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March 24, 2000
1. Translate the following passage into Chinese (50%):
Few expected to see so large a man: he is gigantic, a six feet four at least; few expected to see so old a person; his hair appears to have kept silvery record over fifty years; and then there was a notion in the minds of many that there must be something dashing and ”fast” in his appearance, whereas his costume was perfectly plain, the expression of his face grave and earnest, his address perfectly unaffected and such as we might expect to meet with in a well-bred man somewhat advanced in years. His elocution also surprised those who had derived their impressions from the English journals. His voice is a superb tenor, and possesses that pathetic tremble which is so effective in what is called emotive eloquence, while his delivery was as well suited to the communication he had to make as could well have been imagined.
His enunciation is perfect. Every word he uttered might have been heard in the remotest quarters of the room, yet he scarcely lifted his voice above a colloquial tone. The most striking feature in his whole manner was the utter absence of affectation of any kind. He did not permit himself to appear conscious that he was an object of peculiar interest in the audience, neither was he guilty of the greater error of not appearing to care whether they were interested or not.
譯註：原文標題是：Thackeray as a Speaker, 作者為美國詩人William Cullen Bryant (1794 – 1878)。Thackeray 的全名是：William Makepeace Thackeray (1811 –1863)，是英國小說家，浮華世界 (Vanity Fair) 是他的名著。
2. Translate the following passage into English (50%):
English is not just a convenient means of communicating, as the Structural Linguists seem to think. The language of a people, like its art and literature and music and architecture, is a record of its past that has much to say to the present. If this connection is broken, then a people gets into the condition of a psychotic who has lost contact with his past. Superseding the King James Version of the Bible with a translation in the modern idiom is like updating Shakespeare -- "The problem of existence or non-existence confronts us." Language is a specially important part of a people\'s past, or culture, because everybody is exposed to it and has to learn to use it. The evolution of words is a capsule history of the race, as one can verify by reading a few pages of the Oxford English Dictionary. There is always a struggle between tradition and novelty. If the society is too permissive, novelty has it too easy and the result is language that has lost contact with its past and that is usually ineffective as communication because it is vague and formless -- in hippie slang "man" and "like" have degenerated to mere interruptions, more stammer than grammar.