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[翻译]Words and Their Stories - Different Ways to Pass and Fail

更新时间:2017/9/17 10:21:51 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories. On this show, we explore the origins and usage of common expressions in American English.

During September in the United States — and in many places around the world — children are going back to school.

在9月份的美国和全球大多数地方,孩子们将会重新回到学校。

Even if your school days have long passed, you may remember this time of the year well: the smell of books and pencils, the sound of your footsteps as you enter a strange classroom, the nervous feeling in your stomach as you meet your new teacher.

即使你早就过了上学年龄,你也许也会记得每年这个时候:书本和铅笔的气味,你走进一间陌生的教室的脚步声,见到新老师时的紧张感。

Naturally, we all want to do well in school and life. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. So, today we are going to talk about both. The expressions you will hear in today's program are commonly used in a classroom. But, they can also be used in other situations.

当然,我们都希望在学校和生活中表现良好。有时候我们能做到,有时候做不到。所以今天我们将会来谈论这两者。本期节目中你将会听到的一些表达通常会在教室中用到,但是也能用于其它场合。

Let's start with the bad situations first.

首先让我们从坏的情况开始。

Now, as you probably know, a bomb is something that blows things up. In American slang, when something bombs, it fails completely. So, if you fail a test, you bombed it.

正如你所知道,炸弹会炸坏东西。在美国俚语中当提到什么东西“爆炸”时,是指它彻底失败。所以如果你没有通过考试,就是说你考试惨败。

We also often use "bomb" this way when talking about movies, plays or performing. For example, if a comedian is on stage telling jokes but no one is laughing, you can say his jokes are bombing. Afterward, if you are feeling very mean, you could say to him, "Wow, you really bombed."

我们在谈到电影、戏剧和表演时也经常这样使用bomb这个单词。例如,如果喜剧演员在舞台上讲笑话,但是谁都没笑,你就可以说他的笑话演砸了。之后,如果你感觉发狂,你可以对他说:“呀,你烂爆了。”
 

Students prepare for an exam in suburbs of Yangon, Myanmar, February 2016.

Now, let's say nobody goes to the new superhero movie, you can say it bombed at the box office. The box office is where people buy their movie tickets. In this case, they were buying tickets for a dud or a flop. These two words are often used to describe a form of entertainment that failed in its purpose -- to entertain.

现在,让我们假设没人去看新的超级英雄电影,你可以说它的票房惨败(bombed at the box office)。票房(售票处)是指人们买票的地方。在这个例子中,他们是在买票看一场没价值或失败的电影。这两个词通常用于描述某种娱乐活动未能达到娱乐目的。

Even a party that bombs can be called a dud or a flop. And if a class you are taking is boring or useless, you could call it a "a real dud."

即使是一场糟糕的聚会也可以使用a dud或a flop。如果你上的课程非常无聊或者毫无用处,你可以称之为“a real dud。”

Now, let's go back to bombing.

现在让我们回到bombing。

Please take note that when the word "bomb" is a verb, it means to fail.

请注意,当bomb这个动词用作动词时,它是指失败。

As a slang expression, however, “the bomb” often describes something really good. For example, if a high school student wears a new pair of sneakers to school, his friends could say, "Those shoes are the bomb!" That means they are great -- in a cool, awesome kind of way.

然而,作为俚语表达,“the bomb”通常用于描述一些很棒的东西。例如,如果一名高中学生穿着一双新运动鞋去上学,他的朋友可能会说:“这双鞋帅呆了。”意思是很酷很赞。

But please be careful: using “the bomb" this way is extremely casual and would not be appropriate to use in a formal situation. For example, let's say your boss wears a new suit to an important meeting. It might not be a good career move to say to her, "That outfit is the bomb! You look awesome!"

但是请小心:以这种方式使用“the bomb”是非常随意的,不适用于正式情况下使用。例如,假设你的老板穿了新衣服参加一场重要会议,如果跟她说:“这件衣服很赞,你看上去太棒了。”这可能不是一种很好的职业举动。

And making comments about a bomb at a U.S. airport could get you arrested.

而且在机场提到炸弹一词可能会让你被逮捕。

So, as we said, be careful!

所以,正如我们说的,请小心!

Now, let's talk about expressions to use when you do something really well.

现在,让我们谈谈你表现很好时用到的一些表达。

Let's say you did well on a test. You got 100% correct. You aced it! You can also say that you passed with flying colors.

假设你考得很好,达到了100%的准确率。你考了满分!你还可以说你出色地通过了考试(passed with flying colors)。

The last expression might make you think of a big celebration — like maybe your parents celebrated your passing grade by lighting colorful fireworks.

上句表达可能会让你想到一场大型庆典,类似你的父母可能会点燃五彩缤纷的烟花来庆祝你通过考试。

But you would be wrong.

但是你错了。

Word experts seem to agree that the expression "to pass with flying colors" comes from the military. In this case, “pass” doesn’t mean to succeed, but to travel. And “colors” doesn’t mean shades like red or blue, but flags.

词汇专家似乎认为“to pass with flying colors”这种表达来自于军队。在这种情况下,pass并不是指获得成功,而是指行进。而“colors”不是指红色或蓝色的色调,而是指旗帜。

According to the website The Phrase Finder, “pass with flying colors” originally describes winning ships sailing into port “with flags flying from all the mastheads.” By around 1700, the phrase was being used to describe any kind of victory.

The Phrase Finder网站称,“pass with flying colors”最初是指获胜船只航行进入港口,所有桅顶上旗帜飘扬。到了1700年左右,这句短语被用于描述任何一种胜利。

That means you can use "pass with flying colors" when you are being graded on a test or course, but also in a situation that is out of your control -- such as a medical exam.

这意味着你通过某门考试或课程时,你可以使用“pass with flying colors。”但是在某些你无法控制的情况下也能使用这句表达,例如体检。

Let's say you are nervously waiting in a doctor's exam room for the results of a blood test. The doctor may come in and say, "Don't worry! I'm looking at the results of your blood test and you passed with flying colors!" It's not as if you studied for your blood test and then did well on it. So, this is the doctor's way of being lighthearted or funny.

假设你在医生的检查室里紧张地等待着血液检查结果。医生可能会走进来告诉你,“别紧张!我看了你的血液检查结果,你检查通过了。”这并非像是你研究了你的血液检查结果,然后做得很好。所以,这是医生表现轻松或有趣的一种方式。

And that brings us to the end of this Words and Their Stories! We here at VOA Learning English hope you pass your next exam with flying colors — or at least we hope you don't bomb on your next project!

I'm Anna Matteo.

Words in This Story

comedian – n. a person who performs in front of an audience and makes people laugh by telling jokes or funny stories or by acting in a way that is funny : an actor who plays roles that make people laugh

dud – n. something that does not do what it is supposed to do : something that is a complete failure : The movie was a box office dud. [=few people went to see the movie]

flop – n. informal : to fail completely

cool – adj. very fashionable, stylish, or appealing in a way that is generally approved of especially by young people

awesome – adj. informal : extremely good

casual – adj. designed for or permitting ordinary dress, behavior, etc. : not formal

formal – adj. requiring or using serious and proper clothes and manners

outfit – n. a set of clothes that are worn together

ace – v. US, informal : to earn a very high grade on (an examination) : to get a grade of A on (an examination)

masthead – n. the top of a ship's mast

lighthearted – adj. having or showing a cheerful and happy nature

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