Now the VOA Learning English program Words and their Stories.

    The word homeland is getting new attention in the United States.

    Soon after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush appointed a director of the Office of Homeland Security in the White House. The next year, the U.S. Congress approved a new executive-level department called the Department of Homeland Security. This department took responsibility for parts of the country's borders, transportation system, ports and other important structures.

    The dictionary tells us that a current definition of homeland refers to the country were someone was born or grew up, or a large area where a group of people can live.

    Historically, the Old English word hamland meant "enclosed pasture" — a protected field for animals. The word homeland first appeared in Modern English in the 1660s. It combined the nouns "home" and "land."

    But a deeper look at how the word homeland was used outside of the U.S. shows why some people are not comfortable with it. The government of South Africa used the word homeland for areas it created for only African peoples during the period of apartheid. These "homelands" separated the Africans from white citizens.

    Friederike Eigler is a professor of German at Georgetown University. She said that in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, people used a similar word to homeland – heimat – to express intense national pride.
    弗里德里克·艾格勒(Friederike Eigler)是乔治城大学的一名德国教授。她说,在19世纪末和20世纪初的德国,人们使用类似homeland的一个单词heimat来表达强烈的民族自豪感。
    "It became more and more a political term because it was sort of meshed up with ideas of the nation and nationalism. And then that kind of came to a head during World War II. It became very much tied up very much with notions of the German race, and the nation, nationality or national socialism, and so in that sense it got very discredited as a result in the postwar period."

    In the early 2000s, when the U.S. government created the Department of Homeland Security, some objected to the name. Peggy Noonan writes for the Wall Street Journal. She thought the Bush administration should change the name. She said homeland "isn't really an American word."
    当21世纪初美国政府创建这国土安全部时,有人反对这个名称。佩吉·努南(Peggy Noonan)为华尔街日报撰稿。她认为布什政府应该更改这一名称,因为homeland不是一个真正意义上的美国单词。

    James A. Bartlett blogs for The Ethical Spectacle. He thinks the problem is that the word homeland has to do with the idea of being a native. He quotes the second Merriam Webster definition of homeland: "a state or area set aside to be a state for a people of a particular national, cultural, or racial origin."
    詹姆斯·A·巴特利特(James A. Bartlett)为《 Ethical Spectacle》撰写博客。他认为问题在于homeland这个词跟本土化这种观念沾边。他引用了韦氏词典对homeland的第二种定义:为具有特定国家、文化和种族起源的人群划拨的一个国家或地区。

    Mr. Bartlett believes the word homeland does not describe the United States well. The U.S. is a diverse country of immigrants. Are those immigrants also able to call the U.S. their homeland?

    Yet an increasing number of Americans seem to like the word. Some people are proposing it as the name for the group of people born between 2005 and 2030. For instance, many voters in a 2005 web poll wanted to call the group the "Homeland Generation." The White House used the term in an October 2014 report.
    然而越来越多的美国人似乎喜欢上这个单词。有人提出把它作为2005年到2030年之间出生人群的名称。例如,许多参与一项2005网络民调的投票者想要称这群人为“Homeland Generation”。白宫在2014年10月的报告中用到了这个术语。

    Professor Eigler at Georgetown University observed that today's generation is growing up with the war on terror.

    "My sense is, the larger context again is, with that term, is the importance of issues of national security in the context of the global war on terror and that larger context that is very much part of our contemporary life, and has been for quite some time. And of course, they grew up with that. It wasn't something new, but it was part of, or is part of their lives from the very beginning."

    Writer Anne Boysen even titled her book about today's children "Homelanders." But she is not certain the term will stay with this generation.
    作家安妮·伯森(Anne Boysen)甚至将她关于当今儿童的书命名为《Homelanders》。但她不确定这个词是否会和这代人长久保留下去。

    And that's Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English. I'm Christopher Cruise.
    以上就是本期美国之音慢速英语词汇掌故节目的全部内容。我是克里斯托弗·克鲁斯(Christopher Cruise)。(51VOA.COM对本文翻译保留全部权利,未经授权请勿转载,违者必究!)