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image source: dluff.com

image source: dluff.com

整理書的時候發現一件有趣的事情。

I realized a interesting fact while cleaning out old books.

十幾歲的時候我喜歡看翻譯小說,尤其是歐美的翻譯小說。合理的解釋是我當時非常想學習國外的文化,但是我的英文太差讀原文書速度太慢,所以念翻譯小說反而比較快。想當初上英文課念「馬克白」的原文書時,真是非常的痛苦啊。當時對莎士比亞沒有任何認知,還要理解原文書到一個可以在課堂上發問及討論的程度,現在回想其實覺得還蠻好笑的。

When I first came abroad in my teens, I loved to read translated novels, especially novels from Europe or the US. I read all of them in Chinese. Not only couldn’t I read much in English back then, my English reading speed was pathetically slow. But I wanted to acclimate and understand the cultures quickly, so I would just read anything translated into Chinese to get a sense of the culture. One of the most memorable experiences was Macbeth for my Sophomore English class, oh my was it painful. I had no context of Shakespearian writing, not only was I supposed to understand the literal meaning of the book but I was supposed to be able to talk about the hidden metaphors for school as well. Absolute horror story, that one, and it’s just funny thinking about it now.

二十幾歲的時候,我書架上以25%歐美翻譯書籍,25%日本翻譯書籍,25%中文原創,25%英文原文書為主。讀書時間非常平均的分配給學習新文化,追求不和亞洲文化脫節,還要持續閱讀中文避免忘記母語。

In my twenties, books on my shelf evolved to be 25% translated US/European novels, 25% translated Japanese novels, 25% books from Taiwan/China, 25% English books. I equally divided my reading time to learning the new culture, staying on top of Asian cultures, and maintaining my Chinese reading/writing skills so I never forget my mother tongue.

現在,書架上60%是中文小說或工具書,20%英文工具書,15%日文翻譯書籍,5%歐美翻譯書籍。再加上Kindle上無數本歐美及中文原文電子書。曾幾何時,我無法完整的讀完一本歐美翻譯小說了,其實每次看到一些細節,感覺,或是名字,我都會很希望能直接用原文理解。英翻中或中翻英有很多細節會不見,所以改寫也是必要的,就像我每天寫文,中英文還是有蠻多出入的。至於Kindle,美國目前電子書當道,所以能留在書架上的實體書只剩非常值得收藏的工具(設計相關)書了。

Now, 60% of my books is fiction/non-fiction in Chinese, 20% is non-fiction in English, 15% is translated Japanese novels, 5% is translated US/European books. On top of this, I also have a collection of eBooks on my Kindle, mostly in English, but some are in Chinese. I don’t remember when this happened, but I actually can’t sit and read through a translated US/European book any more. Every time I read a description of a specific city, space, object, feeling, or even the name of these characters, I find myself hoping they were in English so I can get better context. It is never really the same reading translated work. And obviously in the US, eBooks is killing it, so any hard copies I keep are usually very useful non-fiction books, a lot of them are design related.

套一句從部落客喬安寫的一封爲愛漂泊的女孩的信裡看到的話,旅居國外的三階段就是新奇有趣、瓶頸困難、克服習慣。隨著我成長、習慣,我擁有的書籍也跟著變動,我相信十年之後再回頭看一次應該會有更多感觸。

A Taiwanese blogger living in France wrote a letter to the ladies who decided to leave Taiwan and move abroad for their foreign spouses and families, it was a fantastic read, but too bad it’s in Chinese only. In it, she described what it’s like to be completely absent from her friends and families life in Taiwan, to not be on top of current affairs in Asia, to start her life over as a French resident, to never feeling 100% French, to never be ashamed of her Taiwanese heritage, but to also be stuck in between two cultures thoroughly. What used to make sense in no longer does, and it’s a little bit like floating in between two giant pieces of lands, you’re not really part of either, yet you are in touch with both.

I love how she mentioned that life abroad comes in three phases: fun and curious, hardship and breaking through, survival and acclamation. This is absolutely the most accurate description. Just as I went through these three phases, my bookshelf grew and matured with me. In 10 years, if we look back at this again, I’m sure I would have more feelings to share.