词语典故

VOA慢速英语:词汇掌故-盐不简单

时间:2014-12-07 10:37:42  作者:Voice of America  来源:VOA慢速英语  查看:38  评论:0
内容摘要:On today's Words and Their Stories we talk about a common word, a small word, but a word that is completely necessary for human life. In...

On today's Words and Their Stories we talk about a common word, a small word, but a word that is completely necessary for human life. In fact, without this simple, everyday material, all humans would die.
在今天的词汇掌故节目中,我们要谈到一个常用词,一个很简短的词,但是它对人类生活非常必要。事实上,如果没有这种简单的日常物质,所有人都会死。

Scientists know it as sodium chloride. We know it as salt.
科学家们称其为氯化钠。我们称其为盐。

You may think, salt is just a simple cooking element we shake on our food for a little extra taste. But salt is much more than that.
你可能会想,盐只是我们洒在食物上增加口味的一种简单的烹饪元素。但是盐的作用远不止这些。

Without salt our muscles would not move. Our nervous systems would not operate. Our hearts would not beat. Salt means life.
如果没有盐我们的肌肉就不能动,神经系统就不能工作,心脏就不能跳动。盐就是生命。

But do not think rubbing salt in a wound will help. Doing that would be painful and not heal the wound. To rub salt in a wound is an idiom that means to purposefully make a bad situation worse.
但是不要认为在伤口上撒盐会有所帮助。这样做会非常疼痛,也不会愈合伤口。在伤口上撒盐是一个习语,意思是故意让情况变得更糟糕。

Early humans got the salt they needed to stay alive from the animals they killed. But advances in agriculture led to a diet low in salt. So, humans needed to find others sources.
早期人类从他们杀死的动物身上获取生存所需的盐分。但是农业进步导致了低盐饮食。因此,人类需要寻找其它盐分来源。

Those who lived near the ocean or other natural sources for salt were lucky. Those who did not had to trade for salt. In fact, people used salt as a method of payment in many parts of the ancient world. The word "salary" comes from the word "salt."
住在海洋或天然盐矿附近的人是幸运的。这些人不用买盐。事实上在古代世界的很多地方,人们使用盐作为一种支付方式。工资(salary)这个单词就源自于盐(salt)这个单词。

Salt also played an important part in population movement and world exploration. Explorers understood that if they could keep food fresh, they could travel longer distances. So they used salt to preserve food and explored the world.
盐在人口流动和世界探险中也起到了重要的作用。探险家们懂得,如果他们能够保持食物新鲜,他们就能前往更远的地方。所以他们使用盐来保存食物和探索世界。

Salt meant movement.
(这时的)盐意味着迁徙。

Salt also changed the way nations fought. With preserved food on ships, nations could sail to distant lands ... and then attack them.
盐还改变了国家征战的方式。船上有了腌制食品,各国就能航行到遥远的国度......然后攻击他们。

Salt meant power.
(这时的)盐意味着权力。

Salt was so important that, according to food historians, it was traded pound-for-pound for gold. Today, people still use the expressions to be worth one's salt or worth one's weight in salt. The expressions describe a person who is useful, a person of value.
根据食物历史学家所述,盐是如此重要,它曾和黄金对等交易。如今,人们仍然在使用to be worth one's salt或worth one's weight in salt这种表达来形容重要人物。

A person might also be called salt of the earth. That description means he or she is dependable and trustworthy. The phrase comes from the Christian Bible. Jesus called his loyal group of followers -- or disciples -- the salt of the earth.
某人可能也会被称之为社会中坚(salt of the earth)。这种描述意味着他(她)非常可靠,值得信赖。这句话源自基督教的圣经。耶稣称他的一群忠实追随者(或门徒)为the salt of the earth。

But one of these disciples was not so loyal. The disciple Judas betrayed Jesus. In his famous painting "The Last Supper," Leonardo da Vinci shows Judas spilling a bowl of salt. Spilled salt is a sign of bad luck and trouble. And trouble is exactly what Judas gave Jesus.
但是这些门徒之一可没那么忠诚。门徒犹大出卖了耶稣。达芬奇在他的名画《最后的晚餐》中表现出犹大碰洒了一碗盐。盐洒了是坏运气或麻烦的征兆。而犹大给耶稣带来的正是麻烦。

Even today, some people throw salt over one shoulder if they spill it. They believe throwing salt behind them scares any devil that has been following them -- or at least blinds it for a second while they run away.
即使在今天,有些人如果碰洒了盐,他们就会把盐往肩膀后洒。他们认为,把盐洒到身后可以吓跑一直跟着他们的魔鬼,或者至少在他们逃跑时让魔鬼被弄花了眼。

But these stories about bad luck should be taken with a grain of salt. In other words, listen to a story or an explanation with suspicion and distrust.
但这些关于噩运的故事也不可全信(taken with a grain of salt)。换句话说,就是带着怀疑听某个故事或说法。

But you don't have to take the information you find on VOA Learning English with a grain of salt. We do our research.
但是你不必对自己在美国之音英语学习节目中学到的信息持怀疑态度。我们做了研究。

And this research led to some interesting facts about salt in other cultures and religions.
而且这一研究发现了一些其它文化和宗教中关于盐的有趣故事。

In 2200 BC, the Chinese emperor Xia Yu created one of the first known taxes. He taxed salt. And Egyptians preserved dead bodies with salt, creating mummies.
在公元前2200年,中国皇帝夏禹创造了首个已知税种,他对盐征税。而埃及人用盐保护尸体来制作木乃伊。

The Catholic Church uses salt in many of its rituals. Buddhists use salt to prevent evil. In Japan, the Shinto religion uses salt to clean an area of evil. In the U.S. Southwest, the Pueblo people worship the Salt Mother.
天主教会在许多仪式上会用到盐。佛教徒用盐来辟邪。日本神道教用盐来驱邪。美国西南部的普韦布洛人崇拜盐母。

And in 1933, the Dalai Lama was buried sitting up in a bed of salt. Today in India, salt is still a symbol of good luck.
而在1933年,十三世达赖喇嘛埋葬时坐在盐床上。在今天的印度,盐仍然是吉祥的象征。

What about your culture? Do you have any idioms or expressions about salt? In the comments section, share a story of salt from your culture.
那么你们的文化呢?你是否知道任何关于盐的习语或表达?在评论部分分享你们文化中关于盐的故事。

I'm Jonathan Evans.
我是乔纳森·埃文斯(Jonathan Evans)。

And I'm Anna Matteo.
而我是安娜·马特奥(Anna Matteo)。

Join us again for another Words and Their Stories, where we take a deeper look at words in American English.
请继续收听下周的词汇掌故节目,我们会在该节目中深入探讨美语词汇。
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