[翻譯]Major League Baseball Arrives in China, but Traditions Don’t Quite Translate

March 18, 2008


一個在美國棒球文化薰陶下長大的父親

帶著他在中國大陸出生並受教育的兒子

一同前往大聯盟在北京舉辦的Dodgers vs Padres表演賽...



這是一篇刊登在紐約時報上的有趣文章...



Beijing Journal

Major League Baseball Arrives in China, but Traditions Don’t Quite Translate



By MATTHEW FORNEY

Published : March 18, 2008 / The New York Times



My son didn’t know what to do with his peanut shells. He’s 12, the Dodgers were playing the Padres in Major League Baseball’s first game in China, and Roy didn’t want to sully the new baseball stadium with refuse.

在大聯盟首次於大陸舉辦、由道奇隊出戰教士隊的比賽中, 我那12歲的兒子Roy不知道他該如何處理那些花生殼, 他並不想讓這些垃圾弄髒了這個嶄新的體育館。



I smiled with anticipation. On that beautiful Beijing spring day last week, I would share something I learned at Roy’s age from my parents: that one more reason professional baseball games take place in a better world is that they give children a license to litter. Because Roy was born and raised here in China, and because his mother is a fastidious European, such things need pointing out.

在這個怡人的北京春天午後, 早就預期這個狀況會發生的我, 笑著跟Roy分享了我在他這個年齡時從我父母那學來的經驗: 職業棒球的美妙之處就在於它給了小孩光明正大亂丟垃圾的權利。

由於Roy是在中國出生長大, 還有個事事挑剔的歐洲媽媽, 因此教會他如何用正確的方式享受球賽是我必要的工作。



Then, just as the United States ambassador threw out the ceremonial first pitch, something happened that I’d never seen as a child at Phillies games. Roy and I had to lift our feet so that a cleaning woman in a yellow uniform could crawl beneath us, scrape together our discarded peanut shells with her fingers and stuff them into a black garbage bag.

不過就在美國大使為該場比賽開球的同時, 一件我在兒童時期從來未曾在出席費城人比賽時看過的事情發生了, 我和Roy必須抬起腳讓一位身穿黃色制服的清潔婦鑽進我們的座位底下, 用手將我們丟棄的花生殼撥成一堆, 然後丟進一個黑色垃圾袋中。



“I thought you said it was O.K.,” Roy said.

"是你跟我說可以隨手丟的," Roy這麼對我說。



I was embarrassed, and perplexed. (Nobody could give this poor woman a broom?) Maybe the baseball rules I had learned from my parents wouldn’t transmit so seamlessly to my own boy here on the other side of the globe.

當時的我感到相當尷尬且困惑 (沒人可以幫那位清潔婦準備一支掃帚嗎?) , 看來在地球另一端的中國, 我在美國從我父母那學到的棒球規則並不完全適用。



Before that moment, everything around us had looked shipshape. The Beijing stadium full of 12,000 people was so new that the seat numbers were printed on paper and taped to the seats. The concession stand sold only hot dogs and other American food, but a group of Korean fans brought their own rice wrapped in seaweed. Vendors in red-white-and-blue shirts carried milk crates through the bleachers and asked, “Excuse me, would you like peanuts?”

在這個塞滿12,000名觀眾的北京體育館中, 一切都是那麼的整齊清潔, 全新的球場中甚至連正式的座位編號都還沒有準備好, 只來得及將號碼印在紙上先暫時貼在椅背。球場中的販賣部只供應包含熱狗在內的美式食物, 一群韓國觀眾還自己準備了海苔飯糰進場看球。穿著紅白藍三色制服、抬著裝滿袋裝花生紙箱的小販在觀眾席中穿梭不停, 一邊問著"有沒有人要花生啊?"



But even things that seem normal in the United States translated in odd ways. The mascot of the San Diego Padres, a grinning friar in a brown frock, kept wagging his rear end at us. Chinese youngsters around us laughed, but I heard them asking their parents in Mandarin who the big bald guy was.

就算是在美國球場中多麼讓人覺得理所當然的小事, 發生在中國時都覺得有點格格不入。聖地牙哥教士隊的吉祥物 - 一個身穿棕色僧袍、面帶微笑的修士, 不斷地對著我們搖屁股而逗的我們四周的中國小孩哈哈大笑, 但我也聽到他們用中文向自己的父母問道"那個大頭禿佬是誰啊?"



The seventh-inning stretch was also a mystery. Most of the Chinese stayed in their seats and listened to the English-language announcer sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Roy sang along; it’s one of the first songs I taught him. The Chinese woman next to us, who paid $100 for two tickets, asked what Cracker Jack was.

多數的中國觀眾對seventh-inning stretch也感到一頭霧水, 他們只是坐在座位上聽著球場英語廣播員唱著"Take Me Out to the Ball Game", Roy很投入地跟著唱, 因為這正好是我最早教他的幾首英文歌之ㄧ, 此時坐在我們身旁、付出美金100元購買兩張球票的中國女士提出了疑問..."Cracker Jack是什麼啊?"

(因為該歌的歌詞中有這麼一句..."Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack...")



“A snack food,” I said. It seemed so inadequate.

