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钱钟书写给林书武的三封英语信赏析  

2009-07-23 13:01:43|  分类: 阅读 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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 第一封信

  My Dear Shu-Wu(1),                 May 14

  Your letter gives me a joyful surprise(2). Your English is astonishingly good. This is not“flannel”nor“butter”(3)but my sincere opinion (my hand upon my heart!). The idea found from your version of Chairman’s statement is, to say the least, quite unjust(4). Perhaps your hand is recovering some of its old cunning momentarily lost through long lack of practice(5). At any rate, it would be a pity-nay, a sin, a crime(6)-to let your(7) English get rusty & become finally unserviceable.

  Yours in haste

  By a slip of pen, you wrote“allocation”instead of“Collocation”(8).This is a mere peccadillo. Don’t let meticulousness about such trifles cramp your style.

  书武:

  看了来信,又惊又喜。你的英语之好,出人意外。这不是兜圈子的奉承话,而是真诚的意见(我手按在胸前发誓!)。你以前翻译主席文章的段落,我看了以后有些想法。现在看来,那些想法至少是很不公正的。你长期以来缺乏实践,一时失去的原有的灵巧手法,也许逐渐得到恢复。不管怎么样,让你的英语生锈,最终变得无法利用,那是件憾事——不,是罪过,是犯罪。

  钱钟书匆匆

  5月14日

  又及,由于笔误,你把collocation写成allocation.这只是一个小错。别把这些小事看得过重,变得谨小慎微,妨碍你写作方式的完善。

第二封信

  My Dear Lin(1)                      May

  Excuse this belated reply to your very kind May Day greetings(2). Its almost literally“a day after the fair”. What with fixing the mosquito net, queuing for sweets at the co-op store, fetching & distributing letters, & the thousand and one odds and ends which eat away ones time, the red letter day was over before I know where I was(3). Well(4), here go my best wishes in which my wife joins. Your letter makes me ashamed. I feel guilty like a swindler who has won your“gratitude”without doing anything to earn it. Your characteristic generosity has led you to overestimate the aids to study I gave. Yes, vocabulary is important. Pedagogues used to distinguish a pupils active or (5) writing & speaking vocabulary. As you know, the latter is far more extensive than the former. How to turn the supinely passive into the nimbly active—that’s the big problem(6). However, enough of shop talk. Tomorrow to the battle & more power to your elbow!(7)

  Yours Sincerely,

  林:

  5月1日承蒙来信祝贺节日,迟复为歉。称之为“定期集市后的一天”,此语非虚。安蚊帐,在合作社小店排队买糖果,往邮局取信,回来分发,以及忙乎耗费时间的没完没了的琐事,不知不觉中纪念日已经过去了。在此,我和妻子向你致以最良好的祝愿。你的来信,使我感到惭愧。我像个骗子,没干什么就获得了你的感谢,感到内疚。我对你的学习,帮助甚少,你特有的忠厚,使你过高估计这种帮助。是的,词汇是重要的。教师通常把词汇分为积极的和消极的词汇,前者为写和说的词汇,后者为阅读的词汇。正如你所知道的,学生的词汇中,后者远比前者多得多。如何把呆板的消极词汇变成灵活的积极词汇,这是个大问题。但有关行内的议论,就说这么多吧。明天就要投入战斗了,加油干!

  钱钟书谨上             5月2日



第三封信

  My Dear Lin(1),

  I am deeply grateful, but I have smiting of conscience(2). As you know, I have my own ration of sugar, & I must not deprive you of yours(3). As to the dim sum, a healthy young man has more need of them to stay his hunger(4) between the meals--much more that and old man does. So I am returning them with heartfelt thanks--accompanied with a little token of esteem(5). The latest No. of Broadsheet is worth glancing at.(6)

  Your thankfully

  林:

  很感谢你,但我深感不安。正如你知道的,白糖,我有自己的定量,我不应该取你的。至于那些精美的点心,健康的小伙子比老人更加迫切需要,以便在两顿饭之间充饥。所以我怀着衷心的谢意把糖和点心还给你,同时附上一些英文报纸杂志,聊表敬意。最近一期的Broadsheet(报纸)值得一看。

  钱钟书谨上

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