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英语四级翻译:那些复杂到让你困惑的简单小事(4)

发布时间:2016-03-30 来源:新东方在线 发布人:zolo

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英语四级翻译:那些复杂到让你困惑的简单小事(4)

4.Left And Right Have Been Confusing Philosophers For Years

"左"与"右"的问题已困扰哲学家们多年

How would you explain the concept of left and right to someone who had no idea what those words meant? Would you explain it in terms of your relative position to a well-known stationary landmark? Or maybe you'd think outside the box and refer to the rotation of the Earth or something comparably massive and unchanging. But what if you were talking to an alien whose planet rotated differently to our own, or one who didn't have eyes? It's a question that has been intriguing philosophers for years because, without an agreed upon point of reference, it's incredibly difficult to define what left and right actually are.

你会怎样向一个完全不明白单词"左"和"右"意思的人来解释"左"与"右"的概念呢?你会根据一个众所周知的固定地标来确定你的相对位置进而来解释吗?又或者你也许会跳出固有思维模式,利用地球的自转或某些体积较大,相对不容易变化的事物来解释?但如果你谈话的对象是个外星人,而他的星球的自转方式和地球很不同,又或者他根本没有眼睛,你又怎么办呢?很多年以来,这个问题一直使哲学家们感到困惑,因为如果没有一个商定的参照点,要定义什么是左,什么是右实际上是极其困难的。

For example, consider the work of German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who once said, "Let it be imagined that the first created thing were a human hand, then it must necessarily be either a right hand or a left hand."

比如,想想德国科学家伊曼努尔?康德的著作,他曾经说,"假设上帝最先创造出来的是一只人手,那么这只手必定可能是右手,也可能是左手。"

However, with only one hand, it's impossible to explain which hand it is without another one present. Think about it for a second-right and left hands are clearly very different from one another, but if you were to describe them, the deions would be literally identical because they're the same. Only they aren't because, as Kant himself put it, a left hand can't fit into a right-handed glove, so there is a difference between them. However, said difference is practically impossible to put into words without the other hand being present.

可是,如果只有一只手,而没有另一只手的话,想要解释你所拥有的那只手是哪只手是不可能的。花一秒想一想-左手与右手显然是非常不同的。但如果你想用语言描绘它们,那么你的描绘将完全相同的,因为它们看上去是一样的。不过它们又是不同的,正如康德自己说的那样,左手是戴不上右手的手套的,因此它们之间是有不同之处的。然而,如果没有另一只手在,上述的不同是几乎不能用语言描绘的。

If you think we're over-complicating this, we should point out that there is literally a 400-page book on the philosophy of right and left, aptly called The Philosophy Of Right And Left. That's more pages than it took to work out 1 1=2.

如果你认为我们夸大了这一问题的复杂性,那我们应当指出,关于左和右的哲学还真有一本400多页的书,名字也很贴切,就叫《左与右的哲学》(The Philosophy Of Right And Left)这可比验证1 1=2所占的页数还要多。

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