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Break a leg! 祝你好運 !


Jen: Hello and welcome to Question and Answer of the week. I’m Jen, and I’m joined in the studio today by Yang Li.
Yang Li: 大家好。在每周一次的《你問我答》節目中我們回答聽友和網友提出的各種語言和文化問題。
Jen: Today we’ve got a question from Wang Xi. Let’s hear from her:


“I have a question about ‘break a leg.’ I heard someone say ‘break a leg’
– I really want to know, where can I use this phrase and when should I use it?”
Yang Li: Great question! 王曦說她聽人家說 ‘break a leg’ –“ 摔斷一條腿”但是不確定在什么情況下使用這個短語.
Jen: Well, let’s see if we can explain it for you. The phrase ‘break a leg’ is often used to wish people good luck.
Yang Li: That doesn’t sound very lucky, telling them to break a leg? 那也太不吉利了吧,祝愿別人斷條腿!
Jen: Let me explain further. The phrase ‘break a leg’ was traditionally only used in theatres.
Yang Li: 你說只限于在劇場和戲院里使用,是嗎?

Jen: That’s right. Many people who worked in theatres were superstitious and were afraid to say certain phrases, as they thought it would bring bad luck.

Yang Li: Interesting! 從藝的很多人都迷信,有些話忌諱使用。
Jen: I’m sure you’ll have heard of Shakespeare’s classic play,Macbeth?
Yang Li: Yes, of course.
Jen: Well, actors in theatres are so superstitious that they will not say the name before going on stage.
Yang Li: Really? What do they call it?
Jen: They simply call it ‘The Scottish play’, instead.
Yang Li: How interesting! 著名的莎士比亞悲劇《麥克白》也有迷信的說法,演員們特別忌諱直接說出《麥克白》的劇名,于是就用了一個婉轉的名字,叫它蘇格蘭劇,這樣做的目的是回避厄運。
Jen: Some actors are also afraid to use the phrase ‘good luck’, as they actually think it will bring them bad luck!
Yang Li: Confusing! 有些演員怕別人對他們說“祝你好運”這句話因為他們擔心這會給他們帶來反效果:厄運。 So where does the phrase
‘break a leg’ come into it?
Jen: Well, people thought that if they said ‘break a leg’, which is obviously an example of bad luck, in a theatre, it would actually bring the person good luck.
Yang Li: 對即將出場的演員說break a leg 意思就是祝你好運。
Jen: It’s usually said to actors just before they’re about to go on stage.
Yang Li: 是的。此外還有在首場演出之前你也會聽到這個特別的祝福語。But do people use this phrase outside of theatres?
Jen: The phrase is quite commonly used in English these days.
Many people use it as an informal way to wish someone luck.
Yang Li: So I could say ‘break a leg’ to you if you were going to a job interview?
Jen: That’s a good example. People generally use the phrase when someone is speaking or performing in some way.
Yang Li: 一般情況下break a leg這個短語用在演講和表演之類的場合,祝福別人好運。 So Wang Xi can use this phrase when wishing someone good luck.
Jen: Certainly. There are other phrases that you can use too. It’s quite acceptable to simply say ‘good luck’ to someone, or you could also say ‘fingers crossed’.
Yang Li: 把食指和中指交叉就表示但愿有好運,在英語中就是: ‘fingers crossed’.
Jen: You can also say ‘best of luck’ or ‘all the best’.
Yang Li: 王曦,希望我們回答了你的問題。
Jen: If you have a question, why not email us at question.chinaelt@bbc.co.uk?
Yang Li: And let’s say ‘good luck’ to Wang Xi with her English learning.
Jen: Let’s not have any broken legs, though! See you next week – bye!
Yang Li: Bye!

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