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[翻译]Education Report - Immigrants Learn to Lose Their Accents

来源:慢速英语   时间:2016-03-03 08:28:47

Some immigrants in the northeastern state of Maine are learning to lose their accents.

美国东北部的缅因州的一些移民正在学习丢掉他们的口音。

Some of the immigrants speak English fluently, but have a difficult time being understood because they have heavy accents, reported the Portland Press-Herald newspaper.

波特兰新闻先驱报报道称,一些移民讲一口流利的英语,但是他们很难被理解,因为他们口音很重。

Assouma Nyirabahizi says she left her home and job in Rwanda two years ago, coming to America on a green card“in hopes of a brighter future.”

Assouma Nyirabahizi表示,她两年前使用绿卡从卢旺达弃职离乡来到美国,希望获得光明前景。

Nyirabahizi has a master’s degree in computer science and speaks English fluently. She says all of her classes in Rwanda were taught in English, “but here I have to learn again because of (my) accent.”

Nyirabahizi拥有计算机科学硕士学位,英语流利。她说自己在卢旺达学习的所有课程都用英语教学,“但是因为我的口音问题我在这里不得不再次学习。”

She attends a free class to reduce her accent with seven other students. The city of Portland conductsthe class.

她同其他七位学生参加了一项减轻口音的免费课程。波特兰市安排了这些课程。

Marta Greenlaw is the teacher. She is also a speech therapist. She says immigrants who reduce their accent have better success at work. And they can communicate more easily with store workers, teachers, doctors and neighbors.

Marta Greenlaw是老师,也是一位语言治疗师。她说,减轻口音的移民在工作上成就更大。而且他们可以同店员、教师、医生以及邻居更方便地沟通。

“It’s a basic need to be understood,” Greenlaw told the newspaper. “It affects every part of their lives.”

Greenlaw对该报表示,“被理解是一种基本的需求,它会影响到我们生活的方方面面。”

Greenlaw begins the class by telling students the 44 sounds of the English language. Those sounds include vowels, consonantsand other sounds that give American English its unique sound.

Greenlaw从教学生们英语的44种发音开始。这些发音包括元音、辅音,以及美式英语的其它独特发音。

Later, students speak about the food in their home countries. Sometimes, Greenlaw corrects their pronunciation. She tells them to pronounce the word “onion” as “unnnn-yunnnnn,” and the word “potato” as “poe-TAY-toe.” She tells the students “how the lips and jaw work to form the word.”

随后,学生们谈及他们本国的食物。Greenlaw不时纠正他们的发音。她告诉学生们,onion这个单词发音是unnnn-yunnnnn,而potato这个单词发音是poe-TAY-toe。她告诉学生们嘴唇和下颚如何配合发出这个单词的声音。

Greenlaw tells the students that some American English pronunciation rules “don’t make a lot of sense.” But she says they are important to learn if immigrants are to be understood by Americans.

Greenlaw告诉学生们,一些美式英语发音规则没有什么太大意义。但她表示,如果移民要被美国人所了解,学习它们就很重要。

Losing one’s accent is especially important for immigrants who live in Maine, which is one of the least diversestates in the country. More than 90 percent of the population of Maine is white. Many people who live in Maine have not heard foreign accents except in movies or on television.

丢掉口音对居住在缅因州的移民来说尤为重要,因为缅因州是美国最缺少多样化的州之一。缅因州90%以上的人口是白人。居住在缅因州的很多人除了在电影或电视上就没听过外国口音。

Greenlaw says some Mainers are impatient with people who speak English with a heavy accent. Her students say some Mainers ignore them or are unfriendly toward them because of their accent. They say this makes them less likely to speak.

Greenlaw表示,一些缅因州人对英语口音很重的人缺乏耐心。她的学生说,由于他们的口音问题,一些缅因州人无视他们,或是对他们不友好。学生们说,这使得他们更不可能开口说话。

“Imagine waking up every day knowing you are going to have that struggle,” she says.

她说,“想象一下每天醒来就知道自己将要面临那种挣扎。”

I’m Christopher Jones-Cruise.

Words in This Story

accent – n. a way of pronouncing words that occurs among the people in a particular region or country

fluent – adj.able to speak a language easily and very well

green card – n.a document that shows a person from a foreign country can live and work in the United States (it is not green, but once was, so it continues to be called a “green card”)

conduct – v.to plan and do (something, such as an activity)

speech therapist – n. a person who gives treatment or therapy to people who have speech problems to help them learn to pronounce words correctly

vowel – n. a speech sound made with your mouth open and your tongue in the middle of your mouth not touching your teeth, lips, etc.; a letter (such as a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes yin English) that represents a vowel

consonant – n.a speech sound (such as /p/, /d/, or /s/) that is made by partly or completely stopping the flow of air breathed out from the mouth; a letter that represents a consonant especially any letter of the English alphabet except a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y

diverse – adj.different from each other; made up of people or things that are different from each other