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文章来源:网络 | 更新日期:2014-05-21
Chinese couples rush to get pregnant before dreaded Year of the Sheep

Some people are born lucky. Parents in China, however, would rather not leave their kids’ fate to chance.

For the past few weeks, many couples have been trying desperately to conceive, racing against time to have a baby in the fortuitous Year of the Horse. Their reasoning: No one wants a baby born in 2015, the dreaded Year of the Sheep.
[句子结构分析] have been trying 为现在完成进行时态,表示从过去到现在一直在try。词组 try to 表示“设法, 试图”, 这个词组中间插入了副词desperately,所以可能有点不好辨识。racing 是现在分词,在句子中作状语。

Sheep are meek creatures, raised for nothing more than slaughter. Babies born in the Year of the Sheep, therefore, will grow up to be followers rather than leaders, according to some superstitions. The children are destined for heartbreak and failed marriages, and they will be unlucky in business, many Chinese believe. One popular folk saying holds that only one out of 10 people born in the Year of the Sheep finds happiness.

Health professionals say fertility consultations have spiked in recent months. Some doctors even have expressed worries that there may be a corresponding jump in abortions later this year, as couples realize they missed the horse-year cutoff.
[句子结构分析] spike 在这里意思为“迅速上升(或上涨)”,作不及物动词。worries 后边that引导的从句是同位语从句。同位语从句与定语从句的主要区别在于前者句子结构成分是完整的。这个同位语从句中使用了there be 句型。

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Year of the Sheep begins Feb. 19, 2015, so the window for conception closes around the end of this month.

Many patients have inquired about early delivery via Caesarean section to ensure a horse-year birth, said Li Jianjun, an obstetrician at Beijing’s United Family Hospital.

It’s unclear how the Year of the Sheep came to acquire its bad reputation.

Each of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac has it virtues and faults. The undisputed favorite is the dragon, often followed by the tiger and the horse - an energetic animal closely associated with success, according to Chinese sayings.
中国的12生肖每个都有它的优点和缺点。最受人欢迎的无疑是龙,随后的是虎、马 - 正如中国民间所说,马是一种精力充沛的动物,总是与成功息息相关。

Even rats (considered clever and agile) and snakes (which look like mini-dragons) are considered lucky. But sheep have fewer advantageous qualities, according to some interpretations.

“It’s an unfair and outdated superstition,” said Dong Mengzhi, 74, honorary president of Beijing’s Folk Literature and Art Society.

“那是不公平的、落后的迷信,”74岁的北京民间文学与艺术社团名誉主席Dong Mengzhi说。

While demographers acknowledge the Chinese zodiac’s cultural importance, some have thrown cold water on the idea that it affects birthrates on a national scale.

Among the factors that have affected China’s birthrate in recent decades, and complicated the interpretation of such data, are political and economic upheaval and the government’s one-child policy.

“Ordinary people only care about the zodiac because it is much easier to understand than the truth. To us true feng-shui masters, the zodiac doesn’t matter at all,” said Wen Chaoliang, 39. “What matters most isn’t the year you are born but the exact time of delivery.”

“一般人只关心生肖,因为这比现实更易懂。但对于我们来说,只要风水配得好,生肖一点关系都没有,”39岁的Wen Chaoliang说,“最利害的不是你生在哪一年,而是你出生的时辰。”

For $500, Wen said, he has been helping couples pick the most fortuitous hours for their planned C-sections.

For an extra $130, he throws in a lucky name. For $3,000, he will rearrange your home’s furniture to ensure the best possible future for your child.

“Don’t you want your baby to be successful? Don’t you want your baby to be healthy and beautiful?” he said. “Think about it. Isn’t it worth it?”

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