又中又英|A ring of truth

2024/01/11 13:05:14 網誌分類: 生活
11 Jan

Some Taipei friends joked about tourists in Hong Kong and Taiwan. They said Putonghua is heard more than Cantonese nowadays in areas such as Central. But Cantonese is heard more than Mandarin in many Taipei tourist areas. There is a ring of truth in this. When I was recently in Hong Kong, I heard mostly Putonghua in Central and the Kennedy Town harbour-front, which is popular with mainlanders. I am now in Taipei and can attest I heard a lot of Cantonese in popular tourist spots such as night markets during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have become the most popular tourist destinations for Hong Kong people.

If something has a ring of truth, it means it seems to be true. If you can attest to something, it means you can prove it is true or it exists. I often see Japanese, South Koreans, and Westerners when I explore Taipei's streets. It makes me wonder why I didn't see such tourists when I was in Hong Kong. Friends tell me Hong Kong has lost its lustre (luster in American English). If a place has lost its lustre, it means it has lost its appeal. Government officials pooh-pooh criticism that Hong Kong has lost its lustre.

To pooh-pooh something means to reject it as nonsense. They insist Hong Kong remains an attractive tourist destination. It seems the city is only attractive to mainland day-trippers who spend very little money. Hong Kong has many attractions, but it has priced itself out of the tourist market. To price itself out of something means to charge too much for it to be affordable.

一些台北的朋友們拿香港和台灣的遊客說笑。他們說,今時今日,在諸如中環這些地區,聽到普通話多於廣東話,但在許多台北的遊客區,就聽到廣東話多過國語了。這個聽上去很真實(a ring of truth)。我早前在香港時,在中環和堅尼地城海旁這些受內地人歡迎的地區,就主要聽到普通話;我現在身處台北則可以做證(attest),於聖誕和新年假期期間,在一些受歡迎的遊客熱點例如夜市,確實聽到許多廣東話。日本、台灣和南韓都已成為香港人最熱門的旅遊目的地。

若某事has a ring of truth,意即它聽起來是真的。若你可以attest to something,那即是你可以證實它是真的,或者它是確實存在的。我探索台北大街小巷時,就不時見到日本人、南韓人和西方人,這令我好奇,為何我之前在香港的時候,總見不着這類遊客呢。朋友們告訴我,香港已經lost its lustre(美式英語是luster)——若一個地方 has lost its lustre,那意味着它已失去光彩、不再吸引。政府官員對於「香港已失去光澤」(lost its lustre)此等批評不屑一顧(pooh-pooh)。

To pooh-pooh something意即對某事物嗤之以鼻,輕視其為胡說八道的。他們堅持,香港仍然是具吸引力的旅遊目的地。看來這城市只是對那些花很少旅費、即日來回的內地客有吸引力。香港有許多旅遊勝地,但它開天殺價,將自己擠出了(priced itself out of)旅遊市場。To price itself out of something是指叫價過高,令人難以負擔得起。

Michael Chugani褚簡寧

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