每日翻译练习[三]

Weather Forecast

People still do not know how to predict weather whims, not to mention how to gain the absolute power over nature. Modern scientists have to acknowledge that it is almost impossible to give a precise weather forecast, as the weather is an extraordinarily complex system difficult to assess. In such a “chaos system”, a variation to one of the tiniest factors in the atmosphere can completely change the forecast.
人类还是不能很好的预测变化多端的天气,更别说如何去运用自然的伟大力量了。现代科学家们必须承认,天气仍然是一个很难被准确预报的东西,因为天气系统是如此的错综复杂且难以评定。在这样一个“错综负咋的系统”中,一个小小因素的改变都能够影响天气的变化。
However, meteorologists try to make the unpredictability of the weather predictable by using highly developed technology to simulate the possible run of the weather in a computer model. Recently, China claimed that a new weather forecasting system, supported by a sophisticated computer, enables weather forecast months in advance. I burst with laughing at this story. The reason: distant water cannot quench present thirst!
尽管如此,气象学家们通过高技术的电脑模型模拟天气系统的每一个可能的变化,以次来达到准确预测,将不可预知的因素变得可知。中国表示,一个利用尖端电脑建立起来的新的天气模型已投入使用,将能够预知一个月以内的天气情况。我看了以后不禁失笑,因为:远水难救近火。
Weather forecasters have always been criticized for their frequent false predictions of weather. The majority of people are used to treating meteorological forecasts rather cautiously: a promised day of sunshine would often bring pouring rain or heavy snowfall, and 3 days of rain predicted would turn out to be a sunny week.
天气预报是一个总挨人骂的节目,因为总是有太多的预报失误。大多数的人都习惯了这样小心翼翼的对待天气预报:铁定阳光明媚的天,却总会有瓢泼大雨或大雪纷飞;预计三日内下雨,而整整一周都是艳阳高照。
Incorrect weather forecasts can bring about troubles and inconvenience to ordinary people like us or even result in immense financial losses for many countries.
总是不准的天气预报会给我们这些平常人带来很多不便和困难,甚至十给很多国家带来经济上的巨大损失。
Unfortunately, meteorologists have to enjoy unenviable reputation worldwide, though it sounds somewhat unfair the weather man should be a scapegoat, as the mankind should acknowledge its inability to envisage weather changes and control the will of nature. Even Japanese weather forecasters can make serious mistakes from time to time, despite the easier weather modeling, substantial funding and latest technological developments. The Japanese government, however, imposes regular fines on local weather specialists for incorrect forecasts. And the Moscow Mayor also demanded punishment of either meteorologists or those, who carry responsibility for efficient solutions of the problems that arise from natural cataclysms.
气象学家们必须接受这一现状,他们在全球范围内都没什么好名声,尽管让他们当替罪羊听起来有些无辜,人类在面对自然的时候确实还是很无力且缺乏控制力。日本的气象工作者,尽管拥有最好的天气模型、强大的财力物力、最新的技术,他们还是免不了不停的犯错误。日本政府会对那些地方气象专家的错误施以处罚。莫斯科市也对那些气象学家和负责自然灾害救助的官员有一系列的处罚措施来约束他们,尽量减少他们犯错。
Here, I would say that weather forecasting is both a science and an art. Why? A typical forecast reads like this: “It will rain periodically somewhere in the city in the morning. In the afternoon, scattered rain is possible” or “Today’s weather in Shanghai will be fine and partly cloudy with occasional rains depending on regions”. Hearing this, shall we go out with an umbrella or not? One can neither cry nor laugh at such an ambiguous prediction. Anyway, forecast in need is forecast indeed. Sometimes, they made a right guess of weather, but told a wrong time, e.g. the rain started earlier (or later) than had been expected. However, weather forecasters hardly admit their forecast was wrong. They often boast that the accuracy rate of a forecast is more than 80 percent! Worse still, they hardly make an apology no matter how wrong their forecast proved to be. The word “apology” is missing in their vocabulary.
我要说的是,天气预报工作既是个技术,又是一门艺术。何解?看看常见的天气预报吧:“上午本城局部可能有雨,下午零星有小雨。”或者是“今日上海天气,晴转多云,局部地区短时可能有小雨。”我们到底该带伞呢还是不该带?面对这种摩陵两可得预报真是有点哭笑不得。不管怎么说,天气预报还是有点用的,天气预报还是时常能“猜”对天气,尽管时间不对。有时候,雨会比预期的更早(或更晚)落下来。就算是这样,气象工作者们也从来不会承认他们的失误,气象学者们常常吹嘘他们的准确率会在80%以上,更糟糕的是,他们也从来不会为此而感到歉意,在气象工作者的字典里,没有道歉这一说。

———one shot

 

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