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母语为英语的人应该重新学习英语

更新时间:2018-10-1 9:35:05 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

You need to go back to school to relearn English
母语为英语的人应该重新学习英语

Until seven years ago, Chicago-born Ben Barron had worked only with fellow Americans. But when he took a job with Zurich Insurance Company, an international company headquartered in Switzerland, Barron found that his new colleagues across Europe, who used English as a shared language, had difficulty understanding him.

直到7年前,出生在芝加哥的本·巴伦(Ben Barron)周围的同事还都是美国人。但当他来到总部位于瑞士的苏黎世保险公司工作后,却发现自己周围的欧洲同事虽然都说英语,但却难以理解他的语言。

“Fortunately I was surrounded by people who would stop and say things like, ‘So what do you mean by that?’ and make me clarify,” he recalls. “So I started to become aware of some of my own verbal communication habits that might lead to misunderstandings.”

"好在我周围的人会主动问我,'你那句话是什么意思?'让我可以澄清自己的意思。"他回忆道,"所以我开始注意自己有哪些可能令人产生误解的语言沟通习惯。"

After taking an in-company e-learning course to help native English speakers communicate better with non-native speakers, Barron slowed down his pace of speaking and edited his “American speak” to avoid jargon and idioms that don’t translate globally.

为了帮助母语人士更好地与非母语人士展开沟通,苏黎世保险公司在内部举行了电子课程。参加完这些课程后,巴伦放慢了语速,也改掉了他的"美式口语",不再使用那些难以被其他国家的人理解的术语和习语。

“That e-learning exposed me to the thought that maybe people could not process my verbal information as quickly as I thought they were,” says Barron, who is now the company’s senior learning and development consultant for international operations, in Schaumberg, Illinois.

"这个电子课程让我明白,周围人的英语听力能力或许并不像我想象得那么好。"巴伦说,他如今已经成为该公司千亿国际娱乐业务的高级学习和发展顾问,办公地点位于伊利诺伊州的绍姆堡。

“Another takeaway was avoiding the use of sayings,” he says. “For example, a saying like ‘That dog don’t hunt’ which means ‘That’s probably not that good of an idea’. That’s a very southern American saying that people didn’t understand.”

"此外还要避免使用谚语。"他说,"例如,'那条狗不打猎'这句谚语的意思是'这恐怕不是个好主意'。这是一句带有美国南方特色的谚语,其他地方的人很难理解。"

He also filtered out references to baseball and football and changed his writing style. Instead of contractions like ‘can’t’, ‘don’t’ and ‘doesn’t’, he writes the phrases out in full.

他还会避免提到棒球和橄榄球,甚至改变自己的书写风格。他不再使用"can't"、"don't"、"doesn't"这样的缩写,而是会将这些词语拼写完整。

Barron is one of a small but growing number of native English speakers recalibrating how he uses his mother tongue.

在以英语为母语的人群中,像巴伦这样调整语言使用方式的人虽然不多,但数量正在增加。

Turning the tables

趋势扭转

With non-native English speakers now vastly outnumbering native speakers, it’s up to the latter to be more adaptable, says Neil Shaw, intercultural fluency lead at the British Council, the UK’s international educational and cultural body. About 1.75 billion people worldwide speak English at a useful level, and by 2020 it’s expected to be two billion, according to the British Council.

英国文化委员会跨文化沟通负责人尼尔·肖(Neil Shaw)表示,随着会说英语的非母语人士超过母语人士,迫使后者必须主动适应现状。根据英国文化委员会的数据,全球目前约有17.5亿人能够使用英语进行口语交流,到2020年有望达到20亿。

In the Council’s new intercultural fluency courses launched in September, native English speakers in countries from Singapore to South Africa have been prompted to rethink how they communicate. “It’s a bit of a revelation to many of them that their English isn’t as clear and effective as they think it is,” Shaw says.

在英国文化委员会去年9月最新推出的跨文化沟通课程中,他们鼓励新加坡和南非等以英语为母语的人重新思考自己的沟通方式。"这给很多人带来了启发,让他们明白自己的英语并不像他们想象得那么明确而有效。"肖说。

Increasingly, English is being used as a lingua franca. “It’s not an exotic thing anymore to be working in a global, virtual team,” says Robert Gibson, an intercultural consultant based in Munich, Germany. “It’s everyday life for many people and it’s quite stressful and difficult.”

英语逐渐成为一种通用语。"在一个虚拟的千亿国际娱乐团队中工作已经不再罕见。"德国慕尼黑的跨文化顾问罗伯特·吉布森(Robert Gibson)说,"这已经成为很多人的日常生活,既没有压力,也没有困难。"

It can be a culture shock for native speakers to encounter new varieties of English.

当以英语为母语的人碰到新的英语变种时,就会面临文化冲击。

“The English language is changing quite radically,” says Gibson. “The trend is not to have one or two clear standard Englishes like American English and British English, but to have a lot of different types of English.”

"英语正在发生剧烈变化。"吉布森说,"现在的趋势不再是只有美式英语和英式英语这样一两种标准英语,而是出现了很多不同种类的英语。"

Chinese English, known as chinglish, and German English, called denglish, are examples, he says. “English is also developing within organisations. In companies, they have their own style of English which is not necessarily understood by native speakers. We are getting away from saying that there is a standard English you need to conform to [towards] saying that there are different standards of English for different situations.”

