Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - Page 9 News List

USING IDIOMS 活用成語

In Chinese, when we want to say that catastrophe is near, we can use either 大難臨頭 or 大禍臨頭. This idiom derives from the ancient Warring States period Taoist classic, the zhuangzi, from the qiu shui (Floods of Autumn) chapter in the Outer Chapters section. Here, the writer has Confucius remark on how he has come to terms with not being able to offer sagely advice to a ruler in a time when such services are undervalued. He says 白刃交於前,視死若生者,烈士之勇也;知窮之有命,知通之有時,臨大難而不懼者,聖人之勇也 (When men see the sharp weapons crossed before them, and look on death as going home, that is the courage of the determined soldier. When he knows that his lot is determined for him, and that his employment by a ruler depends on the character of the time, and then meeting with great distress is yet not afraid, that is the courage of the sagely man.”

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)

I’m afraid the writing’s on the wall. I don’t think we can avoid bankruptcy at this stage.

(我們恐怕是大禍臨頭了,我不認為我們到這個地步可以躲得過破產的命運。)

Mel and Jim are always at each other’s throats. The writing’s on the wall for them, I think.

(梅兒和吉姆總是吵個不停,我想他們之間的關係很快就會完了。)

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