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VOA慢速英语: 美国和英国两个团队共同获得1000万美元XPRIZE奖金

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American, British Teams Share $10 Million XPRIZE Award

美国和英国两个团队共同获得1000万美元XPRIZE奖金

A California company and a British-based group are sharing a $10 million award for developing programs to help children teach themselves how to read.

一家加利福尼亚州的公司和一个英国的团体因发展了一个帮助儿童自学如何阅读的项目,共同获得了一个1000万美元的奖金。

The two winners are the Kitkit School, based in Berkeley, California, and the educational nonprofit organization onebillion of London.

两个奖金获得者分别是加利福尼亚州伯克利市的Kitkit学校和伦敦的非营利性教育组织onebillion。

Nearly 200 teams from 40 countries entered the competition. They sought to become the latest winner of an XPRIZE. Money for the international award comes from inventors, billionaires and philanthropists. Their aim is to make the world a better place through technology.

来自40个国家将近200个团队参与了此次竞争。他们寻求成为最新一届XPRIZE的获胜者。 用于这项国际奖金的钱来自于发明家、亿万富翁和慈善家。他们的目标是通过科技让世界变得更加美好。

Businessman Elon Musk announced the two winners at a ceremony Wednesday night in Los Angeles, California. The event recognized and honored all five of the finalists. The XPRIZE For Global Learning was worth $15 million, with the money coming from Musk. Each finalist received $1 million. The two winners each received an additional $5 million.

于周三晚上在加利福尼亚州的洛杉矶举行的大会上,企业家伊隆·马斯克宣布了两名奖金获得者。此次大会给予了五位决赛参与者以赞成与荣誉。马斯克颁发的用于全球学习的XPRIZE奖金价值1500万美元。每位决赛参与者获得100万美元。两名获胜者各获得了额外的500万美元。

The XPRIZE Foundation, a non-profit group, reports that more than 250 million children worldwide cannot read or write.

XPRIZE基金会是一个非营利性组织。它发表报告称全世界2亿5000万儿童不会读写。

The goal of the competition was to develop an open-source software program, which was put on computer tablets donated by Google. Then the devices were given to thousands of children in 170 villages in Tanzania for testing.

该竞赛的目标是发开一个开放源代码的的软件程序。这个软件程序由谷歌捐赠并且可以被安装到平板电脑里。接着将这些设备给了坦桑尼亚170个乡村的儿童用于测试。

The five finalists spent 15 months improving the software. They had to develop programs filled with games that would interest children and hold their attention. The programs used pictures, letters, numbers and sounds to help the users teach themselves to read, write and do simple mathematics.

这五位决赛参与者花费15个月的时间改进这个软件。他们必须开发具有很多游戏的程序,这些游戏能够使儿童感兴趣并且能够吸引他们的注意力。这些程序会使用图片、字母、数字和声音来帮助使用者自学阅读、书写和做一些简单的数学运算。

The games would show children letters and pictures, let them write over letters to learn how to write, and even read books to them.

这些游戏会向孩子展示字母和图片,让他们用字母书写并学习如何写甚至给自己读书。

When testing began, XPRIZE officials said only two percent of the children could read a simple sentence in Swahili, their native language. Three-fourths of the boys and girls had never attended school. Many had to be shown how to power up the device. But 15 months later, 30 percent of the children had gained basic reading skills.

测试开始时,XPRIZE高级职员称在只有2%的儿童能用他们的母语斯瓦希里语读简单的句子。四分之三的男孩和女孩从来没上过学。还要教给很多儿童如何开启这些设备。但是15个月之后,30%的儿童已经掌握了最基本的阅读技巧。

Both winning teams said the hardest part was developing software at their home bases, putting it on tablets and hoping the children would understand how to use it.

两个获胜的团队都表示最难的部分是在他们总部开发软件,把软件安装到平板电脑上并且希望孩子们能够理解如何使用它。

“We had to learn fast and work closely with partners who were in East Africa,” said Sooinn Lee, who co-founded Enuma Inc. The company operates Team Kitkit School.

“我们必须快速学习并与东非的合作伙伴紧密合作,”舒林·李表示。李是Enuma公司的联合创始人。该公司操作了Kitkit学校这个团队。

“It often felt like driving in the dark,” Lee added.

“经常会感觉像是在黑暗中开车,”李补充道。

Yet all five finalists developed operational, open-source software, which will be put on the internet for anyone to use. Judges decided that the two winners did the best when it came to producing results.

然而五位决赛参与者都开发出了可被放在互联网上供任何人使用的可操作的开放源代码软件。考虑到软件产生的效果,裁判认为两位获胜者做的最好。

The success among the finalists likely came as a surprise to critics. Some people wondered whether the goal could be reached when the XPRIZE Foundation announced the competition five years ago.

