工商時報【湯名潔】

英文裡有不少習慣用語是藉由動物的特性來作發揮,由於老美與華人對同一種動物的看法不見得相同,錯誤便可能發生。以下5句請將畫線處改成正確的動物。

Debug

1. If someone steals and you let him go, you are nursing a tiger in your bosom. 如果有人偷東西而你放過他,你就是在養虎為患。

2. That old man would be as crazy as a monkey to set fire to the house. 那個老人瘋了,放火燒房子。

3. Lately I have been as busy as a bee in a tripe-shop getting my book published. 我最近為了出書忙翻了。

4. No matter how hard you tried, this project was a dead horse from the beginning. 不管你多麼努高雄電動床力,這個案子從一開始就注定失敗。

5. I don't think there was any mouse business between John and his secretary. 我認為約翰和他的祕書之間並沒有什麼見不得人的事。

Debugged

1. If someone steals and you let him go, you are nursing a viper in your 電動床工廠bosom.

成語的「養虎為患」,英文譯為nurse a viper in one's bosom、warm a snake in one's bosom,字面意思是「把毒蛇揣在懷裡」。

2. That old man would be as crazy as a loon to set fire to the house.

想到「瘋狂、瘋癲」,華人可能會聯想到蹦蹦跳跳的猴子,但老美卻認為棲息在加拿大和美國北部的一種潛鳥(loon)才夠格稱得上瘋狂,這可能與此鳥奇特的叫聲有關。

3. Lately I have been as busy as a cat in a tripe-shop getting my book published.

As busy as a bee是指「非常忙碌」,但注意這個片語後面接了in a tripe-shop,tripe shop是販賣牛肚等可食用內臟的商店,因此這裡就不能填bee,而是cat。

4. No matter how hard you tried, this project was a dead duck from the beginning.

中文裡有「死馬當活馬醫」的說法,但英文要表示一件事沒有指望、注定失敗,是用dead duck。

5. I don't think there was any monkey business between John and his secretary.

我們會用「鼠竊狗盜」指偷偷摸摸的人或行為,而英文裡指不道德、不合法,如貪汙、詐騙、偷情等情事會用monkey business來形容。

喔,原來這樣講才對!

「學英文也可以是一場震撼教育。」一個外商公司的總經理到世界公民上完第一次課以後這樣說。

這種震撼是因為以前講錯太多英文,自己完全不知道,己經錯了十幾年。除掉英文裡的錯,就像擦掉眼鏡上的霧水。邀請您體驗一次英文的震撼教育,請上網www.core-corner.com登記,(臺北)02-27215033、(新竹)03-5782199。

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