Are British people actually polite?
英國人真的很有禮貌嗎?

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獲得53.8k好評的回答@Jack Fraser:

Well, asking a Brit this is going to get a somewhat biased answer — but I'll do my best.
嗯,問英國人這個問題,得到的答案會有失偏頗,但我會盡量給出最好的答案。

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.
像任何大型群體一樣(我們有6500萬人口),我們也不盡相同,有些人很蠢,有些人很可愛。然而,我們被灌輸的基本禮貌已經成為了一種本能。

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!
關于英國人的禮貌有一種很流行的說法:如果你在街上走的時候無意中撞到了英國人,他們還會向你道歉。所以一個研究人員檢測了這件事的真假——她環游世界,故意去撞別人!

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!
這個(滑稽的)實驗發現在英國如果你撞了別人,的確有80%的人會向你道歉。唯一研究結果接近的國家是日本,接近60%的人會道歉——同時她也確實發現日本人更擅長讓路來避免撞上!所以這一數據確實表明我們會條件反射一樣地說:“哎呀,對不起,”甚至當我們很明白錯不在自己時也會如此。

For what it's worth, I would like to tell you a story, which I think might shed some more light on the matter…
不管怎樣,我想分享一個故事,我覺得可能能解釋得更明白一點…

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,我從三一學院出來去超市買牛奶。當時大約是下午4點,離超市還有約100米的時候一個醉醺醺的人踉踉蹌蹌地撞到我,差點把我撞倒。我當然向他道歉了(雖然是他撞到我的,但當時我只在想自己的事)。

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.
展現了英國人的風格之后,我繼續走——當時那個醉的不成樣子的人以為我要跟他打架,所以一拳打在我臉上。我是什么反應?我又說了一遍“對不起”。

Yep. I apologised to a man, after he punched me in the face.
是,在一個人打我臉之后我卻向他道歉。

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!
這主要是因為我的大腦延遲了3秒,還沒弄明白剛發生的事——“標準的英國人”模式。但從這件事能看出一個有趣的事實,“對不起”深深地烙印在我們民族的心里。

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(翻譯:菲菲)