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托福阅读之德国人口衰减

时间:2019年09月07号,星期六  来源:互联网整理  作者:匿名  TAG:

【 资讯政策 - 托福阅读 】

  想要提高托福阅读能力,我们一定要在日常生活中有意识地增加英语阅读量,提升语感和熟练度,这其中比较常用也比较方便地一个方式就是利用各类英文报刊杂志文章进行精读与泛读练习。下面和出国留学网小编一起来看看托福阅读之德国人口衰减。

  Depopulation in Germany

  Fading echoes

  Germany is running out of people, starting in the east

  德国人口衰减

  回声渐

  德国面临人口枯竭,东德首当其冲

  WERE it not for the graffiti on abandoned buildings, Bitterfeld-Wolfen, two towns north of Leipzig joined as one in 2007, would seem devoid of young people. Pharmacies, physiotherapy surgeries and shops selling garden gnomes line the sleepy streets. In its heyday the place had a booming chemical industry. Today “the air is much cleaner and we can finally hang out laundry,” says an elderly local out on a morning stroll. “But many jobs were lost and so few children are left.” He points out a building that was once a school; today it is one of many care homes.

  莱比锡以北有座城市叫比特费尔德-沃尔芬(Bitterfeld-Wolfen),由两个小城于2007年合并而成。要不是一些废弃的建筑上画着涂鸦,简直看不出那里还有年轻人。沿着毫无生气的街道,药店、理疗馆和卖花园精灵雕塑的商店一字排开。在鼎盛时期,这里曾有着蓬勃发展的化工产业。而如今,一个早上出门溜达的当地老人说,“空气干净多了,总算能在外面晾衣服了。”他指了指一座建筑,那里曾是所学校,现在成了当地众多养老院之一。“不过很多工作机会都没了,也没有几个孩子留下来。”

  Despite an influx of 1.2m refugees over the past two years, Germany’s population faces near-irreversible decline. According to predictions from the UN in 2015, two in five Germans will be over 60 by 2050 and Europe’s oldest country will have shrunk to 75m from 82m. Since the 1970s, more Germans have been dying than are born. Fewer births and longer lives are a problem for most rich countries. But the consequences are more acute for Germany, where birth rates are lower than in Britain and France.

  尽管过去两年中涌入了120万难民,德国人口仍面临着几乎不可逆转的萎缩。联合国曾在2015年预言,到2050年,每五个德国人就有两个超过60岁。这个欧洲老龄化最严重国家的人口将从8200万缩减至7500万。自上世纪70年代以来,德国的死亡人数就多过出生的人数。大多数富裕国家都存在着生育率降低而人口寿命变长的问题,但其后果在德国表现得要更为严峻。德国的出生率比英国和法国都要低。

  If Germany is a warning for others, its eastern part is a warning for its west. If it were still a country, East Germany would be the oldest in the world. Nearly 30 years after unification the region still suffers the aftershock from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, when millions—mostly young, mostly women—fled for the west. Those who remained had record-low birth rates. “Kids not born in the ’90s, also didn’t have kids in the 2010s. It’s the echo of the echo,” says Frank Swiaczny from the Federal Institute for Population Research, a think-tank in Wiesbaden. The east’s population will shrink from 12.5m in 2016 to 8.7m by 2060, according to government statistics. Saxony-Anhalt, the state to which Bitterfeld-Wolfen belongs, is ahead of the curve.

  如果说德国对其他国家有所警示,那么德国东部则向其西部敲响了警钟。如果东德今天仍是个国家,它将是世界老龄化最严重的国家。1989年柏林墙倒塌后,数百万人逃往西德,多数是年轻人和女人。那些留下来的人的出生率达到历史最低点。统一近30年后,该地区仍未从柏林墙倒塌的余波中恢复过来。弗兰克·斯威亚兹尼(Frank Swiaczny)供职于威斯巴登(Wiesbaden)一家名为联邦人口研究所(Federal Institute for Population Research)的智库。他说,“上世纪90年代出生锐减的一代人,到2010年代同样少生孩子。这是个恶性循环。”根据政府的统计数字,到2060年,东德的人口将从2016年的1250万缩减到870万。比特费尔德-沃尔芬所在的萨克森-安哈尔特州(Saxony-Anhalt)目前引领这条下降曲线。

