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BBC随身英语: 为什么我们会发笑?

Why do we laugh?

为什么我们会笑?

What makes you laugh the most?

什么让你笑得最多?

While rib-tickling jokes and hilarious videos certainly do make us giggle, most of the time we laugh because of something much simpler: being with other people.

虽然逗人发笑的笑话和滑稽的视频确实会让我们咯咯笑,但大多数时候我们笑是因为一些更简单的事情:与他人为伴。

So much so that we are 30 times more likely to laugh when we're with others, according to a study by neuroscientist Robert Provine from the University of Maryland. "When you're alone, laughter basically disappears," he told Smithsonian Magazine.

根据马里兰大学神经学家罗伯特·普罗文的一项研究,当我们和别人在一起的时候,我们笑的可能性是其他人的30倍。“独处时,基本上是没有笑容的,”他告诉史密森尼杂志。

So, what is it about other people that makes us split our sides? The answer lies deep within our brains, and in how we form communities.

那么,到底是什么让我们捧腹大笑呢?答案存在我们的大脑深处,也存在与我们建立联系的方式里。

Laughter is a social emotion that we use to "make and maintain social bonds," says Professor Sophie Smith from University College London in an article for the BBC. It reassures people that situations are non-threatening. Those who laugh frequently are also often more popular. Even in a normal conversation we laugh seven times every 10 minutes, she says.

伦敦大学学院的索菲·史密斯教授在为BBC撰写的一篇文章中说,笑是一种社会情感,我们用它来“建立和维持社会纽带”。它使人们确信情况并不具有威胁性。经常笑的人通常也更受欢迎。她说,即使在正常的谈话中,我们每10分钟也会笑7次。

Professor Smith also explains that laughter is very different to speech. It is non-verbal: the wheezing and snorting sounds are produced by air being pushed out quickly at high pressure, without involving the teeth or lips. These sounds are the kind we make when in a state of heightened emotion.

史密斯教授还解释说,笑和说话很不一样。它是非语言的:呼哧呼哧的声音是由空气在高压下快速排出而产生的,不涉及牙齿或嘴唇。这些声音就是我们在情绪高涨时发出的声音。

In this respect, laughter sounds more like an animal call than human language. This theory is backed up by tests which show the part of the brain responsible for laughter is not the neocortex used in language, but an 'older' area we share with mammals.

在这方面,笑听起来更像是动物的叫声而不是人类的语言。这一理论得到了研究的支撑。研究显示,大脑中负责笑的部分并不是语言中使用的新皮质,而是我们与哺乳动物共有的一个“更老”的区域。

Indeed, chimpanzees, gorillas and even rats all enjoy a good chortle, especially when being tickled. Just be careful when you tickle a gorilla, or you might end up laughing on the other side of your face… (Did you laugh at that gag? Or did it just make you groan?)

的确,黑猩猩、大猩猩甚至老鼠都喜欢开怀大笑,尤其是被挠痒痒的时候。当你胳肢大猩猩的时候要小心,否则你可能会乐极生悲……(笑话会让你发笑吗?还是只是让你哼一声?)

 

词汇表

rib-tickling

令人捧腹大笑的

hilarious

滑稽的

giggle

咯咯地笑

neuroscientist

神经科学家

split your sides

笑裂腰身,笑破肚皮

social bond

社会关系

non-threatening

不具威胁性的

non-verbal

非语言的

wheeze

发出喘息声

snort

用鼻子哼

heightened emotion

高度激动的情绪

back up

证实,有证据支持

neocortex

大脑新皮层

chortle

哈哈大笑

laugh on the other side of your face

(口语比喻)转喜为忧、乐极生悲

gag

玩笑、俏皮话

groan

哼了一声

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