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Lu Xun Kong Yiji translation, Pt. II

鲁迅 孔乙己 二

This is the second part of a sentence-by-sentence translation of 孔乙己 (Kong Yiji), the short-story written by 鲁迅 (Lu Xun) in March 1919.

As always, the translation here aims to be fairly literal at the expense of sounding idiomatic in English.

孔乙己是站著喝酒而穿長衫的唯一的人。 Kong Yiji was the only standing drinker who wore long robes.

他身材很高大; His stature was very tall;

青白臉色,皺紋間時 常夾些傷痕; his face was pale, with scars mingled between the wrinkles;

一部亂蓬蓬的花白的鬍子。 and he had a tangled, grizzled beard.

穿的雖然是長衫,可是又髒又破, Although he wore a long gown, it was dirty and damaged;

似乎十 多年沒有補,也沒有洗。 it looked liked it hadn't been washed or repaired in ten years.

他對人說話,總是滿口之乎者也, When he spoke to people, he was always spouting the classics,

教人半懂不懂的。 which made half of what he said incomprehensible.

因為他姓孔, Because his surname was Kong,

別人便從描紅紙上的“上大人孔乙己”這半懂不懂的話裡, people took "_shang da ren kong yi ji_", that half-meaningless phrase from character tracing books,

替他取下一 個綽號,叫作孔乙己。 and used it as a nickname, calling him Kong Yiji.

孔乙己一到店, As soon as Kong Yiji arrived at the pub,

所有喝酒的人便都看著他笑,有的叫道, all of the drinkers would laugh when they saw him, and some would shout:

“ 孔乙己,你臉上又添上新傷疤了! ” "Kong Yiji, your face has got another new scar!"

他不回答,對櫃裡說, He wouldn't respond, and would say to the staff on the bar,

“溫兩碗酒,要一碟茴香豆。 ” "Two warm bowls of wine, and a plate of fennel seeds."

便排出九文大錢。 Then he would pull out nine copper coins.

他們又故意的高聲嚷道, Again they would shout out, deliberately loud,

“你一定又偷了人家的東西了 ! ” "You must have been stealing people's stuff again!"

孔乙己睜大眼睛說, Kong Yiji would widen his eyes and say:

“你怎麼這樣憑空污人清白……” "How can you groundlessly besmirch a man's innocence...?"

“什麼清白?我前天親眼見你偷了何家的書, "What innocence? The other day I saw with my own eyes you stealing a book from the He's,

吊著打。 ” and getting hung up and beaten for it."

孔乙己便漲紅了臉, Kong Yiji would go red in the face,

額上的青筋條條綻出,爭辯道, each of the blue veins on his forehead popping out, and he would argue:

“竊書不能算偷……竊書! "Stealing books cannot be considered theft.... Stealing books!

……讀書人的事,能算偷麼?” the affairs of intellectuals - can they be considered theft?"

接連便是難懂的話 , This was followed by a series of incomprehensible phrases,

什麼“君子固窮”,什麼“者乎”之類, "a gentleman upstanding in poverty", "thou", "shalt" and that kind of thing,

引得眾人都哄笑起來: causing the crowd to roar with laughter:

店內外充滿了快活的空氣。 the pub was filled with a cheerful atmosphere inside and out.

聽人家背地裡談論,孔乙己原來也讀過書, I'd heard people say behind his back that Kong Yiji had studied,

但終於沒有進學,又不會營生; but in the end failed to pass the imperial exam, and was then unable to earn a living;

於是愈過愈窮,弄到將要討飯了。 consequently he became increasingly poor, until he was forced to beg.

幸而寫得一筆好字, Luckily, he could produce good calligraphy,

便替人家鈔鈔書,換一碗飯吃。 and would do copying work for people in exchange for a bowl of rice to eat.

可惜他又有一樣壞脾氣,便是好吃懶做。 Unfortunately he was also bad-tempered, and would eat a lot but work lazily.

← Pt. I · Contents · Pt. III →

If you notice an error or disagree with the translation, please comment below to make this a better resource.

Series: Kong Yiji

  1. Lu Xun 'Kong Yiji' translation Pt. I
  2. Lu Xun Kong Yiji translation, Pt. II (this article)