从《新概念英语》第三册,窥英语幽默种种 - 内容 - 徐汇中学英语网
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从《新概念英语》第三册,窥英语幽默种种

作者/来源:上海市南洋中学 陈孝雯 沈 勇    发布时间:2017-09-29

I.引言:

新概念第三册《Lesson 29 Funny or not?》中说:Whether we find a joke funny or not largely depends on where we have been brought up. The sense of humor is mysteriously bound up with national characteristics.” 我们觉得一则笑话是否好笑,很大程度取决于我们是在哪儿长大的。幽默感与民族有着神秘莫测的联系。因此,幽默带有浓厚的民族文化的烙印。

English humor is subtle.——“Subtle意为:.精细的;巧妙的,精巧的,敏感的,敏锐的,微妙的,难于捉摸的,睿智的,难解的,狡猾的,阴险的,等。由于英语的幽默具有这些特征,所以没有这一文化背景的人是比较难以欣赏这种幽默,甚至对这种精巧含蓄隐秘的幽默视而不见、无从感悟。

笔者试以《新概念英语》第三册的课文、句子为例,旨在挖掘、初探英语幽默中精巧、含蓄的表达形式,同时尝试从心理学和语言学的角度来分析英语的幽默。

 

II.英语幽默的基本表达形式:

从《新概念英语》第三册课中,我们可以找到表达英语幽默种种形式:

 

1. 以双关(pun)表达幽默:

She explained that Rastus was very dear to her. Considering the amount she paid, he was dear in more ways than one!

拉姆齐太太解释说她心疼她的猫拉斯特斯。想到她所花的那笔钱,她的心疼(又亲又贵)就具有双重意义了。

These Peculiar forms not only seemed designed to shock people emotionally, but to give them electric shocks as well!

好像设计这些奇形怪状的展品不仅是为了给人感情上的强烈刺激,而且还想给人以电击似的

 

2. 以掌故、典故表达幽默:

The skeleton is called Sebastian. 塞巴斯蒂安,死于公元287年1月20日,罗马人,是天主教教士,身材伟岸,被迫害,钉在十字架上,万箭射死。

The other side of the picture is quite the opposite. Life on a desert island is wretched. You either starve to death or live like Robinson Crusoe waiting for a boat which never comes.

另一种想法恰恰相反,认为荒岛生活很可怕,要么饿死,要么像鲁滨孙那样,天天盼船来,却总没见船影。(以小说人物作为类比对象。)

Mary had a little lamb

玛丽有一头羔羊(以英国儿童歌曲作为题目及主人公的名字。)

 

3. 以退而求其次表达幽默(突降):

'We'll get used to that Bill,' said the vicar. 'Thirteen is not as good as one, but it's better than nothing. Now let's go downstairs and have a cup of tea.'

 “大家慢慢就习惯了,比尔,牧师说。“13下是不如1下好,但总比1下也不敲强。来,咱们下楼去喝杯茶吧。

 

4. 不正常心态的幽默:

They caught lobster and fish every day, and, as one of them put it 'ate like kings'. When a passing tanker rescued them five days later, both men were genuinely sorry that they had to leave.

他们天天捕捉龙虾和鱼,正如其中一位所说,吃得像国王一样好。五天后,一条油轮从那儿路过,搭救了他们。这二位不得不离开那个荒岛时,还真的感到遗憾呢

George was not too upset by his experience because the lady who owns the sweet shop heard about his troubles and rewarded him with a large box of chocolates.

不过,此事并没使乔治过于伤心,因为糖果店老板娘听说了他遇到的麻烦后,赏给他一大盒巧克力。

Some plays are so successful that they run for years on end. In many ways, this is unfortunate for the poor actors who are required to go on repeating the same lines night after night.

有些剧目十分成功,以致连续上演好几年。这样一来,可怜的演员们可倒霉了。因为他们需要一夜连着一夜地重复同样的台词。

 

5. 以言外之意、反语、讽刺来表达幽默(irony):

Wanted: a large biscuit tin

标题文中没有出现tin的概念,只是告诉大家,世界上有了最大的饼干,还需要配上最大的饼干罐头。类似的还有:A noble gangster贵族歹徒,或,高贵的歹徒。

Imagine their dismay when they found a beautifully-cooked wallet and notes turned to ash!

可以想像他们发现一只煮得很好看的钱包,钞票已化成灰时的沮丧心情。

A few minutes later, I was able to hurry away with precious chalk marks on my baggage.

几分钟后,我终于被放行,手提划着宝贵的粉笔记号的行李,匆匆离去。

We have got quite used to them. Some so-called 'modern' pieces have been on display for nearly 80 years.

对这些,我们已经司空见惯了,有些所谓的现代艺术品在那里已经陈列了近80年了

 

6. 以不恰当的用词表达幽默:

Thirteen equals one

十三等于一 

Dogs, it seems, love to chew up money!

看起来,狗很热衷于咀嚼钱币。

As a result, humans have learned to respect feline independence.

结果是人们已经学会尊重猫的独立性。

The big clock which used to strike the hours day and night was damaged many years ago and has been silent ever since.

教堂的钟很大,以前不分昼夜打点报时,但很多年前遭到毁坏,从此便无声无息了。

When they got home, Jane cooked their dinner in the microwave oven and without realizing it, cooked her fiancé's wallet as well.

回家后,简用微波炉晚饭,无意中之中她未婚夫的钱包也一起煮了

Cats never fail to fascinate human beings.

