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TED 学习一门新语言的四大理由 [复制链接]

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在线jenny
 

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The language I'm speaking right now is onits way to becoming the world's universal language, for better or for worse.Let's face it, it's the language of the internet, it's the language of finance,it's the language of air traffic control, of popular music, diplomacy --English is everywhere.
我正在讲的这种语言,快要变成全世界的通用语言,无论好坏,我们都要面对它,它是因特网的语言,是金融界的语言,是空中交通管制的语言,是流行音乐的语言,是外交的语言,英语无处不在。
Now, Mandarin Chinese is spoken by morepeople, but more Chinese people are learning English than English speakers arelearning Chinese. Last I heard, there are two dozen universities in China rightnow teaching all in English. English is taking over.
讲中文的人更多,但是中国人学英语的也很多,比讲英语的人学中文还多。上次我听说如今在中国有24所大学采用全英文教学。英语已经全面起飞。
And in addition to that, it's beenpredicted that at the end of the century almost all of the languages that existnow -- there are about 6,000 -- will no longer be spoken. There will only besome hundreds left. And on top of that, it's at the point where instanttranslation of live speech is not only possible, but it gets better every year.
除此之外,预计在本世纪末,几乎所有现存的语言,大约有6,000种,将不会再被使用。到时将会只剩下几百种。最重要的是,现场演讲的实时翻译不仅有可能发生,而且每一年都会越来越好。
The reason I'm reciting those things to youis because I can tell that we're getting to the point where a question is goingto start being asked, which is: Why should we learn foreign languages -- otherthan if English happens to be foreign to one? Why bother to learn another onewhen it's getting to the point where almost everybody in the world will be ableto communicate in one?
我之所以举这些例子,是因为我感觉我们到了一个阶段,开始要问这个问题,那就是:如果我们的母语是英语,为什么我们还要学习外语?为什么当全世界快要用同一种语言沟通时,我们还要不厌其烦地学另外一种语言?
I think there are a lot of reasons, but Ifirst want to address the one that you're probably most likely to have heardof, because actually it's more dangerous than you might think. And that is theidea that a language channels your thoughts, that the vocabulary and the grammarof different languages gives everybody a different kind of acid trip, so tospeak. That is a marvelously enticing idea, but it's kind of fraught.So it's not that it's untrue completely.
我想有很多原因,但我想首先说出大家最有可能听到的一种,因为实际上它比你认为的要危险,那就是语言能引导你思想的形成。不同语言的词汇和语法,可以说能提供每个人不同的迷幻之旅。这是一种非常诱人的想法,却有点误导。它不是完全不对。
So for example, in French and Spanish the word for table is, for some reason,marked as feminine. So, "la table," "la mesa," you justhave to deal with it. It has been shown that if you are a speaker of one ofthose languages and you happen to be asked how you would imagine a tabletalking, then much more often than could possibly be an accident, a French or aSpanish speaker says that the table would talk with a high and feminine voice.So if you're French or Spanish, to you, a table is kind of a girl, as opposedto if you are an English speaker.
比如说,在法语和西班牙语中,由于某些原因,桌子对应的单词是阴性的。因此你不得不用"latable"和"lamesa"。据表明如果你的母语是上述语言,并且你碰巧被问到你想象桌子怎么说话,得到的结果绝不是巧合,法国人或者西班牙人会说桌子会用高声调、女性的声音来说话。因此,如果你是法国人或西班牙人,你会认为桌子有点像女孩。如果你是说英语的人,则与这个相反。
It's hard not to love data like that, andmany people will tell you that that means that there's a worldview that youhave if you speak one of those languages. But you have to watch out, becauseimagine if somebody put us under the microscope, the us being those of us whospeak English natively. What is the worldview from English?
很难让人不爱上像这样的数据,并且许多人会告诉你那意味着如果你说这些语言,就会有这种世界观。但是你要保持警觉,因为想象一下,如果有人把我们放在显微镜下面。「我们」是指英语为母语的人。来自于英语的世界观是什么呢?
So for example, let's take an Englishspeaker. Up on the screen, that is Bono. He speaks English. I presume he has aworldview. Now, that is Donald Trump. In his way, he speaks English as well.
我们拿一位说英语的人来举例子。屏幕上的人是波诺。他说英语。我假设他有某种世界观。现在,这是唐纳·川普。他也以他的方式说英语。
And here is Ms. Kardashian, and she is anEnglish speaker, too. So here are three speakers of the English language. Whatworldview do those three people have in common? What worldview is shapedthrough the English language that unites them? It's a highly fraught concept.And so gradual consensus is becoming that language can shape thought, but ittends to be in rather darling, obscure psychological flutters. It's not amatter of giving you a different pair of glasses on the world.
