英译中国现代散文选 | 师陀 邮差先生

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邮差先生
Mr. Postman

邮差先生走到街上来,手里拿着一大把信。在这小城里他兼任邮务员,售票员,但仍旧有许多剩余时间,每天戴上老花眼镜,埋头在公案上剪裁花样。因此——再加上岁月的侵蚀,他的脊背驼了。当邮件来到的时候他站起来,他念着,将它们拣出来,然后小心的扎成一束。
Mr. Postman would walk up the street with a bundle of letters in his hand. Working in a small town as postman-stamp seller, he still had lots of spare time. Every day he would sit bending over his desk scissor-cutting flower patterns, wearing a pair of glasses for farsighted old people. All this, plus age, had given him a bent back. When the mail arrived, he would stand up, run his eyes over it, pick out the letters he was to deliver, and carefully bundle them up.

“这一封真远!”碰巧瞥见从云南或甘肃寄来的信,他便忍不住在心里叹息。他从来没有想到过比这更远的地方。其实他自己也弄不清云南和甘肃的方位——谁教它们处在那么远,远到使人一生不想去吃它们的小米饭或大头菜呢?
"This letter is from a real far place!" he could not help sighing inwardly when he happened to catch sight of a letter from a remote province, such as Yunnan or Gansu. He had never thought of a place farther than that, though he himself had no clear idea at all where it was located. Who was to blame for its being so far away that people had to deny themselves, for life, the pleasure of eating, say, millet in Gansu or salted turnip in Yunnan?

现在邮差先生手里拿着的是各种各样的信。从甘肃和云南来的邮件毕竟很少,它们最多的大概还是学生写给家长们的。
Mr. Postman was now carrying various kinds of letters in his hand. Few, however, came from Gansu or Yunnan. Most of them were probably sent by students to their parents.

“又来催饷了,”他心里说:“足够老头子忙三四天!”
"Here's another letter pressing for the allowance," said he to himself. "It'll take the poor old man at least three or four days to raise the money."

他在空旷的很少行人的街上走着,一面想着,如果碰见母猪带领着小猪,便从旁边绕过去。小城的阳光晒着他花白了的头,晒着他穿皂布马褂的背,尘土极幸运的从脚下飞起来,落到他的白布袜子上,他的扎腿带上。在这小城里他用不着穿号衣。一个学生的家长又将向他诉苦,“毕业,毕我的业!”他将听他过去听过无数次的,一个老人对于他的爱子所发的这种怨言,心里充满善意,他于是笑了。这些写信的人自然并不全认识他,甚至没有一个会想起他,但这没有关系,他知道他们,他们每换一回地址他都知道。
While walking on the deserted open street, he reminded himself that in case he met a sow approaching with her piglets following close behind he must take care to skirt round them. The small town sun was shining down on his greying head and on the back of his black mandarin jacket. The dust kicked up from under his feet was lucky enough to settle on his white socks and leg wrappings. As a small town postman, he was not liveried. A father would grumble to him again about his own student-son, "Hum, to see him finish school... I'll be finished myself!" Mr. Postman listened smilingly to the poor old man's oft-repeated well-meaning complaints about his beloved son. Of course, not all senders knew him and none would even think of him. But that didn't matter, for he knew about them all and he also knew when they had a new address.

邮差先生于是敲门,门要是虚掩着,他走进去。
Mr. Postman knocked at a door, and stepped inside if it was left ajar.

“家里有人吗?”他大声在过道里喊。
"Anybody at home?" he called loudly from the passageway.

他有时候要等好久。最后从里头走出一位老太太,她的女婿在外地做生意,再不然,她的儿子在外边当兵。一条狗激烈的在她背后叫着。她出来的很仓促,两只手湿淋淋的,分明刚才还在做事。
As was often the case, he had to wait quite a while. Finally an old lady emerged. Perhaps her son-in-law was doing business elsewhere, or perhaps her son had gone soldiering somewhere. A dog behind her was barking furiously. The old lady had come out in a hurry. She must have been busy with household chores, as witness her hands still dripping wet with water.

“干什么的?”老太太问。
"What's up?" she inquired.

邮差先生告诉她:“有一封信,挂号信,得盖图章。”
"A letter," Mr. Postman answered, "a registered one. You're required to stamp your seal here."

老太太没有图章。
The old lady didn't have a seal.

