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《高级英语》课文逐句翻译(8)

2006-12-29 14:00   【 】【我要纠错

  lesson8-10

  人生的一课

  快一年了,大部分时间我都泡在家里、店铺、学校和教堂里,就像一块旧饼干,又脏又难以下咽。

  For nearly a year, I sopped around the house, the Store, the school and the church, like an old biscuit, dirty and inedible.

  这时我遇到或者说认识了抛给我第一根救生索的那位夫人。

  Then I met, or rather got to know, the lady who threw me first lifeline.

  波萨?弗劳尔斯夫人是斯坦普司黑人区中的出类拔萃的人物。

  Mrs. Bertha Flowers was the aristocrat of Black Stamps.

  她动作优雅,即使在最冷的天气里也不缩手缩脚,而在阿肯色州的夏日里,她似乎又有属于自己的微风环绕在她的身旁,给她带来凉爽。

  She had the grace of control to appear warm in the coldest weather, and one the Arkansas summer days it seemed she had a private breeze which swirled around, cooling her.

  她的皮肤深黑迷人,如果被挂住就会像李子皮一样剥落,但没有人敢离她近点,碰皱她的衣服,更不要说挂住她的皮肤了。

  Her skin was a rich black that would have peeled like a plum if snagged, but then no one would have thought of getting close enough to Mrs. Flowers to ruffle her dress, let alone snag her skin.

  她不太喜欢亲近,另外她还带着手套。

  She didn't encourage familiarity. She wore gloves too.

  她是我所知道的为数不多的有气质的女士之一,并且是我做人的楷模,影响了我一生。

  She was one of the few gentlewomen I have ever known, and has remained throughout my life the measure of what a human being can be.

  我被她深深地吸引,因为她像是我从没有亲身遇到过的那些人。

  She appealed to me because she was like people I had never met personally.

  她就像英国小说中的女人,走在沼泽地里(不管是什么地方),一群忠实的狗奔跑在她们的身旁,并与她们保持一定的距离以示尊敬。

  Like women in English novels who walked the moors (whatever they were) with their loyal dogs racing at a respectful distance.

  她就像坐在炉火熊熊的壁炉前的女人,不时从装满蛋糕和松脆饼的银盘中取东西喝。

  Like the women who sat in front of roaring fireplaces, drinking tea incessantly from silver trays full of scones and crumpets.

  她就像走在“石南丛生的荒野”中,读着用摩洛哥山羊皮装订的书的那些女人,而且有用连字符隔开的两个姓。

  Women who walked over the “heath” and read morocco-bound books and had two last names divided by a hyphen.

  可以肯定地说,是她本人使我为自己是个黑人而感到骄傲。

  It would be safe to say that she made me proud to be Negro, just by being herself.

  那个在我的记忆中如甜奶般鲜活的夏日的午后,她来我们的店里买东西。

  One summer afternoon, sweet-milk fresh in my memory, she stopped at the Store to buy provisions.

  换了另外一个同她身体情况和年龄相当的黑人妇女就会一只手把纸袋拎回家去,但奶奶却说,“弗劳尔斯大姐,让贝利帮你把东西送回家去。”

  Another Negro woman of her health and age would have been expected to carry the paper sacks home in one hand, but Momma said, “Sister Flowers, I'll send Bai-ley up to your house with these things.”

  “谢谢您,汉德森夫人。但我想让玛格丽特帮我送回去。”

  “Thank you, Mrs. Henderson. I'd prefer Marguerite, though.”

  她说我名字时,我的名字也变得动听起来。

  My name was beautiful when she said it.

  “反正我一直想跟她谈一谈。”她们互相对视了一下,其间的意思只有她们这些同龄人才明白。

  “I've been mean-ins to talk to her, anyway.” They gave each other agegroup looks.

  在石头路旁有一条小路,弗劳尔斯夫人在前面摆动着胳膊,在碎石路上小心地走着。

  There was a little path beside the rocky road, and Mrs. Flowers walked in front swinging her arms and picking her way over the stones.

  她没有回头,对我说,“听说你在学校里功课很好,玛格丽特,但那都是笔头作业。老师说他们很难让你在课堂上发言。”

  She said, without turning her head, to me, “I hear you're doing very good school work, Marguerite, but that it's all written. The teachers report that they have trouble getting you to talk in class.

  我们走过左边三角形的农场,路变宽了,可以允许我们并排走在一起。但我畏缩地走在后面,想着那些没有问出口也无法回答的问题。

  We passed the triangular farm on our left and the path widened to allow us to walk together. I hung back in the separate unasked and unanswerable questions.

  “过来和我一起走,玛格丽特。”我无法拒绝,尽管我很想。

  “Come and walk along with me, Marguerite.” I couldn't have refused even if I wanted to.

