向英语学习者讲话 | A Good Knowledge of Bad English 关于坏英语的好知识

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A Good Knowledge of Bad English
关于坏英语的好知识

So many books and persons profess to1 teach good English! But none profess to teach bad English. I am almost sure that anyone who should advertise lessons in bad English would be called crazy and would get no pupils at all. Nor do I think you have ever thought of learning it. Perhaps you think that bad English is not worth learning, and that the English of the average Chinese learner of the language2 is bed enough without his ever making any effort to learn to be bad. Well, please read the following story:
有这么多的书和人自称能教授好英语!但是没有自称会教授坏英语的。我几乎可以肯定,要是有任何人刊登广告说教授坏英语课程,将会被人认为是个疯子,连一个学生也招不到。而且我也认为你从来不曾想要学习坏英语。大概你认为坏英语是不值得学的,而且认为一般中国的英语学习者,他不作任何努力去学坏的就已经够坏了。好吧,请读下面的故事:(下面的译文只能表达原文的意思,并不表达原文的好坏。)

An old Negro approached a white man in a Southern town and asked: “Marse Tom3, you ain’t4 seed5 anything of dat6 ole7 mule of mine, is you?”8
一个年老的黑人到(美国)南方的一个镇上去看一个白人,问道:“汤姆先生,你没见过我的那头驴,对吗?”

“Why9 no, Henry, I haven’t seen that mule. Have you lost it?”
“并没有,亨利,我没见过那头驴。你丢了它吗?”

“Well, Ah10 doan11 know ef 12 Ah’ve13 lost him or not, but he is shore14 “nuff15 gone.”
“喂,我不知道我丢了它没有,可是它确实不见了。”

“Henry, I think the best way you can find that mule would be to put a want ad in the paper16 for him.”
“亨利,我想你能够找到那头驴的最好方法是在报纸上登一个寻物启事。”

“Shucks!17 Dat wouldn’t do no good18, Marse Tom.”
“呸!那是没有用的,汤姆先生。”

“Why not?”
“为什么没有用?”

“Why, Marse Tom, you all know puffickly19 well dat dat mule cain’t20 read.”
“哎呀,汤姆先生,你完全知道那头驴是不会阅读的。”

Do you understand the Negro’s speech without the help of my notes? If not21, you have not got much knowledge of bad English, and I hope you realize22 that as a student of English you ought to get more of it.
如果没有我的注解帮助,你会明白这个黑人的话吗?要是不,你还没有得到关于坏英语的多少知识,我希望你认识到作为一个英语学习者你该得到更多关于坏英语的知识。

By bad English I mean23 English as used24 by English-speaking persons who somehow do not use good English. It may be called illiterate25 or uncultured English. It is not found in formal writing, but is very common in modern fiction and drama and in the writing and speech of uneducated English-speaking persons. It is quite different from your English, which, if it is bad, is bad in the Chinese way, so the speak26.
我所说的坏英语,就是那些用英语讲话且为了某种原因不用好英语的人们所用的英语。它可以叫作不识字的或没有文化的人们用的英语。它在正式的写作中找不到,但在现代小说、戏剧和未受过教育而用英语讲话的人们的写作和语言中都很普遍。它跟你的英语大大不同;你的英语,要是它坏,可以说是中国式的坏。

Bad English means bad grammar, bad spelling, bad usage, and bad pronunciation. All these things form27 an interesting and useful study. Without a good knowledge of these one will miss much in modern literature and will fail to understand any uneducated Englishman or American one man has occasion to28 have anything to do with.
坏英语意味着坏的语法、坏的拼写、坏的用法和坏的发音。这一切构成一个有趣而有用的研究对象。没有关于坏英语的好知识,一个人将错过现代文学中的许多东西,而且将不能理解他可能有必要接触到的任何未受过教育的英国人或美国人的话。

NOTES

  1. profess to … 自称为……
  2. the language 指英语
  3. Marse Tom=Master Tom. Tom先生
  4. ain’t=haven’t=have not
  5. seed=seen
  6. dat=that
  7. ole=old
  8. is you?=have you?
  9. Why 语助词
  10. Ah=I
  11. doan=don’t=do not
  12. ef=if=whether
  13. Ah’ve=I’ve=I have
  14. shore=sure
  15. nuff=enough
  16. put a want ad in the paper 在报纸上登征求广告(“want”是noun,ad=advertisement)
  17. Shucks! 瞎说!;呸!
  18. wouldn’t do no good=would not do any good=would do no good 没有用
  19. puffickly=perfectly
  20. cain’t=can’t=cannot
  21. If not=If you do not understand the Negro’s speech without the help of my notes.
  22. realize 认识到
  23. By bad English I mean … 我所说的不好的英语就是……
  24. as used=as it is used
  25. illiterate 不识字的
  26. so to speak 可以这样说
  27. form 构成
  28. has occasion to … 有……的必要

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