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文章来源:高斋翻译学堂 发布时间:2019-03-27 14:21 作者:高斋翻译学堂 点击:






Lin Qingxuan, a Taiwan-born writer gaining popularity across the Straits, died at the age of 65, according to Taiwan media.


Prose like Running with Time, Cha Taka's Du Juan, and Tao Hua Xin Mu became part of primary school textbooks.


He was one of the most prolific writers in Taiwan and was hailed one of the "eight major writers of contemporary prose."




A friend of mine brought over a newly purchased set of paper, brush, ink-stick and ink-slab, and asked me to write something for the wall in the sitting room of this new house. I unfolded the paper, ground the ink-stick on the slab, and wrote out the words: “Dwell on one or two.”

1. “砚台”为什么是ink-slab?slab 美[slæb],这个词指的是四方的厚块,厚片,ink指墨水,油墨。ink-slab即盛有墨水的四四方方的厚块儿,想象一下砚台长什么样儿,我们就能理解为什么砚台是ink-slab了。

2. 译文中的ground怎么理解?我们所熟知的ground是名词,一般指“地面”,但是在这里显然不能这么理解。它和前后的unfolded、wrote并列,作动词,是grind的过去式,表示“碾、磨”,对应原文中“磨墨”中的“磨”这个动作。


"What does this mean?" asked my friend. "You know the popular saying," I replied, " 'Life means frustration eight or nine times out of ten'. Deducting the eighty or ninety percent of frustration, you still have ten or twenty percent of success, happiness or gratification. If you want to enjoy life, you should focus on the one or two times you are happy, be thankful and cherish them. Then you'll never be overwhelmed by the eight or nine times when you are unhappy." Happily my friend left, carrying the scroll in his arm.

1. be overwhelmed by :在这里是“被打败,打倒”的意思。overwhelm 美[ˌoʊvərˈwelm],这个词一表示“征服,制服,击败”,这个用法我们很好理解;二表示“(情感、事件等)使不知所措,难以承受”。这个用法怎么用呢?它在用于情感时,表示被某种情感所淹没,往往指比较强烈充沛的情感,而且对自己产生较大的影响,情感上陶醉、渴望,急切,愧疚、不知所措等。举两个例子来说明。第一,十分渴望的心情。“He was overwhelmed by a longing for times past”(他一心渴望回到从前);第二,迫不及待的心情。“The need to talk to someone, anyone, overwhelmed her”(她迫不及待要找个人说说话,随便是谁都行)。最后,overwhelm也可以用来表示“被水淹没”。例如,“洪水淹没了村庄”,我们就可以说“The floods overwhelmed villages”。

2. Happily my friend left:注意这里的happily为什么要提前,为什么不直接译作My friend left happily,原因就在于happily提至句首,强调这种非常欢喜的心情。


A few months later, he called on me again and asked for more calligraphy, “Every day I have to slave and suffer in the office. But as soon as I get home and see the words ‘Dwell on one or two’, I brighten up and feel happy. But they do look so small on that big wall, can you write a few more words for me?” As I am always ready to oblige my good friends, I wrote an antithetical couplet for him, adding the second part, “Forget about eight or nine” and the horizontal inscription, “As you wish”. To fill up the space in between, I did a free-hand drawing of a vase full of flowers.

1. “劳累受气”怎么说?这个词包含两层含义,“累”和“受气”。译文给出的是slave and suffer。slave我们最熟悉的用法是作名词“奴隶”解,这里和suffer并列作动词,slave作动词时表示“辛苦地工作,卖力地干”, 意思等同于to work very hard。suffer比较常见,形容人遭受困难,痛苦,折磨等不好的事情。比如说这句话“There are few who have not suffered”,就是说谁都会经受挫折。因此,译者使用了slave and suffer这样的表达来解释原文中的“劳累受气”之意。

2. To fill up the space in between:这里为什么要再加个in?仔细读一下原文,那副写意的瓶花画在了哪个位置?是“中间”,它指的是“常想一二,不思八九”和“如意”横批之间。所以这句话的意思是说要填充这八个字和横批之间的空白,在它们中间画上一些东西。in between指“在两者中间”,完整说应该是to fill up the space in between the eight characters and the horizontal inscription。


