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Christmas traditions on both sides of the Atlantic

英美圣誕節大不同

中文 英文 雙語 2019-12-24    來源:21世紀學生英文報·高三     
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導讀:圣誕節可以說是英美兩國人民一年之中最重要的節日。不過,盡管英國與美國文化傳統中有許多相似之處,兩國慶祝圣誕節的方式還真是相當不一樣呢。

People in the US and UK can’t even agree on where Santa lives. TUCHONG

Christmas is a time for nostalgia, where families come together from all around the world and traditions are observed. However, these traditions can be different even among similar cultures, like the UK and US.
圣誕節是個懷舊的節日,全家人在這時都會從世界各地趕來齊聚一堂,慶祝傳統節日。但哪怕是文化相似的英美兩國,圣誕傳統也不盡相同。

Christmas dinner is perhaps where we see the biggest differences. British people traditionally consume turkey, mince pies, mulled wine for refreshment, and Christmas pudding for dessert – a type of boiled fruitcake.
圣誕晚餐或許是兩國最大的不同之處。傳統上,英國人會吃火雞與肉餡餅,再喝杯熱紅酒提神,甜點是圣誕布丁 —— 一種煮熟的水果蛋糕。

Indeed, you’ll be hard-pressed to find this in the US where eggnog is the preferred drink alongside turkey or ham. As for dessert, you’ll be tucking into sweet potato pies.
的確,你很難在美國找到以上食物,美國人更喜歡用蛋奶酒就火雞或者火腿。至于甜點,你能大吃一頓紅薯派。

Another slightly weird difference is the UK’s obsession with Christmas TV advertisements. Unlike the US, each year, major UK department stores spend millions on advertisements that tell heart-warming short stories. Among the most famous is the John Lewis Christmas advert. It features a little girl called Bridget, whose trampoline becomes popular with local wildlife. It cost £8.7 million (81.6 million yuan) in 2016. People that day may have nothing to do but watch TV at home. If one brand can come out on top, that will leave a deeper impression with shoppers and increase their sales during the holiday shopping frenzy.
另一個略微奇怪的不同之處就是英國對圣誕電視廣告的癡迷。和美國不同的是,每年英國的大百貨公司都會花費上百萬,拍攝講述暖心短篇故事的廣告。其中約翰·路易斯百貨公司的廣告最為著名。廣告中,小女孩布麗奇特的蹦床大受當地野生動物的歡迎。這條2016年的廣告的制作費用為870萬英鎊(約8160萬人民幣)。圣誕節那天,沒事可做的人們或許都會在家里看電視。如果有個品牌能夠脫穎而出,就能給顧客們留下更深刻的印象,在節日的狂歡促銷中增加銷量。

The language of Christmas is also a subtle cultural difference. In the US, you would usually say “Merry Christmas”. While in the UK, “happy” took on a higher-class connotation than “merry”, which was associated with the drinking and rowdiness of the lower classes. The royal family adopted “Happy Christmas” as their preferred greeting and others took note. So this term remains popular in the UK.
圣誕節的語言也有著細微的文化差異。美國通常會說“Merry Christmas”(圣誕快樂)。而在英國,“merry”的用法往往和下層社會的飲酒與粗鄙聯系在一起,而“happy”一詞則體現出了更高的階級地位。英國王室就更喜歡用“Happy Christmas”,令他人也紛紛效仿。因此,這種說法在英國相當流行。

There is also a similar distinction on how to address the fat man in red. Americans call him “Santa Claus” or “Santa,” while Britons would refer to him as “Father Christmas” – though “Santa” is sometimes used as well.
而在那位穿紅衣服的胖大叔的稱呼上,兩國也有這樣的差別。美國人稱他為“Santa Claus”或者“Santa”(圣誕老人),而英國人稱他為“Father Christmas”—— 有時也會用“Santa”一詞。

Whatever his name is, most people in the US believe Santa, and his reindeer live at the North Pole during the year. However, they would probably raise an eyebrow if a Briton mentioned Lapland – the far north of Norway, where “Father Christmas” is said to reside.
不論他的名字是什么,美國大多數人都認為圣誕老人一年之中都住在北極。他們或許會對英國人口中的圣誕老人居住地 —— 拉普蘭德驚訝不已,那里是挪威遙遠的北方。

For all these subtle differences, even the most stubborn Briton or American would find it hard not to enjoy Christmas in another country. After all, the Christmas spirit is about spreading goodwill to all and spending quality time with family.
正是這些細微的差別,令哪怕是最古板的英國人或者美國人都會覺得在別國慶祝圣誕相當有趣。畢竟,圣誕節的主旨就在于向每個人傳達美好的祝愿,并與家人共度美好時光。

21英語網站版權說明  (Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Luo Sitian)


以上文章內容選自《21世紀學生英文報高中版》,詳情請見《21世紀學生英文報高中版》高三702期
辭海拾貝
Nostalgia懷舊 Mince pies肉餡餅
Mulled wine加香料的紅酒 Eggnog蛋奶酒
Tucking into大吃 Weird奇怪的
Trampoline蹦床 Frenzy狂熱
Subtle微妙的 Connotation內涵
Rowdiness粗暴 Reindeer馴鹿
Reside居住 


 
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