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托福TPO-18 Lecture 3

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Narrator:Listen to part of a lecture in a European history class.

独白:听下面一段欧洲历史的课程。
Professor:In order to really study the social history of the Middle Ages, you have to understand the role of spices.
教授:同学们,要理解中世纪的社会发展历史,你们必须要理解香料的重要作用。
Now, this might sound a little surprising, even a little strange.
现在,我这样说,听上去有些令人惊讶,甚至诡异。
But what seem like little things now were back then actually rather big things.
但是,你们现在觉得是小事情的东西,在过去可能是很重要的事情。
So first let's define what a spice is.
那么,我们先来给香料下一个定义吧!
Technically speaking, a spice is part of an aromatic plant that is not a leaf or herb.
从技术上讲,香料是一种带有香味的植物,而不单纯是植物的叶子或者根部。
Spices can come from tree bark like cinnamon, plant roots like ginger, flower buds like cloves.
香料可以由肉桂等植物的树干,姜等的根,四叶草等的花蕾制成。
And in the Middle Ages. Europeans were familiar with lots of different spices, most important being pepper, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, maize and nutmeg.
并且在中世纪的时候,欧洲人已经知道许许多多种香料了,其中最重要的有胡椒、丁香、姜、肉桂、玉薯和豆蔻。
These spices literarily dominated the way Europeans lived for centuries, how they traded and even how they used their imaginations.
这些香料几个世纪以来一直都驾驭着欧洲人的生活,甚至贸易以及思维。
So why this medieval fascination with spices?
这样的话,我们不禁会问:为什么中世纪的人们如此沉迷于香料?
We can boil it down to there general ideas briefly.
我们可以归因于三条主要原因,
One was cost and rarity.
其一是价值和稀有性,
Uh two was exotic taste and fragrance.
其二是域外风味和香味,
And third, mysterious origins and kinds of mythical status.
第三则是香料的某种神秘性。
Now for cost and rarity, spices aren't native to Europe and they had to be imported.
第一条是香料的价值和稀有性。欧洲并不能生产香料,所以必须依靠进口。
Spices only grew in the East Indies and of course transportation costs astronomical, so spices were incredibly valuable even from the very beginning.
香料只能产于东印度一代,所以运输的费用是难以相信的天文数字。
Here is an example. In 408 AD, the Gothic General who captured Rome demanded payment.
譬如,公元 408 年,占领了罗马的哥特将军索要赎金。
He wanted 5000 pounds of gold among other things but he also wanted 3000 pounds of pepper.
他想要 5000 磅黄金,外加其他的东西,但他同时想要 3000 磅胡椒。
Maybe that would give you an idea of exactly where pepper stood at the time.
这个例子可能很精确地告诉你胡椒的价值所在。
By the Middle Ages, spices were regarded as so important and expensive they were used in diplomacy, as gifts by heads of state and ambassadors.
到中世纪,香料极其受到重视,异常昂贵,甚至被用到了外交场合,被用作赠送给外国元首或使节的礼物。
Now for the taste.
第二是香料的口味。
The diet then was relatively bland, compared to today's. There wasn't much variety.
和今天相比,中世纪时候人们的口味是比较温和的,菜品味道没有什么变化。
Especially the aristocracy who tended to eat a lot of meat, they were always looking for new ways to prepare it, new sources, new tastes and this is where spices came in.
经常享受肉食的贵族们总是希望有更多烹制肉食的方式,调料,味道,这就是香料发挥作用的地方了。
Now, this is a good point to mention one of the biggest myths about spices.
在这里讲讲香料最吸引人的一个秘密似乎最为合适了。
It's commonly said that medieval Europeans wanted spices to cover up the taste of spoiled meat.
一般都认为中世纪的欧洲人使用香料的目的,是要掩盖肉食变质的味道。
But this isn't really true.
但实际上并不是这么回事。
Anyone who had to worry about spoiled meat couldn't afford spices in the first place.
首先,那些操心肉食会腐败变质的人,是负担不起香料的费用的。
If you could afford spices, you could definitely afford fresh meat.
如果你买得起香料,你就买得起鲜肉。
We also have evidence that various medieval markets employed a kind of police to make sure that people did not sell spoiled food, and if you were caught doing it, you were subject to various fines, humiliating public punishments.
