空中英语教室:201101127 MP3在线课程 THE ELEPHANTS OF THAILAND

时间 : 2013-11-23 07:35来源 : VOA官网 收听下载次数 :
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(Music).

Hello, everybody. Welcome to Studio Classroom Worldwide.

Thanks for joining us. My name is Steve.

In this month’s animal feature, let’s discuss the elephant.

Elephants, on average, weigh about 5,500 kilograms and they can grow up to three or four meters tall.

Despite their huge size, many people consider elephants to be delightful animals.

After all, they’re gentle, friendly animals most of the time. And they’re playful.

Now the author of today’s lesson was fortunate enough to visit an elephant farm in Thailand.

For the next three days, she’ll be sharing her experience of owning an elephant for a day with all of us.

So let’s get into the lesson by opening our Studio Classroom magazines to page 48 and reading The Elephants of Thailand.

(Music).

The Elephants of Thailand.

Own an elephant for a day at this unique farm.

Kwan squeaked at me. She flapped her ears.

She looked at me in the eye, and most important, she wanted that banana in my hand.

I was supposed to put the banana on her tongue. But Kwan deftly snatched it from my hand.

Elephants eat 10 percent of their body weight a day.

That’s easily 300 kilograms of leaves, fruit or whatever.

At Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai, Thailand, you become an ”elephant owner for a day.” You inspect your elephant,

feed it, brush it, wash it and then ride it to a waterfall.

(Music).

Hi, friends. Welcome to Studio Classroom Worldwide. My name is Chip.

And I’m Winnie. Thank you so much for joining us today.

And we have a really fun article for you.

Today, we are actually going to Chiang Mai in Thailand when we will learn about a very special animal.

In fact, we are learning about elephants today, where you can own an elephant for a day at this very unique farm.

Well, I love elephants! And I think this idea of owning an elephant for a whole day sounds pretty fun.

This sounds like something that I might want to do.

Well, we’re hearing from our author named Yvette,

and she is writing about her experience there in Chiang Mai about how she owned an elephant for a day.

Now she begins with the name of her elephant for the day, and her elephant was named Kwan.

And Kwan is in luck.

The writer begins in the middle of the action where we find out ”Kwan squeaked at me.” Now, ”squeaked,” is almost that sound you hear when maybe you see a mouse.

It kind of sounds like... something like that.

Yeah. It’s to make that little... sound.

Yes.

And yeah, mice and many small animals squeak and they make that squeaking sound.

And actually, I often hear squeaking in certain sports, like, for example,

when people play tennis or when people play basketball on the gym floor, their shoes squeak when the players are moving around.

It’s hard... kind of hard to imagine an elephant squeaking, but that is what Kwan does.

And we find out more that she flapped her ears up and down - as you know, elephants have big ears.

And she also looked at me the eye... in the eye, and most important, she wanted that banana in my hand.

Now it sounds like Kwan was a little bit hungry and she was eyeing that banana in our author’s hand.

So she was probably wanting to eat it.

And our author goes on to say that I was supposed to put the banana on Kwan’s tongue.

And I would imagine that that’s a very large tongue, so I would think that would be pretty easy to do.

That’s right. But Kwan surprised Yvette, the writer, by deftly snatching it from her fan... from her hand before she can actually put it in her mouth.

OK. Now we know that word snatch means to grab something quickly or to take something very quickly.

And here we see this adjective... the adverb ”deftly.” Now if you do something deftly,

then that means that you do it with skill, and possibly, you do it with speed.

So here Kwan deftly with skill and with speed snatched it from her hand.

It sounds like Kwan is one hungry elephant.

And we go on to learn that elephants eat 10 percent of their body weight a day.

And that’s easily 300 kilograms of leaves, fruit or whatever.

OK. So they eat a lot of different things.

But yeah, leaves and fruit might be the main portion of their meals.

And yeah, 10 percent of their body weight. That’s a lot of weight. Yeah, easily 300 kilograms of food a day.

That is... I don’t think I could eat that much in a day.

I sure hope you don’t eat that much, Chip.

Well, this hungry elephant we find is at Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

And this is where you can become an elephant owner for a day.

Let’s learn a lot more about Chiang Mai from More Information today.

(Music).

Chiang Mai is in northern Thailand, about an hour’s flight from Bangkok.

The coolest and driest time of the year for Chiang Mai is November through February.

April is the hottest with temperatures that easily top 37 degrees Celsius.

When the temperatures drop in the evening, the Chiang Mai night bazaar, or night market, comes to life.

Tourists sample Thai cuisine and shop for Chiang Mai’s renowned handicrafts.

OK. Well, we hope that information was helpful to you, especially if you ever are thinking about visiting Chiang Mai.

