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香港三部曲


Fred0
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这般[...]土著! These [...] natives!

般 is just a measure word here. The words between [...] are what he thinks of said natives. I wonder how bad a word 土著 is, it's certainly used in a pejorative way here.

 

在地 can mean 'local', but here it's not ambiguous: 在地上爬 means 'to crawl on the ground'.

脏到入骨 'dirty to their bones', thoroughly dirty

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The 这般 has the sense of "of this kind/sort" -- "A set of natives of this stripe"

 

The way that 末了总不忘记诅咒本地的华人 works is I think not quite just the literal "never forgot", it carries a bit of "of course, he blamed the locals" -:

Dickenson fell to bemoaning his lack of any prospects for advancement, which ultimately became a predictable diatribe cursing the Chinese inhabitants of the city

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  • 3 weeks later...

Adam Smith, the young Englishman, assistant to the recently deceased Mr. Dickinson, in whose Victorian-style drawing room he loved to come to afternoon tea parties, hosted by his lively and affable boss, now stands in that drawing room to say good-bye.

 

亚当.史密斯立在这堆满家具、少了男主人、生气全失的维多利亚式客厅,做最后的告别。

Adam Smith stood in this drawing room piled with furniture, lacking it’s host, it’s Victorian atmosphere totally lost, to say farewell.

 

This translation is understanding 生气 to mean vitality, rather than anger. Is this correct? Is my understanding of the sentence correct? Is the room piled with furniture (presumably to be moved out), or is it just filled with furntiture?

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Just filled/crammed with furniture I'd say usually, although 堆 does of course mean piled and if the context is that he's preparing to move out that may well be the meaning here. On second look, considering he's stood there making his final farewell the furniture may indeed be stacked up to go.

 

生气全失 makes the vitality reading more obvious - something has been lost entirely and it's the life of a family home etc., though it should be something like a Victorian-style parlour now utterly devoid of any sense of being a living home, i.e. it's lost it's vitality not its Victoriana.

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  • 2 months later...

What is the meaning of 恨眉醉眼? The young prostitute (黄得云)  is putting on makeup at a mirror, peparing for her first encounter with a customer.  红烛高烧,她对着镜子涂脂抹粉,打扮得恨眉醉眼,...

I can understand "drunk eyes," to an extent, but I can't find an explanation of what hateful or resentful eyebrows could be.

I wish everybody a happy Thanksgiving.

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It's the opening line of a Song ci by Qin Guan who wrote several about his brothel-creeping, whole thing is here: https://www.gushiji.cc/shangxi/44433_1.html So I reckon here it's operating as a general concept of alluring beauty as presented by sex workers, though in the original it was saying something about a coquettish contrast between enticing eyes and frowning brow. 

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  • 2 months later...

Adam Smith has moved his prostitute/girl friend Huang Deyun out of the brothel and into a house which they have furnished together. He normally visits her in the dark of night, and returns home before morning. This night she has persuaded him to stay the whole night. When he wakes up in the morning he looks around at the room in daylight for the first time and then realizes that the big bed with a box spring which he purchased at an auction, is sitting in the middle of the 客厅, or 厅堂.

然后他发现他所躺的这张弹簧大床,是摆在唐楼的客厅中央。卧房在二楼,苦力从中环拍卖行搬来,没吃饱肚子,扛不上楼梯,就把床丢在客厅。中国人拜祖先、供神明的庄严厅堂,却被他们用来夜夜宣淫,真是不懂持家的娼妇所为。

My problem is the last sentence?

A dignified main hall is where Chinese people honor their ancestors, and give offerings to their gods. However those who use prostitutes every night in openly liscivious ways, really don’t understand the housekeeping ways of a prostitutes doings.

 

I realize this translation is confused. Adam Smith, seeing this place in daylight is feeling disgusted by it for the first time. It seems like this is an authorial comment, which is saying, that if you don’t understand what the life of a prostitute is, you can’t understand why it would be alright with one to have the bed in the middle of the living room. But, I can’t parce the sentence so as to say that or much of anything else. Who are 他们?It seems like they can’t be the prostitutes because those would be 她们.  Are they the prostitutes clients and is 他们 the passive subject of the sentence? Or am I completely off the track? Please help.

