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Pronunciation and Status  

An ambassador and a referee were consulting a professor on the caption of a Buddhistic alphabet when a sobbing woman stopped them to sell an antique musical bathtub. Her dirty garment and the handkerchief around her waist were badly in need of sending to a laundry. The ambassador uncomfortably gave her a handful of pence from his wallet and said, “Take this fortune away, troublesome woman.”

When her figure faded away, the brilliant professor said, “You are mistaken and your improper remark on her should be condemned. In terms of this extraordinary woman, you can’t classify her status by her horrible clothes or disgusting nails. Her clean woolen vest and stockings, especially her classic pronunciation, all suggested her upper status.” The ambassador gave a whistle in amazement, and advised making her acquaintance. The professor hesitated for a while, then compromised.

The outcome was that she was an authentic superior police officer. When they were shown in her office and saw her once more, she brought them a teapot of tea and some cookies, laughing and saying, “I rubbed some cream and wax on my garment and passed myself off as a shabby woman among thieves and robbers to investigate a plot. Generally speaking, your overlooking me and my adaptation are the best help. But my pronunciation seemed to have betrayed me.”

参考中文译文

口音与身份

一位大使和一位裁判正在就一张佛教符号表的文字说明请教教授,这时,一名哭哭啼啼的女人把他们拦住,要卖给他们一个古董音乐澡盆,她肮脏的衣服和腰间的手帕都急需送到洗衣店清洗。大使很不舒服地从钱包里掏出一把便士说:“把这大笔钱拿走,麻烦的女人!”

等她的身影渐渐远去,那位才华横溢的教授说:“你错了,你对她不适当的评论语应该受到谴责。就这个不同寻常的女人来说,你不能根据她糟糕的衣服或令人恶心的指甲给她的身份地位分类。她干净的羊毛背心和袜子,尤其是她一流的发音,都暗示着她的上层身份。”大使惊奇地吹了声口哨,建议去认识她。教授犹豫了一会儿,最后妥协了。

结果呢,她真的是一位高级警官。当他们被带进她的办公室再次见到她时,她给他们拿来一壶茶和一些饼干,笑着说:“我把奶油和蜡涂在大衣上假扮成寒酸肮脏的女人混进在小偷和抢劫犯中间,是为了调查一宗阴谋。通常说来,你们对我的忽视和我对此的适应就是最好的帮助。但是我的发音似乎暴露了我啊。”