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家庭峰会

(2010-08-05 14:57:46)
标签:

英汉对照读物

教育

分类: 英汉对照读物

                                         A Family Summit

                             家庭峰会

 

把家庭琐事讨论,堂而皇之地叫做“家庭峰会”,这既是对家庭成员人心各异的热讽,更是对国家各个部门各自为政的冷嘲。家庭、国家、世界 ---它们相辅相成,构成了人们须臾不能离开的生存和生活的三个不同的空间。读读这篇精彩的英语散文,我们会得到更多的启迪。

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We all gathered in the living room for what was the first Family Economic Summit (1) in our history.

我们大家聚集在起居室里,参加我们有史以来的首届家庭经济峰会。

 

I opened the meeting with a brief statement.
   “I have called you all together to discuss the grave economic situation that this family faces. As you know inflation has spiraled the cost of all consumer goods, and we could be heading for a serious domestic depression (2). I would like your advice as to how we can set our house in order.”

我简单地讲了几句开场白。

   “我把你们都召集起来,讨论这个家庭所面临的严峻的经济形势。正如你们所知道的那样,通货膨胀盘旋而上,超过所有消费品的开销,因此,我们可能将面临一场严重的家庭大萧条。我们怎样才能使这个家秩序井然,我想听听你们有何良策。”

 

  My son, Joel, said, “I think your tight-money policies of the past year have contributed greatly to the crisis. It seems to me that if you loosened up on our allowances, it would give us more money to spend and take us out of our doldrums.”

我的儿子乔尔说道:“我认为,你在过去一年中,实行货币紧缩政策,在很大程度上,造成了这场危机。我觉得:如果你给我们零花钱时,不要卡得太紧,我们就会有更多的钱消费,这就可能使我们摆脱消沉的处境。”

 

“I am not certain that is the solution,” I replied. “One of the causes of the family economic woes is that we are spending more money than we’re taking in. It was my hope that we could balance the budget before the year is out. Any increase in allowances at this time would only encourage inflation.” 

“我肯定:这不是解决问题的办法。”我回答道,“家庭经济困难的原因之一是:我们入不敷出。我的希望是:岁末前,我们能够作到收支平衡。在这样的时刻增加零花钱,只会引起通货膨胀。”

 

My daughter Jennifer said, “The biggest item in the family seems to be education. Why don’t we all quit school and take a year off to find ourselves?”

 我的女儿詹尼芙说:“家里最大的开支项目似乎是教育。我们为什么不都辍学一年,寻找自我感觉呢?”

 

“This is not a practical solution. If you took a year off from school, I would have to subsidize you, which would cost more than your tuition. I hardly see a saving there. I don’t believe a high unemployment rate in the family would solve anything.”

“这是一个不切实际的办法。如果你们辍学一年,我就得给你们补助费,而补助花费比你们的学费更多。我很难看出这样可以节约钱。我认为,家庭中的高失业率不能解决任何问题。”

 

I continued: “It seems to me one of the major causes of the problem is the high cost of gasoline. If everyone turned in his and her gas credit card and paid cash for your fuel, I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

我继续说道:“我觉得,问题的主要根源之一是:汽油开销太大。如果大家都交还汽油信用卡,改用现金支付你们的汽油,我可就能看到隧道尽头的光亮了。”

 

 

   My daughter Connie said angrily, “A good transportation system in this family is essential to a healthy economy. Making us turn in our credit cards is an extreme measure, which should be used only when everything else fails.”

我的女儿康妮气愤地说道:“在这个家庭中,要有发达的经济,良好的交通系统极为重要。让我们交出信用卡是一个过激的措施,只有当一切其他办法都不奏效时,才可采用它。”

 

   “All right then, let us take up the subject of rock concerts. Last year members of this group spent a total of two hundred and fifty dollars on rock concerts and three hundred and thirty dollars on rock records and tapes. This is certainly an area where costs can be cut substantially.”

“好,那么,让我们讨论一下摇滚音乐会的问题。去年,本家庭成员在摇滚音乐会上共花去250美元,购买摇滚音乐唱片和磁带共花去330美元。可以肯定地说,在这个领域里,能够大幅度地削减开支。”

 

Jennifer rose in a fury. “You are penalizing the poor and the neediest in this family by taking away from them their major form of entertainment. Why don’t you cut some of the fat from Mom’s household budget?”

詹尼芙愤怒地站起身来。“你们剥夺家庭中贫困者的惟一的娱乐手段,对他们是不公平的。为什么不从妈妈的家庭财政预算中,削减一些脂油钱呢?”

 

“I was coming to that,” I said. “It seems to me that too much money has been spent on slipcovers, drapes, and nonessential items such as lamps and rugs. I would suggest a five-hundred-dollar ceiling on all household expenditures.”

“我正要谈到这点,”我说。“我觉得:太多的钱花在家具套、窗帘帷幔和像灯与小地毯这类无关紧要的物品上了。我想提出一个所有家具开支的最大额度:500美元。”

 

“That’s out of the question,” my wife said. “Applying a meat ax to those few fixed cost-of-living items would only cost us to fix up the house at a later date. We are actually saving money by spending it now.”

   “那绝对不行,”我的妻子说道。“对这几样生活费用项目进行砍削,只会使我们日后修缮屋子时花更多的钱。我们现在花钱,实际上是在省钱。”

 

“I was afraid that would be your response. Well, what about food? Surely it would be no problem to cut there?”

“恐怕这只是你的看法。好吧,食品怎么样?对其进行削减,肯定没有问题吧?”

 

   “I would go along with that,” my wife said, “with one stipulation. From now on you will do all the supermarket shopping for the family, which I’m sure you’d enjoy.”

“我对此表示赞同,”我的妻子说道,“但有一个条件。从现在起,你全权负责家庭的超市购物,我肯定你会喜欢的。”

“Okay, let’s forget about saving money on food,” I said. “But surely in this family budget there is some places we can cut waste.”

    “好啦,让我们不再提缩食了。”我说道。“但是,在这个家庭财政预算中,肯定有我们能够减少浪费的地方。”

 

   My daughter Jennifer said, “Why don’t you give up your season ticket to the Redskins’ games?”

我的女儿詹尼芙说道:“你为什么不放弃你的观看印第安人运动会的赛季票呢?”

 

 

   “Now, wait a minute,” I replied angrily. “Let’s not throw out the baby with bath water. (2)”

 

“得了,等等,”我回答道。“让我们不要把小孩伙同洗澡水一起倒掉了。”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Notes:

1.       …the first Family Economic Summit

句中的Summit表示“最高级会议、峰会”,为summit meeting和 summit conference的简略形式。把家庭讨论堂而皇之地叫做summit, 这既是对家庭琐事的热讽,更是对社会世事的冷嘲。

2.       …we could be heading for a serious domestic depression.

句中的head原为名词,这里用作动词,表示“朝特定方向行进”。这种转换词类的手法,可使表达新颖和形象。比如:He squared his shoulders.(他挺胸。square原为名词,表示“正方形”)/ She eyed me from head to foot. (她从头到脚打量我。eye原为名词,表示“眼睛”。)

3.       …throw out the baby with bath water.

这是一个谚语,又写作:empty (pour) the baby out (away) with the bath (water)。直译为“把小孩伙同洗澡水一起倒掉。”比喻意思是:把本质的或精华的部分,连多余的或糟粕的部分一起扔掉。                          

                                            

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