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a fish out of water; teach a fish how to swim



「美国习惯用语」第五十九讲

a fish out of water

to teach a fish how to swim

在今天的节目里,我们要给大家介绍几个和鱼有关的习惯用语。中国人常常用「如鱼得水」来形容一个一切都很顺当的环境。美国人常用的一个俗语却刚好和「如鱼得水」相反,他们说:a fish out of water。从字面上解释就是:没有水的鱼。你肯定经历过一种场合,当时你觉得很不自然,和周围的人或环境格格不入。A fish out of water作为一个俗语,就是指这种感觉的。它的意思是某人和他所处的环境不融恰,使他感到很别扭、很难堪。

比如说,我的一个朋友最近从一个国际会议回来后他对我说:

例句-1: At the conference I was a fish out of water. All the speeches were in French, a language I never studied.

他说:“参加那个会议真叫我感到别扭。所有人发表讲话的时候都用法语,可是我从来也没有学过法文。”

每个人都会有感到别扭的时候,下面这个人碰到的场合又是一个例子:

例句-2: Everybody else at the party ended up in the swimming pool. But I was a fish out of water because I can't swim.

这人说:“参加聚会的每个人最后都到游泳池去游泳了,我真感到别扭,因为我不会游泳。”

******

要是谁想教鱼怎么游泳的话,那简直是班门弄斧,多余的了。下面我们要讲解的一个习惯用语就是这个意思:to teach a fish how to swim。To teach a fish how to swim作为俗语的意思是指班门弄斧:给别人提出完全没有必要的建议或劝告。你听了下面这位父亲的讲话就会知道他的儿子有多可笑了:

例句-3: My son, fresh out of college, keeps telling me how to run my business. But I've been making good money for 30 years so he's teaching a fish how to swim.

这位父亲说:“我的儿子大学刚毕业,可是他却不断地来告诉我应该怎么做生意。我三十年来生意做得很好,赚了不少钱。所以,他来告诉我怎么做生意简直是多余的。”

这个儿子可能还不知道自己在做傻事。可是,有的人在事后发现自己做了类似的傻事会感到很难堪。请听下面这个例子:

例句-4: The day after I got my private pilot's license, I told this man at the party all about how to fly an airplane. Later I learned he was an airline pilot who flew jumbo jets -- I'd been teaching a fish how to swim.

这个人说:“我在得到飞行员执照后的一天,在一次聚会上告诉一个人怎么驾驶飞机。后来,我听说那个人是开大型喷气机的飞行员。我去告诉他怎么驾驶飞机真是多余,简直是班门弄斧。”

1. Extreme cold will solidify water.
    寒冷可使水凝固。

2. Every apartment house has a water tank on its roof.
    每栋公寓房子都有一个水塔。

3. Even if a piped water supply is safe at its source, it is not always safe by the time it reaches the tap.
    即使管道供水系统在水源处安全的,等水到达龙头时就不一定总是安全的了。

4. Engineers build huge storm pipes or sewers (污水沟) to carry the storm water away, but these cause another problem.
    工程师们就建造了巨大的雨水管道或下水道来把暴雨雨水排出去,但是这些设施会引起另一个问题。

5. Experimental data seem to indicate that the amount of radon (Rn) in the water under the surface of the Earth waxes before an earthquake.
    实验数据似乎表明,地震前地下水中氡的含量会增高。

6. Boiling is always a good way of treating water.
    烧开一直是水处理的一种好办法。

7. Beware of methylated alcohol, which is very poisonous, and should never be added to drinking water.
    要提防甲基化酒精,那是剧毒的,永远不能掺入饮用水。

8. Both men had just begun to swim towards the shore, when they noticed with dismay that the speedboat was moving in a circle.
    两个人刚开始向岸边游去,就突然惊愕地发现快艇正在转着圈行驶,

9. Before long, the noise dropped completely and the boat began to drift gently across the water.
    没过多久,噪音便彻底消失,快艇开始在水面上慢悠悠地漂流。

10. Babies of two months old do not appear to be reluctant to enter the water.
    两个月的婴儿并未显得不愿意入水。

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