Song of Orchid Island蘭嶼之歌
關於時隔三十年‧Song of Orchid Island蘭嶼之歌〝古物出土〞的一些理由
文 / 丁松青神父
時間過得好快，“蘭嶼之歌”翻譯成中文到現在也有30年了，現在“蘭嶼之歌”終究出版了英文版，請容許我談談出版Song of Orchid Island的理由。
第一個想法是，希望原本喜愛“蘭嶼之歌”中文版的朋友也能透過對Song of Orchid Island的閱讀，增進英文閱讀技巧與樂趣。
此外，我也想對外國朋友有些許貢獻，藉著這本書，他們可以從“蘭嶼”這些令人驚豔的大自然風光與友善的人們身上學習到一些美好與動人的經驗。台灣很少有英文的旅遊書籍，更少有以英文紀錄台灣原住民部落人物的書。於是，這本遲來了三十年的書便顯得與眾不同了，我很希望能透過Song of Orchid Island將我衷心所愛的“蘭嶼”讓世界每個角落的人們閱讀到她的美麗。
我希望閱讀Song of Orchid Island 的朋友們，能夠透過我的眼睛與書寫，更深的了解與認識蘭嶼的一切，並深深摯愛。
Why I wrote Song of Orchid Island
by Barry Martinson
The year I spent teaching the children of Orchid Island was a special time in my life. When I left the island and continued my studies for the priesthood, my heart was full of the memories of that beautiful island and the people there who had become my friends.
I was studying theology at Fu Jen University. But it was hard to concentrate on my studies, because I was always thinking of Orchid Island. During class, I drew pictures and wrote stories about my adventures of the previous year. When I returned to my room I typed them up. My teachers and classmates thought I was very studious. They didn’t know I was writing a book. The book was inside of me. It had to come out.
After the book was finished, I mailed my one and only copy off to some publishers in San Francisco, who later went bankrupt. It was years before I got my copy back. I tossed the manuscript into a drawer and decided writing was not for me.
Almost a decade later, the famous writer San Mao came into my life once again. We had met briefly, while I was on Orchid Island and she on one of her exotic journeys. Then we had lost contact. When we met again, San Mao translated Song of Orchid Island into Chinese and had it published. The book quickly became a bestseller, especially among the youth of Taiwan.
Now, over thirty years since I wrote the English manuscript that was published in Chinese, Song of Orchid Island has finally come out in English. There were several reasons why I wanted to make an English version of this book.
First, because it can be a good study aid for Chinese readers wishing to improve their English reading skills. Together with the Chinese version, published by Huang Kuan, it can be a valuable teaching aid.
Second, because I wanted to make the book available to English readers. With this book, they can learn about Orchid Island, its awesome natural wonders and friendly people. Taiwan has so few travel books in English, and even fewer personal studies dealing with indigenous tribes. This book can make a difference. It can make Orchid Island more widely known throughout the world.
I believe when you have a strong desire to do something good, you should do it. I really wanted to do this book. It has taken 30 years for it to reach its present form. But the issues it raises are perhaps more timely now than ever before.
To understand and share with those of other cultures, beliefs and lifestyles has far-reaching consequences in an increasingly divided and intolerant world. I hope that those who read Song of Orchid Island will see the island and its people as I have seen them. And may this knowledge increase their love.