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《小儿语》汉英对照

2014-02-24    来源:en84    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

《小儿语》,明代吕得胜、吕坤父子编选。[1]吕得胜,字近溪,河南宁陵人,生活在嘉靖时。他很关心儿童的教育工作,主张儿童有知识时,就要进行正确教育。当时民间流传一些儿歌,如“盘却盘”、“东屋点灯西屋亮”之类,他认为这些儿歌对儿童固然无害,但对品德修养以及后来的发展也没有什么好处。于是他编写新的儿歌,用来代替旧的儿歌,是以成此书。

Words Given to Children

四  言

一切言动,
都要安详,
十差九错,
只为慌张。
You should behave with composure whenever you speak and act. Errors result mostly from haste.

沉静立身,
从容说话,
不要轻薄,
惹人笑骂。
You should be steady in your conduct and unhurried in your talks. Be neither frivolous in your behavior nor caustic in your words so that you won't be laughed at or abused by others.

先学耐烦,
快休使气,
性躁心粗,
一生不济。
First learn to be patient and don't lose your temper. If you behave in haste and carelessly, you won't be successful in your life career.

能有几句,
见人胡讲,
洪钟无声,
满瓶不响。
You can't say things carelessly and wantonly when you talk with people. A big bell doesn't toll without being struck, and a bottle makes no sound when it is full.

自家过失,
不须遮掩,
遮掩不得,
又添一短。
If you have any error, you don't have to cover it. To cover it is a new error although you cannot succeed in covering it.

宁好认错,
休要说慌,
教人识破,
谁肯作养?
Don't tell a lie, it's better for you to admit your errors. No one will be willing to bring you up if your lie is seen through by others.

无心之失,
说开罢手,
一差半错,
哪个没有?
It's all right for you to admit openly the mistakes you make unintentionally. To err is human, unexceptionally.  

要成好人,
须寻好友,
引酵若酸,
哪得甜酒?
If you want to be a good person, you must have good friends and nice mates. If the yeast is sour, how do you use it to make sweet spirits?

与人讲话,
看人面色,
意不相投,
不须强说。
When you talk to others, it's wise for you to carefully weigh up their words and closely watch their expressions. If the talk is disagreeable, you should stop the talk at once.

当面证人,
惹祸最大,
是与不是,
尽他说罢。
No misfortune is greater than to be a witness against others to their faces. Whether they are right or wrong will be left to them to say in their own ways.

造言生事,
谁不怕你,
也要提防,
王法天理。
Everybody fears you because you always stir up trouble by rumour-mongering. However, you must also beware of the law and justice of both heaven and human being.

我打人还,
自打几下;
我骂人还,
换口自骂。
If I beat others, I'll beat myself when others beat me back. If I swear at others, I'll swear at myself when others answer back.

既做生人,
便有生理,
个个安闲,
谁养活你?
Being living souls, you must know living principles. If all other people spend the days leisurely without doing anything, who can feed you except yourselves?

世间生艺,
要会一件,
有时贫穷,
救你患难。
You must learn at least one of various crafts for making a living in the world. The craft can save your life when you are sometimes poverty-stricken and in need.

饱食足衣,
乱说闲耍,
终日昏昏,
不如牛马。
Animals like horses and oxen are more useful and respectable than those human beings of a special breed, because they are well-fed, well-dressed, lazy and playful people who all the time talk irresponsibly without applying their minds to and doing anything good.

担头车尾,
穷汉营生,
日求升合,
休与相争。
Poor men like porters and carters are making a living so hard that every day they can only earn a little grain. So you should not bargain with them for a small gain.

兄弟分家,
含糊相让;
子孙争家,
厮打告状。
When dividing up family property to live apart, brothers should yield to each other without seeking details. If the descendants of the same family give with one another for every bit of the family property exactly, there will be a fight or a lawsuit among themselves.

强取巧夺,
只嫌不够,
横来之物,
要你承受。
The people will never be satisfied if they like to take others' things by force and trickery. They have to bear the disastrous consequences of their ill-gotten wealth after its discovery.

郭著章 译.



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