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中国时间: 08:44 2016年12月03日星期六

美国习惯用语 - big fish in a small pond

  • 美国之音

记得大学毕业时,我们班同学纷纷找机会留在大城市或者出国,可是有个男生却毅然决然回到自己的家乡就业。我们问他为什么,他说自己的学历和能力回家乡肯定能受到重用,可是留在大城市里就显不出来了,因为这里人才扎堆,竞争太激烈。他的这种心态,让我想到一个习惯用语:big fish in a small pond.

Big fish是大鱼, small pond 则是小池塘。Big fish in a small pond小池塘里的大鱼, 其实就是形容小地方的大人物,小圈子里的杰出者。

我同学就是这样,he has no interest in living in large, competitive cities. He'd rather be a big fish in a small pond. 他不愿意住在竞争激烈的大城市,他宁当鸡头,不作凤尾。

我尊重这位同学的选择。我想,他选择去小地方发展应该就是不想经历下面这段话所描述的情景。我们来听一听:

例句-1:Of the 60 students in her graduating class, Tania ranked number one. She received many honors, including a scholarship to one of the top universities in the country. Once there, Tania found it difficult adjusting to classmates who were all as talented as she was. That's because she had been used to being a big fish in a small pond.

这段话是说:在毕业班的六十名学生里,塔尼亚的成绩是全班第一。她得到了很多荣誉,包括一所全国顶尖大学的奖学金。可是到了那所大学后,塔尼亚发现,其他同学都和她一样出色,她觉得自己很难适应这样的情况,因为她已经习惯在小圈子里当佼佼者。

人到了新的圈子里难免要渡过一段不太舒服的适应期,尤其是对当惯了尖子的人。有人觉得宁当鸡头不当凤尾,但也有人到哪里都要力争出类拔萃,全看个人心态。

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要提醒大家,fish这个词的复数形式还是fish,所以我们形容一个人是小地方的大人物,说he's a fish in a small pond。那要是几个人呢?就是they are fish in a small pond。下面这个例句就讲到这样的两个人。我们来听一听:

例句-2:Everyone at our real estate office knows the Kims. They've been successful sellers at the firm for several years. They could easily join a much larger staff at a more prestigious office. But then they'd no longer be big fish in a small pond. And that wouldn't interest them.

这段话是说:我们房地产办公室的人都知道金姆夫妻俩。多年来,他们一直是公司里相当成功的房地产销售员。他们如果想跳槽到更有名气的公司,加入更大的销售团队,绝对不是问题。不过那样一来,他们就没法再像现在一样当办公室里的风云人物了。所以他们对跳槽没兴趣。

Big fish in a small pond里的fish 也可以frog - 青蛙 - 这个词来代替。所以,我同学去家乡发展,愿意当a big frog in a small pond,小地方的杰出人才,金姆夫妇愿意留在现在的地产公司,当big frogs in a small pond, 小公司里的红人。

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