Homepage List My Fifteenth Piece of Translation Exercise (passage from "Jane Eyre")

56. My Fifteenth Piece of Translation Exercise (passage from "Jane Eyre")

The original passage (taken from "Jane Eyre" (《簡愛》) by Charlotte Bronte):

Something of daylight still lingered, and the moon was waxing bright: I could see him plainly. His figure was enveloped in a riding cloak, fur collared and steel clasped; its details were not apparent, but I traced the general points of middle height, and considerable breadth of chest. He had a dark face, with stern features and a heavy brow; his eyes and gathered eyebrows looked ireful and thwarted just mow; he was past youth, but had not reached middle age; perhaps he might be thirty-five. I felt no fear of him, and but little shyness. Had he been a handsome, heroic-looking young gentleman, I should not have dared to stand thus questioning him against his will, and offering my services unasked. I had hardly ever seen a handsome youth; never in my life spoken to one. I had a theoretical reverence and homage for beauty, elegance, gallantry, fascination; but had I met those qualities incarnate in masculine shape, I should have known instinctively that they neither had nor could have sympathy with anything in me, and should have shunned them as one would fire, lightning, or anything else that is bright but antipathetic.


My Chinese translation:

周圍有殘留的日光,以及漸圓月亮發射的光芒:我可以清楚看到他。他罩著一件絨領和用鋼扣扣著的騎馬用的斗蓬;他外型的細節無法看得清楚,不過約略看出他是中高身型和有相當寬闊的胸膛。他有副暗黑的臉,外貌輪廓堅實、額角崢嶸;他的眼睛和拉緊了的眉頭而今顯露出憤怒和挫折的神情。他不是年青伙子,但仍未算是中年人,大概三十五上下的年紀吧。我一點都不怕他,只略有些微害羞而已。假若他是個俊俏、英姿颯爽的年青紳士的話,我就不會夠膽,不理會他願不願意站著向他問長問短,又在他沒有要求下向他伸出援手。我從來未見過英俊的年青伙子,從未與這樣的人交談過。對於美麗、優雅、英勇、魅力,我只有理論上的崇敬和致意。然而,假若我遇到這些特質具體地顯現在男子漢身上的話,那直覺上我一定知道它們不會對我任何方面有或產生憐憫之情,一定會像遇到如開槍、閃電或者任何其他光亮卻令人厭惡的東西一樣,對我避之而後快。


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

日暮還留有一丁點,盈月漸亮,我可以清清楚楚地看見他。他身影包在一件騎馬用的披風裡,皮領鋼釦;細節看不清楚,但是可以看出一些大體上的特徵:中等高度,胸膛相當地寬闊。他有張黝黑的臉,嚴厲的長相,抑鬱沉重的眉骨;這時候他的眼睛和皺著的眉毛看上去好像慍怒和受了挫折。他已經不是青年,但還沒到中年,大概有三十五歲光景。我對他不覺得害怕,但有點羞怯。要是他是個俊美、英姿颯爽的年輕男士,我就不敢違背他的意願,站在這裡問他問題,提供這不請自來的幫忙。我幾乎從來沒有看見過任何俊美的年輕人,一生中也從來沒有同那樣的人說過話。我對於美麗、優雅、英勇和魅力,抱有一種純屬思維上的崇拜與敬仰;但若這些質地在男人的肉體上成為具象,而讓我遇見,我靠著本能就可以知道:它們同我所擁有的一切,都沒有,也不可能有一致的地方,而我應該躲開他們,像人們躲開火,閃電或者任何其他閃亮卻與人不相容的東西那樣。

(Written on February 14, 2015)