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中国人拜祖先、供神明的庄严厅堂,却被他们用来夜夜宣淫,真是不懂持家的娼妇所为。

 

他们 = Adam Smith & his girlfriend

 

厅堂 is the object of the verb 用

 

Correct parsing of the sentence:

That the dignified main hall, where Chinese people honor their ancestors and give offerings to their gods, has been used by them every night in openly liscivious ways, is really a prostitute's doing who doesn't understand the housekeeping ways.

 

Hope that helps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Smith has moved Deyun out of the brothel and set her up in her own house where he visits her in the evenings. He has agreed for the first time to stay the whole night with her, and in the morning light he is disgusted to find himself in bed with a prostitute, so he gives her a hard kick.  I'm sorry to quote at such length but I thought some context was needed since this is a very unusual situation.

 

史密斯脚一伸,重重踢了匍匐在他脚下的女人一脚,立即想离开这娼妓的屋子。

Smith extended his leg and gave a hard kick to the woman who had crept underneath it. Immediately, he wanted to leave this prostitutes house.

他在凌乱的被褥中找寻自己的衣裤他的赤裸的腰从后面被狠狠抱住

As he search amongst the disheveled bedding for his clothes, he was resolutely grabbed by his naked waist from behind.

出奇有力的把坐着的他按倒回床上,躺回他原来的位置。

With extraordinary strength he was pressed from his sitting position back onto the bed, returning his body to its original position.

那个被他踢过的女人双眼发光反转过来骑在他身上。史密斯感到被侵犯了试着挣脱

That woman who had just been kicked by him, her eyes shining, turned over to sit astride his body. Smith felt encroached upon and tried to throw her off.

女人却插入他血肉里,和他连在一起,变成他的一部分。

But the woman insinuated herself into his flesh, melding together with him, and becoming a part of him.

她撩拨他,施展所擅长的媚术蛊惑他,使他感到有如千万只蚂蚁的腿在血管里抓爬,

She teased him; she employed the techniques to charm and entice at which she was expert. She made him feel as though millions of ants were crawling and scratching in the viens of his hips.

史密斯禁不住撩拨不止一次兴奋起来在放荡的恶行过后他躺在那里

Smith could not resist her enticements; more than once his excitement reached a crisis. ( i.e. he had an orgasm? Does 不止一次  mean that he had multiple orgasms? Or is this saying that over and over she performed her enticements?) When the licentious evil act was over, he laid there.

比以前更感到孤独他意识到身体的某一部分已经不属于自己他控制不了它。

He felt even more lonely than before. He realized that a certain part of his body, already could not be considered a part of himself- that he had no control over it.  (Does 已经 here mean already. It doesnt seem to make sense.)

他出卖自己的感官做不了自己完全的主人。

He had sold out his sense organ, he was no longer completely master of himself. (Does 感官 mean his sensuality in a general sense, or does it refer specifically to his penis?)

 

       他从心底鄙视这女人他诅咒她那揿入他血肉的女妖。

From the bottom of his heart, he despised this woman; he cursed her, that witch who pressed into his flesh.  (Is this  meant figuratiively- that she insinuated herself into his sensual self?)

他掉开眼睛不愿去面对她那如谜语般难解的容颜

He lowered his eyes, unwilling to look face to face at that countenance which was like a difficult to understand riddle.

企图忘记他曾十指张开叉入她浓密如黑夜的发鬓

He tried to forget how formerly his ten spread fingers slid into that thick, black-as-night hair on her temples,

那种把另一个生命掌握在手中的实在感觉。

and gave him the feeling that he was really and truly holding another life in his hands.

蝴蝶我的黄翅粉蝶。他发誓永远离开那个迫不及待扑向自己的柔软身体

Butterfly, my yellow-winged butterfly. (The author has used this image of a yellow butterfly to refer to 黄的云. The subtitle of this volume 1 of the trilogy is 她名叫蝴蝶.) 

