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第一届北京大学医学部医学人文专题翻译竞赛通知

发布日期:2010-09-28 访问次数: 字号:[ ]


 

 为了探讨医学人文的内涵,培养当代医学生的人文素养,提升医学生的翻译水平,激发医学及相关专业学生学习英语的兴趣,在北京大学第三届医学人文周即将举办之际,北京大学医学部医学人文研究院委托应用语言学系承办 “第一届北京大学医学部医学人文专题翻译竞赛”,相关事项公布如下:

一、参赛条件

北京大学医学部在校生(在读本科生/研究生),专业不限。

二、参赛规则

1医学人文专题翻译竞赛通知将于9月25日同时发布于以下网站:

北京大学医学部网站(http://www.bjmu.edu.cn

医学部研究生院网站http://graschool.bjmu.edu.cn/yjsyweb/index.aspx

医学部医学人文研究院网站(http://fedu.bjmu.cn/

2参赛译文投寄截止时间:2010年10月25日24时(以寄出日期邮戳或电子邮件发送日期为准)。

3、参赛者同时参赛者人身份证及学生证复印件(pdf版)及“参赛人员信息表(A4纸打印)发送至 ectranslation2010@gmail.com(请在邮件主题中注明:参赛译文, 或邮寄至 北京市海淀区学院路38号应用语言学系翻译竞赛组委会 邮编:100191

三、竞赛规则

1竞赛内容本届翻译竞赛内容为英译汉。

2译文要求:

1)参赛译文须用电脑A4纸宋体四号字体,行距1.5倍。参赛译文正文内请勿书写译者姓名或透露任何有关译者的个人信息,否则该参赛译文无效,请将个人信息及联系方式填写“参赛人员信息表”中。
  2)参赛译文请在封面上粘贴参赛人员信息表,填写参赛者姓名、性别、专业、院系/培养单位、联系电话和E-Mail地址等个人信息,并附本人身份证及学生证复印件,一并寄至应用语言学系翻译竞赛组委会 
  3)参赛译文须独立完成。一经发现有弄虚作假者,其参赛译作即为无效。如发现获奖者作假,将追究并收回获奖证书。

2评委组成: 竞赛设专家评审小组,评委主要由医学人文研究院应用语言学系和医学人文系资深教师组成。 
   3竞赛环节:

1专家评审小组秉承“公平、公正”的原则对参赛译文进行评审。   

2翻译一、二、三等奖、优秀奖若干名获奖候选人须参加面试,杜绝作弊行为。获奖名单于2010年11月5日在上述网站公布。

3颁奖仪式于2010年11月8日或9日举行,授予获奖者证书和纪念品

四、竞赛联系地址:

北京市海淀区学院路38号逸夫教学楼701室 应用语言学系行政办公室 

咨询电话:82802174

附件1:参赛人员信息表

附件2:英译汉原文

第一届北京大学医学部医学人文专题翻译竞赛组委会

                                                2010年9月25日

附件1参赛人员信息表

第一届北京大学医学部医学人文专题翻译竞赛参赛人员信息表  

                                                       编   号:

姓  名 

 

性  别 

 

学    号

 

身份证号

 

电  话

 

院系/培养单位

年    级

专     业

通信地址

邮政编码

E-mail

说明:请填写后贴在译文前所附的封面上,并请随发/寄学生证及身份证复印件。

附件2:英译汉原文

 

The Burden and Blessing of Mortality(Excerpt)


  Reaching ripe old age and dying from mere attrition of the body is, as a common phenomenon, very much an artifact. In the state of nature, so Hobbes put it, human life is nasty, brutish, and short. Civil society, according to him, was founded mainly for protection from violent---and that means premature---death. This is surely too narrow a view of the motives, but one effect of civilization, this comprehensive artifact of human intelligence, is undeniably the progressive taming of the extraneous causes of death for humans. It has also mightily enhanced the powers of their mutual destruction. But the net result is that at least in technologically advanced societies, more and more people reach the natural limit of life. Scientific medicine has a major share in this result, and it is beginning to try to push back that limit itself. At any rate the theoretical prospect seems no longer precluded. This makes it tempting to hitch the further pursuit of our theme to the question of whether it is right to combat not merely premature death but death as such; that is, whether lengthening life indefinitely is a legitimate goal of medicine. We will discuss this on two planes: that of the common good of mankind and that of the individual good for the self.


  The common good of mankind if tied to civilization, and this with all its feats and faults would not have come about and not keep moving without the ever-repeated turnover of generations. Here we have come to the point where we can no longer postpone complementing the consideration of death with that of birth, its essential counterpart, to which we have paid no attention so far. It was of course tacitly included in our consideration of individual mortality as a prerequisite of biological evolution. In the imcomparably faster, nonbiological evolution the human species enacts within its biological identity through the transgenerational handing-on and accumulation of learning, the interplay of death and birth assumes a very new and profound relevance. "Natality" (to use a coinage of my long-departed friend Hannah Arendt) is as essential an attribute of the human condition as is mortality. It denotes the fact that we all have been born, which means that each of us had a beginning when others already had long been there, and this ensures, that there will always be such who see the world for the first time, see things with new eyes, wonder where others are dulled by habit, start out from where they had arrived. Youth with its fumbling and follies, its eagerness and questioning, is the eternal hope of mankind. Without its constant arrival, the wellspring of novelty would dry up, for those grown older have found their answers and gotten set in their ways. The ever-renewed beginning, which can only be had at the price of ever-repeated ending, is mankind's safeguard against lapsing into boredom and routine, its chance of retaining the spontaneity of life. There is also this bonus of "natality": that every one of the newcomers is different and unique. Such is the working of sexual reproduction that none of its outcome is, in genetic makeup, the replica of any-before and none will ever be replicated, thereafter. (This is one reason humans should never be "cloned.")

