Monday, December 5, 2011

[Translation] Chapter 1(1) of Sealed with a Kiss Novel

Since I've been asked a few times to translate the Sealed with a Kiss novel, I've decided to go ahead with this project. It's going to be a monumental task for me. I can't guarantee my command of the Chinese language will be good enough to do justice to the tone of Tong Xue's narration and the writing style in this novel, but I'll do my best. Be warned. This translation process will be very slow and tedious, so please be patient with me. Comments will always be appreciated. =D

And if ANYONE who knows Chinese and would like to contribute in the translation - no matter big or small - please don't hesitate to let me know. Even if your translation is rough, I'll be more than happy to edit it for you.


【第一部分】第一章(1
Part 1Chapter 1 (1)

 一遍一遍
Again and again
爱过你的心已无法还原
the heart that loves you can no longer return to its former state
有谁敢承诺到永远
Who dares to promise eternity?
能刻骨已情愿
I'll be happy if you engraved me in your memory
还是想你一遍一遍
I still think of you again and again
就算皱起眉心会老一些
even if I age more by creasing the glabella
只是难免埋怨时间的手
But I just can't help and resent the hand
把相爱写成相爱过
that wrote "we love" into "we once loved"

——颜玺轩
Anson Yen


莫绍谦打来电话的时候,我和悦莹正在店里挑衣服。这城市的气温还没有降至20℃,当季的新衣却早已经上市。衣架上错落的长短新款,一眼望去许多绒绒的皮草,好似草原上秋膘滚滚的肥羊。
When Mo Shaoqian called me, Yueying and I were shopping for clothes at a designer shop. The temperature in this city hasn’t cooled down to below 20 degree Celsius, yet the latest fashions for this season are already available on the sales racks. Looking at these garments hanging loosely down from the clothes rack at various lengths and all the furry materials remind me of a herd of plump goats rallied together for the autumn slaughter in the grassland.

衣服不是肥羊,买衣服的才是肥羊。
But these clothing items aren’t plump goats. It's the people who buy these clothing items have wallets as fat as these goats.

那个Jack彬彬有礼地跟在我们后面,只有当悦莹拿不准主意的时候才趁机轻言细语:“这款红色非常配你,搭上次那件烟灰色开司米,一定会很漂亮。”
As Jack follows us closely behind in a courteous manner, he only chooses to speak when Yueying started to debate on what to choose.  He politely buts in to suggest in a soft voice:
“This red piece really suits you. If you match it with the ash gray cashmere you bought last time, you’ll look stunning. “

Jack有一把动听的嗓子,仿佛上好的小提琴,每一次拉弦按下去都能响起迷人的颤音。说起中文来有一种外国人特有的咬字不准,平卷舌不分,更像透着磁性。悦莹被他灰绿色的眸子一瞟,就像丢了三魂七魄,眉开眼笑答应去试衣。
Jack has a charming voice. It's similar to the sound produced by an exquisite violin; every time the bow sounds the strings, a mesmerizing vibrato would be produced.  When he speaks Chinese, his accent contains the confused intonation typical of a foreigner. He fails to correctly enunciate the tongue-twisted Mandarin characters in a sentence, but still emits magnetism in his speech. A single glance from his grayish green eyes seems to have bewitched Yueying and she takes his recommended item to the fitting room with a giant smile plastered on her face.  

Jack遇上Rose,就算是泰坦尼克也会被冰山撞沉了。刘悦莹的英文名字还真叫“Rose”,她十岁那会儿看了《泰坦尼克号》,就给自己取了这番名。立志有朝一日要在豪华邮轮上遇见自己的莱昂纳多,两人站在船头比翼双飞:“I'm the king of the world!
When Jack met Rose, even the Titanic sank when it hit an iceberg. Liu Yueying’s English name also happened to be “Rose” too. She was only 10 years old when she watched Titantic and adopted that name for herself. She even set as one of her great goals in life to meet her own Leonardo (DiCaprio) one day on a luxurious cruise ship. Then they would extend their arms out on the forward rail and scream “I’m King of the world!”

一眨眼十年就过去了,双十年华的Rose还真遇上了Jack。所以今天悦莹死活拖着我来这店里看衣服,主要是看帅哥店员Jack。说实在的,这Jack长得还真是不赖,洋鬼子我也见多了,这么帅的洋鬼子还是很少见。用悦莹自己的话说:“我一看到他那双灰绿色的眼睛,我的心就扑通扑通地跳。”
In a blink of an eye a decade has passed. A 20-year old Rose really met Jack. That’s why Yueying swore to death that she must drag me here to shop at this store along with the ultimate agenda of checking out the gorgeously handsome retail representative, Jack. To be honest, Jack does look pretty good. I’ve seen quite a few Caucasians before, but good-looking ones — I haven’t seen too many. In Yueying’s own words: “Whenever I take a glance at his pair of grayish green eyes, my heart pounds th-thump-th-thump-th-thump.”

