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经济学人下载:移民入籍语言测试令人头秃(1)

Source: Economist    2021-02-22  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

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Johnson Stress tests 

约翰逊语言专栏——压力测试

How to design language tests for citizenship—and how not to 

如何设计入籍语言测试?要规避哪些方面?

“Perfect Swedish is overrated. But comprehensible Swedish is deeply underrated,” says Ulf Kristersson, the leader of Sweden’s centre-right Moderate party, which supports a language requirement to become a Swedish citizen. The left has come round, too: the Social Democrat-led government plans to introduce a language test. Sweden would thereby leave the small club of European countries that do not make passing such a test a condition of naturalisation. 

瑞典中右翼温和联合党领导人尤尔法·克里斯特松表示,“在对瑞典语水平进行评定时,评为完美则评价过高了,但评为可获理解又评价过低了。”温和联合党支持对申请成为瑞典公民的人提出语言要求。左派也改变了看法:社会民主党领导的政府计划推出一项语言测试。为此,瑞典将脱离那些不把通过语言测试作为入籍的条件的小群体欧洲国家。

To learn the language of the country you live in is the key to a full life there. But many experts in language policy oppose testing for citizenship—because they suspect a less compassionate motive in some who propose them. “Becoming a Danish citizen is something one has to become worthy of,” said Inger Stojberg in 2015, when she was the immigration and integration minister in Denmark’s centre-right government—implying that the unworthy had been slipping through. Her thinly camouflaged goal was not to improve immigrants’ Danish, but to naturalise fewer of them. 

学习你所居住的国家的语言是在当地过上充实生活的关键。但许多语言政策专家反对公民资格语言测试,因为他们怀疑,某些人提出这种考试的动机缺乏同理心。2015年,英格·斯托伊贝格表示,“申请者想要成为丹麦公民,必须变得有价值,”当时她是丹麦中右翼政府移民与融合部部长,这句话的言外之意是,无价值的人无法申请成为丹麦公民。她隐藏的目的很浅显,此举不是要提高移民的丹麦语水平,而是要减少移民入籍。

And so the Danish government, which already had language requirements, tightened them significantly. To prove they had reached the specified level in a recent test, applicants had to skim 16 pages of readings on the “People’s Enlightenment”, a movement originating in the 19th century to give ordinary Danes self-improving institutions such as evening classes, libraries and scouting. Applicants must answer questions like: “In principle the People’s Enlightenment is for adults, but children can take part in classes intended for families. But what are the requirements for children to take these classes?” Though not exactly Kierkegaard, the material is well above the level needed to get by. 

因此,已经提出入籍语言要求的丹麦政府又大幅提高了要求。在最近的一次语言测试中,申请者为了证明自己达到了规定的水平,他们必须略读16页有关“人民启蒙运动”的阅读材料,这项运动起源于19世纪,旨在让普通丹麦人通过夜校、图书馆和儿童培训等机构自我提高。申请者必须回答一些问题,比如:“原则上,人民启蒙运动的受众是成人,但儿童也可以参加为家庭开设的课程。那儿童参与这些课程的要求是什么呢?”虽然没有像哲学家克尔凯郭尔的想法那样深奥,但这些问题远远高于入籍所需的水平。

The trend in the West is clearly towards such tests. America and Britain typically require English for citizenship—in 2019 Donald Trump proposed adding requirements for certain visas as well. But the problem seems especially acute from a small-country perspective. Many European countries are linguistic communities. Europe is a crowded continent where neighbours often distinguish themselves primarily by how they speak. Centuries of nation-building from the top down strengthened the association of one language with one people in one state, at least in the ideal case. English already threatens the role of small languages. If Denmark, say, does not require even Danish citizens to speak Danish, what is the language for? 

显然,西方国家正走向采取入籍语言测试的趋势。想要申请获得美国和英国的公民身份的申请者通常需要掌握英语,2019年,唐纳德·特朗普也提议增加了对某些国家的签证要求。但从小国的角度来看,这个问题似乎格外尖锐。许多欧洲国家是语言共同体。欧洲是一个国家稠密的大陆,邻国往往主要通过说话方式来区分国籍。几个世纪以来,自上而下的国家建设加强了一国中一种语言与一个民族的联系,至少在理想情况下是这样的。英语已经威胁到了小语种的地位。比如说,如果丹麦甚至不要求丹麦公民说丹麦语,那这门语言还有何用?


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