雞同鴨講──今個星期咁多慘劇，想安慰人可以講咩？｜A Chicken Talking To A Duck By Chatterbox
It has been quite depressing as far as local news coverage is concerned in the past week. Last Friday, we had the MTR firebombing, then a woman who took part in the Hong Kong Marathon on Sunday died from a heart attack and then the tragic news of a man killing his wife and subsequently committing suicide; the cause was believed to be related to mental health.
When we encounter tragedies, very often we hear people either say “sending our condolences”, “sending our deepest sympathies” or “sending our deepest thoughts and prayers”.
In a less formal manner to describe your disbelief, you may say, “It’s unbelievable”, “I can’t believe this”, “I just can’t imagine”, “words just can’t describe how I feel…” or “there’s no way it could have happened” to make it sound even more personal.
When we encounter an unfortunate incident, it’s natural that we will say something almost instinctively to express our surprise and immediate reactions to show how bad the situation is. Some commonly used phrases include “this is awful”, “it’s terrible” or “what a catastrophe”.
There are also phrases to describe the after effects caused by tragedies. In reaction to the immediate or long-term effects of some sad events, you can say “to come to terms with” in order to express your acceptance of such events.
If you want to show your intention to seek more information in relation to an unfortunate event, you can say “assess the damage”. For example, “In the aftermath of the earthquake, government officials will be assessing the damage done.”
Very often after a natural disaster we will hear news of emergency response and relief or humanitarian operations to help those affected. In this case, you can say some encouraging words to give moral support such as: “you’re not alone”, “I know things look bleak right now, but they are going to get better”, “it will all pass”, and “I can’t imagine what you’re going through”.
If you know them well, you can say something even more personal such as “My heart goes out to you”, “I am here for you”, “I know how you feel”, “it just takes time” or “time heals all wounds”.
Now that you have learned a few good expressions, you can bare your soul to express your innermost feelings more naturally. It’s not a bad thing to open yourself up and express your feelings to others, so try not to “bottle up your feelings” anymore. Go and enjoy the power of expressing yourself and putting your feelings into words. See you all next week.
每每遇到慘劇時，總不難聽到「Sending our condolences」、「Sending our deepest sympathies」或「Sending our deepest thoughts and prayers」等的安慰說話。在不太正式的場合，亦可用上「It’s unbelievable」、「I can’t believe this」、「I just can’t imagine」、「Words just can’t describe how I feel…」或「there’s no way it could have happened」，以更人性化的語氣表達你對事件的不可置信。
而當不幸的意外降臨時，人們很自然會本能地表達驚訝之情，並以直截了當的反應來顯示情況有多壞。在這些場合下，「This is awful」、「It’s terrible」或「What a catastrophe」都是常見用語。
至於要形容悲劇造成的後果，英語當然不乏可派上用場的短語。對於悲劇造成的即時或長期影響，可以說句「to come to terms with」，代表你願意接受現實情況。如果你希望搜索更多關於慘劇的資訊，則可用「to assess the damage」，例句如下：In the aftermath of the earthquake, government officials will be assessing the damage done.（地震發生後，政治官員將評估所造成的損害）。
在自然災害後，我們總會聽到有關緊急狀況的新聞，以及呼籲幫助災民的人道訊息。在這種情況下，不妨說些振奮人心的說話，在道德上給予有需要人士支持，諸如「You’re not alone」、「I know things look bleak right now, but they are going to get better」、「It will all pass」和「I can’t imagine what you’re going through」。
如果你對災民十分熟悉，亦可說些更親密的鼓勵說話，「My heart goes out to you」、「I am here for you」、「I know how you feel」、「It just takes time」或「Time heals all wounds」，都可以是對災民的強心針。
相信大家的辭典又新增加一些絕妙的短語，它們足以讓你袒露心扉，更自然地表露內心深處的感情。放開自己，更清楚、更完整地向別人表述己見並非壞事，所以別再「cork up your feelings」（抑制你的感情）了，享受毫無保留表達自己的力量，把感情透過文字抒發出來吧！下周再見！