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在新词层出不穷的2020年,却有一个词同时被韦氏词典和Dictionary.com(词典网)选为年度词汇,这个词就是pandemic(大流行病)。

For the first time, two US dictionary companies on Monday declared the same word their word of the year: “pandemic”.

本周一(11月30日),两家美国词典公司宣布了同一个年度词汇“大流行病”,这还是有史以来首次。

The challenges of 2020, Oxford Languages said, “brought a new immediacy and urgency to the role of the lexicographer. In almost real-time, lexicographers were able to monitor and analyze seismic shifts in language data and precipitous frequency rises in new coinages”.

牛津语言表示,2020年的挑战是“给词典编纂者带来了一种新的即时性和紧迫性;词典编纂者几乎是实时监测和分析语言数据的突然变化和新词陡增的频率”。

seismic [ˈsaɪzmɪk]: adj. 突然的

precipitous [prɪˈsɪpɪtəs]: adj. (变化)突然的;急剧的

Because the coronavirus pandemic brought on gargantuan language changes, the report said, “2020 is a year which cannot be neatly accommodated in one single ‘word of the year’.”

报告称,因为新冠疫情造成了语言的巨大变化,“2020年不能用一个年度词汇来概括”。

gargantuan [ɡɑːrˈɡæntʃuən]: adj. 庞大的,巨大的

Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com disagreed, though both also noted enormous shifts toward other related words.

韦氏词典和Dictionary.com不同意这一观点,不过二者也都指出了其他相关词汇的巨大变化。

Pandemic “probably isn’t a big shock”, said Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster.

韦氏词典的特邀编辑皮特·索科洛夫斯基说,大流行病(当选年度词汇)“很可能并没有让人大吃一惊”。

"Often the big news story has a technical word that’s associated with it and in this case, the word pandemic is not just technical but has become general. It’s probably the word by which we’ll refer to this period in the future.”

“重大新闻报道往往含有与大流行病相关的术语,在这种情况下,大流行病不只是一个术语,而是具有更普遍的意义。它很可能会成为将来我们指代这段时期的词语。”

John Kelly, senior research editor at Dictionary.com, said searches for “pandemic” spiked more than 13,500% on 11 March, the day the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of the novel coronavirus a global health emergency.

Dictionary.com的高级调研编辑约翰·凯利表示,世界卫生组织在3月11日宣布新冠肺炎暴发成为全球卫生紧急事件后,对“大流行病”一词的搜索量在当天暴增超13500%。

The spike, he said, was “massive, but even more telling is how high [pandemic] has sustained significant search volumes throughout the entire year”.

他说,搜索量涨幅“很高,但更能说明问题的是该词在全年都保持着极高的搜索量”。

Month over month, lookups for pandemic were up more than 1,000%. For about half the year, the word was in the top 10% of all lookups on Dictionary.com, Kelly said.

凯利指出,自那以后的每一个月,对“大流行病”的搜索量涨幅都超过了1000%。半年来,该词在Dictionary.com上的搜索量一直排在前10%。

At Merriam-Webster.com, searches for “pandemic” on 11 March were 115,806% higher than spikes experienced on the same date last year, Sokolowski said.

索科洛夫斯基称,在韦氏词典的网站上,“大流行病”一词在3月11日的搜索量涨幅比去年同期高出了115806%。

Pandemic, with roots in Latin and Greek, is a combination of “pan”, for all, and “demos”, for people or population, Sokolowski said, adding that the latter is also the root of “democracy”.

索科洛夫斯基指出,pandemic(大流行病)一词词根源于拉丁语和希腊语,是pan(全部)和demos(人或人口)的组合。他补充道,demos还是democracy(民主)一词的词根。

The word “pandemic” dates to the mid-1600s, used broadly for “universal” and more specifically to disease in a medical text in the 1660s, after the plagues of the Middle Ages, Sokolowski said.

英语中的“大流行病”一词要追溯到17世纪中期,当时被广泛使用的意思是“普遍的”,在中世纪大瘟疫后特指17世纪60年代医学文本中的疾病。

The pandemic, Kelly said, also saw searches grow for words including “aerosols”, “contact tracing”, “social distancing” and “herd immunity”, along with the intricacies of therapeutic drugs, tests and vaccines that can help save lives.

凯利指出,疫情期间“气溶胶”、“接触者追踪”、“社交隔离”和“群体免疫”等词以及救命的各种复杂的治疗药物、检测和疫苗词汇的搜索量都出现了增长。

Merriam-Webster began designating a word of the year in 2008, with “bailout”. Its word of 2019 was “they”, after lookups increased by 313%.

韦氏词典从2008年开始评选年度词汇,当年的年度词汇是“救助”。2019年度词汇是“他们/她们”,当时该词的搜索量增加了313%。

Dictionary.com has been in the game since 2010, when it went with “change”. Its word of the year in 2019 was “existential”, in a year that climate change, gun violence, the nature of democracy and Forky from Disney’s Toy Story 4 helped propel search.

Dictionary.com从2010年开始评选年度词汇,当年的年度词汇是“改变”。2019年度词汇是“和存在有关的”,这一年气候变化、枪支暴力、民主本质和迪士尼动画《玩具总动员4》中叉叉的搜索量也大增。

Oxford Languages went with two words last year: “climate emergency”.

牛津语言去年的年度词汇“气候紧急事件”包含两个英语单词。

Kelly, Sokolowski and Oxford Languages noted other search trends in 2020. After the death in May of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, words around racial justice experienced spikes, including “fascism”, “anti-fascism”, “defund” and “white fragility”, Kelly said.

凯利、索科洛夫斯基和牛津语言还指出了2020年的其他搜索趋势。凯利称,在今年五月乔治·弗洛伊德死于明尼阿波里斯市警察的膝盖下后,和种族平等有关的词汇搜索量大增,包括“法西斯主义”、“反法西斯主义”、“停止拨款”和“白人脆弱性”。

文章来源:China Daily

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

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