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【每週成語】
空中樓閣

楊愛民

成語:空中樓閣(KONG ZHONG LOU GE): a mirage castle or building in the air—illusion; aerial castle; fantasied edifice; cloud-castle; fata morgana Sicily; ivory tower; realm of fancy.
出處:清,習灝著“通俗篇”。
釋義:凡是幻想或無法實現的事情或計劃都可稱為“空中樓閣”或“海市蜃樓”。
故事:宋朝有位大學問家名沈恬,字存中,浙江潮州人,宋嘉祐年間考取進士。後來做到翰林學士的官。他學問淵博,對很多領域都很精通,包括掌故,見聞,天文,卜算,音樂,醫藥等。在他所著的“夢溪筆談”一書中有如下的一段記載:“山東蓬萊縣登州四面環海 (渤海) , 遠遠可以看到空中有城市樓台的形狀,當地人稱它叫海市。”
這種情況便是人們所稱的“海市蜃樓”。其實,是因為在那個季節,海水的溫度低於空氣,故空氣海面密而空中薄,遠山,船舶,城市,樓台的光線除了直射入眼外,又斜射到空氣稀薄的地方,再折返射到人的眼裡。又在沙漠中也可以看到這種同樣的景象。沙漠上白天地面熱,地下層空氣薄於上層,光線反射,便有池邊草木映在水中的形狀。
用法:張三買了一張彩票,未兌獎就計劃想蓋一個大旅社,李四笑他說他在做夢,他的大旅社只是“空中樓閣”而已。
故事英譯:During the Dynasty of Song, there was a great scholar named Sen Tian, styled Cun Zhong , of Chao Zhou, Zhe Jiang Province, passed Jin Shi Imperial Exam (like a doctorate today) in the year of Jia You (Emperor Ren’s calendar-style). Afterward, he promoted to the post of Han-Lin official in the court. He was erudite and proficient in many kinds of science including anecdotes, news, astronomy, astrology, music, and medicine etc. There was such a paragraph in his book “Meng Xi Pen Talk” : almost the coast of Deng Zhou of Feng Lai County, Shan Dong Province, is surrounded by Sea of Bo Hai; one in Deng Zhou from late Spring to early Summer, may see the pictures of buildings of a city, and the people there called it “sea market”.
Such scenery is called by Chinese “sea market and spirit buildings.” In fact, it’s formed from that the temperature of sea water at that season is lower than the air above the water by the density of sea air. During the period of late Spring and early summer, the temperature of sea water is lower than the air above the sea water and caused the air on the water surface that the high air, the objects like far away ships, mountains, cities, or buildings are reflexed to people’s eyes, one can hence see the objects on the sea. Those objects are shadows, not real things, so called “sea market and spirit buildings.” And such scenery can be seen in desert, which is also formed by the same cause above mentioned.


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