TED英语演讲 | 不要固执于学英语 Don't insist on English! 10′35

万水馆长 TED与纪录片 2019-02-11

🕖 简介

Don't insist on English!

演讲者:Patricia Ryan 帕特里夏·瑞安

语言:英语

简介:如今国际一流大学都在逐步提高入学的英语成绩门槛,而且英语学习一直是大多数非英语国家的教学重点,为的是能让学生“与国际接轨”。但是,资深英语教师Patricia Ryan女士在TEDx迪拜演讲中却提出了截然相反的观点。她认为这些大学都过分强调了英语的重要性,以至于“英语”竟成为了阻碍人才交流的障碍。


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📃 中英对照翻译

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. I get that all the time in Dubai. "Here on holiday are you, dear?" "Come to visit the children? How long are you staying?"

我知道你们在想什么。你们想我迷路了,有人马上会上台把我领回到我的座位。在迪拜老是有人这样问我。“亲爱的,来度假啊?”“来看孩子们吗?呆多久啊?”


Well actually, I hope for a while longer yet. I have been living and teaching in the Gulf for over 30 years.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. 

事实上,我希望我还能多在这儿呆几年呢。我在海湾地区已经生活和教书有30多年了。(掌声)在这期间,我目睹了很多变化。那些统计数据是令人非常吃惊的。而我今天要跟你们讲的是关于语种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. 

我想告诉你们,我的一个朋友她在阿布扎比教成年人英语。一天,她决定带他们去花园去教他们一些大自然用语。


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. 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.

但是结果她反而学了所有当地植被的阿拉伯名称和它们的用途--药用的,化妆用的,食用的,草药。那些学生是怎样得到这些知识的呢?当然是从他们的祖父母那里甚至是他们的曾祖父母那里。本来我没有必要告诉你们能够跨代交流是多么重要。


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 hard ship post. Actually, not that long ago. That is a little bit too early. 

但是,令人惋惜的是,今天很多语种正在以空前的速度消失着。每14天就有一种语言消失。而同时,现在英语又无可争辩地成为全球性语言。这两者间有联系吗?我不知道。但是我知道我已目睹了很多变化。当我初到海湾时,我到了科威特,那个时候那儿还算是一个艰苦地区。其实也就是没多久以前。这幅图还更早一点。


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 therein Kuwait. We were brought to teach English because the government wanted to modernize the country and to empower the citizens through education.And of course, the U.K. benefited from some of that lovely oil wealth.

不去管它,我被英国文化协会招聘到这里同时招来的还有其他25个老师。我们是最早在科威特公立学校教书的非穆斯林。我们被请来教英语因为政府想要发展国家现代化让公民通过学习提高自己。当然,英国也因此收益于那些让人喜爱的石油财富。


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, it has become a bandwagon for every English-speaking nation on earth. 

好。这是我看见过的主要变化--英语教学是怎样演变的使它从一个互惠的交流方式变成如今的一个规模巨大的国际交流。它不再只是学校课程的一门外语课。也不再是英国特有。对地球上每个说英语的国家而言说英语已成为潮流。


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.

为什么不呢?毕竟,最好的教育--根据最新的世界大学排名--最好的大学总是在英国或者美国。自然每个人都想得到英语教育。如果你的母语不是英语的话,你要通过一个考试。


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, 'til they get English. 

那么仅仅根据学生的语言能力就拒绝一个学生的做法合适吗?也许你们中一个计算机科学家是一个天才。那例如,他需要有和律师一样的语言能力吗?我并不这么认为。我们做英语老师的总是否定他们。我们放置一个禁止通行的标志,我们在他们的发展轨道上挡住了他们。他们不能继续追寻他们的梦想,除非他们掌握了英语。


Now let me put it this way: if I met a monolingual 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.

现在我这么说吧,如果我遇到一个只会说荷兰语的人他能治愈癌症,我会阻止他进入英国大学吗?我想不可能。但是事实上,我们正是这样做的。我们英语老师是把关的。你得先令我们满意你的英语要足够好。这就可能很危险把很多权力交给了社会的一个窄小的团体。可能这个造成的障碍影响面就太广了。


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? 

