冰心《再寄小读者》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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再寄小读者

◎ 冰心

亲爱的小朋友:

4月12日,我们在微雨中[1]到达意大利东海岸的威尼斯。

威尼斯是世界闻名的水上城市,常有人把它比作中国的苏州。但是苏州基本上是陆地上的城市,不过城里有许多河道和桥梁。威尼斯却是由一百多个小岛组成的,一条较宽的曲折的水道,就算是大街,其余许许多多纵横交织的小水道,就算是小巷。[2]三四百座大大小小的桥,将这些小岛上的一簇一簇的楼屋,穿连了起来。这里没有车马[3],只有往来如织的大小汽艇,代替了公共汽车和小卧车;此外还有黑色的、两端翘起、轻巧可爱的小游船,叫做Gondola,译作“共渡乐”,也还可以谐音会意。

这座小城,是极有趣的!你们想象看:家家户户,面临着水街水巷,一开起门来,就看见荡漾的海水和飞翔的海鸥。门口石阶旁边,长满了厚厚的青苔,从石阶上跳上公共汽艇,就上街去了。这座城里,当然也有教堂,有宫殿,和其他的公共建筑,座座都紧靠着水边。夜间一行行一串串的灯火,倒影在颤摇的水光里,真是静美极了!

威尼斯是意大利东海岸对东方贸易的三大港口之一,其余的两个是它南边的巴利和北边的特利斯提。在它在繁盛的时代,就是公元后十三世纪,那时是中国的元朝,有个商人名叫马可波罗曾到过中国,在扬州作过官。他在中国住了二十多年,回到威尼斯[4]之后,写了一本游记,极称中国文物之盛。在他的游记里,曾仔细地描写过芦沟桥,因此直到现在,欧洲人还把芦沟桥称作马可波罗桥。

国际间的贸易,常常是文化交流的开端,精美的商品的互换,促进了两国人民相互的爱慕与了解。和平劳动的人民,是欢迎这种“有无相通”的。近几年来,中意两国间的贸易,由于人为的障碍,大大地减少了。这几个港口的冷落,使得意大利的工商业者,渴望和中国重建邦交,畅通贸易,这种热切的呼声,是我们到处可以听到的。

这几天欧洲的气候,真是反常[5]!昨天在帕都瓦城,遇见大雪,那里本已是桃红似锦,柳碧如茵,而天空中的雪片,却是搓棉扯絮一般,纷纷下落。在雪光之中,看到融融的春景,在我还是第一次!

昨晚起雪化成雨,凉意逼人,现在我的窗外呼啸着呜呜的海风,风声中夹杂着悠扬的钟声;回忆起二十几年前的初春,我也是在阴雨中游了威尼斯,它的明媚的一面,我至今还没有看到!今天又是星期六,在寂静的时间中,我极其亲切地想起了你们。住学校的小朋友们,现在都该回到家里了吧?灯光之下,不知你们和家里人谈了些什么?是你们学习的情况,还是国家建设?又有几天没有看到祖国的报纸,消息都非常隔膜了。出国真不能走得太久,思想跟不上就使人落后!小朋友一定会笑我又“想家”了吧?——同行的人都冒雨出去参观,明天又要赶路,我独自留下,抽空再写几行,免得你们盼望,遥祝你们好好地度一个快乐的星期天!

你的朋友 冰心

1958年4月12日夜意大利,威尼斯

冰心这篇通讯记述她在雨中游访威尼斯的情况。她在走访这座著名水上城市时,身在异邦,情系故乡,不忘给祖国和祖国的儿童寄来一份温馨的报导。

 

[1]“在微雨中”译为amidst a gentle rain,也可译为while it was drizzling。

[2]“威尼斯却是由一百多个小岛组成的,一条较宽的曲折的水道,就算是大街,其余许许多多纵横交织的小水道,就算是小巷”译为Venice is a port composed of more than 100 small islands cut by a broad winding waterway serving as its avenue and numerous small crisscross water courses serving as its alleys,其中cut作“穿过”解。

[3]“车马”指“车辆”,现根据上下文,可按“机动车”译为motor vehicles。

[4]“他在中国住了二十多年,回到威尼斯……”译为After 20 years in China, he returned to Venice …,其中After后面省略了staying或living。

[5]“真是反常”未译为is abnormal indeed,现译为is unusually bad indeed或is unusually nasty indeed等,更较确切。

 

Another Letter to Young Readers

Written on the evening of April 12, 1958, in Venice, Italy

◎ Bing Xin

Dear Little Friends,

On April 12, we arrived, amidst a gentle rain, in Venice, a city on the eastern coast of Italy.

