委婉语

March 28th, 2007

A text from the 课外阅读 at the end of Unit 8 in my textbook is entitled “委婉语”. I must admit that when I first saw the title I thought it must be about the language of some ethnic minority out in the northwest, but no, it’s about tactful language. For those who don’t know, “tactful” is not an ethnic group, nation or culture. It means finding some polite, roundabout way to express oneself without doing so directly, usually so as to preserve the other party’s feelings or face. Anyway, here’s the text:

 委婉语

活中,ç»?常è¦?用到委婉语。我们说æŸ?一活动“是å?¯å?–çš„â€?。“å?¯å?–çš„â€?,这是委婉语è¯?。它带有赞æˆ?的倾å?‘,但没有直接表示赞å?Œï¼Œä¹Ÿè®¸è™½èµžæˆ?å?´è¿˜æœ‰ä¿?留,或者内心里赞å?Œï¼Œè€Œè¡¨é?¢ä¸Šä¸?便说。如果对æŸ?一活动或å?šæ³•è¡¨ç¤ºâ€œå?¯ä»¥ç?†è§£â€?,这自然也是一ç§?委婉语è¯?。它既没有表示赞å?Œï¼Œä¹Ÿæ²¡æœ‰è¡¨ç¤ºå??对,å?ªä¸?过表示“å?¯ä»¥ç?†è§£â€?对方为什么这样。这å?¯ä»¥è¯´æ˜¯ä¸€ç§?ç?†è§£è€Œé?žæ”¯æŒ?(但也ä¸?å??对)的æ„?æ€?。对一ç§?å?šæ³•æˆ–活动,黑å?¯ä»¥è¡¨ç¤ºâ€œæ¬£èµ?â€?,“欣èµ?â€?也是一个委婉语è¯?。表示“欣èµ?â€?带有æŸ?ç§?感情æˆ?分,仿佛在说:你å?šå¾—ä¸?错嘛,颇有点æ„?æ€?嘛。至于怎样表æ€?,我现在还没想好;但我ä¸?å??对你这样å?šï¼Œä¸?仅我ä¸?å??对,在感情上多少是å?Œä½ ç«™åœ¨ä¸€è¾¹çš„。

    瞧�表示“���,表示“�以�解�,表示“欣��,这三�委婉表现法包��多么��的语义和细微的差别。这就是为什么人们在生活中这样喜欢用委婉语�的缘故。

Much easier than that newspaper article I just “translated”. Well, then the article asks which of these 委婉语è¯? expresses the most agreement, and which expresses the least. Well, it seems fairly clear to me that å?¯ä»¥ç?†è§£ expresses the least agreement. I vote for å?¯å?– for the one that expresses the most agreement, but I could well be completely wrong on that. The back of the book doesn’t have answers for the 课外阅读 questions, unfortunately.

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