Friday, January 29, 2010

"wounded" or "injured"

"wounded" or "injured"
(... "the wounded" in the context of the Italian earthquake...)?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"IS or ARE"; "I am doing good/well?"; "me either/neither"

IS or ARE
Q:
   - A few people are amused, but the larger number IS disgusted.
   - A few people are amused, but the larger number ARE disgusted.

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I am doing good or I am doing well?
(Note to self: very interesting pondial differences)

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Me either/neither ???
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/7f76baa2d8194c28
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/94b19ca27005ddb0
(very interesting read)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

我的胡言亂語之又是文法篇

<<以前的一篇舊文>>

「文法」這主題在這網站又被炒作起來。反正我現在閒著沒事就順便打打中文等晚上我們的 dinner party.

言論自由嘛,大家都可以抒發己見,這倒也沒什麼,而我要說的是大環境要考慮進去,而我說的大環境當然是台灣的英文教育環境。先說說我在國中時候的情況。英文,是多個科目之一,這是廢話,但是這也是我的重點 -- 有哪個學生能有那麼多美國時間在那裡「練習英文」?我那時候的英文課大部分時間是花在考試和檢討考卷上頭。其它課程時間當然不可能拿來「練習英文」。那麼下課後呢?不好意思,除了吃飯時間之外,晚上時間得花在準備隔天的考試,考試的內容當然不是只有英文一科。那麼白天上課之前的時間呢?還是不好意思,我那時每晚的睡眠時間只有大約四個小時,每天凌晨約四五點得起來繼續讀睡前沒讀完的書,這樣子一直讀到準備出門上學,然後還得祈禱剛剛硬背完的東西能撐到考試的時候還記得住 -- 同樣的,英文也只是其中一小部分。

花時間「練習英文」?不好意思,俺做不到。不是我沒有這個心,是真的沒有這個時間和能力。

現在台灣的國中教育型態已經有改變,只是我聽說似乎有更嚴重的趨向。不過有一點我很肯定的是英文仍然不是國中唯一的教授課目。高中呢?好像情況更惡化喔。這也是為什麼我有些時候在我的 blogs 或是 posts 裡頭會另外說明我的對象是設定在大學以上或是非在學學生。國高中的話還是聽學校英文老師的安排。我知道聽「英文老師的安排」這本身也有些問題在,但是這是無可奈何,是現實逼人低頭,因為國高中學生最關心的是「分數」-- 如果我說「啊,不要管分數啦,要『正確的這樣子學習英文』才行啦」(什麼正確的?比如....不讀老師教的文法,或是花很多很多時間去「接觸」英文然後把讀其它科目的時間用掉了).... 誰真的敢這樣子做?有哪個家長有這膽識這樣子做?

當然有那種「少數人」透過「某些方式」做到,但是就是因為能做得到的是「少數」,不是台灣全部的學生/學校/家庭有那能力做到,所以我們才說那是「少數人」,那是「例外」。要講例外的話那麼乾脆說全部小朋友一出生就搬到美國去好了(不過即使人是在那邊也不能保證...)

題外話。我的一個親戚家境不是很好,但是為了小孩子的教育打小學起就為他的孩子找家教。英文一科則是找金髮碧眼的外國人來家裡教英文。這樣子硬撐著用錢砸,結果小孩子上了國中後出了問題 -- 英文一科出現了學習適應不良問題結果吊車尾,甚至被同學取笑。他的媽媽那時跟我說這件事時我也不知道該怎麼幫他,總不能說「啊,這位媽媽(*1),妳要讓他多練習英文才是正確的學習英文方式喔」(整天放美國電影給他看其它科目都不要讀?買英文讀物給他看?再去請那外國人來練習英文?還是每天寫英文日記?或者乾脆說文法不重要啦!?)

