英译中国现代散文选 | 巴金 虎

更多精彩,请关注微信公众号:田间小站


The Tiger

我不曾走入深山,见到活泼跳跃的猛虎。但是我听过不少关于虎的故事。
I have never been to the depths of remote mountains to see a lively fierce tiger, but I have heard quite a few stories about it.

在兽类中我最爱虎;在虎的故事中我最爱下面的一个:
Of all animals, I like the tiger best. And of all the stories about it, the following is my favourite:

深山中有一所古庙,几个和尚在那里过着单调的修行生活。同他们做朋友的,除了有时上山来的少数乡下人外,就是几只猛虎。虎不惊扰僧人,却替他们守护庙宇。作为报酬,和尚把一些可吃的东西放在庙门前。每天傍晚,夕阳染红小半个天空,虎们成群地走到庙门口,吃了东西,跳跃而去。庙门大开,僧人安然在庙内做他们的日课,也没有谁出去看虎怎样吃东西,即使偶尔有一二和尚立在门前,虎们也视为平常的事情,把他们看作熟人,不去惊动,却斯斯文文地吃完走开。如果看不见僧人,虎们就发出几声长啸,随着几阵风飞腾而去
There was deep in a mountain an ancient temple where several pious Buddhist monks lived a monotonous life. They had for company only a number of tigers apart from a few country folks who occasionally came up the mountain for a visit. Instead of harassing the monks, the tigers voluntarily stood guard at the gate of the temple. As a reward for it, the monks would place some edibles in front of the gate for the tigers to eat. Towards evening, when the setting sun had dyed half of the sky red, the tigers would come up to the gate in groups to eat their fill and then left skipping and jumping. The monks usually left the gate wide open while peacefully engaged in their daily routine of chanting Buddhist scripture inside the temple. Normally none of them came out to watch the tigers eat. Sometimes, however, one or two monks did appear standing at the gate, but the tigers would remain unalarmed and, taking the monks for their friends, did nothing to harm them. They just kept on eating unhurriedly until they finished and left. Sometimes, when they found no monks at the gate, they would whisk away like the wind after uttering several thunderous roars.

可惜我不能走到这座深山,去和猛虎为友。只有偶尔在梦里,我才见到这样可爱的动物。在动物园里看见的则是被囚在“狭的笼”中摇尾乞怜的驯兽了。
It's a pity that I'm unable to go to the mountain to make friends with the fierce tigers. I can only see the lovely animal in my dreams once in a while. As to the tiger we see in a zoo, it is nothing but a wretched tame animal confined to a cage.

其实说“驯兽”,也不恰当。甚至在虎圈中,午睡醒来,昂首一呼,还能使猿猴颤栗。万兽之王的这种余威,我们也还可以在作了槛内囚徒的虎身上看出来。倘使放它出柙,它仍会奔回深山,重做山林的霸主
Nevertheless, it is improper to call such a tiger "tame animal" because caged as it is, the roar it raises on waking up from a nap is still such as to make monkeys tremble with terror. One can visualize in the caged animal the power of the erstwhile king of beasts. Set it free, and it will go right back to the remote mountains to lord it over the forest again.

我记起一件事情:三十一年前,父亲在广元做县官。有天晚上,一个本地猎户忽然送来一只死虎,他带着一脸惶恐的表情对我父亲说,他入山打猎,只想猎到狼、狐、豺、狗,却不想误杀了万兽之王。他决不是存心打虎的。他不敢冒犯虎威,怕虎对他报仇,但是他又不能使枉死的虎复活,因此才把死虎带来献给“父母官”,以为可以减轻他的罪过。父亲给了猎人若干钱,便接受了这个礼物。死虎在衙门里躺了一天,才被剥了皮肢解了。后来父亲房内多了一张虎皮椅垫,而且常常有人到我们家里要虎骨粉去泡酒当药吃。
Thirty-one years ago, I remember, when my father was magistrate of Guangyuan County a local hunter suddenly visited him one evening to present him with a dead tiger. He told my father nervously that he had killed the king of beasts by mistake for he had been to the mountains exclusively to hunt wolves, foxes, jackals and dogs. He added that he had by no means killed the tiger on purpose, that he was afraid that the mighty tiger would retaliate against him for his serious offence and that since the dead animal could not be revived, he had brought it as a gift to my father the magistrate in order to have his own crime mitigated. My father accepted it and gave him some money in return. The dead tiger lay in the yamen for a day until it was skinned and dismembered. From then on, my father had a new acquisition in his room — namely, the tiger-skin chair cushion, and people often came to our home to ask for some tiger-bone powder, with which they were to make a medicinal drink by steeping it in liquor.

