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1 it’s with. . . . . . Breathing is as difficult as breathing.

图片 2李光耀的5大学习心得

“学习中文真难,”她对我说。“我认真学过两年,但只掌握了些基本的。没有人学中文能比那再快了。”

新加坡前总理李光耀先生精通英语、马来语、普通话、客家话、日语等多门语言。他介绍了自己学习语言的心得。

“it’s hard to learn Chinese,” she said to me. “I have been studying hard
for two years, but I have only mastered some basic things. No one can
learn Chinese much faster than that. “

1. 英语再好,不练习都会退步

我那时是在香港参加一个研讨会,那位女士就是那么说的。她学过中文,并且,很明显她学得很费劲。但事

How many Mainland Chinese can learn English to the level that we can? A
very small percentage. They are using Mandarin all the time, they will
lose their English. I will give you an example. I used to meet the
Taiwanese ministers, the older generation – all Harvard PhDs. In other
words, they wrote their theses in English but worked in Taiwan in
Mandarin. When I went to Taiwan, I spoke to them in Mandarin, first two
days (my Mandarin was) very stiff. At the end of the week, I was more
fluent. They came here to meet people from our ministries, first two
days their English was halting, at the end of the week they became more
fluent。在大陆,有多少中国人的英语能和我们说的一样好?(李光耀受英语教育,以优异成绩从剑桥大学法学专业毕业。)非常少。他们每天都使用中文,英文水平就会降低。我举个例子。我见过台湾一些老一辈的部长们,都是哈佛的博士。他们的毕业论文是用英文写的,但在台湾工作时,他们使用中文。我去台湾的时候,我和他们说中文,开始的一两天,我的中文非常生硬。差不多一周后,我说的更流利了。当他们来新加坡和我们的部长会面时,最初一两天他们的英文说的磕磕巴巴,但差不多一个礼拜就流利多了。

I was attending a seminar in Hong Kong, the lady that’s what he said.
She studied Chinese, and, apparently, she had a hard time. But the thing

  2. 流利比词汇量更重要

实上不一定要那么难的。这肯定不同于我的经历和其他很多轻松有效地掌握一门新语言的人们的经历。

Learn young, never mind the standard, capture the fluency, capture the
way you speak it, capture the grammar, never mind if your vocabulary is
limited, you can expand it later
on。从小学起,别在意是否标准,努力说的流畅,学会表达方式,正确使用语法,不要在乎词汇量太少,以后会扩大的。

It doesn’t have to be that hard. This is certainly different from my
experience and many other experiences of people who have mastered a new
language with ease and effectiveness.

  3. 多开口才能活学活用

我跟她说,西方人也能很快学会中文—实际上,几个月就可以。她告诉我这是不可能的,并且她看着我的

You need to spend the time and effort. You must have the interest. At
the end of the day, it must be a live language. Apart from watching it
on the TV or reading the newspapers, you must meet people and talk. Then
it is a live
language.你要花时间和精力。一定要有兴趣。归根结底,必须在生活中使用语言。除了看电视和读报,你必须和人们交谈。这才是活的语言。

I told her that Westerners can learn Chinese quickly too-in fact, a few
months. She told me it was impossible, and she looked at me.

  4. 从小学语言记得更牢

样子,好像我疯了。

Language is heard and spoken long before people learn to write and to
read. The more frequently one uses a language, the easier it is to
express one’s thoughts in it. The younger one learns to speak a
langugae, the more permanently it is
remembered。人们学会读写一种语言之前很久就会听说。一个人使用一种语言越频繁,就越容易用它来表达思想。学习语言的年纪越小,就越不会忘记。

Looks like I’m crazy.

5. 西学为体,中学为用

我没有跟她争论,而是决定写这本书。

I may speak the English language better than I speak the Chinese
language because Ilearnt English early in life. But I’ll never be an
Englishman in a thousand generations and I have not got the Western
value system inside me; it’s an Eastern value system with the western
value system
superimposed。我的英文大概比中文好,因为我从小就学习英文。但无论再过多少年,我都不会是个英国人,我并没有接受西方价值观。我的价值观是带有西方色彩的东方价值观。

I didn’t argue with her, but decided to write the book.

(沪江英语)

这本书是关于你的,关于怎样比你想像的还要更快更容易地掌握一门语言。这本书也是关于我的,因为它追

This book is about you, about how to master a language faster and easier
than you might think. This book is about me, too, because it’s chasing

随了我学习普通话和广东话的整个过程。而这两种语言在很多西方人看来是相当难的语言。这些学习语言的

Along with the whole process of learning Mandarin and Cantonese. And
these two languages are quite difficult for many Westerners to see.
These are the languages that learn

经验同样适用于那些被认为比较容易的语言。

Experience also applies to languages that are considered to be easier.

