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第1段

1 .<-NARRATOR:->Listen to part of a lecture in a history class. The professor has been discussing Egyptian hieroglyphs.

旁白:听一段历史课的讲座。教授正在讨论古埃及象形文字。

第2段

1 .<-FEMALE PROFESSOR:->Egyptian hieroglyphs are the ancient Egyptian writings found in ancient Egypt on walls, monuments, and on the inside and outside of temples.

教授:埃及象形文字即古埃及文字,在古埃及墙壁上、纪念碑及寺庙内外都能找到。

2 .Hieroglyphic writing ended abruptly about sixteen hundred years ago, and it mystified the most brilliant minds in the study of Egyptian artifacts and archaeology for many, many centuries.

象形文字约在1600年前突然消亡,许多世纪以来,这给那些专门研究埃及史前器物和考古学的一流人才带来了诸多困惑。

3 .Finally, the possibility of deciphering hieroglyphs came about with the discovery, in 1799, of the Rosetta Stone.

最后,人们在1799年发现了罗塞塔之石,破解象形文字成为可能。

第3段

1 .The Rosetta Stone is arguably the most famous archaeological artifact ever discovered.

罗塞塔之石大概是有史以来人们发现的最著名的考古文物。

2 .It contains the same exact text written in three different alphabets—Greek, demotic, and hieroglyphic.

在石头上面有以三种不同文字书写的同一文本:希腊语,埃及通俗语及象形文字。

第4段

1 .But we didn’t even know at first that the three texts on the Rosetta Stone contained the same information.

但我们在一开始并不知道罗塞塔之石上的三篇文本意思一样。

2 .And two of the three alphabets are ancient Egyptian scripts that stopped being used: the hieroglyphic and the demotic.

三种文字中的两种都是古埃及文字,它们已经停止使用了:象形文字及埃及通俗语。

3 .The demotic script found on the Rosetta Stone… um… well, demotic was not as elaborate as hieroglyphic writing.

在罗塞塔之石上的通俗语文字,嗯……通俗语并不及象形文字精致繁复。

4 .It was used for more mundane matters, oh, like, um, administrative documents.

通俗语通常用于日常琐事中,或是行政文件中。

5 .These ancient Egyptian scripts were replaced by Coptic script.

这些古埃及文字被埃及古语取代了。

6 .But eventually the Arabic language replaced Coptic, and this cut off the linguistic link between ancient and modern Egypt.

但最终阿拉伯语取而代之,把古埃及与现代埃及的语言联系彻底斩断。

第5段

1 .Now, the Rosetta Stone was remarkable because as I said, on it was the same text in three different alphabets— Greek, demotic, and hieroglyphic.

罗塞塔之石是非常了不起的,因为,正如我所说,在上面有用三种不同文字书就的同一文本:希腊语,埃及通俗语及象形文字。

2 .The stone was essentially the dictionary that scholars needed to interpret the meaning of the hieroglyphs.

这块石头基本上被翻译象形文字的学者当作字典来使用。

3 .And it took a uniquely equipped researcher to finally decipher and understand what was written on the stone.

而且需要研究者有特殊的知识背景去破解并弄懂石头上的文字。

第6段

1 .ThomasYoung, an English scholar, was the first to seriously attempt to decipher the symbols on the Rosetta Stone.

托马斯·杨是一位英国学者,他是第一个认真尝试破解罗塞塔之石上的符号的人。

2 .He suspected, rightly, that the hieroglyphs were phonetic symbols, that they represented sounds rather than pictures.

他的怀疑是正确的,这些象形文字是注音符号,代表声音而不是图像。

3 .Until then, all scholars assumed that hieroglyphs were pictographs, that they symbolized objects or concepts.

此前,所有学者都认为,象形文字是图像表意文字,即它们代表物品或概念。

第7段

1 .ThomasYoung focused his attention on one set of hieroglyphs that he thought would probably spell out a single word: the name of a king or queen.

托马斯·杨集中关注一组象形文字,他觉得这组文字能拼成一个单词,是某位国王或王后的名字。

2 .He guessed that the symbols represented the name of the early Egyptian ruler, Ptolemy, since Ptolemy was also written in Greek on the stone and was indeed a Greek name.

