Rain in My Old Home
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.
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 Ming⑨, 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".
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.
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!
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).打赏