《经济学人》:幸灾乐祸用中文怎么讲?
日期:2011-08-22 10:16

(单词翻译:单击)

What's Schadenfreude in Chinese?
幸灾乐祸用中文怎么讲?

Disarray in the West generates mixed reactions in Asia
亚洲对西方混乱的不同回应

Aug 20th 2011 | from the print edition

TO ERR is human. To gloat, divinely satisfying. The sequence of bad news from America and Europe has provoked its share of triumphalist commentary in Asia. What the subtitle to a book by Kishore Mahbubani, a Singaporean former diplomat, called “The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East” seems to be happening faster than anyone expected. Many Asians, naturally, are inclined to cheer. But many find the shift rather terrifying.

人非圣贤,孰能无过。别人的灾祸却是我们的喜讯。来自大洋彼岸欧美的坏消息让亚洲振奋不已。新加坡前外交官Kishore Mahbubani所著的一本书的副标题《世界强国转向东半球,势不可挡》所映射的,似乎比预想中来得要早。很多亚洲人自然欢呼雀跃。但也有很多人发现这种转变很吓人。

No sooner was America’s credit rating downgraded than China, its biggest creditor, (admittedly by a coincidence of timing) sent its first aircraft-carrier out to sea. For those living in emerging Asia, the memory of the devastating regional financial meltdown of 1997-98 is still fresh, and now they see smug Europeans struck down by their own debt crisis. And although many countries in Asia suffer political instability, none has been reduced in recent months to the sort of anarchy that for a few nights this month afflicted staid old Britain.

美国的信用评级一下降,中国(美国的最大债权国)就将其首只航母送出海。对于那些住在崛起中的亚洲国家的人来说,1997年至1998年的毁灭性地区经济危机依旧记忆犹新,如今他们看着自以为是的欧洲被自己的债务危机缠身。尽管亚洲很多国家政权也不稳,但最近几个月没有一个沦落到像一向沉稳的英国那样——几天内几乎处于无政府状态。

These sundry calamities in the West have provided Asian commentators with an unmissable chance to unveil Western hypocrisy. Many Asian leaders have vivid memories of the lectures they endured in 1997-98 over their thriftless, incompetent economic management, and of the harsh medicine they were forced to swallow in return for IMF assistance. So some must enjoy the reversal of roles: emerging Asia as the model of steady, consistent economic policy and sustained growth; America, Europe and Japan mired in debt and slow growth or even recession. Mr Mahbubani, now dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, says “every piece of advice that the Asians received has been ignored” in the West.

西方的种种灾难对于亚洲的评论员揭露西方社会的伪善是个不可多得的好机会。很多亚洲领袖们对97-98年那场风暴记忆犹新:他们那种奢侈而低效率的经济管理,以及为了获得IMF(国际货币基金组织)援助他们不得不苦苦吞下的劣质药物。因此有些领袖一定很享受如今这种角色的对调:亚洲是经济持续平稳发展的楷模,而欧美及日本债务缠身,发展缓慢甚至有倒退的迹象。新加坡的李光耀公共政策学院(Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy)的副院长Mahbubani先生说在西方,“亚洲得到的建议一概被置之不理”。

A few weeks ago, China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, rebuked Britain for its obsessive harping on human-rights abuses in its dealings with his country. How he must have relished hearing his British counterpart, David Cameron, say this month that his government would not let “phoney human-rights concerns” get in the way of hunting down rioters and looters.

几个星期前,中国总理温家宝谴责英国纠缠于中国的人权问题不放。这个月当他听到对手David Cameron(英国首相)所说的不允许“伪善的人权关怀”挡住他们追捕杀烧抢掠者的路的时候,他将多么得意。

Even before these latest symptoms of Western decline, the perception of China’s relative rise had taken root around the world. The IMF forecasts that, adjusted for purchasing power, China’s economy will be bigger than America’s by the end of 2016. According to the latest Pew Global Attitudes Survey, based on questioning in April, the proportion of respondents who think China has already replaced America as the world’s leading superpower, or will do so one day, was 63% in China, 65% in Britain and 46% even in America (up from 33% as recently as 2009).

即使在最近表现出来的西方衰落迹象还未发生之前,中国相对崛起的观点已经传遍全球。IMF预计:调整了购买力之后,到2016年底中国的经济超越美国。最新的皮尤全球态度调查显示:根据四月份的问卷调查,同意中国已经或者终有一天将取代美国成为世界领先的超级大国的人的各国比率为:中国63%,英国65%,甚至连美国也有46%(刚过去不久的2009年该比率只有33%)。

In the circumstances it is not surprising that China’s press has adopted the finger-wagging tone heard so often from the West. The official news agency, Xinhua, told America to cure its “addiction to debt”. It also fretted that America’s irresponsibility would undermine “the spluttering world economic recovery” and that “financial turmoil could come back to haunt us all.”

在这种情况下,中国媒体模仿西方谴责中国的口气说话,就不足为奇了。官方媒体新华社让美国治好“欠债瘾”。同时它还担心美国的不负责任会破坏“慢慢好转的世界经济的复苏”以及“经济灾难会返回缠住我们不放”。

That is one of at least three flies in the Schadenfreude. The West’s economic woes are also Asia’s. Even if renewed global financial upheaval is averted, slow growth in America, Europe and Japan will dent economic prospects across the region. Asia, too, is addicted to American debt, in so far as this finances imports from Asia, which then invests some of the proceeds back in America. Singapore’s Straits Times argued in an editorial this month that all the talk about Asian economies “decoupling from the West remains a pipe dream.”