He swears he is leaving you forever, that person who so eagerly threw himself onto your soft body, (Is this saying that, or is it she who throws her soft body at him? Is this the author speaking to 蝴蝶,in which case it would seem that 自己 is 蝴蝶,or is the author speaking to the reader, in which case it would seem that 自己 is Smith? )

不去回应她咂咂有声的啃啮与她相互吞食然后

He is not going to respond to the zaza sound of her bites and nibbles, and with her together, mutually devour each other, afterwards (This is really confusing to me. I dont know how to read it. What does 不去回应 mean? What does 咂咂meanIs it just onomonpoetic? Also here the author refers to her in the third person, so what does it mean above when the author appears to be speaking to Butterfly. Is my yellow-winged butterfly just an authorial aside?)

足足有一世纪之长才听到她餍足的叹息声他趴倒下来身心空白一片。

no less than a century in length, when he finally heard her sigh, that she had had her fill, he rolled over onto his stomach, his body and spirit, a blank white sheet. (This piece again is confused. I cant make sense of it. What is a century in length? Is it the long duration he has to endure while she is satisfying herself? )

 

一经餍足史密斯翻身下床找出种种藉口只为离开她。他甚至以撒谎作为交换。

Satisfied, Smith rolled over and got out of the bed. He brought up all kinds of excuses only as a way to get away from her. He went so far as to lie to her. (I understand 交换 to mean to exchange. What does it mean in this sentence?)

回到自己的家双手插在口袋深处立在阳台面向漆黑不可辨的维多利亚海港。

Having returned to his home, both hands buried deep in his pockets, standing on his sun porch, facing into the darkness, he was unable to distinguish (even) Victoria Harbor.

 

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On 2/4/2022 at 5:49 PM, Fred0 said:

史密斯禁不住撩拨不止一次兴奋起来在放荡的恶行过后他躺在那里

Smith could not resist her enticements; more than once his excitement reached a crisis. ( i.e. he had an orgasm? Does 不止一次  mean that he had multiple orgasms? Or is this saying that over and over she performed her enticements?) When the licentious evil act was over, he laid there.

I would think "aroused" would be a good fit for 兴奋起来; 不止一次 is "and not just the once" so she gets him erect/aroused multiple times.

On 2/4/2022 at 5:49 PM, Fred0 said:

他出卖自己的感官做不了自己完全的主人。

He had sold out his sense organ, he was no longer completely master of himself. (Does 感官 mean his sensuality in a general sense, or does it refer specifically to his penis?)

 His senses in general I'd say rather than just his penis. She's filled up his senses Annie's Song style!

On 2/4/2022 at 5:49 PM, Fred0 said:

他诅咒她那揿入他血肉的女妖。

From the bottom of his heart, he despised this woman; he cursed her, that witch who pressed into his flesh.  (Is this  meant figuratiively- that she insinuated herself into his sensual self?)

Figuratively, I'd think "embedded" would work for 揿入 here, though it is a pressing verb.

 

On 2/4/2022 at 5:49 PM, Fred0 said:

蝴蝶我的黄翅粉蝶。他发誓永远离开那个迫不及待扑向自己的柔软身体

Butterfly, my yellow-winged butterfly. (The author has used this image of a yellow butterfly to refer to 黄的云. The subtitle of this volume 1 of the trilogy is 她名叫蝴蝶.) 

He swears he is leaving you forever, that person who so eagerly threw himself onto your soft body, (Is this saying that, or is it she who throws her soft body at him? Is this the author speaking to 蝴蝶,in which case it would seem that 自己 is 蝴蝶,or is the author speaking to the reader, in which case it would seem that 自己 is Smith? )

First line stands alone. "Butterfly! My Butterfly! He swore to leave behind forever that soft body so eager to throw itself upon him..." then it continues with your next bit:

On 2/4/2022 at 5:49 PM, Fred0 said:

不去回应她咂咂有声的啃啮与她相互吞食然后

He is not going to respond to the zaza sound of her bites and nibbles, and with her together, mutually devour each other, afterwards (This is really confusing to me. I dont know how to read it. What does 不去回应 mean? What does 咂咂meanIs it just onomonpoetic? Also here the author refers to her in the third person, so what does it mean above when the author appears to be speaking to Butterfly. Is my yellow-winged butterfly just an authorial aside?)

