双语:五个办法,又快又好学“行话”

时间:2008-12-26 13:25:34 来源:英语学习网站

Early on in my writing career, I took on a couple of articles covering project management. To put it mildly, I didn’t know a Gantt chart from a PERT chart. Worse, I didn’t even know where to start. I had already learned, though, that vocabulary is the fastest way to become an expert on any subject — even if you don’t really know that much about a topic, at least you can talk the talk. I knew that in order to write these articles, I needed to learn the jargon that every project manager uses without even thinking.

我刚开始写作的时候,写一些项目管理类的文章。说得好听点,我不知道甘特图和网络图有什么区别;其实,我连怎么开始都不知道。不过我知道,词汇是精通任何一门学科最快捷的方法。——即使你对一个话题了解甚少,至少还能就话题本身谈上一阵。我很清楚,要写出这方面的文章,我就得先学会每个项目经理都能脱口而出的那些专业术语。

So I fired up my web browser, and headed to Wikipedia…

所以,我打开浏览器,直奔“维基”……

1. Wikipedia
That’s right. My first stop is Wikipedia. I’ll be the first to admit that Wikipedia is never guaranteed to be the gospel truth, but I’ve found that for any learning project, whether I’m doing research for a school paper or trying to find the right words to talk about a particular topic, Wikipedia is guaranteed to be a good starting point. It’s because good Wikipedia articles link to fairly expert sources, the kind that are both a good source for an introductory-level encyclopedia article and for a crash course in the subject.

So, I’ll go to Wikipedia and skim the article on whatever my subject is. I’ll open up links and try to get an idea of related terms and important names. The names of people and companies can be as important to a conversation on a given topic as the actual vocabulary. It’s doubtful, after all, that anyone would have a conversation on productivity and entirely ignore David Allen and GTD.

1、访维基

没错,我的第一步,去“维基”。我很清楚维基上的内容并不可能全是真理,但我发觉,不管学习什么,写论文做调查也好、为了一个话题寻找精辟的用词也罢,维基是一个非常有用处的地方。维基上好的文章会链接到一些权威资源,无论是编写入门百科,还是进行短期训练,这些资源都非常好用。

所以不管我在写什么,我都要先去维基转一圈。我打开很多链接,对一些相关术语和重要名称有个大概的印象。在进行特定的话题讨论的时候,人名、公司名和专业词汇一样重要。就像说到“产出率”这个话题,谁能不谈起David Allen和GTD理论呢?

2. Taking Notes
While I take notes primarily in conjunction with what I read online, you can take notes from any source you find useful. The actual act of transcribing information, preferably interpreting it into your one style of writing is incredibly helpful. When possible, I like to actually write things down by hand, but in this cut and paste world, even actually typing out words and definitions can help. The acts of writing and interpreting make it easier to remember and use a word later on that just copying it into your notes will. If you’ve got a little time, actually writing out a few paragraphs using your new words can really cement their meanings in your mind.

If you’re working on a written project, you may even come out ahead on your notes. You may be able to write them in such a way that you can use them in part or in whole for that research project or article or speech you’re preparing for. If that’s the case, consider trying to take your notes with that end in mind: structure your notes to match whatever product you’re in the process of creating.

2、做笔记

我主要是把我在网上阅读的内容整理一份笔记,你也可以把你从任何渠道收集的资源整理在一起。抄录这些信息,尤其是把它们按照你自己的写作习惯编辑起来是一件非常有用的事情。一有时间,我就喜欢用笔写东西。不过我们处在一个“粘贴复制”的时代里,把你的笔记敲进电脑当然也一样有效。抄录和编译的过程,能够简单而长久地帮助你记忆这些词条。如果你时间比较充裕,不妨还可以用你学到的新词写上一小段文字,它们的意思会深深刻进你脑子里。

如果你正在准备写些什么,你甚至可能在记笔记的时候就把文章构思好。你可以在你写的报告、文章或者演讲稿中运用上一些甚至全部笔记中的内容。如果你想一举多得,不妨在做笔记的时候脑子里有一份规划,按照你要撰写的文章的架构去构思你的笔记。

3. Experts
Once I’ve got a general idea of a topic, I’ll go looking for an expert who can spend even a few minutes talking to me. I prefer someone in person but the internet has an expert on everything. Hearing how your expert uses terminology is a good way to learn, but using that terminology yourself and asking your expert to correct you can be even better.

