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1. 有他这颗扫帚星,什么事情都办不成。 (来源:英语麦当劳-英语杂志 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

[误] With a comet like him, nothing can be accomplished.

[正] With a jinx like him, nothing can be accomplished.

注:“扫帚星”是中国人对“慧星”(comet)的俗称,因其后面拖着一条像扫帚一样的长尾巴而得名。在中国古代,“扫帚星”被认为是灾难的预兆,并被用来比喻不吉利的人或事;祸根:(person or thing that is thought to bring)bad luck(to sb/sth);curse。英语的comet 虽然没有这层含义,但却有一个对应的说法,即jinx。

例:There's a jinx on/Someone's put a jinx on this car: it's always giving me trouble. (这辆汽车上有什么妨人的东西,总给我找麻烦。)

2.萝卜青菜,各有所爱。

[误] Some prefer radish but others prefer cabbage.

[正] Tastes differ.

注:Tastes differ/vary .是句英语谚语,除此以外,原句还可翻译成 No dish suits all tastes.或 You can never make everyone happy. 等。此外,我们还可以这样说:One man's meat is another man's poison. 总之,应采取意译。

3.他一向嘴硬,从不认错。

[误] He has always got a hard mouth and never admit a fault.

[正] He never says uncle.

注:say (cry) uncle: to give up or in; to surrender; to admit defeat. Mainly used by boys, as when fighting. 这句话主要是男孩们打架时的用语,当一方想制服另一方时,就用命令的口气说:“Say uncle!”这时,有的孩子为了表示不服输,就是不说。后来,say uncle 就成了“服输”的代名词,而 not say uncle 就相当于“嘴硬”了。

4.老师很喜欢这个嘴甜的小姑娘。

[误] The teacher likes this sweet-mouthed little girl very much.

[正] The teacher likes this honey-lipped little girl very much.

注:中国人喜欢说“嘴甜”,但 honey-lipped 更符合英美人的语言习惯。

5.同学们都很讨厌他,因为他经常拍老师的马屁。

[误] The students all dislike him because he often pats the teacher's ass.

[正] The students all dislike him because he often licks the teacher's boots.

注:以前在欧洲,臣民见到国王与王后往往要亲吻他们的靴子。后来,人们将 lick the boots 引申为“为了某种目的而讨好某人”,它与汉语的“拍马屁”含义一样。在美国英语中,“拍马屁”还有另一种说法,即 polish the apple,源于以前的学生用擦亮的苹果来讨好老师。

6.你听说了吗?迈克把他的女朋友给甩了。

[误] Have you ever heard that Mike broke up with his girlfriend?

[正] Have you ever heard that Mike dumped his girlfriend?

注:break up with sb. 虽然表示“与某人分手了”,但并没说明是谁先提出来的。而 dump 的原意指“倾倒垃圾”,用在这里则表示像倒垃圾一样地甩掉。

7.我们要把祖国建设成为社会主义的现代化强国。

[误] We will build our motherland into a socialist modern powerful country.

 
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