人事部CATTI二级口译课程培训(MP3+讲义) 第38讲
日期:2014-08-15 07:45




The United States has become “the most religiously diverse nation in the world,” according to Harvard’s Diana Eck in her 2001 book, The New Religious America. Today, Eck writes, the United States has at least 1,200 mosques and more Muslims than Episcopalians, with Islamic faithful and worship houses increasing while several mainstream Protestant denominations are in mild decline. //

Depending on whose figures you use, Muslims have passed or are just about to pass Jews as a share of the American population1. Meanwhile, Eck argues that Los Angeles has become “the most complex Buddhist city in the world” and America has become “the most religiously diverse nation in the world”. The Founders dreamed that America would be a land of spiritual freedom. Americans are now exercising that freedom to a degree perhaps unprecedented in history. The Founders would be proud, if not bewildered, to hear that it is now respectable to be a witch. //

The rise of plural beliefs2 in the United States should not suggest that Christianity is in decline. Far from it3: the Christian faith has flourished alongside rival beliefs4. According to an April 2001 Gallup poll, 82 percent of Americans now describe themselves as Christian—down only a little from 89 percent in 1947, when Gallup began polling on this subject. In the same April 2001 poll, 10 percent put themselves into all non-Christian faith categories, and 8 percent said they were not believers. Christians outnumber adherents of all other beliefs by eight to one. //

Moreover, since World War II, numbers for American Christianity are up. Media commentary tends to drum on attendance declines among the mainstream Protestant denominations. For instance, the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches contracted throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and the losses didn’t stop until the 1990s. But though some liberal Christian denominations may be down, the faith's traditional subsets are thriving. So is the share of Americans who view themselves as Christian. //

Consider the population math. If children were treated as having the same faiths as their parents, the 89 percent Christian share of the U.S. population just after World War II meant that America held about 130 million Christians. The 82 percent share of Christians in today's much larger population means there are now about 230 million American Christians.5 One hundred million new Christians in just 50 years!6 This single figure swamps all other religious data for the contemporary United States and may swamp all religious data in the nation's history, considering that adding the first 100 million Christians to the country's population took roughly two centuries. //

That America could become religiously diverse while remaining basically Christian would surely have pleased the Founders.7 Most of them assumed as a matter of course that the new nation would be Christian. George Washington, for example, said in his farewell address that Christianity would be essential if the nation was to have moral character. //

The freedom of religion that the Founders had in mind was to choose among Christian denominations or to reject Christianity and embrace no faith. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which he called an achievement equal to writing the Declaration of Independence, his aim was to protect people's freedom to revere Jesus in whatever way seemed fitting to them and to prevent state legislatures from "establishing" any particular Christian denomination. //

Thanks to the Founders' instincts regarding separation of church and state, all faiths are flourishing in the United States. Attendance at religious services is higher here than in any other Western nation and by some measures higher than in any nation in the world. Today 57 percent of Americans say they regularly attend a worship service. Membership in religious faiths has steadily increased as well. At the turn of the 20th century, 41 percent of Americans considered themselves a formal member of some faith. Today that share has grown to 70 percent. //

Self-described faith membership is much lower in other Western nations and observance lower still. Only 10 percent of people in the United Kingdom and Sweden regularly attend church, 15 percent in France and Germany, 20 percent in Italy, about 25 percent in Israel. Yet all these nations have official, or near-official, sanctioned religions. //

Religious observance is lower in Western Europe. Maybe it is because of the lingering memories of the bloody warfare that faith has caused in the Old World8, whereas North America was mainly spared the curse of killing in the name of religion. It is also very likely that Americans accept faith because government has nothing to do with it. This may be an ominous sign for advocates of faith-based government spending; in the long run, anything that connects the state and religion may only dilute faith. //

That helps explain some public ambivalence about President Bush's proposed expansion of federal support for faith-based organizations. The best study was conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. It found that 75 percent favored the basic idea and yet that 78 percent opposed allowing government-funded religious groups to discriminate against those who violated tenets of their faith, which was an essential clause of the Bush proposal. More than three-quarters of Pew's respondents said religion could contribute to solving the country's problems. But 68 percent also worried that getting government "too involved" with spiritual organizations would be bad for faith. //

(Adapted from “Religion in America: The New Ecumenicalism” by Gregg Easterbrook, The Brookings Review, Winter 2002 Vol.20 No.1 pp. 45-48)

口译讲评Comments on Interpretation

1. “Muslims have passed or are just about to pass Jews as a share of the American population.”翻译此句时,应在充分理解原文意思之后,按汉语习惯对句子结构进行调 整,“as a share of the American population”意思是“作为美国人口的一部分”,因此建议本句译为:“美国人口中穆斯林的数量即将或已经超过了犹太人”。

2.“plural beliefs”,直译是“多元信仰”,为更符合中文表达习惯,通过词性转换,译为“宗教多元化”。

3.“Far from it”,直译为“远非如此”,为使表达更清楚,并上下衔接,可采取增 补法,译为“事实远非如此”。

4.“the Christian faith has flourished alongside rival beliefs.”同上例,此句在翻译时,也应进行增补,建议译为:“随着其他宗教信仰的发展,信奉基督教的人数也呈上升趋势”,这样不但语义表达清楚,而且也符合汉语的表达习惯。

5.“The 82 percent share of Christians in today's much larger population means there are now about 230 million American Christians.” 翻译此句时,要进行句法转换,把介词短语“in today's much larger population”译为句子,并且对两个“Christians”进行同义合并,建议译为:“今天的人口基数大得多,82%就意味着美国基督徒的数量约为2.3亿。”

6.“One hundred million new Christians in just 50 years!”要使汉语语意完整,首先应增补动词,要忠实地表达本句的感情色彩,应注意“just”一词的翻译,此外还要对句子结构作相应的调整,可译为:“短短50年间增添了1亿新基督徒!”

