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为什么美国仍然在使用华氏度? – 译学馆
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为什么美国仍然在使用华氏度?

Why America still uses Fahrenheit

好吧 我得承认
OK, I have a comfession to make.
自2010年起 我一直住在美国
I have lived in the United States since 2010
然后
and…
艾莉克莎 今天的天气怎么样?
Alexa, what’s the weather today?
当前 纽约温度65华氏度
Right now in New York, it’s 65℉
风和日丽
with clear skies and sun.
今天预计以晴天为主 最高气温77华氏度 最低气温61华氏度
Today’s forecast has partly sunny weather with a high of 77°F and a low of 61°F.

UHHHH…
我还是不知道华氏度怎么用
I still don’t understand the use of Fahrenheit.
地球上几乎所有的国家都使用摄氏度来衡量温度
Virtually every country on earth uses Celsius to measure temperature.
但美国仍然使用华氏度
But the US still uses Fahrenheit.
正因如此 我们在VOX上面
And for that reason, we —at Vox—
经常看到这样的评论
often get comments like these.
好吧 我们知道了
*Okay, we get it.*
事实上 世界上大部分国家都使用公制单位
Besides the fact that the majority of the world uses it—
转换起来也更加方便
the metric system makes conversions a lot easier.
甚至摄氏温标的常用温度范围看起来也更简单
The Celsius scale even looks simpler.
它的冰点和沸点都是非常完美的整数——零和一百
It has freezing and boiling points at nice, round numbers— zero and 100.
而华氏温标在这方面就有点乱了
Where in Fahrenheit, it’s a bit of a mess.
当然 用摄氏温标也不只是为了好看或者是方便天气预报
And of course, this isn’t just an issue of aesthetics or weather updates.
美国由于不愿意改用公制单位已经导致了非常严重的后果
America’s unwillingness to switch over to the metric system has had serious consequences.
在1999年 一颗价值1.25亿美元的卫星被发射往火星 随后消失在火星的大气层中
In 1999, a 125 million dollar satellite sent to Mars, disappeared in the Martian atmosphere.
这使得在探索宇宙方面多年的工作付之东流
It’s a setback to years of work already done in the vastness of space— all it takes
仅仅是因为一个导航参数的错误
is one navigation error.
而这个巨大的错误很大程度上
And this colossal mistake was largely due to a
是由于美制单位和公制单位的换算导致的
conversion error between US and metric measurements.
在18世纪早期 华氏度的确非常有用
Fahrenheit was really useful in the early 18th century.
在那时 人们没有一个统一的测量温度的方法
At the time, no one really had a consistent way to measure temperature.
但一个德国科学家发明了水银温度计的同时
But then a German scientist, came up with the Fahrenheit scale when he invented the
引入了华氏度的计量方法
mercury thermometer in 1714.
最广为认可的解释是 为确定范围 他把冰水盐混合物的温度
To make the scale, the most popular theory is that he picked the temperature of an ice/water/salt
定为0度
mixture at the zero mark.
然后他把水的冰点设为32度 这个温度比之前的盐溶液稍微高一些
He then put the freezing point of water, which is higher than a salt mixture, at 32.
然后把人的平均体温设为96度
And placed the average temperature of the human body at 96.
基于此 他得出水的沸点是212度
From there, he placed the boiling point of water at 212 degrees.
在1724年 华伦海特建立起了这个计量体系并且将其介绍给了不列颠皇家学会
In 1724, Fahrenheit formalized that scale and was inducted into the British Royal Society,
在那儿他的温度计量体系受到了广泛欢迎
where his system was a big hit.
由于不列颠在18世纪和19世纪征服了世界上大片的领土
As Britain conquered huge parts of the globe in the 18th and 19th centuries, it brought
这使得华氏度和英帝国的其它度量衡也随之广为传播
the Fahrenheit system and other Imperial measurements,
例如英尺和盎司
such as feet and ounces along with them.
华氏度成为了大英帝国在世界范围内的一个标准测量体系
And Fahrenheit became a standard system for the British Empire across the globe.
