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  • The History of English In Ten Minutes

    十分鐘讀懂英文史

  • Chapter One Anglo-Saxon

    第一章:盎格魯薩克遜語

  • Or "Whatever happened to the Jutes?"

    那些朱特人死去哪了?

  • The English language begins with the phrase "Up Yours Caesar!"

    英文的歷史開始於「去你的,凱薩」這句話

  • as the Romans leave Britain

    羅馬人離開不列顛群島後

  • and a lot of Germanic tribes start flooding in,

    許多日耳曼部族開始湧入

  • tribes such as the Angles and the Saxons

    像是盎格魯人和薩克遜人

  • who together gave us the term Anglo-Saxon,

    結合起來創造出了「盎格魯薩克遜」這個名詞

  • and the Jutes -- who didn't.

    還有沒創造什麼的朱特人

  • The Romans left some very straight roads behind,

    羅馬人留下了許多筆直的路

  • but not much of their Latin language.

    但他們用的拉丁文沒留下

  • The Anglo-Saxon vocab was much more useful

    盎格魯薩克遜語的詞彙實用多了

  • as it was mainly words for simple everyday things

    因為大多數是日常生活用語

  • like 'house', 'woman', 'loaf' and 'werewolf'.

    像「房子」、「女人」、「麵包」和「狼人」

  • Four of our days of the week

    一周有四天的名稱

  • were named in honour of Anglo-Saxon gods

    是依據盎格魯薩克遜的神祇取的

  • but they didn't bother with Saturday, Sunday and Monday

    但六日一三天不是

  • as they had all gone off for a long weekend.

    因為他們周末都不在岡位

  • While they were away,

    他們放假的時候

  • Christian missionaries stole in

    基督教傳教士溜了進來

  • bringing with them leaflets

    帶來了一些

  • about jumble sales and more Latin.

    用拉丁文寫的義賣傳單

  • Christianity was a hit with the locals

    基督教大受民眾歡迎

  • and made them much happier

    且讓他們更容易

  • to take on funky new words from latin

    接受拉丁語的怪字

  • like 'martyr', 'bishop' and 'font'.

    像是「殉道者」、「主教」和「字體」

  • Along came the Vikings,

    這時維京人

  • with their action-man words

    也帶著他們帥氣的字彙來了

  • like 'drag', 'ransack', 'thrust' and 'die',

    舉凡「拖曳」、「劫掠」和「去死」等等

  • They may have raped and pillaged

    他們燒殺擄掠過

  • but there were also into 'give' and 'take'

    但同樣樂於施捨

  • two of around 2000 words that they gave English,

    總共有兩千個英文字彙是源於他們

  • as well as the phrase 'watch out for that man with the enormous axe.'

    還有「小心那個帶著大斧頭的傢伙」這句話

  • Chapter Two The Norman Conquest

    第二章:諾曼人統治

  • Or "Excuse my English"

    英文很爛請見諒

  • True to his name, William the Conqueror invades England,

    1066年,名符其實的征服者威廉入侵了不列顛

  • bringing new concepts from across the channel

    帶來了海峽對岸的新觀念

  • like the French language,

    像是法語

  • the Domesday book

    末日審判書

  • and the duty free Galois's multipack.

    還有幾條免稅店的Galois菸

  • French was de rigeur for all official business,

    法文是官方事務的用語

  • with words like 'judge', 'jury', 'evidence' and 'justice'

    比如「法官」、「陪審團」、「證據」和「正義」這些字

  • coming in and giving John Grisham's career a kick-start.

    開始被使用,讓約翰葛里遜得以開展他的寫作事業

  • Latin was still used ad nauseam in Church,

    拉丁文仍在教會的繁文耨節中使用

  • but the common man spoke English

    老百姓還是講英文

  • able to communicate only by speaking

    但為了讓別人聽得懂

  • more slowly and loudly until the others understood him.