我们还能找到许多相关证据,表明中世纪时各种市场都采用了严格的措施保证商贩不出售变质的肉。如果商贩因为出售烂肉被逮住了,他会面临罚款以及各种丧失颜面的惩罚。
So what actually was true was this:In order to have meat for the winter, people would preserve it in salt, not a spice.
所以,事实上是这么回事:为了在冬季能吃上肉,人们会先把肉制品用盐腌制,而不是用香料。
Spices actually aren't very effective as preservatives. And throughout winter, they would eat salted meat, but the taste of the stuff could grow really boring and depressing after a while.
并且香料并不是什么好的防腐剂。而且,整个冬天,人们都只能吃咸的腌肉,一段时间后,大家会对这种单调的口味感到厌倦。
So the cook started looking for new ways to improve the taste and spices were the answer, which brings us to mysterious origins and mythical status.
所以,厨师就开始探索提升口味的新措施,所以他们就发现了香料。而香料神秘莫测的来源和地位正是来源于此。
Now the ancient Romans had a thriving spice trade and they sent their ships to the east and back.
古罗马帝国的香料贸易非常兴盛;他们派遣船只来往于东西方,进行香料交易。
But when Rome collapsed in the fifth century and the Middle Ages began, direct trade stopped, and so did that kind of hands-on knowledge of travel and geography.
但到了 5 世纪,罗马帝国崩塌了,中世纪开始了,香料直接贸易终止了,所以人们对于香料的运输和来源的直接认识也就中断了。
Spices now came by way of the trade routes with lots of intermediaries between the producer and the consumer.
之后,香料辗转几手,在生产商和顾客之间曲折多次才能完成交易,
So these spices took on an air of mystery.
这样一来,香料看上去就很神秘莫测了。
Their origins were shrouded in exotic travels.
香料来自遥远的他乡,
They had the allure of the unknown, of wild places. Myths grew up of fantasy lands, magical faraway places made entirely of food and spices.
它们身上带着异域的、未知的、野性的诱惑。于是乎,各种魔幻的、满是香料和食品的大陆的传说涌现出来。
And to that, spices themselves had always been considered special or magical not just for eating and this was already true in the ancient world where legends about spices were abundant.
并且在这样一种局面下,香料之所以神奇,并不只是因为它的口味。
Spices inspired the medieval imagination.
它激发了中世纪人们的想象力。
They were used as medicines to ward off diseases, and mixed into perfumes, incent.
它们被用作药品来驱赶疾病,被加入香水和起味剂中。
They were used in religious rituals for thousands of years.
几千年来,它们一直被用作宗教祭祀的祭品。
They took on a life of their own and they inspired the medieval imagination, spurred on the age of discovery in the 145th and 16th centuries.
它们不仅展现了它们自己的价值,更激发了中世纪的幻想,激发了 14,15和16世纪人们探索域外的力量。
When famous explorers like Columbus and da Gama and Magellan left Europe in their ships, they weren't looking for a new world; they were looking for spices.
其实,诸如哥伦布,伽达·马,莫里根这样的著名探险家驱船离开欧洲,不是想要探索新世界,而是想要寻找香料。
And we know what important historical repercussions some of those voyages had.
这些旅程对于我么人类历史的重要性我们自然是耳熟能祥的。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
mystery ['mistəri]

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n. 神秘,秘密,奥秘,神秘的人或事物

 
variety [və'raiəti]

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n. 多样,种类,杂耍

 
evidence ['evidəns]

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n. 根据,证据
v. 证实,证明

联想记忆
aristocracy [.æris'tɔkrəsi]

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n. 贵族,贵族阶级

 
bark [bɑ:k]

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v. (狗)吠,咆哮
n. 狗吠,咆哮

 
astronomical [.æstrə'nɔmikəl]

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adj. 天文学的,巨大的

 
aromatic [.ærəu'mætik]

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adj. 芳香的 n. 芳香植物,芳香族化合物

联想记忆
magical ['mædʒikəl]

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adj. 魔术的,有魔力的,神奇的

 
diplomacy [di'pləuməsi]

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n. 外交

 
thriving ['θriaiviŋ]

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adj. 旺盛的;蒸蒸日上的;繁荣的 v. 兴旺(thr

 

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