  Berlin used to pay little attention to the area. But regional decline has already had a political effect. In a state election in March 2016, a populist party, the AfD, came first in Bitterfeld and second in Wolfen. Such places will matter in a federal election in September, which is expected to be tight. Bitterfeld-Wolfen has seen its population plummet from 75,000 in 1989 to 40,500 today. Even after administrators tore down blocks of flats, and cut floors off others, skeletal remains of buildings still await the wrecking ball. Nearly one building in five is empty. A grand Stalinist-era construction, once the town’s cultural palace, now stands deserted. Two-thirds of kindergartens and over half the schools have closed since 1990. The number of pupils finishing secondary school has fallen by half. Employers struggle to fill vacancies.

  柏林过去并不重视该地区。然而区域性的衰落已经产生了政治影响。2016年3月举行的一次州选举中,民粹主义政党另类选择党(AfD)在比特费尔德得票第一,在沃尔芬位居第二。预计9月份的联邦大选会很胶着,届时这些地方就很关键。从1989年到今天,比特费尔德-沃尔芬的人口已从7.5万骤降至4.05万。即使管理部门已拆除了一些公寓楼及其他建筑,仍有断壁残垣在等待落锤。将近五分之一的建筑都是空的。一栋斯大林时代的宏伟建筑曾是这个小城的文化中心,如今也已废弃。1990年以来,三分之二的幼儿园以及一半以上的学校都已关闭。完成中等学业的学生人数下降了一半。雇主苦苦寻觅能填补岗位空缺的人。

  Apprentices—especially in service industries—are hard to find. The one booming industry, care, is desperate for more geriatricians, nurses and trainees. To help fill the gap, the local Euro-Schulen, a training institute, has turned to Vietnam. Having studied German in Hanoi, 16 young apprentices started in April, with 20 more expected soon. Nearby Dessau is setting up a similar arrangement with China.

  学徒工很难招到,尤其是在服务业。新兴的护理行业迫切需要更多的老年病学家、护士和见习生。为了帮助填补这一缺口,当地一个培训机构“欧洲学校”(Euro-Schulen)将目光投向了越南。4月有16名已在河内学习过德语的年轻学徒上岗,很快还会再有20名。附近的城市德绍(Dessau)也正同中国订立类似的合作协议。

  Germany has long relied on migrants to make up for low fertility rates. Unusually high migration in recent years has more than offset the shrinkage of the native-born population. But the EU countries that have traditionally provided the migrants, such as Poland, are also ageing. Migrant flows will slow; competition for labour will increase. And Olga Pötzsch, from the Federal Statistical Office, argues that Germany will need far more migrants to stop population decline, which is predicted to accelerate from 2020.

  德国一直都靠移民来弥补生育率低下。像近年这样大批涌入的移民在抵消本土出生人口缩水之后通常还会有富余,但过去一直提供移民的欧盟国家本身也在老龄化,例如波兰。移民的流动将放缓,争夺劳动力的竞争将会加剧。德国联邦统计局的奥尔加·波茨什(Olga Pötzsch)表示,德国人口预计会在2020年后加速减少,要遏制人口下跌,所需的移民数量要远超现在的数字。

  Uwe Schulze, a senior local official, says that refugees are not filling the labour shortage. Of the 2,600-odd asylum-seekers who arrived in the area in 2015 and 2016, fewer than a third are now registered as “capable of working” and only 40 are fully employed. From his wood-panelled office in a neoclassical building that once housed one of Europe’s largest colour-film makers, Armin Schenk, Bitterfeld-Wolfen’s mayor, says the problems are mostly to do with language, qualifications and uncertainty about asylum. Asked whether Afghans and Syrians could join the same programme as the Vietnamese, Liane Michaelis, from Euro-Schulen, forcefully shakes her head, citing educational, religious and ethical barriers for care jobs. She adds that “those who do have the right papers leave quickly”. According to the OECD, about half of asylum-seekers who started off in eastern Germany in the past moved to places such as Hamburg once they secured their permit.

