徐英才英译《前赤壁赋》/My First Visit to the Red Cliff (Translated by Xu Yi

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英译苏轼的《前赤壁赋》/My First Visit to the Red Cliff

 

摘自(徐英才翻译的《英译唐宋八大家散文精选》)

"A Selection from the Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song Dynasties" Translated by Yingcai Xu

 

 

前赤壁赋*1

 

苏轼

 

壬戌之秋,七月既望*2,苏子与客泛舟*3游于赤壁之下。清风徐来,水波不兴。举酒属客,诵明月之诗,歌窈窕之章*4。少焉,月出于东山之上,徘徊于斗牛*5之间。白露横江,水光接天。纵一苇之所如,凌万顷之茫然。浩浩乎如冯虚御风,而不知其所止;飘飘乎如遗世独立,羽化而登仙。

 

于是饮酒乐甚*6,扣舷而歌之。歌曰:“桂棹兮兰桨,击空明兮溯流光。渺渺兮予怀,望美人兮天一方。”*7客有吹洞箫者,倚歌而和之。其声呜呜然,如怨如慕,如泣如诉,余音袅袅,不绝如缕。舞幽壑之潜蛟,泣孤舟之嫠妇。

 

苏子*8愀然,正襟危坐,而问客曰:“何为其然也?”客曰:“‘月明星稀,乌鹊南飞。’*9此非曹孟德之诗乎*10?西望夏口,东望武昌。山川相缪,郁乎苍苍,此非孟德之困于周郎者乎*11?方其破荆州,下江陵,顺流而东也,舳舻千里,旌旗蔽空,酾酒临江,横槊赋诗,固一世之雄也,而今安在哉?*12况吾与子渔樵于江渚之上,侣鱼虾而友麋鹿。驾一叶之扁舟,举匏樽以相属。*13寄蜉蝣于天地,渺沧海之一粟。哀吾生之须臾,羡长江之无穷。挟飞仙以遨游,抱明月而长终。知不可乎骤得,托遗响于悲风。”

 

苏子曰:“客亦知*14夫水与月乎?逝者如斯,而未尝往也; 盈虚*15者如彼,而卒莫消长也。盖将自其变者而观之*16,则天地曾不能以一瞬。自其不变者而观之*17,则物与我皆无尽也*18,而又何羡乎?且夫天地之间,物各有主。苟非吾之所有,虽一毫而莫取。惟江上之清风,与山间之明月。耳得之而为声,目遇之而成色。取之无禁,用之不竭,是造物者之无尽藏也,而吾与子之所共适。”

 

客喜而笑,洗盏更酌。肴核既尽,杯盘狼籍。相与枕藉乎舟中,不知东方之既白。

 

 

My First Visit to the Red Cliff

 

Su Shi

 

It was the 17th day of the 7th month in the autumn of the year Ren Xu when I sailed down to the foot of the Red Cliff with some friends. A cool breeze was wafting, too soft to ripple the water. Raising my cup, I toasted my friends and chanted the stanza on the gentle and graceful orb from the verse about the bright moon. Soon, the moon rose from behind the east mountain and began to roam between the Southern Dipper and the Altair. White mist heaped up across the river, and the moonlight stretched far into the horizon to merge into the sky. Like a piece of reed, our sloop drifted on a boundless expanse of water, so vast that we felt as if we were riding wind in the firmament, wondering where to moor, and so ethereal that we felt as if we were ascending into heaven and becoming immortal.

 

This enchanted the gaiety of drinking. We sang while tapping on the side of the boat:

 

Oh, the magnolia oars, paddling in the clear water,

Oh, the cassia boat, sailing up the moonlit river;

But where I’ve reached is so remote,

From the beloved in my rapt heart.

 

Someone among the friends started to play the Xiao Flute, accompanying the verse. The music kept streaming out and lingering in the air, so melancholic that it sounded like a continuous sigh of sorrow or like a ceaseless weep with grief, which could entice a scaly dragon perching in a deep pool to rise and dance, or make a widow sitting on a lonely boat cry.

