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可怜的梭罗――读《瓦尔登湖》翻译(三十三)   

2010-04-23 11:29:22|  分类: 《瓦尔登湖》 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Not long since, a strolling Indian went to sell baskets at the house of a well-known lawyer in my neighborhood. "Do you wish to buy any baskets?" he asked. "No, we do not want any," was the reply. "What!" exclaimed the Indian as he went out the gate, "do you mean to starve us?" Having seen his industrious white neighbors so well off -- that the lawyer had only to weave arguments, and, by some magic, wealth and standing followed -- he had said to himself: I will go into business; I will weave baskets; it is a thing which I can do. Thinking that when he had made the baskets he would have done his part, and then it would be the white man's to buy them. He had not discovered that it was necessary for him to make it worth the other's while to buy them, or at least make him think that it was so, or to make something else which it would be worth his while to buy. I too had woven a kind of basket of a delicate texture, but I had not made it worth any one's while to buy them. Yet not the less, in my case, did I think it worth my while to weave them, and instead of studying how to make it worth men's while to buy my baskets, I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them. The life which men praise and regard as successful is but one kind. Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others?

(徐迟译)不久以前,一个闲步的印第安人到我的邻舍一位著名律师家中兜卖篮子。“你们要买篮子吗?”他说。口答是“不,我们不要”。“什么!”印第安人出门叫道,“你们想要饿死我们吗?”看到他的勤劳的白种人邻居,生活得如此富裕——因为律师只要把辩论之词编织起来,就像有魔术似的,富裕和地位都跟着来了——因而这印第安人曾自言自语:我要做生意了;我编织篮子;这件事是我能做的。他以为编织好篮子就完成了他的一份,轮下来就应该是白种人向他购买了。他却不知道,他必须使人感到购买他的篮子是值得的,至少得使别人相信,购买这一只篮子是值得的,要不然他应该制造别一些值得叫人购买的东西。我也曾编织了一种精巧的篮子,我并没有编造得使人感到值得购买它。在我这方面,我一点不觉得我犯不着编织它们,非但没有去研究如何编织得使人们觉得更加值得购买,我倒是研究了如何可以避免这买卖的勾当。人们赞美而认为成功的生活,只不过是生活中的这么一种。为什么我们要夸耀这一种而贬低别一种生活呢?

1、“stroll”一词,确实有一义项指“闲步,漫步(to walk leisurely)”, 然而,看看上下文,作者并不强调卖篮子的印第安人走路是如何悠闲,因此,“stroll”译为“闲步”不妥,它还有“为谋生而四处奔波(to rove from place to place)”之意。戴欢译“四处叫卖”就好多了。

2、“in my neighborhood”是“在我们那疙瘩”,未必一定是“邻舍”或“与我相邻(戴译)”。

3、“exclaimed the Indian as he went out the gate”译成“印第安人出门叫道”,好像是“一出门就……”似的,其实是“出门的时候……

4、“had said to himself”译为“曾自言自语”或“曾自说自话道(戴译)”也许很符合我们的表达习惯。我们一见到“say to oneself”马上就想到“自言自语”,而Collins字典上却说:“If you say something to yourself, you think it.”另外,英语中“had said”是说这个动作发生在“卖篮子”之前,这个时间先后有时不需要强调出来,那么,句子可以译为“那时他就想”。

5、“his part”译为“他的一份”,火候远远不够。印第安人觉得他编完篮子他的任务就完成了,剩下的就是白人买了。编是他的责任,而买是白人的义务,即“it would be the white man's (part) to buy them”。戴译“篮子编好了就万事大吉了”火候虽嫌稍过,但比徐译要好。

6、“not the less did I think it worth my while to weave them”译为“在我这方面,我一点不觉得我犯不着编织它们”。句中的两个“不”,读起来有点拗口。

7、用“避免这买卖的勾当”来译“avoid the necessity of selling them”,贬义的“勾当”二字听起来格外刺耳。

与印第安人编篮子卖相似,梭罗编自己“生活哲学(?)”的篮子,这个篮子无法买卖。

Ken Kiffer就这段评论道:Thoreau now compares himself to an Indian who can't sell his products. Thoreau obviously was investing his time and energy into the pursuit of non-material, personal wealth that can't be bought or sold. Rather than considering his inability to make money from his occupation to be a problem requiring a change in occupation, he decided that it was better to avoid making money at all.(在这里梭罗把自己比作推销产品的印第安人。在寻求无法买卖的非物质个人财富中,梭罗显然投入了时间与精力。他不认为自己不能从职业中挣钱是什么问题,需要改换职业,相反,他决定最好是避免挣钱。)

(戴欢译)不久之,一个四处叫卖的印第安人到与我相邻的一位著名律师的院子中推销篮子。“您想买篮子吗?”他问道。“不,我们一个也不要。”他得到了这个答复。“什么!”印第安人走出院门时情绪激动地叫道,“你打算饿死我们吗?”因为亲眼目睹过他的勤勉的白人邻居家境是如此富裕——这个律师只需将辩词起来,再施出点什么魔法,财富和地位就会随之而来。因此,这位印第安人曾自说自话道:“我也要去做,我编织篮子去卖,这件事我还能干得来。”他以为篮子编好了就万事大吉了,接下来白种人自会将它们买去。他却没发觉,他必须让人觉得买他的篮子是物有所值,起码得让人觉得,买下这一只篮子是物有所值,不然他应该做出另外一些值得大家去买的东西。我也曾编织过一种造型精致的篮子,但我并未将它编织得能激起人们的购买欲望。照我看,我编织篮子是件天经地义的事情,因而,我并未用心去研究如何将它编织得能激起人们的购买欲。我研究过怎样才能避免这种买卖勾当。众人赞扬并认作成功的生活,只不过是生活方式的一种罢了。我们为什么要夸大这种生活方式而去肆意贬低其他的生活方式呢?

1、“Not long since”,不译成“不久之后”,应译为“不久以前(not long ago”。

2、“we do not want any”无需强调“any”而译成“我们一个也不要”。徐译“我们不要”就很好。

3、律师weave辩词,印第安人weave篮子,都是用同一个词,翻译时也当尽力保持同一个词,否则,若把律师的weave译作“串”而把印第安人的weave译作“编”,那么,原文所有的趣味就没有传递过来。

4、“I too had woven a kind of basket of a delicate texture”梭罗说“a kind of basket”应该不是真的篮子。“delicate texture”精致的不是“造型”而应该是结构。

5、“in my case”是指梭罗自己编“篮子”的事。

and instead of studying how to make it worth men's while to buy my baskets, I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them.”这里的“and”连接的是前面的“I think”与后面的“I studied”,中间的“instead of”部分处于次要位置。因此不能译为“因而,我并未用心去研究如何将它编织得能激起人们的购买欲。”“因而”是多出来的,而英文中的“instead of”又漏译了。

这种译法应该是没有弄清句子的主从结构。

 6Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others”中“exaggerate”是“夸大”“夸张”,不是“夸耀”。徐译“为什么我们要夸耀这一种而贬低别一种生活呢?”以“贬低”来译“at the expense of”就已经不恰当了。而戴译“……去肆意贬低其他的生活方式呢?”其中“肆意”一词是凭空添上的,原文中并没有。

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