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英国人也嫌它们拗口:最难发音的10个英语单词

2012年12月25日09:14
作者:沪江英语
 
  Many have said that sorry is the hardest word but they'd be wrong, linguistically speaking at least.

  很多人说,"对不起"是最难说出口的词。不过,他们其实错了——至少从语言学的角度上说。

  According to a poll, the word we find hardest to pronounce is 'phenomenon '.

  根据投票调查发现,最难发音的单词其实是"phenomenon"(现象)。

  Next in the top 10 of tongue-twisters are 'remuneration ', and 'statistics '.

  在十个最拗口的词中排在其后的是"remuneration"(报酬)和"statistics"(统计数字)。

  Speakers also have a problem getting their tongue around ethnicity , hereditary and particularly , according to the body charged with recording public utterances.

  根据一个负责对人们在公共场合讲话进行录音的组织发现,讲话者在发音时会遇到困难舌头打结的还有:ethnicity(种族)hereditary(遗传的) 和 particularly(特别地)。

  The British Institute Of Verbatim Reporters (BIVR) is the UK’s leading organisation for professionals involved in taking down speech at court and tribunal hearings.

  英国速记人员协会是英国数一数二的专业速记人员团体,这些速记人员负责在法庭和法庭听证会上进行速记。

  A poll of its members found 10 words that Britons consistently find the most challenging to pronounce.

  通过对其成员的一项调查,十个英国人认为最难发音的词浮出水面。

  Completing the list are conjugal , specific , processes and development .

  这十个词中还包括:"conjugal"(婚姻的), "specific"(特殊的), "processes"(过程)和"development"(发展)。

  Leah Willersdorf, of the BIVR, said: ‘We work with many different types of professionals and hear all kinds of voices during our work.

  利亚·文德斯朵夫是英国速记人员协会的一名成员,她说:"我们和许多不同类型的专业人士合作,在工作中听过各种不同的发音。"

  ‘However, when it comes to the English language it always seems to be the same few words that verbally trip people up, with the speaker having to repeat the word in order to get it right, or just abandoning their attempts and moving on.’

  "然而,在英语口语中,人们总是在某几个特定单词上犯错。有时讲话者需要重复一遍单词把音发对,有时就索性跳过这个单词直接说下面的话。"

  BIVR members were quizzed by the team behind the popular word game Scrabble.

  调查团队通过给英国速记人员协会的成员们玩拼字游戏的方式完成了这个小测试。

  According to the words buffs, one in 10 players admit to being reluctant to producing words that they cannot pronounce.

  根据拼字游戏的结果,有十分之一的玩家承认,要拼出他们不会发音的单词有些困难。

  Scrabble is a favourite with British families over the festive period, with an estimated 11 million going head to head on Boxing Day, according to its makers.

  拼字游戏是英国家庭在节庆期间最喜欢的游戏。据该游戏生产商的估计,在节礼日约有1100万人进行拼字游戏比赛。

  University of York sociolinguistics expert Professor Paul Kerswill said the English language has evolved to compensate for tricky pronunciations but some words remain a challenge.

  约克大学社会语言学专家保罗·凯斯维尔说,随着英语的演化,一些拗口的单词已经渐渐进化发展,但是一些很难发音的单词依然存在。

  He said: ‘People always find a way of simplifying words that they find difficult to get their tongues round, so that an everyday word like ‘handbag’ sounds like ‘hambag’.

  他说:"人们总是能够找到方法简化那些难以顺利发音的单词,这样,‘handbag’这种日常单词会听起来像‘hambag’。"

  ‘Our forebears simplified ‘waistcoat’ to ‘weskit’ - but we’ve turned our backs on that.

  "我们的祖先把单词'waistcoat'(背心马甲)简化成了‘weskit’——不过后来我们又放弃了后一种说法。"

  ‘We certainly don’t pronounce Worcester and Gloucester the way they are spelt any more. And ‘York’ used to have three syllables, not one.

  "现在我们当然不会照着拼写直接发'Worcester'和'Gloucester'的音。另外,‘York’以前也有三个音节,而非一个音节。"

  ‘And most people talk about ‘Febry’ and ‘Wensday’.’

  "还有一些人把‘二月’读成‘Febry’,把‘星期三’读成‘Wensday’。" 

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