英译中国现代散文选 | 艾青 偶像的话


The Idol Speaks

There stood in a well-known ancient temple a huge statue. It was so tall that people standing by were unable to touch even its knees however hard they tried to reach for it. For many, many years, visitors couldn't help feeling so overawed and dwarfed at the sight of it that they looked to it eagerly for salvation.

Having stood there for several hundred years, the statue had now come to detest it as a kind of forced drudgery. And it knew perfectly well that it could do nothing whatsoever to help the suffering mortal beings craving for salvation by it. Feeling bored as well as ashamed, it began to address its worshippers at long last:

"O ye mortals, what a ridiculous thing you've done! You've created me in your own image, and an image of gigantic dimensions at that, believing that I can thus be powerful enough to rid you of your worries and cares. As a result, however, I've become just scared of you.

"I've every reason to believe that it is your lack of self-confidence that has prompted you to create me. Look, in what way am I superior to you? As a matter of fact, I even lack what you yourselves are equipped with.

"If you're bold enough to smash me to pieces, you won't see a single drop of blood trickling down my chest.

"Of course I'm also aware that it's a daring act of yours to have created me, in an attempt to make me an accomplice of yours so that I can join you in hoodwinking those who are even weaker than you.

"I've had enough of punishment, having been footed to the spot for several hundred years! Ever since your forefathers moulded me, people have been gilding me all over from generation to generation to keep me glittering from top to toe. Nevertheless, I'm sick of my present position as much as I'm of hypocrisy.

"Please smash me, or reduce me to your size and instill life-giving blood into me! I would be very grateful to you if that could ever be done. But it's simply impossible!

"I hold, therefore, that you yourselves only are your saviours, and my presence can only mean your misfortune." With that, the statue crumbled all of a sudden like a huge mountain.




①“偶像的话”译为The Idol Speaks,比直译The Idol's Words或The Idol's Remarks生动有力,动词用现在不定式符合英语标题写法。

②“人在他的旁边”译为people standing by,即people standing by its side。成语to stand by作“站在……旁边”解。

③“不由自主地肃然起敬,感到自己的渺小,卑微……”译为couldn't help feeling so overawed and dwarfed,干脆利落,灵活处理。如译为couldn't help having a feeling of reverence and calling themselves petty and low,似欠简练。

④“这尊塑像站了几百年了,他觉得这是一种苦役”译为Having stood there for several hundred years, the statue had now come to detest it as a kind of forced drudgery,其中to detest(憎恨)和forced(强加的)均为添加成分,原文虽无其词而有其意。

⑤“由于羞愧而厌烦”译为Feeling bored as well as ashamed,作灵活处理,意即“不仅羞愧,而且厌烦”。

⑥“把我加以扩大”译为and an image of gigantic dimensions at that,补充前面的You've created me in your own image。成语at that作“而且”解。

⑦“而我却害怕你们”译为As a result, however, I've become just scared of you。文中“而”的实际意思是“这样一来”或“结果”,故译为As a result,不宜译为In the meantime或And等。

⑧“我已受够惩罚了”译为I've had enough of punishment,其中to have had enough of...是惯用语,意思是“对……已受够”,等于to have had too much of...。

⑨“我已站在这儿几百年”译为having been footed to the spot for several hundred years,和having been standing here for several hundred years同义,但突出了“固定一个地方”的意思。

⑩“赋予生命所必需的血液”本可译为bestow lifegiving blood upon me,但to bestow与blood连用,比喻不确切,故改译为instill life-giving blood into me,其中to instill... into...作“把……输入到……”(to put... into... drop by drop)解。

?“说完了最后的话”译为With that、With that last remark、With these words等皆可,其中介词With表示“与此同时”。With that相当于Upon finishing these words。