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2011. 4. 13. 14:25 ▶ 영상/TED

Patricia Ryan: Don't insist on English!


오랜동안 영어를 가르쳐왔던 패트리샤 라이언이 두바이에서 열린 TEDx에서(TEDxDubai) 도발적인 질문을 던집니다. 세상이 영어에만 집중하고 있어서 다른 언어를 통한 위대한 아이디어의 확산을 막고 있는걸까요? (예를들어, 아인슈타인이 토플을 통과해야만 했다면 어떻게 되었을까요?) 번역과 아이디어 공유에 관한 이 열정적인 주장을 들어보십시오.





I know what you're thinking. You think I've lost my way, and somebody's going to come on the stage in a minute and guide me gently back to my seat. (Applause) I get that all the time in Dubai. "Here on holiday are you, dear?" (Laughter) "Come to visit the children? How long are you staying?"

Well actually, I hope for a while longer yet. I have been living and teaching in the Gulf for over 30 years. (Applause) And in that time, I have seen a lot of changes. Now that statistic is quite shocking. And I want to talk to you today about language loss and the globalization of English. I want to tell you about my friend who was teaching English to adults in Abu Dhabi. And one fine day, she decided to take them into the garden to teach them some nature vocabulary. But it was she who ended up learning all the Arabic words for the local plants, as well as their uses -- medicinal uses, cosmetics, cooking, herbal. How did those students get all that knowledge? Of course, from their grandparents and even their great-grandparents. It's not necessary to tell you how important it is to be able to communicate across generations.

But sadly, today, languages are dying at an unprecedented rate. A language dies every 14 days. Now, at the same time, English is the undisputed global language. Could there be a connection? Well I don't know. But I do know that I've seen a lot of changes. When I first came out to the Gulf, I came to Kuwait in the days when it was still a hardship post. Actually, not that long ago. That is a little bit too early. But nevertheless, I was recruited by the British Council along with about 25 other teachers. And we were the first non-Muslims to teach in the state schools there in Kuwait. We were brought to teach English because the government wanted to modernize the country and empower the citizens through education. And of course, the U.K. benefited from some of that lovely oil wealth.

Okay. Now this is the major change that I've seen -- how teaching English has morphed from being a mutually beneficial practice to becoming a massive international business that it is today. No longer just a foreign language on the school curriculum. And no longer the sole domain of mother England. It has become a bandwagon for every English-speaking nation on earth. And why not? After all, the best education -- according to the latest World University Rankings -- is to be found in the universities of the U.K. and the U.S. So everybody wants to have an English education, naturally. But if you're not a native speaker, you have to pass a test.

Now can it be right to reject a student on linguistic ability alone? Perhaps you have a computer scientist who's a genius. Would he need the same language as a lawyer, for example? Well, I don't think so. We English teachers reject them all the time. We put a stop sign, and we stop them in their tracks. They can't pursue their dream any longer, till they get English. Now let me put it this way, if I met a monolingual Dutch speaker who had the cure for cancer, would I stop him from entering my British University? I don't think so. But indeed, that is exactly what we do. We English teachers are the gatekeepers. And you have to satisfy us first that your English is good enough. Now it can be dangerous to give too much power to a narrow segment of society. Maybe the barrier would be too universal.

Okay. "But," I hear you say, "what about the research? It's all in English." So the books are in English, the journals are done in English, but that is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It feeds the English requirement. And so it goes on. I ask you, what happened to translation? If you think about the Islamic Golden Age, there was lots of translation then. They translated from Latin and Greek into Arabic, into Persian, and then it was translated on into the Germanic languages of Europe and the Romance languages. And so light shone upon the Dark Ages of Europe. Now don't get me wrong; I am not against teaching English, all you English teachers out there. I love it that we have a global language. We need one today more than ever. But I am against using it as a barrier. Do we really want to end up with 600 languages and the main one being English, or Chinese? We need more than that. Where do we draw the line? This system equates intelligence with a knowledge of English which is quite arbitrary.

(Applause)

And I want to remind you that the giants upon whose shoulders today's intelligentsia stand did not have to have English, they didn't have to pass an English test. Case in point, Einstein. He, by the way, was considered remedial at school because he was, in fact, dyslexic. But fortunately for the world, he did not have to pass an English test. Because they didn't start until 1964 with TOEFL, the American test of English. Now it's exploded. There are lots and lots of tests of English. And millions and millions of students take these tests every year. Now you might think, you and me, those fees aren't bad, they're okay, but they are prohibitive to so many millions of poor people. So immediately, we're rejecting them.

