文章题目“照片上的童年”译为The Photographic Record of My Childhood，比Photos Taken in My Childhood和What I Photographed Like as a Child确切。
“前些日子”意即“不久前”，可译为The other day或Recently。
“寻找”在此有“翻找”之意，最好译为rummaging （for），比looking for确切。
“似乎找到了童年的梦”意即“似乎重温童年旧梦”，故译feeling as if I were reliving my childhood。
“照片上的童年是真实的，又是虚幻的”可译为My childhood, as recorded in the old photos, was at once real and unreal，其中was at once real and unreal意同both real and illusory。
“在胸前悬垂着一块很大的‘锁片’”可按“胸前挂着一个大型饰物，以表吉祥”译为a big ornament hung on my chest as a lucky charm或a big piece of jewelry hung on my chest as an amulet to protect me against bad luck。
“我从幼小时就在祖母抚育下，祖孙俩形影不离”译为As she had been taking care of me ever since I was in the cradle, we became inseparable from each other，其中ever since I was in the cradle意同ever since I was a little baby或ever since my babyhood。
“那也是我最早接触到的文学作品”译为They became, as it were, the first literary works I ever came into contact with in my life，其中as it were是成语，作“可以说”、“似乎”等解，为译文中的添加词，原文虽无其词而有其意。
“我不知道是有所得抑或有所失”未按字面直译为I wondered whether my visit had ended up in gains or losses，现按“我不知道此行是否值得”之意译为I wondered whether it had been worthwhile or not for me to revisit my old house。
“那一本比我生活过的年代更长久的影集”译为 the album that had seen many more winters than I，其中winters作“年代”、“岁月”解。
The Photographic Record of My Childhood
◎ He Wei
The other day, in rummaging a suitcase for newspaper clippings of my essays written over forty years ago, I came upon some old objects, among them an enormously bulky old album.
The moth-eaten album contained several photos of myself taken in early childhood. I stared blankly at my little face in the faded photos, feeling as if I were reliving my childhood. But I also felt that my childhood had long been irretrievably gone and no longer belonged to me.
My childhood, as recorded in the old photos, was at once real and unreal.
In one of the photos, I was very little, probably just one year old. As was the custom of my native place, I had a big ornament hung on my chest as a lucky charm. The photo had been taken over half a century ago. Was it I myself in the embryonic stage of life, with my ignorant eyes on the strange world?
Another photo, in which I stood full-length, had been taken, I remember, when I was three or four. It was winter, and I was dressed cumbersomely in a cotton-padded thick gown, staggering ridiculously. In still another photo, probably taken at the same time, I was holding grandma by the hand. As she had been looking after me ever since I was in the cradle, we had become inseparable from each other. In the photo, she looked in her early fifties. She was turning her head slightly, as if trying to make me look ahead or telling me the tragic and moving story of Meng Jiang Nu making a long, difficult journey in search of her husband. She had an unlimited stock of folk tales to tell. I always thought her in possession of a wordless book full of fascinating stories. They became, as it were, the first literary works that I ever came into contact with in my life.
The background of the photos was yellowed with age and dotted with fuzzy specks. There was distinctly a big round hole in the mottled wall.
Wasn’t the round hole a fan-shaped gate? I asked myself.
Yes, it was. It was the moon gate so familiar to me in my childhood — a fairy-tale gate!
I used to play on the flagstones of the courtyard in front of the hall of the old house where I had been born. Standing side by side before the tiled wall were several water vats for receiving rain water dripping from the eaves. In playing hide-and-seek with my little playmates, I would conceal myself behind one of the vats, which were taller than I was. On either side of the courtyard there was a moon gate. Why did the two big moon gates always remain in my memory? Was it because they differed from ordinary rectangular gates in resembling the big round gate of the legendary palace on the moon? Or was it because of the little world between the two big gates where I used to play happily? I often think of the old house in my hometown. It brings back many, many memories of my childhood.
In the midsummer of 1960, I returned to my old home in the city of Dinghai for a short visit after a long absence of more than thirty years. One day, in the deepening twilight, I quietly stepped into Heng Tang Alley, a long flagstone alley between two towering walls. The setting sun was casting its last rays on an old house down the alley. At the direction of someone, I found my way to the house and ascended its stone steps. Its gate was left unlatched, so I pushed it open. Inside it was all quiet. My eyes suddenly fell on the moon gate on either side of the courtyard. Yes, the same two old big round holes. Only they looked much smaller than they were in my memory, and very shabby too. The courtyard and the hall where I had used to play around with my little playmates in my childhood were now heaped with sacks of goods. So my old house had long been transformed into the warehouse of a department store!
I hesitated to move ahead, feeling perplexed and melancholy.
Perhaps I should not have returned to my hometown to see my old house and to relive my past experience. I wondered whether it had been worthwhile or not for me to revisit my old home. Everything’s gone. Everything’s changed.
The only thing that still remained was my photographic childhood. Having found some newspaper clippings of my old writings, I replaced in the suitcase the album that had seen many more winters than I. Then I carefully put back the lid on the suitcase. Memories of my childhood, together with the album, sank again to the bottom of the suitcase.
The name of a heroine in Chinese folklore, who trekked over a long way to look for her husband only to find him already dead from forced labor on the construction site of the Great Wall. Her bitter cries over her husband’s death was said to have caused a section of the Wall to crumble down.
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