英语何时真正超越法语成为了外交语言?
2022-11-23 兰陵笑笑生 5964
正文翻译

When did English truly overtake French as the language of diplomacy?

英语何时真正超越法语成为了外交语言?

评论翻译
Alexey Tereshchenko
On 28 June 1919.
On this date, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Instead of being composed solely in French, as tradition demanded, it had two equivalent versions, in French and in English.
The French language, popular since Middle Ages, became even more so during the reign of Louis XIV when France was the strongest power in Europe. Displacing Latin and Italian, it became the language of European diplomacy.
After the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, France had irreversibly lost its status of leading power to Britain. However, it did not affect the status of the French language. Britain became an undisputed leader of the world, a hegemonic power. By 1914 it controlled one quarter of the world. But only businessmen and sea captains learned English. Diplomats and international organizations continued to use French.

1919年6月28日。
这一天,《凡尔赛条约》正式签署。它没有像传统要求的那样只用法语撰写,而是有两个对等的版本,法语和英语。
法语自中世纪以来就很流行,在路易十四统治时期,法国是欧洲最强大的国家,法语变得更加流行。它取代了拉丁语和意大利语,成为欧洲的外交语言。
1815年滑铁卢战役后,法国不可逆转地将其领导大国的地位输给了英国。然而,这并没有影响法语的地位。英国虽然成为世界上无可争议的领导者,是一个霸权主义国家。并且到1914年,它控制了世界四分之一的土地。但只有商人和船长会去学英语。外交官和国际组织仍在继续使用法语。

Most British who went abroad learned French, although British diplomats made it their point to speak English and have translators. A Briton who lived abroad but did not want to learn the international language was one of the typical images of 19th-century literature and was ridiculed by both British and continental authors (though British authors saw this refusal as patriotic and, while laughable, deserving some respect).
Even in 1870, when France was crushed and humiliated by the Germans, the text of the peace treaty was uniquely in French. So when the Paris Peace Conference started in 1919, after the long-awaited French revanche against the Germans, French prime minister Georges Clemenceau and his associate Stephen Pichon proposed to draft the new peace treaty in French and they did not expect any obxtions.

大多数出国的英国人都学会了法语,尽管英国外交官把讲英语和配备翻译作为他们的重点。一个生活在国外却不愿学习国际语言的英国人是19世纪文学的典型形象之一,受到了英国和欧洲大陆作家的嘲笑(尽管英国作家认为这种拒绝是爱国的,虽然可笑,但也值得尊重)。
甚至在1870年,当法国被德国人击溃和羞辱的时候,和约的文本也是只使用法语的文本。因此,当1919年巴黎和会开始时,在期待已久的法国对德国人的反击战之后,法国总理乔治-克莱蒙梭和他的助手斯蒂芬-皮雄提议用法语起草新的和平条约,他们没有想到会有任何反对意见。

Georges Clemenceau and Stéphen Pichon
However, one person obxted. It was the US President Woodrow Wilson. He acknowledged that French had been the language of diplomacy in Europe but stated there was a new great power that was not European and spoke only English.
Pichon obxted, mentioning that the US had already participated in diplomatic conferences where French had been the only official language. Furthermore, he said that it was unjust to rob France of its historic privilege in the wake of the war that caused so much suffering to the French people. Wilson was adamant: according to the US Constitution, all treaties had to be submitted to the Senate where they did not know any French. He found support from British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, who emphasized that the number of English speakers worldwide was much bigger than the number of French speakers.


乔治-克莱蒙梭和斯特芬-皮雄
然而,有一个人表示反对。他就是美国总统伍德罗-威尔逊。他承认法语一直是欧洲的外交语言,但他说有一个新的大国不是欧洲人,而且只讲英语。
皮雄表示反对,并提到美国已经参加了以法语为唯一官方语言的外交会议。此外,他还说,在给法国人民带来巨大痛苦的战争之后,剥夺法国的历史特权是不公正的。威尔逊态度坚决:根据美国宪法,所有条约都必须提交给参议院,而参议院不懂法语。他找到了英国首相戴维-劳埃德-乔治的支持,后者强调,全世界讲英语的人比讲法语的人多得多。

Woodrow Wilson and David Lloyd George
The French delegates made a last ditch effort to salvage the prestige of French: they proposed to include Italian as a third official language of the peace conference and the treaty. It would have downplayed the status of English. However, the proposal was defeated. According to a historian,
Thus, more than 200 years of French language dominance on the international scene came to an end.
Neither Wilson nor Lloyd George spoke any French while Clemenceau spoke perfect English, having lived in the US and having married an American. As a result, English became the dominant language of the Paris Peace Conference: of the ‘Big Four’, only Vittorio Emanuele Orlando of Italy could not speak English.


