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在中国练就完美英语口语

2009-12-09 11:35BBC中文Qzone

  BBC中文频道的William收到读者来信,抱怨他上一次教大家的英语学习技巧很难真正实现。“你说要学会新单词,就要多用。但我们都身在非英语的环境啊,怎么可能经常练习呢?”

  于是William通过一个故事来传达了他的观点:

  A few years ago I read a very touching article in a magazine. (I think it was by the well-known sinologist Simon Winchester, but I might be wrong.) The article was about a trip he had made deep into rural China many years before. On this trip he didn't meet anyone who could speak English and some people had never seen Europeans before.
  几年前我在一本杂志上读到了一篇非常感人的文章。(我记得是那个著名的汉学家Simon Winchester写的,但我也不太确定。)文章讲述了多年前,他到中国偏远地区的一趟旅程。在旅途中,他没有碰到任何一个会英语的人。很多百姓,甚至从来都没有见过一个欧洲人。

  Then one day this sinologist got off a train at a very isolated spot, and a beautiful young Chinese woman approached him and began to speak in fluent English about great English writers: Austen, Dickens, the Brontes, Swift, Shakespeare. She had taught herself to read English over many years and was desperate for an outlet(出路,使用英语的机会).
  跟着某天,这个汉学家在一个非常偏远的地方下了火车,一个美丽的中国年轻女孩过来跟他搭讪、并用流利的英语聊起了著名的英语作家:奥斯丁、狄更斯、勃朗特姊妹、斯威夫特(沪江小编注:格列夫游记作者),莎士比亚。原来她自学英语多年,一直很渴望有练习英语的机会。

  After this brief encounter, the writer of this article and the young woman wrote to each other for many years before losing touch. It was impossible for them to be together: she was already married.
  在这次短暂的交谈之后,这篇文章的作者和这位年轻的女士通信多年、到后来失去了联系。他们不可能在一起,因为那时她已经结婚了。

  I'm telling you this story because I want to show that it is possible to become really good at a language without being able to practise it with native speakers every day. However, I do also think that this young woman must have had a really astonishing natural ability for language – something most of us don't have.
  我讲述这个故事是因为我希望你了解,即便是无法和母语使用者每日交流,还是有可能自己学好一门语言的。当然我同时也相信这位年轻的女士肯定拥有非凡的语言天赋——这是我们很多人都不具备的能力。

  Somebody who does have an such an ability is my colleague here at the BBC, Feifei Feng. Feifei arrived in England speaking near-perfect English and is one of the most impressive language learners I know. She seems the person best-placed to answer your question. So here are her tips:
  而我的同事中也有具备这样能力的人,那就是冯菲菲。菲菲到英国的时候就已经说得一口近乎完美的英语,她也是我见过的最厉害的语言学习者之一。看起来,她是最适合回答你问题的人。所以,我问她要了些小诀窍:

  Learn how to think in English. This is undoubtedly the best way to improve your fluency. When you are thinking about a topic, try to make English sentences in your head. This will also make you aware of what vocabulary you still need to learn in order to express yourself.
  学着用英语思考。这绝对能增进你表达的流利性。当你思考一个话题,试着在你的脑子里用英语组织语言。这同样能帮你了解你还需要哪些单词来表达自己。

  You also need to work very hard on your pronunciation. Unlike the young Chinese woman in the story above, you have access to lots of recordings of native English speakers. Go to our website – bbcukchina.com. We have downloadable audio programmes and we make the scripts available. Use your pause button and repeat sentences that you hear, trying to match the pronunciation. If you prefer movies, watch DVDs. This will improve your listening ability too. The message is: expose yourself (给自己接触某事的机会)to as much audio of native English speakers as possible.
  同时,你也要好好下功夫练习发音。不同于故事里的年轻女士,你现在有机会听到很多英语母语使用者的资料。你可以上我们的网站bbcukchina.com,我们提供可下载的音频和相应的文档。使用“暂停”键、重复你听到的话,试着去模仿发音。如果你更喜欢电影,就去看DVD吧。这还能增强你的听力呢。秘诀就是:尽可能多地让自己接触到英语母语使用者的音频。

  I would also add something to Feifei's advice. I don't think it's a coincidence that in the story I tell above, the young lady loved to read books. I think that reading can do wonders for (对...产生奇效) your vocabulary and also for your grammar and fluency since books are, after all, full of examples of perfect English sentences. Instead of interacting with English speakers, do the next best thing: interact with English-language books, radio programmes and films.
  除了菲菲的建议我还想加上一点:在我讲的故事里,这个年轻女士的好英文和她爱读书的习惯不无关联。我认为阅读对你的词汇量、语法和流利性大有好处。因为书本本身就充满了完美的英语例句。如果不能喝英语使用者直接交流,那么久退而求其次,好好利用英语书籍、音频节目和电影吧!

  But you should also try hard to meet English speakers, and remember that this doesn't need to be face-to-face. It's great that all of you come to this blog but remember that there are thousands of other English language blogs too. Maybe it’s time to try out your English skills in 'public'?!
  但同时你也的确应该试着多和英语使用者交流,不过记住,这可不必要是面对面的。像你们都来上我们的博客当然很好,不过全世界可有成千上万的英语博客呢,也许,是时候要试试把你的英语向公众展示了?

  One last thought. Some of my friends work out in the gym. They put a lot of time and energy into developing amazing muscles. I have to say I've never really understood that. Just by leading my normal life, my body develops all the muscles it needs. (It doesn't need many – I have a very sedentary lifestyle!) So, I ask my friends, if you don't need muscles, why go to the gym?
  最后想到一点:我有一些朋友常去健身。他们花了很多时间精力来练就一身好肌肉。我必须承认我从来不理解:我就算不去健身,身体也能发展出日常生活所需的肌肉呀!(我并不需要太多肌肉——我的生活方式很“宅”)。所以,我问我的朋友:如果你不需要用到肌肉,那干嘛去健身呢?

  If you really don't have any contact with English speakers, why learn English?
  如果你并不需要接触英语使用者,那干嘛学英语呢?

  I'll leave you with that question.
  我把这个问题留给你啦。

  Have a great weekend 周末愉快

  William

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