's business (job), answer nature's call, sit on the potty ( 6 ) 表示“职业” maid, housekeeper: domestic help, live-in help, day-help

headwaiter: captain chief waitress: hostess air-hostess: service manager barber, hairdresser: (beauty industry) beautician rat-catcher: exterminating engineer, pest control operator floor sweeper : custodian engineer garbage man :sanitary engineer gardener: landscaper janitor: superintendent, custodian prison guard: custodial officer tractor driver: caterpillar engineer house wrecker: demolition engineer a second hand shop ( store ): a busy-and-sell shop, resale shop (store) (7) 表示“政治、军事” U. S . overseas military deployment: American(forward)presence demobilization from military service: involuntary separation fratricide, shelling or bombing of one' s own troops ( or allied troops ) through wrong judgement or wrong identification: accidental delivery or death or casualties caused by "friendly fire" civilian casualties: collateral damage aimed offensive: surgical strike invasion, aggression: pre-emptive action, safeguarding national interests, involvement(in), police action attack :pacify the area air strike: air option bombing and blasting: softening up the resistance, pacifying the enemy infrastructure, give massive air support zoarhead : payload nuclear bomb:nuclear device missile:vehicle automatically targeted to:home-in on suicidal attack:one-way mission retreat,rout:strategic withdrawal,phased withdrawal concentration camp:strategic village(hamlet) lie:terminological inexactitude ethnic cleansing:forcible removal of ethnic minorities from a region or country refugee camp:life hamlet (句子)The talks broke up. :The talks were frank. 当然,日常生活中所用词汇手段表示委婉的场合还很多,远不 至上述七种。 3)句子手段 (1)用 if, mind 和 would like 等词的句子常表示委婉

I’ll open the window if you don’t mind. 如不介意,我将开窗。 Would you mind my opening the window? 您是否介意我开窗? (2)否定句式常表示委婉 I don’t think he would be so rude. 我想他不会这么粗鲁。 Won’t(Wouldn’t) it be better for us to start off a little earlier? 我们早一点开始不好吗? (3)否定与 if 相结合 If Saddam Hussein goes out of power,no tear is to be shed. 外交辞令常常是委婉语。美国人不直言希望萨达姆下台,而 用否定式“不会掉泪”“不会痛悼”等来表示“我们巴不得他—下台” , ,可谓“皮里 阳秋” 。 (4)虚拟句 ①过去式表示委婉 It is time we got up. 该起床了。 Suppose we spent the weekend at the National Park? 我们去国家公园过周末怎么样? ②用情态动词过去式 might,would,should,could 等表示委 婉 It might be a good idea for us to hold two separate meet— rugs for the two problems. 也许分别举行两次会议来解决这两个问题是个好主意。 Gould you please pass me that pen? 请递给我那支笔好吗? There is something l should advise you not to do. 有件事我劝你不要做。 Would you like tea or coffee? 你是想喝茶还是喝咖啡? 4)禁忌话题,猥亵语和粗话 首先,西方人很重视 privacy(隐私权),强调 individualism(独 立的个性)。privacy 主要体现在以下几个方面:年龄辈分;个人经 济状况;婚姻状况;政治倾向;宗教信仰等等。如你问一位陌生女 子:"How old are you?”为了不失礼貌,她可以委婉地回答你: “You may as well trust your own judgement. ” 我们中国人也重视自己的隐私权。60 年代时,有的外宾出于 好奇问我们的翻译: “Are you a Party member?”我们对他们的背 景情况不尽了解,另外也没有必要向他们暴露自己的真实身份;与 此同时,我们对他们也不应说谎,因为—旦他们通过其他渠道了解了真情,就会认 为你对他们不诚实。其实,他们问的问题本身没有 恶意,不具挑衅性,应对他们保持友好和以礼相待。因此像“Do you think I look like one?”这样的反问在当时被认为不失是一个

妥善的回答。一般情况下,他们也不会再“打破沙锅问到底”了。 这也反映出委婉语有语义模糊这特性。 其次,还要尽量避免在句中掺杂着像 piss,shit,fuck 等——类 四个字母的词(four-letter words)。 国内外有些语言学家将委婉语列为礼貌用语的一种,并从语 义、语用等多个角度撰写有关英语礼貌用语的著作。为突出重点, 本书对委婉语在英语礼貌用语中的地位和特色等问题,不再展开 讨论了。

4.低调陈述 低调陈述也叫“含蓄陈述” ,是与夸张相反的辞格。夸张是夸 大其词,极而言之;低凋是轻描淡写,含蓄内敛,重话轻说,正话反 说, ,夸张是 deliberately maximize the importance,低调是 achieve “its effect of emphasizing a fact by deliberately understating it,or minimizing its importance,impressing the reader or listener by what is implied or left unsaid than by bare statement;夸张是 play up,低 调是 play(tone)down;夸张是 high profile,低调是 low profile。一 句话,夸张和低调都是为了强调某事,只是手法不同而已。 低调陈述与委婉语在语义上有交叉,交叉点在于两者都将语 言淡化、弱化、模糊化,因为委婉语在广义上说到底,也是一种低调 陈述。但这两者还是有区别的。第一,委婉语是陈式化的,它有相 对固定的说法;而低调陈述则没有。第二,委婉语用于避讳或礼 貌;低调陈述应用的范围则广得多。第三,委婉语语义扬升,追求 正面美化;低调陈述只求淡化、模糊化,仅此而已。 英语中低调陈述大体上有两种情况: 1)以反说代替正说(Litotes)这种修辞手段也称为曲言,是用 反面否定(或说双重否定)表示肯定的一种方法。 The face wasn’t a bad one;it had what they called charm. 面孔不算难看,有一般人所称的妩媚。 其实际意义是:The face was sweet;her charm conquered everybody.(她秀色甜美, 貌惊四座)。貌似贬抑,实则肯定,不过是 采用了低调渲染罢了, , The man is no foo1. 此人决不是傻瓜。(此人一点也不傻。) 其实际意义是:The man is exceedingly smart.(此人特别精 明。)用词虽然低调,实际上评价极高。 And he was not right fat. 他不很胖。 实际是说 He was quite thin.(他很瘦。) I didn’t half like that. 我不只有点喜欢它。 实际意思是 I liked that very much.(我非常喜欢它)。

