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[TED] 【TED】不要固执于学英语

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发表于 2018-5-3 12:05:31 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式



I know what you're thinking. You think I've lost my way, and somebody's going to come on the stage in a minute and guide me gently back to my seat. (Applause) I get that all the time in Dubai. "Here on holiday are you, dear?" (Laughter) "Come to visit the children? How long are you staying?"

我知道你们在想什么,你们觉得我迷路了,马上就会有人走上台温和地把我带回我的座位上。(掌声)。我在迪拜总会遇上这种事。“来这里度假的吗,亲爱的?”(笑声)“来探望孩子的吗?这次要待多久呢?"

Well actually, I hope for a while longer yet. I have been living and teaching in the Gulf for over 30 years. (Applause) And in that time, I have seen a lot of changes. Now that statistic is quite shocking. And I want to talk to you today about language loss and the globalization of English.

恩,事实上,我希望能再待久一点。我在波斯湾这边生活和教书已经超过30年了。(掌声)这段时间里,我看到了很多变化。现在这份数据是挺吓人的,而我今天要和你们说的是有关语言的消失和英语的全球化。

I want to tell you about my friend who was teaching English to adults in Abu Dhabi. And one fine day, she decided to take them into the garden to teach them some nature vocabulary. But it was she who ended up learning all the Arabic words for the local plants, as well as their uses -- medicinal uses, cosmetics, cooking, herbal.

我想和你们谈谈我的朋友,她在阿布达比教成人英语。在一个晴朗的日子里,她决定带她的学生到花园去教他们一些大自然的词汇。但最后却变成是她在学习所有当地植物在阿拉伯语中是怎么说的。还有这些植物是如何被用作药材,化妆品,烹饪,香草。

How did those students get all that knowledge? Of course, from their grandparents and even their great-grandparents. It's not necessary to tell you how important it is to be able to communicate across generations.

这些学生是怎么得到这些知识的呢?当然是从他们的祖父母,甚至曾祖父母那里得来的。不需要我来告诉你们能够跨代沟通是多么重要。

But sadly, today, languages are dying at an unprecedented rate. A language dies every 14 days. Now, at the same time, English is the undisputed global language. Could there be a connection? Well I don't know. But I do know that I've seen a lot of changes. When I first came out to the Gulf, I came to Kuwait in the days when it was still a hardship post.

但遗憾的是,今天很多语言正在以前所未有的速度消失。每14天就有一种语言消失,而与此同时,英语却无庸置疑地成为全球性的语言。这其中有关联吗?我不知道。但我知道的是,我见证过许多改变。初次来到海湾地区时,我去了科威特。当时教英文仍然是个困难的工作。

Actually, not that long ago. That is a little bit too early. But nevertheless, I was recruited by the British Council along with about 25 other teachers. And we were the first non-Muslims to teach in the state schools there in Kuwait. We were brought to teach English because the government wanted to modernize the country and empower the citizens through education. And of course, the U.K. benefited from some of that lovely oil wealth.

其实,没有那么久啦,这有点太久以前了。总之,我和其他25位老师一起被英国文化协会聘用。我们是第一批非穆斯林的老师,在科威特的国立学校任教。我们被派到那里教英语,是因为当地政府希望国家可以现代化并透过教育提升公民的水平。当然,英国也能得到些好处,产油国可是很有钱的。

Okay. Now this is the major change that I've seen -- how teaching English has morphed from being a mutually beneficial practice to becoming a massive international business that it is today. No longer just a foreign language on the school curriculum. And no longer the sole domain of mother England.

言归正传,我见过最大的改变,就是英语教学的蜕变如何从一个互惠互利的行为变成今天这种大规模的国际产业。英语不再是学校课程里的外语学科,也不再只是英国的专利。

It has become a bandwagon for every English-speaking nation on earth. And why not? After all, the best education -- according to the latest World University Rankings -- is to be found in the universities of the U.K. and the U.S. So everybody wants to have an English education, naturally. But if you're not a native speaker, you have to pass a test.

