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  • Every year, about 1,000 new words are added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

    牛津英語字典每年加入約1,000個新詞

  • Where do they come from,

    這些新詞從何而來?

  • and how do they make it into our everyday lives?

    它們又是如何融入我們日常的生活呢?

  • With over 170,000 words currently in use in the English language,

    如今,英語涵蓋多達170,000個單字

  • it might seem we already have plenty.

    這看似已經很多了

  • Yet, as our world changes,

    然而當世界改變、

  • new ideas and inventions spring forth,

    創新的想法和發明不斷湧出、

  • and science progresses,

    科技進步,

  • our existing words leave gaps in what we want to express

    現有的單字已無法表達我們的思緒

  • and we fill those gaps in several ingenious,

    所以我們選擇用一些聰明的、

  • practical,

    實用的、

  • and occasionally peculiar ways.

    奇特的方法去填補

  • One way is to absorb a word from another language.

    我們可以從其他語言中納取新詞

  • English has borrowed so many words over its history

    英語在演化過程中借用了許多外語單字,

  • that nearly half of its vocabulary comes directly from other languages.

    將近一半的字彙直接引用自其他語言

  • Sometimes, this is simply because the thing the word describes

    有時,被借用的外語單字可以很好的詮釋

  • was borrowed itself.

    事物的本身

  • Rome and France brought legal and religious concepts,

    羅馬和法國將聖壇與陪審團等法律宗教觀念

  • like altar and jury, to Medieval England,

    引入中世紀英國,

  • while trade brought crops and cuisine,

    而貿易則帶入農作物和料理,

  • like Arabic coffee,

    例如阿拉比卡咖啡、

  • Italian spaghetti,

    義大利麵

  • and Indian curry.

    以及印度咖哩

  • But sometimes, another language has just the right word

    而有時,其他語言正好擁有一個單字

  • for a complex idea or emotion,

    能正確的形容某種複雜的想法或情感,

  • like naïveté

    例如天真的、

  • machismo,

    男子氣概、

  • or schadenfreude.

    或是幸災樂禍

  • Scientists also use classical languages to name new concepts.

    科學家也會利用古語為新的概念命名

  • Clone, for example, was derived from the Ancient Greek word for twig

    例如「克隆」源自古希臘文的「樹枝」一詞,

  • to describe creating a new plant from a piece of the old.

    形容植物轉殖技術

  • And today, the process works both ways,

    而如今,英語也同時影響其他語言,

  • with English lending words like software to languages all over the world.

    像是程式語言將英文引入世界各地

  • Another popular way to fill a vocabulary gap

    另一種常見的彌補文法缺漏的方式

  • is by combining existing words that each convey part of the new concept.

    是結合多個單字來傳達新的概念

  • This can be done by combining two whole words into a compound word,

    我們可以將兩個完整單字變成合成字

  • like airport

    像是機場

  • or starfish,

    或是海星,

  • or by clipping and blending parts of words together, like spork,

    也可以擷取或混合其中一部份,像是叉勺、

  • brunch,

    早午餐

  • or internet.

    或是網路

  • And unlike borrowings from other languages,

    相較於從其他語言借用的單字,

  • these can often be understood the first time you hear them.

    這些單字比較容易被理解

  • And sometimes a new word isn't new at all.

    新詞並非都是新創造的

  • Obsolete words gain new life by adopting new meanings.

    舊詞也可以被賦予新的涵義

  • Villain originally meant a peasant farmer, but in a twist of aristocratic snobbery

    "Villain"原本代表鄉間農夫,後來卻轉而形容

  • came to mean someone not bound by the knightly code of chivalry

    毫無騎士精神的貴族勢力,

  • and, therefore, a bad person.

    而如今被解釋為壞人

  • A geek went from being a carnival performer

    "Geek"從嘉年華表演者

  • to any strange person

    轉而形容

  • to a specific type of awkward genius.

    某領域的怪才

  • And other times, words come to mean their opposite through irony,

    單字有時表示與他們字義相反的事物,常見的情形有反諷、

  • metaphor,

    暗喻

  • or misuse,

    或是誤用字義,

  • like when sick or wicked are used to describe something literally amazing.

    例如我們會用厭惡或壞去描繪令人讚嘆的事物

  • But if words can be formed in all these ways,

    但當我們擁有這麼多造詞方法,

  • why do some become mainstream while others fall out of use

    為何無法避免有些單字成為主流,有些單字被遺忘

  • or never catch on in the first place?

    或是不曾變成流行?

  • Sometimes, the answer is simple,

    答案常常很簡單,

  • as when scientists or companies give an official name to a new discovery

    例如科學家或公司會賦予新發現或技術

  • or technology.

    一個正式名稱

  • And some countries have language academies to make the decisions.

    又如某些國家利用語言研究機構做出選擇

  • But for the most part, official sources like dictionaries

    但大部分時間,像是字典等正式資料來源

  • only document current usage.

    只負責紀錄下當下流行的用法

  • New words don't originate from above, but from ordinary people

    新詞往往不是這樣產生的,而是透過百姓

  • spreading words that hit the right combination

    口耳相傳

  • of useful and catchy.

    實用且好用的單字

  • Take the word meme,

    以Meme為例,

  • coined in the 1970s by sociobiologist Richard Dawkins

    1970年代,社會生物學家理查·道金斯創造了這個字,

  • from the Ancient Greek for imitation.

    而他的靈感來自於古希臘文

  • He used it to describe how ideas and symbols propagate through a culture

    他用Meme去解釋思想與象徵如何在文化間傳遞,

  • like genes through a population.

    這就如同基因在人口間傳遞的概念

  • With the advent of the Internet,

    隨著網路世代的來臨,

  • the process became directly observable in how jokes and images

    我們可以明顯發現笑話或影像

  • were popularized at lightning speed.

    已快速融入了日常生活

  • And soon, the word came to refer to a certain kind of image.

    很快地,單字被用來指特定種類的影像

  • So meme not only describes how words become part of language,

    所以,meme不只描繪單字是如何融入語言中,

  • the word is a meme itself.

    單字本身其實就是meme

  • And there's a word for this phenomenon of words that describe themselves:

    我們可以用一個詞形容單字詮釋本意的現象:

  • autological.

    "autological"

  • Not all new words are created equal.

    並非所有新詞都生而平等

  • Some stick around for millennia,

    有些流傳千古,

  • some adapt to changing times,

    有些隨時代而變化,

  • and others die off.

    有些則消失

  • Some relay information,

    有些新詞傳達訊息,

  • some interpret it,

    有些解釋著知識

  • but the way these words are created

    無論如何,這些新詞被創造的方式

  • and the journey they take to become part of our speech

    以及新詞所歷經的演變,

  • tells us a lot about our world and how we communicate within it.

    讓我們更了解自己的世界以及我們如何進行溝通

Every year, about 1,000 new words are added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

牛津英語字典每年加入約1,000個新詞

字幕與單字

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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 單字 語言 形容 融入 詮釋

【TED-Ed】新詞從何而來? (Where do new words come from? - Marcel Danesi)

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    osmend 發佈於 2017 年 09 月 08 日
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