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名人教英文:詐傻扮懵

【明報專訊】我們口語的詐傻扮懵,英文最貼切的講法,應該就是 playing dumb。

Dumb 原指啞的,現一般解作蠢鈍的;playing 等於 acting 演出,也就是裝扮。

Acting 或 playing dumb,即pretending to be unintelligent or unaware in order to deceive someone or get an advantage,故作不聰明或不為意狀,糊弄他人以得到好處。

‧He said I perfectly knew what he was talking about. I decided to play dumb, and replied, "No, I haven't got a clue." 他說我完全知道他在說什麼。我決定裝傻,答:「不,我一點頭緒也沒有。」

除了 to play、to act,同樣表達「扮嘢」之意,有另一個很好用的字,是 to feign something,意思是「假裝某物」,這個「某物」一定要是名詞,比起 to pretend to be xxx 更簡單直接:

To feign stupidity

= to pretend to be stupid,裝傻

‧He told them it was a clever plan, feigning stupidity. 他對他們裝傻,說那是個妙計。

To feign ignorance

= to pretend to be ignorant,扮無知

‧The ace scientist asked a lot of questions, obviously with feigned ignorance. 那位頂尖科學家問了許多問題,顯然是扮無知。

To feign interest

= to pretend to be interested,裝作有興趣

‧I feigned interest in the old man's tall tale. 我佯作對老人胡吹大氣的故事有興趣。

To feign illness

= to pretend to be ill,詐病

‧He feigned illness to avoid going to school. 他詐病以逃避上學。

To feign innocence

= To pretend to be innocent,作清白狀

‧The culprit has been good at feigning innocence. 那個罪犯一直很擅於作無辜清白狀。

以上 to feign 的例句,都有「假冒」之意,可以用 to fake 代替嗎?可以。

To feign surprise

= to fake surprise,假裝吃驚

‧I knew he was going to be there, but I still faked surprise when I saw him. 我知道他會在場,但我看見他時仍然佯裝意外。

依此類推,to fake grief、delight、illness 就是假裝悲傷、高興、患病的樣子。

■文︰毛孟靜

電郵︰claudiabowring@gmail.com

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