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Excerpts from Dead and Gone

(2007-11-19 13:43:26)

Excerpts from Dead and Gone

Digby didn’t look a very prepossessing character, Thanet thought as they drew nearer. The gardener continued to lean against the wall, arms folded, watching them with a sardonic expression. He had a long lugubrious face with drooping jowls and soft pouches beneath the eyes. For one who worked out of doors his skin was surprisingly pasty, the colour of moist putty, and his wispy hair had been carefully combed across his scalp in an attempt to disguise the fact that there was little of it.

Thanet longed to bark, sergeant-major fashion, ‘Stand up straight when we’re talking to you!’ Instead he said mildly, ‘tell us what happened this morning.’

‘I’ve told him once already,’ said Digby, jerking his head at Lineham. The man managed to make the word ‘him’ sound like an insult.

Well educated, Thanet thought, with just a trace of Kentish accent.

‘I’d like to hear it for myself. In detail, please.’

Digby sighed and shrugged. ‘Suit yourself. I was crossing the courtyard when I noticed that watering can standing beside the well. It struck me as odd. Mrs. Mintar was always very fussy about not leaving tools and stuff lying around. Fanatical, you might say.’ He glanced around. ‘This courtyard was her pride and joy and she liked to keep it shipshape.’

Thanet looked as well. He had noticed last night that a great deal of hard work and loving care had been expended on the courtyard. Mrs. Mintar had obviously been very fond of flowers. Climbing roses and clematis intermingled on the house walls; there were hanging baskets overflowing with colourful annuals and an abundance of terracotta pots and tubs. ‘She looked after all of this herself?’Digby nodded. ‘Except for watering the camellias, yes.’ He pointed out the four big shrubs planted on either side of the kitchen door. ‘I do them, during the week, anyway. Mrs. Mintar did them at weekends.’

‘Why didn’t she always do those?’

‘It’s a heavier job. We use water from the well for them.’

‘Ah.’ Thanet was beginning to see where this was leading.

‘Why?’ asked Lineham.

‘Lovely soft water, isn’t it. Tap water around here is very hard and camellias don’t like it.’

‘Go on,’ Thanet said.

‘Well, when I picked up the can I realized it was half full. Now that was even more peculiar. I mean to say, who’d leave a can half full of water, in a heat wave? But then I thought, perhaps they’d had people around last night, and she hadn’t quite finished watering when they arrived, forgot to complete the job later. And sure enough, when I checked, I found that two of the camellias were bone dry. So I thought I might as well finish the job off.’

‘Very conscientious of you,’ said Lineham.

Digby scowled. ‘It is important to keep camellias well watered in July and August, that’s when the flower buds for the following year are forming. Anyway, I used up the water in the can first then went to draw more from the well. That was when I noticed the chain wasn’t across and the padlock wasn’t locked – the key was still in it.’

Apparently Mrs. Mintar had been fussy about safety as far as the well was concerned, dating back to when the children were small. She had therefore had a removable cover made and this was always secured by a padlock and chain.

‘Let’s be clear about this. You’re saying the cover was on the well but that it wasn’t secured in any way?’

‘Yes, anyway, I took the lid off, the bucket went down, hit bottom, as I thought, and came up empty. I knew the water was getting low, but not that low. So I looked down.’ He shrugged. ‘That was when I saw her.’ 
获奖译文   英译中
 

《死》节选___多罗塞.辛普森
作者:happydoris



迪格比看上去不怎么讨人喜欢,当(赛内特和兰姆)他们走到跟前时,赛内特心里这样想。此时,这位花匠依旧靠墙站着,双臂交叉,以讥讽的神情注视着他们。他有着一张阴郁的长脸,下巴使劲儿往下垂着,眼皮下长着一对松软的眼泡。对于一个在户外工作的人来说,他的皮肤苍白得令人难以置信,那是一种湿润的油灰的颜色,他的纤细的头发被小心翼翼地梳过头皮,以掩盖那里头发稀疏的事实。

赛内特真想冲着他大吼一通,以一种准尉才有的方式:“站直喽,听我们讲!”可是,他却和颜悦色地说:“跟我们说说今天早上都发生了什么吧。”

“我已经跟他讲过一次了。”迪格比说,并猛地把头转向兰姆。这家伙设法让“他”这个词听起来很觉受辱。

受过良好教育,仅有一点点肯特郡的口音,赛内特想。

“我想亲耳听到。详细点,请说吧。”