Then, a few months later, something quite unexpected happened when my remarriage was reported in the newspapers, giving rise to numerous strange tales and annoying rumors. My friend called me, saying that he was sitting in front of my inscription. "As I can't think of better words to comfort you, let me read what you wrote: Dwell on one or two; Forget about eight or nine—Everything as you wish." I was very moved by this. How easy it is to add to somebody's joy, I often think, and how hard to lend a helping hand in times of distress, —the ratio would probably come to nine to one, too. But those who do not help you when you need it most are not true friends, much less those who hit you when you're down.

giving rise to …:作结果状语,表示一个事件带来的影响或结果,后面直接跟something。


Come to think of it, people over forty are mostly inured to the vicissitudes of life, caring little about receiving congratulations for success, getting help when in need, or being hit when down. For after experiencing so much anguish and frustration in life and going through so many sentimental meetings and partings, we have gradually found certain dynamic, happy, positive precepts in life, which may be summed up as “Dwell on one or two.” This means focusing on specks of light in the murky dark, gleaning bits of peace and quiet from the raucous, mundane world, or striving for refreshing breath on the verge of suffocation.

1. inured美[ɪn'jʊrd],表示“习惯的,对……司空见惯的”。我们说“医生已经能够坦然面对死亡”,用inured 来造句,可以说“Doctors become inured to death”。这段话中用be inured to这个短语来表示原文中的“不惊”之意,“对……不再感到惊奇”也就是对……都习以为常的意思了。

2.“落井下石”: being hit when down。“落井下石”这个词指的是乘人有危难时加以陷害。它和前面的“锦上添花”、“雪中送炭”都是并列的,形式一样。hit这个词除了指打、击、碰撞外,还可以指对人精神上的打击,或打击别人而使别人受到严重的影响,即对应原意中的“陷害”之意;when down则表明在什么情况下进行打击,显然,down则表明了一种不利的,危难的状况,对应原意中的“有危难时”之意。

3. specks of light in the murky dark:“重重乌云中的黎明曙光”。这部分是意译,译者直接用the murky dark形容黎明前重重乌云下昏暗的景象;speck指微粒,斑点。specks of light即指丝丝光线,在一片昏暗中露出的丝丝光线,就像黎明前的曙光那样。


Life is hard enough as it is; if we burden ourselves with all the frustrations built up over dozens of years, how can we go even one step further? At times, we can’t help it when we find ourselves in dire straits, materially or emotionally; but if we let that make us miserable in mind or mood, we would only be piling more hardship on ourselves and suffer twice as much through our own fault.

1. burden ourselves with:burden作名词指负担,负荷,作动词意为“使烦扰,烦恼”。burden sb with sth,即用……去烦某人,或某事使人感到烦恼。切合原文中说的是“不如意之事”,体现了一种情感色彩。

2. piling more hardship on ourselves:这里重点理解pile这个动词的含义,即“堆积,叠”,表达的意思就是“不断使自己陷入苦境”。加上and suffer twice即“苦上加苦”之意。


I have been keen on reading biographies or memoirs of the great since childhood and found a kind of rule about their lives: all great people suffer. They mostly testify to the saying that life means frustration eight or nine times out of ten. Despite their sufferings, however, they can always maintain a positive way of thinking, or in other words, they can "dwell on one or two", until they finally transcend their sufferings and turn them into great inspiration for life. What deeply moves me about great people is not their suffering, for sufferings are common and omnipresent; it is their perseverance, optimism and courage in the face of suffering that move me most.

1. testify to:意为“证明,证实”。 testify to sth,即证明、证实了什么。原文中说“A是B的真实证言”,即A testify to B。

2. transcend their sufferings:“超越苦难”。这里记住transcend本身就是“超越,超出”的意思就行了。例如,“这些问题超出了语言研究的范围”,我们就可以说“These issues transcend the limits of language study”。sufferings,suffer的名词,表示“苦难,苦痛,折磨”。


So success or failure in life does not hinge on mere opportunities, but upon one's frame of mind.

1. hinge on:有赖于,取决于。等于depend entirely on。

例如,“A lot hinges on how we are viewed by overseas investors. ”很多事都取决于海外投资者对我们的看法。

2. one’s frame of mind:frame of mind是固定搭配,指“心情,心境”。比方说在下棋的时候,心境要集中。就可以说:When play chess I have to be in the right frame of mind。


And it is not the eighty or ninety percent probability but the ten or twenty percent possibilitythat determines the quality of life.

It is not … but … that:强调,表示“不是……,而是……”。

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