Cultivating Good Habits Liang Shiqiu
Men are about the same in human nature, but differ in habit. Habit is formed little by little, and most easily in one’s childhood. Once it is formed, it is difficult to break.
For example, the good habit of early rising also starts from one’s early life. Many people, however, have been in the habit of sleeping late ever since they were kids. They won’t get up till late morning on holidays and even oversleep on work days. Children are often late for school though they make a rush even without washing up. Such children, when they grow up, will often lack drive and most probably get nowhere. The story of Zu Ti1 rising at cockcrow to practise swordplay should be a good example for all men of resolve to learn from.
1，“贪睡懒觉”译为sleeping late，如：Your headache comes from sleeping late.
2，“一遇假日便要睡到日上三竿还高卧不起”直译的话会让外国人摸不着头脑，因此采取意译的方式译为They won’t get up till late morning on holidays
3，“蓬头垢面”意即“没有洗漱和整理”，也是不宜直译的一个词，现按意思译为without washing up。
4，“往往蓬首垢面的就往学校跑，结果还是迟到”可理解为一个让步句“尽管他们没有洗漱就往学校跑，仍旧是迟到”译为Children are often late for school though they make a rush even without washing up
5，“闻鸡起舞”即“听见鸡叫就起来舞剑”译为rising at cockcrow to practise swordplay，另“祖逖”是带有中国特色的词汇，宜采用释义法或加注法，此处因为释义法会造成句子的冗杂，译者采取了加脚注的方法
6，“志士”即“意志坚强者”译为men of resolve，resolve也可换为strong will,determination,aspiration。
We Chinese set great store by propriety because it is the accepted rules of social behavior. Propriety begins from the family. For example, children should keep their parents informed of their whereabouts. That is the ABC of good manners on the part of children. Yet some children just ignore their parents when they get up in the morning or come back from school. They often pull a long face and refuse to converse when they meet their elders. If they continue to be so cocky and willful without correcting themselves as soon as possible, they will never get along well with other people some days as members of society. We should be polite not only to our elders, but also to all people.
1，为子弟者“出必告，反必面”即“孩子出门或回家必须向家长说一声”或“必须告知家长”，译为children should keep their parents informed of their bout意为“行踪”
2，“起码的礼”译得很有意思，为the ABC of good manners，其中ABC作“基础知识”讲，意同basics，fundametals
4，“视若无睹”和“如入无人之境”都表示“忽视父母”，译为ignore their parents即可
5，“将来长大到社会服务，必将处处引起摩擦不受欢迎”即“将来在社会上不能与他人和睦相处”，译为they will never get along well with other people some days as members of society
It is a bad habit to talk loudly to the disturbance of others. Ask yourself if you ever made a lot of noise while others were at their studies or at work. We should be considerate of others at all times and places, caring for public order and interests and abstaining from self-indulgence. In crowded public places, you should line up and never push through to get ahead of others.
1，“大声讲话，扰及他人的宁静，是一种不好的习惯”译为It is a bad habit to talk loudly to the disturbance of others.其中to 表示”导致，致使”,表示引起某种后果
2，“不可放纵自己”= abstaining from self-indulgence使用的是一个形式上肯定、语义上否定的动词结构
Time is life. Our life is ticking away unnoticed minute by minute and second by second. It is certainly alarming when we come to think of it. Every day we are unconsciously wasting many odd moments. We should acquire the habit of utilizing leisure time, and snatch every odd moment to do whatever is beneficial to our body and mind. That will enable us to achieve good results little by little. People often talk most improperly about “seeking relaxation” as if they had more than enough time for them to while away. Life is, in fact, extremely short. How can you find so much surplus time for you to fool away? Lu Fangweng says in one of his poems, “Spend even the pre-meal odd moment in reading.” As far as I know, many people did snatch the odd moment before a meal to do a lot of reading. Our ancients recommended “three on’s”, that is, doing reading even while you are on a pillow, on a horse or on a nightstool. All that, though impracticable, serves the purpose of advising people not to waste time.
1，“零碎时间”=odd time,下文的odd moment
2,“讲起‘消遣’二字”译为talk most improperly about “seeking relaxation”，此处“消遣”译为relaxation,其本意为“休息，娱乐”
3, “待饭未来还读书。”即“饭前片刻也要用来读书”= Spend even the pre-meal odd moment in reading.
6，“其用意是在……”= serves the purpose of doing
Ours is a nation known for industry and self-denial. Frugality has always been the teaching of our ancient sages and wise men. A man of strong will should be able to endure Spartan living conditions. It should not be regarded as a disgrace to live a simple life. Nor should it be regarded as a glory to live a luxurious life. That should be the correct understanding one needs for self-cultivation. Marcus Aurelius, emperor of the Roman Empire in its heyday, refused to enjoy all comforts of life from childhood and always keep kept away from amusements like the chariot race then in vogue and other fighting-skill competitions. He remained a life-long staunch Stoic philosopher and meanwhile distinguished himself by numerous exploits. Ours is a poor country, so it is even more necessary for us to see the tough conditions facing us and renounce all luxuries, especially those coming from abroad. We should build up the habit of leading a thrifty life. We should bear in mind that all material resources are hard to come by and should be treasured, even including their odds and ends.
1，“吃苦耐劳是我们这个民族的标志”译为Ours is a nation known for industry and self-denial.这种句式转换之前在《话说短文》中也出现过“…是中华民族的传统”也用了此句式。
2，“一个有志的人之能耐得清寒”译为A man of strong will should be able to endure Spartan living conditions.其中spartan或Spartan译为“斯巴达的，斯巴达式的”以及“艰苦朴素”解
3，“恶衣恶食，不足为耻，丰衣足食，不足为荣”= It should not be regarded as a disgrace to live a simple life. Nor should it be regarded as a glory to live a luxurious life.注意否定+Nor的使用
4，“体念艰难”即“我们更需看到面临的灾难”，故译it is even more necessary for us to see the tough conditions facing us
5，“物力维艰”指财物来之不易，译为all material resources are hard to come by
6，odds and ends意即“零碎的东西，杂七杂八的东西”
The above points have been picked by me at random. Good habits are too numerous to be dealt with one by one, but none, however, are too small to keep. Habit, once formed, will become your natural and spontaneous behaviour. A life full of good habits will be a life conforming with the law of nature.
1，“千头万绪”形容事情复杂纷乱，译为are too numerous to be dealt with one by one
2，…but none, however, are too small to keep.其中none too意为“一点也不”
1. Zu Ti, a patriotic general of the Jin Dynasty (317-420 A.D.). He was good friends with Liu Kun, another general. When they were young, being petty officials but highly motivated, they often encouraged each other and both rose at cockcrow to pratise swordplay.