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读钱钟书的三封英文信(二)

发表时间:2011/1/5字号:T|T

  My Dear Lin,                      

  Excuse this belated reply to your very kind May Day greetings. It's almost literally "a day after the fair". What with fixing the mosquito net, queuing for sweets at the co-op store, fetching and distributing letters, and the thousand and one odds and ends which eat away one's time, the red letter day was over before I know where I was. Well, here go my best wishes in which my wife joins. Your letter makes me ashamed. I feel guilty like a swindler who has won your "gratitude" without doing anything to earn it. Your characteristic generosity has led you to overestimate the aids to study I gave. Yes, vocabulary is important. Pedagogues used to distinguish a pupils active or writing and speaking vocabulary. As you know, the latter is far more extensive than the former. How to turn the supinely passive into the nimbly active—that's the big problem. However, enough of shop talk. Tomorrow to the battle and more power to your elbow!

  Yours Sincerely,

  林:

  5月1日承蒙来信祝贺节日,迟复为歉。称之为“定期集市后的一天”,此语非虚。安蚊帐,在合作社小店排队买糖果,往邮局取信,回来分发,以及忙乎耗费时间的没完没了的琐事,不知不觉中纪念日已经过去了。在此,我和妻子向你致以最良好的祝愿。你的来信,使我感到惭愧。我像个骗子,没干什么就获得了你的感谢,感到内疚。我对你的学习,帮助甚少,你特有的忠厚,使你过高估计这种帮助。是的,词汇是重要的。教师通常把词汇分为积极的和消极的词汇,前者为写和说的词汇,后者为阅读的词汇。正如你所知道的,学生的词汇中,后者远比前者多得多。如何把呆板的消极词汇变成灵活的积极词汇,这是个大问题。但有关行内的议论,就说这么多吧。明天就要投入战斗了,加油干!

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