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英国生活指南:第一章

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英国生活指南:第一章

翻译:阿真真MissPink  校对:lexie

你很快就会发现,英国面积很小,甚至还比不上美国北卡罗来纳州或爱荷华州。整个大不列颠——包括英格兰、苏格兰和威尔士——也比美国的明尼苏达州大不了多少。

英格兰最大的河流为泰晤士河(发音为[tə:nz]),但这条河还没有密密西比河在明尼苏达州境内的河段长。英国的任何一个地方距离海洋都不到一百英里。

如果你来自波士顿或西雅图的话,那么英国的天气会让你想起自己的家乡。如果你来自亚利桑那州或者北达科他州的话,你会很难适应这里的天气。起初,你很可能会不喜欢这里连绵不绝的雨雾天气,没有下雪天,没有干燥寒冷的气候。实际上,和美国许多城市相比,伦敦城全年的降水量都会相对较少,但却经常阴雨连绵。最后,许多人都适应了英国这边的气候。

如果有机会四处走走,你会发现美国绝对没有一个相同大小的区域能够有如此多的景致。在英吉利海峡的一端,有一段海岸和美国缅因州的极为类似;在另一端则是多佛城的白垩质峭壁。英国南部的土地还有泰晤士河谷和美国东部的农田或牧场别无二致。同时,英格兰北部的湖区和苏格兰的高地就如同新罕布什尔州的怀特山。在东部,也就是英格兰向荷兰突出的地方,陆地景观几乎和荷兰的一样了,是低平的湿地。英格兰北部约克郡的荒野沼泽和西南部的德文郡则会让你想起美国达科他州和蒙大拿州的贫瘠地带。

历史优于大小。放假的时候你可以去英国的一些城市。在那里,你可以发现英国人在岁月和传统中积淀下来的自豪感。你会发现英国人对事物的尺寸并不在乎,不像我们一样,很多事物都拥有最大的。比如,伦敦没有摩天大楼。这并不是因为英国设计师没有能力去设计,而是因为伦敦城是基于沼泽地而建,不是像纽约城那样基于岩石地而造,摩天大楼恰好需要坚实的地面来支撑其地基。在伦敦,当地人会给你指出威斯敏特斯大教堂,那里是英格兰国王和伟人的长眠之地;他们也会带你参观因其圆顶而闻名的圣保罗大教堂和有近一千年历史的伦敦塔。所有的这些建筑物都在英国历史上发挥着重要的作用。在英国人眼中,他们的意义就如同弗农山或林肯故居对于我们的意义一样重要。

英国的大城市全都坐落在靠近海岸的低地上(见本手册中间的那幅地图)。伦敦位于东南部泰晤士河畔,它是英格兰的纽约、华盛顿再加上芝加哥,对于幅员辽阔的大英帝国来说也是如此。泛伦敦城人口数量庞大,拥有一千二百万人口,相当于是泛纽约城加上附近靠近新泽西的郊区的所有人口。大不列颠群岛超过四分之一的人口都居住在伦敦。“内陆”的制造业城市,如伯明翰、谢菲尔德和考文垂(有时被称作是“英国的底特律”)都位于英格兰的中部地区。靠近西海岸的是纺织业和船舶业中心——曼彻斯特和利物浦。再往北,在苏格兰,有着世界领先的船舶制造中心城市格拉斯哥。东边,是苏格兰历史上的首都爱丁堡,可以看到苏格兰童话和罗伯特·路易斯·斯蒂文森诗歌中的景色,这些作品你们很多人在学校都读过。在英格兰西南部,塞文河宽阔的河口,有着重要的港口布里斯托。

别忘了那儿有场战争。对你来说,英国可能看上去有点陈腐和肮脏。当地人会急于让你知道你并没有领略到这个国家最棒的一面。自1939年这里就战争不断。房屋久未经粉刷,因为工厂不再生产油漆,而是生产飞机。有名的英式花园和公园不是因为人手不够而疏于打理就是用于种植需求不断的蔬菜。英国的的士看着古旧,是因为他们忙着给自己和苏联制造坦克,无暇生产新车。英国的火车寒冷冰凉,因为动力都用于工业生产而非提供暖气。车上没有豪华的餐车,因为战事紧张没人在意这些虚饰。火车无人刷洗看上去脏脏的,因为男人和女人都在比清洗火车更重的岗位上工作。人们生怕你不知道在和平年代英国看着干净,整洁,可爱得多。

