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多样的文明,创造世界共同的未来(1)(中英对照)

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Qian Chengdan

钱乘旦

General Secretary Xi Jinping once said, "Cultures become diverse through exchange and rich through mutual learning. Intercultural exchange and mutual learning are important impetuses for the progress of human civilization and world peace and development." Adopting a perspective of cultural evolution, this article will attempt to demonstrate two points. First, diversity is the most essential and important characteristic of human civilization. Second, accompanying the advancement of modernization and globalization since the advent of modern times, diversified cultures have increasingly assumed a common responsibility – building a shared home for all humanity.

习近平总书记指出:“文明因交流而多彩,文明因互鉴而丰富。文明交流互鉴,是推动人类文明进步和世界和平发展的重要动力。”本文从文明演进的角度,试图说明以下两个问题:一是多样性是人类文明最本质也是最重要的属性;二是近代以后,随着现代化与全球化的深入发展,历史日益转变成“世界历史”,多样的文明愈来愈承担着共同的使命,即构建人类共同的家园。

I. Human civilization has been diverse since the very beginning, and diversity embodies the essence of civilization. The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions states that cultural diversity forms a common heritage of humanity and should be cherished and preserved for the benefit of all; that cultural diversity creates a rich and varied world, which increases the range of choices and nurtures human capacities and values, and therefore is a mainspring for sustainable development for communities, peoples, and nations.

一。 人类文明从一开始就是多样化的,多样化体现着文明的本性。联合国教科文组织通过的《保护和促进文化表现形式多样性公约》指出,文化多样性是人类的共同遗产,应该为了全人类的利益对其加以珍爱和维护;文化多样性创造了一个多姿多彩的世界,使人类有了更多的选择,得以提高自己的能力和形成价值观,并因此成为各社区、各民族和各国可持续发展的一股主要推动力。

The earliest civilizations were largely river civilizations, as major rivers provided a means of convenient interaction between our ancestors. It was frequent interaction, in the form of exchange, plundering, conquest, and war, as well as intermarriages and alliances that made possible the birth of civilization. In order to survive and to live more comfortably, our ancestors constantly sought to learn new things from far and wide to generate new ideas, which changed their way of life. Civilization was formed through interaction, and without interaction, there would be no civilization. This tells us that civilization, at the moment of its birth, was surely the outcome of clashes between different ideas and states of living, and that diversity is a necessary precondition for the birth of civilization.

最早的文明多是大河文明,大河为人类先祖们提供了交往的便利,正是频繁的交往,包括交换、掠夺、征服与战争,还有通婚、结盟等,为文明的出现提供了可能性。为了生存的需要以及生存得更好,他们总是吸取来自四面八方的新鲜事物,产生出新的思想,因而改变生活的方式。文明是在交往中形成的,没有交往就不会有文明。这让我们知道,文明在它生成的那个时候,一定是多种思想和多种生活状态相互冲击的结果,多样性正是文明产生的必要条件。

Early civilizations demonstrated rich diversity. Generally speaking, the world’s earliest civilization appeared in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin, which was a crossroads for the convenient passage and exchange of ancient humans. With a constant flow of people from all directions, it was here that language, religion, social division, and nation building first emerged. In ancient times, it was also here that produced a number of regional hegemons, such as the Akkadian Empire, Babylonia, Assyria, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, which were all well-known ancient powers.

事实正是这样,早期文明呈现出丰富的多样性。一般来说,世界最早的文明出现在两河流域,而两河流域恰恰是远古人类便利进出、方便往来的一个十字路口,四面八方的人群进进出出、来来往往,最早的文字、宗教、社会分化和国家建构等,的确是发生在这里。远古时期,这里出现过一批地区性的霸权国家,像阿卡德、古巴比伦、亚述、新巴比伦等等都是大名鼎鼎的古代强国。

广东快乐十分Ancient Egypt completed its unification around 3000 BC, and the pharaoh, as son of the sun god, firmly controlled the country by exercising theocratic and monarchic governance. At a time when civilization had yet to emerge in other parts of the world, this system had already lasted nearly 2,000 years in the Nile Basin, with its principles and framework basically unchanged. Such a stable political structure was rare in the ancient world. However, under the governance of ancient Greeks and ancient Romans, the ancient Egyptian civilization gradually fell apart and eventually became a part of the Islamic world.