  她把我的名字叫得如此动听。或者更确切地说,她把每个词都说得这样清晰,我相信就是一个不懂英语的外国人也能听懂她的话。

  She pronounced my name so nicely. Or more correctly, she spoke each word with such clarity that I was certain a foreigner who didn't understand English could have understood her.

  “现在没有人要强迫你说话——恐怕也没人能做到这一点。但是你记住,语言是人类进行沟通的方式,是语言将人类同低等动物区分开来。”

  “Now no one is going to make you talk —possibly no one can. But bear in mind, language is man's way of communicating with his fellow man and it is language alone which separates him from the lower animals.”

  这对我来说是一个全新的观点,我需要些时间认真考虑一下。

  That was a totally new idea to me, and I would need time to think about it.

  “你奶奶说你读了很多书,一有机会就读。这很好,但还不够好,言语的含义不仅是写在纸上的那点。它需要人的声音赋予它深层含义的细微差别。”

  “Your grandmother says you read a lot. Every chance you get. That's good, but not good enough. Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning. ”

  我记住了有关声音赋予言语更多内涵的话。这些话听起来是那么正确,那么富有诗意。

  I memorized the part about the human voice infusing words. It seemed so valid and poetic.

  她说她要给我一些书,要我不仅阅读这些书,还要大声朗读。

  She said she was going to give me some books and that I not only must read them, I must read them aloud.

  她建议我用尽可能丰富的语调去读每一句话。

  She suggested that i try to make a sentence sound in as many different ways as possible.

  “如果你草草读完这些书就还给我的话,我不接受任何理由。”

  “I'll accept no excuse if you return a book to me that has been badly handled.”

  我想像不出如果我真的没有认真读弗劳尔斯夫人的某一本书,将会受到怎样的惩罚。让我去死恐怕是太仁慈太干脆了。

  My imagination boggled at the punishment I would deserve if in fact I did abuse a book of Mrs. Flowers'。 Death would be too kind and brief.

  房子里的气味让我有点吃惊。

  The odors in the house surprised me.

  不知什么缘故,我从来没有将弗劳尔斯夫人与食物、吃饭或是平常人的琐事联系起来。

  Somehow I had never connected Mrs. Flowers with food or eating or any other common experience of common people.

  那里一定也有户外厕所,但我一点也记不起来了。

  There must have been an outhouse, too, but my mind never recorded it.

  她打开门,香草的芬芳迎面扑来。

  The sweet scent of vanilla had met us as she opened the door.

  “今天早上我做了些茶点。你瞧,我早打算好要请你来吃点心、柠檬水,这样我们就可以聊一会了。柠檬水正放在冰盒子里呢。”

  “I made tea cookies this morning. You see, I had planned to invite you for cookies and lemonade so we could have this little chat. The lemonade is in the icebox.”

  这意味着弗劳尔斯夫人平时也买冰,而镇上大多数人家只是在星期六下午才买冰,放在木头做的冰淇凌冷藏机内,整个夏天也不过只买几次。

  It followed that Mrs. Flowers would have ice on an ordinary day, when most families in our town bought ice late on Saturdays only a few times during the summer to be used in the wooden ice-cream freezers.

  “坐吧,玛格丽特,坐到那边桌子旁。”

  “Have a seat, Marguerite. Over there by the table.”

  她端着一个用茶布盖着的盘。

  She carried a platter covered with a tea towel.

  尽管她事先说过她已经好久没有做点心了,我还是相信就像她的其他任何东西一样,点心也会十分精美可口。

  Although she warned that she hadn't tried her hand at baking sweets for some time, I was certain that like everything else about her the cookies would be perfect.

  我吃点心的时候,她开始给我讲我们后来称之为“我生活中的一课”的第一部分。

  As I ate she began the first of what we later called “my lesson in living.”

  她告诉我不能宽容无知,但可以理解文盲。

  She said that must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy.

  她认为有些人虽然没有上过学,但却比大学教授更有知识,甚至更聪明。

  That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and even more intelligent than college professors.

  她还鼓励我认真倾听被乡下人称为常识的一些俗语。她说这些朴实谚语是一代代人集体智慧的结晶。

  She encouraged me to listen carefully to what country people called mother wit. That in those homely sayings was couched the collective wisdom of generations

  我吃完点心后,她把桌子打扫干净,从书架上拿了一本又厚又小的书。

  When I finished the cookies she brushed off the table and brought a thick, small book from the bookcase.

  我读过《双城记》,认为这本书符合我心目中浪漫主义小说的标准。

  I had read A Tale of Two Cities and found it up to my standards as a romantic novel.

