英译中国现代散文选 | 萧红 祖父死了的时候

更多精彩,请关注微信公众号:田间小站

祖父死了的时候
When Grandpa Died

祖父总是有点变样子,他喜欢流起眼泪来,同时过去很重要的事情他也忘掉。比方过去那一些他常讲的故事,现在讲起来,讲了一半下一半他就说:“我记不得了。”
Somehow or other grandpa wasn't quite himself. He was often in tears and forgetting things — even important things of the past. For example, in telling a story that he had often used to tell, he would give up halfway and sigh, "I've forgotten the rest of it."

某夜,他又病了一次,经过这一次病,他竟说:“给你三姑写信,叫她来一趟,我不是四五年没看过她吗?”他叫我写信给我已经死去五年的姑母。
One night, he fell ill again. After recovering, he said to me, "Write to your third aunt and tell her to come see me. I haven't seen her for four or five years, have I?" But the aunt he meant had died five years before.

那次离家是很痛苦的。学校来了开学通知信,祖父又一天一天地变样起来
It gave me much pain this time to leave home. Grandpa's condition was going from bad to worse when I received a notice from my school informing me of the beginning of the new semester.

祖父睡着的时候,我就躺在他的旁边哭,好像祖父已经离开我死去似的,一面哭着一面抬头看他凹陷的嘴唇。我若死掉祖父,就死掉我一生最重要的一个人,好像他死了就把人间一切“爱”和“温暖”带得空空虚虚。我的心被丝线扎住或铁丝绞住了。
When he was sound asleep, I lay beside him sobbing bitterly as if he had already passed away. I raised my head to fix my tearful eyes on his retracted lips. His death would mean the death of a person most important to me all my life. It would, as it were, put an end to what "love" and "warmth" there was in this world. My heart was in a turmoil as if entangled with silk string or iron wire.

我联想到母亲死的时候。母亲死以后,父亲怎样打我,又娶一个新母亲来。这个母亲很客气,不打我,就是骂,也是指着桌子或椅子来骂我。客气是越客气了,但是冷淡了,疏远了,生人一样。
Then I remembered how, after mother's death, father had remarried and often beat me. My new mother was seemingly polite and never beat me. Even when she cursed me, she would do it in a roundabout way by referring to something else, say, a chair or table. Polite as she was, we were strangers yet.

“到院子去玩玩吧!”祖父说了这话之后,在我的头上撞了一下,“喂!你看这是什么?”一个黄金色的桔子落到我的手中
"Go and play in the courtyard," said grandpa giving me a rap on the head. "Look! What's this?" He thrust a golden orange into my hand.

夜间不敢到茅厕去,我说:“妈妈同我到茅厕去趟吧。”
At night, being afraid to go to the latrine, I asked my stepmother, "Mom, will you accompany me to the latrine?"

“我不去!”
"No, I won't."

“那我害怕呀!”
"I'm afraid."

“怕什么?”
"What!"

“怕什么?怕鬼怕神?”父亲也说话了,把眼睛从眼镜上面看着我。
"What! Afraid of ghosts and spirits?" father cut in, his eyes shooting me an icy stare over his glasses.

冬天,祖父已经睡下,赤着脚,开着纽扣跟我到外面茅厕去。
It was a cold winter night. Grandpa rose from his bed and walked me barefoot to the latrine, his jacket unbuttoned.

学校开学,我迟到了四天。三月里,我又回家一次,正在外面叫门,里面小弟弟嚷着:“姐姐回来了!姐姐回来了!”大门开时,我就远远注意着祖父住着的那间房子。果然祖父的面孔和胡子闪现在玻璃窗里。我跳着笑着跑进屋去。但不是高兴,只是心酸,祖父的脸色更惨淡更白了。等屋子里一个人没有时,他流着泪,他慌慌忙忙的一边用袖口擦着眼泪,一边抖动着嘴唇说:“爷爷不行了,不知早晚……前些日子好险没跌……跌死。”
I was four days late for school. In March, I returned home for a short visit. While knocking at the gate, I heard my younger brother shouting, "Here comes sister! Here comes sister!" The moment the gate was opened, I directed my eyes far ahead straight towards the room where grandpa lived. Sure enough, I saw the glimpse of his face and beard behind the window panes. I dashed into his room beaming delightedly. But sorrow, instead of joy, came over me when I saw an even more sickly pallor on his face. When I was left alone with him, he quickly wiped away his tears with his sleeve and said with his lips quivering, "Grandpa is dying. It won't be long now... I had a narrow escape from death the other day when I stumbled and fell."

“怎么跌的?”
"How did you fall?"

