杰罗姆《懒人闲思录》 -英语翻译教程-中英双语赏析

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《懒人闲思录》出自英国幽默名家杰罗姆之手,这位“懒人”思想家善于从“懒人”的视角静观众生世相。平谈的生活细节一进入他的文章,就会妙趣盎然,栩栩如生。在这些文章中杰罗姆运用幽默冷峻的笔触展现了19世纪英格兰的社会风貌。

Now, this is a subject on which I flatter myself I really am au fait. The gentleman who, when I was young, bathed me at wisdom’s font for nine guineas a term—no extras—used to say he never knew a boy who could do less work in more time; and I remember my poor grandmother once incidentally observing, in the course of an instruction upon the use of the Prayer-book, that it was highly improbable that I should ever do much that I ought not to do, but that she felt convinced beyond a doubt that I should leave undone pretty well everything that I ought to do.

 

投稿译文:这是一个我自认为很熟悉的话题。我小时候,一位绅士在智慧池中给我洗澡,九几尼只能洗一次,他常常说自己从来没听说过一个小孩可以在这么长的时间里不干活;我记得我可怜的奶奶曾偶然看到过使用经书后得出的一条指令,指令写道我不可能去会做许多本不该我做的事,但她觉得我应该放下我所有未完成的活计,并且对此深信不疑。

 

原创译文:在懒散方面,我是个行家。小时候,有位先生给我传道授业,每学期收费九几尼,没有额外费用。他常说,没见过比我做作业更慢的人。我还记得,我那可怜的祖母教我如何使用祈祷书,在教学过程中顺嘴提到,我不可能做分外之事,而且她坚信,即使是分内之事,我也会撒手不管,原封不动。

 

this is a subject on which I flatter myself I really am au fait.

 

subject指代什么,需要把通读原文,把握主旨之后,把抽象事物具体化。如果像投稿译文那样处理成「话题」,很容易让人一头雾水。

 

au fait  完全熟悉 completely familiar with sth

I’m new here so I’m not completely au fait with the system.

我初来乍到,所以对这个系统还不完全熟悉。

The gentleman who, when I was young, bathed me at wisdom’s font for nine guineas a term.

wisdom’s font是难点,font n.圣洗池(设于教堂中,常为石造) 英义a large stone bowl in a church that holds water for the ceremony of baptism,投稿译文采取的是这个意思,所以处理成「智慧池中洗澡」,但font还有个意思,是「泉水」,直译为「沐浴在智慧的清泉中」也可以,但我们联系上下文的term和work,可以推测出这个gentleman是位老师。师者,传道授业解惑也,这是个人思路,仅供参考。

he never knew a boy who could do less work in more time.

直译:他从来没见过哪个男孩能比我用更多的时间,做更少的功课。这句话特别冗长,不符合中国人说话的习惯。这里老师想强调的是作者做作业特别慢,所以我处理为「没见过比我做作业更慢的人」,听起来有没有很熟悉的感觉?「你们是我教过最差的一届」「我就没见过这么顽皮的学生」,也许每个人都听过。

it was highly improbable that I should ever do much that I ought not to do, but that she felt convinced beyond a doubt that I should leave undone pretty well everything that I ought to do.

ought to do和ought not to do,如果直译成「本应该做的事」和「本不该做的事」没错,就是有点拗口,所以我处理成「分内之事」和「分外之事」,英文是not一字之差,中文也是「内」「外」一字之差,一目了然。

 

I should leave undone pretty well这里的should投稿者处理成「应该」,可能是没看到前面的convince,语法需要加强。leave undone就是撂开手,没做完,后面加个pretty well表示程度,leave undone pretty well「撒手不管,原封不动」。

 

投稿译文「我不可能去会做许多本不该我做的事,但她觉得我应该放下我所有未完成的活计,并且对此深信不疑」,这里我们注意到,译者调换了语序,把she felt convinced beyond a doubt放在了最后,我不赞同这种处理方式。

 

我们看原文,祖母先说「分外之事」,再说「分内之事」,这两者之间有递进关系,「分外之事」不做很正常,但是「分内之事」也不做就是懒惰。这两者之间需要一个递进词,来表达作者连「分内之事」也不干,she felt convinced beyond a doubt在这里就起到了这个作用。我处理成「我不可能做分外之事,而且她坚信,即使是分内之事,我也会撒手不管,原封不动。」这里的「而且她坚信」就是我想表达的递进作用,大家细品。

 

