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Where the Sun Shines All Night太阳永远照耀的地方

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Where the Sun Shines All Night太阳永远照耀的地方
  V. M. 希利尔(1875—1931),美国著名的儿童教育家、科普作家,创建了卡尔弗特教育体系。他为孩子们编写了一套趣味盎然的历史、地理、艺术读物,即《写给孩子看的世界历史》《写给孩子看的世界地理》《写给孩子看的艺术史》。本文选自《写给孩子看的世界地理》。
  In “Through the Looking-Glass” the story of “The Walrus and the Carpenter” starts this way:
  The sun was shining on the sea,
  Shining with all his might.
  ...
  And this was odd, because it was
  The middle of the night.
  Sun shining at midnight! You probably think this can’t be true and is only a joke, but it is true up at the top of Norway and Sweden. At the top of Norway is a great rock sticking out into the Arctic Ocean. It is called the North Cape, and although there is no town there, people make long journeys from other lands to the North Cape to see the sun shining on the sea in the middle of the night.
  You have always been told that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and probably you have never seen it do anything else; but the boys and girls in the north of Norway and Sweden know differently, for up there the sun doesn’t rise in the east and set in the west. It goes completely round the house low down in the sky near the ground and keeps on going round and round this way every day for six months and in that time never sets—is never out of sight—there is always daylight for six months. But the sun gradually gets closer and closer to the ground as it goes round the sky and then at last sinks out of sight below the edge of the World, and there it stays out of sight for another six months and for six months it is night.
  How can such a thing be? Isn’t it the same sun we see here?
  Yes, of course it’s the same sun; there’s only one sun. But we are living on the side of the World and we can’t see the sun when it goes round to the other side of the World. If, however, we climb up the side of the World to the top where the North Cape is, we can see the sun go all the way round. It is as if you lived on the side of a hill and some one went round the hill and came back on the other side. You could see him go off one way and come back the other way, but you couldn’t see him when he was on the other side. If, however, you went to the top of the hill you could see him all the way round.
  在《愛丽丝漫游镜中世界》里面,有一首诗叫《海象和木匠》。诗的开头是这样写的:
  太阳照在海面上,
  水波粼粼泛金光:
  ……
  可是事情很稀奇,
  因为这是大晚上。
  晚上出太阳!你一定会认为这是不可能的事情,只是童话故事里的玩笑话罢了。可是,在挪威和瑞典的最北边,这样的情形却是真真实实存在的。在挪威的最北边,有一大块伸入北冰洋海中的岬角,叫作北角。北角这个地方没有人居住,但是来自世界各地的游客都会到这里来,为的就是看午夜时分的太阳照耀在海面的情景。

  你的爸爸妈妈或者老师一定告诉过你,太阳从东边升起,朝西边落下。而且在你生活的地方,你看到的日升日落应该也总是如此。可是在挪威和瑞典北部的孩子们看到的太阳起落却大不一樣。在那儿,太阳不是从东边升起,朝西边落下。一年中有六个月的时间,太阳一直都在离地平线很近的地方低垂着,并不会落下去。一天之中,太阳会围绕着屋子转个圈,也不会落山。而在这个过程中,太阳绕着屋子转圈,却会一天比一天离地平线更近一点。最后,有一天,太阳终于整个沉入了地平线以下。这之后就是六个月长的黑夜,在这六个月里,太阳完全不再升起。
  这究竟是怎么回事?这样的太阳还是不是我们每天看到的那个太阳呢?
  当然是同一个太阳,我们只有这一个太阳。我们居住在地球的一端,当地球转到背对着太阳的另一端时,我们就无法看到太阳。可是,如果爬到地球的顶端,例如挪威的北角,这里就不存在地球面对或背对太阳的情况,太阳就会始终停留在我们的视野里面。打个比方,就好比你住在一座山上,山脚下有个人围绕着山兜圈子。如果你在半山腰,那么你会看到这个人从山这边出现,又消失在山那边,周而复始。一旦这个人走到山背后去,你就看不见他了。而如果你爬到山顶上去,那么无论这个人走到山脚的哪个位置,你都能看到他。
  The land at the top of the World is often called “The Land of the Midnight Sun”, because the sun shines at midnight. It might just as well be called “The Land of the 10-o’clock-at-night Sun”, for the sun shines at every hour of the night as well as every hour of the day. And it also might be called “The Land of the Midday Night,” for when the sun is going round out of sight below the edge of the World it is dark every hour of the day as well as of the night.
  This “Land of the Midnight Sun” is the land of the Reindeer—Santa Claus Land. In this land of snow and ice very little grows except moss, and the Reindeer is the only animal that can live on moss. The people that live there are called Lapps. They look something like Eskimos, and both look like the Chinese, so we think they probably were Chinese long, long ago. The Lapps and the Reindeer live together in the same hut—the Reindeer is like a horse, a cow, a sheep, and a dog all in one. The Lapp harnesses the Reindeer to his sled, he gets milk from her, he kills her and eats the meat, and then he uses her skin to make himself and his family fur coats and tents.
  I know a Swede who speaks twelve languages, I know of a Swede who invented a way of separating cream from milk without skimming it, and I know of two Swedish boys who invented a machine for making ice.
  Sweden and Norway used to be one country with one king, but now they are separate countries and each has a separate king and a separate capital.
  The capital of Norway was named Christiania, but the name was changed. You will find it on the map way down the throat of the whale. It is now called Oslo. The capital of Sweden is Stockholm. Both Oslo and Stockholm are on the water, but they are not touched by the Gulf Stream, so the water in their harbors is frozen over nearly all winter and ships cannot go and come at that time. Stockholm is often called the Venice of the North, because like Venice it has many streets of water.

