2013年奥巴马总统就职演讲原文

奥巴马再次就职美国总统了。照惯例,演讲稿又成了很多英语学习者的好资料,虽然我不认为是什么好资料——对初学者而言——尤其是对当下中国英语学习者的实际情况而言,绝大多数英语学习者远达不到学这类演讲稿的水平,全背下来也就是满足一下自己的虚荣心而已。我见过太多激情四射背诵各类经典演讲稿的人了,真正通过背诵演讲稿进而提高了自己英语应用水平的人非常少。因为感兴趣而背我是认同的,但如果误以为背经典演讲是学英语的好方法,那我可就不完全认同了,一定要找适合自己英语水平的资料去学习。

当然了,我也把演讲原文贴到这里,以便那些少数英语水平适配的同学使用。

先贴上宣誓:

I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.  So help me God.

奥巴马总统就职演讲全文

以下引自美国白宫网站 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/01/21/inaugural-address-president-barack-obama

Inaugural Address by President Barack Obama

 

United States Capitol
11:55 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT:  Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice,
members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:
Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.  We affirm the promise of our democracy.  We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.  What makes us exceptional — what makes us American — is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time.  For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.  (Applause.)  The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob.  They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
And for more than two hundred years, we have.
Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free.  We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.
Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers.
Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.
Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.
Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone.  Our celebration of initiative and enterprise, our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character.
But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.  For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.  No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.  Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.  (Applause.)
This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience.  A decade of war is now ending.  (Applause.)  An economic recovery has begun.  (Applause.)  America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands:  youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention.  My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together.  (Applause.)
For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.  (Applause.)  We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.  We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.  We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.  (Applause.)
We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time.  So we must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, reach higher.  But while the means will change, our purpose endures:  a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American.  That is what this moment requires.  That is what will give real meaning to our creed.
We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity.  We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.  But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.  (Applause.)  For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.
We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.  We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us at any time may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm.  The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us.  (Applause.)  They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.  (Applause.)
We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.  We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.  (Applause.)  Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.  But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it.  We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise.  That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks.  That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.  That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.
We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.  (Applause.)  Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage.  (Applause.)  Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty.  The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war; who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends — and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.
We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law.  We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully –- not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.  (Applause.)
America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe.  And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.  We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.  And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice –- not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes:  tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice.
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.  (Applause.)
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began.  For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.  (Applause.)  Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law  –- (applause) — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.  (Applause.)  Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.  (Applause.)  Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity — (applause) — until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.  (Applause.)   Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.
That is our generation’s task — to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American.  Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness.  Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time.  (Applause.)
For now decisions are upon us and we cannot afford delay.  We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.  (Applause.)  We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.  We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years and 40 years and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.
My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction.  And we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service.  But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty or an immigrant realizes her dream.  My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.
They are the words of citizens and they represent our greatest hope.  You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.  You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.  (Applause.)
Let us, each of us, now embrace with solemn duty and awesome joy what is our lasting birthright.  With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.
Thank you.  God bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.  (Applause.)
END
12:10 P.M. EST

口语交际任务 – Oral Communication Tasks

从实用的角度来讲,学习一门语言就是为了能通过这个工具来实现不同个体之间的互动,尤其是一门外语能让一个人的互动范围扩大很多。如果能较为全面的列出人们不同个体间通用的那些交际活动,可以使学习一门新的语言的目标更加明确。把这些通用的交际活动转化为学习时的交际任务(Communication Tasks),在学习时围绕这些任务去用各种手段去练习,这样更能使学习一门语言更加高效。(但需要声明:我个人没有为也不喜欢为所谓实用的目的来学习)

在网络上搜到一个列表,收藏下来,对我目前的工作比较有帮助。当然对于语言教学者、学习者都会有一定的指导作用。

原贴地址:http://miguelbengoa.com/elt/2008/03/07/oral-communication-tasks

Here is a suggested taxonomy for oral communication task types, not in any order of importance.
以下是一个值得推荐的口语交际任务类型的分类,不是按重要性排序的 。

