Letter to the editor
Reader Yongcheng Li from St. Augustine, Florida sent me his thoughts on the translation of an Anthony Hopkins classic
"The silence of the lambs" is a 1988 novel by Thomas Harris and also a 1991 academy award-winning film directed by Jonathan Demme. The Chinese translation of the title has always been 沉默的羔羊 (meaning the silent lambs).
I have never seen any "silent lamb" either in the movie or in the novel. What I saw were only bleating lambs. The movie was about overcoming of Starling's phychological trouble she had since her childhood of the poor lambs, and herself. At the end of the movie, Starling was startled when she received a phone call from Lecter. He asked her if the lambs had stopped screaming, and promised her that he will not come after her, and that he expected the same courtesy.
The actual meaning of "the silence of the lambs" is "making the screaming lambs silent". It is definitely not "the silent lambs". The title could better, in fact, be translated to 哀叫的羔羊 (the bleating lambs).
What do you say?