说到译者调整原文语序,我想到了《傲慢与偏见》开头是这样的:it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.有人处理成「身家丰厚的单身男人必以娶妻为己任,此乃放诸四海而皆准的真理」叶子南老师的《高级英汉翻译理论与实践》,开篇便提到了这个例子。他认为本句中的a truth universally acknowledged和后面的that从句位置不宜颠倒,因为原文文字前后的排比可以产生出一种讥讽的语气。今后大家在翻译过程中,如果想调整原文语序,需要考虑一下作者的感情色彩以及句子功能。

 

incidentally adv. (引出新话题、附加信息、或临时想到的问题)顺便提一句 used to introduce a new topic, or some extra information, or a question that you have just thought of

近义词

by the way

Incidentally, have you heard the news about Sue?

顺便问一句,你听说过苏的事了吗?

 

I am afraid I have somewhat belied half the dear old lady’s prophecy. Heaven help me! I have done a good many things that I ought not to have done, in spite of my laziness. But I have fully confirmed the accuracy of her judgement so far as neglecting much that I ought not to have neglected is concerned. Idling always has been my strong point. I take no credit to myself in the matter—it is a gift. Few possess it. There are plenty of lazy people and plenty of slow-coaches, but a genuine idler is a rarity. He is not a man who slouches about with his hands in his pockets. On the contrary, his most startling characteristic is that he is always intensely busy.

 

投稿译文:我恐怕有什么东西掩盖了我奶奶的预言。天助我也!我曾积德行善,做过许多好事,虽然我是个懒虫。但是我对她的判断确信无疑,以至于忽略掉了许多本不该忽视的相关内容。偷懒一直都是我的拿手好戏,但我却从不曾拿它当作自身的天赋,极少的人才有这种能力。这世上有许多懒散的人,也有许多慢吞吞的人,但是真正的懒汉可谓是廖若辰星。这种人并不是双手插兜,无所事事,恰恰相反,他最令人惊诧的特点就是一直忙个不停。

 

原创译文:从某种程度上说,我恐怕已经证明,祖母的话半真半假。老天保佑!尽管生性懒惰,但我还是做了许多分外之事。但我忽略了许多本不该忽略之事,这点倒是充分证明了祖母的话没错。一直以来,懒散都是我的强项,但这不是我的功劳,这是种天赋,极少人拥有。这世上有许多懒散度日之人,也有许多做事迟缓之人,但生性懒散之人却极为罕见。这种人并不是双手插兜,无精打采。相反,他最引人注目的特征就是:总是忙得不可开交。

I am afraid I have somewhat belied half the dear old lady’s prophecy.

somewhat表示「从某种程度上说」,投稿译文「有什么东西」,曲解意思,过于口语化。因为「从某种程度上说」太长,所以拎出来单独翻译,放在前面。

 

belie  v.显示(某事)不正确,证明(某事)错误

to show that sth cannot be true or correct

Government claims that there is no poverty are belied by the number of homeless people on the streets.

大街上那些无家可归者证明政府所声称的没有贫困的说法是谎言。

I have done a good many things that I ought not to have done

 

a good many things这里的good不是「好」的意思,比如A good many things in the world cannot be considered and valued in terms of money.世界上有很多东西不能用金钱来衡量。上面提到的《傲慢与偏见》it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.这里的a good fortune表示「身家丰厚」

But I have fully confirmed the accuracy of her judgement so far as neglecting much that I ought not to have neglected is concerned.

I have fully confirmed the accuracy of her judgement这里的accuracy不要处理成准切性,「xx性」翻译腔重。

 

so far as neglecting much that I ought not to have neglected is concerned. 因为中间太长,投稿者没看出来这是个句型as/so far as……is concerned,导致错译。

 

slouch  没精打采地站(或坐、走);低头垂肩地站(或坐、走)

to stand, sit or move in a lazy way, often with your shoulders and head bent forward

Sit up straight. Don’t slouch.

挺起胸坐直,别歪歪斜斜的。

 

总体评价:本篇文章难度较大,在考场上会遇到一些生词,只能联系上下文。错译超过三处,语法两处理解错误,句子冗长,翻译腔重,需要全面提升。

 

The End
后期的投稿按照这篇标准来,非文学不讲(没意思),涉及太多背景知识的不讲(比如宗教、英美历史),单独句子不讲(收到一些MA句子翻译投稿),主要挑这种不好理解、但文学性强、寓意丰富的篇章讲解。

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