Conversation : 一帆风顺 (Plain sailing) – Part II


形容 xíng róng describe
事情 shì qíng thing, matter
link1, link2
不仅仅 bú jǐn jǐn not just

意思 yì sī meaning
杀掉 shā diào kill
风头 fēng tóu limelight
link1, link2
泄气 xiè qì lose heart
什么?原来 Rob 只不过是坐了几次摆渡而已!

原来 yuán lái all along
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摆渡 bǎi dù ferry
  • Here is the full conversation along with the audio:

Rob: Hi! I’m Rob. And this is Li!

Li: Hello.

Rob: The weather is so great today we’re outside on the sea, sailing in this beautiful boat. What do you think Li?

Li: Impressive. 我怎么一点儿都不知道 Rob 拥有一条帆船,而且还会驾驶呢。 Rob, I didn’t know you had a sailing boat – in fact I didn’t know you could sail a boat!

Rob: Don’t worry Li, I know what I’m doing.

Li: Mind that rock!

Rob: Whoa! It’s ok Li. I’m in control – just keep your hand on that rope. We’ve got the wind in our sails, the sea is calm – we can just easily sail around this island and be home in time for tea.

Li: Oh right. Rob 让我别担心,说有他掌控着帆船,不会出问题。这叫一帆风顺。 I was just saying Rob, it’s all plain sailing.

Rob: What? Plain sailing? We’re not sailing any planes Li!

Li: No Rob. Plain sailing. It’s an expression used to describe an activity that goes well or smoothly and is easy and uncomplicated. 一帆风顺。 一切顺利。

Rob: Yes of course – this sailing is going well and is actually quite easy – so you’re right – this is plain sailing. But can we only use the phrase to describe sailing boats?

Li: No – although it was originally a sailing term, it can really refer to any activity. Listen to these examples:

  • Driving through the city was difficult but once we were on the motorway it was plain sailing all the way.
  • Once we found some office space and recruited staff, setting up our business was plain sailing.

Li: 一帆风顺这个词可以用来形容很多事情,不仅仅是驾驶帆船. I have to admit Rob, your sailing skills are very good and …oh watch out for that big wave!

Rob: Whoa…ouch! I’ve hit my head on the boom. Oh no, we’re heading for the rocks again…hold that rope Li, quick!

Li: I’ve changed my mind Rob, this isn’t plain sailing anymore! There, we’re back on course. That’s taken the wind out of your sails Rob.

Rob: Err, it’s still windy Li. Look at the sails.

Li: No Rob. That’s another sailing idiom – to take the wind out of your sails 意思是杀掉你的风头,使人泄气。Let’s hear some other people using this expression:

  • I was all ready for a big argument but when he bought me some flowers it took the wind out of my sails.
  • The negative feedback from my boss has really taken the wind out of my sails.

Rob: Hmm, Li you’ve certainly taught me a lot about sailing today – there are some good expressions – but one thing you haven’t taught me is how to sail this boat.

Li: You said you knew how to sail it.

Rob: Well when I said I had been sailing several times I had….but I meant on a ferry….as a passenger.

Li: 什么?原来 Rob 只不过是坐了几次摆渡而已! Watch out!

Rob: That was close. I’ve a feeling this really isn’t going to be plain sailing after all.

Li: Too right! 再见。

Rob: Bye. Now Li, just pull that rope there.

Source : BBC Learning English (Chinese Version)
Source : BBC Learning English (English Version)

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