Unit 1 Text A
How Difficult Is English? 英语有多难 Like the national push for Asian literacy (n.有文化,有教养,有读写能力) in Australia,there has been foreign languages fervor in China,with English on top of the list. 就如澳大利亚在全国推行学亚洲语言一样,中国也掀起一股外语热,在这股热潮中,英语高 居榜首。 English is not only taught at schools,colleges and universities,but also at evening classes,on radio and TV. 不仅各级学校教英语,夜校、电台、电视台也都设有英语课程。 Parents hire private tutors for their school children;adult English learners would sacrifice the weekend at an English corner in a public park practicing their spoken English with peop1e of the same interest and determination. 父母为学龄的孩子聘请英语家教,成年英语学习者会牺牲周末休息日,到公园参加英语角, 与志趣相投的英语学习者练习口语。 Is English such a difficult language that it really demands people to invest a large amount of time and energy before it is mastered ? 英语真的有这么难,需要人们投入大量的时间和精力才能掌握吗? The answer,if I am asked to offer,is undoubtedly,yes. 如果我被问及这个问题,那么毫无疑问,我的答案是:是的。 From my personal experience, I think learning English means far more than learning its pronunciation,its grammatical rules,its words,etc. 从我个人的经验来看,英语学习不仅仅是学习英语发音、语法规则、词汇等, It involves learning everything about the countries where it is used and the people who use it. 它包括学习与使用该语言的国家和民族有关的所有内容。 Without such a complete understanding of the language, the English a foreigner speaks will inevitably sound strange or even unintelligible though there is not anything wrong with his pronunciation,sentence structure and the words he uses. 对英语没有这样全面的理解,即使发音、句子结构、措辞毫无错误,一个外国人所讲的英语 也难免听起来稀奇古怪甚至难以理解。 The social customs and habits of the English-speaking people contribute a lot to the difficulty a foreigner has in learning it. 讲英语民族者的社会风俗习惯增加了外国人学习英语的难度。 Take the Chinese English learners for example. 以学英语的中国人为例, " Hello "and "Good morning" may sound a little bit simple to Chinese people. "你好"和"早上好"是非常简单的。 It is totally beyond the understanding of a Chinese English learner that native English speakers would be annoyed when they're addressed "Where are you going?",which is a commonly used addressing among the Chinese. "你去哪儿?"是中国人常用的问候语,若英语母语者被问及"你去哪儿?",他们会因此感到不 悦,这一点让中国的英语学习者大为不解。 Is there anything wrong with the English sentence structure ? Of course not. 这个英语句子结构不对吗? 当然不是。
It takes quite some time for a Chinese English learner to understand the western concept of privacy being violated in this address. 学英语的中国人得费点儿时间才能理解这一问候语侵犯了西方人的隐私。 By the same token,"Have you eaten?"(which is another addressing term the Chinese people usually use)will sound to native English speakers that the Chinese are so hospitable that they invite people to meals off-handedly. 同样, 英语母语者听到"你吃了吗?"(中国人常用的另外一个问候语), 会觉得中国人非常好客, 会在事先毫无准备的情况下请人吃饭。 Meanwhile,the Chinese would be shocked to hear,"Oh,it's very nice of you.When?", if the addressee happens to have a craving for Chinese cooking and has not had his dinner yet. 如果听话者此刻正希望品尝一下中国美食, 又碰巧没有吃饭, 他会回答"太好了, 什么时候?", 中国人为此也会大吃一惊。 "We can say we are going to have chicken for dinner.Why can't we say pig,bull or sheep for dinner instead of pork,beef or mutton?" Chinese English learners may raise such questions. 中国的英语学习者可能会这样问:"我们可以说吃鸡,为什么不能说吃猪、吃牛、吃羊,而 要说吃猪肉、牛肉、羊肉呢?" Figuring out the reasons for the peculiar English vocabulary is no easy task for Chinese English learners. 对学习英语的中国人来说,为这些特殊的英语词汇找出理由并非易事。 But the problem is that memorizing English words mechanically would be devastating and inefficient if they did not know what had happened in British history. 问题在于如果不懂英国历史,死记硬背英语单词毫无效率。 Thus learning English(and other languages as well)involves learning the history of the countries where it is spoken. 所以说,学英语(其他语言亦如此)还包括学习使用该语言国家的历史知识。 A task of this kind is more difficult for Chinese English learners than for people who speak a western language other than English because Chinese has nothing in common with the alphabetic English and China had little contact with the Western world in modern history. 学习英语的中国人要做到这一点比其他非英语国家的西方人要困难得多, 因为汉字和英语这 种拼音文字毫无共同之处,并且中国和西方世界在近代史上很少接触。 Consequently,the background knowledge of English fascinates large numbers of interested and determined English learners in China but at the same time disheartens quite a few. 所以,在中国,英语背景知识既吸引了大量英语爱好者,也使许多人丧失信心。 The Western and Oriental values are found to be in confrontation in learning English. 英语学习中,东西方的价值观念是相互冲突的。 Native English speakers may complain about Chinese confusion when using "he" and "she",for the two words sound the same,though,different in written forms in Chinese. 英语母语的人会混淆汉语中"他""她"的用法,因为这两个字尽管字形不同,读音却相同,他 们因此常常抱怨。 As a result,some native English speakers conclude that the Chinese are unable to tell the difference between the two sexes. 结果有些英语母语的人得出结论,认为中国人不区分两种性别。 But native English speakers are more gender blind than the Chinese when they mention their cousins.
