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850个单词突破口语大关 2007-03-21 17:11:01

分类: IT生活

英语虽然是世界上影响最大的国际性语言之一,但它在拼写法方面的许多缺陷以及大量的惯用法,却使得不以英语为母语的许多民族望而却步。这导致产生了旨在简化英语的若干改革方案,其中之一是英国哲学家、语言学家 C. K. OGDEN 及其合作者于20世纪30年代设计的BASIC ENGLISH. BASIC来自BRITISH,AMERICAN,SCIENTIFIC,INTERNATIONAL和COMMERCIAL五个单词,意既“英美科学、国际和商务语言”。
BASIC ENGLISH实际上是一种简化的英语。它由经过统计分析后精心挑选的850个最常用的单词构成,其中包括10多个用途广泛的动词。在拼写、读音和语法方面仍然沿用原有习惯。事实上,这850个单词占了现行任何一篇大众性文章出现频率的78%以上,在口语中则高达85%以上。
第二次世界大战时期,BASIC ENGLISH曾经时兴了一阵子,得到丘吉尔和英国政府的支持,一度还有被选为国际语的趋势。这一方案也得到了美国哈佛大学I. A. RECHARLES等教授们的大力支持和帮助。不少热情的支持者,包括文学家、语言学家、大学教授,他们仅就使用这850个单词,创作出一批优秀的文学作品。他们希望全世界明白,使用BASIC ENLGISH完全可以写出很漂亮的文章,表达很深刻的思想。
大量的实践表明,如果我们能把这850个单词每一个都记得象自己的名字一样熟练,WE MAY MAKE GROUND-BREAKING PROGRESS IN OUR SPOKEN ENGLISH. 一些欧洲人用几个月的时间掌握一门外语,其秘诀多在于此。有兴趣的朋友可以试试,任意找一篇文章,或找一段口语会话材料,数一数这850个单词在文章中的比例。更可以试试,用三个月到半年的时间,争取把这850个单词记得滚瓜烂熟,看口语是否有明显提高。
这850个单词的清单付在本文后面。笔者个人认为,就中国的工程技术人员,熟练掌握了这850个单词,外加不超过150个专业词汇,仅用1000个单词完全可以突破口语关。到时候不仅可以与外国专家面对面进行很好的口语交流,开会用英语发言也不会有什么问题。
跨文化交际学认为,不同语言文化的人在交流中,母语者在自然交谈的情况下一般不会意识到、更不会在乎外语者语言中的语音、词汇和语法上的问题(倒是那些两个语言和文化都比较熟悉的人对此会十分敏感,他们很容易看到人家的错误,并会顿生自豪感),而是更注意语言的内容(你别问人家老婆三围多少,否则人家重则要跟你干仗,轻则最少要说It’s none of your business; 法国人则会文绉绉来一句Ce ne sont pas vos oignonts, 汉语的意思是“这不是你的洋葱!”呵呵,法国女孩一般都很苗条,的确很少有象洋葱的,但做了人家老婆就很难说了 )。
回过头来。我们说“我有一个朋友今天来看我”,你逐词直译成英文:I HAVE A FRIEND TODAY COME SEE ME,在与英、美朋友口头自然交流的时候,他们很难意识到你说了病句,很容易接受了你这句话,并且会夸你英文好得很。只要大胆开口,我即使说 “I ILL, NOT WORK TODAY, HOSPITAL ME NOW”,人家也会明白。谁若不明白,那绝对是他的问题。
难怪语言学家说,English is one of the easiest languages to speak badly, but the most difficult to use well.
Badly有什么关系,外语的第一任务是传达信息,交流思想。你老外若能把汉语说到我们中国人说英语的水平,我服死了你。

P.S.,前面提到“三围”,英文是 VITAL STATISTICS,也就是“生死攸关的重要统计数据”,女孩子可要注意了!

