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      英語世界
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      The Choral Copse
      發布時間:2021年12月01日     曹明倫 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      The Choral Copse

      叢林合唱隊

       

      By Aldo Leopold

      文/奧爾多·利奧波德

      譯析/曹明倫*

       

      By September, the day breaks with little help from birds. A song sparrow may give a single half-hearted song, a woodcock may twitter overhead en route to his daytime thicket, a barred owl may terminate the night’s argument with one last wavering call, but few other birds have anything to say or sing about.

       

      到九月的時候,破曉已很少借助眾鳥啼鳴。歌雀興許還會心不在焉地來段清唱,山鷸在飛往其白天待的灌叢途中也許會在你頭頂啁啾兩聲,橫斑林鸮也可能會用最后一聲顫鳴來結束其夜間辯論,但其他鳥兒幾乎已無話可說,無歌想唱。

       

      It is on some, but not all, of these misty autumn daybreaks that one may hear the chorus of the quail. The silence is suddenly broken by a dozen contralto voices, no longer able to restrain their praise of the day to come. After a brief minute or two, the music closes as suddenly as it began.

       

      就是在某些個這樣秋霧蒙蒙的黎明(并非每個秋日黎明),你也許會聽見林鶉合唱。寂靜會突然被十余個女低音歌手的歌聲打破,似乎歌手們再也抑制不住對白日將至的贊美。歌聲會延續短短的一兩分鐘,然后會像突然開始那樣戛然而止。

       

      There is a peculiar virtue in the music of elusive birds. Songsters that sing from top-most boughs are easily seen and as easily forgotten; they have the mediocrity of the obvious. What one remembers is the invisible hermit thrush pouring silver chords from impenetrable shadows; the soaring crane trumpeting from behind a cloud; the prairie chicken booming from the mists of nowhere; the quail’s Ave Maria in the hush of dawn. No naturalist has even seen the choral act, for the covey is still on its invisible roost in the grass, and any attempt to approach automatically induces silence.

       

      禽鳥隱身表演的音樂,自有一種特殊的魅力。在高枝上演唱的歌唱家容易引人注目,但同樣也容易被人遺忘,此類表演者因醒目而顯平庸。令人難忘的是那些隱身音樂家,是從濃蔭中傾瀉出銀鈴般和聲的畫眉,是在高翔的云間吹奏小號的灰鶴,是從蒙蒙薄霧中敲出低沉鼓聲的草原松雞,是在黎明的寂靜中合唱《萬福馬利亞》的林鶉。迄今尚無博物學家目睹林鶉合唱隊的演出,因為合唱隊總是躲在其草叢間的棲息地,任何接近那隱秘處的企圖,都必然導致眾鶉齊喑。

       鳥

      In June it is completely predictable that the robin will give voice when the light intensity reaches 0.01 candle power, and that the bedlam of other singers will follow in predictable sequence. In autumn, on the other hand, the robin is silent, and it is quite unpredictable whether the covey-chorus will occur at all. The disappointment I feel on these mornings of silence perhaps shows that things hoped for have a higher value than. The hope of hearing quail is worth half a dozen risings-in-the-dark.

       

      六月里,知更鳥會在光照亮到0.01燭光度時開始鳴唱,這是完全可以預知的;其他鳥兒會隨之嚶嚶嚦嚦,這也是可以預知的??墒堑搅饲锾?,知更鳥不再亮歌喉,其他鳥兒是否還會齊聲合唱,這就完全不可預知了。在這些沒有鳥兒啼鳴的清晨,我會感到悵然若失,而這種失落感興許能證明,人之所望總是比所得更有價值。希望聽到林鶉合唱,這值得我多次冒黑鉆出被窩。

       

      My farm always has one or more coveys in autumn, but the daybreak chorus is usually distant. I think this is because the coveys prefer to roost as far as possible from the dog, whose interest in quail is even more ardent than my own. One October dawn, however, as I sat sipping coffee by the outdoor fire, a chorus burst into song hardly a stone’s throw away. They had roosted under a white-pine copse, possibly to stay dry during the heavy dews.

