《读者文摘》:18世纪中文贸易词进入英语

二月份的英国版《读者文摘》,是我订购的最后一期。

这一期,读者文摘在Word Power页里,考一考读者对18世纪,中文进入英语的词汇掌握能力。

虽说这15个生词都源自中文,我认识的只有10个。以下这几个英文词,我以前都没见过:cumshaw, kaolin, shantung, koan, nankeen, fan-tan。

二月份的15个生词如下:1) dim sum, 2) sinology, 3) wushu, 4) qi, 5) cumshaw, 6) kaolin, 7) yen, 8) shantung, 9) koan, 10) nankeen, 11) Pinyin, 12) Keemun, 13) fan-tan, 14) cheongsam, 15) kumquat

答案如下:英文部分为《读者文摘》的注解。看了注解后,你会发现,一些英文词的特点如下:(一)以地方名作为物品名称,如Keemun原是安徽地方名‘祁门’县的音译,却变成了红茶的简称。(二)使用南方方言:dim-sum香港点心, cheongsam旗袍,以及kumquat(金橘)在英语的拼写,都是根据粤语的发音。另外,cumshaw是闽南话‘感谢’的意思,成了‘小费’之意。

其中一个叫fan-tan(番摊)的纸牌游戏,我看了英语,不知所云。找了中文翻译,看了也一头雾水。

至于‘瘾’,英文写成yen,发音变成了‘燕’,好像日文一样。

1) dim sum: selection of Chinese dishes点心;

2)  sinology: Study of China汉学;

3)  wushu: martial art武术;

4) qi: physical life force气;

5) cumshaw: tip小费;

6) kaolin: a fine, white clay; Named after  the town in Jiangxi province 瓷土(源自高岭土),

7) yen: addict’s craving 瘾; 

8) shantung: soft silk. Shantung is the province where the silk was originally made.丝绸(源自山东绸);

9) koan: impossible riddle. Mandarin gongan (official business)难解之谜(公案);

10) nankeen: pale yellow cotton. From Nanking, where the cloth was manufactured淡黄棉布(源自南京棉布);

11) Pinyin: romanised spelling of Chinese拼音;

12) Keemun: black tea, often used in English Breakfast. From Qimen Country (Keemun was the English spelling in colonial days)红茶(源自祁门红茶);

13): fan-tan: Chinese gambling game where players guess the remainder after a number of hidden objects are divided into four groups. Literal meaning is ‘repeated  divisions’. 番摊:一种纸牌游戏,谁先打完手中的牌谁胜

14) cheongsam: long dress.长裙(源自粤语‘长衫’)

15) kumquat: small, golden orange. 金橘

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Janet Williams 張玉雲

I am Janet Williams, an academic living in the southeast of England. I blog about culture, history, languages and my community. I created Chandler's Ford Today. During my spare time, I make Origami. Thank you for stopping by.

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