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第二十八届韩素音青年翻译奖竞赛英译汉、汉译英竞赛原文
来源: 中国译协网

英译汉竞赛原文:

On Irritability

 

Irritability is the tendency to get upset for reasons that seem – to other people – to be pretty minor. Your partner asks you how work went and the way they ask makes you feel intensely agitated. Your partner is putting knives and forks on the table before dinner and you mention (not for the first time) that the fork should go on the left hand side, not the right. They then immediately let out a huge sigh and sweep the cutlery onto the floor and tell you that you can xxxx-ing do it yourself if you know better. It was the most minor of criticisms and technically quite correct. And now they’ve exploded.

 

There is so much irritability around and it exacts a huge daily cost on our collective lives, so we deserve to get a lot more curious about it: what is really going on for the irritable person? Why, really, are they getting so agitated? And instead of blaming them for getting het up about “little things”, we should do them the honour of working out why, in fact, these things may not be so minor after all.

 

The journey begins by recognising the role of fear in irritability in couples. Behind most outbursts are cack-handed attempts to teach the other person something. There are things we’d like to point out, flaws that we can discern, remarks we feel we really must make, but our awareness of how to proceed is panicked and hasty. We give cack-handed, mean speeches, which bear no faith in the legitimacy (even the nobility) of the act of imparting advice. And when our partners are on the receiving end of these irritable “lessons”, they of course swiftly grow defensive and brittle in the face of suggestions which seem more like mean-minded and senseless assaults on their very natures rather than caring, gentle attempts to address troublesome aspects of joint life.

 

The prerequisite of calm in a teacher is a degree of indifference as to the success or failure of the lesson. One naturally wants for things to go well, but if an obdurate pupil flunks trigonometry, it is – at base – their problem. Tempers can stay even because individual students do not have very much power over teachers’ lives. Fortunately, as not caring too much turns out to be a critical aspect of successful pedagogy.

 

Yet this isn’t an option open to the fearful, irritable lover. They feel ineluctably led to deliver their “lessons” in a cataclysmic, frenzied manner (the door slams very loudly indeed) not because they are insane or vile (though one could easily draw these conclusions) so much as because they are terrified; terrified of spoiling what remains of their years on the planet in the company of someone who it appears cannot in any way understand a pivotal point about conversation, or cutlery, or the right time to order a taxi.

 

One knows intuitively, when teaching a child, that only the utmost care and patience will ever work: one must never shout, one has to use extraordinary tact, one has to make ten compliments for every one negative remark and one must leave oneself plenty of time…

 

All this wisdom we reliably forget in love’s classroom, sadly because increasing the level of threat seldom hastens development. We do not grow more reasonable, more accepting of responsibility and more accurate about our weaknesses when our pride has been wounded, our integrity is threatened and our self-esteem has been violated.

 

The complaint against the irritable person is that they are getting worked up over “nothing”. But symbols offer a way of seeing how a detail can stand for something much bigger and more serious. The groceries placed on the wrong table are not upsetting at all in themselves. But symbolically they mean your partner doesn’t care about domestic order; they muddle things up; they are messy. Or the question about one’s day is experienced as a symbol of interrogation, a lack of privacy and a humiliation (because one’s days rarely go well enough).

 

The solution is, ideally, to concentrate on what the bigger issue is. Entire philosophies of life stir and collide beneath the surface of apparently petty squabbles. Irritations are the outward indications of stifled debates between competing conceptions of existence. It’s to the bigger themes we need to try to get.

 

In the course of discussions, one might even come face-to-face with that perennially surprising truth about relationships: that the other person is not an extension of oneself that has, mysteriously, gone off message. They are that most surprising of things, a different person, with a psyche all of their own, filled with a perplexing number of subtle, eccentric and unforeseen reasons for thinking as they do.

 

The decoding may take time, perhaps half an hour or more of concentrated exploration for something that had until then seemed as if it would more rightfully deserve an instant.

We pay a heavy price for this neglect; every conflict that ends in sour stalemate is a blocked capillary within the heart of love. Emotions will find other ways to flow for now, but with the accumulation of unresolved disputes, pathways will fur and possibilities for trust and generosity narrow.