    只能越講越慢越大聲

  • Words like 'cow', 'sheep' and 'swine'

    「牛」、「羊」、「豬」這些字

  • come from the English-speaking farmers,

    是講英文的農夫使用

  • while the a la carte versions

    但盤子裡的

  • - 'beef', 'mutton' and 'pork' -

    「牛肉」、「羊肉」和「豬肉」

  • come from the French-speaking toffs

    則是講法文的上流階層用的

  • -- beginning a long running trend for restaurants having completely indecipherable menus.

    開創了餐廳使用意義不明的字彙來寫菜單的風潮

  • All in all the English absorbed about ten thousand new words form the Normans

    英文大概從諾曼語吸收了一萬多個字

  • though they still couldn't grasp the notion of cheek kissing.

    但大家仍然無法理解親臉頰的規則

  • The bonhomie all ended

    和樂的氣氛在英法百年戰爭時結束

  • when the English nation took their new warlike lingo of 'armies', 'navies' and 'soldiers' and began the Hundred Years War against France.

    這時英國人開始借用「軍隊」、「海軍」和「士兵」這類字眼

  • It actually lasted 116 years

    實際上戰爭持續了116年

  • but by that point no one could count any higher in French

    但當時沒人能用法文數超過一百

  • and English took over as the language of power

    英語漸漸提升地位成為當權者的語言

  • Chapter 3 Shakespeare

    第三章:莎士比亞

  • As the dictionary tells us about 2000 new words and phrases were invented by William Shakespeare

    字典告訴我們,莎士比亞大概發明了兩千個新字

  • He gave us handy words like 'eyeball', 'puppydog' and 'anchovy'

    他留了些好用的字給我們,像是「眼球」、「小狗」和「鯷魚」

  • and more showoffy words like 'dauntless', 'besmirch' and 'lacklustre'

    還有些華麗的字,像是「無畏的」、「糟蹋」和「死氣沉沉」等

  • He came up with the word 'alligator' soon after he ran off of things to rime with crocodile

    在用完與「Crocodile」押韻的字之後,他還發明了「Alligator」這個字

  • And a nation of tea drinkers finally took him to their hearts when he invented the 'hobnob'

    這個愛喝茶的國度,在他發明「對飲」這個字之後終於衷心接受他

  • Shakespeare knew the power of catch phrases as well as biscuits

    莎士比亞深知流行語的重要性

  • Without him we'd never heard our flesh and blood out of house and home

    沒有他,我們就沒辦法描述某人敗家敗到破產

  • we'd have to say good riddance to the green eyed monster

    只能跟綠眼怪物(描述忌妒的人)說再見

  • And breaking the ice would be as dead as a doornail.

    「破冰」這句話也不復存在。

  • If you tried to get your money's worth you'd be given short shrift

    如果你想「花錢花得值得」,只會被「忽視」

  • and anyone who laid it on with a trowel could be hoist with his own petard

    太過「溢美」別人的人可能會「自食其果」

  • of course, it's possible other people used these words first

    當然這些句子可能是別人先發明的

  • but the dictionary writers liked looking them up in Shakespeare,

    但字典的編者都喜歡在莎士比亞的書裡找原典

  • because there was more crossdressing and people poking each other's eyes out.

    因為裡面有比較多的變裝癖和殺來殺去的傢伙

  • Shakespeare's poetry showed the world that English was a rich, vibrant language

    莎士比亞的作品讓世人知道英文是個充滿生氣的語言

  • with limitless expressive and emotional power

    擁有無限的表現力和感情張力

  • and he still had time to open all those tea rooms in Stratford.

    而且在此之餘他還有空閒在故居開茶館

  • Chapter four The King James Bible

    第四章:詹姆士王版聖經

  • Or "Let there be light reading"

    - 請讓我的聖經好讀一點

  • In 1611 "the powers that be" "turned the world upside down" with a "labour of love"

    1611年,「在上有權柄的人」用他「因愛心所受的勞苦」「攪亂天下」

  • a new translation of the bible.