伍德罗-威尔逊和戴维-劳埃德-乔治
法国代表为挽回法语的声望做了最后的努力:他们提议将意大利语作为和平会议和条约的第三种官方语言。这将淡化英语的地位。然而,该提议被否决了。根据一位历史学家的说法:
“这样,200多年来法语在国际舞台上的主导地位就结束了。”
威尔逊和劳埃德-乔治都不会说任何法语,而克莱蒙梭却能说一口流利的英语,他曾在美国生活并与美国人结婚。因此,英语成为了巴黎和会的主导语言:"四巨头"中,只有意大利的维托里奥-埃马努埃莱-奥兰多不会说英语。

‘Big Four’ of the Paris Peace Conference: David Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, Georges Clemenceau and Woodrow Wilson
Thus, ironically, the hard-won French victory in World War I marked the first step in the decline of the French language as an international one. The numerical and economic strength of English speakers meant it could only go downhill. Now that English was given an equal status, it was only a matter of time for it to become the sole international language.


巴黎和平会议的 "四巨头"。大卫-劳埃德-乔治、维托里奥-奥兰多、乔治-克里蒙梭和伍德罗-威尔逊
因此,具有讽刺意味的是,法国在第一次世界大战中来之不易的胜利标志着法语作为一种国际语言的衰落迈出了第一步。说英语的人的数量和经济实力意味着它只能走下坡路。至此,英语被赋予了平等的地位,它成为唯一的国际语言只是时间问题。

John Cate
I’m kind of surprised that the Germans didn’t force the French to sign the Treaty of Frankfurt in German. I guess custom was so well-seated by 1871 that they never thought of it.
I guess it was humiliating enough to the French with the location where Wilhelm I was crowned as Deutscher Kaiser.

我有点惊讶,德国人竟然没有强迫法国人用德语签署《法兰克福条约》。看来,到了1871年,习俗已经深入人心,他们从来没有想过这个问题。
我想,那个让威廉一世加冕为德国皇帝的地方,对法国人来说已经够丢人了。

Alexey Tereshchenko
Yes.
I was surprised, too. I think I’ve read the story for the first time in Kissinger’s book on history of diplomacy (quite well written, btw).

是的。
我也很惊讶。我想我是在基辛格的《外交史》一书中第一次读到这个故事的(顺便说一句,写得很好)。

Ray Hart
The book is quite well edited. He is actually a horrible prose writer by all accounts.

这本书的编辑工作相当出色。从各方面来看,他其实是一个出色的散文作家。

Loic Caquelard
It never bothered me. I assume the Prussians still had the same respect for the French language and its symbolic importance. France eternal enemy had always been the Britains until World War 1 and still they spoke a varying amount of French in varying layers of their society.
Besides, what the Prussians - and the other countries that were after our skin at that time - had against France was mostly our republic and Naopleon’s legacy. There would have been no Franco-German war in 1870 if the French Revolution had not put the French monarchy to rest. The language having been officialised as a symbol of the monarchy, the kingdom and its unity, I don’t think it was associated with the republican madness that our

这从未困扰过我。我想普鲁士人仍然对法语及其象征性的重要性抱有同样的尊重。法国永恒的敌人一直是英国人,然而直到第一次世界大战,他们仍然在其社会的不同层面上有不少的人讲着法语。
此外,普鲁士人--以及当时追随我们的其他国家--针对法国的主要是我们的共和国和拿破仑的遗产。如果法国大革命没有废除法国的君主制,就不会有1870年的法德战争。这种语言已经正式成为君主制、王国及其统一的象征,我不认为它与我们疯狂的共和制有关。

Robin Nicollet
Those people don’t think like us. They don’t care at all about their languages in these occasions.
They just have customs and habits to respect.

那些人的想法和我们不一样。在这些场合,他们根本不关心自己的语言。
他们只是尊重风俗和习惯。

Evangelos Lolos
Thus, more than 200 years of French language dominance on the international scene came to an end.
While I definitely agree that English became a very strong challenger at that time, I’m not quite sure whether it actually surpassed French after WWI or after WWII.
For example, the Treaty of Sèvres signed in 1920 had French as its primary language with English and Italian being secondary.
Another case from WWII, when the Italian envoy presented an ultimatum to the Greek prime minister Ioannis Metaxas, his reply was "Alors, c'est la guerre", even though Metaxas had received German education.
Of course, those might be not enough to make the case for French remaining predominant (even if less so), one would have to do an analysis of all major treaties, but I’d dare say that just looking at the Treaty of Versailles isn’t enough.

