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英语进化史知多少

2014-04-16    来源:21世纪    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Language of borrowers

Throughout much of history, the English language has borrowed words from other languages to become the intermixed language that we know today. Yet in recent times it has become more of a lender than a borrower, says Philip Durkin, deputy chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, in an article for the BBC website.
纵览历史,英语借用了很多舶来词,演变成了今天我们所熟悉的“大杂烩”语言。然而,《牛津英语大辞典》副主编菲利普•杜尔金在一篇发表在BBC网站上的文章中表示,近些年来,英语已经由“舶来”转成“输出”。

English is actually a mixture of other languages that has evolved over time based on contact with other cultures. Linguists refer to English as a chain of borrowings that was the result of conquests by foreign invaders. Its adoption of words from so many different languages, known as loanwords, has resulted in it being one of most diverse languages on the planet.
通过文化交流,英语逐步演变成一种融合了其他语言的大杂烩。语言学家认为,这一连串的舶来行为的原因在于外来者的侵占。英语吸收了各种不同语言的词汇,这些词汇通常被称为“舶来语”,这也使得英语成为世界上最多样化的语言之一。

From about 450 AD until the 11th century, various foreigners invaded England, bringing their language with them. Britain adapted its language with each invasion, mixing words to create a blended version of many different languages. The most influential languages were: West Germanic after the invasion in 700 AD; Old Norse from the Scandinavian Viking invaders in the 8th and 9th centuries; and most importantly, French and Latin through the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.
从公元450年左右到11世纪,英格兰遭遇了不同外来侵略者的入侵,这些侵略者将本国语言带到了这里。英国吸收了每一个侵略国的语言,将他们的语言与英语混合,创造出了一种多语言融合体。其中,对英语影响最深的语言包括:公元700年入侵者带来的西日耳曼语;8、9世纪斯堪的纳维亚入侵者带来的古挪威语;以及1066年诺曼底征服英格兰时所带来的法语和拉丁语。

Professor and author Anatoly Liberman describes loanwords as “a result of language contact in a certain place at a certain time”. For example, English started adopting Asian words (such as “jungle” and “yoga”) during the period of colonialism, when it had increased contact with this region.
教授兼作家安托里•李伯曼将舶来语描述为“在特定时间、特定地点,因语言交流而产生的结果”。例如:在殖民统治时期,随着英国与亚洲之间的交流日益频繁,英语中融入了许多亚洲词汇(如“丛林”、“瑜伽”)。

The continued prevalence of borrowing words across languages demonstrates the close connections different cultures have with one another in our globalized world. The rise of global media, particularly online, and enhanced international communication has led to a greater need for a common language.
舶来语的经久不衰说明了在全球化背景下,不同文化之间交流的紧密。全球化传媒,尤其是网络媒体的崛起,以及国际交流的日益加深,提升了人们对通用语言的需求。

In their recent book, Globally Speaking: Motives for Adopting English Vocabulary in Other Languages, Judith Rosenhouse and Rotem Kowner hail English as “the lingua franca of the modern world, the common language used for science, international business and for communication”. They report that English is the official language of more than 75 states and territories across the globe and it is the world’s most popular choice of second language.
在新书《全球视角:其他语言使用英语舶来词的动机》中,朱迪斯•罗森豪斯和洛特姆•科内尔称英语为“现代世界的通用语,是科学研究、国际商务及交流方面的通用语言”。他们表示,全球超过75个国家和地区将英语作为官方语言;英语是全球最受欢迎的第二语言。

The ascendancy of English as a global language has drastically increased the number of words it now lends to other languages. Whether it is a French news reporter using the words “kidnapping” or “leader”; the development of the Chinese word kafei from the English word coffee; or the near widespread use of “Internet”, “computer”, and “meeting” in most parts of the world — it is easy to see the drastic influence English now has on other languages.
英语凭借其世界语言的优势,大大增加了向其他语言输出词汇的数量。无论是法国新闻报道中所使用的“kidnapping(绑架)”或“leader(领导)”,还是汉语中从英文“coffee”音译过来的“咖啡”一词,亦或是在全球多数地方普遍使用的“Internet(网络)”、“computer(电脑)”和“meeting(会议)”,英语对其他语言的巨大影响显而易见。

In contrast, says Durkin, the number of new borrowed words finding their way into the shared international vocabulary is on a long downward trend. Although English is now borrowing from other languages with a worldwide range, new borrowings into English today tend to cluster much more closely in a few subject areas, especially names of food and drink.
杜尔金表示,相比之下,英语中,称得上“国际通用”的舶来词数量却一直呈递减趋势。尽管英语现在仍然大范围地吸收外来语言,但是这些新舶来词往往更集中在少数几个特定的领域,尤以食物和饮料的名字最为明显。

Unique vocabulary
专有词汇


Here are a few examples of untranslatable words from other cultures:
以下列举了一些源自不同文化的不可译词:


Waldeinsamkeit (German)
Waldeinsamkeit(德语)


A feeling of solitude, being alone in the woods, and a connectedness to nature. US poet Ralph Waldo Emerson even wrote a whole poem about it.
词汇含义:这个词语描绘了一种感觉,一种孤独的感觉,一种独处在树林中并且和大自然产生沟通和共鸣的感觉。美国诗人拉尔夫•瓦尔多•爱默生甚至还写了一首诗来解释这种感觉。

Pochemuchka (Russian)
Pochemuchka(俄语)


Someone who asks a lot of questions. We all know a few people like that.
词汇含义:指那些问很多问题的人,准确地说,是那些问了太多问题的人。我们身边都会有一些这样的人。

Sobremesa (Spanish)
Sobremesa (西班牙语)


Spaniards are laid-back and sociable, and this word describes the period of time after a meal when you have food-induced conversations with the people you have shared the meal with.
词汇含义:西班牙人悠闲自在、善于交际。这个词语描述的是一段时间。这段时间里,你要与刚刚一起吃完饭的朋友就刚刚吃过的食物展开热烈的讨论。

Mangata (Swedish)
Mangata(瑞典语)

It means the glimmering, road-like reflection that the moon creates on water.
词汇含义:这个词指的是月亮倒映在水面上闪闪发光,宛若小路一样的倒影。

Depaysement (French)
Depaysement(法语)


The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country — of being a foreigner, or an immigrant, of being somewhat displaced from your origin.
词汇含义:身处异国他乡的感觉,适用于外国人、移民者以及那些从故乡迁徙的人。



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