20130118

陶傑的英文

最近才知道原來陶傑也寫英文的評論文章,我只看了一篇題為 “The SAR Passport Row” 的,如果這篇文章可以顯示陶傑的英文寫作水平,我的結論便是:他的英文不算差,至少勝過一些香港的大學教授,但怎也說不上好,更遑論寫得漂亮,明顯是遠遜他的中文了。要不是他已成名,兼有才子之譽,以他這手英文,恐怕沒有人會找他寫英文文章。

母語是中文的人通常對英文冠詞(articles)的運用掌握得不好,例如該用 ‘the’ 的地方用了 ‘a’,不應有冠詞的地方無端端加上 ‘the’ 等;陶傑這篇不足五百字的文章便有三個這樣的毛病:

(1)  “fought to defend Hong Kong against Japanese invasion in 1941” “Japanese invasion” 前應有 ‘the’

(2)  “schoolchildren are made to visit the PLA barracks” ‘the’ 應刪(再提這些 PLA barracks 時則要加 ‘the’)。

(3)  “learn to admire the Chinese soldiers’ military prowess” ‘the’ 也應刪。

此外,這篇文章還有不少臃贅或彆扭的句子,以下這句為最甚:

(4)  “It is not fair to have your children ordered to learn how to love China in the same classroom as other Hong Kong Chinese schoolchildren, but because of the color of one’s skin, the love is not reciprocated with a passport, leaving the Indian and Pakistani governments to foot that bill.”

根據上下文的意思,可以改成這樣:

It is not fair for Indian and Pakistani children (who learn to revere the Chinese nation in the same classroom as other Hong Kong students) to have their love for China not be reciprocated with a passport, instead leaving the issue of citizenship to the Indian and Pakistani governments.

仍不算好,但至少比原句通順和清楚。

20 則留言:

  1. Just to point out that In his radio show, he said many times he never claimed to be good at english.

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    1. Well, I didn't suggest that he had claimed that his English was good.

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  2. 第(4)段看了好幾次才明白。陶傑還出版過英文散文集,水準遠遜中文著作。

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  3. 幾時評評施政報告的英文?

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  4. Prof. Wong,
    Tao Kit is not the kind of person who can accept others' criticism with grace. From what I've learnt, he usually responds to such 'comments' in quite a spiteful manner (i,e, taking such comments in a personal way and attacking the person who made the comments, instead of dealing with the argument)!That's what I feel when I listen to his Radio program.
    But I'm glad that you say this! I agree with what you said. I read his English writings before. They're not poorly written of course, but it sounds a bit 'awkward'; I mean, I can see he tries very hard to make his English 'look sophisticated'; so it becomes very 'unnatural'.
    A silly person

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    1. 陶傑蔑視英文文法,不做終極洋奴,人所共知,況且英文文法無邏輯可言,

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    2. //he tries very hard to make his English 'look sophisticated'; so it becomes very 'unnatural'.//

      - That's a fair comment.

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    3. Hi, the 'anonymous',
      I agree that some great writers don't think their wiritings should be restrained by any rules. But (for those great writers)their 'transcendence of grammatical rules' does produce some aesthetic effects which make reading their writings an enjoyable experience.
      However, Tao Kit's "transcendence of rules' only makes his writings very confusing and even incomprehensible. Take the example of the quotation made above by Prof.Wong, In passage(4), I have to read more than once to know what the subject the whole sentence is referring to and the meaning of the whole sentence. But Wong's amended sentence can make the subject of the sentence clear and he make it look more like natural English.
      A silly person

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  5. 陶傑的口語更令人吃驚, 完全不似留英多年。中英也寫得好, 實在想不出誰人做到。

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOsmTN_h1dM

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    1. 陶傑的英文口語算流利,只是口音頗重而已。通常成年後才到英語世界生活的人,很難完全擺脫母語的口音,我自己和我認識的絕大部份旅美中國人說的英語都有明顯的中文(國語或粵語)口音。不過,陶傑未到二十歲便到英國留學,在那裏住了十多年,說的英語仍有這麼重的粵語口音,他的語言天份大概不太高。

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    2. I am far from a fan of To Kit, but to be fair, I think his spoken English is not bad at all. I don't think his Cantonese is that heavy at all.

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    3. Heavy or not (or how heavy the accent is) is relative to our standards. I am probably more demanding than you are with respect to accents.

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  6. 這篇文章令我想起一個叫潘國森的人。

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    1. Lam Pui Lei, Perry also made some similar comments on Tao's grammatical problem!

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    2. "這篇文章令我想起一個叫潘國森的人。"

      - 王教授,又有人話你藉批評名人博上位啦!

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    3. 我這把年紀才來博上位?上甚麼位?我寫文章但求過癮,喜歡寫甚麼就寫甚麼,這才是寫網誌的樂趣。。

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  7. 大鑊!看完更不懂什麼時候用"the"和"a"了
    都怪自己小時候學英文都不太重視這方面的用法..

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    1. 多讀英文書,多查英文用法,便會逐漸改善。

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  8. Written English is like dressing up for the occasions. Each person will have his/her own style and use of vocabulary. I am very impressed with Mr. Tao's keen observation and intelligent critique. It is very enjoyable to read his blogs. The impact is quite profound and awe-inspiring on different issues!

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