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Ji Chaozhu, Interpreter for China During Nixon’s Trip, Dies at 90

来源:纽约时报    2020-05-08 08:10

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        Ji Chaozhu, who was a longtime interpreter for top Chinese officials, including Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, and who was at Zhou Enlai’s side during President Richard M. Nixon’s groundbreaking trip to China in 1972, died on April 29. He was 90.        著名翻译家冀朝铸于4月29日去世,享年90岁。他曾长期为包括毛泽东和邓小平在内的中国领导人担任翻译,并在1972年理查德·尼克松(Richard M. Nixon)总统历史性访华期间担任周恩来的助手。
        His death was reported by The South China Morning Post, among other news media outlets. Further details were not available.        《南华早报》等新闻媒体报道了他逝世的消息,但没有提供更多的细节。
        Mr. Ji, who sought to act as a bridge between China, where he was born, and the United States, where he grew up, played a crucial role in a secret visit to Beijing in 1971 by Henry A. Kissinger, then Nixon’s national security adviser. That meeting, which laid the groundwork for Nixon to become the first American president to visit mainland China, led to the restoration of diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing after decades of hostility.        冀朝铸试图在他出生地中国和成长地美国之间起桥梁作用,在尼克松当时的国家安全顾问亨利·A·基辛格(Henry A. Kissinger)1971年秘密访问北京时扮演了关键的角色。那次访问为尼克松成为首位访问中国大陆的美国总统做了准备工作,使华盛顿和北京的外交关系在经历了数十年的敌对之后得以恢复。
        Raised mostly in New York City and educated briefly at Harvard, Mr. Ji spoke impeccable English. He did not make policy, but his language skills often helped shape negotiations. Sometimes he would even translate for both sides when American leaders met with their Chinese counterparts.        冀朝铸小时候的大部分时间在纽约市度过,并短暂就读于哈佛大学,他的英语无可挑剔。他不制定政策,但他的语言能力往往帮助影响了谈判的进展。在美国领导人与他们的中国同行见面时,他有时甚至为双方担任翻译。
        That was the case during Mr. Kissinger’s secret visit, although Mr. Ji’s flawless English was not the only reason he was given this highly sensitive assignment.        基辛格秘密访问中国时就是这种情况,但冀朝铸的流利英语并不是他被分派了这项高度敏感任务的唯一原因。
        “Nixon really didn’t trust the State Department to keep a secret, so we didn’t really have anyone of our own,” Winston Lord, an aide who traveled with the president and Mr. Kissinger, told The New York Times in 2012.        “尼克松真的不信任国务院能保守秘密,所以我们其实并没有自己能用的人,”陪同尼克松和基辛格访华的助手温斯顿·洛德(Winston Lord) 2012年告诉《纽约时报》。
        The Americans relied on Mr. Ji on other occasions as well.        美国人在其他场合也依靠过冀朝铸。
        “The United States Government, it turns out, does not employ anyone fully qualified as a simultaneous interpreter from English to Chinese,” a Times editorial observed in 1979 after Mr. Ji had facilitated a discussion between Chinese officials and President Jimmy Carter. As a result, The Times declared Mr. Ji “indispensable.”        “事实证明,美国政府内部没有任何雇员能完全合格地完成从英语到汉语的同声传译,”1979年的一篇时报社论这样评论道,那是在冀朝铸使中国官员与美国总统吉米·卡特(Jimmy Carter)的一场讨论得以顺利进行之后。因此,时报宣称冀朝铸是“必不可少的人”。
        During his decades-long career as an interpreter for Chinese leaders, Mr. Ji was so ubiquitous that he took on a Zelig-like aura, cropping up in photographs on numerous important occasions: with Zhou in Geneva in 1954, at the end of the Korean War; with Zhou shaking hands with Nixon on the Beijing tarmac in 1972; and with Deng as he donned a white cowboy hat during a whirlwind tour of the United States in 1979.        在为中国领导人担任翻译的数十年职业生涯中,冀朝铸是如此地无处不在,以至于他具有一种泽里格(Zelig)似的气息,他出现在许多重要场合的照片中:1954年,周恩来在朝鲜战争停战后出席日内瓦会议的照片中有他;1972年,周恩来在北京的停机坪上与尼克松握手的照片中有他;1979年,邓小平在旋风式访问美国的行程中戴上一顶白色牛仔帽的照片中也有他。
