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新编大学英语第二版 Book2 Unit2 Speaking Different Languages

[1] When Martians and Venusians first got together, they encountered many of the problems with relationships we have today. Because they recognized that they were different, they were able to

solve these problems. One of the secrets of their success was good communication.

[2] Ironically, they communicated well because they spoke different languages. When they had problems, they would just go to a translator for assistance. Everyone knew that people from Mars and people from Venus spoke different languages, so when there was a conflict they didn't start judging or fighting but instead pulled out their phrase dictionaries to understand each other more fully. If that didn't work they went to a translator for help.

[3] You see , the Martian and Venusian languages had the same words but different meanings depending on the way they were used. Their expressions were similar, but they had different connotations or emotional emphasis. Misinterpreting each other was very easy. So when communication problems emerged ,they assumed it was just one of those expected misunderstandings and that with a little assistance they would surely understand each other. They experienced a trust and acceptance that we rarely experience today.

[4] Even today we still need translators. Men and women seldom mean the same things even when they use the same words. For example, when a woman says, “I feel like you never listen,” she does not expect the word “never” to be taken literally . Using the word “never” is just a way of expressing the frustration she is feeling at the moment. It is not to be taken as if it were factual information.

[5] To fully express their feelings, women would tend to exaggerate the facts a little bit for effect and use various superlatives, metaphors, and generalizations. Men mistakenly take these expressions literally. Because they misunderstand the intended meaning, they commonly react in an unsupportive manner. In the following chart ten complaints easily misinterpreted are listed, as well as how a man might respond unsupportively.

Ten Common Complaints That Are Easily Misinterpreted

Women say things like this:                     Men respond like this:

“We never go out.”                           “That's not true. We went out last week.”

“Everyone ignores me.”                     “I'm sure some people notice you.”

“I am so tired, I can't do anything.”  “If you don't like your job, then quit.”

“I want to forget everything.”           “I don't think there's anything to forget.”

“The house is always a mess.”          “It's not always a mess.”

“No one listens to me anymore.”     “But I'm listening to you right now.”

“Nothing is working.”                       “Are you saying it is my fault?”

“You don't love me anymore.”         “Of course I do. That's why I'm here.”

“We are always in a hurry.”              “We are not. Friday we were relaxed.”

“I want more romance .”                  “Are you saying I am not romantic?”

[6] You can see how a “literal” translation of a woman's words could easily mislead a man who is used to using speech as a means of conveying only facts and information. You can also see how a man's responses might lead to an argument. Unclear and unloving communication is the biggest problem in relationships. The number one complaint women have in relationships is: “I don't feel heard. ”

[7] Even this complaint is misunderstood and misinterpreted!

[8] A man's literal translation of “I don't feel heard” leads him to take the woman's complaint

lightly. He thinks he has heard her if he can repeat what she has said. A correct translation of a

woman saying “I don't feel heard” is: “I feel as though you don't fully understand what I really mean

to say or care about how I feel. Would you show me that you are i nterested in what I have to say?”

[9] If a man really understood her complaint, then he would argue less and be able to respond

more positively. When men and women are on the verge of arguing, they generally misunderstand

each other. At such times, it is important to rethink or translate what they have heard. ( 660 words)




2 具有讽刺意味的是,他们交流沟通的成功却是因为他们说着不同的语言。当他们遇到问题时,就去找翻译帮助。众所周知,他们每个人都清楚火星人和金星人语言不同,因此,一旦遇到冲突,他们并不去评论是非或争斗,相反,他们会掏出自己的短语词典,以便更全面地理解对方。如果这样无效的话,他们就去找翻译帮助。

3 你明白吗?你知道,火星语和金星语用的词相同,但是所表达的含义却不同,这要根据词的用法来决定。两种语言的措词尽管相似,但是措辞的内涵却不同,所侧重的情感也不同。相互之间很容易误解。因此,当交谈出现问题时,他们推断这只不过是一个误解而已,是预料中的,只要得到些许帮助他们就必定能够彼此理解。他们体验到的是一种相互间的信任和认同,这是我们今天很少能体验到的。

4 即使在今天,我们依然需要翻译。男人和女人即便用词相同,他们所表达的含义也很少相同。例如:当女人说:“我觉得你从不听我说话,”她希望对方不要从字面上理解“从不”这个词。使用“从不”这个词只不过是用来表达她此时此刻感到非常失望。不要把它当作真实的意思来理解。

5 为了充分表达她们的感受,女人们往往会把事实夸大一点以引起注意,并使用各种最高级,隐喻以及推论。男人错误地从字面上来理解这些用语。他们误解了女人想要表达的意思,便常常以不赞同的态度,来回答她们。下面列有十句女人的抱怨话,这些都是很容易被男人误解的,同时也列出了男人以不赞同的态度可能做出的回答。容易被男人误解十种抱怨:

6 可以看出,习惯于把语言用作传达事实和信息手段的男人们,从“字面”上去理解女人的话是怎样易于产生误解的。也可以看出,男人的回答又是怎样引起争吵的。含糊的、缺乏爱心的交流沟通是男女之间的最大问题。女人们在交往中的第一大抱怨是“我觉得没人听见我说的话。”

7 即使这种抱怨也会被误解和曲解。

8 男人从字面上去理解“我觉得没人听见我说的话”,这使他漠然地对待该抱怨。他认为只要他能重复说出她的话就表明他听到她所说的话了。对于女人所说的“我觉得没人听我说话”的正确理解是:“我觉得好像你没有完全理解我真正想说的话,或者你不关心我的感受。你能不能表示一下你对我非说不可的话感兴趣呢?”

9 如果男人能真正理解她的抱怨,那么他就会少些争吵,就能更积极地做出反应。当男人和女人到了要争吵的地步时,他们往往是误解了对方的意思。这时候,重新考虑和解释自己所听到的话是很重要的。


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