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王蒙 哦, 穆罕默德 · 阿麦德 四 translation: Ah, Mohamed Ahmed, Pt 4 (Wang Meng)

This is the fourth part in a line by line translation / annotation of the 1983 story 哦, 穆罕默德 · 阿麦德 (O, Mùhǎnmòdé · Āmàidé) - ‘Ah, Mohamed Ahmed’ - by the Chinese author 王蒙 (Wang Meng).

As always, if you notice a mistake or have any suggestions please share them in the comments at the end of the page.


哦, 穆罕默德 · 阿麦德

Ah, Mohamed Ahmed

← Part 3 · Part 4 · Part 5 →

有一次队里开会,有一项议题是改选妇女队长。 One time, the team had a meeting, and one topic of discussion was changing the head of the women's team.

那天穆罕默德·阿麦德不在,一位有名的健壮而泼辣、刚刚和丈夫打了离婚的女人阿细罕喊道: Mohamed Ahmed wasn't there that day, and a well-known, robust, bold woman called Axihan, who had just got divorced, yelled:

“我们选穆罕默德·阿麦德!” "We choose Mohamed Ahmed!"

一句话全场就爆炸了,男女老幼,全都笑成了一团,我也笑了。 With one sentence everyone present erupted in laughter - male, female, old and young - everyone laughed together, including me.

我又想起,有一天我从他家喝茶出来,大队的会计、一只眼睛的伊敏问我: I thought again, one day I left his house after drinking tea, and the production brigade accountant with one eye *[?]* asked me:

“是到穆罕默德·阿麦德家里去了吗?” "Have you been at Mohamed Ahmed's?"

当我点头以后,他却大摇其头,并且连连叹气,“哎、 哎、哎、哎……” When I nodded, he shook his head dramatically and sighed repeatedly: "Aih, aih, aih aih...."

是一种不以为然的腔调。 It was a kind of emphasis.

这是怎么回事? What was the problem?

这次正式请吃“大半斤”,以欢快开始,以兴味索然而告终了。 This time I'd been formally invited to eat 'big half pound'; we started cheerfully but finished bored *[?]*.

而且,在我告辞的时候,他把右腿别在左腿前,身子扭成了八道弯,上身晃动着,面红耳赤地说: Also, when I went to leave, he put his right leg in front of his left, twisting his body; his torso rocked, and with a red face and red ears he said:

“老王哥,夏天要到了,我的三片瓦帽子再也戴不住了,队上又困难……你能不能借我十块钱?” "Brother Wang, summer is coming, but my cap doesn't fit any more; we're having difficulties in the team... could you lend me 10 kuai?"

我把十块钱给了他,但心情更加不快了,他借钱的时机和场合使我对他的友谊的纯洁性产生了一点点怀疑。 I gave him ten kuai, but it made my spirits lower still; the circumstances in which he was borrowing money put a little bit of suspicion on my honest friendship with him.

至于帽子,我完全懂,维吾尔人不论春夏秋冬、室内室外,是都必须戴帽子的。 As for the cap, I understand completely - no matter what season it is, whether indoors or out, Uighurs must wear their cap.

人前脱帽,是极为失礼的表现。 Taking off the cap in front of other people was extremely impolite.

而他的那顶三片瓦帽子,确实是不能再戴下去了。 And that cap of his was actually unwearable.

但用得了十块钱吗? But did he really need ten kuai?

我怀疑。 I was suspicious.

勿谓言之不预,真是忠言逆耳! Don't say it afterwards if you didn't say it before - that really is good advice that hurts to hear!

就在第二天,公社“四清”工作队队长等一批干部到庄子地里参加劳动来了,他们立即发现了穆罕默德·阿麦德的超小砍土镘。 The next day, a group of cadres including the head of the commune's 'Four Clean-ups' task force came into the village to work, and immediately noticed Mohamed Ahmed's tiny trowel.

中间休息时,他们集合了全体社员,然后拿起穆罕默德·阿麦德的砍土镘示众。 During the midday rest, they gathered all of the village members and then took Mohamed Ahmed's trowel to show to everyone.

