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首页 > 韩素音奖
第二十六届“韩素音青年翻译奖”竞赛原文
来源: 中国译协网

英译汉竞赛原文:

How the News Got Less Mean

    The most read article of all time on BuzzFeed contains no photographs of celebrity nip slips and no inflammatory ranting. It’s a series of photos called “21 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity,” which has pulled in nearly 14 million visits so far. At Upworthy too, hope is the major draw. “This kid just died. What he left behind is wondtacular,” an Upworthy post about a terminally ill teen singer, earned 15 million views this summer and has raised more than $300,000 for cancer research.

    The recipe for attracting visitors to stories online is changing. Bloggers have traditionally turned to sarcasm and snark to draw attention. But the success of sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy, whose philosophies embrace the viral nature of upbeat stories, hints that the Web craves positivity.

    The reason: social media. Researchers are discovering that people want to create positive images of themselves online by sharing upbeat stories. And with more people turning to Facebook and Twitter to find out what’s happening in the world, news stories may need to cheer up in order to court an audience. If social is the future of media, then optimistic stories might be media’s future.

    “When we started, the prevailing wisdom was that snark ruled the Internet,” says Eli Pariser, a co-founder of Upworthy. “And we just had a really different sense of what works.”

    “You don’t want to be that guy at the party who’s crazy and angry and ranting in the corner — it’s the same for Twitter or Facebook,” he says. “Part of what we’re trying to do with Upworthy is give people the tools to express a conscientious, thoughtful and positive identity in social media.”

    And the science appears to support Pariser’s philosophy. In a recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researchers found that “up votes,” showing that a visitor liked a comment or story, begat more up votes on comments on the site, but “down votes” did not do the same. In fact, a single up vote increased the likelihood that someone else would like a comment by 32%, whereas a down vote had no effect. People don’t want to support the cranky commenter, the critic or the troll. Nor do they want to be that negative personality online.

    In another study published in 2012, Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, monitored the most e-mailed stories produced by the New York Times for six months and found that positive stories were more likely to make the list than negative ones.

    “What we share [or like] is almost like the car we drive or the clothes we wear,” he says. “It says something about us to other people. So people would much rather be seen as a Positive Polly than a Debbie Downer.”

    It’s not always that simple: Berger says that though positive pieces drew more traffic than negative ones, within the categories of positive and negative stories, those articles that elicited more emotion always led to more shares.

    “Take two negative emotions, for example: anger and sadness,” Berger says. “Both of those emotions would make the reader feel bad. But anger, a high arousal emotion, leads to more sharing, whereas sadness, a low arousal emotion, doesn’t. The same is true of the positive side: excitement and humor increase sharing, whereas contentment decreases sharing.”

    And while some popular BuzzFeed posts — like the recent “Is this the most embarrassing interview Fox News has ever done?” — might do their best to elicit shares through anger, both BuzzFeed and Upworthy recognize that their main success lies in creating positive viral material.

    “It’s not that people don’t share negative stories,” says Jack Shepherd, editorial director at BuzzFeed. “It just means that there’s a higher potential for positive stories to do well.”

    Upworthy’s mission is to highlight serious issues but in a hopeful way, encouraging readers to donate money, join organizations and take action. The strategy seems to be working: barely two years after its launch date (in March 2012), the site now boasts 30 million unique visitors per month, according to Upworthy. The site’s average monthly unique visitors grew to 14 million people over its first six quarters — to put that in perspective, the Huffington Post had only about 2 million visitors in its first six quarters online.

    But Upworthy measures the success of a story not just by hits. The creators of the site only consider a post a success if it’s also shared frequently on social media. “We are interested in content that people want to share partly for pragmatic reasons,” Pariser says. “If you don’t have a good theory about how to appear in Facebook and Twitter, then you may disappear.”

    Nobody has mastered the ability to make a story go viral like BuzzFeed. The site, which began in 2006 as a lab to figure out what people share online, has used what it’s learned to draw 60 million monthly unique visitors, according to BuzzFeed. (Most of that traffic comes from social-networking sites, driving readers toward BuzzFeed’s mix of cute animal photos and hard news.) By comparison the New York Times website, one of the most popular newspaper sites on the Web, courts only 29 million unique visitors each month, according to the Times.

    BuzzFeed editors have found that people do still read negative or critical stories, they just aren’t the posts they share with their friends. And those shareable posts are the ones that newsrooms increasingly prize.

    “Anecdotally, I can tell you people are just as likely to click on negative stories as they are to click on positive ones,” says Shepherd. “But they’re more likely to share positive stories. What you’re interested in is different from what you want your friends to see what you’re interested in.”

    So as newsrooms re-evaluate how they can draw readers and elicit more shares on Twitter and Facebook, they may look to BuzzFeed’s and Upworthy’s happiness model for direction.

    “I think that the Web is only becoming more social,” Shepherd says. “We’re at a point where readers are your publishers. If news sites aren’t thinking about what it would mean for someone to share a story on social media, that could be detrimental.”

 

汉译英竞赛原文:

城市的迷失

    沿着瑗珲—腾冲线,这条1935年由胡焕庸先生发现并命名的中国人口、自然和历史地理的分界线,我们看到,从远距离贸易发展开始的那天起,利益和权力的渗透与分散,已经从根本结构上改变了城市的状态:城市在膨胀,人在疏离。里尔的阿兰(Alain)的话到今天仍然振聋发聩:“金钱万能,不是凯撒万能。”

    在古罗马,柱子是按照人的比例划分的;到了文艺复兴时期,人就是世界上最美好的尺度。今天的中国城市里,裁弯取直的河渠,向四面八方扩张的交通,膨胀硕大的以便于接纳更多商业行为的城市广场与建筑立面,都在告诉人们建设背后的权力与资本才是审美标准。直到有一天,回过头来看到自己的孩子站在为车辆交通铺开的、满是尘土的路上,我们才发现,城市的大,却容不下一个让孩子们展开笑颜的机会。

    规划和设计的弊病,不在于追求利益这件事情本身,而在于追求利益和权利时的鬼迷心窍,把人类其他的需要都忘记得一干二净。城市数量在变多、规模在扩大、城乡结构在解体,但城市的性质和目的,却被忘却了:最聪明的人不再懂得社会生活的形式,而最无知的人却准备去建设社会生活的形式。

    城市大了,人小了。人们和他们的城市息息相关而又格格不入。人们不能获得有悖于商业世界、内容更充实更满意的生活手段,成为了旁观者、读者、听众和消极的观察者。于是,我们年复一年不是真正地生活着,而是间接地生活着,远离内在的本性。这些本性,掠过照片沉默和迷茫的脸孔,偶然从天空飘过的风筝看到,偶然从孩子们看到鸽子时脸上的笑靥看到。

    人与城市的分离,让人无所适从;让人欣慰的是,大家都没有忘记要生活这件事。城市最早作为神祗的家园,代表了永恒的价值、安慰和神的力量。过去人与人的隔离与区别,将不能维持下去;城市最终体现的不再是一个神化了的统治者的意志,而是城市每一个个体和全体的意志;它不再是冲突本身,而成为了为日常生活的矛盾与冲突、挑战与拥抱提供生动舞台的容器;艺术与思想有一天也能闪现在城市的角落,与人们的生活相交织。也许到了这一天,我们才能真正说,城市让生活更美好。

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