好吧。“但是”我听见你们说,“那科研呢?它们都是用的英语。”书是英语的,研究刊物是英语的,但是这是一个自我实现的假定。它正好符合需要英语的条件。于是它就继续这样发展下去。那我问你,翻译还需要吗?


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. 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. 

如果你想想伊斯兰的黄金时代,当时有很多翻译。他们把拉丁文和希腊语翻译成阿拉伯语和波斯语,然后又翻译成欧洲的日耳曼语和罗曼语。于是欧洲黑暗的时代被点亮了。不要误会;我不是反对教英语,或是你们在座的所有英语老师。


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.

我热爱我们有一种全球性语言。我们今天比过去任何时候都需要它。但是我反对用它设立障碍。我们真的只想留下600种语言而主要语言只是英语和中文吗?我们需要更多,我们在哪里划这条界线呢?这个体制把智能和英语能力划等号这是非常武断的。


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.But fortunately for the world, he did not have to pass an English test. 

我想提醒你而当代知识分子所站立在那些“巨人肩膀”上的伟人,他们也并不都具有英语能力,他们不需要通过英语考试。爱因斯坦就是个典型。其实,他在学校的时候是个需要补课的学生因为他诵读有困难。但是也是这世界的幸运,他不必通过英语考试。


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.

因为1964年托福考试还没设立,这是一种美式英语测试。现在已经泛滥了各种各样的英语测试。每年成千上万的学生参加这样的考试。你会觉得,你和我都这么认为这些考试价格还是合理的,但是数百万穷人却望而却步。所以一开始我们就把他们挡在了外面。


It brings to mind a headline I saw recently:"Education: The Great Divide." Now I get it, I understand why people would want to 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.

这让我想到我最近看见的一条新闻:“教育:大鸿沟。”现在我明白了,为什么人们都关注英语。他们希望给予他们的孩子最好的人生机遇。而要达到这个目的,他们需要西方教育。因为,显然,最好的工作都让西方大学的毕业生拿走了,就跟我之前说的一样。这是个循环。


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. 

是吧。让我们告诉你们两个科学家的故事有关两个英国科学家。他们在做一个实验跟遗传学有关以及研究动物的前后肢,但是他们无法得到他们想得到的结果。


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. 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.

他们有点束手无策,直到一个德国科学家参与后他发现他们在研究前肢和后肢时用的是两个词,而遗传学上并不区分两者德语也不区分。所以瞧儿,问题解决了。如果你想不通就卡住了。但是用另外一种语言就可以想通,那么,通过合作我们可以教学相长,受益颇多。


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.

我的女儿从科威特回到英国。她已经用阿拉伯语学了科学和数学。那是在一所阿拉伯中校。在文法学院学习时,她要把所学的内容翻译成英语。在她们班上,她的这些科目是最好的。这告诉我们当学生从海外来就读也许我们没有给他们足够的认可对于那些他们已经懂得的知识而言因为他们已经通过他们的语言掌握了这些知识。当语言消失,我们不知道我们还失去了什么。

 

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 kerosene lamp, 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. 

我不知道你们是否看最近的CNN--他们颁发了一枚英雄奖给一个年轻的肯尼亚牧童,在他所住的村庄里,他和其他在村里的孩子一样无法在夜晚读书,因为煤油灯烟会弄伤他的眼睛。而且,他也没有足够的煤油他们每天只有一美元的收入,能买什么呢?所以他发明了不需要花钱的太阳能灯。


And now the children in his village get the same grades at school as the children who have electricity at home. 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都能在学习上取得一样的好成绩跟那些家里有电的孩子一样。(掌声)当他得到这个奖励时,他说了这些可爱的话:“儿童可以带领今天的非洲从一个黑暗的大陆走向一个光明的大陆。”一个简单的想法但是其影响是深远的。

 

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.

无论是实际生活中还是社会意义上不能享受光明的人都无法通过我们的测试,我们也无法了解他们拥有的知识。我们不能让他们和我们自己都身处于黑暗里。让我们一起为多元化欢呼。重视你的语言。用它来传播优秀的思想。


Thank you very much.

非常谢谢。



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