在接下来,我会跟大家分享我个人学习语言的方法和技巧,同样也是其他学习语言的成功人士运用的方法和

In the following, I will share with you my personal learning the methods
and skills of language, but also the methods and the use of other
language learning success

技巧。

Skills.

我写这本书只有一个简单的目的–我想帮你发现如何更好更有效地运用你与生俱来的语言天赋。毕竟,你无

I write this book for a simple purpose-I want to help you find out how
to use your natural language talents better and more effectively. After
all, you don’t.

论如何是个语言天才—如果你掌握了你的母语那么你一定是。记住,当你来到这个世界时,你不知道任何单

How to be a language genius if you master your mother tongue, you must
be. Remember, when you come to this world, you don’t know any single

词和语法。你没有什么可以依靠,但是,你还是学会了流利地说话。

Words and grammar. You have nothing to rely on, but you still learn to
speak fluently.

如果你正在读这本书,你很可能想学一门新语言。也许,你将去一个新的国家生活或工作。也许你已经在国

If you are reading this book, you will probably want to learn a new
language. Maybe you will live or work in a new country. Maybe you’re
already in the country.

外了。也许你已经做出决定,出于工作或其他原因,即便是呆在国内你也要掌握一门新语言。或许你只是对

Out. You may have to make a decision, for reasons of work or for other
reasons, even if it is to stay in the country you want to master a new
language. Maybe you just

学习新语言感兴趣。无论你的理由是什么,我肯定你想轻松快乐地学会它。

Interested in learning a new language. No matter what your reasons are,
I’m sure you want to take it easy and happy to learn it.

但是它那么难!–—-不是的

But it is so hard! —-I am not.

我大部分时间呆在香港,但是我经常去亚洲的其它地方。无论在哪,西方人总在为学习汉语或者越南语或者

I spend most of my time in Hong Kong, but I often go to other parts of
Asia. No matter where, the total for the west to learn Chinese or
Vietnamese or

其他亚洲语言而挣扎。很多人都已经放弃学习这些语言。同时我也看见亚洲人学英语或者其他外国语。他们

Other Asian languages are struggling. A lot of people have given up on
learning the language. At the same time I saw the Asian people to learn
English or other foreign languages. They

同样在挣扎着!

Also in the struggle!

的确,有很多人已经学会至少一种外语。有些人做得很棒。很多认为学习语言特别难的人,觉得那些成功的

Indeed, there are a lot of people have to learn at least one foreign
language. Some of them doing great. Many think of language learning as
particularly difficult people, think of those who are successful

人天生就是学语言的料。这个结论常被用作不尝试学习的借口。这很可悲,因为对应着一个成功的人,似乎

People are born to learn a language material. This conclusion is often
used as an excuse for not trying to learn. It’s pathetic, because it
corresponds to a man of success, it seems

就有几十人觉得这太难了或者是不可能的。尤其是学习两种截然不同的语言,如英语和中文。

More than several ten people think it is too difficult or impossible.
Especially with two totally different languages, such as English and
Chinese.

就在前几天,我在香港坐渡轮回家。天晚了我有些饿,于是我来到一个餐厅叫了鸡蛋面(一种中式快餐)。

Just a few days ago, I was in Hong Kong Ferry home. Getting late, I got
hungry, so I went to a restaurant called the egg surface (a kind of
Chinese-style fast food).

我刚点完,一个年轻的英国人问我怎么用粤语说“鸡蛋面”。大部分在香港的西方人一般都不会去尝试说粤

I had just finished, and a young Englishman asked me how to say “egg
noodles” in Cantonese. Most Westerners in Hong Kong do not generally try
to speak Cantonese

语。他们甚至还没开始就已经放弃了。所以,这有些新奇,但我欢迎。

Language. They have given up even before they even started. So, this is
a bit of a novelty, but I welcome it.

于是,我告诉这位年轻人怎么用粤语说鸡蛋面:daan
meen.他跟着我重复了一遍,发音和音调近乎完美。我

So I told the young man how to speak the egg noodles in Cantonese: daan
meen. He repeated it with me, and the pronunciation and intonation were
almost perfect. I…

点头并微笑,说道“对,很对”。然后我又重复了一遍。他有很准确地再说了一遍。

Nod and smile and say “yes, very right”. And then I repeated it. He said
it quite accurately.

深吸了一口气,他转身向柜台后的服务员点他的面,突然间泄了气,紧张地说道,“我还是留到下次吧”,然

He took a deep breath and turned to the waiter behind the counter to
point his face. Suddenly, he let out a sigh of relief and said
nervously, “I’ll keep it till next time,” but

后他用英语点了。

After that he used English to order.