维族副队长讲了一大套,我听不懂,但是口气严厉,这从其他社员屏息静气、鸦雀无声的状态中可以体会到。 The secondary Uighur captain gave a long speech; I didn't understand it, but his tone of voice was severe, and could be seen in the way the other members held their breath motionlessly in total silence.

汉族队长拿起他的砍土镘来说了一句话:“这是砍土镘吗?不,这是耳挖勺!” The Han captain held up the trowel and said simply: "Is this a trowel? No, this is an ear spoon!"

他的话立刻被工作队的翻译翻成了维语,又是一阵大笑。 What he said was immediately translated into Uighur by the work team, and there was a peal of laughter.

穆罕默德·阿麦德面红耳赤,像发了疯一样地冲了过去。 Mohamed Ahmed's face and ears reddened, as if flushed with insanity.

他口若悬河,与工作队干部辩论起来。 He began to argue with the work team cadres, his mouth like a torrent.

他还解开自己的腰带撩开衣服让工作队干部看伤口。 He even undid his belt and pulled up his clothes to let the work team cadres see his scars.

翻译给汉族队长翻译的时候我也听见了几句,他不服,第一他说他有病开过刀,维语表达的方法是“吃过刀子”。 When what he said was translated for the Han captain I heard that he would not accept it: firstly, he'd been sick and had to have an operation - the way they said it in Uighur was "eating a knife".

(后来我得知是割过阑尾,本来是很普通的手术,但一般维吾尔人认为“吃过刀子”的人是活不长的,故这个论据有一定的说服力。) (Afterwards I learnt that he'd had his appendix out, a very common surgery, but usually Uighurs believed that someone who'd "eaten a knife" wouldn't live for very long, and so this was persuasive.)

第二他说批评表扬不能光看表面现象,不能不调查研究。 Secondly, he said that criticism and praise should not be based only on appearances, and could only be based on investigation and research.

他的砍土镘固然小一点,但他去年一年上工三百四十五天,今年半年出工一百七十天,属于全队前三名,为什么不表扬? Although his trowel was a bit small, but last year he'd worked 345 days, and up to half way through this year he'd worked 170, and was amongst the top three in his team, so why wasn't he being praised?

(后来我得知,他说的这些情况是有浮夸的,但因为他说得冲,就把那几个干部镇住了。) (Afterwards I learnt that what he said was exaggerated, but because he said it forcefully, he managed to win-over these cadres.)

而同一个队里的××××、×× ××……(他一口气说了十几个名字,气之长可以与相声演员的“贯口”技巧相比)一贯不出工,为什么不提? What's more, so-and-so from the same team - (he said ten names in one breath, the length of the utterance like the skill of circular-breathing in comic skits) - never does any work, so why don't you call them out?

为什么越是积极上工的好社员越是要听训,受批评,而从不上工的人却两耳清静、逍遥自在? Why is it that the more actively a member works the more they have to hear instruction and be criticised, yet those who never work never hear a thing about it, and are totally carefree?

再说,去年决算他结余七十多块,七十多块都被超支户用了,队上没钱给他开支,至今欠着他钱,工作队管不管? Moreover, last year when he were doing the accounts there was an overspend of more than seventy kuai - over seventy kuai that his family had to provide; there was no money in the team to pay it back to him, and the money was still owed to him - did the work team care about it?

不是批评他的砍土镘小吗?拿钱来! Weren't they criticising his small trowel? Then give him the money!

他立刻买两把特大号的,一把自己用,一把送给工作队长…… Then he would immediately buy two super-sized trowels, one for himself and one as a gift for the team captain.

他的顶撞使所有的人(包括我)捏着一把汗,因为那个年月不仅在农村,即使在城市顶撞领导也包含着巨大的危险,但显然他以凌厉的口舌在辩论中占了上风。 His contradiction of his superiors made everyone there (including me) sweat a little, because at that time we were in the countryside, and even in the cities contradicting your superiors carried a huge risk, but it seemed that he was winning the argument with his forceful speech.

工作队长们开始降低了自己的调子,倒是长着圆白胡须的作业组长非常照顾领导的面子,适时地站出来把他训斥了几句,宣布继续干活。 The team captains started to lower their tone, and unexpectedly the task force captain, with his white beard, who was extremely conscious of maintaining face, stood up and reprimanded him a little, then told everyone to carry on working.

