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2010-04-01 09:17:55|  分类: 翻译写作 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Frederick Engels’ Speech at the Grave of Karl Marx

Highgate Cemetery, London. March 17, 1883

On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep  but for ever.
    An immeasurable loss has been sustained both by the militant proletariat of Europe and America, and by historical science, in the death of this man. The gap that has been left by the departure of this mighty spirit will soon enough make itself felt.
    Just as Darwin discovered the law of development or organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history: the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means, and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch, form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even the ideas on religion, of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case.

But that is not all. Marx also discovered the special law of motion governing the present-day capitalist mode of production, and the bourgeois society that this mode of production has created. The discovery of surplus value suddenly threw light on the problem, in trying to solve which all previous investigations, of both bourgeois economists and socialist critics, had been groping in the dark.

Two such discoveries would be enough for one lifetime. Happy the man to whom it is granted to make even one such discovery. But in every single field which Marx investigated  and he investigated very many fields, none of them superficially  in every field, even in that of mathematics, he made independent discoveries.

Such was the man of science. But this was not even half the man. Science was for Marx a historically dynamic, revolutionary force. However great the joy with which he welcomed a new discovery in some theoretical science whose practical application perhaps it was as yet quite impossible to envisage, he experienced quite another kind of joy when the discovery involved immediate revolutionary changes in industry, and in historical development in general. For example, he followed closely the development of the discoveries made in the field of electricity and recently those of Marcel Deprez.

For Marx was before all else a revolutionist. His real mission in life was to contribute, in one way or another, to the overthrow of capitalist society and of the state institutions which it had brought into being, to contribute to the liberation of the modern proletariat, which he was the first to make conscious of its own position and its needs, conscious of the conditions of its emancipation. Fighting was his element. And he fought with a passion, a tenacity and a success such as few could rival. His work on the first Rheinische Zeitung , the Paris Vorwarts , the Deutsche Brusseler Zeitung , the Neue Rheinische Zeitung , the New York Tribune , and, in addition to these, a host of militant pamphlets, work in organisations in Paris, Brussels and London, and finally, crowning all, the formation of the great International Working Men's Association  this was indeed an achievement of which its founder might well have been proud even if he had done nothing else.
    And, consequently, Marx was the best hated and most calumniated man of his time. Governments, both absolutist and republican, deported him from their territories. Bourgeois, whether conservative or ultra-democratic, vied with one another in heaping slanders upon him. All this he brushed aside as though it were a cobweb, ignoring it, answering only when extreme necessity compelled him. And he died beloved, revered and mourned by millions of revolutionary fellow workers 
from the mines of Siberia to California, in all parts of Europe and America  and I make bold to say that, though he may have had many opponents, he had hardly one personal enemy.
    His name will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.






  因为马克思首先是一个革命家。他毕生的真正使命,就是以这种或那种方式参加推翻资本主义社会及其所建立的国家设施的事业,参加现代无产阶级的解放事业[致力于推翻资本主义及其(建立的)国家机构,致力于解放现代无产阶级],正是他第一次使现代无产阶级意识到自身的地位和需要,意识到自身解放的条件。斗争是他的生命要素。很少有人像他那样满腔热情、坚韧不拔和卓有成效地进行斗争[他斗争的热情、坚韧不拔和卓有成效都鲜有人及]。最早的《莱茵报》(1842年),巴黎的《前进报》(1844年),《德意志布鲁塞尔报》(1847年),《新莱茵报》(1848—1849年),《纽约每日论坛报》(1852—1861年),以及[除些之外]许多富有战斗性的小册子,在巴黎、布鲁塞尔和伦敦各组织中的工作,最后,作为全部活动的顶峰,创立伟大的国际工人协会,[最后,最为突出的一项,伟大的国际工人协会的创建]——老实说,协会的这位创始人即使没有别的什么建树,单凭这一成果也可以自豪 [这的确是一项伟大的成就,其创始人即便其它什么也没做,只此一项成也完全可以自豪]




1. scarcely two minutes”是还不到两分钟。若译为“只不过两分钟”或“总共不过两分钟”都已经是承认是两分钟了。

2. When we came back”译为“当我们再进去时”没有什么不当。“再”字是删是留呢?前面有“He had been left alone”也就是“We left him alone”,后面有“(we come back”,这难道还不足以说明“再”的必要吗?

3. 英语中“the death of this man”和“the departure of”该是有些区别的,而汉译中全是用“逝世”一词。我觉得可以用“去世”和“辞世”来译,当然,肯定有人觉得没有必要而不以为然。

4. 英语中“the production , and consequently the degree of, form the foundation”很清楚,基础由两者构成。译为“从而一个民族或一个时代的一定的经济发展阶段”,不但漏了一个连接词“and”而且动词“attained”也没有译出来。


5. of the people concerned”这里的定冠词就说明是上文提到的那个民族,不能译为“人们的”。

6. and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case.”意思大致为“经济基础决定上层建筑而不是上层建筑决定经济基础”。

7. Marx also discovered the special law of motion governing the present-day capitalist mode of production, and the bourgeois society that this mode of production has created. 若译为“马克思还发现了现代资本主义生产方式和它所产生的资产阶级社会的特殊的运动规律”,则漏掉了“governing”一词。其实是“发现”的宾语是规律,而该规律左右着生产方式和社会。并非发现了“生产方式和规律”两者。

8. throw light on”与“in the dark”看来有一种对照。

9. opponents”当译为“对手”,而不是“敌人”。

10. 结尾句“His name will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.”英语中是分开两句的,汉译中合并为“英名和事业”,节奏快了,缓慢而沉痛的韵味减弱了。





上文中的“从而”是一个连词,它的前面是原因或方法,后面是结果或目的;通常相当于“于是就”,组成“由于……,从而……”的句式。可是文中的“从而”前面却是一个名词性的偏正词组,既构不成原因,也不是方法;后面的“一个民族或一个时代的一定的经济发展阶段,便构成基础”当然也不是目的,更谈不上结果。而且,单从后面的文字看,这句话的主语中心词应该是“经济发展阶段”,但它又与谓语部分“构成基础”明显不能搭配。实际上,“直接的物质的生活资料的生产,从而一个民族或一个时代的一定的经济发展阶段,便构成基础”作为一个分句,其陈述对象显然是“直接的物质的生活资料的生产”,这是唯一正确的解释;至于“一个民族或一个时代的一定的经济发展阶段”,不就是一个简单的时间状语么?所以,分析的结果就是:“从而” 一词属于误用。依据笔者的观点,应该把






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