又中又英——Faint of heart

  Former US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, is a rising star in the Republican Party. President Donald Trump appointed her as UN ambassador but she resigned after two years when she was accused of accepting private plane trips from businessmen when she was governor of South Carolina. Unlike Kamala Harris, the Democratic Party's candidate for vice president, who is half Indian, both of Haley's parents are Indian immigrants. She is a very good speaker. She used an interesting expression when she gave a speech to support Trump at last week's Republican Party convention. Haley said: "The UN is not for the faint of heart. It's a place where dictators, murderers, and thieves denounce (criticize) America and then put their hands out and demand that we pay their bills."

  It is rare for a diplomat to be so openly critical of the UN. The expression "faint of heart" means lacking the courage or confidence to do something dangerous, difficult, or risky. Haley used this expression to say the US ambassador to the UN must be tough and courageous because many UN ambassadors are from countries ruled by dictators or murderers who criticize the US but want US financial help. Vice President Mike Pence also gave a speech supporting Trump at last week's convention. He said regarding improving the economy, Trump "kept his word and then some". To "keep your word" means to do what you promised. The expression "and then some" is an American expression rarely used elsewhere.

  It means to do much more than you promised. For example, if you promised your friend to get at least 100 voters to support his election but got more than 200, you can say "I kept my word and then some". Pence also said: "Let's fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents". To "fix your eyes on" something means to look at and pay attention to something. The expression "Old Glory" is a nickname for the American flag. Pence meant Americans should respect the American flag because it represents freedom.

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  前美國駐聯合國大使妮基‧黑莉,是共和黨的明日之星。總統特朗普任命她為聯合國大使,但她於兩年後辭職,因她被指控在就任南卡羅萊納州州長期間,接受商人的私人飛機接載。她不像民主黨的副總統候選人賀錦麗般,是半個印度人,黑莉的父母均為印度移民。她是個非常優秀的演說家。在上周舉行的共和黨大會上,她在支持特朗普的演講中,用了一個很有趣的習語。黑莉說:「聯合國非為怯懦弱者(the faint of heart)而設。這裏有獨裁者、殺人犯與小偷在譴責(denounce)美國,然後又攤大手板要求我們幫他們埋單。」

  一位外交官會如此公開地批評聯合國,實屬罕見。習語“faint of heart”是指膽小、缺乏勇氣或信心去做一些危險或困難重重的事。黑莉用這個習語,是想說美國駐聯合國大使必須堅強而具膽色,因為許多聯合國大使都是來自獨裁者或殺人犯所統治的國家,他們會批評美國,但又想要美國的經濟援助。副總統彭斯在上周的大會也發表了一場支持特朗普的講話。他說,在改善經濟方面,特朗普“kept his word and then some”。To “keep your word”意即信守諾言;習語“and then some”是個美式習語,很少在其他地方使用。

  它的意思是「還不止於此」,比你所承諾的做得更多。譬如說,若你承諾了朋友會爭取一百個選民去在選舉中支持他,最後卻找來多於二百名支持者,你便可以說:“I kept my word and then some”。彭斯還說:「讓我們凝視那『古老的榮耀』(fix our eyes on Old Glory),以及她所代表的一切。」 To“fix your eyes on”something意即注目觀看某物;習語“Old Glory”是美國國旗的綽號。彭斯的意思是,美國人應當尊敬美國國旗,因為它代表着自由。

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中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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