"是一種零食的名稱," 我答道, 這個看似風馬牛不相及的答案肯定只會加深她的疑惑。



“Do they have cheerleaders at games in America?” Roy asked. A squad of bare-bellied cheerleaders, known in Chinese as a La-La Brigade, shook their pompoms at the crowd. No, I told Roy, American baseball games do not have cheerleaders.

"美國的棒球比賽中會有啦啦隊嗎?" Roy問道, 因為他看到有一群穿著露肚勁裝的啦啦隊員正在場中熱舞。

"不, 美國的棒球比賽中並不會有啦啦隊表演," 我這麼回答著。



Roy follows baseball on the Internet. Where I once knew players through television and Topps baseball cards, he knows them through broadband and team Web pages. He also plays shortstop in a Saturday league run by Americans. To Roy, baseball means scrutinizing his computer every evening and playing one day a week.

和我當初透過電視和棒球卡認識球員的方式不同, Roy是透過寬頻網路和球隊官網來了解這項運動, 他同時也在一個由僑居大陸的美國人組成的棒球隊中擔任游擊手, 對Roy來說, 他對棒球的熱愛表現在每天晚上掛在網路上搜尋相關資料, 以及每個週末花一天的時間來練習和比賽。



After the seventh-inning stretch, I told him how I played baseball at his age. Catholic school ended at 2:30, public school at 3, and by 3:30 the boys all gathered with our gloves and bats on a dead-end street in Metuchen, N.J.

在seventh-inning stretch結束後, 我向他描述我在他這個年紀時是如何投入在棒球中, 那時天主教小學的放學時間是下午兩點半, 一般公立小學則是三點, 不到三點半, 男生們就會拿著手套和球棒集合在一條充當球場的死巷中。



We played with a tennis ball and drew our bases with colored chalk. Home plate was a manhole cover. Our scorekeeper and street leader, Eric Philips, kept a loose-leaf binder on the curb filled with our batting averages, home runs, doubles, triples, errors. He was a liberal assessor of errors. Sometimes we fought about that. Sometimes we bled.

我們用網球來代替棒球, 並用彩色粉筆在地上畫出一二三壘的位置, 本壘則是一個下水道人孔蓋, 負責記錄比賽數據是Eric Philips, 同時也是我們這幫人的老大, 他在路邊放了一本上面記著我們所有人的打擊率、全壘打、二壘安打、三壘安打以及失誤總數的筆記本, 他同時也扮演失誤判定仲裁者的角色, 我們有時會因為紀錄的認定而爭吵, 甚至大打出手。



“Ever wish you could play like that, on the street with your friends?” I asked Roy.

"你曾經想過要像我一樣和自己的朋友一同在街道上打棒球嗎?" 我這麼問著Roy。



I was really asking something different. Roy speaks four languages, can navigate a strange airport and knows where Lhasa is. But would he exchange his childhood for the one that I had — one predictable and repetitive and fun? Of course he would. Any kid would. I regretted asking.

其實我是透過這個問題來試圖了解Roy心中真正的想法, 他懂得四種語言, 他可以輕易地在陌生的機場中找到方向, 他也可以在地圖中指出拉薩的所在位置, 但是他會想要用他的童年來交換一個像我當年一樣平凡可預期、但也充滿樂趣的童年嗎? 我想他一定會這麼想的, 哪個小孩不會呢? 我開始後悔自己問了這麼一個問題...



“I don’t think so,” Roy said. “I like it here.”

"我沒這麼想過," Roy答道, "我喜歡現在的生活。"



I’m not sure I believe him, but I was relieved.

我不確定自己是否能完全相信他的說法, 不過我總算放下心中的一塊大石。



The Padres hit three doubles in the eighth to tie the game. One came from Adrian Gonzalez, whom Roy remembered for his grand slam in a one-game playoff against the Rockies last year. The crowd went crazy.

教士隊在八局敲出了三支二壘安打, 因而追平了比數, 其中一支安打出自於Adrian Gonzalez之手, Roy因為他在去年那場對上洛磯隊、雙方用來爭取季後賽資格的加賽中擊出的滿貫砲而對他印象深刻, 教士隊的表現也讓全場觀眾陷入瘋狂。



We taught the polite peanut vendor to shout, “Yo! Peanuts!” Roy explained to her that “yo” doesn’t mean “you,” it means “hey there.”

我們還教會了很有禮貌的花生小販喊 "Yo! Peanuts!" (美國球場的常見叫賣喊法) , Roy向她解釋說"yo"在這裡並不代表"you"的意思, 而是表示"hey there"。



When the game ended in a 3-3 tie, Roy stood staring at the field with his hands outstretched, speechless at such a travesty. I had told him countless times that baseball is better than real life because it never ends in a tie. As we left, enjoying our shared indignation, the cleaning woman moved in, still picking up garbage with her hands.

當球賽以3比3平手的比數畫下終點時, Roy站著望向場中, 對於這種令人無法接受的結局感到啞口無言, 因為我已經告訴他無數次, 棒球比賽之所以比真實人生更加引人入勝的原因就在於...棒球比賽永遠不會接受以平手作為結果。



在離開座位時, 我們還在因為無法接受比賽結果而感到忿忿不平, 就在此刻, 之前那位清潔婦又再度出現在我們眼前, 仍然用手撿著地上的垃圾。











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