我白了她一眼:“哪天你的心要是不扑通扑通地跳了,你就已经死了。”
I superciliously rolled my eyes upward and said: “If your heart doesn’t beat thump thump thump anymore, then you’re already dead.”

悦莹就恨我:“你怎么一点儿浪漫的细胞都没有!”
Yueying hatefully replies, “You don't have a single romantic gene!”

悦莹确实是个浪漫到细胞里的人,所有的言情小说她都看过,大一刚进校门那会儿,她和我去租书店,环顾四面书架,独怆然而涕下:“还名牌大学呢,这些我全看过了啊,老板,有没有新鲜点的?”
Yueying is a romantic to the cellular level. She has read every single romance novel. When we first stepped our foot on campus freshman year, she and I went to a rental bookstore. After browsing around on all four walls, she slumped in a depressed tone and said:
“And this is a so-called “prestigious” university. I read everything here already. Boss, don’t you have anything new?”

后来悦莹压根就不去租书店了,天天泡在网上看原创。只要没课,成天就在床上用她那轻薄小巧的MBA看连载,没几个月她又把MBA换成MBP,说看得眼睛太累,只好换个大点屏幕的。我曾经鼓动她自己写小说,读书破万卷,下笔如有神。她都看了不知道多少言情小说了,一出手还不得把什么悲情天后给挤兑死。结果她根本不屑一顾:“自己写多费劲啊,我充1000VIP,看遍整个原创网,犯得着自己去写吗?”
Later on, Yueying doesn’t even bother to go to the rental bookstore anymore. She goes online every day to read the original works of internet authors. Whenever she doesn’t need to go to class, she would lie in bed and use her thinly portable MBA (MacBook Air) to read the latest posted chapters.

Within a few months, she exchanged her MBA into a MBP (MacBook Pro). Her reason: her eyes get too tired from all the reading so she needed a bigger screen. Once, I encouraged her to write her own novel. Unimpressed by my proposition, she said  “It’s so troublesome to write your own novel. I just need to spend a 1,000 yuans to become a VIP member, and I can read every freakin’ internet novel on the web. Why should I even bother to write one myself?

差点忘了她是暴发户的女儿,这话可不是我说的,是她自己说的。提起她爸她就一口一个“我那暴发户的爹”,她爹是真有钱,真暴发。她二十岁她爹送的生日礼物就是一架直升机,不是遥控玩具,是由专业飞行员驾驶的那种轻型直升机。她收到这礼物的时候还挺高兴,兴冲冲拉着我去搭了一回。轰隆轰隆在天上飞了半天,差点没把我给吵死,想跟她说句话两人都听不见。下了直升机她就叹气:“我小时候最爱看小说里写贵族学校,男主角搭直升机上学,降落在校园草坪上,一迈腿下来——哗,一见钟情!”
I almost forgot she’s the daughter of the bao fa hu ("new rich" [1]). Don't get me wrong. I didn’t coin that term on her. She coined it herself. Whenever she talks about her father, her mouth never fails to refer him as “My bao fa hu Dad.” Her father is filthy rich. He really struck it rich. On her twentieth birthday, her father gave her a helicopter as her birthday present. It wasn’t a toy with a remote control type, but a real helicopter with a professional pilot. She was ecstatic to receive such a present, and excitedly dragged me along to take a ride.

The aircraft roared in the sky for half a day and almost deafened my eardrums. I couldn’t even say anything audible to her. Once we landed, she sighed: “When I was a kid, I loved to read those novels that took place at an exclusive school for the privileged where the male protagonist would ride a helicopter to class and land on the grassy lawn.  Once he sets his foot down on the ground——voilà, he falls in love at first sight!”

[1] Bao fa hu roughly means "new rich." It's literally translated as the “newly strike-it-rich household,” which refers to the new class of rich people in China profiting from the economic boom. They are different from the old rich whose wealth goes back generations and tend to be less educated or refined in their manners. The term has a rather derogatory ring.

她愁眉苦脸的样子一点也不像惺惺作态:“谁知道直升机这么吵,能在上头谈情说爱吗?”
She looked utterly devastated, and seemed genuinely melancholic without a bit of exaggeration when she said, “Who knew helicopters get this noisy? How could anyone even have a romantic conversation sitting on one?”

我都无语问苍天了,上次她还骂她爹暴发,说他买悍马跟买白菜似的,专挑帮子长的,一点品味都没有。还是用她的话来说,真是有其女必有其父。
I was speechless.  I didn't know what to say, not even to Almighty Heaven. Previously, she even scolded her “new rich” father for choosing to buy a Hummer like he was choosing to buy some green vegetable just choose one with the thickest stalk. She complained he did not have a modicum of good taste in him.  But really, they're just “like father, like daughter.” Again these were her words. She said so herself.

© 2011, JoleCole. All rights reserved.

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