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Learn How to ’Get a Clue’ 2017-10-10148783

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Now, Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English.
现在是美国之音慢速英语单词故事节目。
On this program we talk about words and expressions that we use in everyday conversation.Today we are going to talk about mysteries. And, more importantly, how to solve them.
节目中我们会谈论日常对话中常用的单词和表达。今天我们来谈论一下秘密。更重要的是谈论如何解密。
So, what are the keys to solving a mystery?If you said clues, you are right. Clues are pieces of information that help you find an answer.
所以解密的关键是什么呢?如果你说是线索,那么就对了。线索是帮助你找到答案的信息。
The word "clue" has an origin story that may surprise both native English speakers and those learning English.The origin of the word combines a Greek myth, a labyrinth, danger and knitting.
单词“线索”的起源故事会让英语母语者和学英语的人都很惊讶。这个单词的起源来自一个希腊神话故事,故事里有一个危险而又错综复杂的迷宫。
That’s right, knitting!
对了,就是错综复杂!
But first, let’s start with the myth. In this story, a monster called the Minotaur lived in a labyrinth on the island of Crete.From time to time, people were sent inside the labyrinth as sacrifices. They could not find their way out, and the Minotaur killed and ate them.
但首先让我们先来说一下这个神话故事。故事中有一只叫做米诺德尔的怪物,它住在克里特岛上的一个迷宫里。一直以来,会有人被迫送到迷宫里做祭奠。他们找不到出来的路,米诺德尔就可以杀死他们并吃掉。
Except for one man.
除了一个人。
As the story goes, Theseus volunteered to go into the Minotaur’s labyrinth. But before going in, Theseus unraveled a ball of yarn.He battled the Minotaur and killed it. Then he followed the yarn back to the opening of the labyrinth and came out alive.
后来,提修斯自愿去到米诺德尔的迷宫。但在进入之前,提修斯打散了一团毛线。他和米诺德尔打斗,杀死了怪兽。之后他沿着毛线回到了迷宫的出口,活着出来了。
You may be saying to yourself, "That is a great story. But what does it have to do with the word ‘clue’?"
可能你会说这个故事根棒。但是这和单词“线索”有什么关系呢?
Well, in the 1590s, a ball of yarn was called a clew, spelled c-l-e-w.Because of this Greek myth about Theseus -- and possibly other stories, too -- the meaning of "clew" began to change.By the 1620s, the word meant something that will lead to a solution. After more time passed, the spelling changed to c-l-u-e, the way we spell it today.
16世纪90年代,毛线球叫做线团,拼写是clew。由于这则关于提修斯的希腊神话,或许也有其他故事,“clew”的意思也就发生了改变。到17世纪20年代,这个单词的意思就变成可以帮助找到解决方法的一些东西。一段时间后,拼写也变成我们今天使用的拼写clue。
Clue continued to become even more widely used.
“Clue”一词的使用也变得更加广泛。
By the late 1940s, someone who didn’t have a clue meant someone who didn’t understand something.Today, we commonly use this "clue" in many expressions.You can use it to talk about someone who doesn’t know a specific thing or about someone who is generally ignorant.
20世纪40年代后期,说某人没有clue意思就是说他不理解某些事情。今天,我们在很多表达中都会用到“clue”一词。说某人不了解某一具体事情或者谈论某一无知人时都可以用到这个词。
For example, I am organizing a surprise birthday party for my friend. She doesn’t have a clue what I am planning!When the guests jump out of their hiding places and yell “Surprise!” she will be shocked.
例如,我正在为我朋友准备一个惊喜生日派对。她并不知道我的计划。当客人从藏身之处跳出,大喊“Surprise”,她就会大吃一惊。
That is a friendly use of the expression. But it can also be used in a more critical way.
这是友好表达中的使用。也可以用在一些讽刺用语中。
For example, I could say, "I have a friend who was born into a very rich family.I feel uncomfortable when she complains about people who struggle to pay their bills on time.She doesn’t have a clue how hard it can be to make a living!"
例如,我可以说:“我有一个朋友,他出生在一个非常富裕的家庭。当她抱怨那些需要为支付账单而努力挣扎的人时,我就会感觉非常不舒服。她根本不知道挣钱多么的不容易。”
Instead of "didn’t have a clue" you could also say “she is clueless” for both of these examples.
这样的例子中,除了用“didn’t have a clue”外,还可以用“she is clueless”。
Here’s another example of “clueless” meaning a general state of ignorance.
说“clueless”的意思是无知时还有另外一个例子。
I can’t believe the boss made his son our manager. That kid is so clueless. He has no idea how this company works. We’re doomed!
“我真不敢相信老板让他儿子当了我们的经理。那个孩子什么都不懂。他根本不知道如何运营公司。我们完了。”
That’s an insult.
这是一种侮辱。
Now, if someone is clueless or doesn’t have a clue in the sense that he or she is simply ignorant, you can tell them angrily to get a clue.This like telling them to wake up or to get with it!
现在如果说某人很愚蠢无能,或者说没有有意义的线索,那他就是无知,可以生气地告诉他,让他去找点线索。这类似于醒一醒,该去做事了!
You can also gently clue them in. This phrase means to let someone know the way something happens.We often use it when something is difficult to understand or see on the surface.
也可以温柔地给他们点提示。这个短语的意思就是让某人知道某事发生的方式。我们经常用在很难理解或者表面上很难看出来的事上。
So, if you are simply sharing your homemade apple pie recipe with a friend, you probably wouldn’t say,I’ll clue you in on how to make this apple pie. I mean, you could say that. But it sounds much too dramatic.
所以如果仅仅是和朋友分享自制苹果派的秘诀,那就不能说“我会在如何制作苹果派上给你一些提示。”我的意思是你可以这样说,但是听起来就比较夸张。
But let’s say a friend of yours moves into the apartment building where you live. Many strange and difficult people also live in that building.You might want to pull your friend aside and say, "Look, if you want to be happy here, let me clue you in on some of the characters who live here.Never talk directly to the guy who walks his turtle. If you need to say something to him, just say it to the turtle.And don’t hang your laundry on your balcony. The woman living above you will shoot at your dry clothes with a water gun.And whatever you do, DO NOT play classical music after 6 p.m. Your next door neighbor was a conductor in an orchestra and misses it terribly.You will hear him crying for hours afterward."
但如果是朋友搬进了你住的公寓,还有许多陌生人和不太好相处的人也住在那里,那就可以把朋友拉到一边说:“听着,如果你想在这里过得愉快,那我就和你说说住在这里一些人。永远不要主动和遛乌龟的那个人说话。如果需要和他说话,那就和乌龟说吧。还有不要把要洗的衣服放在阳台。住在你楼上的那个女人可能会用水枪往你的干衣服上喷水。无论如何,不要在晚上六点后放古典乐。你的隔壁邻居曾经是一个乐团指挥家,现在非常想念古典音乐。放了之后会让他哭上几个小时。
Now, I hope you feel a bit clued in on the different ways to use the word "clue."
现在希望大家已大概了解不同情况下如何使用“clue”一词。
And that’s all for this Words and Their Stories.
以上就是本期单词故事节目的全部内容。
I’m Anna Matteo.
我是安娜·马提奥。

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