金圣华《一座长桥》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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一座长桥

金圣华

翻译就像一座桥,桥两端,气候悬殊,风光迥异。两端之间,原隔着险峻的山谷(1),湍急的溪流(2)。两旁的人,各忙各的,世代相传(3),分别发展出一套不同的习俗风尚以及语言文化来。

有一天,这不同文化习俗的人,忽然想起要跟对岸打个招呼(4)。怎么办?要渡过峡谷,不得不起一座桥,谁来起桥?

终于来了,一群傻里傻气的志愿者(5)。

问他们:“你们可知道,干这份工作,必须吃得起苦,干劲十足?”

他们点点头,充满信心的说:“我们有的是干劲,我们也不怕吃苦。”

再问道:“这份差事(6),待遇并不好,赶起工来,日以继夜。说老实话,你们可知道付出的劳力与报酬并不相符?”

答道:“我们不是想发财。”

再追问:“难道不知道从来没有人是干这一行而发达的吗?做这一行必须默默耕耘(7),若想抱着沽名钓誉的心,还是趁早别干。桥造好了,人在桥上踏,没有谁会为你们立纪念碑的。”

又答道:“我们不是想出名。”

最后只有叹道:“好吧!既不为名也不为利,可别怪大家没提醒你们(8),这工作可得小心经营,起桥最要紧的是两端根基扎得实,起石桥得一块块石头砌;起木桥得一块块木头搭;哪怕是座绳桥也马虎不得,须一根根绳子打结,不然人一上桥就摔下深涧,怎么还到得了对岸?”

桥还是建了,一座座、一条条。知识在传递,文化在交流。可是有谁想起建桥人?

A Long Bridge

Jin Shenghua

Translation is like a bridge with a very different climate and landscape at either end of it.Under the bridge,there lies a valley between steep mountains with a rapid stream flowing through it.Before the bridge is built,people on either side of the valley have for generations made no contact with those on the other.Hence,there have developed two different customs and habits,and two different languages and cultures.

One day,people of the two sides,each with a different culture and custom,suddenly desire to communicate with each other.What can they do?A bridge of course has to be built in order to cross the valley.But who is to build it?

At last,a group of people naively offer themselves for the job.

Someone asks them,“Don’t you know you’ll have to go about this job earnestly and fear no hardship?”

They nod their heads and answer with confidence,“We’re full of drive and not afraid of hardship.”

The questioner says again,“The profession you’re joining pays badly.And often you even have to work round the clock.Frankly,you won’t be fairly rewarded according to your labour.”

They answer,“We don’t want to get rich.”

The questioner says again,“Don’t you know that none in this profession have ever become prosperous.You have to toil away in obscurity.If you want to go after fame and compliments,you had better not choose this profession.When people walk on the bridge after it is built,none will ever think of putting up a monument to you.”

They answer again,“We don’t care for fame.”

The questioner concludes with a sigh,“OK,so you seek neither fame nor wealth.But mind you,you have to be very careful in doing this job.A solid foundation must be laid at each end of the bridge.A stone bridge is built with block after block of stone.A wooden bridge is built with piece after piece of wood.Even the building of a rope bridge requires great care.Each rope has to be tied tightly lest the foot passengers should fall into the ravine,to say nothing of reaching the opposite side.”

Bridges are being built one after another.Knowledge spreads and cultures interflow.But who thinks of the bridge builders?

《一座长桥》选自香港中文大学教授金圣华著的杂文集《桥畔闲眺》(1995年1月出版)。书中不少杂文谈论翻译,此为其中之一。文章以比喻手法描述翻译工作者的甘苦与贡献,有声有色,切中要害。现用现在时态英译全文,以增加文字的生动性。

注释

(1)“险峻的山谷”指“位于陡峭的两山之间的狭长地带”,故译a valley between steep mountains,其中把“险峻”译为steep或dangerously steep皆可。

(2)“湍急的溪流”意即“中间有湍急的溪流”,故译with a rapid stream flowing through it,其中with和flowing through it都是译文中的增益成分。

(3)“两旁的人,各忙各的,世代相传”意即“两岸的人,世世代代不相往来”,故译people on either side of the valley have for generations made no contact with those on the other。

(4)“忽然想起要跟对岸打个招呼”意即“忽然想要同对岸的人联系”,故译suddenly desire to communicate with each other。

(5)“终于来了,一群傻里傻气的志愿者”译为At last,a group of people naively offer themselves for the job,其中offer themselves for the job作“自荐做这工作”解,全句也可译为At last a group of volunteers naively offer to do the job。

(6)“这份差事”本可按“这个工作”译为This job,现按“这一行”或“这职业”译为This profession,似更切合原文内涵。

(7)“必须默默耕耘”译为You have to toil away in obscurity,其中“耕耘”译为to toil away,意同to work very hard,不可直译为to plough and weed。又“默默”译为in obscurity意为without being known to people at large(鲜为人知)。

(8)“可别怪大家没提醒你们”不必直译,现按“请注意”或“请听着”译为mind you,既简易达意,又口语化。

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