多让人失望啊!这位年轻人正走向学语言的成功之路,然后就那么轻易放走了第一次成功的机会。他握住

What a disappointment! The young man was on his way to learning
language, and then he let his first chance of success be so easy. He
took it.

了,但又让它跑了!如果你仅从数量上考虑,一个短语算不了什么。但是,即便只是说几个词然后得到一个

, But also let him get away! If you only consider the number of a phrase
that is nothing. But, even if it’s just to say a few words and then get
a

结果也是至关重要的。当你克服了尴尬这第一个障碍,开始用新语言跟人交流,你就已经成功了。一个词,

The results are also crucial. When you overcome the first obstacle to
embarrassment, start communicating with people in new languages, and you
have already succeeded. A word,

两个。一些手势。你就出发了。

Two. Some gestures. You set off.

我再没跟他说过话,但是我猜想他会一边走一边觉得,广东话对于他来说太难了,即使他已经清楚地证明他

I haven’t spoken to him, but I guess he’s going to walk, think, speak
Cantonese too difficult for him, even though he has been clearly proved
that he

能把其中的一部分说得很准确!

You can tell a part of it very accurately!

那么为什么会这样呢?我相信有一个很简单的解释。当今世界上很多人都接受了这样一个神话,就是一种新

Why is this happening? I’m sure there’s a very simple explanation. In
today’s world many people to accept such a myth is a kind of new

语言很难学好。问问那些人为什么他们不会说其他的语言,他们会说他们没有语言天赋,或者他们不能分辨

Language is hard to learn. Ask those people why they don’t speak other
languages, they say they have no language talent, or they can’t tell.

音调(不学中文的一个好借口),或者相信已经证明成年人不能轻松容易地学会外语。或者.…我很讨厌这

A good excuse to learn Chinese tones (not), or that have shown that
adults are not easy to learn a foreign language. Or… I’m sick of this

一个“他们说我们的语言,我们为什么要费劲学他们的呢?”

A “they speak our language, why do we bother to learn from them?” “

要学语言的原因

The reason for learning language

学习一种新的语言有很多原因。首先,它很有趣。当你真正进入了,你可能会发现它会开阔你的世界。你会

There are many reasons why learning a new language. To begin with, it’s
fun. When you really get into it, you may find that it will broaden your
world. You’re going to

从你原来从未想过的角度来看世界.当然,也有很多实际的原因。

From the point of view of the world you never thought. Of course, there
are also many practical reasons.

想一下,今天我们必须处理的问题很多是源于沟通不好。你很可能听过这样一个古老的笑话,讲的是英国人

Think about it, today we have to deal with many of the problems stem
from poor communication. You probably have heard of such an old joke,
it’s about the British

和美国人被同一种语言隔开。即使我们说同样一种语言,交流的问题依然存在。

And the United States were separated by the same language. Even though
we say the same of a language, communication problems still exist.

最近我被安排促进一个中美合资企业高级管理人员会议。这个管理团队共有12人,八个来自一方,四个来自

Recently, I was the Organization of the meeting of senior managers to
promote a Sino-American joint venture. This management team a total of
12 people, eight from the party, four from

另一方。11个中国人,还有1个是美国人-他中文很流利。

The other party. 11 People in China, there are 1 Americans-he speaks
fluent Chinese.

随着会议的进展,我很清楚地知道许多中国人(相互之间)有冲突,因为他们没有意识到,虽然他们意思

As the session progressed, I’m well aware that many people in China
(with each other) in conflict, because they don’t realize that, although
they mean

一样,他们用的词语不同。他们制造着一种被我称之为“幽灵冲突”的东西–这种冲突发生时,你觉得你们不

Like, they used different words. They created a conflict that is what I
call the “ghost” thing-such a conflict occurs, do you think you are?

一致,但实际上是一致的。

The same, but in fact are the same.

举一个“幽灵冲突”的例子。你可能遇到过这样的情况,你和别人在约定什么时间什么地点见面。你说:“在邮

To cite an example of “the spectre of conflict”. You may have
encountered such a situation, what what you and others at the appointed
time and place to meet. You said: “in the mail

局左边的咖啡店。”

Bureau left the coffee shop. “

你的朋友回答道“邮局的左边没有咖啡店!”并且奇怪地看着你。当然,你知道你是对的,并坚持说:“邮局

Your friend replied, “the left side of the post office is no coffee!”
And strange to look at you. Of course, you know, you’re right, and
insisted: “the post office

的左边肯定有咖啡店。”

Must have left the coffee shop. “

你们两方都不退让,很快你发现你们进入了激烈的争执,却不大明白究竟是怎么开始的。你肯定在邮局的左

Both of you don’t give, and soon you find that you have entered a heated
argument, but don’t understand is how it started. I’m sure you left at
the post office

边有一个咖啡店。而你的朋友也同样确定那没有。

There’s a coffee shop. And your friends are equally sure that they
don’t.

