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Restoration, Recovery 修复与恢复

Catherine: Hello, I’m Catherine and welcome to Question and Answer of the Week.

Jean: And I’m Jean. And our question today comes from Chen Wenyu, who wants to know the difference between two quite similar words.

Jean: Let’s hear the question.


Hello BBC. What's the difference between "recovery" and "restoration"? Can I replace recovery and restoration with each other? Many thanks for your answer. Chen Wenyu

Jean: Recovery 恢复,还有 restoration 修复。这两个都是名词。不过它俩的意思有很大的不同吗?

Catherine: Sometimes they have very similar meanings, but sometimes they are quite different.

Jean: OK. 什么时候这两个词的意思是很相近的呢?

Catherine: Well, looking at the verb forms, both recover and restore can mean ‘to put something back to the way it was before’ especially when something was good, and then it went bad. Both recover and restore can mean ‘make it good again’.

Jean: 就是说,recover 和 restore 都有“把某物修复好”的意思。

Catherine: Here’s an example. Two people are talking about someone’s health.


Person 1: Has your mum recovered from her illness?

Person 2: Well, she’s feeling a lot better, but the doctor says it will be another month before her health is fully restored.

Jean: 从这样的例句来看,recover 和 restore 的意思比较相似,都是帮助某事某物或某人“修复”和“痊愈”的意思。那么在什么样的时候这两个词的意思是比较不同呢?

Catherine: Well, there are several ways the two words are used differently. For example, when you take an old building, ornament or piece of furniture, and you clean and repair it so that it looks exactly like it did when it was new – that’s restoration.

Jean: Restoration 修复。比如有当 restoration 在有“修复”的意思的时候,往往是形容来修复被损坏或年代久远的建筑物、美术品文物等等。比如,故宫博物院的修复,就可以用 restoration 这个词。

Catherine: Yes, and that’s a major restoration project. In this example, restoration means repairing, cleaning and putting things back to the way they were before. And the word recovery, in this context, means finding things that were lost or forgotten.

Jean: 是的,所以 restoration 的意思是修复,包括清洗、修补、复原这样的全过程,而 recovery 的意思相比较起来更有去寻找被遗失的东西的意思。Catherine, 是不是 recovery 在这里还有一点去“营救”的意思?

Catherine: ‘Rescue’ is a good way of putting it, yes. Do you know when the Titanic was found?

Jean: 你说的是泰坦尼克号的残骸?美丽悲壮的《泰坦尼克号》,是我最爱的电影,实在是浪漫爱情的极致…

Catherine: Yes Jean, it was, and although the Titanic sunk way back in 1912, the remains of the sunken ship were only found in 1985.

Jean: 所以当时泰坦尼克号的海底沉船残骸一被找到,肯定有很多船上的物品也被找到了。

Catherine: Exactly. Lots of items were recovered, including furniture and the passengers’ personal belongings.

Jean: 这些被打捞起来的文物后来被修复了吗?

Catherine: I expect some of the recovered items have been restored.

Jean: 真有意思!看来,recover 和 restore 的根本区别在于 recover 的意思更有“找到和救起”的含义,而 restore 的意思更倾向于“修理和复原”

Catherine: More or less, yes. But don’t forget, sometimes we use the two words interchangeably. When I lose a folder from my computer, I call the IT support line. Sometimes I ask them to restore the folder, sometimes I ask them to recover it. I don't care how they do it, I just want my folder back!

Jean: 可以理解。不过我想从咱们 IT 的技术角度来讲,找到一个文件夹和复原一个文件夹应该有些区别吧?

Catherine: Technically yes, I expect there is a difference. But in everyday English, this is an example of how the words ‘restore’ and ‘recover’ are used to mean pretty much the same thing.



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