 地球最高的地方被称作“午夜时太阳照耀的地方”,因为太阳在午夜依然停留在地平线之上。这地方也可以叫作“晚上十点太阳照耀的地方”,因为太阳不分白天黑夜地照射着这里。这地方也可以稱作“正午之夜的地方”,因为当太阳转到世界的另一面时,这里不分白天黑夜地都是一片漆黑。
  这个“午夜时太阳照耀的地方”,是驯鹿生活的地方。传说中的圣诞老人也生活在这里。地面上除了苔藓,这是一块常年覆盖着冰雪的地方。而驯鹿是唯一能够靠吃苔藓就生存下来的动物。在这片土地上生存的原住民叫作拉普人。拉普人看上去有点像因纽特人。而拉普人和因纽特人看上去都很像中国人。人们认为,拉普人和因纽特人的祖先可能是中国人。拉普人和驯鹿生活在同一顶帐篷里面。驯鹿长得像是马、牛、羊和狗四种动物的集合体。拉普人用驯鹿来拉雪橇,挤驯鹿奶喝,也杀驯鹿吃肉。拉普人用驯鹿皮给自己或家人做皮衣,以及他们住的帐篷。
  我认识一个瑞典人,他能说12种语言。我认识的另一个瑞典人想出了一个办法,可以不用经过烦琐的脱脂程序,就能把奶油从牛奶中分离出来。我还知道两个瑞典学生,他们发明了一种制冰的机器。
  在历史上,瑞典和挪威曾是一个国家,由一位国王统治。而现在,它们成了两个独立的国家,有各自的国王和首都。
  挪威的首都原来叫作克里斯蒂安尼亚,不过,现在改成了奥斯陆。从地图上看,奥斯陆在那条“大鲸”的喉咙部位。瑞典的首都叫作斯德哥尔摩。奥斯陆和斯德哥尔摩这两座城市都是海滨城市,可是墨西哥湾的暖流都到不了这两座城市,所以到了冬天,这两座城市的港口都会被冰封冻起来,所有的船只能待在港口里,外面来的船也进不了港。斯德哥尔摩常被人们称为“北方的威尼斯”,因为同威尼斯一样,斯德哥尔摩也有很多由河流形成的街道。
  Word Study
  moss /m?s/ n. 苔藓,青苔
  hut /h?t/ n. 简陋的小房子(或棚、舍)
  harness /'hɑ?n?s/ v. 给(马等)上挽具
  We harnessed two ponies to the cart.
  skim /sk?m/ v. 撇去(液体上的油脂或乳脂等)
  Skim the scum off the jam and let it cool.
  Mary and John are the commonest English names. Ole is one name the Scandinavians like especially well. Hans is another, and Eric and Peter are others. Americans sometimes make a family name by adding “son” to John to make Johnson. The Scandinavians add “son” or “sen” to their names to make family names, as Ericson, Oleson, Hansen, Petersen, Nansen, Amundsen. If you were in Wisconsin or Minnesota you would find thousands of such names. That is because many, many Swedes and Norwegians have come to the US and settled in that part of the country which is most like their country.
  Many common Norse words look like English words misspelled:
  lamp is lampe
  house is hus
  cow is ko
  They haven’t copied English words. English words have copied them, for long ago Norse sailors settled in England, and after thousands of years people speaking English still use some Norse words changed very little.
  Long years ago the men of Scandinavia were fierce fighters, who drank a strong liquor called “mead” and used the skulls of their enemies for cups. They believed in fairytale gods and goddesses. Thor, they believed, was a god who made the thunder and lightning. Tiu was the god of war. So they named some of the days of the week after their gods; Tiu’s day, Thor’s day, Woden’s day, Fria’s day. Four of the seven days of the week in English are still named after these Scandinavian gods, for those people are the great-great-grandfathers of many of Westerners. Tuesday is Tiu’s day, Thursday is Thor’s day, Friday is Fria’s day and Wednesday is Woden’s day.

