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钱钟书经典美文翻译详解:窗

发布日期:2018-01-22      阅读数:64 次

出场人物:申雨平,北京外国语大学教授。钱钟书先生的这篇散文说的是窗子,但是其用意绝不仅仅是说说窗子而已,而是要以窗子来比喻生活、比喻人生。从语言上看,《窗》延续了一贯的钱派手法,用词平实、普通,没有长句,没有什么复杂结构,非常从容地叙述、说理,却又紧紧地扣住了主题。这样的特点对翻译构成的难度不言而喻,翻译中应当时时充分考虑上述特点,尽量在译文中体现出来。

一逐句分析:

Random Thoughts on the Window

(题目中的这个窗字,包含的意思较为丰富,使人有多种联想,因此译成Random Thoughts on the Window。)

又是春天 It is spring again

中文是无主句,英文没有这样的句子结构,因此用It is…句型。原文里“又”用在句首,但是英文如果也把again放在句首,这个词就太突出,分量太重了。所以again一词在译文中放在句末和原文“又”放在句首分量相当。

窗子可以常开了 and the window can be left open as often as one would like

用定冠词the 加单数名词window来代表所有的窗子。英语里表示“全部”可以有几种方法:1)复数名词,2)不定冠词a/an+名词,3)定冠词+名词。这里就是用的第三种,更侧重其一致性。“常开”不能译成can open often或can be opened often。因为原文是从人的角度说的,人们什么时候想开窗都行,所以用了one would like这样的说法。

春天从窗外进来 As spring comes in through the windows

这句把春天拟人化了,英文也用同样的结构就行。窗外:out of the window。但是,如果把“从窗外进来”理解成一个过程,用through表示就比较好。

人在屋子里坐不住,就从门里出去 so people–unable to bear staying inside any longer–go outdoors

破折号之间的形容词短语说明人们在屋里坐不住的原因。bear:忍受,后面既可跟-ing动词,也可跟不定式动词。

不过屋子外的春天太贱了 The spring outside, however, is much too cheap

这里的“贱”,是说春天多阳光,以多为贱,中外同理,用cheap也就顺理成章了。

到处是阳光 for the sun shines on everything

这里和上一句是连接在一起的,所以用了连接词for来说明原因。最好不要译成the sunshine is everywhere。因为阳光并不是一种存在,而是说照耀在所有的一切上面,因此说shines。

不像射破屋里阴深的那样明亮 and so does not seem as bright as that which shoots into the darkness of the house

用seem是指屋里屋外阳光是一样的,只是环境的反差使阳光显得不同罢了。as…as是表示屋里屋外阳光的比较。that指the sun。

到处是给太阳晒得懒洋洋的风 Outside the sun-slothed breeze blows everywhere

这里加了一个词outside,因为后面马上要说到的“屋里”并不包括在“到处”一词里;“晒”字英文里与之相当的词就是shine,但是shine并没有带复合宾语的用法,所以换了一个角度来说这句话。sun-slothed是一个复合词。

不像搅动屋里沉闷的那样有生气 but it is not so lively as that which stirs the gloominess inside the house

沉闷这个词在这里不是形容词,而是名词,所以用gloomy加上词尾-ness构成了表示状态的名词。

就是鸟语,也似乎琐碎而单薄,需要屋里的寂静来做衬托 Even the chirping of the birds sounds so thin and broken that the quietness of the house is needed to set it off

说thin and broken而不说broken and thin只是因为语音的关系,音节少的词放在前面,多的放在后面,结构上显得平稳,不至于头重脚轻。只要把这几个词连在一起朗读一下就可体会出来。

我们因此明白,春天是该镶嵌在窗子里看的,好比画配了框子 It seems that spring was always meant to be put behind a windowpane for show, just like a picture in a frame

“我们因此明白”译成It seems…,因为这是一种比喻的说法,直译成英文会给人以突兀的感觉,所以用“似乎如此”的说法。be meant to be的意思是“原本为……”,加了always等于从语气上与原文更相符合,并没有特别具体的含义。中文说“窗子里”,而英文却不能说in a windowpane,windowpane指的是窗子上的玻璃,这就是用behind的原因。

同时,我们悟到,门和窗有不同的意义 At the same time it also becomes clear that the door has a different significance from the window

