英文原文参考的是《Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (Penguin Modern Classics)》，第一章第二段原文如下： As soon as the light in the bedroom went out there was a stirring and a fluttering all through the farm building. Word had gone round during the day that old Major, the prize Middle White boar, had had a strange dream on the previous night and wished to communicate it to the other animals. It had been agreed that they should all meet in the big barn as soon as Mr Jones was safely out of the way. Old Major (so he was always called, though the name under which he had been exhibited was Willingdon Beauty) was so highly regarded on the farm that everyone was quite ready to lose an hour’s sleep in order to hear what he had to say.
英文原文的词语并不复杂，具备初级英语能力者还是更推荐阅读原文，毕竟当年上架时是“儿童读物”。各译本基本上大意准确，但在一些小细节上还是能看得出质量高低，在此先解释几个关键词语。 1．stirring: an initial sign of activity, movement, or emotion；fluttering: (of a bird or other winged creature) flap (its wings) quickly and lightly，因此这两个动作指的是静悄悄而又急促的行动。 2． Middle White: a breed of domestic pig native to the United Kingdom，指的是英格兰一个家猪品种，查询维基百科得知是“中白猪”，所以大部分译本的“中等白鬃毛的公猪”译文显得啰嗦。 3．Willingdon: 读音与Wellington很相似，但在英格兰指代的地点却不是一个地方。Willingdon乃是英格兰东南部靠海的小镇，可译为“威林登”；Wellington所指的几个地点大多在英格兰西南部地区威灵顿，地名取自第一代威灵顿公爵，就是在滑铁卢战役击败拿破仑的那位。虽不影响阅读，但还是希望译文更加准确。