但是在涉及表亲的时候,英语母语的人更是混淆性别。 The confusion caused by the confrontation of Western and Chinese values,to a certain extent, affects the Chinese English learner's comprehension of what he/she reads and hears. 东西方价值观的冲突造成的语言上的混淆, 在一定程度上影响学习英语的中国人对自己所读 或所听到的内容的理解。 Only by developing an understanding and tolerance(忍受) of different cultural values can a Chinese English learner reach the goal of communicating with native English speakers. 学习英语的中国人只有增加不同文化价值观之间的理解和宽容, 才能达到与英语母语者交流 的目标。 A Chinese English learner could not have a good command of Eng1ish unless he overcomes the cultural barriers(not all,of course!)in learning English. 学习英语的中国人,只有在学习英语的过程中克服文化障碍才能很好地掌握英语。(当然不 可能是克服全部文化障碍!) Many Chinese translate what they think about in Chinese into English when they talk or write. 很多中国人说话或写作的时候,将自己汉语思维的内容翻译成英语, This kind of English inevitably affects the fluency and flow of speech,the amount of information conveyed,and,above all,the quality of communication. 这势必会影响英语表达的流畅、传达的信息量,最重要的是,影响交流的质量。 The above is,not wholly,how difficult English is. 尽管不完全,以上就是学习英语的困难。 Some native speakers might have said, "You foreigners don't use good English! " at the time a foreigner fails to understand what he is saying. 英语母语者被外国人误解的时候可能会说:"你们外国人不懂地道的英语!" "Why should l?"1 would protest,though.Still,I have to keep asking myself:Is it possible for a foreigner to command English? 我要反驳:"我们为什么要懂?"我还要问:一个外国人可能精通英语吗? 第一课:
  1、Like the national push for Asian literacy in Australia, there has been foreign languages fervor in china, with English on top of the list. 就如澳大利亚在全国推广学亚洲语言一样,中国也掀起一股外语热,在这股热潮中英语高居 榜首。
  2、Is English such a difficult language that it really demands people to invest a large amount of time and energy before it is mastered? 英语真的有这么难,需要人们投入大量的时间和精力才能掌握吗?
  3、From my personal experience, I think learning English means far more than learning its pronunciation, grammatical rules, etc. 从我个人的经验来看,英语学习不仅仅是指学习英语发音和语法规则等。
  4、Without a complete understanding of the language, the English a foreigner speaks will inevitably sound strange or even unintelligible though there is not anything wrong with his pronunciation, sentence structure and the words he uses.
对英语没有全面的理解,即便有完美的发音、句子结构、措词,一个外国人所讲的英语也会 是稀奇古怪甚至难以理解的。
  5、Social customs and habits contribute to the difficulty in learning a foreign language. 社会风俗习惯增加了学习外语的难度。
  6、By the same token, “Have you eaten?” will sound to native English speakers that the Chinese are so hospitable that they invite people to meals off-handedly. 由于同样的原因,英语母语者听到“吃了吗?”,会觉得中国人非常好客,在事先毫无准备的 情况下会请人吃饭。
  7、The foreigner will respond(回答) “Oh, it’s very nice of you. When?”, if he happens to have a craving(渴望) for Chinese cooking and has not had 现在完成时 his dinner yet. 如果这位外国人此刻正希望品尝一下中国美食,而且又碰巧没有吃饭,他会回答:“太好啦, 什么时候?”
  8、Chinese has nothing in common with English and China had little contact(联系) with the Western world in modern history. 汉字和英语这两种文字毫无共同之处,并且中国和西方世界在近代史上很少接触。
  9、The background(背景) knowledge of English fascinates(使着迷) large numbers of interested and determined(坚决的) English learners but at the same time disheartens (使气馁) quite a few. 英语背景知识既吸引了大量英语爱好者,也使许多人丧失信心。 (2006-4 刚考过)

  10、The Western and Oriental values are found to be in confrontation(冲突) in learning English. 英语学习中,东西方价值观念是冲突的。
  11、Native English speakers are more gender(性别) blind (判断)when they mention their cousins. 在涉及表亲的时候,英语母语的人更容易混淆性别。
  12、A Chinese English learner could not have a good command of English unless he overcomes the cultural barriers(障碍物) in learning English. 中国人在英语学习中,只有克服文化障碍,才能很好地掌握英语。
IV Any living language is in a constant state of change. 任何 一种活生生的语言都是处于不停的变化之中的。 That change is gradual(逐渐的) and continuous(连续的) . 该变化是逐渐并且连续不断的。
At any particular moment,it is almost hard to notice like most of the changes that affect your own body. 就像影响你身体的大部分变化一样,这种变化在某一特定时刻是很难察觉的。 You don't notice them, but you're lucky if it feels as good and serves you as well as ten years ago. 身体的这些变化不容易觉察,但是如果你的身体如十年前一样好的话,你是非常幸运的。 In that period of time it has changed. 但是在这十年间,你的身体已经发生了变化。 It is the same with Language . 语言的变化也是这样的。 The most common and the most noticeable 可觉察的 kind of change is what happens to vocabulary. 语言的变化中,最常见、最容易察觉的是词汇的变化。 New words appear;old words take on new meanings . 新词出现,老词增加新义。 Even the native speaker might feel surprised. 即使是母语者对这些变化也会感到吃惊的。 Mouse began to mean a small,hand-held device which can be used to give instructions to a computer to which it is connected by a short cable(电缆). Mouse 一词开始表示一种小型的手动装置, 这种装置通过一根短短的导线连到计算机上, 可 以向计算机发指令。 To describe a person as green is a way of saying that he is naive(缺少经验的) or inexperienced. 可以用来描述一个人缺少经验。 Now the word ind
 

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