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        #165: Movies Become Big Business in 1920s

        作者:Frank Beardsley 發布日期:7-26-2013

        A movie theater in New Orleans, Louisiana
        A movie theater in New Orleans, Louisiana

        ANNOUNCER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

        In the years after World War One, new technologies changed America. Technology made it possible for millions of people to improve their lives. It also brought great changes in American society.

        第一次世界大戰結束后的年月里,新技術改變了美國。技術進步使數百萬人有可能改善他們的生活,也給美國社會帶來了巨大的變化。

        This week in our series, Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant tell more about the technological and social changes that took place in the United States in the early nineteen twenties.

        HARRY MONROE: Some of the most important changes came as a result of the automobile and the radio.

        一些最重要的變革是汽車和無線電帶來的。

        Automobiles began to be mass-produced. They were low enough in cost so many Americans could buy them. Gasoline was low in cost, too. Together, these developments put America on the move as never before.

        那時,美國已經開始大規模生產汽車,車價足夠低,以至于許多美國人都買得起車。另外,汽油價格也低。這使得美國人獲得了前所未有的行動自由。

        Automobiles made it easy for Americans to travel. Trucks made it easy for goods to be transported. Many people and businesses moved out of crowded, noisy cities. They moved to open areas outside cities: suburbs.

        汽車使美國人出行變得更容易,而卡車使運送貨物變得簡單。這樣,許多美國人和公司離開了擁擠吵鬧的城市,搬到了開闊的市郊。

        Traffic jam in Detroit, Michigan
        Traffic jam in Detroit, Michigan

        KAY GALLANT: As automobiles helped Americans spread out, the radio helped bring them closer together. Large networks could broadcast the same radio program to many stations at the same time. Soon, Americans everywhere were listening to the same programs. They laughed at the same jokes, sang the same songs, heard the same news.

        汽車讓美國人居住得更加分散,而無線電卻讓美國人之間的聯系更加緊密。大廣播公司可以向許多電臺同時播放同樣的節目。很快,住在各地的美國人就開始收聽同樣的東西了。大家因為同一個笑話而哈哈大笑,哼唱同一首歌曲,收聽同樣的新聞。

        Another invention that produced big changes in American life was the motion picture.

        給美國人生活帶來重大變化的另外一個發明就是電影。

        HARRY MONROE: American inventor Thomas Edison began making short motion pictures at the turn of the century. In nineteen-oh-three, a movie called "The Great Train Robbery" was the first to tell a complete story. In nineteen fifteen, D. W. Griffith made a long, serious movie called "Birth of a Nation."

        美國發明家托馬斯.愛迪生在19世紀末20世紀初的時候就開始制作短片了。1903年的《火車大劫案》成為歷史上第一個講述了完整故事的電影。1915年,大衛.格里菲斯拍出了《一個國家的誕生》,這是一部時間長、內容嚴肅的電影。

        By the early nineteen twenties, many American towns had a movie theater. Most Americans went to see the movies at least once a week. The movie industry became a big business. People might not know the names of government officials. But they knew the names of every leading actor and actress.

        20世紀初,美國許多城鎮里都有一家電影院。許多美國人每個禮拜至少去看一次電影。電影工業成為一個龐大的產業。人們也許不知道政府官員的名字,但對電影里每個男女主角的名字卻了如指掌。

        KAY GALLANT: Movies were fun. They provided a change from the day-to-day troubles of life. They also were an important social force.

        電影很有意思,讓人們暫時逃離日常生活中的煩惱,同時,電影也是重要的社會力量。

        Young Americans tried to copy what they saw in the movies. And they dreamed about far-away places and a different kind of life. A young farm boy could imagine himself as romantic hero Douglas Fairbanks or comedian Charlie Chaplin. A young city girl could imagine herself as the beautiful and brave Mary Pickford.