Venice is a world-famous aquatic city, often compared to China’s Suzhou. But, while Suzhou is primarily a land-based city with many rivers and bridges, Venice is a port composed of more than 100 small islands cut by a broad winding waterway serving as its avenue and numerous small crisscross water courses serving as its alleys. And clusters of buildings on the small islands are linked by some 400 bridges of various sizes. There are no motor vehicles. In place of buses and motor cars, motorboats of various descriptions speed to and fro on the congested waterways. Also on the waterways are lovely black small pleasure boats with curved ends, known as gondola, a term that has been translated into the Chinese homonym gondule meaning“share the joy of river-crossing.”

The small town of Venice is very interesting. Imagine how every building stands directly facing a waterway instead of a street or lane, and the residents, as soon as they open the door, come face to face with nothing but undulating sea waves and seagulls circling in the air. Walk down a flight of mossy stone steps at their door, and they will be able to get on a public waterboat bound for town. The city also has its own churches, palaces and other public buildings, all situated on the water front. What a wonderful sight it is when strings of their lights are reflected in the quivering water at nights!

Venice is one of the three big ports on Italy’s eastern coast doing trade with Eastern countries, the other two being Bari to its south and Trieste to its north. In its heyday, that is, during China’s Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century AD, an Italian merchant named Marco Polo visited China and became an official in Yangzhou. After 20 years in China, he returned to Venice and wrote Travels of Marco Polo in which he speaks highly of China’s rich cultural relics. He makes a detailed description of Lugouqiao[1]in his travel notes. That is why Europeans today still refer to Lugouqiao as Marco Polo Bridge.

International cultural exchange usually begins with international trade. The exchange of top-quality commodities promotes mutual love and understanding between nations. Peace-loving working people welcome“mutual supply of what the other party needs.”In recent years, due to man-made barriers, Sino-Italian trade has dropped sharply. In the face of the declining business of the above-mentioned ports, Italian industrial and business circles long for re-establishment of relations and smooth development of business with China. The same urgent voice is heard throughout the country.

These few days, the weather in Europe has been unusually bad indeed. Yesterday, snow fell in large flakes on Padova when the city was at the height of its beauty with pink peach blossoms and green willows. It was the first time for me to see a warm snow-covered spring scene.

There has been a chill in the air since last night, snow having turned into rain. The sound of howling sea wind outside my window is mingled with the melodious sound of bells. I remember that in an early spring of 20 years ago, it also rained when I first visited Venice. Therefore, I haven’t as yet seen the city in bright sunshine. Today is Sunday again, and I’m thinking of you warmheartedly. Little friends, those of you who are boarders must now be back at home for the weekend. I wonder what you are talking about with your folks at home in the lamplight. Is it about your studies or about our national construction? Having had no access to up-to-date newspapers from China for several days, I’m ill-informed about things at home. It’s probably inadvisable for one to stay abroad for too long, for he may otherwise lag behind ideologically. Little friends, you must be laughing at me for being“homesick”again. Now my fellow travelers are all gone out visiting places in spite of the rain, for tomorrow they will have to push on with the journey. I’m the only one left alone, so I manage to find time to write you a few lines so as to keep you from worrying about me. I wish you from afar a happy Sunday!

Your friend,

Bing Xin

 

[1]Lugouqiao, also known as Marco Polo Bridge, is an ancient bridge spanning the Yongding River in the southwestern suburbs of Beijing. On July 7, 1937, the Japanese imperialists staged an incident at Lugouqiao(known as July 7 Incident of 1937), which marked the beginning of the War of Resistance Against Japan by China (1937—1945).

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