  当地一位高级官员乌维·舒尔策(Uwe Schulze)说,难民并不足以弥补劳动力的短缺。2015年至2016年间来到该地区寻求庇护的2600多人中,如今只有不到三分之一的人登记为“有工作能力”,只有40个人找到了全职工作。比特费尔德-沃尔芬市长阿尔明·申克(Armin Schenk)在他那间木板墙面的办公室(这幢新古典主义风格的建筑曾是欧洲数一数二的彩色胶片生产商的办公室)里表示,问题主要有语言障碍、工作资质欠缺以及不确定难民们是否能获得庇护。当被问及阿富汗和叙利亚人是否也可以加入像越南人那种项目,欧洲学校的利亚妮·米歇埃丽丝(Liane Michaelis)用力地摇了摇头。她指出,教育、宗教以及道德伦理方面的隔阂令他们难以从事护理工作。此外,“那些确实有许可的人又都会很快离开。”经合组织(OECD)表示,之前,先在德国东部落脚的避难者一旦拿到了居留许可,便会搬到汉堡等地。

  With the odds seemingly stacked against it, Bitterfeld-Wolfen is at least trying. On a whirlwind tour of the town, Mr Schenk shows how the old coal mine was turned into a lake with a new marina and a promenade. He repeats the town’s mantra: “It’s all about offering good-quality life and leisure.” A brochure shows pictures of smiling children, yachts and tennis. Bitterfeld-Wolfen, it reads, is “one of the youngest cities in Germany”. But even if such marketing did stem departures (and in 2015, for the first time, inward migration slightly exceeded the outflow) the town is still shrinking; more than twice as many die each year as are born.

  虽然看起来赢面不大,但比特费尔德-沃尔芬起码仍在想办法。申克带领来访者快速在城内转了一圈,并展示了一个从废弃的煤矿改造而来的湖泊,湖边还新建了一个小码头和一条漫步大道。他反复搬出这座城市的口号:“只为提供优质的生活和休闲。”一本小册子上印着孩子们的笑脸,还有游艇和网球。上面还写着比特费尔德-沃尔芬是“德国最年轻的城市之一”。但即便这样的营销确实阻止了人口外流(2015年流入人口的数量首次略微超过流出人口),该地的人口仍在萎缩,因为每年死亡的人口超过新出生人口的两倍。

  Across many parts of rural Europe mayors struggle with similar problems, wondering when to turn their school into a care home. By 2050 Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain—which, unlike Germany, have all suffered net brain-drains—will be older than Germany by median age and will have shrunk substantially, according to the UN. Ageing and emigration are likely further to dampen growth in central and southern European countries, says the IMF. It calculates that by 2030 GDP per person in several countries may be 3-4% lower than it would have been without emigration.

  在欧洲很多乡村,市长们在为类似的问题苦恼,琢磨着什么时候把本地的学校改成护理院。据联合国预测,以年龄中位数计,到2050年希腊、意大利、波兰、葡萄牙和西班牙的老龄化程度将超过德国,人口也将大幅缩减(而且这些国家与德国不同,均遭受人才的净外流)。国际货币基金组织指出,老龄化和人口外流很可能会进一步抑制欧洲中部和南部国家的经济增长。据其估算,到2030年某些国家的人均GDP要比假设没有人口外流的情形低3%到4%。

  Where Bitterfeld-Wolfen goes…

  比特费尔德-沃尔芬何去何从

  In Germany, however, the consequences are particularly acute. With a strong economy and a tight labour market, some employers already struggle to fill vacancies. BCG, a consultancy, predicts that by 2030 the country will be short of between 5m and 7m workers. The triple shock of a smaller workforce, increased social spending and the likely dampening effect of an older workforce on innovation and productivity will drag down future growth, predicts Oliver Holtemöller of the Leipzig Institute for economic Research. These effects are stronger in the east, he adds. Productivity is 20% lower than in the west; the ageing population and continuing migration to the west will make economic convergence even less likely.

  不过,这些问题的后果在德国尤为严重。由于经济强盛,劳动力市场供不应求,一些雇主已经很难找到人来填补岗位空缺。波士顿咨询公司(BCG)预测,到2030年,德国的劳动力市场将出现500到700万人的缺口。莱比锡经济研究院的奥利弗·霍尔特莫勒(Oliver Holtemöller)预言,劳动力规模减小、社会支出增加,以及劳动力老龄化抑制创新和生产率这三重冲击未来会拖累经济的增长。他还指出,这些影响在东德要更为深重。东德的生产率比西德低20%;人口日益老化以及持续向西部迁移会让东西部经济平衡更加难以实现。

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