我们一家人带着虎的头骨回到成都。头骨放在桌上,有时我眼睛看花了,会看出一个活的虎头来。不过虎骨?总是锁在柜子里,等着有人来要药时,父亲才叫人拿出它来磨粉。最后整个头都变成粉末四处散开了。
Later, when my family moved back to Chengdu, we brought the tiger's skull with us. Sometimes I would gaze at the skull on the table until it blurred before my eyes and conjured up in me visions of a live tiger's head. But we always had it locked up in a cupboard. My father would not have it taken out to have part of it ground into powder unless when someone who needed it as medicine came to ask for it. Consequently the whole tiger skull was given away in the form of powder.

经过三十年的长岁月,人应该忘记了许多事情。但是到今天我还记得虎头骨的形状,和猎人说话时的惶恐表情。如果叫我把那个猎人的面容描写一下,我想用一句话:他好像做过了什么亵渎神明的事情似的?。我还要补充说?:他说话时不大敢看死虎,他的眼光偶尔挨到它,他就要变脸色。
Things that happened some thirty years ago are apt to be forgotten. But even to this day I still remember the appearance of the tiger's skull and the apprehension in the hunter's face while he addressed my father. I should say that his facial expression boiled down to this: he looked as if he had blasphemed the gods. And I would also like to add in passing that while he was talking to my father he didn't even dare to take a glance at the dead tiger. He would turn pale the moment his eye accidentally fell on it.

死了以后,还能够使人害怕,使人尊敬?,像虎这样的猛兽,的确是值得我们热爱的。
A fierce animal like the tiger, which continues to inspire us with reverent awe even after death, really deserves our warm love.

说明

《虎》是巴金写于1941年7月26日的一篇随笔,后编入散文集《龙·虎·狗》。作者爱虎,讲述有关虎的故事和家庭往事,娓娓道来,夹叙夹议,耐人寻味。

注释

①“几个和尚在那里过着单调的修行生活”可译为where several monks lived the monotonous life of practising Buddhism,但不如where several pious Buddhist monks lived a monotonous life简洁灵活,其中pious已可涵盖“修行生活”。

②“同他们做朋友的……”意即“陪伴他们的……”,故译They had for company...即可。

③“僧人安然在庙内做他们的日课”可按“僧人安然在庙内念经”译为while peacefully engaged in their daily routine of chanting Buddhist scripture inside the temple或while chanting Buddhist scripture undisturbed inside the temple,其中“安然”意即“不受干扰”,故译peacefully或undisturbed。

④“虎们也视为平常的事情”意即“虎们没有为此感到惊恐”,故译The tigers would remain unalarmed。

⑤“却斯斯文文地吃……”意即“却不慌不忙地吃……”,故译They just kept on eating unhurriedly...。

⑥“随着几阵风飞腾而去”可按“一阵风似的跑掉了”译为they would whisk away like the wind,其中like the wind是习语,作“快速”解。此句也可译为they would be gone with the wind in a flash(或in the twinkling of an eye)。

⑦“它仍会奔回深山,重做山林的霸主”可译为it will quickly return to the remote mountains to reign over the forest again(或to resume its domination over the forest)。现译it will go right back to the remote mountains to lord it over the forest,其中to lord it over是习语,作“称霸”解。

⑧“父母官”是旧时民间对县官的称呼,在此可按上下文译为my father the magistrate。

⑨“衙门”指辛亥革命以前中国的官署,可译为yamen,属英语中的外来语。

⑩“后来父亲房内多了一张虎皮椅垫”译为From then on, my father had a new acquisition in his room — namely, the tiger-skin chair cushion,其中a new acquisition比something new确切,因前者的意思是“新增添的东西”,与后者略有不同。

?“虎骨”应指“虎的头骨”,因此未译为the tiger bones。

?“如果叫我把那个猎人的面容描写一下,我想用一句话:他好像做过了什么亵渎神明的事情似的”译为I should say that his facial expression boiled down to this: he looked as if he had blasphemed the gods,其中boiled down是习语,作“可归纳为”(may be summarized as)解。译文简练,不妨比较如下直译:If I should be called upon to describe his facial expression, I would sum it up in one single sentence: he looked as if he had blasphemed the gods。

?“我还要补充说……”译为And l will also like to add in passing...,其中in passing是习语,作“顺便地”解,是增益成分,在译文中有承上启下的作用。

?“使人害怕,使人尊敬”译为inspire us with reverent awe,其中“害怕”与“尊敬”合成reverent awe。把汉语两个并列形容词转变为英语“定语+抽象名词”的形式,内容不变,是文学翻译的一个常用方法。

打赏

微信赞赏支付宝赞赏