There’s a lot of things to do.

And you probably want to visit this Patara Elephant Farm where you can become an elephant owner for a day.

And now our article’s going to talk a little bit about what that means.

What kinds of things will you do on this day where you are owning an elephant.

The first thing it mentions is that you inspect your elephant.

Now Winnie, what does it mean to inspect something?

To inspect something means that you’re looking very, very carefully at it.

So instead of maybe just saying hi to your elephant, you are looking at all the different body parts to make sure your elephant is healthy and safe.

The article goes on to say that you are also responsible for feeding it, brushing it, washing it and then you can even ride it to a waterfall.

Wow! So you really do have a lot of these responsibilities of owning the elephant for the day.

So it gives you the feeling or the experience of what it would be like to own an elephant.

Well, Chip, this certainly sounds like a lot of fun.

I personally love elephants as well, and I’ve also been Chiang Mai at an elephant camp.

Now this was a different one, but this... what was special about it was that the elephant at this camp, they were famous for their paintings.

So Chip, if you can imagine, these elephants could paint with their nose.

Wow!

With their trunk.

Very, very gifted elephants, it sounds like. Well, that’s very interesting.

Well, we’re going to take a break now and we’ll come back and learn more about our author’s experience there in Chiang Mai.

Before we take a break, let’s visit the Chat Room and see what’s happening there.

Hi, Ken.

Hi, Rachel.

Wow! It’s raining so hard outside.

I know. I’m glad I brought my umbrella for after work.

Well, you’ll want to use it.

Especially because I’m going to a concert in the park after work.

Will they still have it in the rain?

Yes. The poster reads: Come join the jam in the park. Whatever the weather, we will play our music loud and proud.

Uh, whatever the weather? What does that mean? I thought whatever meant anything or everything.

Well, whatever can mean anything.

But here it means it is not important what is, or it makes no difference what is.

So the ”whatever the weather” means it is not important what the weather is.

Oh. So they’ll have the concert no matter what the weather is like?

Right.

So the weather could be sunny, or it could rain or snow, and the concert will still happen?

Exactly. Right now it is raining, but that won’t stop the concert from happening.

Hmm. I didn’t know that ”whatever” had two different meanings.

Well, actually, ”whatever” has multiple definitions. But there is one you need to not use.

Oh, really? What’s that?

Well, have you ever heard someone correct another person and that person responded with: ”Whatever”?

Yes. And it sounds kind of rude.

It is very rude.

When someone corrects you, respond politely with a ”thank you” or an apology.

”Whatever” means you do not take the correction well and don’t respect the person’s honesty.

OK. I’ll be careful not to use ”whatever” in a rude way.

That’s a good plan.

Well, have fun at your concert. I hope the rain stops.

Thanks. I think I will have fun whatever the weather.

(Chinese).

OK. Welcome back, everyone.

You might already know that there are two kinds of elephants in this world; the African elephant and the Asian, or Indian, elephant.

Now how do you tell them apart?

Well, African elephants are larger than their Asian cousins.

In fact, everything about them is bigger.

They have bigger ears, longer tusks, longer trunks.

The elephants in today’s lesson are Asian.

So they are, of course, of the smaller, cuter variety.

OK. Let’s get back to our lesson on line 14 and learn more about Kwan, the Asian elephant from Thailand.

(Music).

The Elephants of Thailand.

There is a serious side to this.

Forty years ago, there were 6,000 domestic and 10,000 wild elephants in Thailand.

Today, it’s down to 3,200 domestic and only 1,600 wild.

”If we let it go on,” said Theerapat Trungprakan (Pat to us),

”in another generation there would be no elephants left.” This in a country with 30 words for elephant.

And so, I met Kwan.

I learned to check her skin for streaks of dirt - a sign she is sleeping lying down as a healthy elephant should.

I fed her a basket of fruit and sugar cane.

(Music).

Welcome back, friends.

Today we’re in Chiang Mai, Thailand, learning about elephants and how much fun it could be to own an elephant for a day.

Well, our article continues to say: Well, there is a serious side to all of this.

Now Chip, if there is a serious side, what would that mean?

OK. Well, I think this is the author’s way of, kind of, preparing the reader for what’s going to happen next.

And now she’s going to talk about more serious things.

She has been talking about some of the fun... the fun side to owning an elephant for a day.

And now she’s going to talk about tthe more serious, maybe not so fun side and issues that are involved in having an elephant farm.

That’s right.

We actually go on to find some statistics about elephants and we learned that they’re actually almost in danger.

Forty years ago, there were 6,000 domestic and 10,000 wild elephants in Thailand.

However, we find a contrast. Today, it’s down to 3,200 domestic elephants and only 1,600 in the wild.

