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2015年2月2日 星期一

Your Weekly English Digest - 本周看時事學英文:破銅爛鐵跟送終都失禮啦!

台北市長柯文哲日前接見英國官員,受禮後的破銅爛鐵說引發各界討論與撻伐聲浪,
英國衛報報導此事卻將重點放在自家官員送禮不當而鬧出笑話。

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之前我發文批評官員頭銜翻譯錯誤,英國自抬身價將來訪官員的層級提高。接著又批破銅爛鐵說。這次我將英國衛報the guardian報導拿來與各位分享,大家可以透過時事來學英文。很多不錯的字詞如gaffe, taboo, high-flying, off-the-cuff remarks, political spectrumloose cannon都可以學起來。

British minister in cultural gaffe after giving Taipei mayor 'taboo' watch
*Cultural gaffe 此指因不懂文化而造成的社交或外交失禮或是醜態


Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je receives a gift of a watch from visiting British transport minister Lady Kramer during a meeting in Taipei. Photograph: Str/AFP/Getty Images

A British minister was left red-faced尷尬或羞愧的 after giving the mayor of Taipei the gift of a watch – a taboo禁忌 act in Chinese culture – only for him to joke he would “sell it to a scrap dealer賣破銅爛鐵的人. Ko Wen-je, a high-flying有雄心壯志的 surgeon and mayor of Taiwan’s capital台灣首都市長, made the remark評論 after he was handed the pocket timepiece懷錶 by British transport minister 英國國務大臣(相當於美國的副部長)Lady Kramer, who was visiting Taiwan on a trade exchange貿易交流.

When asked by a local reporter to comment on提出評論 the gift, Ko said he might give the watch to someone else or “sell it to a scrap metal dealer for some money, because it would be useless to me因為對我沒有什麼用處.”
Giving someone a clock or watch as a present is traditionally taboo in Chinese culture due to the similar pronunciation of “giving a clock送終and “attending an old person’s funeral”.
Ko, who is a popular figure家喻戶曉且受歡迎的人物 but known for his off-the-cuff remarks未經思考的發言, drew a barrel of criticism大量批評 from across Taiwan’s political spectrum 政治光譜 for his perceived rudeness.

政治光譜是啥報給你知:
政治光譜political spectrum)是用作量度個人政治立場傾向(即不同意識形態)的工具。政治光譜正如一般光譜一樣,由軸線構成。大多數政治光譜都包括兩大派,左派(社會主義傾向)和右派(保守主義傾向),這是從18世紀法國議會的坐席方向沿襲而來的。光譜的其中一端代表著最極端的共產主義,另一端最則代表最極端的保守主義。不同政治傾向的人會在政治光譜的不同位置之上,而各個國家、地區的政治光譜也略有差異。資料來源wikipedia

In response, his British guest tried to play down 降低the embarrassment.
“I’m sorry. We learn something new each day. I had no idea a gift like this could be seen as anything other than 除了之外positive. In the UK a watch is precious – because nothing is more important than time,” she said in a statement.
She also highlighted the significance of the watch強調了懷錶的重要意義, which she termed as a “very unique item” from the House of Lords.英國上議院
Rosalia Wu, a city councilor議員 from the major opposition Democratic Progressive party, later lambasted痛責 Ko on her Facebook page, saying: “City diplomacy is critical to Taiwan城市外交對台灣非常重要, as the mayor of the capital, he should have taken greater responsibility.”
Ko presented Kramer with a miniature model of Taipei 101台北101大樓模型, once the world’s tallest skyscraper and an iconic feature具有代表性的建築 of the city’s skyline天際線.
An independent candidate無黨派獨立參選人, Ko, 55, was elected as the mayor of the capital in the island’s local elections in November, thrashing痛擊 Sean Lien連勝文, son of former vice-president Lien Chan前副總統連戰.
Ko sparked multiple controversies引發多樣爭議 while campaigning for 競選the post職位, including describing a female candidate from the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) party as “young and pretty and just fit to sit behind a (department store) counter柯文哲批評國民黨嘉義市長參選人陳以真人長得漂亮但是歷練不足只適合當櫃台小姐”.
Although he was labelled as被冠上標籤loose cannon口無遮攔的人” by some critics評論家, he has been tolerated by supporters支持者都不以為意 despite a string of一連串的 such gaffes公開失言.
A recent survey showed his approval rating滿意度 one month into office stood at a comfortable 令人感到舒服滿意的70%, as staunch supporters死忠支持者 hail him為他喝采 for pledging to battle corruption誓言打擊貪腐 and streamline bureaucracy簡化官僚流程(提升政府效率).
Lady Kramer received a reprieve用來緩頰的說詞(原意為免告) later, when the Taipei Representative Office in the UK駐英國台北代表處, on behalf of the government of Taiwan, said: “[We] would like to clarify that Lady Kramer’s act of presenting the Taipei City Mayor with a watch, does not constitute a ‘cultural gaffe’並不構成失禮, as such we feel that the Minister need not be embarrassed.”


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