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通向现代英语之路Unit2----人教版高中英语必修一课文中英对照

The Road to Modern English

通向现代英语之路

At the end of the 16th century, about five to seven million people spoke English. Nearly all of them lived in England. Later in the next century, people from England made voyages to conquer other parts of the world, and because of that, English began to be spoken in many other countries. Today, more people speak English as their first, second or a foreign language than ever before.

16世纪末期大约有5百万到7百万人说英语,几乎所有这些人都生活在英国。后来,在17世纪英国人开始航海征服了世界其它地区。于是,许多别的国家开始说英语了。如今说英语的人比以往任何时候都多,他们有的是作为第一语言来说,有的是作为第二语言或外语。

Native English speakers can understand each other even if they don’t speak the same kind of English. Look at this example:

以英语作为母语的人,即使他们所讲的语言不尽相同,也可以互相交流。请看以下例子:

British Betty: Would you like to see my flat?

英国人贝蒂:“请到我的公寓(flat)里来看看,好吗?”

American Amy: Yes. I’d like to come up to you apartment.

美国人艾米:“好的。我很乐意到你的公寓(apartment)去。”

So why has English changed over time? Actually all languages change and develop when cultures meet and communicate with each other. At fist the English spoken in England between about AD 450 and 1150 was very different from the English spoken today. It was base more on German than the English we speak at present. Then gradually between about AD 500 and 1150, English became less like German because those who ruled England spoke first Danish and later French. These new settlers enriched the English language and especially its vocabulary. So by the 1600’s Shakespeare was able to make use of a wider vocabulary than ever before. In 1620 some British settlers moved to America. Later in the 18th century some British people were taken to Australia to. English began to be spoken in both countries.

那么,英语在一段时间里为什么会起变化呢?事实上,当不同文化互相交流渗透时,所有的语言都会有所发展,有所变化。首先,在公元450年到1150年间,人们所说的英语跟今天所说的英语就很不一样。当时的英语更多地是以德语为基础的,而现代英语不是。然后,渐渐地,大约在公元800年到1150年期间,英语不那么像德语了。因为那时的英国的统治者起初讲丹麦语后来讲法语。这些新的定居者大大丰富了英语语言,特别是在词汇方面。所以到17世纪,莎士比亚所用的词汇量比以前任何时期都大。在1620年,一些英国人搬迁到美洲定居。后来,到了19世纪,有些英国人也被送往澳大利亚,两个国家的人都开始说英语了。

Finally by the 19th century the language was settled. At that time two big changes in English spelling happened: first Samuel Johnson wrote his dictionary and later Noah Webster wrote The American Dictionary of the English language. The latter gave a separate identity to American English spelling.

最后,到20世纪,英语才真正定形。那时,英语在拼写上发生了两大变化:首先,塞缪尔•约翰逊编写了词典,后来,诺厄•韦伯斯特编纂了《美国英语词典》,后者体现了美国英语拼写的不同特色。

English now is also spoken as a foreign or second language in South Asia. For example, India has a very large number of fluent English speakers because Britain ruled India from 1765 to 1947. During that time English became the language for government and education. English is also spoken in Singapore and Malaysia and countries in Africa such as South Africa. Today the number of people learning English in China is increasing rapidly. In fact, China may have the largest number of English learners. Will Chinese English develop its own identity? Only time will tell.

现在,英语在南亚也被当作外语或第二语言来说。比如说,印度拥有众多讲英语很流利的人,这是因为英国于1765年到1947年统治过印度。在那期间,英语成了官方语言和教育用语。在新加坡、马来西亚和非洲其它国家,比如南非,人们也说英语。目前在中国学习英语的人数正在迅速增长。事实上,中国可能拥有世界上最多的英语学习者。中国英语会发展出自己的特色吗?这只能由时间来回答了。

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