On the Town 都市掠影
Tower of London 伦敦塔
A Beefeater
Beefeaters have guarded the Tower of London for hundreds of years
Finn: The call of a raven.

Jean: 大乌鸦? A raven. 我们中国人可不太喜欢乌鸦,因为它有点不吉利。

Finn: Yes, but don’t worry, today we've come to a special place in London where the sound of ravens is actually a good thing.

Jean: Really? Why is that?

Finn: You'll find out later. Today we've come to the Tower of London for this edition of 'On the Town' from BBC Learning English.


Tour guide: ...but by the year 1078, it felt safe enough to build...

Finn: That's our guide Michael – he's a guard at the Tower.

Jean: 是的,我们今天还有幸请到了一个特别好的导游…

Finn: The Tower of London is a very old castle in the centre of London. It was founded 900 years ago.

Jean: 创立、建立就是 founded. So what happened here?

Finn: Well, it is often thought the Tower of London has had a dramatic and bloody history.

Jean: 一个充满戏剧和血腥色彩的历史。

Finn: It has seen executions...

Jean: Executions 死刑…

Finn: Prisoners...

Jean: Prisoners 囚犯…

Finn: And ghosts!

Jean: 啊?还有鬼呀!

Finn: And people often think it was full of dungeons.

Jean: 有地牢的吗? Dungeons are dark scary places... 说得我可有点不敢走下去了。 Quick, let's catch up with the tour. 我们的导游正在给我们讲解伦敦塔里这座叫白塔的地方 The White Tower. 看上去就给人一种敬畏的感觉。


Tour guide: ...a Royal Palace. And for nearly 500 years our Kings and Queens lived on the top floor...

Finn: He says the royal family...

Jean: The Royal Family 皇室家庭…

Finn: Lived on the top floor, and their knights and ladies...

Jean: Knights and ladies 骑士和贵妇…

Finn: Lived on the floor below, kitchens were on the next floor down, but...


There is however, another floor... (audience gasp)

Yes, this one is partly below ground... (audience ooh)

The walls there are fifteen feet thick, there are no windows, it's dark! (audience ooh)

We're close to the river, it's always damp and cold! (audience oooh)

This was the ideal place for... (audience: a dungeon?)

Wine! (audience laugh) Wine, it's a palace - hello!

Jean: Haha... 听众们以为他在讲恐怖的地牢,实际上他介绍的是酒窖 – 看来就连英国皇室贵族也是爱喝酒的!

Finn: The guide used some interesting words, he said that the wine was kept in a place partly below ground...

Jean: 一部分, partly, 不是全部。就是说这个酒是一部分埋在地里的。

Finn: And the walls were fifteen feet thick.

Jean: 墙是够厚的。 Feet 就是英尺。15英尺差不多有四米多长了。

Finn: And that the place was always dark, damp and cold.

Jean: 哎呀听起来可是够难受的,又暗又冷又 damp, 就是潮湿…实在不是个舒服的地方,不过确是储藏酒的理想场所。

Jean: Well I've learned a lot about the castle, but there's one thing I still need to find out. Finn 你记得在咱们节目一开始的时候我们看到的大乌鸦吗?为什么他们在伦敦塔这里养乌鸦呢?

Finn: Well, I asked one of the guards called Michael to find out:


There is a legend that says, should the ravens leave the Tower of London, the Tower of London will collapse, the monarchy will disappear, and a great disaster will befall the nation.

Jean: 原来这些乌鸦是养在这里保护伦敦塔的。他说在这里有一个传说…

Finn: A legend...

Jean: 如果这些乌鸦离开了伦敦塔,塔就会塌掉的…

Finn: The tower will collapse, or fall down...

Jean: 而皇室君主制度就会自动消失…

Finn: The monarchy, or royal family, will disappear...

Jean: 而一场巨大的灾难…

Finn: A great disaster...

Jean: 就要降临到这个英国…

Finn: Will befall the nation! Befall means 'to happen to', especially when it is something bad.

Jean: So could I ask "what befell you at work today?"

Finn: Well no, 'befall' is a literary word, you wouldn't normally use it in everyday conversation.

Jean: 原来是书面语言,不是日常生活的对话里面用的词语。看来照顾好这些乌鸦也是一项相当重要的工作 – 而且听起来这些乌鸦其实也没什么可怕的。看来英国人对皇室的感情还是挺深的,不希望这种制度的灭亡。

Finn: That's about it from this week's 'On the Town' from BBC Learning English.

Jean: 希望大家和我们一样度过了一次在伦敦塔的精彩旅程,也学到了一些有用有趣的英语词汇和用语。

Finn: Don't forget you can visit our website at any time to help you improve your English.

Jean: 我们的网址就是 www.bbc.co.uk/china, 点击 Learning English 英语教学就可以啦. See you next time. Bye!

Finn: Bye.

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