【新概念英语四】第1课:发现化石人

2012-07-24 22:36:36   Tag:

新概念英语

 
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【新概念英语四】第1课:发现化石人 :First listen and then answer the following question. 听录音,然后回答以下问题。 Why are legends handed down by storytellers useful?

 《新概念英语》第四册第1课MP3(英音)

《新概念英语》第四册第1课MP3(美音)

【新概念英语四】第1课 Finding fossil man 发现化石人

First listen and then answer the following question.
听录音,然后回答以下问题。

Why are legends handed down by storytellers useful?

【课文】

We can read of things that happened 5,000 years ago in the Near East, where people first learned to write. But there are some parts of the world where even now people cannot write. The only way that they can preserve their history is to recount it as sagas -- legends handed down from one generation of storytellers to another. These legends are useful because they can tell us something about migrations of people who lived long ago, but none could write down what they did. Anthropologists wondered where the remote ancestors of the Polynesian peoples now living in the Pacific Islands came from. The sagas of these people explain that some of them came from Indonesia about 2,000 years ago.

But the first people who were like ourselves lived so long ago that even their sagas, if they had any, are forgotten. So archaeologists have neither history nor legends to help them to find out where the first 'modern men' came from.

Fortunately, however, ancient men made tools of stone, especially flint, because this is easier to shape than other kinds. They may also have used wood and skins, but these have rotted away. Stone does not decay, and so the tools of long ago have remained when even the bones of the men who made them have disappeared without trace.

【New words and expressions 生词和短语】

fossil man adj. 化石人
recount v. 叙述
saga n. 英雄故事
legend n. 传说,传奇
migration n. 迁移,移居
anthropologist n. 人类学家
archaeologist n. 考古学家
ancestor n. 祖先
Polynesian adj.波利尼西亚(中太平洋之一群岛)的
Indonesia n. 印度尼西亚
flint n. 燧石
rot n. 烂掉

【课文注释】
1.hand down 把...传下去
例句:Many old legends were handed down from generation by mouth.
许多古老的传说都是一代一代口传下来了。

2.read of,读到,和read about是相同的意思。
谈到:speak of,talk of
了解到:know of
听到:hear of

3.the first people,原始人
people+s 表示民族

4.if they had any: 即便是有,表假设
例句:His relatives, if he had any, never went to visit him when he was hospitalized.
他的亲戚,即便他还有的话,在他住院时也从来不去看他。

5.when even the bones of the men who made them have disappeared without trace,这个以when引导的状语从句表示让步的意思,而when可以译成“虽然”,“尽管”。

【参考译文】
我们从书籍中可读到5,000 年前近东发生的事情,那里的人最早学会了写字。但直到现在,世界上有些地方,人们还不会书写。 他们保存历史的唯一办法是将历史当作传说讲述,由讲述人一代接一代地将史实描述为传奇故事口传下来。这些传说是很有用的,因为它们能告诉我们以往人们迁居的情况。但是,没有人能把他们当时做的事情记载下来。人类学家过去不清楚如今生活在太平洋诸岛上的波利尼西亚人的祖先来自何方,当地人的传说却告诉人们:其中一部分是约在2,000年前从印度尼西亚迁来的。

但是,和我们相似的原始人生活的年代太久远了,因此,有关他们的传说既使有如今也失传了。于是,考古学家们既缺乏历史记载,又无口头传说来帮助他们弄清最早的“现代人”是从哪里来的。

然而, 幸运的是,远古人用石头制作了工具,特别是用燧石,因为燧石较之其他石头更容易成形。他们也可能用过木头和兽皮,但这类东西早已腐烂殆尽。石头是不会腐烂的。因此,尽管制造这些工具的人的骨头早已荡然无存,但远古时代的石头工具却保存了下来。

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