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赌博之我见【英汉对照】【元月10日黎明】

(2010-01-10 06:53:10)
标签:

英汉对照读物

文化

分类: 美哉英语

My Views on Gambling
By John Robins

 

【居士言:从新马泰旅游归来,大马的云顶娱乐城内的24小时运转的奢华赌场,至今让居士不忘。现特发表此文,以飨读者。国人曾经长期生活在极“左”思潮雄占上风的年代,那个年代好像很讲辩证法,其实不然!对于一些社会敏感问题不敢贸然发表议论,若是要发点议论,也总是尽量往“左”靠,战战兢兢,生怕被人戴上一顶什么帽子。
    比如,若要对Gambling作一番议论,那必须“一棍子”将这种丑恶至极的社会现象打死!有谁敢冒天下之大不韪对“赌博”说一两句“好话”(注:实际上是对“赌博”作一客观公允的分析而已)?本文却不然。】

    Most of life is a gamble. Very many of the things we do involve taking some risk in order to achieve a satisfactory result. We undertake a new job with no idea of the more indirect consequences of our action. Marriage is certainly a gamble so is the bringing into existence of children, who could prove sad liabilities. A journey, a business transaction, even a chance remark may result immediately or ultimately in tragedy. Perpetually we gamble ---- against life, destiny, chance, the unknown — call the invisible opponent what we will. Human survival and progress indicate that usually we win.
    人活一世,大半辈子都在赌博。在做许多事情时,为了能有一个满意的结果,我们都得冒一定的风险。在承担起一项新工作时,我们并不知道这样做会带来什么更间接的结果。结婚无疑是一次赌博,生养孩子也是如此,因为孩子可能让可怜的父母背上沉重的负担。一次出行,一笔交易,乃至一句无心的话都可能立招不测或深埋祸根。我们一直在和一个看不见的对手进行着博弈游戏,至于人们管他叫什么则并不重要:命也罢,命运也罢,机遇也好,未知数也好,人类的生存和发展表明通常我们是这场游戏的赢家。
    So the gambling instinct must be an elemental one. Taking risks to achieve something is a characteristic of all forms of life, including humanity. As soon as man acquired property, the challenge he habitually issued to destiny found an additional expression_r in a human contest. Early man may well have staked his flint axe, his bearskin, his wife, in the hope of adding to his possessions. The acquirement of desirable but nonessential commodities must have increased his scope enormously, while the risk of complete disaster lessened.
可见赌博是人类基本的天性。为了有所得而甘愿冒险是所有生物的特征,包括人类在内。人一旦拥有了财产,他一直以来与命运所做的抗争表现在人与人的角逐中便多了一层意思。早期的人类为了增加财产,押的赌注是他的燧石斧,熊皮和妻子。而在拥有了称心如意但又可有可无的商品后,人在游戏角逐中的回旋的余地得以增加,而一败涂地的风险则相应降低。
So long as man was gambling against destiny, the odds were usually in his favor, especially when he used commonsense. But as the methods of gambling multiplied, the chances of success decreased. A wager against one person offered on average even chances and no third party profited by the transaction. But as soon as commercialized city life developed, mass gambling becomes common. Thousands of people now compete for large prizes, but with only minute chances of success, while the organizers of gambling concerns enjoy big profits with, in some cases, no risk at all. Few clients of the betting shops, football pools, state lotteries, bingo sessions, even charity raffles, realize fully the flimsiness of their chances and the fact that without fantastic luck they are certain to lose rather than gain.
只要人继续与命运的赌博游戏,特别是如果他能在游戏中利用常识的话,那他获胜的可能性就会很大。但随着赌博方式的成倍增加,获胜的机会便越来越小。一对一的赌局机会均等,第三方无法从中得利。可是商业化的城市生活一旦发展起来,集体博彩成为了普遍现象。如今成千上万的人参与角逐大奖,而成功的机会变得微乎其微。博彩业的组织者坐享其利,有时,他们甚至无需承担任何风险。参加有奖销售,足球博彩,国家彩票,宾戈纸牌甚至义卖抽奖的人当中很少有人意识到中奖的可能性极小,若非财运当头,肯定是包赔不赚。
