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    BBC成立100周年:未知的前景(上)

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    The BBC

    英国广播公司(BBC)

    The sound of the apocalypse would be soothing.

    世界末日时的声音会让人感到安慰。

    Whereas prophets and novelists tend to imagine Armageddon as noisy - earthquakes, looting and whatnot - for the BBC, it would sound like Peter Donaldson.

    尽管预言家和小说家倾向于将世界末日想象成一片嘈杂的景象——地震、劫掠等等——但对BBC来说,世界末日听起来就是彼得·唐纳森的声音。

    As documents declassified a few years ago revealed, he was the newsreader chosen to usher in the end of the world.

    几年前解密的文件显示,彼得·唐纳森是被选中迎接世界末日的新闻播音员。

    "This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons," he says, with velvet voice and perfect diction.

    “这个国家遭到了核武器的攻击,”他用天鹅绒般的声音和完美的措辞说。

    "Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house."

    “无论发生什么,都不要到屋外去。”

    The broadcast adds a few more details.

    广播还提到了其它细节。

    Food must be conserved.

    必须节约食物。

    Water must be rationed ("It must not be used for flushing lavatories").

    水必须限量使用(“一定不能用来冲盥洗室”)。

    Even in the end times, the BBC would not countenance the word "toilet".

    即使在世界的最后时刻,BBC也不会说出“厕所”这个词。

    For many, this felt less unnerving than apposite.

    对许多人来说,这不会让人感到不安,反而是来得恰如其分。

    The organisation, which turns 100 this month, had announced the start of the second world war and its end.

    本月,BBC这个宣布了第二次世界大战的开始和结束的组织,将迎来它的100岁生日。

    It had covered the liberation of Belsen and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Suez crisis and the Falklands war.

    它报道了贝尔森集中营的解放和伊丽莎白二世女王的加冕,苏伊士运河危机和福克兰群岛海战。

    For 100 years, the BBC has parcelled up disaster and defeat, then distributed them, after the pips and before the weather forecast, to the British.

    100年来,英国广播公司把灾难和失败包装起来,然后在电台报时之后,天气预报之前播报给英国人。

    If Armageddon was to come, it felt right the BBC would announce it, probably after "The Archers", certainly in an rp accent.

    如果世界末日真的到来,BBC应该会宣布这一消息,可能是在《阿彻家族》广播剧结束之后,当然是用英国英语的标准发音。

    It was not, in the beginning, obvious that this would be so.

    一开始,情况并不是这样的。

    The BBC was founded a century ago from pragmatism rather than idealism, the result of a lacklustre compromise to satisfy new radio companies (which thought they would flog more sets if people had programmes to listen to on them) and the General Post Office (which wanted to stop anyone from gaining a monopoly over the airwaves, but couldn't be bothered to oversee programmes itself).

    一个世纪前BBC的创立基于实用主义,而非理想主义,它是为了满足新的广播公司(它们认为,如果人们有节目可听,它们就能出售更多无线电接收器)和邮政总局(它想要防止电视广播领域出现垄断,但不愿费心监督节目内容)的要求而做出的平淡妥协。

    So it was that on October 18th 1922, to the interest of almost no one, the British Broadcasting Company was born.

    因此,1922年10月18日,在几乎没人感兴趣的情况下,英国广播公司诞生了。

    "Company" became "Corporation" in 1927.

    1927年,BBC将其名称中的“Company”改为了“Corporation”。

    Today the BBC tends to offer news as its main mission, spending £314m ($346m) a year on it.

    如今,BBC将提供新闻作为其主要任务,每年在新闻上的花费能达到3.14亿英镑(即3.46亿美元)。

    But as David Hendy, a historian, explains in a new book, it was at first far less interested.

    但正如历史学家大卫·亨迪在他的新书中解释的那样,一开始,人们对此并不感兴趣。

    As one early BBC boss put it: "I didn't really care what was happening in Abyssinia."

    正如BBC早期的一位老板所说:“我根本不在乎阿比西尼亚发生了什么。”

    By agreement with the newspapers, the BBC broadcast no bulletins before 7pm, to avoid competition.

    根据与报纸行业达成的协议,BBC在晚上7点之前不播放广播,以避免行业竞争。

    But the BBC - which in its early days employed no journalists—hardly tried anyway.

    但早期没有雇佣记者的BBC在当时几乎没有努力过。

    "There is no news," ran one crisply conclusive bulletin in 1930, before returning to a broadcast of Wagner's "Parsifal".

    1930年,在切回到瓦格纳的《帕西法尔》歌剧之前,BBC干净利落地总结道:“没有新闻。”

    Wagner wasn't mere filler.

    瓦格纳不是仅仅用来凑数的。

    Cultural betterment, not bulletins, was seen as the BBC's main mission.

    相比于新闻简报,文化进步在当时被视为BBC的主要使命。

    William Haley, an early BBC chief, envisaged radio as a pyramid with popular programmes at its base and high culture at its apex.

    BBC早期的首席执行官威廉·黑利将广播想象为一座金字塔,底层是流行节目,顶端是高雅文化。

    The common man would be drawn in low and then, in a sort of audio purgatory, be purified by BBC programming until he achieved the blessed state of voluntarily enjoying Buxtehude.

    普通人会被底层节目吸引,然后在这种音频炼狱中,通过BBC的节目得到净化,直到他达到自愿欣赏布克斯特胡德的幸福状态。

    Presenters in dinner jackets, their speech a lesson in itself, carefully followed strict pronunciation guides: "quad-rille" was to be pronounced with the accent on its last syllable; "phil-istine" on its first.

    那些身穿晚礼服的演讲者的演讲本身就是一堂课,他们严格遵循发音指南:“quad-rille”一词的重音在最后一个音节,“phil-istine”的重音在第一个音节。

    重点单词   查看全部解释    
    compromise ['kɔmprəmaiz]

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    n. 妥协,折衷,折衷案
    vt. 妥协处理,危

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    strict [strikt]

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    adj. 严格的,精确的,完全的

     
    apex ['eipeks]

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    n. 顶点,最高点,尖端

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    apposite ['æpəzit]

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    adj. 适当的,恰切的

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    countenance ['kauntinəns]

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    n. 面容,面部表情,支持

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    syllable ['siləbl]

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    n. 音节 vt. 分音节

     
    forecast ['fɔ:kɑ:st]

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    n. 预测,预报
    v. 预测

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    usher ['ʌʃə]

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    n. 带位员,招待员 vt. 引导,护送 vi. 做招待

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    monopoly [mə'nɔpəli]

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    n. 垄断,专利,独占,控制

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    pronounced [prə'naunst]

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    adj. 显著的,断然的,明确的 pronounce的过

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