悟到和上一句中的“明白”是相同的意思,it become clear that 这一说法比it seems that 要肯定一些。

当然,门是造了让人出进的 Of course, doors were made for people to pass through

出进可以译成to come out and go in,但译成to pass through就显得句子紧凑、精炼一些。

但是,窗子有时也可作为进出口用 but a window can also sometimes serve as an entrance or as an exit

entrance和exit这两个词比door和window抽象化了,充分表明了“进出口”的字面意思和含义。

譬如小偷或小说里私约的情人就喜欢爬窗子 and is used as such by thieves and by lovers in novels

译文用了by thieves and by lovers,而不说by thieves and lovers,因为这本来就是两类人,不能放在一起混为一谈。

所以窗子和门的根本分别,决不仅是有没有人进来出去 In fact the fundamental difference between a door and a window has nothing to do with them being either entrances or exits

比较一下different between和前文的different (from):说两者之间的区别,用different between A and B;而说A怎样不同于B则说A is different from B。

若据赏春一事来看,我们不妨这样说 When it comes to the admiration of spring, it could be put this way

When it comes to是比较中庸的说法,不那么正式,但也不那么随意,意思是“说起赏春……”,让人们对下文有一个期待。

有了门,我们可以出去 a door makes it possible for one to go out

“有了门”不能译成with a/the door,因为这里不是说有还是没有,而是有门存在,人们就可以进出房屋。

有了窗,我们可以不必出去 whereas a window makes it possible for one not to have to

Whereas而……。这是一个连接词,表示一种前后的比较或对照。这里的句型和上面是一样的,但是后面的not to have to 是不定式的否定形式,后面省略了go out。

窗子打通了大自然和人的隔膜 A window helps to pull down the partition between man and nature

“由于有了窗子,人和大自然之间的隔膜才得以打破”,窗子起的是一种促进作用,其本身并不能去“打破”什么,因此用了helps to pull down。partition隔离墙。“隔膜”是解剖学词汇,这里用的是其引申意义,不能按字面译成diaphragm,那样意思就不对了。man and nature:man是指整个人类,所以不用任何冠词;nature则是不可数名词。

把风和太阳逗引进来,使屋子里也关着一部分春天 It leads breezes and sunlight in, and keeps part of the spring in the house

Lead:引导,引领。keep…inthe house:使停留在屋里不能外出。

让我们安坐了享受,无需再到外面去找 It allows one to sit and enjoy the spring in peace, and makes it unnecessary to go looking for it outside

原文是说“安坐”,而实际上“安”的意思也应当能涵盖“享受”,只是从词的节奏上感觉“安坐”和“享受”都是两个字的词,似乎是并列的。译文里译成了sit…in peace,等于将状语移了一个位。注意这句中几个it的含义,第一个it指代window,第二个it是形式宾语,引出后面的to go…,第三个it是指代the spring。

二全篇通览

Random Thoughts on the Window

又是春天,窗子可以常开了。春天从窗外进来,人在屋子里坐不住,就从门里出去。不过屋子外的春天太贱了!到处是阳光,不像射破屋里阴深的那样明亮;到处是给太阳晒得懒洋洋的风,不像搅动屋里沉闷的那样有生气。就是鸟语,也似乎琐碎而单薄,需要屋里的寂静来做衬托。我们因此明白,春天是该镶嵌在窗子里看的,好比画配了框子。

It is spring again and the window can be left open as often as one would like. As spring comes in through the windows, so people–unable to bear staying inside any longer–go outdoors. The spring outside, however, is much too cheap, for the sun shines on everything, and so does not seem as bright as that which shoots into the darkness of the house. Outside the sun-slothed breeze blows everywhere, but it is not so lively as that which stirs the gloominess inside the house. Even the chirping of the birds sounds so thin and broken that the quietness of the house is needed to set it off. It seems that spring was always meant to be put behind a windowpane for show, just like a picture in a frame.

同时,我们悟到,门和窗有不同的意义。当然,门是造了让人出进的。但是,窗子有时也可作为进出口用,譬如小偷或小说里私约的情人就喜欢爬窗子。所以窗子和门的根本分别,决不仅是有没有人进来出去。若据赏春一事来看,我们不妨这样说:有了门,我们可以出去;有了窗,我们可以不必出去。窗子打通了大自然和人的隔膜,把风和太阳逗引进来,使屋子里也关着一部分春天,让我们安坐了享受,无需再到外面去找。

At the same time it also becomes clear that the door has a different significance from the window. Of course, doors were made for people to pass through; but a window can also sometimes serve as an entrance or as an exit, and is used as such by thieves and by lovers in novels. In fact the fundamental difference between a door and a window has nothing to do with them being either entrances or exits. When it comes to the admiration of spring, it could be put this way: a door makes it possible for one to go out, whereas a window makes it possible for one not to have to. A window helps to pull down the partition between man and nature. It leads breezes and sunlight in, and keeps part of the spring in the house. It allows one to sit and enjoy the spring in peace, and makes it unnecessary to go looking for it outside.

来源:北外网院博客 日期:2008年4月26日

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