BBC六分钟英语 Goldfish, brains and phones

原标题:BBC六分钟英语 Goldfish, brains and phones

Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English – the programme where we bring you an interesting topic and six items of vocabulary. I’m Neil.

大家好,欢迎收听六分钟英语。该节目会奉上有趣的话题,以及六个实用的单词。我是尼尔。

And I’m Catherine. Now, this programme is six minutes long.

我是凯瑟琳。今天的节目时长是六分钟。

Yes. It’s 6 Minute English!

没错。因为这是六分钟英语栏目啊。

And we have a challenge for everyone – can you stay focused for the full six minutes?

有一个针对所有人的挑战,你能在六分钟内都全神贯注吗?

Sounds easy? Maybe not, because today we’re talking about our attention spans: are they shrinking?

听上去很简单?也许不简单,因为今天我们要谈论人们集中注意力的时限,有没有收缩呢?

That’s right, so we’re asking today: is the length of time we can focus on something – that’s our attention span – actually getting shorter?Now, one study says that – in fact, it claims the human attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish.

没错,所以我们今天的问题是:我们在某件事上投入的注意力时长真的越来越短吗?一个研究声明人类集中注意力的时限比一只金鱼还要短。

Can that be true? Smartphones, the internet, social media – these all certainly do take up a lot of our attention. But how much? How long do we look at our mobile phones for in a day, on average? Is it…a) around 30 minutes, b) around two and a half hours, or c) over three hours?

这是真的吗?手机,网络和社交媒体确实占据了我们很多的注意力。但到底占据了多少呢?我们平均每天看手机的时间有多长呢?a) 大约30分钟, b) 大约两个半小时,还是 c) 超过三小时?

I tend to be quite busy, but I know some people are really addicted to their mobile phonesso I’m going to say around two and a half hours - that’s answer b.

我是很忙,但我知道有一些人真的很沉迷手机。所以我选大约两个半小时,选B。

OK, so, a report released by Microsoft said the average human attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds.Since then it’s fallen to just eight seconds.

好的,根据微软发布的一份报告,2000年人们的注意力时限是12秒。自那以后下降到只有8秒。

Right, and that’s a massive change in a very short time. Now, the year 2000 was just before the boom in digital media and smartphones, so many think they’re to blame for all these distractions – now, distractions are things which take away our focus or attention.

在短时间内真的是变化巨大啊。2000年恰巧是数字媒体和手机风靡前,所以很多人将注意力分散归咎于它们身上。Distraction是指分散我们注意力的事。

Yes. And we mentioned goldfish earlier – goldfish reportedly have an attention span of nine seconds. That’s one more than phone-obsessed humans with a mere eight seconds!

没错。我们之前提到金鱼,据报道,金鱼的注意力时长是九秒。比沉迷于手机,注意力只能持续8秒的人类还多一秒。

And there’s a phrase in English – we say to have the attention span of a goldfish.Or the memory of a goldfish. So these poor… poor gold goldfish, Neil.

在英语中有一个短语,和金鱼的注意力一样。或者说和金鱼的记忆一样。这些可怜的金鱼。

Yes, they get a bad press, don’t they? That’s a phrase which means criticism – especially criticism in the media and especially in newspapers – or the press, as we call it.

它们有了负面报道,不是吗?这个短语是指媒体上的批评论调,尤其是指报纸上的,或者我们称之为press(报道)。

So – is it really true than humans are now even more easily distracted than fish?

所以人类真的比鱼还容易分散注意力吗?

Well, BBC radio programme More or Less recently investigated this claim.

BBC广播节目《或多或少》最近调查了这个说法。

That’s right. And they found out a couple of things. Firstly – they couldn’t find evidence of the research that Microsoft quoted in their report.In other words, the programme couldn’t find scientific evidence that our attention spans are in fact shrinking.

没错,它们发现了一些事情。首先,他们找不到微软在报告中引用的研究的证据。换句话说,该节目没有发现科学证据证明我们的注意力时长在收缩。

And secondly – the psychologist they spoke to said there are problems with the idea of measuring attention spans in the first place. It’s a term that’s widely used, but it’s not very scientific.

第二,他们采访的心理学家说,首先衡量注意力时长的想法有问题。这是一个广泛使用的术语,但并不是很科学。

Sounds fishy.

听起来很可疑。

Yes. Fishy means suspicious, by the way. Sorry, goldfish. Again.

是的。顺便说一下,Fishy是指可疑的。再次对不起,金鱼。

So, are we humans in fact more easily distracted than before? More or Less asked Dr Gemma Briggs, a psychologist at the Open University, if human beings are less able to focus these days.

