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双语:外语交流中遇到一个不会的单词怎么办

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2015年12月28日

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  It’s a problem that every language learner faces: you’re talking to someone in a language you haven’t mastered yet, and all of the sudden you can’t remember a word — or you realize that you haven’t even learned it yet! The flow of conversation stops, your mind goes blank, your conversation partner searches your eyes for whatever you are trying to communicate, but all they see is panic。 We all forget words (even in our mother tongues), but that doesn’t need to shut us up。 Follow these five tips, and you’ll never be left speechless again。

  每个学语言的同学都会面临这样一个问题:你在用你还没有(完全)掌握的语言和别人交谈时,突然会记不得一个词,或者你意识到你还没有学过这个词!(然后)谈话过程就中断了,大脑一片空白,你的同伴会看着你的眼睛,(希望)可以找到你想谈论的东西,但他们看到的只是惊慌失措。我们都会忘记单词(即使是母语)的含义,但那不能让我们闭嘴。遵循以下5点,你将再也不会无言以对。

外语交流中遇到一个不会的单词

  1 Preventative measures

  1 预防措施

  Here are some tips to help bolster word memorization: Learn new words and their synonyms。 Learn how to describe new words in your learning language。 Instead of simply translating a word from your native language into your learning language, these techniques help you associate a new word with other words in the same language。

  这有一些提示来帮助巩固词汇的记忆:学新单词和它们的同义词。试着用你学习的语言来描述新单词。这些技能帮助你用外语把新单词和其他单词联系起来,而不是简单地用你的母语翻译成你学习的语言。

  Put these word connections into practice with a little improve training。 You and your friends can play games like “who can describe a concept with the fewest words”, or, when you’re by yourself, you can write down as many word associations as possible。 This way, when you forget a word in a real conversation, you’ll have plenty of other associations to fall back on。 You’re likely to remember one of the synonyms or at least be able to describe what you mean in different words — without having to access your native language for help。

  通过一些提高性训练,把单词联系方法付诸实践。你和同伴们可以玩“谁能用最少的文字描述一个概念”这个游戏,或者,当一个人的时候,你可以尽可能多地写下单词联想。当你在现实对话中忘记一个单词的时候,你就会有很多其他联想到(的单词)来帮忙。你可能会想起一个同义词或至少能用其他单词来描述你的意思,而不必求助于你的母语。

  2 Just guess

  2 猜一猜

  Over 30% of English vocabulary was adopted from French, so if you’re speaking French to someone and you suddenly draw a blank, take a chance and “Frenchify” an English word。 There’s a good chance that what you say will at least be a close approximation of a real French word。 This trick also works for the other Romance languages — like Spanish, Portuguese and Italian — since these languages use words with the same Latin roots as French words。 Because most of English vocabulary derives from middle German, this trick can work when speaking German and Dutch as well。

  超过30%的英语词汇来源于法语,所以如果你用法语和人交谈,突然想不起来(怎么说),抓住机会“法语化”一个英语单词。很有可能你所说的和一个真正的法语单词非常接近。这个技巧同样适用于其他罗曼语族,像西班牙语、葡萄牙语和意大利语,因为这些语言和法语一样都用同一个拉丁语单词。大部分英语单词来源于中德,所以这个技巧对德语和荷兰语也适用。

  单词

 

  3 Make up words

  3 造词

  This is especially easy to do with languages like German where many nouns are compounds of two or three smaller words。 If you want to say glove, but don’t know how, just take two probable words (hand + shoe) and stick them together。 Voila: Handschuh is in fact the German word for glove!

  对于像德语这样的语言,这个方法非常简单,因为很多名词是2个或3个小单词的复合词。如果你想说手套,但不知道怎么说,那就把两个可能的单词(手+鞋)组合在一起。看,“handschuh”就是手套的德语单词。

  Even if your clever made-up word is totally not a real word, your conversation partner will find it much easier to guess what you mean。 For example, a cell phone is not a Taschentelefon (pocket-telephone), but the invented word still communicates the concept accurately enough (the Germans actually call them Handys by the way)。

  即使你机智创造的单词不是一个真的词,你的对话伙伴也能更容易的猜到你的意思。比如,“cell phone”(手机)不是德语“Taschentelefon”的单词,但创造出来的单词仍然可以准确地联系到这个概念(德国人实际上管手机叫做“Handys”)。

  You can also achieve a similar effect with the equivalents of vague words like “something,” “thing” or “whatchamacallit” which allow context to fill in the blanks。

  你也可以用类似“某物”“东西”或“随你说”等模糊的词语连接上下文,这样也能达到类似的效果。

  4 Use your body

  4 运用你的肢体

  Seriously, don’t underestimate the power of body language。 After all, charades might be a French word, but it’s played all over the world。 So do pantomime, make sound effects, gesticulate wildly, make shadow puppets if you need to, try anything! My mom pulls this trick all the time and has been able to communicate with people in 500+ languages。 Somehow, it actually works!

  说真的,不要忽视肢体语言的作用。毕竟,猜词游戏是一个法语单词,但全世界都在玩。所以,做手势、发出声音、夸大手势,如果你需要可以做皮影,尝试任何方法!我妈妈一直通过这个方式和500多种语言的人交流。不管怎么说,它真的管用!

  

肢体语言

  5 Say it in your mother tongue (speaking of moms)

  5 说你的母语

  This should only be your last resort, reserved only for those instances where tips one through four have failed。 Saying the word in your own language is not ideal, but it’s still better than saying nothing。 You can even turn it into a learning opportunity by asking — in the target language, of course — “How do you say ____ in your language?” They might not know, but it also might be the final clue they needed in order to understand you。

  这只能是你最后的方法,在之前四个方法都失败的情况下才能使用。用母语说不算理想,但这也比什么都不说好。你甚至可以把它变成一个学习机会,询问(用你正在学习的语言)“ ____用你的语言怎么说?”他们可能不了解,但这也可能成为让他们明白你(的意思)的最终线索。

  HOWEVER: be strict with yourself。 Only say the word you’re missing in your native language, the rest of the conversation should still be held in your target language!

  但是:严于律己。只在你不知如何表达的单词中才能,其他谈话仍然用你正在学习的语言(表达)。

  Bonus tip

  额外提示

  According to Paul Grice’s principles of communication, people have conversations with each other (surprise!) — so it’s not like you’re the only person who can make the conversation happen。 People are usually happy when you try to speak their language。 You can expect them to be a little more patient and listen a little more closely than they would with a fellow native speaker。 If you can stumble through most of a sentence in their language, and utilize the tips above for the rest, they’ll probably be able to meet you halfway。

  根据保尔·格赖斯(美国语言哲学家)的沟通原则,每个人都可以互相交谈(惊呆宝宝了!),所以你并不是唯一一个可以开启谈话的人。当你试着说对方的语言时,他们常常会感到很开心。你可以期望他们和你交流时,比和本国人交流时更加耐心、听得更加仔细。如果你结结巴巴的用他们的语言表达了大部分意思,利用上述提示表达出你不会的部分,他们很可能明白你的大致意思。


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