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[阅读资料] A History of English 英语史

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发表于 2009-7-6 14:39 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
摘自:英语泛读教程

The English language we speak today went through three stages called Old English, Middle English and Modern English. But ages before even Old English came into being, many other languages had to arise and develop. The oldest of these, as far as we know, was the Indo-European family of languages, which were beginning to be spoken clear back during the Stone Age. During the Stone Age, some Indo-European people lived on the islands of Britain.
我们现在所讲的英语曾经经历了三个阶段:古英语、中世纪英语和现代英语。但是,早在古英语出现之前,许多其他语言已经产生,并得到发展。据我们所知,其中最古老的语言是印欧语系。远在石器时代人们就开始使用印欧语了。在这个时期,一些印欧人就居住生活在英伦三岛上了。 

The earliest known of these British Indo-Europeans split into two groups called the Scots and the Celts. There was another group, who were not Indo-European, called Picts. Together these three peoples are known as Britons. The Britons were a fierce, Stone Age people constantly making war on each other. They dressed in animal skins, lived in caves or rude wooden huts. These people had their own languages.
英国最早的印欧人分为两族:苏格兰人和凯尔特人。此外,还有一族叫做皮克特人,但他们不属于印欧语族。以上三个民族便是今日所说的不列颠人。石器时代的不列颠人骁勇好斗,连年互相发动战争。他们用兽皮遮体,住在洞穴或原始的小木屋里。他们有自己的语言。 

At the same time that the Stone Age Britons were living their warlike life, the Greeks, far to the east of them, were building a great civilization in Europe. Many of our ideas of art, literature, science, philosophy and government today come from the genius of these ancient people. As the Greek civilization reached a high point, another great civilization was being built in Italy by the Romans, whose language was Latin. When the Romans conquered Greece and made it part of their empire, they found a culture much older and far superior to their own. So they borrowed it.
石器时代的不列颠人以作战为生,与此同时,远在东部的希腊人却在创建欧洲伟大的文明。当今艺术、文学、科学、哲学和政治学的许多思想都源于古代希腊人民的智慧。当希腊文明达到了颠峰的时候,讲拉丁语的罗马人正在意大利创建着另一个伟大的文明。罗马人征服了希腊,并将它划归罗马帝国的版图。这时,他们发现了一个更为悠久的文化,一个比罗马文化希腊文化更为辉煌灿烂的文化。于是,罗马人将它借鉴了过来。  

After conquering all of Europe, Rome invaded Britain and made it part of the empire, in 43 A.D. Romans brought their advanced culture to the Britons. Not only did they bring their art, literature, law and the Latin language, they established schools, built buildings and roads and provided an army to protect themselves against invaders.
在征服整个欧洲之后,罗马人开始对不列颠发动侵略战争,公元43年,使之成为罗马帝国的一部分。罗马人给不列颠人带来了自己先进的文化,他们不仅带来了艺术、文学、法律和拉丁语,还创建学校,造房修路, 供养一支军队保卫自己免遭外来侵略。 

Meanwhile, the Germanic peoples of northern Europe, known as “Norsemen” or “Northmen,” were developing another, separate European culture. Some groups of Norsemen came to be known as Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Goths. They were warriors, but also sailors and traders. In very early times the Angles and Saxons began to trade with the Celts in England. This was probably the first time the Britons came into contact with other peoples.
与此同时,位于北欧的日耳曼族人,又称“古代斯堪的纳维亚人”或“北方人”,正在 发展自己独特的欧洲文化。他们中的一些族落成为后来人们熟知的盎格鲁人、撒克逊人、朱特人和哥特人。他们是战士,但也是水手和商人。很早以前,盎格鲁人和撒克逊人就开始同英格兰的凯尔特人做生意了。这或许是不列颠人第一次同外族人进行交往。 