所以人类真的比以前更容易注意力分散吗?《或多或少》栏目询问了开放大学心理学家杰玛·布里格斯,如今人们是否缺乏注意力?

It’s all down to the individual; it’s all down to how you choose to apply your attention.So attention-switching ability may well have developed in recent years, in the age of the smartphone and the internet. But because someone’s distracted by their smartphone or wanting to quickly Google something,it doesn’t mean that they then don’t have the ability to control and sustain their attention when they carry out another task.

这取决于个人,取决于你如何选择投入注意力。所以注意力转移的能力也许近些年得到了良好发展,在智能手机和网络兴盛的时代。但是,某些人因为手机分散了注意力或者想要快速的谷歌某件事情,并不意味着他们没有能力在做另一件事的同时掌握和维持注意力。

So she says we’re not necessarily more easily distracted.Instead, we may actually be better at switching our attention quickly between different tasks.

所以她说我们并不是更容易分散注意力了。相反,我们也许更擅长在不同任务之间转换注意力。

That’s right. She’s really saying we can multitask better than before. And that means we can focus on many different tasks, each for a shorter period of time.

没错。她确实说我们同时处理事情的能力比以前好。这也意味着我们能够将注意力投入在不同的任务上,每一个投入更短的时间。

She said: It’s all down to how you choose to apply your attention.Let’s just highlight that phrase down to. Here, it means depends on. It all depends on how you choose to apply your attention.

正如她所说:“这取决于你如何选择投入你的注意力,”让我们现在着重谈谈down to 这个短语。在这里,这是指取决于。这取决于你如何选择投入你的注意力。

So – maybe our attention spans aren’t getting shorter, we just choose to look at our phones a lot more.

所以,也许我们的注意力时长并不是越来越短,我们只是选择多看一会手机。

Which reminds me today’s question. I asked you how long on average we spend looking at our phones, and you said?

这提醒了我今天的问题。我问你,平均我们花费多长时间在看手机上,你说的是?

Well, my attention span is not that short that I can’t remember that I said two and a half hours.

我的注意力时长没那么短,不至于不记得我说的是两个半小时。

And the answer – if you believe the research – is 2.42 hours per day so, pretty good guess there, Catherine.

答案是,如果你相信这个研究的话,是平均每天2.42小时。猜得不错,凯瑟琳。

Thank you.

谢谢。

That comes from Chicago-based research firm Dscout. And what about this: the group they surveyed touched their mobiles over 2,600 times a day. Do you touch your phone 2,600 times a day, Catherine?

这一数据来自总部位于芝加哥的调研公司Dscout。他们调查的对象显示,他们每天要触摸手机2600多次。你每天能摸手机2600多次吗?

I try not to, what about you?

我尝试不这么做,你呢?

It’s probably more than that to be honest.Now, I’m sure everyone wants to get back to touching their phones – or maybe they’re even touching them now as they listen – but either way, let’s have a review of today’s phrases.

老实说,可能比这个多。现在我相信每个人都想拿出手机摸一摸。也许现在他们边按手机边听我们的节目。不管怎样,我们回顾一些今天的短语。

OK, so first we had attention span – that’s the length of time we can focus on something.And mine is definitely shorter than it used to be… Neil? Neil?

好的,首先是注意力时限,是指我们将注意力集中在某事上的时间长度。我的肯定比过去短了。尼尔,尼尔?

Sorry – I just got distracted there by a message on my phone. Apologies.

对不起,因为手机上的信息分心了。我道歉。

That’s alright. So, next up we had a bad press. Goldfish get a bad press. Social media gets a bad press. And this means they all get criticism in the media.

没关系。下一个我们讲到负面报道。金鱼有负面报道。社交媒体也有负面报道。这是指他们在媒体上获得了批评。

And we had fishy. If something’s fishy, it’s suspicious.

然后我们提到fishy。如果说某物fishy,是指它很可疑。

And we had multitask. To multitask is to do several things at once.

我们还说到多任务。处理多任务是指同时做几件事。

Then we had down to. Here it means depends on, though it can mean other things in other contexts.You could say, it’s all down to the context!

然后我们还说到down to。在本文中它的意思是取决于,尽管在其他语境中它还有其他意思。你可以说,这都取决于语境。

And that’s our quick review, and our programme for today. So, did you stay focused all the way through? Or were you distracted?

我们快速回顾完了单词,今天的节目也要结束了。从头到尾你都集中注意力了吗?你有分心吗?

If you’re looking for distractions – may I recommend our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages?

如果你分心了,我推荐你看我们的Facebook, Twitter,Instagram和 YouTube主页。

Goodbye.

再见!返回搜狐,查看更多

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