工作队干部有了台阶,离去了,大家一面干活一面议论纷纷。 The work team cadres thus had a way out of the situation and left, and then everyone discussed it continuously whilst working.

从人们的表情中可以看出,一部分人拍手称快,更多的人认为穆罕默德·阿麦德是干了蠢事。 Looking at people's expressions, some were delighted, but the majority thought Mohamed Ahmed had been foolish.

又干了一个多小时,太阳还老高,组长宣布收工,但一律不得回家,以免给人以本组收工太早的不良印象。 We worked for another hour or more, and the sun was still high in the sky as ever; the team leader announced that work was finished for the day, but none of us were to go home, so as to avoid giving a bad impression from finishing work too early.

大家聚在地边抽烟,意思是如果碰到上面有人来检查,就重新下地比划比划; Everyone gathered at the edge of the area to smoke, and the plan was that if we encountered any superiors, we would go back onto the land and move around;

如果没有,等暮色昏黄时再起立各奔各家。 otherwise, we could immediately rush home at twilight.

这次照例的呆坐,穆罕默德·阿麦德非常沉闷,连阿细罕和他说笑他也不理。 During this typical waiting around, Mohamed Ahmed was very unhappy, and even Axihan telling me jokes didn't cheer him up.

后来阿细罕过来拉他,与他动手动脚,别人笑起来了,他仍然面色阴沉,不理人。 Afterwards Axinhan went over and dragged him up and began play-fighting with him; everyone else laughed, but his face remained gloomy, and he paid no attention.

阿细罕无法,回头看见了我,向我求援,哇里哇啦,我知道她的意思是叫我劝劝他。 There was nothing Axihan could do, and she looked back at me and asked for my help, nagging me; I knew she wanted me to try and bring him round.

我刚走过去,穆罕默德·阿麦德转头说了句:“别理他们!” I'd just gone over when Mohamed Ahmed said: "Ignore them!"

我说:“社员们都等着你说笑话呢!” I said: "The villagers are all waiting for you to lighten up!"

他抬起头,对我说:“你看我这是过的什么样的生活啊!” He raised his head and said to me: "Look at the kind of life I'm leading!"

我看到,他满眼是泪。 He saw that his eyes were filled with tears.

在毛拉圩孜公社,每天我干两件事:劳动和学习维语维文。 In the Mullah Weizi Commune, I did two things every day: hard labour and studying Uighur.

所有的维吾尔农民都是我的维语教师,包括他们刚会说话的孩子。 All of the Uighur farmers were my teachers, including their children who'd just started speaking.

一年以后,我已经掌握了大部分日常生活语汇。 After a year, I could grasp the majority of daily vocabulary.

由于我找到了一本解放初期新疆省人民政府行政干校编印的《维语课本》,又接到父亲从北京寄来的一本《中国语文》杂志,该期杂志上刊有语言研究所朱志宁写的一篇介绍维吾尔语概况的文章,在这两本书的帮助下,我对于语法也有了初步知识。 Thanks to finding a copy of _"A Textbook of Uighur"_, a book compiled by the people's government in Xinjiang in the early days of liberation, as well as receiving a copy of the magazine _"The Literature and Language of China"_ from my parents in Beijing (the magazine published an article summarising and introducing Uighur written by Zhu Zhining from the Language Research Centre), I had an elementary knowledge of Uighur from reading these two things.

因此到六六年春夏天之间,我的维语知识,已经足以用来交际了。 Because of that, between spring and summer in 1966 my knowledge of Uighur became good enough to communicate with others.

我渐渐知道,年轻人厌弃鄙薄穆罕默德·阿麦德,主要是因为他有股子男不男、女不女的劲儿。 I gradually realised that the reason young people rejected and scorned Mohamed Ahmed was mainly because he had a spirit that was neither male nor female.

老年人则嫌他劳动不好。 Old people, on the other hand, disliked his lack of hard work.

但大家一致认为他是个善良、重感情、聪明的人。 But everyone always thought him to be a kind, sensitive and intelligent person.

