邓拓《生命的三分之一》 -英语翻译教程-中英双语赏析

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生命的三分之一

One Third of Our Lifetime
邓拓
Deng Tuo
 
🔥提示:这是一篇很好的论述文,劝导人们珍惜时间,努力读书,学习前人的科学文化知识, 充实自己的生活。文字简洁、准确,译成英语时应注意这一特点。
 
一个人的生命究竟有多大意义,这有什么标准可以衡量吗?提出一个绝对的标准当然很困难;
What is the significance of life? Is there any gauge to measure it? It would be very difficult, of course, trying to advance an absolute standard.
🎈“究竟”也可选用我们之前提过的on earth表达译出。“有多大意义”按“有多重要”之意理解。“提出一个绝对的标准当然很困难”的参考译文中trying to advance an absolute standard是it的同位语;译文可改写为it would be… to (trying to) advance…形式,此时不定式是真正的主语。advance一词含义较为丰富,可指
①推进/促进/增强(系列词还有boost、enhance、facilitate、increase、strengthen等等)
②提前(搭配为in advance)
③提出理论、论点等

 
但是,大体上看一个人对待生命的态度是否严肃认真,看他对待劳动、工作等等的态度如何,也就不难对这个人的存在意义做出适当的估计了。
However, the significance of one’s existence can more or less be evaluated by examining his attitude toward life and work.
🎈译文意为“一个人对待生命的态度是否严肃认真【多多少少反映在[可以通过…来评判](more or less be evaluated by)】他对待劳动、工作等等的态度中”,【】中的内容是原文含义的另一种表述方式,意思并未改变。

 
古来一切有成就的人,都很严肃地对待自己的生命,当他活着一天,总要尽量多劳动、多工作、多学习,不肯虚度年华,不让时间白白地浪费掉。
Since ancient times all people of accomplishment are very serious about their lives. While they are alive, even if there is only one day left to live, they try to work as hard as they can and learn as much as possible, never letting a single day slip by without any gain.
🎈“当他活着一天”理解为了“当他活着的时候,哪怕只剩一日活头”,从而译作While they are alive, even if there is only one day left to live,将含义最大程度地释放了出来。“不肯虚度年华”和“让时间白白地浪费掉”意思相似,译一处即可:never letting a single day slip by without any gain。

 
我国历代的劳动人民以及大政治家、大思想家等等都莫不如此。
This is true of the working people as well as of the great statesmen and great thinkers in our history.
🎈…也是如此、…同样适用于…the same/this is true of…
例如:The same is true of the political field.
政治领域也一样。
(劳动人民labouring/working people 
朱德《母亲的回忆》
母亲是一个“平凡”的人,她只是中国千百万<劳动人民>中的一员,但是正是这千百万人创造了和创造着中国的历史。
Mother is an “ordinary” person and one of the millions of labouring people who have made and are still making Chinese history. 
 

班固写的《汉书》《食货志》上有下面的记载:“冬,民既入;妇人同巷,相从夜绩,女工一月得四十五日。”
In the chapter “Foods and Goods” of The Chronicles of the Han Dynasty, the great historian Ban Gu states: “In winter people stay indoors. Women get together to spin hemp threads at night. They manage to work forty-five days in a month. ”
🎈《食货志》,“《书》 《洪范》:‘八政:一曰食,二曰货,三曰祀,四曰司空,五曰司徒,六曰司寇,七曰宾,八曰师。’后因以食货为国家经济财政的统称。”(引自《辞源》)。将《食货志》译成Foods and Goods符合其原意,并取得元韵修辞效果。
🎈“妇人同巷,相从夜绩”中的“巷”指 “居住的宅子”,“绩”是动词,意为“纺麻线”。

 
这几句读起来很奇怪,怎么一月能有45天呢?
It sounds strange. How come there are forty-five days in a month?
🎈How come后面接上不颠倒词序的问句,有“怎的”、“为什么竟然”的意思,来自德语Wie kommt es…(= how comes it…)。【例如】How come the door’s locked? 门怎的竟然是锁着的?/ How come you know my name? 你怎的知道我的名字?

