英培安《欣赏自己》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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欣赏自己

英培安

不怕直说,我是相当欣赏自己的。我承认自己有许多不如人的地方,但也知道并不老是这样差劲。所以,我做了一件事,写了一篇文章,只要自觉还不错(1)我可以乐上几天,遇有人赞,更飘飘然得不像话;甚至还会忘其所以,插上几句自夸的话。

真的,我一点也不谦虚。

或者这就是自负吧,恐怕要给人骂了。但有什么不对呢?(2)

我也欣赏别人,凡是好的东西我都欣赏。只懂得欣赏别人而忘了欣赏自己,岂不是太不公平了?

但是,我们华人总是比较谦虚,而且引以为荣。自己的太太叫拙荆,文章曰拙作。如果你当真叫他的太太山芭婆,文章如狗屁,他保证勃然大怒,和你拍桌子绝交(3)。其实,你所说的,和他说的,可能并没什么两样。

我以为,如果你的东西确是好的,直接说它好,没有什么不对。老王卖瓜(4),只要卖的是好瓜,为什么不能自卖自夸?

老兄,老王是靠卖瓜吃饭的,叫他也学我们书生扭扭捏捏,对自己的瓜谦虚一番,生意还用做么?(5)他保证饿死大吉。

能欣赏自己,才能敬业乐业,写文章的人,若老是觉得自己的文章不行,我不相信他有信心涂下去。

卖文的,更不必说了。

On Self-Appreciation

Ying Pei’an

Frankly,I very much appreciate myself.Yes,I admit I’m in many respects not as good as other people,but I don’t think I’m always no good.When I find what I’ve done or written is okay,I’ll remain pleased with myself for quite a few days,and,in case I receive praise for it,I’ll even become so swollen-headed as to add a few words to glorify myself.

True,I’m not modest at all.

People may call me conceited.But I think otherwise.

I also appreciate other people.I appreciate anything good.Isn’t it unfair to forget appreciating myself while appreciating others?

We Chinese are generally inclined to be modest,and we take pride in being so.For example,a Chinese will call his own wife zhuojing,meaning“my humble wife”,and his own writings zhuozuo,meaning“my poor writings”.But if you should call his wife a“rustic woman”or his writings“trash”,he would,I’m sure,slap the table in a rage and declare he would make a clean break with you.As a matter of fact,there is probably no difference at all between what is said by him and you respectively.

I don’t think it’s wrong for you to freely praise yourself if you’re really worthy of praise.As we know,there is an old Chinese saying disparaging a melon peddler,named Lao Wang,who keeps praising his own goods.Well,why can’t he praise his melons if they are really sweet and juicy?

Friends,Lao Wang sells melons for a living.How could he carry on business if he,by imitating the affectations of us intellectuals,were to show false modesty about his melons? He would sure enough die of starvation.

Self-appreciation is therefore key to professional dedication and enjoyment of work.One will lose confidence in continuing with writing when he ceases to admire his own essays.

Needless to say,the same is true of those who make a living with their pen.

英培安(1947— )出生于新加坡,祖籍广东新会,曾旅居香港多年,是新加坡著名作家,创作包括诗、散文、小说、戏剧等,尤其擅长杂文,常以敏捷的思路、简洁的语言表达他对世事的看法。杂文《欣赏自己》选自香港1984年出版的《人在江湖》一书。

注释

(1)“还不错”译为okay,也可译为satisfactory、not bad、pretty good等。

(2)“但有什么不对呢?”意同“但我并不以为然”,故译为But I think otherwise。

(3)“他保证勃然大怒,和你拍桌子绝交”可译为he would,I’m sure,fall into a fit of rage and,striking the table,say he would break off relations with you,但不如he would,I’m sure,slap the table in a rage and declare he would make a clean break(或break off)with you简洁。

(4)“老王卖瓜”或“老王卖瓜,自卖自夸”可直译为Lao Wang,a melon hawker,boats of his own goods,现译为As we know,there is an old Chinese saying disparaging a melon peddler,named Lao Wang,who keeps praising his own goods,其中一些增益成分均为了承上启下,并有助于外国读者更好地理解原意。

(5)“叫他也学我们书生扭扭捏捏,对自己的瓜谦虚一番,生意还用做么?”译为How could he carry on business if he,by imitating the affectations of us intellectuals,were to show false modesty about his melons?,其中“我们书生扭扭捏捏”意即“我们知识分子装模作样”,故译为the affectations of us intellectuals;“对自己的瓜谦虚一番”意即“对自己的瓜故作谦虚”,故译为to show false modesty about his melons。

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