英式和美式英语间的误会

作者:Lisa发表时间:2018-03-05浏览:312
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  由于英美英语的差异美国人和英国人会彼此误会吗?

  获得56.3k好评的回答@Andrew Bayles:

  Definitely.

  当然。

  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.

  我说的是美式英语。有一次告诉英国同事见面之前我得先回家,因为我裤子湿了。

  He responded with “I certainly didn’t need to know that!”, looking surprised that I had told him.

  他回答说:“我真没必要知道这些!”他看起来很惊讶我跟他说这些。

  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.

  这件事里的误会在于在美国pants指的是宽松长裤或蓝色牛仔裤等所有裤子,而在英国指的是内裤。

  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.

  我在雪里走裤子底边湿了,但他以为我在说自己尿裤子了。

  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.

  类似情况还有90年代有一首流行歌曲,唱这首歌的一个女伴唱歌手一直重复一句“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”.

  乐队成员都是英国人,这一点很重要,因为他们所理解的“pissing the night away”本意上就是“喝了一晚上酒”或甚至只是“消磨一晚上的时间”。

  In the U.S., pissing means “urinating”.

  在美国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.

  有一段时间我真的是很费劲地想弄明白为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.

  这个动词可能造成的另一个误会是在英国“一个pissed的人”是指“一个喝醉了的人”,但在美国是指这个人“非常非常生气”。

  That leads to another common misunderstanding.

  还有另一个常见的误会。

  In the U.S., if I said that so-and-so was “mad”, I would mean that that person was angry.

  在美国如果我说某某人“mad”,可能我的意思是这个人很生气。

  In Britain, the word mad is the common term for [en]“crazy”.

  而在英国,“mad”这个词通常指“crazy(疯了)”。

  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.

  如果一个美国人问“你生气了吗?”他们可能是想弄明白他们做错什么了,如果英国人问这个问题,则是在指责你疯了。

  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:

  几年前我教授的课堂上有一个有趣的练习,我写了下面这个故事,在美式和英式英语中意思截然不同:

  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.

  昨天我有约但起床晚了,我洗漱完穿上裤子和背带,出门时顺手抓了一件背心。

  I drove out toward the university and got a flat. I've had a flat before, but never on my own.

  我开车去大学方向,轮胎爆了,以前也爆过,但都有别人在。

  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.

  所以我给爸爸打电话告诉他这件事,想了解一下该检查什么…最后我搭了新邻居的车,顺便说一下邻居身体很棒。

  As I said before, this is a completely different story depending on which version of English you speak.

  正如我之前说的,所说英语不同这个故事的意义完全不同。

  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脸,穿上长裤,系上背带(英式英语中背带叫braces),穿上马甲(英式英语中马甲叫waistcoat)。

  In other words, I was dressed up in nice clothes for my appointment.

  换句话说,我为约会精心打扮了一番。

  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,在赶赴约会的路上,我的车爆胎了,但没关系,因为和我同行的新邻居是个运动员。

  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,穿上内衣、带吊袜带的袜子和无袖背心。

  In other words, I wasn’t really dressed at all.

  换句话说就是基本上什么都没穿。

  Then I went across town to rent a new apartment by the university.

  然后我穿过镇上去租了大学旁边的一个新公寓。

  In the new apartment building, I got into a lift (an elevator in American English) with my new neighbor, who I found sexually attractive!

  在新公寓楼里,我和新邻居进了电梯(美式英语中电梯叫elevator),我发现这个邻居很性感!


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