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中國人與英語

再談上次《Amazing Race 6》上海之旅,雖說地點是上海,但看得我覺有點心酸。網上所有 recap (包括 CBS 官方網站) 都特顯語言問題成為那集大障礙。司機去錯地方,在很多集都有,還不是大問題。但的士拒載令人覺得有種族歧視之嫌,很難看。我番看了 AM (Amazing Race) 以往的 recap ,發覺他們也去過很多英語不太強的國家,AM4 第十集 去過南韓漢城、 AM2 第七集 來過香港,而 AM1 第十一集 已到過北京,都沒有強調語言問題,更沒有提及有拒載的情況。(不過有提及有一隊在香港向警察問路不得要領。) 最令人疑惑的是最後一集經西安,也沒有類似拒載的情況。 (但司機去錯地方) 這令上海這個大都會的印像有點那個。結果後來才在 BBS 找到一些解釋。

回過國內的朋友都知在機場及旅遊點,的士都要在指定地方排隊接客 (以往太混亂吧?!) ,不按照規定是要罰很多錢,最差的情況可能會停牌。那班參賽者都在豫園走出來在路邊有黃線的地方叫車 (的士停了又要罰錢),所以幾乎所有的士都不理他們。 (似乎應要這把這段翻成英語!?)

不過我印像中,如果在香港,最少有些司機會用手勢指示參賽者到可以上落客的地方。當然,實際情況可能不一樣。另外香港大部分人都自小已開始學英語,國內其他地方很難比 (但新一代香港人的英語水平已差很多,其實我的也很爛 P )。

然而走訪國內討論區的討論,大部份評論都罵為什麼那此老外不學中文,又搬日本的那一套。一片過度民族主義之下令我感到非常納悶。我不喜大美國主義或崇洋,但大中國主義會令我更感羞愧。想起年前開始接受 stardict Debian 套件維護工作時看到 Blowfish Project 網站的引言:

『引言』中国人学英文是我们的国耻行为,学英文是中国最可悲的行为,但我们不得不学,因为别人超过了我们。今天我们必须学习他们的科学,然后才能超过他们!我们要以夷制夷!非把英文学好不可,所以要咬牙切齿学英文!我们学英文的目的并不是为了去美国洗盘子刷马桶,去伺候外国人,去做丢尽祖宗八辈脸的事! — 《台湾忠信高级工商管理学校留美班英文教材序言》

那時我以為我們還在百多年前,洋務運動、甲午戰爭和列強瓜分我國的時代。原來相距多年,很多國人仍未有吸收教訓。哈,或者我有時期望過高。還好,香港人還會有點作用。

P.S. 當然我也認識不少同胞沒有以上看法,不過看到那些言論,不免有點感觸。

P.P.S. Blowfish Project 更好笑,中國人字典內似乎真是沒有版權這字。對 GNU GPL 有認識的更廖廖可數。 sigh……

P.P.P.S. 再一次聲明這只是我思維某小部份某一段時間的小 snapshot ,請不要對以上語論太認真。


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Comments

  1. ac
    February 19th, 2005 | 12:44

    Many of the taxi drivers in big cities are either from the countryside or from the previous generation. It’s understandable that their English were poor. The new generation (post 90’s?) put more emphasis on English now a day. You shouldn’t compare people grown up before 90’s between mainland China and Hong Kong. They represent the past. What does matter is the future. HK started to take off since the late 60’s or early 70’s and was a colony of Britain for about 100 years. Of course English is not a problem both practically and sychologically. French are still irritated by all the English speaking culture in the world. But they are changing.

    You asked too much from mainland. They are moving forward fast. At the same time, you asked them to build the Rome in one day. In my opinions, HK is moving backward slowly now a day. Both the youngs and the olders. I’d rather you spend your time worrying the degeneration of HK than the progression of mainland.

    About the extremist, well, they exists in every society. they poped up all over the America since 911, started from the White House. Always exist in Japan, Korea (North or South), Hong Kong, south east Asian, India, Arabia, Austrilian. We all know the Neo-Nazi in Europe and Russia… If you think their opinions represent the general public, then you are indeed “naive” to the human nature as the Jiang core said. )

    As long as most people understand the importance of the English and keep working on it, there are no problem to me. They are moving along pretty well.

    Obviously, Shanghai taxi drivers are more advance than other big cities of China in the sense of obeying the law (while the BBS was trying to present it to the viewers as racism, as they always are. Here you go an example of extremist.) It’s a good sign to me. HK people are going crazy and catching up with Taiwan on disregarding laws, which is the foundation of modern society everyday.

  2. February 21st, 2005 | 4:58

    Of course, I know that. It is only a random thought and feeling after the programme and reading comments on the Net. Besides, I always think HK people don’t really treat the tourist very well until the SARS outbreak of 2003. If you had read my other blog, you will see that I am seeking a role of hk people (or better say myself) recently. And this blog is only a snapshot of small piece of my mind.

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