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【词汇典故】小心隔墙有耳 Be careful with ears in the partition

来源:慢速英语   时间:2020-01-11 10:35:59

Have you ever listened to a private conversation?Maybe you were standing by a door or in a hallway and you heard people talking about someone else you know.And you could not help it.You paused...you perked up your ears...and you listened.


你听过私人谈话吗?也许你站在门边或走廊里,听到别人在谈论你认识的人。你也忍不住你暂停了。。。你竖起耳朵。。。你听着。


You knew,of course,that these people were not speaking to you.They did not invite you to be part of their conversation.You invited yourself.You eavesdropped.


当然,你知道这些人没有和你说话。他们没有邀请你参加他们的谈话。你邀请了你自己。你偷听了。

To eavesdrop means you secretly listen to the conversations of others.Some types of people are very good at eavesdropping.Nosy people,people who like to gossip and spies are all good eavesdroppers.The only difference among my examples is that spies get paid and could get killed for getting an earful.


偷听意味着你偷偷地听别人的谈话。有些人很擅长偷听。爱管闲事的人、喜欢八卦的人和间谍都是很好的窃听者。我举的例子中唯一不同的是间谍们会得到报酬,而且会因为得到一个耳光而被杀。


Originally,however,the word"eavesdrop"had nothing to do with spying or listening to private conversations.


然而,最初,“窃听”一词与间谍活动或听私人谈话无关。


When it was first used in the 1600s,"eavesdrop"was the water that fell,or dropped,from the eaves of a house.


当它在16世纪第一次被使用时,“窃听器”是从屋檐下掉下来的水。


Eaves are the parts of the roof that hang over the walls and shade the outside of a house.After more time passed,"eavesdrop"came to mean the ground near the house where the water fell.After even more time passed,"eavesdropper"described someone who stood near a house to secretly listen to a conversation happening inside.


屋檐是屋顶的一部分,悬在墙上,遮住房屋的外面。过了一段时间,“窃听者”的意思是房子附近的地面上的水下降。再过一段时间,“窃听者”描述了一个人站在房子附近偷偷地听里面发生的谈话。


These days you can be standing anywhere to eavesdrop.The word simply means"to listen secretly to something said in private."


现在你可以站在任何地方偷听。这个词的意思很简单,就是“秘密地听私下里说的话”


English has another expression related to eavesdropping and the home:the walls have ears.This means be careful what you say as there might be people listening.


英语还有一个与窃听和家有关的表达:墙有耳朵。这意味着你说话要小心,因为可能有人在听。


Some word experts say this expression may come from story about an ancient Greek ruler(430–367 BC)who had an ear-shaped cave cut and connected between the rooms of his palace.This allowed him to listen to conversations in other rooms.


一些文字专家说,这个表达可能来自于一个古希腊统治者(公元前430-367年)的故事,他有一个耳朵形的洞穴,并连接在他的宫殿房间之间。这让他可以在其他房间里听谈话。


This form of eavesdropping became common practice with rulers from many cultures.In English,the phrase"the walls have ears"was first recorded in its present form in the mid-1600s.


这种形式的窃听成为许多文化统治者的普遍做法。在英语中,“墙有耳”一词最早是在16世纪中期以现在的形式记录下来的。


Now,if you like(or hate)learning English phrasal verbs,there's a great one for eavesdropping–to listen in on.Usually our phrasal verbs have only one preposition.Not this one.It has two!


现在,如果你喜欢(或讨厌)学习英语短语动词,有一个很好的窃听方法——听。通常我们的短语动词只有一个介词。不是这个。它有两个!


When you listen in on something,you listen to people speaking without joining in,usually secretly.


当你在听某件事的时候,你听别人说话而不参与,通常是秘密的。


But not always.


但并不总是这样。


You can listen in on a class at university or listen in on a meeting at work.These examples do not suggest that you were listening secretly.But if you are listening in on a private conversation,chances are you are listening to something private that does not concern you.You are not minding your own business.


你可以在大学听课,也可以在工作中参加会议。这些例子并不表明你在偷听。但是如果你在听一个私人谈话,很可能你在听一些与你无关的私人谈话。你不关心你自己的事。


Now,maybe you were minding your own business.Maybe you just happened to have overheard a private conversation.Overhearing is more innocent than eavesdropping.You can overhear something by being in the wrong place at the right time.


现在,也许你在管自己的事。也许你只是碰巧听到一个私人谈话。偷听比偷听更无辜。你可以在正确的时间在错误的地方偷听到一些东西。


Now,let's listen in on two people talking to learn how to use these words and expressions in a conversation.And it's okay.We're not eavesdropping.I've given you permission!


现在,让我们听两个人谈话,学习如何在对话中使用这些单词和表达。没事的。我们不是在偷听。我已经允许你了!


So,Amy,I was listening in on the management meeting today.Our manager said that he's putting your project on hold.You're thinking about leaving the company,aren't you?


所以,艾米,我今天在听管理层会议。我们的经理说他正在搁置你的项目。你在考虑离开公司,是吗?


I haven't told anyone that except Ann Marie.Did she spill the beans to you?!


除了安玛丽,我没有告诉任何人。她把豆子撒给你了吗?!


No.She didn't tell me anything.I just happened to overhear you two talking in the cafeteria yesterday.


不,她什么都没告诉我。昨天我碰巧听到你们俩在自助餐厅谈话。


Were you eavesdropping on our conversation,Alex?!


你在偷听我们的谈话吗,亚历克斯?!


No!I was walking behind your table and accidentally overheard what you guys were talking about.Honest.


不!我走在你桌子后面,无意中听到你们在说什么。诚实。


Alex,it was a really long conversation.Unless you were purposefully listening in on us I don't see how it could have been an accident.


亚历克斯,那是一个很长的对话。除非你故意监听我们,否则我不明白这怎么可能是个意外。


Okay,I was standing behind your table.When I overheard you and Ann Marie talking about your project,my ears perked up.So,I stayed there and listened for a little while...okay,for a long while.


好吧,我站在你桌子后面。当我听到你和安玛丽谈论你的项目时,我的耳朵振作起来。所以,我呆在那里听了一会儿。。。好吧,好久不见了。


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