英文原著该怎么读才有收获?

作者: Arthur-沈健明 |2020-9-21 11:07 | 查看/评论: 906/92| 有效评论: 74

近日,有知友提出一个挺有趣的问题:
* }, o  K) g( C“我并不是强调自己是专八,而且专八也没什么好说的,只是在看瓦尔登湖英文原著的时候感觉很吃力,尤其是经济篇,让我开始怀疑人生,我究竟是不是学英语的。求大神…”恰好长老在大学期间沉迷《瓦尔登湖》,印象特别深刻,所以想分享一下这本书的经历。这也是很多朋友问过我,包括我自己在大一的时候也经常问自己的问题:英文原著为什么这么难读?英文原著是否还值得深度阅读?
; W0 p) K# |0 v( H& r回答这个问题之前,我想说一句:《瓦尔登湖》别说英语专八,就连美国人自己读起来也费劲。原因不是我们阅读水平太低,而是你还没有适应梭罗自身的写作风格而已。习惯了新闻文体,快餐阅读的英语学生,看到这种原汁原味的问题,就好比练外家拳的拳师遇到内家拳的高手一样,摸不着门道。梭罗的文风不像其他主题书籍文章那样有极强的指向性,换而言之,没那么容易读懂。7 A: [& E; A) S
作者的行文也不是要你知道哪种主旨,而是自己内心的独白。如果是内心的独白,就掺杂了比较复杂的行文结构和写作方法。但是这也是梭罗的作品自身其独特的魅力。
: W8 s# f8 }; m5 o: M我节选第一章Economy(经济篇)的前两段来举例:+ G1 j! a/ K$ F6 G8 W' H
When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again., z, }& Z* c1 {  [5 f5 f8 `
I should not obtrude my affairs so much on the notice of my readers if very particular inquiries had not been made by my townsmen concerning my mode of life, which some would call impertinent, though they do not appear to me at all impertinent, but, considering the circumstances, very natural and pertinent.1 E1 R5 L5 e5 _2 A2 G( m
看完是不是一脸懵?觉得每个单词都懂,串起来就如天书一般?事实上确实如此,就连翻译成中文也不太好懂。但是我斗胆把原文改写一下的话,你可能就会明白了。
' d4 }( Q, P% n; R: x原文:When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again.翻译:The following articles were written when I was living alone in the woods for two years and two months. Back then, I built a house all by myself. The house was situated a mile away, in the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord Massachusetts. I make my living by doing labor only. Now, I was back to civilied life again.
* S% r, S; x2 a, [咦,是不是觉得比较好懂了?通篇下来,原文只有第一段两个生词 bulk(大批) sojourner(旅行者/寄居者)。
/ S- G: V; ?' _$ W  \: D- W两段文字有什么区别呢?5 t$ V5 k$ |) m0 D5 ~2 u
原文篇章结构层次丰富,情感递进节奏分明,与现代的新闻式的写作风格截然不同。原文的风格更像是娓娓道来,“诉说心事”的知心文章。& M/ F4 U! F2 F4 q/ |
改写后的风格更加下里巴人,如同一篇普通的记叙文一般好懂,但是就少了内味儿。说得不好听就像是“唯恐天下不知”的急就章。
7 Q% [. p' T9 b1 o抛开词汇和语法的难度,原著的写作风格有考究的价值,它不像一般问题那样遵循时间地点人物目的方式的顺序排列,所以读起来你会觉得特别不顺,而且要回过头来看是不是有哪一节没读通。
6 A. K8 [8 Z% X6 m! k4 A梭罗的文字很适合锤炼英文思维逻辑,就像一种高深莫测的功夫,一招一式看起来简单无比,但是组合起来就让你看不透,不知道如何接招。- T6 Z1 o% F' I% M7 ]! r: b
这也是英文原著的迷人之处,越读越有意思。我们再看第二段:: ?+ ?; o2 Q# i1 X0 F% V4 {4 K
原文:I should not obtrude my affairs so much on the notice of my readers if very particular inquiries had not been made by my townsmen concerning my mode of life, which some would call impertinent, though they do not appear to me at all impertinent, but, considering the circumstances, very natural and pertinent.翻译:I should not talk too much about my affairs to the readers, such as whether people have ask me how I live my life in the woods. Someone says, this is irrelevant, but I don't think so. In stead, I think my life in the woods are very natural and relevant.
+ Q1 E# H7 c+ z# I3 c  ?看到了吗?翻译之后的意思,无论是层次,美感都掉了两个水平。就像是一个小学生写的文章一样,毫无文采可言。3 l# A% |1 {. C% h" Q1 U
原文的写法颇有唐伯虎“世人笑我太疯癫,我笑他人看不穿”的意味。而第二段,就是一个普通人的单纯吐槽,仅此而已。5 q: a8 ^  a* c
所以,无论是词汇,语法,句法,原文都非常高明。这只是开篇两段而已。
% W3 R9 r: l# V) u. k0 O' J: ?) @% x所以,《瓦尔登湖》原著的文体,更适合学习者深度思考,锤炼语法、篇章的功夫,不适合作为“快餐阅读”的材料。毕竟梭罗美国哲学思想的代表人物之一,能这么容易读懂就浪得虚名了。诚然,要读懂Walden并不容易,但是英文原著自有它的魅力。越读越有劲。5 W  ?4 o. J8 X4 }
如果说,你的目标是阅读训练,刷题拿分,请绕道。Walden不适合你。# L1 u  N, V" x6 e6 J* s! h8 g
但是,你的目标是提高英文的自我修养,修炼鉴赏力的内功,那么Walden是一本难得好书。2 d" t( p! ^) [
掌握其精妙,写大学论文绝对绰绰有余了。
7 L1 ?1 }1 ^. S5 Q. a$ i! q事情也有例外,梭罗也写过一些比较直白的文章的,在《Cape Cod》(科德角)一文中,他就写到:
& y: r& y6 V, N! {8 \! e6 \/ sWe left Concord, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, October 9th, 1849. On' I- E( R9 h3 e. W7 p  v
reaching Boston, we found that the Provincetown steamer, which should6 h# R! X: f: q' W9 z
have got in the day before, had not yet arrived, on account of a violent7 S6 Z) O" G" W& p4 P) {
storm; and, as we noticed in the streets a handbill headed, "Death! one
4 _% t$ y, `% C1 b, t0 Zhundred and forty-five lives lost at Cohasset," we decided to go by way$ ~5 D* K; V7 R+ w( ]9 M! `, y
of Cohasset.- u$ g! ]9 j, F  o' O
We found many Irish in the cars, going to identify bodies
6 x! \# i( U- ^2 ]7 B' Eand to sympathize with the survivors, and also to attend the funeral  L2 N8 X" S  l3 E/ T& d! s
which was to take place in the afternoon;--and when we arrived at: ]* o# f5 w4 _$ p$ V  x6 O
Cohasset, it appeared that nearly all the passengers were bound for the8 W+ d5 j$ O9 K9 t& L
beach, which was about a mile distant, and many other persons were
: h8 u9 i; _+ bflocking in from the neighboring country.1 b5 V5 v. r& Z! w
这两段文字采用比较平白的新闻体,写了作者对风暴袭击了Cohasset之后的惨状。一个好的作家就应该如此,既能下里巴人体察民情,也能阳春白雪,高山流水。$ m5 M% m- R4 ~- T0 d% }
这些都是英文原著,原著就像一座宝藏,而不是一顿快餐。所以英语学习爱好者,要提升英语内功,读原著是少不了的功夫。而这些功夫需要我们放慢脚步,采用精读的方法,假以时日必有大的长进。在此,长老给有希望挑战英文原著的朋友提一些阅读建议:
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兴趣为王。所谓汝之蜜糖,彼之砒霜。每个人的眼界、趣味都不一样,所以想读的东西肯定不会雷同。英文原著不等于伟光正,英文原著不等于枯燥。如果你是充满想象力,那么读JRR Tolkien的《魔界》肯定过瘾得不得了,但是同样是魔幻爱好者,有些人就是喜欢《哈利波特》,有些人就是喜欢《纳尼亚传奇》。物以类聚,人以群分,说的就是兴趣不同。所以原著,要从自己的兴趣出发,跟随自己的初心。0 s! ^! v. p0 o! c
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循序渐进。英美国家有非常发达的阅读分级体系,很多出版物早已标注好相对应的阅读级别。如果有条件,可以根据这些阅读分级,来选择相应的读物。这样读起来,从易到难。比较容易树立信心。- W9 Q$ H+ [7 V6 q! @; p9 }2 i7 O

