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Limbo


Limbo

By Rhonda Lucas

My parents’ divorce was final. The house had been sold and the day had come to move. Thirty years of the family’s life was now crammed into the garage. The two-by-fours that ran the length of the walls were the only uniformity among the clutter of boxes, furniture, and memories. All was frozen in limbo between the life just passed and the one to come. The sunlight pushing its way through the window splattered against a barricade of boxes. Like a fluorescent river, it streamed down the sides and flooded the cracks of the cold, cement floor. I stood in the doorway between the house and garage and wondered if the sunlight would ever again penetrate the memories packed inside those boxes. For an instant, the cardboard boxes appeared as tombstones, monuments to those memories. The furnace in the corner, with its huge tubular fingers reaching out and disappearing into the wall, was unaware of the futility of trying to warm the empty house. The rhythmical whir of its effort hummed the elegy for the memories boxed in front of me. I closed the door, sat down on the step, and listened reverently. The feeling of loss transformed the bad memories into not-so-bad, the not-so-bad memories into good, and committed the good ones to my mind. Still, I felt as vacant as the house inside. A workbench to my right stood disgustingly empty. Not so much as a nail had been left behind. I noticed, for the first time, what a dull, lifeless green it was. Lacking the disarray of tools that used to cover it, now it seemed as out of place as a bathtub in the kitchen. In fact, as I scanned the room, the only things that did seem to belong were the cobwebs in the corners. A group of boxes had been set aside from the others and stacked in front of the workbench. Scrawled like graffiti on the walls of dilapidated buildings were the words “Salvation Army.” Those words caught my eyes as effectively as a flashing neon sign. They reeked of irony. “Salvation—was a bit too late for this family,” I mumbled sarcastically to myself. The houseful of furniture that had once been so carefully chosen to complement and blend with the color schemes of the various rooms was indiscriminately crammed together against a single wall. The uncoordinated colors combined in turmoil and lashed out in the greyness of the room. I suddenly became aware of the coldness of the garage, but I didn’t want to go back inside the house, so I made my way through the boxes to the couch. I cleared a space to lie down and curled up, covering myself with my jacket. I hoped my father would return soon with the truck so we could empty the garage and leave the cryptic silence of parting lives behind.

(选自 Patterns: A Short Prose Reader, by Mary Lou Conlin, published by Houghton Mifflin, 1983.)

容易理解有误,表达不畅的句子 (1)Limbo【最难翻译,如何翻译要靠个人理解和翻译意图而定】 (2)My parents’ divorce as final. 【此句 final 如果译为“尘埃落定”就错了】 (3)The house had been sold and the day had come to move. 【注意此句中两个过去完成时的理解和表达】 (4)Thirty years of the family’s life was now crammed into the garage. 【是转喻,容易导致阐释性翻译】 (5)The two-by-hours that ran the length of the walls were the only uniformity among the clutter of boxes, furniture, and memories. 【two-by-fours 容易理解有误,同时 The two-by-hours that ran the length of the walls 容易误译,uniformity 与 clutter 属于矛盾修饰法(oxymoron),容易理解错误,表达不清 】 (6)All was frozen in limbo between the life just passed and the one to come.【此句容易表达不清。 】 (7)The sunlight pushing its way through the window splattered against a barricade of boxes. 【此句为移就格(transferred epithet) ,翻译时宜于保持,against 容易误解为 on,barricade of box 为隐喻,注意采取辞格转换】 (8)Like a fluorescent river, it streamed down the sides and flooded the cracks of the cold, cement floor. 【此句注意 streamed,flooded 仍然是移就格,注意 down the sides 所产生的空间画面感】 (9)I stood in the doorway between the house and the garage and wondered if the sunlight would ever again penetrate the memories packed inside those boxes.【would ever again 容易误译为“再次” 】 (10) For an instant, the cardboard boxes appeared as tombstones, monuments to those memories. 【 tombstones, monuments to those memories 容易欧化式地译为“成为那些记忆的墓碑,纪念碑” 】 (11)The furnace in the corner, with its huge tubular fingers reaching out and disappearing into the wall, was unaware of the futility of trying to warm the empty house. 【注意此句为拟人修辞,翻译时要保持这种修辞格】 (12)The rhythmical whir of its effort hummed the elegy for the memories boxed in front of me. 【此句很容易成分对应成 分式欧化译为: “它的努力时的很有节奏的呼哧呼哧声为我们面前的装在箱子的回忆哼唱着挽歌。 ” 】 (13)I closed the door, sat down on the step, and listened reverently. 【此句不难翻译】 (14)The feeling of loss transformed the bad memories into no-so-bad, the not-so-bad memories into good, and committed the good ones to my mind.【此句很难翻译,容易字对字翻译】 (15)Still, I felt as vacant as the house inside.【此句不难翻译】 (16)A workbench to my right stood disgustingly empty. 【注意句子所描写的空间感和 disgustingly 的翻译】 (17)Not so much as a nail had been left behind.【not so much as 容易误译】 (18)I noticed, for the first time, what a dull, lifeless green it was.【noticed 容易误表达,不要译为“打量” 】 (19)Lacking the disarray of tools that used to cover it, now it seemed as out of place as a bathtub in the kitchen. 【不难理 解,但容易欧化式翻译】 (20)In face, as I scanned the room, the only things that did seem to belong were the cobwebs in the corners.【注意此句翻 译时要适当增益动词“发现” ,that did seem to belong 看似简单,但表达不易准确】 (21)A group of boxes had been set aside from the others and stacked in the front of the workbench. 【此句翻译时注意其 中所体现的空间画面感】 (22)Scrawled like graffiti on the wall of dilapidated buildings were the words “Salvation Army.” 【此句是倒装句】 (23)Those words caught my eyes as effectively as a flashing neon sign. 【此句为同级比较句(个人属于),注意翻译时增 益适当的字词】 (24)They reeked of irony.【不难翻译】 (25)“Salvation- was a bit too late for this family.” I mumbled sarcastically to myself.【不难翻译】 (26)The houseful of furniture that had once been so carefully chosen to complement and blend with the color schemes of the various rooms was indiscriminately crammed together against a single wall.【此句为内涵式对照句,翻译时要注意将 对照的意图翻译出来】 (27)The uncoordinated colors combined in turmoil and lashed out in the grayness of the room【注意画面感的翻译】 (28)I suddenly became aware of the coldness of the garage, but I didn’t want to go back inside the house, so I made my way through the boxed to the couch. 【不难翻译】 (29)I cleared a space to lie down and curled up, covering myself with my jacket. 【不难翻译】 (30)I hoped my father would return soon with the truck so we could empty the garage and leave the cryptic silence of parting lives behind. 【leave ...behind 理解时容易被分离从而导致理解有误。 cryptic silence of parting lives 不易表达】


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