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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen -> 
East Timor: Being first has its rewards
    2018-05-31  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

The slogan for East Timor— “Being first has its rewards” — offers a nice approach to the country’s recent history. Known as Portuguese Timor from its colonization in the 16th century until independence in 1975, it was immediately occupied by Indonesia, and was declared a province of that country. But separatist groups kept up the pressure until May 2002 when East Timor became the first new country of the 21st century. That led to the reference of “being first” in its slogan.

The country, as you would expect, occupies the eastern portion of the island of Timor (as well as some nearby islands and a small exclave in the west), which is north of Australia and at the east end of an archipelago mainly occupied by Indonesia. In fact, the western end of the island, once occupied by the Dutch, is the Indonesian province of West Timor. Despite this, the people of East Timor are more closely related to aboriginal Australians than to Indonesians.

The official languages are Tetum — a local Austronesian language — and Portuguese. Due partially to the Portuguese influence, but largely due to the Indonesian requirement that all people be members of a religion, East Timor is over 99 percent Christian, nearly 97 percent of them Roman Catholic.

The amalgam of languages in East Timor’s name has led to an interesting anomaly. As mentioned, the island lies at the east end of an archipelago, so its name, “Timor,” is from the Malay word for “east.” As it occupies the eastern half of the island, it has been named with the Portuguese word for east, “Leste.” Thus, whether using the English name “East Timor” or the local name “Timor-Leste,” one is basically making a linguistic tautology, calling it East East!

Looking at the map, we can see that Timor is shaped somewhat like a crocodile. This has given rise to a legend. Once a little boy helped a sick, old crocodile. In thanks, the crocodile gave his body for the boy and his family to live on. The island is the croc’s body, and the people are the boy’s descendants.

Vocabulary:

Which word above means:

1. “first people” of a place

2. way of looking at something

3. useless repetition of words, like “a noisy clamor” (there are no quiet clamors)

4. language (and people) of some Pacific areas, like Malaysia and Indonesia

5. short for “crocodile”

6. peculiarity, oddity

7. story to explain the origins of something

8. wanting to break away from a country

9. children, their children, etc.

10. because of

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