Now, the Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
Santa Claus is someone who will remain in the hearts of children forever. He is the make-believe person who brings toys and other gifts to children at Christmas.
To grown-ups, he is a special symbol of goodwill and selfless giving. Santa Claus also has some other names: Saint Nicholas, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Pelznickel.
对成年人来说，他是善意和无私付出的特殊象征。圣诞老人还有其它一些名字：圣·尼古拉斯（Saint Nicholas）、圣·尼克（St. Nick）、里斯·柯林格勒(Kris Kringle）、佩尔兹尼克(Pelznickel)。
Two of his names -- Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas -- both come from the Dutch who settled in New York long ago. The Dutch believed Saint Nikolas gave gifts to children. They honored this kindly saint with a yearly festival on December sixth.
Santa Claus和Saint Nicholas这两个名字都来自许多年前来纽约定居的荷兰人。荷兰人认为，圣·尼古拉斯送给了孩子们礼物。他们在每年12月6日纪念这位和善的圣徒。
The English-speaking people who lived nearby greatly enjoyed Dutch festivals. And they brought the saint and the custom of giving gifts into their own celebration at Christmas time. The Dutch spoke the name "Saint Nikolaas" very fast. It sounded like "sinterklaas." And so, when the English said this word, it sounded like Santa Claus.
住在附近的讲英语的人非常喜欢这个荷兰人的节日。他们把这位圣徒和送礼物的习俗带到了自己的圣诞节庆祝活动中。荷兰人念“Saint Nikolaas”这个名字时语速非常快，听起来就像是“sinterklaas”。因此用英语念这个词时听起来就像是Santa Claus。
West of New York, in Pennsylvania, many German farmers had also heard of Saint Nikolas. But they called him Pelznickel. This word came from "pelz," meaning fur, and "nickel" for Nicholas. And so, to the Germans of Pennsylvania, Saint Nicholas or Pelznickel was a man dressed in fur who came once a year with gifts for good children.
在纽约西部的宾夕法尼亚州，许多德国农民也听说过Saint Nikolas。但他们称其为Pelznickel。这个词来自“Pelz”，意思是皮衣，而“nickel”的意思是Nicholas。所以，对宾夕法尼亚州的德国人来说，Saint Nicholas或Pelznickel就是一位穿着皮衣，一年一次来给好孩子分发礼物的人。
Soon, people began to feel that the love and kindness Pelznickel brought should be part of a celebration honoring the Christkindl, as the Germans called the Christ child. After a time, this became Kris Kringle. Later, Kris Kringle became another name for Santa Claus himself.
很快，人们开始觉得，Pelznickel带来的仁爱和善良应该成为纪念Christkindl活动的一部分，德国人称Christkindl为基督圣婴（Christ child）。过了一段时间，这演变成了Kris Kringle。Kris Kringle成为了圣诞老人的又一个名字。
Whatever he is called, he is still the same short, fat, jolly old man with a long beard, wearing a red suit with white fur.
The picture of Santa Claus as we see him came from Thomas Nast. He was an American painter born in Bavaria. He painted pictures for Christmas poems. Someone asked him to paint a picture of Santa Claus. Nast remembered when he was a little boy in southern Germany. Every Christmas, a fat old man gave toys and cakes to the children. So, when Nast painted the picture, his Santa Claus looked like the kindly old man of his childhood.
And through the years, Nast’s painting has remained as the most popular picture of Santa Claus.
Santa can be seen almost everywhere in large American cities during the Christmas season. Some stand on street corners asking for money to buy food and gifts for the needy. Others are found in stores and shopping centers. It is easy to find them by the long lines of children waiting to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. If one took a vote among children to learn who their favorite person was, there is no question who would win -- Santa Claus.