2005年3月中级口译真题阅读理解及解析(2)

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  Questions 21-25

  Transportation is the movement or conveying of persons and goods from one location t< another. As human beings, from ancient times to the 21st century, sought to make their transport facilities more efficient, they have always endeavored to move people and property with the least expenditure of time, effort and cost. Improved transportation had helped make possible progress toward better living, the modern systems of manufacturing and commerce, and the complex, interdependent urban economy present in much of the world today.

  Primitive human beings supplemented their own carrying of goods and possessions by starting to domesticate animals-training them to bear small loads and pull crude sleds. The invention of the wheel, probably in western Asia, was a great step forward in transport. As the wheel was perfected, crude carts and wagons began to appear in the Tigris-Euphrates valley about 3500 BC, and later in Crete, Egypt, and China. Wheeled vehicles could not use the narrow paths and trails used by pack animals, and early roads were soon being built by the Assyrians and the Persians.

  The greatest improvements in transportation have appeared in the last two centuries, a period during which the Industrial Revolution has vastly changed the economic life of the entire world. Crude railways-horse-drawn wagons with wooden wheels and rails-had been used in English and European mines during the 17th century. Although it first appeared in England, the railroad had its most dramatic growth in the United States. By 1840 more than 4,800 km of railroad were already operating in the eastern states, a figure 40 percent greater than the total railroad mileage of Europe. Since World War I, however, the U. S. railroads have been in a decline, due partly to the rapid development of private automobiles, trucks,' buses, pipelines, and airlines.

  The first new mode of transportation to challenge the railroad was the motor vehicle, which was made possible by the invention, in the 1860s and '70s, of the internal combustion engine. The automobile found its greatest popularity in the United States, where the first "horseless carriages" appeared in the 1890s. Two hundred million motor vehicles had been produced in the nation within 70 years of their first appearance. The automobile thus became in many ways as important to the 20th century as the railroads had been to the 19th.

  During the same period intercity buses took over a large portion of commercial passenger travel, and trucks began carrying a great deal of the nation's freight.

  Although the emphasis on fuel conservation waned in the 1980s, few doubt that the issue will emerge again when oil scarcities loom, as they did in the 1970s. Future possibilities include automobiles with far greater fuel efficiency and improved mass-transit systems. Both will occur not only in response to oil-supply disruption, but also as an answer to increasing demands for cleaner air. Improvements in mass transit offer the most promise for the future. Amtrak's 1993 introduction of the Swedish high-speed "tilting train" should cut travel time between some East Coast cities by almost half, once tracks are entirely electrified.

  21. From the first paragraph, it can be inferred that transport exerts a great influence on all the following EXCEPT________. ­

  (A) economic development

  (B) living conditions

  (C) industrial production

  (D) political rights

  22. The first significant progress in transport in ancient times was attributed to________.

  (A) the making of carts and wagons (B) the construction of roads

  (C) the invention of wheels (D) the building of tracks

  23. According to the passage, the railroad first appeared in________.

  (A) China (B) England

  (C) Crete (D) Egypt

  24. It can be concluded from the passage that________.

  (A) there had been oil crises in the 1970s

  (B) the motor vehicles played a leading role in the decline of railroads

  (C) automobiles were more important than railroads

  (D) environmental protection was a major concern in developing transport

  25. What does the passage say about the "tilting train"?

  (A) It can carry more freight than other vehicles.

  (B) It requires its tracks to be electrical.

  (C) Its speed demands cleaner air.

  (D) Its cost is very low.

  Questions 26-30

  A visitor from Barcelona arrives at a Madrid government office in mid-afternoon, and is surprised to find only the cleaning lady there, "Don't they work in the afternoons?" he asks. "No," she replies, "they don't work in the mornings. In the afternoons they don't come. "

  Lazy Madrid, busy Barcelona: it is just one of many stereotypes about Spain's great rivals. Mostly, the stereotypes are born of Barcelona's bitterness at its second-class status. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a proudly autonomous region, but Madrid is the capital of Spain. This causes resentment. It makes Barcelona the largest city in Western Europe not to be a national capital. Worse, Barcelona (Catalonia's capital since the ninth century) regards Madrid (a creation of Philip II in the 16th century) as an upstart.

