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    #1

    cornered

    Just now when I was communicating with my student in English, I thought of a Chinese old saying, which I translated into "When you are cornered, you will have no choice but to fight back." But afterwards I got this literal translation in my Chinese-English dictionary: confront a person with the danger of death so that he will fight to live. I don't like this translation. I like mine better and even I have thought of changing mine slightly to "When a dog is cornered, it will bite." What's your suggestion? Is there a ready corresponding old saying in English? Thanks.
    Richard

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: cornered

    I like your second one.

    This one I also like:
    If you push a man hard enough, he just might break. If you keep pushing the broken man, with his back against the wall, sweat on his brow, hatred in his eyes, passion in his chest, he will push back, push through you, until you are the one that breaks.
    Wraith - Everquest Guild - Quellious Server

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    Zhi Zhi Si Di Er Hou Sheng
    置 之 死 地 而 後 生

    Confront a man with the danger of death, and he will fight to live.

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    #3

    Re: cornered

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    I like your second one.

    This one I also like:
    If you push a man hard enough, he just might break. If you keep pushing the broken man, with his back against the wall, sweat on his brow, hatred in his eyes, passion in his chest, he will push back, push through you, until you are the one that breaks.
    Wraith - Everquest Guild - Quellious Server
    __________________________
    Zhi Zhi Si Di Er Hou Sheng
    置 之 死 地 而 後 生

    Confront a man with the danger of death, and he will fight to live.
    The actual meaning of the Chinese old saying is that if you happen to be in a desperate situation or are deliberately arranged to be in such a situation by someone who wants you to succeed in spite of a lot of adversity, you can't dodge it but to face up to it with all your strength and will power. And then most probably you will get out of the difficult situation. If your business is on the verge of collapse, you will save it through a risky but well-calculated investment. You just gamble on it, nevousely hoping your venture will get a postive result. This old saying was originally a battle strategy but later on applies to many things in life. Sometimes we use this strategy secretly to help those who remain undecided to make a wise decision. Sometimes some youngsters get motivated this way and become determined to pursue big dreams while in the past they just tended to idle away time. In a word, this strategy is intended to teach us to take an active role in life and to struggle to achieve success in spite of difficulties.
    Since you know a lot of Chinese, you may agree that there is still a gap between the actual meaning of the old saying and what we have thought of or found.

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    #4

    Re: cornered

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    I like your second one.

    This one I also like:
    If you push a man hard enough, he just might break. If you keep pushing the broken man, with his back against the wall, sweat on his brow, hatred in his eyes, passion in his chest, he will push back, push through you, until you are the one that breaks.
    Wraith - Everquest Guild - Quellious Server
    __________________________
    Zhi Zhi Si Di Er Hou Sheng
    置 之 死 地 而 後 生

    Confront a man with the danger of death, and he will fight to live.
    You like my second one? Did you mean that you like "Confront a man with the danger of death, and he will fight to live" better? Thanks.

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