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为什么有的亚洲口音分不清英语里的R和L?

Why some Asian accents swap Ls and Rs in English

There’s a saying in Hong Kong kung fu movies:
香港功夫电影里有句台词:
“Wai faai bat po.”
“唯快不破”
It means “only speed is unbreakable.”
意思是“只要速度够快 就牢不可破”
“Wai faai bat po.”
“唯快不破”
That’s in Cantonese, a language with tones,
这是粤语 一种有声调的语言
which English speakers have trouble distinguishing.
而说英语的人很难分辨音调
So when an American says that phrase with the wrong tones —
所以 当一个美国人用错误的声调说这句话
“WiFi bat po”–
“WiFi不破”
you get a Cantonese meme.
你就得到了一个粤语表情包
It became kind of a joke that people will send to each other.
这句话已经变成大家互相转发的段子了
It’s like “oh, this bad-ass WiFi is so good.”
听着就好像在说“这个wifi真TM太好用了”
“Wai faai bat po.”
“WiFi不破”
It’s quite funny.
太搞笑了
If English is your first language though,
如果英语是你的母语
you might be more familiar with a different joke:
那你可能对另一个段子更熟一些:
“Supplies!”
“惊不惊喜!”
That’s the notion that East Asians mix up their Rs and Ls in English:
说的就是东亚人会把英语里的R和L搞混这件事
“Oh herro prease.”
“噢 泥嚎啊”
It’s a running gag in Lost in Translation,
这是奥斯卡获奖影片《迷失东京》中的经典笑料
an Oscar-winning film about two Americans who are sad in Japan.
电影讲述的是两个老美在日本的失意生活
“Lat pack. You know lat pack?”
“酥帮 你知道酥帮么?”
“Rat? Rat pack.”
“鼠?鼠帮”
The movie makes communication with the locals seem hopeless.
这部电影把跟当地人的交流刻画地让人很绝望
-“Lip my stocking.” -“Hey? Lip them?”
-“嘿 撕我的丝袜” -“嘿?舔吗?”
And at one point Scarlett Johansson’s character asks:
斯嘉丽•约翰逊饰演的角色曾一度问道:
“Why do they switch the Rs and the Ls here?”
“他们为什么要把R发成L?”
“Oh, for yucks.”
“哦 好玩呗”
This movie may be a bit rrrrr…rude,
这部电影可能有点粗俗
but it’s not a terrible question to ask.
但这个问题提得并没有那么不堪
Because if you’re genuinely curious,
因为如果你真的好奇
a foreign accent gives us chance to learn something about another language.
那么外国口音其实也给了我们学习另一种语言的机会
So this trope has been applied to Japanese, Korean, and Chinese speakers.
这个段子也被用到了说日语 韩语和汉语的人身上
“McFry!”
迈克弗莱
“Herro.”
泥嚎
“Fa ra ra ra ra.”
发啦啦啦啦
But, all of these languages deal with Rs and Ls in different ways.
但所有这些语言处理R和L的发音的方式并不相同
First though, we need to talk about the R sound in English.
首先 我们需要讨论英语中的R音
It turns out that there isn’t just one way to pronounce it.
事实证明 R音并不是只有一种发音方式
“Oh it’s incredibly varied.”
“哦 真是太多样化了”
Eleanor Lawson uses ultrasound to study English phonetics.
埃莉诺•劳森用超声波研究英语发音
“You have trilled rs which are sort of a rrr sound.
“你可以发出颤音R 类似于rrr音
You can probably hear my tapped r.
或许你已经听出我说的颤音r了
So I do a ra sound. Varied.
我还可以发ra的音 就是Varied这个单词里r的发音
You can have a retroflex R
还可以发一个卷舌音R
where your tongue essentially curls upside down under your palatal arch.
舌头基本上要卷起来 在上颚下方倒卷过去
“Run. Run.”
比如‘Run(跑)’这个单词
She says the bunched r, which is common in North American English,
她说卷舌的R这种发音 在北美英语中很常见
is particularly complex.
发音特别复杂
“Nurse. Nurse.”
“护士 护士”
Say the word fur.
说到fur(皮毛)这个词
