【恒管译站】中文歌词长于务虚 英文歌词善于写实

2018-03-16 20:10:49  阅读 41 次 评论 0 条
■1954年电影《槟城艳》广告
■1954年电影《槟城艳》广告

  偶然在网上看到1970年电影《爱情的代价》的同名主题曲 ,作词者叫珊梅,因为有英文字幕,读后觉得中西流行歌词的美学观念颇不相同,难以翻译,也有趣。歌词是:

  我像是海边的小花  I'm like a tiny flower on the seashore 

  连根埋藏在泥沙   I strike my root in the sand 

  经不起烈日的照耀  I can't stand the scorching sun 

  受不了风吹和雨打  I fear rain and wind 

  我低头儿在等待  I bow my head and in silence I wait 

  希望黑夜快到达   I'm waiting for the coming of night 

  是天意会遇到了你  But providence let me to you 

  移植我到个温暖的家 Providence found me a warm home 

  姑娘呀姑娘     Oh little girl, little girl 

  是你带我冲出了自建的篱笆 You helped me break through my isolation 

  姑娘呀姑娘     Oh little girl, little girl 

  是你使我心头的爱苗又长芽 You've made love bud in my heart 

  只要让我见到了彩霞 If I can just see the sunset glow 

  我愿意忍受爱情的代价 I don't mind to suffer for love! 

  总觉得中文流行歌词每多花前月下,下里巴人混搭阳春白雪,譬如1953年吕红和周聪合唱的《快乐伴侣》,歌词浅白得「日日快乐唱随,做一对好佳侣」,仍不乏「漫步两岸柳垂,春光照我心里」。晚一点的《槟城艳》(右图)有「花阴径风送叶声夕阳斜挂」。这类「情花开,鸟语醉」中文流行曲一直继承,你听「街灯已残月暗昏」也好,近年再红起来的「人如天上的明月」也好,甚至「月色被打捞起晕开了结局」、「惨白的月弯弯勾住过往」、「谁情愿照耀别人就如月亮」,都比兴一番。英文流行歌词的传统似乎很不同,上世纪50年代初美国大热是

  Hank Williams的《Your cheatin' heart》:

  Your cheatin' heart

  Will make you weep

  You'll cry and cry

  And try to sleep

  But sleep won't come

  The whole night through

  Your cheatin' heart will tell on you...

  更早的Too young或接下来的Whatever will be will be、I want to hold your hand、Save your kisses for me、Hopelessly devoted to you、You belong with me 都毫不讳言。感觉是中文歌词长于务虚,英文歌词善于写实,所以中文以意境见长,英文以平白取胜,甚至其他艺术也如此。

  例如Charles Dickens

  在《Great Expectations》写主角的姐姐:

  My sister, Mrs. Joe, with black hair and eyes, had such a prevailing redness of skin that I sometimes used to wonder whether it was possible she washed herself with a nutmeg-grater instead of soap. She was tall and bony, and almost always wore a coarse apron, fastened over her figure behind with two loops, and having a square impregnable bib in front, that was stuck full of pins and needles.

  比较之下,林黛玉更加虚幻:

  两弯似蹙非蹙笼烟眉,一双似喜非喜含情目。态生两靥之愁,娇袭一身之病。泪光点点,娇喘微微。闲静似娇花照水,行动似弱柳扶风。心较比干多一窍,病如西子胜三分。

  日常生活,西人一句Happy birthday to you,中文曲笔为「恭祝你福寿与天齐......岁岁都有今朝。」《爱情的代价》那种英译,西人读来应该有点什幺。不是说英文歌词不况不喻,猫王固然有Like a river flows surely to the sea、You ain't nothin' but a hound dog, Simon and Garfunkel更加有诗意,只是从规模而论的感觉而已,还望读者指正。 ■恒生管理学院翻译文学硕士(商务与法律)课程总监李剑雄博士

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