導讀:當你在吐槽漢語中的外來詞時,你可知道在英文中也有不計其數的詞匯來自漢語呢?今天,就一起追溯歷史,細數那些出口到英語中的中文,都有著怎樣的故事!

Chinese civilization stretches back at least to the 3rd millennium BC. It is the source of many of the world’s great inventions, including paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing, not to mention china (porcelain) itself. But maybe the greatest contribution that the country and its language have made to the Western world is tea. The drink is first mentioned in English in 1655. The Chinese connection first found in US English in the early 20th century.

中華文明可以至少追溯到公元前300萬年。它是世界上許多偉大發明的源頭,例如造紙術,指南針,火藥和印刷術。更不用說還有瓷器本身。但是對中西方語言文化交流作出最大貢獻的是茶。茶最早在1655年引入英國,而英語和漢語的關聯,最早也是在20世紀初的美式英語中被發現。

People drinking something stronger than tea might say chin-chin, or ‘cheers!’ This is a mangled pronunciation of qing qing, a Chinese greeting. Another ‘doubled’ word is chop-chop, or ‘quickly’. Chop here is a pidgin Chinese rendition of Chinese kuaì ‘quick, nimble’, and is also found in chopstick.

人們在喝比茶更濃的飲品時可能會說“chin chin”或者“干杯”!這是模仿中國“請請”的發音。另外一個雙音節詞則是”chop-chop”,意為“快快”。這里的chop基于“筷子”的“筷”的發音,是對中式發音“快”的模仿。

北京体彩网 Our range of savoury relishes was extended when traders introduced us to ketchup at the end of the 17th century. The name may come from Chinese ‘tomato juice’.

在17世紀末番茄醬被引入之后,菜肴的風味有了延展。這個名字可能和漢語中的“番茄汁”相關。

Contact with imperial China in the early 19th century introduced Westerners to the Chinese custom of kowtowing—kneeling down and touching the forehead on the ground in worship or submission. The word means literally ‘to knock the head’.

19世紀初期,西方人開始了解了封建王朝叩頭的禮節——雙膝跪地,前額輕觸地面以顯示尊敬或降服之意。這個詞字面意思就是“頭和地面相碰”。

北京体彩网 Ginseng is a plant whose root is credited with various health-giving and medicinal properties. Its Chinese name, rénshén, literally means ‘man root’, a reference to the root’s forked shape, which supposedly resembles a person.

Ginseng是一種植物的根莖,被認為可以促進健康并有藥用價值。它的中文名字“人參”的意思是“人的根”,因其形狀酷似人形而得名。

Gung-ho, meaning ‘unthinkingly enthusiastic and eager, especially about fighting’, dates from the Second World War. It is from Chinese gōnghé ‘to work together’, and was adopted as a slogan by the US Marines fighting in the Pacific under General Evans Carlson (1896–1947). He organized ‘Gung-ho’ meetings to discuss problems and explain orders to promote cooperation.

Gung-ho,意味不加思考的熱情和沖動,尤為好斗。它的起源可追溯至二戰。原形為漢語中的“共和”,即一起工作,并在埃文斯卡爾森將軍 (1896–1947)領導的太平洋海戰中被引入作為口號。他組織召開“共和”會議來研討問題,促進合作。

北京体彩网 Increasing interest in our living spaces in the 1990s led to the popularity of feng shui, the ancient Chinese system of designing buildings and arranging objects in rooms to achieve a positive flow of energy and so bring happiness or good luck. It goes back a long way in English, and even had an entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1797.

對于生存環境的愈發好奇使得在20世紀90年代,“風水”一詞被引入,它指的是中國古代建筑及安排房間內物品擺放以達到能量均衡,從而帶來幸福安康的一種方式。該詞早在1797年就被收入大不列顛百科全書。

Not all our Chinese words are ancient, though. China’s first manned space flight in 2003 gave us taikonaut, a Chinese astronaut—taikong means ‘outer space’.

然而也不是所有的中文都源自古代。2003年,中國對太空領域的第一次載人探索使得新詞taikonaut誕生,意味中國宇航員。