Fur. How would you tell someone where to put their tongue to make that R?
你该怎么跟别人解释发这个R音的时候 舌头应该怎么做?
The middle of the tongue rises up in the mouth,
舌头中间的部分在嘴里抬起
while the root of the tongue is pulling backwards.
舌根则向后缩
You might have some lip rounding as well.
同时嘴唇还要噘成圆形
R sounds like this,
这样发R音时
where the air flow isn’t blocked by the tongue or the lips,
气流就不会被舌头或嘴唇阻挡
are called “approximates” in phonetics.
这种R音在语音学中称为“近音”
“So forming all of these structures at the same time
所以 对于那些不经常同时做这些口型的人来说
could be very difficult for someone who is not used to producing that.”
要完成这一发音是非常困难的
The r sound is one of the last consonants that english-speaking kids learn to say.
以英语为母语的人小时候都是最后才学这个发音
It takes up to 5 adorable years for them to figure it out.
他们要花上5年的时间才能搞清楚
“Purple. And red.”
“纸色 和冯色”
And the L-sound in English can change depending on its position in a word.
英语中L音会根据在单词中位置发生变化
Say the words “ladle” or “level.”
比方说“lable”和“level”这两个词
That first L is a “clear L.”
词中的第一个L是个“清晰的L”
You can probably feel your tongue touching the top of the mouth,
你能感觉舌头碰到上颚
right behind your front teeth.
就在门牙正后方的位置
As in “led.”
“led”这个词里的L也是一样
But the l at the end of the word is a “dark L,”
但第二个的L是个“模糊的L”
where the tip of the tongue might not even touch top of your mouth at all.
发这个音时 舌尖可能完全不用抵到上颚
“A dark L is where the back of the tongue is moving up toward the soft palate
发‘模糊的L’的时候 舌后部朝软腭抬高
and it gives it an o-ish sound like an “Uhh O”.
听着会有点像O的音
“Level.” “Level.”
“Level(水平)” “Level”
So the English R and L are complicated,
所以说英语中的R和L发音是很复杂的
but still, “Lat Pack,” rrr, llll–
但“Lat Pack”中 R和L
they seem like pretty different sounds.
听起来还是不一样的嘛
It might help to look at Spanish —
或许 先了解下西班牙语会对我们理解这个问题有些帮助
say the word salero.
比如“salero”这个单词
“Salero. Salt Shaker.”
“salero 盐瓶”
“Salero.” “Salero.”
“Salero” “Salero”
This R is made with a flap of the tongue on the ridge behind the front teeth —
这个R是舌头弹一下门牙后部上颚中间的位置发出来的
that’s not too far away from where the L is pronounced.
离L的发音位置并不远
Salero Hora Varios Oruga Pare
盐瓶 小时 各种 毛毛虫 停
Japanese has that R-sound.
日语就有这种R的发音
It doesn’t have the lll in “lake” or the rrr in “red.”
但没有“lake”中L的发音 也没有“red”中R的发音
“We have ra ri ru re ro,
日语中有らりるれろ
which sounds kind of similar to both L and R.”
听起来和L和R的发音都有点像
Those are the 5 syllables in Japanese that contain the tongue-flap sound:
这是日语里五个弹舌音
“ra ri ru re ro”
らりるれろ
Try saying them: “ra ri ru re ro.”
试着念一遍:らりるれろ
When they’re converted into the Latin alphabet,
当这几个音转换成拉丁字母时
they’re spelled like this, with the letter “r”.
是这样标注的 用的是r这个字母
But the Japanese R-sound is actually closer to our L-sound “la”
但实际上日语中R音更接近英语中L音的“la”
than it is to the english “ra.”
而不是“ra”
“My name is Mariko,
“我的名字本来是真理子
and for all my english-speaking friends, their intuition to say is marie-ko.
但我所有讲英语的朋友下意识地都会说成玛丽珂