迪格比叹了口气并耸了耸肩。“随你了。 我走过院子时,注意到那个提水的罐子立在井边。这让我觉得相当奇怪。因为如果有什么工具或物品没有摆放好时,敏特夫人总是特别挑剔。太狂热了,你可能会说。”他瞅了四周 一眼,“这个院子,是她的骄傲与快乐,她喜欢把它弄得井井有条。”

赛内特也跟着环视了一下。他昨晚就已经注意到,,有人为这个院子付出了许多的辛劳和关爱。很明显敏特夫人是非常爱花的。攀援蔷薇和铁线莲在院墙上缠绕蔓生,五彩斑斓的一年生植物从悬垂的花蓝里向外喷泻而出,院子里还有数不清的赤陶罐子与花盆。“她亲自照料这一切吗?”

迪格比点了点头。“是的,除了给那些山茶树浇水。”他指了指厨房门两边那四棵高大的灌木。“ 我给它们浇水,只负责工作日,周末由敏特夫人负责。”

“她怎么不一直负责呢?”

“那样任务就太重了。我们是从井里打上水再浇树的。”

“哦。”赛内特开始明白这说明什么了。

“为什么?”兰姆问道。

“(井)水柔的可爱,不是吗?这里的自来水特别硬,山茶树是不喜欢的。”

“接着说。”赛内特说。

“哦,当我拿起水罐时我发现它里面有一半儿的水。那可就更奇怪了。我的意思是说,在这么热的天里,谁会让罐子里的水留下一半儿呢?可是我转而又想,也许她们昨晚有客人,当客人到时她还没有浇完水,后来又忘了继续做了。而且肯定的是,当我检查了一遍后,发现有两棵山茶树都干透了。于是我想我应该把这工作做完。”

“你很负责。”兰姆说。

迪格比面露愠色。“在七月和八月时,给山茶树浇够水是很重要的,因为第二年的花苞就是在这个时候开始孕育的。不管怎样,我先浇完了水罐里的水,然后想再从井里提出更多。也就是在那时候,我发现链子没有横过去,挂锁也没有锁上___钥匙仍旧插在锁里。

很明显,敏特夫人一直以来都很重视水井的安全问题,打从孩子们小时候起就这样。因此她就做了个可移动的盖子,并总是用一把挂锁和一根链子锁好。

“让我们把这个弄清楚。 你说了盖子就在水井上,但是,它并没有上锁?”

“是的。不管怎么说,我掀起盖子,放下水桶,(桶)碰到了井底(我是这样想的),拎上来的却是空桶。我清楚水位在下降,但并没有低到那个程度。于是我就低头往下看。”他耸了耸肩。“我就是在那时候看到她的。”
参考译文   英译中

小说节选

蒂格比看上去不是个很会给人以好感的人,他们走近时萨内特心里在想。这位园丁继续靠在墙上,胳膊交叠着,带着一副嘲笑的表情望着他们。他有着阴沉的长脸,下垂的下颚,眼睛下面的眼袋松泡泡的。对于一个在室外工作的人而言,他的皮肤苍白得令人惊奇,像湿油灰的颜色,他稀稀拉拉的头发被仔细地梳理得斜盖过头皮,以掩饰头发少的事实。

萨内特很想像军士长那样对他喊叫,‘我们和你说话的时候把身子站直了!’可是他反而温和地说,‘告诉我们今天早晨发生的事情。’

‘我已经告诉过他一次了,’蒂格比把头冲林汉姆一甩,说道。此人竟然能够使‘他’这个字眼听起来像是种侮辱。

受过好的教育,萨内特心里想,只带有一丝肯特郡的口音。

‘我希望亲耳听一下。详细的,好吗。’

蒂格比叹了口气,耸耸肩。‘随你的意思吧。我是在穿过院子的时候注意到浇水罐在井边立着。我觉得很奇怪。敏塔太太从不许到处乱放工具和东西,在这方面向来十分挑剔。你甚至可以说像中了邪一样。’他往四周扫了一眼。‘这个院子是她的骄傲和快乐,她喜欢把它保持得井井有条。’

萨内特也看了看四周。昨晚他就注意到了,在这个院子里倾注了大量的辛勤劳动和关爱。敏塔太太显然非常喜欢花。攀爬的蔷薇和铁线莲在房屋的墙上交相辉映;吊篮里是满满当当的绚丽的一年生花草,还有大量的陶土花盆和花桶。‘所有这些都由她自己照料吗?’蒂格比点点头。‘除了给山茶花浇水之外,都是的。’他指指种在厨房门两旁的四棵巨大的灌木。‘反正,周一到周五是我浇山茶花。敏塔太太周末浇。’

‘为什么不都是她浇?’

