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British Culture 1

(2009-09-02 00:35:12)
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凯尔特

苏格兰

分类: 黑白英伦风

1. Who Are the British?

    Although the United Kingdom covers only a small area of the earth's surface, it represents people of many different origins and cultures. Yet all of them are British. Indeed, it would be difficult to find anyone in modern Britain who could say with certainty that his ancestors had not come to the British Isles from somewhere else. Who, then, are today's Britons and what kind of people are they?

    尽管联合王国仅仅占有地球表面很小一片地域,但它却代表了有不同起源和文化的人们。他们仍旧是英国人。事实上,你很难找到一个现代的英国人,他能很肯定的说自己的祖先不是从其他地方来到不列颠岛的。那么,谁是今天的不列颠人,他们又是什么人呢?

    The history of human habitation and settlement in Britain goes back to the Stone Age hunters and gatherers who arrived from the European continent about 10 000 years ago. The Neolithic peoples who followed them were settled agriculturatlists who kept domestic animals and knew how to make simple pottery. Around 2000 BC these Stone Age people started to erect huge monuments, or henges, of giant rock slabs, possibly for religious purposes. Work on the henges continued intermittently into the Bronze Age, until about 1500 BC. The most imposing and mysterious of these ancient monuments is Stonehenge, on windswept Salisbury plain in southwest England.

    人们移民和定居于不列颠的历史可以追溯到石器时代的游猎者及游牧寻食者,他们大约在10 000年前从欧洲大陆来到这里。继他们之后,新石器时代的人类移居于此并长于农耕,他们饲养家养牲畜,会制造简单的瓷器。公元前2000年左右,这些石器时代的人们开始用巨大的岩石板兴建大型纪念物或者石林,这些石林可能是用于膜拜。兴建石林的历程一直持续到大约公元前1500的青铜时代。在这些古老的建筑群中最为壮观和神秘的就是位于英格兰西南部受强风吹打的的索尔兹伯里平原上的巨石阵。

    Easy communication between the islands and the continental mainland must have existed and, from earliest times, this encouraged migration. By the end of the Bronze Age, around 700 BC, Celtic peoples had arrived from north-western Europe bringing with them a revolutionary new skill: iron-working. Celtic continued to come and settle in Britain for about 500 years and, by the time the Romans first landed in 55 BC, the Celtic culture was well established. The earliest written records of Britain's inhabitants come from the Romans who eventually conquered the various Celtic kingdoms then flourishing in England, Wales and the Scottish Lowlands.

    岛屿和大陆之间便捷的交流方式必然是存在过的,而且在早期这曾促进了移民。在青铜时代末期,大约公元前700年,凯尔特语诸民族从欧洲的西北迁徙至此,他们带来了一种革命性的新技术——冶金术。凯尔特人不断的到来并定居于不列颠岛一直持续了大约500年,直到罗马人在公元前55年第一次登陆不列颠岛,凯尔特文化完全建立起来。最早的有关于不列颠居民的记载来自罗马,罗马人最终占领了凯尔特诸族的王国,之后在英格兰,威尔士和苏格兰低地繁荣的发展起来。

The Scots

    The Scots, particularly the Highlanders form the mountainous north, try to maintain their separate identity. Like the Welsh, they object to being called 'English'. Their earliest known ancestors were the Picts and the Celts and the Gaelic language,still spoken in remote parts, comes from the ancient language of the Celtic tribes.

    苏格兰人,特别是来自山脉北部的高地人,试图维持他们独立的特性。像威尔士人,他们很反感被叫做“英格兰人”。他们已知的最早先祖是比克特人和凯尔特人。盖尔语,源于凯尔特部落的古老语言,依旧在偏远的地区被使用着。

    The Scottish Highlander considers himself the 'true' Scot and he wears his national dress, the kilt, with pride. Kilts, pleated skirts made of material with a squared, coloured design called a tartan, probably derive from the costume of the Roman conquerors. Each Scottish clan (a Gaelic word for 'tribe' or 'family') has its own tartan with specific colours and design and only members of that clan are entitled to wear it. There are tartans for all the famous Scottish names like Campbell, MacLeod, Fraser, Gordon, Stuart and Macdonald ('Mac' or 'Mc', found in many Scottish names, means 'son of').

