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为什么你一定要学一门新的语言

发布时间: 2018-2-25 | 来源:阳光小语种培训学校 |  本文被阅读 1565 次

语言是根植在一个民族、国家的体系里的,它确实深刻地影响了影响着我们的世界观,比如语序提供我们思考某件事的逻辑,词汇应用给予我们不同性格的展示。总之,就算全世界有一种普及公用语言,现存的其他语种还是不能被人们遗忘的。而且,在现如今这个多元化、信息化的时代,不掌握一门外语是没有太大优势可以的。


语言学家John McWhorter 分享了4个学习一门新语言带来的好处。


   


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演讲稿

The language I'm speaking right now is on its 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. 


我正在講的這種語言, 快要變成全世界的通用語言, 無論好壞, 我們都要面對它, 它是網際網路的語言, 是金融界的語言, 是空中交通管制的語言, 是流行音樂的語言, 是外交的語言, 英語無處不在。

Now, Mandarin Chinese is spoken by more people, but more Chinese people are learning English than English speakers are learning Chinese. Last I heard, there are two dozen universities in China right now teaching all in English. English is taking over. 


講中文的人更多, 但是中國人學英語的也很多, 比講英語的人學中文還多。 上次我聽說 如今在中國有 24 所大學 採用全英文教學。 英語已經全面起飛。




And in addition to that, it's been predicted that at the end of the century almost all of the languages that exist now -- there are about 6,000 -- will no longer be spoken. There will only be some hundreds left. And on top of that, it's at the point where instant translation of live speech is not only possible, but it gets better every year. 


除此之外,預計在本世紀末, 幾乎所有現存的語言, 大約有 6,000 種, 將不會再被使用。 到時將會只剩下幾百種。 最重要的是, 現場演講的即時翻譯 不僅有可能發生, 而且每一年都會越來越好。 

The reason I'm reciting those things to you is because I can tell that we're getting to the point where a question is going to start being asked, which is: Why should we learn foreign languages -- other than if English happens to be foreign to one? Why bother to learn another one when it's getting to the point where almost everybody in the world will be able to communicate in one? 


我之所以舉這些例子, 是因為我感覺 我們到了一個階段, 開始要問這個問題, 那就是:如果我們的母語是英語, 為什麼我們還要學習外語? 為什麼當全世界快要用 同一種語言溝通時, 我們還要不厭其煩地 學另外一種語言? 

I think there are a lot of reasons, but I first want to address the one that you're probably most likely to have heard of, because actually it's more dangerous than you might think. And that is the idea that a language channels your thoughts, that the vocabulary and the grammar of different languages gives everybody a different kind of acid trip, so to speak. That is a marvelously enticing idea, but it's kind of fraught. 


我想有很多原因,但我想首先說出 大家最有可能聽到的一種, 因為實際上它比你認為的要危險, 那就是語言能引導你思想的形成。 不同語言的詞彙和語法, 可以說能提供每個人 不同的迷幻之旅。 這是一種非常誘人的想法, 卻有點誤導。 它不是完全不對。 

So it's not that it's untrue completely. So for example, in French and Spanish the word for table is, for some reason, marked as feminine. So, "la table," "la mesa," you just have to deal with it. It has been shown that if you are a speaker of one of those languages and you happen to be asked how you would imagine a table talking, then much more often than could possibly be an accident, a French or a Spanish 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 opposed to if you are an English speaker. 


比如說,在法語和西班牙語中, 由於某些原因, 桌子對應的單詞是陰性的。 因此你不得不用 "la table" 和 "la mesa"。 據表明 如果你的母語是上述語言, 並且你碰巧被問到 你想像桌子怎麼說話, 得到的結果絕不是巧合, 法國人或者西班牙人 會說桌子會用高聲調、 女性的聲音來說話。 因此,如果你是法國人或西班牙人, 你會認為桌子有點像女孩。 如果你是說英語的人, 則與這個相反。 

It's hard not to love data like that, and many people will tell you that that means that there's a worldview that you have if you speak one of those languages. But you have to watch out, because imagine if somebody put us under the microscope, the us being those of us who speak English natively. What is the worldview from English? 


很難讓人不愛上像這樣的數據, 並且許多人會告訴你那意味著 如果你說這些語言, 就會有這種世界觀。 但是你要保持警覺, 因為想像一下,如果有人 把我們放在顯微鏡下面。 「我們」是指英語為母語的人。 來自於英語的世界觀是什麽呢?

So for example, let's take an English speaker. Up on the screen, that is Bono. He speaks English. I presume he has a worldview. Now, that is Donald Trump. In his way, he speaks English as well. 


