英文充电:红楼梦各具特色的“笑”如何翻译

(原标题:《红楼梦》各具特色的“笑”如何翻译)

英文充电:红楼梦各具特色的“笑”如何翻译

《红楼梦》是一部古典文学名著,研读《红楼梦》英译本,不但利于英文读者了解中国传统文化,也为中国的英语学习者和翻译爱好者提供了不可多得的学习素材。一个小小的“笑”,便大有乾坤。

翻译“笑”,能有几种译法?最为常见的为“laugh”或“smile”。但一个“笑”,单在中文里就有诸多衍生“大笑”、“偷笑”、“窃笑”、“咯咯笑”、“皮笑肉不笑”等等。英文同样如此,常见的关于笑的单词有:beam, chortle, chuckle, cackle, giggle, grin, laugh, smile, snigger, titter等。

例1、 贾母笑道:“你不认得他,他是我们这里有名的一个泼皮破落户儿,南省俗谓作辣子,你只叫他凤辣子就是了。”

译文:“You don’t know her yet. ”The Lady Dowagerchuckled. “She’s the terror of this house. In the south they’d call her Hot Pepper. Just call her Fiery Phoenix.”

解析:chuckle:laugh quietly or inwardly,是有面部动作,低声,开心地笑。这句是贾母向林黛玉介绍王熙凤时的语言,当时的心情是开心的。贾母形容王熙凤看似贬低实则确实褒扬,也体现了贾母和王熙凤之间比较亲近的关系。

例2、宝玉笑道:“你倒比先越发出息了,倒象我的儿子。”贾琏笑道:“好不害臊!人家比你大四五岁呢,就替你作儿子了?”

译文:“You’ve grown very handsome since I saw you last.”Pao-yugrinned. “You could almost be my son.” “For shame!” Chia Lien chortled. “Your son? He’s four or five years older than you.”

解析:grin: smile broadly, especially in an unrestrained manner and with the mouth open, 是有面部表情,不发声,露齿而笑。chortle:laugh in a breathy, gleeful way,是有面部表情,开怀大笑。原文贾芸最伶俐乖觉,听宝玉这样说,便有心攀附,认宝玉为父也无妨。宝玉笑道时,译者选用“grin”表明宝玉只是开个小玩笑,不甚在意。而贾琏笑时,则选用“chortle”,贾琏何尝不知道贾芸的小心思,却没有点破,用玩笑的方式回应。

例3、 刘姥姥也笑道:“我们庄稼人,不过是现成的本色,众位别笑。”鸳鸯道:“中间‘三四’绿配红。”刘姥姥道:“大伙烧了毛毛虫。”众人笑道:“这是有的,还说你的本色。”

译文:“We country people can only talk about the things we know,” said Granny Liu, laughingherself. “You mustn’t make fun of me.” Yuan-yang continued, “‘Three and four,’ green and red, in the center.” “A big fire burns the hairy caterpillar.” The others chortled, “That’s right. Go on in your own way.”

解析:laugh: make the spontaneous sounds and movements of the face and body that are the instinctive expressions of lively amusement and sometimes also of contempt or derision, 有面部表情,有声音地大笑。刘姥姥是乡下人,言行举止没有那么多规矩,此处用“laugh”十分符合个人身份。而众人笑道,选用“chortle”,是被刘姥姥惹笑了。

例4、 周瑞家的道:“我的娘,你见了他,怎么倒不会说了,开口就是你侄儿?我说句不怕你恼的话,便是亲侄儿,也要说和软些。那蓉大爷才是他的正紧侄儿呢,他怎么又跑出这么个侄儿来了?”刘姥姥笑道:“我的嫂子,我见了他,心眼儿爱还爱不过来,哪里还说的上话来了?”

译文:“Gracious me!” exclaimed Mrs. Chou. “What possessed you when you saw her to keep on about ‘your nephew’? At the risk of offending you I must say this: Even if he were a real nephew you should have glossed it over. Master Jung, now, he’s her honest-to-goodness nephew – where would she get a nephew like Pan-erh?”

“My dear sister!” Granny Liu beamed. “I was struck all of a heap at sight of her and didn’t know what I was saying.”

解析:beam:smile radiantly, 有面部表情,却没有声音地笑。此处刘姥姥因之前说了逾矩的话,所以笑声减弱,但内心仍然十分欢喜,所以此处使用“beam”十分恰当。

(责任编辑:wysweetltian)

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