 

Sitting up, I, in a serious tone, asked the player, “Why is the music so somberly stirring?” “‘The moon is luminous, the stars are sparse, the birds are flying south,’” he replied. “Isn’t this the visualization of a scene as described in Cao Mengde’s poem? The place we have now reached faces Xiakou to the West and Wuchang to the East, and is heavily encircled by verdant mountains and stretching water. Isn’t this a déjà vu of Mengde being trapped by General Zhou? Although it goes without saying that Cao Mengde could well be considered a hero for his generation, when he broke through Jingzhou, swept over Jiangling, and then rolled eastward down the Yangtze River in warships chained up for over a thousand miles, with banners and flags flaunting in defiance of the vast open skies, while drinking with relish before the river and composing poems with his lance resting on his lap, where is he now? If he is nowhere to be found, then what about us? You and I are fishing in the river, gathering firewood in the islet, with fish and shrimp as our companions, and milu and deer as our friends, and riding a sloop while drinking from our gourd cups. We are like mayflies wandering in this terrestrial world or pieces of millet drifting on a deep blue ocean. What a short life span we have, yet how endless the Yangtze River is! I wish we could roam in the firmament with flying immortals or live forever with the bright moon. I know this is not something easily obtainable and therefore I can only leave the wistful music to the dreary wind.”

 

I commented, “Do you happen to know the nature of water or the moon? Water is always on the run like this, but never lost in its course; the moon always waxes and wanes like that, but never out of its sphere. When viewed from a changing perspective, nothing in this universe can remain unchanged even within a blink of an eye, but when looked at from an unchanging perspective, everything conserves itself, and so do we. Therefore, what’s in them to be admired? Besides, in this universe, everything has its rightful owner. If something does not belong to you, then you shall not even have a bit of it. However, the fresh breeze over this river and the bright moon above the mountains are an exception. If you can hear it, it is a sound to you; if you can see it, it is a view to you. It never ends and is never exhausted. It is the infinite treasure that nature has for both of us to enjoy. 

 

Hearing this, he cheered up and laughed. We had our cups rinsed and refilled. Soon all the dishes and fruits were gone. With plates and cups left strewn all over, we leaned against each other and fell asleep right in the boat, unaware that the east was already turning white.

 

 

注释:

 

1.      苏轼写有两篇《赤壁赋》,本篇在前,称为《前赤壁赋》,另一篇在后,称为《后赤壁赋》。因要表示先后,故本篇译作My First Visit to the Red Cliff,另一篇译作My Second Visit to the Red Cliff

 

再者,为什么不把 “赤壁”译成汉语拼音Chibi呢?应该说,译成汉语拼音也是完全可以的,但原文是文艺作品,非文献性作品,译成有意义的 the Red Cliff更具形象性。

 

2.      “既望”里的“既”表示已经完成,“望”是指农历小月十五日,大月十六日,所以“既望”即指农历十七日,“七月既望”译作the 17th day of the 7th month

 

3.      原文并未说用的是帆船,而且苏轼和他的朋友用的很可能不是帆船,那么用动词sail来译“泛舟”是不是可以呢?完全可以!虽然sail最早指的是“杨帆而行”,但现在完全可以用它来指“无帆而行”,很多现代英语词典只把它定义为to move along or travel over water。比如:

 

a.      The moon sails in the night sky.

b.      The ship was sailing to China.

c.      The steamship is sailing to Li*****on.

 

4.      “明月之诗”和“窈窕之章”并非书名或者章节名,而指的是《诗经》里有关章节,故不能作诗名而大写。这里译作… and chanted the stanza on the gentle and graceful orb from the verse about the bright moon.

 

5.      “斗牛“里的“斗”指的是斗宿(即南斗),“牛”指的是“牛宿”(即牛郎星),译作the Southern Dipper the Altair.

 

6.      “于是饮酒乐甚”意译为This enchanted the gaiety of drinking,这里的enchant是动词,是“使喜悦”、“使陶醉”的意思,比如:

 

a.      The flowers you sent her greatly enchanted her.

b.      Her gaiety and wit have enchanted us all.

c.      The audience was clearly enchanted by her performance.

 

7.      “桂棹兮兰桨,击空明兮溯流光。渺渺兮予怀,望美人兮天一方”的大意是“桂木做的船啊兰木做的桨,逆流划开了月光浮动的江;多么深沉遥远啊我的情怀,仰望着我思慕的人在远方”。因为是歌词,故译作lyric格式,其中带有韵律。另外,原歌词里的第一,二句把“棹”(船)与“桨”合在了一起写,而英译时,为便于处理,把它们分开了。

 

 Oh, the magnolia oars, paddling in the clear water,

Oh, the cassia boat, sailing up the moonlit river;

But where I’ve reached is so remote,

        From the beloved in my rapt heart.

