蘇州翻譯公司:給國家領導人當翻譯這麼驚心動魄!

 公司新聞     |      2019-09-05 19:07
Former President George H.W. Bush was deep in nuclear negotiations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The 1990 talks, focused on an arms control treaty, were suddenly interrupted when a seasoned Soviet interpreter made a critical mistake.
美國前總統喬治·布什與前蘇聯國家領導人米哈伊爾·戈爾巴喬夫就核問題進行深入交談。這場對話發生於1990年,兩位領導人正圍繞軍備控制條約進行討論,突然,為他們提供翻譯的一位資深蘇聯口譯員犯了一個嚴重的錯誤,談話戛然而止。
 
The interpreter, Igor Korchilov, said the word "verifying" in English, instead of "verified." Everyone in the White House Cabinet Room froze and turned toward him — including his boss.
這位名叫伊戈爾•科爾奇洛夫的口譯員在翻譯成英語時用了“verifying”,而正確措辭應該是“verified”。當時坐在白宮內閣會議室的所有人都驚呆了,扭頭看向他,包括他的老板。
 
Gorbachev quickly said: "No, no — I never said that."
戈爾巴喬夫迅速說:“不,不,我沒這樣說。”
 
"To this day, I still feel extremely embarrassed," Korchilov tells NPR. He worked with Gorbachev from 1987 to 1990.
“直到今天,我還是覺得非常尷尬。”科爾奇洛夫在接受美國國家公共電臺采訪時說。在1987年至1990年,他擔任戈爾巴喬夫的翻譯。
 
It was a seemingly minute detail. But in the context of these talks, the word "verifying" meant that the Russians had unexpectedly sided with the U.S. on one point in the long-sought agreement.
這兩個詞看起來差別不大。但是,在這種會談的背景下,“verifying”意味著在這項長期促成的協議中,俄羅斯在某一點上出其不意地和美國站在了一邊。
 
The discussion was on an Open Skies proposal, in which both sides could fly over each other's territory to verify compliance in arms control agreements. The Soviets and the Americans didn't agree on whose aircraft should be used for the inspections — the verifying party (the U.S.) or the verified party (the Soviet Union).
這場會談圍繞《開放天空條約》而展開,條約指出,雙方可在彼此領土進行空中偵查,以核查其執行軍備控制條約的情況。而前蘇聯和美國並沒有就應該使用核查方(美國)還是被核查方(前蘇聯)的飛機進行勘察而達成一致。
 
Korchilov interpreted Gorbachev as saying: "The aircraft to overfly territory for inspection purposes should be made available by the verifying party at the disposal of its crew."
科爾奇洛夫將戈爾巴喬夫的話翻譯成了:“在領土上空進行空軍偵查的飛機需由核查方提供,由該方機組人員操作。”
 
"At that moment I wished the earth could swallow me up," Korchilov wrote in his 1997 memoir, Translating History: 30 Years on the Front Lines of Diplomacy with a Top Russian Interpreter.
“我當時真想找個地縫鑽進去。” 科爾奇洛夫在他1997年的回憶錄《翻譯歷史:一位俄羅斯頂級口譯員的30年外交前線生涯》中寫道。
 
He wondered if he had accidentally changed the direction of superpower diplomacy. He approached the U.S. president later to offer his apology.
他想知道自己是否意外改寫了大國外交的方向。後來,他向布什總統道歉。
 
"He made a stern look, put his arms in his pockets and said, 'Relax, the good news is that you didn't start World War III.'"
“他堅定地看了我一眼,將手插進兜裡說,‘沒事,好在你沒有引起第三次世界大戰。’”
 
Korchilov also apologized to Gorbachev, who said, "Oh, don't worry, Igor. Only those who do nothing make no mistakes."
科爾奇洛夫也向戈爾巴喬夫道了歉,戈爾巴喬夫說:“哦,別怕,伊戈爾。只有什麼事都不做的人纔不會犯錯。”
 
The politics behind the words
話語背後的政治
 
In closed-door meetings at the highest level, interpreters face the pressures of global diplomacy. Every word matters, and a slip-up can have monumental consequences. That's especially true for the June 12 summit meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
在最高級別的閉門會議上,口譯員面臨著全球外交的壓力。每個詞都至關重要,任何一個錯誤都可能會導致嚴重的後果。特別是在6月12日,美國總統特朗普與朝鮮最高領導人金正恩的首腦會議上。
 