他表示,中式英语(Chinglish)和德式英语(Denglish)就是其中的典型例子。"在很多组织内部,英语也在不断发展。某些公司拥有自己独特风格的英语表达方式,甚至连以英语为母语的人都未必能够理解。现在已经不再有所谓的标准英语了,而是要在不同的情况下使用不同标准的英语。"

A native-speaker disadvantage

母语人士的缺点

Mother-tongue English may not even be an advantage anymore, says Dr Dominic Watt, sociolinguistics expert at the University of York in the UK.

英国约克大学社会语言学家多米尼克·沃特(Dominic Watt)表示,以英语为母语甚至不再是一项优势。

“It’s not necessarily in your interests to be a native speaker of English because you haven’t had to go through the same learning process that the non-natives have. So they’re all on the same page and it’s the native speakers who are the odd ones out,” Watt says.

"以英语为母语未必对你有利,因为你没有经过其他语种的人那样的外语学习过程。所以,他们之间有共鸣,而以英语为母语的人却成了异类。"沃特说。

At the European Parliament, for instance, non-native speakers complain to the Anglophones, “Can’t you just speak English like the rest of us do!”, says Watt. “The power balance has shifted a bit by sheer virtue of numbers.”

例如,在欧洲议会中,不以英语为母语的人都对以英语为母语的人牢骚满腹。"你就不能像其他人一样说英语吗?"沃特说,"由于数量原因,权力平衡已经有所改变。"

Gradually, native speakers are realising that something is going wrong with the way they’re communicating, says Cathy Wellings, director of the London School of International Communication in the UK.

伦敦千亿国际娱乐传播学院院长凯西·威灵斯(Cathy Wellings)表示,逐渐地,以英语为母语的人会意识到他们的沟通方式有问题。

“People are presenting to a non-native speaker audience and they realise that it isn’t going across as well as at home, or they’re great negotiators at home but they don’t end up winning the deals when they take it overseas,” she says.

"如果置身于一群不以英语为母语的人之中,人们会发现自己不像在家里那么如鱼得水;或者,你可能在家里很擅长谈判,可是到了海外却发现难以谈成交易。"她说。

Monolingual English speakers have no insight into the challenges faced by non-native speakers. “One of the things I always reinforce with native speakers is that the cognitive load of operating in another language is high, it’s tough and tiring, so if we native speakers can help them out it’s going to make it easier,” Wellings adds.

只会说英语的人无法理解人们学习外语时面临的挑战。"我一直都向以英语为母语的人灌输一种观点:在使用另外一种语言时面临的认知负荷很大,这会让人身心俱疲。所以,如果我们这些以英语为母语的人能够伸出援手,那就可以减轻他们的负担。"威灵斯补充道。

When it comes to English grammar, learners often outshine native speakers. “In written business communication courses with mixed groups, the Brits can be quite sheepish that they don’t know the grammar that non-native speakers do,” she says.

具体到英语语法,非母语人士往往比母语人士更加擅长。"在不同语种的人一起参加的商务沟通协作课程上,英国人会因为自己的语法不如非母语人士而感到羞怯。"她说。

Slow down and shut up

放慢速度和闭嘴倾听

The most useful change native speakers can make is to slow down their speech, says Bob Dignen, director and owner of UK-based York Associates, the international communications training provider that created Zurich Insurance’s e-learning course, English for the Native Speaker.

英国千亿国际娱乐沟通培训服务提供商York Associates的老板鲍勃·狄格楠(Bob Dignen)表示,对于以英语为母语的人来说,最有效的交流方式就是放慢语速。值得一提的是,上文提到的苏黎世保险公司的《母语人士英语培训》(English for the Native Speaker)电子课程正是由York Associates开发的。

Native speakers on average speak 250 words per minute, while the average intermediate non-native speaker is comfortable with around 150 words per minute, Dignen explains. “To speak at a slower speed is a behavioural competence that can take six to 12 months to master. Actors learn these skills — to control speech, increase the length of pause,” says Dignen. “You can kind of train by just recording yourself on a mobile phone as you speak to somebody and then play that back and try to control your speech until you’re speaking at 150 words per minute.”

狄格楠解释道,以英语为母语的人每分钟平均说250个单词,而不以英语为母语的人认为每分钟150个单词比较易于接受。"大约需要6至12个月即可掌握放慢语速这种能力。演员也会学习这些技巧——控制语速,延长停顿。"狄格楠说,"你可以在跟人说话时用手机给自己录音,然后通过收听回放来控制自己的语速,直到放慢到每分钟150个单词。"

Articulation is also important, he says. “Instead of ‘I will’ we tend to say ‘I’ll’ and then in fast speech we don’t even say that we say ‘ull’. Begin to non-contract and say ‘I will’ and ‘I am’ rather than ‘I’ll’ and ‘I’m’ and you can make yourself more intelligible.”

他还表示,咬字清楚同样很重要。"碰到'I will'时,我们通常会说'I'll',语速快的时候甚至会说成'ull'。应该从放弃缩略词开始,把'I'll'和'I'm'改成'I will'和'I am',就能帮助对方更好地明白你的意思。"

Monolinguals tend to use a communication style that leads “unwittingly to the marginalisation of the non-native speaker in conversation,” he says. “It leads to dominance in terms of talking time with the monolingual speaking more than the non-native speaker.”

只会说一种语言的人使用的沟通方式往往会"在无意间边缘化非母语人士"。他说,"这会导致只会说一种语言的人在谈话的时间长度上占据主导,远超非母语人士。"

“Shutting up and asking more questions is what I counsel native speakers to do. It makes a huge, huge difference.”

"我会建议以英语为母语的人闭上嘴,向对方询问更多问题。由此产生的影响不容小觑。"

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