上海行…Being shanghaied?

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25/03/2014

上海行…Being shanghaied? 毛孟靜

並非滬語中的「上海本地人」,我祖籍浙江寧波,只屬統稱江浙一帶的上海人。因為北京(忽然)向香港立法會發出上海行邀請,作為受邀一員,霎時想,哈,或有機會練一練習上海話,卻又立刻記起一眾上海朋友的提醒:不,上海都不說上海話了,都是講普通話的多。真可惜。

香港誓攬廣東話!

大概三十年前吧,在舊時的本地《遠東經濟評論》雜誌中,第一次讀到上海的英文原來可以做動詞。 To Shanghai,是去上海;但 to shanghai,s寫做細草,就是非常的另一回事了。Shanghai,相信就是英語世界中唯一的verb-city。

話說去shanghai人,今解to trick somebody into doing something,going somewhere,去誘騙或強迫人做一些事,去哪個地方。可即時玩pun造句:They are being shanghaied to Shanghai,他們給誘騙到上海。

寫法另有shanghai’ed及shanghai-ed,只不過是強調城市名另加了ed。這個用法歷史悠久,有說可追溯至1871年,源起許多商船在上海擄人飄洋過海,或留之在船上做苦差,或就是「賣豬仔」到金山。

看似「古」字,仍係潮流。聽聞近年《蝙蝠俠》電影中,亦有「I’ve been shanghaied」的對白。放諸今日香港,being shanghaied最貼切的對咀翻譯,也就是給「賣了豬仔」。而賣豬仔的意思儘管繁多,終也不外指受到偷呃拐騙之災,及一點給劫持之意,亦包含一句市井的「畀人過咗一棟」。

隨口一句:He was shanghaied into that meeting, which was a clear set-up。他給「劫持」到那個擺明是陷阱的會議。字典就有此例句:Tourists shanghaied into buying expensive fakes。被誘騙買了昂貴假貨的遊客。

網上有顯然識得中文的洋人問:這個城市動詞,跟「傷害」(普通話一樣讀shanghai)有關係嗎?署名Doug Thiele者這樣寫:I was wondering if…(that) had any role in the origins of the term since there was likely harm done to some of those who were shanghaied。這條在Merriam-Webster字典網的問題,兩年下來沒人答,或無人懂答。

真不幸。北京以前叫Peking,但早已改做官方拼音的Beijing,(記得嗎,彭定康就拒絕改口,話堅持講他口中的proper English)。Shanghai一名,既然有這不快至不光彩的聯想及用法,都應一改拼音?卻是,歷史真有不幸的巧合,上海的普通話串法,跟舊時的Wade-Giles語音系統,就是一模一樣,改不了。

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