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      《美國在搶劫》精選-英譯中
      來源:北京新語絲翻譯公司  編輯:xinyusi  發布日期:2013-05-21 15:11

          The Wisconsin Five wanted their money to beget money. Actually, they wanted borrowed

          money to do all the begetting. There is a very long and controversial history about whether or not that’s a good thing.

          Money seems to have sprung up about 9,000 years ago. The first currency was cows. Before we developed crops, our ancestors domesticated wild animals. A few of these species (taurine and zebu) became cattle that provided people with food, milk and a way to carry loads. These cattle also became our first means of exchange.

          Apparently, from the start, homo sapiens have had a fondness for trading just about everything. We loved to barter. If we had a little extra of something, we wanted to trade it for stuff we didn’t have. But as our societies became more complex, it became increasingly cumbersome to work out the exact terms of each barter deal. The cow became the universal medium of exchange. Other items were measured against the value of a cow. One cow equals so many spears or concubines.

          The Chinese were the first to figure out that coin-like objects might be easier to put in your purse than a cow. They started using cowry shells-those shiny porcelain-like sea shells that were easily carried and transferred. Their beauty also gave them intrinsic value. In Africa, cowry shells were also known for their magical powers and were associated with fertility.

          Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, noted that by 687 BC, the kingdom of Lydia (in what is now western Turkey) used minted coins. Historians believe this might have been the first society to systematically do so. In short order, decorative metals-silver and gold-became the standard means of exchange.

          People were probably long familiar with loans: I will give you my extra cow now, and you will give me back a cow later. Or maybe you will give me back an armful of wheat every new moon for 12 new moons. But at some point-historians don’t know exactly when-people came up with the idea of charging interest: You can have my extra cow now, but only if you give me a cow back next year plus an armful of wheat every month. (Interest may have started

          because animals could reproduce during the period of the loan. Who got the calf?)

          Early on, our hard-working ancestors worried about the impact on society of those who received extra wealth from loans. Money lenders often were viewed as leeching off those who worked hard for their bread. Long before Christ, people were making a clear distinction between earned and unearned income. But more importantly, they worried about the consequences for the community: The indebted could become slaves to their creditors, and destabilize the social order.

          The concept of interest was first codified about 4,500 years ago in Mesopotamia, as that society developed an urban civilization that relied on a division of labor. Wheat growers, fishermen, and herders in the countryside fed the urban population of craftsmen, priests, and government officials. The temple, and later the central government, took in surpluses from the countryside (taxes in the form of agricultural produce) and distributed the goods to the urban dwellers. Everyone had to pay some kind of tribute (taxes) to the temple and the state. If you couldn’t pay, you borrowed either from others or from the central government to cover what you owed.

          威斯康星州五所學校希望自己的錢能夠生錢。其實,他們原本希望用借來的錢生錢。對于這種方式是好是壞的問題,人們已經爭論了相當長的時間。

          金錢的出現大約可以追溯到9000年前。第一種貨幣是奶牛。在開始培植農作物以前,我們的祖先靠馴養野生動物為生。其中一些種類(公牛和瘤牛)被馴化為普通的家畜牛,為人們提供食物和牛奶,同時也是一種運輸工具。這些牛也成了我們的第一個交易工具。

          顯然,人類從一開始就對交易情有獨鐘。我們喜歡以貨易貨。如果這其中還有什么其他原因的話,那就是我們想要交換我們沒有的物件。但隨著我們的社會變得日益復雜,計算每筆以貨易貨交易的確切數額也變得非常繁瑣。因此,牛便成為??交換的通用媒介。其他物品的價值根據一頭牛的價值來衡量。一頭?梢該Q一定數量的矛或其他所需物品。

          中國人最先制造了硬幣狀的物品,人們可以將這些物品輕松地裝進錢包(?隙ú恍校。他們開始用貝殼作為通用媒介,那些像瓷器般閃閃發光的海貝殼很容易攜帶和傳遞。它們的美麗也使之富于內在價值。在非洲,人們認為貝殼擁有神奇的力量,并且和生育有關。

          古希臘歷史學家希羅多德(Herodotus)指出,公元前687年,呂底亞王國(位于今土耳其西部)使用的是鑄造硬幣。歷史學家們認為,這可能是第一個系統使用鑄造貨幣的社會。在短期內,如黃金和白銀等裝飾用金屬成為交換的標準工具。

          人們或許在很早以前就開始跟放貸打交道:我現在把多余的一頭牛給你,等以后你再還給我一頭牛;或者你在每次新月出現時給我一大抱小麥,連續12次。但到了某個具體的時間點--歷史學家們也不知道具體時間--人們產生了收取利息的想法:我現在可以把多余的一頭牛給你,可是你明年必須再還給我一頭牛,外加每個月一大抱小麥。(利息或許也已經開始計算,因為動物可能在放貸期內繁殖?墒切∨T摻o誰?)

          早期,我們勤勞的祖先們擔心那部分從放貸中賺取額外財富的人會對社會造成不良影響。放債人常常被視為榨取那些為維持生計而努力工作的勞動者血汗錢的邪惡之徒。早在公元前,人們對勞動收入和非勞動收入已經劃分的非常清楚。但更重要的是,他們擔心借貸給社會造成的后果:負債人可能會成為其債權人的奴隸,進而破壞社會秩序的穩定??。

          利息的概念約在4500年前被納入美索不達米亞地區的法典,當時,這一地區已經發展出了一種依賴分工的城市文明。鄉下種植小麥的農夫、漁民和牧民為城里的工匠、祭司和政府官員們供應食物。寺院以及后來的中央政府將農村地區的盈余(稅收為農產品)征集起來,然后分配給城里的居民。每個人都必須向寺廟和國家繳納一定的貢品(稅)。如果你付不起,那就需要從其他人或政府手里借。

          本文由新語絲資深譯員整理發布
          如果您有金融投資翻譯方面的需求可以隨時與我們公司進行聯系,咨詢熱線:010-85969292,也可以與我們的在線客服人員聯系,新語絲更專業、更快捷,是您放心的選擇!

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