    誕生了一本聖經的新譯本

  • A team of scribes with the "wisdom of Solomon" "went the extra mile"

    一群手握「所羅門智慧」的抄寫員「多走一里路」

  • to make King James's translation

    只為讓詹姆士王聖經

  • "all things to all men",

    成為所有人的一切

  • whether from their 'heart's desire'

    這些人可能是誠心勞動

  • 'to fight the good fight'

    或是為了佈道

  • or just for the 'filthy lucre'.

    也可能只是貪「不義之財」

  • This sexy new Bible went "from strength to strength"

    這本性感的新聖經「力上加力」

  • getting to 'the root of the matter'

    內容直指「惹事的根」

  • in a language even "the salt of the earth" could understand.

    且用的是所有人都能理解的語言

  • "The writing wasn't on the wall",

    聖經的教訓不再是「在王宮的粉牆上」

  • it was in handy little books

    而是在手邊的小書中

  • and with "fire and brimstone" preachers

    還有熱心的傳教士

  • reading from it in every church,

    在每間教堂裡宣揚它

  • its words and phrases 'took root' 'to the ends of the earth'

    這本書的詞句在世界的盡頭生了根

  • well at least the ends of Britain.

    ─起碼有到不列顛的盡頭

  • The King James Bible is the book that taught us that

    詹姆士王的譯本教導我們

  • "a leopard can't change its spots",

    「江山易改本性難移」

  • that "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush",

    「二鳥在林,不如一鳥在手」

  • that 'a wolf in sheep's clothing'

    「披著羊皮的狼」

  • is harder to spot than you would imagine

    比想像的還難找

  • and how annoying it is to have 'a fly in your ointment'.

    還有「油膏裡的蒼蠅」是多麼的惱人

  • In fact, just as "Jonathan begat Meribbaal;

    就像Jonathan生下Meribbaal

  • and Meribbaal begat Micah",

    Meribbaal生下Micah

  • the King James Bible begat a whole glossary of metaphor and morality

    詹姆士王聖經產生了如此多的譬喻和道德觀

  • that still shapes the way English is spoken today.

    形塑了我們現今所用的英文

  • Amen.

    阿門

  • Chapter V The English of Science

    第五章:科學英文

  • or how to speak with gravity

    - 如何正經的講話

  • Before the 17th century, scientists weren't really recognized

    在十七世紀之前,科學家不怎麼受重視

  • possibly because labcoats had yet to catch on.

    可能是因為還沒發明實驗袍

  • But suddenly Britain was full of physicists: there was R. Hooke

    但忽然間整個不列顛充滿了物理學家

  • R. Boyle and even some people not called Robert, like Isaac Newton.

    像虎克、波義耳,還有一些不叫Robert的,比如說牛頓

  • The royal society was formed out of the invisible college

    無形學院就這樣發展成皇家學院

  • after they put it down somewhere and couldn't find it again.

    然後他們再也找不到無形學院了

  • At first they worked in Latin. After sitting through

    一開始他們用拉丁文溝通

  • Newton's story about the 'pomum' falling to the 'Terra'

    在聽了牛頓講了無數遍 那顆「POMUM」從「ARBOR」掉到「TERRA」上的故事之後

  • from the 'arbor' for the umpteenth time, the bright sparks realized

    某人突然醒悟到

  • they all spoke English and they could transform our understanding

    他們都會講英文

  • of the Universe much quicker by talking in their own language.

    用自己的母語來交換對宇宙的理論會簡潔許多

  • But Science was discovering things faster than they could name them:

    但科學發現新事物的速度遠超過他們命名的速度

  • words like 'acid', 'gravity', 'electricity' and 'pendulum' had to

    所以他們得發明一些像是「酸」、「引力」和「鐘擺」的新字

  • be invented just to stop their meetings turning into an endless game of charades.

