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《红楼梦》是中国的旷世巨著,大陆、香港、台湾都曾改编拍成电影,家喻户晓。五六十年代多位中外学者就曾经把《红楼梦》英译,介绍到西方国家去,但由于种种问题,都只是节译而已。直至70年代有一位牛津大学的讲座教授霍克思(David Hawks),竟然不惜辞去职务,专心埋首于全部《红楼梦》的英译。他的译笔功力深邃,英文写得非常流畅。请先欣赏霍克斯在《红楼梦》英译本自序中的最后一段感人的话:

    "My one abiding principle has been to translate everything-even puns. For although this is ,in the sense I have already indicated, an 'unfinished' novel, it was written (and written) by a great artist with his very life blood. I have therefore assumed that whatever I find in it is there for a purpose and must be dealt with somehow or other, I cannot pretend always to have done so successfully, but if I can convey to the reader even a fraction of the pleasure this Chinese novel given me , I shall not have lived in vain."   (来源:英语麦当劳-英语杂志 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

霍克思译红楼梦,是希望大学翻译系的同学能观摩汉英翻译的极品,同时更为望各位忠实读者能欣赏地道中文与地道英语的讲写之法,从而提高研习中英文的兴趣。请大家欣赏曹雪芹的生花妙笔,然后研习霍克斯的精彩妙译:

    “从头看去,越看越爱,不顿饭时,已看了好几出了。但觉词句警入,余香满口。一面看了,只管出神,心内还默默记诵。”

    "The more she read, the more she liked it, and before very long she had read several acts, She felt the power of the words and their lingering fragrance. Long after she had finished reading. When she had laid down the book and was sitting there rapt and silent, the lines continued to ring on in her head."

    原文通畅易晓,雅丽芊绵,是地地道道的好文字;译文亦步亦趋,简洁流畅,从平凡中见功力,更觉难能可贵。希望大家把原文译文反复熟诵,探究中英文的地道写法。下面请看《红楼梦》的对白英译,希望能协助大家提高英语会话的能力。

 “凤姐听了,眼圈儿红了一会子,方说道:'天有不测风云,人有旦夕祸福,这点年纪,倘或因这病上有个长短,人生在世,还有什么趣儿呢!” 
教授David Hawks 运用灵心妙手,妥贴译成合乎惯用法的地道英文:

    "Xi feng's eyes became moist and for a moment she was too overcome to speak. ' I know "the weather and human life are both unpredictable,"' she said at last,'but she's only a child still. If anything should happen to her as a result of this illness, I think all the fun would go out of life!'"

再来欣赏霍克思翻译的贾宝玉与袭人的一段对话:

    “宝玉听了这话,见她脸上气色非往日可比,便笑道:‘怎么又动了气呢?’袭人冷笑道:‘我那里敢动气呢?只是你从今别进这屋子了。横竖有人服待你,再不必支使我,我仍旧服侍老太太去。’”

    "The expression on her face as she uttered these words was angrier than he had ever seen her look before. “He laughed. "'Oh dear! Are you in a rage again?" "Aroma laughed mirthlessly. "'It's not for the likes of me to get into rages, But I wish that from now on you would stop coming into this room, After all, you have got people to wait on you elsewhere . You don't really need my services. I shall back to serving Her Old Ladyship, like I used before.'"


 
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