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【纽约时报】看书和听书,哪个比较好?

【纽约时报】看书和听书,哪个比较好?


“听”书越来越流行,让有些人担心“看”书会式微。其实,这种担心没有必要。听书和看书孰优孰劣,取决于阅读的目标、内容、场景等多种因素,在不同的条件下,两者各有所长。对于读者而言,更重要的或许是理解两种阅读方式的差异并学会如何利用它们各自优势来提高阅读效果。


看书和听书,哪个比较好?

【纽约时报】看书和听书,哪个比较好?

作者:Daniel T. Willingham

译者:邵海灵 & 王津雨

校对:赵萌萌

策划:邹世昌


Is listening to a book the same thing as reading It?

看书和听书的效果是一样的吗?


本文选自 New York Times | 取经号原创翻译

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A few years ago, when people heard I was a reading researcher, they might ask about their child’s dyslexia or how to get their teenager to read more. But today the question I get most often is,“Is it cheating if I listen to an audiobook for my book club?”

几年前,人们一听说我在做阅读方面的研究,就会咨询他们孩子的阅读障碍问题,或者问我如何让孩子多读书。但现在,我被问过最多的一个问题是:“如果我在书友会听有声读物而不看书,算不算作弊?”

dyslexia [dɪs’lɛksɪə] n. impaired ability to learn to read阅读障碍


Audiobook sales have doubled in the last five years while print and e-book sales are flat. These trends might lead us to fear that audiobooks will do to reading what keyboarding has done to handwriting – rendered it a skill that seems quaint and whose value is open to debate. But examining how we read and how we listen shows that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior.

过去5年内,有声读物的销量翻了一番,纸质书和电子书却并不景气。这种趋势可能会引起我们的恐慌:就像键盘已在取代手写一样,有声读物将取代传统阅读方式——后者似乎已不再符合时代发展的节拍,其价值也开始受到争议。但是,通过研究人们如何阅读和如何收听,我们发现两种方式各自适合于不同的目的,没有哪个更加高级。

quaint [kwent] adj. very strange or unusual; odd or even incongruous in character or appearance奇怪的


In fact, they overlap considerably. Consider why audiobooks are a good workaround for people with dyslexia: They allow listeners to get the meaning while skirting the work of decoding, that is, the translation of print on the page to words in the mind. Although decoding is serious work for beginning readers, it’s automatic by high school, and no more effortful or error prone than listening. Once you’ve identified the words (whether by listening or reading), the same mental process comprehends the sentences and paragraphs they form.

事实上,二者在很大程度上是相互重叠的。想想吧,为什么对于患有阅读障碍的人群,有声读物是个很好的变通方案:它能让听众理解读物的意思,同时又不用进行“解码”工作(即把书面文字翻译成呈现在大脑中的文字)。虽然刚入门的读者需要严肃重视“解码”,但他们在高中阶段就能自动完成,而且比起收听,“解码”并不会更加费力或更容易出错。只要你能识别出单词(不管通过收听还是阅读),就能通过相同的思维过程理解它们所构成的句子和段落。

 

Writing is less than 6,000 years old, insufficient time for the evolution of specialized mental processes devoted to reading. We use the mental mechanism that evolved to understand oral language to support the comprehension of written language. Indeed, research shows that adults get nearly identical scores on a reading test if they listen to the passages instead of reading them.

人类写作的历史还不到6000年,这不足以让人类进化出专门用于阅读的思维过程。我们通过那种用来理解口头语言的思维机制去理解书面语言。事实上,有研究表明,如果成年人在阅读测试中采用收听文章的方式,他们得到的分数与阅读文章时基本相同。

 

Nevertheless, there are differences between print and audio, notably prosody. That’s the pitch, tempo and stress of spoken words. “What a great party” can be a sincere compliment or sarcastic put-down, but they look identical on the page. Although writing lacks symbols for prosody, experienced readers infer it as they go. In one experiment, subjects listened to a recording of someone’s voice who either spoke quickly or slowly. Next, everyone silently read the same text, purportedly written by the person whose voice they had just heard. Those hearing the quick talker read the text faster than those hearing the slow talker.

不过,书面内容和音频内容还是有区别的,尤其是在韵律方面。这指的是说话的音调、节奏和重音。“这聚会太棒了”可能是一句真诚的赞美,也可能是一句讽刺的贬低,但在书面上就看不出区别。虽然写作缺乏韵律符号,但有经验的读者能通过上下文推断出来。在一项实验中,实验对象收听了一段录音,录音中有的人语速快、有的人语速慢。接着,每个实验对象默读相同的文本(据说是刚才录音中说话的人所写的)。那些听到语速快的录音的实验对象,默读文本的速度就更快。

 

But the inferences can go wrong, and hearing the audio version – and therefore the correct prosody – can aid comprehension. For example, today’s student who reads “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” often assumes that Juliet is asking where Romeo is, and so infers that the word art would be stressed. In a performance, an actress will likely stress Romeo, which will help a listener realize she’s musing about his name, not wondering about his location.

但这种推断过程可能会出错,所以听音频版本——而且是正确的韵律——能有助于理解。例如:现在的学生在读到“Wherefore art thou Romeo?”这句时,会认定朱丽叶是在问罗密欧在哪里,因此推断重音要落在“art”上。但在舞台剧中,女主角一般会将重音落在“罗密欧”上,这就有助于听众意识到,朱丽叶是在叨念罗密欧的名字,而不是想知道他的位置。

 

It sounds as if comprehension should be easier when listening than reading, but that’s not always true. For example, one study compared how well students learned about a scientific subject from a 22-minute podcast versus a printed article. Although students spent equivalent time with each format, on a written quiz two days later the readers scored 81 percent and the listeners 59 percent.