(Applause)

It brings to mind a headline I saw recently: "Education: The Great Divide." Now I get it, I understand why people would focus on English. They want to give their children the best chance in life. And to do that, they need a Western education. Because, of course, the best jobs go to people out of the Western Universities, that I put on earlier. It's a circular thing.

Okay. Let me tell you a story about two scientists, two English scientists. They were doing an experiment to do with genetics and the forelimbs and the hind limbs of animals. But they couldn't get the results they wanted. They really didn't know what to do, until along came a German scientist who realized that they were using two words for forelimb and hind limb, whereas genetics does not differentiate and neither does German. So bingo, problem solved. If you can't think a thought, you are stuck. But if another language can think that thought, then, by cooperating, we can achieve and learn so much more.

My daughter, came to England from Kuwait. She had studied science and mathematics in Arabic. It's an Arabic medium school. She had to translate it into English at her grammar school. And she was the best in the class at those subjects. Which tells us that, when students come to us from abroad, we may not be giving them enough credit for what they know, and they know it in their own language. When a language dies, we don't know what we lose with that language.

This is -- I don't know if you saw it on CNN recently -- they gave the Heroes Award to a young Kenyan shepherd boy who couldn't study at night in his village like all the village children, because the kerosene lamp, it had smoke and it damaged his eyes. And anyway, there was never enough kerosene, because what does a dollar a day buy for you? So he invented a cost-free solar lamp. And now the children in his village get the same grades at school as the children who have electricity at home. (Applause) When he received his award, he said these lovely words: "The children can lead Africa from what it is today, a dark continent, to a light continent." A simple idea, but it could have such far-reaching consequences.

People who have no light, whether it's physical or metaphorical, cannot pass our exams, and we can never know what they know. Let us not keep them and ourselves in the dark. Let us celebrate diversity. Mind your language. Use it to spread great ideas.

(Applause)

Thank you very much.

(Applause)



 
How did those students get all that knowledge? Of course, from their grandparents and even their great-grandparents
> 생각보다 알게 모르게 구전으로 전해지는 지식도 많다.

how important it is to be able to communicate across generations.
> 세대간의 의사 소통의 중요성

We were brought to teach English because the government wanted to modernize the country and empower the citizens through education. And of course, the U.K. benefited from some of that lovely oil wealth.
> 단순히 교육을 위해 갔건만 돌아오는 국익?
그럼 왜 이 좋은 영어를 놔두고 모국어를 활용해야 되는가?
(강연자는 영국인이니 모국어는 당연히 영어;
하지만 다양성을 위해서 라도 다양한 언어가 사라지는 걸 막아야 된다고 보시는듯) 

the best education -- according to the latest World University Rankings -- is to be found in the universities of the U.K. and the U.S. So everybody wants to have an English education, naturally. But if you're not a native speaker, you have to pass a test.
>  세계 최고 대학은 영국, 미국이 주도 하고 있고 그러한 교육을 원한다면 영어를 해야 한다.
하지만 원어민이 아닌 이상은 그에 해당하는 시험을 따로 통과해야 한다. (영어 관련 시험)

can it be right to reject a student on linguistic ability alone?
> 언어적 능력 때문에 다른 우수한 능력이 있음에도 불구하고 거부하는게 옳은 일인가?

This system equates intelligence with a knowledge of English which is quite arbitrary.
> 영어 획일화는 영어로 된 지식만을 지성으로 한정 짓는다.
그래도 대부분은 영어 영어 영어 노래를 부를것이다.

If you can't think a thought, you are stuck. But if another language can think that thought, then, by cooperating, we can achieve and learn so much more.
> 언어가 중요한게 아니다. 담고 있는 본질이 중요하지
허나 우리나라는 5000만 국민을 모두 번역가로 키우고 있다. ㅋㅋㅋ
번역사와 통역사라는 전문 직업인을 놔두고

When a language dies, we don't know what we lose with that language.
> 언어가 사라지면 그 언어로 된 지식도 사라진다.

"The children can lead Africa from what it is today, a dark continent, to a light continent."
> 힘들기로 소문난 아프리카 국가들이 있다. 그들국가에 필요한것은
돈이 아니라 지식이다. TED가 이러한 지식기부에 앞장서고 있음은 참 잘한일이라 생각한다.

Let us celebrate diversity. Mind your language. Use it to spread great ideas.
> 다양성을 축하하고 모국어를 사랑하고 생각을 퍼트리려라 로 마무리

그리고 마지막에 나오는 시골 묘지 비문이 인상적이다.

Full many a flower is born to blush  unseen
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Thomas Gray - Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard


다양성과 획일화 장단점은 있기 마련인데 획일화에 너무 치우쳐 있다.
 
posted by 윤키호테 윤희형

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