At the very least, you’re guaranteed to learn proper pronunciation. I was one of those kids who read a lot of books in high school, including physics. I knew an awful lot about Richard Feynman, but it wasn’t until I actually head someone talking about him that I realized “fen-i-man” is not the correct pronunciation of his last name. That can be the biggest problem that comes from doing all your learning from books or Wikipedia: you may not know just how to say your newly-learned vocabulary.

3、问专家

一旦了解好主题大意,我就会去找一位行业专家聊一聊。虽然互联网无所不知,但我更喜欢与人面对面交流。你可以在与专家的对话中留意他怎么使用那些术语,如果你肯,自己使用术语,然后来让专家帮你修改,那就更有帮助了。

和专家对话,你至少也能记得那些术语怎么发音。我上高中的时候读了不少书,物理学的也读过。我对理查德·菲利普·费曼知道不少,不过要不是后来听到一个人谈到他,我还以为他的姓读作“芬伊曼”呢。无论是读书还是上维基学东西,都难以避免犯这种错误,你很可能不知道你学到的那个词该怎么读。

4. Roots
If you’re struggling with jargon, a good way to get a handle on it is to look up a word’s roots. This can be as simple as typing your word into Dictionary.com and seeing what pops out. Plug in the word ‘dictionary,’ for instance, and it will tell you that the rood is ‘diction’ which means ‘word’ in Latin. The word ‘diction’ in English also describes carefully chosen words, helping us to make a connection between ‘dictionary’ and its root. This technique is surprisingly effective with scientific terms — some scientists just seem to enjoy making new terminology out of old Latin and Greek terms.

4、抓词干

如果你被一个术语折磨得死去活来,不妨去试试查查它的词根。到Dictionary.com上直接去查这个词。就拿dictionary这个词来说吧,查询结果会告诉你diction在拉丁语中是“词汇”的意思。diction这个词在英语中也有措词的意思。这就帮助我们认识到了diction这个词根和dictionary这个词之间的意义联系。我发现这个办法在对付科学术语时尤其管用,一些科学家们对用古老拉丁、希腊语制造新词非常津津乐道。

5.Usage
The moment you stop using your newly learned jargon, it starts slipping away. If you want to maintain your knowledge, you have to keep using it, if not building on it. Talk about the topic. Write about it. Blog about it if you have no other opportunity to use it in your day to day life. It’s the same problem you’ll have if you learn a foreign language. Even your bike riding skills can get rusty if you don’t use them regularly. They can even become outdated if you don’t notice changes in the area. I make a point of keeping my project management vocabulary up to date.

Just this morning, I had the opportunity to write an article on the topic. If I hadn’t read the occasional project management article or chatted about the topic with an expert or two, I would have had to relearn all of that vocabulary. It wouldn’t have taken quite the effort of the first time around, but it would have made writing that article a much longer process.

5、常运用

新学的词,如果不常常用,很快就会被忘掉。如果你想记住,你就得不停使用它,说,或者写。实在没办法在日常生活中运用,写进你的博客里。学外语也可以这样做。如果不常练习,你有可能连自行车也会忘记怎么骑。如果你不注意更新这一领域的变化,你的知识也会变得过时没用。关于怎么保持词汇更新,这里举个PM的例子说明吧。

今天早上我在写一篇项目管理的文章。如果我不是偶尔读读这方面的文章,不时和这方面的专家谈谈,今天我可能就要重新学习这些词汇了。也许再去学那些词不会像第一次那么费劲,但是写完这篇文章恐怕也会花上很长一段时间。

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