如果幸运的话,你俩会停下来分析究竟发生了什么,从而避免了友谊的破坏。结果是,你是从站在邮局对面

If you’re lucky, you two would stop and the analysis of what happened,
so as to avoid the destruction of friendship. The result is that you are
across from the station at the post office

的角度来考虑整个情况。在邮局旁边有一个咖啡店。当你面对邮局的时候,它在你的左手边。

To consider the whole situation. There is a coffee shop next to the post
office. When you face the post office, it is on your left hand.

你的朋友以不同的方式来思考。她的角度是从邮局出来。街道在前面,邮局在她后面。从那个角度看,如果

A different way of thinking about your friends. Her perspective is from
the post office. The street in front of the post office behind her. From
that point of view, if

她向右转,沿街就有一个咖啡店。

She turned to the right and there was a coffee shop along the street.

争执的发生是因为两个人都没有理解对方的角度。在这个例子中,你的朋友忘记说,在她头脑中右边有一个

The argument happened because neither of them understood each other’s
angle. In this case, your friend forgets to say that there is a right
hand in her head

咖啡店。她只是不同意你说左边有一个咖啡店。

The coffee shop. She just doesn’t agree with you that there is a coffee
shop.

所以,情况就成了你们发现双方在争执,但实际上没有什么分歧。你们都知道那有一个咖啡店。你们在自己

So, it’s the situation where you find that the two sides are in dispute,
but in fact, there is no difference. You all know there’s a coffee shop.
You’re on your own.

头脑中都能看到它。但是你俩还是为了咖啡店到底在不在那个位置而争论。这是由信息的缺失和对同一问题

You can see it in mind. But the two of you to the coffee shop in the end
is not in the position to argue. This is due to the lack of information
and to the same question,

从不同角度看待而引起的。是一个“幽灵冲突”。当你们意识到你们实际上想的一样时,冲突就结束了。

Arising from a different perspective. The spectre of a “conflict”. When
you realize that you actually want the same thing, the conflict is over.

现在请记住,这样的事情发生在讲同一种语言的人身上!想象一下当人们讲不同的语言时会发生什么。正如

Now, remember, this happens to people who speak the same language! Think
about what happens when people speak different languages. Just like

不同文化的人们尝试一起工作时经常会发生的一样。

Different cultures as so often happens when people try to work together.

那天,因为我们探讨了不同人的心智模式,并解决了“幽灵冲突”,我们可以开始讨论小组中更重要和更难

On that day, because we discussed different patterns of the human mind,
and to solve the conflict of “ghost”, we can begin to discuss in the
group is more important and more difficult

的领域。当我们更深入这些的时候,你可以想像,会说他人语言的重要性变得明显起来。我注意到,即便那

. ‘s field. As we go deeper into this, you can imagine that the
importance of speaking other people’s language becomes apparent. And I
noticed that even that

位美国经理的中文很流利,他还是会误解一些中国经理的动机。很明显,中国经理的意图是好的。但他们不

The American manager is fluent in Chinese and he will still
misunderstand the motives of some Chinese managers. Clearly, the Chinese
manager’s intentions are good. But they don’t.

能表达清楚什么对他们最重要。所以他们沟通不好。为了弄明白解决的办法,美国经理需要知道一些细微的

Be able to express what’s important to them. So they couldn’t
communicate well. In order to understand the solution, the United States
manager needs to know some of the fine

语言差异,还要了解个人经历和文化界限。

Language differences, but also to understand the personal experience and
cultural boundaries.

通过努力,反复讨论生意和个人事务,我们确实把问题解决了。今天,这家合资公司通过更高层次的协作,

By working hard and repeatedly talking about business and personal
matters, we did solve the problem. Today, the joint venture, through a
much higher level of collaboration,

运作更加有效率了。

The operation more efficient.

