英文写作终极指南:简洁才是王道(组图)

2010-04-13 14:05:00 来源: 中国教育在线 举报
0
分享到:
T + -
英文写作终极指南:简洁才是王道(组图)
英文写作终极指南:简洁才是王道(组图)
英文写作终极指南:简洁才是王道(组图)
  学英语会有一个定势,那就是背很偏很难的单词。但是了解那些“高级”单词固然必要,可任何一门语言中应用最广泛的还是那些简单的基础词汇。我们自己看中文的时候会很痛恨拐弯抹角不说人话的作者,英文也一样。老外自己不喜欢看故作艰深的东西,所以我们在写作的时候就放心大胆地使用简单词汇吧,只要意思表达清楚、有条理、语法通畅就是好文章。

  What is good writing?

  什么样的文章是好文章?

  It depends on what country you’re from.Weall know what’s considered “goodwriting” inour own country. We grow up immersedin thecadencesand sentencestructure of the language we were born into,so we think,“That’s probably what every countryconsiders goodwriting; they just use different words.” Ifonly! I onceasked a student from Cairo, “What kind oflanguage isArabic?” She said, “It’salladjectives.”

  这取决于你来自何处。我们都知道在自己的国家好文章是什么样的。我们从小到大,已经熟知我们母语的抑扬顿挫和句子结构,于是我们认为,其他国家所谓的好文章也应该是这样,只不过用的语言不同。要是这样就好了!我有次问一个来自开罗的学生:“阿拉伯语是什么样的语言?”她回答说:“都是形容词。”

  Well, of course it’s not alladjectives,but I knew what she meant: it’s decorative,it’sornate, it’s intentionally pleasing. But allthoseadjectives and all that decoration would be the ruin ofanyjournalisttrying to write good English. No proverbs, please.

  当然,不可能都是形容词,我知道她的意思:阿拉伯语是一种注重雕饰和阅读快感的语言。但是太多形容词和太多雕饰都不利于英文的新闻写作。千万别使用那么多谚语。

  Spanish also comes with a heavy load ofbeautifulbaggagethat will smotherany journalist writing inEnglish.

  西班牙语也一样,有太多不利于英文写作的修饰语。

  English is not as musical as Spanish, orItalian,or French, or as ornamentalas Arabic, or as vibrantas someof yournative languages. But I’m hopelessly in love withEnglishbecause it’s plain and it’s strong. It has ahugevocabulary of words that have precise shades ofmeaning;there’s no subject, however technical or complex,thatcan’t be made clear to any reader ingoodEnglish—if it’s used right. Unfortunately,thereare many ways of using it wrong. Those are the damaging habitsIwant to warn you about today.

  英语不像西班牙语、意大利语或者法语那样富有音律美,也不像阿拉伯语那样华丽,可能也不像你们的母语那样生动鲜活,但我就是无可救药地热爱英语,因为它平实有力,拥有海量意义鲜明的词汇。描述一样事物,不管多高科技多复杂,在标准英语中读者都看懂——如果描述准确。不幸的是很多人都不能正确使用英语。以下就是我希望大家避免的一些错误习惯。

  First, a little history. The English languageisderived from two main sources. One is Latin, the otherisAnglo-Saxon. The words derived from Latin aretheenemy—they will strangleand suffocate everything youwrite.The Anglo-Saxon words will set you free.

  首先,了解英语的历史。英语来源于拉丁语和安格鲁-撒克逊语。来自拉丁语的单词是我们的宿敌——它们会使你的写作佶屈聱牙。安格鲁-撒克逊语才能解开你的束缚。

  How do those Latin words do their stranglingandsuffocating? In general they are long, pompousnouns that endin-ion—like implementation and maximization andcommunication(five syllableslong!)—or that end in-ent—likedevelopment and fulfillment. Those nouns express avague concept oran abstract idea, not a specific action that we canpicture.Here’s a typical sentence: “Priortotheimplementation of the financial enhancement.” Thatmeans“Before we fixed our money problems.”
英文写作终极指南:简洁才是王道(组图)
英文写作终极指南:简洁才是王道(组图)
英文写作终极指南:简洁才是王道(组图)
  拉丁词语是怎么束缚你的文体的呢?一般来说都是些长并华而不实的单词,以ion结尾,像implementation、maximization、communication(五个音节那么长!)或者以ent结尾,像development和fulfillment。这些词语描述的都是一个模糊或抽象的概念,不是我们能够明确说明的行动。一个典型句子就是:财政强化计划实施之前。其实就是说:解决钱的问题之前。

  Believe it or not, this is the languagethatpeople in authority in America routinely use. They think thoselongLatin words make them sound important. It no longer rainsinAmerica; your TV weather man will tell that youwe’reexperiencing a precipitation probabilitysituation.

  不管你信不信,这些就是美国的高层人士常用语。他们认为这些长长的拉丁单词能突显自己的身份。美国已经没有下雨这一说了,天气预报员只会提到降水概率这个词。

  I’m sure all of you, newly arrivedinAmerica, have already been driven crazy trying to figure outtheinstructions for ordering a cell phone or connecting yourcomputer,or applying for a bank loan or a health insurance policy,and youassume that those of us who were born here can understandthisstuff. I assure you that we don’t understand iteither.

  我相信你们所有人刚来美国的时候,都曾为订购手机、上网、申请银行贷款、购买健康保险的流程说明而抓狂,并认为我们美国人读得懂这些东西。其实我们一样看不懂。

  Those long Latin usages have so infectedeverydaylanguage in America that you might well think,“Ifthat’s how people write who are running thecountry,that’s how I’m supposed towrite.”It’s not. Let me read you two typicalletters I recentlyreceived in the mail. (I keep letters like thisand save them in afolder that I call “BullshitFile.”)

