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拯救濒危语言

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小编摘要: 每14天便有一种语言消亡。照此速度,到2100年,地球上7000余种语言超过半数——其中许多尚无记录——或将不复存在,与之俱亡的是历史、文化、自然环境与人脑的知识宝库。






遗失我们世界的语言
Losing Our World's Languages
每14天便有一种语言消亡。照此速度,到2100年,地球上7000余种语言超过半数——其中许多尚无记录——或将不复存在,与之俱亡的是历史、文化、自然环境与人脑的知识宝库。
Every 14 days a language dies. By 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth—many of them not yet recorded—may disappear, taking with them a wealth of knowledge about history, culture, the natural environment, and the human brain.
国家地理的语音保存项目(与拯救濒危语言研究所合作实施)力图通过鉴别语言热区来保护濒危语言——在我们星球上这些地区的土著语言,或是最为独特,或是鲜为人知,或是危在旦夕——并记录这些语言及其中蕴涵的文化。
National Geographic's Enduring Voices Project (conducted in collaboration with the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages) strives to preserve endangered languages by identifying language hotspots—the places on our planet with the most unique, poorly understood, or threatened indigenous languages—and documenting the languages and cultures within them.
为何拯救濒危语言很重要?
Why Is It Important?
通过说语言的人及语言赋予说话者的表达能力,语言定义了文化。描述某种特定文化习惯或思想的话语或许无法准确地翻译成其他语言。众多濒危语言都蕴藏着丰富的口头文化,故事、歌曲与历史均是一代一代口头传承下来,却没有书面形式。一旦语言灭绝,全部文化也将就此失传。
Language defines a culture, through the people who speak it and what it allows speakers to say. Words that describe a particular cultural practice or idea may not translate precisely into another language. Many endangered languages have rich oral cultures with stories, songs, and histories passed on to younger generations, but no written forms. With the extinction of a language, an entire culture is lost.
大部分人类对自然的了解仅存在于口头语言。数千年来,土著居民与自然世界联系紧密,往往对本土、植物、动物和生态系统有深刻的洞悉,而这些可能是科学尚无记录的。因此,学习土著语言对认识环境与环保工作大有裨益。
Much of what humans know about nature is encoded only in oral languages. Indigenous groups that have interacted closely with the natural world for thousands of years often have profound insights into local lands, plants, animals, and ecosystems—many still undocumented by science. Studying indigenous languages therefore benefits environmental understanding and conservation efforts.
学习各类语言还能增进我们对人类交流和储存知识方式的理解。每有一种语言消亡,我们就遗失了描绘人脑功能的一块拼图。
Studying various languages also increases our understanding of how humans communicate and store knowledge. Every time a language dies, we lose part of the picture of what our brains can do.
为何语言会消亡?
Why Do Languages Die Out?
纵观人类历史,随着强势种群的语言传播开来,较小文化的语言则走向没落。出现这一情形,或是官方语言政策使然,或是讲帝国语言所带来崇高声望的吸引。这些趋势可用来解释诸般现象,比如,为何玻利维亚现存语种比整个欧洲大陆还多,就是因为欧洲大陆拥有大国和帝国统治的悠久历史。
Throughout human history, the languages of powerful groups have spread while the languages of smaller cultures have become extinct. This occurs through official language policies or through the allure that the high prestige of speaking an imperial language can bring. These trends explain, for instance, why more language diversity exists in Bolivia than on the entire European continent, which has a long history of large states and imperial powers.
由于大语种的普及,那些父母讲小语种的孩子多数在成长中学习的是主流语言。取决于对待祖辈语言的态度,这些孩子或孩子的孩子也许永远都不会学习小语种,或者因不再使用而逐渐遗忘。此种现象在人类历史上屡见不鲜,但近年来语言消亡的速度大大加快了。
As big languages spread, children whose parents speak a small language often grow up learning the dominant language. Depending on attitudes toward the ancestral language, those children or their children may never learn the smaller language, or they may forget it as it falls out of use. This has occurred throughout human history, but the rate of language disappearance has accelerated dramatically in recent years.
标签:拯救 濒危语言
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2011-02-23 14:41 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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