President Trump presents his own challenges for interpreters. He's known to go off-script. His former campaign adviser Anthony Scaramucci once said, "Don't take him literally, take him symbolically."
特朗普總統給口譯員帶來了挑戰。他以脫稿講話而聞名。他的前團隊顧問安東尼·斯卡拉穆奇曾說:“不要從字面上去理解他,要意會。”
 
And earlier this year, The Washington Post reported on the difficulties of translating Trump's profanity, such as his comment in January about "shithole countries."
今年年初,《華盛頓郵報》報道了翻譯特朗普的髒話的難處所在,比如他在1月份時所說的“shithole countries(屎坑國家)”。
 
 
▲2000年10月23日,當時的朝鮮最高領導人金正日和美國國務卿馬德琳·奥爾布賴特在平壤會面。美國國務院口譯員Tong Kim(奥爾布賴特與金正日中間)為其翻譯。
 
Uncertainty, however, is part of any language. That's why the best interpreters serve as both linguists and diplomats — they understand the politics behind the words. For those who've interpreted top-level meetings, they've lived the pressure.
任何語言都有其不確定性。這就是為什麼最好的口譯員也是語言學家和外交家——他們能讀懂話語背後的政治。那些做過高級別會議的口譯員承受著這種壓力。
 
On Oct. 23, 2000, Madeleine Albright, then secretary of state, became the highest ranking U.S. official ever to set foot in North Korea. She met former leader Kim Jong Il, clad in his trademark khaki pants and jacket, at the Pae Kha Hawon state guesthouse in Pyongyang. Albright's trusted interpreter, Tong Kim, followed close behind.
2000年10月23日,時任美國國務卿馬德琳•奥爾布賴特成為當時訪問過朝鮮的美國最高級別官員。她與當時的朝鮮最高領導人金正日在平壤百花園迎賓館舉行了會談,金正日穿著他的標志性卡其布褲子和夾克。奥爾布賴特非常信任的口譯員Tong Kim緊隨其後。
 
"That was the most important meeting I have ever interpreted for," says Tong Kim, who served as the senior Korean language interpreter at the U.S. State Department.
“這是我翻譯過的最重要的會議。” Tong Kim說,當時他在美國國務院擔任高級韓語口譯員。
 
Albright was trying to persuade the regime to abandon its long-range missile program. To prepare, Tong Kim needed to learn the jargon of arms control. He reviewed top-secret briefs and read a dozen books on nuclear bombs.
奥爾布賴特當時試圖說服朝鮮政府放棄其遠程導彈計劃。為了給這次口譯做好准備,Tong Kim需要學習軍備控制術語。他查閱了一些絕密簡報,閱讀了一打關於核彈的書。
 
"I kept reading and reading," he says. "Reading every article in newspapers and academic journals — it was total immersion, in the task of preparing myself."
“我一直保持閱讀,”他說,“在准備的過程中,我閱讀報紙上的每篇文章和學術期刊——整個人都浸在裡面。”
 
When he first began interpreting, he says, "I spoke like a South Korean. And they did not seem to appreciate it, although they could understand my renditions, perhaps not as readily, though."
當他一開始翻譯的時候,他說:“我的發音聽起來好像韓國人。盡管他們能聽懂,但他們似乎不太滿意,不過,也許沒那麼容易。”
 
So he perfected a North Korean accent.
所以,他又練就了一口純正的朝鮮口音。
 
"I picked up their language, their intonation, their dialect," Kim says. "And that gives them some trust."
“我學習了他們的語言、語調、方言,” Kim說,“這使得他們對我多了一些信任。”
 
Albright's meeting was meant to pave the way for President Bill Clinton to visit Pyongyang, but missile talks between North Korea and the U.S. stalled just as Clinton left office.
奥爾布賴特的會面意在為時任美國總統比爾·克林頓訪問平壤鋪平道路,但朝鮮和美國的導彈談判在克林頓離任時陷入僵局。
 
"I almost got us both killed, didn't I?"
“我差點讓我們倆喪命,不是嗎?”
 
