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翻譯練習:《翻譯》by 夏宇
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: August 14, 2011 – 3:36 pm

版主最近家務繁忙,蠟燭兩頭燒,已經有好一陣子沒有更新本站了。不過,今天總算挪出了空檔,想談談一則有趣的翻譯。網友會問,版主今天想說什麼呢?答案揭曉:版主要講一則名為《翻譯》的新詩:

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《翻譯》

夏宇

年老的僧侶翻譯著經書

他 5 歲就出家了

許多事沒經歷過

那些陌生的語言像他年輕時

夢見過的身體

他努力揣想那些字的意思 經年累月地

搜索自己的母語

找出對應的態;

那些身體,他想

只要撫摸過一次 –

那身體,被一道強光緊緊包圍著的

令他更懂了些:

某些字完全無法翻譯

置他於生離死別之境

而他是徒然地老了

翻不出來的

只好自行創作

但最好看起來像翻譯一樣

如果他曾撫摸過

即使穿著雨衣戴著手套

【出處】Michelle’s little corner of the world

translation

先談談版主對這首詩的體認:

本詩要表達翻譯的困境譯者有時會遇到不熟悉的原文語句,即便竭盡心智,也常力不從心,無法參透原文並將其翻譯成對應的母語。因此,詩中翻譯經書的僧侶不免幻想,要是能夠親身撫摸 (接觸) 他那夢見過身體 (指原文或外語) ,翻譯時便更能得心應手!即便是隔著一層雨衣和手套去觸摸那身體,也聊勝於無,遠勝於夢中的幻想。

這首新詩文字雖然淺白,但脈絡清晰,愈讀愈有滋味,顯見夏宇的文字功力頗深。

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網路上有人貼上本詩的英譯。版主細讀之下,發現有幾處翻譯值得商確:

翻譯  夏宇(早期未結集之詩/後收錄於FUSION KITSCH)

in English translation
~translated by Steve Bradbury

An aging monk translates a holy book
Having entered the order in childhood

There are many things he has never lived

These exotic tongues
So like the bodies he dreamt of in his youth

He racks his brains to find the meaning of texts and the years gather dust

Rummaging through the nooks and crannies of his mother tongue

In search of those ministering words and phrases

He calls to mind the bodies
He never had the chance to touch
A vision of flesh lit by a fierce and clinching light
Leaves him with this deeper insight:

Certain words will not cross over
But put him in peril of never meeting again
To what avail has he grown old?
Words he cannot translate
He must now invent
But better they give the appearance of translation

If only he had touched them
Even through a pair of gloves
Or a veil for that matter.

【出處】Michelle’s little corner of the world

translation

畫底線的文字都是版主主觀認為是不妥的,有些是時態問題,有些是字義問題,有些則是邏輯不通。

「經年累月」翻譯成 ‘the years gather dust’,這令版主一頭霧水。

「他想」翻譯成 ‘He calls to the mind’,這是沒有讀通中文原詩的翻譯,甚至把整段的意思搞混了。

「置他於生離死別之境」翻譯成 ‘put him in peril of never meeting again’,真不曉得譯者翻譯時知不知道自己在寫什麼。

「手套」翻譯成 ‘veil’ (面紗),這就有點怪了, 夏宇是說粗糙的雨衣,譯者卻翻成柔順的面紗,翻譯的彈性空間未免太大了,恐怕弄擰了夏宇要傳達的畫面。

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版主略為修改英譯來更精確地反應夏宇的新詩。

年老的僧侶翻譯著經書
他 5 歲就出家了
許多事沒經歷過

An aged monk is translating holy books.
He entered the order at the age of five.
There are many things he has never experienced.

那些陌生的語言
像他年輕時
夢見過的身體
他努力揣想那些字的意思 經年累月地
搜索自己的母語

找出對應的態;

Those strange words
Resemble the bodies he dreamed about in his youth.
He racks his brains to figure out the meaning of those words, for a long long time,
Searching every nook and cranny of his mother language
To seek
equivalents.

那些身體,他想
只要撫摸過一次
–那身體,被一道強光緊緊包圍著的
令他更懂了些:

He thinks to himself,
If only he had had the chance to touch those bodies once,
– The bodies enveloped in a dazzling light-
He would have gained a deeper insight.

某些字完全無法翻譯
置他於生離死別之境
而他是徒然地老了

翻不出來的
只好自行創作
但最好看起來像翻譯一樣

Certain words that cannot be translated
Left him in a state of great sorrow of separation in life and death.
He has grown old, but his efforts are all in vain.
For the words he cannot render,
He must invent equivalents.
But it would be well to give them the appearance of translation.

如果他曾撫摸過
即使穿著雨衣戴著手套

If only he had had the chance to touch those bodies,
Even through a raincoat and a pair of gloves.


translation

(單字解釋)

* order = a group of people living in a religious community, especially monks or nuns (按照一定的規範生活的)宗教團體;(尤指)修會

* rack your brain(s) = (Idiom) to think very hard or for a long time about something 絞盡腦汁;冥思苦想

* rummage = search for something by moving things around in a careless way 翻找;亂翻

* nook and cranny = very part of a place 到處;四處

eg. We searched every nook and cranny. 我們找遍每一個角落

* gain a deeper insight = 對… 有更深的瞭解

* drive sb to desperation = 使… 絕望

* In desperation, he finally broke down the door. 他毫無辦法,最後只好把門砸開。

* We searched the whole area but all to no avail.

eg. Crying is of no avail now. (現在哭都沒用。)

* coin = to invent a new word or expression, especially one that many start to use 創造或杜撰新字

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