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葉一知 | 07/01/08 | 雙語趣味 | (4877 Reads)

新年快樂!相信大家過了一個愉快的聖誕節,並在寒冷中迎接2008年吧。

說起聖誕節,令我想起一段新聞。話說,美國人太忙了,忙得沒有時間打理生活,包括準備聖誕,於是美國出現了「生活經理」(lifestyle manager)這種行業:

No job too small as US households farm out chores
Too busy to take shirts to the cleaners or shop for Christmas presents, high-flying Americans have spawned an industry to absolve themselves of everyday chores. (The Standard, 2007/12/27)

 

誰都知道farm是農場,但farm也可作動詞,解作「務農」。Farm out聽起來就像把肥豬圍在農場外,所以這個習語便有「外判」之意。用得多outsource,可改用farm out,簡單又形象化。

成功,我們會比喻為飛得很高,蘇東坡也說過「高處不勝寒」,所以high-flying就是「非常成功」、「成就非凡」之意。Spawn很簡單,就是「產 卵」,引伸作「開創」、「創造」。Absolve則是「赦免」,用法是absolve somebody from/of something。如果你看過經典電影《莫札特傳》(Amadeus),又記不記得最後那個忌才的作曲家薩列尼(Antonio Salieri)說「Mediocrities everywhere, I absolve you」 (到處的庸才,我赦免你)?當然,雜役不是罪,上面用absolve只是幽人一默。

Chores是「雜役」,多指一般人不願做的呆板工作,例如:

His staff of seven undertake everyday chores from walking the dog to hiring a private jet or selling a customer’s car. (The Standard, 2007/12/27)

我們俗稱的「放狗」,即是帶寵物去散步,英文也不累贅叫bring your dog to walk,直接寫walk your dog便可。如果你養的是小強(蟑螂),帶牠去散步,也可以寫成walk your cockroach。至於你可不可以walk your fish,我就不知道了。

臨到聖誕,生活經理更要幫客人選購禮物並郵寄、編排假期節目、訂位訂機票等,實在忙得透不過氣:

As the holiday season got into full swing, Welch was booked up. (The Standard, 2007/12/27)

swing就是鐘擺的擺動,好像你打韆鞦,「發」來「發」去一樣。習語get into the swing of something,即說你開始像鐘擺般盪來盪去,自然引伸作「開始進入狀態」、「熟習」、「融入其中」等意思。至於full swing,不難理解,鐘擺搖盪幅度達到最大,不就是廣東話說「發到衡」、「開衡晒turbo」的意思嗎?所以get into full swing就是「如火如荼」、「到達高潮」的意思了。

我們都懂book位食飯的book,booked up的意思就是「訂滿了」,與fully booked差不多。

老實說,負擔得起的話,我也想光顧這種服務。美國人真行,不知會否有一天,他們也能把陪老婆shopping這項雜役外判給生活經理呢?

[1]

新年快樂,我題外有問題,例如中文想說的虛數,

幾個 several

咁幾十個的英文是什麼呢?

好似幾十年,several decades的 decade可以用在幾十嗎,當成十個一組,別人會誤會為年嗎?

謝謝


[引用] | 作者 小奧 | 07/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[2]

"a few of ten" 可以嗎?


[引用] | 作者 小奧 | 07/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[3] what is the meaning of landing a heavy blow

喺SCMP見到呢句'many heads of drug gangs have been excuted, landing a heavy blow in the fight against this illegal activity',成篇係講youngsters involved in drug cases
landing a heavy blow 即係點解?


[引用] | 作者 vicky | 13/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[4]

I do love your blog.Would you tell what meaning about
'bite back someone's tongue & whose breathing didn't alter one bit'
I read them in' joy luck club'Is it chinese?and Decline and fall.It is a book.what if you change into Chinese.
too many questions Thank you very much.


[引用] | 作者 cat | 14/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[5] Re: 小奧
小奧 :
新年快樂,我題外有問題,例如中文想說的虛數,
幾個 several
咁幾十個的英文是什麼呢?
好似幾十年,several decades的 decade可以用在幾十嗎,當成十個一組,別人會誤會為年嗎?
謝謝

幾十個的英文, 我想一般是用dozens of, dozen是一打, 幾個dozens, 可以由幾十個至百幾個.

decades只可用在"年", 不能說成幾十啊!!

小學生
[引用] | 作者 小學生 | 14/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[6] Re: 小奧
小奧 :
"a few of ten" 可以嗎?

一定唔可以, 這是chinglish了....

tens of thousands of就有, 數以十萬計, 但就咁tens of.., 也未見過.....

小學生
[引用] | 作者 小學生 | 14/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[7] Re: vicky
vicky :
喺SCMP見到呢句'many heads of drug gangs have been excuted, landing a heavy blow in the fight against this illegal activity',成篇係講youngsters involved in drug cases
landing a heavy blow 即係點解?

首先你要明白, blow不單止係"吹水"的吹,還是"打擊", "猛擊"甚至有毆打的意思, 所以i landed a blow on your nose 就是一半打落你個鼻到, land a heavy blow就是一個比喻, 意為"予以痛擊"....

小學生
[引用] | 作者 小學生 | 14/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[8]

Joy Luck Club is a novel written by the acclaimed American born Chinese writer Amy Tan. In 1993, Hong Kong director Wong Wayne turned the novel into a movie and won some awards.


[引用] | 作者 Mike | 15/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[9] Re: Mike
Mike : Joy Luck Club is a novel written by the acclaimed American born Chinese writer Amy Tan. In 1993, Hong Kong director Wong Wayne turned the novel into a movie and won some awards.

哦.., 你一講電影, 即知係邊套..., 中文名係喜福會,

hahaha, sorry, 我無知!

小學生
[引用] | 作者 小學生 | 16/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[10]

因為朋友說"a few of ten",我覺得很怪便google一下,又發現很多"a few of ten"。而decade,明明是十年又看到Wikipedia說A decade is a set or a group of ten, commonly a period of 10 years in contemporary English, or a period of 10 days in the French revolutionary calendar.

不過我認為.還是用你所說的dozens of較好


[引用] | 作者 小奧 | 21/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[11] Re: 小奧
小奧 :
因為朋友說"a few of ten",我覺得很怪便google一下,又發現很多"a few of ten"。而decade,明明是十年又看到Wikipedia說A decade is a set or a group of ten, commonly a period of 10 years in contemporary English, or a period of 10 days in the French revolutionary calendar.
不過我認為.還是用你所說的dozens of較好

不, 你查閱時, 一定要留意results (最好用" "), a few of ten,當然不能, 但a few of ten thousand等某些組合, 是可以的.....我甚至懷疑, a few of ten是"十個中有幾個", 不是幾十個!!!

小學生
[引用] | 作者 小學生 | 21/01/08 | [舉報垃圾留言]

[12]

想不到了3年後自己又 google 回同一問題來到..這裡,哈,我又再問 a few of ten lol - 因為挪威文有 flere ti-talls - 幾十的說法,從今以後,的會記住 dozens of :D


[引用] | 作者 小奧 | 04/03/11 | [舉報垃圾留言]