20160719

Hypnotic = 催眠的?


網友傳來一段某專欄作家寫的文字,問我意見:


他的疑問是:那句中譯的意思令人費解,為何「組織嚴密壯觀的青年千人操」會是「催眠」的?他說查過字典,只查到 "hypnotic" 是「催眠的」、「有催眠性的」、「易被催眠的」、「受催眠術影響的」等意思,都和催眠有關。"Hypnotic" 有其他意思嗎?

答案是「有」。網友查的大概是英漢字典吧,"hypnotic" 還有一個意思,即「吸引人的注意,令人出神」(另一個英文字 "mesmerizing" 也是這個意思) 不難在英文字典裏查到。其實,到網上查更快捷,也許這位網友沒有上網查字典的習慣吧;隨便在網上查一查,便在 Merriam-Webster Dictionary  找到這個解釋:


 專欄作家將 "hypnotic" 翻譯為「催眠」,顯然是錯誤的。那句中譯還有其他不妥之處:"organized" 沒有「壯觀」的意思,即使那些千人操事實上很壯觀,只要英文原句沒有表達這個意思,翻譯時便不應妄自加入「壯觀」;"organized" 在這裏的意思是「編排得有秩序、有條理」,譯為「嚴密」也不準確,「井然有序」會是較佳的翻譯。「壯觀」是妄自加入,原文 "the few" 的意思則在中譯裏不翼而飛了。

那句英文也有問題:"performance" 應是 "performances",否則與 "are" 不配合。為甚麼不保持 "performance" 而將 "are" 改為 "is"?因為 "performance" 解作「表演」或「演出」時,是可數名詞。此外,我相信 Simon Winchester 的原文沒有錯,是專欄作家不小心打錯字而已;打漏 "s"是很容易發生的事,但將 "is" 打錯為 "are",那就較不尋常了。

多查字典,讀英文時多想想自己的理解通不通,那麼,即使英文造詣未臻上乘,也不會那麼容易犯貽笑大方的錯了。

36 則留言:

  1. "are one of" 有問題。are 是複數,one 是單數,兩者不能用在一起。
    正確文法是 "is one of" 、 “are some of" 或 "are among"

    Performance(s) 有無 s 其實無所為。performances 可以當作 collective noun。所以 "Performances is one of..." 一樣合乎符文法。

    Sirius

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    1. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/243538-the-eyes-are-one-of-the-most-powerful-tools-a

      “The eyes are one of the most powerful tools a woman can have. With one look, she can relay the most intimate message. After the connection is made, words cease to exist. ”

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    2. Sirius,

      你不妨 Google 一下 "performances are one of the" (記住打 quotation marks)。

      "is among" 也可以,要看上文下理,例如:Zika is among reasons many Americans skipping Rio Olympics

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    3. 網上的確好多錯文法

      Sirius

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    4. Sirius,

      你很有自信啊!其他不說了,"is among" 就多給你兩個例子吧:

      "As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day." (Ezekiel 34:12)

      "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind." (1 Peter 5:2)

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    5. King James Bible都係錯的, Sirius英文最勁.

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    6. 王教授其實不必引聖經,Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (7th ed) 也有例子:"A British woman was among the survivors."

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    7. "is among" 無問題,還有很多方法可重組這句而不用"are one of"

      我只想指出 "are one of" 是一個十分普遍的錯誤,很多人都不在意甚至不知道有錯,但嚴格來說不合文法。Google 一下 ' grammar "are one of" '會找到不少相關的文章和討論。

      P.S. "you are one of" 除外


      Sirius

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    8. "A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth." -Charles Darwin

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    9. Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump: "We cannot let him bankrupt America like we are one of his failed casinos."

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    10. Sirius,

      "are one of" 是合文法的,"are" 跟前面的名詞 agrees 即可,例如 "Students are one of the groups who are suffering from reductions in federal programs."
      (見http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/write/we/ch6/21a.htm
      上面讀者留的例子也是這樣。

      Cambridge Dictionary亦有這樣的句子:"Adjuncts are one of the five major elements of clause structure."

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    11. Hope you enjoyed your holiday. I've been waiting for your return before posting my reply.

      You and other comments provided several examples of the phrase 'are one of' being used, some of which are from reputable sources such as dictionary. But none of them directly address the issue of plurality conflict between 'are' and 'one'. You need better arguments to support your point that the phrase is indeed correct rather than a very common mistake.

      I am aware that 'are one of' is widely used and commonly accepted. But that doesn't change the fact that it is semantically inaccurate according to the plural principle. Here are some examples:
      http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/a-and-b-are-one-of-the.2581787/
      http://painintheenglish.com/case/4744/#comment-21945

      The English language, and probably also other natural languages, has many quirks that are commonly accepted/tolerated but should be considered grammatically incorrect in a strict sense. 'are one of' is one of them.

      Sirius

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    12. "One", like "a", does not necessarily refer to something that is singular. "One group" and "a team", for example, can be plural as well as singular, depending on the context.

      If a Russian says "We are one of the most audacious peoples in the world", he is referring to Russians generally and the "one" in his sentence is plural, not singular.

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    13. Your examples are actually counter-examples. 'One group' and 'a team' are both singular.

      'Group' and 'team' are both collective. They can be treated as singular or plural depending on the context. 'the team has' and 'the team have' are both acceptable. 'One group have' and 'a team have' are not acceptable.

      Also, 'one' has a plural form - 'ones'

      Sirius

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    14. Ok, I give up. If you are so confident that you are right, just use it your way.

