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清早在开心网看到一个投票——“低调”英语怎么说,一下子倒是有点愣住,不是很敢肯定怎么说,于是查字典。

 

投票中给出的选项是如下几个词,93年版《朗文当代英语词典》给出的解释如下:

 

low-key:controlled in style or quality, not loud, bright, or forceful

humble:of low rank or position (in society, in an organization, etc)

low profile:the state of not drawing attention to oneself or one's actions

lower position:没有收录

di diao:这个么就不用偶来说了,倒是可以大力向英语世界推广,^_^

unassuming:not showing a wish to be noticed or given special treatment; modest

 

89年版《柯林斯精选英语词典》则解释如下:

 

low-key

Something that is low-key or low-keyed is not obvious or intense.

 

humble

Someone who is humble is not proud and does not believe that they are better or more important than other people.

People with low social status are sometimes described as humble.

People use humble in expressions such as my humble opinion when they are expressing an opinion politelybut firmly.

 

unassuming

An unassuming person is modest and quiet and does not wish to be noticed by other people.

 

low profile和lower position则没有收录。94年版《韦氏词典》也没有收录low profile和lower position,给出的解释是:

 

low-key:of low intensity

humble:not proud or haughty; not pretentious

unassuming:humble, lowly, meek

 

另外回复的有人给了个“low pitched”,查阅了词典,意思是:(of a musical note) deep; (of a roof) not steep,引用《美国传统词典》词条bassoon的解释:“A low-pitched woodwind instrument with a double reed, having a long wooden body attached to a U-shaped lateral tube that leads to the mouthpiece. The range of this instrument is typically two octaves lower than that of the oboe.(一种低调的有双簧的木管乐器,有长的木质管身并与通向吹口的侧面管身相连,这种乐器的音域范围比双簧管明显的低两个八音度)”bassoon是一种低音管,看来这个“低调”跟为人低调的低调没多大关系,呵呵。

 

继续查阅,发现原来作为不张扬的“低调”有很多对应的词汇,主要是看使用语境了,类似的词汇还有folksy,subdued,spotlight-shunning等,其中,spotlight-shunning常见于媒体,尚未被收录,字面意思是“避开聚光灯的”,自然就不是抛头露面而是躲在幕后低调的了。《波士顿环球报》2003年11月一篇关于《魔戒》作者J. R. R. Tolkien的文章中写道:“Tolkien's staying power is unprecedented. That a spotlight-shunning Oxford professor, dead for three decades, ………… still casts such an enchanting spell over contemporary culture is a remarkable achievement.”这儿很明显是说他是一位低调的教授。

 

另外值得一提的是还有一个词——restraint,意思是“克制、约束”,翻译时也可译成“低调”,因为低调本身就是一种克制,路透社2004年一则关于英国威廉王子入学的新闻中写道:“Courtiers hope reporters and photographers will leave St Andrews. But royal watchers believe it will be difficult for the media to maintain its current restraint.”这儿便可译作“王室侍臣希望记者们(在威廉王子入学时)能够离开圣安德鲁大学,但是皇室观察员认为让媒体保持低调是很困难的。”

 

其他几个词就不解释,自个儿查字典吧,呵呵。下面是几个来自于英国国家语汇库的例句,可以体会体会其意思。

 

He was, Carver thought, in his most folksy mood.(Whirlpool. Forbes, Colin. London: Pan Books Ltd, 1991, pp. 1-120. 4107 s-units, 41105 words.)

 

The 1992 Hotel olympia opened to a subdued attendance.([Reference book]. England, London: HCIMA, 1992, pp. ??. 837 s-units, 12069 words.)

 

By his flamboyant standards, this has been a disappointingly low-key year for Snow Bride's trainer, Henry Cecil.([Independent, electronic edition of 19891014]. London: Newspaper Publishing plc, 1989, Sport material, pp. ??. 811 s-units, 15475 words.)

 

Above all, Hitler's deliberately intended low profile with regard to action against Jews is demonstrated by the total absence of any public statement with regard to the Reichskristallnacht pogrom of 9-;10 November 1938.(The Hitler myth. Kershaw, Ian. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. ??. 1210 s-units, 40045 words.)

 

Alison said to Franca, putting on her humble ingratiating tone, `;I'm --; I'm going back to my flat now.'(The message to the planet. Murdoch, Iris. London: Chatto & Windus Ltd, 1989, pp. 112-198. 3075 s-units, 37705 words.)

 

posted on 2008-11-27 10:18 Taiga 阅读(686) 评论(0)  编辑  收藏 所属分类: 咬文嚼字

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