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Chinese practice 美中不足 one slight blemish in an otherwise perfect thing (mei3 zhong1 bu4 zu2) 成語「美中不足」意指雖然某事物很美,但仍有缺點。這句話出自明朝劇作家吾丘瑞的《運甓記》,書中寫的是晉朝名將及名官陶侃(西元二五九到三三四年)由貧至富之故事。 在故事中,陶侃夢見自己生出八隻翅膀,飛上了天,看見神秘的九道門。他飛過了八道門,但飛不過第九道,而被守門人擋下了,守門人打落了他左邊的一隻翅膀。陶侃夢醒後,覺得腋下疼痛,便找人來告訴他這夢是吉是凶。 中國原本被劃分為九個州。解夢人說,飛越八道門意為陶侃以後將會鎮守八州;最後一道門代表有一州是他永遠無法掌握的。被打斷的翅膀指的是一個缺陷,是阻礙他的一個部分。 在英語中有一個片語a fly in the ointment(油膏裡的蒼蠅),看似相同,但在意思上有細微的差異。油膏原本是用在宗教的膏抹儀式。在詹姆士王欽定版聖經傳道書第十章第一節提到,「死蒼蠅使作香的膏油發出臭氣;這樣,一點愚昧也能敗壞智慧和尊榮。」 這句話或許應再多做解釋。Apothecary是藥局的古字;doth是does一字的古寫法;folly意為不智之舉。換句話說,一個小過失即可傷害人,即便這人在其他方面有著明智與可敬的聲譽。在現今的用法中,the fly in the ointment 意指一個小細節便毀了全部,一顆老鼠屎壞了一鍋粥。而「美中不足」則指事物雖整體上可接受,但略有瑕疵,與a fly in the ointment 稍有不同。 (台北時報編譯林俐凱譯) 這房子依山傍水美極了,但美中不足的是離上班的地方太遠了。 (This apartment is close to the mountains and looks out over a river. It’s really beautiful, but the fly inFULL STORY


A: There seem to be more and more vendors along this underground passage. B: It’s not only vendors, you also occasionally see street artists down here. A: Really, what kind of street artists? B: Usually buskers. I’ve seen male tenors, acoustic guitarists and also mouth organists. A: 這個地下道裡好像越來越多攤販了。 B: 不只攤販,有時候還有街頭藝人呢。 A:FULL STORY

Large sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef found dead

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has long been one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders. But huge sections of the Great Barrier Reef, stretching across hundreds of miles of its most pristine northern sector, were recently found to be dead, killed last yearFULL STORY


A: It seems it’s been raining quite a bit lately. The monsoon season is here. B: It’s a bit early for that. The plum rain front usually forms around May. A: Taiwan doesn’t really have a good tourist season. In the summer, we have the plum rainsFULL STORY

Crowding out the picture

Faces. No, not the intricately painted face of the temple performer, with the stylized Chinese character for shou — longevity — over his eye. I’m talking about the faces in the crowd. Look at the people in the background of the first photo. Apparently, the performersFULL STORY


A: Why did you want to shoot this jogger? B: Actually, I was trying to take a picture of the shrine behind him, but he suddenly ran past the very moment I pressed the shutter. A: That was a bit of a coincidence. B: Right? When he foundFULL STORY

Hong Kong pop diva Sandy Lam tops “Singer 2017” show
香港天后林憶蓮 「歌手」總決賽奪冠

Hong Kong singer Sandy Lam won the final of “Singer 2017,” singing the song “Maybe Tomorrow” in the final episode of the show, broadcast live on Hunan TV last Saturday. The 51-year-old singer, backed up by pop diva Chang Hui-mei, better known as A-mei, sangFULL STORY


A: I’ve started learning to play electric guitar. B: Really. You can already play the acoustic, I imagine you’ll pick up electric in no time. A: Electric guitar in itself isn’t all that difficult, but it gets complicated if you want to use effects pedals. B: Yeah, effectsFULL STORY

International Youth Ambassadors, your country needs you
國際青年大使 徵的就是你

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to select 75 International Youth Ambassadors, and has arranged for them to visit the major Southeast Asian countries involved in the government’s “new southbound policy” as part of a 10-day itinerary of exchanges in late August. Registration for theFULL STORY


A: Have you found all of the books on the list the teacher gave us? B: Yes. You can find all of them in the campus bookstore or in the library. A: The library has them, but only one copy, so it’s difficult to get hold ofFULL STORY

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