下面是 C. K. OGDEN的850个单词的清单

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OPERATIONS ETC.100: come, get, give, go, keep, let, make, put, seem, take, be, do, have, say, see, send, may, will, about, across, after, against, among, at, before, between, by, down, from, in, off, on, over, through, to, under, up, with, as, for, of, till, than, a, the, all, any, every, no, other some, such, that, this, I, he, you, who, and, because, but, or, if, though, while, how, when, where, why, again, ever, far, forward, here, near, no, out, still, then, there, together, well, almost, enough, even, little, much, not, only, quite, so, very, tomorrow, yesterday, north, south, east, west, please, yes
THINGS 400 GENERAL: account, act, addition, adjustment, advertisement, agreement, air, amount, amusement, animal, answer, apparatus, approval, argument, attack, attempt, attention, attraction, authority, back, balance, base, behaviour, belief, birth, bit, bite, blood, blow, body, brass, bread, breath, brother, building, burn, burst, business, butter, canvas, care, cause, chalk, chance, change, cloth, coal, colour, comfort, committee, company, comparison, competition, condition, connection, control, cook, copper, copy, cork, cotton, cough, country, cover, crack, credit, crime, crush, cry, current, curve, damage, danger, daughter, day, death, debt, decision, degree, design, desire, destruction, detail, development, digestion, direction, discovery, discussion, disease, disgust, distance, distribution, division, doubt, drink, dust, earth, edge, education, effect, end, error, event, example, exchange, existence, expansion, experience, expert, fact, fall, family, father, fear, feeling, fiction, field, fire, flame, flight, flower, fold, food, force, form, friend, front, fruit, glass, gold, government, grain, grass, grip, group, growth, guide, harbour, harmony, hate, hearing, heat, help, history, hole, hope, hour, humour, ice, idea, impulse, increase, industry, ink, insect, instrument, insurance, interest, invention, iron, jelly, join, journey, judge, jump, kick, kiss, knowledge, land, language, laugh, law, lead, learning, leather, letter, level, lift, light, limit, linen, liquid, list, look, loss, love, machine, man, manage, mark, market, mass, meal, measure, meat, meeting, memory, metal, middle, milk, mind, mine, minute, mist, money, month, morning, mother, motion, mountain, move, music, name, nation, need, news, night, noise, note, number, observation, offer, oil, operation, option, order, organization, ornament, owner, page, pain, paint, paper, part, paste, payment, peace, person, place, plant, play, pleasure, point, poison, polish, porter, price, print, process, produce, profit, property, prose, protest, pull, punishment, purpose, push, quality, question, rain, range, rate, ray, reaction, reading, reason, record, regret, relation, religion, representative, request, respect, rest, reward, rhythm, rice, river, road, roll, room, rub, rule, run, salt, sand, scale, science, sea, seat, secretary, selection, self, sense, servant, sex, shade, shake, shame, shock, side, sign, silk, sister, size, sky, sleep, slip, slope, smash, smell, smile, smoke, sneeze, snow, soap, society, son, song, sort, sound, soup, space, stage, start, statement, steam, steel, step, stitch, stone, stop, story, stretch, structure, substance, sugar, suggestion, summer, support, surprise, swim, system, talk, taste, tax, teaching, tendency, test, theory, thing, thought, thunder, time, tin, top, touch, trade, transport, trick, trouble, turn, twist, unit, use, value, verse, vessel, view, voice, walk, war, wash, waste, water, wave, wax, way, weather, week, weight, wind, wine, winter, woman, wood, wool, word, work, wound, writing, year
200 PICTURABLE: angle, ant, apple, arch, arm, baby, bag, ball, band, basin, basket, bath, bed, bee, bell, berry, bird, blade, board, boat, bone, book, boot, bottle, box, boy, brain, brake, branch, brick, bridge, brush, bucket, bulb, button, cake, camera, card, carriage, cart, cat, chain, cheese, chest, chin, church, circle, clock, cloud, coat, collar, comb, cord, cow, cup, curtain, cushion, dog, door, drain, drawer, dress, drop, ear, egg, engine, eye, face, farm, feather, finger, fish, flag, floor, fly, foot, fork, fowl, frame, garden, girl, glove, goat, gun, hair, hammer, hand, hat, head, heart, hook, horn, horse, hospital, house, island, jewel, kettle, key, knee, knife, knot, leaf, leg, library, line, lip, lock, map, match, monkey, moon, mouth, muscle, nail, neck, needle, nerve, net, nose, nut, office, orange, oven, parcel, pen, pencil, picture, pig, pin, pipe, plane, plate, plough, pocket, pot, potato, prison, pump, rail, rat, receipt, ring, rod, roof, root, sail, school, scissors, screw, seed, sheep, shelf, ship, shirt, shoe, skin, skirt, snake, sock, spade, sponge, spoon, spring, square, stamp, star, station, stem, stick, stocking, stomach, store, street, sun, table, tail, thread, throat, thumb, ticket, toe, tongue, tooth, town, train, tray, tree, trousers, umbrella, wall, watch, wheel, whip, whistle, window, wing, wire, worm
QUALITIES 100 GENERAL: able, acid, angry, automatic, beautiful, black, boiling, bright, broken, brown, cheap, chemical, chief, clean, clear, common, common, complex, conscious, cut, deep, dependent, early, elastic, electric k, equal, fat, textile, first, fixed, flat, free, frequent, full, general, good, great, grey, hanging, happy, hard, high, hollow, important, kind, like, living, long, male, married, material, medical, military, natural, necessary, new, normal, open, parallel, past, physical, political, poor, possible, present, private, probable, quick, quiet, ready, red, regular, responsible, right, round, same, second, separate, serious, sharp, smooth, sticky, stiff, straight, strong, sudden, sweet, tall, thick, tight, tired, true, violent, waiting, warm, wet, wide, wise, yellow, young
50 OPPOSITES: awake, bad, bent, bitter, blue, certain, cold, complete, cruel, dark, de4ad, dear, delicate, different, dirty, dry, false, feeble, female, foolish, future, green, ill, last, late, left, loose, loud, low, mixed, narrow, old, opposite, public, rough, sad, safe, secret, short, shut, simple, slow, small, soft, solid, special, strange, thin, white, wrong
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, thirty, forty, fifty, hundred, thousand, million, half, quarter, third, fourth

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