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为什么美国人把秋天叫作fall?真相原来是这个! The reason why Americans refer to Autumn as fall

中国日报网 2019-09-25 08:51

学英语的人一般都知道,秋天有autumn和fall两种说法,只不过英国人一般把秋天叫作autumn,而美国人在指代秋天的时候常常会用另一个说法:fall(落下)。有的人以为autumn是传统说法,而fall是现代别称,其实fall的历史比autumn还要悠久。

 

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

 

September 23, 2019, marks the start of a new season—but what exactly you should call that season depends on where in the world you are and whom you ask. In Great Britain, the third season of the year usually has only one name: autumn. But if you hop across the Atlantic, you'll find that people use both fall and autumn interchangeably when referring to this time of year, making it the only season in the English language with two widely accepted names. So what is it about the season that makes it so special?

2019年9月23日(秋分)标志着新季节的开始,但是你应该如何称呼这个季节取决于你在世界上的哪个地方以及你问的是哪国人。在英国,一年的第三个季节通常都只有一个名字:autumn。但如果你横跨大西洋,你会发现人们交替使用fall和autumn来指代秋天,于是秋天便成了英语中唯一一个拥有两个广为接受的名字的季节。那么是什么让这个季节如此特别呢?

According to Dictionary.com, fall isn't a modern nickname that followed the more traditional autumn. The two terms are actually first recorded within a few hundred years of each other.

根据词典网站Dictionary.com,fall并不是秋天的传统说法autumn的现代别称。这两个说法最早的记录相距时间不到几百年。

Before either word emerged in the lexicon, the season between summer and winter was known as harvest, or hærfest in Old English. The word is of Germanic stock and meant "picking," "plucking," or "reaping," a nod to the act of gathering and preserving crops before winter.

在这两个词出现之前,夏天和冬天之间的这个季节在英语中被称为harvest,古英语是hærfest。该词源于日耳曼语,意思是“采摘”或“收割”,指的是在冬天之前收集和储藏粮食。

In the 1500s, English speakers began referring to the seasons separating the cold and warm months as either the fall of the leaf or spring of the leaf, or fall and spring for short. Both terms were simple and evocative, but for some reason, only spring had staying power in Britain. By the end of the 1600s, autumn, from the French word autompne and the Latin autumnus, had overtaken fall as the standard British term for the third season.

在16世纪,以英语为母语的人开始用树叶的落下(简称fall)或生长(简称spring)来指代寒热两季之间的几个月。两个词都是既简单又形象,但是出于某种原因,只有spring在英国流传了下来。到了17世纪末,源自法语autompne和拉丁语autumnus的autumn取代fall成为指代第三个季节的标准英国用词。

evocative[ɪ'vɑkətɪv]: 唤起回忆的;引起共鸣的

 

Around the same time England adopted autumn, the first-ever British American colonists were voyaging to North America. With them they brought the words fall and autumn, and while the former fell out of fashion overseas, it solidified itself in the local vernacular by the time America won its independence. Today, using both words to describe the season before winter is still a uniquely American behavior.

大约在英格兰人采用autumn来指代秋天的同一时间,第一批去美国的英国殖民者开始漂洋过海到了北美。他们将fall和autumn带到了北美大陆,尽管前者fall在大洋彼岸已经不再流行,但是它却在美国获得独立之前在当地方言中站稳了脚跟。如今,用两个词来指代冬天之前的这个季节仍然是美国独有的做法。

 

英文来源:Mental Floss

翻译&编辑:丹妮

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