后来,当我再回顾这件事,我想如果参会者不能说同一种语言(在这里是中文),我们还能否这么容易解决

Later, when I look back on this thing, I think if participants do not
speak the same language (in this case English), we can be so easily
solved

问题?如果唯一的沟通是通过一个口译,那又会发生什么?我一想就发抖…

Problem? If the only communication is through an interpreter, what
happens? I tremble when I think about it …

我参加过有口译人员的会议,他们总是不能把原话中所有微妙之处和多层次的含义表达出来。不是口译人员

I’ve been to have interpreters for meetings, they always can’t put all
the subtleties of words and the multi-level expression of the meaning
out. Is not an interpreter

不懂,只是因为一些东西在翻译中流失了。我曾当过口译员。在很多情况下,要了解人家的意思,你必须首

Do not know, just because something lost in translation. I worked as an
interpreter. In many cases, the need to appreciate the meaning, you must

先有那些文化“背景故事”来帮助你了解意思。不知道那些背景,真正的交流是很困难的-有时甚至是不可能

Let’s have those “background story” to help you understand the meaning
of culture. I don’t know the background, real communication is
difficult-and sometimes impossible

的。当然,在你学一种新语言时你会学到这些故事,但是当你真正给人家做翻译时,你不可能把一个词背后

The. Of course, when you learn a new language you will learn how these
stories, but when you actually get someone to do the translation, you
can’t take back a word

的故事全部讲出来。

All of the stories.

因此,要在国家之间,公司之间,跨文化之间和讲不同语言的人们之间把事情做成,即使别人已经能说你的

So, to make things between countries, between companies, across
cultures, and between people who speak different languages, even if
someone else is already able to say what you’re doing.

语言,掌握别人的语言仍然是很重要的–甚至决定性的。因为只有那样你才能真正明白别人为什么要那么

Language, the language is still very important to master the
others–even decisive. Because only then can you truly understand why
people want to do that

说。

say

向神化挑战

Challenge to deification

学习一门新语言不一定要那么难。你能在很短的时间内做到,达到一个比你想像的还要高的水平。我知道这

Learning a new language doesn’t have to be that hard. Can you do in a
very short period of time, to reach a higher level than you think. I
know this is

是真的,因为我做到了。我也看见其他人做到了。而且我没有“天赋”,至少不会比一般人的天赋多。当人们

It’s true, because I did it. And I saw others do it. And I don’t have
“talent”, at least not more than the average person. When people

提出,我会说一种以上的语言是因为,从某种程度上说,我有一些特殊的天赋时,我会感到恼火。实际上,

Suggested that I speak more than one language is because, to some
extent, when I have some special gift, I would feel annoyed. Actually,

我可能比很多同龄人语言天赋少。

I may have less language talent than many of my peers.

我在新西兰长大的时候,我的英语只是一般。我对书面文字的理解比较慢,而且我学语法有些困难。实际

When I grew up in New Zealand, my English is general. I’m slower on the
understanding of the written word, and I learn syntax is a little
difficult. Actual

上,我讨厌—绝对讨厌—语法课。它有什么意义?

And I hate–hate—grammar lesson. What’s the point of it?

在别的方面我也好不到哪去。做阅读理解时我总是最后一个完成。我更喜欢理科,因为那需要抽象和概念性

In other ways, I where to go or not. I always the last one to be
completed when doing the reading comprehension. I like science, because
it needs abstract and conceptual

思维。

Thinking.

我的外语也不怎么样。高中学法语时,我在班里倒数的三分之一中。好像我就是学不好。外语没意义。很无

My foreign language is not very good either. When I was studying French
in high school, I was in the middle of the class, 1/3. It’s like I can’t
learn. Foreign languages have no meaning. Very little

聊。而且我怎么都不能正确地发音。那时我相信,我永远也学不好语言。我学语言的兴趣也越来越低。

Talk. And I can’t even pronounce it correctly. I believed then that I
would never learn the language. My interest in learning languages is
getting lower and lower.

然后,有件事改变了我的人生。我学会了法语!我发现我能与法国人交谈并且谈得很开心。

Then, there’s one thing changed my life. I learned French! I feel that I
can talk to and have a great time talking with the French.

我15岁的时候,一个从塔希提岛(南太平洋的一块法属殖民地)来的交换生来我家住了几星期。几个月后,

When I was 15 years old, an exchange from Tahiti (a French colony in the
South Pacific) had been my home for a few weeks. A few months later,

我又到塔希提岛呆了总共六个星期。那时,我学会了说流利的法语。在需要的时候我能够跟任何人交流。语

I went to Tahiti to spend a total of six weeks. At that time, I learned
to speak fluent French. When I was able to communicate with anyone in
need. Language

言对我来说不再神秘。当然,也有我不知道的词语,但是我总能明白它们的意思。不管怎样,即便是今天,

Words are no longer mysterious to me. Of course, there are words I don’t
know, but I always know what they mean. Anyway, even today,

我仍然有不认识的英语单词。我最近就遇到了一个—semiotics.那是什么意思?我第一天碰到它的时候还真

I still have some English words I don’t know. I have recently met a —
semiotics. What does that mean? The first day I met it, it was true.

