人字拖:不仅可以穿在脚上 分享到
Flip-Flop: Not Just for Your Feet 2018-08-0782484

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Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories.
这里是美国之音慢速英语《词汇故事》栏目。
On this program we explore common expressions in American English.
在本期节目中,我们将探讨美式英语中的常用表达。
Today we are talking about two things that at first seem unrelated -- changing your mind, and shoes.
我们今天谈论的是乍一看似乎毫无关联的两件事——改变想法和鞋子。
Okay, first shoes.
好的,先谈鞋子。
In the summertime, many people around the world wear a kind of casual shoe known as “flip-flops.”They are completely open. So, they keep feet cool in warm weather. They are also good to wear in the shower, at the beach or by a swimming pool – anywhere wet.
夏天,世界上很多人都穿一种叫做“人字拖”的休闲鞋。这种鞋是完全敞开的。因此,它们能让脚在温暖的天气里保持凉爽。在淋浴室里、沙滩上或游泳池旁——任何潮湿的地方都可以穿。
Word and shoe experts both agree that flip-flops come from Japan.
专家认为人字拖一词和人字拖鞋都是源自日本。
An article in the New York Times explains that after the Second World War ended, Japan increased its production of rubber. Among other things, workers used rubber to make a version of a traditional Japanese sandal, called the zori. Japan exported these rubber zoris all over the world.
《纽约时报》的一篇文章解释说,二战结束后,日本增加了橡胶产量。此外,工人们还用橡胶制作了一种叫做“草屐”的日本传统凉鞋。日本向世界各地出口这些橡胶草屐鞋。
But the public did not keep the name zori. The rubber sandals became known as flip-flops.Can you hear why?
但是公众并没有保留“草屐”这个名字。这种橡胶凉鞋被称为人字拖鞋。你能听到这是为什么吗?
“Flip-flop” is the sound the shoes make when you walk in them.
“啪嗒啪嗒”是你穿这种鞋走路时发出的声音。
So, that’s some information about the flip-flop we wear on our feet. But another way we use the word "flip-flop" in American English has nothing to do with shoes.
以上是关于我们脚上穿的人字拖的一些信息。但是我们在美式英语中使用“flip-flop”一词的另一种方式与鞋子无关。
When you flip-flop, you completely change your mind on an issue. Not only do you adjust your thinking, but you adopt the exact opposite position.
当你改变主意的时候,你会在一个问题上完全改变主意。你不仅调整你的想法,而且会采用完全相反的观点。
For example, maybe one day you announce to your roommates that you have become a vegetarian.You plan to eat only vegetables, beans, rice and pasta. But at the end of the week, you make another announcement. You say you’ve changed your mind. And now, you will only eat meat.
例如,也许有一天你向室友宣布你已成为素食主义者。你打算只吃蔬菜、豆类、米饭和面食。你在周末却宣布另一个消息。你说你改变主意了。现在,你只吃肉。
You have flip-flopped.
你转变了立场。
Word historians say this usage of "flip-flop" began around 1930 and comes from the world of electronics. “Flip-flop” referred to switching circuits that alternate between two states.
文字历史学家说,“flip-flop”的这种用法始于1930年前后,源自电子产品领域。“flip-flop”指的是在两种状态之间交替的开关电路。
Today, we most commonly use the term “flip-flop” in politics.
今天,我们在政治中最常使用“flip-flop”这一术语。
Being accused of flip-flopping is usually not good. Let’s say you are running for a political office.Early in your political career perhaps you supported a popular issue – such as tax breaks for businesses. But now supporting that issue is not popular.
被指责转变立场通常是不好的。假设你在竞选一个政治职位。在你的政治生涯早期,你也许支持一个受欢迎的议题,例如减免企业税收。但是现在支持那个议题并不受欢迎。
So, during the campaign, you tell voters that you’ve changed your mind. You are now against tax breaks for businesses.Your opponent could accuse you of being weak, of not knowing what you believe in, or of changing your position to get more votes.
因此,在竞选期间,你告诉选民你改变了主意。你现在反对为企业减税。你的对手可能会指责你软弱,指责你不知道信奉什么,或者指责你为获得更多的选票而改变立场。
A candidate who flip-flops for political gain usually gives a bad impression. Voters come to know you as a flip-flopper.
一个为了政治利益而改变立场的候选人通常给人不好的印象。选民们逐渐意识到你是个墙头草。
Another, more neutral expression that means about the same as "flip-flop" is “to do a 180.” (By the way, you can spell “one-eighty” with either numbers or letters. The pronunciation is the same.)
另一个更中性的表达是“做180度大转弯”,它的意思和“flip-flop”差不多。(顺便说一下,你可以用数字或字母拼写“180”。发音也是一样的。)
If you turn 180 degrees around a circle, you will be facing in the opposite direction. So, you can use this term simply to mean turn around. For example, you could say that when your friend saw her ex-boyfriend coming toward her at a party, she did a 180 and quickly walked away.
如果你围绕一个圆旋转180度,你将面向相反的方向。所以,你可以简单地用这个词来表示转身。例如,你可以说,当你的朋友在一个聚会上看到她的前男友向她走来时,她转过身,然后迅速走开了。
That is the literal meaning.
这就是字面意思。
Figuratively, doing a 180 means you completely change your opinion, or you make a big change in your lifestyle.
形象地说,做180度大转弯意味着你完全改变了自己的观点,或者你的生活方式发生了巨大变化。
In our earlier example about flip-flopping from being a vegetarian to eating meat, you could also say you did a 180. That expression sounds less critical than “flip-flop.”
在我们之前的例子中,从吃素食转变到吃肉,你也可以说做了180度大转弯。这个表达听起来不如“彻底改变主意”更具批判性。
At work, you may not want to say that your boss flip-flopped on an important issue. Saying she did a 180 is more polite.
在工作中,你可能不想说你的老板在一个重要问题上彻底改变主意。说她做了180度大转弯更有礼貌。
You could also say that she reversed her earlier opinion. Better still, you can say her opinion evolved. Using the word “evolved” gives the impression that she changed her opinion over a long period of time and after thinking about it very carefully.
你也可以说她改变了她先前的观点。更好的是,你可以说她的观点得到了改进。使用“改进”一词给人的印象是,她在很长一段时间内改变了自己的观点,并且是在仔细考虑之后。
In other words, if you do not want to offend someone, you might want to save your flip-flops for the beach.
换句话说,如果你不想冒犯别人,你可能会想把你的人字拖留在海滩上。
And that’s the end of this Words and Their Stories. I’m Anna Matteo.
以上就是本期《词汇故事》栏目的全部内容。安娜·马泰奥为您播报。

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