7 l* F# W( c% c; a: a: o8 u& H2 \" @2 D不求甚解。阅读的目的是增见识、开眼界。所以阅读的范围宜广、宜博。因此,必要拘泥于个别不懂的单词,语法。当然,有大量的词汇基础会读得舒心一点,但是词汇大不一定读得懂,就像《瓦尔登湖》一样。
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! J& N, J2 L( `; d切磋琢磨。所谓文字如珠宝,都需要精修打磨。特别是好的语感和文笔,都是从反复吟诵,揣摩精彩篇章才会有所领悟的。所谓少即是多,进一寸有一寸的欢喜。文章阅读,慢一点,精细一点,收获反而多一点。
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8 f  v. P& v) ~% K# k% w好了,各位读到这里应该对英文原著的价值有所了解了。如果您还有问题,或者想分享您的读书心得,欢迎留言!: H4 K( l# @3 _3 {0 W2 U
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1 点赞 Arthur-沈健明 发表于 2020-9-24 09:37:59
50isnew40 发表于 2020-9-21 12:02
' T- E) \2 S7 {. u& |' G呵呵,去读一读英文的有关法律的内容,就试着看一份标准的合同吧,那才叫“爽” ...

6 \+ {: w7 H# U) o法律英语也是有套路的。只要熟悉了,其实也不难的,我本人做过几年的法律翻译。
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0 点赞 momo_zzm 发表于 2020-9-28 11:18:17
谢谢你的分享
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0 点赞 莹Brenda 发表于 2020-9-26 03:30:09
感谢分享获益匪浅
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0 点赞 橡树_hBBQK 发表于 2020-9-25 20:49:47
语言的魅力是无穷的
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0 点赞 王貴 发表于 2020-9-24 22:38:20
感谢分享好资源
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0 点赞 wx_王越_ie8Kc 发表于 2020-9-24 14:32:57
感谢分享资源
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0 点赞 wx_tt_GD5pu 发表于 2020-9-23 15:22:30
语言的魅力是无穷的
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0 点赞 十月书阳 发表于 2020-9-23 11:34:01
语言的魅力是无穷的
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0 点赞 小辛_R1Aew 发表于 2020-9-22 17:38:12
谢谢你的分享
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