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HOW MARX LEARNED FOREIGN LANGUAGES  

2010-07-30 22:51:52|  分类: English |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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  HOW MARX LEARNED FOREIGN LANGUAGES

Karl Marx was born in Germany, and German was his native language. When he was still a young man, he was forced to leave his homeland for political reasons. He stayed in Belgium for a few years; then he went to France. Before long he had to move on again. In 1849, he went to England and made London the base for his revolutionary work.

Marx had learned some French and English at school. When he got to England, he found that his English was too limited. He started working hard to improve it. He made such rapid progress that before long he began to write articles in English for an American newspaper. In fact, his English in one of these articles was so good that Engles wrote him a letter and praised him for it. Marx wrote back to say that Engels' praise had greatly encouraged him. However, he went on to explain that he was not too sure about two things--the grammar and some of the idioms.

These letters were written in 1853. In the years that followed, Marx kept on studying English and using it. When he wrote one of his great works, The Civil War in France, he had mastered the language so well that he was bale to write the book in English.

In the 1870's, when Marx was already in his fifties, he found it important to study the situation in Russia, so he began to learn Russian. At the end of six months he had learned enough to read articles and reports in Russian.In one of his books, Marx gave some advice on how to learn a foreign language. He said when a person is learning a foreign language; he must not always be translating everything into his own language. If he does this, it shows he has not mastered it. He must be able to use the foreign language, forgetting all about his own. If he can not do this, he has not really grasped the spirit of the foreign language and can not use it freely.

卡尔·马克思出生于德国,德语是他的母语。当他还在青年时代,就由于政治原因被迫离开了祖国。他在比利时住过几年;然后他往法国。不久,他不得不再次迁移。1849年,他往到英国,并把伦敦作为他从事革命工作的基地。
马克思上学时曾经学习过一些法语和英语。到了英国以后,他发现自己的英语极为有限。于是他开始努力学习,以进步英语水平。他进步很快,不久就开始用英语给美国一家报纸撰稿。事实上,其中一篇英语文章写得十分精彩,恩格斯为此写信赞扬他。马克思回信说恩格斯的赞扬使他受到了很大的鼓励。不过,他接着说明他在语法和某些习惯用法这两方面,还是没有多大的把握。
这些信件写于1853年。在这之后的岁月里,马克思继承学习英语、使用英语。当他撰写他的一部巨著《法兰西内战》时,他已经纯熟把握英语,能用英语写这部书了。
在19世纪70年代,马克思已经五十几岁了,他觉得研究俄国形势很重要,便开始学习俄语。六个月之后,他就达到能够阅读俄语文章和报告的程度。
马克思在他的一本书里,对如何学习外语提出了一些建议。他说,当人们学习外语时,不应该把什么都译成母语。假如那样,就表明他们并没有把握这种语言。他们使用外语时,应该尽量完全忘掉母语。假如做不到这一点,他们就没有真正地学到这一种外语的奥妙,也不能运用自如。

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