 

其中一、二句末尾的“-er 押全韵;三、四句末尾的“-t”押半韵。另外,有些行与行之间也带韵。

 

8.      “苏子”即“苏轼”,作者本人,故用表单数第一人称的I译出。

 

9.      “月明星稀,乌鹊南飞”所引的是曹操《短歌行》中的诗句,故译作诗的形式The moon is luminous, the stars are sparse, the birds are flying south,其间押[s]半韵。

 

10.      “此非曹孟德之诗乎”的字面意思是“这难道不正是曹孟德的诗吗”不能译成Isn't this Cao Mengde's poem? 因为这个“这难道不正是曹孟德的诗吗”是“这难道不正是曹孟德的诗里所描写的情景吗”的简略形式,本译文把它译作Isnt this the  visualization of a scene as described in Cao Mengdes poem?

 

11.      “此非孟德之困于周郎者乎”的字面意思是“这难道不正是曹孟德被周瑜围困的地方吗”,句式也正好跟上面一句一样。也正因如此,如果再一次用visualization of来译就会显得重复而单调,故用a déjà vu of把它译作 Isnt this a déjà vu of Mengde being trapped by General Zhou

 

12.      “方其破荆州,下江陵,顺流而东也,舳舻千里,旌旗蔽空,酾酒临江,横槊赋诗,固一世之雄也,而今安在哉”的意思是“当他攻破荆州,席卷江陵,顺着长江向东而进军的时候,战船连接千里,旌旗遮蔽天空,对江斟酒痛饮,横端长矛朗诵诗篇,确实是一代英雄啊,可他如今又在哪里呢? 虽然这个长长的句子是个引语,但原文里并没有一点儿口语的口气,反而有一种一气呵成的书面语语气,特别是在作了一连串的铺垫“破荆州”、“下江陵”、“舳舻千里”、“旌旗蔽空”、“酾酒临江”、“横槊赋诗”后嘎然而止,用一个短小精悍的反问句形式(rhetoric question)迸发出“可他如今又在哪里呢?”

 

这段行文正是具有千斤之力啊!翻译时要力求迸发出相当的力量。本译文把它译作:Although it goes without saying that Cao Mengde could well be considered a hero for his generation, when he broke through Jingzhou, swept over Jiangling, and then rolled eastward down the Yangtze River in warships chained up for over a thousand miles, with banners and flags flaunting in defiance of the vast open skies, while drinking with relish before the river and composing poems with his lance resting on his lap, where is he now?

 

13.      “况吾与子渔樵于江渚之上,侣鱼虾而友麋鹿。驾一叶之扁舟,举匏樽以相属”的意思是“何况我同你在江中和沙洲上捕鱼砍柴,以鱼虾为伴,与麋鹿为友,驾一叶小舟,在这里用葫芦作的杯子互相劝酒”。这里我们来探讨几个问题:

 

(1)      从上句对曹操这个大英雄“而今安在”进行发问,到本句转而谈论作者本人,从而把平凡的自我跟不凡的伟人进行对比,原文里没有任何过度,如果照译,译文里就会出现断裂,意念就会连接不上,故本译文在翻译时加入了If he is nowhere to be found, then what about us? 加入这一句过渡语在英语里极其重要,因为它直接点明了原文所要论述的主题,忽略了这一点,看似一句一句译得头头是道,其实读者读起来会不知所云。

 

(2)      原文里上一句跟本句实际是一个对比,用上句曹操的伟大来反衬作者和他朋友的平凡,为了体现这一点,本译文在句中插入一些and,使文字拖沓,节奏缓慢,行文繁琐,以此来衬托出他们的平凡,译作You and I are fishing in the river, gathering firewood in the islet, with fish and shrimp as our companions, and muli and deer as our friends, and riding a sloop while drinking from our gourd cups.

