Homepage List My Fifth Piece of Translation Exercise (passage from "Wuthering Heights")

29. My Fifth Piece of Translation Exercise (passage from "Wuthering Heights")

The original passage (taken from "Wuthering Heights" (《咆哮山莊》) by Emily Bronte):

"I've been starved a month and more," she answered, resting on the word, as scornful as she could.

And she got a chair for herself, and placed it at a distance from both of us.

Having sat till she was warm, she began to look round, and discovered a number of books in the dresser; she was instantly upon her feet again, stretching to reach them, but they were too high up.

Her cousin, after watching her endeavours a while, at last summoned courage to help her; she held her frock, and he filled it with the first that came to hand.

That was a great advance for the lad - she didn't thank him; still, he felt gratified that she had accepted his assistance, and ventured to stand behind as she examined them, and even to stoop and point out what struck his fancy in certain old pictures which they contained - nor was he daunted by the saucy style in which she jerked the page from his finger; he contented himself with going a bit farther back, and looking at her, instead of the book.

She continued reading, or seeking for something to read. His attention became, by degrees, quite centred in the study of her thick, silky curls - her face he couldn't see, and she couldn't see him. And, perhaps, not quite awake to what he did, but attracted like a child to a candle, at last, he proceeded from staring to touching; he put out his hand and stroked one curl, as gently as if it were a bird. He might have stuck a knife into her neck, she started round in such a taking.

"Get away, this moment! How dare you touch me? Why are you stopping there?" she cried, in a tone of disgust. "I can't endure you! I'll go upstairs again, if you come near me."


My Chinese translation:

「我已經餓了一個月有多!」她答道,停留在「多」字,盡然顯示她的輕蔑。

她自己拿了張椅子,放到離我兩遠處。

待坐到身子暖和,她開始四周張望和看到一些書放在櫃子裡,她立刻再站起來,伸手去拿書,可是書放得太高了,她無法拿到。

她表哥看著她努力了好一會,最後鼓足勇氣上前幫她。她拿起裙子,他把第一手拿到的書放到她裙子上。

這是小男孩前進的一大步──她沒有感謝他,他還是感激她願意接受他的幫忙,又當她檢驗書本時膽大的站到她後方,甚至彎身向前指著書中引起他興致的舊圖畫──對她猛地裡從他指間扯開書頁的無禮舉動亦不會畏縮,他樂意站後一些,看著她而不是書本。

她繼續閱讀,或者找尋要閱讀些甚麼。他的注意力漸漸轉移和集中到研究她那厚厚的、如絲的鬈髮上──他看不到她的臉,她也看不到他的。最後,或者因為他不完全清醒知道自己正在做甚麼,而是像小孩子被蠟燭吸引著一般,他開始由注視她轉為觸摸她;他伸手去撫摸她一綹鬈髮,溫柔得像是撫摸著一隻小鳥。她猛地轉過身來,情況突然得像是他用刀插入了她頸部。

「立刻滾開!你竟夠膽摸我?你停在那處做甚麼?」她呼叫著,聲調中滿是厭惡之情。「我不能忍受你!你走近我的話,我立刻返樓上去。」


Translation of the same passage copied from a book for comparison:

「一個多月來,我一直餓著呢,」她答道,盡力把那個「餓」字拖得特別長,語氣充滿了輕蔑。

她給自己搬了張椅子來,放在離我們倆都相當遠的地方。

她坐在那兒,等到身子暖和了,便開始向四周張望,發現櫃子上有好幾本書,她馬上站起身來,伸長了手想去拿,可是書放得太高了,她搆不著。

她的表哥望了她一會兒,最後才鼓足勇氣去幫她。她兜起了她的衣裳,他就一本一本拿下來,往她的衣裙裡放,直到裝滿為止。

這對於那個小伙子來說,已是一大進步了。她沒有感謝他,但他心裡還是感到非常興奮,因為她接受了他的幫助。在她翻看這些書時,他還大膽地站在她後面,甚至還彎下身子把書中有趣的古老插圖指給她看。她喜歡把書頁「啪」地一下翻過去,不讓他的手指碰到,一副瞧不起人的神色,然而這一點都沒有讓他感到難堪,他只是心平氣和地後退一、兩步,也不去看書了,而是專注地望著她。

她繼續看書,或者在找些什麼值得一讀的。他的注意力就漸漸轉移到研究她那濃密又亮麗的捲髮上了。他看不見她的臉,她也同樣看不見他。也許他也不知道自己在幹什麼,只是像小孩被燭光所吸引那樣,他先是緊緊地盯著,後來就開始想去觸碰它了。他伸出一隻手,摸了摸她那一綹捲髮,輕輕的、柔柔的,彷彿是在撫摸一隻小鳥似的。但他這個舉動就像用小刀捅進了她的脖子似的,叫她猛地轉過身來。

「快給我滾開!你怎麼敢碰我的頭髮?你待在這裡幹嘛?」她氣呼呼地嚷道,「我受不了你!要是你再走近我,我就回樓上去了。」

(Written on June 30, 2010)