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《没有“中国制造”的一年》第六章:发明之母 (三)

(2011-06-07 10:40:49)
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美国人

没有

中国

制造

英汉

第六章

连载三

文化

分类: 胡译赏析

《没有“中国制造”的一年》第六章:发明之母 <wbr>(三)

                                              A Year without Made in China

Sara Bongiorni

                                                    没有“中国制造”的一年

                                                                  (美)萨拉·邦乔妮

                                      胡宗锋  苦丁  (译)

                                                   Chapter Six       Mothers of Invention

                                                        第六章             发明之母(三)

     In any case, these are not problems without solutions, even with the limits imposed by the boycott. I can read books instead of watching mind-rotting television, for instance.The children are almost assured of becoming brilliant if I deprive them of the tube and read to them instead.The lack of a working stereo is equally unproblematic.We can listen to music while we are in the car. At home, the children can continue to destroy the springs of the sofa with silent bouncing.They may not be having as much fun as they did when “Jingle Bell Rock” rattled the walls, but technically they are not being harmed, either.The broken vacuum is the least of my worries. I can sweep the floors, a time-saver, really, since I’d be getting a workout in the process of cleaning the house.And margaritas can be made on the rocks.

      无论怎样,即便是有抵制计划的种种限制,没有解决不了的问题。比如,我可以用读书代替腐化人思想的电视。如果我一定要孩子们丢下电视听我给他们读书的话,他们一定会变得智慧博学。音响的缺失基本上不成问题。我们在车里的时候可以听音乐;在家里,孩子们可以悄无声息地“蹂躏”沙发弹簧取乐。相比较《铃儿响叮当》冲击着墙壁的时候,他们也许少了些乐趣,但从科学上说来也没有受到伤害。我最不担心的是坏了的吸尘器,我可以扫地板——还能节省时间,真的,打扫房间还能得到锻炼。我们可以给玛格丽特鸡尾酒加冰块。

      The year is nearly half over. I can survive without all these things. Most of the world survives without them every day. It’s only in my spoiled American reality that life without these things becomes in any way problematic. Honestly, how hard could it be to live without a television, a stereo, a vacuum cleaner, or a blender? Not too hard, I conclude. Then I think that maybe that’s not the right question. A better question might be: How hard would it be to live with Kevin without these things?

     今年差不多过了一半了。没有这些东西我一样可以生活,世界上大部分地区的人每天不用这些照样活着,只是被宠溺坏了的美国生活让我们觉得没有这些就困难重重。老实说,没有电视、音响、吸尘器、搅拌机的生活到底有多困难?不会太难,我觉得。接着,我想或许这个问题不合适,更好的问题应该是:和凯文一起生活,没有这些东西会有多难?

Like his father,Wes sees little virtue in a China boycott. “Do we not like China?” he asks me one day.

I am alarmed by the question.

“Yes, we like China,” I tell him.

He presses on.

“Are they not nice to people?”

“They are perfectly good people in China,” I assure him.“No different than people anywhere else.”

“Then how come we don’t buy China things?” he asks.

跟他爸爸一样,维斯觉得抵制中国制造毫无益处。“我们不喜欢中国吗?”一天他问我。

这个问题引起了我的警觉。

 “不,我们喜欢中国,”我告诉他。

他接着问道。

“他们人不好吗?”

 “中国人绝对是好人,”我向他保证,“和其他地方的人一样。”

 “那我们为什么不买中国的东西?”他问。

       We’ve been over this territory before but I stumble every time. Many days I can’t quite remember myself why we are doing this, so to explain it in a way that makes sense to a four-year-old is beyond my abilities. Still, I suppose it’s my duty to try.

     “We like China, but it’s a very big place, with lots of factories, and we want to give other countries a chance to sell us things,” I say.

       我们以前也谈到过这样的话题,每次我都是结巴着敷衍。很多时候,我总是想不起来我们为什么要这么做,所以要让一个4岁的小孩理解我的解释更加困难 。但我觉得我有责任一试。

    “我们喜欢中国,但那是个很大的地方,有很多工厂,我们想要给其他国家卖东西的机会。”我说。

       He looks at me in silence, nose scrunched up and eyes squinty, fingers squeezed hard around his peanut butter sandwich. For a moment I imagine that I have pushed aside the haze of his tender understanding of the world. I picture a thought bubble above his little head. “Oh, I see,” it says inside the bubble,“a fairer world, where everybody gets to do a little business, and oversized steamrollers, like China and America, don’t smash everybody up.”

       他看着我不做声,皱着鼻子,眼睛斜视,拿着花生酱三明治的双手使劲绞在一起。有那么一刻,我幻想自己已经把他对世界脆弱认知的迷雾拨开了,想象着他的小脑袋有点开窍了。 “哦,明白了。”他的小脑袋里会想,“世界要公平,每个人都有生意,像美国和中国那样的超大压路机,就不会压别人了。”

Wes brings me back to earth.

“Do light swords come from China?” he asks. “Tyler has a light sword. I want one for Christmas. I know Santa is going to bring me one.”