不知道。

I have no idea

有人告诉我它是一种有关人们如何认知和涉及符号的科学。但我仍然不能完全明了它的意思。那没关系。就

I was told that it is a kind of science on how we perceive and relate to
symbols. But I still can not fully understand what it meant. That’s all
right. Just

像你一样,我仍然能够用英语有效地交流。不知道某些单词的意思并不会阻碍。

Like you, I will still be able to communicate effectively in English. I
don’t know the meaning of certain words and will not hinder.

回到法语。重要的是在仅仅几个星期里我就掌握了法语的结构和功能。我的口音近乎完美。而且我达到了这

Back to French. It is important that in just a few weeks I have mastered
the structure and function of French. My accent is almost perfect. And
I’ve reached this.

样的境界,我的法语自然的进步,就如同我学母语时一样。最好的是我很顺利地修完高中法语课,没费任何

-Like state, my French progress of nature, just as the same as when I
learn their mother tongue. The best part is, I’m successfully completed
high school French class, without any

额外的努力。

The extra effort.

故事可能就那样结束了,但是没有。如果真的结束了,我现在就不会在这写这本书。结果后来我大学主修心

The end of the story may be like that, but no. If it’s really over, I
wouldn’t be here to write this book. The results of later I majored in
heart

理学。我感兴趣的一个话题是心理语言学。当时在语言学习领域盛行的一个很有影响力的理论认为,只有小

Neo-Confucianism. I am interested in a topic is psycholinguistics. At
that time, the prevalence in the field of language learning is a very
influential theory is that only a small

孩子才能真正学好第二语言。根据该理论,当一个人进入成年时,他就失去了轻松快速地学习一种新语言的

Kids can really learn the language. According to this theory, when a man
entering adulthood, he will lose easily and quickly learn a new language

能力。

Ability.

这个理论很容易被接受,因为我们身边看到这样的证据–所有那些成年人在挣扎着,或是不能有效地学习一

This theory is easy to be accepted, because we see evidence of this–all
the adults in the struggle, or cannot effectively learn a

门外语。让人接受这个理论几乎是太容易了。

A foreign language. It is almost too easy to accept the theory.

尽管事实上所有人都似乎相信这个理论,我却不能接受它。我不相信它,一部分原因是我不想相信它。它感

Despite the fact that everyone seems to believe that this theory, but I
can’t accept it. I do not believe it, part of the reason is that I don’t
want to believe it. The sense of it

觉那么有局限性。难道说,因为我小时候没有学其他语种,我现在就被禁止和世界上大部分人沟通吗?不

There’s a limit to that. Is it because I didn’t learn any other language
when I was a child, and I am now banned from communicating with most
people in the world? No.

可能的!这是我拒绝接受的。

Possible! This is my refusal to accept.

我心中有个声音告诉我,“如果你的学习方法是正确的,你能在任何时候学好任何外语。年龄不是障碍。”我

A voice in my heart told me, “if you learn the right way, you can learn
any foreign language at any time.” Age is not an obstacle. “I…

甚至大胆地把这个观点写进了我的学期论文里。阅卷的教授一定是同意了我的观点,因为我顺利通过了。也

I even ventured to put this point into my term paper. The professor must
have agreed to my point of view, because I passed it. Also

许他只是奖励我脸皮厚。

He’s just giving me a reward.

两年后,我有了在我身上亲自检验这个理论的机会,那时我22岁,得到了到中国学习两年的奖学金。那是在

Two years later, I had the opportunity to test the theory on my own,
when I was 22, and I was given a scholarship to study in China for two
years. It was in the

1981年,中国刚刚对外开放。我在大二学过几小时的中文,得到一个结果—-我勉强通过了考试。并且我一

In 1981, China was just opening up to the outside world. I learned
Chinese for a few hours in the sophomore year, and got a result — I
managed to pass the exam. And I…

点也不喜欢上这个课。

I don’t like this class at all.

当时的老师更擅长“催眠”,而不是把学生的语言学习能力激发出来。你知道,他是那种用温柔的几乎单调的

At that time, teachers are better at “hypnosis”, rather than inspired
language learning ability of students. You know, he is the kind of
gentle, almost monotonous

声音讲课的老师。就在他没完没了的唠叨中,我不由自主地漂到别处去了。那是一个舒适,温暖,黑暗的地

The voice of the teacher lecturing. In his incessant nagging in, and I
found myself drifting somewhere else. It was a comfortable, warm, dark
underground

方,你知道仅仅是出于礼貌,你应该睁着眼睛。但是眼皮可能感觉很沉,很粘,而且额头的肌肉再也牵不住

Party, you know, just to be polite, you should have your eyes open. But
the eyelids may feel very heavy, viscous, and the forehead muscles are
no longer lead

它们了—呼,呼,呼…!

