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2014中石油职称英语选读文章:To Be Content with One's Lot

2014-01-07 19:12:00 来源:新东方在线论坛发表评论

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  To Be Content with One's Lot 乐天知命

  1. Peter Hessler described two lifestyles and asked his Chinese students to choose the one they preferred, either a very long yet ultimately average and uneventful life, or a very exciting, fun-filled life that only lasted 24 years. Almost all of his 20 something year old students chose the first option. This surprised Peter because, from his experience with American youths, he was sure the Americans wouldn't have chosen a long, uneventful life.

  1.彼得·赫斯勒请他的中国学生在以下两种生活方式中选择其一:一种是平庸却长寿,另一种是只能活24年却享乐无比。那些20岁左右的学生们几乎都选择了第一种生活。彼得十分惊讶,在他看来美国青年并不会如此一致地选择平庸但长寿的生活。

  2. The Chinese traditionally think an uneventful, but long life is better than a short life full of fun and adventure. There's even an idiom for the traditional Chinese attitude, "A good death is worse than a lazy life." This saying reveals a deeply ingrained sense of optimism and acceptance of fate. It's nothing at all like the Western idea of heroes made through tragedy.

  2.无聊无趣但天长地久地活下去,好过冒生命之险求得享乐的短命,这似乎是中国传统的价值观。有习语为证:“好死不如赖活着。”它透露出根深蒂固的乐观与宿命。与英雄产生于悲剧的西方价值观完全不同。

  3. 30 years ago, at the beginning of China's reform, a group of intellectuals believed the acceptance of one's lot would hurt the growth of the People's Republic. The way they saw it, the Westerners' "seafaring culture" had allowed them to expand and advance while China's "agrarian culture" had shut the country off from the world and kept it focusing on itself.

  3. 30年前改革开放之初,一批知识分子认为乐天知命、安于本分的传统观念有害于中华民族的发展。在他们看来,西方的“蓝色文明”使其开放、进步;而中国的“黄土文化”使之封闭、守成。

  4. Researching the unique traits of a nationality can reveal a number of interesting features. David N. Keightly is a professor of history at the University of California Berkerley and he made a study of the unique attitudes of the Chinese people. He believed their acceptance of fate originates from a geographical standpoint. The birthplace of the Chinese civilization is the Central Plains where the climate has less variation than the Mediterranean or the Near East. China's two main rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, both run from West to East, and don't change much in latitude. This means the cultivation both upstream and downstream are very similar. This uniformity of the agrarian culture reduced the incentive for mutual trade and the need for people to travel very far. Hence, the exchange of thoughts, ideas and technology became restricted and the ancient Chinese culture tended to isolate itself within their regions of influence.

  4.研究一个民族的某种特性是件有趣的事情。美国加州大学伯克利分校的历史学教授大卫·凯特利从地理决定论的观点出发,分析了中国人乐天知命的特性。他认为这种特性是由中国特有的地理环境所决定的。与地中海和近东地区相比,中国文明的发祥地中原地区的气候类型更加有规律可寻。中国的两大主要河流——黄河和长江——都是自西向东流,而且它们的纬度变化也不大,这意味着河流上游和下游所种植的农作物类型差别不大。因此就缺乏了相互贸易的动力,中国的古代文明自然就成为农耕文明。而那些很少旅行的人们就没有可能去交流思想和技术,封闭由此产生。

  5. According to Professor Keightly's theory, the climate of ancient China was very good. This would create a sense of optimism in the Chinese culture. In comparison, the people of the Mediterranean and the Near East had to face more natural disasters and were less optimistic. Besides the geographical factor which influences the development of cultures, Keightley believes the Chinese practice of ancestor worship has significantly influenced the makeup of the Chinese people. Keightley says, "I believe, the cultures that engage in ancestor worship are going to be conservative cultures. They're not going to find new things attractive because, that will be a challenge to the ancestors. There's no room in this culture for a skeptic."

