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情见乎词 – 译学馆
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情见乎词

How the Right Words Help Us to Feel the Right Things

当你重返儿时成长的小镇
You’re in a part of town you used to live in as a teenager.
当你行经16岁时的女友门前
You walk past the house of the girlfriend you knew when you were 16.
当你仰望她旧时卧室的窗棂
You look up to what used to be her bedroom window.
屋宇亭廊依旧在
From the outside, everything still looks the same
一代新人换旧人
though somebody else lives there now.
她的双亲业已退休 嫁作人妇、成为人母的她 已搬离这座城
Her parents are retired, she’s married with two small kids in another city.
如今安在的既往韶华让你感喟良多
You feel a searing nostalgia for everything that was and no longer is.
你心心念念的也许并不是她
It’s not so much her you miss,
而是你的过往 昔日的彼此 与那年的草木
more what you had, who you both were, how things looked then.
这缕难以言说的情愫却莫名炽烈
It’s hard to explain what the feeling is, though it is confounding in its intensity.
此刻 你电话响了
At that moment, your phone rings.
来自朋友的问安
It’s a friend – who asks how you are.
你怅然若失 心下之感好似无从言说
You’re at a loss, you don’t quite know how to convey your emotions
膏唇试舌一番 末了还是顾左右而言他
and after a few attempts, move on to other subjects.
除非你讲葡萄牙语
Unless – that is – you speak Portuguese,
因为讲葡萄牙语的人 用不着那么挣扎
because if you do, there will be no need to struggle.
恰当的词于你简直唾手可得
You will have the ideal word immediately to hand.
你大可告诉朋友你现在感觉萨乌达得
You will simply tell your friend that you are experiencing ‘saudade’
朋友马上就能明白
and they will understand.
这词在别的语言里都没法直译
The word, which has no direct translation in any other language,
意谓珠沉玉碎之余 喜乐杂糅的多情遗恨
means a bitter-sweet melancholic yearning for something beautiful that is now gone:
那份情 那个孩时的家 那段友谊
a love affair, a childhood home, a friendship.
过往的欢声笑语 与今日的痛失茫然 相掩映
It’s a blend of pain at loss and pleasure that loveliness once graced our lives.
其根本原因
The underlying issue,
就是语言与情感的关联
the relationship between language and feeling,
早就掀起了哲学界的争论
has long created debate in philosophy.
一些思想家认为情感与词汇无关
Some thinkers have proposed that feelings are independent of words:
譬如婴孩就可以感受
babies, for example, can feel things
这比学会将情感与词汇对应早很多
long before they know how to pin words to their sensations.
另有哲人坚称 若不想对某类情感麻木不仁
But other philosophers have insisted that certain feelings would remain essentially unknown to us
就必须有词汇来帮助我们辨识
if we didn’t have the words to help us recognise them.
真理 总是依循老例 坚守着暧昧的中立
The truth – as so often – lies somewhere in an intriguing middle zone.
语言大抵不能让情感横空出世
Language may not wholly create feelings,
但语言无疑可为情感提供深意与洞见
but it most definitely and beautifully deepens and clarifies them.
恰当的词有助我们了解自身
The right words help us to know ourselves;
通过这些媒介
through their agency,
我们便可较准确地晓悟我们的内心
we can more accurately and securely identify the contents of our inner lives.
情形变得格外明朗
The phenomenon becomes particularly apparent
每当我们在别的语言中碰到生词
whenever we come across words in other languages
这词恰可传达一种情感 只恨母语做不到言简意赅
that zero in on a feeling that our own language doesn’t have a succinct term for.
即刻我们就意识到好词的伟大 让情感一时明白起来
We notice then just how much a good word can do to bring an emotion into focus.
就拿突厥语里的HÜZÜN打个比方吧
Take, for example, the Turkish word HÜZÜN,
意思是说 你眼看着江河日下 心中憋闷
which refers to the gloomy feeling that things are in decline
这种烂摊子 多指积重难返 大清要完
and that the situation – often political in nature – will probably only get worse,
根源无非就是赵家人的昏聩无能与挥霍无度
typically because of the folly and grandiosity of corrupt political leaders.
这词很管用
How useful to have such a word
不论挞伐还是探讨 都流露着突厥魂中那深深的失落
to indicate and commune with the depths of grief unfolding in the Turkish soul.
欢乐一些的挪威 他们有FORELSKET
Or, more cheerily, up in Norway they have FORELSKET,
这词捕捉到了刚坠入爱河时的惬怀
a word that captures the euphoric feeling at the beginning of love,
此时我们还无法确信
when we can’t believe
如此完美的人竟会走入我们的生活 还处处念着我们的好
someone so perfect could have wandered into our lives and has the goodness to think well of us.
我们大概会手舞足蹈地说 我败给forelsket了
We might report: ‘I was overpowered by forelsket as our fingers enlaced…’
但这也不是说从外语搬点新词就能清理出思绪
But it isn’t just a few magical words from foreign languages that clarify our minds.
这可是伟大文学的使命
This is what all great literature may do.
我们常说的好诗好小说
What we call a ‘good’ poem or novel
归根结底是减少
is ultimately one that reduces
我们与自己的隔阂与误解
the extent of our own self-alienation and misunderstanding,
回归本我
and returns us to ourselves.
平生所学
After a lifetime of reading,
教会我们遣词造句 表情达意
we might know how to pin words and sentences to pretty much everything we feel,
尽管情感有时是那样的短暂易逝
however ephemeral and fragile it might be.
这正是莎士比亚在《仲夏夜之梦》中称许过的天分
It was this gift that Shakespeare praised in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
他曾写到
when he wrote that:
诗人灵眸疯转
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
便已上穷碧落下黄泉 一切尽收眼底
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
念力可以迫使
And as imagination bodies forth
那些不知名的事物统统现身 诗人的笔
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
为其赋予形制 就连玄虚空幻
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
也有了名位
A local habitation and a name.
幸好有文学 我们才得免于闭目塞听
Thanks to literature, we can be rescued from the closed diving-bells
不然我们都得是井底之蛙
we are otherwise locked into.
恰当的词可突破我们的局限
The right words break our isolation.
它们是通往爱的媒介和管道
They are the agents of, and conduits to, love.

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