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树有何益?(1/2)对照读物

(2008-12-09 20:08:58)
标签:

英汉对照读物

文化

分类: 美哉英语

What Good Is a Tree?
树有何益?
By Lowell Ponte

 

文章开头曰:Trees are so common and quiet that we pay them little mind.
其实,初见此标题——What Good Is a Tree? 笔者也pay this essay little mind。这个题目还能够讲出多少新意来呢? 不料,细读之后,竟不忍释手!
Trees sustain our lives and our planet in a thousand practical ways.
Trees do more than make life pleasant; they make life possible.
    这是文章的两句主题句。读罢全文,认真一想,便觉这决非耸人听闻之言:无言的树,“挪死”的树,支撑着我们这个星球,庇护着天下的生灵!诸如:
…they draw carbon dioxide from the air. ….and oxygen is released.
Without tree our entire world would be a much drier place.
For centuries, the Chinese have derived medicines from the ginkgo tree.
    让读者双眼一亮的是,文章提供了许多你我都不曾想到的有关树的信息:
    a. 树木能彼此互通信息:
…trees send unseen signals to each other. When willows are attacked by webworms and tent caterpillars, they give off a chemical that alerts nearby trees. The neighboring trees respond by pumping more tannin into their leaves, making them more difficult for the insects to digest.
    b. 树木能诱发天空降水:
Now scientists have found that trees may cause rain in more peculiar ways, too.
    c. 树木能通过树根“互通有无”:
If one tree has access to water, another to nutrients, a third to sunlight, the trees apparently can share with one another.
    d. 树木能影响一个地区的气温:
As settlers came to Los Angeles, they found it hot and dry. They brought in water and planted groves of orange tree across the L.A. Basin. That cooled the climate by several degrees.
    凡是访问过美国的人都留下了“郁郁葱葱”的印象,无论城市,还是乡村。然而,美国人在植树问题上也曾走过弯路:
But in many cities only one tree is replaced for every four that die.
    但是,目前的情况已大有改观:
…tree planting is becoming a national pastime…. In hundreds of cities citizens have organized to re-green their communities.
上句里的动词re-green真是扬足了英语构词之长! 此动词不禁令笔者想起了汉语“绿化”一词。“绿化”一词早已成为我国妇孺皆知的词汇,但是遗憾的是,长期以来,我们苦觅不到与之相应的英译。新版的《汉英词典》提供的表达是:make…green by planting trees, flowers, etc. 其实,re-green与“绿化”,堪称异曲同工!《汉英词典》把“绿化祖国”译成:Plant trees everywhere and make the country green. 一个富有诗意的“绿化”竟被译得如此“老实”! 就广义言,我们进行植树等活动是还大地绿色,况且,日前“绿化”的内涵已有所扩大,比如植草皮。因此,是否可以考虑借用re-green? 将“绿化祖国”译成:re-green the country。
本文文笔自然,娓娓道来,语势流畅。一个重要原因是:从眼前的小事谈起。如:
Trees sustain our lives and our planet in a thousand practical ways. This morning at breakfast—in your wood framed house, on your wooden kitchen table—you might have enjoyed orange juice or a grapefruit.
主题句虽然着眼宏观,气势磅礴,但是,接下去的内容却从你的早餐谈起,读来亲切,共鸣效果强烈! 
  