“就是在后屋,我想去解手,招呼人,也听不见,按电铃也没有人来,就得爬啦。还没到后门口,腿颤,心跳,眼前发花了一阵就倒下去。没跌断了腰……人老了,有什么用处!爷爷是八十一岁呢。”
"I was at the back of the room when I felt like relieving myself. I called, but nobody answered. I pressed the electric bell, again nobody came. So I had to feel my way out. Hardly had I reached the door when my legs began to tremble, my heart beat hard and I felt dizzy and fell. Luckily, I didn't break my back... I'm old, no good for anything! Grandpa's already eighty-one."

“爷爷是八十一岁。”
"Yeah, grandpa's eighty-one."

“没用了,活了八十一岁还是在地上爬呢!我想你看不着爷爷了,谁知没有跌死,我又慢慢爬到炕上。”
"I'm no use. Imagine an 81-year-old man feeling about on the ground. I thought you wouldn't be able to see me again. But strangely I survived and slowly hobbled back to the kang."

我走的那天也是和我回来那天一样,白色的脸的轮廓闪现在玻璃窗里。
The day when I left for school, I saw the same silhouette of a pale face moving behind the window panes as upon my arrival.

在院心我回头看着祖父的面孔,走到大门口,在大门口我仍可看见,出了大门,就被门扇遮断。
I could still see it when I looked back from the centre of the courtyard. It remained visible even when I got close to the gate. Then it was completely shut out of view as soon as I stepped out of the gate.

从这一次祖父就与我永远隔绝了。虽然那次和祖父告别,并没说出一个永别的字。我回来看祖父,这回门前吹着喇叭,幡杆挑得比房头更高,马车离家很远的时候,我已看到高高的白色幡杆了,吹鼓手们的喇叭怆凉的在悲号。马车停在喇叭声中,大门前的白幡、白对联、院心的灵棚、闹嚷嚷许多人,吹鼓手们响起乌乌的哀号。
As a matter of fact, I parted from grandpa this time never to meet again. Of course, I said nothing to that effect when bidding him farewell. On my next return home, I found musicians blowing the suona horn at the gate and funeral streamers hanging high above the housetop — so high that I had seen it from afar when I was arriving in the carriage. My carriage pulled up amidst the mournful blare of the suona. There were white streamers, white scrolls inscribed with couplets in commemoration of the deceased, the mourning shed in the centre of the courtyard and noisy crowds of people.

这回祖父不坐在玻璃窗里,是睡在堂屋的板床上,没有灵魂的躺在那里。我要看一看他白色的胡子,可是怎样看呢!拿开他脸上蒙着的纸吧,胡子、眼睛和嘴,都不会动了,他真的一点感觉也没有了?我从祖父的袖管里去摸他的手,手也没有感觉了。祖父这回真死去了啊!
Now, instead of sitting behind the window panes, grandpa was lying dead on a plank bed in the central room of the house. Eager to take a last look at him, I removed the sheet of paper covering his face. Alas, his beard, eyes and mouth were all stiff and insensitive. I reached my hand into his sleeve to feel his hand, but it likewise was insensitive. O grandpa was really no more!

祖父装进棺材去的那天早晨,正是后园里玫瑰花开放满树的时候。我扯着祖父的一张被角,抬向灵前去。吹鼓手在灵前吹着大喇叭。
The morning when grandpa was laid into the coffin, the rose bush in our back garden had just come into full bloom. I held a corner of grandpa's quilt in my hand while he was being carried towards the coffin. Meanwhile, the musicians had gathered before it to blare the suona again.

我怕起来,我号叫起来。
Seized with a sudden fear, I broke out howling.

“咣咣!”黑色的,半尺厚的灵柩盖子压上去。
Bang, bang! The 7-inch-thick black coffin lid was put in place.

吃饭的时候,我饮了酒,用祖父的酒杯饮的。饭后我跑到后园玫瑰树下去卧倒,园中飞着蜂子和蝴蝶,绿草的清凉的气味,这都和十年前一样。可是十年前死了妈妈。妈妈死后我仍是在园中扑蝴蝶;这回祖父死去,我却饮了酒。
At lunch, I drank wine using grandpa's cup. After lunch, I lay under the rose bush in the back garden where, like when mother died ten years before, bees and butterflies were flying and the air was filled with the refreshing scent of green grass. After mother's death, I had continued to dash at butterflies in the back garden. Now after grandpa's death, I drank wine.

过去的十年我是和父亲打斗着生活。在这期间我觉得人是残酷的东西。父亲对我是没有好面孔的,对于仆人也是没有好面孔的,他对于祖父也是没有好面孔的。因为仆人是穷人,祖父是老人,我是个小孩子,所以我们这些完全没有保障的人?就落到他的手里,后来我看到新娶来的母亲也落到他的手里,他喜欢她的时候,便同她说笑,他恼怒时便骂她?,母亲渐渐也怕起父亲来。
The past ten years had witnessed me at loggerheads with father. I learned how cold-hearted man could become. Father was unkind to me, our servants and even my grandpa alike. He ill-treated us because our servants were poor, grandpa was old and I was a mere child, or, in other words, because we were the unprotected underdogs. Later, when he had my stepmother in his hands, he would be kind or unkind to her by turns, depending upon his changing moods. So my stepmother also gradually became scared of him.

