Study on some terms II
following the first article “study on some terms”, here is the second one.
As a matter of fact, there are variety of terms which will lead to misunderstanding based on the meaning at a glance.
In Chinese, meat refers to the inner part of animals and fruit, while “meat” in English only refers to eatable animal meant. You will find the difference when comparing both:
In our daily usage, it will lead to misunderstanding if only judged the expression literally.
Busybody: A person who meddles or pries into the affairs of others.(not a quite engaged person.)
mad doctor: a doctor in the psychiatry department(not a doctor with mental illness)
Sweet water refers to fresh water (淡水) rather than water with sugar in. White man refers to one who is loyal and reliable rather than one with white skin. American beauty refers to Red Rosebush(红蔷薇) rather than American beautiful lady.
The word sofa(沙发) is generated by transliteration, however, the actual subject of sofa in English is larger than sofa. The subject “单人沙发”in Chinese is represented by couch or armchair. As to “沙发床”in Chinese, it in fact has nothing to do with sofa in English.
We shall pay attention to Forms of expression in many sentences or phrases, for instance:
“Look out!” means “be careful” rather than look outside.
“you don’t say!” means “really?(express surprise or doubt)” rather than “not to say”.
“you can say that again!” means “it is really nice saying or expression!” rather than “you can tell that once more!”.
“he was only too pleased to let them go.” means “he is happy to let them go.” rather than “he is very happy, and not willing to let them go.”
All in all, we shall pay attention to some historical and geographical knowledge when doing translation. In some settings, the meaning will be varied even the same English word.
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