先有鸡还是先有蛋? 分享到
Which Came First -- the Chicken or the Egg? 2017-06-13115072

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Now, the VOA Learning English program, Words and Their Stories.
这里是美国之音英语学习计划的单词故事节目。
In the English language, some animals have come to represent human characteristics.Lions are brave.Foxes are tricky.And elephants are loyal, just to name a few.
在英语中,一些动物已经开始展现人类特性。仅举几个例子:狮子是勇敢的;狐狸很狡猾;大象是忠诚的。
Then there are chickens.
那么鸡也一样。
The English language has many chicken idioms and expressions.And, for the most part, none of them represent anything good.
英语中有许多关于鸡的习语和表达。而且,在大多数情况下,它们中没有一个代表任何好的东西。
For example, a chicken can describe someone who is scared or afraid.Children commonly tease each other about being chicken.They often use actual chicken noises to make the teasing even more descriptive.
例如,鸡可以用来描述恐惧或者害怕的人。孩子们通常取笑对方是鸡。他们经常用实际的鸡叫声来让戏弄更加形象。
The phrasal verb chicken out has a similar meaning.If you “chicken out,” you decide not to do something because you are too scared.
动词短语“chicken out”有类似的意思。如果你“chicken out”,就是你因为太害怕了而决定不做某事。
For example, let’s say you and your friends are at a party.They dare you to go on stage and sing with the band that is playing.“No problem,” you say. You’re not chicken, you tell yourself.But as you walk toward the stage, sweat starts dripping down your back.Your heart beats faster.Without realizing it, you are backing away from the stage and running toward the restroom.
例如,假设你和你的朋友参加一个聚会。他们鼓动你上台表演,和正在演奏的乐队一起唱歌。你说,“没问题。”你告诉自己你不是胆小鬼。但是当你走向舞台时,汗水开始沿你的背部滴下。你的心跳加速。不知不觉地,你就从舞台上退了下来,朝洗手间跑去。
You have chickened out.
你已经临阵退缩了。
There are other ways in English to insult someone using chicken expressions.
在英语中有其他用关于“鸡”的表达来侮辱别人的方式。
If you are running around like a chicken with its head cut off you are acting in a crazy way.You don’t seem in control of your mind or body.This comes from the gruesome fact that sometimes when a chicken’s head is cut off, its body can still run around before it dies.
如果你像一只被砍掉了脑袋的鸡一样乱跑,那么你正在做一种疯狂的举动。你似乎控制不了你的思想和身体。这源于这样一个可怕的事实:有时当一只鸡的脑袋被砍断时,它的身体还可以在死前四处乱跑。
You can use this expression in many situations.To use another party example, let’s say you are planning a big party for a friend.You are in charge of inviting guests, choosing the food and drinks, decorations and entertainment. So, you are in charge of everything! You have a lot to do.
你在很多情况下都可以使用这个表达。举另一个聚会的例子,比如说你正计划为一个朋友举办一个盛大的聚会。你负责邀请客人、选择食物和饮料、装饰和娱乐。所以,你负责一切!你有很多事要做。
So, you ask your best friend, Christopher, to help.But he’s not a big help.All he can think about is who he’s inviting to the party.You see, his girlfriend is out of town.So, he invites a woman he’s been dating secretly, Liza.You warn him that this could backfire. But he doesn’t care.
所以,你请你最好的朋友克里斯托弗帮忙。但他帮不了什么大忙。他所能想到的就是他要邀请谁来参加聚会。你知道的,他的女朋友出城了。所以他邀请一个他正在秘密约会的女人,莉莎。你警告他这可能事与愿违,但他不在乎。
The day of the party comes.And things start going wrong almost immediately.
聚会的日子到了。事情几乎立即就开始出错了。
The florist sends funeral flowers instead of the bright party flowers you ordered.The food you ordered is frozen and will not be ready for at least another day.The drinks are warm because you don’t have enough ice.And the lead singer of the band is sick.
花店里送的是葬礼用花,而不是你订的鲜艳的派对鲜花。你点的食物是冷冻的,至少需要一天才能食用。因为你没有足够的冰,所以饮料是温的。乐队的主唱生病了。
You run around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to fix all the problems.When the food delivery man hands you a bill for the food no one can eat yet, you tell him you can’t read it.His handwriting is like chicken scratch.If someone is a really messy writer,you can compare their handwriting to the markings that chickens make on the ground with their feet -- we call that chicken scratch.
你像只被砍掉了脑袋的鸡,跑来跑去,试图解决所有问题。当送食物的人递给你一张现在没人能吃的食物账单时,你告诉他你看不懂。他的字迹跟鸡扒的一样。如果一个人真是写字潦草,你可以把他们的笔迹比作鸡在地上用脚做出的痕迹——我们称之为“鸡扒”。
Finally, you calm down.
最后,你冷静下来。
You ask a friend to buy more ice for you.You ask another friend to order some pizzas.And then you ask your Uncle Fred to sing with the rock band.He’s older than they are, but he still sings really well.