古埃及在公元前3000年左右就完成了上、下埃及的统一,法老作为太阳神的子孙牢牢地控制着国家,实行神权加王权统治。这样的制度,在世界其他地区尚未见到文明的曙光时,已在尼罗河流域维持了近2000年,其理念和框架基本不变。如此稳定的政治结构,在古代世界实属少见。但这个文明在古希腊人和古罗马人的统治下慢慢解体了,最后融入了伊斯兰世界。

The case of India was different again. There was once an ancient civilization in the Indus Basin, which was later destroyed by the Aryans, who then introduced the caste system. Under the influence of the caste system, there were many small countries clustered around the South Asian subcontinent for a long period of time, which were quite turbulent politically but were highly stable and rock-solid in terms of social structure. As a result of this system, social strata and the relationships between them almost never changed, and therefore, no matter how politically turbulent things became, social conditions remained unaffected. Political disunity and an extraordinarily stable social structure were the distinctive features of ancient India, a state of affairs that rendered the Indian subcontinent powerless to resist frequent foreign invasions before eventually becoming a British colony.

印度的情况又不同。印度河流域曾经有过远古文明,后来雅利安人到来,消灭了原有的古老文明,带来了种姓制。在种姓制影响下,南亚次大陆长时间小国林立,政治上相当动荡,但社会结构却高度稳定,一如磐石。种姓制使社会阶层几乎不变,相互关系也几乎不变,因此无论政治上如何动荡,社会状态却是固定的。政治的不统一和社会结构的超常稳定是古印度的显著特色,这种情况使印度次大陆屡遭外来入侵而难以抵抗,直至成为英国的殖民地。

As the cradle of European civilization, ancient Greece was markedly different from the aforementioned civilizations. First, it originated from the east coast of the Mediterranean, or to put it another way, the origin of Western civilization was actually in the East. Second, ancient Greece was also located near water, but it was an ocean, not a river. This meant that the Greeks had more space for maritime activities, consequently leading to a tradition of colonization. Third, with its political framework based on city-states, ancient Greece was different from the rest of the ancient world. Its land was home to about 200 city-states that clashed and warred with each other constantly, and as a result, the city-state civilization of ancient Greece lasted only a brief moment in history. Another feature of ancient Greece was democracy for citizens of city-states, later claimed by some as a "universal value." However, the following facts should be noted. To begin with, ancient Greece was a slave society, where nine out of every ten persons were not "citizens" and were certainly not able to live under "democracy." Secondly, among the hundreds of Greek city-states, Pericles’ Athenian democracy was a special case which only lasted for several decades within the history of Athens. Meanwhile, there were also different political systems that existed in other Greek city-states, such as Sparta. After the Peloponnesian War, it was widely believed that the defeat of Athens was attributable to its system, and Aristotle’s negative comments on Greek city-state democracy influenced the political notions of Europe as a whole. Describing ancient Greece and even Athens as a standard model for the ancient world was in fact a later fabrication.

古希腊是欧洲文明的发源地,但希腊文明和前面几个古代文明显著不同。第一,它的源头在地中海东岸,换句话说,“西方文明”起源于“东方”。第二,古希腊也在水边,但那是一片海、而不是一条河,这让希腊人有更广阔的水上活动空间,结果造成了向海外殖民的传统。第三,古希腊以“城邦”为其政治结构,这使它在整个古代世界与众不同,大约200个城邦分割了希腊这块土地,彼此间冲突不断、战争不断,结果,古代希腊城邦文明在历史的长河中一闪而过。古希腊的另一个特点是城邦公民民主制,这被后来的一些人说成是“普世”的。然而需要指出这样一些事实:第一,古希腊是一个奴隶制社会,十分之九的人不是“公民”,并不在“民主”的范围内。第二,在希腊数百个城邦中,伯里克利式的雅典民主是一个特例,在雅典自己的历史上,也只存在了几十年;至于在其他希腊城邦,比如斯巴达,则存在着不同的政治制度。伯罗奔尼撒战争后,人们普遍认为是雅典的制度造成了雅典的失败,而亚里士多德对希腊城邦民主制的负面评价影响了整个欧洲的政治观念。将古代希腊乃至雅典说成是古代世界的“标准”模式,其实是后人的编造。