  5.凯特利教授相信中国古代的气候良好,因此生成了中国文化中的那种乐观主义。相比较之下,无论是地中海还是近东,都面临着更多的自然灾害,因而少了些乐观。除了地理环境对文化发展的影响,凯特利教授认为中国人对祖先的崇拜也极深地影响了中国人的特性。凯特利教授相信:“这种祖先崇拜的文化,是一种保守的文化。你不会去发现新的有吸引力的东西,因为那是对祖先的挑战。中国文化中没有怀疑的余地。”

  6. Chinese people tend to want to return to the past, while Westerners are always looking towards the future. By comparing their lives to the past, it creates an unlimited feeling of satisfaction. With no other desires, people in ancient times had the opportunity to coexist harmoniously with nature. They worked towards an existence where their social development was in sync with the natural world. This sort of self-satisfaction and oneness with nature helped Chinese people develop a more optimistic attitude towards life.

  6.中国人趋向于回顾过去,而西方人更多的是展望未来。与过去相比较,就会对当下的生活生出无限的满足感。无欲无求,人们就能够定下心来与自然和谐相处,努力达到天人合一的境界。这种自我满足以及与自然和谐共存,使中国人产生出乐观的生活态度。

  7. The Westerners have the opposite approach because they fear the uncertainty of the future. This leads them to work hard in changing their current situation in the hope of making tomorrow better than today. During this process, it's almost impossible to abide by the rules of the natural world or human nature. The idea of being content with one's lot is hard-pressed to take hold in this sort of environment.

  7.西方人的观点与此相反。对未来的不确定感,促使他们努力改变现状,以期明天比今天更好。在努力的过程中难免会违反自然规律和扭曲人性。乐天知命、安于本分的价值观在这样的文化氛围中是难以形成的。

  8. Over these past few decades, the ideas of the West and the East have practically been reversed. The Chinese people have little choice but to drop the traditional idea of being content with one's lot if they want to improve their economic standing. They now emulate the West in opening up and becoming more enterprising. Unfortunately, this process of chasing materialistic dreams results in the destruction of nature. People have had to deal with increasing pressure and the income gap between rich and poor has become larger and larger. People are beginning to realize that the traditional idea we inherited from our ancestors, of being content with what one's lot, makes a lot of sense. As the West has forged ahead over the centuries, on the basis of its enterprising attitude, corruption and malpractice has kept pace. Today, the West is turning towards the East to find a way out.

  8.有趣的是,近几十年来,至少在表面上,东西方似乎呈现出一种互换的态势——中国人因为经济的落后,不得不抛弃传统的乐天知命观,学习西方的进取和开拓。不幸的是,在尽全力追逐物质主义的过程中,环境遭到破坏。社会财富分配不均衡,人们不得不承受巨大的心理压力。这令人意识到老祖宗“乐天知命”的价值观念自有其道理。西方人在数百年的无休止进取后,弊端丛生,如今也纷纷转向东方的价值观寻找出路。

  9. Maybe there's something in the text-message that's doing the rounds on the Internet, when it says, "Once you're 50, pretty and ugly look the same. Once you're 60, high-rank and low-rank look the same. Once you're 70, lots of money and little money look the same. Once you're 80, men and women look the same. Once you're 90, living and dying look the same."

  9.最近有一则手机短信流行:“到了五十,好看难看一个样;到了六十,官大官小一个样;到了七十,钱多钱少一个样;到了八十,男的女的一个样;到了九十,活的死的一个样。”

  10. In a way, the message, pretty much, suggests that, even though China exported computers to America and Chinese people have traded in their bikes for BMWs, the past thirty years of reform hasn't changed our traditions and, the idea of being content with one's lot has never left our bones.

  10.这条短信似乎暗示:改革开放30年,尽管中国生产的电脑已经卖到了美国;中国人已经丢掉自行车,开起了宝马,但乐天知命的价值观仍在骨子里,不曾磨灭。

  注释:加利福尼亚大学,简称加州大学或加大(University of California,简称UC)是美国加州的一个公立大学系统。加州大学起源于1853年建立在奥克兰的加利福尼亚学院。如今已发展成一所拥有10个分校并对加州发展影响深远的巨型大学系统。加州大学是美国最具影响力的公立大学之一,其伯克利分校、旧金山分校、圣地亚哥分校和洛杉矶分校都是世界一流的学府。在US News & World Report历年的全美公立大学排行榜中,UCBerkeley经常位列第一在美国通常与UM(密歇根大学)UVA(弗吉尼亚大学)并称为公立大学三强。


本文关键字: 2014 中石油 职称英语

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