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Chatterbox -A Chicken Talking To A Duck

-A Chicken Talking To A Duck

Chatterbox is a well-connected and popular face of the local media world. She has worked in nearly every type of media in Hong Kong and overseas. Most recently, she has found success in her latest venture as a radio presenter. Aside from her newfound fame on the airwaves, she is an established journalist and media professional.

雞同鴨講 ── 淨係識用「expensive」嚟形容「昂貴」,你唔悶架咩?│A Chicken Talking To A Duck By Chatterbox

2016-8-6 09:26
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(中譯版本在下)

My Hong Kong friends often ask me to give them tips on how to improve their spoken English so that they can speak it with a touch of elegance. My advice is very simple; just remember you can still be elegant and live well even without much money; the prerequisite is to be creative.

Believe me if you are creative with the language, you can be both elegant and eloquent even without an extensive vocabulary. Besides the basic principle of reading, listening and practising all the time, the rule of thumb is: learn the right vocabulary and phrases and try to inject them into everyday use as often as possible.

Another important rule is to learn to think in English. If you can do that you will get into the habit of being natural and once you have managed that, saying things in different ways will come easy because you’ll sound less rigid. One big tip to success is to first arm yourself with synonyms and descriptive phrases.

For example, instead of saying something is expensive, you can say it is “costly” or “pricey” and once you’ve acquainted yourself with some new synonyms, move onto utilising interesting phrases such as it’s going “to cost you an arm and a leg” to describe something that’s exorbitantly expensive. This phrase is one of my personal favourites because it is so descriptive and there are many theories as to its origin. One more widely accepted belief is in the old days painters would charge extra for painting a full-body portrait, which meant more for drawing the arms and legs, hence the idiom.

Another useful phrase to acquire is “to bet your bottom dollar”. Just imagine if you were a gambler who’s willing to gamble away your last dollar, it naturally meant you must have tonnes of confidence in your fateful bet. Hence this phrase means someone is really confident about what they are going to do.

The next popular phrase has an equivalent in Chinese: “born with a silver spoon in your mouth” to describe someone who was born into money and privilege. Another phrase which also has a close relative in Chinese: “tighten your belt” which means to control your expenses since you have little money left. I am not sure why both the Chinese and English versions are so similar; maybe the predicament of having little money to spend is comparable in any culture when you have to depict it visually.
There is one phrase that I love to use quite often to express how wonderful I feel. Therefore I highly recommend you to adapt it in your daily use. Instead of saying “I feel wonderful or feel great today”. How about “I feel like a million dollars”? Wouldn’t anyone want to feel like a million dollars every day? Go ahead, say it and mean it. Take my advice and think in English and use synonyms and colourful phrases to jazz up your conversational English to impress your friends and colleagues. Knock yourself out. See you all next week.

我的香港朋友們不時問我,如何可提高英語會話能力,使話語中更添優雅。我的建議相當簡單,只要記住自己在沒多少錢之下,仍能活得自在,仍可優雅生存便可;但前提是,你說話時必須發揮創意。

聽我說吧,如果你說話具有創意,即使腦海沒有廣泛的詞彙,也可表現出優雅氣質,侃侃而談亦絕對不是問題。而除了多閱讀、聆聽和練習的基本方法外,我的經驗法則是:學習正確的詞彙和短語,並將它們盡可能多地運用在日常使用的英語之中。

另一重要規則是,學會用英語思考。如果你能做到,這習慣更會慢慢變得自然,而一旦你能妥善運用這種模式,說話就會不那麼死板,想以不同方式表達自己,也會變得順利起來。當中的成功貼士是──先好好裝備自己的同義詞和描述性短語。

例如,與其老是說「expensive」,你可以以「costly」或「pricey」取而代之。而當你愈來愈熟悉如何運用同義詞,便可「升級」使用一些有趣的短語,譬如以「it’s going『to cost you an arm and a leg』」來形容某物的價格驚人。老實說,這句話是我個人最愛之一,它不但能生動地描述情況,背後亦有許多起源。其中一個比較多人相信的由來是,古時如要畫家畫一幅全身肖像,是要額外收費的。換言之,附了費,畫家便願意多畫一對「arm and leg」。

另一有用的短語是:「to bet your bottom dollar」。想像一下,如果你是一個賭徒,又願意賭下你最後一塊錢,那自然意味著你必須有無窮的信心,去下這致命賭注。因此,這句話形容某人對所做之事極有信心。

而「born with a silver spoon in your mouth」這句相當流行的短語,則與中文的「含住金鎖匙出世」有類似意思,兩者皆形容一些出生於擁有巨富及特權的世家之人。另一與中文有近親關係的是「tighten your belt」,亦即「勒緊褲頭」,代表因為餘錢不多,而要嚴格控制費用。我著實不太理解,為何上述短語的中英版本如此相似,也許一個人面對窮困,在任何文化的視覺描繪上,也具有可比性吧。

有一個短語,是當我表達絕妙心情時極愛使用的。因此,我決定向大家強烈推薦:與其高呼「I feel wonderful or feel great today」,倒不如說「I feel like a million dollars」?試問有誰不想每天活像擁有「一百萬元」?嘗試說來表達自己吧!聽聽我的建議,用英語思考、多使用同義詞和豐富的短語,使自己的英語會話更具生氣,並在你的朋友和同事腦中留下深刻印象吧!Knock yourself out,下周見!

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分類:|發表於2016年8月6日 上午9:26

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