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BBC六分钟英语听力精选:立马能说任何一种语言

Cherie207 于2014-06-20发布 l 已有人浏览
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大家好,欢迎收听BBC六分钟英语听力精选,我们将会给你带来各种各样的消息新闻,今天要说的是语言学习者都梦想能够立马说任何语言的新技术。
    小E英语欢迎您,请点击播放按钮开始播放……

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Speak any language instantly

立马能说任何一种语言

你能想象有那么一台机器,可以让你在任何地方都能交流顺畅吗?

一个日本移动电话运营商开发了一些技术,使语言学习者更靠近梦想一步。

在今天的BBC6分钟英语里,与Neil和Jen一起了解更多。

本期问题:

全球有多少种语言呢?有:

a) 大约100种

b) 大约1000种

c) 大约6000种

让我们一起来听节目,找答案吧。

听力内容:

Speak any language instantly

Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English: the programme in which we talk about a story in the news and learn some vocabulary while we’re doing it. I’m Neil and joining me today is Jen. Hi there, Jen.

Jen: Hi Neil.

Neil: Now, this sounds like every struggling language student’s dream...

Jen: A piece of technology which could put an end to hours and hours of study…

Neil: It sounds like something from science fiction…

Jen: A machine which allows you to speak any language in the world… instantly!

Neil: OK, well not quite, but we are talking about an app – a piece of software common on smartphones - developed in Japan. This app allows you to have conversations with another person speaking in a different language translated in real time – in other words, instantly.

Jen: This could put us out of a job, Neil! Now come on, it must be time for a language-related quiz.

Neil: Yes, that’s exactly what we’ll do now. I want to know, how many languages are there in the world? Is it:

a) about 100

b) about 1,000

c) about 6,000

Jen: Well, I think there are a lot but maybe not 6,000, so I’ll go for b) about 1,000.

Neil: OK, well we will find out, as ever, at the end of the programme. Back now to our app.

Jen: This, of course, isn’t the only instant translation technology in the world.

Neil: No, Google have something similar, though it’s less advanced than this Japanese app. Listen to the first part of a report from the BBC’s correspondent, Richard Taylor. How does the Google technology work?

BBC correspondent Richard Taylor:

You simply talk into your smartphone. That’s then sent to the server from Google, which does real-time voice recognition and then machine translation on it and then that data is sent back to your phone either as a script or, if you pay a little bit extra in terms of data charges, as a voice file.

Neil: He says when you talk into your smartphone, it’s sent to the server – a central computer which other computers get their information from.

Jen: The server does real-time translation and then sends back a text or voice file.

Neil: So you read the translation or, if you pay a little bit more, listen to a translation sent as an audio recording.

Jen: Amazing stuff!

Neil: Indeed, but this new app in Japan, developed by the company NTT Docomo, goes even further.

Jen: That’s right. With this technology, you can have an actual conversation with someone on the other side of the world, speaking a different language to the one which is coming out of your mouth!

Neil: Incredible! Now listen to the second part of the report from the BBC’s Richard Taylor.

BBC correspondent Richard Taylor:

But they’ve actually taken the concept and applied it to normal phone calls. So, you’re making a phone call to somebody from Japan in Japanese, on the other side of the world, for example in Britain. It will take that Japanese voice, do the real-time machine translation on the server, couple of seconds later it would bring it back down to you in English. Or at least that’s the idea.

Neil: So, the difference is that this app allows people to speak to foreigners in real time – with a slight pause while the real-time translation takes place.

Jen: So, which languages does it convert?

Neil: At the moment, Japanese to English, Mandarin and Korean. But more are to follow.

Jen: I suppose the big question is “How accurate is the translation?”

Neil: Yes, that is the big question. The BBC’s Richard Taylor tried it out with the help of a Japanese translator. What did he ask and how good does the translator think the app is?

BBC correspondent Richard Taylor:

Reporter: Hello, how are you? Are there any good restaurants around here?

Smartphone: [Japanese reply]

Reporter: How well did that do as a translation, first of all?

Japanese translator: Well, it’s understandable but it’s not perfect.

Neil: The reporter asked if there is a good restaurant nearby.

Jen: And the Japanese translator says the app was understandable but not perfect.

Neil: Is this technology going to sweep the world, I wonder?

Jen: Well, there are some other companies hot on the heels of the Japanese company NTT Docomo. For example, France’s Alcatel-Lucent is developing a rival product which will operate on landlines.

Neil: And Microsoft is working on something it’s calling the Translating Telephone. Now the question I want to ask you Jen is, “Do you think this will put an end to language learning forever?”

Jen: Well, I hope not. I think these types of technologies are always helpful but nothing will ever replace learning a language. I know I’m biased but speaking a foreign language is one of life’s great pleasures!

Neil: And I agree with you but, of course, I would because it’s my job.

Jen: Before we go, Neil, aren’t you going give the answer to the quiz?

Neil: OK, yes. I wanted to know how many languages there are in the world. Is it:

a) about 100

b) about 1,000

c) about 6,000

Jen: And I said b) about 1,000.

Neil: And you are wrong. I know you speak about 1,000 languages, Jen, but the answer is about 6,000.

Jen: Wow!

Neil: Now, time for a recap of some of the words we heard in today’s programme.

Jen: They are: app, smartphone, in real time, server, hot on the heels.

Neil: Join us again soon for more 6 Minute English from bbclearningenglish.com.

Jen: And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Neil: Bye for now.

Jen: Bye.

词汇学习:

1. app 应用程序;应用软件

2. smartphone 智能手机

3. in real time 及时;即时

4. server 服务端

5. hot on the heels 紧随其后

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