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请翻译为中文

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请翻译为中文


请翻译为中文

Posted: 23 Sep 2009 12:37 AM PDT

最近在网上发现了一种有趣的现象:当中国向外输出了足够的留学生、华侨之后,他们在异邦通过阅读或者谈话,发现外国人也会引用中国哲人的话。但是,当他们看到这些翻译过去的名言之后,却很难找到在中文里的对应语句。例如:

He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.

据说,这是孔夫子曾经说过的一句话。号称国学遍地的今天,谁能一眼看出这句话出自:我欲仁,斯仁至矣。

再看这一句:

It is not truth that makes man great,but man that makes truth great.

幸运的是,这句话是林语堂先生在他的英文书《The importance of life》写的,同样也是孔子的话:人能弘道,非道弘人。

这些名言看下来,发现问题不在英文的意译出了多大问题,而是今天的中国人对子曾经曰过什么不熟,所以找不到对应的原句。更大的问题在于,即便背住了子曾经曰过什么,但是对所曰的内容并不理解。例如以下这句:

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached,don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.—射有似乎君子,失诸正鹄,反求诸其身。

能翻出这一句来,的确很不容易。再看下面这句:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

对应的话应该是:
富而可求也,虽执鞭之士,吾亦为之。如不可求,从吾所好。
还是:
知之者不如好之者,好之者不如乐之者。

最倒霉的是,你翻烂了书也翻不出原文来,例如这一句:

Man who climbs out on limb should listen carefully for sound of saw.

据说是孔子说的,但是它的真实作者是Sidney Rittenberg,中文名李敦白。他从40年代呆在中国,一直到了1979年。写这句话的时候,李敦白的老婆刚刚被送进五七干校教育,于是,他就杜撰了这句孔子的话。现在看来,倒有点像是袁世凯儿子袁克文写的小诗:绝怜高处多风雨,莫上琼楼最上层。而且,心境也很相同。


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