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冯骥才《西式幽默》英译

2014-06-18    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

西式幽默

冯骥才

学院请来一位洋教师,长得挺怪,红脸,金发,连鬓大胡须,有几根胡子一直逾过面颊,挨近鼻子;他个子足有二米,每进屋门必须低头,才能躲过门框子的拦击,叫人误以为他进门先鞠躬,这不太讲究了礼貌了吗?顶怪的是,他每每与中国学生聊天,聊到可笑之处时,他不笑,脸上也没表情,好像他不喜欢玩笑;可是有时毫不可笑的事,他会冷不防放声大笑,笑得翻江倒海,仰面朝天,几乎连人带椅子要翻过去,喉结在脖子上乱跳,满脸胡子直抖。常使中国学生面面相觑,不知这位洋教师的神经是不是问题。

一天,洋教师出题,考查学生们用洋文作文的水准,题目极简单,随便议论议论校园内的一事一物,褒贬皆可。中国学生很灵,一挥而就,洋教师阅后,评出了最佳作文一篇,学生们听后大为不解,这种通篇说谎的文章怎么能被评为“最佳”?原来这篇作文是写学校食堂。写作文的学生来自郊区农村,人很老实,胆子又小,生怕得罪校方,妨碍将来毕业时的分数、评语、分配工作等等,便不顾真假,胡编乱造,竭力美化,唱赞歌。使得一些学生看后愤愤然。可是……洋教师明知学校食堂糟糕透顶的状况,为什么偏要选这篇作文?有人直问洋教师。

洋教师说:“这文章写得当然好,而且绝妙无比,你们听——”他拿起作文念起来,“我们学校最美的地方,不是教室,不是操场,也不是校门口那个带喷水的小花坛,而是食堂。瞧,玻璃干净得几乎叫你看不到它的存在——”洋教师念到这儿,眼睛调皮地一亮,眉毛一挑,“听听,多么幽默!”

幽默?怎么会是幽默?大家还没弄明白。

洋教师接着念道:“如果你不小心在学校食堂跌了一跤,你会惊奇地发现你并没跌跤,因为你身上半点尘土也没留下;如果你长期在学校食堂里工作,恐怕你会把苍蝇是什么样子都忘了……”洋教师又停住,舌头“得”地弹一身,做一个怪脸说,“听呀,还要多幽默,我简直笑得念不下去了。”

学生们忽然明白了什么。

洋教师一边笑,一边继续往下念:“食堂天天的饭菜有多么精美、多么丰富、多么解馋!只有在学校食堂里,你才会感到吃饭是一种地道的享受……”
忽然,学生们爆发起大笑来!

依照这种思维,我们会从身边发现多少聪明、机智、绝妙、令人捧腹的好文章啊!

West Humour

Feng Jicai

Our institute employed an English teacher. He looked very strange—red-faced, golden-haired with a thick growth of whiskers, a few hairs of which going all the way to the nose. He was really tall—no less than six feet five inches. When he came in through the door, he had to lower his head to avoid banging against the door frame. It looked as though he always bowed to you at the door and that was much too polite. What was more strange about him was that when he chatted with the Chinese students on amusing topics, he did not laugh, nor did his face show any expression as if he had no sense of humour at all. However, when talking about topics of the most unamusing nature, he would burst into uncontrollable laughter, roaring while rocking in his chair, almost falling flat on his back, his Adam’s apple dancing up and down in his throat and his whiskers fluttering all over his face. The students would look at each other, wondering if he was out of his mind.

One day, to see how well the Chinese students could write in English, he set them an essay, the topic being “A Comment on Campus Life”—either complimentary or critical. That was simple. The Chinese students, quick at writing, finished it at one go and turned it in in no time. Having gone through the students’ essays the teacher selected one which he considered as the best. When he read it out to the students, they were greatly perplexed. Of all the essays, why did he like this one best? Not a single word of it was true. The article was about the institute cafeteria and the author was a peaceable and timid student from a village in the outskirts. In order not to offend the institute authorities—the decisive factor concerning his final grading, evaluation and, most important of all, where he was to go after graduation—he had made up a high-sounding story eulogizing the cafeteria, regardless of reality, thus making his classmates very angry. The teacher, however, was not unaware of the cafeteria’s terrible conditions, but why did he like this essay better? Someone asked.

“This is undoubtedly a good essay,” the teacher explained. “Unprecedentedly good! Just listen—” He began to read. “The most beautiful spot on campus is not the classroom-building, nor the sportsground, nor the small lawn with the fountain at the gate; the most beautiful spot on campus is our cafeteria. Look! The window panes are so clean that you scarcely notice there is glass there—” He paused, his eyes flashing with a glint of humour and his brows shooting upward. “Listen! Isn’t it humourous?”

Humorous? But what was humorous about it? The students were puzzled.

“If you were not careful enough,” the teacher continued, “and had a fall on the floor, you would be amazed to find that you had not fallen at all because you did not get a single particle of dust on your clothes. If you had been working in the cafeteria long enough, you would have forgotten what a fly looks like…” He stopped, his tongue clicking rapidly to show his admiration. Working up a very funny expression on his face, he went on, “Listen, please! Do you think anyone else could’ve made it more humorous?” He laughed so heartily that he could not continue.

By now the students seemed to be cottoning on.

The teacher went on, his reading punctuated by fits of laughter. “How wonderfully the food is cooked here! What a great variety of dishes you have here and how well your appetite is satisfied! In fact it is only at the cafeteria of the institute that you find eating enjoyable…”

Suddenly the students laughed, rocking the classroom with their laughter.

Following this logic, God knows how many articles we would be able to produce, articles that are just as well-worded, quick-witted, artfully-conceived and set you rolling with laughter!

(乔萍、瞿淑蓉、宋洪玮 编著)



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