提问于 01 Aug '14, 15:39
George Mikes 在 "How to be an Alien" 中揶揄英国人的话，可以看出一点英国人的 "understatement" 是什么样的，录一段吧：
... if somebody tells you an obviously untrue story, on the Continent you would remark "You are a liar, Sir, and a rather dirty one at that." in England you just say "Oh, is that so?" Or "That's rather an unusual story, isn't it?"
When some years ago, knowing ten words of English and using them all wrong, I applied for a translator's job, my would-be employer (or would-be-not-employer) softly remarked: "I am afraid your English is somewhat unorthodox." This translated into any continental language would mean: EMPLOYER (to the commissionaire): "Jean, kick this gentleman down the steps!"
In the last century, when a wicked and unworthy subject annoyed the Sultan of Turkey or the Czar of Russia, he had his head cut off without much ceremony; but when the same happened in England, the monarch declared: "We are not amused"; and the whole British nation even now, a century later, is immensely proud of how rude their Queen was.
英国人的 "understatement", "We are not amused" 这个是经典中的经典了.
回答于 02 Aug '14, 10:52