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经济学人:约翰逊语言专栏--机器写手无法完全取代人类(3)

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Books & arts

图书与艺术
Johnson
约翰逊语言专栏
Unspeakable things
无法用语言表达的事
The problematic vocabulary of sexual violence
有问题的性暴力词汇
It is a cliché that three topics should stay off-limits in polite company: politics, religion and sex. But there are times for hard conversations, and the language used to talk about sex, and particularly sexual misdeeds, remains wrapped in a gauze of misdirection and euphemism that risks contributing to harm, even when intentions are good.
人们常说,在有礼貌的场合,有三个话题是不能谈的:政治、宗教和性。但有时会有艰难的对话,而用来谈论性,尤其是性犯罪的语言仍然被误导和委婉语所掩盖,即使本意是好的,也有造成伤害的风险。
A recent case in Barcelona illustrates the power of language. Five men who gang-raped an unconscious 14-year-old girl were convicted of mere “sexual abuse”—not the graver “sexual assault”, because technically they had not used violence or intimidation, as required by the statute.
最近在巴塞罗那的一个案例表明了语言的力量。五名男子轮奸了一名失去知觉的14岁女孩,他们仅仅被判为“sexual abuse 性虐待”,而不是更严重的“sexual assault 性侵犯”,因为从技术上讲,他们没有使用法律所述的暴力或恐吓。
The furious protesters who turned out in Barcelona and other cities were not angry about the court’s leniency per se: the rapists received fairly long prison sentences. Rather they are demanding that the law be changed so that “sexual assault” reflects the absence of consent, rather than the use of force. In other words, they are asking politicians to redefine that term.
在巴塞罗那和其他城市,愤怒的抗议者并没有对法院的宽容感到愤怒:强奸犯被判了相当长的刑期。相反,他们要求修改法律,使“性侵犯”反映的是未经同意,而不是使用武力。换句话说,他们要求政客们重新定义这个词。
There is an irony in their protest. Demonstrators shouted “No es abuso, es violación” (it’s not abuse; it’s rape). But the Spanish word “violación” itself clearly displays its etymological link to “violence”, the lack of which was at the heart of the controversy. Other European languages also reflect a historical belief that rape is, by definition, violent: Vergewaltigung in German includes Gewalt, violence, for instance.
他们的抗议带有讽刺意味。示威者高呼“No es abuso, es violación”(这不是虐待;这是强奸)。但西班牙语单词“violación”本身就清楚地显示出它与“暴力”的词源联系,而缺乏“暴力”正是这场争论的核心。其他欧洲语言也反映了一种历史信仰,即强奸从定义上说就是暴力的:例如,德语中的Vergewaltigung包括Gewalt,即暴力。

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