 

A last point. It may just be sleep or food: when a baby is irritable, we rarely feel the need to preach about self-control and a proper sense of proportion. It’s not simply that we fear the infant’s intellect might not quite be up to it, but because we have a much better explanation of what is going on. We know that they’re acting this way – and getting bothered by any little thing – because they are tired, hungry, too hot or having some challenging digestive episode.

 

The fact is, though, that the same physiological causes get to us all our lives. When we are tired, we get upset more easily; when we feel very hungry, it takes less to bother us. But it is immensely difficult to transfer the lesson in generosity (and accuracy) that we gain around to children and apply it to someone with a degree in business administration or a pilot’s license, or to whom we have been married for three-and-a-half years.

 

We should try to see irritability for what it actually is: a confused, inarticulate, often shameful attempt to get us to understand how much someone is suffering and how urgently they need our help. We should – when we can manage it – attempt to help them out.

 

 

汉译英竞赛原文:

屠呦呦秉持的,不是好事者争论的

随着诺贝尔奖颁奖典礼的临近,持续2个月的“屠呦呦热”正在渐入高潮。当地时间7日下午,屠呦呦在瑞典卡罗林斯卡学院发表题为“青蒿素——中医药给世界的一份礼物”的演讲,详细回顾了青蒿素的发现过程,并援引毛泽东的话称,中医药学“是一个伟大的宝库”。

对中医药而言,无论是自然科学“圣殿”中的这次演讲,还是即将颁发到屠呦呦手中的诺奖,自然都提供了极好的“正名”。置于世界科学前沿的平台上,中医药学不仅真正被世界“看见”,更能因这种“看见”获得同世界对话的机会。拨开层层迷雾之后,对话是促成发展的动力。将迷雾拨开、使对话变成可能,是屠呦呦及其团队的莫大功劳。

但如果像部分舆论那样,将屠呦呦的告白简单视作其对中医的“背书”,乃至将其成就视作中医向西医下的“战书”,这样的心愿固然可嘉,却可能完全背离科学家的本意。听过屠呦呦的报告,或是对其研究略作了解就知道,青蒿素的发现既来自于中医药“宝库”提供的积淀和灵感,也来自于西医严格的实验方法。缺了其中任意一项,历史很可能转向截然不同的方向。换言之,在“诺奖级”平台上促成中西医对话之前,屠呦呦及其团队的成果,正是长期“对话”的成果。

而此前绵延不绝的“中西医”之争,多多少少都游离了对话的本意,而陷于一种单向化的“争短长”。持中医论者,不屑于西医的“按部就班”;持西医论者,不屑于中医的“随心所欲”。双方都没有看到,“按部就班”背后本是实证依据,“随心所欲”背后则有文化内涵,两者完全可以兼容互补,何必非得二元对立?屠呦呦在演讲中坦言,“通过抗疟药青蒿素的研究历程,我深深地感到中西医药各有所长,两者有机结合,优势互补,当具有更大的开发潜力和良好的发展前景”。这既是站在中医药立场上对西方科学界的一次告白,反过来也可理解为西医立场上对中医拥趸们的提醒。毋宁说,这是一个科学家对科学研究实质的某种揭示。

科学研究之艰深莫测,科学家多有体认,作为旁观者的我们也屡屡耳闻。而科学研究所需要的思维方式,人们未必有足够认识。对屠呦呦和她的团队,做出的学问未必人人能学,其治学的精神和观念却很值得借鉴。这既包括“几十年磨一剑”的硬功夫,也包括一种巧妙平衡的思维方式。

这种思维方式,就体现在其对中西医有机的结合。表面上,这是两种科学体系的对话,而实质上,这也是两种思维方式的平衡——从中医传统中寻觅灵感,屠呦呦们的想象力值得叹服;用西学方法做论证,屠呦呦们的理性思维亦值得重视。想象力与理性思辨的高度平衡,恰恰是优秀科学家具备的关键素质。这两者的平衡,使他们的创新从不是漫谈空想,而实证又绝不会死气沉沉。

(朱珉迕《解放日报》2015 12 9日)