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    Break a leg! 祝你好运 !


    Jen: Hello and welcome to Question and Answer of the week. I’m Jen, and I’m joined in the studio today by Yang Li.
    Yang Li: 大家好。在每周一次的《你问我答》节目中我们回答听友和网友提出的各种语言和文化问题。
    Jen: Today we’ve got a question from Wang Xi. Let’s hear from her:


    “I have a question about ‘break a leg.’ I heard someone say ‘break a leg’
    – I really want to know, where can I use this phrase and when should I use it?”
    Yang Li: Great question! 王曦说她听人家说 ‘break a leg’ –“ 摔断一条腿”但是不确定在什么情况下使用这个短语.
    Jen: Well, let’s see if we can explain it for you. The phrase ‘break a leg’ is often used to wish people good luck.
    Yang Li: That doesn’t sound very lucky, telling them to break a leg? 那也太不吉利了吧,祝愿别人断条腿!
    Jen: Let me explain further. The phrase ‘break a leg’ was traditionally only used in theatres.
    Yang Li: 你说只限于在剧场和戏院里使用,是吗?

    Jen: That’s right. Many people who worked in theatres were superstitious and were afraid to say certain phrases, as they thought it would bring bad luck.

    Yang Li: Interesting! 从艺的很多人都迷信,有些话忌讳使用。
    Jen: I’m sure you’ll have heard of Shakespeare’s classic play,Macbeth?
    Yang Li: Yes, of course.
    Jen: Well, actors in theatres are so superstitious that they will not say the name before going on stage.
    Yang Li: Really? What do they call it?
    Jen: They simply call it ‘The Scottish play’, instead.
    Yang Li: How interesting! 著名的莎士比亚悲剧《麦克白》也有迷信的说法,演员们特别忌讳直接说出《麦克白》的剧名,于是就用了一个婉转的名字,叫它苏格兰剧,这样做的目的是回避厄运。
    Jen: Some actors are also afraid to use the phrase ‘good luck’, as they actually think it will bring them bad luck!
    Yang Li: Confusing! 有些演员怕别人对他们说“祝你好运”这句话因为他们担心这会给他们带来反效果:厄运。 So where does the phrase
    ‘break a leg’ come into it?
    Jen: Well, people thought that if they said ‘break a leg’, which is obviously an example of bad luck, in a theatre, it would actually bring the person good luck.
    Yang Li: 对即将出场的演员说break a leg 意思就是祝你好运。
    Jen: It’s usually said to actors just before they’re about to go on stage.
    Yang Li: 是的。此外还有在首场演出之前你也会听到这个特别的祝福语。But do people use this phrase outside of theatres?
    Jen: The phrase is quite commonly used in English these days.
    Many people use it as an informal way to wish someone luck.
    Yang Li: So I could say ‘break a leg’ to you if you were going to a job interview?
    Jen: That’s a good example. People generally use the phrase when someone is speaking or performing in some way.
    Yang Li: 一般情况下break a leg这个短语用在演讲和表演之类的场合,祝福别人好运。 So Wang Xi can use this phrase when wishing someone good luck.
    Jen: Certainly. There are other phrases that you can use too. It’s quite acceptable to simply say ‘good luck’ to someone, or you could also say ‘fingers crossed’.
    Yang Li: 把食指和中指交叉就表示但愿有好运,在英语中就是: ‘fingers crossed’.
    Jen: You can also say ‘best of luck’ or ‘all the best’.
    Yang Li: 王曦,希望我们回答了你的问题。
    Jen: If you have a question, why not email us at question.chinaelt@bbc.co.uk?
    Yang Li: And let’s say ‘good luck’ to Wang Xi with her English learning.
    Jen: Let’s not have any broken legs, though! See you next week – bye!
    Yang Li: Bye!

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