  这些拉丁词在日常英语中的大量使用也许让你产生错觉,认为“如果统领这个国家的人是用这些词写作的,那么我也应该这样写作。”不是这样的。我来给你们读两封此类典型的电子邮件吧。(我会保存这一类的邮件,放在一个命名为“废话”的文件夹里。)

  The first one is from the president of aprivateclub in New York. It says, “Dear mr: The board ofgovernorshas spent the past year considering proactive efforts thatwillcontinue to profession alize the club and to introduceefficienciesthat we will be implementing through out 2009.”That meansthey’re going to try to make the club runbetter

  第一封来自纽约一家私人俱乐部的老板:“亲爱的会员:在过去的一年里董事会一直在考虑如何做出更积极的努力以继续增强俱乐部的职能以及2009年将落实的各项便利措施。”这其实表示说他们将努力使俱乐部运营得更好。

  A letter from my investment counsel says:

  我的私人投资顾问来信说:

  “As we previously communicated,wecompleted a systems conversion in late Septr. Dataconversionsinvolve extra processing and reconciliation steps.

  “正如我们之前所商谈过的,我们于九月底完成了系统转换。数据转换还牵涉了额外步骤和调节措施。

  [translation: it took longer than we thoughtitwould to make our office operate better]

  翻译:改进我们的工作所花费的时间比预计要长。

  We apologize if you were in convenienced aswecompleted the verification process.

  如果在核准系统期间您感到不方便,我们对此致以歉意。

  [we hope weve got it right now]

  翻译:我们希望现在一切正常。

  Further enhancements will be introduced inthenext calendar quarter.

  下一季度我们将继续改进。

  [were still working on it]. ”

  翻译:我们还在研究这事。

  Notice those horrible long Latin words:

  看看这些吓人的拉丁词:

  mmunicated, conversion,reconciliation,enhancements, verification.

  商谈,转换,调节,改进,核准。

  So if those are the bad nouns, what are thegoodnouns? The good nouns are the thousands of short,simple,infinitely old Anglo-Saxon nouns that express thefundamentalsofeveryday life: house, home, child, chair, bread,milk, sea, sky,earth, field, grass, road … words that arein our bones,words that resonatewith the oldest truths.Don’t try tofind a noun that you think sounds moreimpressive or“literary.” Short Anglo-Saxon nounsare yoursecond-best tools as a journalist writing in English.
英文写作终极指南:简洁才是王道(组图)
英文写作终极指南:简洁才是王道(组图)
英文写作终极指南:简洁才是王道(组图)
  如果这些都是不合适的词语,那么哪些才是合适的词呢?就是能够表达基本日常生活的几千个简短而古老的安格鲁-撒克逊名词:房子,家庭,孩子,椅子,面包,牛奶,大海,天空,大地,田野,小草,马路……这些我们铭记于心、回响着古老真理的词。不要试图找一个你觉得更让人印象深刻或更“文学”的词。短小的安格鲁-撒克逊词是你在进行新闻写作时第二位的好帮手。

  What are your best tools? Your best toolsareshort, plain Anglo-Saxon verbs. I mean active verbs, notpassiveverbs. If you could write an article using only activeverbs, yourarticle would automatically have clarity and warmth andvigor.

  你最好的帮手又是什么呢?简短平易的安格鲁-撒克逊动词。我说的是主动态动词,不是被动态。如果你能写一篇全用主动态的文章,那肯定是一篇清晰、亲切又有力的好文章。

  One of my favorite writers is Henry DavidThoreau.Thoreau’s writing moves with simple strengthbecause he usesone active verb after another to push his meaningalong.Here’s a famous sentence from him:

  HenryDavidThoreau是我最喜欢的作家之一。Thoreau的文笔简洁而遒劲,因为他总是使用主动态来传情达意。下面是他写的一个很有名的句子:

  I went to the woods because I wished tolivedeliberately, to front only the essential facts of nature, andseeif I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I cametodie, discover that I had not lived.

  我去森林是因为我希望在思考中生活,只面对最真实的自然本质。我想看我是不是能学到自然教与我的东西,不希望在我临死时发现自己从未真正活过。

  Now let me turn that sentence intothepassive:

  现在把主动态都换成被动态:

  A decision was made to go to the woods becauseofa desire for a deliberate existence and for exposureto onlytheessential facts of life, and for possible instruction initseducational elements, and because of a concern that at the timeofmy death the absence of a meaningful prior experience wouldbeapprehended.

  由一个于思考中生活并面对真实的自然本质的想法催生出前往森林的决定,能够受教其中也是原因之一,此外还出于对临死时懊悔没有真正活过的担忧之情。


  All the life has been taken out of thesentence.But what’s the biggest thing I’ve takenout of thatsentence? I’ve taken Thoreau out of thatsentence.He’s nowhere to be seen.

  这个句子立马变得没有生机。但是我从中剥离的最大元素是什么?是Thoreau。整句中完全不见说话人的身影。

  So fall in love with active verbs. They areyourbest friends.

  总之,建立起你与主动态动词的关系,它们才是你最好的朋友。

  (来源:中国教育在线)

netease 本文来源:中国教育在线 责任编辑:王晓易_NE0011
分享到:
跟贴0
参与0
发贴
为您推荐
  • 推荐
  • 娱乐
  • 体育
  • 财经
  • 时尚
  • 科技
  • 军事
  • 汽车
+ 加载更多新闻
×

"上985我发现,读书是多数的捷径"

高考问答086:黑龙江普通高等学校招生工作

态度原创

热点新闻

精彩推荐
海淘品牌
阅读下一篇

返回网易首页 返回教育首页