申请英国和美国学校时,除了表达方式,文书中还要注意哪些不同?
2019-11-21

本文由芝士圈首席文书官Andrew Daum(牛津大学PPE)撰写

Q:

What differences should I be aware of when applying to schools in UK and US? Will there be any preferences in ways of expression?

申请英国和美国的学校时,我应该注意哪些区别?表达方式会不会有偏好

A:

Thank you for your question. I’m going to deal with the second part first: “preferences in ways of expression”. Then, I’m just going to give a quick overview on a some of the other differences—besides “ways of expression”—that you may be aware of already but are worth noting.

谢谢你的问题。我将首先处理第二部分:“表达方式的偏好”。然后,我将快速概述一下除“表达方式”之外的其他一些差异,你可能已经知道但值得注意。

So, “ways of expression”:

Meaning, spelling, and usage can all vary between US and UK English. Sometimes it’s said that the UK and US are ‘two countries divided by a common language’. Generally, however, the differences (in both directions) are very easy for a native speaker to figure out. I’m British but more and more nowadays I have the spellchecker set to ‘US English’.Nonetheless, occasionally the differences have serious consequences!

关于“表达方式”:
在美国英语和英国英语之间,含义、拼写和用法都可能有所不同。有时有人说英国和美国是“两个国家用共同的语言划分”。但是,通常来说,母语人士会很容易发现(双向)差异。我是英国人,但如今我经常将拼写检查器设置为“美国英语”。但是,有时差异会造成严重后果!

For example, Winston Churchill wrote about a misunderstanding during WWII that occurred because of differences in American and British understandings of the verb phrase “to table an item on a meeting agenda”:

  • The US meaning is “to suspend or delay the item from discussion”;
  • The UK meaning is “to open an item up for discussion”. Basically, the opposite! In the circumstances, it was important to resolve this quickly!

例如,温斯顿·丘吉尔(Winston Churchill)写下了第二次世界大战期间发生的一种误解,原因是美国和英国对动词短语“在会议议程上提出议程”的理解有所不同:
美国的含义是“中止或推迟该项目的讨论”;
英国的意思是“开启一个项目进行讨论”。基本上完全相反的意思!在这种情况下,迅速解决此问题很重要!

Differences that are most commonly known however are somewhat less weighty! Unsurprisingly, the differences people are most aware of tend to those that come up regularly in popular culture:

  • Food (cookie v. biscuit / pronounciation of ‘tom-ay-to’ v. ‘tom-ar-to’)
  • Clothes (purse v. handbag / sneaker v. trainer)
  • Leisure pursuits (soccer v. football / movie v. film)
  • Slang uses also, obviously, vary very widely. But since these documents require a degree of formality, you won’t be writing in slang in your applications. Therefore I won’t talk about these too much.

但是,最常见的差异往往也不太重要!毫不奇怪,人们最了解的差异往往是流行文化中经常出现的差异:
食物的用法(饼干cookie v. biscuit/西红柿的发音:“ tom-ay-to” v. “ tom-ar-to”)
服饰的用法(钱包purse v. handbag/运动鞋:sneaker v. trainer)
休闲类(足球:soccer v. football/电影:movie v. film)
俚语的使用差异也很巨大。但是,由于文书比较正式,因此你不会在申请材料中使用俚语。因此,我就不过多谈论这些。

Other famous differences might be… the US calling the third season of the year, ‘fall’ versus the UK’s ‘autumn’. Or the US calling the punctuation mark that ends a sentence a ‘period’, whereas in the UK it is referred to as a ‘full stop’.There are lots of other tiny differences in usage such as:

  • The British put an ‘s’ at the end of directional adverbs like ‘forwards’ or ‘towards’. American usually omit the ‘s’, so it’s ‘forward’ or ‘toward’
  • One difference that a lot of people seem to know is that in the UK the word ‘whilst’ is commonly used, but in the US it’s kind of unknown and people always say ‘while’.

