English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips> 译通四海> Columnist 专栏作家> Zhang Xin

Turn the corner

[ 2010-09-17 13:05]     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009

Turn the cornerReader question:

Please explain “turn the corner”, as in this headline: U.S. starting to turn the corner on jobs (Reuters, April 2, 2010).

My comments:

It means more people in the United States are getting jobs and coming back to work, a sign that the economic recession is over. News jobs, you see, means businesses are recruiting workers again, which in turn means economic activities in general are picking up.

Another way of looking at it is: The worst is over.

Or in the words of Mr. Micawber (Charles Dickens’s character in David Copperfield), finally, “something will turn up”. Or hopefully so – because for Mr. Micawber himself, it almost never did.

Anyways, “turn the corner” literally means turning around a corner in the street. As you turn around a corner, you get on to another street. As it is another street, you’re embarking on a new road. It’s a new road. It’s a new direction. And it’s renewed hope.

Hence figuratively speaking if a person who’s been fighting against a great illness “has turned the corner”, it means he is getting better. He will live.

If a struggling economy begins to “turn the corner”, it means a recovery is imminent. Or in other words the economy has begun growing again, instead of shrinking.

In any case, turning the corner suggests someone or something is beginning to improve after a difficult period.

Here are recent media examples:

1. Energy giant BP said on Monday it had “turned the corner” in a weeks-long effort to contain an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico even as the company faced fresh questions about its industry safety record.

London-based BP Plc said its latest “quick fix” -- a mile-long siphon tube deployed by undersea robots down to the leaking well-- was capturing about a fifth of the oil leaking from the ruptured well.

Officials cautioned that the tube is helping contain the oil but will not stop the flow.

The company’s stock rose more than 2 percent in London on the news but later shed its gains.

- BP says turns corner in oil spill, Reuters.com, May 17, 2010.

2. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Friday he believes President Barack Obama “turned the corner” on understanding the nature of terrorism when he publicly declared the U.S. at war.

But in a nationally broadcast interview, Giuliani also said he thinks the president has some distance to go. He said the administration must pursue the problem as if on a war footing and said it should treat detainees as enemy combatants, not criminal defendants who could enjoy the benefits of the civil court system.

Giuliani, mayor of New York when terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, also criticized administration prosecutors for “cutting off” questioning of the Nigerian accused in connection with the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight into Detroit on Christmas Day.

“Why in God’s name would you stop questioning a terrorist?,” he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Why would you put an artificial time limit on how much time you would spend questioning a terrorist.”

Giuliani was interviewed a day after Obama again acknowledged holes in the government’s system for finding and intercepting people plotting attacks against the United States.

In the Christmas incident, Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, was tackled by a passenger on board a packed U.S. jetliner as flames shot from his clothes. He has been in federal custody, and Giuliani, formerly a high-ranking Justice Department official, assailed the government’s handling of the case.

“If we’ve done 30 hours of questioning, basically in that 30 hours, you get some valid information and you get some lies,” he said. “It takes longer than 30 hours to debrief a terrorist. Why would you stop it? Particularly since the administration has created military courts. ... It seems to me we’re going to be trying the most dangerous terrorists in the wrong place.”

Giuliani called anew for Obama to reverse his decision to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility, and said that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have erred in deciding to put accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed on trial in federal court in New York City.

He called that plan “a disaster for New York.”

- Giuliani: Obama ‘turned the corner’ on terrorism, Daily Herald, January 8, 2010.

3. Airbus pronounced the recession over from its point of view on Thursday, as it wrapped up the Farnborough Airshow with a total of USD$13 billion in firm orders.

The European planemaker confirmed it would exceed its order target for 2010 and said it was considering a fresh increase in production to meet an upswing in demand.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the recession is definitely over,” sales chief John Leahy told a news conference after a string of deals mainly with leasing companies betting on an upturn.

“Liquidity is back in the market, traffic is back in the market and GDP growth is back,” Leahy said. “It looks as though we have turned the corner and that is why we are seeing strong growth.

He said airline figures showed that premium traffic was rebounding after a slump during the financial crisis.

“It went down when investment bankers and lawyers got fired, but they got hired back and planes are flying full again.”

Chief executive Tom Enders said Airbus would sell “north of 400” planes in 2010 compared with a previous target up to 300.

- Airbus Says Economy Has 'Turned The Corner', News.AirWise.com, July 22, 2010.



About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.


Core values?

Under the radar?

Hard wired?

Equal to the challenge

(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 编辑陈丹妮)