        Ji Chaozhu was born on July 30, 1929, into a wealthy family of Communist sympathizers in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi. His family fled during the Second Sino-Japanese War, in the late 1930s. They arrived in the United States when he was not yet 10.        冀朝铸于1929年7月30日出生在中国北方山西省一个拥护共产主义的富裕家庭。他的家人在20世纪30年代末的第二次中日战争期间流亡国外。全家人到美国时,他还不到10岁。
        Mr. Ji spent the next dozen years in New York City. He graduated from the Horace Mann School in the Bronx and attended Harvard for a short time before dropping out in 1950, when China entered the Korean War against American-led forces. He returned to China to join Mao and his allies, who were hoping to build a Communist paradise.        冀朝铸接下来的十来年是在纽约度过的。他毕业于布朗克斯区的霍勒斯曼学校(Horace Mann School),曾短暂就读于哈佛大学,但于1950年辍学,当时中国加入到朝鲜战争中来,对美国为首的联合国军作战。冀朝铸回到了中国,加入到毛泽东及其盟友的行列,他们希望建设一个共产主义的天堂。
        “When the Korean War broke out, I was torn between my love for two countries,” Mr. Ji told The Times. “But I knew I was fundamentally Chinese.”        “朝鲜战争爆发时,我因热爱这两个国家而左右为难,”冀朝铸对时报说。“但我知道,我本质上是中国人。”
        He enrolled at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where he studied chemistry. His dream was to develop nuclear bombs for China. Instead, because of his English-language skills, he was chosen to be a note-taker at the talks that led to the cease-fire in the Korean War. He became one of the top interpreters for China’s leaders and served in that role for several decades.        他上了北京的清华大学,攻读化学。他的梦想是为中国研制核武器。但由于他的英语能力,他被选中在促成朝鲜战争停火的谈判中担任速记员。他成了中国领导人的高级翻译之一,在这个职位上干了几十年。
        In his later years he was China’s ambassador to Fiji and to Britain and an under secretary general of the United Nations.        在职业生涯的晚期,他曾任中国驻斐济和英国的大使,还担任过联合国副秘书长。
        In 2008 Mr. Ji published a memoir, “The Man on Mao’s Right,” the title a reference to his frequent position in the reviewing stand at Tiananmen Square when English-speaking officials were present with Mao.        冀朝铸曾在2008年用英文出版了一本名为《毛泽东右手边的人》(The Man on Mao’s Right)的回忆录,书名指的是毛泽东和说英语的人一起在天安门广场的检阅台上时,他经常所在的位置。
        The memoir disappointed some reviewers, who were hoping for more insight into China’s leaders and their strategic decision-making. Most of Mr. Ji’s humanizing passages were, diplomatically, about himself.        这本回忆录让一些评论人士感到失望,他们曾希望从中更多了解中国领导人及其战略决策。书中的大部分人性化的段落婉转地说,都是关于他自己的。
        But he did offer comments about the men he served. Mao, he said, “complained I spoke too loudly when I translated”; Zhou “was like a father”; Deng “was so short, I had to spread my legs to get lower when I interpreted.”        但他也确实对自己服务的人发表了评论。他说,毛泽东“抱怨我翻译时声音太大”;周恩来“像父亲一样”;邓小平个子“太矮,我翻译时,不得不把双腿伸开,以降低我的高度。”
        He was more forthright when it came to Jiang Qing, Mao’s fourth wife and a member of the infamous Gang of Four, which helped preside over the brutal persecutions and chaos of the Cultural Revolution. She was, he wrote, “the horror of all horrors!”        他在谈到江青时更直截了当。江青是毛泽东的第四任妻子,也是臭名昭著的“四人帮”之一。“四人帮”在文化大革命期间帮助制造了残酷的迫害和混乱。江青“糟糕至极!”,冀朝铸写道。

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