"...so eager to throw itself upon him; not to respond to her biting and nibbling with its audible smacking sounds..." The "Butterfly! My yellow-winged Butterfly"

 

does just seem to be an interjection to show the male character's frame of mind.

On 2/4/2022 at 5:49 PM, Fred0 said:

足足有一世纪之长才听到她餍足的叹息声他趴倒下来身心空白一片。

no less than a century in length, when he finally heard her sigh, that she had had her fill, he rolled over onto his stomach, his body and spirit, a blank white sheet. (This piece again is confused. I cant make sense of it. What is a century in length? Is it the long duration he has to endure while she is satisfying herself? )

You're parsed it a little off here, this includes the preceding 然后, "then only after what seemed a long age did he hear her sigh of satiation". So yes, they're at it a long time before she's had her fill. It's that 才 that makes the preceding clause modify the latter.

On 2/4/2022 at 5:49 PM, Fred0 said:

他甚至以撒谎作为交换。

Satisfied, Smith rolled over and got out of the bed. He brought up all kinds of excuses only as a way to get away from her. He went so far as to lie to her. (I understand 交换 to mean to exchange. What does it mean in this sentence?)

Yes, something like "he even resorted to lies to effect the exchange" i.e. complete the transactional conversation that allows him to get away from her.

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  • 1 month later...

In this sentence my question is how "数以“ and ”计“ function in the final clause: (What meaning do they convey?)

 

还有受害者以渎职起诉政府,因为后者未能履行监控假释中的性犯罪者的责任导致自己被绑架,胜诉后获得了数以千万美元计的赔偿。

 

Also, there are some victims who, by means of suing the government, because the latter was unable to fulfill its duty to supervise a sexual abuse perpetrator on parole, leading to their being kidnapped, upon winning the suit receive thereby tens of thousands of  US dollars in compensation.

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数以X计 is actually a classical construction, whose meaning is quite literal: the number (数) is counted (计) by (以) X (a counting unit). 

 

数以百计 =>  numbered by hundreds: 100, 200, 300....

数以万计 => numbered by myriads: 10000, 20000, 30000...

数以百万计 => numbered by millions: 1 mil, 2 mil, 3 mil...

 

In modern writing it's usually modifying a noun through 的. 数以千万美元计的赔偿 = compensation, the amount of which is counted by tens of millions of US dollars.

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  • 1 month later...

The story has gotten around that Beatrice, a woman who has recently opened a dress and hat shop, after leaving her husband, got into a conversation at her shop with a customer who turned out to be the governor-general’s daughter, who then invited her to tea at the governor’s mansion.

当时的习惯,夫妻失和,总是妻子以健康理由或孩子教育为藉口,离开香港回英国。碧翠丝和丈夫分居后,一反常态,不仅在香港住了下来,还开起衣帽店。

但由于出身,她父亲是利物浦裁缝店老板,在阶级意识尤其划分严格的殖民地,

必须敷上总督女儿垂顾的传说,使欣赏她手艺的仕女得到一种平衡。

 

The usual practice at that time when there was disharmony between a husband and wife,  was for the wife, using reasons of health or to see to the children’s education, as an excuse, would leavee Hong Kong and return to England. After Beatrice (碧翠丝) and her husband broke up, on the contrary, not only did she not leave Hong Kong, but she also opened a dress and hat shop. But because of her class background, being that her father owned a tailor shop in Liverpool, in the strictly divided social class consciousness of the (Hong Kong) colony, it was necessary for this legend of her being attended to by the governor-general’s daughter to get around, to cause the society ladies who admired her handiwork to obtain a kind of balance.

 

In the last clause, what does 垂顾 mean?

Does 一种平衡 here mean a kind of social acceptance?

 

My translation of the last clause doesn’t seem right, since it doesn’t make sense. Please help.

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