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[ 2019-04-12 ]

<談文論譯>當前進之路遭遇困挫,勇者仍會奮力向前   蘇正隆

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.   
當前進之路遭遇困挫,勇者仍會奮力向前

今天 Ya Hui Chang 老師在 FB 上發文,提到商周執行長王文靜〈When the going gets tough ⋯〉 一文: 

捷安特去年退休的巨大機械執行長羅祥安,… 很喜歡一句西方諺語:When the going gets tough, the tough get going. 越艱困處境,越能歷練出強者。一如寒冬梅花,不經一番寒徹骨,哪得梅花撲鼻香。The Going 指的是處境,兩度運用 tough 耐人尋味,中文還譯不出它的意境。

在 When the going gets tough, the tough get going. (前進之路遭遇困難,勇者仍會奮力向前;即「愈挫愈奮」) 一句中,going 是當名詞。Merriam-Webster Dictionary 中有一則解釋:going: advance toward an objective 例句就是 when the going gets tough…

為什麼這句格言下半句是 the tough get going,而不是 *the tough gets going? 因為這裡的 the tough 和 How did the Chinese get so rich? 一句中的 the Chinese 一樣,是指 the tough people, the Chinese people,是複數的概念。網路上雖也出現一些 *the tough gets going 的例子,但不足為訓。權威的 The Phrase Finder 還特別提醒讀者:the tough是複數 (The saying goes  “. . . the tough GET going”: "tough" functions as a plural noun here.)

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING - "When the situation gets critical, those who aren't weak-willed work harder and never give up. The proverb is attributed to Joseph P. Kennedy (1888-1969), the father of (U.S.) President John F. Kennedy. It was recently popularized by Billy Ocean's song 'When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going.' 

《劍橋英漢詞典》對這句諺語的解釋與翻譯也不錯:said to emphasize that when conditions become difficult, strong people take action 形勢越困難,勇者志越堅。

類似得講法還有: When the times are tough, the tough see opportunities. 時機越艱難,不畏艱難者越有機會。(Jerome Su, April 11, 2019, Revised, April 12, 19)