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[转载]到底该学美国英语还是英国英语?

(2010-03-18 23:37:30)
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 到底该学美国英语还是英国英语?

Which one should we learn, American English or British English?

                                   ——与李阳先生商榷

 

    “疯狂英语”的创始人李阳先生在中国网英语学习专栏提出了这样一个貌似尖锐的问题并自问自答:“道理很简单,哪个国家发达,就学哪个国家的语言,这样可以把他们的科技、经济、文化、教育等最新成果转化成自己国家的财富。美国好莱坞的电影横扫世界!英国王室子孙说英语带美国口音!喝美国可乐,吃美国肯德基,用美国windows,中国留学生多考托福去美国。所以,我推广的是美语!主要原因只有一个,它对中国人民更有用,能更好地武装中国人民,加快中国的国际化进程。李阳老师为你提供大量的纯正英语,敬请享用。” 

     Mr. Li Yang, the creator of Crazy English, puts forward the captioned question in China.org.cn English Study Column, a seemingly very incisive and pushy question, which he answered by himself as follows:

   “It’s a very simple question. Whichever country is strong, we should learn its language. As such, we can transfer into ours its latest achievements in technology, economy, culture and education etc. Just because the American big-budget movies are very popular and the off-springs of British royal family even speak with more or less American accents, drink American Coca-Cola, eat American KFC, use American Microsoft Windows and Chinese students like to take TOFEL exam to study in America, so what I have been promoting is the American. There’s only one reason for it. It’s useful and could better arm Chinese people. Here I am to provide a great deal of pure English for you to enjoy.”

 

    李先生这简单的道理和唯一的原因听起来慷慨激昂,颇具说服力,最后他还没有忘记进行广告兜售。但是他没有搞清楚一个基本共识或者完全是故意偷换了一个基本概念,那就是:英国英语和美国英语这两种语言的主要区别在语音和语调,由于两者同源于英国,所以这些区别尚远未大到、也根本不可能大到使得各自的使用者难以交流的程度,文字交流则更无大碍。

    The simple reason that Mr Li gives us above sounds impassioned and convincing, and ends up with a commercial ad, as is typical of his style. But he is ignorant of a common sense. In other words, he deliberately plays tricks with a well accepted concept, that American English and British English in reality originate from the same cradle. The difference between the two lies mainly in pronunciation and intonation. Big as it is, the difference is not yet enough to affect the daily communication between English-speaking people, and as for written communication, it doesn’t create any obstacle at all.

 

    应该明确指出的是,英语学习者不学美国口音,不会影响他把美国的科技、经济、文化、教育成果转化成自己国家的财富,尽管这其中的许多东西对我们国家而言或许还是毒药;学习者不学美国口音,丝毫不会影响他对美国大片的欣赏,尽管这其中有许多充满虚幻与恐怖,且与现实生活格格不入;学习者不学美国口音,也丝毫不会影响他对美国饮料和快餐的偏爱,尽管这些都早已被证明是垃圾食品;学习者不学美国口音,也不会影响他考托福去美国留学,因为截止去年,美国已有2000多所学校不得不接受了英国雅思的考试成绩。

    It should be pointed out that not learning American accent will not make it more difficult for Chinese people to learn from any advanced American achievements, not to mention the fact that some of them may be harmful to our country. Not learning the American accent will not at all dampen Chinese learners’ interest to enjoy American movies, not to mention the fact that quite a number of the movies are full of violence and unrealities, out of the tune with our real life. Not learning the American accent will not at all chill the Chinese people’s liking for American Coca-Cola and snacks, not to mention the fact that these have been already proved to be merely junk food. Not learning American accent will also not hamper Chinese people’s plan to pass TOFEL exam and study in America, because up to end of last year over 2000 American colleges have had to accept IELTS scores.