  她翻开第一页,于是我平生第一次听到了诗朗诵。

  She opened the first page and I heard poetry for the first time in my life.

  “这是最辉煌的时代也是最糟糕的时代……”她的声音圆润,随着言语的起伏而抑扬顿挫,就像在唱歌一样。

  “It was the best of times and the worst of times. . .” Her voice slid in and curved down through and over the words. She was nearly singing.

  我想看一下她读的是否真的和我过去看的一样?

  I wanted to look at the pages. Were they the same that I had read?

  还是像赞美诗一样,书页上满是音符?

  Or were there notes, music, lined on the pages, as in a hymn book?

  她的声音开始慢慢低沉下来。

  Her sounds began cascading gently.

  我听过很多次布道,因此我知道她的朗诵就要结束了,但我还没有真正听见或听懂一个词。

  I knew from listening to a thousand preachers that she was nearing the end of her reading, and I hadn't really heard, heard to understand, a single word.

  “你觉得怎么样?”

  “How do you like that?”

  我这才意识到她在期待我的回答。

  It occurred to me that she expected a response.

  我的舌间还留有香草的余味,她的朗诵对我来说很奇妙。

  The sweet vanilla flavor was still on my tongue and her reading was a wonder in my ears.

  我得说点什么了。

  I had to speak.

  我说:“是的,夫人。”我至少得说这些,我也只能说这些。

  I said, “Yea, ma'am.” It was the least I could do, but it was the most also.

  “还有一件事。你把这本诗集拿去,背下其中的一首。下次你再来看我时,我希望你背诵给我听。”

  'There s one more thing. Take this book of poems and memorize one for me. Next time you pay me a visit, I want you to recite.“

  在经历了成年后的复杂生活后,我多次试图弄清楚为什么当年她送给我的礼物一下子就让我陶醉了。

  I have tried often to search behind the sophistication of years for the enchantment I so easily found in those gifts.

  书中的内容已经忘却,但余韵仍存。

  The essence escapes but its aura remains.

  被准许,不,是被邀请进入一群陌生人的私人生活中,与他们共同分享喜悦和恐惧,这使我读贝奥武夫时就犹如喝一杯蜜酒,读奥立佛?特威斯特时,犹如饮一杯热奶茶,忘记了那犹如南方苦艾酒般的痛苦经历。

  To be allowed, no, invited, into the private lives of strangers, and to share their joys and fears, was a chance to exchange the Southern bitter wormwood for a cup of mead with Be-owulf or a hot cup of tea and milk with Oliver Twist.

  当我大声地说“这比我做过的任何一件事都好得多”时,我眼中涌出了爱的泪水,那是为了自己的忘我

  When I said aloud, “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done…” tears of love filled my eyes at my selflessness.

  在我第一次去她家回来,我跑下山去冲到马路上(路上很少有车经过),快到店铺时我还居然没忘了停下来。

  On that first day, I ran down the hill and into the road (few cars ever came along it) and had the good sense to stop running before I reached the Store.

  有人喜欢我,这是多么的不同啊。

  was liked, and what a difference it made.

  有人尊敬我,并不是因为我是汉德森夫人的外孙女或是贝利的妹妹,而是因为我是玛格丽特?约翰逊。

  I was respected not as Mrs. Henderson's grandchild or Bailey's sister but for just being Marguerite Johnson.

  孩提时的逻辑永远不需要证实(所有的结论都是绝对的)。

  Childhood's logic never asks to be proved (all conclusions are absolute)。

  我从来没有想过为什么弗劳尔斯夫人会选中我来表示关怀,也从来没想过也许是奶奶曾请求她开导我一下。

  1 didn't question why Mrs. Flowers had singled me out for attention, nor did it occur to me that Momma might have asked her to give me a little talking to.

  我只关心她曾给我做点心吃,还给我读她最喜欢的书。这些足以证明她喜欢我

  All I cared about was that she had made tea cookies for me and read to me from her favorite book. It was enough to prove that she liked me.

  奶奶和贝利在店铺里等我。

  Momma and Bailey were waiting inside the Store.

  他问:“她给了你什么?”他已经看到那些书了,但我把装着他那份点心的纸袋放在怀里,用诗集挡住。

  He said. “My, what did she give you?” He had seen the books, but I held the paper sack with his cookies in my arms shielded by the poems.

  奶奶说:“小姐,我知道你的举止像位女士。

  Momma said, “Sister, I know you acted like a little lady. That do my heart good to see settled people take to you all.

  我已经尽最大努力了,上帝知道,但这些天……“她的声音低下来,”快去把衣服换了。

  I'm trying my best, the Lord knows, but these days…“ Her voice trailed off. ”Go on in and change your dress.

本文转载链接:《高级英语》课文逐句翻译(8)

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