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なるほど!英訳塾 ~ビギナー編~

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こんにちは!塾長のソーキンです。

早いもので、今日で12回目、本塾開講から半年が経ちました。言語学的な観点からの説明もありましたので、ちょっと難しく感じられたところもあったかもしれませんね。

今日ご紹介する助詞の「は」と「が」、必ず登場する言葉です。これを上手にすっきり訳す方法を一緒に考えていきましょう。使用頻度の高い表現ですので、これを押さえておくと毎回の英訳が少しブラッシュアップされると思います。

それでは、前回の練習問題の回答からご紹介していきます。


Here is the answer to the example given for practice in the last session.日本語

(5a) きっかけといわれているのが七月に全国に導入されたタスポ。

(5b) The one that is said to be the triggering factor is Taspo, which was introduced throughout the country in July.

(5c) The triggering factor is generally considered to be Taspo, which was introduced throughout the country in July.

To improve on the direct translation in (5b), we need to get rid of the relative clause attached to “one”. In (5c), “triggering factor” becomes the subject instead of “one”. The main verb is also changed to the passive form of “consider” instead of “say”. It is best to avoid translating phrases like いわれている directly because they do not sound natural in English. Note that the improved version is shorter and neater. 日本語

This week, I will look at the description of statistics shown in graphs and charts. I want to focus in particular on ~は~が sentences such as the ones shown in the (a) sentences in all the examples below. 日本語


(1a) 30代の男性は1998年以降、旅行者経験数が減少。

(1b) As for men in the 30’s, the number of people who have travel experience has been falling since 1996.

(1c) Since 1996, the number of men in the 30’s with travel experience has been falling.

The topic marker は is frequently translated as “as for ~”, “for ~”, “in the case of ~” in Japanese language textbooks. As shown in (1b) above, it may be grammatically sound to translate は in this way. But we can make (1b) sound more natural by avoiding the use of “as for ~” as shown in (1c). Note that the information contained in the noun phrase preceding は is incorporated into the noun phrase preceding が so that we can do away with the initial phrase beginning with “as for ~” in (1b). 日本語

In the next two examples, the information in the 2 noun phrases preceding は and が in the original sentence are combined in the same way as (1c) so that we don’t need the phrase beginning with “For ~” in (2b) and (3b). 日本語

(2a) ハワイ、グアム、南太平洋諸島は約6割が「パッケージツアー」

(2b) For Hawaii, Guam, and the South Pacific Islands, approximately 60% are “package tours”.

(2c) 60% of the visitors to Hawaii, Guam, and the South Pacific Islands are on “package tours”.


(3a) フランスは「友人や知人と」旅行する人が12%と他国に比べ少ない。

(3b) For France, people who travel with “friends or acquaintances” make up 12%, which is low compared to other countries.

(3c) People who travel to France with “friends or acquaintances” make up 12%, which is low compared to other countries.

The next example is slightly different in the way the information in the 2 noun phrases preceding は and が are combined. 日本語

(4a) インドへの旅行手配は55%の人が1~2ヶ月前に行う

(4b) For travel arrangements to India, 55% of travelers make them 1 to 2 months in advance.

(4c) 55% of travelers to India make travel arrangements 1 to 2 months in advance.

In the original sentence, 旅行手配 in the noun phrase preceding はis the object of the mainverb行う. (4c) simply returns the sentence to its original structure with “travel arrangements” following the main verb “make”. 日本語

(5a) ダイドードリンクが二十五日発表した2008年二―十月期の連結業績純利益前年同期比四十二%減の十四億六千万円だった。

(5b) In its consolidated performance for Feb-Oct 2008 that DyDo announced on the 25th, its net profit fell by 42% to 1.46 billion yen compared to the same term in the previous year.

In this last example taken from a newspaper article, we see the same basic ~は~が pattern. In (5b), the noun phrase preceding は is translated using a prepositional phrase beginning with “in”, and it is not combined with the noun phrase preceding がunlike the other examples above. This is because the information contained in the noun phrase preceding が(i.e. 純利益) is found within the noun phrase preceding は (i.e. 連結業績).日本語

Also, note that the noun phrase preceding は is rather long because it contains a relative clause. If this is incorporated into the noun phrase preceding が, we will end up with a long and clumsy subject noun phrase, which we should try to avoid if possible because it makes information difficult to process as I have mentioned in previous sessions. 日本語


いかがでしたか?今日ご紹介した方法で英訳をすると直訳を避けることができ、かつすっきり簡潔な英文を書くことができますね。単純に「は」と「が」の前にある情報をくっつける、ということではありませんが、文章全体の情報をうまく整理整頓していく、といったイメージです。

さて、「なるほど英訳塾!~ビギナー編~」は、まずこの半年を持って終了です。次は、より実践的に上手な英訳の方法を探っていこうと思います。どうぞみなさん引き続き英訳塾をお楽しみに!

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ンー・ソーキン

ンー・ソーキンさん:Ng Soh King
シンガポール出身。シンガポール大学で日本語を専攻した後、ハワイ、日本、オーストラリアの大学に通い言語学博士号を取得。その間、シンガポール大学の教壇に立ち、日本語や翻訳を教える。2005年よりフリーランス翻訳者として活躍。幅広い分野の翻訳をこなすが、今後、金融・医薬分野での翻訳に力を入れていきたいと希望。香港在住。