    苏格兰高地人自认为是“真正”的苏格兰人,他们自豪地穿着其民族特有的服饰,褶裥短裙。褶裥短裙,可能来源于罗马侵略者的习俗,是一种用由各色方格组成的被称为格子图案的布料制成的百褶裙。每一个苏格兰氏族(盖尔语中意为“部落”或者“家族”)都有自己特色设计的花格图案,只有氏族的成员才有权利穿着这种服饰。所有著名的苏格兰家族都有自己的花格图案,像坎贝尔、麦克劳德、弗雷泽、戈登、斯图亚特和麦克唐纳。

                       British <wbr>Culture <wbr>1

 

    The Highlanders are a proud, independent and hardy people who mainly live by farming sheep in the mountain areas; others, on the coasts and islands, are fishermen. Bur most Scots are Lowlanders, concentrated in the densely-populated towns and cities of southern Scotland. These urban areas are heavily industualized, with coal-mining, iron, steel, ship-building and textiles. Since the mid-1800s, there has been a constant flow of young men from the Highlands and country districts to Lowland indusruial centres where work opportunities are greater. In the last few years, however, the reverse has taken place: there has been a migration of labour back to the north-eastern coastal areas to well-paid jobs in the North Sea oil industry.

    高地人是自豪独立和勇敢的民族,他们依靠在山区畜牧羊群为生;另外一些在沿海和岛屿上以渔业为生。但是大多数的苏格兰人是低地人,集中在苏格兰南部人口稠密的乡村和城镇。随着煤矿开采,冶铁炼钢,船舶制造和纺织,这些城镇地区高度的工业化。自19世纪中叶起,青壮年持续从高地和乡村地区向低地的工业中心流动,在那里有更多的工作机会。然而在最后的几年间,发生了相反的现象:劳动力移民回到东北沿海地区,为了获得北海石油工业的高薪工作。

    The Scots have a reputation for being inventive, hardworking, serious-minded and cautious with money. In the past, they were pioneer settlers and empire builders in places like America, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. They have also provided the British Army with some of its most famous regiments. Over the centuries, enemy troops have often been terrified at the sight and sound of Highlanders in kilts marching into battle accompanied by the blood-curdling music of the bagpipes. Some even nicknamed the Scottish soldiers 'devils in skirts' and 'ladies from hell'.

  British <wbr>Culture <wbr>1             British <wbr>Culture <wbr>1

    苏格兰人享有擅于创造,吃苦耐劳,严肃认真,慎重对待金钱美名。在过去,他们在各地拓荒殖民,建造帝国,如在美国,加拿大,澳大利亚,南非和新西兰。他们也向不列颠军队提供一些军团。持续几个世纪,敌军常对身着褶裥短裙,和着令人生畏的风笛曲开赴战场的高地人闻风丧胆。有些甚至给这些苏格兰士兵起绰号叫做“穿着短裙的恶魔”和“地狱夫人”。

    Since the 1960s there has been consideable scottish nationalist agitation for a separate parliament or assembly which would give the Scots a greater say in the planning and running of their own affairs. In response, the British government held a referendum in Scotland at the beginning of 1979 to find out if the people really wanted their own assembly. The government promised that if 40 per cent of Scots eligible to vote did so, and if 60 per cent ro more of that vote was in faour of a separate Scottish assembly, then such an assembly would be set up. But result showed less than 40 per cent in favour so no further action was taken.

    自二十世纪六十年代起,出现大量苏格兰政治独立运动支持者为争取独立的国会和议会而辩论,他们认为独立的国会和议会将会使苏格兰人在规划和管理自己的事务上有更大的决定权。作为回应,不列颠政府于1979年初在苏格兰举行全民投票,已决定人们是否真的希望成立他们自己的议会。政府许诺,如果40%的苏格兰人有投票资格并投票,而且如果其中的60%甚至更多的投票支持建立独立的苏格兰议会,那么这样一个议会将被建立。但结果是少于40%的投票者支持建立,所以这个提案没有更进一步的措施。

     Apart from their very distinctive national dress the Scots can be recognized by their particular style of speech and accent. Also, their vocabulary contains many words and expression_rs, often of ancient origin, which are unique to Scotland. Remember that they like to be called 'Scots' or 'Scottish' and not 'Scotch'. Scotch refers to the most famous of Scottish exports, whisky: the word' whisky' is derived from the Gaelic and means 'water of life'. The history and atmosphere of Scotland as well as the character of its people have been expertly portrayed by such famous Scottish writers as Robert Burns (1759-96), Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94).

