caren asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 month ago

Steinbeck's Cannery Row says, "While men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second?" What does this mean?  ?

I want to translate this into Chinese. As usual, I want my translation to be accurate at all times. 


John P: Right. Thanks. I think your are right! 

Update 2:

That is what it means from the context. I just thought I might be idiomatic. If that's an idiom. I would easily misunderstand it. But I googled it, and couldn't find anything like it. So, I am not sure. Therefore, after your explanation, it is not an idiom and it's a more general usage. As a Chinese native speaker, it's hard to understand the first and second here. But it's more general use, then, I can translate it correctly.

Update 3:

Gigapie: I see! 

Update 4:

"It's more of a general usage".

"It's a more general usage."

Anyways, it's not my language. 


Thanks All.

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Men think that 'the first (thing, person, etc)' is a thing to be admired, but men love what the second (thing, etc) produces (makes, manufactures, has ideas about, etc).

    That is a close paraphrase which might help you to understand what that sentence means. Possibly the lesson is - men think that they should admire certain things, but really go for other things.

    Since I do not know the book in general, I do not know whether 'the first' and 'the second' refer to people or things or organisations etc.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The two sentences that come BEFORE this sentence are necessary to understanding it. "The first" means the list of qualities/traits listed in the first of those sentences; "the second" means those listed in the second of those sentences. Like duh.

  • 1 month ago

    Presumably nobody said this out of the blue. Presumably there was a CONTEXT. Please provide that context. We don't all have the book to hand.

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