Big Ben 大本钟
The script of this programme 本节目台词
John: Welcome to On the Town with me, John.
Chen Li: And me, Chen Li.
John: Today we’re going to investigate one of the most famous London landmarks.
Chen Li: What is it John?
John: Big Ben.
Chen Li: 这显然是一个不错的选择，要知道它可是伦敦最著名的景点之一，吸引了大量的游客。大本钟, Big Ben.
John: The BBC spoke with author and London expert Philip Arlor about Big Ben, and he’s gone out to investigate.
Chen Li: 菲利浦是个作家, he’s an author, BBC派他前往大本钟去探个究竟。
John: Here’s his report.
If I tell you that I’m standing in front of Big Ben, most of you will know at once that I’m outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Of course there’ll be a handful of listeners who think Big Ben is a wrestler or a grizzly bear, but you’re the ones who don’t get out much. Just about everyone knows that Big Ben is the Houses of Parliament’s clock tower, which means just about everyone is wrong. Because if truth be told, and I do like a bit of truth once in a while, Big Ben is actually the name of the bell, which through the magic of radio and a piece of good timing on my part, should start bonging away shortly!
Philip Arlor, London expert
John: Ok, we’ll be going back to Philip in a moment. First though, he used some interesting phrases there. Let’s have a closer look at them shall we Li?
Chen Li: Sure! 菲利普使用了一个术语 at once. 当谈论很快就完成的一个动作时，你就需要用到at once, 立刻，立即。
John: And Philip was standing outside Big Ben, which is next to the Houses of Parliament.
Chen Li: Ah, yes, the Houses of Parliament, 议会大厦，英国政府的很多大事都是在这里决策下来的。
John: Now Li, you do know what Big Ben is, don’t you?
Chen Li: I do indeed!
John: Well, Philip explained that for those people who do not know what Big Ben is, they might mistake it for the name of a wrestler!
Chen Li: A wrestler，摔跤选手。
John: Or a grizzly bear.
Chen Li: 可怕的熊。
John: But for those who don’t know what Big Ben is, Philip also says they “don’t get out much”, meaning they don’t leave their homes very much, so they wouldn’t know what Big Ben is!
Chen Li: They don’t get out much! 他们不经常出门。或者我们可以说他们孤陋寡闻。
John: So Li, is Big Ben the Houses of Parliament’s clock tower?
Chen Li: Of course it is! 大多数人都会以为它是个钟楼。
John: You’re wrong!
Chen Li: Oh!
John: As Philip says, Big Ben is the name of the bell that you hear inside the clock tower.
Chen Li: Ah, so Big Ben is a big bell! 原来是一口钟，一口大钟 。所以，看来，最早将他翻译成大本钟的中国人还是非常正确地，对它非常了解。
John: And the word that Philip used to describe the ringing of the bell, is bonging!
Chen Li: Bonging, 当当的钟声! Bonging 是一个很有表现力的词，用来描述钟声。
John: We could say it’s an onomatopoeic word.
Chen Li: What?
John: It’s onomatopoeic! A word that is onomatopoeic is a word that, when spoken, resembles the sound that something makes.
Chen Li: Onomatopoeic, 象声词， 显然，就是字的发音和事物本身的发出的声音类似。
John: And that’s certainly what the word bonging is. A bell bongs. Bong! Bong!
Chen Li: 我们来听听菲利普还说了些什么？What else did Philip discover John?
John: Listen out for these phrases: for obvious reasons…
Chen Li: 因为一些显而易见的原因。
John: As flat as a pancake – a phrase we use in English to describe something very flat indeed.
Chen Li: 象煎饼一样平，一个很常用的英文表达，描述一样东西特别的平整。
John: A cliché…
Chen Li: 陈词滥调。
John: Gothic and medieval styles…
Chen Li: 哥特式的中世纪风格，这是特殊的建筑风格。起源于法国，哥特式建筑主要用于教堂，又称为尖顶风格。
What a great sound! It was called big for obvious reasons. The bell weighs in at around 13,700 kilograms, over 13.5 tonnes. Which means that if it landed on you, the phrase “as flat as a pancake”, wouldn’t be a cliché, but an accurate description. It’s called Ben rather than Dave or Nancy because it got its nick name from a chap called Sir Benjamin Hall, who was in charge of maintaining The Houses of Parliament at the time.
Philip Arlor, London expert
Chen Li: 很有意思的历史，谢谢 John 和菲利普的解释。
John: Join us next time for more, but from this edition of On the Town, it’s goodbye.
Chen Li: Bye.