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你所不了解的语言知识

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小编摘要:你知道高音歌唱家的过人之处和他们喉的位置比普通人更低也不无关系吗?你知道牛津英语词典中收录的最长的词是哪个吗?这篇文章为您揭秘。

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1.人的发音器官-喉的位置比其他灵长目动物低,所以人类拥有独一无二的巨大共鸣腔。这也是为什么只有人类能在交流时发出那么多种声音的原因。
1 The voice box sits lower in the throat in humans than it does in other primates, giving us a uniquely large resonating system. That’s why we alone are able to make the wide range of sounds needed for speech
2.高音歌唱家的过人之处和他们喉的位置比普通人更低也不无关系。
2 That also explains Mariah Carey, Barry White, and Robin Williams.
3.遗憾的是,人类喉的位置意味着我们不能同时呼吸和吞咽,而其它动物就可以。
3 Unfortunately, the placement of our voice box means we can’t breathe and swallow at the same time, as other animals can (choke).
4.不过幸运的是,人类的喉在9个月前也和动物一样在更高的位置,9个月后才下降,小婴儿吃奶的时候才不会窒息。
4 Fortunately, the human voice box doesn’t drop until about 9 months, which allows infants to breathe while nursing.
5.遥遥领先:以中文普通话作为母语的人数是世界上最多的,有8.45亿,是英语母语者的2.5倍。
5 Still the one: Mandarin is the long-standing champ among world languages with 845 million native speakers, about 2.5 times as many as English.
6.不过70%以上的互联网主页都是英文页面,英语也是网上交流最常用的语言,这使得英语成为世界通用语。
6 But more than 70 percent of all the home pages on the Internet are in English, and more online users speak English than any other language, making it the world’s lingua franca (assuming you consider brb, omg, g2g, and rofl English).
7. 不一样的世界:中国每个学生从三年级开始就必须学英语,而美国只有百分之三的小学和百分之四的中学有中文课。
7 Hey, the world will never change—right? English is mandatory for every student in China, starting in third grade. But in America, only 3 percent of elementary schools and 4 percent of secondary schools even offer Chinese.
8.很多与科学有关的英文单词开头字母都是al-如algebra(代数)、alkaline(碱)、和 algorithm(公式),事实上这来自于阿拉伯语,而阿拉伯语中的“al”是个没有任何意义的冠词,就像英语中的“the”一样。
8 Many science-related English words starting with the letters al—including algebra, alkaline, and algorithm—are derived from Arabic, in which the prefix al just means “the.”
9.这个现象来源于中世纪,当时希腊和罗马的古代文明在欧洲已经基本湮灭,却在伊斯兰世界的学者中保存下来并被发扬光大。
9 This is a legacy of the medieval era, when ancient Greek and Roman knowledge was largely lost in Europe but preserved and advanced among scholars in the Islamic world.
10.现代科技让所有东西变得更小,词汇也不例外。如“八位字节”缩短成“比特”,“图片的每个色素点”缩短为“像素”,当然还有“网络日志”现在被大家叫做“博客”。
10 Modern technology is making everything smaller, even our words. “Bits of eight” shrank to become byte, “modulate/demodulate” became modem, “picture cell” became pixel, and of course “web log” became blog.
11.另一方面,牛津英语词典中收录的最长的词是pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis,意思是吸入火山矽尘引起的一种肺部疾病。
11 At the other end, the longest word recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary is pneumono-ultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, a lung disease caused by inhaling volcanic silicon dust.
12.胎儿在妈妈肚子里就学会了口音。科学家发现:出生在法语家庭新生儿的哭声是升调,和法语的发音习惯一样;而出生在德语家庭新生儿的哭声是降调,和德语的发音习惯一样。
12 Grüss dich, Dunkelheit, mein alter Freund. Three- to five-day-olds born into French-speaking families tend to cry with the rising intonation characteristic of French; babies with German-speaking parents cry with falling tones, much like spoken German. Infants may start learning language in the womb, it seems.
13.与语言能力相关的大脑机能发育的关键时段是出生后到3岁之间。青春期之前没有学会语言的人也许以后能学会少量的词汇,但他们永远不可能说出有意义的整个句子。
13 The neural equipment for language development then seems to ripen between birth and age 3. People deprived of language before puberty (due to isolation or abuse, for instance) might later learn a limited supply of words, but they never develop the ability to make meaningful sentences.
14.对脑损伤的研究同样有助于我们了解语言的来源。大脑中一个叫布罗卡氏区的部位受到损害的人只能发出单个词汇,也被称为“电报式语言”,说明这个脑区对语言功能非常重要。
14 Other clues about language processing come from damaged brains. People who have sustained an injury to a region called Broca’s area have trouble producing even short phrases, indicating it is critical to speech.
15.大脑的颞上回损伤则会导致另一种失语-韦尼克失语。患者讲话非常流利,但讲出来的内容毫无逻辑。
15 And damage to the brain’s superior temporal gyrus can lead to Wernicke’s aphasia. Patients sound as if they are speaking normally, but what they say makes no sense.
16.美国老西部片里,当地土著经常发出一种“呃”的声音,这并不是电影中的对白;这是对当地土著语言的真实再现,他们每讲完一句话的时候,都会暂时关闭喉部发出这种声音。
16 In old Westerns, Native Americans often made a sound like “ugh.” This wasn’t a commentary on the plots; it was a naive attempt to reproduce the sound of the glottal stop of many Native American languages, produced by briefly closing the vocal cords during speech.
17.大吃一惊:非洲纳马人的语言中有连续的“咔咔”声,荷兰殖民者听到这种语言后把纳马人称作“Hottentotos”,在荷兰语里这是“结巴”的意思。
17 !Say !What? When the Dutch encountered Africa’s Nama people, whose language includes clicking sounds, they dubbed them Hottentots, Dutch for “stuttering.”
18.真正的外语:西班牙加那利群岛上的希尔伯哨语,这种口哨语言只有四个元音和四个辅音,发出的声音就像鸟叫,可以传到几英里之外。
18 Really foreign sounds: Spanish Silbo, a whistle language, has only four vowel and four consonant sounds. Audible for miles, it resembles bird calls and is indigenous to—where else?—the Canary Islands.
19.印度手语是世界上使用最广泛的无声语言,有大约270万使用者。
19 Indian Sign Language is the world’s most widespread silent language, with some 2.7 million users.
20.濒危语言:全世界6800种口头语言中,超过三分之一濒临灭绝。联合国教科文组织的资料显示,现在有200种左右的语言只剩下不到10名使用者。
20 Another sound of silence: More than one-third of the world’s 6,800 spoken languages are endangered. According to UNESCO, about 200 tongues now have fewer than 10 surviving speakers.
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2011-03-25 15:50 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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