 

    对李先生倡导美国英语并借此创业的执着,我十分钦佩,但对其自始至终从无意识到有意识地混淆并颠倒纯正英语的概念,挂羊头卖狗肉,误导学习者的行为又倍感愤慨。李先生倡导美国英语只有一个主要原因,而我们倡导英语普通话却是基于以下十个主要观点和依据:

    Personally I appreciate very much Mr Li’s persistent undertaking promote the American English. But in the mean time it touches my nerve that he has been hanging up a sheep’s head and selling dog meat. Under the signboard of English he has been promoting the American from beginning to end, and mercilessly misleading the ignorant students, first unconsciously and later deliberately. While Mr Li has only one reason to promote American English, we will face it off with the following ten points to promote the Queen’s English:

 

1.  英语起源于英国,而美国、加拿大、澳大利亚、印度等世界上任何一个国家所讲的英语都是英国英语的分支变体和地方语言。

    English originates from England. American English and all the varieties of English spoken in the other countries are the changed forms and local accents of Queen’s English.

 

2.  英语普通话是以国际语音协会所颁布的国际音标为依据的,又称国际通用语,而美语是以美国音标为依据的,难以与国际接轨。

     Queen’s English is based on the International Phonetics Alphabet (IPA) and well accepted by people throughout the world, while American English is based on its own American Phonetic Alphabet (APA), not regarded as an internationally received language.

 

3.  新中国成立60年来,国内主编和出版的英语字典90%都使用国际音标注音,对英美两者发音有差异的词只是用美国音标加注一下。我国的教学大纲始终明确规定所学的是英语,而不是美国英语,全国各地大、中、小学每天在上的外语课是英语而不是美语。

     Over the 60 years since the foundation of new China, 90% of the English dictionaries edited and published in China have the sound symbols marked in IPA, and only a few dictionaries explain the difference between the marking systems of IPA and APA. In the syllabus of our country, it is clearly stipulated that the foreign language to be taught is English. The lesson given in the schools throughout China is English, not American!

 

4.  世界上讲英语的国家除美国和加拿大外,全部属英国英语语系,而且世界上学习英语的国家和地区大多以国际音标和英国英语为标准,特别是在欧洲国家和我国的港澳地区。

    Besides America and Canada, English spoken in all the other countries is based on the IPA and British accent, especially in the European countries.

 

5.  标准的英语普通话节奏明快,抑扬顿挫,韵律丰富,听来极具美感,从审美角度,明显优于美语的语音和语调。

     Standard Queen’s English has a clear-cut rhythm, full of melody and sense of beauty. Aesthetically it’s superior to the American.

 

6.  标准美语在发音方面的主要特征是卷舌音和元音鼻音化,这对中国人而言比学习英语更加困难,因为汉语没有卷舌音,更少有鼻音,老北京人的卷舌音曾一度受到全国的调侃。另外,学过英语之后,再学习去适应美语会更容易,因为标准英语的语速每分钟约有300个音节,而标准美语的语速一般每分钟不超过200个。

    The typical traits of American accent lies in its “R” sounds and nasalized vowels, which are more difficult for Chinese people to learn than the British accent, because mandarin has seldom such kinds of sounds. Indigenous Beijingers used to speak with their tongues rolled up, which served up a joke for the people from other cities. Moreover, people will find it easier to learn American English after they have learned Queen’s English, as the Queen’s English is spoken faster than American English. The normal speed of English speaking takes about 300 syllables a minute, while the normal American takes no more than 200 syllables a minute.

 

7.  在目前中国年轻的英语老师中,学习以国际音标为依据的英语者所占比例约为70%,在他们的老师中约为90%,而在这些老师的老师中约为99%(标准与否,另当别论)。

    Among the current-day young teachers of English in China, those who learned English by the standards of IPA account for about 8%. Among their teachers, however, the percentage is even higher at about 90%. And among their teachers’ teachers, the percentage is as high as 99 %, even though their pronunciation may not be 100% correct.

