Archive for 二月, 2008

27 2008

Daily Quote: where are the decisions made

Published by under Daily Quote

今天早晨几个抗议者爬上议会大厦屋顶,挂起横幅,投下纸飞机,在屋顶上向媒体打手机接受采访。警察也不用强,耐心劝导抗议者自动“下台”。

这已经不是第一次有抗议者爬上议会大厦,为今天的抗议增加一点意味的是,当3个抗议者还在议会大厦屋顶的时候,首相布朗来到议会大厦,照常出席每周三的 Prime Minister’s Question Time。

Gordon Brown:

The message should go out today clearly that decisions in this country should be made in the Chamber of this House and not on the roof of this House.

这是Gordon Brown 在 PMQ 上迄今最为精彩的一句。

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23 2008

Daily Quote: paint the Forth Bridge

Published by under BBC,Daily Quote

如果要形容某件工作反反复复,总也做不完,你可以说 It’s like painting the Forth Bridge.

Forth Bridge

Forth Bridge,又叫 Forth Rail Bridge,是指爱丁堡城北 Forth 河(Firth of Forth)上的铁路桥。铁路桥建成于1890年,已近120岁,目前每天仍然有200趟火车经过,是英国人引以为豪的工程杰作。桥梁的大部份结构是钢,传说中等到把桥梁全部油漆一遍之后,前面的已经褪色,就又得开始重新油漆了,所以 paint the Forth Bridge 成为英国俗语。

最近负责维护 Forth Bridge 的公司发布新闻,说将采用新型油漆,保证30年不褪,所以得另找词汇代替 paint the Forth Bridge 了。

BBC documentary: Britain’s Best Buildings – The Forth Bridge

Forth Bridge painting set the end

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19 2008

Lost in Translation: tenant

Published by under Lost in Translation

《南方周末》一位编辑给我转来的一份文章评论政府工作作风,出发点是刊登在新华网上的一则新闻:

英国:政府出钱为居民驱“鬼”

新华网北京2月14日电 英国达勒姆郡伊辛顿地区一名市政官员日前说,因当地一户居民坚称家中闹鬼,不敢在家中居住,并请所谓的通灵者驱“鬼”。为避免这户居民有家不能归,政府有关部门无奈为驱“鬼”埋单。

我找了一下,这则新闻可能是根据以下的英文新闻翻译的:
Council house exorcism ‘cheapest option’

A County Durham council has defended its decision to pay £60 to rid a tenant’s home of a poltergeist, saying it was the cheapest option.

Easington Council employed medium Suzanne Hadwin after Peterlee tenant Sabrina Fallon reported paranormal activity including moving objects.

Hartlepool Mail 虽然是当地报纸,但是这一条新闻却用的是 PA(Press Association)的通讯稿。新华网的编辑估计就是以同一份通讯稿为基础发了中文稿。

但是中文稿件作者显然忽略了原文中 tenant 一词的重要含义,翻译为“居民”,意义大不相同。

Tenant 在这篇文章中是 council tenant 的缩略写法,即“政府公屋住户”。在英国,常用 landlord/landlady 指房东,tenant 指租户。Council tenant 即是“政府公屋”(council house/flat) 的租户。“政府公屋”是一项社会福利,一般只分配给低收入家庭,政府负责“政府公屋”的修缮维护等工作,如果住户对分配到的房子不满,还可以要求政府解决。在这则新闻里,这位住户如果坚持以“闹鬼”为理由投诉,政府作为房东有责任处理,其它的解决方式开支可能更大,还不如报销“驱鬼费”了事,这是当地政府做出这项决定背后的理由。

但是如果是私人住宅,不管你是房东还是租客,政府是绝对不会替你报销“驱鬼费”的。

一个“居民”,一个“政府公屋住户”,可以使文章的结论相距甚远。

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17 2008

dither

Published by under Word by Word

这几个月来,dither 这个词成了保守党最爱挂在嘴边的词了。用 dither 来形容现任财相 Alistair Darling,当然是为了对应工党首相布朗的“精明强干”的形象。就象布朗十年前爱用 prudent,现在保守党希望反复使用 dither ,最后可以深入人心。

今天 Alistair Darling 终于宣布将对 Northern Rock 进行国有化了,保守党影子财相 George Osborne 在回应中更是一口一个 dither

After months of dither and delay we have ended up with this catastrophic decision.

连一直宣扬 Northern Rock 国有化的自由民主党财政发言人 Vince Cable 也开始说 dither 了

The Government has dithered. It has wasted time and money.

dither
n. A state of indecisive agitation.
v. To be nervously irresolution in acting or doing.
慌乱,紧张,犹豫,颤抖

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15 2008

Daily Quote: better acquainted & necessity for abstaining

Published by under Daily Quote

《最新情人书信写法》(The New Letter Writer for Lovers)是从剑桥大学图书馆塔(Cambridge University Library Tower)中整理出来的维多利亚时代书籍之一。书中教男读者如何向心仪但不熟悉的女士示爱:

Madam,

I scarcely can find courage to address you, and particularly as I cannot flatter myself that you have noticed me in any way. But, at the risk of incurring your displeasure, I feel compelled to express, with all deference, the anxiety I feel to become better acquainted with you, and to confess that you have inspired feelings warmer than those a mere acquaintance might warrant.

然后是女读者如何写拒绝信,如果你看不上他的话。只要把空填上就好了。

Miss ___ presents her compliments to Mr ___ and while she is unwilling to consider his letter an insult, she trusts that in future should she meet Mr ___ he will see the necessity for abstaining from addressing her under any circumtances whatever.

只要用心,什么都可以学。维多利亚时代也是个信息时代呢。

Kathryn Hughes: The secret love lives of the Victorians

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12 2008

Daily Quote: whipped up into

Published by under Daily Quote

Dominic Fifield of the Guardian reports the game between Arsenal v. Blackburn Rovers:

This may have been an uncomfortable victory, squeezed from Blackburn Rovers with the home supporters whipped up into a frenzy of frustration as chance after chance was squandered, but the reality of this team’s vantage point today will render the angst suffered by their followers last night forgotten.

体育报道也可以生动兼有文采。

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10 2008

Daily Quote: How to eat spaghetti with a fork

Published by under Daily Quote

Philip Howard of the Times answered the question:

Pasta pros (Italians) are adept at holding their forks in their right hands, and twirling spag into a nest. The safer British way is to use a spoon as a safety net beneath the nest. The boring British way is to cut the spag up into small gobbets. When eating à la Romana, do as the Romans do.

adept: very skilled; a highly skilled person.

我觉得用筷子最方便了。

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