He is no more opponent in the coming debate.(i.e.He is a worthy opponent.) 在即将来临的辩论中,他不仅仅是位反对派。 (即:他 是个名副其实的对手。) It is not a disagreeable thing to be rich.(i.e.It is agreeable to be rich.) 富有不是一桩不光彩的事情。 I have never committed one act that was not in the interests of my people. 我还从来没有做过一件不是有利于人民的事。 She was not without ambition.(i.e.She was quite ambitious.) 她不是没有抱负(或野心。)(即:她很有雄心壮志。/她野 心勃勃) It’s great being with my sister and my friend,Ann.I’m a real tourist now,and things here are the finest of the world: food I've never tasted,scenery one could hardly tear them— selves away,and music even Beethoven would admire...It’s by no means not a pity,however,that you’re not with us! 能和我的姐姐以及我的朋友安一起外出真叫棒。现在我 是个真正的旅游者了。这里的一切都是世界上最好的:食物 是我从未品尝过的,景色令人留连忘返,而这音乐甚至可令贝 多芬惊叹不已……然而,你(们)没有和我们一起来,这不能不 是件令人遗憾的事。 上例中斜体部分使用了夸张和倒装手段,黑体部分是低调陈 述, ,在—连串夸张词语后突然笔锋一转,来个低调陈述,其强调效 果因此反差而更为突出了。 低调陈述与委婉语和夸张等手段一样,都含有某种幽默。试 看下面这一段: Retired Marine Colonel John V.Brennan contracted with the secretive arms dea1er to sell Iraq $181 million worth of uniforms.According to a lawsuit filed last March,former Vice President Spiro Agnew served as an “intermediary” between the two.How much money did Agnew make in the deal? Soghnanllan,the dealer,says, “He did not go hungry. ” 退休的海军陆战队上校布雷南和秘密军火商苏格南林签 订合同,卖给伊拉克价值 1.81 亿美元的制服。根据今年三月 份提出的起诉,前副总统阿格纽在两方之间充当了“中间人” 。 阿格纽从中赚了多少?该军火商说: “他没有挨饿” 。 一笔交易将近两亿(美元),中间人得的好处费必定可观,说他 “没有挨饿” ,显然是低调处理,且有幽默讽刺的意味和弦外有音的 效果。 2)以弱说代替强说(Meiosis) 这是一种用程度副词 kind(sort)of,something of,rather, scarcely,hardly,almost 等,以及形容词、副词比较级表示审慎评 估的低调陈述。如:

There is also poverty, convincingly etched in the statistics, etched, and too, the lives in of people like Hortensia Cabrera,mother of 14,widow. “Money, ”She says with quiet understatement, kind of tight.But l manage. “is ” 不容置疑,贫困深深地印在统计数字里,也印在像卡布雷拉那 样的人们的生活之中。她是个寡妇,有 14 个孩子。 “钱, ”她安详 而含蓄地说: “有些紧,不过我能对付得了。 ” -—个寡妇,拉扯 14 个孩子,说“钱有些紧” ,是故意轻描淡写, 低调的目的是托出其不畏生活艰难的铮铮傲骨。 My son got a passing grade for history.But he could have done better. 我儿子的历史成绩刚刚及格。他本该得到较好的分数。 这个比较级和虚拟结构暗含着惋惜和不满。 The downtown section of New York has hardly a tree or a single blade of grass anywhere along the narrow dusty streets. 在纽约的闹市区,沿着尘土飞扬的狭窄街道,在任何地方 都几乎看不到一草一木。 Sorry,this is in fact more than l can promise. 对不起,实际上这不是我所能答应的。 若直说 I can’t promise,虽然干脆利落,但会给对方造成不必 要的刺激。 应该说,汉语中也有低调陈述,如我们在发展党、团员,或对某 个干部、某个同志作考评时,经常是在罗列一大堆优点后,提出几 点“希望” 。其实这希望常是该同志目前存在的缺点或不足之处。 在汉语修辞中往往把它归人“含蓄说法的委婉语”中了。


相关文章:
_委婉语的构成
委婉语构成的词汇 词汇语义手段 第二节 委婉语构成的词汇语义手段 语义手段则包括模糊词语、概念隐喻、概念转喻、低调陈述、 语义手段则包括模糊词语、概念隐喻、概念...
英语修辞——低调陈述
一、什么是低调陈述 低调陈述是一种十分常见的语言现象,Allen & Burriage 把 低调陈述归类为委婉语, Leech 定义低调陈述为: 发话人意欲减 少把信念强加给听话人...
14.2低调陈述
我国的毛荣贵教授指出,区别在于两点:委婉语有相对固定的说法,低调陈 述一般没有固定的说法;委婉语用于避讳或礼貌,低调陈述应用范围更广。 笔者认为还有一点可以补充...
论文写作资料
委婉语论文 25页 免费 委婉语论文材料 13页 1财富值 英语中委婉语 48页 免费...4)低调陈述 (Understatement) 低调陈述是相对于夸张的词格,通过使用低调陈述也能...
更多相关标签: