This post was edited by Gabrial521 at 2014-7-21 14:55|
I am already a middle-aged man. At middle age, I feel sad to find my eyesight and memory failing, my hair thinning and graying, and myself no longer mentally and physically as fit as when I was young. I often suffer from a nameless loneliness. The most intolerable of all is the lack of friendly warmth and comfort due to the gradual passing away and estrangement of more and more old pals.
Needless to say, the number of acquaintances increases with one’s age. The older one gets, the more widely traveled one is and the more work experience one has, the more acquaintances one is supposed to have. But not all acquaintances are friends. We come to know many people either in the way of business or by mere chance –say, having been at
the same table at a dinner party. We may be on nodding or hand-shaking terms, call each other “friend”, sometimes write to each other with the salutation of “Dear So-and-So”, etc.,etc. All these are, in fact, nothing but civilities of social life, as hypocritical as the polite formula dunshou (kowtow) or baibai (a hundred greetings) used after the signature in old-fashioned Chinese letter-writing. We may call them social intercourse, but they seemto have very little in common with genuine friendship.
Real friendship between two persons originates perhaps from the time of life when they were children playing innocently together. Real friendship is easily formed in primary or middle school days when, being socially inexperienced and free from the burden of life, you give little thought to personal gains or losses, and make friends entirely as a result of
similar tastes and interests or congenial disposition. It is sort of “friendship for friendship’s sake” and is relatively pure in nature. Friendship among people in their 20's, however, is more or less coloured by personal motives. And friendship among those aged over 30 becomes correspondingly still less pure as it gets even more coloured.
Though this is not necessarily due to "degeneration of public morality", I do have good reasons to call it the tragedy of life. People at middle age, with the heavy burden of life and much experience in the ways of the world, have more scruples about this and that, and can not choose but become more calculating in social dealings till they start scheming against each other. They always keep a wary eye, as it were, on each other in their association. Such association is of course fragile, especially in this modern age of prevailing sharp conflicts.
Of all my friends, those I have known since child-hood are most worthy of remembrance. They are few in number. Some of them live far away and we seldom have an opportunity to see each other. Some of them are older than I am, and some a few years younger. But all of us are in late mid-life. Since we have each followed a different course in life, our ways of thinking, interests and circumstances are bound to differ, and often we
lack mutual understanding somehow or other in our conversation. Nevertheless, when we talk over old times, we will always agree on things in the past--mostly about things in our childhood days. While we retell the dream-like childhood days in the course of our conversation, numerous scenes and persons of bygone days will unfold again before our eyes, and we will feel like reliving the old days. Often at this moment, I'll feel at once happy and sad--like an old lady suddenly fishing out from her drawer or chest a photo of her taken in the bloom of her youth.
When chatting away with my old friends, I am in the habit of unwittingly channeling the topic of conversation toward things of former days. From that I unknowingly derive some sort of warm solace. But old friends are dwindling away year by year. They are originally few in number, so the disappearance of any of them is an irreparable loss to me.
The news of any old pal's death will invariably make me sad in my heart for a long, long time.
The imparting of knowledge is not the sole advantage of school education. Its greatest advantage is perhaps the opportunity it affords us for making friends. It was not until I had already left school that I began to realize this advantage. And in recent years I have come to understand it even more deeply. I much regret having carelessly frittered away my school days without making many friends. Recently, every morning or evening, whenever
I see school kids with satchels walking in twos and threes, hand in hand or shoulder to shoulder, I always envy them for enjoying happy friendship, and inwardly offer them my best wishes.
(1)“头发开始秃脱”指头发开始变稀，也可译为 my head balding。 今译 my hair thinning，以 hair 取代head，是为了照顾下面的graying一字。
(2)“难以名言的”译为nameless，意同indescribable，但nameless常用来指不好的事物，如：a nameless fear、nameless atrocities。
(3)“逐渐减少”在原文指逐渐作古，如直译为 the gradual dwindling away 则未能明确表达“死去”的意思。故译为gradual passing away.
(4)“我们和许多人相识，或是因为事务关系，或是因了偶然的机缘……”译为We cometo know many people either in the way of business or by mere chance…，其中in the way of 是成语，作“为了”解。成语in the way of可有若干不同的意思，如“关于”、“以……的方法”，“为了”等，须由上下文来决定。
(5)“和‘顿首’‘百拜’同是仪式的虚伪”译为as hypocritical as the polite formula dunshou (kowtow) or baibai (a hundred greetings) used after the signature in old-fashioned Chinese letter-writing。其中 kowtow, a hundred greetings 以及 used after the signature in old fashioned Chinese letter-writing 均为译者的补充说明，属一种释义译法。
(6)“真正的朋友，恐怕要算‘总角之交’或‘竹马之交’了”译为 Real friendship
between two persons originates perhaps from the time of life when they were children playing innocently together，其中“总角之交”和“竹马之交”合而为一，用意译法处理。
(7)“差不多可以说是‘无所为’的”译为It is sort of “friendship for friendship’s sake”，其 中sort of （有几分）用来表达“差不多可以说”。又“无所为”意即“无其它目 的”或“无条件的”，故译为friendship for friendship’s sake（为友谊而友谊的）。
(8)“这并一定是‘人心不古’”译为Though this is not necessarily due to “degeneration of public morality”。也可考虑采用另一译法：Though this should not be ascribed exclusively to “degeneration of public morality”。
(9)“结果彼此都‘勾心斗角’”译为till they start scheming against each other。注意其中till 的一种特殊用法。它在这里指“结果”，意即so that、finally或and at last，不作“直到……为止”解。
(10)“像七巧板似地只选定了某一方面和对方接合”不宜直译。现按“人们在交往中互相提防，互存戒心”的内涵，用意译法处理：They always keep a wary eye, as it were, on each other in their association，其中插入语as it were作“似乎”、“可以说”等解。
(11)“这时好像自己仍回归到少年时代去了”译为and we feel like reliving the old days，其中to relive作“（凭想象）重新过……的生活”(to experience…again, especially in imagination)解。