他猜测这些符号代表了早期埃及统治者托勒密的名字,因为石头上也有希腊语写的“托勒密”,且“托勒密”确实是个希腊名字。

3 .And Young did actually prove that these hieroglyphs represented sounds rather than whole words.

事实上,杨也证明了这些象形文字代表的是声音,而不是完整单词。

第8段

1 .Strangely, though, he gave in to the dominant thesis of the day, that hieroglyphs were pictographs.

但很奇怪的是,他屈服于当时的主流观点,即象形文字是图像表意的。

2 .He actually dismissed his own findings as an anomaly because the Ptolemaic dynasty was Greek, not Egyptian!

他认为自己的发现是个反常现象,因为托勒密王朝是在古希腊,而非埃及。

3 .In other words, he figured it was an exception to the rule.

换句话说,他认为这只是个例外。

4 .It was phonetic because it was Greek, not Egyptian.

这是注音文字,因为它是希腊语,而不是埃及语。

5 .How else could an Egyptian depict a Greek name other than spell it out?

一个埃及人怎么会把一个希腊名字描述出来,而不是直接拼出来呢?

第9段

1 .And that brings us to the hero of our story, Jean-Francois Champollion.

这就要提到我们的英雄人物了,让·弗朗索瓦·商博良。

第10段

1 .Champollion built on Young’s work, showing that different hieroglyphs spelled the names of kings or queens, like Alexander or Cleopatra, but his critics noted that these were still not traditional Egyptian names.

商博良基于杨的研究成果,展示了不同的象形文字拼出了国王或王后的名字,像“亚历山大”或“克利奥帕特拉”,但批评他的人指出,这也不是传统的埃及名字。

2 .He hadn’t done any more than Young had been able to do, so he couldn’t disprove the dominant theory.

他并不能比杨多做多少,他也无法推翻主流观点。

第11段

1 .Then in 1822, Champollion was shown a set of hieroglyphs that contained traditional Egyptian names.

接着,在1822年,有人给商博良展示了一组象形文字,其中包含传统埃及名字。

第12段

1 .The first two of these symbols were unknown, but Champollion knew that the repeated hieroglyph to the far right symbolized an “s” sound.

开头的两个符号意义不明,但商博良知道,一直重复至右边尽头的象形文字代表“s”的音。

2 .He then drew on his linguistic knowledge to arrive at the solution to the problem.

接着他利用自己的语言学知识,找到了问题的解决办法。

3 .You see, unlike any of the other scholars who had tried to crack the code, Champollion happened to be fluent in Coptic.

不像别的试图破解文字的学者,商博良恰好非常精通埃及古语。

4 .He wondered, and, uh, this was the real breakthrough, if Coptic was the language symbolized by the hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone, and if so, then perhaps that first disk-shaped symbol might represent the Sun.

他怀疑(这是真正的突破点)罗塞塔之石上的象形文字所代表的语言是埃及古语。若真如此,很可能第一个圆片形状的符号代表太阳。

5 .And the Coptic word for Sun is“ra.” See where this is headed?

埃及古语中,太阳是“ra”。能猜到接下来发生什么了吗?

6 .So if the symbol were Coptic, the first symbol would be “ra” and then an unknown symbol followed by a double “s” sound.

假如这些符号是埃及古语,第一个符号就是“ra”,接着是一个意义不明的符号,然后是两个“s”的声音。

7 .Was this, Champollion wondered, the name Ramses?

商博良想,这是不是“拉美西斯”这个名字呢?

8 .He was eventually able to confirm that it was.

他最后确认了,确实是。

9 .So, he had figured it out: hieroglyphs were mainly phonetic, they represented sounds, not pictures, and the underlying language was Coptic.

他弄明白了。象形文字主要是注音文字,它们代表的是声音而不是图像,且隐含的语言是埃及古语。

10 .A lot of work remained, but Champollion had cracked the code.

还有很多工作要做,但商博良已经成功破解了密码。