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偶像励志英语演讲22:失败的好处和想象的重要性(4)

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What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.

像你们这么大时我最害怕的不是贫穷,而是失败。

At your age, in spite of a distinct lack of motivation at university, where I had spent far too long in the coffee bar writing storeis, and far too little time at lectures, I had a knack for passing examinations, and that, for years, had been the measure of success in my life and that of my peers.

像你们这么大时,尽管我明显缺乏在大学学习的动力,花大量时间在咖啡馆写小说,用于听课的时间很少,但我却有通过考试的本领。多年来,考试一直是衡量我和同龄人成功的标准。

Now I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated, you have never known hardship or heartbreak. Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates, and I do not for a moment suppose that everyone here has enjoyed an existence of unruffled privilege and contentment.

我不会笨到因为你们年轻、有才华并且受过良好的教育,就认为你们从来没有经受过困难或心碎的时刻。才华和智慧并不能使人摆脱命运的反复无常;我也从来没有认为在座的每一个人一直以来都享有优越感和满足感。

However, the fact that you are graduating from Harvard suggests that you are not very well-acquainted with failure. You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for sucess. Indeed, your conception of failure might not be too far from the average person's idea of success, so high have you already flown.

然而,即将从哈佛毕业这一事实就意味着你们很少会经历失败。你们对失败的恐惧很可能与你们对成功的渴望一样强烈。实际上,你们眼中的失败可能在常人看来就是成功,毕竟你们在学业上已经相当成功了。

Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.

最终,我们所有人都必须自己判断什么是失败,但是如果你乐意的话,这个世界是非常渴望给你一套标准的。因此根据任何传统的标准都可以说,我在毕业后的短短七年里经历了惨痛的失败:短暂的婚姻闪电般破裂,失业,成为单身母亲。在现代化的英国,我变得极度贫困,只是还没有到无家可归的地步。父母和我自己对未来的担忧,当年都变成了现实。无论按什么标准,当时我都是我所知道的最失败的人。

重点讲解:

1. in spite of

尽管;不顾;虽然;

eg. Their love of life comes in spite of, almost in defiance of, considerable hardship.

尽管面临众多的艰难困苦,他们还是几乎义无反顾地表现出了对生活的热爱。

eg. I know whatever you try, you'll win out in spite of early difficulties.

我知道你无论做什么,不管最初多么困难,最终都会成功。

2. have a knack for

有……的诀窍;

eg. You have a knack for doing the right thing at the right time.

你有种天分,让你在适当的时机,做适当的事情。

eg. Some people seem to have a knack for learning a language.

有些人似乎对于学习语言就是有诀窍。

3. for a moment

哪怕一闪念;

eg. I don't for a moment think there'll be a divorce.

我从来没想过将来会离婚。

eg. For a moment I thought I was having hallucinations.

一时间我以为我产生了幻觉。

4. be acquainted with

了解的;熟悉的;

eg. He was well acquainted with the literature of France, Germany and Holland.

他对于法国、德国和荷兰的文学了如指掌。

eg. I am also looking forward to getting more acquainted with immigration law.

我也期待能对移民法有更多的了解。

5. be eager to do sth.

热切的;渴望做某事;

eg. Robert was eager to talk about life in the Army.

罗伯特很想谈谈陆军生活。

eg. The company is eager to gain a foothold in Europe.

这家公司急于在欧洲取得一席之地。

6. come to pass

发生;出现;实现

eg. I doubt if his promises will ever come to pass.

我怀疑他的那些许诺是否会兑现。

eg. Many people would like the electoral system to be reformed but I don't believe this will ever come to pass.

很多人都想要改革选举制度,但我认为不可能实现。

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