20140718【名家点评】海龟湾杂记(刘士聪教授点评)

汪德均 (老顽童) 译坛新宠
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发表于:2014-07-18 07:59 [只看楼主] [划词开启]
 
          刘士聪教授点评第三届“《英语世界》杯”翻译大赛参赛译文 


           2012-10-10 13:15| 来自: 《英语世界》博客
       
                   海龟湾杂记1
   
            埃尔文·布鲁克斯·怀特2著
   
   
   
  夜渐闷热,也便有了蚊子,我们的卧室则成了它们星空下的戏场【此处译为“战场”更恰当:人与蚊子战斗的地方。作者赋予theater under the 
  stars新的寓意】。整整一夜,我坐卧不宁,挥一块面巾,浸湿了一端,用来打蚊子,甚是顺手3。因着彻夜未眠,清晨,我昏头昏脑,有如醉酒,不需为所言之辞负责【此处上下文衔接不当】,正适合写作了。昨晚,妻子拿了几码网纱来找我【在这里,to园
  show up 
  with就是拿来了……】,我们一起跪在地上,覆一层绢网面纱在壁炉上。那炉子看去恰如一位新娘。(关于蚊子的来源,我们有多种猜测,其一便是自烟囱而下,顺壁炉而出4。)在第三大道的那家五金店里,我曾购来几个可调纱窗,这会儿它们正好好地镶在各窗内,但这栋楼的推拉窗扇太古老了,又太不平整,经窗扇和纱窗间的缝隙,哪只蚊子不能轻而易举地进入房间呢,【注意原文的语气】除非是得了象皮病5。(且若将下窗扇上推,纱窗下拉,上下窗扇间,就有了更大的空隙——这空隙住户常留意不到【hardly 
  ever occurs 
  to是“几乎想不到”的意思】,蚊子们却一只不落地因此得空。)我还买了台十分陈旧的空调机,花了二十五美元,便宜极了,我又心仪【不妥,“心仪”是仰慕的意思,译成“喜欢”就可以了】。这空调对改善空气质量没什么效果,只是略略降去些热度罢了,噪音大而刺耳,听去仿佛置身地下铁一般,这样我便可“吧嗒”一声把灯关掉,阖目【这种“简洁”不自然,与原文风格不符】,手握湿毛巾,做好打蚊子的架势,第一只蚊子叮过来了,我想象着我正乘着地铁,车厢内女孩怒气冲冲,对我挥针一刺。
   
  关于海龟湾的蚊子来源,我另有一种猜想,即蚊子是随了空调内吸的冷气流进入卧室的,如同鹰乘着上升的暖流翱翔一般。这种推断并不能成立【这样说太绝对,feeble即“站不住脚”或“没有说服力”】,不过,人逢失眠,为了消磨时间,总要有些看法才好。我想过要买些老式的驱虫喷雾,也为此去过商店,可是,当我提出需要一只喷雾器和一些飞立脱杀虫剂6,店员看了我一眼,目光古怪,仿佛正纳罕这些年我都去了哪里。“我们有比那种效果好很多的,”他答道,取出一罐药剂,里面含了氯丹,还有些难以言及的化学成分。我告诉他我对氯丹过敏,用不了这个。“用这个正好废了我的肝【“废”字不妥,不是作者的语言,他是说“直接影响或伤害他的肝”】,”我说道,没好气地瞥了他一眼。
   
