英文

名人教英文:The birds and the bees 男女之間的事

【明報專訊】Carina: You're not looking very cheerful.

卡琳娜:你看來不大開心。

Libby: I've got reason. You know my best friend Jenny, Jenny Wright.

利比: 那是有原因的。你也知道我最好的朋友是珍妮,珍妮.賴特。

Carina: Yes, I've met her a couple of times. She's nice. Very shy I thought.

卡琳娜:我知道,也見過她幾次。她這個人很好,但似乎很害羞。

Libby: Yes she is. She's easily embarrassed and that's part of the problem.

利比: 你說得對。她很容易感到尷尬,而這正是問題的一部分。

Carina: What problem?

卡琳娜:什麼問題?

Libby: Well she has a 16-year-old daughter Millie who's as shy as her mother and she's just got herself pregnant by her boyfriend.

利比: 她有個女兒,今年十六歲,叫米莉,和母親一樣害羞,最近給男朋友弄大了肚。

Carina: Oh no! How could she do that. Didn't her mother tell her about the birds and the bees?

卡琳娜:哎呀!她怎可以這樣。珍妮沒有跟女兒講男女之間的事麼?

Libby: I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if she hadn't. She had a very sheltered upbringing and that's what she's given Millie too.

利比: 我不知道,但沒有也不奇怪。她在父母呵護之下長大,也以同樣方式教育米莉。

Carina: What a situation! What are they going to do?

卡琳娜:現在陷入了這樣的境地,她們怎麼辦?

Libby: They don't know but they're trying to keep it as quiet as possible. I'll help as much as I can.

利比: 她們也不知道,只是盡量不張揚。我會盡力幫忙。◆

The birds and the bees 直譯是「鳥兒與蜂兒」。西方人往往以鳥兒、蜂兒或其他動物之交配,向兒女講解性知識,以免直接講男女之間的事那麼尷尬。所以,the birds and the bees 成為「男女交媾」的代詞。一九七四年,美國有一紀錄片,專述動物交配,就以 Birds Do It, Bees Do It(《鳥兒也幹,蜂兒也幹》)為名。The birds and the bees 這成語,多用於委婉或詼諧語句,例如:Some people consider it unnecessary to tell their children about the birds and the bees, believing that this is something they will understand when they grow up(有些人認為不必跟孩子講男女之間的事,認為孩子長大了,自然會明白)。

̷̷ 作者︰古德明 ̷

作者簡介﹕專研中英文,著有時事評論、英語學習、散文等書籍。

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