向英语学习者讲话 | More about What to Read 再论该读什么

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More about What to Read
再论该读什么

Since it is with a view to1 learning composition that you read, and since it is in present-day English prose that you ought to learn to express yourself, what you read must be present-day English prose. Expressions in common use a hundred years ago may not be so at the present day. Likewise, expressions in common use in verse2 may not be so in prose.
因为你为了学习写作而阅读,也因为你该学会用现代英语散文来表达你的意思,你读的东西必须是现代英语散文。一百年以前通行的表达方式今天也许不通行了。同样地,诗歌中通行的表达方式可能在散文中也不通行。

The term “present-day English prose”, however, requires qualification3 here. Since it is in standard English that you ought to learn to express yourself, what you read must not contain too much slang, whatever significance one may attach to the word. Again, since it is things in everday life that you ought to learn to write about, what you read must not be of a technical character4.
可是“现代英语散文”这个名称也得受到限制。因为你应该学会用标准英语来表达你的意思,你读的东西一定不可有太多的俚语,不论人们可能赋予俚语这个词什么意义。再有一点,因为你该学会写的是日常生活中的事物,所以你读的东西一定不可是专门性的。

One limitation more5. What you read must be fairly easy6 for you; too much time and energy spent in reading between the lines7 and finding out all kinds of references and allusions8 would very likely distract your mind from your purpose9, which is to learn English composition.
还有一个限制。你读的东西必须对于你是相当容易的;花大量时间和精力在揣摩言外之意和找出各种出处及引典上,很容易使你分心,你的目的是学习英语写作。

NOTES

  1. with a view to 以……为目的(后面通常接动名词)
  2. verse 诗歌体
  3. qualification 限制
  4. of a technical character 一种专门性的
  5. One limitation more 还有一个限制
  6. fairly easy 相当容易的
  7. reading between the lines 揣摩言外之意
  8. references and allusions 出处和引典
  9. distract your mind from your purpose 使你从你的目的中分心

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