台大視聽教育館英語學習報

Hungarians Have Mixed Feelings About Collapse of Communism

匈牙利的歡樂與哀愁—鐵幕拆卸之後的經濟挑戰

 

“. . . only one Hungarian in five believes their country has changed for the better since 1989 and that 56 percent of Hungarians say their country has lost more than it gained since Communism collapsed”

只有五分之一的匈牙利人認為在1989年之後,他們的國家有好的發展,百分之五十六的匈牙利人則認為,在共產主義瓦解後,他們失去的比得到的更多。

 

Iron Curtain , from Wikipedia

 


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 英語宅急便   

Hungarians Have Mixed Feelings About Collapse of Communism

By Peter Fedynsky
Budapest
03 November 2009

 

The collapse of the Berlin Wall, in November, 1989, was preceded earlier that year by the opening of the Iron Curtain in Hungary. Now, 20 years later, a new survey by Ipsos - a global online research group - indicates only one Hungarian in five believes their country has changed for the better since 1989 and that 56 percent of Hungarians say their country has lost more than it gained since Communism collapsed.

Economic hardship

Hungary began dismantling the Iron Curtain in May, 1989. Nearly three months later, hundreds of East Germans who had crossed into Hungary continued on to Austria when Hungarian authorities opened the western border on August 19. For the first time, citizens of a Communist Eastern European country had escaped to the West without fear of being shot or risking their lives in mine fields that dotted the frontier.

Former border guard Gyula Szemerics welcomes the freedoms won by Hungary, but says life after Communism has been filled with economic hardship.

Szemerics says that now, as hardships come one after another, he feels - as a father - that things are getting worse and that the results Hungarians expected did not happen.

Freedom has its price

Zoltan Rezsnyak was 52 when the Iron Curtain collapsed. He worked as a machine fitter in a large textile mill in Budapest. Rezsnyak, a committed Communist, says he misses the security of those days. He says Hungary's new freedoms have come at the expense of the homeless and unemployed.

Rezsnyak says Hungary today no longer subscribes to the idea of an eight-hour workday, followed by eight hours of play and eight hours of rest. He says people are working instead for 12, 14 and 16 hours, if they are working at all. There are 600,000 unemployed in Hungary.

At the industrial complex where Rezsnyak worked, railroad tracks leading to the gate are overgrown with weeds. His former mill is showing signs of decay. Much of the complex has been privatized. Among those who bought a building there is 47-year-old entrepreneur Zsolt Cserhalmi. He is the owner of Plastiprint, a small business that produces signs and logos on T-shirts, cups, pens, and even beauty salon aprons.

Cserhalmi says that, from a broader perspective, perhaps it is a pity such a big factory went bankrupt, but - from his point of view - it was good, because he was able to buy a building for a good price to run his business.

Cserhalmi notes that his shop would have been impossible under Communism, which strictly prohibited private ownership of copying machines and printing presses.

Cserhalmi notes everything he does is related to duplication, an activity that became free with a change in the system. He says that enabled access to materials and the whole printing industry became liberated.

Benefits of collapse

With the collapse of Communism, freedom exploded in Hungary. Hungarians can now vote in multiparty elections, travel abroad at any time and own property.

Former border guard Gyula Szemerics says the free market system has not solved the country's social problems. Nonetheless, he welcomed the Communist collapse.

Szemerics says Hungarians thought the change of government would turn their country into a land of milk and honey, but there is no milk and honey now. He is quick to add that, in comparison with what it was once like, at least Hungarians are now free.

Most Hungarians agree. But a recent survey shows a majority of them believe they have lost more than they have gained since the Iron Curtain lifted, which means the dreams and aspirations of many Hungarians remain unfulfilled.

 

Words and Phrases in Use

mixed feelings (n. phr) 百感交集;複雜的感受

collapse(n) 瓦解;崩盤

collapse 一般也可用作動詞,指建築物的坍塌。在此新聞標題裡是當名詞使用,表示舊有體制的「瓦解跟崩盤」。新聞本文的collapse of the Berlin Wall是指當年把德國一分為二的柏林圍牆的拆解,圍牆拆解也就意味著兩種體制的隔閡也被解除。

precede (v) 早於;時間上先於

這個字在使用上要注意時間概念。當採取主動語態時,A precedes B表示:「A先於B之前發生」。被動語態時 (A is preceded by B),則相反,是「B早於A發生」。相對於precede的另一個常用,表示時間順序的字是follow;A follows B,表示「A發生的時間晚於B〈A伴隨著B而來〉」,而 A is followed by B,則又表示「A發生的比B早〈B伴隨著A而來〉」。再作個整理:A precedes B = A is followed by B = A早於B發生;A is preceded by B = A follows B = A晚於B發生。兩個字,兩種語態,更清楚了嗎?

dismantle (v) 拆解;廢除、取消(制度或體制)

Iron Curtain (n. phr) 鐵幕

mine fields (n. phr) 佈雷區

dot (v) 星羅棋佈於;遍佈

網路上可直接找到「鐵幕」的中文說明是「指昔日西歐與東歐共產黨國家之間想像的屏障」。雖然是指想像的屏障,但為了維護這種想像的秩序與分離,實際上的作為卻是堅硬如銅牆鐵壁。可以看到新聞所述「在匈牙利開放對西邊界後,共產東歐國家的人民,首次可以免於受到掃射的恐懼,不必於佈滿雷區的邊境上,冒死逃往西邊」。

committed (a) 盡心盡力的;堅信的、態度堅定的

at the expense of . . . (prep. phr) 以`. . .作為代價

subscribe to (v. phr) 信服;遵從

weed (n) 野草;雜草

signs of decay (n. phr) 衰退的跡象

這裡所說的經濟活動衰退的跡象是「顯而易見」。如前句所述:「開往工業廠房區的鐵道都被野草所覆蓋」。雜草所掩蓋的交通運輸的鐵路就是最直接的衰退跡象了。

privatize (v) 私有化;轉民營

duplication (n) 複製

land of milk and honey (n. phr) 天堂`;永不匱乏之地

典故可追至聖經裡,上帝所允諾的不乏之地 (“a land flowing with milk and honey”)。此用語後來常被用來指稱資本主義的所可能帶來的富裕與社會願景,但在今日資本主義蓬勃發展百年之後再使用,多半是有諷刺之意。畢竟,資本主義帶來的嚴重貧富差距與分配不均和聖經裡人人可接近的永不匱乏之地仍相去甚遠。

aspiration (n) 渴望;抱負

 

Source:

http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-11-03-voa15.cfm

 

 
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