        美國年輕人努力模仿他們在電影中看到的東西,夢想去遠方,開始完全不同的生活。一個農場的小伙子可能會想象自己是浪漫英雄道格拉斯.范朋克或者喜劇明星卓別林。而一個城市小姐也可以幻想自己是美麗勇敢的瑪麗.璧克馥。

        Rich families and poor families saw the same movies. Their children shared the same wish to be like the movie stars. In this way, the son of a banker and the son of a factory worker had much in common. The same was true for people from different parts of the country.

        富裕的家庭和貧困的家庭看同樣的電影。他們的孩子同樣憧憬著成為電影明星。這樣,銀行家的兒子和工人的兒子就有了共同點。生活在美國各地的人也有了共同點。

        Charlie Chaplin
        Charlie Chaplin

        HARRY MONROE: In the early nineteen twenties, Americans also began reading the same publications. The publishing industry used some of the same kinds of mass-production methods as the automobile industry. It began producing magazines in larger amounts. It began selling the same magazines all over the country.

        20世紀20年代初,美國人還開始閱讀同樣的刊物。出版業學習汽車制造業的一些大規模生產方法,開始增加雜志的數量,并在全國各地賣同樣的雜志。

        One of the most widely-read magazines was the Saturday Evening Post. In nineteen-oh-two, it sold about three hundred thousand copies each week. Twenty years later, it sold more than two million copies each week.

        其中擁有最多讀者的一本雜志是《星期六晚報》, 1902年時,該報每周能賣出大約30萬份。20年后,每周銷量超過200萬份。

        Americans everywhere shared the same information and advice in such nationwide magazines. The information was not always correct. The advice was not always good. But the effect was similar to that caused by the automobile and radio. Parts of American society were becoming more alike. They were trying to move toward the same kind of life -- economically and socially.

        各地的美國人通過全國發行的報刊雜志獲得同樣的信息和建議,但是這些信息并不總是正確的,這些建議并不總是好的。盡管如此,它們帶來的結果和無線電廣播類似,那就是,美國社會的一些部分變得更加相似。美國人在經濟上和社會上都追求同一種生活。

        KAY GALLANT: Other industries used the techniques of assembly-line production to make their goods, too. They discovered that producing large numbers of goods reduced the cost of each one.

        20世紀20年代,美國的其它產業也效仿汽車業,用流水線技術來生產產品。人們發現,生產大量產品能降低每件產品的成本。

        One company that expanded in this way was the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. It was called A&P for short.

        其中一個采用這種生產方式的公司是A&P茶葉公司。

        The A&P was one of the first large American grocery stores to sell all kinds of food. It sold milk, meat, bread, canned fruits, and vegetables all in the same store.

        這個公司是美國最早的大型副食零售商之一。人們在A&P的一個店里就能買到牛奶、肉、面包、罐頭水果和蔬菜等各類食品。

        Shopping at the A&P was much faster and easier than going to different stores to get different kinds of food. In nineteen twelve, A&P had four hundred stores in the United States. About ten years later, it had more than eleven thousand stores. It could buy huge amounts of goods and sell each at a very low price.

        這樣,采購變得簡單了,人們不必再跑到不同的商店買不同的食品。1912年時,A&P在美國擁有400家零售店,大約10年后,零售店超過1萬1千家。A&P能夠大批量地買入商品,然后以很低的價格售出。

        HARRY MONROE: Mass production also came to the clothing industry. People began wearing clothes made in factories, instead of by a family member or local tailor. Before long, the same kinds of clothes could be found everywhere.

        大規模生產也進入到制衣業。人們開始穿制衣廠生產的成衣,而不是家人或者當地裁縫縫制的衣服。不久,在各個地方都能看到同樣款式的衣服了。

        Mass production removed some differences that had marked Americans in the past. Prices dropped, so people with little money could still buy nice clothes. It became more difficult to look at Americans and know by their clothes if they were rich or poor.

        大規模生產消除了以前區分不同美國人的一些差異性的東西。比如,由于衣服價格下降,窮人也能買得起漂亮衣服。這樣,單看一個人的穿著就不再能容易地判斷他是富人還是窮人了。

        KAY GALLANT: Social changes also resulted from great progress in medical research.

