又中又英
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又中又英

“I am no soothsayer”

2018/12/27 04:12:30 網誌分類: 生活
27 Dec
          Christmas has come and gone and 2019 is just around the corner. What will 2019 bring? I am no soothsayer but I have a gut feeling it will not be a good year. I hope my gut feeling is wrong. If you say something is just around the corner, it means it is not far away or it will happen soon. A soothsayer is a person who is supposed to be able to predict the future. I don’t believe in soothsayers but many people do. Some of my friends are firm believers of soothsayers. They actually pay money to find out what the future will bring for them and their families. I think it is money down the drain.

          Many Hong Kong people think it is grammatically wrong to say “I am no soothsayer.” They believe it should be “I am not a soothsayer.” But it is totally acceptable to say “I am no soothsayer.” You can say “I am no doctor”, or “I am no hero”. Fluent English speakers often say it that way. A gut feeling is a feeling you have about something, or that you are right about something even though you have no facts to prove it. The expression “money down the drain” means a waste of money. I have no facts to prove 2019 will not be a good year but my gut feeling tells me many things will go wrong politically and economically.

          US-China relations are the worst I have seen in a long time. Even if the two sides make progress on the trade war, the US will continue to accuse China of stealing American technology and of using unfair means to compete with the rest of the world in the high-tech sector. Economic growth in China has slowed. The US economy is also expected to slow next year. Britain and the European Union have still not reached agreement on Britain’s exit from the EU. Stock markets around the world have tumbled (fallen in an uncontrolled and quick way). I hope I am wrong but I do not have a good feeling for 2019. Happy New Year.

        *****

          聖誕來了又過去了,二○一九年快要來臨(just around the corner)。二○一九年會帶來甚麼事?我不是預言家(soothsayer),但我有個直覺(gut feeling)它不會是個好年,希望我的直覺(gut feeling)是錯的吧。若你說某事是just around the corner,即是說它就在不遠處,又或者它快將發生。A soothsayer就是預知未來的占卜師或預言家。我不相信占卜算命的(soothsayers),但許多人也相信,我的一些朋友更是堅信算命師(soothsayers),他們會付真金白銀去弄清楚他們和家人將來會發生甚麼事。我就認為那只是倒錢落海(money down the drain)。

          許多香港人會以為,說“I am no soothsayer.”在文法上是錯的,他們認為那應是“I am not a soothsayer.”然而,說“I am no soothsayer.”是完全可以接受的。你可以說“I am no doctor”又或“I am no hero”,說流利英語的人常常會那樣說。A gut feeling就是你對某事的直覺,或儘管沒有證據證明,你對某事的判斷仍然是對的。習語“money down the drain”意即倒錢入溝渠——金錢付諸東流,給白白浪費掉了。我沒有事實證明二○一九不是好年,但我的直覺(gut feeling)告訴我,不論在政治抑或經濟上許多事情都會出錯。

          美中關係是這麼久以來我見過最差的。即使雙方在貿易戰上有進展,美國仍然會繼續指控中國竊取美國科技,以及在高科技範疇上以不公平的手段與世界其他國家競爭。中國的經濟增長放緩,美國經濟亦預計會在明年放緩。英國和歐盟在英國脫歐一事上仍未達成共識。世界各地的股市暴跌(tumbled)。希望我是錯的,但我對二○一九年實在沒有甚麼信心。祝各位新年快樂!

        mickchug@gmail.com

        中譯:七刻

        Michael Chugani 褚簡寧
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