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    马修·尤登:一个精通九国语言的人

    作者:佚名来源:未知时间:2019/07/31

    不知从何时开始,“学霸”一词悄然成为人们的常用语。虽然“霸”在传统意义上是个贬义词,但网络上流传的“学霸”一词却并无贬义,它一般用来指代平时刻苦钻研,认真学习,学识丰富,学习成绩斐然的一类人。

    今天我们就先来认识一位外语学习上的“学霸”——马修·尤登。

    Matthew Youlden, a language sponge from Manchester England, can speak so many languages with a perfect accent that the man has been coined the “language chameleon”:Germans think hes German, Spaniards think hes Spanish, Brazilians think hes Portuguese (he proudly speaks the good-old European variety).

    Matthew Youlden speaks nine languages fluently and understands more than a dozen more. Hes a member of the polyglot club, whose members can speak six or more languages fluently. Hes also a sociolinguist who studies the revitalization of minority languages. To see him in actionon a daily basis-deftly and comfortably talking to native-speakers in their own languages-suggests that hes more than a polyglot.

    This Englishman credits his knowledge of languages for allowing him to see the world from multiple perspectives. He can speak Irish, German, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Hebrew, Italianand French as well as, obviously, English. And he adjusts to each language so naturally that when he talks, native speakers assume the language he speaks must be his first.

    Currently, hes working on his knowledge of Afrikaans, Dutch, Ukrainian, Galician, Serbianand Croatian. He says that even if languages are closely related, they will still give him a fresh new point of view.

    This friendly-faced guy says he learned French in university when he was immersed in his studies as an interpreter. He went to Montreal to study the language more closely. Spanish washis first though, followed by French and then Catalan. Originally, Youlden actually wanted to learn Portuguese upon booking a plane ticket with his brother for vacation in Portugal. But Portuguese wouldnt become his first conquered language after all. His mother suggested Spanish instead, Her reasoning was logical enough: more people in the world speak Spanish and therefore, it would have more uses when travelling.

    Thinking his mother had made a reasonable argument, he took on Spanish travelling to Barcelona where he lived for an entire year. As for Portuguese, that came eventually. As a matter of fact, he can also speak Brazilian Portuguese, a version he admits not liking at the beginning. Now hes a master.

    By his own account, Matthew has mastered a staggering number of languages by utilizing abilities that we all possess: persistence, enthusiasm and open-mindedness. If your classicpolyg lot is an uber-nerd who studies languages full-time, then Matthew is something different. His version of multilingualism doesnt is olate him in an ivory tower; it connects him to people all over the world.

    語言天才马修·尤登来自英国曼彻斯特。他可以说多国语言,且腔调近乎完美,因此,他被称为“语言变色龙”:德国人听他说话会当他是德国人,西班牙人会当他为西班牙人,巴西人会当他是葡萄牙人(他自豪地说着各种欧洲大陆上古老而又美好的语言)。

    马修·尤登能流利地说九种语言,并了解超过十二种语言。他就是传说中“多语种精英”中的一员,这些人均能流利地说六种或六种以上语言。马修也是一位社会语言学家,致力于少数民族语言复兴研究。但如果从他日常用当地的语言跟当地人说话时那种熟练地道的感觉来看,便会觉得他不仅仅是一名多语种精英。

    马修认为是他的多语言知识让他能够从多个角度观看这个世界。他可以说爱尔兰语、德语、西班牙语、加泰罗尼亚语、葡萄牙语、希伯来语、意大利语和法语,当然,还有英语。他在这么多语言的转换中游刃有余,以致于人们误认为每种语言都是他的母语。

    目前,他正在学习南非荷兰语、荷兰语、乌克兰语、加利西亚语、塞尔维亚语和克罗地亚语。他说,尽管有些语言关系密切,但它们仍然会给他一个全新的视角。

    这个外表友善的小伙子说他的法语是他在读大学的时候学的,当时,他沉浸在自己的翻译研究之中。后来,他为了进一步地学习这种学语言去了蒙特利尔。尽管如此,西班牙语是他习得的第一门外语,紧接着是法语和加泰罗尼亚语。最初,他其实想学习葡萄牙语,因为他想和哥哥一起去葡萄牙度假,需要预订飞机票。但是,葡萄牙语终究没有成为他掌握的第一门外语。妈妈建议他学习西班牙语,理由听起来相当符合逻辑:世界上更多的人讲西班牙语,因此在旅行时西班牙语更能派上用场。

    他认为妈妈的话很有道理,于是开始学习西班牙语,去巴塞罗那旅行,并在那待了一整年。至于葡萄牙语,最终他还是学会了。事实上,他还能说巴西式葡萄牙语,当然,他承认最初他很反感巴西式葡萄牙语。而现在,他相当精通。

    据马修自述,他能够掌握数量如此惊人的语言,正是靠着我们每个人都有的能力:坚持不懈、热情和开阔思维。如果你眼中的典型多语种精英是不停学习的“书呆子”,那么马修可能要颠覆你的认识了。他的多语言能力并未将他束缚于象牙塔之内,而是让他跟全世界的人都联系起来。

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