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VOA慢速英语:不要打如意算盘

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Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

不要打如意算盘

Hello and welcome to Words and Their Stories.

家好,欢迎来到词汇掌故节目。

Each week, we tell the story of English language words and expressions – some old, and others new.

每周,我们都讲英语单词和短语的故事,有些是旧的,有些是新的。

Today we talk about a proverb often used in American English.

A proverb is a short, well-known saying that offers a piece of advice. Our example of a proverb takes us to a farm – a chicken farm, to be exact.

今天我们来讨论一句美国英语中经常使用的谚语。

Our explanation is part science, part folklore.

我们的解释一半是科学,一半是民间传说。

First, the science.

首先,科学方面。

You probably know that chickens come from eggs. A female chicken or hen lays eggs and then they hatch into chicks. Well, not all of them. Some eggs do not have a baby bird.

你可能知道鸡来自鸡蛋。母鸡下蛋,然后孵出小鸡。但不是所有的鸡蛋都能孵出小鸡。有些蛋没有雏鸟。

So, at our farm, a hen produces 15 eggs. If the farmer counts the eggs, she might expect to have 15 chicks once the eggs are hatched. But then five of those eggs do not hatch. Her expectations were not met, so she feels disappointed. She tells her friend how sad she feels. The friend may say to her, "Well, don't count your chicken before they hatch.

所以,在我们的农场,一只母鸡产15个蛋。如果农民数鸡蛋,一旦鸡蛋孵出来可能会有15只小鸡。但如果其中有五枚没有孵化。她的期望没有实现,就会感到失望。她告诉自己的朋友有多难过。朋友可能会对她说,“好吧,不要在他们孵化之前数鸡。

Another way of saying this proverb is: "Don't count your chickens until they are hatched."

这句谚语的另一种说法是:“不要打如意算盘。”

So, this proverb means you should not depend on something that has yet to happen. It is unwise to make plans based on something that hasn't happened. Another meaning of this proverb is this: Do not assume to have everything you want until you actually have it in your hands.

所以,这句谚语的意思是你不应该依赖那些尚未发生的事情。根据没有发生的事情制定计划是不明智的。这句谚语的另一个意思是:不要以为你想要的一切都已经到手了。

Now, let's talk about the folklore part of our explanation.

在,让我们谈谈在民间是如何理解这个谚语的。

"Don't count your chickens until they are hatched" is a very old saying. Language experts say it appears in different forms and in many different cultures. It is also used in Aesop's Fables, a collection of stories from between 1,300 and 1,400 years ago.

“不要打如意算盘”是一句古老的谚语。语言专家说它以不同的形式出现在许多不同的文化中。《伊索寓言》(1300年至1400年前的故事集)中也使用了这个词。

The fable we are talking about is known as "The Milkmaid and Her Pail." A long time ago, a young woman carried a bucket of milk on her head. As she walked, the milkmaid dreamed of a better life. She wanted to be rich. So, she thought she could sell her milk and then use the money to buy chickens. With chickens she could sell eggs and earn more money!

我们正在谈论的寓言是众所周知的《挤奶女工和她的桶》。”很久以前,一个年轻的女人头上顶着一桶牛奶。挤牛奶的女工一边走,一边梦想着更好的生活。她想变得富有。所以,她想她可以卖掉她的牛奶,然后用这些钱买鸡。有了鸡,她可以卖鸡蛋,赚更多的钱!

With lots of money, the milkmaid could shake her head "no" to all the men in her village who wanted her hand in marriage. The young woman was so caught up in her thoughts that she actually shook her head "no." This caused the pail of milk to fall from her head and crash to the ground. Along with it -- her dreams of becoming rich and independent.

有了很多钱,挤牛奶的姑娘可以摇着头对村里所有想和她结婚的男人说“不”。这个年轻的女人陷入了沉思,竟然摇了摇头,导致牛奶桶从她的头上掉下来,摔到地上。还有,她的梦想是变得富有和独立。

When she told her mother what happened, her mother said, "My child, do not count your chickens before they are hatched."

当她把这件事告诉妈妈时,妈妈说:“孩子,不要过早地打如意算盘。”

So, that is the folklore from Aesop's Fables. Now, let's hear how to use this expression in everyday speech.

这就是《伊索寓言》中的民间传说。现在,我们来听一下这个短语在日常生活中的用法。

John and Samantha are friends. Both are looking for jobs. John just had a job interview the day before and cannot wait to tell Samantha all about it.

约翰和萨曼莎是朋友。两人都在找工作。约翰前一天刚参加了一个工作面试,迫不及待地想把一切告诉萨曼莎。

Samantha, how is your job search going?

萨曼莎,你的工作找得怎么样了?

It's going okay. I spoke with two potential employers last week and I should hear something back soon. But for now I'm still saving all the money I can from my part-time work. How about you?

还可以吧。上周我和两位潜在的雇主谈过了,应该很快就会有回音。但是现在我仍然从事兼职工作中攒钱。你呢?

I had a great interview yesterday! In fact, afterward, the woman I spoke with talked as if I was already her employee!

我昨天的面试棒极了!事实上,后来和我谈话的那个女人说起话来就好像我已经是她的雇员了!

Wow! That's great news, John. Good for you!

哇!真是个好消息,约翰。你太棒了!

Thanks! And the best thing ... the pay is great. I'll be able to buy a townhouse. In fact, I have an appointment today to look at one, right near my new job! I'll have a full-time job and a new home in less than a month!

谢谢!最棒的是……薪水很高。我就能买一栋联排别墅了。事实上,我今天有个约会要去看,就在我新工作的地方!我将在不到一个月的时间里找到一份全职工作和一个新家!

Wait a minute, John. Did you actually get something in writing from the company?