批评者对于五位决赛参赛者的成功可能感觉很惊讶。 一些人想知道是否此次竞赛是否能够达到五年前XPRIZE基金会宣布竞赛时的目标。

“All our experts said, ‘Are you sure about this,’” remembered Emily Musil Church. She is chief of prize operations for XPRIZE.

“所有我们的专家都说,‘对于这件事,你敢确保吗’,”艾米丽·穆西尔·丘奇回忆称。她是XPRIZE奖金运营主席。

The winners of the prize Wednesday night will now get to work making their software available to as many people as possible.

周三晚上奖项的两名获胜者现在将投入工作尽可能使更多人使用上他们的软件。

Lee said Kitkit’s efforts will include making a version of its software for smartphones, which are widely used in many developing countries. And, onebillion wants to offer its software in a number of languages to reach as many people as possible.

李表示Kitkit的任务将包括研发一个可以安装到智能手机上的软件版本。智能手机在很多发展中国家被广泛使用。并且onebillion想要让自己的软件变成具有多种语言版本的软件这样能尽可能多地使更多人使用它。

Judith Hermetter is onebillion’s chief of communications. She said the software will mean a lot to users around the world.

朱迪思·赫迈特是onebillion信息方面的主管。她说软件对于全世界的使用者将意义匪浅。

“This will be transformational for them, their communities and their countries.”

“对于他们、他们的团体以及他们的国家都将成为一次转折性的改变”。

I'm Bryan Lynn.

布赖恩·林恩 为您报道。

American, British Teams Share $10 Million XPRIZE Award

A California company and a British-based group are sharing a $10 million award for developing programs to help children teach themselves how to read.

The two winners are the Kitkit School, based in Berkeley, California, and the educational nonprofit organization onebillion of London.

Nearly 200 teams from 40 countries entered the competition. They sought to become the latest winner of an XPRIZE. Money for the international award comes from inventors, billionaires and philanthropists. Their aim is to make the world a better place through technology.

Businessman Elon Musk announced the two winners at a ceremony Wednesday night in Los Angeles, California. The event recognized and honored all five of the finalists. The XPRIZE For Global Learning was worth $15 million, with the money coming from Musk. Each finalist received $1 million. The two winners each received an additional $5 million.

The XPRIZE Foundation, a non-profit group, reports that more than 250 million children worldwide cannot read or write.

The goal of the competition was to develop an open-source software program, which was put on computer tablets donated by Google. Then the devices were given to thousands of children in 170 villages in Tanzania for testing.

The five finalists spent 15 months improving the software. They had to develop programs filled with games that would interest children and hold their attention. The programs used pictures, letters, numbers and sounds to help the users teach themselves to read, write and do simple mathematics.

The games would show children letters and pictures, let them write over letters to learn how to write, and even read books to them.

When testing began, XPRIZE officials said only two percent of the children could read a simple sentence in Swahili, their native language. Three-fourths of the boys and girls had never attended school. Many had to be shown how to power up the device. But 15 months later, 30 percent of the children had gained basic reading skills.

Both winning teams said the hardest part was developing software at their home bases, putting it on tablets and hoping the children would understand how to use it.

“We had to learn fast and work closely with partners who were in East Africa,” said Sooinn Lee, who co-founded Enuma Inc. The company operates Team Kitkit School.

“It often felt like driving in the dark,” Lee added.

Yet all five finalists developed operational, open-source software, which will be put on the internet for anyone to use. Judges decided that the two winners did the best when it came to producing results.

The success among the finalists likely came as a surprise to critics. Some people wondered whether the goal could be reached when the XPRIZE Foundation announced the competition five years ago.

“All our experts said, ‘Are you sure about this,’” remembered Emily Musil Church. She is chief of prize operations for XPRIZE.

The winners of the prize Wednesday night will now get to work making their software available to as many people as possible.

Lee said Kitkit’s efforts will include making a version of its software for smartphones, which are widely used in many developing countries. And, onebillion wants to offer its software in a number of languages to reach as many people as possible.

Judith Hermetter is onebillion’s chief of communications. She said the software will mean a lot to users around the world.

“This will be transformational for them, their communities and their countries.”

I'm Bryan Lynn.

_____________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

philanthropist - n. a wealthy person who gives money and time to help make life better for other people

source - n. a person, book, etc., that gives information tablet - n. a flat, rectangular computing device that is used for connecting to the Internet, watching videos, reading books, etc.

transformational - adj. relating to a complete or major change in someone's or something's appearance, form, etc.


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