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[翻译]Words and Their Stories - What Is Your Achilles' Heel?

来源:慢速英语   时间:2015-12-27 08:52:03

Hello! And welcome to Words and Their Stories, a VOA Learning English program about American expressions.

欢迎收听美国之音慢速英语词汇典故节目。

The Greek poet Homer has given us many phrases. A famous one is “Achilles’ heel.”

希腊诗人荷马给我们留下了很多短语,最著名的就是“阿喀琉斯之踵。”

On your body, your Achilles’ heel is the tendon on the back of your ankle. In spoken English, your Achilles’ heel is your weak spot. You can say either “Achilles’ heel” or “Achilles’(s) heel.” Both are correct.

对身体而言,阿喀琉斯之踵就是你脚后跟后面的肌腱。而在英语口语中,阿喀琉斯之踵意思就是你的弱点。你既可以说“Achilles' heel”,也可以说“Achilles'(s) heel”,这两种说法都是正确的。

The Greek story of Achilles’ heel is the one Homer tells in the long poem called “The Iliad.” Here is how the story goes.

希腊神话中《阿喀琉斯之踵》出自于荷马的长篇诗作《伊利亚特》。以下就是这个故事的梗概。

When Achilles was a baby his mother bathed him in the river Styx. She believed the river had magical powers. Bathing her son in its waters, she thought, would make Achilles immortal, deathless, like a god.

当阿喀琉斯还是个婴儿时,他的母亲在冥河中给他沐浴。她相信冥河有种神奇的力量,她认为在冥河的水中给她的儿子沐浴能够让阿喀琉斯像神一样永生。

But one part of his body did not get wet: his heel, where his mother held him. His heel, therefore, was the one spot where Achilles could be hurt.

但是他身体的一部分未能被浸湿,这就是他的脚后跟。他的母亲拎着他的脚后跟。因此脚后跟成为阿喀琉斯可能受伤的一处弱点。

Achilles grew up. He became a great warrior. During the Trojan War, he fought with the Greek army.

阿喀琉斯长大后成为了一位伟大的战士。他在特洛伊战争中同希腊军队作战。
 

These actual high heels worn by this woman may become her (literary) Achilles' heel if they stop her from running from danger ... or from simply walking. (COURTESY PHOTO)

None of the Trojan weapons was able to hurt Achilles. The god Apollo, however, knew of Achilles’ weak spot. Apollo told the prince of Troy, named Paris, all about it. While not actually written in “The Iliad,” legend says Paris shot an arrow at Achilles’ heel and killed him.

特洛伊的武器都伤不到阿喀琉斯。但是太阳神阿波罗知道阿喀琉斯的致命弱点。阿波罗把这一切都告诉了特洛伊的王子帕里斯。虽然没有真正写在《伊利亚特》中,但是传说认为,帕里斯一箭射中了阿喀琉斯的脚后跟并射死了他。

We all have an Achilles’ heel. Even the toughest among us has a weak spot. This weakness may change as we get older. For many young people their ego, or over-confidence, could be their Achilles’ heel. For others perhaps greed is their Achilles’ heel.

我们每个人都有致命弱点。即使是我们中的暴徒也有弱点。这个弱点可能会随着年纪增长而变化。对许多年轻人来说,他们的自我或是过于自信可能就是他们的致命弱点。对另一些人来说,贪婪可能是他们的致命弱点。

If I am trying to lose weight but love to eat ice cream, you could say that my love of ice cream is my Achilles’ heel.

如果我想减肥但是我喜欢吃冰激凌,你就可以说,喜欢吃冰激凌就是我的致命弱点。

And for many people, love is their Achilles’ heel. Love leaves us helpless. Love makes us weak. People in love may find themselves doing foolish things. They may open themselves up to hurt or embarrassment.

而对大多数人来说,爱情是他们的致命弱点。爱情让我们无助,让我们无力。恋爱中的人可能发现自己在做很蠢的事情,他们可能会让自己受伤或尴尬。

And a person who is head over heels in love is really in a weak position. This phrase, however, does not come from Greek literature. It was first used in the 14thcentury to mean turning a cartwheel or somersault.

而一个爱得神魂颠倒的人就真的处于一种弱势地位。这句短语并非来自希腊文学,它最初是在14世纪被用来表示侧手翻。

Today, head over heels means something that is not in its natural state or something that is felt very deeply or strongly. It is usually used to describe someone who has fallen – possibly foolishly – in love.

今天,head over heels意思是指一些处于非自然状态的东西,或是感觉非常深刻或强烈的东西。它通常用来形容一些可能愚蠢地陷入了爱情的人。

Head over heels gives a clear picture of one who has fallen deeply and passionately in love. Close your eyes and picture what a person may look like if he or she is spinning like a wheel, turning over and over.

Head over heels描画出了一副某人深深陷入爱情的画面。闭上你的眼,画出一个人如果像车轮一样不停转动是个什么样。

That is heads over heels.

这就是heads over heels。

Let’s hear this expression used in an example:

让我们来看看它在一个例子中的应用:

Hey, have you noticed something different about John recently?

嘿,你注意到约翰最近的不同了吗?

What do you mean?

什么意思?

Well, he is usually such a good student. But lately he never has his assignments done. And he seems unable to focus in class.

他通常是个好学生。但是他最近没完成作业,而且他看来无法在课堂上集中注意力。

Well, you know he has a new girlfriend. And he is head over heels in love with her.

嗯,他有新女朋友了。他神魂颠倒地爱上了她。

Oh. That explains why he has been acting so strange lately.

哦,原来如此。

Perhaps being head over heels in love has never been your Achilles’ heel, but you can probably imagine how powerful the feeling is. Like in this song by Tears for Fears, something just happens and you are head over heels.

可能神魂颠倒地陷入爱情并非你的致命弱点,但是你可以想象到这种感觉有多强烈。就像在惊惧之泪合唱团的这首歌中,有些让你神魂颠倒的事情发生了。

Something happens and I’m head over heels, I never find out (un)till I’m head over heels …

我无可救药地爱上了你,我一直没察觉直到我神魂颠倒。

I’m Anna Matteo.

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