Sunday, November 02, 2008

那天下班後﹐在酒館裡﹐跟施第奮談到語文。他呷著啤酒﹐有點概嘆地說﹕「要通曉三種語文﹐的確不容易。在此間生活了接近兩年﹐英文還是沒有多大進步。」

那是自謙的話。他是法國人。畢業後﹐曾在塞維爾﹑馬德里住過一段日子。因為西班牙女朋友考到獎學金來愛爾蘭讀書﹐便一起搬到這個島國生活。我當然不會懷疑他的法文。也不會懷疑他的西班牙文。從來﹐跟別國女子調情﹐都是外文的終極考試。無疑﹐施第奮講的英文總是帶著濃濃的法國口音。不過﹐就正如一位愛爾蘭女生所言﹐那些鄉音反而把英語提昇上一個更性感的層次。早前﹐陶傑寫道﹕「英語口音,不必追求純正,因為英文早已是世界語言,帶有津巴布韋、斯里蘭卡、印度西部的果雅口音,反而令英語帝國的版圖多姿多采。」那是同樣道理。

我當然知道通曉三種語文是如何困難。自小學起﹐學過的語文倒有五種。不過﹐算做沒有障礙能夠用上來跟別人溝通的﹐還是只得中文和英文。西班牙文和阿拉伯文﹐因為太晚才起步﹐早已忘掉得一乾二淨。至於法文﹐倒還能認得一些生字﹐懂得數數字。聽過我從一數到二十後﹐施第奮取笑道﹕「你的發音很準確。尤其是那些『R』音。你其實不需要上什麼課﹐你需要的是一位法國女朋友。」他頓了一頓﹐喝了一口啤酒後繼續說﹕「你有所不知﹐那的確是學外文的最佳良方。認識了L後﹐法文變成了我的第二語言。」L是施第奮女朋友的名字。

我敲了敲他的酒杯﹐笑著回應道﹕「那麼﹐你該是時候搭上一位操英語的女生。」

豈料﹐這位法國男生竟然一臉滿意地點著頭說﹕「為了學好英文﹐我的確要開始留意一下身邊有什麼喜歡我的愛爾蘭女生。」他不顧女友在旁﹐多翻顧盼在週邊來來往往的那些漂亮女生。

聽得這話﹐我想起了《泰晤士河畔》一書裡面那幾篇文章。

在那部成名作裡﹐陶傑經常暗嘆﹐沒有幾多個香港留學生夠膽泡洋妞。他寫道﹕「由於英語未精﹐外型不濟﹐泡洋妞欠缺本事﹐只好向香港女生中挑選性伴﹐下課後大被同眠。......年輕人本應心靈開放﹐留學是與外國青年加強了解的好機會﹐一生與鬼妹至少發生一次感情﹐是增進文化交流的合法途經之一﹐......但今天的香港留學生﹐礙於香港本位意識﹐在這方面卻保守出奇﹐最主要的原因是與鬼妹缺乏共同興趣。」

這些文字﹐表面上跟施第奮的說話很不相同。仿彿那是中西文化差異的地方。西方人碰上難題會勇敢面對解決﹐中國人碰上難題就會另找辦法解決﹔西方人會去面對面克服困難﹐中國人就避重就輕地去克服困難。

不過﹐只要想深一層﹐其實兩者講的是兩個不能比較的事情。一個是因﹐另一個是因和果。一個是因為語言問題﹐所以要泡一個操英語的洋妞﹔一個則是因為語言問題﹐所以不能泡一個操英語的洋妞。兩者其實都有泡一個操英語的洋妞的願望。施第奮的說話﹐就止于慾望上面﹔陶傑的﹐則更深一層地講到結果﹕就是泡不上。

當然﹐看著施第奮和他的女友﹐在因果關係上面來討論﹐陶傑的說話似乎有點不大正確。

原來﹐一切又回到中西文化差異這個關節裡頭。

9 comments:

michelle said...

哈哈,為什麼一定要泡妞,認識同性朋友不是一樣嗎? 還是男兒本色 :)

不過初到法境時確有本地人跟我說過,不用上學了,到酒吧或咖啡館跟人聊,一定聊出個流利的本地話來...

新鮮人 said...

我淨係知道現在好多年青人用學外語做借口去泡洋妞喳,
哈哈哈~~~~

The Sweet Piscean said...

well...

des, when will u start ur "Irish tutorial" then?

readandeat said...

你中「才子」毒太深了。

The Man Who Loves Everton said...

michelle,
maybe you are correct. but, as a man, i think it's easier to talk to a male stranger in pubs.

in fact, spending time in pubs (or cafes in the case of france) is the very good way to learn local language. i agree with that.

新鮮人,
i'd say one goes to learn foreign language is to flirt with the girls in the same class.

cha,
depends on the availability of tutors.

readandeat,
it is obvious, i'm afraid. haha.

Snowdrops said...

I agree with R&E! "你中「才子」毒太深了。" More importantly, I agree with the fact that she puts quotation marks over the word "才子" :P

Anyway, just want to add that, perhaps because I'm a self-professed feminist and interculturalist, I don't like the term "泡洋妞" at all. Yes, dating is a great way of learning a foreign language, but to date someone just because they are foreign reeks way too much of a reverse "Asian fetish" for me. If a guy's sole interest in me is because I'm a foreigner and he sees our dating as purely a "cultural exchange" as Mr. To Kit so charmingly suggested, then the reaction of my girlfriends and I would be to tell him to go to hell.

The Man Who Loves Everton said...

hi snowdrop,

i am, absolutely. why not?

i don't know why so many ppl don't like him. even hate him. to me, he's the one and only one who is willing to sit down with me to teach me how to write. in chinese and in english. that explains why.

and i'd also like to say something about that name which you agreed to add quotation marks before and after.

he never agrees with that name. he never does. i said that before [see http://dessyng.blogspot.com/2008/10/blog-post_09.html]. believe it or not, it's a true story.

for the term of 泡洋妞, pls notice that i just extract part of his articles and paste into mine to follow the argument from my french friend. if one reads the whole article from which i extract the quotation, one will understand why he used that term. i'm sorry if that extract caused any confusion and gave any a false impression about mr tsao chip.

hope i make it clear.

Snowdrops said...

Oh, on the subject of To Kit, I have to admit I really don't like him at all, but my impression of him stems only from a few of his TV appearances and some of his columns for Apple Daily, and of course, some of the lines you quoted him in this blog. I will check out the other post you linked later.

The Man Who Loves Everton said...

snowdrop,

i understand. so many ppl hate him.

i'm sure i will keep quoting his words in my future posts. hope next time i won't give you a false impression. btw i have two of his books in dublin.