维斯把我带回到现实。

“光之剑是中国的吗?”他问道,“泰勒有一把光之剑,圣诞节时我想要一把。我知道圣诞老人会送给我一把的。”

       I look at him in silence. I don’t have the heart to tell him that light swords come from China. I haven’t checked for sure, but by this point I don’t have to. And who knows? The Christmas shopping season is months away. Maybe by then a factory in Vietnam or Cambodia will start turning out light swords and shipping them to wholesale toy distributors in places like Texas and California and they will eventually end up on store shelves in our neighborhood. I realize the odds are long, but it could happen. Stranger things have.

       我默默看着他。我没心思告诉他光之剑来自中国,我还没有查清,但到这份上也没必要查。谁知道呢?离圣诞购物还有好几个月呢,或许到那时候越南或柬埔寨的哪家工厂会开始生产光之剑,从海上运给诸如德克萨斯州或加利福尼亚州的批发商,它们最终会出现在我们附近的货架上。我意识到这可能性不大,但终归是有机会。天下奇事多啊。

       “Put it on your list for Santa,”I tell Wes.“We’ll see what he thinks. But keep in mind that the list to Santa is only a suggestion list.There’s no such thing as a sure bet at Christmas.”

 Wes pauses over his sandwich. His eyes reproach me for my scant faith in the magic of Christmas.

“But Mama,”he says,“I know Santa is going to get me one.”

        “把它写到你给圣诞老人的清单吧,”我对维斯说,“我们看看他怎么想。但记住,给圣诞老人的单子只是个建议,圣诞节时可不是想什么有什么。”

维斯不再揉捏三明治,但他的眼神因为我对圣诞魔法信心不足在责怪我。

 “但是妈妈,”他说,“我知道圣诞老人会给我的。”

       A mouse has moved in under the kitchen sink, a development that at first seems unconnected to the China boycott. My mother, who is visiting from California, is the first to spot it. The mouse leaps out of the trash can and skitters into the darkness after she opens the cupboard to throw something away. She slams the door shut and spends the afternoon with a nervous eye in that direction.

“I got a good look,” she tells me. “There was no mistaking it for something else.”

       一只老鼠从厨房的水池下爬进来了,这一新发展起初似乎和抵制中国制造没有关系。第一个发现老鼠的是从加利福尼亚过来看我们的妈妈。她打开柜橱想扔东西时,一只老鼠从垃圾桶里跳出来,窜进了黑暗里。她砰地关上门,整个下午紧张地盯着那个方向。

 “我看得很清楚,”她跟我说,“就是老鼠,不会错的。”

       It could be worse—it could be a rat—but the news isn’t good. Kevin isn’t due back from France for two weeks. I will have to deal with the mouse myself. I am filled with dread at the thought of what lies ahead.There is even a slight feeling of betrayal. Ours is in many ways a traditional marriage. I send the Christmas cards, remember birthdays, and choose the paint colors. Kevin works the barbeque, sweats over blocked pipes, and deals with vermin and anything dead lodged under the house.This division of matrimonial duties is instinctive and unspoken. Pest control falls clearly within the bounds of Kevin’s obligations, yet he is thousands of miles and two weeks away from the kitchen cupboard and the mouse within. I have no choice. I will tackle Kevin’s job and deal with the intruder.

       有可能更糟——可能是一只大老鼠——但这可不是好消息。凯文两周后才能从法国回来,我必须自己面对老鼠。一想到将会发生的事我就头皮发麻,甚至还有点被出卖的感觉。我们是个很传统的家庭,我负责发送圣诞贺卡,记得大家生日,选择油漆颜色。凯文主管野餐烤肉,为疏通水管汗流浃背,处理害虫还有房间里失去生命的东西。这种婚姻职责的分工是与生俱来不言而喻的。处理令人讨厌的害虫自然是在凯文的职责范围内,可是他现在身处离我们的厨房橱柜和老鼠的千里之外,还得等两周。我别无选择,只能是干凯文的活,对付这个擅自闯进来的家伙。

        Or will I? I am gripped by a sense of urgency when my mother first tells me about the mouse, but then it occurs to me that maybe it was a one-time occurrence, never to be repeated. Maybe my mother gave that mouse such a fright when she slammed the cupboard door that it fled the premises for good in search of safer terrain. Or maybe I can keep the house so clean that there’s nothing to keep it hanging around here. If I put every speck of food in the refrigerator and tackle the floors with broom and mop like my life depended on it, maybe I can deprive the mouse of so much as a stale, forgotten Cheerio to sustain it. I haven’t heard of these methods working for others, but you never know.And maybe the situation isn’t as urgent as it seems. If I put my mind to it, perhaps I could live with a mouse in the house for two weeks, if the mouse is reasonable and stays out of my way. We could each pretend we didn’t know about the other and carry on until Kevin gets back and takes charge of the situation.

        我行吗?妈妈刚告诉我时我被一种紧迫感攫住了,不过接着我又想,或许就这一次,老鼠再也不会出现了。或许妈妈使劲关门时老鼠被吓跑了,去寻找一个更安全的领地。或许我可以保持房间整洁,让老鼠找不到安身之处。如果我把各种食物都放进冰箱,用扫把和拖布拼命地擦洗地板,也许我不留饭渣老鼠就没有生存空间。我没听说过这些方法有效,不过也难说。或许情况根本没有看上去那样紧迫。要是我铁了心,这只老鼠明事理不碍我事,也许我可以和老鼠一起生活两个礼拜。人和鼠都装作不知对方的存在,和平共处直到凯文回来处理。

                                                                      汉语文字版请阅读《美文》2011年第六期

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