  • Providing extended answers to oral questions.
    对口头提问能提供具有扩展性的答复。
  • Asking and answering questions about diagrams or other visual representations of information.
    对于图示或其它视觉化(直观)的信息表现形式进行提问并回答。
  • Asking for information to solve problems or complete a job-related task.
    为解决问题或完成工作相关的任务询问信息。
  • Making requests and observing conventions of politeness.
    提出请求并遵守礼仪方面的惯例。
  • Sustaining short conversations using informal register[s].
    运用非正式主体来维持短小的会话。
  • Managing the various aspects of a conversation [opening, turn taking, nominating a topic, repairing misunderstanding by asking for clarification or by repeating or rephrasing, linking ideas, adjusting the message, & closing].
    掌握会话中的各个方面[开始、话论转换、提出话题、通过请求说明或者重复或者改述来修正误解、连接观点、调整信息和结束]。
  • Passing on messages that can be restructured to distinguish between factual content and interpretation.
    传达出的信息能被重新构建,使得该信息是有实际内容或者是解释说明两者能很清晰地分别开。
  • Sustaining a conversation for a short period of time in order to gather information about a specific situation or to perform a work-related task or function.
    持续进行短时间的会话,来收集关于特定情况的信息或完成工作相关的任务或职能。
  • Using the language of meetings [presenting, agreeing & disagreeing, questioning, interrupting, expressing an opinion, summarizing] to express himself in job-related situations.
    在工作相关的情景下使用会议语言[演示、同意与不同意、询问、打断、表述观点、总结]。
  • Issuing straightforward instructions.
    进行简易的指导
  • Using appropriate natural language [less formal vocabulary, contractions, discourse markers, ellipsis & elision] of spoken modes.
    使用恰当的自然语言[不太正式的词汇、缩略、话语标记、简化与略音]口语模式。
  • Listening to extended semi-formal and informal explanations.
    听扩充性的半正式和非正式解释。
  • Understanding what degrees of urgency or obligation attach to requests.
    理解请求所相连的紧急程度和责任大小。
  • Demonstrating an understanding of regulations by reformulating them in own words
    通过用自己的词语来重新阐述规则来展示出对它的理解。
  • Understanding an audiotape or video-tape on a familiar topic.
    理解有关熟悉的话题的磁带或者录像。
  • Explaining the gist and the step-by-step details of a diagram or graphic with appropriate descriptive language.
    使用恰当的描述性语言来解释一个图表或图形的要点与每一步的细节。
  • Orally paraphrasing text when necessary.
    在必要的时候进行口头释义。
  • Giving an extended explanation involving steps, problem-solution structure, and description of a piece of equipment or a tool or a familiar abstract concept.
    对于一件设备或工具或一个熟悉的抽象概念给出一个有扩展性的解释,包括步骤、问题——方案结构和描述。
  • Listening to lectures and formal presentations with a clear structure.
    听有清晰架构的讲演和正式的演示。
  • Listening to lectures and formal presentations with digressions.
    听会有跑题的讲演和正式的演示。
  • Reading aloud short purposeful texts.
    大声朗读有目的性的短文。

11

语言,作为变乱人类世界的伎俩

我写博客的频率比较低,即使是写,也一般不太愿意写个人的情绪之类的文字。

我总是把自己置身于这个世界之外,观赏着这里面发生的一切。

每当有人将目光转向我,问我的看法的时候,我都会被轻轻地吓到。慌忙用“挺好”、“还行”这类回答来应对,心里祈祷着“不要注意到我,你们接着演吧。”

这时才意识到自己是通过被这个世界里的人们唤作赵金海的肉体而跟这一切连通起来的。人们是能够发现我的。

但我还是不想说太多的话。因为我发现大家在交换自己的观点的时候,很容易就会被困于这个世界里了。思维也有了很大的局限性。我怕我一说得多了,也会被陷于此。

我知道我其实在很大程度上已经陷于此了,只是不想陷得太多。

昨天看到郑渊洁的博客里引用他给小孩们讲写作时说的话:

我们的眼睛每天看外界,你看了很多很多,但你就是不写文章,这其实是另一种憋尿。你就把你对外界的感受都憋在脑子里,不通过写文章释放出来,等于你把大脑当成放“尿”的地方了。时间长了,就脑结石了。

看到这段文字,我再一次意识到,我也拥有这个世界里的一具肉体,而他——赵金海——也有一个大脑。我和他关系很好,也就很关心他的健康。我在通过他来欣赏这个世界,那我也有理由照顾他。在平时生活中就不怎么说话、表达自己的想法,连写博客也经常躲躲藏藏地,尽量避免流露自己的情感。这样下去对他的健康可能会带来很大的影响。所以我决定以后还是多写点文字。在生活中很难做到,至少在这个私人的空间里尽量打开自己的那扇心门。

可是,还是有一些顾虑。

在观赏这个世界的时候,我注意到了:语言文字是这个世界的一大祸害。表面上,它在推动着人类社会的进步。而在背地里,它给人与人之间建立起了一道屏障。

如今这个屏障已经无处不在了。小到夫妻之间、朋友之间,大到国家之间、宗教信仰之间。无数的误解都在悄无声息地而又轰轰烈烈地从各个屏障间产生,让人们在这颗孤零零的星球上热闹非凡,不至于意识到自己其实是多么的渺小、孤独、无助。

