又中又英——the era of strategic patience

  It’s been nearly a year since Donald Trump became the president of the US. By now, most people are familiar with his big talk (noun). But most people also know although he likes to talk big, he is all talk and no action. The expression “big talk” means boastful and arrogant talk. The phrase “talk big” means to talk in a boastful and arrogant way. When someone is “all talk and no action”, it means that person talks a lot about doing something or threatens to do something but never actually does it. Trump has warned North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un many times that the US would attack North Korea if Kim continues to test nuclear weapons. A few months ago Trump said North Korea would be met with fire and fury if it threatens the US.

  As I have explained before, the expression “fire and fury” as used by Trump means using gunfire and bombs with extreme anger. When Trump was in Japan last week he again talked big to threaten North Korea. He said “the era of strategic patience is over”. This is an interesting quote. The word “era” means a long period of time during which important events happened. For example, the era of colonial rule in Hong Kong ended in 1997. The adjective “strategic” means a long-term plan or goal and the ways to achieve it. The expression “strategic patience” means being patient for a long period of time in the hope that a long-term plan can be achieved.

  When Trump said “the era of strategic patience” is over, he meant the long period during which the US patiently used economic pressure against North Korea is over. This was yet another threat against Kim. But during his Asia trip last week, he said he hoped North Korea would sit down and talk about ending its nuclear weapons tests. Once again, his big talk about the “era of strategic patience” being over was just all talk and no action. After one year of big talk as US president, Kim probably knows Trump is just all talk and no action.

  特朗普就任美國總統,已經差不多一年了。到現在,大部份人對於他那些吹牛的話(big talk,名詞)早已不再陌生。然而,許多人也清楚,即使他喜歡誇誇其談(talk big),他總是空口說白話,光說不做(all talk and no action)。習語「big talk」就是自吹自擂又傲慢的話,而「talk big」這個片語就是自誇而傲慢地說話。當某人是「all talk and no action」,就是指那人說許多要怎樣怎樣做、或是要挾要做甚麼,卻從不付諸實行。特朗普警告北韓領袖金正恩許多遍,若金繼續試爆核彈,美國就會攻擊北韓。幾個月前,特朗普也說過,要是北韓威脅到美國,將會遭受到「炮火與怒火」(fire and fury)。

  正如我之前解釋過,以特朗普的說法,習語fire and fury是指以極大的怒氣去使用槍炮與炮彈。特朗普上星期在日本又再吹噓(talked big)恐嚇北韓。他說:「the era of strategic patience is over」,這是一句挺有趣的話。Era是指發生了一些重要事件的某個時代。譬如,香港受殖民統治的時代(era)於一九九七年終結。形容詞strategic是指戰略性的;習語strategic patience是「戰略忍耐」,即長期忍耐以期盼某長遠計劃終將實現。

  當特朗普說「the era of strategic patience」已經完結,他的意思是,美國長久以來耐性地以經濟制裁北韓,這個時期已然終結。這又是對金正恩的另一番威嚇的話。可是,在他上週的亞洲之行期間,他卻說希望北韓會坐下來,談談如何終止其核彈試爆。又一次,他吹噓甚麼「戰略忍耐的時代」已經終結的大話(big talk),都只是空口說白話(all talk and no actionall talk and no action)。聽慣了美國總統這一年來的吹牛大話(big talk),金也大概知道,特朗普統統都是光說不做(all talk and no action)的了。

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

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