    他們的會議才不會變成永無止境的字謎遊戲

  • Like teenage boys, the scientists suddenly became aware of the human body

    就像青春期的男孩,科學家們突然很在意自己的身體

  • conying new words like 'cardiac', 'tonsil', 'ovary and 'sternum'

    又造出了一些新字如「心臟」、 「扁桃腺」、「卵巢」和「胸骨」

  • and the invention of 'penis' and 'vagina' made sex education classes

    創造了「陰莖」和「陰道」兩個字後,讓性教育更易懂了些

  • a bit easier to follow, though 'Clitoris' was still a source of confusion

    但「陰蒂」仍然令人困擾

  • Chapeter VI English and Empire

    第六章:英文與帝國

  • Or "The sun never sets on the English Language"

    - 講英文之地日永不落

  • With English making its name as the language of science, the Bible and Shakespeare,

    當英文成為科學、聖經和莎士比亞的語言之後

  • Britain decided to take it on tour.

    不列顛決定來場世界巡迴演出

  • Asking only for land, wealth,

    門票只需土地、財富

  • natural resources, total obedience to the crown

    自然資源、對皇室臣服

  • and a few local words in return.

    還有一些當地語言的字彙

  • They went to the Caribbean looking for gold and a chance to really unwind

    他們到了加勒比海希望能找到點黃金還能放鬆一下

  • discovering the "barbeque", the "canoe"

    結果找到了「烤肉」、「獨木舟」

  • and a pretty good recipe for rum punch.

    還有蘭姆雞尾酒的材料

  • They also brought back the word 'cannibal'

    還順便帶了「食人族」這字回去

  • to make their trip sound more exciting.

    讓旅程聽來更刺激點

  • In India there was something for everyone.

    在印度他們找到

  • 'Yoga' -- to help you stay in shape, while pretending to be spiritual.

    「瑜珈」,讓你在假裝冥想的時候瘦身

  • If that didn't work

    如果沒用的話

  • there was the "cummerbund" to hide a paunch

    還有「腹帶」來遮掩小腹

  • and, if you couldn't even make it up the stairs without turning "crimson"

    如果你沒辦法好好上樓梯

  • they had the "bungalow".

    他們還有「平房」

  • Meanwhile in Africa they picked up words like 'voodoo' and 'zombie'

    另外在非洲他們找到了「巫毒」和「殭屍」

  • kicking off the teen horror film

    開創了近代恐怖片用語

  • From Australia,

    在澳洲

  • English took the words 'nugget', 'boomerang' and 'walkabout'

    他們拿了「金塊」、「迴力鏢」和「四處走動」

  • and in fact the whole concept of chain pubs.

    其實就是連鎖酒吧的經營宗旨

  • All in all between toppling Napoleon and the first World War,

    在做掉拿破崙後跟一次大戰前這段期間

  • the British Empire gobbled up around 10 millions square miles,

    不列顛帝國吞下了四千萬平方公里的土地

  • 400 million people and nearly a hundred thousand gin and tonics,

    四億人民和成千上萬桶的琴酒

  • leaving new varieties of English to develop all over the globe.

    讓新變種的英文得以在世界各地發展

  • Chapter VII The age of the dictionary

    第七章:字典時代

  • or the definition of a hopeless task.

    - 永無完成之日的任務

  • With English expanding in all directions, along came a new

    隨著英文向四面八方擴張,

  • breed of men called lexicographies

    一種名叫「辭典編纂者」的新種人類出現了

  • who wanted to put an end to this anarchy, a word they defined

    這些人想解決這個

  • as what happens when people spell words slightly differently from each other.

    所有人拚出來的字都不一樣的無政府狀態

  • One of the greatest was dr. Johnson whose dictionary

    其中最重要的叫做約翰遜博士

  • of the English Language took him nine years to write.

    他花九年編了一本英文字典

  • He was 18" tall and contained 42773 entries meaning that even

    這本書高18吋,內有42773個條目

  • if you couldn't read, it was still pretty useful if you wanted to reach an high shelf.