During the four hundred years Britain was part of the Roman Empire, Rome was getting weaker and weaker, and the Norsemen were getting stronger and stronger. Finally they thundered through the Roman defenses along the northern boundaries of the empire. In addition to the attack from the north, Rome was invaded from the east by Mongols, from the south by the Moslems. Being attacked on all sides, Rome had to call back her armies to protect what was left of the empire. By AD 409, Rome had lost all control of Britain.
在不列颠作为罗马帝国一部分的四百年间,罗马日渐势微,而古代斯堪的纳维亚人则日益强大。最后,他们终于以势如破竹之威,冲破罗马帝国北部 边界的防线。除了来自北方的入侵,蒙古人又从东部发起进攻,穆斯林人也从南部入侵。罗马四面受敌,只得调遣军队来保卫帝国仅存的 部分。到了公元409年,罗马完全丧失了对不列颠的统治权。 

As soon as the Roman armies pulled out of Britain, the Picts and Scots began to destroy the Celts. The Celts turned for help to the Angles and Saxons across the sea in Sweden and Denmark. The latter were quick to respond, because they loved war. They saved the Celts; they also destroyed practically all the culture which had been brought by the Romans: literature, sculpture, schools and roads. The Germanic languages of the Angles and Saxons combined to become Anglo-Saxon. Since the Angles and Saxons had become the power in England, the Anglo-Saxon language became the very early beginning of English.
罗马军队刚刚撤离不列颠,皮克特人和苏格兰人便着手消灭凯尔特人。凯尔特人只得向隔 着大海居住在挪威和丹麦的盎格鲁人和撒克逊人求助。后者热衷于战争,迅速做出反应。他们解救了凯尔特人,实际上也摧毁了罗马人带来的文化:包括文学、雕塑、学校和道路。盎格鲁人和撒克逊人的日尔曼语混合在一起就成了盎格鲁•撒克逊语。自从盎格鲁人和撒克逊人成为英格兰的统治者,盎格鲁•撒克逊语便成为最早的英语。 

While the Anglo-Saxons were establishing their power in England and making their language the main language of that country, the Roman Empire was sinking deeper and deeper into trouble. By AD 476 the western empire had ceased to exist. And since the Germanic peoples had no interest in preserving Roman culture, it just died. The Church was all that was left of Roman civilization. But Latin survived as the language of churchmen and the wealthy, educated classes, and was to have a profound effect on the development of the languages of southern Europe and England.
盎格鲁•撒克逊人在英格兰建立了他们的政权,他们的语言也随之成为这个国家的主要语言;而与此同时,罗马帝国陷入越来越深的困境。到公元476年,西罗马便不复存在了。日尔曼人无意保留罗马文化,因而罗马文化自此消亡。教堂是罗马文明仅存 之物。不过,拉丁语作为宗教人士、上层阶级和知识阶层的语言,仍被继续使用,并将对南欧国家和英国的语言发展产生深远的影响。 

Gradually, between the sixth and eleventh centuries, the feudal estates of Europe grew into powerful kingdoms. Of these, the French kingdom of Normandy became very important to the development of English.
渐渐地,在公元6世纪至11世纪,欧洲的封建等级集团发展成为强大的诸侯王国。其中,法国诺曼第王国对英语的发展起了极为重要的作用。 

The various peoples in England were coming together as a nation also, under the rule of more powerful kings such as Alfred the Great, who ruled between 871 and 899. Alfred was not only an efficient ruler and a great defender of his people, he was also an eager scholar. He was able to preserve some of the learning which had been left behind when the Romans left England. In Anglo-Saxon he began a detailed diary of events in his own time known as The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Although Alfred encouraged reading and writing in Anglo-Saxon as well as in Latin, most works continued to be written in Latin.
公元871-899年,在 诸如阿尔弗雷德国王等较为强有力的国王的统治时期,英格兰各个民族逐渐融合并发展成为一个民族。阿尔弗雷德国王不仅是一位杰出的统治者, 人民的伟大捍卫者,他还是一位求知若渴的学者。他设法将罗马人撤离英国时遗留下的一些学问研究保留下来。他还开始了用盎格鲁•撒克逊语编写当 时大事记的工作,即著名的《盎格鲁•撒克逊编年史》。尽管阿尔弗雷德提倡人们 不仅用拉丁文,也用盎格鲁•撒克逊语读书、写作,但大多数著作仍然是用拉丁文书写。 

