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  • I don't speak those languages.

    我不會說這些語言。

  • In fact, very few people do.

    事實上,非常少人會說。

  • They're used only by a handful of people and all those languages are in danger of extinction.

    只有少數人會說這些語言,這些所有語言都面臨滅絕的危機。

  • There are more than 7,000 languages spoken in the world today.

    當今世界有超過七千種語言。

  • But about a third of those have fewer than 1,000 speakers

    但其中約三分之一的使用人數少於 1,000 人

  • and according to UNESCO more than 40% of those languages are in danger of extinction.

    而且根據聯合國教科文組織的統計,這些語言中超過 40% 面臨滅絕的危機。

  • In fact, every fortnight, one of the world's languages disappears forever.

    事實上,每兩星期就有一種語言從世上永遠消失。

  • When you say dead language, many people think of Latin.

    當提到死語時,許多人會想到拉丁文。

  • But, Latin actually never died.

    但是,拉丁文實際上從未絕跡。

  • It's been spoken continuously since the time of the Caesars,

    自凱撒時代以來,拉丁文就持續在使用,

  • but it changed very gradually over 2,000 years until it became French, Spanish, and other romance languages.

    但它逐漸變化了 2000 多年,直到成為法文、西班牙文和其他浪漫語言。

  • True language death happens when communities switch to other languages

    真正的語言滅亡是當全體居民切換成另一種語言時,

  • and parent's stop raising their children to speak their old one.

    而且父母不再教導孩子說他們以前的語言。

  • When the last elderly speaker dies, the language is unlikely ever to be spoken fluently again.

    當最後一位年長的講者去世時,語言就不可能再次流利地說出來。

  • If you look at this chart which measures the world's languages in terms of their size and their state of health,

    如果你看看這張圖表,這是用來衡量世界各地的語言規模和健康狀況,

  • you can see that most languages are ranked in the middle.

    你可以看到大多數的語言都排在中間。

  • English, like just a few other dominant languages, is up at the top left-hand corner.

    英文,就像其他一些主要的語言一樣,位於左上角。

  • It's in a really strong state.

    處於非常強勢的狀態。

  • But if your language is down here in the bottom right-hand corner of the graph,

    但如果你的語言位於圖表的右下角,

  • like Kayapulau from Indonesia or Kuruaya from Brazil, you are are in serious trouble.

    像是來自印尼的 Kayapulau ,或是巴西的 Kuruaya,你就會陷入嚴重的困境。

  • In the bad, old days governments just banned languages they didn't like.

    在過去惡劣的時期,政府只是禁止他們不喜歡的語言。

  • But sometimes the pressure is more subtle.

    但有時壓力更微妙。

  • Any teenager growing up in the Soviet Union soon realized that whatever language you spoke at home, mastering Russian was going to be the key to success.

    任何在蘇聯長大的青少年很快就瞭解到,無論你在家裡說什麼語言,精通俄文會成為成功的關鍵。

  • Citizens of China, including Tibetans,

    中國的公民,包括藏族,

  • as well as speakers of Shanghainese or Cantonese face similar pressure today to focus on Mandarin.

    以及說上海話或廣東話的人,現今也面臨類似的壓力:必須專注於普通話。

  • Once a language is gone, well,

    一旦一種語言消失,

  • it usually goes the way of the dodo.

    通常會是渡渡鳥的方式。

  • Just one language has ever come back from the dead: Hebrew.

    只有一種語言從滅絕中重生:希伯來語。

  • It was extinct for two millennia

    它已經滅絕了兩千年,

  • but Jewish settlers to Palestine in the early 20th centuries spoke different languages back in Europe

    但在 20 世紀初期,巴勒斯坦的猶太定居者在歐洲講不同的語言,

  • and they adopted Hebrew on their arrival as their common language.

    而他們在抵達時,決定採用希伯來語作為共同語言。

  • It became Israel's official language when the country was fully established in 1948 and now had seven million speakers.

    在 1948 年以色列全面建國後,成了以色列的官方語言,現在有 700 萬人在說希伯來語。

  • Now Hebrew is the world's only fully revived language but others are trying.

    目前來說,希伯來語是世上唯一完全復興的語言,但其他的正在嘗試。

  • Cornish spoken in southwestern England died out two centuries ago.

    英格蘭西南部的康瓦爾語早在兩個世紀前就消失。

  • But today there are several hundred speakers of the revived language.

    但現在,這個復興的語言有好幾百名使用者。

  • Practicality aside, human diversity is a good thing in it's own right.

    除了實用性外,人類的多樣性本身就是件好事。

  • Imagine going on an exciting holiday only to find that the food, clothing, buildings, the people, and yes, the language was just the same as back home.

    想像一下,在一個令人興奮的渡假中,只有發現食物、衣服、建築物、民眾,而且當然,語言就像回家一樣。

  • Oliver Wendell Holmes put it well,

    奧利弗·溫德爾·霍姆斯說得好:

  • "Every language is a temple in which the soul of those who speak it is enshrined."

    「每種語言都是座神殿,祀奉著每個講述的靈魂。」

  • Moving that soul of the people from a temple into a museum just isn't the same thing.

    將人類的靈魂從神殿轉移到博物館中並不是同樣的事。

I don't speak those languages.

我不會說這些語言。

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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 語言 希伯來語 滅絕 神殿 以色列 圖表

語言為何滅亡?(Why do languages die? | The Economist)

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    Samuel 發佈於 2018 年 10 月 18 日
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