标签归档:禅的行囊

再见,中文翻译版作品

上次曾提到,我想方设法在amazon.cn上买了一本Kindle中文书,美国汉学家 Porter Bill 的英译汉作品:《禅的行囊》。读完后,我发现amazon.com有英文Kindle原版: Zen Baggage: A Pilgrimage to China, 买下来。

当我读到下面这一段时,发现原来我早先读过的《空谷幽兰》(也是 Porter Bill 的作品)里有些内容没有出现在中文版:

Ming-chieh translated my book on Chinese hermits, Road to Heaven—except, of course, for the parts about politics, the military, and the police, which never made the Chinese edition.

我一直以为文化类的翻译作品不会与原文有太大的出入。我好奇地将此段文字和中文翻译版比较一下,发现即使是这本游记类的作品,中文版和英文版的差别也不小。

英文版原文:

So I called up Ming-yao, and he asked me to meet him for lunch. He said his wife Ming-chieh would be there too. Ming-chieh translated my book on Chinese hermits, Road to Heaven—except, of course, for the parts about politics, the military, and the police, which never made the Chinese edition. Everyone liked her title: K’ungku-yu-lan: “Hidden Orchids of Deserted Valleys.” Strange as it sounds, no one had ever written a book about hermits in China, and the publication of Kungkuyulan had a noticeable impact. In the Sian area, it even resulted in the formation of a hermit association, which sounds ludicrous. But the association has since compiled a record of hut and cave locations in the Chungnan Mountains south of Sian where I conducted my interviews. And it now sends someone around periodically with medicine and food—and even mail.

Of course, that is not necessarily a good thing. The Cultural Revolution was nothing new. Times are good for monks and nuns right now in China, but everything changes. And when bad times come, someone will have to take the blame. Throughout Chinese history, that someone has often included its Buddhist and Taoist clerics: those unproductive slackers living off the sweat of others. Still, most of the hermits I talked to were not greatly affected even during the worst years of those decades everyone in China still wants to forget. The Buddhists and Taoists who felt the heat were the ones living in monasteries and nunneries, not the ones in huts—yet another advantage of seclusion and a low profile.

以下是中文翻译版相应内容:

在电话里,明尧邀我一起吃午饭。他的妻子明洁也会来。明洁是我上一本书的中文版译者,所有人都喜欢她给中译本起的名字:《空谷幽兰》。在此之前,还真没有人写过一本关于中国隐士的书。《空谷幽兰》的出版产生了一些影响:在西安,居然因此形成了一个隐士协会。隐士协会将终南山区的茅篷和洞穴位置登记造册,定期派人到山中分发药品和食物,甚至邮件。

此处翻译版本的简短与中文的精简浓缩、博大精深无任何关系。不知是谁饿了,把作者的原文内容啃掉了一大块,只剩下一根骨头,冷冰冰,硬梆梆。这样的情况在全书中并不偶然。

必须指出,《空谷幽兰》和《禅的行囊》这两本中文翻译版的翻译水平很不错。无奈,再伟大的翻译家也绝非万能。

我以前曾说过,原则上不读活人的中文作品,现在还要加上一条,不读中文翻译版作品。敬鬼神而远之。

学好英语很重要。