中国文学英译絮谈

沙枫

“人约黄昏后”的英译

正月十五是元宵。

“元宵”的诗词,传诵较多的,是下面的一首:

去年元夜时,花市灯如昼。
月上柳梢头,人约黄昏后。
今年元夜时,月与灯依旧。
不见去年人,泪湿春衫袖。

这一词,是《生查子•元夕》。在《白香词谱》中,这首词的作者是朱淑真。(编者省略其后内容)

文学古籍刊行社出版的《六一词》,选了“去年元夜时”这首词进去,认定是欧阳修的作品。有注释说:杨升庵《词品》卷二作朱淑真词。《四库全书总目纲要》(集部词类《断肠词》)已辨其误。

现将《元夕》这首词的英译介绍如下:

Rexroth 的英译为:

Last year at the Feast of Lanterns,
The flower stalls were bright as day.
When the moon rose over the willows,
I walked in the moonlight with my beloved.
Another year——the same holiday——
The moon and the lanterns have not changed.
My lover is lost, I cannot find him.
And I wipe away my tears with my sleeve.

初大告的英译是这样的:

Last year, in the First Full-Moon Night,
At the Flower Market, lanterns were as bright as day.
When the moon came up on the top of the willows,
My love and I met after dusk.
This year, in the First Full-Moon Night,
The moon and the lanterns are the same as before.
But I do not see the one who was with me last year,
And tears wet the sleeves of my spring gown.

译文较长。

Ayling 的英译则是这样:

At last year's Lantern Festival,
The flower market was bright as day.
The moon had climbed the willow tops,
At twilight end he came my way.
At this year's Lantern Festival,
Moonlight and limelight shine no less.
I have not seen my last year's love,
Tears wet the sleeves of my spring dress.

Rexroth 把“人约黄昏后”一句译作“I walked in the moonlight with my beloved”,译得不算好。

初大告将这句译为“My love and I met after dusk”,比前译为佳。则译作“At twilight end he came my way”。

Ayling 这首词的英译译来押韵。“月与灯依旧”译作“Moonlight and limelight shine no less”,相当的好。

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