  And, after being bossed about for so long, who can blame them? Over the years governments in Madrid did their best to strip Barcelona of political power. They tried to squash the Catalan language. They even decided what the modern city should look like: in 1860 an order from Madrid overruled Barcelona's choice of plan for its big expansion, and opted for a grid layout.

  Barcelona has the liberalism that often characterizes port cities. As Catalans see it, while Madrid bathes in bureaucracy, Barcelona gets on with business. An old-fashioned seriousness in Madrid, isolated high up on Spain's central plateau, contrasts with the light­heartedness of Barcelona, open to Europe and aggressively avant-garde.

  Upon to a point, these old caricatures still hold true. No visitor to government buildings in the two cities can fail to be struck by the contrast between them. In Madrid, there are creaky wooden floors, antique furniture and walls covered with paintings by Spanish old masters. In Barcelona, the city of Gaudi and Miro, designer chairs and tables are evidence of the place's obsession with modernism. Meetings of the Catalan cabinet are held in a room with a large, modern painting by Antoni Tapies.

  And yet, these days, the similarities between the two cities are at least striking as the contrasts. Madrid is hardly lazy any more. Visitors find it hard to keep up with the pace of the place. Nor is it old-fashioned. Indeed, it has become almost outrageously modern. To judge by the local cuisine, you would think the place was a port: although far from the sea, seafood is a miraculous Madrid speciality.

  As banks and business have been drawn to Madrid, it has become as much a commercial and industrial centre as an administrative one. Barcelona, meanwhile, in Spain's traditional industrial heartland, has been experiencing a rise in bureaucracy.

  The rivalry between Madrid and Barcelona is bound to remain fierce, not least on the soccer field, where Real Madrid and Barcelona compete for Spanish supremacy. Barcelona will continue to press for yet more power to be devolved to it from Madrid: it is calling for the Senate, Spain's upper house of parliament, to be moved to the Catalan capital. But with a lot of local autonomy restored, and with the success of the 1992 Olympics behind it, the chip on Barcelona's shoulder is becoming ever harder to detect.

  26. Which of the following best illustrates the stereotypes about Madrid and Barcelona?

  (A) Madrid government officials never come to the office in the afternoon.

  (B) Barcelona is an efficient and less bureaucratic place for business dealings.

  (C) People in Barcelona are very resentful at Madrid's being the capital city.

  (D) Barcelona is the largest city in Western Europe but it failed to claim its right status.

  27. Historically, Barcelona has regarded Madrid as________.

  (A) less bureaucratic (B) inferior

  (C) a newcomer (D) less funny

  28. How did governments in Madrid deliberately strip Barcelona of political power?

  (A) They strongly opposed a grid layout in Barcelona which confines the city in its original space.

  (B) They gave the priority to the Catalan language rather than Spanish.

  (C) They turned down Barcelona's proposal for its expansion.

  (D) They ridiculed Barcelona's second-class status.

  29. Which of the following is the most likely caricature of Spain's 'capital city?

  (A) Government houses have dilapidated wooden floors, antique furniture and old paintings.

  (B) The polished wooden floors and designer chairs and tables are the symbols of government houses.

  (C) Meetings of the Cabinet are held in a room with a large, modern painting by Antoni Tapies.

  (D) It has all the hustle and bustle because of its political superiority.

  30. Nowadays people in Barcelona feel more________ Madrid as they used to.

  (A) afraid of

  (B) hateful of

  (C) obsessed with

  (D) competitive with

  【答案】

  SECTION 2: STUDY SKILLS

  21-25 CDABA  26-30DDBAC

  

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