White elephant 华而不实的东西

更新时间 2013年 4月 2日, 星期二 - 格林尼治标准时间10:38

The script of this programme 本节目台词

(Finn and Feifei on a visit to the zoo)

Feifei: Hi. I'm Feifei and joining us here in the zoo to present Authentic Real English is Finn.

Finn: Hello.

Feifei: What's the matter, Finn? 怎么不高兴呢?动物园这么多动物,多好看呀!

Finn: Yes, I love animals too. But I don't know what I'm going to do with that white elephant.

Feifei: 你不知道应该如果应对 a white elephant? 你是说远处的那头白象?

Finn: No. The one my uncle is giving me.

Feifei: 什么?你叔叔送你一头象?

a Namibian elephant, BBC image

Does Finn have enough space to look after an elephant?

Finn: He is moving to South Africa and he's giving away some of his things.

Feifei: 如果我要搬到南非的话,估计我也会把带不走的东西都送人。可是你真打算养一头大象吗 Finn?

Finn: That's the problem. I am not. Well, it is beautiful…

Feifei: 是呀,大象长得太好看了。

Finn: …and it is powerful…

Feifei: 非常健壮。

Finn: But it needs too much petrol!

Feifei: 汽油?给大象喝?

Finn: Yes. Old sports cars need a lot of petrol, you know.

Feifei: 就说嘛,吓死我了。我以为你要给大象喝汽油。Finn 是说跑车很费油。

Finn: Yes, of course! It wasn't talking about an actual elephant.

Feifei: 你听,大象也松了一口气。

Finn: Yes, he did. In English, when you call something a 'white elephant', you mean it's large, costs a lot of money to keep and has no useful purpose.

Feifei: 我们用 'white elephant' 这个短语来描述贵而无用的,华而不实的东西。不过我知道你喜欢骑自行车,跑车对你来说用处不太大吧。

Finn: That's right. Let's listen to some examples of how to use this expression.

  • I've paid a lot of money for this posh designer dress that I never use. It is a white elephant!
  • The new airport is a white elephant! It's got four runways and it's equipped with the latest technology, but not many people visit this region.

Feifei: White elephant 还可以用来描述一样看起来漂亮,但是在实际生活中浪费空间的东西。

Finn: That's right.

Feifei: 所以说呀,这些华而不实的玩意儿可远远比不上动物园里这些大象的人气。

Finn: Feifei, shall we go and have a look?

Feifei: 好的,咱们去看看可爱的大象们 and these are certainly not white elephants! Bye.

Finn: Bye.

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