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大学体验英语第四册Unit4-Passage A

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A Stateless Language that Europe must Embrace


English is already Europe's lingua franca and it's time for politicians and educators to acknowledge this.  

 The language policy in the European Union is both ineffective and hypocritical, and its ideas of linguistic1 equality and multilingualism are costly2 and cumbersome3 illusions. Why have these illusions been kept up for so long? First, because the French with their traditionally superior position in Europe cannot accept the decline of their own linguistic power; second, because the politically-correct ideologies4 of some sociolinguists constantly fuel opposition5 against the idea of English as a European lingua franca; and third, because powerful translators' lobbies fight for their raison d'etre. In the name of the high ideal of linguistic equality a time-consuming, expensive and increasingly intractable translation machinery6 is maintained that is doing its best to translate the illusion of equality into illusions of multilingualism and translatability.
  The translations produced in the world's largest translation bureau are taken as tokens for equality: what counts is that they exist, not what they are like - many EU officials doubt their accuracy and openly prefer to read the more reliable English and French originals. Also, the supposed linguistic equality in the EU is a relative one: some languages are more "equal" than others, and minority languages inside the member states do not count at all.

 The EU's ostensible7 multilingualism sets it apart from other international organisations. Instead of having opted8 for a "workable" number of working languages, all the official languages of the member states were given equal status. For a smooth functioning of the EU institutions, however, whose legislation ordinary people do not understand anyway, the use of English as a lingua franca would be infinitely9 better.  

  English is particularly suitable as Europe's lingua franca because of its functional10 flexibility11 and spread across the world, and because English is already "de-nativised" to a large extent: the global number of non-native speakers is now substantially larger than its native speakers (about 4:1). English is no longer "owned" by its native speakers because acculturation and nativisation processes have produced a remarkable12 diversification13 of the English language into many non-native varieties. 

 The point is that we can no longer say that English is one monolithic14, "hegemonic" voice, it is a diversity of different voices. The multiplicity of voices behind English as a lingua franca implies that differences in interactional norms between speakers using English as a language for communication remain unaltered. And it is this deep diversity in the use of English by speakers with different mother tongues that invalidates the claim that English is an imperialist adversary15, an eliminating "killer16 language" - which English, we may ask?  

Is it those localised, regionalised or otherwise appropriated varieties of English whose speakers creatively conduct pragmatic and cultural shifts? Surely not. Arguments such as the ones brought forward by the anti-English league are simply outdated17. The Empire has struck back already. Non-native speakers of English have created their own discourse18 norms and genres19. And they do this out of their own free will, happily ignoring the "linguistic domination" ascribed to them. In other words there is no didactic-linguistic replay of formerly20 colonial and militaristic means.

 English as a lingua franca is nothing more than a useful tool: it is a "language for communication", a medium that is given substance with the different national, regional, local and individual cultural identities its speakers bring to it. English itself does not carry such identities, and it is not a "language for identification". And because of the variety of functional uses of global English, English has also a great potential for promoting international understanding. Its different speakers must always work out a common behavioural and intercultural basis.

 Paradox21 as this may seem, the very spread of English can motivate speakers of other languages to insist on their own local language for identification, for binding22 them emotionally to their own cultural and historical tradition. There is no need to set up an old-fashioned dichotomy between local languages and English as the "hegemonic aggressor": there is a place for both, because they fulfill23 different functions. To deny this is to uphold outdated concepts of monolingual societies and individuals.  