    就算你不識字,用來當墊腳石還是滿實用的

  • For the first time when people were calling you a

    史上第一次,當有人叫你

  • 'pickleherring', a 'jobbernowl' or a 'fopdoodle', you could

    「醃鯡魚」、 「蠢蛋」或「笨瓜」的時候

  • understand exactly what they meant and you'd have the

    你可以完全理解他們在講什麼

  • consolation of knowing they all used the standard spelling

    而且會很欣慰他們都用了標準拼法

  • Try as he might to stop them, words kept being invented

    博士可能想就此打住,但新字還是不斷出現

  • and in 1857 a new book was started

    在1857年有一本新書開始編纂了

  • that would become the Oxford English Dictionary.

    就是後來的牛津辭典

  • It took another 70 years to be finished

    這本書花了七十年編成

  • after the first editor resigned to be an Archbishop,

    第一任編輯轉行去當主教

  • the second died of TB

    第二任死於結核

  • and the third was so boring that half his volunteers quit

    第三任無趣到讓他一半的組員辭職

  • and one of the ended up in an Asylum.

    其中一個還進了精神病院

  • It eventually appeared in 1928 and has continued to be revised ever since

    1928年它終於完成,且從此之後不斷校訂

  • proving the whole idea that you can stop people making up words is complete snuffbumble

    證明你有辦法阻止人們造出一些莫名其妙的字

  • Chapter VIII American English

    第八章:美式英文

  • Or "Not English but Somewhere in the ballpark"

    - 不是英文,但差不多啦

  • From the moment Brits landed in America they needed names for all the plants and animals

    英國人踏上美國之後,他們得替新找到的動植物命名

  • so they borrowed words like 'raccoon', 'squash' and 'moose' from the Native Americans,

    所以他們跟原住民借了「浣熊」、「南瓜」和「麋鹿」這些字

  • as well as most of their territory.

    順便搶了他們的土地

  • Waves of immigrants fed America's hunger for words.

    一波接一波的移民替美語增加更多字彙

  • The Dutch came sharing 'coleslaw' and 'cookies'

    荷蘭人分享了「涼拌捲心菜」和「小餅乾」

  • probably as a result of their relaxed attitude to drugs.

    還有他們對毒品的開放態度

  • Later, the Germans arrived selling 'pretzels' from 'delicatessens'

    後來德國人開始在「熟食店」裡賣「椒鹽餅乾」

  • and the Italians arrived with their 'pizza', their 'pasta' and their 'mafia', just like mamma used to make.

    義大利人帶了老媽做的「披薩」、「義大利麵」還有「黑手黨」

  • America spread a new language of capitalism

    美國人也開始散撥資本主義的字彙

  • getting everyone worried about the 'breakeven' and 'the bottom line',

    讓大家開始擔心「保本」、「底線」

  • and whether they were 'blue chip' or 'white collar'.

    想著要當白領階級買股票

  • The commuter needed a whole new system of 'freeways', 'subways' and 'parking lots'

    通勤的人需要「高速公路」「地鐵」和「停車格」

  • and quickly, before words like 'merger' and 'downsizing' could be invented.

    接著不久後出現了「合併」、「裁員」等等

  • American English drifted back across the pond

    美語擴散回到海對岸

  • as Brits 'got the hang of' their 'cool movies', and their 'groovy' 'jazz'.

    讓英國人也開始看電影聽爵士樂

  • There were even some old forgotten English words that lived on in America.

    甚至有些老字彙繼續在美國被使用

  • So they carried on using 'fall', 'faucets', 'diapers' and 'candy',

    美國人還在用「fall」、「faucets」、 「diaper」和「candy」

  • while the Brits moved on to 'autumn', 'taps', 'nappies' and NHS dental care.

    而英國人早已改用「autumn」、 「taps」、「nappies」而且還有牙醫保險

  • Chapter IX Internet English

    第九章:網路英文

  • Or "Language reverts to type"

    - 打字聲勝有聲

  • In 1972 the first email was sent.

    1972年,人類寄出了史上第一封email

  • Soon the Internet arrived, a free global space to share information, ideas

    不久,網路出現了, 讓全球的人得以交換情報、想法

  • and amusing pictures of cats.

