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Quora:中国、伊拉克、埃及和印度等文明古国,为何人均收入普遍较低

作者:施索恩工作室 时间:2018-11-07 21:27 
孤叶工作室

Why are the countries with the longest civilizations, like China, Iraq, Egypt, and India, generally poorer per capita?

为什么拥有最悠久文明的国家,如中国、伊拉克、埃及和印度,人均收入普遍较低?

 

Quora评论翻译:

Gary Allen, Trying to keep current is exhausting.

That poverty is a widespread condition in these areas where the oldest civilizations first developed is true, at present, but there are strong indications that change is underway which will correct that.  The thousands of years which these senior civilizations have remained on their territories means that dense populations have harvested many crops, which has led to the impoverishment of the soil.  Being the first to arrive at complex societies meant that these areas made mistakes which no one had enough information to understand and resolve.

的确,贫困在这些最古老文明的发源地是普遍存在的,但目前有明显的迹象表明,这一情况正在改善。这些古老文明延续了几千年,人们大量种植作物,导致土壤贫瘠。作为首批进入复杂社会体系的国家,这意味着这些地区会犯某些错误,当时却都不具备理解和解决这些问题的能力

Egypt's prosperity throughout the ancient kingdoms was largely due to the annual flooding of the Nile.  After all, Egypt's surplus grain fed the Romans for a couple of hundred years.  In recent times, the building of the Aswan High Dam has blocked so much of the Nile's flow that the valley soil is less rich and the Delta is beginning to sink back into the Mediterranean Sea in places from the lack of renewing silt.

埃及王国的繁荣很大程度上是得益于尼罗河每年的洪水。毕竟,埃及过剩的粮食养活了罗马人几百年。在近代,阿斯旺大坝的修建拦截了尼罗河的大部分水流,使得河谷的土壤变得不那么肥沃,三角洲由于缺新的泥沙重陷地中海。

Iraq is in a largely hot, desert climate and only the widespread use of irrigation allowed it to prosper and maintain large populations.  Irrigation is a short-term solution, and the lands in Iraq have fallen useless for periods of time, because irrigation ultimately poisons the soil with metals.  After a hundred years or so, the soil has then been reclaimed and re-irrigated time and again.  Iraq, like Egypt, has such deep problems with a functioning government that people today are suffering, even with the influx of oil wealth, but there is no reason to believe this cannot be overcome again.

伊拉克沙漠气候,炎热干燥,只有广泛利用灌溉才能使其繁荣并维持大量人口。灌溉是一个短期的解决方案,而且由于灌溉最终会污染(金属污染)土壤伊拉克的土地很长一段时期内都会毫无用处。大约一百年后,土壤已经一次次被重新开垦和灌溉。伊拉克和埃及一样,在一个运转正常的政府的统治下仍存在着如此严重的问题,以至于即使石油财富的涌入,今天的人们仍在遭受苦难,但这一问题并非无法再次克服。

India has been a highly productive land with a dense population for a very long time, but its success in producing more food during the 20th century has also led to a huge ballooning of its population.  If India can continue as a democracy, it is likely to make wise enough decisions to outlive this swelling of the population; then, as future generations arise, a rational limiting of the birth rate will allow everyone to live a well-fed, decent life.

在很长一段时期内,印度一直是一块高产的土地,人口密集,但20世纪的粮食高产,也导致了其人口的急剧膨胀。如果印度能做出足够明智的决定,以度过人口膨胀的时期然后,随着未来几代人的崛起,合理限制出生率将使每个人都能过上衣食无忧的体面生活。

China has had a river problem, too, but in China's case it was at least three major rivers which flooded frequently--to great benefit in the growing of rice and other cereals, but with frequent damage and loss of life.  China has suffered during the 19th and 20th centuries from foreign interference in its own government, and then when it did reunify, has suffered from mismanagement by a rigid and authoritarian system which destroyed almost as much as it built.

中国也有河流问题,至少有三条主要河流经常泛滥——这对水稻和其他谷物的种植大有好处,但经常造成破坏和生命损失。在19世纪和20世纪期间,中国遭受了外国对其政府的干预,而当中国真正实现统一时,又受到了权威体制管理不善的影响,这种制度几乎摧毁了它所建设的东西

The sooner each of these cultural regions finds sustainable solutions to their problems of overuse and overpopulation, the sooner they will put poverty behind them.

这些文明地区越早找到解决过度开垦和人口过剩问题的可持续办法,就越早摆脱贫困。

 

Ahhaan Badhwar, Indian learning about China

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