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[转载]阿西莫夫: 他们的乐趣(科幻小说)

已有 1351 次阅读 2023-10-21 18:18 |个人分类:资料库|系统分类:海外观察|文章来源:转载

  博主按:1980年代的高校英语教材(理工科用,复旦大学主编,上海译文出版社出版)第4册第2篇课文就是《他们的乐趣》(The Fun They Had)。这是一篇科幻小说,起初我不知道作者是谁。感谢“英语PK台”公众号,消除了我30多年的疑惑。教材里的内容和公众号内容的一处差别是年份,前者为2155年,后者为2157年。

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The Fun They Had他们的乐趣

Isaac Asimov 艾萨克·阿西莫夫


  艾萨克·阿西莫夫(1920-1992)出生于俄罗斯的美国科幻小说作家、文学评论家,生物学家,历史学家,是美国科幻小说黄金时代的代表人物之一。一生著述近500本,题材涉及自然科学、社会科学和文学艺术等许多领域,与儒勒·凡尔纳、赫伯特·乔治·威尔斯并称为科幻历史上的三巨头。曾获代表科幻界最高荣誉的雨果奖和星云终身成就大师奖。他提出的“机器人学三定律”被称为“现代机器人学的基石”。主要作品:《基地系列》、《银河帝国三部曲》和《机器人系列》,这三大系列被誉为“科幻圣经 ”。

1. Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May 17, 2157, she wrote, "Today, Tommy found a real book!" It was a very old book. Margie's grandfather once said that when he was a little boy his grandfather told him that there was a time when all stories were printed on paper. They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to--on a screen, you know.   

那天晚上,玛吉甚至把这件事写在了自己的日记里。在日记里标题为“2157517日”的那页中,她写道:“今天,汤米发现了一本真正的书!”这是一本非常古老的书。玛吉的祖父曾跟她说过,当他还是个小男孩时,他的祖父告诉他,曾几何时所有的故事都是印在纸上的。他们翻动着褶皱的黄色书页,阅读着印在书页上静止不动,而不是屏幕上按照预期方式移动的文字——你知道,这的确是一种非常有趣的体验。

2. "Gee," said Tommy, "what a waste. When you're through with the book, you just throw it away, I guess. Our television screen must have had a million books on it and it's good for plenty more. I wouldn't throw it away." "Same with mine," said Margie. She was eleven and hadn't seen as many telebooks as Tommy had. He was thirteen. She said: "Where did you find it?"  "In my house." He pointed without looking, because he was busy reading. "In the attic." "What's it about?" "School." Margie was scornful. "School? What's there to write about school? I hate school."   

“哎呀,”汤米说,“这太浪费了。我猜,你读完这本书时,你就得把它丢掉。我们的电视屏幕上肯定有一百万本书,而且应该还可以容纳更多。并且,我不会扔掉它。“ “我也这么想的,”玛吉说——她今年11岁,还没有像13岁的汤米那样看过很多电视书。玛吉说:“你在哪里找到它的?” “在我家里。”他指了指家的方向,但没有抬头看,因为他正忙着看这本书。“就在阁楼里。” “它是本关于什么的书?” “学校。”玛吉露出轻蔑的神情,接过话来:“学校?学校有什么好写的?我讨厌学校。”

3. Margie always hated school, but now she hated it more than ever. The mechanical teacher had been giving her test after test in geography and she had been doing worse and worse until her mother had shaken her head sorrowfully and sent for the County Inspector. He was a round little man with a red face and a whole box of tools with dials and wires. He smiled at Margie and gave her an apple, then took the teacher apart.   

玛吉一直很讨厌学校,但现在比以往更严重了。机器老师对她进行了一次又一次地理学测试,她的成绩却一次比一次遭。最后,她的母亲只得伤心地摇了摇头,请来了县里的检查员。他是一个圆脸的矮个男人,脸红扑扑的,带着一整箱工具,有拨盘和电线什么的。他对玛吉笑了笑,给了她一个苹果,然后把“老师”拆开了。

4. Margie had hoped he wouldn't know how to put it together again, but he knew how all right, and, after an hour or so, there it was again, large and black and ugly, with a big screen on which all the lessons were shown and the questions were asked. That wasn't so bad. The part Margie hated most was the slot where she had to put homework and test papers. She always had to write them out in a punch code they made her learn when she was six years old, and the mechanical teacher calculated the mark in no time. Margie was disappointed. She had been hoping they would take the teacher away altogether. They had once taken Tommy's teacher away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely.   

玛吉希望他不知道怎么把那东西重新装好,但他的技术非常不错,大约一小时后,它就恢复了原样——那个又大又黑又丑,还有一个用于展示各种课程并提出各种提问的大屏幕。这还不是最糟糕的,玛吉最讨厌是那个用于放入家庭作业和试卷的插槽。她总是不得不用她六岁时他们让她学会的代码完成作业和试卷,然后机器老师会在最短的时间内计算出她的分数。玛吉非常失望。她一直希望他们能把这台老师彻底带走。他们曾经把汤米的老师带走了将近一个月时间,因为历史课部分被全部删除了。

5. So she said to Tommy, "Why would anyone write about school?" Tommy looked at her with very superior eyes. "Because it's not our kind of school, stupid. This is the old kind of school that they had hundreds and hundreds of years ago." He added loftily, pronouncing the word carefully, "Centuries ago." Margie was hurt. "Well, I don't know what kind of school they had all that time ago." She read the book over his shoulder for a while, then said, "Anyway, they had a teacher." 