英语(教学)已经成为所有英语系国家追逐的潮流。何乐而不为呢?毕竟,最好的教育来自于最好的大学,而根据最新的世界大学排名,那些名列前茅的都是英国和美国的大学。所以自然每个人都想接受英语教育,但如果你不是以英文为母语,你就要通过考试。

Now can it be right to reject a student on linguistic ability alone? Perhaps you have a computer scientist who's a genius. Would he need the same language as a lawyer, for example? Well, I don't think so. We English teachers reject them all the time. We put a stop sign, and we stop them in their tracks. They can't pursue their dream any longer, till they get English.

但仅凭语言能力就拒绝学生这样对吗?譬如如果你碰到一位天才计算机科学家,但他会需要有和律师一样的语言能力吗?我不这么认为。但身为英语老师的我们,却总是拒绝他们。我们处处设限,将学生挡在路上,使他们无法再追求自己的梦想,直到他们通过考试。

Now let me put it this way, if I met amonolingual Dutch speaker who had the cure for cancer, would I stop him from entering my British University? I don't think so. But indeed, that is exactly what we do. We English teachers are the gatekeepers. And you have to satisfy us first that your English is good enough. Now it can be dangerous to give too much power to a narrow segment of society. Maybe the barrier would be too universal.

现在容我换一个方式说,如果我遇到了一位只会说荷兰话的人,而这个人能治愈癌症,我会阻止他进入我的英国大学吗?我想不会。但事实上,我们的确在做这种事。我们这些英语老师就是把关的。你必须先让我们满意,使我们认定你的英文够好。但这可能是危险的。把太多的权力交由这么小的一群人把持,也许会令这种障碍太过普及。

Okay. "But," I hear you say, "what about the research? It's all in English." So the books are in English, the journals are done in English, but that is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It feeds the English requirement. And so it goes on. I ask you, what happened to translation? If you think about the Islamic Golden Age, there was lots of translation then. They translated from Latin and Greek into Arabic, into Persian, and then it was translated on into the Germanic languages of Europe and the Romance languages.

于是,我听到你们问"但是研究呢?研究报告都要用英文。”的确,研究论著和期刊都要用英文发表,但这只是一种理所当然的现象。有英语要求,自然就有英语供给,然后就这么循环下去。我倒想问问大家,为什么不用翻译呢?想想伊斯兰的黄金时代,当时翻译盛行,人们把拉丁文和希腊文翻译成阿拉伯文或波斯文,然后再由拉伯文或波斯文翻译为欧洲的日耳曼语言以及罗曼语言。

And so light shone upon the Dark Ages of Europe. Now don't get me wrong; I am not against teaching English, all you English teachers out there. I love it that we have a global language. We need one today more than ever. But I am against using it as a barrier. Do we really want to end up with 600 languages and the main one being English, or Chinese? We need more than that. Where do we draw the line? This system equates intelligence with a knowledge of English which is quite arbitrary.

于是文明照亮了欧洲的黑暗时代。但不要误会我的意思,我不是反对英语教学或是在座所有的英语老师。我很高兴我们有一个全球性的语言,这在今日尤为重要。但我反对用英语设立障碍。难道我们真希望世界上只剩下600种语言,其中又以英文或中文为主流吗?我们需要的不只如此。那么我们该如何拿捏呢?这个体制把智能和英语能力画上等号这是相当武断的。

And I want to remind you that the giants upon whose shoulders today's intelligentsia stand did not have to have English, they didn't have to pass an English test. Case in point, Einstein. He, by the way, was considered remedial at school because he was, in fact, dyslexic.

我想要提醒你们,扶持当代知识分子的这些“巨人肩膀"不必非得具有英文能力,他们不需要通过英语考试。爱因斯坦就是典型的例子。顺便说一下,他在学校还曾被认为需要课外补习,因为他其实有阅读障碍。

But fortunately for the world, he did not have to pass an English test. Because they didn't start until 1964 with TOEFL, the American test of English. Now it's exploded. There are lots and lots of tests of English. And millions and millions of students take these tests every year. Now you might think, you and me, those fees aren't bad, they're okay, but they are prohibitive to so many millions of poor people. So immediately, we're rejecting them.

但对整个世界来说,很幸运的当时他不需要通过英语考试,因为他们直到1964年才开始使用托福。现在英语测验太泛滥了,有太多太多的英语测验,以及成千上万的学生每年都在参加这些考试。现在你会认为,你和我都这么想,这些费用不贵,价钱满合理的。但是对数百万的穷人来说,这些费用高不可攀。所以,当下我们又拒绝了他们。

It brings to mind a headline I saw recently: "Education: The Great Divide." Now I get it, I understand why people would focus on English. They want to give their children the best chance in life. And to do that, they need a Western education. Because, of course, the best jobs go to people out of the Western Universities, that I put on earlier. It's a circular thing.