 

(3)      “匏樽”里的“匏”是“葫芦”,“樽”是“酒器”,翻译时,不要随便把“匏樽”译成wine cup了事,而非得把它译作gourd cups,以显示他们的平凡,只能用“葫芦杯”来喝酒。

 

14.      这里加个happen to来提问,听起来就比较客气。

 

15.      “盈虚”就是“月亮的圆缺”,英语的习惯说法是wax and wane

 

16.      viewed from a changing perspective意思是“从变化的角度来看”。

 

17.      looked at from an unchanging perspective意思是”从不变的角度来看”。

 

18.      everything conserves itself里的conserve是“keep from change”,即“不变”的意思。

 

 

 

所有跟帖: 

徐才英不知何人。 -海外逸士- 给 海外逸士 发送悄悄话 海外逸士 的博客首页 海外逸士 的个人群组 (211 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 06:01:42

跟海外逸士再商榷--用“再”字是因为我从前跟你商榷过你的翻译 -聚曦亭- 给 聚曦亭 发送悄悄话 聚曦亭 的个人群组 (1176 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 10:23:48

warships chained up for over a thousand miles -youknowmyheart- 给 youknowmyheart 发送悄悄话 youknowmyheart 的个人群组 (26 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 12:36:08

单看中文不看注解还真看不懂。吾生也有涯。。。刚跑步回来,吾歇一会而再来学。 -sportwoman- 给 sportwoman 发送悄悄话 sportwoman 的博客首页 sportwoman 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 13:28:52

因為是翻譯﹐題中既有賦字﹐當然要譯出來。所以譯成ESSAY。 -海外逸士- 给 海外逸士 发送悄悄话 海外逸士 的博客首页 海外逸士 的个人群组 (194 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 16:59:59

如果要用,也要用 ode to 或者 odes to,而不是 essay of。那个essay不能对应“赋” -聚曦亭- 给 聚曦亭 发送悄悄话 聚曦亭 的个人群组 (244 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 17:36:05

我看过一点莎翁的十四行诗里面的赏析,记得一些描述出现过odes。。老师们继续。。。我说完了。赶紧跑。 -sportwoman- 给 sportwoman 发送悄悄话 sportwoman 的博客首页 sportwoman 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 17:48:17

你这两位老师很自大,一个把自己称为逸士,不请自来,另一个称自己是英才,自吹自擂,哈哈 -whatday- 给 whatday 发送悄悄话 whatday 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 19:05:15

天降文才格不拘,恃才傲物偶怕谁。 -sportwoman- 给 sportwoman 发送悄悄话 sportwoman 的博客首页 sportwoman 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 19:24:04

哈!大家笑一笑嘛,莫非真要两阵交锋啦。 -sportwoman- 给 sportwoman 发送悄悄话 sportwoman 的博客首页 sportwoman 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 19:26:36

题目还没搞清楚 不知靠啥来傲物 哈 -whatday- 给 whatday 发送悄悄话 whatday 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 19:39:05

whatday师兄。我现在自封 “蜗牛居士”。是不是牛气冲天? -sportwoman- 给 sportwoman 发送悄悄话 sportwoman 的博客首页 sportwoman 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 20:06:53

ahem...超级贼女/宅女之意。 -sportwoman- 给 sportwoman 发送悄悄话 sportwoman 的博客首页 sportwoman 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 20:11:33

你本身就很牛吗,哈。如果这个英才不自吹自擂,我会给他点建议。可惜,哈 -whatday- 给 whatday 发送悄悄话 whatday 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 20:25:01

我的字典说,ode:颂歌,赋 -sportwoman- 给 sportwoman 发送悄悄话 sportwoman 的博客首页 sportwoman 的个人群组 (513 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 18:09:47

ODE為題﹐外國人用在詩題裡。 -海外逸士- 给 海外逸士 发送悄悄话 海外逸士 的博客首页 海外逸士 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/11/2012 postreply 05:21:59

前赤壁赋:The former Ode on the Red Cliff. -sportwoman- 给 sportwoman 发送悄悄话 sportwoman 的博客首页 sportwoman 的个人群组 (31 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 18:34:30

“Former Ode” 听上去就好像ode又可进一步分成两种类型:former ode 和latter ode,所以Forme -聚曦亭- 给 聚曦亭 发送悄悄话 聚曦亭 的个人群组 (984 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 19:27:53

I thought the title -sportwoman- 给 sportwoman 发送悄悄话 sportwoman 的博客首页 sportwoman 的个人群组 (650 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 19:53:05

“Red cliff” is good! “chibi”洋银听不懂啦。 -sportwoman- 给 sportwoman 发送悄悄话 sportwoman 的博客首页 sportwoman 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 20:03:09

同意!匆匆忙忙没动脑筋,把原来的Red Cliff写成了Chibi. -聚曦亭- 给 聚曦亭 发送悄悄话 聚曦亭 的个人群组 (0 bytes) () 06/10/2012 postreply 20:11:13

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