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時事英文》運動家們的韜光養晦

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棒球是美國的國技(national pastime),吸引全球好手競逐,日本的野茂英雄、松坂大輔,台灣的王建民、郭泓志、曹錦輝,只是其中的東方面孔。職棒大聯盟人才濟濟,按際遇扮演成王敗寇的角色。

這三位台灣叱吒風雲的選手,被挖角美國後,都從小聯盟1A打起,也都分別受傷沉潛。2007年,郭泓志下放3A,曹錦輝也暫時回到農場,獨留王一人在大聯盟孤軍奮戰,並獲時代雜誌評選為全球最具有影響力的百大人物之一。

大聯盟賽況激烈,狀況不佳或淪為傷兵者,都要回到農場調息(mending his wounds),由一流的教練和醫療團隊協助,以期在最短期限內,將隊員送回球場。療傷止痛期(re-building period)一過,如果狀況還未見改善,這名球員極可能就被轉賣出去。

例:”The CEO needed to mend his wounds because he needed to find out why he lost and how to fix them before he can think about next move.”

「執行長痛定思痛,不找出失敗原因和解決方法,絕不任意走下一步棋。」

來日方長 不必硬幹到底

“In sports, teams go through re-building periods that last a few years by acquiring new talented players and developing them to work togeth-er.”

「球隊狀況差,用幾年時間去招募好手,培養團隊默契,這在體壇是常有的事。」

大聯盟是個高尚、合法的殺戮戰場,勝者趕盡殺絕(no quarter),絲毫不留情面,但敗者很少負隅頑抗(their backs are against the wall),原因是球季來日方長,不須為區區一場球賽而硬幹到底,製造無數傷兵。

例:”The enemy asks no quarter, and gives no quarter. They just want to accomplish the mission.”

「敵人下手極重,不留活口。這些人只想完成任務。」

“A team losing with only a cou-ple minutes left in a game has their backs against the wall and they must try some risky and dangerous ideas if they are to have a chance to win.”

「落後的一隊使出險招,想在終場結束前幾分鐘反敗為勝。」

狀況不佳的球員被下放到農場,並不是被冰凍起來,而是藉勢均力敵(same league )的戰友和敵手,在教練團的指導下培養重上戰場的力量。藉由養晦功夫(strength in seclusion),培養出顛撲不破的硬裏子功夫(right stuff )。每個在大聯盟站穩腳跟、縱橫球場的好手,臉色無不從容不迫(face like stone),就是憑藉幾度升降沉浮所熬出來的世面。

例:”The farm is a place for retreat where a baseball player can relax and regain strength in seclusion.”

「下放農場,球員可以好好休養,培養實力。」

承認失敗 沉潛後將再起

“The rookie player was the most valuable player in the league last year. Everyone saw that he has the right stuff to compete and at such a young age he will only get better as time goes on.”

「這名新秀獲得上年度最有價值球員,他的實力堅強,前程不可限量。」

“General Patton was known to have a face like stone during combat and very dangerous battles. His men saw this and it motivated them to have courage and fight with controlled emotions and focus.”

「巴頓將軍在戰場上指揮若定,麾下受到感召,人人奮戰不懈。」

最近曹錦輝改變球路,在危機四伏的中繼任務屢建奇功。而遭日本西武隊除名,悄然返國,一度要戴口罩才敢出門的張誌家,也終於公開露面,四處拜見前輩尋求手感。他們就像越王勾踐「臥薪嘗膽」(carry the weight of defeat)、韓信忍受「胯下之辱」(cause above pride),都是承認失敗,勇於面對現實的行為。

例:”Many sports players carry the weight of defeat with them all summer long before the start of the next sea-son.”

「許多球員接受失敗,臥薪嘗膽,在炎炎夏日賣命操練,希望新球季有好表現。」

“Gandhi faced such ridicule and criticism for his actions but he knew that cause above pride would soon have a much better result than the embarrassment.”

「甘地勇敢接受眾人的嘲弄,忍辱負重。」

孫子兵法作戰篇:「故不盡知用兵之害者,則不能盡用兵之利也」指的是禁得起起伏勝敗的嚴酷考驗,失利時深諳沉潛之道的人,才能夠領兵打勝仗。英文有許多類似說法,例如”Lay low until the time is right.”、”main-tain a low profile”、”to bide your time”,或”keep your powder dry”,換成中文,都叫作「韜光養晦」。

(作者是陸軍官校語言中心主任)

【2007/06/10 經濟日報】

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