这一年中间迁来两户汉族新社员,他们对穆罕默德·阿麦德尤其满意。 During that year two Han members moved in, and they were particularly fond of Mohamed Ahmed.

因为除了上述优点以外,他还有一个明显的长处:注意维护维、汉团结,与汉族社员亲密无间,沟通了维、汉社员间的感情,确实做到了有利于团结的话才说,有利于团结的事才做; Because, apart from his good points listed above, he had another very obvious good trait: he paid attention to protecting the unity between Uighurs and Han, keeping a close relationship with Han members and ensuring emotional communication between Uighur and Han members; actually, he only said something if it benefited cohesion, and only did something if it benefited cohesion.

不利于团结的话、的事,不说、不做。 If it didn't benefit cohesion he didn't say it; if it didn't benefit cohesion, he didn't do it.

干脆上个纲吧,他是绝无狭隘的地方民族主义的。 To put it simply, he was in no way narrow-minded and a local nationalist.

男不男女不女的事我也看出了一点端倪,比如他说话忸怩作态,惊叹词多而且拉长声:喂江,哇那…… I also got a sense of his lack of gender-distinction, for example the way he blushed when speaking, gasped in surprise and lengthened his words: blah blah blah blah...

他又特别爱打扮,留的分头自然卷曲,又长又密。 He also loved to dress up, curling up his long, dense hair.

他还说过:“我的头发多好!” He'd say: "My hair is so great!"

这也让我不喜欢。 I didn't like that either.

那年月,连女人都不兴打扮,何况男子呢! At that time, even women weren't interested in dressing up, let alone a guy!

他到底是怎么回事? What was the matter with him?

有一次我问会计独眼伊敏:“他是不是‘艾杰克孜’?” One time I asked the one-eyed accountant Yi Min, "Is he an 'aijiekezi'?" *[?]*

“艾杰克孜”是我学会的新词之一,是指一种性变态,汉语叫做阴阳人或者二尾子的。 'Aijiekezi' was a new word I'd learnt; it referred to a kind of sexual abnormality, which in Chinese is called being a 'yinyang person' or a 'double-ender'.

伊敏吓了一跳,连忙摆手:“这话可不能随便说,老王,这话在维语里是最难听的骂人的话了,比骂毛驴子、猪、乌龟头都更严重。” Yi Min jumped with shock, and immediately waved his hands: "Old Wang, you can't can't use that word casually - it's the most offensive word of abuse in Uighur, worse than calling some an ass, a pig, a cuckold."

他沉了沉,“主要是他的脾气,脾气就这样。 He sighed deeply, "What matters is his temperament, and his temperament is like that.

比如说我们民族的规矩,男人跳舞,上臂的动作都在肩的水平面以下,”他做了几个最常见的舞蹈姿势,“女人跳舞胳臂才在肩以上挥动。” For example, in the established norms of our people, when men dance the arms should always be below the shoulder," - he made a few of the most common dance positions - "Only women can put their arms above their shoulders when dancing."

他又做了几个女人的舞蹈动作,使我发笑。 He did a few female dance moves, making me laugh.

“可穆罕默德·阿麦德呢,偏偏他要这样跳舞。” "But Mohamed Ahmed actually dances like this".

他学起他的样儿来,是“女式”的。 He imitated his style - it was like the female one.

果然,原来我不明确,只觉得穆罕默德·阿麦德舞跳得很好,差不多谁家结婚都要请他去跳,但他跳的时候围观的年轻人又坏笑,我也觉着好像有一点不对头,经伊敏一说,恍然大悟。 It turned out that I hadn't been certain, but just felt that Mohamed Ahmed danced very well; anyone holding a wedding would invite him to dance there, but when he danced all the young people watching would laugh cruelly; I also felt that it seemed a little amiss, and when I spoke to Yi Min I realised what it was.

“再比如说,我们维吾尔男人没有做饭的,特别是没结婚的巴郎子(此处指小伙子),哪有这样拉面条的?” "Another example - no Uighur man cooks, especially unmarried young men... who makes noodles like he does?"

