• 站内搜索:

考研英语复习阅读长知识:贝德格勒特文化背景

2006-7-14 22:49 柯平葛竞译 

  Beddgelert (Wales) CULTURAL BACKGROUNDBeddgelert is a Welsh folktale about a faithful dog who sacrifices his life in service to his master. There is, in fact, a town in Wales named Beddgelert in honor of his heroic deed. Welsh culture is steeped in myth and legend. For instance, the country's national symbol is the dragon, a mythical beast. True to Welsh tradition, the narrative history of nearly every mountain, river and lake, as well as many farms and villages is associated with the legend of fairies, magical properties or fearful beasts.

  Wales is known as the land of poets and singers. The traditions of Welsh literature and music are among the oldest in Europe and date back more than 1,000 years to the bards (poet singers) of the Middle Ages. The legendary British hero King Authur, as well as the famed magician Merlin are claimed by the Welsh along with other characters who people the famous collection of medieval Welsh tales entitled the Mabinogion. Traditional Welsh culture has laid great stress on the spoken, as well as the written word in both poetry and prose. Vocal music, particularly choral singing, has also played a great part in the cultural heritage of the country.The Welsh take great pride in their heritage. Though united with England for more than 400 years, they have kept alive their own language, literature and traditions.

  Wales occupies the western portion of the island of Great Britain and is one of four countries of the United Kingdom. The Welsh name for Wales is Cymru, meaning a fellow countryman. Cardiff is the capital and largest city of Wales.

  The people of Wales number nearly 3 million. Some Welsh are descended from prehistoric peoples of continental Europe who colonized Wales thousands of years ago. Many others trace their ancestry to such late settlers as the Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Normans and English. Today, Wales has two official languages Welsh and English. Welsh, one of the oldest languages in Europe, is still the daily language spoken in many sections of western and northern Wales.

  Wales is a mountainous country interspersed with lakes and valleys. In fact, the country is well known for its farmlands, mountains, valleys and rivers considered to be of such scenic beauty that one-fifth of the country is classified as national parkland. The highest mountain in Wales, Mount Snowdon is located in the northwest. The country boasts no large towns or cities. Most people live in the towns, cities and industrial areas of south Wales noted for its coal mines. The remainder of Wales is mainly rural and is, therefore, only sparsely populated for those areas which are too mountainous and rugged to grow many crops. Apart from coal and of course agriculture the only other natural resources of Wales are water and the woodlands.

  In rural areas, many people live in whitewashed stone cottages and farmhouses consisting of only one or two rooms. Today many picturesque old cottages have been turned into vacation homes. Housing in the coal-mining areas generally consists of row houses with slate and stone walls. The Welsh are known for their long tradition of sheep farming. Sheep freely roam the hillsides and the valleys which were once woodlands. Throughout the United Kingdom dogs have long been used to help farmers and hunters in their work. Like the hero of our tale, Beddgelert, dogs are also traditionally very popular as pets.

  Family and kinship are extremely important to the Walsh who lavish affection on their children. Most families of today have between one and three children. Welsh families spend a lot of time at home. Special occasions are spent with members of the extended family. However, life in rural areas tends to be very insular. On Sunday, many people attend church; afterward they have Sunday dinner, the most important meal of the week. For ordinary casual and formal occasions, the Welsh wear typical Western-style clothing.

  Dating from the 18th century, one of the most popular aspects of traditional Welsh culture is the National Eisteddfod, a festival in which performers compete. The festival is held annually but alternates between North and South Wales. Participants compete in all aspects of music, literature, drama and art during one week in August. In addition, there are a series of dramatic performances and concerts all conducted in the Welsh language with simultaneous English translations.