 
再看原文底下颜师古做了注解,他说:“一月之中,又得夜半为十五日,共四十五日。” 这就很清楚了。
Let us look at its annotations given by Yan Shigu: “They gain half a day’s time every night and, therefore, they have forty-five days in a month.” Now it’s clear.
🎈30个白天+30个夜晚(即15个白天),所以是四十五日。
 

原来我国的古人不但比西方各国的人更早地懂得科学地、合理地计算劳动日,而且我们的古人老早就知道对于日班和夜班的计算方法。
Our ancestors had, earlier than the westerners, learned how to calculate workdays accurately and reasonably. They had also learned how to calculate day shift and night shift as well.
🎈日班day shift 、夜班night shift
shift作名词表示“轮班;当班时间;轮班职工”。
例句
workers coming home from the afternoon shift
上完下午班回家的工人们
His father worked shifts in a steel mill.
他父亲是一家炼钢厂的轮班工人。
The night shift should have been safely down the mine long ago.
上夜班的矿工应该早就安全地到达井下了。

 
一个月本来只有30天,古人把每个夜晚的时间算做半日,就多了15天。
It is common knowledge that there are only thirty days in a month. Counting the time of one night for half a day, our forefathers managed to extend the month by fifteen days.
🎈常识common knowledge/sense
🎈extend the month by fifteen days:介词by表示数量变化了……;to则表示(数量)变化到……

 
从这个意义上来说,夜晚的时间实际上不就等于生命的三分之一吗?
In this sense the night time gained amounts to one third of our lives, doesn’t it?
🎈在某种程度/意义上
to a certain degree
to some degree
in a way
in some ways
in a sense
in some sense

 
对于这三分之一的生命,不但历代的劳动人民如此重视,而且有许多大政治家也十分重视。
This one third of life is not only treasured by the working people but also by the great statesmen in our history.
🎈“重视”可选用treasure、value、cherish等词。
 

班固在《汉书》《刑法志》里还写到:“秦始皇躬操文墨,昼断狱,夜理书。” 这里写的是秦始皇在夜间看书学习的情形。
In the chapter “Criminal Law” of The Chronicles of the Han Dynasty, Ban Gu also states: “The First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty set a good example in being industrious—disposing of lawsuits during the day and reading at night.” This is about how he tried to find time to read at night.
🎈这句古文的意思是:秦始皇亲自拿着毛笔,白天审理案件,晚上整理文书。
🎈树立榜样set a good example in是根据文意适当增译的成分,突出秦始皇夜间看书学习之勤勉。
🎈处理、解决dispose of
例句
The justices have been arguing about how the case should be disposed of.
法官们就如何处理该案一直争论不休。

 
有的人一听说秦始皇就不喜欢他,其实秦始皇毕竟是中国历史上的一个伟大人物,班固对他也还有一些公平的评价。
To some people the First Emperor of Qin isn’t a pleasant name to recall but there is no denying that he was a great figure in the history of China. Even Ban Gu has an impartial opinion of him.
🎈“其实…”译作了but there is no denying that…(但不能否认他也是个伟大的历史人物),后面再接(所以)就连班固……,逻辑关系更加明确。

 
据刘向的《说苑》所载,春秋战国时有许多国君都很注意学习。
Liu Xiang, the great scholar of the Han Dynasty, cites in his Historical Anecdotes many princes of the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period who paid great attention to learning.
🎈the great scholar of是增译成分,补充背景知识,辅助读者理解。
🎈春秋战国the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period:东周的前半期,诸侯争相称霸,称为春秋时代,春秋时期的得名,是因孔子修订《春秋》而得名;公元前453年,韩赵魏三家联手灭智氏家族后,三家分晋,各诸侯相互征伐,称为战国时代。

 
如:“晋平公问于师旷曰:吾年七十,欲学恐已暮矣。师旷曰:何不炳烛乎?” 
For example: “Duke Ping of the State of Jin asked Shi Kuang: ‘I am already seventy years old. Isn’t it too late for me to learn?’  Shi Kuang suggested: ‘Why not make use of your night time?'”
🎈“何不炳烛乎? ”根据下文的“烛烬夜有数升”,此处的“烛”不是蜡烛,而是一种木烛, 因此不能将其译作candle,而是wood torch或wooden torch。

 
在这里,师旷劝70岁的晋平公点灯夜读,拼命抢时间,争取这三分之一的生命不至于继续浪费,这种精神多么可贵啊!
Here Shi Kuang encouraged the seventy-year-old Duke Ping to read at night, making up for the one third of the lifetime. Oh, what a great spirit!
🎈“争取这三分之一的生命不至于继续浪费”笼统译作了making up for the one third of the lifetime,省去了“继续”之意,其实这里译作making up for the past nighttime that have been wasted大意上也还行,虽然“三分之一”未译出,但这一概念在前文已提及,此处不受影响。

 
《北史·吕思礼传》记述这个北周大政治家生平勤学的情形是:“虽务兼军国,而手不释卷。
“Life of Lu Sili” of The History of the Four Northern Dynasties, in stating what a diligent learner this great statesman was, says: “Though he took responsibilities for both administrative and military affairs, he was never seen without a book in his hands.
🎈对……负责 take/be responsibilities for
🎈administrative affairs指行政事务;美国政府用“总统名+administration”表示,例如:特朗普/拜登政府 the Trump/Biden Administration。