然后,这是金·卡塔尔夏女士。她也说英语。这是三位以英文为母语的人。这三位的世界观有什么相同的地方呢?英文作为把他们联系在一起的语言,让他们塑造了什么世界观?这是一个非常误导的概念。语言能够塑造思想这种共识正在逐渐形成,但它比较是一种迷人、晦涩的心理悸动,而不是让你真的从不同的眼光看世界。
Now, if that's the case, then why learnlanguages? If it isn't going to change the way you think, what would the otherreasons be? There are some. One of them is that if you want to imbibe aculture, if you want to drink it in, if you want to become part of it, thenwhether or not the language channels the culture -- and that seems doubtful --if you want to imbibe the culture, you have to control to some degree thelanguage that the culture happens to be conducted in. There's no other way.
现在,如果是这种情况,如果它不会改变你思考的方式,那么为什么学习语言?其它的原因是什么呢?有一些理由:其中一个原因是如果你想吸收某种文化,如果你很想汲取它,很想成为这种文化的一部分,那么不管语言会不会塑造文化──这种想法挺可疑──如果你想要吸收这种文化,你不得不在一定程度上掌控这种文化根植于的语言。除此之外,没有其它的方式。
There's an interesting illustration ofthis. I have to go slightly obscure, but really you should seek it out. There'sa movie by the Canadian film director Denys Arcand -- read out in English onthe page, "Dennis Ar-cand," if you want to look him up. He did a filmcalled "Jesus of Montreal." And many of the characters are vibrant,funny, passionate, interesting French-Canadian, French-speaking women. There'sone scene closest to the end, where they have to take a friend to an Anglophonehospital. In the hospital, they have to speak English.
关于这个有一个有趣的例证,我不得不走一点模糊路线,但是大家真的应该认真去看它。有部由加拿大导演丹尼·阿控(DenysArcand)制作的电影──他的名字用英语读起来是丹尼斯·阿坎德,如果你想搜寻他。他制作了一部名叫《蒙特娄的耶稣》的电影。其中很多角色是充满生气、好玩、热情、很有意思的法语区加拿大人,说法语的女人。在结束时有个场景,他们带一位朋友去说英语的医院。在医院里,他们不得不说英语。
Now, they speak Englishbut it's not their native language, they'd rather not speak English. And theyspeak it more slowly, they have accents, they're not idiomatic. Suddenly thesecharacters that you've fallen in love with become husks of themselves, they'reshadows of themselves.
现在,他们的确在说英语,但这不是他们的母语,他们宁可不要说英语。并且他们说的很慢,而且有口音,说的怪里怪气。突然,这些你深爱的角色变成了没有灵魂的躯壳,成了自己的阴影。
To go into a culture and to only everprocess people through that kind of skrim curtain is to never truly get theculture. And so to the extent that hundreds of languages will be left, onereason to learn them is because they are tickets to being able to participatein the culture of the people who speak them, just by virtue of the fact that itis their code. So that's one reason.
要打进一种文化,只透过那种薄纱来看人,从来不能真正了解该文化。所以从某种程度上说数百种语言会消失,而学习这些语言的一个原因,是因为语言是参与说这些语言的人的文化的方法,因为这就是他们的密码。所以这是其中一个原因。
Second reason: it's been shown that if youspeak two languages, dementia is less likely to set in, and that you areprobably a better multitasker. And these are factors that set in early, and sothat ought to give you some sense of when to give junior or juniorette lessonsin another language. Bilingualism is healthy.
第二个原因:有证据显示如果你说两种语言,更不容易患失智症。并且你可能更容易处理同时做多件事情。这些因子很早发生,因此这也应该让你意识到什么时候该给小朋友或小小朋友用另外一种语言上课。双语是健康的。
And then, third -- languages are just anawful lot of fun. Much more fun than we're often told. So for example, Arabic:"kataba," he wrote, "yaktubu," he writes, she writes."Uktub," write, in the imperative. What do those things have incommon? All those things have in common the consonants sitting in the middlelike pillars. They stay still, and the vowels dance around the consonants. Whowouldn't want to roll that around in their mouths? You can get that fromHebrew, you can get that from Ethiopia's main language, Amharic. That's fun.
