Are British people actually polite?
英国人真的很有礼貌吗?

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获得53.8k好评的回答@Jack Fraser:

Well, asking a Brit this is going to get a somewhat biased answer — but I'll do my best.
嗯,问英国人这个问题,得到的答案会有失偏颇,但我会尽量给出最好的答案。

Like any large group (65 million of us), we are not monolithic — some of us are right arseholes. Some of us are lovely. However, we do seem to have an instinctive politeness drilled into us at a basic level.
像任何大型群体一样(我们有6500万人口),我们也不尽相同,有些人很蠢,有些人很可爱。然而,我们被灌输的基本礼貌已经成为了一种本能。

There is a popular myth that British people are so polite, they will apologise to you if you bump into them whilst walking on the street. So a researcher tested this — she travelled all over the world…just deliberately walking into people!
关于英国人的礼貌有一种很流行的说法:如果你在街上走的时候无意中撞到了英国人,他们还会向你道歉。所以一个研究人员检测了这件事的真假——她环游世界,故意去撞别人!

The results of this (hilarious) experiment was indeed that 80% of people in Britain will apologise to you if you walk into them. The only nation who came close was Japan, with something like 60% apologies — though she did note that the Japanese were much better at stepping out of the way and avoiding the collision! So the statistics do seem to indicate that we have a reflexive need to say “oops I'm sorry”, even when we know full well it was your fault!
这个(滑稽的)实验发现在英国如果你撞了别人,的确有80%的人会向你道歉。唯一研究结果接近的国家是日本,接近60%的人会道歉——同时她也确实发现日本人更擅长让路来避免撞上!所以这一数据确实表明我们会条件反射一样地说:“哎呀,对不起,”甚至当我们很明白错不在自己时也会如此。

For what it's worth, I would like to tell you a story, which I think might shed some more light on the matter…
不管怎样,我想分享一个故事,我觉得可能能解释得更明白一点…

Just over a year ago, I was walking out of Trinity College, Oxford — where I lived at the time. I was making my way to the supermarket to buy some milk. It was about 4 in the afternoon. About 100m from my goal, a very drunk man stumbled into me — basically knocking me over. I of course apologised to him (despite him staggering into me, whilst I was minding my own business!)
一年多以前我住在牛津,我从三一学院出来去超市买牛奶。当时大约是下午4点,离超市还有约100米的时候一个醉醺醺的人踉踉跄跄地撞到我,差点把我撞倒。我当然向他道歉了(虽然是他撞到我的,但当时我只在想自己的事)。

The Britishness complete, I turned to be on my way — at which point this blindingly drunk man, assumed I was starting a fight, so punched? me in the face. So what did I do? I said “I'm sorry” again.
展现了英国人的风格之后,我继续走——当时那个醉的不成样子的人以为我要跟他打架,所以一拳打在我脸上。我是什么反应?我又说了一遍“对不起”。

Yep. I apologised to a man, after he punched me in the face.
是,在一个人打我脸之后我却向他道歉。

Now, this is mostly because my brain was about 3 seconds behind, and hadn't quite caught up with recent events — and so defaulted to “standard Brit”. But the point stands as an interesting view into how deeply the words “I'm sorry” are drilled into our national psyche!
这主要是因为我的大脑延迟了3秒,还没弄明白刚发生的事——“标准的英国人”模式。但从这件事能看出一个有趣的事实,“对不起”深深地烙印在我们民族的心里。

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(翻译:菲菲)