Alfred's efforts to unify England and establish a national language apart from Latin were interrupted by an invasion of yet another group of Norsemen, the Vikings. The Vikings who invaded England were called Danes, and those who invaded France were known as the Normans.
阿尔弗雷德试图统一英国,并创立拉丁文以外的一种民族语言,但他的努力被北欧海盗——另一支斯堪的纳维亚人——的入侵中断 。侵略英格兰的斯堪的纳维亚人是丹麦人,侵略法国的则是诺曼人。 

Gradually, as all invaders do eventually, the Danes settled down and became peaceful farmers. Their language mixed with Anglo-Saxon and became what we know as Old English. Old English was established as the language of the land by the tenth century. For the next hundred years or so after the Danish invasions, the English people lived in peace. If they had continued that way the English language today might be quite different from what it is; it would be something similar to Dutch, Danish and German. But about nine hundred years ago, England was invaded again, and another, very different language was brought to the country. When this language arrived, English moved away from Danish and Anglo-Saxon and passed from Old English into Middle English.
渐渐地,与所有入侵者最终做的一样,丹麦人最后也定居下来, 成为平和的农民。他们的语言与盎格鲁•撒克逊语结合在一起,形成了今天我们所说的古英语。到了10世纪,古英语作为这个国家的语言被确立下来。在丹麦人入侵以后的约百年间,英国人生活在平静安宁的环境中。如果他们继续那样生活下去,今天的英语就会大不相同了;可能它会与荷兰语、丹麦语或德语十分接近。然而,大约在900年前,英格兰再次遭受侵略,另一种截然不同的语言也 被带到这个国家。由于这种语言的到来,英语与先前的丹麦语和盎格鲁•撒克逊语渐离渐远,并从古英语过渡到中世纪英语。 

The new foreign language which was to have such an important influence on the development of Middle English was French. In 1066, the Norman French people invaded England. The invasion is known as the Norman Conquest, and it is very important for two reasons. First, it was the last time England was ever to be invaded. Second, Old French became as important an influence as Danish and Anglo-Saxon to the development of English as it is today.
对中世纪英语产生如此深远影响的新的外来语就是法语。1066年,诺曼法国人入侵英格兰。这 就是英国历史上著名的诺曼征服。这一事件意义重大,原因有二:首先,这是英国最后一次遭受外族入侵;其次,同丹麦语、盎格鲁•撒克逊语一样,古代法语对当 今英语的发展产生了重要的影响。 

The Normans brought their law, customs and literature to England. Since there was still so much Latin in their own language, Latin again began to have an influence on English. But this time, the English people did not allow their language to be swallowed up by a foreign language in the way their Celtic and early Anglo-Saxon ancestors had. Although the invading Norman French became the rulers of the land, and French became the language of government and law in England, the English people stubbornly refused to give up their own language. English remained the spoken language of the people. And when they did accept French words, they mispronounced them so badly that no one could recognize them as French.
诺曼人将自己的法律、习俗和文学带到了英国。由于诺曼人自己的语言中仍保留很多拉丁语,所以拉丁语再次 开始影响了当时的英语。不过这一次,英国人没有像当年的凯尔特和盎格鲁•撒克逊祖先们那样听任外族语言将自己的语言吞噬。尽管入侵的诺曼法国人成为这个国家的统治者,且法语也跃升为英国政府和法律界的专用语言,英国人却执拗地不肯放弃他们自己的语言。英语仍是老百姓的日常用语。而且, 就是他们使用法语时,他们差之千里的发音,往往没人能听得出他们讲的是法语。 

