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

39. My Tenth 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):

On going down in the morning, I found my aunt musing so profoundly over the breakfast-table, with her elbow on the tray, that the contents of the urn had overflowed the tea-pot and were laying the whole table-cloth under water, when my entrance put her meditations to flight. I felt sure that I had been the subject of her reflections, and was more than ever anxious to know her intentions towards me. Yet I dared not express my anxiety, lest it should give her offence.

My eyes, however, not being so much under control as my tongue, were attracted towards my aunt very often during breakfast. I never could look at her for a few moments together but I found her looking at me─in an odd thoughtful manner, as if I were an immense way off, instead of being on the other side of the small round table. When she had finished her breakfast, my aunt very deliberately leaned back in her chair, knitted her brows, folded her arms, and contemplated me at her leisure, with such a fixedness of attention that I was quite overpowered by embarrassment. Not having as yet finished my own breakfast, I attempted to hide my confusion by proceeding with it, but my knife tumbled over my fork, my fork tripped up my knife, I chipped bits of bacon a surprising height into the air instead of cutting them for my own eating, and choked myself with my tea, which persisted in going the wrong way instead of the right one, until I gave in altogether, and sat blushing under my aunt's close scrutiny.


My Chinese translation:

早上落到下面,我看見祖姑母用肘壓住托盤,在早餐桌上極度專注地默想,以至大壺裡的液體流出到茶壺上也見不到,檯布上滿是水,我的進來因而打斷了她的默想。我可以肯定我正是她沉思默想的對象,亦從來沒有像現在這樣渴望知道她對我的打算。我仍未敢向她流露這個渴望,恐怕冒犯了她。

然而,我的眼睛不像舌頭一樣受控,吃早餐時不時望向祖姑母。我沒法子能總共看她多久,卻發覺她是用奇異、滿懷思緒的神情望著我,好像我離她很遠很遠,而不是就在小圓桌的對面。早餐吃完了她非常從容不迫地靠到椅背上,眉頭深鎖,兩臂交疊起及閒適地凝望著我,那種眼神的專注,徹底窘倒了我。我仍未吃完早餐,我嘗試繼續吃早餐來掩飾我的窘態,可是,不是刀絆著了叉,就是叉彈起了刀,切熏肉時把熏肉片彈上高空而不是吃進口裡,又被茶嗆著,事情不斷出錯而不是正確發生,直至我完全投降了,在祖姑母仔細審視的目光下,滿面通紅地坐在那裡。


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

早上我下樓,發見姨婆低頭坐在早飯桌子面前,冥想得出了神,肘擱在盤子上,水罐裡的水注到茶壺裡漫出來,整塊檯布都泡在水裡,還是我進來才把她從沉思中喚醒。她想的一定是關於我的事,所以我急急想知道她對我打的主意。可是我也不敢透露焦急的意思,怕得罪了她。

不過我眼睛沒有我舌頭那樣聽話,吃早飯的時候常常忍不住看姨婆。看她看不了一會兒,總發現她也在看我──深思得很特別,好像我離她很遠很遠,而不是在小圓桌對面。等吃完早飯,姨婆存心靠她椅子躺下,皺起眉頭,兩臂相交,從容地端詳我,注意力集中得我非常之窘,吃它不消。我早飯還沒吃完,為了不露出狼狽的樣子,我繼續吃早飯。可是刀滾到叉上,叉又絆到刀上,切鹹肉的碎片倒彈到空中,高得嚇人,茶老是沒有經正常的途徑下肚,卻走錯了道兒嗆出來。結果我完全作罷,坐在那裡一任姨婆儘盯著我細看,滿面緋紅。

(Written on May 2, 2011)