They–hoo, hoo, hoo…!

突然,朦胧中,你听到有人叫你的名字。一个问题。你甚至都不明白是什么问题.…。

Suddenly, in the dim light, did you hear someone calling your name. One
more question. You don’t even understand what the problem is…

你可想而知,我没学会什么。教授也从没意识到学生犯困和教室的温度没多大关系。我到中国时,一句中文

As you can imagine, I didn’t learn anything. The professor never sleepy
to realize that the students and the classroom temperature did not
matter much. When I went to China, a word of Chinese

也不会说。一片空白。

I wouldn’t say. A blank.

1981年9月我来到了北京语言学院.还有两个星期才开课,所以我手头有点时间。干什么呢?恩,有一点是肯

In September 1981, I came to the Beijing language Institute. It was two
weeks before I started, so I had some time. What are you doing? Well,
one thing is Ken.

定的,我不喜欢呆在听不懂周围人说话,不能跟当地人交流甚至都不认识简单的标志和警告的这样一种环境

This, I don’t like to stay in the Don’t understand the people around you
talk, can’t talk to the locals don’t even know such an environment the
simple signs and warnings

我后来到过其他一些国家,我没学过他们的语言,我有同样的感受。我就是不喜欢呆在一个语言不通的地

I came over after a number of other countries, I haven’t learned their
language, I feel the same way. I just don’t like to stay in the land of
a language barrier

方。能听懂,能和别人交流,能知道周围发生着什么才更有意思。

Square. Can you understand and can communicate with others, to know what
is happening around is more interesting.

来北京的第二天,我结识了我的第一个朋友。他是一个瘦小结实的泰国小伙子。他叫·Mao’,在中文和泰国

The day after I came to Beijing, I met my first friend. He is a small,
sturdy Thai boy. His name is Mao’, in Chinese and Thai

语里,是指猫。听起来像猫叫。他教会我第一个词—zenme
yang—怎么样?然后我离开了。在接下来的两

In the language, it means the cat. It sounds like a cat. He taught me
the first word-zenme yang-how about it? And then I left. In the next two

天,我跟几乎遇到的每一个人说这三个字。大家都回答我他们感觉怎么样,坦白地说,我还不明白他们说的

Day, I talked to almost every person that I meet that these three words.
You answer me, how does it feel to them, to be honest, I still don’t
understand what they say

是什么。但是我听到这些词并开始注意模式。从他们的面部表情和肢体语言中,我能猜出一些意思。

What is it. But I heard these words and began to notice that the
pattern. From their facial expressions and body language, I can guess by
some means.

很快我就能跟人们搭话,他们会告诉我一些东西的名字,还有一些重要的有用的词,比如“请”和“谢谢”。一个

Soon I’ll be able to talk with people, they’d tell me the name of some
things, there are a number of important and useful words, such as
“Please” and “Thank you”. A

星期后,我就能进行简单的对话了。这时,我心里想:“太棒了…我有进步了。”我已经能识别一些标志—注

I’ll be able to have a simple conversation after a week. At this moment,
I thought to myself, “that’s great. I’ve made progress. “I’ve been able
to identify some of the sign

意,男,女(当你经常腹泻时能区分这两个字是很重要的)。并且我能买东西,保证基本生活。

Meaning, male, female (it is important to distinguish between the two
words when you often have diarrhea). And I can buy things to ensure a
basic life.

在那的第10天,一个刚认识的巴勒斯坦朋友带着我和两个新西兰学生去了北戴河,那是北京东北边的一处海

On the 10 day there, a Palestinian friend who had just met took me and
two New Zealand students to Beidaihe, a sea on the northeast side of
Beijing.

边旅游胜地。我们坐火车去,花了一两天轻松了一下,然后得返回北京参加分班测试

A tourist attraction. We went by train, took a day or two to relax, and
then returned to Beijing to take part in the test.

那时,中国的公共交通很有限—想旅游的人数远远超过了交通运力。当然,我们买票的时候太晚了。要等三

At that time, China’s public transport is very limited–the number of
tourists is far more than the traffic capacity. Of course, it’s too late
when we bought the ticket. Have to wait three

四天才能买到座位。

Four days to get a seat.