圣经创世纪第十一章说耶和华看到人们要建造一座城,并且在那里建造通天塔,就去那城里变乱了人们的语言。那座城被称作巴别城,巴别是变乱的意思。

我觉得有这样一种可能性。圣经里的这一章也是在变乱人们的思想。我猜测耶和华并没有变乱人们的语言。而是去创造了语言。

很可能本来是没有语言的,人与人之间才得以有最直接的交流。语言作为一个工具,也会和其它工具一样,有它的方便之处,也有它的局限性。而耶和华只需要教给人们一种语言,让人们对它产生依赖就可以了。

语言的局限性,使得人们在表达自己的感受时,不能达到最精准。而别人在理解的时候还会产生误差。这样人们之间的分歧越来越大。语言文字也在人们理解的差异中产生变化,进而演变出不同的语言体系。使人们的分歧再次加剧。这样人们要团结起来的可能性就太小了。

在圣经里,把这个细节故意写为人们本来就在使用相同的语言,耶和华去只是变乱了人们的语言。这其实很可能也是变乱的一部分。

故事的真假无所谓,是否有信仰也无所谓。单看这个事情,只是语言文字这一个小小的伎俩就可以带给人类这么大的影响。那么很可能还有很多我们没有觉察到的事物,在影响着整个人类。

这些就是我的担心。我还要使用语言来交流吗?我犹豫不决。但人们貌似都在用它了,并且貌似非常依赖于它了。那我就用它来写下我的想法吧。唉!

看,我已经写下我的想法了。

只是你有没有发现,逻辑又是一个陷阱!

towerofbabel

你可能看过的笑话一则(中英文对照)

翻译一篇大家可能听过或看过的笑话:

A man who absolutely hated his wife’s cat decided to get rid of him one day by driving him 20 blocks from his home and leaving him at the park.

有个男的特别讨厌他老婆的猫,因此有一天他决定扔掉它。他开车把它丢在了离家20个街区以外的一个公园里。

As he was nearing home, the cat was walking up the driveway.

在他快到家的时候,猫已经在沿着他家车道散步了。

The next day, he decided to drive the cat 40 blocks away and try the same thing.

第二天,他决定把它弄到40个街区以外的地方再给扔掉。

As he was driving back into his driveway, there was the cat! He kept taking the cat farther and farther away, but the darn cat would always beat him home.

正当他把车开回自家车道时,猫又已经到那儿了!他一次再一次地把猫送到更远的地方,他这破猫总是能找到回家的路。

At last, he decided to drive a few miles away, turn right, then left, past the bridge, then right again and another right and so on until he reached what he thought was a safe distance from his home and he left the cat there.

最后,他决定先开出几里地,右转,然后左转,过了桥再右转、再右转,就这样直到到了一个他认为离家足够安全的距离之后,把猫丢在那儿。

Hours later, the man calls home to his wife: “Jen, is the cat there?”.

过了几小时后,这个男的给家打电话问他老婆:“Jen,猫在家吗?”

“Yes,” the wife answers. “Why do you ask?”

“在啊,”他老婆说,“怎么了?”

Frustrated, the man answers: “Put that damn cat on the phone. I’m lost and I need directions!”

这个男的很沮丧地说:“让那倒霉的猫接电话。我迷路了,我需要它指路!”

丫咋说——一个实用的英语学习辅助网站

其实网站的名字是“howjsay”,是把“How do you say?”用口语的方式缩写了。我第一反应就是“How 丫 say”,所以我给起了个中文名“丫咋说”,有点粗俗,还请各位包涵。

这是一个查询英语单词发音的网站。使用起来很简单,打开网址:http://www.howjsay.com 之后在中间的输入框中输入一个单词或短语,点“Submit”,就能听到其发音了。

这个网站还提供一个小工具叫CleverKeys,一个类似于电子词典的工具,但不是很好用。下载安装后,在任务栏有一个书本的图标,双击后按以下视频进行设置:

设置完成后可以在任意页面、文档或者程序中选定一个单词,用快捷键Ctrl+L来查询发音。

在iPhone里也有,号称是“世界上最大的iPhone和iPod Touch中使用的英语发音词典”(World’s largest English Pronunciation Dictionary now on iPhone & iPod Touch),不过很可惜它不是免费的。可以点这里查看。

这个网站页面其实很难看,没什么设计,并且广告很多。但是功能确实很实用。

我在高中的时候特别希望有这样的一个查询发音的工具。现在我经常劝我的学生们不要钻研音标,尤其是在初学阶段,直接去听到正确的发音然后去模仿,这样是最高效的。但很多人说不一定所学的东西都能找到标准的录音,那这个网站至少可以解决一下大多数单词的发音问题了。

很多人的认为初学者应该学音标,这其实是一种误人子弟的看法。当自己的口语在中等水平时再学音标就差不多。