Homepage List My Eleventh Piece of Translation Exercise (passage from "David Copperfield")

40. My Eleventh 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):

There was a second lady in the dining-room, of a slight short figure, dark, and not agreeable to look at, but with some appearance of good looks too, who attracted my attention, perhaps because I had not expected to see her, perhaps because I found myself sitting opposite to her, perhaps because of something really remarkable in her. She had black hair and eager black eyes, and was thin, and had a scar upon her lip. It was an old scar─I should rather call it, seam, for it was not discoloured, and had healed years ago─which had once cut through her mouth, downward towards the chin, but was now barely visible across the table, except above and on her upper lip, the shape of which it had altered. I concluded in my own mind that she was about thirty years of age, and that she wished to be married. She was a little dilapidated─like a house─with having been so long to let, yet had, as I have said, an appearance of good looks. Her thinness seemed to be the effect of some wasting fire within her, which found a vent in her gaunt eyes.


My Chinese translation:

飯餐裡有第二位女士,短小個子,深膚色,不甚悅目的外貌,可仍有一些動人的地方。她能引起我的注意,或許是因為我沒預期會看到她,或許是因為我坐在她正對面,或許是因為她確有一些與眾不同的地方。她有黑頭髮和熱切的黑眼睛,身體瘦削,唇上邊有一道疤痕。這是一道舊疤痕──不如說是一道縫吧,因為它未有變色,亦已經痊癒多年了──曾一度由口部切割到下巴,不過現在隔著桌子不大看得到了,除了因此造成疤痕上方和上唇的變形仍可看到外。我估計她大概三十歲的年紀,急切想嫁出去。她看來像有點快要敗壞凋謝,就像一所長期出租的房子那樣,卻是依然如我說的「仍有一些動人的地方」。她的瘦削像是由於體內一些耗損之火造成,她的枯乾雙目就是這耗損之火的宣洩口。


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

餐廳裡還有另一位女子,矮小而黑,看上去不大討喜,倒也有幾分姿色,引起我注意──也許因為我沒有料到會碰見她,也許因為我發現我坐在她對面,也許因為她的確有些特色。黑頭髮,犀銳的黑眼睛,生得瘦削,嘴唇上有個疤。是老疤──我倒想叫它做傷痕,因為沒有變色,而且多年前就醫好了──從前什麼東西割開了她的嘴,一直往下破到下巴,不過現在隔著桌子不大看得見,除了上唇和上唇上面因為形狀變了,還顯得出。我心裡斷定,她大約三十歲年紀,想結婚了。有點色衰──像招租過久的房屋失修。不過,我先就說了,她有幾分姿色。她好像是給她內心那把火燒瘦的,她那對憔悴的眼就是這把火的出路。

(Written on May 3, 2011)