鲁迅《立论》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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立论

◎ 鲁迅

我梦见自己正在小学校的讲堂上预备作文,向老师请教立论的方法②。

“难!”③老师从眼镜圈外斜射出眼光来④,看着我,说。“我告诉你一件事⑤——

“一家人家生了一个男孩⑥,合家⑦高兴透顶了。满月的时候,抱出来给客人看,——大概自然是想得一点好兆头⑧。

“一个说:‘这孩子将来要发财的⑨。’他于是得到一番感谢⑩。

“一个说:‘这孩子将来要做官的。’他于是收回几句恭维。

“一个说⑪:‘这孩子将来是要死的⑫。’他于是得到一顿大家合力的痛打。

“说要死的必然⑬,说富贵的许谎。但说谎的得好报,说必然的遭打。你……”

“我愿意既不谎人,也不遭打⑭。那么,老师,我得怎么说呢?”

“那么,你得说:‘啊呀!这孩子呵!您瞧!多么……啊唷!哈哈!Hehe! he, hehehehe!’”

On Presenting a View

Lu Xun

I dreamed that while preparing to write a composition in a primary school classroom I asked the teacher how to present a view.

“That’s a hard nut,” said the teacher, giving me a sidelong glance over his glasses. “Let me tell you this story —”

“When a baby boy is born to a family, there is immense joy in the whole household. When he is one month old, they invite some people over for taking a look at him — customarily, of course, in expectation of some good wishes.

“One of the guests receives hearty thanks for saying, ‘The child is destined to be rich.’

“Another is paid some compliments in return for saying, ‘The child is destined to be an official.’

“Still another, however, is given a sound beating by the whole family for saying, ‘The child will eventually die.’

“To call the child mortal is to state the inevitable while to say that the child will become very rich or a high official is probably a lie. Yet the former gets a thrashing while the latter is rewarded. You …”

“I don’t want to tell a lie, and neither do I want to be beaten. Then what should I do, sir?”

“Well, just say, ‘Ai-ya, this child! Just look! Oh, my! Hah! Hehe! He, hehehehe!'”

《立论》是鲁迅1925年7月8日在北京写的一篇短文,1927年7月编入散文诗集《野草》。文章写“立论之难”,悲诉人生,感叹在现实生活中人们不敢说真话或有话难于直说,导致假话盛行。

注释

①“立论”除译On Presenting a View外,也可译为On Expressing an Opinion或on Passing Judgement。

②“向老师请教立论的方法”除译I asked the teacher how to present a view外,也可译为I consulted the teacher on how to express an opinion,但不如前者通俗简练。

③“难!”可译为That’s hard或That’s not easy,现译That’s a hard nut,是常用习语,等于That’s a hard nut to crack。

④“老师从眼镜圈外斜射出眼光来”可译为giving me a sidelong glance over his glasses或glancing at me sideways out of the corner of his glasses。

⑤“我告诉你一件事”可译为Let me tell you this story,其中this和a不同,前者作“下面的”解,后者表示“一个”。此句也可译为Here is a story。

⑥“一个男孩”指“一个男婴”,故译a baby boy,比a boy妥切。结合上下文,也可译为a son。

⑦“合家”可译为the whole household或the whole family,但前者更合适,因household除指family外,也可指同门同户的人或包括非亲属,如仆人等,在内的一家。

⑧“大概自然是想得一点好兆头”的意思是“按习俗当然是希望得到一些良好的祝愿”,故译customarily, of course, in expectation of some good wishes,其中good wishes也可用blessing、auspicious remarks、compliments等替代。

⑨“这孩子将来要发财的”意即“这孩子注定会发财”,故译The child is destined to be rich。

⑩“一番感谢”译为hearty thanks,其中hearty作“衷心的”解,是译文中的增益成分,原文虽无其词而有其意。

⑪“一个说”译为Still another,是因为前面已先后出现One和another,也可译为A third。

⑫“这孩子将来是要死的”意即“这孩子最后总是要死的”,如译为This child will die,似未能确切达意,故译This child will eventually die,或采取增词法:This child, like all humans, will eventually die。

⑬“说要死的必然”意为“说这孩子将来会死,是道出了事物的必然性”,故译To call the child mortal is to state the inevitable。其中mortal作“终有一死”解,the inevitable等于一个抽象名词,作“必然性”解。

⑭“我愿意既不谎人,也不遭打”译为I don’t want to tell a lie, and neither do I want to be beaten,其中and可用可不用,又neither一词改用nor也可。

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