“那你打个铺保,晚半天到局子里来领。这里头也许有钱。”
"Then you have to find a shop guarantor for yourself and come later to the post office for the letter. Maybe there's money in it. "

“有多少?”
"How much?"

“我说也许有,不一定有。”
"I said 'maybe.' Can't tell if there is any money in it."

你能怎么办呢?对于这个好老太太。邮差先生费了半天唇舌,终于又走到街上来了。小城的阳光照在他的花白头顶上,他的模样既尊贵又从容,并有一种特别风韵,看见他你会当他是趁便出来散步的。说实话他又何必紧张,他手里的信反正总有时间全部送到,那么在这个小城里,另外难道还会有什么事等候他吗?虽然他有时候是这样抱歉,他为这个小城送来——不,这种事是很少有的,但愿它不常有。
What else could he do with this good old lady? After doing a lot of explaining, Mr. Postman was finally on his way down the street again. With the top of his greying head bathed in the small town sunlight, he looked dignified and calm with a characteristic bearing of his own. People would probably think he was out taking a walk at his leisure. In fact, he had no need for hurrying at all. He had plenty of time to finish delivering all the mail in his hand. Could there be anything urgent in this town calling for his prompt attention? Yes, once in a while, to his great regret, he did deliver a letter with a bit of unhappy news. It was very seldom though, and he wished it would never happen again.

“送信的,有我的信吗?”正走间,一个爱开玩笑的小子忽然拦住他的去路。
"Hey, any letter for me?" a playful youngster suddenly stopped him.

“你的信吗?”邮差先生笑了。“你的信还没有来,这会儿正在路上睡觉呢。”
"Your letter?" Mr. Postman smiled. "It hasn't arrived yet. For this moment it's dozing on its way."

邮差先生拿着信,顺着街道走下去,没有一辆车子阻碍他,没有一种声音教他分心。阳光充足的照到街岸上、屋脊上和墙壁上,整个小城都在寂静的光耀中。他身上要出汗,他心里——假使不为尊重自己的一把年纪跟好胡子,他真想大声哼唱小曲。为此他深深赞叹:这个小城的天气多好!
Mr. Postman kept on walking along the street with the mail in his hand. Not a vehicle in sight, nor a noise within hearing. The sun was beating down on sidewalks, roofs and walls. The whole town was immersed in a silent brilliance. He felt like sweating. Were it not for his age and long beard, he said to himself, he would break out humming a tune. He gasped with admiring wonder, "What a beautiful day!"

说明

师陀(l910—1988)是我国散文名家,河南杞县花寨人,破落地主家庭出身,三十年代步入文坛。《邮差先生》是他写于1942年的一篇人物小品。文章语言浅白、平实,以寥寥数笔,勾画一个善良、敬业的乡村老邮递员,生动传神。

注释

①“他兼任邮务员,售票员”中的“售票员”指“售邮票的人”,故译stamp seller,不能按字面译为ticket seller。全句也可译为Working in a small town as both postman and stamp seller,今译Working in a small town as postman-stamp seller,较为简洁。

②“老花眼镜”即“远视眼镜”,也可译为presbyopic glasses,但欠通俗,不如glasses for farsighted old people切合文体。

③“真远”本应译为really far,今译real far,其中real为副词,等于really,较切合口语。

④“又来催饷了”语气幽默,因“饷”字旧时指“薪金”。全句的意思是“又来要钱了”,故译Here's another letter pressing for the allowance(或pressing for money),不可译为Here's another letter pressing for pay。

⑤“毕业,毕我的业”是双关语,意即“等他毕业,我就完蛋了”,故译为Hum, to see him finish school... I'll be finished myself,其中finished也是双关语。又,Hum(哼)表示不满,是译文中的添加成分,用以衬托原有语气。

⑥“他有时候要等好久”中的“有时候”意即“通常的情况是……”,如译为Sometimes似欠确切,故用从句As was often the case表达。

⑦“干什么的?”也可译为What's happening?,但不如What's up切合口语。

⑧“他为这个小城送来——”根据上下文,送来的明显是坏消息,故译he did deliver a letter with a bit of unhappy news。

⑨“没有一辆车子阻碍他,没有一种声音教他分心”译为Not a vehicle in sight, nor a noise within hearing,前后对称,简洁顺口。如逐字直译,难免逊色。

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