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2017年
08月12日
10:06 bbbcさん

TED-Ed1708 Where do superstitions come from?       (迷信はどこから来たのか?)

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易しい英語による迷信の説明。 一般に迷信は合理性を欠くものが多いが、
生活の知恵のようなものもある。

学習用 対訳付き動画⇒http://tededjphukyu.webcrow.jp/Translation.html?765

 05分 140wpm           

字幕 : 開始後 で字幕On/Off、 で言語選択。文字サイズはオプションから。

下記英文は ブラウザ Chrome のマウスオーバー辞書が使えます。

Are you afraid of black cats? Would you open an umbrella indoors? And how do you feel about the number thirteen? Whether or not you believe in them, you're probably familiar with a few of these superstitions. So how did it happen that people all over the world knock on wood, or avoid stepping on sidewalk cracks?

Well, although they have no basis in science, many of these weirdly specific beliefs and practices do have equally weird and specific origins. Because they involve supernatural causes, it's no surprise that many superstitions are based in religion.

For example, the number thirteen was associated with the biblical Last Supper, where Jesus Christ dined with his twelve disciples just before being arrested and crucified.
(crucify はりつけにする) The resulting idea that having thirteen people at a table was bad luck eventually expanded into thirteen being an unlucky number in general.

Now, this fear of the number thirteen, called triskaidekaphobia(13恐怖症) is so common that many buildings around the world skip the thirteenth floor, with the numbers going straight from twelve to fourteen.

Of course, many people consider the story of the Last Supper to be true but other superstitions come from religious traditions that few people believe in or even remember. Knocking on wood is thought to come from the folklore of the ancient Indo-Europeans or possibly people who predated(~より前から存在する) them who believed that trees were home to various spirits. Touching a tree would invoke the protection or blessing of the spirit within.

And somehow, this tradition survived long after belief in these spirits had faded away. Many superstitions common today in countries from Russia to Ireland are thought to be remnants(名残り) of the pagan(異教の) religions that Christianity replaced. But not all superstitions are religious. Some are just based on unfortunate coincidences and associations.

For example, many Italians fear the number 17 because the Roman numeral XVII can be rearranged to form the word vixi, meaning my life had ended. Similarly, the word for the number four sounds almost identical to the word for death in Cantonese, as well as languages like Japanese and Korean that have borrowed Chinese numerals.
 VIXI :ラテン語で vīxī はvīvō 「私は生きている」の完了で「生を終えた」という意味

And since the number one also sounds like the word for must, the number fourteen sounds like the phrase must die. That's a lot of numbers for elevators and international hotels to avoid. And believe it or not, some superstitions actually make sense, or at least they did until we forgot their original purpose.

For example, theater scenery used to consist of large painted backdrops(背景幕), raised and lowered by stagehands who would whistle to signal each other. Absentminded(不用意な) whistles from other people could cause an accident. But the taboo against whistling backstage still exists today, long after the stagehands started using radio headsets.

Along the same lines, lighting three cigarettes from the same match really could cause bad luck if you were a soldier in a foxhole where keeping a match lit too long could draw attention from an enemy sniper. Most smokers no longer have to worry about snipers, but the superstition lives on.

So why do people cling to these bits of forgotten religions, coincidences, and outdated advice? Aren't they being totally irrational? Well, yes, but for many people, superstitions are based more on cultural habit than conscious belief. After all, no one is born knowing to avoid walking under ladders or whistling indoors, but if you grow up being told by your family to avoid these things, chances are they'll make you uncomfortable, even after you logically understand that nothing bad will happen.

And since doing something like knocking on wood doesn't require much effort, following the superstition is often easier than consciously resisting it. Besides, superstitions often do seem to work. Maybe you remember hitting a home run while wearing your lucky socks. This is just our psychological bias at work. You're far less likely to remember all the times you struck out while wearing the same socks.

But believing that they work could actually make you play better by giving you the illusion of having greater control over events. So in situations where that confidence can make a difference, like sports, those crazy superstitions might not be so crazy after all.
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2017年
08月14日
00:34
BlauerHimmelさん

理解力を向上させる英文を書いてくださって、ありがとうございます。

英単語を見て、知らないというのはほとんどないのですが、英文を読んでもピンときません。
いきなり、聞いても、当然理解できないので、まず、英文を自分で読み次に聞くことにしました。ところが、単語はわかっても、日本語の文を読むようには理解できません、
結局、訳文を読んで、理解する始末です。
でも、比較的易しい英文のリスニングに挑戦しているうちに、内容を理解することができるのではないかと期待しています。

なお、英文の頭の太字、日本ではあまり教えませんが、Of course、For example, So why など、こうした副詞句は、文中に置く、 というのが、英文の書き方を重視する英文法家が多いのですが、「スピーチ」「会話」では、何のためらいもなく、文頭に出しているので、「どうすりゃいいの思案橋」というところですね。

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