? Using English as a lingua franca in Europe does not inhibit24 linguistic diversity, and it unites more than it divides, simply because it may be "owned" by all Europeans - not as a cultural symbol, but a means of enabling understanding.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 linguistic k0zxn     
adj.语言的,语言学的
参考例句:
  • She is pursuing her linguistic researches.她在从事语言学的研究。
  • The ability to write is a supreme test of linguistic competence.写作能力是对语言能力的最高形式的测试。
2 costly 7zXxh     
adj.昂贵的,价值高的,豪华的
参考例句:
  • It must be very costly to keep up a house like this.维修这么一幢房子一定很昂贵。
  • This dictionary is very useful,only it is a bit costly.这本词典很有用,左不过贵了些。
3 cumbersome Mnizj     
adj.笨重的,不便携带的
参考例句:
  • Although the machine looks cumbersome,it is actually easy to use.尽管这台机器看上去很笨重,操作起来却很容易。
  • The furniture is too cumbersome to move.家具太笨,搬起来很不方便。
4 ideologies 619df0528e07e84f318a32708414df52     
n.思想(体系)( ideology的名词复数 );思想意识;意识形态;观念形态
参考例句:
  • There is no fundamental diversity between the two ideologies. 这两种思想意识之间并没有根本的分歧。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Radical ideologies require to contrast to their own goodness the wickedness of some other system. 凡是过激的意识形态,都需要有另外一个丑恶的制度作对比,才能衬托出自己的善良。 来自辞典例句
5 opposition eIUxU     
n.反对,敌对
参考例句:
  • The party leader is facing opposition in his own backyard.该党领袖在自己的党內遇到了反对。
  • The police tried to break down the prisoner's opposition.警察设法制住了那个囚犯的反抗。
6 machinery CAdxb     
n.(总称)机械,机器;机构
参考例句:
  • Has the machinery been put up ready for the broadcast?广播器材安装完毕了吗?
  • Machinery ought to be well maintained all the time.机器应该随时注意维护。
7 ostensible 24szj     
adj.(指理由)表面的,假装的
参考例句:
  • The ostensible reason wasn't the real reason.表面上的理由并不是真正的理由。
  • He resigned secretaryship on the ostensible ground of health.他借口身体不好,辞去书记的职务。
8 opted 9ec34da056d6601471a0808ebc89b126     
v.选择,挑选( opt的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • She was co-opted onto the board. 她获增选为董事会成员。
  • After graduating she opted for a career in music. 毕业后她选择了从事音乐工作。
9 infinitely 0qhz2I     
adv.无限地,无穷地
参考例句:
  • There is an infinitely bright future ahead of us.我们有无限光明的前途。
  • The universe is infinitely large.宇宙是无限大的。
10 functional 5hMxa     
adj.为实用而设计的,具备功能的,起作用的
参考例句:
  • The telephone was out of order,but is functional now.电话刚才坏了,但现在可以用了。
  • The furniture is not fancy,just functional.这些家具不是摆着好看的,只是为了实用。
11 flexibility vjPxb     
n.柔韧性,弹性,(光的)折射性,灵活性
参考例句:
  • Her great strength lies in her flexibility.她的优势在于她灵活变通。
  • The flexibility of a man's muscles will lessen as he becomes old.人老了肌肉的柔韧性将降低。
12 remarkable 8Vbx6     
adj.显著的,异常的,非凡的,值得注意的
参考例句:
  • She has made remarkable headway in her writing skills.她在写作技巧方面有了长足进步。
  • These cars are remarkable for the quietness of their engines.这些汽车因发动机没有噪音而不同凡响。
13 diversification 8scxf     
n.变化,多样化;多种经营
参考例句:
  • The seminar was to discuss diversification of agriculture. 该研讨会讨论的是农业多种经营。 来自辞典例句
  • Firm diversification is increasingly achieved by the means of takeover and merger. 通过接管和兼并,厂商经营范围日益多样化。 来自辞典例句
14 monolithic 8wKyI     
adj.似独块巨石的;整体的
参考例句:
  • Don't think this gang is monolithic.不要以为这帮人是铁板一块。
  • Mathematics is not a single monolithic structure of absolute truth.数学并不是绝对真理的单一整体结构。
15 adversary mxrzt     
adj.敌手,对手
参考例句:
  • He saw her as his main adversary within the company.他将她视为公司中主要的对手。
  • They will do anything to undermine their adversary's reputation.他们会不择手段地去损害对手的名誉。
16 killer rpLziK     
n.杀人者,杀人犯,杀手,屠杀者
参考例句:
  • Heart attacks have become Britain's No.1 killer disease.心脏病已成为英国的头号致命疾病。
  • The bulk of the evidence points to him as her killer.大量证据证明是他杀死她的。
17 outdated vJTx0     
adj.旧式的,落伍的,过时的;v.使过时
参考例句:
  • That list of addresses is outdated,many have changed.那个通讯录已经没用了,许多地址已经改了。
  • Many of us conform to the outdated customs laid down by our forebears.我们许多人都遵循祖先立下的过时习俗。
18 discourse 2lGz0     
n.论文,演说;谈话;话语;vi.讲述,著述
参考例句:
  • We'll discourse on the subject tonight.我们今晚要谈论这个问题。
  • He fell into discourse with the customers who were drinking at the counter.他和站在柜台旁的酒客谈了起来。
19 genres f90f211700b6afeaafe2f8016ddfad3d     
(文学、艺术等的)类型,体裁,风格( genre的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Novel and short story are different genres. 长篇小说和短篇小说是不同的类别。
  • But confusions over the two genres have a long history. 但是类型的混淆,古已有之。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
20 formerly ni3x9     
adv.从前,以前
参考例句:
  • We now enjoy these comforts of which formerly we had only heard.我们现在享受到了过去只是听说过的那些舒适条件。
  • This boat was formerly used on the rivers of China.这船从前航行在中国内河里。
21 paradox pAxys     
n.似乎矛盾却正确的说法;自相矛盾的人(物)
参考例句:
  • The story contains many levels of paradox.这个故事存在多重悖论。
  • The paradox is that Japan does need serious education reform.矛盾的地方是日本确实需要教育改革。
22 binding 2yEzWb     
有约束力的,有效的,应遵守的
参考例句:
  • The contract was not signed and has no binding force. 合同没有签署因而没有约束力。
  • Both sides have agreed that the arbitration will be binding. 双方都赞同仲裁具有约束力。
23 fulfill Qhbxg     
vt.履行,实现,完成;满足,使满意
参考例句:
  • If you make a promise you should fulfill it.如果你许诺了,你就要履行你的诺言。
  • This company should be able to fulfill our requirements.这家公司应该能够满足我们的要求。
24 inhibit C7jxT     
vt.阻止,妨碍,抑制
参考例句:
  • Don't let ego and greed inhibit clear thinking and hard work.不要让自我和贪婪妨碍清晰的思维和刻苦的工作。
  • They passed a law to inhibit people from parking in the street.他们通过一项法令以阻止人们在街上停车。
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TAG标签:   体验英语  综合教程  passage
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