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(来源:英语交友 http://friends.englishcn.com)

学习英语这么多年的你们,有许多英语冷知识也许你还不知道,其实,不知道也不打紧,因为知道了之后你会感觉冷冷的。

  1、It is the only major language without an academy to guide it.

  英语是唯一没有学术机构加以规正的大语种。

  L’Académie fran?aise, based in Paris, is in charge of overseeing the French language. For Spanish there is the Real Academia Espa?ola. German has the Rat für deutsche Rechtschreibung. There is no equivalent to L’Académie for English. Of the 10 most-widely spoken languages in the world, only English has no academy guiding it.

  法兰西文学院位于巴黎,负责审查法语。对于西班牙语,有西班牙皇家学院,德语有标准德语德语正字法协会。而英语则没有相应的文学院。世界十大使用最为广泛的口语中,唯有英语没有学术研究院引领。

  2、More than 1 billion people are learning English as you read this.

  你读这篇文章的时候,有超过10亿的人正在学英语。

  According to the British Council, around 1 billion people around the world were learning English in 2000. This figure is now likely to be significantly higher.

  据英国文化委员会的调查数据显示,在2000年,全球有10亿左右的人正在学习英语。如今这个数字很可能有了更为显著的提高。

  3、96 of the 100 most common English words are Germanic.

  英语中100个最常用词中96个来自日耳曼语。

  Of the hundred most frequently used words in English, 96 have Germanic roots. Together, those 100 words make up more than 50% of the Oxford English Corpus, which currently contains over 2 billion words found in writing around the world.

  100个使用频率最高的英语词汇中,96个有日耳曼语词根。总的来说,牛津英语语料库词汇有超过一半由这100个词汇组成——目前涵盖世界各地书面语中超过20亿的词汇。

  Surprised? The most frequently used words are the meat and bones of the language, the essentials that make communication work, including I, you, go, eat, and so on.

  吃惊吗?使用频率最高的词汇是一门语言的骨架,这些要素让人们成功沟通,比如“我”、“你”、“去”、“吃”等等。

   4、But most words that have entered the language since 1066 have Latin origins.

  不过自1066年之后的大部分英语词汇都有拉丁词根。

  The Renaissance, which started in Italy and reached England via France, was a massive source of new vocabulary. New ideas, or old ideas rediscovered, started flooding out of the southern cities but there were no words to describe them in English. So the language adopted or adapted the Latin words. During the Renaissance, the English lexicon roughly doubled in size.

  起源于意大利,席卷法国再蔓延至英国的文艺复习带来了海量新词。新的点子也好,旧的想法也罢,被人们重新发现,不断从南部的意大利城市中奔涌而出,而英语中却没有相应词汇用以描述。于是英语就采用、改写了拉丁词汇。文艺复兴时期,英语的词汇几乎翻了一倍。

   5、For more than a century, the English aristocracy couldn’t speak English.

  有一个世纪多的时间,英国贵族不会说英语。

  William the Conqueror tried to learn English at the age of 43 but gave up. Within 20 years of the Normans taking power in England, almost all of the local religious institutions were French-speaking. There is little to suggest that aristocrats themselves spoke English. It isn’t until the end of the 12th Century that we have evidence of the children of the English aristocracy with English as a first language.

  英国国王威廉一世曾在43岁时尝试学习英语,但半途而废。诺曼人控制英国的20年里,大部分的地方宗教机构都说法语。鲜有证据显示英国的贵族自己会说英语。证据显示,直到12世纪末,才有英语贵族子女以英语为第一语言。

  6、That is why Latin words sound more prestigious than Germanic ones.

  这就是为什么拉丁词汇比日耳曼词汇听上去更高大上。

  Think about the difference between a house (Germanic) and a mansion (French), or between starting something and commencing, between calling something kingly or regal. English has a huge number of close synonyms, where the major difference is the level of formality or prestige. The prestigious form is almost always the Latin one.

  想想看"house"("房子",日耳曼词汇)与"mansion"("宅邸",法语词汇)的差异,及"starting(开始)"与"commencing(肇始)"的不同、“kingly(皇家气质)"与"regal(君威)"的区别。英语中有大量意思贴近的同义词,其主要差异在于其正式与高级程度。高级形式几乎都是拉丁词汇。

  7、The concept of “correct” spelling is fairly recent.

  “正确”拼写是相当新近的概念。

  Shakespeare, for example, was liberal in his spellings of words, often using multiple variants within a single text; his name itself has been spelt in many different ways over the centuries.

  例如莎士比亚,在拼写单词就非常随意,常在同一文本中使用数种变体;数世纪以来,其名字也有多种不同的拼法。

  8、One man is largely responsible for the differences between American and British spelling.

 
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