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  • I know what you're thinking.

    我知道你們在想什麼

  • You think I've lost my way,

    你們覺得我迷路了

  • and somebody's going to come on the stage in a minute

    馬上就會有人走上台

  • and guide me gently back to my seat.

    溫和地把我帶回我的座位上

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • I get that all the time in Dubai.

    我在杜拜總會遇上這種事

  • "Here on holiday are you, dear?"

    “來這裡度假的嗎,親愛的?”

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • "Come to visit the children?

    “來探望孩子的嗎?

  • How long are you staying?"

    這次要待多久呢?"

  • Well actually, I hope for a while longer yet.

    恩,事實上,我希望能再待久一點

  • I have been living and teaching in the Gulf

    我在波斯灣這邊生活和教書

  • for over 30 years.

    已經超過30年了

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • And in that time, I have seen a lot of changes.

    這段時間裡,我看到了很多變化

  • Now that statistic

    現在這份數據

  • is quite shocking.

    是挺嚇人的

  • And I want to talk to you today

    而我今天要和你們說的

  • about language loss

    是有關語言的消失

  • and the globalization of English.

    和英語的全球化

  • I want to tell you about my friend

    我想和你們談談我的朋友

  • who was teaching English to adults in Abu Dhabi.

    她在阿布達比教成人英語

  • And one fine day,

    在一個晴朗的日子裡

  • she decided to take them into the garden

    她決定帶她的學生到花園去

  • to teach them some nature vocabulary.

    教他們一些大自然的詞彙

  • But it was she who ended up learning

    但最後卻變成是她在學習

  • all the Arabic words for the local plants,

    所有當地植物在阿拉伯語中是怎麼說的

  • as well as their uses --

    還有這些植物是如何被使用

  • medicinal uses, cosmetics,

    作為藥材,化妝品

  • cooking, herbal.

    烹飪,香草

  • How did those students get all that knowledge?

    這些學生是怎麼得到這些知識的呢?

  • Of course, from their grandparents

    當然是從他們的祖父母

  • and even their great-grandparents.

    甚至曾祖父母那裡得來的

  • It's not necessary to tell you how important it is

    不需要我來告訴你們

  • to be able to communicate

    能夠跨世代溝通

  • across generations.

    是多麼重要

  • But sadly, today,

    但遺憾的是,今天

  • languages are dying

    很多語言

  • at an unprecedented rate.

    正在以前所未有的速度消失

  • A language dies every 14 days.

    每14天就有一種語言消失

  • Now, at the same time,

    而在此同時

  • English is the undisputed global language.

    英語卻無庸置疑地成為全球性的語言

  • Could there be a connection?

    這其中有關聯嗎?

  • Well I don't know.

    我不知道

  • But I do know that I've seen a lot of changes.

    但我知道的是我見證過許多改變

  • When I first came out to the Gulf, I came to Kuwait

    當我初次來到波灣,我是去科威特

  • in the days when it was still a hardship post.

    當時教英文仍然是個困難的工作

  • Actually, not that long ago.

    其實,沒有那麼久啦

  • That is a little bit too early.

    這有點太久以前了

  • But nevertheless,

    總之

  • I was recruited by the British Council,

    我被英國文化協會聘用

  • along with about 25 other teachers.

    連同其他25位老師

  • And we were the first non-Muslims

    我們是第一批非穆斯林的老師

  • to teach in the state schools there in Kuwait.

    在科威特的國立學校任教

  • We were brought to teach English

    我們被派到那裡教英語

  • because the government wanted to modernize the country

    是因為當地政府希望國家可以現代化

  • and to empower the citizens through education.

    並透過教育提升公民的水準

  • And of course, the U.K. benefited

    當然,英國也能得到些好處

  • from some of that lovely oil wealth.

    產油國可是很有錢的

  • Okay.

    言歸正傳

  • Now this is the major change that I've seen --

    我見過最大的改變, 就是

  • how teaching English

    英語教學

  • has morphed

    的蛻變

  • from being a mutually beneficial practice

    如何從一個互惠互利的方式

  • to becoming a massive international business that it is today.

    變成今天這種大規模的國際事業

  • No longer just a foreign language on the school curriculum,

    英語不再是學校課程裡的外語學科

  • and no longer the sole domain

    也不再只是

  • of mother England,

    英國的專利

  • it has become a bandwagon

    英語(教學)已經成為

  • for every English-speaking nation on earth.

    所有英語系國家追逐的潮流

  • And why not?

    何樂而不為呢?

  • After all, the best education --

    畢竟,最好的教育來自於最好的大學

  • according to the latest World University Rankings --

    而根據最新的世界大學排名

  • is to be found in the universities

    那些名列前茅的

  • of the U.K. and the U.S.

    都是英國和美國的大學

  • So everybody wants to have an English education, naturally.

    所以自然每個人都想接受英語教育

  • But if you're not a native speaker,

    但如果你不是以英文為母語

  • you have to pass a test.

    你就要通過考試

  • Now can it be right

    但僅憑語言能力

  • to reject a student

    就拒絕學生

  • on linguistic ability alone?

    這樣對嗎?

  • Perhaps you have a computer scientist

    譬如如果你碰到一位電腦科學家

  • who's a genius.

    他是位天才

  • Would he need the same language as a lawyer, for example?

    他會需要有和律師一樣的語言能力嗎?

  • Well, I don't think so.

    我不這麼認為

  • We English teachers reject them all the time.

    但身為英語老師的我們卻總是拒絕他們

  • We put a stop sign,

    我們處處設限

  • and we stop them in their tracks.