  贝德格勒特(威尔士)文化背景

  贝德格勒特是威尔士的一个民间故事,故事的主人公是一只舍命救主人的义犬。事实上,威尔士有一个小镇的名字就叫贝德格勒特,为的是纪念这只狗的英雄事迹。威尔士的文化里充满了神话与传说。例如,这个国家的象征就是火龙,一种神话中的动物。在威尔士的民族传统中,每座山、每条河、每个湖、还有很多农场和村庄的历史都确实跟仙女,魔法或者恐怖怪兽的传奇有关系。

  威尔士以诗人和歌手之乡闻名于世。威尔士文学和音乐的传统是欧洲最古老的传统之一,可以追溯到1,000多年前中世纪的吟游诗人。威尔士人把不列颠的传奇人物亚瑟王和著名的魔术师墨林,跟中世纪威尔士著名的《传说故事集》中里的人物相提并论。传统的威尔士文化十分强调口述或文字形式的诗歌和散文。声乐,尤其是合唱,也在这个国家的文化遗产中扮演着重要角色。

  威尔士人深为自己的文化传统而自豪。虽然与英格兰合并已有400多年,威尔士自己的语言、文学和传统仍旧保持着活力。

  威尔士位于大不列颠岛的西部,是联合王国的四个成员之一。在威尔士语里,威尔士被称作 “辛姆如”,意思是“同胞”。加的夫是威尔士的首府,它也是威尔士最大的城市。

  威尔士的人口将近三百万。部分居民是几千年前居住于欧洲大陆、而向威尔士殖民的史前民族的后代。许多其他的居民的祖先可以追溯到后来的移民,如凯尔特人、罗马人、盎格鲁-撒克逊人、诺曼人和英格兰人。今天,威尔士有两种官方语言:威尔士语和英语。作为欧洲最古老的语言之一的威尔士语,至今仍是威尔士西部和北部很多地方的日常用语。

  威尔士多山,山峦之间散布着湖泊和谷地。事实上,这个国家以农场、山谷和河流而闻名于世,它们的风景是如此之美,以至于威尔士五分之一的疆土都被辟作国家公园。威尔士最高的山是位于西北部的斯诺登山。这个国家引以自豪的一点就是没有大城市,大多数威尔士人住在镇上、小城市里,或者盛产煤矿的南部工业区。其他的威尔士人主要是乡间居民,人口分布稀疏。因为多山和地势崎岖不平而不适合大量种庄稼的地区。威尔士的自然资源,除了煤炭和当然会有的农业之外,剩下的就只有水和林地了。

  在乡村地区,很多人住在用石灰涂墙的石头农舍里,或者仅有一两个房间的农场住房里。今天,很多优美如画的古老农舍已被改为度假屋。煤矿区的住房基本上由一排排用石板和石头砌墙的房子所组成。威尔士人以悠久的牧羊传统而著称。羊群在曾经被森林覆盖的山坡上和山谷里自在地游荡。在联合王国各地,狗长期以来被用作农场主和猎人的帮手。就像我们这个故事中的主人公贝德格勒特一样,狗作为宠物传统上也颇受人们的喜爱。

  家庭和亲情对于那些疼爱孩子的威尔士人来说是格外重要的。如今,大部分的家庭有一到三个孩子。威尔士家庭在自己的家里度过很多的时光,一家人会同大家庭中的其他成员一起庆祝特别的场合。然而,乡村地区的生活总会很有岛国的特点。很多人星期天都要去教堂做礼拜,然后享用周日大餐,这是他们一周中最为重要的一顿饭食。在一般的休闲或者正式场合,威尔士人会穿带有典型西部式样的衣服。

  从18世纪开始,传统威尔士文化中最为流行的方方面面里,有一面就是全国性的诗歌与音乐比赛会,这是一个由很多表演者参赛竞技的节日。此节日每年举行,地点轮流设在威尔士南部和北部。在八月的一个星期里,参赛者进行在音乐、文学、戏剧和艺术方面的竞赛。此外,还有一系列完全使用威尔士语,配以英语同声翻译的戏剧表演和音乐会。

栏目相关课程表