英译中国现代散文选 | 唐弢 故乡的雨

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故乡的雨
Rain in My Old Home

江南的春天素称多雨,一落就是七八天。住在上海的人们,平日既感不到雨的需要,一旦下雨,天气是那么阴沉,谁也耐不住闷在狭小的家里;可是跑到外面,没有山,没有湖,也没有经雨的嫩绿的叶子,一切都不及晴天好;有时阔人的汽车从你身旁驰过,还得带一身泥污回来。
Spring in the south is known to be rainy. During this season, it never rains there but it remains wet for seven or eight days on end. Dwellers in Shanghai, who usually do not feel the need for rain, will be bored with having to confine themselves in their close quarters when outside it is gloomy with rain. While in the open, seeing no mountains, nor lakes, nor rain-drenched soft green leaves, you'll find nothing comparable to a fine day. Sometimes, worse still, a rich man's car flashing past may splash you all over with mud.

记得六七年前初来上海读书,校里的功课特别忙,往往自修到午夜;那年偏又多雨,淅淅沥沥,打窗飘瓦,常常扰乱我看书的情绪。我虽然不像岂明老人那样额其斋曰:“苦雨”,天天坐在里面嘘气,但也的确有点“深恶而痛绝之”的念头。
I remember when I first came to Shanghai to attend school six or seven years ago, I used to be so very busy with my homework that I often had to sit up late into the night. As it happened to be a rainy year, I was often disturbed by the pitter-patter of rain beating down against the window and roof. Indeed, I dislike rain with no less intensity than the elderly gentleman Qi Ming, who sits about moaning about the wet weather all day in his study, over the doorway of which hangs a horizontal board bearing an inscription in his own hand, "Distressing-Rain Study".

可是这种事情只在上海才会有。少时留居家乡,当春雨像鹅毛般落着的时候,登楼眺望,远处的山色被一片烟雨笼住,村落恍惚,若有若无,雨中的原野新鲜而又幽静,使人不易忘怀!尤其可爱的是夜间。不知哪一年春天,我和两个同伴,摇着小船到十里外一个镇上看社戏,完场已是午夜,归途遇雨,船在河塘中缓缓前进,灯火暗到辨不出人面,船身擦着河岸新生的茅草,发出沙沙的声音。雨打乌篷,悠扬疾徐,如听音乐,如闻节拍,和着同伴们土著的歌谣,“河桥风雨夜推篷”,真够使人神往。
But that's something which can be experienced in Shanghai only. I'll never forget the days when I enjoyed the spring rain in my native place as a small child. I would go upstairs to take a distant look. The faraway mountains were veiled in a misty rain. The villages were now visible, now invisible. The wet open country was fresh and serene. And the rainy evening was even more lovely. One spring, together with two companions, I rowed a small boat to a townlet ten li away to see a village opera. At midnight, after the performance was over, we got caught in a rain on the way home. The boat made its way slowly and our faces were hardly distinguishable by the dim light of the lantern. Rustles were heard as the boat rubbed its body against the newly grown green grass by the river bank. The rain beating on the awning gave off a pleasant sound, as if with musical rhythm and cadence. My companions began to sing, to the accompaniment of the drip-drop, the local folk song In a Boat by a Bridge on a Rainy Night. It was truly fascinating.

这几年投荒到都市,每值淫雨,听着滞涩枯燥的调子,回念故乡景色,觉得连雨声也变了。人事的变迁,更何待说呢!
In recent years, living, as I do, in a big city remote from my old home, I invariably feel homesick listening to the harsh, monotonous drip, drip, drip of the rain. O even the sound of rain has changed, to say nothing of the affairs of human life!

说明

唐弢出生于浙江省镇海县的一个农民家庭。故乡与童年给他的散文创作提供了丰富的素材。他写于1933年的处女作《故乡的雨》便是叙述自己身处城市重温故乡景色与童年快乐的小品散文。

注释

①“一落就是七八天”译为it never rains there but it remains wet for seven or eight days on end,相当于it never rains there without remaining wet for seven or eight days on end,其中wet作rainy解,on end作continuously或at a time解。英语常用“never... but+主语+动词”的句型表达“未有……而不……”之意,如:I never think of rain but I think of my home town(我一想到雨,就会想到故乡)。

②“住在上海的人们……谁也耐不住闷在狭小的家里”译为Dwellers in Shanghai... will be bored with having to confine themselves in their close quarters,其中to confine themselves in/to作“使自己禁闭于……”解,close quarters作“狭小的住处”解。

③“岂明老人”指作家周作人(字岂明),故译the elderly gentleman Qi Ming,译文中须另加注释。

④“天天坐在里面嘘气”意即“整天坐在书房里唉声叹气”,译为sits about moaning all day in his study,其中moaning相当于sighing。又,成语to sit about的意思是“懒洋洋地闲坐”(to sit doing nothing),内涵与to sit略有不同。

⑤“村落恍惚,若有若无”意同“村落忽隐忽现”,译为The villages were now visible, now invisible,其中now... now... 是习语,作“时而……时而……”解。

⑥“和着同伴们土著的歌谣”意即“伴随着同伴们唱的地方歌谣”。译时可颠倒过来,按“伴随着雨声,同伴们唱起一支地方歌谣……”处理:My companions began to sing, to the accompaniment of the drip-drop, the local folk song...,其中to the accompaniment of是成语,作“在……伴奏下”解。

⑦“投荒”本作“贬谪”或“被流放到荒远处”解,文中只作“寄居远地”解,同样有“身不由己”的含义,故把“这几年投荒到都市”译为In recent years, living, as I do, in a big city remote from my old home,其中插入语as I do是为了加强语气。

⑧“听着滞涩枯燥的调子”译为listening to the harsh, monotonous drip, drip, drip of the rain,其中“滞涩”作“刺耳”解,“枯燥”作“单调”解,故分别译为harsh和monotonous。又,“调子”即“滴滴答答”的雨声,用拟声词drip, drip, drip表达。译文中其他代表雨声的拟声词有pitter-patter和drip-drop。

⑨?Qi Ming is the literary name of the famous modern prose writer Zhou Zuoren (1885-1967).

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