    以及可愛的小貓照片

  • Before then English changed through people speaking it

    在這之前,是「講」英文的人在改變它

  • but the net brought typing back into fashion

    網路讓打字再一次蔚為風潮

  • and hundreds of cases of repetitive strain injuries.

    還伴隨著肌腱炎

  • Nobody had ever had to 'download' anything before, let alone use a 'toolbar'

    這之前沒有人能「下載」什麼東西,也沒有「工具列」

  • And the only time someone set up a 'firewall',

    如果你想做一道「(防)火牆」

  • it ended with a massive insurance claim and a huge pile of charred wallpaper.

    等著你的只有保險公司的帳單和壁紙的焦炭

  • Conversations were getting shorter than the average attention span

    對話也隨之越來越短

  • why bother writing a sentence when an abbreviation would do

    既然有縮寫能表達何必寫完整的句子?

  • and leave you more time to 'blog', 'poke' and 'reboot' when your 'hard drive' crashed?

    這樣你有更多時間可以寫網誌、或者在當機的時候重開機

  • 'In my humble opinion' became IMHO, 'by the way' became BTW

    「我的拙見」成為「IMHO」、「順帶一提」成為「BTW」

  • and 'if we're honest that life-threatening accident was pretty hilarious!' simply became 'fail'.

    「雖然老實說那很危險但實在超好笑的」 可以被省略成「FAIL」

  • Some changes even passed into spoken English.

    某些變化甚至被帶到了口語中

  • For your information people frequently asked questions like

    僅供參考(FYI):常常有人問(FAQ)

  • "how can 'LOL' mean 'laugh out loud' and 'lots of love'?

    為什麼LOL可以是 「大聲笑」又代表「很愛你」?

  • But if you're going to complain about that then UG2BK.

    如果你對這感到不爽,只能說「你實在太誇張了」

  • Chapter X Global English

    第十章:全球英文

  • Or "Whose language is it anyway?"

    - 這到底是哪國話?

  • In the 1500 years since the Roman's left Britain,

    在羅馬人離開不列顛後的這1500年中

  • English has shown an unique ability to absorb, evolve, invade

    英文嶄露了他吸收、成長、入侵

  • and, if we're honest, steal.

    還有剽竊的能力

  • After foreign settlers got it started, it grew into a fully-fledged language all of its own,

    自從外來移民開創它以來,它已成長為獨樹一格的語言

  • before leaving home and travelling the world, first via the high seas,

    它更向門外擴張,先是穿越大海

  • then via the high speed broadband connection, pilfering words from over 350 languages

    再穿越寬頻網路

  • and establishing itself as a global institution.

    從超過350種語言中偷了字彙,奠定了國際語言的地位

  • All this despite a written alphabet that bears no correlation to how it sounds

    儘管它使用的字母與發音完全無關

  • and a system of spelling that even Dan Brown couldn't decipher.

    且拼字規則連丹布朗也無法解讀

  • Right now around 1.5 billion people speak English.

    全世界約有15億人講英文

  • Of these about a quarter are native speakers, a quarter speak it as their second language,

    大概有四分之一是母語使用者,四分之一當作第二語言使用

  • and half are able to ask for directions to a swimming pool.

    剩下的可以用它來問路

  • There's Hinglish which is Hindi-English,

    變種有「Hinglish」─印度英文

  • Chinglish which is Chinese-English

    「Chinglish」─中式英文

  • and Singlish which is Singaporean English

    還有「Singlish」─新加坡英文

  • and not that bit when they speak in musicals.

    不是音樂劇用的那種

  • So in conclusion,

    總而言之

  • the language has got so little to do with England these days

    最近英文跟英國越來越扯不上關係

  • it may well be time to stop calling it 'English'.

    說不定我們不該繼續叫它「英文」了

  • But if someone does think up a new name for it, it should probably be in Chinese.

    但如果某個人替他想出了什麼新名字,新的名字可能會是用中文寫的

The History of English In Ten Minutes

十分鐘讀懂英文史