与此同时 公制系统在法国大革命期间开始慢慢被人们所接受
In the meantime, the metric system was gaining popularity during the French Revolution.
它被视为国家层面上联合全国的工具
It was put in place to unify the country at the national level.
因此在二十世纪后半叶 摄氏温标在世界上许多地区流行起来
So by the second half of the 20th century, Celsius became popular in many parts of the
许多英语国家也开始使用公制单位
world, when many English-speaking countries began using the metric system.
甚至美国也尝试过转换为公制
Even America attempted to switch over.
转换公制对于与其它国家进行商业贸易和科学交流
The change would have been good for trade and scientific communications with the rest
有很大的好处
of the world.
因此 美国国会通过一项法令 即1975公制转换法案
So, Congress passed a law, the 1975 Metric Conversion Act—
法案要求美国公制委员会向人们宣传教育新的度量衡系统
Which led to the United States Metric Board that would educate people about the system.
这导致了美国唯一使用公制的高速公路指示牌的出现 在19号洲际公路的
This created the only metric highway sign in the US— the Interstate 19 connecting
亚利桑那到墨西哥段
Arizona to Mexico.
但新系统也仅仅止步于此
But it didn’t go much further than that.
问题在于 不同于英国 加拿大或澳大利亚 该法案规定转换是自愿的
The problem was that unlike the UK, Canada or Australia, the law made the switch voluntary
而不是强制性的
instead of mandatory.
那么当人们抵触转变公制的时候
And of course people resisted the change,
委员也就无法执行这项法案
and the Metric Board couldn’t enforce the conversion.
因此 里根总统只好在1982年废除了这个法案
So, President Reagan ended up disbanding the board in 1982.
随后的一次推动公制度量衡的努力出现在1988年
The next nudge to metricate came when the metric system became the preferred measure
当时公制系统成为了美国商业贸易的推荐度量衡
for American trade and commerce in 1988.
但公众却并不买账
But nothing really stuck with the general public…
即使这些奇怪的度量单位 比如英尺和华氏度 并没有给他们带来什么好处
…Even though bizarre measurements like Feet and Fahrenheit are not doing them any favors.
学生需要经过训练掌握两套度量衡 这让科学教育变得更加困难
Students have to train for two sets of measurements, making science education even more difficult.
公司也需额外投资生产两套产品
And companies spend extra dollars producing two sets of products,
一套供应美国市场另一套供应使用公制度量衡的地区
one for the US and the other for metric.
在公众健康方面也有争论
There’s also an argument for public health.
根据美国疾病防治中心的统计 每年 在每四千个孩子中就有三个会因为计量单位不统一
According to the CDC, about 3 to 4000 kids are brought to the ER due to unintentional
导致用药计量过大被送到急诊室
medication overdose, every year.
用药计量的转换错误是主要原因
And conversion errors for dosage are to blame.
看起来这似乎是低级错误 美国必须转换为公制度量衡
So it seems like a no brainer— America needs to switch to the metric system to match the
以和国际接轨
rest of the world.
但做出改变仍然非常难
But it is still struggling to make that change.
因为需要投入大量的时间和精力 而从经济上来看
That’s because it’ll take a lot of time and money but there’s no financial proof
并没有证据说这一切是值得的
that this will all be worth it.
因此 除非这种转变被证明在经济上有利
So unless that change is proven to be economically better…
我们近期内是不会使用摄氏度的
We’re not going to be using celsius anytime soon.
华氏77度是多热
What’s 77°F in Celsius?
77华氏度就是25摄氏度
77°F is 25°C.

Ah!
好吧
Okay.

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视频概述

华氏度怎么用?美国干嘛这么固执不改用摄氏度呢?这是有历史原因的

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翻译译者

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TV6JFxMEcI

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