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2009-2-22 美国词语典故——道听途说:什么?谁告诉你的?

楼主:sunny 日期: 回贴:9 浏览:

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From: http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2009/02/22/0040/  

Now, the VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories.

现在是 voa 慢速英语节目——词语典故

Some of the most exciting information comes by way of the grapevine.

一些令人振奋的信息来自小道消息。

That is so because reports received through the grapevine are supposed to be secret. The information is all hush hush. It is whispered into your ear with the understanding that you will not pass it on to others.

之所以如此,是因为来自小道消息的报道理应是秘密。那些信息都是机密。(他们)确保你不会(把消息)泄露给别人,才会悄悄告诉你。

You feel honored and excited. You are one of the special few to get this information. You cannot wait. You must quickly find other ears to pour the information into. And so, the information - secret as it is – begins to spread. Nobody knows how far.

你深感荣幸和备受振奋。你是为数不多的知情者之一。你迫不及待,必须赶紧

把这消息告诉他人。就这样,这个消息——作为秘密,开始流传开来。没人知道传了多远。

The expression by the grapevine is more than one hundred years old.

by the grapevine 这个短语有 100 多年的历史。

The American inventor, Samuel F. Morse, is largely responsible for the birth of the expression. Among others, he experimented with the idea of telegraphy – sending messages over a wire by electricity. When Morse finally completed his telegraphic instrument, he went before Congress to show that it worked. He sent a message over a wire from Washington to Baltimore. The message was: "What hath God wrought?" This was on May twenty-fourth, eighteen forty-four.

美国发明家——塞缪尔 . 莫尔斯,很大程度上,创造了这个短语。值得一提的是,他做了电报试验——用电线传递信息。他在去国会前就实践了一下。他通过电线从华盛顿向巴尔的摩发了一条信息。信息是:“上帝创造了什么?”那是在 1844 年 5 月 24 日 。

Quickly, companies began to build telegraph lines from one place to another. Men everywhere seemed to be putting up poles with strings of wire for carrying telegraphic messages. The workmanship was poor. And the wires were not put up straight.

很快公司开始在各地建设电报线路。人类好像各地都竖起电线杆子,以承载电报信息。然而工艺比较差,电线没有搭直。

Some of the results looked strange. People said they looked like a grapevine. A large number of the telegraph lines were going in all directions, as crooked as the vines that grapes grow on. So was born the expression, by the grapevine.

一些结果看起来很奇怪。人们说它们看起来像葡萄藤。好多电报线曲曲折折,像葡萄藤一样弯曲。 by the grapevine 这个短语由此产生。

Some writers believe that the phrase would soon have disappeared were it not for the American Civil War.

一些作家认为(那时)如果不是为美国内战所用,这个短语很快就会消失。

Soon after the war began in eighteen sixty-one, military commanders started to send battlefield reports by telegraph. People began hearing the phrase by the grapevine to describe false as well as true reports from the battlefield. It was like a game. Was it true? Who says so?

1861 年内战开始不久后,军事指挥官就启用电报来传递战况信息。人们陆续听到用“葡萄藤”传来的或真或假的战况。就像一个游戏。是真的?谁说的?

Now, as in those far-off Civil War days, getting information by the grapevine remains something of a game. A friend brings you a bit of strange news. "No," you say, "it just can't be true! Who told you?" Comes the answer, "I got it by the grapevine."

现在,虽远离内战时代,但通过小道得消息仍像个游戏。一个朋友告诉你一些奇怪的信息。“不”,你说, ” 肯定不是真的!谁告诉你的?“回答是,”小道消息“。

You really cannot know how much – if any – of the information that comes to you by the grapevine is true or false. Still, in the words of an old American saying, the person who keeps pulling the grapevine shakes down at least a few grapes.

你无法知道小道消息多大程度上或有多少是真的或是假的。还是美国的那句老话,摇晃葡萄藤的人至少晃下几个葡萄。

You have been listening to the VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories. I'm Warren Scheer.

