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走近韩国“袋鼠族”:年过三十却依然和父母同住-双语


Meet South Korea's 'kangaroo tribe': Ages 30 through 40 who still living with their parents

5月26日,戴口罩的市民走在韩国首尔的街道上。(图片来源:新华社)


在韩国,有大批三四十岁的成年人依然和自己的父母同住,由父母来做饭、干家务并支付生活费,这样的人被称为“袋鼠族”。这些大龄啃老族和他们的父母都是怎么看待这种生活状态的呢?让北京翻译公司北京金橄榄外文翻译有限公司与您一起看看以下内容:


Most parents want to shield their children from the hardships of the world, and in South Korea, that often means continuing to provide a home for them even after they are well into adulthood.


大多数父母都想在这个艰难的世界中保护自己的孩子,在韩国,这意味着甚至在孩子们早已成年后依然要给他们提供一个家。


"Let’s be honest. How could I let my precious boy have a hard time?” Lee Young-wook, 61, said.


61岁的李英宇说:“说实话,我怎么忍心让我的宝贝儿子受苦呢?”


His son, Lee Jeong-kyu, is 31 and still lives with his parents in the home in which he grew up in Bundang, a suburb of Seoul. Their home is no mansion, but rather a small apartment, just big enough for the three of them.


她儿子李廷圭已经31岁了,依然和父母一起住在首尔市郊盆唐区他从小长大的家里。他们家并非豪宅,只是个小公寓,对一家三口来说仅仅是刚好够住而已。


Despite the tight space, the younger Lee has never moved out and lived on his own before — and he doesn’t intend to get his own place anytime soon.


尽管空间有限,小李从来没有搬出去独自住过,而且他近期也没这个打算。


He is a member of South Korea’s “kangaroo tribe” — a moniker used to describe unmarried men and women who haven’t moved out of their parents’ homes, even though they are in their 30s and even 40s. The name suggests the image of an overgrown marsupial that hasn’t left its mother’s pouch.


他是韩国“袋鼠族”的一员。“袋鼠族”用来描述那些已经三十多岁甚至四十多岁却还未从父母家搬出去的未婚男女们。这个称谓让人联想到一只长得过大却尚未离开母亲育儿袋的有袋类动物。


According to a recent report from South Korea’s national statistics office, more than 50 percent of unmarried adults between the ages of 30 and 40, and 44 percent of those between 40 and 44, still live with their parents.


韩国国家统计局最新报告显示,一半以上30至40岁的未婚成年人以及44%的40至44岁的未婚成年人仍然和父母住在一起。


The report, which was released at the end of March, caused a stir in the country, fueling the popular stereotype that the kangaroo tribe is made up of South Koreans who have failed to achieve success in life. The report noted that 42 percent of children who live with their parents are unemployed, and mainstream media coverage featured images of exhausted older parents accompanied by carefree, unemployed adult children.


这份报告于三月底发布后,在韩国引起了不小的震动,强化了大众的刻板印象,即“袋鼠族”是由那些人生不成功的韩国人组成的。报告指出,与父母同住的孩子中有42%是无业人员,主流媒体的报道中描绘了疲惫不堪的年长父母和无忧无虑的失业成年子女的形象。


Despite the recent media attention, however, experts say that it’s long been common for children in South Korea to live with their parents into adulthood.


尽管最近受到了媒体关注,然而,专家表示,长期以来,韩国的孩子与父母一起生活到成年是非常普遍的现象。


"The kangaroo tribe phenomenon is hardly a modern phenomenon in South Korea, since the percentages of adults in their 30s and 40s living with their parents in the 1980s and 2010s do not differ by much,” Kye Bong-oh, a sociology professor at Kookmin University, said.


韩国国民大学的社会学教授桂奉武说:“袋鼠族现象并非什么新现象,因为上世纪80年代和本世纪10年代,三四十岁的成年人与父母同住的比例并没有太大的差别。”


Furthermore, while a lack of economic independence is often a factor for why children don’t leave the nest, the truth is that many continue to live at home for a variety of reasons, and the kangaroo tribe phenomenon is not as simple and one-sided as often depicted in popular culture.


此外,虽然缺乏经济独立往往是孩子们不离巢的一个因素,但实际上,许多人出于各种原因继续住在家里,“袋鼠族”现象并不像流行文化中经常描绘的那样简单和片面。


图片来源:Unsplash


For some adult children, the arrangement allows them to care for their aging parents more easily, while also saving money for the future. Others, particularly single women, cite their parents’ conservative views as a reason for not moving out.


对有些成年子女来说,这种安排让他们可以更容易照料他们年迈的父母,同时也能为将来存点钱。还有些人,尤其是单身女性,则把父母的保守观点作为不搬出去的理由。


Song Jung-hyun, 36, and Nang Yoon-jin, 33, for example, have long possessed the financial resources to live on their own. Both women work as teachers at a public middle school in Seoul, which is one of the most sought-after careers in the country. But their parents believe women should only move out when they get married.