    除了他们独具特色的民族褶裥短裙外,苏格兰人还通过他们特别的说话风格和口音而易被认出。而且,他们的词汇中还囊括很多大都有古老起源的单词和表达方式,这些都是苏格兰独一无二的。别忘了他们乐于被称为“Scots”或者“Scottish”而不是“Scotch”。“Scotch”意指苏格兰最著名的出口品,威士忌:单词“whisky”(威士忌)来源于盖尔语“生命之泉”。苏格兰的历史,氛围连同当地人的特点都被著名的苏格兰作家像罗伯特·彭斯(1759-96),瓦尔特·司各特爵士(1771-1832)和罗伯特·路易斯·史蒂文森(1850-94)忠实记录。

The Welsh

   The Welsh have been united with England since the 1535 Act of Union, but they are still very conscious of their separate Celtic heritage. Although the number of people who actually speak the Welsh language is declining (only 20 per cent in 1980), cultural pride in Wales is very srtong. The Welsh are famous for their love of music and poetry and they have developed choral singing to a national art. They also have a great feeling for the music of words: examples of their outstanding skill with language are found in the poetry of Dylan Thomas (1914-53) and in the political speeches of David Lloyd George (1863-1945).

    自1535年联合法案,威尔士与英格兰联合一体,但威尔士人仍旧对他们独立的凯尔特传统保有很强的意识。尽管真正使用威尔士语的人数量逐渐减少(1980年仅有20%),但文化自豪感在威尔士却非常的强烈。威尔士人以热爱音乐和诗词而文明,他们把合唱发展成为一种民族艺术。他们还有很强的诗歌艺术感:例如在狄兰·托马斯(1914-53)的诗歌和劳合·乔治(1863-1945)的政治演讲中可以发现威尔士人高超的语言能力。

    Officially Welsh (an ancient Celtic language, but different to Gaelic) has equal status with English in Wales, but in practice it is minority language. The Welsh National Party, which has members in the Westminster parliament, together with various pressure groups want more Welsh language and culture in schools, the media and in public life generally. But in spite of such nationalist tendencies, when the people of Wales voted in 1979 on the question of a separate Welsh assembly, very few were in favour. So, as in Scotland, the matter was dropped.

    正式的讲,威尔士语(一种古老的凯尔特语,不同于盖尔语)在威尔士有和英语同等的地位,但实际上它是少数民族语言。威尔士国民议会是威斯敏斯特英国议会的成员。威尔士国民议会连同众多压力集团希望在学校、媒体和公众生活中有更多的威尔士语和文化。但尽管有如此威尔士政治独立运动的趋势,威尔士人在1979年关于威尔士成立独立的议会问题的投票上,只有极少数的人支持。所以,和苏格兰一样,此事宜搁浅。

    The Welsh, like the Scots, fall into two groups: those--mostly sheep famers--from the mountainous regions of the centre and north; and those (two-thirds of the population) who live and work in the highly industrialized south where coal mining and steel manufacture are the main economic activities. At the beginning of this century, the South Wales coal fields were notorious for their low wages and appalling working and living conditions. But in 1946, the coal industry was nationalized; the mines were then modernized and conditions were improved. Today, the miners of South Wales are among the highest-paid workers in Britain.

    威尔士人,像苏格兰人一样,分为两个群体:那些来自中部的山区和北部地区的绝大多数是牧羊人;而三分之二的人口在高度工业化的南部居住和工作,在那里煤矿开采和钢铁工业是主要的经济产业。在本世纪初(译者注:20世纪初),南威尔士的煤田产业以其低廉的工资和恶劣的工作和生活条件而臭名昭著。但在1946年,煤炭工业收归公有;开采业随之现代化,环境也有所改善。今天,南威尔士的采矿工作者是不列颠的高新工作人群。

    From the hard-working lives of these people, two very different passions have emerged: rugby football and choral singing. The occasion when the two come together most effectively is any international rugby match involving Wales. Before the match starts, it is traditional for the crowd of Welsh supporters to sing--always in perfect harmony--'Land of My Father', an old song that has almost become a notional anthem for Wales.

    Every year there are many festivals of music and verse in Wales. The most famous is the National Eisteddfod ( the Welsh word for ‘sitting') which takes place each August and lasts for about a week. The highlight of the Eisteddfod is a competition for the best epic poem about Wales written and read in Welsh; the winner is crowned Bard, considered the supreme honour in Wales.

    A Welshma can often be recognized by his name: it might be Jones, Williams, Thomas, Evans, Lloyd, Llewellyn, or begin with 'P' like Pritchard, Probert or Pryse (these are contractions of Ap Richard, Ap Rovert and Ap Rys; 'ap' is Welsh for 'son of').The Welsh are also easily indentified by the soft lilting, almost singing, way in which they speak English. Welsh life, attitude and character have been vividly illustrated in the works of such writers as Dylan Thomas, Gwyn Thomas (born 1913) and Richard Llewellyn (born 1970).

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