So, for a time, England was a land where there were two languages - the French of the ruling class, and the Anglo-Saxon, or Old English, of the servant class, the English people. Smart people of both classes learned both languages, and eventually the two languages came together to form what we know today as Middle English. Middle English was neither French nor Anglo-Saxon; it was a completely different language combined of both. The change from Old English to Middle English took place gradually over a period of about three hundred years.
于是,英国一度成为两种语言并存的国家:统治阶级使用的法语,仆佣阶级、英国人讲的是盎格鲁•撒克逊语或者古英语。两个阶级中聪明的人学会使用这两种语言,最后,这两种语言合二为一,形成了今天我们所说的中世纪英语。中世纪英语既不是法语,也不是盎格鲁•撒克逊语,它是两种语言结合后形成的一个全 然不同的语言。古英语逐渐向中世纪英语演变的过程大约经历了三百年的时间。 

Middle English was a very disorganized language. But in Europe and in the Middle East, many changes were taking place which would have an important effect on the future of the English language. Let's look back for a moment to see what these changes were.
中世纪英语是一种杂然无序的语言。不过,当时的欧洲和中东地区正在经历着许多变化,这些变化对后来的英语产生了重大影响。让我们先来回顾一下当时经历了哪些变化。 

As western Europe split into feudal estates the Moslems of the Middle East were pushing farther west and threatening the Christian rulers of the eastern empire. In 638 the Moslems had captured Jerusalem. European kings wanted it back, because they felt it belonged to Christians. They broke through the Moslem defenses and began a long series of wars called the Crusades. For two hundred years, from 1095 to 1291, European Christians joined forces with Middle Eastern Christians against the Moslems.
随着西欧分裂为诸多的封建领地,中东的穆斯林人正在进一步向西推进,严重威胁着东 部帝国的基督教统治者。公元638年穆斯林人占领了耶路撒冷。欧洲的君主们意欲将它夺回,因为他们认为耶路撒冷是属于基督徒的。他们冲破穆斯林人的防线,发动了一系列的战争,人们称之为十字军东征。在1095年到1291年的两百年间,欧洲的基督教徒与中东的基督教徒联手,合力打击穆斯林人。 

Europe lost the wars of the Crusades. But the Crusades had brought the Europeans back into contact with the superior ancient Greek and Roman cultures, and those cultures had been enriched by the Moslem's advance knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, geography and medicine.
欧洲人发动的十字军东征以失败告终。但是,十字军东征使欧洲人有机会再次接触卓越的古希腊和古罗马文化,而且,穆斯林人先进的数学、天文学、地理学和医学知识又丰富了这些文化。 

This renewed contact with all the knowledge marks the beginning of a period in Europe known as the Renaissance, which means “re-birth of learning.” The lost works of ancient Greek and Roman writers were rediscovered in Europe, inspiring countless new works of literature, art and science. The Renaissance began in Italy, but eventually the new learning spread north, to France, Germany and England.
重新接触所有的知识,标志着欧洲一个崭新的历史时期——著名的文艺复兴时期——的开始。文艺复兴意即“学问的 再生”。 散失的古希腊、罗马作家的作品在欧洲被重新发现,激发了无数新的文学、艺术和科学作品。文艺复兴运动始于意大利, 但新的学问向北方传播, 到了法国、德国和英国。 

Geoffrey Chaucer was born some hundred years after the last war of the Crusades, in the early part of the Renaissance. About one hundred fifty years after Chaucer's death William Shakespeare was born in the last part of the Renaissance. During the lifetimes of these two great writers and over all the years between, the English language was sorting itself out from the chaos of Middle English. By the time of Shakespeare's death in 1616, the English history and language had entered the modern period.
十字军东征最后的一场战争之后几百年,杰弗里•乔叟出生,那时正是文艺复兴的早期。乔叟去世150年之后,威廉•莎士比亚出世,此时正是文艺复兴的后期。在这两位伟大作家的有生之年以及二人相隔的一百多年间,英语逐渐从中世纪英语的杂乱无序 状态中剥离出来。1616年莎士比亚去世 之时,英国人的历史和语言都已进入了现代阶段。 

