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2012/03/02

長腿叔叔(4)

 

10th October

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Did you ever hear of Michael Angelo?

He was a famous artist who lived in Italy in the Middle Ages. Everybody in English Literature seemed to know about him, and the whole class laughed because I thought he was an archangel. He sounds like an archangel, doesn't he? The trouble with college is that you are expected to know such a lot of things you've never learned. It's very embarrassing at times. But now, when the girls talk about things that I never heard of, I just keep still and look them up in the encyclopedia.

十月十日

親愛的長腿叔叔:

你有聽過米開朗基羅嗎?(註1)

他是一個有名的藝術家,住在中古時期的義大利.英國文學課的每個人似乎都認識他,而且當我以為他是某個第八級的天使時(註2),全班哄堂大笑.他的名字聽起來像是天使,不是嗎?上大學的麻煩是:你被期待要知道很多從來沒有學過的事.我常常感到很不好意思.但是現在當女生們在討論我沒有聽過的事情時,我會先不動聲色,然後趕快去查百科全書.


註1:義大利文藝復興時期的藝術家(AD1475-1564),著名作品有創世紀壁畫,大衛雕像,聖母抱子雕像等等.

註2:原文中寫的是 archangel,跟米開朗基羅的名字Michael Angelo 拼法有點像,所以女主角才會誤以為他是天使.根據我查的資料,羅馬天主教中天使分成九級,而archangel是第八級天使.

I made an awful mistake the first day. Somebody mentioned Maurice Maeterlinck, and I asked if she was a Freshman. That joke has gone all over college. But anyway, I'm just as bright in class as any of the others—and brighter than some of them!

第一天我犯了一個糟透了的錯.有人提到Maurice Maeterlinck(註),我問同學她是不是也是大一生.這個笑話傳遍了整個校園.儘管如此,我還是覺得我和班上的同學一樣聰明,而且甚至比一些人還要聰明.

註:Maurice Maeterlinck(1862-1949)是比利時作家,以法文寫作.而且他是男的.

Do you care to know how I've furnished my room? It's a symphony in brown and yellow. The wall was tinted buff, and I've bought yellow denim curtains and cushions and a mahogany desk (second hand for three dollars) and a rattan chair and a brown rug with an ink spot in the middle. I stand the chair over the spot.

你會想知道我如何裝飾我的房間嗎?屋裏是和諧的咖啡和黃色.牆壁是暗黃色調,而且我還買了黃色的窗簾和抱枕,以及一張桃花木書桌(三塊錢的二手貨),一把籐椅,一條中間有一點墨水漬的咖啡色地毯,我把椅子擺在上面遮住墨水漬.

The windows are up high; you can't look out from an ordinary seat. But I unscrewed the looking-glass from the back of the bureau, upholstered the top and moved it up against the window. It's just the right height for a window seat. You pull out the drawers like steps and walk up. Very comfortable!

窗戶很高,從一般座位的高度是無法看到窗外的.我把五斗櫃上的鏡子拆下來,在櫃上子舖上軟墊,然後把櫃子推到窗邊,變成一個高度恰恰好的窗邊座位.把五斗櫃的抽屜一層一層的拉開,就可以踩著階梯而上.非常的舒適.

Sallie McBride helped me choose the things at the Senior auction. She has lived in a house all her life and knows about furnishing. You can't imagine what fun it is to shop and pay with a real five-dollar bill and get some change—when you've never had more than a few cents in your life. I assure you, Daddy dear, I do appreciate that allowance.

莎莉麥克白幫我在大四生的拍賣會買了這些東西.她有生以來都是住在一般尋常人家,所以知道如何裝飾房子.當你人生中最多也只擁有幾分錢的時候,你一定想像不到買東西是一件如此有趣的事,而且是用一張真正的五元紙鈔,還能找回一些零錢.親愛的長腿叔叔,我對你給我的零用錢真是無比感激.

Sallie is the most entertaining person in the world—and Julia Rutledge Pendleton the least so. It's queer what a mixture the registrar can make in the matter of room-mates. Sallie thinks everything is funny—even flunking—and Julia is bored at everything. She never makes the slightest effort to be amiable. She believes that if you are a Pendleton, that fact alone admits you to heaven without any further examination. Julia and I were born to be enemies.

莎莉是世上最有趣的人,而茱莉亞則是最無趣的.註冊主任在安排室友這件事,真是做了一個奇妙的組合.莎莉覺得每一件事都很有趣,甚至被當.而茱莉亞則覺得每一件事都很無趣.她從來沒有費心表示友善.她相信身為潘得敦家族的一員,光是這個事實就可以讓她直上天堂.茱莉亞和我天生註定不和.

And now I suppose you've been waiting very impatiently to hear what I am learning?

我想你一定等著想聽我學到什麼等到沒有耐心了.

  1. Latin: Second Punic war. Hannibal and his forces pitched camp at Lake Trasimenus last night. They prepared an ambuscade for the Romans, and a battle took place at the fourth watch this morning. Romans in retreat.

一    拉丁文課:第二次布匿戰爭(註).漢尼拔和他的軍隊昨晚在特拉西梅諾湖紮營.他們準備伏擊羅馬人,戰爭在清晨第四班值夜時爆發.羅馬人撤退.

註:發生於西元前218-201/2,第三次布匿戰爭時羅馬人打勝,建立羅馬帝國.

II. French: 24 pages of the Three Musketeers and third conjugation, irregular verbs.

二    法文課:二十四頁的三劍客,第三詞形變化,不規則動詞.

III. Geometry: Finished cylinders; now doing cones.

三    幾何學課:上完了圓柱體,現在在上圓錐體.

IV. English: Studying exposition. My style improves daily in clearness and brevity.

        四    英文課:學習說明解說的文體.我的風格,在清晰和簡短度方面,都與日漸進.

V. Physiology: Reached the digestive system. Bile and the pancreas next time.

五    生理學課:上到消化系統.下次上膽和胰腺.

 

Yours, on the way to being educated,

Jerusha Abbott

在被教育的路上,

潔若莎愛珀

 

PS. I hope you never touch alcohol, Daddy? It does dreadful things to your liver.

PS. 希望你沒喝過酒,那對肝很不好.(註)

註:適量的酒並不會對肝不好,反而會讓心情愉快,酒鬼凱特淺見.

 

雙連市場內有一間阿泉意麵

最近大概每週會去吃一次

通常是叫一碗麻醬麵或是陽春麵,搭豆干,花干或是滷豆腐加一顆滷蛋

五十元左右就可以吃飽一餐

他們的麵條不會煮太爛,我很喜歡

雖然他們隱身在市場內的巷子裏,但生意很好,只賣早餐和午餐

有幾位工作人員雖然不是本地人

但說起鯊魚煙啊生腸啊粉肝啊嘴邊肉啊這些黑白切小菜的名字可是溜的很呢

原來市井小巷中也有語言天才

想起以前上班時常有客戶來找我們公司的阿兜啊

有一回有一個客戶用著不流利而且錯誤很多的英文跟阿兜啊講完話離開後

我隔壁同事站起來悄悄的跟我說: 剛剛那個某某某是美國的雙碩士, 是他們公司目前的明日之星

我只想說學好英文不見得要去國外留學

去國外留學, 甚至有拿到文憑, 也不見得有學好英文

 



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