    將學生擋在路上

  • They can't pursue their dream any longer,

    使他們無法再追求自己的夢想

  • 'til they get English.

    直到他們通過考試

  • Now let me put it this way:

    現在容我換一個方式說

  • if I met a monolingual Dutch speaker

    如果我遇到了一位只會說荷蘭話的人

  • who had the cure for cancer,

    而這個人能治愈癌症

  • would I stop him from entering my British University?

    我會阻止他進入我的英國大學嗎?

  • I don't think so.

    我想不會

  • But indeed, that is exactly what we do.

    但事實上,我們的確在做這種事

  • We English teachers are the gatekeepers.

    我們這些英語老師就是把關的

  • And you have to satisfy us first

    你必須先讓我們滿意

  • that your English is good enough.

    使我們認定你的英文夠好

  • Now it can be dangerous

    但這可能是危險的

  • to give too much power

    把太多的權力

  • to a narrow segment of society.

    交由這麼小的一群人把持

  • Maybe the barrier would be too universal.

    也許會令這種障礙太過普及

  • Okay.

  • "But," I hear you say,

    "但是",我聽到你們問

  • "what about the research?

    "那研究呢?"

  • It's all in English."

    "他們都用英文"

  • So the books are in English,

    書用英文寫

  • the journals are done in English,

    期刊也都是用英文

  • but that is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    但這只是一種理所當然的現象

  • It feeds the English requirement.

    有英語要求自然就有英語供給

  • And so it goes on.

    然後就這麼循環下去

  • I ask you, what happened to translation?

    我倒想問問大家,為什麼不用翻譯呢?

  • If you think about the Islamic Golden Age,

    如果你們想想伊斯蘭的黃金時代

  • there was lots of translation then.

    當時翻譯盛行

  • They translated from Latin and Greek

    他們把拉丁文和希臘文

  • into Arabic, into Persian,

    翻譯成阿拉伯文或波斯文

  • and then it was translated on

    然後再由拉伯文或波斯文翻譯為

  • into the Germanic languages of Europe

    歐洲的日耳曼語言

  • and the Romance languages.

    以及羅曼語言

  • And so light shone upon the Dark Ages of Europe.

    於是文明照亮了歐洲的黑暗時代

  • Now don't get me wrong;

    但不要誤會我的意思

  • I am not against teaching English,

    我不是反對英語教學

  • all you English teachers out there.

    或是在座所有的英語老師

  • I love it that we have a global language.

    我很高興我們有一個全球性的語言

  • We need one today more than ever.

    這在今日尤為重要

  • But I am against using it

    但我反對用英語

  • as a barrier.

    設立障礙

  • Do we really want to end up with 600 languages

    難道我們真希望世界上只剩下600種語言

  • and the main one being English, or Chinese?

    其中又以英文或中文為主流?

  • We need more than that. Where do we draw the line?

    我們需要的不只如此。那麼我們該如何拿捏呢?

  • This system

    這個體制

  • equates intelligence

    把智能

  • with a knowledge of English,

    和英語能力畫上等號

  • which is quite arbitrary.

    這是相當武斷的

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • And I want to remind you

    我想要提醒你們

  • that the giants upon whose shoulders

    扶持當代知識分子的

  • today's intelligentsia stand

    這些"巨人肩膀"

  • did not have to have English,

    不必非得具有英文能力

  • they didn't have to pass an English test.

    他們不需要通過英語考試

  • Case in point, Einstein.

    愛因斯坦就是典型的例子

  • He, by the way, was considered remedial at school

    順便說一下,他在學校還曾被認為需要補救教學

  • because he was, in fact, dyslexic.

    因為他其實有閱讀障礙

  • But fortunately for the world,

    但對整個世界來說, 很幸運的

  • he did not have to pass an English test.

    當時他不需要通過英語考試

  • Because they didn't start until 1964

    因為他們直到1964年

  • with TOEFL,

    才開始使用托福

  • the American test of English.

    (一種美式英語測驗)

  • Now it's exploded.

    現在英語測驗太氾濫了

  • There are lots and lots of tests of English.

    有太多太多的英語測驗

  • And millions and millions of students

    以及成千上萬的學生

  • take these tests every year.

    每年都在參加這些考試

  • Now you might think, you and me,

    現在你會認為,你和我都這麼想

  • "Those fees aren't bad, they're okay,"

    這些費用不貴,價錢滿合理的

  • but they are prohibitive

    但是對數百萬的窮人來說

  • to so many millions of poor people.

    這些費用高不可攀

  • So immediately, we're rejecting them.

    所以當下我們又拒絕了他們

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • It brings to mind a headline I saw recently:

    這使我想起最近看到的一個新聞標題:

  • "Education: The Great Divide."

    “教育:大鴻溝”

  • Now I get it,

    現在我懂了

  • I understand why people would want to focus on English.

    我了解為什麼大家都重視英語

  • They want to give their children the best chance in life.

    因為他們希望給孩子最好的人生機會

  • And to do that, they need a Western education.

    為了達成這目的,他們需要西方教育

  • Because, of course, the best jobs

    畢竟,不可否認,最好的工作

  • go to people out of the Western Universities,

    都留給那些西方大學畢業出來的人

  • that I put on earlier.

    就像我之前說的

  • It's a circular thing.

    這是一種循環

  • Okay.

  • Let me tell you a story about two scientists,

    我跟你們說一個關於兩位科學家的故事

  • two English scientists.

    有兩位英國科學家