Muscle Says & Heart Happy

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Aug 8, 2017 00:02
Earlier this year, a young American guy shared his fitness tricks with me. He spoke really fast and excitedly, so I was basically in listening mode. While talking about how to build muscles, he pointed to his biceps and said, “… after one round of exercises, my muscle says…” I knew what he was saying, but the words “muscles say” really interested me. That was the first time I heard that expression. I thought to myself, “That is soooo cool. Do you guys personify muscles this way? We don’t do that in Chinese!” Though this expression sounded a bit novel/exotic to me at first, it has now sunk in. Whenever I want to express “a muscle signals something,” I say “my muscles say…”

I guessed that this expression could also be applied to other parts of the body, but I didn’t particularly look it up in a dictionary or something. I had no idea whether it was a merely informal expression and I just picked it up. A few days ago, I came across the similar expression “an organ says” while reading a medical book. It turns out to be an acceptable expression in writing as well. Interestingly, I picked up another expression “makes your heart happy” while listening to radio. The speaker had first introduced a string of medical terms but was afraid the audience might be unable to understand them, so he rephrased his utterance. The expression “makes your heart happy” came in this part. “Make your heart happy….” Isn’t that fun?

I love reading books of different fields, including the medical. As an adult, I’ve gained a certain degree of comprehensive knowledge, and it would be better to pick up the expressions whose Chinese counterparts I already know than refer to Chinese-English dictionaries, in which many expressions I found rather unnatural. A large portion of medical terms in Mandarin are easy for native Chinese speakers to understand (superficially, to say the least), whereas I heard that their English equivalent (mostly Latin in origin) is difficult for many native English speakers. Anyways, I feel excited each time I come across a new special term.
今年早些时候,一个美国小伙跟我分享健身技巧。他说话的时候,热情洋溢,我基本上插不上话。当说到如何练出肌肉时,他指着自己的肱二头肌,说道:“做完一组训练后,my muscle says。。。” 虽然明白他的意思,但我觉得my muscle says这个表达很有意思,这是我第一次听说这个表达。我心里想:“太有意思了。你们都这样把肌肉拟人化的吗?我们中文中没有这种表达。” 尽管初次听起来觉得有点怪,但我还是把它给记住了。我现在如果想表达肌肉的一些反应,我会说my muscles say…

我估计这个表达可以用在身体其他部位上,但是我没有特意去查词典。我也不知道这个词是不是非正式表达,几天前,我在看一本医学书的时候,又碰到一个类似表达an organ says,原来这个表达书面中也是很常见的。有意思的是,在听广播时,我学到了另外一个有趣的表达makes your heart happy。在节目中,主讲人之前介绍一连串医学术语,但又怕听众听不懂,所以用简单的话又复述了一遍,所以用到了makes your heart happy。

我喜欢看各种领域的书,包括医学书。我作为成人,也有了一定的综合知识基础。我觉得平时多看多读,记住在英语中的对应术语,比临时抱佛脚查词典好,因为我发现查词典的时候,那些表达都是不地道的。中文中的很多医学术语对于中国人很简单,但这些英语对应词却对很多英语母语者而言,很难。不管怎样,当学到一个对应表达时,我还是很激动的。