Wow. So the numbers have really dropped over the years and that, uh, that’s not a good statistic for the elephants there in Thailand.

And here we see twice this word ”domestic.” And when we’re talking about animals, domestic animals,

we’re talking about animals that are simply not wild.

So there’s probably only two kinds of domestic animals.

They would be animals that you keep as your pet, like a dog or a cat.

Or animals that you would keep at your farm that would later become food.

So some domestic animals would be livestock, or animals that would become food.

That’s right, Chip. This is actually becoming a very serious situation.

Now elephants are the national animal for Thailand. So we know that Thai people really value elephants.

But we are meeting people who are getting on board and saying:

We need to help these elephants, especially since today in the wild, it is less than 1/5 of what it used to be.

We meet a very interesting person at the Patara Elephant Camp.

Let’s read more about that, Chip.

OK. Well, we can see that our author calls this person Pat.

And it sounds like, if I’m saying this correctly, is his name Theerapat Trungprakan?

Is that right, Winnie?

I don’t know, Chip. I am not very good at Thai, either.

But hopefully, it won’t sound too bad or too off.

But we can just call him ”Pat,” and he is someone who works in this elephant camp.

And he says: If we let it go on, in another generation, there will be no elephants left.

Right. If we let this decrease in the numbers of elephants continue, if we let that go on,

then, yeah, in a couple of generations, there will be zero elephants in Thailand.

And that would be a major problem for this particular country.

That’s right. And the author goes on to say: This is in a country with 30 words for elephant.

Now that simply means it’s another information for you to just know that how Thai people really value, or love, elephants.

They have so many different ways of calling an elephant.

And I imagine maybe a baby elephant, female elephant.

And so they want elephants to live and to grow and survive.

Yeah. And I think this is an interesting way of evaluating, or seeing, how much a culture values an idea.

For example, here you can see that Thailand values elephants because they have so many different words for that single idea, or that single creature.

So you can see the value there.

So our article, or our author goes on to say:

And so I met Kwan. I learned to check her skin for streaks of dirt and that’s a sign that she’s sleeping lying down.

Now when we say ”streaks” here, we’re talking about markings of dirt, or just markings that are usually in a line.

So you would say ”streaks of lightning” even, because it comes down almost in a line.

And so if an elephant has streaks of dirt, it means that she is sleeping lying down as a healthy elephant should.

And the author goes on to say: I fed her a basket of fruit and sugar cane.

And I think that would make Kwan a very happy elephant.

I would think so.

We saw earlier that Kwan probably eats about 300 kilograms of food in a single day. And I bet sugar cane is one of her favorite foods.

Now ”sugar cane” is a plant that has a very long, tall stem.

And inside that plant is sugar, in one form or another.

And a lot of the sugar that you and I would eat every day would come from sugar cane.

That’s right. And it seems like the elephants would enjoy that as well.

Well, friends, thanks so much for joining us today. Before we go, we have a little skit for you. Enjoy.

Hello. I want to own an elephant for a day.

All right. You can buy an elephant named Kwan.

Great! Uh, what can Kwan the elephant do?

She can squeak.

She can flap her ears and look you in the eye.

And she can snatch a banana right out of your hand.

Oh! Hey, my banana.

Kwan loves bananas. Elephants are big eaters.

Yeah, they are ”big” eaters.

Well, let me go get your elephant.

Oh, wait! I’ve never owned an elephant before.

What do I have to do?

Just inspect it. Then feed it 300 kilos of leaves and fruit.

That is a lot!

Yes. Then brush it, wash it and take it for a ride.

Here are the keys.

Uh, the keys?

Yes. The keys to the ”trunk”! Just kidding.

You are very fortunate.

There are not so many elephants now.

But Thailand is famous for elephants.

Yes. But if the number keeps decreasing, soon there will be no more elephants.

Oh, no! That’s so sad.

Yes. Now here is your basket of fruit.

That’s great. I love fresh fruit.

That fruit is not for you.

It’s for your elephant, Kwan.

Oh! Yeah. Right... OK.

Hi, everyone. I’m Michelle.

(Chinese).

And I know we have to say goodbye now. Take care and bye-bye.

To think that there might come a day when there are no more elephants in the world seems absurd.

But if we humans aren’t careful, it could happen.

100 years ago, it was estimated that the world had between 5 and 10 million elephants.

Today, less than one million.

Again, the word for no longer existing is ”extinct,” e-x-t-i-n-c-t.

And remember, extinct means forever.

Let’s hope that Patara’s Elephant Farm helps the elephant population in Thailand to grow.

OK, everyone, let’s check in with Kwan the Thai elephant again tomorrow.

Until then, I hope you have a super day. Bye-bye.

(Music).

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