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6. 在用英文进行描述时,初学者应牢记两点:A 汉语思维中描述一系列事件习惯采取的方式就是按照这些事件发生的先后顺序一一展现。这样一种方式对英美人来说十分枯燥无趣。英语思维方式往往打破这样一种所谓的“自然时间序列”(natural sequencesgroupsin time),按照讲述者的主观时间序列来一一展现。这一主观序列的本质在于,他们总是先把自认为最重要的东西说出来,然后说第二重要的、第三重要的……把最不重要的留在后面说。例如:描述你第一次去上海的经历。汉语思维往往是这样的--先介绍上海的历史、文化背景,然后抵达上海,上海现代化的市容吸引了你,你见到了上海的熟人,熟人要你一定去看看外滩的夜景,你看到了外滩的美丽,最后你依依不舍地告别上海返回家乡。英语思维多半会这样组织--期刊里上海现代化的市容吸引了你,你抵达上海,你见到了上海的熟人,熟人要你一定去看看外滩的夜景,你研究并熟悉了外滩的历史,你依依惜别地离开了上海,最令你难以忘怀的是你看到的外滩的美丽。B 讲述时中国同学往往不知道说完一句该怎样接着说下一句,以至生拼硬凑,想说什么说什么,让自己跟着感觉走。其实英语思维中连接两个句子的模式不外乎这样几种:a)句子A直接导向句子B(A leads to B.);b)句子B和句子A正好相反(B is the opposite of A.);c)句子A和句子B同属一个相关的事件群(A and B both belong to the samesgroupsof related events.);d)事件A发生在事件B身上(A happens to B.);e)事件A之所以发生是因为事件B(A happens because of B.)。 (来源:英语杂志 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

7. 千万不要在一个描述中试图说太多的事情,学会只选择一件事情来说(talk about only one thing)。另外,要保证你描述中的每一句话紧紧扣住主题(stick to your subject),不要涉及毫不相关或关系不大的其他细节(focus on the one thing)。收尾要出人意料、引人入胜(make the end interesting)。

8. 下面我们仔细比较几个具体例子来消化以上的论述。

例一:Can computers in the classroom ever replace teachers? (the lead)

——同意或反对意见

——举出事实和数据{logical flow}

——相互争论观点

"Sure, computers can help kids learn," Bob says, looking at the rows of blinking screens in his classroom, "but I'd take a good teacher without computers over a poor one with computers, every time." (the end)

例二:(1) 对一只宠物狗的两种描述

Version A

We have a dog. Her name is Beauty. She is a bulldog (一种脖子粗,性凶猛的狗). She has a pretty face. She likes to catch rats.

评点:这一描述中出现的事件太多,不集中。Too many things about a pet dog!

Version B

One night when I was about to go to bed, my dog Bud gotsintosthe kitchen. He saw a box of cornstarch (淀粉) on the shelf. He jumped up and knocked it all over himself. In the morning when I saw Bud, he was as white as a ghost.评点:只围绕一件事描述。Focus on one event. Stick to the subject.

(2) 描述一个星期六

Version A

Saturday I helped my mother clean house. Then I ran on some errands(跑腿办事). When father came home at noon, he gave me ten bucks(美元). In the afternoon I went to a movie. The movie was terrible. I didn't enjoy it so much as the one I saw last Saturday. Next Saturday I am going again.

评点:描述乏味,事件太多,多数句子没能紧扣主题,结尾无趣。Subject is not interesting. Not all the sentences stick to the subject. Too many things. The ending is boring.

Version B

Saturday my brother Tom said he would teach me to skate. So he let me take hold of a stick. Then he would pull me along. Once he let go of me. He thought it was fun to see me fall, but I didn't see the joke.

评点:题材有趣,所有的句子围绕滑冰一件事来说,结尾出人意料。Interesting subject. Every sentence is talking about skating. The ending gives surprise.

(3) 描述放学回家的过程

Version A

Yesterday I went home from school. I saw many cars. I also saw some large trucks. I went home with my brother. We were very late when we made it home.评点:事与事之间无联系,没有统一的主题。

Version B

Yesterday noon I saw a girl who had trouble with her car. She stopped at a street crossing (路口). When the traffic cop signaled(给信号) to go, she couldn't start(起动). There was a long line of cars behind her. After a while she finally started her car. I think she was frightened to death.

评点:主题突出,句子紧凑,只围绕一件事说,结尾有总结性观点。

9. 中国同学训练自己的英文描述能力时应按以下步骤进行:

A 想清楚要表达的主题。

B 用逻辑流程图展示描述的结构,并且检验这一结构是否有效地组织了事件。

C 用有意思的细节扩展完成这一流程图。

——英、汉转换时应当注意的几个问题

1. 英、汉双语之间的转换发生在三个层面,即:声音层面(sound)、句子结构层面(grammar)和意义层面(meaning)。由于英、汉两种语言代表着两种不同的思维方式,因此在进行它们之间的转换(或更高标准:口译)时,学习者应把握两种语言的重要思维差异。

2. 句子是语言中表达意义的基本单位。英、汉两种语言的句子都可以静态地这样来看待:每个句子至少包含一个子句(clause);每个子句至少是由一个短语(phrase)构成;每个短语至少含有一个词(word);每个词至少由一个词素(morpheme,例如:threatening可拆解成threat+en+ing;railway可拆解成rail+way)组成。

3. 英、汉两种语言中句子的主要成分都是“主语”+“谓语”,例如:(汉)我‖看过这部电影。这个句子中“我”是主语,“看过”是谓语;(English)I saw the movie.这个句子中“I”是主语,“saw”是谓语。从大的方面来说,英、汉两种语言是相似的,即通常都是先说主语后说谓语。两种语言的重要区别则发生在连带成分(宾语和补语)和附加成分(定语和状语)上。例如:“你在学什么?”“我在学英语。“这里,“什么”和“英语”都是宾语。比较英语中的说法:What are you studying? I am studying English. “你在哪儿学?”“我在学校学。”这里的“在哪儿”和“在学校”都是补足谓语动词意思的“补语”。比较英语中的说法:Where do you study? I study in school.简单的定语和状语使用的习惯,两种语言无大差别,如:好小伙子/a nice fellow;很幸福/very happy。区别出现在定语和状语变得复杂的时候,如:He had four sons that became lawyers. 比较:他有四个当律师的儿子。He's coming downstairs with two sleeping bags over the top of his head.比较:他头上顶着两个睡袋走下楼梯。

 
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