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In the novel I'm currently translating, a (somewhat dilapidated) sickroom in a hospital is described. Jinan, 1980s, if that matters.




I don't know what to think of the middle part of this description.

在长久不散的潮气里,剥落的墙皮... because of the moisture that never lets up, the plaster peels off the walls...

...像巨大的飞蛾... ...like huge moths...

...伏在冷得发青的墙上。 ...that sit? fall down? on the walls that are blue with cold?


Mostly I don't know what 伏 means here and why the walls are 冷得发青. Walls don't change colour when cold, so what's going on here?


Thanks for any help!

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伏 could mean flopped over where they've peeled off I suppose. it's translated as crouching sometimes which we don't really use for moths but could also just mean that -  - "the patches of peeling plaster settled like giant moths on the...."?

冷得发青 you might do as just "so cold it was visible", had wondered if they meant mouldy, having mentioned damp, but on reflection probably not.

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If you go with green for 青 I would go with mouldy too. It makes the most sense. Just my two cents.

I like the image of peeling wallpaper settling like giant moths, works really well.

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I would go for paint ( good point imron) rather than plaster, maybe as 墙皮  is wall skin/leather so thinner than plaster and paper would float down like moths. Again just my musings.

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On 8/18/2020 at 3:54 PM, Demonic_Duck said:

Like you can imagine in a cartoon that a wall might be drawn with a blue tint to illustrate how cold it is.


I agree with this, as that's the image I default to when I hear 冷得发青. 

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  • 6 months later...



  • 在长久不散的潮气里:房间里面有一层潮气,一直保持不变,还没有散。
  • 剥落的墙皮 ~ 逐渐地从墙面脱落下来的墙皮
  • 伏:弯腰屈膝,向前向下的一种姿势。且看:https://img02.sogoucdn.com/app/a/200789/9993b400ae2fdf6baee8255f10f3e7e2。这个词常带有埋伏或暗地里的含义。
  • 冷得发青 ~ 冷得发出青色。可以说,热的就发出红色,冷的就发出蓝色、黑色。于是 “冷得发青” 这个短语就形容非常冷。“冷得发青的墙上” 的意思是,非常冷的墙壁的表面的上面。






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