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Rats! 2018-04-3068002

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Now, Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English.
您现在收听的是美国之音慢速英语周更节目词汇及其故事。
Today we will be talking about a hated but misunderstood animal —the rat.
今天我们要谈论的是一种被人憎恨但其实是被误解的动物——老鼠。
The sight of a rat might frighten you. Or it might make you sick to your stomach.
老鼠的出现可能会吓到你,或者让你感到恶心。
Well, perhaps not everyone.
好吧,可能不是每个人都这样。
In some countries, dishes made with rat meat can be rare and sometimes pricey -- what we call a delicacy.
在一些国家,用老鼠肉做的菜肴十分稀有,有时甚至也很昂贵——我们称之为美味。
Plus, rats are useful.With their extreme sense of smell, people can train giant rats to find land mines and even tuberculosis.
此外,老鼠用处很大。由于它们的嗅觉非常敏锐,人们可以训练巨型老鼠来寻找地雷,它们甚至能闻出引发肺结核的结核分歧杆菌。
But do these things make people love rats?
但是这些事情会让人们开始喜欢老鼠吗?
No. For the most part, rats are not beloved animals.
不,在很大程度上,老鼠并不是受人喜爱的动物。
For starters, they’re not cute. They have pointed noses and long, thin tails.They can eat and damage crops.And the world has long blamed rats for spreading diseases, like the Bubonic plague in Europe during the 14th century.It does not help your reputation when you are accused of killing at least one-third of the population of an entire continent.
首先,他们长得并不可爱。它们有尖尖的鼻子和细长的尾巴。它们能吃也能破坏庄稼。全世界一直指责老鼠传播疾病,如14世纪在欧洲肆虐的鼠疫。当你被指控杀死了整个大陆三分之一的人口时,这对你的名声并没有任何益处。
But, perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to judge.
但是,也许我们不该这么快下结论。
Scientists now think that it was most likely not rats, but another rodent, the gerbil, that caused the Bubonic plague.They suspect that gerbils traveled to Europe from Asia, some along the Silk Road that traders used.But these animals were not carrying spices and silk, but rather disease.
科学家们现在认为疾病的产生很可能不是因为老鼠,而是另一种啮齿动物——沙鼠,导致了鼠疫。他们怀疑沙鼠是从亚洲传到欧洲的,一些是沿着商人走过的丝绸之路过来的。但是这些动物并没有携带香料和丝绸,而只有疾病。
Today, however, gerbils are pets in many American homes.Teachers sometimes keep them in classrooms for students to care for. Rats, not so much.
然而,今天,沙鼠是许多美国家庭的宠物。老师有时会把他们养在教室里,让学生们去照料。但是老鼠,并非如此。
Such is the difficult life of an unwanted, misunderstood animal.
这就是不受欢迎、被误解的动物所过的艰难生活。
So, scientists can debate the role of rats in spreading disease.But the fact that rats have a really bad reputation in American English is not debatable.It’s the truth. None of our rat expressions means anything good.
因此,科学家们经常争论老鼠在传播疾病方面的作用。但是,事实是老鼠在美式英语中的名声并不好,这是毋庸置疑的。这是真的。我们所有和老鼠相关的表达都没有什么好东西。
The simplest way we use this word is to simply say, “Rats!”Americans often use this expression when something goes wrong.The term is common and polite -- unlike some of our other expressions we might use when we are angry.
这个词最简单的用法就是简短地说:“Rats!”美国人经常在发生一些不好的事情时使用这个短语。这个词很常见也属于礼貌性用语,并不像我们在生气时可能会用到的其他表达方式。
As we said earlier, rats have a good sense of smell. But smelling a rat isn’t good.When we say, “I smell a rat!” we suspect that something is wrong.If you feel that someone has betrayed you, you can say that you smell a rat.
