Question“I have a question about ‘break a leg.’ I heard someone say ‘break a leg’
Jen: That’s right. Many people who worked in theatres were superstitious and were afraid to say certain phrases, as they thought it would bring bad luck.
Yang Li: Interesting! 从艺的很多人都迷信，有些话忌讳使用。
Jen: I’m sure you’ll have heard of Shakespeare’s classic play,Macbeth?
Yang Li: Yes, of course.
Jen: Well, actors in theatres are so superstitious that they will not say the name before going on stage.
Yang Li: Really? What do they call it?
Jen: They simply call it ‘The Scottish play’, instead.
Yang Li: How interesting! 著名的莎士比亚悲剧《麦克白》也有迷信的说法，演员们特别忌讳直接说出《麦克白》的剧名，于是就用了一个婉转的名字，叫它苏格兰剧，这样做的目的是回避厄运。
Jen: Some actors are also afraid to use the phrase ‘good luck’, as they actually think it will bring them bad luck!
Yang Li: Confusing! 有些演员怕别人对他们说“祝你好运”这句话因为他们担心这会给他们带来反效果：厄运。 So where does the phrase
‘break a leg’ come into it?
Jen: Well, people thought that if they said ‘break a leg’, which is obviously an example of bad luck, in a theatre, it would actually bring the person good luck.
Yang Li: 对即将出场的演员说break a leg 意思就是祝你好运。
Jen: It’s usually said to actors just before they’re about to go on stage.
Yang Li: 是的。此外还有在首场演出之前你也会听到这个特别的祝福语。But do people use this phrase outside of theatres?
Jen: The phrase is quite commonly used in English these days.
Many people use it as an informal way to wish someone luck.
Yang Li: So I could say ‘break a leg’ to you if you were going to a job interview?
Jen: That’s a good example. People generally use the phrase when someone is speaking or performing in some way.
Yang Li: 一般情况下break a leg这个短语用在演讲和表演之类的场合，祝福别人好运。 So Wang Xi can use this phrase when wishing someone good luck.
Jen: Certainly. There are other phrases that you can use too. It’s quite acceptable to simply say ‘good luck’ to someone, or you could also say ‘fingers crossed’.
Yang Li: 把食指和中指交叉就表示但愿有好运，在英语中就是: ‘fingers crossed’.
Jen: You can also say ‘best of luck’ or ‘all the best’.
Yang Li: 王曦，希望我们回答了你的问题。
Jen: If you have a question, why not email us at email@example.com?
Yang Li: And let’s say ‘good luck’ to Wang Xi with her English learning.
Jen: Let’s not have any broken legs, though! See you next week – bye!
Yang Li: Bye!