    Little irreparable harm results for the normal individual. That big business profits from the satisfaction of a human instinct is a common enough phenomenon. The average wage-earner, who leads a colorless existence, devotes a small percentage of his earnings to keeping alive with extraordinary constancy the dream of achieving some magic change in his life. Gambling is in most cases a non-toxic drug against boredom and apathy and may well preserve good temper, patience and optimism in dreary circumstances. A sudden windfall may unbalance a weaker, less intelligent person and even ruin his life. And the lure of something for nothing as an ideal evokes criticism from the more rigidly upright representatives of the community. But few of us have the right to condemn as few of us can say we never gamble — even if it is only investing a few pence a week in the firm's football sweep or the church bazaar "lucky dip".
对一般人而言,赌上一把并不会造成不可挽回的损失。大公司通过满足人的欲求而大赚其钱也正常不过。平日生活乏味的普通工薪阶层拿出收入的很少一部分来碰运气,他们异常执着于自己的梦想,期待自己的生活能有奇迹般的转变。在多数情况下,赌博是针对无聊和冷漠的一剂无害的药方,它能让人在黯淡乏味的环境下仍能保持好的心态,耐心和乐观的情绪。但是天降横财会让一个意志软弱的糊涂虫生活失衡,甚至有可能会毁他一生。梦想坐享其成、不劳而获是社会上道德操守严谨的人攻击的对象。但事实上几乎无人真正有权批评赌博,因为没有人能说自己从来不赌,哪怕是一个礼拜花几分钱的公司足球博彩或是教堂的义卖也不参加。
    Trouble develops, however, when any human instinct or appetite becomes overdeveloped. Moderate drinking produces few harmful effects but drunkenness and alcoholism can have terrible consequences. With an unlucky combination of temperament and circumstances, gambling can become an obsession, almost a form of insanity, resulting in the loss not only of a man's property but of his self-respect and his conscience. Far worse are the sufferings of his dependents, deprived of material comfort and condemned to watching his deterioration and helplessness. They share none of his feverish excitement or the exhilaration of his rare successes. The fact that he does not wish to be cured makes psychological treatment of the gambling addict almost impossible. He will use any means, including stealing, to enable him to carry on. It might be possible to pay what salary he can earn to his wife for this family maintenance but this is clearly no solution. Nothing — education, home environment, other interests, wise discouragement — is likely to restrain the obsessed gambler and even when it is he alone who suffers the consequences, his disease is a cruel one, resulting in a wasted, unhappy life.
但假如人的欲求或喜好过度膨胀则会带来麻烦。适量地小酌几杯自然无妨,但醉酒酗酒的后果可就严重了。不幸的是,人的品性和所处的环境加在一块会让人沉迷于赌局,甚至失去理智,结果不光是把财产输个精光,自尊与良知也荡然无存。更糟糕的是,仰仗他养活的家人也要遭罪,没有了舒适的生活条件不说,他们还得看着他堕落无助的惨状。他们无法感受到他偶尔赢钱时的狂热和欣喜。赌徒自甘堕落,心理疗法对他们几乎没有任何作用。他们会借助一切手段,甚至偷窃,来筹措赌资好继续赌下去。人们可以把赌徒的工资交付给他的妻子用以维系家庭生活,但这明显解决不了问题。包括教育,家庭环境,其他爱好和明智的劝阻在内的所有东西都无法让赌徒收手。即便由他一人为此受苦,他的赌癖也是种可怕的病症,他的生活势必因此而凄凉悲惨。
    Even in the case of the more physically harmful of human indulgences, repressive legislation often merely increases the damage by causing more vicious activities designated to perpetuate the indulgence in secret. On the whole, though negative, gambling is no vice within reasonable limits. It would still exist in an ideal society. The most we can hope for is control over exaggerated profits resulting from its business exploitation, far more attention and research devoted to the unhappy gambling addict and the type of education which will encourage an interest in so many other constructive activities that gambling itself will lose its fascination as an opiate to a dreary existence. It could be regarded as an occasional mildly exciting game, never to be taken seriously.
但即便是人的嗜好会带来更严重的身体危害,采取强制性措施也只能让事情更糟糕,因为这样会使有些人采用危害更大的做法使此类活动在暗地里进行。总的来说,赌博虽然是消极的,但在合理的范围内不是什么坏事情。即便在理想社会里,赌博也将存在。我们只能期待通过商业手段盘剥彩金牟取暴利的行为能得到控制,期待人们会关注并研究那些可怜的赌徒,期待一种教育形式能鼓励人们将兴趣投入到其他富有建设性的活动,从而使赌博不再是枯燥生活的麻醉剂,不再使人们为之痴迷。赌博只能看成是偶尔为之的小有乐趣的游戏,而决不能专心投入。

