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

59. My Eighteenth Piece of Translation Exercise (passage from "Jane Eyre")

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

One morning I fell to sketching a face: what sort of a face it was to be, I did not care or know. I took a soft black pencil, gave it a broad point, and worked away. Soon I had traced on the paper a broad and prominent forehead and a square lower outline of visage: that contour gave me pleasure; my fingers proceeded actively to fill it with features. Strongly-marked horizontal eyebrows must be traced under that brow; then followed, naturally, a well-defined nose, with a straight ridge and full nostrils; then a flexible-looking mouth, by no means narrow; then a firm chin, with a decided cleft down the middle of it: of course, some black whiskers were wanted, and some jetty hair, tufted on the temples, and waved above the forehead. Now for the eyes: I had left them to the last, because they required the most careful working. I drew them large; I shaped them well: the eyelashes I traced long and sombre; the iris lustrous and large. 'Good! but not quite the thing,' I thought, as I surveyed the effect: 'they want more force and spirit;' and I wrought the shades blacker, that the lights might flash more brilliantly - a happy touch or two secured success. There, I had a friend's face under my gaze: and what did it signify that those young ladies turned their backs on me? I looked at it; I smiled at the speaking likeness: I was absorbed and content.


My Chinese translation:

一個早上我趴在地上素描一張臉:這會是張怎樣的臉,我不在乎或想知道。我弄平一支柔軟的黑色鉛筆的筆頭便開始畫了。很快我便在紙上勾勒出一個寬闊而突顯的額頭及面容下方的方型線條:這個輪廓給我愉悅感;我手指靈巧活躍地填畫出上面的特徵。額頭下方雙眉必須畫得粗黑而水平;接著自然是一個輪廓分明、有直直鼻樑和完整鼻孔的鼻;然後是一張看去一點都不細小、易變不僵硬的嘴;然後是一個中間到下方有明顯凹陷的堅實的下巴;當然要畫一些黑鬍子,以及一些密集在太陽穴和在額頭上方波動、噴氣一樣的頭髮。現在輪到畫眼睛了:這個我留到最後才畫是因為它們需要最為謹慎細心的處理。我把它們畫得大大的,形狀完好的:眼睫毛畫得長長的、黑黑的;虹膜明亮而大。「好!還差點點!」當我觀摩出來的效果時我這樣想。「要多些力量和精神!」我把陰影部份修理得更為暗黑些,使光線看起來像投射得更為璀璨些──輕鬆地這裡畫一筆、那處描一筆便成功完成了。而今放在那處,我凝視著一張朋友的臉:究竟那些用背向著我的年青小姐們想表示些甚麼呢?我注視著它;我向用言語可以說得出的相像微笑:我感到陶醉和滿足。


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

有天早晨,我著手畫一張臉;那會是張什麼樣的臉,我不在乎,也不知道。我拿起一支黑色的軟鉛筆,描出個大概,然後開始工作。不多久,我就在紙上畫出了一個寬闊突起的額頭,以及其下相貌的方正外形,這輪廓給了我愉悅,我的手指開始積極地為它畫上五官。那額頭下,必得描上非常顯眼的平直眉毛,然後,很自然地,跟著加上一道線條明確的鼻子,直挺挺的鼻梁和圓大的鼻孔,然後是看來靈動自如的嘴唇,一點都不狹小,然後是堅毅的下顎,正中央有個明顯的凹痕;當然,還缺一些黑色的鬢角,以及烏黑的頭髮,濃茂地從太陽穴上長出來,在額頭上鬈曲成波浪狀。現在是眼睛,我把它們留在最後,因為它們需要最謹慎小心的工夫。我把它們畫得大大的,形狀勾勒得很好,我把眼睫毛描畫得又長又濃密,眼珠的虹采又大又閃亮。「好!但是還不夠像,」我邊審視著效果邊想,「它們需要多些力量和精神。」於是我把陰影加黑,好讓光亮的部分閃耀得更鮮明──高明的一兩筆就大功告成。就那樣,我有了張朋友的臉在眼前,那兩位年輕小姐轉過身子不理我又算什麼?我看著它,那栩栩如生的肖像讓我微笑起來,我全神貫注在上面,感到心滿意足。

(Written on February 23, 2015)