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35. My Seventh Piece of Translation Exercise (passage from "David Copperfield")

The original passage (taken from "David Copperfield" (《大衛•考勃菲爾》另譯《大衛•科波菲爾》舊譯《塊肉餘生記》) by Charles Dickens):

Whatever I had within me that was romantic and dreamy, was encouraged by so much story-telling in the dark, and in that respect the pursuit may not have been very profitable to me. But the being cherished as a kind of plaything in my room, and the consciousness that this accomplishment of mine was bruited about among the boys, and attracted a good deal of notice to me though I was the youngest there, stimulated me to exertion. In a school carried on by sheer cruelty, whether it is presided over by a dunce or not, there is not likely to be much learnt. I believe our boys were, generally, as ignorant a set as any schoolboys in existence; they were too much troubled and knocked about to learn; they could no more do that to advantage, than anyone can do anything to advantage in a life of constant misfortune, torment, and worry.


My Chinese translation:

無論我本已有的是甚麼一些浪漫和夢幻的念頭,這麼多個晚間講故事的活動都大大強化了它們,從這個層面來看不見得對我有甚麼大的好處。可是,我珍惜這個在我房間裡進行的嬉戲活動,想到男孩間對我這個本領廣泛的讚嘆,以及雖然論年紀我最小卻引來了許多許多他們對我另眼相看的目光,這些都刺激起我盡力做得最好。這樣一所純然殘酷不仁對待孩子的學校,不論領導人是低能兒與否,孩子都不會學到甚麼好東西。我相信我們這班無知男孩和一般學校別的無知男孩沒有分別;他們不斷被麻煩擺弄和毆打,妨礙了學習;他們根本無法得到改善,就正如那些經常遭受不幸、折磨和焦慮困擾的人無法改善生活一樣。


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

我在黑暗中講了這麼多故事,大大助長了我原有的一切想入非非和耽於夢幻的天性;就這一點來說,幹這件事對於我也許沒有大益。不過我成了宿舍裡大家當寶貝的玩物,同學都紛紛傳揚我這方面的才能,我也覺得,我雖然在學校裡年紀最小,竟因此很引起大家注意,這些都鼓勵我更加努力。在完全用殘酷手段的學校裡,不管是不是笨瓜做校長,都學不到多少東西。我相信,我們學生大都和任何現在有的學校學生一樣,一群無知的人,給作踐、毆打得無法學習;他們學習,得不到好處,就跟任何總過倒楣、受難、煩惱生活的人,不管做什麼事,都得不到好處一樣。

(Written on April 10, 2011)