猫总能引起人们的极大兴趣

Suddenly, I saw the Officer's face light up. He had spotted a tiny bottle at the bottom of my case and he pounced on it with delight.

突然,我看到官员脸上露出了得意的神色。他在我的箱底发现了一只小瓶,高兴地了上去。

My nephew, George, has a money box but it is always empty. Very few of the sixpences I have given him have found their way there.

我的外甥乔治有一个储蓄罐,但总是空空的。少量的钱可以花很长一段时间。

Such is human nature, that a great many people are often willing to sacrifice higher pay for the privilege of becoming white collar workers.

许多人常常情愿放弃较高的薪水以换取做白领工人的殊荣,此乃人之本性。

Electric currents in modern art

现代艺术的电流

These lights flickered continuously like traffic lights which have gone mad. Sparks were emitted from small black boxes and red lamps flashed on and off angrily. It was rather like an exhibition of prehistoric electronic equipment.

灯泡一刻不停地闪烁着,就像发疯的红绿灯。小黑盒子里迸出火花,红色灯泡发怒似地忽明忽暗。这儿倒像是在展览古老的电子设备。

7.以对照表达幽默:

Despite her great age, she was very graceful indeed.

上了年纪体态确实优对照

Our vicar is always raising money for one cause or another, but he has never managed to get enough money to have the church clock repaired.

我们教区的牧师总是为各种各样的事筹集资金。但始终未能筹足资金把教堂的钟修好。

One of the thieves was struck by a heavy statue, but he was too busy helping himself to diamonds to notice any pain.

一个窃贼被一尊很重的雕像击中,但由于他忙着抢钻石首饰,竟连疼痛都顾不上了

These young people, who love the peace of the mountains, always receive a warm welcome at St. Bernard's monastery.

这些热爱高山清静环境的年轻人每年都受到圣伯纳德道院的热烈欢迎。

Customs Officers are quite tolerant these days, but they can still stop you when you are going through the Green Channel and have nothing to declare.

宽容与仍可以拦住你对照

Even really honest people are often made to feel guilty. The hardened professional smuggler, on the other hand, is never troubled by such feelings, even if he has five hundred gold watches hidden in his suitcase.

甚至是最诚实的人也常弄得觉得有罪似的,老练的职业走私犯即使手提箱里藏着500只金表,却也处之泰然。

The Officer went through the case with great care. All the things I had packed so carefully were soon in a dreadful mess. I felt sure I would never be able to close the case again.

那位官员十分仔细地把箱子检查了一遍。所有细心包装好的东西一会儿工夫就乱成一团。我相信那箱子再也关不上了。

Hawkwood made large sums of money in this way. In spite of this, the Italians regarded him as a sort of hero.

霍克伍德用这种(敲诈)手段挣了大笔钱.尽管如此,意大利人还是把他视作某种英雄

 

8. 以意料之外的结果来表达幽默:

Both planes were going to take off on July 25th, but Latham failed to get up early enough.

两架飞机都打算在725起飞,但莱瑟姆那天起床晚了。

When he landed near Dover, the first person to greet him was a local policeman.

当他在多佛着陆后,第一个迎接他的是当地一名警察。

Latham made another attempt a week later and got within half a mile of Dover, but he was unlucky again. His engine failed and he landed on the sea for the second time.

莱瑟姆一周以后也作了一次尝试,飞到离多佛不到半英里的地方。这次他又遭厄运,因引擎故障第二次降落在海面上。

He earned enormous sums of money and was paid as much as &100 for a single appearance. Despite this, he was so extravagant that he was always in debt.

门多萨挣来大笔的钱,一次出场费就多可达100英镑。尽管收入不少,但他挥霍无度,经常债台高筑。

9. 以故事情节的出人意料来表达幽默:

如:Lesson 13 It’s only me 理查兹夫人出人意料地“装神弄鬼”的故事本身就是幽默的故事,再如,Lesson 16 Mary had a little lamb迪米特里找到被染色的羊的故事,以及,Lesson 22 By heart狱卒急于想了解他的同事是否记熟了台词的故事。

 

III. 结论:

幽默的重要特征就是用以上比较间接的方式来表达一些不易直接表达内容。因此,幽默在各方面起着重要的作用。幽默具有交际、美学 心理平衡等等功能 。然而学生对幽默语言的理解,不能脱离它的语境。因此,研究语言的幽默,对人们的语言交际具有一定的实用性。当然,幽默与民族的性格特征神秘地结合在一起。正如《新概念英语》中一篇文章所指出的那样,A Frenchman, for instance, might find it hard to laugh at a Russian joke. In the same way, a Russian might fail to see anything amusing in a joke which would make an Englishman laugh to tears. 法国人很难感到俄国笑话可笑;同样,一个俄国人可能对一个使英国人要笑出眼泪的笑话感到无任何可笑之处。尽管幽默存在着民族差异,但其作用还是具有普遍感染力的。因此,分析英语幽默类型和功能,可增加我们对英语作品的理解,更正确地领会英语作品的意境及其幽默的趣味性,进一步提高我们欣赏英文作品的水平。

 

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主要参考文献(Bibliography)

1.     范家材:《英语修辞赏析》,上海交通大学出版社,1996年

2.     英语幽默语言的语用研究--《赤峰学院学报(科学教育版)》2011年10期

3.     陆谷孙主编:《英汉大辞典》,译文出版社,1989年

4.     朗文外研社《新概念英语3》,L.G. Alexander, 何其莘,1997.10)

5.     胡柏翠:《从语言学角度透析英语幽默及其应用》,《东北财经大学》,2005

 


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