他又学起他拉面的样子来, Again, he mimicked the way Mohamed Ahmed made noodles -

“就连骂人,他用的也都是些女人的话。打架吧,他撞头,而男人打架,可以用拳头,可以动刀子,就是不准撞 头……” "When he insults people, he also uses female words. In an argument, he slaps, but when men argue, they punch, even use a knife, but never slapping..."

最后他总结说,“我们不喜欢他这个样子。” He concluded by saying "We don't like him being like that."

伊敏的话并没有使我完全信服,例如拉面,为什么小伙子就不能做饭呢? I wasn't totally convinced by what Yi Min Said; for example the noodles - why shouldn't young men cook?

根据我的观察,穆罕默德·阿麦德虽然家境困难,父亲有病,威信、地位极低,但是他有洁癖, 类似拉面条、整理屋子这一类事,他不放心他妈妈去做,而家里又没有一个能干的、年龄相当的姐妹,所以他就把一部分细活接管了。 According to my observations, although Mohamed Ahmed's family circumstances were difficult - his father was ill, with low reputation and status - he was a clean-freak; the way he made noodles and tidied the house, he couldn't let his mother do it, or anyone else in the house (his sister was too young) so he took over the finer tasks.

至于粗活,还是由他母亲及小妹妹们干。 As for the coarser jobs, his mother and little sister did them.

但是他毕竟是有一点“事出有因,查无实据”的异于常人的地方,而他的这些“毛病”,不可能不引起人们生理上的嫌恶。 But in the end the points where he differed from others were actually "suspicion with no evidence"; yet these "flaws" of his could only attract physiological hatred from others.

于是,我决定对他采取保持距离的方针,遇到他邀请我到他家里去,请十次,我去上一两次,而且去了以后就表示我很忙,不能多坐。 Because of that, I determined to adopt a policy of maintaining distance from him; when I bumped into him he would invite me to his house to eat - he invited me ten times and I went once or twice, and when I went I'd make it clear how busy I was, and couldn't stay for long.

他和我说这说那,我也是嗯嗯哼哼,爱理不理的。 When he spoke to me, I would mumble, seeming indifferent.

但是他并不介意,始终对我很热情、礼貌、关心。 But he didn't mind, and was always very cordial, polite and caring towards me.

他与我说话,从来不用粗鄙的字眼,而且神情谦和文明。 When he spoke to me, he would never use coarse language, and his expression was always modest and cultured.

有一次我生病,嗓子哑了,他给我送了五个鸡蛋,急切地向我论证吞生鸡蛋是治疗嗓子的验方。 One time I got ill, and my throat was horse; he gave me five eggs, eagerly explaining to me that eating eggs was a tried and tested way to treat throat problems.

干活的时候我只要稍嫌沉闷,他就过来搭腔。 Whilst working, if I was just a little bit unhappy he would come over to attend to me.

他好像时时注意着别人,对一切新来的人都负有责任,真像是生产队分工,由他担任礼宾司接待处干事似的。 It seemed that he constantly paid attention to other people, and took responsibility for all newcomers, as if he was the one who divided up labour for the work team, and he took charge of protocol in receiving administrators.

我询问了大队代销店一名售货员,这位售货员原是民族学院毕业生,曾经当过疏附县小学教师,六二年退职回老家——伊犁的。 I inquired of a salesperson at the commune shop; this salesperson had graduated in anthropology, and had been a primary school teacher in Shufu County; in 1962 he had quit and returned home to Ili.

他在南疆时,是穆罕默德·阿麦德的班主任。 When he was in Nanjiang, he was in charge of Mohamed Ahmed.

他告诉我穆罕默德·阿麦德儿童时期活泼聪颖,功课好,自尊心强,爱激动,各方面发育正常,从十二三岁以后爱和女同学在一起,出现一点或有的女里女气的现象,并不严重,谈不到有什么“问题”,但他因而被人瞧不起,是事实。 He told me that when Mohamed Ahmed was a little boy he was lively and bright, and did his work well with self-respect and motivation - he developed normally in all aspects; after age 12 or 13, he loved being with girls, and showed some female traits; nothing serious, nothing you'd call a "problem", but because of that he was held in contempt by other people, and that was the truth of it.

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