  Now obviously, just as mortality finds its compensation in natality, conversely natality gets its scope from mortality: dying of the old makes place for the young. This rule becomes more stringent as our numbers push or already exceed the limits of environmental tolerance. The specter of overpopulation casts its pall over the access of new life anyway; and the proportion of youth must shrink in a population forced to become static but increasing its average age by the successful fight against premature death. Should we then try to lengthen life further by tinkering with and outwitting the naturally ordained, biological timing of our mortality---thus further narrowing the space of youth in our aging society? I think the common good of mankind bids us answer "no." The question was rather academic, for no serious prospect is in sight for breaking the existing barrier. But the dream is taking form in our technological intoxication. The real point of our reflection was the linkage of mortality with creativity in human history. Whoever, therefore, relishes the cultural harvest of the ages in any of its many facets and does not with to be without it, and most surely the praiser and advocate of progress, should see in mortality a blessing and not a curse.


  However, the good of mankind and the good of the individual are not necessarily the same, and someone might say: Granted that mortality is good for mankind as a whole, and I am grateful for its bounty paid for by others, but for myself I still ardently with I were exempt from it and could go on interminably to enjoy its fruit---past, present, and future. Of course (so we might imagine him to add) this must be an exception, but why not have a select few equally favored for companions in immortality? For interminably you are free to substitute "twice or triple the normal maximum" and qualify immortality accordingly.


  Would that with at least stand the test of imagined fulfillment? I know of one attempt to tackle that question: Jonathan Swift's harrowing description in Gulliver's Travels of the Struldbrugs or "Immortals," who "sometimes, though very rarely" happen to be born in the kingdom of Luggnagg. When first hearing of them, Gulliver is enraptured by the thought of their good fortune and that of a society harboring such fonts of experience and wisdom. But he learns that theirs is a miserable lot, universally pitied and despised; their unending lives turn into ever more worthless burdens to them and the mortals around them; even the company of their own kind becomes intolerable, so that, for example, marriages are dissolved at a certain age, "for the law thinks...that those who are condemned without any fault of their own to a perpetual continuance in the world should not have their misery doubled by the load of a wife"---or a husband, I hasten to add. And so on---one should read Gulliver's vivid description.


  For the purposes of our question, Swift's fantasy has one flaw: his immortals are denied death but not spared the infirmities of old age and the indignities of senility---which of course heavily prejudges the outcome of his thought-experiment. Our test of imagined fulfillment mush assume that it is not the gift of miraculous chance but of scientific control over the natural causes of death and , therefore, over the aging processes that lead to it, so that the life thus lengthened also retains its bodily vigor. Would the indefinite lengthening then be desirable for the subjects themselves? Let us waive such objections as the resentment of the many against the exception of the few, however obtained, and the ignobility of the wish for it, the breach of solidarity with the common mortal lot. Let us judge on purely egotistical grounds. One of Gulliver's descriptions gives us a valuable hint: "They have no remembrance of anything but of what they learned and observed in their youth and middle age." This touches a point independent of senile decrepitude: we are finite beings and even if our vital functions continued unimpaired, there are limits to what our brains can store and keep adding to. It is the mental side of our being that sooner or later mush call a halt, ever if the magicians of biotechnology invent tricks for keeping the body machine going indefinitely. Old age, in humans, means a long past, which the mind must accommodate in its present as the substratum of personal identity. The past in us grows all the time, with its load of knowledge and opinion and emotions and choices and acquired aptitudes and habits and, of course, things upon thins remembered or somehow recorded even if forgotten. There is a finite space for all this. And those magicians would also periodically have to clear the mind (like a computer memory) of its old contents to make place for the new.


  These are weird fantasies---we use them merely to bring out the mental side of the question concerning mortality and the individual good. The simple truth of our finiteness is that we could, by whatever means, go on interminably only at the price of either losing the past and therewith our real identity, or living only in the past and therefore without a real present. We cannot seriously with either and thus not a physical enduring at that price. It would leave us stranded in a world we no longer understand even as spectators, walking anachronisms who have outlived themselves. It is a changing world because of the newcomers who keep arriving and who leave us behind. Trying to keep pace with them is doomed to inglorious failure, especially as the pace has quickened so much. Growing older, we get out warnings, no matter in what physical shape we are. To take, just for once, my own example: a native sensibility for visual and poetic art persists, not much dulled, in my old age; I can still be moved by the works I have learned to love and have grown old with. But the art of our own time is alien to me, I don't understand its language, and in that respect I feel already a stranger in the world. The prospect of unendingly becoming one ever more and in every respect would b frightening, and the certainty that prevents it is reassuring. So we do not need the horror fiction of the wretched Struldbrugs to make us reject the desire for earthly immortality: not even the fountains of youth, which biotechnology may have to offer one day to circumvent the physical penalties of it, can justify the goal of extorting from nature more than its original allowance to our species for the length of our days. On this point then, the private good does concur with the public good. Herewith I rest my case for mortality as a blessing.


  Mind you, this side of it, which is perceived only by thought and not felt in experience, detracts nothing from the burden that the ever-present contingency of death lays on all flesh. Also, what we have said about "blessing" for the individual person is true only after a completed life, in the fullness of time. This is a premise far from being realized as a rule, and in all too many populations with a low life expectancy it is the rare exception. It is a duty of civilization to combat premature death among humankind worldwide and in all its causes---hunger, diseases, war, and so on. As to our mortal condition as such, our understanding can have no quarrel about it with creation unless life itself is denied. As to each of us, the knowledge that we are here but briefly and a non-negotiable limit is set to our expected time may even be necessary as the incentive to number our days and make them count.









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