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英语文化扫雷:这些话在美国千万不能说

时间:2012-03-23 15:48:49  来源:  作者:

来自:国际在线

Everyone wants a piece of Jeremy Lin. From Linsanity to Lin-credible then Va-Lin-tine, news headlines have been trying to find wordplays to match the new sensation on the NBA court with his meteoric shoot to stardom。

人人都想跟林书豪扯上点关系。从“林疯狂”、“林不思议”,到“情林节”,新闻标题中变着花样地玩着文字游戏,来描述这位一夜成名的NBA新星。

However, “A Chink in the Armor”, a news headline that blamed Lin for his team’s loss of a game, is obviously a turnoff which threw a PR disaster at ESPN, one of world’s major sports network. It also cost an editor his job. The charge is racism。

然而,一条指责林书豪导致他所在球队输掉比赛的新闻标题“盔甲上的中国佬”却令人大倒胃口,也将身为全球最大的体育新闻网之一的娱乐体育节目电视网身陷公关危机。一位编辑甚至被炒了鱿鱼,罪名是使用种族主义词汇。

The case again reminds Americans that while the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, a wrong choice of word might ignite a bomb。

这一事件让美国人再次意识到,虽然美国宪法第一修正案确保了言论的自由,但错误的措辞可能会引起轩然大波。

It’s also a warning to people outside the country who engage in international communications。

这也为其他国家从事国际交流的人士敲响了警钟。

Racism

种族主义

Put aside the context, the phrase “Chink in the armor” means the weak point in a supposedly strong defense. It is somewhat similar to “a fly in the ointment”。

如果不考虑具体语境,“盔甲上的破绽”这句短语指的是本该万无一失的防御中出现的弱点,有点类似于“软膏里的苍蝇”这个短语(意为一粒老鼠屎坏了一锅粥或令人扫兴的人或事物)。

The phrase is often deployed in sports writing to describe a player’s weakness which affects the whole team。

这一短语经常出现在体育报道中,用来形容因为某位队员的弱势而导致整个团队受影响。

But the word is also a racial slur against Chinese people。

但同时Chink这个词也是对中国人带有种族主义的诽谤。

With Lin’s Chinese heritage, the “Chink in the armor” was soon bombarded for its racial implication. To quiet public fury, ESPN issued an apology: “We regret and apologize for this mistake。”

由于林书豪的中国背景,这则题为“盔甲上的破绽(Chink在俚语中,贬义指中国佬)”的报道因带有种族主义色彩,很快招致人们炮轰。为平息众怒,ESPN公开道歉:“我们对这一错误表示遗憾和歉意。”

Political correctness

政治正确性

Racist comment is taboo. But there are many more minefields that people try to avoid in daily life to avoid public offense。

带有种族主义色彩的评论是一大禁忌。但日常生活中存在更多的雷区,人们需要尽量回避以免引发众怒。

Former Harvard president Lawrence Summers in 2005 explained why there were fewer female scientists in elite universities. He put it down to different innate ability between men and women。

在2005年,哈佛大学前任校长劳伦斯 萨莫斯(音译)在解释了为何顶尖大学中女性科学家人数较少这一问题时。他将其归因于男女天生有别。

This caused a furor. Summers issued an apology: “I was wrong to have spoken in a way that has resulted in an unintended signal of discouragement to talented girls and women。”

此举引发轰动。萨莫斯公开致歉说:“我错误地用那样的方式说话,无意地发出了错误的信号,让有才能的女性感到受挫。”

Interpretations of history can cause offense. A French politician was sentenced to jail recently for remarks about the Nazi occupation of France。

诠释历史也会触怒公众。最近,法国一位政治家就因其关于纳粹占领法国的言论而被判入狱。

His remarks were considered “politically incorrect”。

他的言论被认为是“政治上不正确的”。

In the book A Short History of Political Correctness, Ruth Perry explains that in order to cause minimum offense to race, gender, age, profession, religion, culture, disability and so on, political correctness, as an umbrella, functions as a social consensus on language, policy, behavior and other ideas to ensure no social group suffers from discrimination。

在《政治正确性简史》一书中,鲁兹 帕瑞(音译)解释说,政治正确性是一把保护伞,作为就语言、政治、行为及其他思想而达成的社会共识,以确保所有社会群体不受歧视,最大程度上减小对宗族、性别、年龄、职业、宗教、文化、残疾的冒犯。

Thus any ignite violation of social taboos and political correctness could cause damage。

因此任何违反社会禁忌以及政治正确性的导火索都可能带来伤害。

“We live in a culture in which a breach of political correctness is criminal,” said Leo Schwartz in the Columbia Daily Spectator last week。

“在我们所处的文化之中,违反政治正确性即是犯罪。”里奥 施瓦兹(音译)于上周的《哥伦比亚观察家》中如是说。

Taboo-buster

禁忌语大扫除

Don’t joke about bombs: A new taboo due to the US’ war on terrorism. Remember Chandler Bing in Friends? He is detained for a joke. In real life, the consequences could be far worse。


不要拿炸弹来开玩笑:这是美国反恐战争所产生的最新禁忌语。记得《老友记》中的钱德 宾(音译)吗?他因为一个玩笑而被扣押。在实际生活中,其后果可能更严重。

Nigger: A taboo and very offensive word to call a black person. Although black brothers call each other nigger, you can’t。

Nigger(意为黑鬼):这是一个禁忌语,而且对黑人一种十分不敬的称谓。尽管黑人兄弟间彼此这样称呼,但你不行。

(本文来源:网易教育频道综合 )

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