等一下,约翰。你真的从公司得到什么书面材料了吗?

Well, not yet.

哦,还没有。

Did you actually sign a contract?

你签了合同吗?

Well, no but ...

嗯,没有,但是……

A little friendly advice, John. You don't officially have the job. So, try not to count your chickens before they hatch.

一个友好的建议,约翰。你还没有正式得到这份工作。所以,不要过早乐观。

What do you mean? The job is a sure thing.

什么意思?这工作是铁板钉钉的事。

Nothing is guaranteed, John. So, you know, don't get your hopes up. That way, you won't be disappointed if things don't work out.

没有什么是可以保证的,约翰。所以,不要抱太大希望。这样,如果事情没有成功,你就不会失望。

So, I should probably return the expensive clothes and briefcase I just bought for the job?

所以,我应该把新买的工作用的昂贵的衣服和公文包退回去吗?

I think so. Maybe for right now.

我想是的。也许目前是。

Let's keep our fingers crossed for John. Hopefully, all his eggs will hatch and he'll get that high-paying job.

让我们为约翰祈祷吧。但愿他所有的蛋都能孵出来,他就能得到那份高薪的工作。

And that's all we have for you today. Join us again next week for another Words and Their Stories.

今天的节目就到这里。欢迎收听下周的词汇掌故节目。

I'm Anna Matteo.

我是安娜·马特奥。

_________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

folklore – n. traditional customs, beliefs, stories, and sayings

lay – v. to produce an egg

hatch – v. to come out of an egg

disappoint – adj. to fail to meet the expectation or hope of

assume – v. to think that something is true or probably true without knowing that it is true

interview – n. to participate in an interview for a position (such as a job)

contract – n. a legal agreement between people, companies, etc.

expensive – adj. costing a lot of money

Hello and welcome to Words and Their Stories.

Each week, we tell the story of English language words and expressions – some old, and others new.

Today we talk about a proverb often used in American English.

A proverb is a short, well-known saying that offers a piece of advice. Our example of a proverb takes us to a farm – a chicken farm, to be exact.

Our explanation is part science, part folklore.

First, the science.

You probably know that chickens come from eggs. A female chicken or hen lays eggs and then they hatch into chicks. Well, not all of them. Some eggs do not have a baby bird.

So, at our farm, a hen produces 15 eggs. If the farmer counts the eggs, she might expect to have 15 chicks once the eggs are hatched. But then five of those eggs do not hatch. Her expectations were not met, so she feels disappointed. She tells her friend how sad she feels. The friend may say to her, "Well, don't count your chicken before they hatch.

Another way of saying this proverb is: "Don't count your chickens until they are hatched."

So, this proverb means you should not depend on something that has yet to happen. It is unwise to make plans based on something that hasn't happened. Another meaning of this proverb is this: Do not assume to have everything you want until you actually have it in your hands.

Now, let's talk about the folklore part of our explanation.

"Don't count your chickens until they are hatched" is a very old saying. Language experts say it appears in different forms and in many different cultures. It is also used in Aesop's Fables, a collection of stories from between 1,300 and 1,400 years ago.

The fable we are talking about is known as "The Milkmaid and Her Pail." A long time ago, a young woman carried a bucket of milk on her head. As she walked, the milkmaid dreamed of a better life. She wanted to be rich. So, she thought she could sell her milk and then use the money to buy chickens. With chickens she could sell eggs and earn more money!

With lots of money, the milkmaid could shake her head "no" to all the men in her village who wanted her hand in marriage. The young woman was so caught up in her thoughts that she actually shook her head "no." This caused the pail of milk to fall from her head and crash to the ground. Along with it -- her dreams of becoming rich and independent.

When she told her mother what happened, her mother said, "My child, do not count your chickens before they are hatched."

So, that is the folklore from Aesop's Fables. Now, let's hear how to use this expression in everyday speech.

John and Samantha are friends. Both are looking for jobs. John just had a job interview the day before and cannot wait to tell Samantha all about it.

Samantha, how is your job search going?

It's going okay. I spoke with two potential employers last week and I should hear something back soon. But for now I'm still saving all the money I can from my part-time work. How about you?

I had a great interview yesterday! In fact, afterward, the woman I spoke with talked as if I was already her employee!

Wow! That's great news, John. Good for you!

Thanks! And the best thing ... the pay is great. I'll be able to buy a townhouse. In fact, I have an appointment today to look at one, right near my new job! I'll have a full-time job and a new home in less than a month!

Wait a minute, John. Did you actually get something in writing from the company?

Well, not yet.

Did you actually sign a contract?

Well, no but ...

A little friendly advice, John. You don't officially have the job. So, try not to count your chickens before they hatch.

What do you mean? The job is a sure thing.

Nothing is guaranteed, John. So, you know, don't get your hopes up. That way, you won't be disappointed if things don't work out.

So, I should probably return the expensive clothes and briefcase I just bought for the job?

I think so. Maybe for right now.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for John. Hopefully, all his eggs will hatch and he'll get that high-paying job.

And that's all we have for you today. Join us again next week for another Words and Their Stories.

I'm Anna Matteo.

Ibrahim Onefeko wrote this story. Anna Matteo and George Grow were the editors. The song at the end is "Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch," written and performed by country singer/songwriter Tommy Ray.

_________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

folklore – n. traditional customs, beliefs, stories, and sayings

lay – v. to produce an egg

hatch – v. to come out of an egg

disappoint – adj. to fail to meet the expectation or hope of

assume – v. to think that something is true or probably true without knowing that it is true

interview – n. to participate in an interview for a position (such as a job)

contract – n. a legal agreement between people, companies, etc.

expensive – adj. costing a lot of money


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