  公寓中,清晨时分最为惬意了,倦意袭来,蚊子们一夜餍食,落在天花板上、墙壁上安歇,睡去解乏,屋内,被褥扭曲狼藉,旧衣服也起着皱,葡萄藤叶儿正盛,滤去了白日的强光,空调终于也同蚊子一样静了下来。屋外,正午的阳光下,美洲蝉——疯狂的建筑师7,鸣声从第三大道上传来。【这个句子的翻译有分歧,分歧在于对the拿
  sound of the mad builders的理解上,多数译者认为是指American 
  cicadas的声音,也有的认为是指第三大道上建筑工人的声音。笔者请教了一个美国朋友,他认为是指市政工人修补路面时发出的声音。在纽约,修补路面是常有的事,施工时使用风钻、气压机和切割混凝土的电锯等工具,发出各种噪音,人们把这比喻作美洲蝉。笔者比较同意他的意见,也只有这些声音能从远处的第三大道传到作者的屋子里,也只有这些声音才能称得上mad。但翻译时有不同的理解是很自然的,即使母语为英语者对此的解读也不完全一致。以上意见仅供参考。请大家继续研究,继续讨论。】花园里,麻雀歌唱,二次求偶,断断续续,热情喷薄,遏而欲发,与强烈的高温相得益彰,【译文使用了一连串四字表达方式,看似简洁,细究多有不当之处:1、…desultorye
  意思是漫无目的的、随意的、缺乏热情的(lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm),“断断续续”含义模糊;2、…a 
  subdued passion 第二次求偶不像第一次那样富有激情,因而鸣叫的声音也不像先前那样大;3、…in keeping with the great 
  heat 意思是in agreement with / in harmony with the great 
  heat,与炎热的氛围一致,这个短语和后面的relaxed and languorous 一起描画出麻雀在炎炎夏日里懒洋洋的姿态(a state of 
  tiredness or 
  inertia),译文所说的“热情喷薄,遏而欲发,与强烈的高温相得益彰”与原文意思不符。】这夏季之恋,随和慵懒。等到了秋天,我们就必须离开这栋公寓,迁至牧场了,待离去后【when在
  it is 
  gone的意思未译出】,我定会想念这里。有时候,我想要简单地生活【原文的意思是简化我的生活,二者意思有别】,烧去过去的书籍,卖去备用座椅,抛去【连用三个“去”字很做作】累积的诗文杂集【这里应是“杂物”】,对于我这些自我净化的行为,妻子也是小心翼翼、通情达理地接受。然而我发现,从长远来看,这样一来,生活常变得更加复杂,而无疑,此次的离去亦是如此,因为在这种情况下,我对自己没有信心,我怀疑【这里的suspect不是“怀疑”】自己成了老马【不是“成了老马”,作者幽默地将自己比作一匹老马】之后,首先要做的便是着手改良草场【应与后文的“牧场”统一译法】,或许还要加入一个牧场改良社团。上一次我打算用火自我净化的时候,意外地购得一个动物园【这里将I、
  managed to acquire a 
  zoo译成“购得一个动物园”不妥,所谓“动物园”指作者在牧场里的家畜,这是作者的幽默说法】,如今我依然供养着这园子,依然为动物们提去一桶桶沉重的水,这是件苦差事,有时我力不能及。
   
   
   
  (选自《埃尔文·布鲁斯克·怀特文选》8,第198~200页,纽约哈珀与罗出版社9,1966年版)
   
   
   
  注:
   
  1、原文Turtle Bay,海龟湾,美国地名,位于纽约曼哈顿东侧。题目At Turtle Bay, 
  直译“在海龟湾”,但因作者通篇叙述在海龟湾有关于蚊子的生活琐事及感受,故将题目译为“海龟湾杂记”。
   
  2、埃尔文·布鲁斯克·怀特(E.B.White),美国当代著名散文家、评论家,以散文名世,“其文风冷峻清丽,辛辣幽默,自成一格”。生于纽约蒙特弗农,毕业于康奈尔大学。作为《纽约客》主要撰稿人的怀特一手奠定了影响深远的“《纽约客》文风”。
   
  3、原文“to give it 
  authority”,原义为“准许……做……”,“给予……权限做……”。在文中大意为:作者打湿毛巾的一头以便于打蚊子,故此处将“to give it 
  authority”意译为“用来打蚊子,甚是顺手。”
   
  4、此处“顺壁炉而出”为对“come down chimneys”的扩译。壁炉为就墙壁砌成的取暖装备,内部上通烟囱。为与上文衔接连贯,便于理解,将“come 
  down chimneys”扩译为“自烟囱而下,顺壁炉而出”。
   
  5、原文“elephantiasis”,象皮病,因血丝虫感染所造成的一种症状,患该病者人体蛉观类似于象的皮肤和腿,一般传染的途径是蚊虫叮咬。该病本为人类所患,而此处作者力图说明窗扇之间的空隙较大,一般蚊子均可通过,除非体型过大的蚊子,而患象皮病者腿、臀等将严重肥大,故将患象皮病转赋予蚊子。
   
  6、原文“Flit”,飞立脱,商标名,一种杀虫喷雾剂,可灭苍蝇蚊虫,流行于1928年至二十世纪五十年代中期。
   
  7、原文“the mad builders”,指美洲蝉。蝉在地下期间会在土壤里为自己建造“房屋”,有“地下建筑师”之称,故此处直译为“疯狂的建筑师”。
   
  8、原文An E. B. White Reader,未查到统一译法,直译为《埃尔文·布鲁斯克·怀特文选》
   
  9、原文“Harper&Row”,哈珀与罗出版公司,为哈珀二兄弟在纽约所建,曾出版过马克吐温、勃朗特姐妹、狄更斯、马丁路德金、萨克雷、肯尼迪等世界名家的作品,一度成为19世纪美国最大的家族出版公司。
   
