Mon, Feb 13, 2017 - Page 9 News List

USING IDIOMS
活用成語

A pile of ingot-shaped candies is seen in a shop along Taipei’s Dihua Street on Jan. 17.
台北迪化街上店內的元寶形糖果,攝於一月十七日。

Photo: Paul Cooper, Taipei Times
照片:台北時報記者古德謙攝

Chinese Practice

點石成金

(dian3 shi2 cheng2 jin1)

to touch stone and turn it into gold

Midas Touch 原出自希臘神話中的邁達斯點石成金的故事。故事揭示了過度貪婪的下場,並提醒世人,美夢成真時往往會伴隨著意想不到的後果。如今,Midas Touch 這個片語已失去了原本的警世含意,僅用來指某人化腐朽為神奇的能力,例如形容商人非常擅長賺錢。

根據古羅馬詩人奧維德的敘述,佛里幾亞的國王邁達斯因酒神戴歐尼修斯而獲得了一種特殊的能力。一名叫西勒努斯的森林之神喝醉酒迷了路,被幾名農夫送到邁達斯的宮殿。酒神為了回報邁達斯對西勒努斯的照顧,表示將給他一項贈禮。邁達斯因一時的貪念,要求酒神賜予他點石成金的能力。起初一切都很順利,直到他發現,任何他觸碰到的食物和飲料都會變成無法食用的金子。就連他的女兒,也在他伸手安慰她的時候,意外被變成了金子。

中文的「點石成金」與Midas Touch 意思相近。「點石成金」字面的意思是把石頭變成金子。不同於英文的Midas Touch,這個成語並沒有警世的含意,常用於形容人改寫文字的功力極好,能將平淡的文章改為精彩的作品。(台北時報編譯涂宇安譯)

他有點石成金的本領,能把憋腳的打油詩改成洗練的傑作。

(He has the Midas touch. He can transform a pretty basic limerick into a refined masterpiece.)

他不過改了文章第一段的幾個字,便讓整篇文章增色不少,真是點石成金,令人佩服。

(He didn’t just change a few words in the first paragraph, he transformed the entire article. He has the touch. It’s really quite impressive.)

英文練習

The Midas touch

The story of the Midas Touch originates from Greek mythology. It is a cautionary tale of being careful of what you wish for, and of the perils of unchecked greed. In modern usage, it seems to have lost this cautionary aspect, and now simply refers to the ability to transform something pedestrian into something remarkable, for example for a businessperson with a keen eye for turning a profit.

The original myth revolves around Midas, king of Phrygia, whom the Roman poet Ovid says was given a special power by the god Dionysius. The god, grateful for the hospitality Midas had afforded the satyr Silenus, drunk and lost and brought before the king by local peasants, offered Midas a reward. Midas allowed his greed to get the better of him, and requested the ability to turn things into gold. All went well until the king discovered that all the food and drink in front of him was rendered useless at his touch. It was even said that he inadvertently turned his own daughter into gold when he attempted to comfort her.

In Chinese, there is a similar idiom: 點石成金 literally means “to touch stone and turn it into gold.” There is no cautionary aspect to this, and it is often used figuratively to mean transforming crude writing into a work of literary merit.

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)

Warren Buffet is a modern Midas. He certainly has the touch.

(巴菲特很懂理財,簡直是現代版的點金術師。)

You really do have the Midas Touch, don’t you. Everything you touch turns into gold.

(你還真會化腐朽為神奇,彷彿會點金術。)

This story has been viewed 8025 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top