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    15. "We are a team." Is this ungrammatical, Sirius?

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    16. "Those people over there are a group of professional pickpockets working together." Ungrammatical too?

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    17. // "We are a team." Is this ungrammatical, Sirius?

      // "Those people over there are a group of professional pickpockets working together." Ungrammatical too?

      Re 匿名,

      I don't see any grammartical mistake in these two sentences but they provide nothing to support the validity of 'are one of'. So I'm not sure why you bring them up.

      I am not a linguist. I normally have no problem with grammar mistakes. As a matter of fact, I make them all the time. But since this article is about grammar and semantics I think my argument is in the right place, and is sound.

      Sirius

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    18. You said " 'One group' and 'a team' are both singular". If you accept "We are a team", why don't you also accept, e.g. "We are one of the bilingual teams"?

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    19. Re 匿名,

      * Short answer:

      Because 'a team' is COLLECTIVE singular. 'one' is just singular.


      * Long answer:

      'We' is plural

      'a team' is COLLECTIVE singular.

      'we are a team' is claiming multiple subjects is combined to collective singular object. So it's fine.


      'one of' is singular, not collective singular, just singular

      'bilingual teams' is plural

      'one of the bilingual teams' is referring to a single object that is part of multiple objects, so it's still singular

      'we are one of the bilingual teams' is claiming multiple subjects is a singular object. so it's wrong.


      Does it make sense?

      Sirius

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    20. No, it doesn't make sense. Would you consider "We are one team" incorrect too?

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    21. One more example: "We are a strong team and one of the four teams entering the final." Unacceptable?

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    22. 莎士比亞 Henry VIII 有一句 "Yet thus far we are one in fortunes",是否又是錯的呢?

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    23. Sirius,

      As I have already pointed out, a verb normally agrees with the subject of a sentence, not with a following complement (e.g. "Illegal immigrants ARE a big problem" and "A serious problem in our garden IS wasps"). Even if you were right that "one of" is always singular, sentences like "We are one of the most audacious peoples in the world" are correct because "are" agrees with the subject.

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  2. 據說原來催眠確是可以對get organized起到幫助的:
    http://www.curezone.org/forums/am.asp?i=378960
    hypnosis to get organized?

    Winchester用 “Hypnotic organized ” 其原意可能確是有 “用催眠的辦法來做到井井有條(或“整齊”) 的意思。
    一來可能Winchester覺得那些youngsters能夠做得那麼 “整齊”,應該是接受過“催眠”療法,否則(常人)不可能做得到那麼“整齊”;
    二來Winchester用 “Hypnotic organized ”可能多少有些「語帶雙關」的成份。例如中醫裡確是有「打通任督二脈」的療法,但有時在電視劇裡某些鬼馬對白說的「打通任督二脈」卻並非單純指中醫療法的意思那樣,對於不是精通中文的西人來說,相信是不容易理解到其中「語帶雙關」的含義。


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    1. 這個理解不合那句的文法,因為 "hypnotic" 和 "organized" 都是形容詞,形容的是 "performances";假如用「催眠」來形容 "organized" ,便應該用副詞 "hypnotically"。

      其實 "hypnotic performance" (指很有吸引力的表演) 在日常英語不是罕見用法,我不是查字典才知道 "hypnotic" 有這個意思。以下這個標題就是一個好例子:A hypnotic performance by the first woman on Rolling Stone’s “guitar god” list

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    2. Google hypnotic organized,就會見到上面那個"催眠確是可以對get organized起到幫助"的link,不過英文程度稍好的人都知道get organized和千人操的organized有甚麼不同。

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  3. 係國際哲學期刊有英文論文出,又係美國生活教書好多年的教授,解個簡單的英文字都竟然比人質疑,幾得意。

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  4. Hypnotic 這個用法,算常見,我也記得在英文雜誌見過幾次。開口閉口什麼上乘英語牛津口音,又在英國生活過幾年,竟然不知道,真是「才子」啊!

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    1. 蠢貨愛才子。

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    2. 才子愛賺錢。

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  5. 十分同意,希望你也可以多多指教
    http://storagehk.blogspot.hk

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  6. 其實Hypnotic的原意也確是有「催眠的」意思,只不過是有時在翻譯時如果「直譯」,會因為不同地方有不同的比喻習慣,而會令當地人不習慣或不明白別人的比喻。
    例如即使是粵語「炖冬菇」,如果「直譯」用普通話說『他被上司「炖冬菇」』,相信會令說普通話的人難以明白。
    Hypnotic organized performance相信也是那樣,在歐洲是奧地利人Mesmer把催眠術理論化和系統化,稱其為Mesmerism;後來英國人James Braid把其命名為Hypnotism。
    如果直譯為「催眠的」不如改為「迷人的」或「吸引人的」則就更符合本地人的習慣。

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  7. hypnotic / organized 呢度係paired adjectives, 所以並非甚麼催眠, 此處只是沒有用逗號分開, style選擇而已. Impeccably drilled 亦無咩反諷含意, 純粹係指操得完美. 陶生只係信口開河, 一貫作風.

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    1. 但如果那篇文總體可能給人的感覺是『(北韓有幾樣嘢叻)千人操係其中之一』(其它就冇咩叻了)的話,咁係褒係貶,恐怕也不難理解。

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    2. 就像 “台灣網民發起「向中國道歉大賽」” 那樣
      http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/trad/china/2016/07/160718_ana_taiwan_apology_china

      恐怕也不難理解是褒還是貶。

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