Cultivating Good Habits Liang Shiqiu
Men are about the same in human nature, but differ in habit. Habit is formed little by little, and most easily in one’s childhood. Once it is formed, it is difficult to break.
For example, the good habit of early rising also starts from one’s early life. Many people, however, have been in the habit of sleeping late ever since they were kids. They won’t get up till late morning on holidays and even oversleep on work days. Children are often late for school though they make a rush even without washing up. Such children, when they grow up, will often lack drive and most probably get nowhere. The story of Zu Ti1 rising at cockcrow to practise swordplay should be a good example for all men of resolve to learn from.
1，“貪睡懶覺”譯為sleeping late，如：Your headache comes from sleeping late.
2，“一遇假日便要睡到日上三竿還高臥不起”直譯的話會讓外國人摸不著頭腦，因此采取意譯的方式譯為They won’t get up till late morning on holidays
3，“蓬頭垢面”意即“沒有洗漱和整理”，也是不宜直譯的一個詞，現按意思譯為without washing up。
4，“往往蓬首垢面的就往學校跑，結果還是遲到”可理解為一個讓步句“盡管他們沒有洗漱就往學校跑，仍舊是遲到”譯為Children are often late for school though they make a rush even without washing up
5，“聞雞起舞”即“聽見雞叫就起來舞劍”譯為rising at cockcrow to practise swordplay，另“祖逖”是帶有中國特色的詞匯，宜采用釋義法或加注法，此處因為釋義法會造成句子的冗雜，譯者采取了加腳注的方法
6，“志士”即“意志堅強者”譯為men of resolve，resolve也可換為strong will,determination,aspiration。
We Chinese set great store by propriety because it is the accepted rules of social behavior. Propriety begins from the family. For example, children should keep their parents informed of their whereabouts. That is the ABC of good manners on the part of children. Yet some children just ignore their parents when they get up in the morning or come back from school. They often pull a long face and refuse to converse when they meet their elders. If they continue to be so cocky and willful without correcting themselves as soon as possible, they will never get along well with other people some days as members of society. We should be polite not only to our elders, but also to all people.
1，為子弟者“出必告，反必面”即“孩子出門或回家必須向家長說一聲”或“必須告知家長”，譯為children should keep their parents informed of their whereabouts.whereabout意為“行蹤”
2，“起碼的禮”譯得很有意思，為the ABC of good manners，其中ABC作“基礎知識”講，意同basics，fundametals
4，“視若無睹”和“如入無人之境”都表示“忽視父母”，譯為ignore their parents即可
5，“將來長大到社會服務，必將處處引起摩擦不受歡迎”即“將來在社會上不能與他人和睦相處”，譯為they will never get along well with other people some days as members of society
It is a bad habit to talk loudly to the disturbance of others. Ask yourself if you ever made a lot of noise while others were at their studies or at work. We should be considerate of others at all times and places, caring for public order and interests and abstaining from self-indulgence. In crowded public places, you should line up and never push through to get ahead of others.
1，“大聲講話，擾及他人的寧靜，是一種不好的習慣”譯為It is a bad habit to talk loudly to the disturbance of others.其中to 表示”導致，致使”,表示引起某種后果
2，“不可放縱自己”= abstaining from self-indulgence使用的是一個形式上肯定、語義上否定的動詞結構
Time is life. Our life is ticking away unnoticed minute by minute and second by second. It is certainly alarming when we come to think of it. Every day we are unconsciously wasting many odd moments. We should acquire the habit of utilizing leisure time, and snatch every odd moment to do whatever is beneficial to our body and mind. That will enable us to achieve good results little by little. People often talk most improperly about “seeking relaxation” as if they had more than enough time for them to while away. Life is, in fact, extremely short. How can you find so much surplus time for you to fool away? Lu Fangweng says in one of his poems, “Spend even the pre-meal odd moment in reading.” As far as I know, many people did snatch the odd moment before a meal to do a lot of reading. Our ancients recommended “three on’s”, that is, doing reading even while you are on a pillow, on a horse or on a nightstool. All that, though impracticable, serves the purpose of advising people not to waste time.
1，“零碎時間”=odd time,下文的odd moment
2,“講起‘消遣’二字”譯為talk most improperly about “seeking relaxation”，此處“消遣”譯為relaxation,其本意為“休息，娛樂”
3, “待飯未來還讀書?！奔础帮埱捌桃惨脕碜x書”= Spend even the pre-meal odd moment in reading.
6，“其用意是在……”= serves the purpose of doing
Ours is a nation known for industry and self-denial. Frugality has always been the teaching of our ancient sages and wise men. A man of strong will should be able to endure Spartan living conditions. It should not be regarded as a disgrace to live a simple life. Nor should it be regarded as a glory to live a luxurious life. That should be the correct understanding one needs for self-cultivation. Marcus Aurelius, emperor of the Roman Empire in its heyday, refused to enjoy all comforts of life from childhood and always keep kept away from amusements like the chariot race then in vogue and other fighting-skill competitions. He remained a life-long staunch Stoic philosopher and meanwhile distinguished himself by numerous exploits. Ours is a poor country, so it is even more necessary for us to see the tough conditions facing us and renounce all luxuries, especially those coming from abroad. We should build up the habit of leading a thrifty life. We should bear in mind that all material resources are hard to come by and should be treasured, even including their odds and ends.
1，“吃苦耐勞是我們這個民族的標志”譯為Ours is a nation known for industry and self-denial.這種句式轉換之前在《話說短文》中也出現過“…是中華民族的傳統”也用了此句式。
2，“一個有志的人之能耐得清寒”譯為A man of strong will should be able to endure Spartan living conditions.其中spartan或Spartan譯為“斯巴達的，斯巴達式的”以及“艱苦樸素”解
3，“惡衣惡食，不足為恥，豐衣足食，不足為榮”= It should not be regarded as a disgrace to live a simple life. Nor should it be regarded as a glory to live a luxurious life.注意否定+Nor的使用
4，“體念艱難”即“我們更需看到面臨的災難”，故譯it is even more necessary for us to see the tough conditions facing us
5，“物力維艱”指財物來之不易，譯為all material resources are hard to come by
6，odds and ends意即“零碎的東西，雜七雜八的東西”
The above points have been picked by me at random. Good habits are too numerous to be dealt with one by one, but none, however, are too small to keep. Habit, once formed, will become your natural and spontaneous behaviour. A life full of good habits will be a life conforming with the law of nature.
1，“千頭萬緒”形容事情復雜紛亂，譯為are too numerous to be dealt with one by one
2，…but none, however, are too small to keep.其中none too意為“一點也不”
1. Zu Ti, a patriotic general of the Jin Dynasty (317-420 A.D.). He was good friends with Liu Kun, another general. When they were young, being petty officials but highly motivated, they often encouraged each other and both rose at cockcrow to pratise swordplay.