我們拿一位說英語的人來舉例子。 螢幕上的人是波諾。 他說英語。 我假設他有某種世界觀。 現在,這是唐納·川普。 他也以他的方式說英語。 

然後,這是金·卡達夏女士。 她也說英語。 這是三位以英文為母語的人。 這三位的世界觀 有什麼相同的地方呢? 英文作為把他們聯系在一起的語言, 讓他們塑造了什麽世界觀? 這是一個非常誤導的概念。 語言能夠塑造思想 這種共識正在逐漸形成, 但它比較是一種迷人、 晦澀的心理悸動, 而不是讓你真的 從不同的眼光看世界。

And here is Ms. Kardashian, and she is an English speaker, too. So here are three speakers of the English language. What worldview do those three people have in common? What worldview is shaped through the English language that unites them? It's a highly fraught concept. And so gradual consensus is becoming that language can shape thought, but it tends to be in rather darling, obscure psychological flutters. It's not a matter of giving you a different pair of glasses on the world. 


現在,如果是這種情況, 如果它不會改變你思考的方式, 那麼為什麽學習語言? 其它的原因是什麼呢? 有一些理由: 其中一個原因是 如果你想吸收某種文化, 如果你很想汲取它, 很想成為這種文化的一部分, 那麼不管語言會不會塑造文化── 這種想法挺可疑── 如果你想要吸收這種文化, 你不得不在一定程度上 掌控這種文化根植於的語言。 除此之外,没有其它的方式。 

Now, if that's the case, then why learn languages? If it isn't going to change the way you think, what would the other reasons be? There are some. One of them is that if you want to imbibe a culture, if you want to drink it in, if you want to become part of it, then whether 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 the language that the culture happens to be conducted in. There's no other way. 


關於這個有一個有趣的例證, 我不得不走一點模糊路線, 但是大家真的應該認真去看它。 有部由加拿大導演丹尼·阿控 (Denys Arcand) 製作的電影── 他的名字用英語讀起來是 丹尼斯·阿坎德, 如果你想搜尋他。 他製作了一部名叫 《蒙特婁的耶穌》的電影。 其中很多角色 是充滿生氣、好玩、熱情、 很有意思的法語區加拿大人, 說法語的女人。 在結束時有個場景, 他們帶一位朋友去說英語的醫院。 在醫院裡,他們不得不說英語。 

很想成為這種文化的一部分, 那麼不管語言會不會塑造文化── 這種想法挺可疑── 如果你想要吸收這種文化, 你不得不在一定程度上 掌控這種文化根植於的語言。 除此之外,没有其它的方式。 

There's an interesting illustration of this. I have to go slightly obscure, but really you should seek it out. There's a movie by the Canadian film director Denys Arcand -- read out in English on the page, "Dennis Ar-cand," if you want to look him up. He did a film called "Jesus of Montreal." And many of the characters are vibrant, funny, passionate, interesting French-Canadian, French-speaking women. There's one scene closest to the end, where they have to take a friend to an Anglophone hospital. In the hospital, they have to speak English. Now, they speak English but it's not their native language, they'd rather not speak English. And they speak it more slowly, they have accents, they're not idiomatic. Suddenly these characters that you've fallen in love with become husks of themselves, they're shadows of themselves. 


現在,他們的確在說英語, 但這不是他們的母語, 他們寧可不要說英語。 並且他們說的很慢, 而且有口音,說的怪裡怪氣。 突然,這些你深愛的角色 變成了沒有靈魂的軀殼, 成了自己的陰影。 

To go into a culture and to only ever process people through that kind of skrim curtain is to never truly get the culture. And so the extent that hundreds of languages will be left, one reason to learn them is because they are tickets to being able to participate in the culture of the people who speak them, just by virtue of the fact that it is their code. So that's one reason. 


要打進一種文化, 只透過那種薄紗來看人, 從來不能真正了解該文化。 所以從某種程度上說 數百種語言會消失, 而學習這些語言的一個原因, 是因為語言是參與 說這些語言的人的文化的方法, 因為這就是他們的密碼。 所以這是其中一個原因。

Second reason: it's been shown that if you speak two languages, dementia is less likely to set in, and that you are probably a better multitasker. And these are factors that set in early, and so that ought to give you some sense of when to give junior or juniorette lessons in another language. Bilingualism is healthy. 


第二個原因: 有證據顯示 如果你說兩種語言, 更不容易患失智症。 並且你可能更容易處理 同時做多件事情。 這些因子很早發生, 因此這也應該讓你意識到 什麼時候該給小朋友或小小朋友 用另外一種語言上課。 雙語是健康的。 

And then, third -- languages are just an awful 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 in common? All those things have in common the consonants sitting in the middle like pillars. They stay still, and the vowels dance around the consonants. Who wouldn't want to roll that around in their mouths? You can get that from Hebrew, you can get that from Ethiopia's main language, Amharic. That's fun. 


