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俄语势衰的背后
Russian language in decline as post-Soviet states reject it

来源:FT中文网    2017-04-17 06:16



        Russian has lost more ground than any other language over the past 20 years as newly independent former Soviet states have attempted to assert their linguistic sovereignty.        过去20年里俄语使用人群的减少幅度超过了其他任何语言,主因是独立后的前苏联加盟共和国试图确立各自的语言主权。
        The fading influence of the tongue highlights the fading influence of Moscow amid efforts by Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, to reassert the former superpower’s importance on the world stage with its military interventions in Ukraine and Syria.        俄语影响力的下降凸显出莫斯科的影响力走下坡路,而其背景是俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔•普京(Vladimir Putin)付出种种努力,欲凭借其对乌克兰和叙利亚的军事干预,来重新确立这个前超级大国在世界舞台上的重要性。
        The use of Russian has retreated fastest in Kazakhstan, where in 2016 just 20.7 per cent of people said they typically spoke Russian at home, compared with 33.7 per cent in 1994, according to data from national censuses and the UN, collated by Euromonitor International, a research group.        由研究集团欧睿国际(Euromonitor International)整理的来自各国人口普查和联合国的数据显示,俄语使用人数在哈萨克斯坦下降最快。2016年该国只有20.7%的人表示在家里通常会说俄语,而1994年这一比例为33.7%。
        The findings come in the week that Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan, said the central Asian country would convert the Kazakh alphabet to Latin script, arguing that the transition to a Russian-style Cyrillic script in 1940 was motivated by “political reasons”.        就在这一研究发现公布的同一周,哈萨克斯坦总统努尔苏丹•纳扎尔巴耶夫(Nursultan Nazarbayev)表示,这个中亚国家将把哈萨克字母表改为拉丁字母。他辩称,1940年哈萨克语改用俄式西里尔文字是出于“政治原因”。
        Estonia and Latvia, two of the three former Soviet Baltic states, have each seen drops of about 10 percentage points in the proportion of their population citing Russian as their first language since 1994, with Russian speakers in Latvia falling from 40.5 per cent to 29.8 per cent, and those in Estonia from 33.3 per cent to 23.4 per cent, as the first chart shows.        如图表一所示,在前苏联的三个波罗的海国家中,爱沙尼亚和拉脱维亚自1994年以来称俄语是其第一语言的人口比例均已减少约10个百分点。其中,拉脱维亚讲俄语的人群从40.5%跌落至29.8%,爱沙尼亚的比例从33.3%降至23.4%。
        Ukraine has seen a similar slide in Russian speakers, from 33.9 per cent in 1994 to 24.4 per cent last year, while Russian-speaking minorities have also declined in Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.        乌克兰讲俄语人群的比例也出现了类似下滑,从1994年的33.9%跌至去年的24.4%。而在阿塞拜疆、立陶宛、土库曼斯坦和乌兹别克斯坦,讲俄语的少数人群比例也出现了下滑。
        In Georgia, which went to war with Russia in 2008, Russian speakers have declined from 6.4 per cent of the population to just 1.1 per cent. Mikheil Saakashvili, the country’s president between 2008 and 2013, announced a plan for English to replace Russian as its second language in the wake of the conflict.        在2008年曾与俄罗斯发生战争的格鲁吉亚,讲俄语的人口比例已从6.4%降至只有1.1%。在那场冲突之后,2008年至2013年期间担任格鲁吉亚总统的米哈伊尔•萨卡什维利(Mikheil Saakashvili),曾宣布一个用英语取代俄语作为该国第二语言的计划。
        Chris Weafer, senior partner at Macro-Advisory, a Moscow-based consultancy specialising in the former Soviet states, said the decline of Russian and the rise of local tongues such as Kazakh, Latvian and Ukrainian was driven by the political forces unleashed by the break-up of the USSR.        总部位于莫斯科、专业研究前苏联国家的宏观咨询(Macro-Advisory)的高级合伙人克里斯•威弗(Chris Weafer)表示,俄语的衰落和哈萨克语、拉脱维亚语及乌克兰语等地方语种的崛起,都受到了苏联解体所释放的政治力量推动。
        “Countries were held captive under Soviet rule and when they broke free they wanted to start shedding the trappings of captivity, including language,” he said.        他说:“当年在苏联统治下,这些国家被挟持了。当它们挣脱束缚后,它们希望摆脱被挟持的外在标志,包括语言在内。”
