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英式和美式英語間的誤會

Source: 恒星英語學習網    2019-09-23  我要投稿   論壇   Favorite  

Is it possible that Americans and Brits could misunderstand one another due to differences in their varieties of English?
由于英美英語的差異美國人和英國人會彼此誤會嗎?

獲得56.3k好評的回答@Andrew Bayles:

Definitely.
當然。
As a speaker of American English, I once told my British coworker that I needed to stop home before our next appointment because my pants were wet.
我說的是美式英語。有一次告訴英國同事見面之前我得先回家,因為我褲子濕了。
He responded with “I certainly didn’t need to know that!”, looking surprised that I had told him.
他回答說:“我真沒必要知道這些!”他看起來很驚訝我跟他說這些。
The confusion in this case was based on the fact that in the U.S., pants means everything from slacks to blue jeans, while in Britain, pants means underwear.
這件事里的誤會在于在美國pants指的是寬松長褲或藍色牛仔褲等所有褲子,而在英國指的是內褲。
I had gotten the bottom of my slacks wet from walking in the snow, but he thought I was saying that I had peed my underwear.
我在雪里走褲子底邊濕了,但他以為我在說自己尿褲子了。
On a related note, in the 90s there was a popular song that had a female backup singer repeating the line “pissing the night away” over and over.
類似情況還有90年代有一首流行歌曲,唱這首歌的一個女伴唱歌手一直重復一句“pissing the night away(喝了一晚上)”。
The members of the band were all British, which is important in understanding that “pissing the night away” essentially means “drinking the night away” or even just “wasting time all night long”.
樂隊成員都是英國人,這一點很重要,因為他們所理解的“pissing the night away”本意上就是“喝了一晚上酒”或甚至只是“消磨一晚上的時間”。
In the U.S., pissing means “urinating”.
在美國pissing的意思是“小便”。
I had a really hard time trying to figure out why anyone would want to spend all night peeing.
有一段時間我真的是很費勁地想弄明白為什么有人想要尿一整晚。
Another possible confusion arising from the very same verb is the fact that a person who is “pissed” is drunk in Britain, but really really angry in the U.S.
這個動詞可能造成的另一個誤會是在英國“一個pissed的人”是指“一個喝醉了的人”,但在美國是指這個人“非常非常生氣”。
That leads to another common misunderstanding.
還有另一個常見的誤會。
In the U.S., if I said that so-and-so was “mad”, I would mean that that person was angry.
在美國如果我說某某人“mad”,可能我的意思是這個人很生氣。
In Britain, the word mad is the common term for [en]“crazy”.
而在英國,“mad”這個詞通常指“crazy(瘋了)”。
If an American asks “Are you mad?”, they’re likely trying to find out what they did wrong; if a Briton asks the same question, they’re accusing you of insanity.
如果一個美國人問“你生氣了嗎?”他們可能是想弄明白他們做錯什么了,如果英國人問這個問題,則是在指責你瘋了。
As a fun exercise in a class I taught a few years ago, I wrote the following story that means entirely different things in U.S. and British English:
幾年前我教授的課堂上有一個有趣的練習,我寫了下面這個故事,在美式和英式英語中意思截然不同:
Yesterday I woke up late for an appointment. I washed up, then pulled on some pants and suspenders, and grabbed a vest on my way out the door.
昨天我有約但起床晚了,我洗漱完穿上褲子和背帶,出門時順手抓了一件背心。
I drove out toward the university and got a flat. I've had a flat before, but never on my own.
我開車去大學方向,輪胎爆了,以前也爆過,但都有別人在。
So I called my dad to tell him about it and find out what kinds of things I should be checking for... I ended up catching a lift with my new neighbor, who's really fit, by the way.
所以我給爸爸打電話告訴他這件事,想了解一下該檢查什么…最后我搭了新鄰居的車,順便說一下鄰居身體很棒。
As I said before, this is a completely different story depending on which version of English you speak.
正如我之前說的,所說英語不同這個故事的意義完全不同。
In the American version, I woke up, washed my face, put on some slacks and some suspenders (braces in British English), and put on a vest (a waistcoat in British English).
美式版本是我起床洗了臉,穿上長褲,系上背帶(英式英語中背帶叫braces),穿上馬甲(英式英語中馬甲叫waistcoat)。
In other words, I was dressed up in nice clothes for my appointment.
換句話說,我為約會精心打扮了一番。
Then, on the way to the appointment, my car got a flat tire, but it was OK because I got a ride with my new neighbor, who was an athletic person.
然后,在趕赴約會的路上,我的車爆胎了,但沒關系,因為和我同行的新鄰居是個運動員。
In the British version , I woke up, did the dishes, and put on some underwear, stocking garters, and a sleeveless undershirt.
英式版本是我起床刷了碗,穿上內衣、帶吊襪帶的襪子和無袖背心。
In other words, I wasn’t really dressed at all.
換句話說就是基本上什么都沒穿。
Then I went across town to rent a new apartment by the university.
然后我穿過鎮上去租了大學旁邊的一個新公寓。
In the new apartment building, I got into a lift (an elevator in American English) with my new neighbor, who I found sexually attractive!
在新公寓樓里,我和新鄰居進了電梯(美式英語中電梯叫elevator),我發現這個鄰居很性感!


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