 
▲美國前副總統喬治·布什和薩爾瓦多總統阿爾瓦羅·馬加尼亞於1983年會面。敬酒時,布什轉達了裡根總統對右翼刺殺小隊殺戮行為的擔懮,斯蒂芬妮·馮·熱戈斯伯格(中)為布什做口譯。
 
In December 1983, George H.W. Bush, then Ronald Reagan's vice president, went on a secret mission to El Salvador. The country was in the midst of a civil war. Stephanie Van Reigersberg, who led the interpreting division at the State Department and specialized in Spanish, was assigned to accompany him.
1983年12月,時任裡根政府副總統的喬治·布什赴內戰時期的薩爾瓦多執行一項秘密任務,美國國務院口譯部負責人、專長西班牙語的斯蒂芬妮·馮·熱戈斯伯格受命陪同。
 
They flew in on Black Hawk helicopters, through the Salvadoran mountains to a presidential villa. Only a handful of U.S. officials knew about the vice president's planned meeting. Bush was there to deliver a warning to a group of military commanders about the government's brutal death squads.
他們乘黑鷹直昇機飛越薩爾瓦多山區,前往總統府邸。只有少數美國官員知曉副總統所計劃的會面。布什在那裡就政府殘酷的刺殺小隊向一群部隊指揮官提出警告。
 
"The whole military senior staff was there and they all had weapons on their laps," Van Reigersberg recalls.
馮·熱戈斯伯格回憶道:“部隊所有高級將士都在場,他們腿上都放著武器。”
 
Secret Service agents recommended the vice president call off the meeting over security concerns. But Bush refused — he was determined to confront the commanders.
出於安全考慮,特勤處建議布什取消會面,但被他拒絕。布什堅持要見部隊指揮官。
 
"Basically, he cussed them out," Van Reigersberg says.
馮·熱戈斯伯格說:“布什基本上對他們都是惡語相加。”
 
"Having a woman interpreter using that kind of language really got their attention. You are so concentrated on delivering the message that it's only afterwards that you say, 'Oh my heavens.' And after the meeting, Bush said, 'Well, I almost got us both killed, didn't I?'"
讓一位女口譯員使用那種語言確實引起了他們的注意,你過於專注傳遞信息,只有在過後說‘哦,我的天啊’。會面之後,布什說‘我差點讓我們倆喪命,不是嗎?’”
 
Reagan's "adversary"
裡根的“對手”
 
 
▲1987年,前蘇聯領導人戈爾巴喬夫與美國總統裡根在華盛頓會面。會談期間,Dimitry Zarechnak(左一)擔任美方口譯,翻譯英語單詞“adversary”時遇到難題。Pavel Palazhchenko(右二)擔任蘇方口譯。
 
Years of negotiations led to a U.S.-Soviet summit in Washington, D.C., in December 1987. President Ronald Reagan welcomed his Cold War rival Gorbachev to the White House, in hopes for a new era of peace.
經過多年談判,1987年12月,美蘇峰會得以在華盛頓舉行。美國總統裡根在白宮歡迎冷戰對手戈爾巴喬夫的到來,希望開啟新的和平時代。
 
During the official welcoming ceremony on the White House South Lawn, Reagan famously said: "Today marks a visit that is perhaps more momentous than many which have preceded it, because it represents a coming together not of allies — but of adversaries."
在白宮南坪舉行的官方歡迎儀式上,裡根拋出一句名言:“今天的訪問或許比以往更為重要,因為它標志著對手而不是盟友走到了一起。”
 
"We were just agonizing over this word 'adversaries,'" said Dimitry Zarechnak in an interview with NPR in 2001. He was interpreting the president's speech that day.
2001年,Dimitry Zarechnak在接受美國國家公共電臺采訪時表示:“我們對‘adversary’一詞感到苦惱。”當天,Zarechnak為裡根做口譯。
 
The Russian word for "adversaries," protivniki, sounds similar to a word that means "disgusting," protivniy.
俄語中表示“adversary(對手)”的詞是“protivniki”,發音與“protivniy(令人厭惡的)”相似。
 
"In English," Zarechnak said, "you can have a noble adversary. In Russian, it sounds terrible."
Zarechnak說:“英語中你的對手可以是高尚的,但在俄語裡聽起來就很糟糕。”
 
So instead of repeating the word "adversaries," Zarechnak used a Russian word for "competitors."
所以Zarechnak並沒有重復“對手”一詞,而是使用了俄語裡表示“競爭者”的詞匯。
 
Gorbachev gave a slight nod — and the summit was underway.
戈爾巴喬夫稍微點了點頭,峰會得以繼續。