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

Get real

[ 2010-06-04 13:40]     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

Get real

Reader question:

Please explain “get real” in this passage:

Labour/the teaching establishment have systematically tried to remove all competition from education in the state sector. That is why it is falling behind the private sector. Get real, guys, competition raises standards, not central planning. Education is no exception, however hard you try to pretend otherwise.

My comments:

“Get real” is slang for warning against blindness to a certain fact or reality. In the above example, the author asks people to face this fact: Competition raises standards. Without competition, the state education sector cannot be successful.

In other words, “get real” means: Let’s try to understand the real situation, however harsh it looks, instead of hoping for something that is impossible. Still in other words: No wishful thinking, please. Stop burying your head in the sand. Face it. Quit deceiving yourself and fooling around.

The Chinese boss, for example, tends to often tell up-and-coming youngsters this: “Work for me. I’ll take care of thee.”

If you believe that, you’re on a surefire way to success.

For the boss, I mean.

Not for you. No, not really.

Because, let’s get real, folks, there’s only so much a boss can do. He’s no God, nor the Chinese feudal emperor (Even if he were, you are still as good as he is because, because time is different, this is simply what you’re supposed to believe in this day and age, ok? The Chinese emperor has had his day, plain and simple).

The boss will be doing well if he manages to take care of himself, let alone other people. I mean, let’s face it: if bosses all knew how to take care of themselves, there’d be no leadership changes at the very top anywhere. Not so frequently at any rate.

Nothing against bosses, you know, just trying to help you get real ^_^.

And obviously I’m not saying you should rebel against the boss, nor am I supposing that the boss doesn’t speak in good faith or that he simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I’m merely suggesting that even if the boss speaks in good faith and is always true to his word, you’re still not supposed to follow his instructions to a T.

Because, again, let’s face it, fellas, if you follow your boss’s instructions to a T, the most for you to achieve is to help the boss achieve his potential.

His potential, not yours.

Because if you blindly let the boss “take care of you”, he simply takes care that you don’t have a potential at all – at least not one that rivals that of his. Otherwise you may move above him in ranks and status and he’d no longer be your boss. And that simply won’t do.

Because that would simply go against the general spirit of his sagely advice: Work for me and let me take care of you.

That’s supposing the boss speaks in good faith and is true to his word all the time – which doesn’t happen a whole lot in real life, does it?

In short, in this day and age, you are supposed to be and let be. That is, be your own boss and, for better or worse, let all your bosses be.



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.


Second opinion?

Only game in town?

Shooting for the stars

Take the bull by the horns

(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 编辑陈丹妮)