乍一听起来,听书应该比看书更有助于理解,但事实未必总是如此。比如说,一项研究比较了学生通过两种方式学习一个科学知识的效率,一种是听一段22分钟的广播,一种是读一篇文章。尽管学生在两种方式上花了同样的时间,但在两天后的测试里,看文章的人答题正确率有81%,而听文章的人正确率只有59%。

 

What happened? Note that the subject matter was difficult, and the goal wasn’t pleasure but learning. Both factors make us read differently. When we focus, we slow down. We reread the hard bits. We stop and think. Each is easier with print than with a podcast.

这是为什么?请注意,这个实验的学习内容很难,目标也不是放松娱乐,而是学习。两个因素都会对我们的阅读产生影响。如果我们集中注意力,速度就会慢下来,难理解的部分会反复阅读,也会停下来有所思考,而在阅读时重读和停顿都比你在听音频时这样做要容易。

 

Print also supports readers through difficult content via signals to organization like paragraphs and headings, conventions missing from audio. Experiments show readers actually take longer to read the first sentence of a paragraph because they know it probably contains the foundational idea for what’s to come.

阅读材料有分段和标题,可以帮助读者理解难懂的内容,而这些传统的记号是音频无法体现的。实验表明,读者实际上需要花更多时间阅读一段话的第一句,因为他们知道这句话很可能包含着关于下文的基本信息。

 

So although one core process of comprehension serves both listening and reading, difficult texts demand additional mental strategies. Print makes those strategies easier to use. Consistent with that interpretation, researchers find that people’s listening and reading abilities are more similar for simple narratives than for expository prose. Stories tend to be more predictable and employ familiar ideas, and expository essays more likely include unfamiliar content and require more strategic reading.

所以,尽管理解的一个核心过程在听和读的过程中都是一样的,但更难的文本要求大脑运用更多策略去理解,而文字材料能让我们用起来更容易。研究人员的一个发现和这种解释也是一致的:人们的听力和阅读能力在理解简单叙事的时候更加趋于一致,而在理解说明文的时候会体现出较大的差异。故事往往更容易预测,也更容易用人之常情去理解,而说明文的内容往往是我们不熟悉的,需要运用更多阅读策略。

expository prose /ɪk’spɑzətɔrɪ proʊz/ n. Writing that seeks to explain, illuminate or ‘expose’ (which is where the word ‘expository’ comes from). 说明文


This conclusion – equivalence for easy texts and an advantage to print for hard ones – is open to changes in the future. As audiobooks become more common, listeners will gain experience in comprehending them and may improve, and publishers may develop ways of signaling organization auditorily.

听和读的能力在理解简单内容时基本持平,而在理解复杂内容时,阅读能力明显高于听力——这一现象将来或许会发生变化。随着有声读物日益普及,听众的经验也逐渐积累,理解能力可能也会有所提高,出版商也可能会想出办法来对音频内容加注段落结构的标记。

 

But even with those changes, audiobooks won’t replace print because we use them differently. Eighty-one percent of audiobook listeners say they like to drive, work out or otherwise multitask while they listen. The human mind is not designed for doing two things simultaneously, so if we multitask, we’ll get gist, not subtleties.

但即使有了这些改变,有声读物也不会取代纸质书籍,因为使用的目的不同。81%的有声书听众都说他们喜欢在开车、健身或做其他事情的时候听书,而人的大脑不是为同时处理多个任务而设计的,所以如果我们一心二用,就只能了解大概,而无法捕捉细节。

 

Still, that’s no reason for print devotees to sniff. I can’t hold a book while I mop or commute. Print may be best for lingering over words or ideas, but audiobooks add literacy to moments where there would otherwise be none.

尽管如此,读书爱好者也不必对听书嗤之以鼻。我不能在拖地或上班时手里捧着一本书。在文字或思想中漫步徜徉,文字或许是最好的,但有声读物让人们在其他时候也能享受书中的乐趣。

 

So no, listening to a book club selection is not cheating. It’s not even cheating to listen while you’re at your child’s soccer game (at least not as far as the book is concerned). You’ll just get different things out of the experience. And different books invite different ways that you want to read them: As the audio format grows more popular, authors are writing more works specifically meant to be heard.

所以,在书友会上分享你听来而非读来的书,这不算是作弊。就算你一边陪孩子看球赛一边听书,也不是作弊(至少书不会觉得你是在作弊)。只不过你会从这种方式中获得不同的东西罢了。而且不同的书需要你采用不同的方式去阅读:随着有声读物越来越流行,会有越来越多的读物是专为听书而创作的。

 

Our richest experiences will come not from treating print and audio interchangeably, but from understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage – all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.

我们最丰富的经验不是来自听书和看书的交替,而是来自我们对两种阅读方式之间差异的理解,以及知道如何将两种方式的益处为我所用。殊途同归,这两种方式的最终目的都是让我们能明白作者想要表达的是什么。


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【纽约时报】看书和听书,哪个比较好?

<原文链接:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/08/opinion/sunday/audiobooks-reading-cheating-listening.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion>


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