母亲也不是穷人,也不是老人,也不是孩子,怎么也怕起父亲来呢?我到邻家去看看,邻家的女人也是怕男人。我到舅家去,舅母也是怕舅父。
How did it come that my stepmother, being neither poor, nor old, nor a child, should also have become scared of father? And I learned that my female neighbours too were afraid of their husbands and so was my aunt afraid of my uncle her husband.

我懂得的尽是些偏僻的人生,我想世间死了祖父,就没有再同情我的人了,世间死了祖父,剩下的尽是些凶残的人了。
I knew very little about life. I thought that, without grandpa, there would be none left to feel sympathy for me and that, without grandpa, all people left in this world would be savage and cruel.

我饮了酒,回想,幻想……
I drank, I reminisced, I dreamed...

以后我必须不要家,到广大的人群中去,但我在玫瑰树下颤怵了,人群中没有我的祖父。
Yes, from now on, I thought, I must abandon my home and join the broad masses. At this, however, I also began to shudder with fear under the rose bush. I feared that I would miss grandfather while I was with the masses.

所以我哭着,整个祖父死的时候我哭着?
Hence I cried, and I kept crying for days after grandpa passed away.

说明

萧红(1911—1942),黑龙江省呼兰县人,是很有才华的女作家。她的散文大部分是对青少年时代的回忆,富有新意真情,语言自然朴素。她十岁失恃,父亲续娶,对她不好,在童年时代只有祖父给她温暖和慈爱。1930年祖父去世,她失去了唯一爱护她的人,深感悲伤。《祖父死了的时候》一文是她为纪念祖父而写的。

注释

①“祖父总是有点变样子”意即“不知怎么地,祖父有些异常”,译为Somehow or other grandpa wasn't quite himself,其中Somehow or other作“不知怎么地”(for some vague reason)解。又,英语to be oneself作“身心正常”解,因此wasn't quite himself的意思就是“有些异常”。

②“他喜欢流起眼泪来”不宜按字面直译,应按“他经常流泪”译为He was often in tears(或tearful)。

③译文was forgetting things等于was very forgetful,作“常忘事”或“忘性大”解,注意其时态。

④“祖父又一天一天地变样起来”未按字面直译,现按“祖父的病情每况愈下”的意思译为Grandpa's condition was going from bad to worse。

⑤“凹陷的嘴唇”即“瘪进去的嘴唇”。常用sunken一词形容cheeks等,但不宜用它形容lips,所以未按字面把“凹陷的嘴唇”译为his sunken lips。译为his retracted lips则较确切,其中retracted的意思是“缩进去的”(drawn in)。

⑥“一个金黄色的桔子落到我的手中”意即“他把一个金黄色的桔子塞到我的手中”,所以不宜按字面直译为A golden orange fell into my hand,应译He thrust a golden orange into my hand。

⑦“怕什么?”并不表达疑问,如直译为What are you afraid of? 或Why are you afraid? 就表达不出说话人“恼怒”的口吻。现译What!,用的正是能表达“恼怒”的惊叹词,相当于汉语“什么!”。

⑧“没跌断了腰”译为Luckily, I didn't break my back,其中luckily(幸好)是译文中的增益成分,原文虽无其词而有其意。

⑨“并没有说出一个永别的字”不宜按字面直译,现意译为I said nothing to that effect,其中to that effect的意思是“大意如此的”。

⑩“门前吹着喇叭”中的“喇叭”指管乐器“唢呐”,是我国民间吹打乐中的主要乐器。可英译为suona或suona horn。全句译文为I found musicians blowing the suona horn at the gate,其中I found是增益成分,musicians指民间婚丧礼中吹奏乐器的人。

?“完全没有保障的人”本可译为the unprotected,现后面加underdogs (受害者、倒霉的人)一词,以便强调。

?“他喜欢她的时候,便同她说笑,他恼怒时便骂她”可直译为he would chat and laugh with her when he was pleased with her, or gave her a good dressing-down when he was annoyed,但嫌累赘。现译he would be kind or unkind to her by turns, depending upon his changing moods,较为简洁灵活,取其神似,其中by turns作“交替地”解。

?“整个祖父死的时候我哭着”意即“祖父死后那些日子里我哭着”,不宜译为I kept crying after grandpa passed away,应在crying后面加for days。

打赏

微信赞赏支付宝赞赏