7.“That America could become religiously diverse while remainingbasically Christian would surely have pleased the Founders.”这是一个语言简洁,但语意丰富的句子,必须采取拆译法,并进行适当的增补,建议译为:“美国能够做到宗教多元化,但同时又基本上保持为一个基督教国家,这种状况肯定会让开国元勋们十分 欣慰。”

8.“because of the lingering memories of the bloody warfare that faith has caused in the Old World.”翻译此句时,应进行词性转换和句法转换,还要增补出主语,可译为:“因为人们对于过去因 为宗教信仰而引发的流血战争记忆犹新”。

哈佛大学的戴安娜·埃克于2001年出版了《虔诚的新美国》一书,她在书中写到,美国已成 为“世界上宗教信仰最多元化的国家。”她说,随着美国虔诚的穆斯林和他们朝拜场所的增加,当今美国至少有1200座清真寺,穆斯林比圣公会教徒还多,而几个新教主流教派的信徒人数却有轻微下降。//



此外,自第二次世界大战以来,美国基督教徒的数量在增加。媒体往往在评论中强调说,参加 主流教派崇拜活动的人数下降了。例如圣公会和长老会的信徒在整个20世纪七八十年代均在减少,直到90年代 才终止流失。但是,虽然一些基督教自由派的规模可能缩小了,然而基督教的传统小教派却日趋兴旺,自称是 基督徒的美国人的数量也在增加。//


美国能够做到宗教多元化,但同时又基本上保持为一个基督教国家,这种状况肯定会让开国元 勋们十分欣慰。他们当中有许多人理所当然地认为新诞生的共和国会是个基督教国家。譬如,乔治·华盛顿在 告别演说中指出,一个民族要具有高尚的品德,基督教信仰是必不可少的。//

开国元勋们心目中的宗教自由是在基督教教派中任选一派或者拒绝基督教而不信仰任何宗教的 自由。托马斯·杰弗逊撰写《弗吉尼亚宗教自由法令》,是为了保证人民能有自由选择的权力,能以他们认为 适宜的方式崇拜耶稣,并防止州立法机构“确立”任何特定的基督教教派。杰弗逊认为这个法令的制订可以与起草《独立宣言》的成就相媲美。//

正是由于开国元勋们政教分离的思想,各种宗教信仰才得以在美国发展繁荣。在美国参与宗教 崇拜活动的人数高于任何一个西方国家,而且从某种程度上看,高于世界上任何一个国家。现在57%的美国人 说他们定期参加宗教崇拜活动。宗教信徒的数量稳步上升。在20世纪之交,41%的美国人认为自己是某种宗教 的信徒。如今这个数字已经攀升至70%。//

自称信仰某种宗教的人在其他西方国家的比例要低得多,参加崇拜活动的人更少。只有10%的英国人和瑞典人定期上教堂,在法国和德国为15%,意大利是20%,以色列约为25%。然而所有这些国家都有受 到官方认可或类似官方认可的宗教。//

在西欧参与宗教活动的人较少,或许是因为人们对于过去因为宗教信仰而引发的流血战争记忆 犹新,而北美则没有因宗教原因发生过杀戮。或许是因为政府丝毫没有插手宗教,所以美国人才接受宗教信 仰。有人主张政府应对宗教组织给予财政资助,对他们来说,这可能不是个好兆头;从长远看,政府与宗教之 间的任何联系可能只会淡化宗教信仰。//

这就不难理解为什么公众对布什总统提出的加大对宗教组织的联邦支持持矛盾态度。皮尤宗教 与公众生活论坛开展的研究最能说明问题,该研究发现75%的被调查者基本赞成布什总统的提议,而78%的人对 提议中至关重要的一个条款提出了反对,即允许政府资助的宗教团体歧视那些违背其宗教信条的人。皮尤调查 中3/4以上的被调查对象说宗教信仰能帮助国家解决问题。但是68%的人也担心让政府“过多介入”宗教组织对 宗教信仰有害。//

  • preventv. 预防,防止
  • diverseadj. 不同的,多种多样的
  • discriminatevt. 区分,区别对待 vi. 辨别,差别对待
  • protectvt. 保护,投保
  • denominationn. 名称,教派,面额
  • commentaryn. 实况报道,现场解说,评论,注释,批评
  • assumedadj. 假装的;假定的
  • statuten. 法令,法规
  • farewelladj. 告别的 int. 再会,别了 n. 告别
  • independencen. 独立,自主,自立