   
   
  三点建议
   
   
   
  1、翻译之前先弄清原文的确切含义,这里有文字方面的问题,也有文化背景方面的事情,务将其弄得一清二楚;
   
  2、翻译时不仅要把意思翻译出来,还要尽力把作者的行文风格翻译出来。每个作家都有自己的行文特色,这一特色体现在选词造句上,也体现在修辞手法等方面。要尽力用作者的叙事方式去说话,避免用自己的方式去说话,作者的叙事方式或多或少能够在译文里反映出来;
   
  3、读一些优秀的汉语文学作品,如沈复的《浮生六记》、鲁迅的散文和小说等,提高鉴赏汉语言的修养和运用汉语言的能力。
   
   
   
  以上就几个主要地方做了点评,只是笔者的一点粗浅认识,仅供参考,有不妥之处请批评。
   
   
   
  刘士聪


附录:


At Turtle Bay

By E. B. White


Mosquitoes have arrived with the warm nights, and our bedchamber is their theater under the stars. I have been up and down all night, swinging at them with a face towel dampened at one end to give it authority. This morning I suffer from the lightheadedness that comes from no sleep—a sort of drunkenness, very good for writing because all sense of responsibility for what the words say is gone. Yesterday evening my wife showed up with a few yards of netting, and together we knelt and covered the fireplace with an illusion veil. It looks like a bride. (One of our many theories is that mosquitoes come down chimneys.) I bought a couple of adjustable screens at the hardware store on Third Avenue and they are in place in the windows; but the window sashes in this building are so old and irregular that any mosquito except one suffering from elephantiasis has no difficulty walking into the room through the space between sash and screen. (And then there is the even larger opening between upper sash and lower sash when the lower sash is raised to receive the screen—a space that hardly ever occurs to an apartment dweller but must occur to all mosquitoes.) I also bought a very old air-conditioning machine for twenty-five dollars, a great bargain, and I like this machine. It has almost no effect on the atmosphere of the room, merely chipping the edge off the heat, and it makes a loud grinding noise reminiscent of the subway, so that I can snap off the lights, close my eyes, holding the damp towel at the ready, and imagine, with the first stab, that I am riding in the underground and being pricked by pins wielded by angry girls.

Another theory of mine about the Turtle Bay mosquito is that he is swept into one’s bedroom through the air conditioner, riding the cool indraft as an eagle rides a warm updraft. It is a feeble theory, but a man has to entertain theories if he is to while away the hours of sleeplessness. I wanted to buy some old-fashioned bug spray, and went to the store for that purpose, but when I asked the clerk for a Flit gun and some Flit, he gave me a queer look, as though wondering where I had been keeping myself all these years. “We got something a lot stronger than that,” he said, producing a can of stuff that contained chlordane and several other unmentionable chemicals. I told him I couldn’t use it because I was hypersensitive to chlordane. “Gets me right in the liver,” I said, throwing a wild glance at him.

The mornings are the pleasantest times in the apartment, exhaustion having set in, the sated mosquitoes at rest on ceiling and walls, sleeping it off, the room a swirl of tortured bedclothes and abandoned garments, the vines in their full leafiness filtering the hard light of day, the air conditioner silent at last, like the mosquitoes. From Third Avenue comes the sound of the mad builders—American cicadas, out in the noonday sun. In the garden the sparrow chants—a desultory second courtship, a subdued passion, in keeping with the great heat, love in summertime, relaxed and languorous. I shall miss this apartment when it is gone; we are quitting it come fall, to turn ourselves out to pasture. Every so often I make an attempt to simplify my life, burning my books behind me, selling the occasional chair, discarding the accumulated miscellany. I have noticed, though, that these purifications of mine—to which my wife submits with cautious grace—have usually led to even greater complexity in the long pull, and I have no doubt this one will, too, for I don’t trust myself in a situation of this sort and suspect that my first act as an old horse will be to set to work improving the pasture. I may even join a pasture-improvement society. The last time I tried to purify myself by fire, I managed to acquire a zoo in the process and am still supporting it and carrying heavy pails of water to the animals, a task that is sometimes beyond my strength.


 (选自 An E. B. White Reader, pp. 198~200, New York Harper & Row, 1966



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