精彩表达
Far worse are the sufferings of his dependents, deprived of material comfort and condemned to watching his deterioration and helplessness.
译文:更糟糕的是,仰仗他养活的家人也要遭罪,没有了舒适的生活条件不说,他们还得看着他堕落无助的惨状。
喜欢音乐的人一定知道音响效果的重要性,但无声的文字难道也能营造音响效果吗?答案是肯定的。请看上句,四个黑体字的共同特征是带有/d/这个音素,其中三个还是以de-开头的。/di:/ 的不断复现就造成了一种特殊的效果,使我们想起对应的词缀de-,意思是“去除,丧失”,通常与不愉快的气氛相联系。再看句子,基调正是赌博的后果——贫匮与丧失。可以说,单词的音响效果很好地凸现了句子的内涵,音和艺达到了和谐的统一。
英语中有一类特殊的音韵修辞方法,其中最重要的就是头韵法(alliteration),即邻近单词的起首音素相同,例如本文中的:
They share none of his feverish excitement or the exhilaration of his rare successes.
译文: 对于他的难得成功的亢奋或愉悦,他们丝毫没有产生共鸣。
其中,excitement和exhilaration就构成了头韵,由于/iks/这个音经常和激动、狂喜的心情或状态相联系,这两个词便很好地衬托了feverish和successes的内涵,它们就像乐曲中的衬音,在烘托气氛与突出主题方面的作用是不能被低估的。可以说,头韵法是一种较规整的制造文字音响效果的技巧,而在更一般的情况下,也不必拘泥于“邻近”单词发音的重复,如第一句例句。
用文字制造音响效果是一种较难的表达技巧,但若多读多想,培养语言,同时积累较多的词汇(也可求助于某些专用词典),也是可以逐渐掌握的。

文体特色
1/ Most of life is a gamble.
    译文:人活一世,大半辈子都在赌博。
2/ So the gambling instinct must be an elemental one. Taking risks to achieve something is a characteristic of all forms of life, including humanity.
    译文:可见赌博是人类基本的天性。为了有所得而甘愿冒险是所有生物的特征,包括人类在内。
3/ On the whole, though negative, gambling is no vice within reasonable limits. It would still exist in an ideal society. The most we can hope for is control over exaggerated profits resulting from its business exploitation, far more attention and research devoted to the unhappy gambling addict and the type of education which will encourage an interest in so many other constructive activities that gambling itself will lose its fascination as an opiate to a dreary existence. It could be regarded as an occasional mildly exciting game, never to be taken seriously.
译文:总的来说,赌博虽然是消极的,但在合理的范围内不是什么坏事情。即便在理想社会里,赌博也将存在。我们只能期待通过商业手段盘剥彩金牟取暴利的行为能得到控制,期待人们会关注并研究那些可怜的赌徒,期待一种教育形式能鼓励人们将兴趣投入到其他富有建设性的活动,从而使赌博不再是枯燥生活的麻醉剂,不再使人们为之痴迷。赌博只能看成是偶尔为之的小有乐趣的游戏,而决不能专心投入。
读者朋友,在你诵读以上3段文字时,作何感想?
国人曾经长期生活在极“左”思潮雄占上风的年代,好像很讲辩证法,其实不然,对于一些社会敏感问题一是不敢发议论,若是要发点议论,也总是往“左”靠,战战兢兢,生怕被人戴上一顶什么帽子。
比如,若要对“赌博”作一番议论,那必须“一棍子”将这种丑恶至极的社会现象打死!
有谁敢冒天下之大不韪对“赌博”说一两句“好话”(注:实际上是对“赌博”作一客观公允的分析而已)?
本文所以让读者感到双眼一亮,清风吹拂,一个重要原因是对“赌博”这一普遍现象作了在真正意义上的辨证分析。
你是否感到暗惊?作者称:Most of life is a gamble.
你是否感到公允?作者称:So the gambling instinct must be an elemental one.
你是否感到辨证?作者称:It could be regarded as an occasional mildly exciting game, never to be taken seriously.
笔者认为,即使是铁杆“赌徒”读了此文,也会入心,也会从善如流。这大概就是辩证法的威力。
议论文的文体特色千头万绪,但是,就根本言,其最重要的特色在于作者的思维。我们应该快步走出伪辩证法的阴影,写出真正具有说服力的好文章。

 

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