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猪肉和香肠如何滋润了德国语言

更新时间:2018-1-11 22:12:31 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How sausage flavours the German language
猪肉和香肠如何滋润了德国语言

When I awoke to grey skies and pouring rain on my wedding day, everyone had something to say about it. Poised to marry in a country garden north of Berlin, I was quickly surrounded by well-meaning Germans with plenty of aphorisms on hand.

那天是我的婚礼日,早晨一睁眼看到的是灰暗的天空和瓢泼大雨。婚礼在柏林北部的一个乡村花园里举行,来宾们纷纷向我们表示祝福。

The one that came up most often was the classic ‘Viel Regen bringt viel Segen’ or ‘lots of rain brings many blessings’, which I suspected was less a time-tested truth than a means of consoling an inconsolable bride. My father-in-law, however, only looked at me sadly, shaking his head and repeating ‘Schweinewetter, Schweinewetter’ (‘Pig weather’).

其中祝福语说的最多的是"多雨多福气"。当然,我知道这不过是对我这个不走运的新娘的安慰而已。而我的公公则一边摇头一边嘟哝着说," 猪天气!猪天气!"

Those concerned with how much we’d invested in the big day might have discussed how I’d spent ‘Schweinegeld’ (‘pig money’ or a lot of money). Still others, in an effort to get me to buck up, could have declared, ‘Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei’ (‘Everything has an end; only the sausage has two’).

那些关心我们为婚礼投资多少的人也许会谈论我是如何花掉这笔"猪钱"(也就是很多钱)。而那些想逗我打起精神来的人会说,"每件事都有一个结尾,只有香肠有两个。"

Visitors to Germany love to joke about the country’s obsession with all things sausage, but Germans don't do anything to discourage them. In fact, their speech is littered with references to Wurst; full of idioms that speak to the timelessness and intrinsic value of their meat products.

到德国访问的外国游客常常拿德国人痴迷与香肠有关的一切来打趣,而德国人毫不介意。事实上,他们的语言中与香肠有关的词汇和成语比比皆是。

As Bonn-based scholar and food writer Irina Dumitrescu detailed in her reprinted 2013 essay ‘Currywurst’, no matter the occasion, the German language will probably have a suitably sausage-y saying for it.

住在波恩(Bonn)的学者和食品作家伊利娜·杜米特雷斯库(Irina Dumitrescu)在她2013年的一篇有关香肠的文章中说,不管遇到什么情况,德语中都有跟香肠有关的话来形容。

“‘Das ist mir Wurscht’ or ‘it’s sausage to me’ is a way of expressing disinterest, perhaps because both ends look and taste the same. Counterintuitively, ‘es geht um die Wurst’ or ‘it’s about the sausage’ gives a sense of urgency: now it really counts. A woman who ‘spielt die beleidigte Leberwurst’ or ‘plays the insulted liverwurst’ is a prima donna in a huff; while someone who can barely steal sausage from a plate – ‘die Wurst vom Teller ziehen’ – is unimpressive despite his pretensions.”

"例如表示对一件事情或事物不感兴趣,德国人会说'对我来说那就跟香肠一样',意思是直截了当,两头看上去一样,味道也一样。而'那是有关香肠的'则显示急迫感,事情到了紧要关头。而如果说一个人甚至偷不了盘子上的一根香肠,意味着这个人尽管努力了,但结果平平。"

Germans also employ common sayings about pigs and swine. As with Schweinwetter, the prefix ‘schwein or ‘sau’ (sow) can be used as an intensifier, and saying someone ‘hat Schwein’ (has a pig) means he had very good luck. I certainly could have used a spare lucky pig or ‘Glücksschwein’ on that wet wedding day.

德国人常常喜欢用"猪"来加强语气,就像"猪天气",或者说某人运气真好,他们会说"他有一头猪"。我婚礼那天真需要有点"猪运气"!

Statistics from the Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (National Ministry of Food and Agriculture) show that the pig is far and away the most popular animal to eat in Germany, with each citizen of the Bundesrepublik consuming 52.1kg per year (in contrast, the Independent reports that poultry consumption in the UK is rising while sales of beef and pork are on the decline). It was all but inevitable that pork would become thoroughly baked into the German psyche, its savoury juices trickling down into everyday language. When and why this started, however, is a bit of a mystery.

德国食品和农业部(National Ministry of Food and Agriculture)的统计数字显示,德国人最喜欢吃的肉类就是猪肉,每个德国公民每年消费的猪肉达52.1公斤(独立报告显示,英国消费家禽肉类上升,而猪肉和牛肉消费下降)。显然,猪肉香肠已经成为德国人生活中不可分割的一部分,它浓郁的肉汁浸染入德国人的日常会话中。但这到底是从什么时候开始的,及其原因却仍然是个谜。

“The image of the butcher in Germany is always this fat guy who has two sausages he’s holding up… this rough, laughable figure,” said Hendrik Haase, who has devoted himself to quality, local meat, writing a book on the subject, Crafted Meat; opening Berlin butcher stall and eatery Kumpel & Keule; and founding The Butcher’s Manifesto, which he calls “a rotary club for butchers”.

"德国肉店老板的形象总是一个胖家伙,手里举着两根香肠……一个比较粗糙和可笑的形象。"亨德里克·哈斯(Hendrik Haase)说,他专注于地方高质量肉类问题,写了一本有关肉类的专著,题为《精雕细琢的肉》(Crafted Meat)。

Using humour to deal with a touchy subject isn’t unique to Germany, but it’s central to the way many Germans approach many aspects of their lives. Why should their carnivorous proclivities be any different?