While revisiting my childhood elementary school, I encountered an old friend. We both had grown over the decades. But my buddy now stood more than 30 feet tall.
故地重游儿时的小学,我碰到了一位老朋友。在走过的这几十年里,我们都成长了。但是我的朋友却长到了30多英尺高。
We first met one Arbor Day when the school gathered to put my friend, a blue spruce, in the ground. The principal told us that planting trees was important. Scientists tell us the same thing today.
我们初次相见那天是植树节,全体学生都聚拢来把我的朋友—— 一株蓝叶云杉——栽在地上。校长告诉我们,植树意义重大,今天的科学家们也在告诉我们同样的道理。
Trees are so common and quiet that we pay them little mind. What, for instance, should we answer when asked to name the biggest living thing Earth has ever seen? Dinosaurs? Blue whales? No, the largest sequoias in northern California weigh more than six blue whales. The tallest red woods and Australia eucalyptus trees tower more than 300 feet high, three times the length of the greatest dinosaur.
树木如此普通而安静,因而我们很少想到它。比如,如果有人要我们说出地球上曾经出现的最大的生物时,我们的回答会是什么呢?恐龙?蓝鲸?不,是在加利福尼亚北部个头最大的红杉,它的重量是蓝鲸体重的6倍多。最高的红杉和澳大利亚的桉树都高达300多英尺,是巨型恐龙身长的3倍。
You think, at 150 or more years, giant tortoises can live a long time? Some bristlecone pine trees in the American West are more than 4000 years old, seedlings at the time the Egyptians were building the Pyramids.
设想一下,巨型龟活到150 岁或者更长些,这算是长寿了吧?而生长在美国西部的一些狐尾松已经4000多岁了。其秧苗初长之时,埃及人正在修建金字塔呢。
Trees sustain our lives and our planet in a thousand practical ways. This morning at breakfast—in your wood-framed house, on your wooden kitchen table—you might have enjoyed orange juice or a grapefruit. Both come to us from trees. Over your French toast you may have sprinkled cinnamon and nutmeg, the powdered bark and nuts of tropical trees. That quart of maple syrup on your table was boiled down from roughly 10 gallons of sap from a sugar-maple tree. And the morning newspaper was printed on the processed wood pulp we call paper. Do you like chocolate, almonds, cola beverages? Cocoa beans, almonds and kola nuts are tree products. How about gin and tonic? Gin gets its flavor from juniper tree berries, and the quinine in tonic comes from the cinchona tree.
树木以千百种实用的方式在维持着我们的生活和我们这个星球的发展。清晨当你吃早餐时——在木架结构的房间里,在木质餐桌上——你或许正享受着美味的橘汁或者葡萄柚。这些都来自于树木。在你的法式烤面包上,也许你会洒上些肉桂粉和豆蔻粉,这些是热带树木的树皮和坚果磨成的。你餐桌上的一品托槭糖浆需要由糖槭树排出的十加仑的树液熬制而成。晨报是印在纸上的,而我们所谓的纸,正是木浆经过处理而成的。你喜欢巧克力、杏仁、可乐饮料吗?可可豆、杏仁和可乐果都是树木的种子。杜松子酒和碳酸奎宁水又如何?杜松子酒的口味来源于杜松子的浆果,而碳酸奎宁水中的奎宁来自金鸡纳树。
Trees do more than make life pleasant; they make life possible. Trees get water through their roots and, primarily through their leaves; they draw carbon dioxide from the air. Then, with the action of sunlight on cells containing chlorophyll, and other materials, chemical reactions occur, and oxygen is released. Through photosynthesis, an acre of trees produces enough oxygen to sustain three humans.
树木不仅愉悦我们的生活,它们还在维持着我们的生命。树木依靠树根来获取水分,通过树叶从空中吸收二氧化碳。然后,含有叶绿素等成分的细胞在阳光的照射下发生化学反应,产生氧气。通过光合作用,1亩树林所产生的氧气可以维持3个人的生命所需。
Photosynthesis also produces glucose, a type of sugar. Trees convert some of the glucose to starch, which they use for energy storage. The cellulose fiber we call wood is made of thousands of glucose molecules linked into giant chains that no longer taste sweet. “You could eat your oak desk,” says U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist Martin Rogoff, with only a splinter of smile.
光合作用还会产生葡萄糖,它属于糖类的一种。树木把一些葡萄糖转化成淀粉,作为能量存储起来。我们称之为木头的纤维素是由许多葡萄糖分子连结成巨大的链而构成的,不过,它们不再具有甜味。“或许你可以啃一口你的橡木书桌,”美国农业部的科学家马丁•罗考夫微笑着说。
Eating wood might seem odd, but many low-calorie breads and other baked goods now include powdered cellulose, which acts as a hulking agent to help hold the foods together.
吃木头听来似乎有些奇怪,但许多低热量(卡路里)的面包和其他一些烘焙食品如今都添加一些纤维素粉末,用来作为聚合的中介物,以助食品整体的凝固。

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