And how I explain to them
我怎么向他们解释这个发音呢
is just imagine my name spelled with M-a-l-i-k-o and you should be fine.
想象下我名字的英文拼写是Maliko就可以了
When words migrate from English to Japanese,
当单词从英语引入到日语时
both Rs and Ls become Japanese Rs.
R和L两个音就都变成了日语里的R音
“Garasu.”
ガラス(玻璃)
“Karendaa.”
カレンダー(日历)
“Boringu.”
ボーリング(保龄球)
“Raito.”
ライト (光/灯/右/正确)
There are thousands of these loan words
日语中有成千上万的外来词
that Japanese speakers have to relearn with rrrs and llls,
说日语的人是需要重新学习R和L的发音的
which are two sounds that Japanese ears weren’t tuned to distinguish in the first place.
因为这两个音日本人从一开始就不太能分得清
Like Japanese, Korean doesn’t have the English rrr sound.
和日语一样 韩语没有英语的R音
They have this letter. It’s “rieul.”
但有这个字 就是“rieul”
“leer?”
“leer?”
“lee-ul.”
“lee-ul”
“lee-er.”
“lee-er”
“Ul.”
“Ul”
“Ul. Lee-ul.”
“Ul Lee-ul”
“Like my tongue is going straight up to the roof of my mouth. Ul.
我的舌头是垂直往上顶到了上颚的 Ul
“Rieul.”
Rieul
It takes on a different sound depending on its position within the word.
这个字在单词的不同位置中会有不同的发音
So when it’s followed by a vowel, it has the flap sound like a Japanese R.
当它后面跟元音的时候 它和日语里的R一样 也是弹舌音
“Duriseo. Duriseo.”
Duriseo(两个人)
That also means it’s written with the letter “r” when converted into Latin script.
这也意味着 转换成拉丁字母时它就成了字母r
“Duriseo.”
Duriseo
But when it’s at the end of a word or is followed by a consonant,
但当它放在单词末尾或者在辅音前的时候
it sounds more like an L-sound and it’s transcribed in the Latin alphabet as “L.”
听起来就和L更像一些 标注的拉丁字母也是L
So it’s pretty unlikely that Korean speakers would say “herro”
所以 说韩语的人是不大可能把“hello”说成“herro”的
since their L-sound can map on to the english L.
因为他们的L音是可以和英语的L音对上的
But the “dark L” doesn’t exist in Korean.
但韩语中没有“模糊音L”
So when they’re new to English, Koreans might to use their own L sound
所以当韩国人刚接触英语时 他们或许会在L位于单词词尾 应该发“模糊音L”的时候
in spots where we would use a dark L, near the end of words.
发成他们自己的L音
“As the story unfolds, someone may change the world.”
“随着故事的展开 也许有人会改变世界”
There are at least 8 major Chinese languages,
汉语至少有8种主要的方言
but we’ll look at Mandarin and Cantonese.
但我们今天主要讲普通话和粤语的情况
They both have a clear L sound.
它们都有清楚的L音
And it’s restricted to the beginning of syllables.
而且这种音都是出现在一个字的开头
“Leng. It’s like ‘pretty.'”
“靓 意思是漂亮”
“La. ‘drag.'”
“拉 拉拽”
So the notion that they would switch “fa la la” into “fa ra ra” is just wrong
因此 认为会把“fa la la” 说成“fa ra ra”的想法是错误的
and the makers of a Christmas story should feel bad.
《圣诞故事》的创作者应该对此感到羞愧
Like Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese don’t have the dark L sound as in “pull. “
和韩语一样 普通话和粤语也没有 “pull”中的模糊L音
But when they come across an L near the end of a word in English,
但当中国人遇到英语单词尾部的L时
they tend pronounce it more like a vowel.
他们会倾向于把它念得更像是一个元音
“A hundred years old, 90 years old. I said we should respect this kind of people.”
“一百岁的老人 九十岁的老人 我说我们应该尊重这些人”
“He chose the coldest possible. Really.”
