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驚呆!英語進化史原來這么復雜!

2018-10-13 21:56:20 來源:國外網站推薦 - 由[國外網站大全]整理

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.

縱覽歷史,英語借用了很多舶來詞,演變成了今天我們所熟悉的“大雜燴”語言。然而,《牛津英語大辭典》副主編菲利普?杜爾金在一篇發表在BBC網站上的文章中表示,近些年來,英語已經由“舶來”轉成“輸出”。

驚呆!英語進化史原來這么復雜!

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.

通過文化交流,英語逐步演變成一種融合了其他語言的大雜燴。語言學家認為,這一連串的舶來行為的原因在于外來者的侵占。英語吸收了各種不同語言的詞匯,這些詞匯通常被稱為“舶來語”,這也使得英語成為世界上最多樣化的語言之一。

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.

從公元450年左右到11世紀,英格蘭遭遇了不同外來侵略者的入侵,這些侵略者將本國語言帶到了這里。英國吸收了每一個侵略國的語言,將他們的語言與英語混合,創造出了一種多語言融合體。其中,對英語影響最深的語言包括:公元700年入侵者帶來的西日耳曼語;8、9世紀斯堪的納維亞入侵者帶來的古挪威語;以及1066年諾曼底征服英格蘭時所帶來的法語和拉丁語。

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?李伯曼將舶來語描述為“在特定時間、特定地點,因語言交流而產生的結果”。例如:在殖民統治時期,隨著英國與亞洲之間的交流日益頻繁,英語中融入了許多亞洲詞匯(如“叢林”、“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.

舶來語的經久不衰說明了在全球化背景下,不同文化之間交流的緊密。全球化傳媒,尤其是網絡媒體的崛起,以及國際交流的日益加深,提升了人們對通用語言的需求。

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.

在新書《全球視角:其他語言使用英語舶來詞的動機》中,朱迪斯?羅森豪斯和洛特姆?科內爾稱英語為“現代世界的通用語,是科學研究、國際商務及交流方面的通用語言”。他們表示,全球超過75個國家和地區將英語作為官方語言;英語是全球最受歡迎的第二語言。

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.

英語憑借其世界語言的優勢,大大增加了向其他語言輸出詞匯的數量。無論是法國新聞報道中所使用的“kidnapping(綁架)”或“leader(領導)”,還是漢語中從英文“coffee”音譯過來的“咖啡”一詞,亦或是在全球多數地方普遍使用的“Internet(網絡)”、“computer(電腦)”和“meeting(會議)”,英語對其他語言的巨大影響顯而易見。

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.

杜爾金表示,相比之下,英語中,稱得上“國際通用”的舶來詞數量卻一直呈遞減趨勢。盡管英語現在仍然大范圍地吸收外來語言,但是這些新舶來詞往往更集中在少數幾個特定的領域,尤以食物和飲料的名字最為明顯。

Unique vocabulary

專有詞匯

Here are a few examples of untranslatable words from other cultures:

以下列舉了一些源自不同文化的不可譯詞:

Waldeinsamkeit (German)

Waldeinsamkeit(德語)

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.

詞匯含義:這個詞語描繪了一種感覺,一種孤獨的感覺,一種獨處在樹林中并且和大自然產生溝通和共鳴的感覺。美國詩人拉爾夫?瓦爾多?愛默生甚至還寫了一首詩來解釋這種感覺。

Pochemuchka (Russian)

Pochemuchka(俄語)

Someone who asks a lot of questions. We all know a few people like that.

詞匯含義:指那些問很多問題的人,準確地說,是那些問了太多問題的人。我們身邊都會有一些這樣的人。

Sobremesa (Spanish)

Sobremesa (西班牙語)

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.

詞匯含義:西班牙人悠閑自在、善于交際。這個詞語描述的是一段時間。這段時間里,你要與剛剛一起吃完飯的朋友就剛剛吃過的食物展開熱烈的討論。

Mangata (Swedish)

Mangata(瑞典語)

It means the glimmering, road-like reflection that the moon creates on water.

詞匯含義:這個詞指的是月亮倒映在水面上閃閃發光,宛若小路一樣的倒影。

Depaysement (French)

Depaysement(法語)

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.

詞匯含義:身處異國他鄉的感覺,適用于外國人、移民者以及那些從故鄉遷徙的人。


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