(*1) 沒啦,我是應該要稱呼她某特定稱謂。我這樣子寫是單純搞笑

總而言之言而總之,我是在講廢話,教育的問題不是我的專才,我無法提出「正確的」意見。這也是為什麼我在ET舊站貼出的第一篇blog是這樣子寫的: http://dunchee.blogspot.com/2009/09/blog-post.html

這就是我的胡言亂語。以上。

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Clothesline

Letting it hang out
But Brace said there is a stigma associated with clotheslines, so not everyone in this well-to-do community is tolerant of the eco-friendly practice: “It indicates poverty if you hang out your wash.’’

Monday, January 11, 2010

T riders

T riders strip down to underwear on Red Line

Boston這邊的捷運是簡稱"T"(*1),而Boston T 的分佈形狀和台北捷運很像,尤其是那個"Red Line"--相對於台北捷運的話就是"淡水線"(標的顏色和走向都很類似)

另外注意一下"rider"--並不是只有機車/腳踏車/牛馬羊駱駝等等的這種"騎士"才能使用這字(--> http://www.english.com.tw/modules/news/article.php?storyid=44 )

rider: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/rider

ride: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/ride

所以喔,即使是登在報上的也是要小心...,至於那位老師提到的"mask",唉,看下方實際例子好了"
Flights to Mexico cancelled over swine flu
"He said he’s going to wash his hands as much as possible, but won’t be wearing a mask."

(*1) Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
上頭的選項有"Rider Tools"和"Riding the T"。MBTA的經營範圍包含捷運,火車,渡船,和巴士,而廣義上的"T"是包含這些。



[0:18]... angry bus or T riders ...

[0:58]... Riders we talked to ...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bookbinding at home



Do a Google search: bookbinding at home
or
Search: Fun and Easy How to Guide to Binding Your Own Paperback Books At Home…FAST
The real magic: Gorilla Glue
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I followed the instructions (just about, not to the T) and it really worked wonders. I didn't do a perfect job--I was more looking for something quick and dirty, so instead of stock paper, I used a piece of thick paper from my junk mail; I didn't find any clamps I could use, so I placed a heavy wood board on top of it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
My latest attempt:

I'm getting a hang of it, but for this one I found out I glued the wrong side....
Darn....

Friday, January 8, 2010

"I won't do it to save my life" ??

我剛稍微看了這篇: http://www.english.tw/space-12040-do-blog-id-10014.html
好奇之下我用Google查了一下:
www.google.com 輸入:
"I won't do it to save my life"
一開始出現的搜尋結果是很多很多(但是...怎麼都是中文)。然後我點了最後一頁,兩次後整個搜尋結果只剩下77筆,而且全部都是這種"容易让人误解的英语句子"或是"正確中文翻譯"的中文網頁。

無言.....。我先簡單說一下(因為那些網頁內容大同小異,所以我直接講,不單獨點出是哪一個網頁)。那些所謂的"誤譯/錯譯"並沒有錯(除了中文句子需要再稍微潤飾一下),而所謂的"正確翻譯"也只是原英文句子可能的意思之一

(這就是我很不喜歡碰翻譯的原因之一,因為要解釋的話要牽扯一大堆東西...)

首先就是那個"正確翻譯"。好奇之下我查了一下字典,看樣子那是從這個fixed expression來的:
Longman(LDOCE)
15 somebody can't do something to save his/her life
be completely unable to do something:
  He couldn't draw to save his life!
或是
Merriam-Webster's English Learner's Online Dictionary
to save your life informal : If you cannot do something to save your life, you are completely unable to do it.
  She can't sing to save her life. [=she is a very bad singer]
眼尖的或是程度較好的應該可以看出字典解說/例子和最前頭那句子的差別。"can(can't)"和"will(won't)"的差別倒是其次,主要是在於整個句子意思的表達。
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(剩下的我有空再寫)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How does that work?



[3:55]
"Okay, so now you are living with ... The both of you are living with your parents."
"Yes."
"How does that work?"
....
[4:20]
"It's just that culturally ..it.. We're .. We're in different culture where we're trying to get the parents out of the house."
....
[4:52]
"Okay. Does that mean every... When you say you're living with your parents, does that mean you actually are having dinner together every night .. you're like .. it's not like they're on one end and you're on another."