于是,她对汤米说:“为什么有人会写关于学校的事情?”汤米用优越感非常强的眼神看着她。“因为它不是我们这种学校,傻瓜。这是好几百年前的老式学校,”他语气傲慢、字正腔圆地补充说,“是几个世纪以前的事情了。”玛吉感到内心受到了伤害,于是说:“好吧,我不知道他们那时候的学校是什么样的。”她扒在他的肩膀上看了一会儿这本书,然后说:“反正,他们会有老师。”

6. "Sure they had a teacher, but it wasn't a regular teacher. It was a man." "A man? How could a man be a teacher?" "Well, he just told the boys and girls things and gave them homework and asked them questions." "A man isn't smart enough." "Sure he is. My father knows as much as my teacher." "He can't. A man can't know as much as a teacher." "He knows almost as much, I betcha."   

“他们当然有老师,但不是那种普通的老师,而是人。” “人?人怎么可能当老师?” “嗯,他只负责为男孩、女孩们讲解课程,给他们留家庭作业,并向他们提问。” “可人不够聪明啊。” “他确实够聪明了。我爸爸和我的老师知道的一样多。” “不可能,人不可能知道的跟老师一样多。” “几乎一样多,我确信。”

7. Margie wasn't prepared to dispute that. She said, "I wouldn't want a strange man in my house to teach me." Tommy screamed with laughter. "You don't know much, Margie. The teachers didn't live in the house. They had a special building and all the kids went there." "And all the kids learned the same thing?" "Sure, if they were the same age." 

玛吉不准备在这件事上继续争论。于是,她说:“我可不希望家里有一个陌生人给我上课。”汤米大笑着尖叫起来:“你真的不太了解,玛吉。老师们并不住在学生们的家里。他们有一座专门的建筑,所有的孩子都去那里上课。” “那,所有孩子都要学同样的东西?” “当然了,只要他们的年龄一样大。”

8. "But my mother says a teacher has to be adjusted to fit the mind of each boy and girl it teaches and that each kid has to be taught differently." "Just the same they didn't do it that way then. If you don't like it, you don't have to read the book." "I didn't say I didn't like it," Margie said quickly. She wanted to read about those funny schools.  They weren't even half-finished when Margie's mother called, "Margie! School!" Margie looked up. "Not yet, Mamma." "Now!" said Mrs. Jones. "And its probably time for Tommy, too." 

 “但,我的妈妈说:老师必须调整教学计划,以适应它教授的每个孩子的心智情况,并且每个孩子都必须接受不同的教育。” “可他们没有那么做,他们就是以完全相同的方式给孩子们上课的。如果你不喜欢这种方式,你就没必要读这本书了。” “我没说我不喜欢啊,”玛吉快速地说道。她想读一读有关这样的有趣的学校的事情。当玛吉的妈妈喊道:“玛吉!上学啦!”时,他们甚至还没读完这本书的一半内容。玛吉抬起头来,答道: “再等一会儿,妈妈。” “就现在!”琼斯太太说,“还有,汤米的上学时间也快到了。”

9. Margie said to Tommy, "Can I read the book some more with you after school?" "Maybe," he said nonchalantly. He walked away whistling, the dusty old book tucked beneath his arm.

玛吉对汤米说:“我可以放学后和你一起读这本书吗?” “也许吧,”他满不在乎地答道。然后,他便把这本满是灰尘的旧书夹在腋下,吹着口哨走开了。

Margie went into the schoolroom. It was right next to her bedroom, and the mechanical teacher was on and waiting for her. It was always on at the same time every day except Saturday and Sunday, because her mother said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours. The screen was lit up, and it said: "Today's arithmetic lesson is on the addition of proper fractions. Please insert yesterday's homework in the proper slot."

玛吉走进教室。教室就在她卧室旁边,机器老师正等着她。除了星期六和星期天以外,每天的同一时间机器老师都会准时开机,因为她的母亲说,遵守作息时间会让小女孩学习更好。屏幕亮了起来,同时传来了机器老师的声音:“今天的算术课学习真分数的加法。请在相应的插槽中放入昨天的家庭作业。”

10. Margie did so with a sigh. She was thinking about the old schools they had when her grandfather's grandfather was a little boy. All the kids from the whole neighbourhood came, laughing and shouting in the schoolyard, sitting together in the schoolroom, going home together at the end of the day. They learned the same things, so they could help one another on the homework and talk about it. 

玛吉叹了口气,照做了。但她脑子里想的都是,她祖父的祖父还是个小男孩时的那种老式学校的样子——整个街区的所有孩子都来到同一所学校;一起在学校的操场上欢笑着,大喊着;坐在同一间教室里;放学时一起回家;他们学习同样的东西,于是他们可以在完成家庭作业时相互帮助,一起讨论。

11. And the teachers were people...The mechanical teacher was flashing on the screen: "When we add the fractions 1/2and 1/4..." Margie was thinking about how the kids must have loved it in the old days. She was thinking about the fun they had. 

还有,老师们都是人......此时,机器老师开始在屏幕上闪烁:“当我们把分数1/21/4加在一起时......”但,此时此刻,玛吉正想着那时的孩子们一定非常喜欢那样的上课方式,正想着他们所拥有的乐趣。

                       (2023-10-21,籍利平整理)





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