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走近韓國"袋鼠族"

來源:chinadaily 編輯:Villa   可可英語APP下載 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet

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.

大多數父母都想在這個艱難的世界中保護自己的孩子,在韓國,這意味着甚至在孩子們早已成年後依然要給他們提供一個家。

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

61歲的李英宇説:“説實話,我怎麼忍心讓我的寶貝兒子受苦呢?”

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.

她兒子李廷圭已經31歲了,依然和父母一起住在首爾市郊盆唐區他從小長大的家裏。他們家並非豪宅,只是個小公寓,對一家三口來説僅僅是剛好夠住而已。

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.

儘管空間有限,小李從來沒有搬出去獨自住過,而且他近期也沒這個打算。

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.

他是韓國“袋鼠族”的一員。“袋鼠族”用來描述那些已經三十多歲甚至四十多歲卻還未從父母家搬出去的未婚男女們。這個稱謂讓人聯想到一隻長得過大卻尚未離開母親育兒袋的有袋類動物。

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.

韓國國家統計局最新報告顯示,一半以上30至40歲的未婚成年人以及44%的40至44歲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.

這份報告於三月底發佈後,在韓國引起了不小的震動,強化了大眾的刻板印象,即“袋鼠族”是由那些人生不成功的韓國人組成的。報告指出,與父母同住的孩子中有42%是無業人員,主流媒體的報道中描繪了疲憊不堪的年長父母和無憂無慮的失業成年子女的形象。

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.

儘管最近受到了媒體關注,然而,專家表示,長期以來,韓國的孩子與父母一起生活到成年是非常普遍的現象。

"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.

韓國國民大學的社會學教授桂奉武説:“袋鼠族現象並非什麼新現象,因為上世紀80年代和本世紀10年代,三四十歲的成年人與父母同住的比例並沒有太大的差別。”

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,雖然缺乏經濟獨立往往是孩子們不離巢的一個因素,但實際上,許多人出於各種原因繼續住在家裏,“袋鼠族”現象並不像流行文化中經常描繪的那樣簡單和片面。

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.

對有些成年子女來説,這種安排讓他們可以更容易照料他們年邁的父母,同時也能為將來存點錢。還有些人,尤其是單身女性,則把父母的保守觀點作為不搬出去的理由。

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.

舉例來説,36歲的宋貞賢和33歲的南允真早就擁有了獨立生活的經濟來源。兩位女性都在首爾的一所公立中學擔任教師,這是該國最受歡迎的職業之一。但她們的父母認為,女性只有在結婚後才應該搬出去住。

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

宋貞賢説:“我父母認為這個世界對獨自生活的女性來説太危險了。”

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.

對大多數單身人士而言,和父母住在一起可能會令人感到壓抑。但是宋貞賢和南允真説她們對這種安排很滿意,甚至還強調了這麼做帶來的實際好處。

"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.”

“我媽媽依然給我做早飯,支付生活費和水電費。和我上學時候相比,除了我現在在工作之外,沒有什麼變化。” 南允真説。“我媽媽希望我把錢攢下來,為結婚做準備。”

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.

宋貞賢説,與父母同住也讓她節省了時間和金錢,因為她不必自己洗衣服或做其他家務。此外,當她需要建議或想討論重大問題時,父母近在咫尺。

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

她説,這種情況並非只是“啃老”,而是“雙贏”。

"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.”

“享受這種生活安排的不僅僅是我。我父母也非常感謝有我在身邊,”她説。“隨着我父母年齡增大,他們發現某些事情非常具有挑戰性——比如使用智能手機和網上銀行。由於我們住在一起,我在這些方面幫了很多忙。我的父母經常跟我説,他們無法想象沒有我的生活。”

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”一詞進入了韓國的流行詞彙,那是一個年輕人失業率很高的時期,許多剛畢業的大學生因為找不到工作而繼續與父母住在一起。

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.

根據韓國國家統計局的數據,1997年至1998年期間,青年失業率從5.7%猛增到12.2%,然後在2000年略微下降到8.1%。2020年,韓國的青年失業率為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.

儘管人們曾經輕視“袋鼠族”,認為他們在社會和經濟上無能,但桂奉武表示,這種污名已經開始減弱。

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

他説:“人們已經開始意識到,如今這個年代,經濟獨立越來越難實現了。”

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.

首爾國立大學的經濟學教授李喆熙指出,韓國的經濟使得年輕一代越來越難以實現經濟獨立和獨立生活。

"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年以後,首爾等大城市的房價急劇上漲,而就業市場高度不穩定,臨時工作僱用的人數增加,這些因素都大大增加了三四十歲的人從父母家搬出去獨立生活的難度。”

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.

鑑於兒子從來沒有過一份穩定的工作,李英宇確信他不給兒子施加壓力讓他搬出去是正確的選擇。

"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.”

“我妻子和我想成為兒子能依靠的大山,”他説。“至少在他35歲之前,我不會為他擔心。”

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