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  • Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Rob.

  • Neil: And hello! I'm Neil.

  • Rob: Hi there Neil. Have you ever had a close encounter with a monkey or an ape?

  • Neil: Well I'm sitting right next to you, Rob?

  • Rob: Very funny. Neil is referring to the fact that

  • all humans are descended from apes,

  • and apes and monkeys belong to a group of animals called primates.

  • The difference is that monkeys have tails, and apes don't.

  • Neil: Well, I didn't know that. On a serious note...

  • I had a close shave with some monkeys once in Bali.

  • Rob: A close shave is where you only just manage to avoid a dangerous situation.

  • So Neil, what happened?

  • Neil: I was walking up a mountain on my own

  • and suddenly a bunch of monkeys jumped out of nowhere, blocking my path.

  • Rob: Oh goodness! OK. So what did you do?

  • Neil: After standing there for ages while the monkeys screeched at me,

  • I turned round and walked back the way I came.

  • Rob: OK. If you screech at someone it means to make a loud, high and unpleasant sound.

  • So the monkeys won that face-off, then!

  • Neil: Absolutely! Yes, they did! And a face-off,

  • by the way, means an argument or fight.

  • Rob: Well, today's show is about gibbons and the different sounds they make.

  • Gibbons are small apes that live in Southeast Asia.

  • And while Neil's monkeys screech unpleasantly,

  • gibbons sound like they are singing.

  • Neil: Musical apes... that's nice! So how about today's quiz question, Rob?

  • Rob: OK, good idea. How far can a gibbon's voice travel through the forest? Is it... a) 500m

  • b) 1km or c) 5km?

  • Neil: Hmm. Well, I have to guess and I'm going to say b) 1km.

  • Rob: You've never heard one.

  • Neil: Never heard one...

  • Rob: OK. We'll find out later on in the programme whether you're right or wrong.

  • Now let's listen to what a gibbon really sounds like.

  • Interviewer: Let's just hear this. That's an absolutely wonderful, evocative sound, isn't it? Beautiful sound.

  • And what are they doing there then? That is ... I said talking to each other.

  • Dr Clarke: Well this is their ... They're singing together.

  • So a male and a female, when they hold a territory together,

  • will sing every morning what they call a duet. All the groups...

  • Interviewer: What we call a duet.

  • Dr Clarke: Yes, absolutely. And they'll all sing together at the same time,

  • and the whole forest will be alive with this cacophony of song.

  • Rob: So the gibbons make an evocative sound.

  • If something is evocative it brings strong feelings or memories to mind.

  • Neil: And something that is evocative is usually pleasant, Rob.

  • Rob: It is. And what's also interesting is that the apes are singing in pairs, one male and one female.

  • They are singing duets together.

  • So a duet is a song sung by two people or in this case, sung by two gibbons!

  • Neil: And a lot of gibbons are singing duets at the same time

  • which Dr Clarke describes as a cacophony.

  • Cacophony means a mix of loud noises, which often sound out of tune.

  • Rob: And that could easily describe us singing together!

  • Neil: Let's not do that.

  • Rob: But what's the reason for the gibbon duets, Neil?

  • Neil: Well, the songs advertise the relationship between the male and the female.

  • And they also help to make clear which territory

  • or bit of land belongs to a pair or group of gibbons.

  • Rob: Gibbons also use different sounds to alert

  • or warn other gibbons about danger from predators these are animals that eat other animals.

  • The gibbons use a quiet 'hoo hoo' call to communicate that a leopard is nearby,

  • and an even quieter 'hoo hoo' call for an eagle.

  • Neil: You're very good at that Rob.

  • Rob: Thank you.

  • Neil: Now let's hear more from Dr Clarke about this.

  • How does she describe language?

  • Dr Esther Clarke Yes, so the idea is that if we find things like context-specific calling in non-human primates,

  • it suggests that way back in time

  • the ancestor that we shared with them also had context-specific calling so basically

  • it just gives us some clues [as] to the evolutionary roots of complex communication like language.

  • Rob: Dr Clarke says that if we go far enough back in time humans

  • and other primates such as monkeys and apes have the same ancestor.

  • Neil: Right. And ancestor means an animal or human

  • from the past that a modern animal or human has descended from.

  • So if this common ancestor used context-specific calls like modern gibbons,

  • then it could have passed on this ability to humans a long time ago.

  • Rob: Context-specific calling means different calls for different situations,

  • for example one call for 'leopard' and another for 'eagle'.

  • Neil: And evolutionary means a gradual process of change or development.

  • Rob: OK, let's have the answer to the quiz question.

  • Earlier I asked: How far can a gibbon's voice travel through the forest? Is it: a) 500m

  • b) 1km or c) 5km?

  • Neil: And I said b) 1km.

  • Rob: And you were right! A good guess!

  • Perhaps you do know a lot about gibbons. So well done!

  • Now, can we hear today's words again maybe in a gibbon's voice Neil?

  • Neil: I'm not sure about that. I'll do it in a human voice.

  • primates

  • a close shave

  • screech

  • face-off

  • gibbons

  • evocative

  • duet

  • cacophony

  • territory

  • alert

  • predators

  • ancestor

  • evolutionary

  • Rob: Thank you. Well, that's the end of today's 6 Minute English.

  • You can hear more 6 Minute English programmes on our website at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • Please join us again soon.

  • Both: Bye.

Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Rob.

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BBC 6分鐘英語2015年7月30日 - 長臂猿在唱什麼?(字幕尚未更正) (BBC 6 Minute English July 30, 2015 - What are gibbons singing about? (Subtitle not corrected yet))

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    Adam Huang 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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