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《论语》辜鸿铭英译  

2010-02-03 08:46:29|  分类: 读《论语》 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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第一次细看辜鸿铭的《论语》英译,是因为友人译了《弟子规》的几句――“首孝弟,次谨信……有馀力,则学文”――想听听我的看法。

翻开《辜鸿铭文集》,即被他的译文所吸引。“行有馀力,则以学文”的英译是“If he has time and opportunity to spare, after the performance of those duties, he should then employ them in literary pursuits”。你看“馀”为“to spare”,“力”也不只是“energy”,“行”字译为“performance”,再加上“after”和“employ them”,使句子流畅自然。辜的译文让人觉得精细又透彻,当是准确地把握了原文之意,又大胆地抛开原文形式的束缚。后来又看了另一些译文,始终不曾见有超出其上者。

再如《学而篇》第一章。子曰:“学而时习之,不亦说乎?有朋自远方来,不亦乐乎?人不知而不愠,不亦君子乎?”

杨树达在《论语疏证》中说:“时习而说,学者自修之事也;朋来而乐,以文会友之事也;不知而不愠,则为德性坚定之人矣。孔子之言次第极分明也。”

句子之间的关系,如何体现?看看几种译文:

Legge:

The master said, “Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application? Is it not pleasant to have friends coming from distant quarters? Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure thought men may take no note of him?

Waley:

The master said, To learn and at due times to repeat what one has learnt, is that not after all a pleasure? That friends should come to one from afar, is this not after all delightful? To remain unsoured even though one’s merits are unrecognized by others, is that not after all what is expected of a gentleman?

许渊冲:

Is it not a delight, said the Master, to acquire knowledge and put it into practice now and then? Is it not a pleasure to meet friends coming from afar? Is it not an intelligentleman, who is careless alike of being known or unknown?

辜鸿铭:

Confucius remarked, ‘It is indeed a pleasure to acquire knowledge and, as you go on acquiring, to put into practice what you have acquired. A greaterpleasure still it is when friends of congenial minds come from afar to seek you because of your attainments. But he is truly wise and good man who feels no discomposure even when he is not noticed of men.

陈炜舜在《如切如磋,如琢如磨 ──辜鸿铭论语译英文.学而篇译笔试论》一文中有一段相关评论:此章的原文义赅言简,但在句意上却有一段精神贯穿。就文言文来说,加上几个连接词也许会令语义更为清晰,但文气则会冗赘不堪。但另一方面,如果将此章逐字翻译,三句之间递进转折的关系就会失掉。因此,辜鸿铭将之翻译为:…… 译「说」为「pleasure」,译「乐」为「greater pleasure」,可见两种快乐之间的程度。加上「still」,可见独学与切磋之间的递进关系。加上「but」一词,可知第三句是站在第二句的反面来论述的。这样一来,三句就一气呵成,构成一个完整自足的体系。

辜译的文体风格也很鲜明,用辜鸿铭自己的话说,就是“努力按照一个受过教育的英国人表达同样思想的方式,来翻译孔子和他弟子的谈话。”

《学而篇》第十一章:子曰:“父在,观其志;父没,观其行;三年无改于父之道,可谓孝矣”。辜译为:Confucius remarked, “When a man’s father is living the son should have regard to what his father would have him do; when the father is dead, to what his father has done. A son who for three years after his father’s death does not in his own life change his father’s principles, may be said to be a good son.”读到这里时,以为他一时疏忽,把本来指代“子”的“其”字理解为“父”,成了“父在观父志,父没观父行”。

从他译文来看,应该不会是一时疏忽,而是有意地取舍。――只是这取舍,依我看,终究没能正确。

“父在观其志,父没观其行”,这里“其”字的指代,实在是非常有趣味的一个问题。

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