英文原文:

THE  COUNTRY

YOU will find out right away that England is a small country, smaller than North Carolina or Iowa. The whole of Great Britain—that is England and Scotland and Wales together—is hardly bigger than Minnesota.

England’s largest river, the Thames (pronounced “Terns”) is not even as big as the Mississippi when it leaves Minnesota. No part of England is more than one hundred miles from the Sea.

If you are from Boston or Seattle the weather may remind you of home. If you you are from Arizona or North Dakota you will find it a little hard to get used to. At first you will probably not like the almost continual rains and mists and the absence of snow and crisp cold- Actually, the city of London has less rain for the whole year than many places in the United States, but the rain falls in frequent drizzles. Most people get used to the English climate eventually.

If you have a chance to travel about you will agree that no area of the same size in the United States has such a variety of scenery. At one end of the English channel there is a coast like that of Maine. At the other end are the great white chalk cliffs of Dover. The lands of South England and the Thames Valley are like farm or grazing lands of the eastern United States, while the lake country in the north of England and the highlands of Scotland are like the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In the east, where England bulges out toward Holland, the land is almost Dutch in appearance, low, flat, and marshy. The great wild moors of Yorkshire in the north and Devon in the southwest will remind you of the Badlands of Dakota and Montana.

 

Age Instead Of Size. On furlough you will probably go to the cities, where you will meet the Briton’s pride in age and tradition. You will find that the British care little about size, not having the “biggest” of many things as we do. For instance, London has no skyscrapers. Not because English architects couldn’t design one, but be-cause London is built on swampy ground, not on a rock like New York, and skyscrapers need something solid to rest their foundations on. In London they will point out to you buildings like Westminster Abbey, where Eng-land’s kings and greatest men are buried, and St. Paul’s Cathedral with its famous dome, and the Tower of Lon-don, which was built almost a thousand years ago. All of these buildings have played an important part in Eng-land’s history. They mean just as much to the British as Mount Vernon or Lincoln’s birthplace do to us.

The largest English cities are all located in the lowlands near the various seacoasts, (See the map in the center of this guide.) In the southeast, on the Thames, is London— which is the combined New York, Washington, and Chi-cago not only of England but of the far-flung British Empire. Greater London’s huge population of twelve mil-lion people is the size of Greater New York City and all its suburbs with the nearby New Jersey cities thrown in. It is also more than a quarter of the total population of the British Isles. The great “midland” manufacturing cities  of  Birmingham,  Sheffield,  and  Coventry  (some-times called “the Detroit of Britain”) are located in the central part of England. Nearby on the west coast are the textile and shipping centers of Manchester and Liverpool. Further north, in Scotland, is the world’s leading ship-building center of Glasgow. On the east side of Scotland is the historic Scottish capital, Edinburgh, scene of the tales of Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson which many of you read in school. In southwest England at the broad mouth of the Severn is the great port of Bristol.

 

Remember There’s a War On.   Britain may look a little

shop-worn and grimy to you. The British people are anxious to have you know that you are not seeing their country at its best. There’s been a war on since 1939. The houses haven’t been painted because factories are not making paint—they’re making planes. The famous English gardens and parks are either unkept because there are no men to take care of them, or they are being used to grow needed vegetables. British taxicabs look antique because Britain makes tanks for herself and Russia and hasn’t time to make new cars. British trains are cold because power is needed for industry, not for heating. There are no luxury dining cars on trains be-cause total war effort has no place for such frills. The trains are unwashed and grimy because men and women are needed for more important work than car-washing. The British people are anxious for you to know that in normal times Britain looks much prettier, cleaner, neater.

英国生活指南:第一章
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