“因此,200多年来法语在国际舞台上的统治地位结束了。”
虽然我绝对同意英语在当时成为一个非常强大的挑战者,但我不太确定它是否真的在一战后或二战后超过了法语。
例如,1920年签署的《塞夫勒条约》以法语为主要语言,英语和意大利语为次要语言。
二战中的另一个案例是,当意大利特使向希腊总理伊奥尼斯-梅塔克萨斯提出最后通牒时,他的回答是 "Alors, c'est la guerre(那么,这是一场战争)",尽管梅塔克萨斯曾接受过德国教育。
当然,这些可能还不足以说明法国仍然占主导地位(即使不那么占主导地位),人们必须对所有主要条约进行分析,但我敢说,仅仅看《凡尔赛条约》是不够的。

Alexey Tereshchenko
In 1919, English was accepted as equal to French. It was beginning of the end. Of course, there are still some relics of the past such as Médecins Sans Frontières.

1919年,英语被接受为与法语平等。这是法语流行结束的开始。当然,仍有一些过去的遗迹,如无国界医生组织。

Allan Richardson
Just checking Wikipedia and other sources, the Treaty of Paris (1783), which recognized the United States as an independent nation, apparently was in both English and French, but was negotiated between the two English speaking nations in English. Apparently, the French translation, which was “packaged” with other treaties signed at Versailles, was for the benefit of the other nations tangentially involved (France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic). So the US and UK treated the English version as official, and the other nations the French version. This could have been the first international treaty in English. I’m not sure about the treaty which ended the US-British War of 1812.

检查了一下维基百科和其他来源,承认美国为独立国家的《巴黎条约》(1783年)就已经有英语和法语两种语言,而且两个英语国家之间是用英语谈判的。显然,与在凡尔赛签署的其他条约"打包"的法文译本是为了其他切身参与的国家(法国、西班牙和荷兰共和国)的利益。因此,美国和英国将英语版本视为官方版本,而其他国家则是法语版本。这可能是第一个用英语书写的国际条约。我不太清楚结束美英1812年战争的条约是什么情况。
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Evangelos Lolos
My point was that maybe this was a one-off thing, at least until WWII of course, due to the realities of WWI with the Allies being composed of several English speaking nations, because in 1920 (Treaty of Sèvres) and 1923 (Treaty of Lausanne), French was again the primary language of international treaties that involved both the British Empire and France.

我的观点是,这可能是偶然性的事情,至少在二战之前是这样,毕竟一战的现实情况是盟国是由几个英语国家组成的,所以你可以看到在涉及大英帝国和法国的1920年(塞夫勒条约)和1923年(洛桑条约)中,法语还是国际条约的主要语言。

Alexey Tereshchenko
Treaties of Sevres and Lausanne followed the ancient tradition. But they were infinitesmally less important than the Treaty of Versailles.

《塞夫勒条约》和《洛桑条约》遵循了古老的传统。但它们的重要性远远低于《凡尔赛条约》。
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Evangelos Lolos
If the languages used in the most important treaty are both English and French, while French continues to be the primary language for less (not infinitessimally, that’s absurd) important treaties, how does this mean that English overtook French as the question suggests?

如果最重要的条约所使用的语言都是英语和法语,而法语仍然是不那么重要(不是微不足道,那是荒谬的)的条约的主要语言,这如何意味着英语如问题所暗示的那样超越了法语?
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Alexey Tereshchenko
As far as I know, nobody pretends that World War II started because of the Treaty of Sevres or Lausanne. For me, it is enough to qualify these treaties as infinitesmally less important.
Of course, English did not become overnight more important in all the domains. Even today in countries such as Ivory Coast and even Morocco it is less important than French. But the space controlled by the English languages increased very much in 1919. Even before that, English was much more used in many domains. It had obxtively stronger leverage than French. However, in diplomacy it was held back by the power of the tradition.
If the space of two languages can be expressed in percents, in 1919 English was allocated 50%. Starting from that moment, thanks to the leverage it had, it could only grow. 50.1% for English meant 49.9% for French. Et caetera.