就像我们之前说过的,老鼠的嗅觉很敏锐。但是闻到老鼠的气味就不好了。当我们说:“我闻到了老鼠的味道!”(有不祥的预感)这意味着我们怀疑有什么不对劲。如果你觉得有人背叛了你,你可以说你闻到了老鼠的味道。
A pack rat is not good, either. This is a person who keeps useless things.And worse, they live with all the stuff they have collected.
a pack rat 也是一个贬义词,它意为(收藏的东西都是自己不需要的)垃圾收藏家,更糟糕的是,他们和收集的所有东西生活在一起。
So, calling someone a "rat" is never an expression of respect or affection.When describing people, a “rat” is someone who is not loyal or cannot be trusted.A rat snitches on someone to an authority figure – a parent, a teacher, a police officer.
所以,称某人为“rat”(背叛者)从来都不是一种尊重他人或充满情感的表达。在描述人的时候,“rat”是指不忠诚或不可信的人。上位者经常告密如向家长,老师或警察。
As a verb, the word "rat" isn’t good either.
即使用作动词,“rat”这个词也不好。
To rat on someone means to betray a loved one, friend or someone else you know.When you rat on someone, you tell on them.
To rat on someone(告发某人)意味着背叛你所爱的人,朋友或你认识的人。当你背叛某人时,就相当于你告发了他们。
Let’s say you know that your brother ate the last piece of cake when he wasn’t supposed to.You rat on him to your parents.Or maybe you rat on a colleague at work.Ratting on people, or tattling on them, will not win you friends.It just makes you a rat. Or worse -- a rat fink.
假设你发现你的兄弟吃了最后一块他不应该吃蛋糕。你向父母告发了这件事。或者可能你在工作中会背叛你的同事。背叛他人,或在他们背后打小报告,都会让你的朋友与你渐行渐远。它只会让你变成一个背叛者。更糟的是,变成一个卑鄙,下贱之人(尤指告密者)。
The words tattling and tattletales are often used for children.But ratting someone out or snitching on them can be for any age.
tattling和tattletales这些词经常用于儿童之间。但是 ratting someone out (出卖某人)或 snitching on them(告发他们)可以用于任何年龄段。
No matter what your age, nobody likes to be called a rat, a snitch or a tattletale.However, it is a little different when the police are involved.
不管你多大,没有人喜欢被称为老鼠、告密者或搬弄是非的人。然而,当事情与警方相关的时候,情况就有所不同了。
Let’s say you have information about a crime.When the police begin asking questions, you decide to keep that information to yourself.You may feel you don’t want to rat on someone else.
假设你有关于罪犯的消息。当警察开始讯问时,你决定隐瞒这些信息。你可能是不想出卖别人。
However, nobody would blame you for sharing information with the police if it helps them catch a criminal.Well, another criminal might not approve.Most criminals have a different code of conduct among themselves: You don’t rat on fellow criminals to the police.
但是,如果你把你知道的犯罪信息告诉警察,帮助他们抓住罪犯,没有人会责怪你的。好吧,另一个罪犯可能不会同意。在大多数罪犯间,他们都不约而同的达成了一个共识:你不会将其他的犯罪分子泄露给警察。
In old police television shows and movies, you may hear one criminal criticize another who snitched to the police.They may say, "You dirty rat!"
在以前的警匪电视剧和电影中,你可能听到一个罪犯批评另一个向警察告密的人。他们可能会说:“你这肮脏的老鼠!”
You would not say that a hardened, possibly violent criminal tattled on another ... unless you were trying to be funny.
你不会说一个有暴力倾向的惯犯在向他人告密,除非你想搞笑。
So, when using the word “rat” in English know that the meaning is never a good one.But in life, maybe we should take another look at rats and give them a chance.
所以,在英语中使用“rat”这个词时,要知道“rat”这个词所代表的是不好的意思。但在生活中,也许我们应该再多看看老鼠,给它们一个机会。
And that brings us to the end of this Words and Their Stories.
今天词汇及其故事到此结束。
Do rats have a good reputation in your country? Please tell us!It would be nice to know that there is a place on this planet where saying "Rats!" is a good thing.
老鼠在你们国家名声很好吗?请告诉我们!在这个星球上还有个地方说“Rats!”是件好事。
I’m Anna Matteo.
安娜·马特奥为您播报。

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