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40%的语言有消失的危险 语言为何会消失?

kira86 于2018-09-13发布 l 已有人浏览
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联合国教科文组织称,每两周,世界上就有一种语言消失,超过40%的语言有消失的危险。
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语言.jpg
Irankarapte.

你好。(日本阿依努语)

Iishu.

你好。(阿拉斯加埃雅克语)

Dydh Da.

你好。(英国康沃尔语)

I don't speak those languages.

我不讲那些语言。

In fact very few people do.

事实上很少有人讲那些语言。

They're used only by a handful of people.

它们仅仅被一小部分人使用。

And all those languages are in danger of extinction.

而且所有那些语言都有消失的危险。

There are more than 7,000 languages spoken in the world today.

现在世界上有超过7000种语言被使用。

But about 1/3 of those have fewer than 1000 speakers.

但是其中大约三分之一的语言的使用者不到1000人。

And according to UNESCO more than 40% of those languages are in danger of extinction.

而且据联合国教科文组织称,其中超过40%的语言有消失的危险。

In fact every fortnight one of the world's languages disappears forever.

事实上每两周,世界上就有一种语言永远消失。

When you say dead language, many people think of Latin.

当你说到消失的语言,许多人会想到拉丁语。

But Latin actually never died.

但是事实上拉丁语从未消失。

It's been spoken continuously since the time of the Caesars.

它从凯撒大帝时期就被人们使用。

But it changed very gradually over 2,000 years until it became French, Spanish and other Romance languages.

但是它在2000年里非常缓慢地变化,直到形成法语,西班牙语和其它罗曼语系。

True language death happens when communities switched to other languages and parents stopped raising their children to speak their old ones.

当一个地区转换其它语言来使用,父母不再培养他们的孩子说之前的语言,语言才会真正消失。

When the last elderly speaker dies, the language is unlikely ever to be spoken fluently again.

当年纪最大的最后一个语言使用者死去,那门语言不太可能再次被人们流利地使用。

If you look at this chart which measures the world's languages in terms of their size and their state of health, you can see that most languages are ranked in the middle.

如果你观察这张根据语言的使用人数以及它们的生存状况来衡量世界语言的图表,你会发现大多数语言排在中间位置。

English like just a few other dominant languages is up at the top left hand corner.

英语像其它几种优势语言一样在左上角靠上的位置。

It's in a really strong state.

它的状态就真的很稳定。

But if your language is down here in the bottom right hand corner of the graph, like Kayupulau from Indonesia or Kuruaya from Brazil, you are in serious trouble.

但是如果你的语言在图表右下角靠下的位置,像印度尼西亚开普劳人的语言或者巴西库大亚人的语言,那么你的问题就严重了。

In the bad old days governments just banned languages they didn't like.

在艰难困苦的昔日,政府只是禁止他们不喜欢的语言。

But sometimes the pressure is more suttle.

但是有的时候对语言的要求会更微妙一些。

Any teenager growing up in the Soviet Union soon realized that whatever language you spoke at home, mastering Russian was going to be the key to success.

在苏联长大的孩子很快意识到,不论你在家里说的是什么语言,掌握俄语是成功的关键。

Citizens of China including Tibetans as well as speakers of Shanghainese or Cantonese faced similar pressure today to focus on Mandarin.

中国公民,包括说西藏语,说上海话或者广东话的人现在面临类似情况,人们把重点放在普通话上。

Once the language is gone, well, it usually goes the way of the dodo.

一旦一种语言消失,好吧,它通常就像渡渡鸟一样灭绝了。

Just one language has ever come back from the dead - Hebrew.

只有一种语言消失后又回来了——希伯来语。

It was extinct for two millennia.

它消失了两千年。

But Jewish settlers to Palestine in the early 20th centuries spoke different languages back in Europe.

但是20世纪早期从欧洲回来到巴勒斯坦定居的犹太人说不同的语言。

And they adopted Hebrew on their arrival as their common language.

他们到达之后选定希伯来语作为他们的通用语言。

It became Israel's official language when the country was fully established in 1948 and now has seven million speakers.

1948年国家完全建立后,希伯来语成为以色列的官方语言,现在有700万使用者。

Now Hebrew is the world's only fully revived language, but others are trying.

现在希伯来语是世界上仅有的一种完全复原的语言,其它语言也在努力。

Cornish spoken in southwestern England died out two centuries ago.

英国西南部使用的康沃尔语在200年前消失。

But today there are several hundred speakers of the revived language.

但是现在有几百人说这门要复原的语言。

Practicality side human diversity is a good thing in its own right.

实际说来,人类多样性本身就是一件好事。

Imagine going on an exciting holiday, only to find that the food, clothing, buildings, the people and yes, the language was just the same as back home.

想象在一个令人兴奋的假期中,结果却发现食物,服饰,建筑,人,当然还有语言和回家看到的一样。

Oliver Wendell Holmes put it well.

奥利弗•温德尔•霍姆斯说得很好。

Every language is a temple in which the soul of those who speak it isn't shrunked, moving that soul of the people from a temple into a museum, just isn't the same thing.

每种语言都是一座庙宇,里面讲这种语言的人不会减少,但是把他们从庙宇之中移到博物馆里,就完全不是一回事了。

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