        “[This was] partly to distance them from Russian influence, both cultural and especially political, [amid a] fear that keeping the Russian language would make it easier for Moscow to exert influence on their politics [with] the threat of Russian propaganda and news broadcasts influencing the domestic agenda.”        “(此举)部分是为了从文化上、尤其是政治上摆脱俄罗斯的影响。这些国家担心保留俄语将会让莫斯科更容易对其政治施加影响,它们面对着俄语宣传和新闻广播影响国内议程的威胁。”
        More positively, some countries turned away from Russian as part of a strategy to create political alliances with the West and Asia and attract investment, he added.        他还表示,从积极的方向说,一些国家疏远俄语是整体战略的一部分,目的是与西方及亚洲打造政治同盟,并吸引投资。
        Charles Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital, a Moscow-based investment bank, agreed, saying: “Where Russian was the lingua franca of the Soviet Union, since 1991 there has been a desire on the part of the new national leaders to develop their nationalism in order to give their states more stability. The Baltics hated the Russification that had been forced on them.”        总部位于莫斯科的投行晋新资本(Renaissance Capital)的全球首席经济学家查尔斯•罗伯逊(Charles Robertson)认同这一看法,他说:“俄语曾是苏联的通用语言,但是自1991年以来,独立后的各国领导人一直有一个渴望,那就是发展各自的民族认同,以加强自己国家的稳定。波罗的海国家尤其憎恨当年强加在他们身上的俄罗斯化。”
        Mr Robertson also pointed to the “significant flow” of ethnic Russians, particularly from central Asia, back to Russia in the 1990s and early 2000s as a factor in the decline of Russian in some states.        罗伯逊还指出,上世纪90年代和本世纪初俄罗斯族裔回流俄罗斯的“大规模流动”——尤其是从中亚回流,也是导致部分国家俄语衰落的因素。
        One country, Belarus, has defiantly moved in the opposite direction, however. Whereas in 1994 just under half of the population cited Russian as their main language, by last year 71 per cent did.        不过,有一个国家——白俄罗斯——出现了完全相反的动向。1994年白俄罗斯只有半数人口自称俄语是主要语言,而到了去年有71%的人这么说。
        Mr Weafer believes that the “push and pull effect” worked the opposite way in Belarus compared with the other post-Soviet states, with the West largely opposing Alexander Lukashenko, president since 1994 who, a year later, oversaw a referendum that put the Russian language on an equal footing with Belarusian.        宏观咨询的威弗认为,与其他前苏联国家相比,白俄罗斯的“推拉效应”是反向的。西方基本上反对从1994年起掌权至今的白俄罗斯总统亚历山大•卢卡申科(Alexander Lukashenko)。后者在1995年举行了一次公投,将俄语置于和白俄罗斯语同样的地位。
        “Unlike the Baltics, Georgia and Ukraine, no effort was made by the EU or US to engage with Belarus. Instead the attitude in the West was one of ‘last dictator in Europe’ and they shunned him and the country, hence Minsk had to stay close to Moscow,” Mr Weafer said.        威弗表示:“与波罗的海国家、格鲁吉亚及乌克兰不同,欧盟和美国从未试图与白俄罗斯打交道。相反,西方的态度是他是‘欧洲最后的独裁者’之一,他们对他和白俄罗斯不屑一顾。因此,明斯克不得不靠拢莫斯科。”
        Mr Robertson cited the “extremely close” links between the two countries, such as the easy access Belarusians have had to Russia’s labour market, as well as a lack of the nationalism seen in other post-Soviet states, as factors behind the increasing dominance of the Russian language.        罗伯逊提到,俄语在白俄罗斯主导地位上升的幕后因素,除了两国间“极为密切”的联系(白俄罗斯人可以轻而易举地进入俄罗斯就业市场),还由于白俄罗斯没有出现其他前苏联国家的那种民族认同。
        “There wasn’t the same nationalism in Belarus. They had never even had a year of independence [before the break-up of the USSR]. They are called white Russians, they weren’t really seen as something else,” Mr Robertson said.        罗伯逊表示:“白俄罗斯没有出现同样的民族认同。(在苏联解体以前,)他们从来没有独立过。他们被称为‘白’俄罗斯人,他们从未被真正视为其他民族。”