举例来说,36岁的宋贞贤和33岁的南允真早就拥有了独立生活的经济来源。两位女性都在首尔的一所公立中学担任教师,这是该国最受欢迎的职业之一。但她们的父母认为,女性只有在结婚后才应该搬出去住。


"My parents think that the world is a dangerous place for a woman to live by herself,” Song said.


宋贞贤说:“我父母认为这个世界对独自生活的女性来说太危险了。”


For many single people, living with their parents could be stifling. Both Song and Nang said they are happy with the arrangement, however, emphasizing its practical benefits.


对大多数单身人士而言,和父母住在一起可能会令人感到压抑。但是宋贞贤和南允真说她们对这种安排很满意,甚至还强调了这么做带来的实际好处。


"My mom still makes me breakfast and pays for the living expenses and utility bills. Not much has changed from when I was a student, other than the fact that I am working now,” Nang said. “My mom wants me to save up money in preparation for getting married.”


“我妈妈依然给我做早饭,支付生活费和水电费。和我上学时候相比,除了我现在在工作之外,没有什么变化。” 南允真说。“我妈妈希望我把钱攒下来,为结婚做准备。”


Song said living with her parents has also allowed her to save time and money, since she doesn’t have to worry about doing her own laundry or other household chores. Moreover, when she needs advice or wants to discuss important issues, her parents are just a quick knock away.


宋贞贤说,与父母同住也让她节省了时间和金钱,因为她不必自己洗衣服或做其他家务。此外,当她需要建议或想讨论重大问题时,父母近在咫尺。


Far from taking advantage of her parents’ continued generosity, she said, the situation is mutually beneficial.


她说,这种情况并非只是“啃老”,而是“双赢”。


"It’s not just me who enjoys this living arrangement. My parents really appreciate having me around as well,” she said. “As my parents are getting older, they find certain things very challenging — like using their smartphones and doing online banking. Since we live together, I help out a lot with those. My parents often tell me that they cannot imagine living without me.”


“享受这种生活安排的不仅仅是我。我父母也非常感谢有我在身边,”她说。“随着我父母年龄增大,他们发现某些事情非常具有挑战性——比如使用智能手机和网上银行。由于我们住在一起,我在这些方面帮了很多忙。我的父母经常跟我说,他们无法想象没有我的生活。”


The term “kangaroo tribe” entered the popular lexicon in South Korea in the early 2000s, a period of high unemployment among young people, in which many recent college graduates continued to live with their parents because they were unable to find work.


2000年伊始,“袋鼠族”一词进入了韩国的流行词汇,那是一个年轻人失业率很高的时期,许多刚毕业的大学生因为找不到工作而继续与父母住在一起。


Between 1997 and 1998, the youth unemployment rate skyrocketed from 5.7 percent to 12.2 percent, before falling slightly to 8.1 percent in 2000, according to the national statistics office. In 2020, the youth unemployment rate in South Korea stood at 9 percent.


根据韩国国家统计局的数据,1997年至1998年期间,青年失业率从5.7%猛增到12.2%,然后在2000年略微下降到8.1%。2020年,韩国的青年失业率为9%。


But whereas people used to belittle members of the kangaroo tribe for being socially and financially inept, Kye said the stigma has begun to wane.


尽管人们曾经轻视“袋鼠族”,认为他们在社会和经济上无能,但桂奉武表示,这种污名已经开始减弱。


"People are now aware that economic independence at this day and age is increasingly difficult to achieve,” he said.


他说:“人们已经开始意识到,如今这个年代,经济独立越来越难实现了。”


Lee Chul-hee, an economics professor at Seoul National University, noted that South Korea’s economy has made achieving financial independence and living on one’s own increasingly challenging for the younger generation.


首尔国立大学的经济学教授李喆熙指出,韩国的经济使得年轻一代越来越难以实现经济独立和独立生活。


"Housing prices in big cities including Seoul have sharply increased since 2000, while the job market has become highly unstable, with an increased number of temporary job hires,” Lee said. “These factors all make it much more difficult for people in their 30s and 40s to move out of their parents’ home and be independent.”


李喆熙表示:“2000年以后,首尔等大城市的房价急剧上涨,而就业市场高度不稳定,临时工作雇用的人数增加,这些因素都大大增加了三四十岁的人从父母家搬出去独立生活的难度。”


Given the fact that his son has never had a stable job, Lee Young-wook is confident that he is making the right choice not to pressure his son to move out.


鉴于儿子从来没有过一份稳定的工作,李英宇确信他不给儿子施加压力让他搬出去是正确的选择。


"My wife and I want to be like a big mountain that our son could always lean on to,” he said. “I won’t be worried at all about him until he is at least 35.”


“我妻子和我想成为儿子能依靠的大山,”他说。“至少在他35岁之前,我不会为他担心。”


来源:美国全国广播公司新闻网、中国日报网

 

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