这是幸灾乐祸的表现之一(至少有三大表现)。西方的经济灾难也是亚洲的。尽管新的全球经济灾难可以避免,但欧美和日本的缓慢发展也会影响到这个地区的经济前景。亚洲也是越来越沦陷于美国的债务之中——美国的资金来自亚洲,而亚洲会将收入的一部分投资在美国。这个月新加坡发表在《海峡时报》的一篇社论中讨论亚洲经济时说道“脱离西方依旧是做梦”。

The second consideration dampening the regional celebrations is that many Asian countries are suffering from serious problems of their own. Of the three biggest, both Indonesia and, more acutely, India, are facing crises of confidence over their government’s failure to deal with corruption at the heart of their political systems. Even China is facing a rash of political protests. In particular, the fury caused by the high-speed train crash at Wenzhou in July, in which at least 40 people died, has raised troubling questions about the railways’ safety and, more broadly, about the political system itself.

对这个地区的喜庆氛围有所抑制的第二个考虑因素是:很多亚洲国家也是泥菩萨过江——自身难保。亚洲三大国——包括印度尼西亚以及问题更加严重的印度——正面临着本国政府无力解决政治体制中心的腐败问题。甚至连中国也惹来一身抗议,特别是7月份温州高铁追尾事故引发的民怨——至少40人因此丧生——这次事故引发了人们对高铁安全甚至整个官僚体制的质疑。

Commenting on the debt-ceiling fiasco in Washington, DC, Xinhua took American politicians to task, and asked: “How can Washington shake off electoral politics and get difficult jobs done more efficiently?” But it is hard now for even the most nationalist Chinese commentators to go to town about the superiority of the “Beijing model”. One of its supposed advantages is precisely that it “gets difficult jobs done more efficiently”. And one example it used to point to as a source of pride was the world-beating high-speed train system. Whoops.

评论华盛顿上演的那场债务闹剧的时候,新华社谴责美国官员,并提出质问:“华盛顿如何摆脱选举制,做事更有效率?”但如今即使让最具民族主义情感的中国评论家去褒奖“北京模式”也很困难。北京模式的一大优点无疑是它“集中力量办大事”。而它常常引以为豪的骄傲就是那个举世无双的高铁系统。哎呀!却出事了。

Premature adjudication
早熟的调整

The third problem with Asian triumphalism is that it is—as Asian leaders well know—premature. Western consumers remain big contributors to Asian growth. American defence spending continues to dwarf China’s, and it will be years before that first aircraft-carrier outing translates into a serious carrier-group capability. A recent study by the Asian Development Bank projected that, on optimistic assumptions, China would by 2050 account for 22% of the global economy, compared with 14% for America (and India). In another plausible, if less rosy, scenario, in which China and India find themselves caught in a “middle-income trap”, the proportions would be 11% for China, 21% for America and 6% for India. But even on the optimistic projection, China would still be, per head, less than half as rich as America.

亚洲沾沾自喜的第三个问题是——亚洲领袖对此也有自知之明——早熟。西方消费者依旧是亚洲发展的一大来源。美国的国防支出远超中国,而那才首次出航的航母要发展成一个航母集团也需要几年时间。亚洲开发银行新近作的研究表明:乐观点看,到2050年中国在全球的经济份额将占22%,而美国(和印度)只占14%。另一个不那么美妙但也有可能的版本是:中国和印度陷入“中等收入困境”,到时中国所占有的比例是11%,美国为21%,印度为6%。但即使是乐观点看,中国的人均富裕度也比不上美国的一半。

Mr Mahbubani argues that, for other Asian countries pondering the future, it is the trend that matters—and America’s is, at best, unpredictable. America insists it wants to remain an Asian power, and has the military muscle to do so. But defence spending may be easier to cut than “entitlements”. So America’s word may be less persuasive than China’s ever more visible presence. Long-term trends can have big short-term effects.

Mahbubani认为,对于亚洲其它正在观望未来的国家来说,趋势是一大考虑因素——而至少美国是个无底洞。美国坚称它想——也有足够的军事力量——继续当亚洲霸主。但国防支出削减容易,增加难。因此美国不可见的承诺可能比不上中国可见的实力有说服力,长远的趋势有很大的短期影响。

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重点单词
  • optimisticadj. 乐观的,乐观主义的
  • steadyadj. 稳定的,稳固的,坚定的 v. 使稳固,使稳定,
  • militaryadj. 军事的 n. 军队
  • outingn. 郊游,远足,外出
  • dwarfn. 矮子,侏儒 vt. 使矮小 vi. 变小
  • counterpartn. 相似之物,副本,对应物
  • efficientlyadv. 有效地
  • instabilityn. 不安定,不稳定(性)
  • declinen. 衰微,跌落; 晚年 v. 降低,婉谢
  • prematureadj. 提前的,过早的,早产的 n. 早产儿,早熟