The English of Shakespeare's time is considered modern English because, except for some different spellings and a few words we no longer use, the language is quite similar to the English we speak today. Many of the old sayings we use every day come right out of Shakespeare's writings. When we think something is unimportant we “laugh it off.” Describing something which is strong and in good condition, we say it is “sound as a bell.” When we are disgusted with something, we say it is “lousy.” If you know or use these expressions you are quoting Shakespeare.
人们将莎士比亚时期的英语视为现代英语的开端,因为除了某些拼写有所不同以及一些今天我们不再使用的 词汇外,当时的英语与我们今天所使用的英语非常接近。现在我们日常使用的很多俗语,都出自莎士比亚的作品。当我们认为某事不足为道时,我们会“一笑置之”。形容某物 强壮完好时,我们称之为“健全”。当我们厌恶某事时,我们说它“蹩脚”。如果你知道或者使用上述表达方式,那么,你所引用的正是莎士比亚的语言。 

After Shakespeare's time English was to change a great deal more, but the changes were gradual. The changes came as a result of the growth of the English Empire, advancements in transportation and communication and a continuing contact between English-speaking peoples and peoples from all parts of the world.
在莎士比亚时代以后,英语继续经历了许多变化。不过,这些变化都是渐进的。伴随着英帝国的成长、交通运输的发展以及英语民族与世界各地其他民族的不断交往,英语也在演变。

Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries England built an empire which included north America, some Caribbean islands, Australia, New Zealand, parts of Asia and parts of Africa. About nine or ten years before Shakespeare's death, England had established her first American colony, Virginia. Three hundred years later, England no longer had an empire, but the lands which she had conquered still spoke the English language. Today, English is the native or official language of not only the United States but also Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Kenya, South Africa, Trinidad, Jamaica and more - lands on every continent of this planet.
在16世纪至19世纪的几百年间,英国建立了包括北美、部分加勒比群岛、澳大利亚、新西兰、部分亚洲和非洲在内的帝国。在莎士比亚去世之前的九或十年,英国已经建立了它在美国的第一个殖民地——弗吉尼亚。三百年后,英国 不在有一个帝国,但是,它曾征服的这些国家和地区仍在使用英语。今天,英语不仅是美国的,也是加拿大、澳大利亚、新西兰、印度、肯尼亚、南非、特立尼达、牙买加等等国家的母语 或官方语言。英语,在这个星球的每一个大洲上都能被听到。

(1816 words)
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 楼主| 发表于 2009-7-6 14:40 | 显示全部楼层

» A History of English 英语史

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1) Culture Notes:

  The orthography of English was more or less established by 1650, and, in England in particular, a form of standard educated speech (known as Received Pronunciation) spread from the major public (private) schools in the 19th century. This accent was adopted in the early 20th century by the BBC for its announcers and readers, and is variously known as RP, BBC English, Oxford English, and the King’s or Queen’s English. It was the socially dominant accent of the British Empire and retains prestige as a model for those learning the language. In the UK, however, it is no longer as sought after as it once was. Generally, Standard English today does not depend on accent but rather on shared educational experience, mainly of the printed language. Present-day English is an immensely varied language, having absorbed material from many other tongues. It is spoken by more than 300 million native speakers, and between 400 and 800 million foreign users. It is the official language of air transport and shipping; the leading language of science, technology, computers, and commerce; and a major medium of education, publishing, and international negotiation.

2) Language Notes:

 

1. So, for a time, England was a land where there were two languages – the French of the ruling class, and the Anglo-Saxon, or Old English, of the servant class, the English people.

For a time means for a short period of time.

e.g. For a time the police thought she might be guilty.



2. During the lifetimes of these two great writers and over all the years between, the English language was sorting itself out from the chaos of Middle English.

Sort out from means to separate from a mass or group.

e.g. Sort out the papers to be thrown away, and put the rest back.
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发表于 2009-7-15 01:30 | 显示全部楼层
真长见识了,谢谢楼主!
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