 Dynamite, you know, is something used to blow up things. It was invented by a man who lived in Sweden. When he died he left a lot of money and said that the interest from this money was to be given every year to the men or women who, no matter in what country they lived, had done the most for the World during that year. So each year judges go over all the things that have been done and choose those men or women who have done the most for the good of the World and give them the money. This man was named Nobel and the money is known as the Nobel Prize. You yourself could win the Nobel Prize if you ever did something big enough and fine enough. Do you think you ever will?
  “玛丽”和“约翰”是非常普通的英文名字。在斯堪的纳维亚,“奥勒”是人们最喜欢的一个名字,还有“汉斯”“埃里克”和“彼得”。在美国,人们有时候会在“约翰”后面加上一个“逊”字,用作他们的姓。斯堪的纳维亚人在他们的名字后面加上“逊”或者“森”,构成一个家族的姓,比如“埃里克逊”“奥勒逊”“汉森”“彼得森”“南森”,还有“阿蒙森”。如果你在美国的威斯康星州或者明尼苏达州住过,你会发现有很多人叫前面提到的这些名字。这是因为很多挪威人和瑞典人移民到美国的时候,选择在这两个州定居。这两个州的环境和他们的祖国最相似。
  斯堪的纳维亚语中有很多单词看起来很像拼写错了的英语单词。比如下面这些例子:
  英语中的“灯”是lamp,在斯堪的纳维亚语中是lampe;
  英语中的“房子”是house,在斯堪的纳维亚语中变成了hus;
  英语中的“牛”是cow,在斯堪的纳维亚语中写作ko。
  其实,不是斯堪的纳维亚语模仿英语,而是英语模仿它。在很久以前,挪威水手航行到英格兰,并在那儿定居下来。几千年之后,讲英语的人们仍然在使用这些只有微小变化的斯堪的纳维亚词语。
  在很古老的时代,斯堪的纳维亚人是野蛮的战士。他们用敌人的头盖骨当酒杯,喝一種叫蜂蜜酒的烈性酒。他们信仰很多神话中的神祇,如雷电之神托尔和战神蒂乌。他们用这些神的名字来给一周当中的日子命名,比如“蒂乌之日”“托尔之日”“沃登之日”“弗蕾娅之日”等等。在英语中,一周有四天的名字都还是依从斯堪的纳维亚神祇的名字,这是因为这些斯堪的纳维亚人是今天欧美人的曾曾曾祖父。“蒂乌之日”对应的是英文中的星期二,“托尔之日”对应的是星期四,“弗蕾娅之日”对应的是星期五,而“沃登之日”对应的是星期三。
  我们都知道炸药这种东西。人们可以使用炸药来开山修路什么的。炸药是一个瑞典人发明的。当他去世的时候,他留下一大笔钱。在他的遗嘱中,他决定把这笔钱每年所得利息分发给那些为人类社会的进步做出贡献的人。不论这些人的性别和国籍,只要他们的贡献足够大,就可以获得这笔奖金。因此,评奖委员会每年会认真审查这一年有哪些人对人类社会做出了哪些贡献,然后从中评选出贡献最大的人,给他们发放奖金。设立这个奖项的人名叫诺贝尔,这个奖项就叫诺贝尔奖。如果你将来做出一番事业,没准也能获得诺贝尔奖呢!你觉得会不会呢?
  Word Study
  fierce /f??s/ adj. 凶狠的;凶残的
  interest /'?ntr?st/ n. 利息
  The money was repaid with interest.

英语阅读太阳永远照耀的地方

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