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读《我们是坏小孩》  

2018-01-23 12:22:39|  分类: 翻译写作 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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这两天读完戈登·科曼(Gordon KormanThis CAN'T Be HAPPENING at Macdonald Hall,汉译《我们是坏小孩》。小说的用词很新鲜,中国学生的教材上较少出现这类用词。例如第36页几段:

Once again Elmer's alarm went off with an ear-spliting shrill at 6 A.M. He rose promptly and began to dress, vaguely aware that something was not quite right. He puzzled over the odd feeling, but continued to get dressed.

"My ants!" he cried suddenly. "My ants are gone!"

Elmer stared at Bruno's bed. It was empty. It did not take him long to realize that Bruno's absence and the ants' disappearance were somehow related. He threw the door open and bolted into the hall.

下面从翻译角度挑剔一下最后一章,No End to Miracles!相当于小说的“尾声”。

1There was a knock at the door. 汉译“有人敲了敲门”。这不是从门外角度写,“其中一人上前去敲敲门”,而是在房间内,听到外面有敲门声。直接译“有人敲门”就可以。

2“We’re very grateful, sir,” he finally managed. “Thank you very much.” 汉译:“我们非常感谢,先生。”最后他又憋出了一句,“非常感谢。”布鲁诺他们担心受罚的却意外受到表扬,让他说不出话来。他最后能说出的就是一句感谢的话。

“the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have some medals to present as well.” 没带奖章来,发“加拿大皇家骑警队”的也可以。present即“授予”“颁发”。

3“Excuse me?” said the ambassador questioningly, “We are not Portuguese.” 汉译:你是说?”大使疑惑地说,“我们不是葡萄牙人。”这里的“Excuse me?”是说大使听到校长说他们是葡萄牙人感到吃惊,“你说什么?”然而纠正道:“我们不是葡萄牙人。”

4Bruno spun around to face the Headmaster. “You’re Kidding!” he exclaimed. 汉译:布鲁诺晃晃悠悠地看着校长。“你哄人!”他叫道。这里的“spun around”译作“晃晃悠悠”没有多少缘由。其实是“转过身子直面校长”,转得可能快了些。《朗文当代英汉双解字典》上有例子:I spun round to see who had spoken.我快速地转过身去看谁说了话。

5 “Granted. I will personally take you shopping for it next week.”汉译:同意,下星期找个人给你去买。其实,这句是说“下星期,我会亲自带你去买(望远镜)。”personally一词很清楚。

 

我喜欢作者的幽默风格。比如,第十章,布鲁诺与布茨浑身泥巴到校长家,身校长回报他们活干完了,校长太太看到两个孩子的样子,听说他们被校长罚五点就起来干活,怼怒校长。布鲁诺说,“我一直寻思,这地方有没有谁比‘鱼儿’更有权威。”(“I always worndered if there was a higher authority in this place that the Fish.” )布茨说:“现在我们知道了。‘鱼儿’太太。他现在准在挨骂。” “Now we know,” laughed Boots. “Mrs. Fish. He must be getting heck!”

再比如,最后一章,布茨从乔治屋里搬走时,他们的告别:

“Goodbye, George,” Said Boots. “Uh –about all those mean things I did to you…”

“Yes,” said George expectantly.

“If I had half the chance,” Boots grinned wickedly, “I’d do them all again. And I hope Magneco goes down fifty points”

“The next time a ballon gets lost, I hope you’re aboard,” snapped George.

“And I’ll do my best,” promised Boots, “to land on you.” Then he was gone.

 

朗读这本书,是学习英语的好方法。把注意力放在情节上,不去过分关注词汇和语法。

《我们是坏小孩》(This CAN'T Be HAPPENING at Macdonald Hall)是作者的第一本小说,出版时他才十四岁。

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