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加州有条神奇的会唱歌的路但是… – 译学馆
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加州有条神奇的会唱歌的路但是...

Why California's Musical Road Sounds Terrible

如果你驾车行驶在加利福尼亚
If you drive down a certain stretch of highway
沙漠的公路上时你会听到音乐
in the California desert, you will hear music.
听起来就像是
It’s supposed to sound a little bit like this:
罗西尼《威廉·泰尔序曲》
[William Tell Overture, by Rossini]
但是事实上 它是这样的
but instead, it sounds like this.
严重跑调的罗西尼《威廉·泰尔序曲》
[William Tell Overture, by Rossini,but badly out of tune]
这就是加利福尼亚兰卡斯特的音乐之路
That was the musical roadof Lancaster, California.
正如你所听到的
And as you may have heard,
音乐有点不在调上
it’s a little bit out of tune.
公路的修建花了很多钱
A lot of money was spent on that road.
这是一家
It was a publicity stunt
汽车公司想要炫耀他们有多聪明的作秀
for a car company who wanted to show off how clever they are.
做这样的计算并不难
And doing the calculations forsomething like that isn’t really difficult.
音符在空气中是有特定频率振动
A musical note is a vibration in the air at a particular frequency.
那些振动可以
And those vibrations can be made
通过小提琴琴弦或者电脑合成
by a violin string or synthesised by a computer
或者 这种情况下
or – in this case –
通过汽车轮胎通过摩擦路上的槽
made by vehicle tyres hitting grooves in the road.
槽越近 振动越快
The closer the grooves are, the faster the vibrations,
音符越高
and the higher the note.
所以
So take the speed limit,
用车速除以你想要的音符
divide by the frequency of the note you want,
这就得出了两个凹槽之间的距离
and that’s how often there should be a groove in the road.
如果人们的车速对不上
And if people travel at the wrong speed,
事实上也没有很大问题
well, it shouldn’t really matter.
可能只是
It’ll just be
降低了或升高了这段音乐
like slowing down or speeding up any other piece of music:
只是跑调了
it’ll be in the wrong key,
但是大多数人听起来还好
but it’ll still sound right to most people’s ears.
而不是像刚才听到的那样糟糕
It won’t sound like that mess.
所以到底是什么问题呢
So what went wrong?
为此我必须感谢大卫·西蒙.达芬
At this point, I am indebted to David Simmons-Duffin,
加利福尼亚理工学院的一位物理教授
an assistant professor of physics at Caltech,
他研究量子场理论 对巴洛克琴也感兴趣
whose interests include Quantum Field Theoriesand playing baroque violin.
因为据我所知
Because he was, as far as I can tell,
他是第一个找出问题所在的人
the very first person to figure out what went wrong:
问题可能出在命令传达上
and the problem was probably the English language.
做的计算的人说凹槽要隔开
Whoever did the calculations said that the grooves should be so far apart.
比如说 第一个音符对应四英尺的距离
Let’s say, four inches for the first note.
意味着每个凹槽内部是四英尺
And they meant there should bea groove every four inches.
但是指令到了工人这边
But whoever gave the instructionsto the work crew
凹槽应该相距四英尺
said that the grooves should be”four inches apart”.
被他们理解为
And that was interpreted as four inches
一个凹槽的底部和下个凹槽的顶部
between the end of one groove
距离四英尺
and the start of the next one.
他们没有把凹槽本身的宽度算进去
They didn’t includethe width of the groove itself.
但是你的耳朵绝对听出了差别
But your ears definitely do include it.
这首《威廉·泰尔序曲》里的最高音
The highest note on that section ofthe William Tell Overture
应该比最低音高一个八度
should be one octave higher than the lowest.
说明震动频率加倍了
That means the frequency should be doubled,
凹槽之间的间距应该减半
and that the grooves should behalf the distance apart.
看起来就是这样
And they are:
如果你没有把凹槽自身的宽度算进去
if you don’t include the width of the groove itself.
音乐不在调上的原因
That error means that every note is distorted not
不在于你的车速多少
by a fraction of its value,
而是一个不变的量
like if you’re travelling at the wrong speed, but by a constant amount:
即凹槽的间距宽度问题
by the width of the grooves.
音调越高 效果越扭曲
The higher the note, the greater the effectof that distortion.
我们再来听一遍
And the result is the mess that you are
到底有多糟
about to hear for a second time.
真正奇怪的是
And the really strange part?
这是加利福尼亚兰考斯特修建的第二条音乐公路
This is the second musical roadbuilt in Lancaster, California.
汽车公司修建的第一条
The first one, built by the car company,
太靠近住宅区
was too close to residents,
因噪音太大被投诉
who complained about the constant noise.
这条看起来也不咋的
And probably this note here.
然后按照原来的错误图纸
So the city paved over it and rebuilt it…
在这里重新修建了第二条
to the exact, same, wrong blueprints.
这就是答案
That’s a take.
我们就在这
That is a take.
找出了问题所在
Right there.
为了庆祝一下
And in order to celebrate that take,
我要下车走一走
I am going to put my foot down.
这是一辆运动型多用途车
This is an SUV.
不应该驾驶在这种公路上的
It doesn’t, er… it doesn’t do that.

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视频概述

一条音乐公路因为设计图纸和命令传达的缘故严重跑调,最无语的是,居然还修建了同样错误的第二条…

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

苏家Dier

审核员

审核团GK

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef93WmlEho0

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