季羡林《在德国——自己的花是让别人看的》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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在德国——自己的花是让别人看的

◎ 季羡林

爱美大概也算是人的天性吧。宇宙间美的东西很多,花在其中占重要的地位。爱花的民族也很多[1],德国在其中占重要的地位[2]。

四五十年以前我在德国留学的时候,我曾多次对德国人爱花之真切感到吃惊[3]。家家户户都在养花。他们的花不像在中国那样,养在屋子里[4],他们是把花都栽种在临街窗户的外面。花朵都朝外开,在屋子里只能看到花的脊梁。我曾问过我的女房东:你这样养花是给别人看的吧!她莞尔一笑说道:“正是这样![5]”

正是这样,也确实不错。走过任何一条街,抬头向上看,家家的窗子前都是花团锦簇,姹紫嫣红[6]。许多窗子连接在一起,汇成了一个花的海洋,让我们看的人如入山阴道上,应接不暇[7]。每一家都是这样,在屋子里的时候,自己的花是让别人看的。走在街上的时候,自己又看别人的花。人人为我,我为人人。我觉得这一种境界是颇耐人寻味的[8]。

今天我又到了德国,刚一下火车,迎接我们的主人问我:“你离开德国这样久,有什么变化没有?”我说:“变化是有的,但是美丽并没有改变。”我说“美丽”指的东西很多,其中也包含着美丽的花。我走在街上,抬头一看,又是家家户户的窗口上都堵满了鲜花。多么奇丽的景色!多么奇特的民族!我仿佛又回到四五十年前去,我做了一个花的梦,做了一个思乡的梦。

《在德国——自己的花是让别人看的》是我国著名教育家、印度学家、散文家季羡林1985年8月写于德国斯图加特邮政旅馆的一篇小品。

[1]“爱花的民族也很多”译为many peoples … love flowers,其中peoples(复数)作“许多民族”解。

[2]The Germans作“德国民族”解。

[3]“多次对……感到吃惊”可按“……经常给我留下深刻的印象”译为I was often deeply impressed by …。

[4]“他们的花不像在中国那样,养在屋子里”译为Unlike people in China who kept pot flowers indoors,其中pot flowers是按上下文译的,指“盆花”。

[5]“正是这样!”译为Exactly!此字常见于口语,意同Completely correct!

[6]“家家的窗子前都是花团锦簇,姹紫嫣红”译为all dwellers’ windows ablaze with flowers,其中ablaze with的意思是bright and full of color。

[7]“让我们看的人如入山阴道上,应接不暇”中的“山阴道上”指“江南美景”,全句可译为 So visitors seemed to find themselves in a land of so many lovely scenes that they were kept busy feasting their eyes all the time,其中feasting their eyes作“尽情欣赏”解。

[8]“我觉得这一种境界是颇耐人寻味的”译为Their noble qualities, I think, provide much food for thought,其中qualities作“气质”解,意同“境界”,noble是译文中的添加词。

Growing Flowers for the Benefit of All

◎ Ji Xianlin

It is perhaps human nature to love things beautiful. The universe abounds in things of beauty, flowers being the most prominent among them. Many peoples, especially the Germans, love flowers.

Upwards of 40 years ago, when I was a student studying in Germany, I was often deeply impressed by the genuine love shown by Germans for flowers. All German families raised flowers. Unlike people in China who kept pot flowers indoors, Germans had their flowers planted outside their windows fronting the street. With the opening flowers exposing their front to the street, residents could only see their back. Once I said to my landlady,“You must be growing your flowers for all to enjoy!”“Exactly!”she replied with a sweet smile.

Yes, exactly. Wherever I went in town, I would raise my head only to see all residents’ windows ablaze with flowers. And all windows joined together one after another to form a sea of flowers. So visitors seemed to find themselves in a land of so many lovely scenes that they were kept busy feasting their eyes all the time. As was the case with every family in the country, Germans, while at home, were happy to find their flowers pleasing the public eyes, but when they were out in the street, they enjoyed the sight of other people’s flowers. All for one and one for all. Their noble qualities, I think, provide much food for thought.

Now, I am in Germany again. The German host welcoming me at the railway station asked,“It’s a long time since you were here last. Do you see any changes?”“Yes, I do,”said I.“But beauty remains unchanged.”I explained that beauty, as I had mentioned, referred to many things, including beautiful flowers. Out on the street, I would look up and see the windows of all homes blocked up with flowers. What a scene of enchanting beauty! What an unusual nation! I seemed to have returned to the days of more than 40 years before. I had dreamed a dream of flowers, a nostalgic dream!

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