Ancient China developed a unique civilization, which was mysterious and difficult to understand in the eyes of many。 The Yellow River was not the only cradle of Chinese civilization, which had multiple points of origin。 More than 5,000 years ago, the vast area spanning from the Loess Plateau to the shore of the East China Sea was home to several converging points of civilization。 They gradually became integrated with one another, and eventually developed into a single country。 Over 4,000 years ago, the Xia Dynasty was already a huge regional nation; at least 3,500 years ago, the Shang Dynasty was keeping written records; 3,000 years ago, the king of Zhou adopted an enfeoffment system to standardize land allocation and social hierarchy。 There was good reason for the emergence of such a system as it facilitated the tiered management of large areas of land, but it eventually led to the serious dissolution of society and caused wars lasting hundreds of years。 After this historical period, the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty unified China in the 3rd century BC, and from that moment onward, unity became the most precious heritage of ancient Chinese civilization, as it guaranteed the continuation of our civilization and lasting national development。 Among all the world’s civilizations, only China’s has been uninterrupted since ancient times, and political unity has been its guarantee。

古代中国发展出了独特的文明,在许多人眼里,它既神秘又难理解。中华文明有多重起源,黄河不是唯一的摇篮。大约在5000多年前,从黄土高原到东海之滨的广阔土地上,已经有众多的文明结合点,这些结合点渐渐融合,最终向统一国家的方向发展。4000多年前,夏已经是一个庞大的地域性国家;至少在3500年前,商朝用文字记录了它的存在;3000年前,周天子用分封制规范了土地的分配形式和社会的等级秩序。分封制出现的时候有它的道理,适合大面积土地的分层管理,但它最终却造成严重的社会解体,战乱延续了数百年之久。有过这一段经历后,秦始皇在公元前3世纪统一中国,统一从此就成为中华古代文明中最珍贵的遗产,它保证了中华文明的绵延不断,保证了国家的永续长存。在世界所有文明中,中华文明是唯一自远古至今未曾中断的一个文明,政治统一是它的保障。

Beyond political unity, there was a strong theoretical force that bound the country together – the doctrines of Confucius。 Confucius lived in an era of severe turmoil and endless war, and longed for the restoration of order and peace。 It was for this reason that he created a set of doctrines on order, which dealt with both humans and nature。 Building on past achievements to blaze a new trail, the doctrines of Confucius advocated peace, opposed war, upheld public morality, and criticized the pursuit of self-interest。 For thousands of years, this remained the main theoretical vessel of Chinese civilization, and, to a great extent, guaranteed the continued progress of Chinese civilization。

除了政治统一这个因素,还有一种强大的思想粘合剂,那就是孔子的学说。孔子生活在严重动荡的时代,战乱不断,他希望回归秩序,恢复和平,因而设计了一套关于秩序的学说,将人和自然都置于其中。这套学说承前启后,倡导和平、反对战争,颂扬公德、斥责私利。几千年来,它一直是中华文明的主要精神载体,在很大程度上保证了中华文明的生生不息。

Civilization has two vessels: the political vessel, which is country, and the theoretical vessel, which is ideology. In comparison with other ancient civilizations, the unique feature of Chinese civilization was that as early as the 2nd century BC, Chinese society had combined the Confucian doctrine (the theoretical vessel) with the imperial structure (the political vessel) to realize perfect integration between theory and country. Throughout the several millennia of Chinese history, social stability and economic prosperity have been directly related: social stability has led to economic prosperity, while social turmoil has caused the people to suffer. The reason why the Confucian doctrine became the core principle of ancient Chinese civilization has profound social and historical roots.