       

      秋天里,我農場上總會有一兩群林鶉,但其清晨合唱通常都是在遠處。我想,這是因為那些合唱隊更喜歡待在離狗盡可能遠的地方,畢竟狗對林鶉的興趣甚至比我還濃。然而,十月里一天早上,我正坐在屋外的火堆旁喝咖啡,忽聞一石之遙處驟然傳出合唱隊的歌聲。那群林鶉住到了附近一片松樹林下,也許是想在這露重時節暫住在干燥的地方。

       

      We felt honored by this daybreak hymn sung almost at our doorstep. Somehow the blue autumnal needles on those pines became thenceforth bluer, and the red carpet of dewberry under those pines became even redder.

       

      我們為能在家門口欣賞這曲黎明頌歌而感到榮幸。從那之后,也不知何故,那些松樹上泛藍的松針在秋色中看上去更藍,而松樹下那一地紅露莓也變得更紅。

       

      【背景知識】這篇散文選自美國生態作家利奧波德的自然隨筆《沙鄉年鑒》。此文可謂一篇別出心裁的“秋聲賦”,不過此秋聲不是風聲,而是鳥聲,寫秋聲不為傷懷,而為抒懷議事。從不同鳥鳴聲中聯想到“因醒目而顯平庸”,從聽不到鳥鳴之失落引出“人之所望總是比所得更有價值”,作者借描寫自然,宣揚了一種價值觀和人生態度。

       

      【第一段】此處day breaks不譯“黎明”或“拂曉”而譯“破曉”,倒不是僅僅為了注重原文breaks,而更是為了觀照其后的help(借助),從而表現原作者構思之精妙和遣詞造句之匠心(頗具浪漫意味的借力而破)。這或許就是傅雷先生所說的譯者“敏感之心靈”(參見《翻譯論集》,商務印書館,1984年版第695頁;2009年修訂本第773頁)之細微體現。

       

      【第二段】這里把daybreaks譯成“黎明”就比譯作“破曉”熨貼了,同時也符合傅雷先生關于翻譯文學作品須“用字豐富”的要求(參見《翻譯論集》1984年版第694頁,或修訂本第772頁)。

       

      【第三段】有人把elusive birds翻譯成“難以捉摸的鳥”,此乃脫離語境的典型表現。根據后句中與之對照的easily seen和obvious,以及下文兩次出現的invisible,這里的elusive應結合語境選用tending to escape the notice or perception of或difficult to find這個義項。反之,把automatically induces silence 翻譯成“必然導致眾鶉齊喑”(化用成語“萬馬齊喑”)則是結合語境的產物,較之“自動導致一片寧靜”或“必然會招來一陣寂靜”,前者似乎更能再現原文的意趣。

       

      【第四段】此段可特別注意譯者對第三句的處理。此句原文主語是帶有一個定語從句的名詞(disappointment),謂語是及物動詞show,賓語則是由that引導的一個從句,若按原文句式譯出,譯文可能會顯得冗長。另請注意things hoped for可譯“人之所望”,things assured可譯“(人之)所得”,而不必非得譯成“期待的東西”和“已到手的東西”。

       

      【第五段】英語定語從句不僅可以對其先行詞起修飾限定作用,還可以對其先行詞所在的主句起補充說明作用。本段第二句中由whose引導的定語從句就屬于后一種情況(詳見《英漢翻譯二十講》,商務印書館,2013年版第244—247頁)。

       

      【第六段】Somehow、autumnal 和thenceforth 這三個詞在譯文中并未依照原文中的位置和順序出現,這樣微調無損于原文的意趣,同時又照顧了譯文的韻味和節奏。

       

      【小結】美國翻譯理論家奈達曾在《語言與文化:翻譯中的語境》第6章中對翻譯這類文學語篇提出過基本要求,那就是要譯出其“統一、平衡、節奏和諧等美學特征(Aesthetic features as unity, balance, and rhythm)”。要達到這個要求,譯者就得將原文的內容和形式、思想和感情、情調和韻味都融會貫通,然后用妥切的譯文語言將其再現。

       

      注釋:

       

      *成都大學特聘教授,四川大學二級教授、博士生導師,本刊顧問。研究領域:翻譯與跨文化傳播。

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