知识与资讯
翻译学习
 
rain, a rain, the rain
发布时间:2011-8-30 15:18:00||  点击:1850次||  文章分类:翻译学习||  发布人:翻译家(Fanyijia.com)


  【问题】说到下雨,英文有时说 rain,有时说 the rain,甚至还可以用不定冠词的“a”,来放在 rain 的前面,这些说法到底有什么分别?

  【解答】一般是把“雨”当做物质名词(Material Noun)看待,所以前面不加冠词,单说 rain 就行了。如 Maugham 的一个短篇小说的题名就是 Rain 。英文的water,air,smoke 等都是物质名词,rain 算作物质名词,自然也很合理。不过物质名词常可变成普通名词,变性之后就可以加用不定冠词或说成复数,如hair, hairs; cake, cakes; poison, poisons; food ,foods;gas,gases;brick,bricks等,但gold,platinum,oxygen,hydrogen等字,则从来不会变成普通名词的。
  为什么有时又加用定冠词的“the ”呢?我想这大概是受了the sun,the sky用法的影响,但大都又不是限定的意思,所以“微雨”译作:
  Rain is falling lightly. 或
  The rain is falling lightly.
  都可以,当然最好是说:
  It is raining lightly.
  在rain前如果用有形容词的时候,就一定要加用不定冠词的“a”了。“大雨”或“豪雨”说a heavy rain,实为a heavy fall of rain的节约说法。例如:
  I put off my departure on account of a heavy rain.(我因大雨而延期出发。)
  在rain前可用的形容词,容在下面举例说明。至于中国话的“甘霖”,可译作a welcome rain,“红雨”可译作 a rain of falling blossoms,“弹雨”可译作a rain of bullets。“泪如雨下”,固然可译作a rain of tears,同时英文也可以说“雨如泪下”,即A soft rain fell like tears。这当然有冷雨孤衾,静悄悄中流泪的感觉。
  英文的rain一字虽是从古巩英文regn而来的,但它有一个希腊种的形容词hyetal,许多学术名词都用得着它,如hyetology(雨学),hyetometer(雨量表)等。在rain or shine一个片语中的rain=rainy weather(雨天。)用成复数时的rains=shower(骤雨。)the rains则指热带的雨季(the rainy season)。We have the rains in early winter.(雨季在初冬。)
  下雪(snow)的用法和rain一样,但storm(暴风雨)前可以直接接“a”,如A storm was raging all along the coast.(沿海岸一带正刮着暴风雨。)如用“the”便有限定的意思,如Many trees in the park were blown down by the storm (of) the other day.(日昨发生的暴风雨,把公园里的许多树木都吹倒了。)现就rain的无冠词及有冠词的三种用法分别举例如下:
  (一)   不加冠词的:
  It looks like rain.(好象要下雨的样子。)
  Rain has set in.(下起雨来了。)
  Rain was scarce. (雨量缺少。)
  We shall have rain. (要下雨了。)
  The farmers want rain.(农夫要雨。)
  Rain came down in torrents.(倾盆大雨。)
  We will start before daybreak, rain or shine.(不问天晴下雨,我们都要在天亮前动身。)
  We've had too much rain this summer.(今年夏天的雨水太多了。)
  We have been without rain for a long time.(好久没有下雨了。)
  The coat is proof against rain.(这衣是防雨的。)
  Take an umbrella with you in case of rain.(带把伞去,怕下雨。)
  Don't get wet with rain.(不要被雨淋湿。)
  We must take shelter from rain.(我们必段避雨。)
  (二)   加用冠词the 的:
  Here comes the rain!(雨来了。)
  I was caught in the rain.(我遇到了雨。)
  The rain cleared off.(雨停了。)
  The rain has left off.(雨停了。)
  The rain stopped suddenly.(雨突然停了。)
  The rain pelted against the windows of my car.(雨打在我汽车的窗子上。)
  The rain poured (down) all day.(终日倾盆大雨。)
  The rain has subsided.(雨小了。)
  The rain shut us up in the cabin.(因雨我们只好关在小屋里。)
  The hut is barely able to keep out the rain.(小屋仅能御雨)
  The rain has abated.(雨停止了。)
  (三)   加用冠词a的:
  A sharp rain was beating against the window-panes and the quilt was not warm enough.(冷雨敲窗被未温。)
  A rain now came on, which continued for two or three hours, and made the road slippery and toilsome.(现在下了一场雨,一连下了两三个钟头,使得路上泞滑难行。)
  A cold rain was drizzling down.(冷雨濛濛而降。)
  A heavy rain visited the city.(城里下了大雨。)
  A gentle rain is falling on the grass.(和雨降在芳草上面)
  When the sun shines through a light rain, it makes a rainbow.(太阳照过细雨,便要现出彩虹来。)
  在rain前既可以加不定冠词的“a”,自然也可以变成复数了,例如:
  The river rises after heavy rains.(几场豪雨之后河水高涨。)
  It was visited by abundant rains(它遭受大雨袭击。)

 

          --摘自钱歌川《英文疑难详解续篇》



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