◎ 季羡林 Ji Xianlin
Dogs in Katmandu
◎ Ji Xianlin
When I lived in the countryside as a small child, there were dogs all around, and so I got quite accustomed to them, never thinking of them as anything out of the common. Nevertheless, they have since left a most deep impression on me. After mother, the sole occupant of our country home, passed away, the dog she had raised — I’ve now even forgotten what colour he was — continued to keep watch at the door, lying there day and night. He must have been aware that nobody was going to feed him after the death of his mistress. But he would rather endure the torments of hunger than forsake his post outside our run-down home. At dusk, when I arrived alone from somewhere in the village at our house, in which lay mother’s coffin, the ownerless dog would fix his tearful eyes on me, the youngster bereaved of his loving mother, wag his tail feebly and sniff at my feet. It seemed as if he and I were left all alone in this vast universe. In face of the sad and dreary scene, I could shed no tears. What I shed was blood which flowed right into my innermost heart. I could have stayed with him to live in mutual dependence and comfort each other in distress, but I had to quit my native place, unable to take him along with me. At the time of parting, I hugged him tightly with tears in my eyes. I felt terribly bad about having to desert him. He has since been in my mind for decades. Even today, I cannot restrain my tears whenever I think of him. I am certain he would never stop standing guard at our door even after I left. I cannot bear to imagine what fate befell him in the end. May mother’s soul receive from this faithful dog the consolation that I, as her son, have not been able to offer her!
Since then, I have been fond of all dogs in the world.
But I’ve seen a steady dwindling of the canine population ever since I became a city dweller. In recent years, it has been strictly banned in Beijing to raise dogs. Dogs have become a rare animal to be seen only in a zoo.
At Katmandu, the moment I was driven into town after meeting with a warm and friendly reception at the airport, I was greatly surprised to see dogs, big and small, black and yellow, in the midst of casually-dressed children on both sides of a relatively narrow street, wagging their tails or nosing around for food.
Small as the incident was, I was immensely overjoyed to meet out of the blue in a remote foreign land dear dogs that I had not seen for ages.
Presumably these dogs were entirely ignorant of my state of mind and perhaps even incapable of telling a foreigner from a native. They appeared totally apathetic towards me in spite of my partiality for them and kept wagging their tails with lowered heads and nosing around for food.
In the evening, it was already dark when we were on our way to the hotel from the Chinese Embassy. The streets of Katmandu were illuminated by only a few electric lamps, and still fewer neon lights. In the dim light I vaguely saw again dogs, big and small, black and yellow, nosing around here and there. Back in the hotel, when I was getting into bed after a bath, I heard dogs barking again and again in the distant darkness. It reminded me of the old saying, “A dog’s bark at dead of night resembles that of a leopard.” To me, however, what I heard was dogs’ barking, pure and simple, having nothing whatever in common with that of leopards. The barking was nothing out of the ordinary, yet it brought back to me one sweet memory after another. The sweet barking sent me straight into the dreams I had on my first night at Katmandu.
季羡林（1911— ）， 山东清平（今临清市）人，是我国著名教育家、印度学家、梵文文学翻译家、散文家。《加德满都的狗》是他在1986年写于尼泊尔首都加德满都的一篇小品。
①“终日与狗为伍”的字面意思是“每天都与狗在一起”，实际上指“农村遍地所见都是狗”，现参照上下文，把它意译为there were dogs all around。
②“一点也没有感到狗这种东西有什么稀奇的地方”实际上意即“对农村里的狗已习以为常，不以为奇”，现按此译为and so I got quite accustomed to them, never thinking of them as anything out of the common，其中out of the common是成语，作“非同寻常”解。
③“它好像已经意识到……”译为He must have been aware that…，等于He was probably aware that…。情态动词must在这里表示揣测或可能性。
④“忍饥挨饿”译为endure the torments of hunger，其中torments和pain或suffering同义，是添加成分，原文虽无其词而有其意。ZS~ ⑤“一只失去了主人的狗”译为the ownerless dog，比the dog that had lost his mistress简洁。
⑥“此景此情”意即“面对悲惨凄凉的情景”，故采取加字法译为In face of the sad and dreary scene。
⑦“相依为命，互相安慰”译为to live in mutual dependence and comfort each other in distress，其中in distress是添加成分。
⑧“真正受到良心的谴责”译为I felt terribly bad about…，其中to feel terribly bad about…是日常用语，作“甚感歉疚”解。此句也可译为I really felt conscience-stricken about…。
⑨“狗渐渐少起来了”译为a steady dwindling of the canine population，其中canine population作“狗的总数”解。
⑩“久未晤面的亲爱的狗竟在万里之外的异域会面了”译为to meet out of the blue in a remote foreign land dear dogs that I had not seen for ages，其中out of the blue是成语，作“出乎意外”解，用以表达原文有关含意。
⑪“辨别本国人和外国人”译为telling a foreigner from a native，与distinguishing between a foreigner and a native同义。
⑫“古人说，深夜犬吠若豹”译为It reminded me or the old saying, “A dog’s bark at dead of night resembles that of a leopard.”，其中It reminded me of 是添加成分，在译文中起承上启下的作用。
⑬“我现在听到的……而是吠声若犬”译为what I heard was dogs’ barking, pure and simple，其中pure and simple是成语，作“不折不扣”解，用以加强语气。