《中英對照讀新聞》Cute or creepy: why humans love some species, loathe others-可愛或可怕:人類為何對某些物種愛恨分明


2019-08-01 05:30

◎孫宇青

The Chinese giant salamander, the largest amphibian in the world, weigh as much as an adult human, and has slimy brown skin, a giant mouth and puny eyes. Unlike panda, it rarely makes the news.

世界上最大的兩棲類動物「中國大鯢(音同尼)」,體重相當於一名成年人,外皮呈棕色及黏滑狀,有著一張大嘴巴和小眼睛。牠不像貓熊,很少受到矚目。

Why do some animals strike a chord with humans, prompting them to donate millions towards their conservation, while others draw little more than disgust?

為何某些動物可以打動人類,讓人們捐贈數百萬元用以保育,某些動物卻只會引發人們嫌惡?

"One of the biggest factors is ’cuteness’:physical characteristics such as big eyes and soft features that elicit our parental instincts because they remind us of human infants," said Hal Herzog, emeritus professor at West Carolina University’s Department of Psychology.

美國西卡羅來納大學心理系榮譽教授哈爾.赫佐格說:「最大原因之一是『可愛度』,像是大眼睛及誘發我們父母本能的柔軟身軀等身體特徵,因為這些因素會使我們聯想到嬰兒。」

Herzog said the dark rings around pandas’ eyes triggered humans nurturing instincts. But the main instinct the salamanders inspire in humans is revulsion.

赫佐格說,貓熊的黑眼圈觸發人類的養育本能,大鯢卻讓人們在直覺上產生反感。

"Disgust is a learned emotion. It’s probably transmitted socially, culturally and within families," said Graham Davey, a British specialist in phobias.(AFP)

英國恐懼症專家葛蘭姆.達維說:「厭惡感是後天習得的情緒,可能是經由社會、文化和家族內的傳播。」(法新社)

《新聞辭典》

puny:形容詞,微小的;微不足道的。例句:Current revenues are too puny to cover extra advertisement costs.(目前的收入少到無法支付額外的廣告費。)

strike a chord with:慣用片語,引起共鳴。例句:Their policy on income inequality struck a chord with the grassroots.(他們針對收入差距的政策,打動基層民眾的心。)

little more than:慣用片語,僅僅;只不過。例句:What she did was little more than copy and paste.(她做的不過是複製和貼上罷了。)

  • 中國大鯢被認為外型不討喜。(法新社檔案照)

    中國大鯢被認為外型不討喜。(法新社檔案照)