向英语学习者讲话 | Make the Word Your Own 让这个词成为你自己的

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Make the Word Your Own
让这个词成为你自己的

A word is not your own until you can use it correctly. You may know one or more Han equivalents for a word and yet you may not be able to use it correctly. I am afraid that of all the English words that the average Chinese learner can translate into Han, less than half may really be called his own.
一个词在你能够正确使用它以前还不是你自己的。你可能知道某个词的一两个汉语对应语,但也许仍不能正确地用它。我恐怕一般中国的学习者所能译成汉语的英语词,不到一半真正可以说是他自己的。

To give a few common words at random1, “wise”, “probable”, “congratulate”, “equip”, “personality”, “novel”, “nevertheless”, “meanwhile”—all these words many Chinese learners may “know” without being able to use them correctly. Do you think you can use them correctly, reader? Please read the following sentences carefully and see whether you find any mistake in any of them. I have to tell you beforehand2 that all the words in italics3 are misused, and that if you fail to find any one of these wrong, that proves that that word is not yet your own.
随机举几个例子:“wise”、“probable”、“congratulate”、“equip”、“personality”、“novel”、“nevertheless”、“meanwhile”——这些词有许多中国的学习者可能“认得”却不能正确地使用它们。你认为你能正确地使用它们吗,读者?请仔细地读下面各句,看看你在任何一句中是否能找到错误。我必须事先告诉你所有印作斜体的词是被误用的,如果你没能找到它们中的某一个错误,那就证明那个词还不是你自己的。

  1. The boy reads the book very well, and so he may be called a very wise boy.
  2. He is probable to pass the examination.
  3. Let’s congratulate her success.
  4. A radio has been equipped in the hall.
  5. He never pays his debts; his personality is bad.
  6. I don’t like such novels as these short stories.
  7. Nevertheless poor, the girl was neatly dressed.
  8. I bought some bananas and meanwhile some apples.

How many of these italicized words are your own? And how many are not? Look up4 those that are not your own in a good dictionary in order to find out why they are wrong in these sentences, and to learn their correct uses.
这些用斜体印的词中有多少是你自己的?有多少不是你自己的?在一本好的词典中查出那些不是你自己的词来,找出它们为什么在这些句子中是错的,并且学习它们的正确用法。

Remember that not every word that you think you understand well is really your own.
请牢记:不是每一个你认为理解的词真正是你自己的。

NOTES

  1. at random 随机地
  2. have to tell you beforehand 必须事先告诉你
  3. in italics 用斜体
  4. look up 查出

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