‘这活要重一点。我们浇山茶花用井水。’

‘啊。’萨内特开始明白谈话会往哪儿发展了。

‘为什么?’林汉姆问。

‘非常好的软水,不是吗。这儿的自来水是很硬的硬水,山茶花不喜欢。’

‘接着往下说,’萨内特说道。

‘嗯,我拿起水罐的时候,意识到罐子是半满的。这可就更怪了。我的意思是说,谁会在酷暑期间扔下一个半满的水罐不管?可是我又一想,说不定他们昨晚有客人,客人来的时候她还没有浇完水,后来忘了接着把水浇完。没错,我一检查,发现有两棵山茶花都干透了。因此我想,我不如把这活干完了吧。’

‘你倒是很认真啊,’林汉姆说。

蒂格比脸一沉。‘七八月份保持山茶花浇足水很重要,第二年的花蕾就是这个时候形成的。总之,我先把水罐里的水用完,然后到井里去汲水。正是在这个时候我注意到了铁链没有横在井盖上,挂锁也没有锁上 -- 钥匙还在锁里。’

显然,敏塔太太对于水井的安全是十分挑剔的,从孩子们小的时候起就开始这样了。因此她让人做了个可以移动的井盖,井盖总是用挂锁和铁链锁住。

‘让我们把这一点搞清楚。你是说井盖在井上,可是没有以任何方式给弄牢靠了?’

‘是的,总之,我把井盖拿了下来,把水桶放了下去,我以为碰到了井底,拉上来却是空的。我知道水越来越浅了,可是还没有浅到这个地步。所以我往井下看去。’他耸耸肩。‘就是那个时候我看见了她。’

(王家湘 译)
专家点评   英译中
 

文学翻译要注意选词和语气

原文并不难懂,理解起来并没有太多困难,误解原意的只有几处:

1. He had noticed last night that a great deal of hard work and loving care had been expended on the courtyard.
有相当一些译者把这句话译成类似下面这句的样子:“他注意到院子昨晚被大大地修整和爱护过。”实际上是“昨晚注意到院子……”

2. The man managed to make the word ‘him’ sound like an insult.
这句是说花匠说的这个‘他’字听起来像种侮辱,而不是‘企图’让这个字听起来……
‘managed to do something’ 是‘设法做到了’的意思,‘tried to do’才是‘试图(企图)做但没有做到’。

3. ‘this was always secured by a padlock and chain.’ 是说井盖总是用挂锁和铁链锁牢,而不能泛泛地译成‘保证安全’、‘以防不测’、‘保护措施’、‘加以保护’等。

4. Thanet was beginning to see where this was leading. 花匠提到了从井里打水,使Thanet开始明白谈话会向哪个方向发展,而不是明白‘大概是怎么回事’,‘事情有些眉目了’,‘知道是怎么回事了’,‘知道个中缘故了’,‘转话题’等等。

但是由于摘自小说,文中对人物和环境的描写比较生动,翻译时选词很重要。对话的口气翻译时也需要注意分寸,原文中没有明确表示出来的意思,翻译时最好不要添加译者的理解,下面是一些可以讨论的例句:

在选词方面:

Long lugubrious face ‘闷闷不乐,一副可怜兮兮的样子’,‘神情悲苦’,‘故作忧伤状’都不妥。

两处be fussy about 都反映了太太在这两件事情上过分重视,很是挑剔,如果译成‘一向注意’,‘发脾气’,‘恼火’,‘罗嗦’,‘大惊小怪’,都不够确切。

在任意添加方面:

Well educated, Thanet thought, with just a trace of Kentish accent. ‘就是带了……口音’,‘只是有……口音’,‘刚好带了……口音’,‘从……口音推断他受过良好的教育’等等。实际只是听者的想法,并没有褒贬的意思。

Digby sighed and shrugged. ‘……无奈地耸耸肩’

...there were hanging baskets... ‘……屋檐下挂着……’

Anyway, I used up the water in the can first... ‘我也没再多想,先用完了……’

还有是原文没有的地方随意加上‘忍不住插话’,‘他问道’,‘我认为’等等。

这段节选没有翻译书名是有原因的。一般来说,如果不知道整个小说的内容,只是看了其中的一部分,是不能轻易翻译书名的,容易理解不全面,翻译有偏差。我在这里给出了小说的英文名,是为了表明这段节选的出处。

另外有漏译现象,这说明或是不仔细,或是不认真,都是应该尽量避免的毛病。

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