Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories.
On this program we explain the origin and usage of common phrases and expressions in American English.
Popular culture has a strong influence on language. The expressions that come from movies and television shows can be especially powerful.
When we use expressions that come from a movie or television experience shared by others, it can create a feeling of closeness with them. If someone says a line from one of your favorite movies, it is kind of like you both belong to the same club.
Some of these pop culture expressions have become so common that you might not even know the shows they come from. But you can still use them!
English has many phrases that have found their way into common usage. Today we talk about a water-based phrase and useful adjectives that relate to it.
If I say to you, just keep swimming, I am quoting a fish -- a really famous fish.
如果我对你说，just keep swimming，我引用了一条鱼说的话—一条非常有名的鱼。
In the movie Finding Nemo, Dory is a friendly, helpful, optimistic fish. She becomes friends with Marlin, a clown fish who has just lost his only son.
Dory offers to help Marlin find Nemo. (Actually she does not take “no” for an answer.) The search is very difficult. Along the way, they face bloodthirsty, confused vegetarian sharks; bloodthirsty, but very clear-headed pelicans and dentists!
Every time Marlin feels like giving up Dory says to him, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.”
DORY: When life gets you down, you know what you got to (gotta) do? MARLIN: I don’t want to know what you got to (gotta) do.
DORY: Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim,swim.MARLIN: Dory, no singing.
With these words, Dory is telling her friend that he should not give up. He should keep looking for his son.
At some point, we all face a difficult situation. We may feel frightened, sad or just overwhelmed. And we may want to give up. But then a friend says, “Just keep swimming,” and it gives us the hope we need to reach our goal – to finish strong.
The expression may come from a children’s film, but its meaning is not childish. And even if someone has not seen the film Finding Nemo, they most likely will know what you mean when you say it.
If you keep swimming you will not drown. Another expression, to keep your head above water, expresses a similar message. Don’t drown. Take action to survive, even if that is all you can do.
如果你继续游，你就不会被淹死。另一个表达是to keep your head above water，也表达了类似的意思。不被淹死。采取行动来生存，即使那是你所能做的全部。
English has some great adjectives to describe people and things that do not give up.
One is resilient. Resilient people do not give up in the face of adversity. Resilient can refer to things, also.For example, a tree that keeps growing even after lightning strikes it, could be called a resilient tree.
Another adjective to describe someone who will not give up is indefatigable. Now, it does have six syllables. So, you may need to practice saying it. I know I did. A lot. Just remember that the stress is on the third syllable: in-de-FA-ti-ga-ble.
另一个形容词用来形容一个永不放弃的人是不屈不饶的。这个单词有六个音节。所以，你可能需要练习才能拼读。我知道我做到了。很多。记住重音在第三个音节上:in-de- fa -ti- gable。
So, would I say “just keep swimming” in a very serious situation or to a very serious co-worker who I don’t know well? Probably not. But we do have other words of encouragement. You can say “Hang in there!” “You can do it!” or “Don’t give up!”
那么，我会在非常严峻的情况下或者对一个我不太了解的非常严肃的同事说“just keep swimming”吗?可能不会。但我们还有其他鼓励的话。你可以说“坚持住!”“你能行!”或者“不要放弃!”
When we use expressions or phrases from movies or television shows, it is a way of sharing culture with another.
And that’s it for Words and Their Stories!
I’m Anna Matteo.