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(2010-09-05 22:23:07)



分类: 英汉对照读物






   For thousands of years, man has moved from one place to another. He traveled on foot, on the backs of animals, or in various mechanical vehicles. He has transported himself and his goods over land, one the water, through the air, under the ground, under the water, and even into outer space. Whether carrying something on foot to a neighboring village or rocketing to the moon, man uses transportation.



1. Uses of Transportation

   People have traveled and used transportation for a wide variety of reasons. The earliest and most basic reason was for survival. Primitive man hunted for his food. When food ran out in a certain area, he picked up his belongings and moved to a location where food was plentiful. Survival also meant moving to escape dangers, such as enemy attacks, floods, and fires.




People use transportation in order to trade and do business with one another. Thousands of years ago in the Middle East, long trade and caravan routes were already being used by men to carry goods over great distances. Today, man still transports goods and produce to places where they will be sold.



Transportation has always been the main tool of exploration. Marco Polo traveled by ship and overland by caravan from Italy to China in the 1200s A.D. Columbus and later explorers sailed across the Atlantic to investigate the New World. Modern-day explorers set out in spacecraft to explore the moon and the universe.



Man used transportation for purposes of communication. In ancient times, there was no way to talk to an individual except by being in his presence. This might involve going on a long journey or sending a communication by messenger. Postal systems later developed as a means of transporting messages. But the traditional actual carrying of messages may finally be eliminated in such communications devices as the telephone, telegraph, radio, television and email.



Today, one of the greatest uses of transportation is for pleasure. More people than ever before are traveling just to see new things and gain new experiences.



2. Kinds of Transportation

   Various kinds of transportation have developed with man’s need to travel longer distances in shorter lengths of time. A person living in India 8,000 years ago didn’t need to travel to England in a few hours. His whole life was taken up with farming and the problems of survival. He had no time and no reason to travel halfway around the globe as many people regularly do today.




Walking. Man’s built-in means of transportation is his own two feet. When you walk to school or to a friend’s house, you are transporting yourself. Walking was the first transportation. A person who walks from place to place must carry his belongings with him. Man has used his hands, shoulder slings, backpacks, and even his head to transport things. Then man discovered that he could move more weight if he dragged it rather than carried it.



Beasts of Burden. As people began to domesticate animals, they trained them to pull the litters and sledges. Animals used as beasts of burden are stronger than men and can pull heavier loads over longer distances. Dogs were probably first used, then oxen. Throughout the world, animals such as the water buffalo, elephant, camel, donkey, mule, reindeer, and yak are still used to transport people and goods.



The wheel. Logs used as roller were probably forerunners of the wheel. Man discovered that a very heavy load could be transported by rolling it over a series of logs. As the load was rolled along, the last logs were pulled out and placed at the front of the load. This process was repeated over and over until the load reached its destination.



    True wheels were first used about 5,000 years ago in the Middle East. Ancient Middle East chariots had four wheels and could move quite fast. Improvements in the wheel led to all kinds of vehicles―cars, wagons, coaches, gigs, traps, cabriolets, bicycles, and automobiles.



As wheeled transportation became more and more common, more and better roads were needed. The ancient Romans constructed the first lengthy network of roads paved with stone. The Inca of South America also built a complex and well-constructed road system.



  Roman roads fell into disrepair and disuse during the Middle Age when the primary means of long-distance transportation were walking, horseback riding, or ox riding. Heavy farm carts were used, but mostly for hauling things over short distances. In the 1500s and 1600s, with the development of faster coaches and gigs, new road systems were established. The development of the automobile has brought road construction to the quality it has reached today.



Rails. In 1825, a British engineer named George Stephenson(1) designed the first steam-powered locomotive. Railroad developed rapidly. The first U.S. transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. Rail transportation was the first great advance in land transportation since the development of the wheel. Man could travel at much greater speeds and could haul many tons of goods over great distances. The industrial Revolution, which began in the early 1800s, was given a tremendous boost by the new railroads. Manufacturers could quickly transport their products to distant places.

   铁路运输。1825年,英国工程师乔治· 斯蒂芬森设计出了第一辆蒸汽机车头。铁路得到迅速发展。第一条横跨美国大陆的铁路于1869年建成。自轮子出现以来,铁路运输是陆路运输中的第一个长足进步。人们能够以快得多的速度进行旅行,能够长途拖运许多吨的货物。新出现的铁路大大地促进了于19世纪初开始的工业革命。制造商们可以快捷地将他们的产品运往远方。


On the Water. Water transportation developed much faster than land transportation. People have been using canoes and rafts since earliest times. The water was used not only for irrigation of the land, but also a means of transportation to distant places. Boats and ships were built for use in commerce, warfare, and exploration.With improvements in shipbuilding and with invention of the directional compass, seamen could travel out into the open ocean, out of sight of land. By 1600s, man could transport himself and his goods almost anywhere in the world by ship.



In the Air. In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright (2)made the first successful powered airplane flight. Even though air travel is man’s newest form of transportation, it enable man to travel longer distances at greater speeds than he ever dreamed possible. From propellers to jet propulsion to rocketry, men are now walking in outer space and exploring the surface of the moon and the Mars.




(1)       George Stephenson:乔治·斯蒂芬森(1803年-1848年)是英国工程师、发明家,先后发明了新型蒸汽机车头和蒸汽鼓风法,并修筑了第一条载运旅客的铁路。

Orville and Wilbur Wright:奥维尔·莱特(1871年-1948年)和威尔伯·莱特(1867年-1912年)兄弟是美国飞机发明家、航空先驱者,成功地试飞第一架可操纵的动力飞机,开辟了飞行器重于空气的飞行时代。                            


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