你收听的是 voa 慢速英语节目——词语典故。我是 Warren Scheer 。

背景知识

1. Samuel Morse 一位美国的发明家, 1791 年四月 27 日 出生在美国马萨诸塞州的查尔斯顿, Morse 最初的职业是位油漆工。 1839 年他发布了他的第一项发“莫尔斯”码。他的同行发明的电报就是运用“莫尔斯”码来传递信号的, 1844 莫尔斯从华盛顿到巴尔的摩拍发人类历史上的第一份电报 。 在座无虚席的国会大厦里 , 莫尔斯用激动得有些颤抖的双手 , 操纵着他倾十余年心血研制成功的电报机。 1872 年于纽约逝世。

2. the person who keeps pulling the grapevine shakes down at least a few grapes. 与此话类似于中国的俗语应该有很多,我译成:无风不起浪,不知是否恰当。

3.Some writers believe that the phrase would soon have disappeared were it not for the American Civil War.

该句是一个与过去事实相反的虚拟语气,省略if ,采用倒装。还原则是:Some writers believe that  if it were not for the American Civil War ,the phrase would soon have disappeared .

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最佳回复 该帖于2009年2月22日被版主推荐为精华帖。

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作者于2009年2月26日 11:52:11对上面的内容进行了补充:

文中as 的翻译欠妥,需要更正。

1. the information - secret as it is – begins to spread.

   这条消息,虽然是秘密,开始流传开来。 

2.as in those far-off Civil War days, getting information by the grapevine remains something of a game.

  遥远的内战时期一样,通过小道得消息仍像个游戏。

分享到:
  第1楼 作者:violet_huang 创建: <编辑>  <引用>

翻译得真好!

  第2楼 作者:cloudwalker 创建: <编辑>  <引用>
When Morse finally completed his telegraphic instrument, he went before Congress to show that it worked.

他在去国会前就实践了一下。

我的理解是:

当Morse终于完成了电报机,他就到国会那里去展示电报机可以使用。

  第3楼 作者:cloudwalker 创建: <编辑>  <引用>
the person who keeps pulling the grapevine shakes down at least a few grapes.

摇晃葡萄藤的人至少晃下几个葡萄

2. the person who keeps pulling the grapevine shakes down at least a few grapes. 与此话类似于中国的俗语应该有很多,我译成:无风不起浪,不知是否恰当。

好像不是这个意思,肯请Master指点迷津!

似乎是:小道消息经过澄清,至少可以去掉一些“水分”。

4楼 作者:cloudwalker 创建: <编辑>  <引用>

the person who keeps pulling the grapevine shakes down at least a few grapes.

摇晃葡萄藤的人至少晃下几个葡萄

2. the person who keeps pulling the grapevine shakes down at least a few grapes. 与此话类似于中国的俗语应该有很多,我译成:无风不起浪,不知是否恰当。

好像不是这个意思,恳请Master指点迷津!

似乎是:小道消息经过澄清,至少可以去掉一些水分

  第5楼 作者:sunny 创建: <编辑>  <引用>
2 -  作者:cloudwalker -  创建于:2009-2-23 8:37
When Morse finally completed his telegraphic instrument, he went before Congress to show that it worked.

他在去国会前就实践了一下。

我的理解是:

当Morse终于完成了电报机,他就到国会那里去展示电报机可以使用。

 谢谢指正。before congress 做地点状语,而非时间状语

  第6楼 作者:Felix 创建: <编辑>  <引用>
翻译的挺合理易懂的,赞
7楼 作者:橘子龙眼 创建: <编辑>  <引用>

 翻译的还不错

  但是总感觉少了点什么

8楼 作者:longjie 创建: <编辑>  <引用>

倒装的真多

9楼 作者:flyfish 创建: <编辑>  <引用>
对于as的翻译,我觉得作“仍然”,“一如既往”解较合适。

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