 
昼理政事,夜即读书,令苍头执烛,烛烬夜有数升。”
He tended state affairs during the day and read at night with a servant holding a wood torch for him. At the end of each session you would find as much ashes in his study as to fill several sheng—an old-fashioned grain measure.”
🎈此句意为:白天打理政务,晚上就读书,让奴仆(苍头就是奴仆)拿着蜡烛,蜡烛燃烧后的灰烬一晚上有数升之多。又,At the end of each session中的session是可数名词,指(某项活动)的一段时间,此处也就是指“每晚”。

 
光是烛灰一夜就有几升之多,可见他夜读何等勤奋了。
By the amount of ashes we can imagine how avidly he read at night.
🎈“光是烛灰一夜就有几升之多”是在重复上一句,译时简要指代即可,译作By the amount of ashes。

 
像这样的例子还有很多。
There are more examples of this kind in the book.
🎈“这样的例子”译作more examples of this kind、more examples like this均可。

 
为什么古人对于夜晚的时间都这样重视,不肯轻轻放过呢? 
Why did the people in the past set such great store by the night time?
🎈(十分)看重,重视(某事物)set/put (great, etc.) store by sth
例句
She sets great store by her appearance.
她十分看重自己的外貌。

 
我认为这就是他们对待自己生命的三分之一的严肃认真态度,这正是我们所应该学习的。
I think this is positive proof of their attitude toward the one third of their lives. This is exactly what we should learn from them.
🎈…的确证、毋庸置疑证明了… …be positive proof of…
 

我之所以想利用夜晚的时间,向读者同志们做这样的谈话,目的也不过是要引起大家注意珍惜这三分之一的生命,使大家在整天的劳动、工作以后,以轻松的心情,领略一些古今有用的知识而已。
My intention of writing this little essay tonight is to call the reader’s attention to the one third of his lifetime so that, after working for a whole day, he can sit relaxed at home, browsing through and appreciating the useful knowledge of the past and of the present.
🎈“向读者同志们做这样的谈话”即指“写这篇内容writing this little essay”,不指face-to-face那种谈话。又,译文中的he改为you或者our都是可以的。
 
🔥必背词汇
gauge        n.评价或判断的事实,依据,标准
英义
A gauge of someone’s feelings or a situation is a fact or event that can be used to judge them.
例句
The index is the government’s chief gauge of future economic activity.
这一指数是政府判断未来经济活动的主要依据。
 
advance        v.提出理论、论点
英义
When a theory or argument is advanced, it is put forward for discussion.
例句
Many theories have been advanced as to why some women suffer from depression.
就一些女性患抑郁症的原因,各种说法纷至沓来。
 
slip        v.迅速而悄无声息地走(到某处),溜(到某处)
英义
If you slip somewhere, you go there quickly and quietly.
例句
Amy slipped downstairs and out of the house.
埃米偷偷下楼溜出了房子。
 
🔥重点表达
这有什么标准可以衡量吗? Is there any gauge to measure it?
手不释卷was never seen without a book in his hands
很严肃地对待are very serious about
虚度年华/让时间白白地浪费掉letting a single day slip by without any gain
劳动人民labouring/working people
大政治家 great statesmen 
大思想家great thinkers
…也是如此、…同样适用于…the same/this is true of…
劳动日workdays
日班day shift
夜班night shift
常识common knowledge/sense
处理、解决dispose of
树立榜样set a good example (in…)
中国历史上的一个伟大人物a great figure in the history of China
春秋战国the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period
对……负责 take/be responsibilities for
像这样的例子more examples of this kind
(十分)看重,重视(某事物)set/put (great, etc.) store by sth
…的确证、毋庸置疑证明了… …be positive proof of…
 
🔥复盘测试
这有什么标准可以衡量吗?
手不释卷
很严肃地对待
虚度年华/让时间白白地浪费掉
劳动人民
大政治家
大思想家
…也是如此、…同样适用于…
劳动日
日班
夜班
常识
处理、解决
树立榜样
中国历史上的一个伟大人物
春秋战国
对……负责 
像这样的例子
(十分)看重,重视(某事物)
…的确证、毋庸置疑证明了…
 
🔥表达对比
(数量、程度变化)增加、延长
 
Counting the time of one night for half a day, our forefathers managed to extend the month by fifteen days.
古人把每个夜晚的时间算做半日,就(多)了15天。
 
It even gets a little bit denser as time goes on.
随着时间(延长),浓度更大。【比较级】
 
This covers you for a further two years.
这又可以(延长)两年质保。
I hope I may (postpone) the date of my passport.
我想(延长)护照的有效期。
 
Getting that job did a lot to boost his ego (= make him feel more confident).
得到那份工作使他信心(倍增)。

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