 

8.  从国家战略和民族意识的角度而论,正是因为美国的强大和发达才导致了它今天在世界范围内的垄断和霸权,才形成了对我国在政治、军事、经济、文化多方面的威胁。美语所承载的是美国文化,而美国文化在中国的渗透无疑会加剧两国软实力的差距,会助纣为虐。倘若真如李先生所说,英王室的子孙也带美国口音,那只能说明美语在世界范围内的影响之广泛,入侵程度之严重,以致于英王室也未能幸免。

     Judging from our state strategy and national consciousness, we must be politically aware that it’s the strong power of America that has resulted in its global monopoly and hegemony and posed the biggest threat to us in politics, military affairs, economy and culture etc. What the American language carries is the American culture, and the constant permeating of American culture will undoubtedly result in a widening gap between the China and America. If Mr Li is really right when he says that British royal family off-springs also speak with American accents, it only means the American language is so overwhelming that even British royal family has not the luck to escape from its influence.

 

9.  从学习的目的性而言,当90%以上的中国学习者都英美不分,满嘴带卷舌音时,而你若能张嘴清晰纯正,你自然就会与众不同,出类拔萃,人生目标则不难实现。

     When 99% of the Chinese students cannot distinguish the English and American accents, speaking with a mouthful of “R” sounds, it’ll be easy for you to outshine and achieve a successful life if you can speak standard English.

 

10. 讲标准英语普通话的人,在包括美国在内的世界各地都会被人高看一等而受到尊重。真正有修养的美国人决不会说他们的口音比英国人的好,而所有的英国人都会骄傲地把他们的标准口音视为国粹。

     It’s generally agreed that the speakers of Queen’s English will be better respected by people all over the world, including the American people, and that educated Americans will never think their accent is better than Queen’s English. On the other hand, most of the British people proudly regard the Queen’s accent as their national heritage.

 

    谁强大,谁发达就应学谁的语言,这观点听起来无可非议,也是历史发展的使然。中国强大了,全世界会学中文;法国强大了,全世界会学法文,这是不同国家实力和不同语言文化之间的竞争。但是英国英语和美国英语之争,却是同一语言家族内部的“嫡系”和“旁系”之争,我们完全不应该因此而改变几代人原有的学习选择!更况且中华民族今天所面临的威胁,正是来自美国的强大和发达!

   “Whoever is strong and advanced, we should learn its language.” This point of view is indisputable and that is the necessity of human development. Someday if China is getting strong, the whole world will turn to learn Chinese. Likewise, if someday France becomes powerful, the whole world will choose to learn French. This is the competition between different national powers and language cultures. Nevertheless, the competition between American English and British English is the competition between the orthodox and unorthodox English. Therefore it is never wise for our Chinese people to derail from the choice already made by our senior English learners since several generations ago.

 

    在此,我不禁要问李先生:“学中文的外国人应学汉语普通话,还是山东话、上海话或广东话?学外语的中国人应学英语还是美语?应学正宗嫡系还是旁系方言?中国的威胁是来自英国还是来自美国?这些还能称其为问题吗!

    Which Chinese accent should the foreigners speaking Chinese learn, mandarin or Shandong accent? Which kind of English accent should the English-speaking Chinese people learn British or American, the orthodox or the unorthodox? Do the threats that China is faced with everyday come from America or Great Britain? The answers to those questions are self-evident!

 

    李先生如此热衷炒作英国英语与美国英语这两种同源语言的区别与不同,不惜搅乱整个中国的英语教学理念,打着英语的招牌疯狂兜售美语,以图从中谋利,这的确不应是一个真正的英语教育者之所为。

    Driven by profit-seeking objectives, Mr Li has been crazy about exaggerating the differences between American English and British English, which in fact come from the same origin. He has been trying to disarray the English teaching concept and make students feel at a loss about which accent to learn. Spade to spade, those are not the behaviors that a real and responsible educational worker should do.

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