“他选择了最冷的地方 真的”
Mandarin does have an r sound.
普通话有R音
At the beginning of a syllable it sounds like this:
在一个音节开头时 它的发音听起来是这样的
“zrr. zrr.
“日……日……”
So like actually, maybe the R sounds more like the S in ‘treasure.’ zrr Rènxìng.”
所以 其实这种R音更像是treasure中S的发音 日……任性”
And at the end of a syllable: “er.” It means “son.”
而在一个音节末尾时 它的发音又变成了“er(儿)” 意思是“儿子”
Cantonese, on the other hand, doesn’t have an R sound at all.
另一方面 粤语根本没有R音
So when speaking English, they sometimes use a w sound, or an L sound.
所以讲粤语的人讲英语时 有时会使用W或者L来代替
“We just tried very hard to prove ourselves.”
“我们都在努力证明自己的实力”
Our ability to produce sounds in a new language
我们能否说一门新的语言
depends in part on whether those sounds are meaningfully distinct in our first language.
一定程度上取决于这些声调是否与我们的母语有明显区别
So a Japanese speaker hearing lll and rrr —
所以说日语的人听到L音或者R音
it’s a lot like an English speaker hearing tones in Chinese.
就和说英语的人听到汉语中的声调差不多
“Leng. Leng. Leng. Leng.”
“另 靓 灵 岭”
“Ma. Ma. Ma. Ma. Yeah I know, people’s minds just blown away.”
“妈 麻 马 骂 是的我知道 听着脑子都要炸了”
We all carry the rules of our native language with us
当学习一门新语言时
when we learn new languages.
其实我们都带着母语的规则
“Accent is your identity.
“口音就是你的特征
So I don’t want to sound like an American person or British person.”
所以我不想模仿美国人或英国人的口音”
So if you hear a foreign accent,
所以 如果你听到一种外国口音 请记住
remember that it’s a unique hybrid,
它是一种独特的混合口音
it’s like a lion with stripes–
就像一只身上有花纹的狮子
something you can only get
只有
if you’re brave enough to venture beyond the comfort of your mother tongue.
当你足够勇敢跳出母语的舒适区 你才能获得
If you enjoyed this video you’re probably the kind of person who likes learning about complex topics
如果喜欢这个视频 那么你也许会想了解复杂话题
thorough digestible, interactive lessons, like the course of Logic from Brilliant.
喜欢需要深入理解 互动性强的课程 比如Brilliant的逻辑课程
Brilliant is a problem-solving website that teaches you to think like a scientist.
Brilliant网站致力于解决疑难问题 教会你像科学家一样思考
They have courses on everything from calculus to astronomy
这里有各种各样的课程 从微积分到天文学
and daily problems in math and science.
还有日常的数学和科学问题
To learn more about Brilliant, go to Brilliant.org/vox and sign up for free.
欢迎登录网站来了解更多关于Brilliant的信息 本平台注册免费
The first 200 people to visit that link will get 20% off the premium annual subscription,
前200名访问的用户可以享受20%的年费优惠
which gives you access to all the daily problems and unlocks all of the courses.
这样你就能 查看所有的日常问题并解锁所有课程
Brilliant wasn’t involved in the making of this video
Brilliant并没有参与这支视频的制作
but their support makes videos like this one possible.
但能与大家见面离不开他们的支持
So go check ’em out.
所以 来看看吧

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视频概述

为什么一些亚洲口音分不清英语中的“L”和“S”?

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

归寻

审核员

审核员LR

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yzMUs3badc

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