        醫藥研究方面也取得了重大進步,而這引發了社會變革。

        Doctors and scientists reported new developments in the fight against disease. This progress gave most Americans a longer life. In nineteen hundred, for example, the average person in the United States could expect to live forty-nine years. By nineteen twenty-seven, the average person could expect to live fifty-nine years.

        醫生和科學家在防止疾病方面取得了新進展。大部分美國人的壽命都延長了。比如,1900年,美國人的平均壽命是49歲,但是到1927年,平均壽命已經達到了59歲。

        HARRY MONROE: Life expectancy rates climbed, because doctors and scientists developed effective ways to prevent or treat diseases such as tuberculosis, typhoid, diphtheria, and influenza. Yellow fever and smallpox were no longer a threat.

        這是因為醫生和科學家發現了防治結核病、傷寒、白喉和流感等疾病的更有效的途徑。黃熱病和天花也不再能威脅人們的生命。

        One new medicine was insulin. It was used to treat diabetes. A man-made version gave diabetics the insulin their bodies did not have. It cut the death rate from the disease from seventy percent to about one percent.

        一種新開發的藥物是胰島素,用來治療糖尿病。人造胰島素給糖尿病患者提供患者自身無法產生的胰島素,從而把患者的死亡率從百分之70減少到百分之1。

        Doctors and scientists also learned the importance of vitamins to good health. Now they could cure several diseases caused by a lack of vitamins.

        醫生和科學家們還發現了維他命對身體健康的重要性。他們能治愈一些因為缺乏維他命而產生的疾病。

        KAY GALLANT: Americans in the nineteen twenties lived much better than their fathers and mothers. A man received more pay than in the past, even though he worked fewer hours each day. He lived in a better house with new labor-saving devices. He had a car to drive to work and to take his family on holiday trips.

        這樣,20世紀20年代的美國人過上了比自己父母好得多的生活。人們的工資比過去高,而每天的工作時間比過去短,他們住在更好的房子里,使用節省人力的家用設備。他們可以開車上班,放假時可以帶全家出去旅游。

        He received a better education than his father. He and his family wore better clothes. They ate healthier foods. The average American in the nineteen twenties had more time for sports and entertainment. He enjoyed listening to the radio and watching movies. He was more informed about national and world events.

        人們得到了比父輩更好的教育,穿上了更好的衣服,吃著更健康的食物。1920年代的普通美國人有更多時間參加體育和娛樂活動,他們喜歡聽廣播和看電影,并能了解更多的國家和世界新聞。

        HARRY MONROE: Life was good for many Americans as World War One ended and the nation entered the nineteen twenties. Yet that life was far from perfect.

        在一戰結束、時間進入20世紀20年代時,對許多美國人來說,生活是美好的。

        Many Americans did not have the same chances to improve their lives. Black Americans continued to suffer from racism. Society continued to deny them their rights as citizens. Women did not have equal rights, either. For example, they could not vote.

        但是,這種生活遠不是完美的。許多美國人并沒有這種改善生活的機會。美國黑人還在遭受種族歧視,社會依然不給他們公民權利。婦女也沒有平等的權利,比如,她們沒有投票權。

        It was during this time that the United States experienced one of its worst incidents of public hatred. Many people turned strongly against labor unions and leftists. They feared a threat to democracy. The federal government took action against what it called political extremists. Many of the charges were unfair. Many innocent lives were harmed.

        正是在這樣的背景下,美國爆發了最嚴重的公眾仇恨事件。許多人強烈反對工會和左翼人士,擔心民主會受到威脅。而聯邦政府采取行動,對付所謂的"政治極端分子"。很多這種指責都是不公平的,很多無辜的生命受到了傷害。

        That will be our story next week.

        (MUSIC)

        ANNOUNCER: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant.

        You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and images at www.squishedblueberries.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

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