据我所知,没有人假装第二次世界大战是因为《塞夫勒条约》或《洛桑条约》而开始的。对我来说,将这些条约定性为微不足道没什么问题。
当然,英语并没有在一夜之间在所有领域变得更加重要。即使今天在象牙海岸甚至摩洛哥这样的国家,英语的重要性也不如法语。但是,英语语言所控制的空间在1919年有了非常大的增长。即使在那之前,英语在许多领域的使用也要多得多。客观上,它的杠杆作用比法语更强。然而,在外交方面,它仍被传统的力量所牵制。
如果两种语言的空间可以用百分比来表示,那么在1919年,英语被分配了50%。从那一刻起,由于它拥有的杠杆作用,它只会继续增长。英语的50.1%意味着法语的49.9%。诸如此类。

Evangelos Lolos
Starting from that moment, thanks to the leverage it had, it could only grow.
This is not necessarily true. It could go down to, say 30% for 20 years and then leap again after WWII. In the absence of compelling evidence, I’m not prepared to accept your argument.
If only someone had compiled a list of treaties between 1919 and 1945, we could run an analysis and find out the actual percentage.

“从那一刻开始,由于它拥有的杠杆作用,它只会持续增长。”
这不一定是真的。它可以下降到,比如说1920年的30%,然后在二战后再次飞跃。在没有令人信服的证据的情况下,我不准备接受你的说法。
如果有人整理了一份1919年至1945年的条约清单,我们就可以进行分析,找出实际的百分比。

Alexey Tereshchenko
Well, such a research is not that difficult to do. It would just take time - and I have lots of work so I am not ready to do it right now.
However, we spoke about preeminence. 50.1% is preeminence. Of course, there was a new leap in the importance of English after WW2 because US became a world hegemon. But I am positive that English was preeminent way before (though in Soviet interwar schools, for instance, they studied mostly German).

呃,这样的研究并不难做。只是需要时间--我有很多工作,所以我现在还没准备去做。
然而,我们谈到了先发优势。50.1%是先发优势。当然,二战后英语的重要性有了新的飞跃,因为美国成为了世界霸主。但我敢肯定,英语在这之前就已经很重要了(尽管苏联在两次大战期间的学校,主要学习的是德语)。

Nikhil Bellarykar
Very interesting information. I read War and Peace by Tolstoy (in English of course), where the Russian nobles speak in French and even apologize that their Russian is not very good! It was all pretty puzzling for me- why would the proud Russians who defeated the great Napoleon surrender to the language of their defeated foes? I read about the continental French dominance only later on. Your answer clarified the temporal location of the first nail in the coffin of French dominance really well. Thanks.

非常有趣的信息。我读过托尔斯泰的《战争与和平》(当然是英文),其中俄国贵族用法语交谈,甚至道歉说他们的俄语不是很好。这一切都让我很费解--为什么打败了伟大的拿破仑的骄傲的俄罗斯人要向他们失败了的敌人的语言投降?我是后来才读到法国在大陆的统治地位的。你的回答很好地说明了法语统治地位棺材上第一颗钉子的时间和位置。谢谢。

Alexey Tereshchenko
The greatest German commander who ever lived, Frederick II the Great of Prussia, who made his country into a great power and laid the foundation of future Germany, despised German language and only used it when unavoidable, preferring French.

德国有史以来最伟大的指挥官,普鲁士的腓特烈二世,他使自己的国家成为了一个大国,并为未来的德国奠定了基础,然而他却鄙视德语,只有在不可避免的情况下才使用,他更喜欢法语。

Helene Chambert
Todays correct pronounciation in German is actually copying the French pron. Again because German nobles often prefered to speak French instead of G. they started to even pronounce German the French Way.

今天,德语的正确发音实际上是在模仿法语的发音。同样是因为德国的贵族们经常喜欢说法语而不是德语,他们甚至开始用法语的方式来念德语。

Helene Chambert
Also Aristocrats often married somebody with a different mothertonque, but both spoke french, ergo the new family´s language became often french.

另外,贵族们经常与不同母语的人结婚,但双方都会说法语,因此新家庭的语言往往是法语。
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Nikhil Bellarykar
Very interesting. He was an aristocrat, so yes his attitude towards the German language is understandable indeed. The other answer is also pretty interesting.