其他著名的差异可能是……美国称一年的第三季为“fall”,而英国称其为“autumn”。或美国将标句结尾的标点符号称为“period”,而在英国则称为“full stop”。
在用法上还有许多其他细微的差异,例如:
英国人在方向性副词(例如“ forwards”或“ towards”)的末尾加上“ s”。美国人通常会省略“ s”,因此它是“ forward”或“ toward”
许多人似乎知道的一个区别是,在英国,普遍使用“ whilst”一词,但在美国却不多,人们总是说“ while”。

But you know what? Aside from setting the spellchecker to the correct version of English, I think it would be a mistake to agonize or worry much about these issues.I’ll just give a quick overview of some more substantial differences that might be more useful for guiding your thinking as you prepare your applications:

但是你知道吗?除了将拼写检查器设置为正确的英语版本之外,我认为烦恼或担心这些问题是不必要的。我将简要概述一些更重要的差异,这些差异可能有助于你在准备申请时进行思考:

To make this answer a reasonable length, I’m going to assume you’re asking about master’s programs. I want to emphasize that I’m speaking really, really generally here because… I don’t know your exact circumstances. Differences to be aware of include:

  • US graduate degrees can be a bit broader in focus, especially at the outset. In the UK there tends to be more specialization and independent learning; so, you might want to consider more emphasis on experiences attesting to those skills.
  • The typical duration of a master’s in the UK can be nine to 12 months; in the US it’s more often about two years. If you’re doing a master’s to give yourself a boost in your professional career, you may wish to factor in the greater time-cost of a US program. On the other side, you may want to balance that the networking opportunities in the US may be better. (The actual cost is another meaningful consideration for most people!)
  • The working visa situation is always fluid, but if you have an interest in spending some time working professionally in the country where you take your master’s, my geopolitical hunch is that this may be more achievable in the UK.
  • In the UK you’re also going to be sparing yourself—for most programs—the additional difficulty of taking many of the big standardized tests.

为了使这个答案的长度合理,我假设你要询问的是硕士课程。我想强调的是,在这里我是针对一般情况而言,因为……我不知道你的确切情况。以下是需要注意的差异:
美国研究生学位的关注领域可能会更广一些,尤其是在一开始的时候。在英国,倾向于更多的专业化和独立学习。因此,(如果申请英国硕士项目)你可能需要考虑更多地证明具备这些技能。
在英国,硕士项目的平均学制为为9到12个月;在美国,通常是两年左右。如果你是为了提高职业发展机会而申请硕士,则需要考虑美国课程所花费的时间会较长。另一方面,你可能需要权衡一下,美国的社交机会可能会更好。 (对于大多数人来说,真实成本是另一个有意义的考虑因素!)
工作签证的情况总是不稳定的,但是如果你有兴趣花一些时间在完成硕士学位的国家工作,我的地缘政治直觉是,这在英国可能更容易实现。
在英国,对于大多数项目来说,可以免去参加许多大型标准化考试(GRE或GMAT)。

I want to end by saying that another difference people often talk about is teaching style or culture. And I know I’ve made a lot of generalizations and assumptions in this answer, but I think this would be going too far!

I think knowing the culture of each school you apply to should be a really important priority if you want to submit a quality application. The environment is what will determine your success, so I want to end my answer by urging you to focus on looking into the schools and programs individually and avoiding generalized assumptions. This is the best advice I can give to help you make the most sensible decisions about your applications.Outstanding applications support is at your fingertips on http://zhishiQ.com

最后,我想说的是,人们经常谈论的另一个差异是教学风格或文化。而且我知道我在此答案中已经做了很多概括和假设,但我认为对风格与文化进行一般性概括就过头了!
我认为,如果你想提交高质量的申请,那么了解你申请的每所学校的文化应该是一个非常重要的优先事项。环境是决定你能否成功的因素,因此差异化的讨论差不多可以告一段落,现在我要敦促你集中精力单独研究每个学校、项目和课程,并避免使用笼统的假设。这是我可以提供的最佳建议,可以帮助你对申请做出最明智的决策。
【点击:http://zhishiQ.com,即刻令你的文书脱颖而出!】

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