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「紙老虎」的英文怎麼說?
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: May 6, 2011 – 3:15 am

有趣,版主這陣子聽到同事抱怨,說某某長官是個「紙老虎」,外表看起來很威嚴,其實肚子裡沒有半滴墨水,經不起考驗。話峰一轉,他們劈頭問我:Wayne!英文的「紙老虎」怎麼說? 嗯,說來話長,我也不太清楚耶…。

其實,台灣公司有許多這類的領導人,他們不是因為能力良好而擔任主管,而是屁股坐久了,升遷了,不得不去管理下屬。隨著歲月的遷移,他們的技術能力雖江河日下,但是還活在以往的世界,自我感覺良好,誤以為自己還是公司的中流砥柱,老講當年他是如何叱吒風雲、威風八面。看起來是很嚇人,但其實卻虛有其表,金玉其外,敗絮其中。

根據維奇百科,「紙老虎」的說法有幾個著名的出處:

  • 水滸傳記載:武大郎捉姦,西門慶慌作一團,潘金蓮不禁大怒道:「見個紙虎,也嚇一交!」
  • 李鴻章寫給曾國藩的孫女婿吳永的信里的也有記載:「我辦了一輩子的事,練兵也,海軍也,都是紙糊的老虎,何嘗能實在放手辦理?不過勉強塗飾,虛有其表,不揭破猶可敷衍一時。」
  • 最有名的紙老虎可能是毛澤東針對美國所提出的「一切反動派都是紙老虎」的論斷。

好漢不提當年勇,提當年勇的是個孬種 (loser / wimp)。話說回來,老美是如何講「紙老虎」這個概念呢?

版主這幾天上網查了一下,得到以下的結論,有興趣知道的網友不妨看看:

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translation Paper Tiger (中文「紙老虎」的字面翻譯) – 維奇百科講解內容

Paper tiger is a literal English translation of the Chinese phrase zhǐ lǎohǔ (simplified Chinese: 纸老虎; traditional Chinese: 紙老虎), meaning something that seems as threatening as a tiger, but is really harmless. This Chinese colloquialism is similar to the English phrase “its bark is worse than its bite“.

The phrase is an ancient one in Chinese culture, but sources differ as to when it entered the English vocabulary. It is found translated to English as early as 1836, in a work by John Francis Davis.

In a 1956 interview with the American journalist Anna Louise Strong, Mao Zedong used the phrase to describe US Imperialism: “ In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of; it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe that is nothing but a paper tiger. ”

In Mao Zedong’s view, “all reactionaries are paper tigers (一切反動派都是紙老虎)” — superficially powerful but prone to overextension leading to sudden collapse. When Mao criticized Soviet “appeasement” of the United States during the Sino-Soviet split, Premier Nikita Khrushchev reportedly pointed out, “the paper tiger has nuclear teeth.”

【來源】Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_tiger

translation Paper Tiger (中文「紙老虎」的字面翻譯) – Urban Dictionary 講解內容

1. something appearing strong or fierce, but in reality being all show and no substance, weak, nothing to be feared.

=> most bullies and politicians fall into this category.

2. One who appears tough on the surface but is really a wimp.

3. A literal English translation of the Chinese phrase zhǐ lǎohǔ (紙老虎), meaning something that seems as threatening as a tiger, but is really harmless.

=> “All reactionaries are paper tigers.(一切反動派都是紙老虎)” – Mao Zedong (毛澤東)

【來源】http://www.urbandictionary.com/

translationsomebody’s bark is worse than their bite (某人雖然嘴巴很厲害 (很兇),其實卻很少傷害人)

If someone’s bark is worse than their bite, they are not as unpleasant as they seem, and their actions are not as bad as their threats.

=> I wouldn’t be scared of her if I were you. Her bark’s a lot worse than her bite.
(我如果是你的話,我不會怕她的。她只是個紙老虎。)

【來源】http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/

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