为什么师范大学被翻译作Normal University,老外也蒙了

四月 7, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

记得傅老师在读大学的时候,第一次要向老外介绍华东师范大学,华东简单:East China,可是师范这个词的翻译却犯难了,后来查询了一下,原来华师大的英文叫做:East China Normal University,没想到每一个词都是这样的简单。不过一直以来就有了这样一个疑问,Normal怎么会有“师范”的意思呢,词典上都没有这个解释。

直到前两天和外教Gene的长谈,又说起了这个话题,弄半天美国人也没搞懂”Normal University”是个什么大学,当时他还和我开玩笑说,从名字上来看,应该是个“不abnormal的”大学。傅老师回到家后又是查词典,又是网上查资料,还向多名外教请教了这个问题,总算是有点眉目了。先看下外教们的解释:

(美国外教)回复一:“Actually- I have never known why they use normal university. It doesn’t make sense to me and i wonder the same thing. let me know if you find out.” 看来这位美国人也不知道Normal University是干什么的大学。

(美国外教)回复二:“It isn’t really a term that’s used in the US very much anymore, most of the institutions that used to use it now refer to themselves as teachers’ colleges or universities. The university where I did my master’s degree, Radford University, was originally *State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Radford.”同时这位外教给了我一个reference:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_school

(澳大利亚外教)回复三:“Its merely an old fashioned name of schools/universities…. most people also have no idea why they are called ‘Normal””。这位外教同时也引用了和上一个回复一样的维基百科上的normal school的解释。

(加拿大外教)回复四:“It was actually a few years that I have been in China that had learned that a university called a “Normal University” was actually a teachers university. In North America it is different. The way it works in North America is you go to university and get your 4 year degree from any university in any field. After your 4 year degree you need to go to teachers college for two years. But the teachers college is in the universities and so many universities offer teachers colleges programs.”

(美国外教)回复五:“I don’t know. We never use normal to describe any kind of school.”

(美国外教)回复六:“”Normal” seems like an odd adjective for university, and also it seems slightly negative since we like to think of universities have ’special’ advantages, not ‘normal’ qualities.”

(英国外教)回复七:“I am not one hundred percent sure but from a linguistic view I should think it means a university that does not specialize in one particular subject. interesting question! because in English we would not use this word in that way”。

其他还有好几个外教的解释,全部都是不知道normal university是干什么的大学。可以看出,外教对华师大(East China Normal University)和上师大(Shanghai Normal University)的理解应该是停留在一种机械记忆的层面。

By the 1920s, the term “normal school” lost ground to the preferable term “teachers’ college.” At this time, most such educational institutions were also restructured into four year programs that granted degrees in teacher education.

从上面的这行解释来看,normal用作“师范”的意思的用法早已过时了,在西方国家早就不用了,现在取而代之的表达应该是Teachers’ University。因此傅老师也建议,中国的师范大学的英文名,是不是也该与时俱进一下了!

2014.7.7美国现役高中AP老师,教育学硕士Tom回复:

I came across the term normal schools and it’s an archaic word for teachers schools like you had said. We stopped using the term in the last 30-40 years or so.

——本文最后由傅老师于2014-07-07编辑过

Comments

7 Responses to “为什么师范大学被翻译作Normal University,老外也蒙了”
  1. Myrmecia 说道:

    我猜最初应该是跟Norm这个词有关。既然是师范,那就是跟”规范“、”准则”之类的相关。当人们用来做形容词时,直接加了-al,变成normal。不知是否如此,呵呵。

  2. cheng 说道:

    可是法國高師就是ecole normal啊。

  3. Boyin 说道:

    别显摆了,normal university是正规说法,最早是法国人先这么说的(école normale),你自己去查查巴黎高师的法文名是不是这样。还问外教,一群在本国都混不上饭吃的来中国靠教母语谋生,有什么权威性

  4. anti boyin 说道:

    那个叫boyin的
    你说话好刻薄, 什么显摆啊, 什么别人混不上饭吃, 听你说话让人觉得你一定是个狂妄之徒
    再说, 你多问问几个英语是母语的人, 不用查他妈的什么法国字典了,我就是师范学校毕业的, 结果在国外没有人知道normal 是什么学校,

    显然这个叫法是没有群众意义的 当然就是有问题的翻译
    你把法国人搬出来就有狠吗

  5. RHODE 说道:

    完全同意, 这样的名字老外是看不懂的,只会被人笑。 。。在现代英语中normal不是这么用的。。

  6. min 说道:

    今天跟一个比利时人聊起来,他就说normal啊,可能是受法国影响。我觉得boyin说的对

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