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翻译丨Fricatives by Eric Yip

 

Fricatives

To speak English properly, Mrs Lee said, you must learn
the difference between three and free. Three men
escaped from Alcatraz in a rubber raft and drowned
on their way to Angel Island. Hear the difference? Try
this: you fought your way into existence. Better. Look
at this picture. Fresh yellow grains beaten
till their seeds spill. That’s threshing. That’s
submission. You must learn to submit
before you can learn. You must be given
a voice before you can speak. Nobody wants to listen
to a spectacled boy with a Hong Kong accent.
You will have to leave this city, these dark furrows
stuffed full with ancestral bones. Know
that death is thorough. You will speak of bruised bodies
skinnier than yours, force the pen past batons
and blood, call it fresh material for writing. Now
they’re paying attention. You’re lucky enough
to care about how the tongue moves, the seven types
of fricatives, the articulatory function of teeth
sans survival. You will receive a good education
abroad and make your parents proud. You will take
a stranger’s cock in your mouth in the piss-slick stall
of that dingy Cantonese restaurant you love and taste
where you came from, what you were made of all along.
Put some work into it, he growls. C’mon, give me
some bite. Your mother visits one October, tells you
how everyone speaks differently here, more proper.
You smile, nod, bring her to your favourite restaurant,
order dim sum in English. They’re releasing
the students arrested five years ago. Just a tad more
soy sauce please, thank you. The television replays
yesterday on repeat. The teapots are refilled. You spoon
served rice into your mouth, this perfect rice.
Steamed, perfect, white.

 

摩擦音

要讲好英语,李太太说,你必须了解
「三」和「自由」的不同。三个人

乘橡皮筏从恶魔岛联邦监狱出逃然后淹死
在去天使岛的途中。听出区别了吗?试试
这个:你奋争是为生存。有进步。看看
这张图。新鲜的黄色谷物被拍打
直至种子洒落。那是打谷。那是
归顺。只有学会了归顺
你才能学其他。只有被赋予
声音你才能说话。没人想听

一个眼镜男孩带着香港口音。
你总得离开这座城市,这些暗沟

塞满了祖先的遗骨。要明白
死亡是彻底的。你将谈及伤痕累累的尸体
瘦削过你,迫使笔着墨于警棍
和血迹,称其为新近的写作素材。现在
他们开始注意。你足够幸运
能关心舌头怎么移动,七种类型的
摩擦音,牙齿的发声功能

而无关求生。你将受良好的教育

留学并让父母骄傲。你将在
遍地溅了尿的隔间含一个陌生人的屌
在你爱的那家又脏又暗的粤菜馆,并尝到

你的来处,你一直以来的组成之物。

「努点力,」他低吼。「来吧,给我
咬一口。」某年十月你母亲来探望,告诉你
这里的人讲话如何不同,更加得体。

你微笑,点头,带她去你最爱的餐馆,
用英语点港式早茶。他们在释放
五年前被捕的学生们。「麻烦多放一点
酱油,谢谢。」电视一遍遍
重播昨天。茶壶重新加满。你用勺子
把米饭送进嘴里,这完美的米饭。
蒸熟的,完美的,白色的。

 

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