马太福音和马太效应

作者: 阮一峰

日期: 2006年3月11日

珠峰培训

昨天,我贴了一首弥尔顿十四行诗的翻译

这首诗第3行里有这样一个短语:

"a talent which is death to hide"。

写成现代英语应该是

"I have a talent, to hide which means death to me"

意思是"我有一种才能,把它隐藏起来,对我就意味着死亡"。但是,这句话并不是字面上那样简单,实际上弥尔顿在这里用了《马太福音》中的一个典故。

为了把这个典故说清楚,首先要来解释一下talent这个词。

talent在现代英语中表示才能,但是在古代,它是指一种货币单位, 直译为"塔兰特",使用于古代希腊、罗马和中东。《圣经》中用到talent的地方,都是指货币单位。从这里也可以推测talent的现代涵义是古代涵义的引申。

《马太福音》第25节的第14~30句,是一个非常著名的故事。主人出门,给了三个仆人三笔钱。甲和乙都去做买卖了,都赚了。丙把那笔钱埋在地里。主人回家后,见到甲和乙赚钱,非常高兴,给了他们更多的钱。见了丙没有赚钱,非常生气,夺过他所有的钱,并把他关在门外的黑暗里。这也就是弥尔顿所说的"a talent which is death to hide"的意思,显然弥尔顿在这里用了双关,talent既指才能,又指上帝的赐予。

我把原文抄录如下:

25:14 天国又好比一个人要往外国去,就叫了仆人来,把他的家业交给他们。

25:15 按着各人的才干,给他们银子。一个给了五千,一个给了二千,一个给了一千。就往外国去了。

25:16 那领五千的,随即拿去做买卖,另外赚了五千。

25:17 那领二千的,也照样另赚了二千。

25:18 但那领一千的,去掘开地,把主人的银子埋藏了。

25:19 过了许久,那些仆人的主人来了,和他们算账。

25:20 那领五千银子的,又带着那另外的五千来,说,主阿,你交给我五千银子,请看,我又赚了五千。

25:21 主人说,好,你这又良善又忠心的仆人。你在不多的事上有忠心,我要把许多事派你管理。可以进来享受你主人的快乐。

25:22 那领二千的也来说,主阿,你交给我二千银子,请看,我又赚了二千。

25:23 主人说,好,你这又良善又忠心的仆人。你在不多的事上有忠心,我要把许多事派你管理。可以进来享受你主人的快乐。

25:24 那领一千的,也来说,主阿,我知道你是忍心的人,没有种的地方要收割,没有散的地方要聚敛。

25:25 我就害怕,去把你的一千银子埋藏在地里。请看,你的原银子在这里。

25:26 主人回答说,你这又恶又懒的仆人,你既知道我没有种的地方要收割,没有散的地方要聚敛。

25:27 就当把我的银子放给兑换银钱的人,到我来的时候,可以连本带利收回。

25:28 夺过他这一千来,给那有一万的。

25:29 因为凡有的,还要加给他,叫他有余。没有的,连他所有的,也要夺过来。

25:30 把这无用的仆人,丢在外面黑暗里。在那里必要哀哭切齿了。

下面是英语原文。

25:14 For it is as when a man, about to take a journey, got his servants together, and gave them his property.
25:15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to everyone as he was able; and he went on his journey.
25:16 Straight away he who had been given the five talents went and did trade with them, and made five more.
25:17 In the same way he who had been given the two got two more.
25:18 But he who was given the one went away and put it in a hole in the earth, and kept his lord's money in a secret place.
25:19 Now after a long time the lord of those servants comes, and makes up his account with them.
25:20 And he who had the five talents came with his other five talents, saying, Lord, you gave into my care five talents: see, I have got five more.
25:21 His lord said to him, Well done, good and true servant: you have been true in a small thing, I will give you control over great things: take your part in the joy of your lord.
25:22 And he who had the two talents came and said, Lord, you gave into my care two talents: see, I have got two more.
25:23 His lord said to him, Well done, good and true servant: you have been true in a small thing, I will give you control over great things: take your part in the joy of your lord.
25:24 And he who had had the one talent came and said, Lord, I had knowledge that you are a hard man, getting in grain where you have not put seed, and making profits for which you have done no work:
25:25 And I was in fear, and went away, and put your talent in the earth: here is what is yours.
25:26 But his lord in answer said to him, You are a bad and unready servant; if you had knowledge that I get in grain where I did not put seed, and make profits for which I have done no work,
25:27 Why, then, did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I would have got back what is mine with interest?
25:28 Take away, then, his talent and give it to him who has the ten talents.
25:29 For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have more: but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
25:30 And put out the servant who is of no profit into the outer dark: there will be weeping and cries of sorrow.

请注意我标黑体的第29句。这句话就是"马太效应"这个名词的出处。

马太效应=富人愈富,穷人愈穷。

我记得好像是一个美国政治家(记者?)说过:"我要做的就是使富人难于更富有,穷人难于更贫穷。"

优达学城

腾讯课堂

留言(4条)

鄙人窃以为,作为一个中国人,如果要对外国文化进行评论的话,最好仔细研读一下,这样才能真正作出合理的评论,翻译也是如此.从此篇文章就可足以说明这一点. 值得一读,受益匪浅.


了额

对!国人最难过的是宗教这一关。。。
清末民初,国外传教士几乎遍布中国每个角落,包括山沟沟。。。
如今,全国人民信仰拜物教和白痴教。。。浩浩荡荡十几亿白痴,巍为可观!

不过如今基督教也兴盛起来了,可我总觉得少点什么。。。

天之道,损有余,而补不足。
人之道,损不足,而补有余。

阮老师,请教一个问题,原文中“to one he gave five talents of money,to another two talents,and to another one talent,each according to his ability."译本翻译如下:“按着各人的才干给他们银子,一个给了五千,一个给了二千,一个给了一千。”为何不翻译计量单位talent?还做了换算?

我要发表看法

«-必填

«-必填,不公开

«-我信任你,不会填写广告链接