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英国人为何这般热衷谈天气

油气翻译专家 2019-06-12 20:44:41

The weather – and the British obsession with talking about it – has been puzzling outsiders for decades.

英国人痴迷于谈论天气,这个问题数十年来一直让外界人士困惑不已。


Several features of Britain's geography make the weather the way it is: 

英国地理的特点造就了英国天气的现状:

mild, changeable, and famously unpredictable. Britain's position at the edge of the Atlantic places it at the end of a storm track – relatively narrow zones over oceans that storms travel down, driven by the prevailing winds.

温和多变,众人皆知其难以预料。英国位于大西洋边缘,处于风暴轴的末端。所谓“风暴轴”,即海洋上暴风经过的相对狭长的地带。

As the warm and cold air fly towards and over each other, the earth's rotation creates cyclones. Then there is the Gulf Stream, which makes the British climate milder than it should be, given its northern latitude, and the fact that the UK is made up of islands, meaning there is a lot of moisture in the air.

冷热气流相互对冲,地球旋转引起旋风。英国地处北纬、由岛屿构成,在墨西哥湾流影响之下空气中有许多水分。

Weather talk is a kind of code that we have evolved to help us overcome social inhibitions and actually talk to one another.

谈论天气是帮助人们克服社交障碍演变而来的代码,让人们可以真真正正相互交谈。

Many of the day-to-day conversations British people initiate about the weather, however, are mundane. Comments like “cold, isn't it?” don't even particularly demand a full response; a grunt of agreement will suffice.

英国人发起谈论天气的日常对话枯燥乏味。诸如,“很冷,不是吗?”这样的评论根本不需要完整的回答,咕哝一声表示同意足矣。

In some situations, weather talk is an icebreaker. In others it's used to fill awkward silences, or divert the conversation away from uncomfortable topics. We can also use weather speak to gauge other people's mood.

有些情况下,谈论天气可以破冰、活跃气氛;另一些情况下,可以填补尴尬的空白,转移令人不自在的话题。也可以通过谈天气来判定别人的心情。

Of course, these kinds of purely social conversations also occur in other cultures. But both the nature of the conversation – and their content – will vary. A country like Britain will choose a safe and personally unobtrusive topic – such as the weather.

当然,这样纯社交对话在其它文化里也有,但谈话性质和内容不一。英国这样的国家会选择安全低调、不会唐突伤及个人的话题,比如天气。

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