只能做一件事了。不管怎样,我们上了车,付了车票钱和因为无票上车的罚款,然后就在餐车上安顿下来,

Can only do one thing. Anyhow, we got in the car, pay a fine, the ticket
money and because the bus without a ticket and then settle down on the
truck,

要六小时的过夜旅程才能到达北京。火车开出后十分钟,一个戴着官帽,穿白色夹克的男子走近了我。我后

It takes six hours of the night to get to Beijing. Ten minutes after the
train was out, a man in a hat and a white jacket came up to me. After
I…

来才发现他是铁路上的保安。他坐下来,笑了笑,然后开始聊天.

Come to find out he’s on the railway security. He sat down, smile, and
then started talking.

我们六小时就一直这样.仅仅是用中文交谈。整个晚上。这是我经历的很多个学习语言的不眠之夜中的一个.

We’ve been doing this for six hours. Just talking in Chinese. All night.
This is one of the many sleepless nights I’ve been learning languages.

他一个英语单词也不认识。起初,我也不知道他说什么。但是很明显,他没什么重要的事要做,我俩也没地

He doesn’t know an English word. At first, I didn’t know what he said.
But obviously, he didn’t have much to do, and neither did we.

方可去,于是我们就这样继续着。

Before they go, so we went on like that.

他画画,写中文汉字给我看,还用手比划。随着我们的交谈,我渐渐感觉到我明白了他的意思。我的笔记本

He paints, writes Chinese characters to me, and gestures with his hands.
As we talked, I began to feel that I understood what he meant. My
notebook.

布满了潦草的字迹和一些图画。那个晚上,我很可能接触了上千个新单词,大部分是汉语的常用词。我不能

Full of scribbled handwriting and some of the pictures. That night, I
would probably contact a thousand new words, most of the Chinese words.
I can’t

把所有的都搞明白,但是我能感觉到出现的模式。一个很重要的观念。感知模式。

Make all of it clear, but I can feel the pattern of the emergence. A
very important idea. The perception pattern.

回到北京几天后,就开始测试了。我上的那所学校要求每个人参加一个口试和笔试来检验我们的中文理解能

Come back to Beijing a few days later, they began the test. I went to
that school requires everyone to participate in an oral and a written
examination to test our understanding of Chinese energy

力。轮到我时,测试人员有些不知所措了。我已经能够跟他们进行简单对话。但是,我的中文阅读水平仍然

Force. When it was my turn, some of the testers at a loss. I have been
able to carry on simple conversations with them. But, my level of
Chinese reading

限于几十个汉字。他们想不明白,但不得不把我安排到中级班而不是初级班。很明显我在语言学习的道路上

Limited to several ten characters. They don’t get it, but had to put me
on the middle class rather than a beginner’s class. Apparently I was on
the path to language learning

稳步前进着。

With the steady progress.

在火车旅途结束时,我的中文决不能算是流利了。但这是个转折点。对我来说,从那天晚上起,学中文变得

At the end of the journey in the train, I must not be fluent in Chinese.
But it was a turning point. For me, since that night, learning Chinese
has become

容易和有趣起来。当然,我必须努力。努力是必要的。但学习总是令人愉快的。随着时间的推移,我学得越

Easy and fun. Of course, I have to work hard. Hard work is necessary.
But learning is always pleasant. As time went on, the more I learned

来越快。

The faster you come.

两个月后,我就能用中文很好地交流,和中国朋友进行很长(常常是哲学方面的)的对话,在中国轻松自如

After two months, I’ll be able to Chinese, good communication, and a
long (usually friends of China the dialogue of philosophy), ease in
China

地生活。我已经能够简单地阅读和写作。截止到我在中国呆了6个月的时候,我能给认识的朋友用中文写

To live. I have been able to simply reading and writing. As I have been
in China for 6 months, I can give friends in Chinese

信,并处理些公务。我甚至写信给高级政府官员,争取去北京体院学习中国武术(最终成功了)。

And belief, and taking care of some business. I even wrote to senior
government officials, for the Beijing Institute of physical education
learning Chinese martial arts (ultimately successful).

今天,我说着流利的普通话和粤语,并在很多的组织咨询工作中用这两种语言作为互动的媒介。我也接触过

Today, I speak fluent Mandarin and Cantonese and use both languages as a
medium of interaction in many of the organization’s consulting work.
I’ve been in touch.

一些其他的亚洲语言。有一次去日本旅行两个星期,在一些朋友的帮助下我花了两天掌握了基本用语,然后

Some other Asian language. I had a trip to Japan for two weeks, and with
the help of some friends, I spent two days mastering the basic language,
and then I went to Japan.

只用日语我就能周游日本了。两周后,在街上、商店中或者人们随意跟我说的话,我能听懂百分之六十。

Only Japanese I could travel around Japan. Two weeks later, on the
street, in a store or if people feel free to tell me, I can understand
60%.

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