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英文成語 “The School of Hard Knocks” 是什麼意思?
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: July 21, 2010 – 3:35 am

美國人學中文最怕遇到成語,而華人學英語最怕遇到片語和慣用法。原因無他,正因為這些通常會牽扯文化與生活習慣,而要跨越這道障礙不是一件容易的事,唯一能做的就是大量接觸對方的文化與生活習慣。

今天收到一封老師來信,細讀之下又遇到一個從未見過的成語,翻閱字典與詳查網路之後才掌握其意思,這個成語如下:

The School of Hard Knocks

 

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想必網友都知道英文單字 school 的意思,但其衍生的意思可包含「磨練與鍛鍊 (experience that provides discipline or instruction)」。The hard school of adversity 就是「逆境的磨鍊」。

所以,the school of hard knocks 就是痛苦衝擊後所學得的技能或智慧,亦即從生活中學習的知識或經驗。Wiki 的定義如下:

The School of Hard Knocks or the School of Hard Knocks and Tough Surprises is an idiomatic phrase meaning the (sometimes painful) education one gets from life’s usually negative experiences, often contrasted with formal education. The term was first coined by American columnist George Ade in 1912[1], and re-popularized by the song “It’s the Hard Knock Life” from the 1977 musical adaptation of Annie, which chronicles the life of poor, uneducated orphans.

It is a phrase which is most typically used by a person to claim a level of wisdom imparted by life experience, which should be considered at least equal in merit to academic knowledge. It is a response that may be given when one is asked about his or her education, particularly if they do not have an extensive formal education but rather life experiences that should be valued instead. It may also be used facetiously to suggest that formal education is not of practical value compared to “street” experience. In the UK, the phrases University of Life and School of Hard Knocks may be used interchangeably.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_of_Hard_Knocks

 

translation

美國頗重視生活教育,認為填鴨式的學習方式無法造就能夠適應當今社會變遷的人才。台灣應當學習西方教育好的地方,看到如今小學生的課業與課外輔導如此繁重,真希望不要是揠苗助長,扼殺小孩子的創造力與活力。好啦,說到此,版主又想到另一個相關說法 street smart,它的意思是「知道如何應付生活的大小事」。

(例句)
Well, I grew up in Taipei. I know how city life operates and how to deal with differnet situations. I guess you could say I’m street smart.

 

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