還有,第三點── 語言就是非常有趣。 比我們經常被告知的有趣的多。 比如說,阿拉伯語: “kataba” 是指他之前寫, "yaktubu" 是他或她寫, "Uktub" 用命令語氣說寫。 這幾個字有什麼共同點呢? 這些字的共同點就是 子音像柱子一樣在單詞的中間。 他們不動, 母音圍繞著子音跳舞。 誰不希望在嘴裡滾動這些音呢? 你可以從希伯來語看到這個樣子, 你也可以從衣索比亞的 主要語言阿姆哈拉語中看到。 非常有趣。 

Or languages have different word orders. Learning how to speak with different word order is like driving on the different side of a street if you go to certain country, or the feeling that you get when you put Witch Hazel around your eyes and you feel the tingle. A language can do that to you. 


有的語言有著不同的單詞順序。 學習如何用不同的單詞順序說話, 就好像你去某些國家 駕駛在道路的不同側一樣, 或者像把收斂劑金縷梅放在 眼睛附近的感覺一樣, 你可以感覺到刺痛。 語言可以對你做出這些。 

So for example, "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back," a book that I'm sure we all often return to, like "Moby Dick." One phrase in it is, "Do you know where I found him? Do you know 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 can know, I did where him find? He was tub inside gorging cake, No mistake gorging chewing!" That just feels good. Imagine being able to do that for years and years at a time. 


因此比如說, 《戴帽子的貓回來了》這本書 我相信我們都反覆看過, 就像《白鯨記》一樣。 其中有句話,(直翻) 「你知道哪裏我發現他嗎? 你知道哪裡他在? 他吃蛋糕在浴缸裡, 是的,他是!」 好,現在如果你用國語來學習, 那麼你就得說成 「你知道我在哪裡找到他? 他在浴缸裡大口吃蛋糕, 沒錯!大口嚼!」 感覺很不錯喔! 想像一下年復一年每次都這樣說。 

Or, have you ever learned any Cambodian? Me either, but if I did, I would get to roll around in my mouth not some baker's dozen of vowels like English has, but a good 30 different vowels scooching and oozing around in the Cambodian mouth like bees in a hive. That is what a language can get you. 


或者,你曾經學過柬埔寨語嗎? 我也沒學過,如果我學過, 我在嘴裡滾的就不是 13 個母音, 像英語一樣, 而是 30 個不同的母音, 在柬埔寨人的嘴裡面轉來轉去, 就像蜂巢裡的蜜蜂。 這就是一門語言能給你的東西。

And more to the point, we live in an era when it's never been easier to teach yourself another language. It used to be that 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 certain times and you had to go then, and then was not most times. You had to go to class. If you didn't have that, you had something called a record. I cut my teeth on those. There was only so much data on a record, or a cassette, or even that antique object known as a CD. Other than that you had books that didn't work, that's just the way it was. 


另外, 我們生活在一個從未像現在一樣 自學語言這麼簡單的時代。 過去你不得不去教室, 並且教室還要有費盡心血的老師── 一些天才教師── 但是那個人只在特定的時間才在, 並且你還得去, 而且那只是一小段時間。 你得去教室。 如果你沒有去課堂上課, 那還有一種叫錄音的東西。 我有很多這方面的經驗。 在錄音上面只有這麼點數據, 或者在錄音帶上, 或者是那個叫 CD 的老骨董上。 除了那些,你還有沒用的書, 過去就是這樣。 

Today you can lay down -- lie on your living room floor, sipping bourbon, and teach yourself any language that you want to with wonderful sets such as Rosetta Stone. I highly recommend the lesser known Glossika as well. You can do it any time, therefore you can do it more and better. You can give yourself your morning pleasures in various languages. I take some "Dilbert" in various languages every single morning; it can increase your skills. Couldn't have done it 20 years ago when the idea of having any language you wanted in your pocket, coming from your phone, would have sounded like science fiction to very sophisticated people. 


現在你可以躺著── 躺在客廳的地板上, 喝著波本威士忌, 自學任何你想學習的語言, 只要一套精彩的學習教程, 比如說 "Rosetta Stone"。 我也強烈推薦 不那麼有名的 "Glossika" 。 任何時候都可以做, 因此你有更多的時間 以更好的方式學習。 你可以在早晨享用不同的語言。 我每天早晨會看翻成 不同語言的呆伯特: 它能提高你的技巧。 這在 20 年前都是不能完成的, 在那時,想要從 口袋裡的手機學任何你想學的語言, 聽起來就像想像力複雜的人 寫的科幻小說。

So I highly recommend that you teach yourself languages other than the one that I'm speaking, because there's never been a better time to do it. It's an awful lot of fun. It won't change your mind, but it will most certainly blow your mind. 


因此我強烈推薦 大家去學習不同於 我正在講的其它語言, 因為沒有比現在更好的時機了。 它非常有趣。 這不會改變你的思想, 但這會使你心醉神迷。 


Thank you very much. 

謝謝大家。



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