非常有趣。他是一个贵族,所以是的,他对德语的态度确实可以理解。另一个答案也相当有趣。

Helene Chambert
Because all nobles in Europe spoke French, the native language was often jut for the commons

因为欧洲的所有贵族都讲法语,所以母语往往只是为平民服务的。

Pat McCormack
There are people who belong to countries…
And people to whom countries belong.
This is the basic difference between aristocrats and commoners.
A commoner is loyal to their country, an aristocrat to their family.

有些是属于这个国家的人......
而有些人就是这个国家。
这就是贵族和平民的基本区别。
平民忠于他们的国家,贵族忠于他们的家族。

John Cowan
Russian aristocrats in the 18–19C tended to learn Russian from their nannies, and then from house servants and peasants; to their equals and superiors they spoke French. So their Russian “wasn’t very good” in the sense of being lower-class rather than in the sense of being a language they did not know well. Modern Standard Russian is basically townsman Russian.

18-19世纪的俄罗斯贵族倾向于从他们的保姆那里学习俄语,然后从家仆和农民那里学习;对他们的同级和上级,他们讲法语。因此,说他们的俄语"不是很好",是指他们的社会地位,而不是指他们不熟悉语言。现代标准俄语基本上是城镇人的俄语。

Nikhil Bellarykar
That makes sense and further underscores how much elite Russians loved French more than their own language at that time.

这很有道理,并进一步强调了当时俄罗斯精英们对法语的喜爱程度超过了他们自己的语言。

Alistair R. Thompson
And as I understand it, to add the absurdity of the situation, many Russian nobles were of at least partial German descent, but I don’t think Catherine the Great or any other leader of the Russian Empire encouraged French immigration.

据我所知,更荒谬的是,许多俄罗斯贵族至少有部分德国血统,但我认为凯瑟琳大帝或俄罗斯帝国的任何其他领导人都不鼓励法国移民。

Nikhil Bellarykar
What is the reason behind many Russian nobles being of partial German descent?

许多俄罗斯贵族都有部分德国血统,这背后的原因是什么?

Alistair R. Thompson
I remember reading it somewhere, but can't remember where I read it. I think it's just because so many Germans, both nobles and peasants, were encouraged to settle in Russia by various tsars. Much as they were in the US and in other countries where they settled, Germans were admired as being industrious and innovative. Moreover, there was so much intermarriage amongst noble families.

我记得在哪里读过。我想这是因为有很多德国人,包括贵族和农民,被各个沙皇鼓励在俄罗斯定居。就像他们在美国和其他定居的国家一样,德国人因勤劳和创新而被钦佩。此外,贵族家庭之间也有很多通婚。

Alice Ponomareva
Not surrender ) Russian nobility first spoke French and then Napoleon arrived )

不是投降 ) 俄国贵族早就说法语了,后面拿破仑才来的 )
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Luke Proctor
There is some irony then, in that the only British Prime Minister to have not spoken English as his 1st Language, was also the same Prime Minister who assisted the most in endorsing English as the global lingua franca in the decades to come afterwards.

讽刺的是,唯一一位不以英语为第一语言的英国首相,也是在此后的几十年里为英语成为全球通用语言提供了最大帮助的首相。

Alexey Tereshchenko
Yes. History is full of such ironies.

是的,历史充满了这种讽刺。

Vinícius Emygdio Chaulet
What was the native language of the British Prime Minister?

这位英国首相的母语是什么?

Luke Proctor
Welsh

威尔士语

Lisha Ruan
Excellent answer! Do you know of any other good resources on the battle for linguistic dominance between French and English? It’s a question that I’m quite interested in.

很好的答案!你知道有什么其他关于法语和英语之间的语言优势之争的好资源吗?这是我相当感兴趣的一个问题。

Helene Chambert
Saw recently a statistic from Switzerland, where F. is obligatory in school and was fairly unpopular for years among students. (hard to learn, difficult prononciation, not cool. english was COOL.
Now the tide is turning, as almost anybody is at lat sort of fluent in English….English lost the prestige factor….but being fluent in French set you more apart . Plus the underpriviliged cant understand…

最近看到一份来自瑞士的统计资料,在那里,法语是学校的必修课,多年来在学生中相当不受欢迎(难学,发音难,不酷。英语是很酷的)。
现在潮流正在转向,因为几乎每个人都能流利地使用英语....英语失去了炫耀的因素....但流利的法语能使你更加与众不同。此外,这是贫困的人无法理解的语言......

Stuart Thompson
Presumably that’s not in the French speaking area of Switzerland? I think over half of them speak German as a mother tongue but a good few of them have French as their mother tongue, while a few have Italian, Romansch etc. as their native language.

