0406翻译蟋蟀的住宅
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0406翻译:蟋蟀的住宅(法布尔)

Translation: Cricket’s Residence (Jean-Henri Fabre)

(translated by: alexcwlin; edited by: Adam Lam)

居住在草地上的蟋蟀,差不多和蝉一样有名。

Cricket takingup residence in lawn is almost as a common knowledge as cicada.

它的出名不光由于它的唱歌,还由于它的住宅。

It gets well-known not only from its singing, but also its living quarters as well.

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别的昆虫大多在临时的隐蔽所藏身。

Most other insects hole up in makeshift hideouts.

它们的隐蔽所得来不费工夫,弃去毫不可惜。

It takes no efforts in finding their refuges, and there is no big loss if they abandon those places. 蟋蟀和它们不同,不肯随遇而安。

Cricket is different, as it is unwilling to just take things as they come.

它常常慎重地选择住址,

It is very meticulous in choosing where it lives.

一定要排水优良,并且有温和的阳光。

The place must be equipped with an excellent water drainage system and exposed to warm sunshine. 它不利用现成的洞穴,它的舒服的住宅是自己一点一点挖掘的,从大厅一直到卧室。

It doesn’t make use of existing hole,and its cozy home is dug up bit by bit by itself all the way from living room to bedroom.

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蟋蟀怎么会有建筑住宅的才能呢?

Why does cricket have such a knack in constructing residence?

它有特别好的工具吗?

Does it have specially good tools?

没有。

It doesn’t.

蟋蟀并不是挖掘技术的专家,

Cricket is not an expert in digging.

它的工具是那样柔弱,所以人们对它的劳动成果感到惊奇。

Its tools are so delicate that people are amazed at the results of its efforts.

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在儿童时代,我到草地上去捉蟋蟀,把它们养在笼子里,

In my childhood days, I went to lawns to catch crickets and kept them in cages.

用菜叶喂它们。

Then I fed them with vegetable leaves.

现在为了研究蟋蟀,我又搜索起它们的巢穴来。

Lately in order to conduct research on crickets, I went ahead to search into their nests.

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在朝着阳光的堤岸上,青草丛中隐藏着一条倾斜的隧道,

On an embankment facing the sun, a cluster of grass hid a downward-sloping tunnel.

即使有骤雨,这里也立刻就会干的。

Even when there was drizzle, this place would dry almost instantly (1).

隧道顺着地势弯弯曲曲,

The tunnel twisted and turned (2) following the topography.

最多不过九寸深,一指宽,

Its measurements werenine inches at the deepest and one-finger-width at the widest.

这便是蟋蟀的住宅。

That was the home of a cricket.

出口的地方总有一丛草半掩着,就像一座门。

The exit was half-covered by a growth of grass like a door.

蟋蟀出来吃周围的嫩草,决不去碰这一丛草。

The cricket coming out would feed on tender grass in the surrounding, but it would leave that bundle of grass alone.

那微斜的门口,经过仔细耙扫,收拾得很平坦。

After some assiduous raking, the slightly inclined exit was tidied and flat.

这就是蟋蟀的平台。

That was the terrace of the cricket.

当四周很安静的时候,蟋蟀就在这平台上弹琴。

When it was tranquil in the environment, the cricket would play its music on this patio.

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屋子的内部没什么布置,但是墙壁很光滑。

There were not a lot of furnishings inside the house but the walls were quite smooth.

主人有的是时间,把粗糙的地方修理平整。

The host had plenty of time on hand to smoothen the rough spots.

大体上讲,住所是很简朴的,清洁、干燥,很卫生。

As a whole, the residence was austere, clean, dry and sanitary.

假使我们想到蟋蟀用来挖掘的工具是那样简单,这座住宅真可以算是伟大的工程了。

If we could imagine the excavating tools used by the cricket were so very simple, the construction of this dwelling should be considered a magnificent engineering project.

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蟋蟀盖房子大多是在十月,

The cricket startedbuilding its house mostly in October.

秋天初寒的时候。它用前足扒土,还用钳子搬掉较大的土块。

In the fall when weather just turned cold, it used its front leg to claw the soil and its pincers to remove the bigger earth lumps.

它用强有力的后足踏地。

Then it applied its strong and powerful hind legs to stomp on the ground.

后腿上有两排锯,用它将泥土推到后面,倾斜地铺开。

At its hindlegs there were two rows of saw-tooth-like projections and it used them to push soil to the back and spread it out to form a slanted slope.

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工作做得很快。

Work proceeded very quickly.

蟋蟀钻到土底下干活,

The cricket squeezed its way underneath the soil to toil away.

如果感到疲劳,它就在未完工的家门口休息一会儿,

When it felt tired, it would take a break at the door of the unfinished home.

头朝着外面,触须轻微地摆动。

Its head would be facing outside with its antennae moving slightly from side to side.

不大一会儿,它又进去继续工作。

Before long, it would go back inside to continue its work.

我一连看了两个钟头,看得有些不耐烦了。

I watched continuously for two hours and somehow Iran out of patience.

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住宅的重要部分快完成了。

The important sections of the residence were almost finished.

洞已经挖了有两寸深,够宽敞的了。

The hole dug was already two inches deep and it was sufficiently wide.

余下的是长时间的整修,今天做一点,明天做一点。

What needed to be done was putting on the finishing touch over a long period of time—alittle bit today and a little bit more tomorrow.

这个洞可以随天气的变冷和它身体的增长而加深加阔。

This hole could be modified deeper or wider following colder weather or enhanced body growth.

即使在冬天,只要气候温和,太阳晒到它住宅的门口,还可以看见蟋蟀从里面不断地抛出泥土来。 Even in winter, as long as the weather turned warmer and sunlight was at its doorstep, you could see the cricket throwing out earth continuously frominside.

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附注:

(1) “立刻就会干的”

Strict translation for “立刻就会干的” is “it will dry right away”. But it doesn’t sound right.

Therefore using “would” and “almost” in saying “it dry instantly” leave some wiggling room and make the statement more sensible.

(2) Another commonly used word which I like to use for “twist and turn” is “meander ”.