“龙”的英文应该翻译成 loong
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然而,西方的 dragon 并非全是坏蛋:Puff

原标题:What does a dragon mean to you?
转自:“小小的 Sky”博客

What does a dragon mean to you?


IF you are asked to name some national emblems of China, the dragon will probably be one of the famous images that pop into your head. We Chinese often consider ourselves "the descendants of the dragon." It is not unfamiliar to you that your parents hope that you "may become the dragon".


As a mythical creature, the dragon is deeply rooted in Chinese culture. Traditionally, dragons are considered to govern rainfall. They have the power to decide where and when the rain falls. In addition, the dragon is a symbol of imperial power. The emperors thought they were real dragons and the sons of the heaven.


While Chinese believe dragons bring prosperity and good fortune, the creature is regarded differently in Western countries. In the Bible, dragons represent the devil and they trick the world. "Western people usually see dragons as cold-blooded reptiles, like snakes," said Jonathan Haagen, copy editor for the Teens. "They are cruel killers, breathing fire and capturing women." He added that people think of dragons as being dishonest because of their forked tongues.


More often than not, dragons in Western literature are presented as monsters against which the hero must battle. It is a common tale for a mediaeval knight to kill a dragon and save a princess and her country from its evil. Even the popular boy wizard Harry Potter has to battle a deadly dragon and get back a golden egg from its nest in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire".


So, some Chinese experts have suggested changing the English translation of dragon to "Loong". They believe the misunderstanding of the dragon is due to the translation.


However, dragons are not all bad in the West. "Puff the Magic Dragon" is a well-known song. The lyrics tell a bitter-sweet story of the dragon Puff and his playmate Jackie Paper, a little boy. When Jackie grows up, he loses interest in the imaginary adventures of childhood and leaves Puff upset. "Puff represents the innocence of a child's imagination, which is very positive for a dragon," said Haagen.



  编后记:即使 dragon 家族中有 Puff 这么个“正面人物”,我们也不能把龙翻译成 dragon 。就好象我们不能因为黑帮中也有行侠仗义的好人,就把 Batman(蝙蝠侠)翻译成“黑帮分子”或“蝙蝠帮主”。更何况 Puff 的外形这么丑陋,和中国的龙相去十万八千里。总之,龙和 dragon 是完全不同的东西,没必要非要合用一个英文名词。(黄佶,2007年1月3日)

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龙 Loong 网主编信箱:mail@loong.cn
* 题图装饰背景图片取自荷花塘网站