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。
（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.
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.