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「正式與非正式英文」- BBC English Masterclass: Formal and Informal English


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Hi, Sian here for BBC Learning English. In this Masterclass, we're going to look at some differences between formal and informal English.
嗨,我是 BBC 學英文的 Sian。在這次的高級英文班中,我們要來看正式和非正式英文的一些差異。

Formal and Informal English
正式和非正式英文

"Hey, how's it going?"
「嘿,最近怎樣啊?」

"Good afternoon. How are you?"
「午安。你好嗎?」

Sometimes, formal and informal can seem like two different languages. In the same way, you wouldn't normally wear shorts and a T-shirt to a job interview. If you use language that's too formal or too informal, you can give a bad impression. Let's look at some differences between formal and informal English.
有時候,正式和非正式說法聽起來會像兩種不同的語言。同樣地,你通常不會穿短褲和 T 恤 去參加工作面試。如果你用了太正式或太不正式的語言,會給別人很差的印象。我們來看看正式和非正式英文的一些差異。

Now, I received an email this morning. Have a look at this email—do you think the language is formal or informal, and why?
我今天早上收到一封電子郵件。讓我們來看看這封郵件--你覺得運用的語言是正式的還是非正式的?為什麼呢?

Dear Mrs. Brown,
親愛的布朗女士:

I'm writing to find out whether you have any jobs in your company this summer. At the mo, I'm studying economics at uni. I've been working part-time in a shop, and recently, they promoted me to the role of manager. I'm enthusiastic. I work hard. I pay attention to detail.
我寫信來是想知道這個夏天你們公司有沒有什麼工作。我現在在大學讀經濟。我一直在一間店當兼職,最近他們把我升上經理的職位。我很有熱忱。我工作認真。我注重細節。

Okay, so, that email used informal language. And it's too informal for this style of letter. We're gonna look at four features that make this informal, and we're gonna change it to make it more formal.
好的,那麼那封信運用了非正式的語言。對於這種信件的文體而言太不正式了。我們要看看四種使這封信不正式的特徵,然後我們要將它改得正式一點。

Number one: Choice of vocabulary
第一點:用字選擇

In informal English, we use more common words and more phrasal verbs. For example, here we have a phrasal verb "find out." It would be better to use a formal equivalent like "enquire." Same with "jobs," this is quite informal. So instead, let's use "vacancies" here. Instead, we have "I'm writing to enquire whether you have any vacancies."
在非正式英文中,我們會運用比較常見的字或是片語動詞。例如,這裡用了一個片語動詞「find out(得知、找出)」。運用比較正式的同義詞像是「enquire(詢問、打聽)」會比較好。同樣地,「job(工作)」這個字有點不正式。所以這裡我們換成用「vacancy(職缺)」。改完之後,我們有這個句子:「我寫信來詢問您們是否有任何職缺。」

Number two: Abbreviations
第二點:簡寫

It's more common in informal language to use abbreviations, contractions, shortened forms of verbs. Let's have a look. So, here we have "at the mo," which is short for "at the moment." This is okay when you're speaking, but not when you're writing. Here we could use "currently," which is even more formal. Same here, "uni," is short for "university." So, don't use this short form in a letter. "Currently, I'm studying economics at university."
在非正式語言中運用簡寫、縮寫或動詞縮略詞是比較普遍的。我們來看看。那這邊有這個詞「at the mo」,是「at the moment(現在)」的簡略說法。說話的時候這樣表達沒問題,但寫作時就不能了。這裡我們可以用「currently(目前)」這個字,更正式一點。同樣地,「uni」是「university(大學)」的簡稱。不要在信件中運用這種縮略語。「目前我在大學讀經濟。」

Quite often, in formal language, we choose passive structures over active. Let's have a look here. The active sentence "they promoted me" is quite informal. Be much better to use a passive form here to make it more formal: "I was promoted." So, "recently, I was promoted to the role of manager." This doesn't mean don't use active structures in a formal letter. But have a think about whether the passive one is more appropriate.
在正式語言中,相對於主動結構,我們很常選擇被動句構。讓我們看看這邊。這句主動語態的句子:「they promoted me(他們把我升職)」滿不正式的。這裡最好要用被動形態,讓它更正式一點:「I was promoted.(我被晉升了。)」。所以是這樣:「最近,我被晉升到經理的職位。」這不代表正式書信中不能用主動語態。但要想想運用被動語態是不是更適合。

Finally, in informal English, short, simple sentences are much more common, whereas in formal English, we use more complex structures. Take a look at this one. Here we have three short, simple sentences. And this is fine in informal English, but in formal English, it's better to use a complex structure. We can do this by adding relative pronouns or linkers. For example, "I am an enthusiastic person who works hard and pays attention to detail."
最後,非正式英文中常用到簡單的短句子,而在正式英文中,我們會運用更複雜的句構。看一下這句。這裡我們有三個簡單的短句。這樣在非正式英文中沒問題,但在正式英文中,最好運用複雜句構。我們可以加上關係代名詞或連結的詞組成複雜句構。例如:「我是個有熱忱的人,工作認真且注重細節。」

Informal features: common words, phrasal verbs, short forms, short, simple sentences
非正式的特徵:常見單字、片語動詞、簡短形式、簡單短句

Formal features: formal words, full forms, passive structures, complex sentences
正式的特徵:正式文字、完整形式、被動句構、複雜句型

So, would you kindly visit our website—uh, we're friends! That's too formal. Go to our website, bbclearningenglish.com, for more information about this and to practice formal and informal English. See you soon! Goodbye!
那麼,您是否願意造訪我們的網站--啊,我們早就是朋友了!那樣說太正式了。到我們的網站查詢更多相關資訊:bbclearningenglish.com,然後練習正式和非正式英文吧。下回見!掰掰!

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