这使我想起最近看到的一个新闻标题:“教育:大鸿沟”现在我懂了。我了解为什么大家都重视英语,因为他们希望给孩子最好的人生机会。为了达成这目的,他们需要西方教育。毕竟,不可否认,最好的工作都留给那些西方大学毕业出来的人。就像我之前说的,这是一种循环。

Okay. Let me tell you a story about two scientists, two English scientists. They were doing an experiment to do with genetics and the forelimbs and the hind limbs of animals. But they couldn't get the results they wanted. They really didn't know what to do, until along came a German scientist who realized that they were using two words for forelimb and hind limb, whereas genetics does not differentiate and neither does German.

好,我跟你们说一个关于两位科学家的故事:有两位英国科学家在做一项实验,是关于遗传学的,以及动物的前、后肢。但他们无法得到他们想要的结果。他们真的不知道该怎么办,直到来了一位德国的科学家。他发现在英文里前肢和后肢是不同的二个字,但在遗传学上没有区别。在德语也是同一个字。

So bingo, problem solved. If you can't think a thought, you are stuck. But if another language can think that thought, then, by cooperating, we can achieve and learn so much more.

所以,叮!问题解决了。如果你不能想到一个念头,你会卡在那里。但如果另一个语言能想到那念头,然后通过合作我们可以达成目的,也学到更多。

My daughter, came to England from Kuwait. She had studied science and mathematics in Arabic. It's an Arabic medium school. She had to translate it into English at her grammar school. And she was the best in the class at those subjects. Which tells us that, when students come to us from abroad, we may not be giving them enough credit for what they know, and they know it in their own language. When a language dies, we don't know what we lose with that language.

我的女儿从科威特来到英格兰,她在阿拉伯的学校学习科学和数学。那是所阿拉伯中学。在学校里,她得把这些知识翻译成英文,而她在班上却能在这些学科上拿到最好的成绩。这告诉我们,当外籍学生来找我们,我们可能无法针对他们所知道的给予赞赏,因为那是来自于他们母语的知识。当一个语言消失时,我们不知道还有什么也会一并失去。

This is -- I don't know if you saw it on CNN recently -- they gave the Heroes Award to a young Kenyan shepherd boy who couldn't study at night in his village like all the village children, because the kerosenelamp, it had smoke and it damaged his eyes. And anyway, there was never enough kerosene, because what does a dollar a day buy for you? So he invented a cost-free solar lamp.

这是--我不知道各位有没有看最近的CNN--他们将一座英雄奖授予一位年轻的肯亚牧童。在他住的村庄里,他和村里其它的孩童一样无法在夜晚读书,因为煤油灯产生的烟雾会弄伤他的眼睛。再说,他也没有足够的煤油——毕竟,每天只有一块美金的收入,你还能买什么?所以他发明了不需成本的太阳能灯。

And now the children in his village get the same grades at school as the children who have electricity at home. (Applause) When he received his award, he said these lovely words: "The children can lead Africa from what it is today, a dark continent, to a light continent." A simple idea, but it could have such far-reaching consequences.

现在他们村里的孩子们的成绩都和那些家里有电的孩子相同(掌声)。当他接受奖励时,说了下面这句话:"这些孩子可以带领非洲这块黑暗大陆迎向光明"一个简单的想法,却有着深远的影响。

People who have no light, whether it's physical or metaphorical, cannot pass our exams, and we can never know what they know. Let us not keep them and ourselves in the dark. Let us celebrate diversity. Mind your language. Use it to spread great ideas.

没有“光”的人——无论具体来说,还是抽象来说,都无法通过我们的测验。我们也无法了解他们拥有的知识。别让他们和我们自己都身处在黑暗里,让我们一同为多元性欢呼!关注你自己的语言,用它来宣扬伟大的想法。

Thank you very much.

非常谢谢各位。

[发帖际遇]: katy 发帖时在路边捡到 3 元 家元,偷偷放进了口袋. 幸运榜 / 衰神榜
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