ON FORGETTING HOW TO SPEAK MANDARIN (traduzione in Cinese)

ON FORGETTING HOW TO SPEAK MANDARIN

My second grade teacher pries my throat open
and forces me to say the word pillow. Say it,
she says, pill-ow. Pill. Pill, like something
that can cure my un-american illness. And I say back
pell-ow. The way my parents say it. The laughter in the room
chokes me-i can’t speak without the vowels stilling the air,
without the syllables strangling my tongue. At home,
I practice saying it in front of the mirror, pillow, pillow, pill,
pill, like chanting the words to a song that I don’t know by heart.
 
but I know that the English language is so rigid-
shapeless, an ocean without wax or wane, only
right or wrong: You can’t speak half-ying yu
and still be full American. You can’t say leggings like leggy
what my mother does before the lady
at the mall yells at her to speak English, please-
my mother who says Easter like Esther, who doesn’t know
she from he sometimes, we shop for anything that
can pare the skin off our bodies, for a knife to cut off our mother
tongue, and sometimes, Mandarin flows back to me in
scraps of burning paper, in the lines of that song on the radio whose
chorus is the only part I remember that ancient poem
that my mother once recited to me:举头望明月,
低头思故乡。I am beginning to think Mandarin is a myth:
 
They say in China my mother spoke as if her Mandarin could cleave
valleys through mountains, could steal waves from the oceans. In China
my mother commanded language as if it were an infantry
and she was so large with words that everyone called her goddess. In America
my mother is shrinking, is brandishing silence as a shield
and everyone calls her chink—
 
I know that language is disguise,
and the more Mandarin I forget the more American I become.tongue
and trust me, i’m so good at forgetting: I scrape sonnets off my
to seem more American. As a child, I stopped talking
to see if that would make me an American
I silence my mother so that I am an American
I am eighteen years old and I still don’t know how to speak–
 
but I know that language is a weapon,
that I can hold it to my parents’ throats
to force them to speak American, please, to stretch their o’s
and lower their e’s, to quell the rapid waterfall of Mandarin
that threatens to burst from their mouths but
 
Mother, even after all these years, I am still so bad at English
Sometimes I say soot like suit. Sometimes I don’t say
words I can’t pronounce. Sometimes I mistake
a lost language for a dead thing
confuse silence for fluency. Sometimes, I return
all the skin to my body and still feel less
than whole. Once. I stood in front
of the mirror and said pellowpellowpellow
to bring the dead girl back. Last night,
I tried writing my Chinese name until I realized that
I had forgotten where to place each dash,
where to bury each bone of a language I once knew
 
Mother, if a language dies and no one is around to mourn it,
does it make a sound? I am trying to pull the silent things
out of my mouth. Mother, do you remember when grandfather died an ocean away
When you handed me the phone to speak to my relatives,
and I didn’ t know how to say: i’m sorry?
 
I thought of you, how sometimes I hear
the poems you’d sing to me:举头望明月,低头思故乡
(Looking up, see the moon. Looking down,
remember the home I’ve lost.)
 
Postato da 马列托主义者马列托主义者 Mar, 18/05/2021 - 07:42
Commenti dell’autore:

https://chineseamerican.org/p/34617

STOP ASIAN HATE!
STOP AFRICAN HATE!
STOP SLAVIC HATE!
NO TO ENGLISH ONLY!
NO TO CAPITALISM!

traduzione in CineseCinese
Allinea i paragrafi

有感于我怎么忘了普通话

二年级老师
撬开我的喉咙
想把那个塞住的“枕头”拖出
“说 pillow, pill [pil], pill ”
Pill, 就像能把我医成美国人的
一片药
我说“pellow”,
带着我们家爸妈的口音,
教室里的笑声
伴着被我元音搅动的气流
我的舌头
也被音节捆绑变形
从此家里的镜子
就陪着我反复练习
pillow, pillow, pill, pill,
不懈地吟唱不属于我心的歌
 
可我渐渐看到
英文的严谨而无形
它看似大海般壮阔
却只包容每一个波纹的
正确起落
你不能说半掉子英文,
来冒充完整的美国人!
你不能把 “leggings” (绑腿)
说成 “leggys” (紧身裤)
像我妈妈被收银女士
大声提醒“请~ 说 ~英~文~”
妈妈会把Easter
说成Esther
还不时混淆“he” 和 “she”
我们到处收集,
洗脱皮肤的浴液
更求利刃
斩断母语痕迹
但中文, 似燃而未尽的纸灰,
飘然落回我身,
只言片语的古诗,
借妈妈摇篮曲的婉转
回荡心里
“举头望明月,
低头思故乡”
我才知道,中文像个谜
 
起初我以为---中文是个魔杖
听说, 在中国
妈妈用语音,
如移山填谷, 平风止浪
妈妈驾驭语言,挥洒辞藻, 宛如女神。
在美国
妈妈畏缩了,
舞着沉默的盾
别人叫她“秦磕”
 
后来我知道 — 语言是个伪装
对中文越遗忘
就越是美国人
哈, 遗忘,那难不倒我
我铲除上口的中文古诗词,好更像美国人
孩提时我选择缄默,好更像美国人
我把妈妈静音,宣誓我是美国人
可是18岁了, 我还是有口难张
 
我还发现 — 语言是利器
能拿来直指着我爸妈的喉咙
强制式他们说美式英文
拉长他们的“o”, 平滑他们的 “e”,
抑制他们的中英夹杂
如阻断喷薄而出的
瀑布滑落
 
可是,妈妈
即便经过这么多年
我的英文还是不够地道
有时,
我说 soot [sut] (煤烟)
成了suit [su:t] (礼服)
有时,
我干脆跳过
发不准音的词
有时
我错把忘却的语言
当成死亡僵尸
把沉默,当成韵律
有时
我把剥掉的皮肤
贴回全身
却仍然不觉得
完整
那一次, 我揽镜自顾
说 pellow pellow pellow
试图唤回死去的小小的我
昨夜,我想描画中文签名
却无从安放勾拐撇捺
不能掩埋
从生命变成白骨的
儿时语言
 
妈妈, 如果语言至死时,
无人哀悼,
它也会发出最后的叹息吗?
沉默堵塞着
我想把肺腑掏出
妈妈,姥爷去世时
远隔重洋, 你递给我话筒
跟家人通话
我却不知道,
怎么说 “I am sorry”
我想到你,
好像听见你还对我唱
“举头望明月, 低头思故乡”
 
Grazie!
Postato da 马列托主义者马列托主义者 Mar, 18/05/2021 - 07:51
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