还有,第三点──语言就是非常有趣。比我们经常被告知的有趣的多。比如说,阿拉伯语:“kataba”是指他之前写,"yaktubu"是他或她写,"Uktub"用命令语气说写。这几个字有什么共同点呢?这些字的共同点就是子音像柱子一样在单词的中间。他们不动,元音围绕着子音跳舞。谁不希望在嘴里滚动这些音呢?你可以从希伯来语看到这个样子,你也可以从埃塞俄比亚的主要语言阿姆哈拉语中看到。非常有趣。
Or languages have different word orders.Learning how to speak with different word order is like driving on thedifferent side of a street if you go to certain country, or the feeling thatyou get when you put Witch Hazel around your eyes and you feel the tingle. Alanguage can do that to you.
有的语言有着不同的单词顺序。学习如何用不同的单词顺序说话,就好像你去某些国家驾驶在道路的不同侧一样,或者像把收敛剂金缕梅放在眼睛附近的感觉一样,你可以感觉到刺痛。语言可以对你做出这些。
So for example, "The Cat in the HatComes Back," a book that I'm sure we all often return to, like "MobyDick." One phrase in it is, "Do you know where I found him? Do youknow where he was? He was eating cake in the tub, Yes he was!" Fine. Now,if you learn that in Mandarin Chinese, then you have to master, "You canknow, I did where him find? He was tub inside gorging cake, No mistake gorgingchewing!" That just feels good. Imagine being able to do that for yearsand years at a time.
因此比如说,《戴帽子的猫回来了》这本书我相信我们都反复看过,就像《白鲸记》一样。其中有句话,(直翻)「你知道哪里我发现他吗?你知道哪里他在?他吃蛋糕在浴缸里,是的,他是!」好,现在如果你用国语来学习,那么你就得说成「你知道我在哪里找到他?他在浴缸里大口吃蛋糕,没错!大口嚼!」感觉很不错喔!想象一下年复一年每次都这样说。
Or, have you ever learned any Cambodian? Meeither, but if I did, I would get to roll around in my mouth not some baker'sdozen of vowels like English has, but a good 30 different vowels scooching andoozing around in the Cambodian mouth like bees in a hive. That is what alanguage can get you.
或者,你曾经学过柬埔寨语吗?我也没学过,如果我学过,我在嘴里滚的就不是13个元音,像英语一样,而是30个不同的元音,在柬埔寨人的嘴里面转来转去,就像蜂巢里的蜜蜂。这就是一门语言能给你的东西。
And more to the point, we live in an erawhen it's never been easier to teach yourself another language. It used to bethat you had to go to a classroom, and there would be some diligent teacher --some genius teacher in there -- but that person was only in there at certaintimes and you had to go then, and then was not most times. You had to go toclass. If you didn't have that, you had something called a record. I cut myteeth on those. There was only so much data on a record, or a cassette, or eventhat antique object known as a CD. Other than that you had books that didn'twork, that's just the way it was.
另外,我们生活在一个从未像现在一样自学语言这么简单的时代。过去你不得不去教室,并且教室还要有费尽心血的老师──一些天才教师──但是那个人只在特定的时间才在,并且你还得去,而且那只是一小段时间。你得去教室。如果你没有去课堂上课,那还有一种叫录音的东西。我有很多这方面的经验。在录音上面只有这么点数据,或者在录音带上,或者是那个叫CD的老古董上。除了那些,你还有没用的书,过去就是这样。
Today you can lay down -- lie on yourliving room floor, sipping bourbon, and teach yourself any language that youwant to with wonderful sets such as Rosetta Stone. I highly recommend thelesser known Glossika as well. You can do it any time, therefore you can do itmore and better. You can give yourself your morning pleasures in variouslanguages. I take some "Dilbert" in various languages every singlemorning; it can increase your skills. Couldn't have done it 20 years ago whenthe idea of having any language you wanted in your pocket, coming from yourphone, would have sounded like science fiction to very sophisticated people.
现在你可以躺着──躺在客厅的地板上,喝着波本威士忌,自学任何你想学习的语言,只要一套精彩的学习教程,比如说"RosettaStone"。我也强烈推荐不那么有名的"Glossika"。任何时候都可以做,因此你有更多的时间以更好的方式学习。你可以在早晨享用不同的语言。我每天早晨会看翻成不同语言的呆伯特:它能提高你的技巧。这在20年前都是不能完成的,在那时,想要从口袋里的手机学任何你想学的语言,听起来就像想象力复杂的人写的科幻小说。
So I highly recommend that you teachyourself languages other than the one that I'm speaking, because there's neverbeen a better time to do it. It's an awful lot of fun. It won't change yourmind, but it will most certainly blow your mind.
因此我强烈推荐大家去学习不同于我正在讲的其它语言,因为没有比现在更好的时机了。它非常有趣。这不会改变你的思想,但这会使你心醉神迷。
Thank you very much.
谢谢大家。
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/2OqswJSl_h5Ah1qukX8GXg





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