利用幽默来对付比较棘手的难题并不是德国独有现象,但许多德国人日常生活的方方面面都以这种态度对待,他们对猪肉的喜好也是如此。

“We’re trying to deal with the fact that somebody is killing something for us,” Haase added, “that some animal had to die so you [could] eat a sausage.”

"我们面对这样一个事实,就是其他人为了我们而宰杀动物,"哈斯接着说,"也就是说,一些动物必须死去,这样我们才能吃到香肠。"

Another theory has to do with the fact that owning a pig used to mean you had a certain amount of wealth and status. “My grandmother had two pigs a year, and she would make sausages, because you’d want to preserve that for as long as you could,” Haase said.

另一个理论是,过去在德国,一个人如果拥有一头猪曾经象征着你有一定的财富和地位。"我祖母一年养两头猪,她会做很多香肠,因为你想储存尽可能多的肉。"哈斯说。

Ursula Heinzelmann, food scholar and author of Beyond Bratwurst: A History of Food in Germany, explains it as a difference between farming and roaming peoples: “If a culture keeps pigs, that’s a sign that they have settled down and are not nomadic anymore. Let’s say that’s the difference between Europe and [certain groups in] northern Africa or the [Middle] East.”

厄尔苏拉·黑泽尔曼(Ursula Heinzelmann)是一位食品学者,她写了一本有关德国食品历史的书,书中解释了农民和游牧群体的不同之处:"如果人们开始养猪,意味着他们已经安定下来,他们不再是游牧民族了。我们可以说这就是欧洲和北非或中东的区别。"

Eating sausages can also help form a sense of camaraderie. No German institution promotes this quite as well as the beer hall or Biergarten, where sausages are always on the menu. In Germany even today, food is often more about ritual and gathering, less about taste.

吃香肠还有助于在人与人之间建立友情。看看德国总是热热闹闹的啤酒厅,菜单上绝少不了香肠。直到今天,对德国人来说食物更多意味着仪式和聚会,味道倒在其次。

In their quest to be frugal, Germans often value price over flavour as well – and rarely do the two come together as successfully as they do in the humble Wurst. “We figured out a long time ago that [conserving] was best done by stuffing all those little bits and pieces, including the offal, into the casings,” Heinzelmann explained. It isn’t fancy, it isn’t refined, yet it defines what it is to be German – to want to save every last bit of the treasured pig.

俭朴的德国人对于食物也格外重视价格,而物美价廉结合最好的食物,也就是最值的食物,莫过于简简单单的香肠了。"我们很久以前就发现了,储存肉类最好的办法就是把那些碎肉做成香肠,包括那些内脏,都塞进肠衣里。"黑泽尔曼说。这种方法一点都不花哨,也不精致,但却体现了德国人的精神——不浪费一丁点他们珍贵的猪。

What’s more, writes Neil MacGregor in his book Germany: Memories of a Nation, each part of Germany had its own sausage: “Wurst, like beer, defines Germany’s cities and regions, each different sausage with its own ingredients and particular traditions…. A Wurst map of Germany would be a mosaic of ungraspable complexity.”

一位叫尼尔·麦克格雷戈(Neil MacGregor)的作家写了一本书,题为《德国:一个国家的记忆》(Germany: Memories of a Nation),其中写到德国各地都有他们自己独特的香肠,"就像啤酒一样,香肠也区分着德国不同城市和地区。每个地区的香肠都有它们独特的食材和独特的传统作法……画一幅德国香肠地图,将呈现出一个极为复杂、难以理清的画面。"

It can’t be a coincidence, then, that the names of several meat products have endured. Wieners, Frankfurters and even the humble Hamburger all are simply names of German-speaking cities, and of people from those cities. One can almost imagine the smooth little sausages from Vienna (Wien) or Frankfurt, practically bursting their casings with pride at hailing from such illustrious places. Those eating them – perhaps laughing over Wurst-laden speech to signal their belonging to this multi-faceted yet unifying culture – might feel a similar burst of pride as they downed a beer and bit into a sausage named for their hometown.

肯定不会仅仅是巧合吧,一些传统肉制品的名字一直延续下来,例如维也纳香肠(Wieners)、法兰克福香肠(Frankfurters),以及更大众化的汉堡包(Hamburger),它们根本就是说德语的城市名字。那些一边喝着啤酒,一边吃着以自己家乡城市命名的香肠的人,一定由衷地感觉自豪。

For our part, we served no Wurst at our wedding, but we did have something even better; something I consider so German, it gave the whole ceremony, damp and muddy as it was, an almost medieval bent: a wild boar roasting on a spit, which guests were invited to sample at their leisure.

对我们来说,在婚礼上我们没有提供给嘉宾们香肠,但摆上了更好的东西,我认为非常日耳曼的东西,它给那个阴雨天的婚礼带来一抹近乎中世纪的色彩:烤野猪。

Perhaps it was the Glücksschwein we needed after all: Seven years later, no-one remembers the weather, but everyone is still talking about the food.

说到底我们或许还是有点"猪运气":结婚到现在七年了,没有人还记得当天的"猪天气",但是每个人都对那天的食物津津乐道。

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