Koko’s Story   動物界的明「猩」 ── Koko


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2018/07/17 第359期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份直接訂閱


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Koko’s Story 動物界的明「猩」 ── Koko
This is the story of how a gorilla showed people that maybe we’re not quite as special as we thought.
這是一個關於一隻大猩猩如何向人類展現也許我們並不如我們所想的那樣特別的故事。

 

 

   It’s often been said that the ability to communicate is what sets humankind apart from the animal kingdom. Animals, of course, have their own ways of speaking to one another. However, one creature in particular has come closer to a human level of communication than any other. Her name is Koko the gorilla.
   Koko’s journey began when she was just one year old. In the early 1970s, she was
loaned from her birthplace at the San Francisco Zoo to a woman named Francine Patterson to be used in her psychology research. As part of her project, Patterson decided to teach Koko sign language. At first, Koko was only supposed to be with Patterson for four years. That, however, would just be the beginning.
   Teaching a gorilla sign language is a slow, difficult process. Patterson and Koko
interacted daily as the great ape grew up. During these periods, Koko had to learn how to connect certain movements and gestures of her hands and fingers with spoken English words. Koko slowly came to master about 1,000 signs and understand nearly 2,000 English words. This is about the same as the speaking ability of an average kindergarten student.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   人們常說是溝通能力使人類有別於動物界。當然,動物也有牠們自己與其同類的對話方式。然而,有一隻動物的溝通能力比起其餘生物更接近人類的水平。牠的名字叫作大猩猩 Koko。
   Koko 在年僅一歲時展開了這趟旅程。七○年代早期,牠出生的舊金山動物園將牠借給一位名叫法蘭辛‧派特森的女士做心理學研究使用。作為計畫的一部分,派特森決定教 Koko 手語。起先,Koko 本該只會與派特森待在一起四年。不過,那卻只是一個開端。
   教導一隻大猩猩手語是一段緩慢且困難的過程。派特森與 Koko 朝夕相處,伴隨著這隻大猿長大。在那時候,Koko 必須學會將特定動作和牠雙手及手指的手勢與口語英文單字作連結。慢慢地,Koko 掌握了大約一千種手勢,還懂將近兩千個英文單字。這和一個一般幼兒園學生的口語能力相當。

 

gorilla n. 大猩猩
sign language n. 手語

 

1. communicate vi. & vt. 溝通
communication n. 溝通
Thanks to the Internet, it is now extremely convenient to communicate with people.
多虧了網際網路,現在要和別人聯絡非常的方便。
Good communication skills are required for the job.
良好的溝通技巧是這個職位的需求。

2. set…apart (from…)  使……有別∕與眾不同(於……)
What sets Leo apart from the other students is that he has a lot of creative ideas.
豐富的創意點子讓里歐有別於其他學生。

3. creature n. 生物;怪物
Many creatures make their home in the deep blue sea.
許多生物都以蔚藍的大海為家。

4. loan vt. & vi. 借出
Victoria never loans her money to anyone except for her siblings.
除了兄弟姐妹之外,維多莉亞不曾借錢給任何人。
* sibling n. 兄弟姊妹其中一個(可數)

5. psychology n. 心理學
Emma decided to transfer her major from education to psychology.
艾瑪決定從教育系轉到心理學系。

6. interact vi. 互動(常與介詞 with 並用)
Felix fell in love with Matilda the first time he saw her interact with a baby.
費利克斯第一次看到瑪蒂達和嬰兒互動時便愛上了她。

7. gesture n. 手勢
Gina often uses hand gestures to express herself.
吉娜經常用手勢來表達自己的意思。

8. average a. 一般的,普通的
This store sells affordable clothes that the average family can buy.
這間店賣的衣服一般家庭都買得起。

 

片語 in particular 的相關用法
本文 "However, one creature in particular has come closer to…" 中的片語 in particular 表「尤其,特別」。片語中的 particular 為名詞,作複數使用時表「細節,詳情」,例:

Juliet loves eating dessert, vanilla ice cream in particular.
(茱麗葉很愛吃甜點,特別是香草冰淇淋。)

As a secretary, Camilla was supposed to know the particulars of all projects, but she didn’t.
(身為一位祕書,卡蜜拉本應知曉所有企劃的細節,但她卻沒有。)

 


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