文明有两个载体:一是政治的载体即国家,二是精神的载体即意识形态。相比于其他古代文明,中华文明的特殊之处,就在于早在公元前2世纪,中国社会就已将孔子的学说(精神载体)与帝国的结构(政治载体)契合起来,形成了思想与国家的完美对接。在中国几千年历史上,社会稳定和经济繁荣有直接的关系:社会稳定,经济就繁荣;社会动乱,民生就遭殃。孔子的学说之所以成为中华古代文明的核心观念,有其深刻的社会历史根源。

Comparatively speaking, integration between the theoretical and political vessels was not so smooth in other civilizations. For example, the long-term failure of Europe to integrate theory with country had an extremely negative effect on its later development. Looking at the period from 3rd century BC up until 3rd century AD, there were two empires in the world, i.e., the Han and the Roman which respectively dominated the East and the West and thrived as superpowers during that time. However, after the Barbarian invasions, the Roman Empire collapsed, marking the beginning of the feudal period in Western Europe. The most distinctive feature of this period was the separation of state power and ideology, namely to "give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s." Medieval Europe lagged behind the rest of the world, leading to a widening gap between the civilizations of the East and the West. The East was home to several glorious and fascinating civilizations, including the Indian, Arab, Ottoman, and even Byzantine empires, yet the Chinese empire outshone them all. According to an estimate by the California School, China’s GDP remained the largest in the world throughout the millennium prior to the 18th century, and for a long period of time the East was "advanced" while the West was "backward."

广东快乐十分相比之下,精神载体与政治载体的结合,在其他文明中就没有那么顺利,比如在欧洲,思想与国家长期不能对接,这对它后来的发展造成极不利影响。如果说在公元前3世纪至公元后3世纪,世界上有两个帝国即汉和罗马,它们分别称雄东西方,均盛极一时,是当时的“超级大国”,那么在“蛮族入侵”后,罗马帝国解体了,西欧进入封建时代,这个时代最大的特点就是国家权力与意识形态分离,所谓“上帝与凯撒各管其事”。中世纪的欧洲与世界其他地区相比落伍了,这以后,东西方文明拉开距离。“东方”几个文明光彩迷人,包括印度、阿拉伯、奥斯曼土耳其,甚至拜占庭都是这样。中华帝国则一枝独秀,按照美国加州学派的估算,在18世纪之前的1000年里,中国的国内生产总值始终世界第一,东方“先进”、西方“落后”的局面长期不变。

Why was the East advanced while the West backward for more than a millennium? The answer is actually very simple: Western Europe’s feudal system meant that its society was highly fragmented, lacking in cohesiveness, and stuck in a state of endless turmoil and wars. More than 1,000 years prior to this, China experienced the same situation, and it was only the country’s unification in the Qin and Han dynasties that changed its destiny. Therefore, for the Western world to escape its medieval backwardness, it had to integrate society and re-establish united nations. This process began in Western Europe during the late Middle Ages.

为什么在这1000多年的时间里,东方始终“先进”、西方一直“落后”?原因其实很简单,那就是西欧的封建制度使社会高度碎片化,缺少凝聚力,处在无穷无尽的动荡和战乱之中。这种情况在中国此前1000多年前就已经历过,秦汉的统一才改变了中国的命运。因此,西方想要摆脱中世纪的落后,就需要整合社会,重新建立统一的国家。这个过程是从西欧中世纪晚期开始的。

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comparison [kəm'pærisn]

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n. 比较

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turbulent ['tə:bjulənt]

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adj. 狂暴的,骚动的,动荡的,汹涌的

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diversity [dai'və:siti]

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n. 差异,多样性,分集

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multiple ['mʌltipl]

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adj. 许多,多种多样的
n. 倍数,并联

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opposed [ə'pəuzd]

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adj. 反对的,敌对的 v. 和 ... 起冲突,反抗

 
essence ['esns]

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n. 本质,精髓,要素,香精

 
consequently ['kɔnsikwəntli]

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adv. 所以,因此

 
standardize ['stændədaiz]

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v. 标准化,使合于标准

 
social ['səuʃəl]

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adj. 社会的,社交的
n. 社交聚会

 
widening ['waidəuiŋ]

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v. 使变宽;使扩大;拓宽;扩展(widen的ing形式

 

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