        Elsewhere, the Euromonitor data point to Spanish increasing its stranglehold in much of Latin America at the expense of indigenous languages.        在其他地区,欧睿国际的数据显示,西班牙语在拉美许多地区加强了主宰地位,取代了多种本土语言。
        Although most countries in the region have long been viewed as Spanish speaking, minorities have continued to cite local tongues as their main language spoken at home. However, since 1994, these minorities have become smaller still.        尽管拉美多数国家长期被视为讲西班牙语的地区,但少数族群一直称,他们在家里说的主要语言是本土语言。然而,自1994年以来,这些少数族群的规模已进一步缩小。
        In Bolivia, the proportion of people citing Aymara as their first language has almost halved from 23.2 per cent to 12.4 per cent in that period. With Quechua, an indigenous language now favoured by 17 per cent of Bolivians, also in decline, the proportion of the population speaking Spanish as their first language has risen from 55.3 per cent to 65.3 per cent, as shown in the second chart.        在玻利维亚,将艾马拉语(Aymara)作为第一语言的人的比例在此期间几乎腰斩,从23.2%降至12.4%。说凯楚阿语(Quechua)的人数也出现下降——这是一种现在受到17%的玻利维亚人青睐的本土语言。其结果是把西班牙语作为第一语言的人口比例从55.3%升至65.3%,如图表二所示。
        In neighbouring Peru the use of Quechua as a first language has declined from 16.2 to 11.6 per cent of the population, while in Guatemala Spanish is now almost as widely spoken as a first language as the various local tongues.        在邻国秘鲁,将凯楚阿语作为第一语言的人口比例从16.2%下降至11.6%,而在危地马拉,将西班牙语作为第一语言的人口几乎和说各种本土语言的人口一样多。
        In some countries indigenous languages are in danger of being squeezed out altogether. In Chile, for instance, they are now favoured by just 0.4 per cent of the population, down from 1.7 per cent in 1994, while in Ecuador indigenous tongues other than Quechua are now preferred by just 0.2 per cent of people, from 2.4 per cent in 1994.        在一些国家,本土语言面临整体消亡的风险。例如,在智利,只有0.4%的人口在说本土语言,而1994年的该比例是1.7%,而在厄瓜多尔,只有0.2%的人口在说除了凯楚阿语以外的本土语言,低于1994年的2.4%。
        Mr Robertson believed the increasing dominance of Spanish was being partly driven by businesses, which favour a common language to facilitate cross-border trade across the Americas.        罗伯逊认为,西班牙语越来越占主导地位在一定程度上受到企业的推动,后者青睐一种通用语言以促进美洲各国的跨境贸易。
        This trend is strengthened further by the rise of Spanish as the second language of the US, he added: as of last year, the language was preferred by 13.4 per cent of people in the US, up from 8.9 per cent in 1994.        他补充称,美国将西班牙作为第二语言的人数增多,进一步增强了上述趋势。截至去年,美国有13.4%的人口首选西班牙语,高于1994年的8.9%。
        The Spanish language’s tightening grip on Latin America is in contrast to the pattern in much of the world, where heightened levels of migration have chipped away at the ubiquity of national tongues.        西班牙语在拉美日益占据主导地位与世界许多地区的情况形成反差——较高的移民水平使这些地区的官方语言不再无处不在。
        This has been particularly notable in many English-speaking countries, such as the UK, Australia and Canada, as well as the US.        这在英国、澳大利亚和加拿大以及美国等说英语国家体现得尤为明显。
        English has, though, made headway as a first language in Singapore, where it is now favoured by 36.1 per cent of the population, up from 19.8 per cent in 1994, with Chinese declining in popularity.        然而,新加坡将英语作为第一语言的人口比例从1994年的19.8%大幅上升至36.1%,与此同时华语的使用人数下降。
        Mr Robertson attributed this to the efforts of Lee Kwan Yew, the city-state’s founding father, who ruled for three decades until 1990, to promote English as a common language in order to facilitate the integration of its ethnically mixed population.        罗伯逊将这归因于新加坡国父李光耀(Lee Kwan Yew)推动英语成为通用语、以促进各族群人口融合的努力。李光耀统治新加坡30年,直至1990年退休。
                
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