你让朋友给你买更多的冰。你叫另一个朋友点些披萨。然后你让你的叔叔弗莱德和摇滚乐队一起唱歌。他比他们的年龄大,但他仍然唱得很好。
“Well, I’m no spring chicken,” he says, “but I’ll do my best!”
“嗯,我不是一只童子鸡(一个年轻人),”他说,“但我会尽我最大的努力!”
If someone is old, we can say they are no spring chicken.This expression is informal and could be insulting. So, use it with care.Most importantly, we always use this expression in the negative.You would not call someone who is young “a spring chicken.”
如果某人老了,我们可以说他们不是童子鸡。这个表达是非正式的,可能带有侮辱性。所以要谨慎使用。最重要的是,我们总是在否定中使用这个表达。你不会把年轻人叫做“童子鸡”。
This leads us to another chicken idiom.This one is not an insult, but it does describe a bad situation.
这就引出了另一个关于鸡的俗语。这个并不是一种侮辱,而是描述了一种糟糕的情况。
What happens when your chickens come home to roost?
当你的鸡回家栖息时会发生什么?
First, what is to roost? To roost means to settle down for rest or sleep.We usually use it when talking about birds.Chickens usually return to their homes to rest.When we say your chickens have come home to roost, we are saying that your past wrongdoings have returned to negatively affect you.In this expression, the chickens represent the things you did wrong in your past.
首先,什么是栖息?栖息意味着安定下来休息或睡觉。我们通常在谈论鸟的时候使用这个词。鸡通常回家休息。当我们说你的鸡已经回家栖息了,我们说的是,你过去的错误回过头带给你负面影响。在这个表达中,鸡代表你过去做错的事情。
For this idiom, let’s use your best friend Christopher.One of his “chickens” is that he’s been secretly dating Liza.In fact, this “chicken” comes to the party.And so does his girlfriend -- the girlfriend he thought was out of town.She sees Christopher and Liza dancing closely together and demands to know what is going on!
关于这个俗语,让我们用你最好的朋友克里斯托弗举例吧。他的其中一个“鸡”是他一直在和莉莎秘密约会。事实上,这个“鸡”来参加聚会了。他的女朋友也来了——他以为在外地的女朋友。她看见克里斯托弗和莉莎亲密地在一起跳舞,就要求了解发生了什么!
His girlfriend yells at him.Then Liza yells at him.Then they both yell at him. It’s awful. You could say to Christopher, “Well, I warned you. And now your chickens have come home to roost!”
他的女朋友对他大吼大叫。然后莉莎骂他。然后她两都对他吼叫。太可怕了。你可以对克里斯托弗说:“好吧,我警告过你。现在你的鸡已经到家栖息了!”
But you don’t say this. He’s your friend. And nobody likes to hear, “I told you so.”
但是你没有这么说。他是你的朋友。没人喜欢听,“我早就告诉过你了。”
Like we said earlier, we usually use “chicken” in a negative way -- well, except with this last example.You may have heard people ask: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
正如我们前面所说,我们通常用否定的方式使用“鸡”——嗯,除了这最后一个例子。你可能听到过有人问:先有鸡还是先有鸡蛋?
We ask this question when talking about a cause-and-effect relationship between two things where we don’t know which happened first.What is the cause and what is the effect?
当我们不知道哪件先发生,在谈论这两件事情的因果关系时,我们会问这个问题。原因是什么,结果又是什么?
We often shorten it to simply chicken-and-egg.You can call something a chicken-and-egg situation or a chicken-and-egg problem.
我们经常把它简化成鸡和蛋的问题。你可以称某事为鸡和蛋的情况或鸡和蛋的问题。
Here is how to use it.Let’s say you don’t like math.You don’t do very well in the subject at school. You could say, it’s a chicken-and-egg kind of thing.You don’t know which came first.Do you dislike math because you’re not good at it? Or are not good at math because you don’t like it?
下面是如何使用它。比如说你不喜欢数学。你在学校的这门课上表现不佳。你可以说,这是一种鸡和蛋的事情。你不知道哪一个先来。你不喜欢数学,是因为你不擅长数学吗?还是你不擅长数学是因为你不喜欢它?
This is a classic chicken-and-egg situation.
这是一个典型的鸡和蛋的情况。
So, back to the party.People are enjoying the pizza, the drinks are cold and Uncle Fred is rocking out with the band.People are even having fun taking their picture with the “R.I.P.” ribbons in the funeral flowers.Everyone is having a good time.
那么,回到聚会上。人们在享受披萨,饮料是冷的,弗莱德叔叔正在和乐队一起摇摆。人们甚至拿葬礼用花上的“愿你安息”丝带在玩拍照。每个人都玩得很开心。
Well, everyone but Christopher.He’s still busy dealing with his roosting chickens.
好吧,除了克里斯托弗之外的每个人。他还在忙着处理他的栖鸡。
That’s the end of this Words and Their Stories.
这期单词故事节目到此结束。
What does the chicken represent in your language?
鸡在你的语言中代表什么呢?
Do they represent good things, bad or both?Let us know in the Comments Section!
它们代表好事、坏事,还是都有?在评论部分给我们留言吧!
I’m Jonathan Evans …
乔纳森·埃文斯……
... and I’m Anna Matteo
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