浅论英语普通话(下)by 淳于金章

The problem and confusion of English learning in China mainly come from the invasion of American English, whose pronunciation is based on a totally different phonetic system, and almost appears to be for a different language. Although few learners of English in China have ever learnt this set of phonetic symbols systematically, many people claim to be the speakers of American English, simply because they in all cases pronounce the "R" sounds.

中国英语学习在发音方面的混乱主要是美语的侵入所致。美语的发音规则与英语区别很大,几乎可以称之为一种不同的语言。虽然国内很少有人系统地学习过美语发音,但却有许多人自认为所讲的是美语,这仅仅是因为他们会发几个卷舌“R”化音。


American English is indeed getting popular in China and some other countries but it differs very much from Queen's English in pronunciation and intonation. The relationship of Queen's English to American English is somewhat akin to bel canto songs and popular ones. The former is governed by many rules not existent in the latter. In terms of pronunciation, the former gives much emphasis to the positions of the different vowels (front, middle, back), the changes of mouth shape and their different sound lengths, while in the latter there is no strict regulation in these respects. In terms of intonation, the former gives much emphasis to the word stress, the sentence rhythm, and the rise and fall of language melody, while the latter usually keeps a very flat tone and an unclear rhythm.

目前,美语在中国和许多其它国家的确正趋于流行,但它不论从语音还是语调上都与英语普通话有很多区别。英语和美语好比美声与通俗。在发音方面,前者具有很多后者所没有的规格和要求。比如,元音的不同发音位置(前、中、后),口型的变化,长短音的区别以及双元音的音长标准等,而后者在这些方面却没有什么清规戒律。就语调而言,前者更强调单词重音、句子节奏和语流起伏;而后者的轻重对比平淡,节奏变化不明,多保持一种平白不变的调子。


Good teachers of English should be able to explain to their students these basic differences between the two types of English and let them decide which type they prefer to learn. Otherwise, students will easily feel confused about the two and be at a loss as to which one to follow. As a result, they would choose to keep their mouths shut and just learn to cope with written examinations. This is the actual situation of English teaching and learning in China, where 99 percent of the English learners have no good command of the phonetic alphabet, and speak English with a mixture of many unauthentic accents, which sound neither fish nor fowl and neither English nor American.

好的老师首先要告知学生英美两种不同发音的基本区别,让他们自己决定要学哪种。否则,学生们终其一生都会对这两种不同的发音而感到迷惑,分不清到底应该学什么,怎么学。结果,大多数学生最终选择了闭口不说,不得不学也只是为了应付考试。目前中国英语学习的基本现状是,99%的英语学习者没有标准英语语音和语调的概念,他们的发音听起来不伦不类,既不像英语也不像美语。


Most teachers of English are used to encouraging their students to open their mouths and speak English by telling them that it makes no difference whether or not their pronunciation is standard, so long as they can make themselves understood. As its consequence, schools of "Crazy English" and classes of different types of oral English meet a booming demand in China, where students are not systematically taught on English pronunciation and intonation. The worse is that what they are teaching is American pronunciation, which misleads students and leaves them at a loss between the English and American pronunciations. As a matter of fact, most teachers of English in China have neglected the simple truth that without a definite standard of pronunciation well-rooted in students' minds, they would be shy and refuse to open their mouths.

多数老师为鼓励学生开口讲英语,会告诉他们“发音不标准没关系,只要敢张嘴就行”。结果,像“疯狂英语”以及各种名目的英语口语教学在中国应运而生,这些学校从不系统地教授学生标准的英语语音。更糟糕的是,许多学校教授的竟然是美语,以致于误导并使学生迷茫于英语和美语两种不同口音之间,不置可否。实际上,大部分中国老师都忽视了一个简单的事实,那就是“心中没有明确标准,学生们怎能敢张嘴”。


So far as pronunciation is concerned, no language can develop well unless it is strictly governed by a rule, and no person can master a language unless he has a rule firm in mind.

就发音而言,任何语言若没有严格的标准,都不能健康发展,任何人若心中没有明确的标准,都不可能学好一门语言。


Your choice between the Queen's English and the American English is analogous to your preference between the classic music and the popular one. It is a matter of aesthetic orientation. Nevertheless, statistics show that most well-educated or high profile people in the world prefer the classic, while most of young students and migrant workers in China like the popular version. Moreover, it is commonly believed that people who speak Queen's English in America will be better respected while those who speak American English in England will be considered to have received little education. It's true that the highbrow tone finds few singers, but still one should consider which kind of tones he should choose to sing in his limited life, which type of accents is worth the much time and money he would invest on learning English, and which type of accent can eventually help him different and outstanding from most of the others. While 99 percent of the learners follow the trend learning American, what should he learn?
 
是喜欢英语普通话还是美语,如同是喜欢古典音乐还是通俗音乐,这是个审美取向的问题,无可厚非。但调查显示,世界上大部分受过教育的高端人士都喜欢古典音乐,而在中国大多数年轻学生和民工都喜欢通俗音乐。英美人普遍有一种共识:在美国讲英语普通话的人往往更为人们所尊重,而在英国和欧洲国家讲美语的人则会被认为受教育程度不够,甚至会受到歧视。“曲高和寡”,毋庸置疑,但学习者应该明辨,在我们宝贵且有限的青春年华里,哪一种语音和语调应成为我们的选择和追求,值得我们花费如此之多的精力和财力去学习,哪一种语言和语调能够帮助我们与众不同,出人头地。当99%的人都在随大流学美语时,我们应该学什么?


In conclusion, if you decide to learn English, be sure to learn and speak the pure, standard, elegant and internationally received Queen's English.

综上,要学就学纯正的、规范的、高雅的,要学就学与国际接轨的 “英语普通话”。

 

(完)

作者:淳于金章,青岛麦克美高文化用品有限公司董事长;断续从事英语业余教学30年,学生曾连续四年在全国高考中获山东省或青岛地区英语最好成绩;在全国提出“英语普通话”新理念,被誉为“中国‘英语普通话’推广第一人”。
更多信息请访问中国网专家博客
http://blog.china.com.cn/queenglish


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