据推测,这不是在瑞士的法语区?我想他们中有一半以上的人以德语为母语,但也有相当一部分人以法语为母语,还有一些人以意大利语、罗马语等为母语。

David Frazier
President Wilson said “no” to French. But most importantly he said “no” to moustaches, much to the befuddlement of all of the European leaders.

威尔逊总统对法国人说 "不"。但最重要的是,他对小胡子说了 "不",这让所有欧洲领导人感到困惑。

Geoffrey Richard Driscoll-Tobin
Given that Brittany’s wealth and its sons and daughters made both France and England into global powers, all treaties should be in Breton. :)
Don't let's get into whether the world diplomatic language should be KLT (Cornish) or Vannetais (Welsh).

鉴于布列塔尼的财富和它的儿女们使法国和英国都成为了全球大国,所有的条约都应该用布列塔尼语。 :)
不要让我们开始去讨论世界外交语言应该是KLT(康沃尔语)还是Vannetais(威尔士语)。

Rik Osborne
And as a result, I got to watch (on YouTube) a Bulgarian pianist competing on “Norway’s Got Talent”, and hear both the contestant and the judges seamlessly switch to English when speaking to each other, because they didn’t speak each other’s languages.

因此,我得以观看(在YouTube上)一位保加利亚钢琴家参加"挪威达人秀"的比赛,并听到选手和评委在相互交谈时无缝切换到英语,因为他们不会说对方的语言。

Richard Chapman
Good post - although it engenders more anti-Americanism in me. Your depiction of the US Senate shows that it isn’t just the current one full of hicks and country bumpkins, but that it has been like this for ever. You can’t imagine the House of Lords unable to read a treaty in French.

好帖子--虽然它让我产生了更多的反美情绪。你对美国参议院的描述表明,它不仅仅现在是目前这个充满乡下人和乡巴佬的参议院,而是它一直都是这样。很难想象上议院无法阅读法语的条约。

Alexey Tereshchenko
Well, this is why the world speaks English and not French.
Perhaps the Senate and Wilson were right, after all?

好吧,这就是为什么全世界都在说英语而不是法语。
也许参议院和威尔逊到底是对的?

Pierre Johnson
As Alexey explained it was stipulated by the United States Constitution that any foreign diplomatic treadty submitted to the upper house legislature have to be also written in English if not it will be rejected. Nothing do with a perceived ignorance.

正如阿列克谢所解释的那样,美国宪法规定,任何提交给上议院立法机构的外国外交文件都必须用英语书写,否则将被拒绝。这与认为的无知无关。

Alistair R. Thompson
Oddly enough, maybe you know this already, but uniquely for a British Prime Minister, Lloyd George’s first language wasn’t actually English, but Welsh.

奇怪的是,也许你已经知道了,但作为一个英国首相,劳埃德-乔治的第一语言实际上不是英语,而是威尔士语,这是独一无二的。
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Aj. Raymond James Ritchie
There is another factor that is important and that is science. French ceased to be the language of science in the 19th century, one of the reasons was that the French Academy could not keep up with inventing new words. After serious rivalry from German, English became the standard language of science and has been so since WWI. It is amusing to read how Darwin was very concerned about a French version of The Origin coming out. No sane person today would give a damn if a French edition of their book ever came out.
I am a biologist; I read hundreds of papers a year. In over 35y I have never come across a paper written in French or any other language that needed translating. A colleague of mine is a taxonomist, she does have to be able to read 18th and 19th century stuff in French and German (she never uses the spoken languages) and needs to understand Botanical Latin (Botanical Latin is actually a different beast to literate Latin).

还有一个因素也很重要,那就是科学。法语在19世纪不再是科学的语言,其中一个原因是法国学院无法跟上发明新词的步伐。在与德语形成严重竞争后,英语成为科学的标准语言,自一战以来一直如此。读到达尔文对《起源》的法文版本的问世非常关注,这很有趣。今天,没有一个正常人会在乎他们的书是否有法文版本问世。
我是一名生物学家;我每年都会阅读数百篇论文。在超过35年的时间里,我从未遇到过一篇用法语或其他语言写的论文需要翻译。我的一位同事是一位分类学家,她确实需要能够阅读18和19世纪的法语和德语资料(她从来不使用口语),并且需要理解植物学拉丁语(植物学拉丁语实际上是与识字拉丁语不同的东西)。

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