Who Really ‘Discovered’ America?


You probably learned in school that an Italian named Christopher Columbus discovered America for the Spanish on 1492. The first thing to note is that ‘America’ does not refer to the United States of America but to the ‘Americas’, or the Western Hemisphere, which includes North, Central, and South America. The first place where his ships touched land was actually an island of the Bahamas in the Caribbean Sea.
你可能在學校中學到是一位叫克里斯多福.哥倫布(Christopher Columbus)的義大利人在1492年為西班牙發現了美洲。第一件要注意的是「美洲」並不只和美利堅合眾國有關,而是和「美洲區」或西半球有關連,包含北美洲、中美洲與南美洲。哥倫布的船著陸的第一個地方實際上是在加勒比海的巴哈馬群島。


More importantly, Columbus was not the first European to step foot in the Americas. That title actually belongs to Leif Erikson of Iceland, the Viking who built a settlement on the east coast of modern-day Canada in around the year 1000. It is difficult to know how many people lived there and for how long, but the evidence that Viking houses and iron workshops existed there is undeniable.
更重要地是,哥倫布不是第一次踏上美洲的歐洲人。這頭銜實際上是屬於冰島人萊夫.艾里克森(Leif Erikson)所有,一名在西元一千年時,在今天的加拿大東側海岸建立殖民地的維京人。因年代久遠,已很難知道當時有少人口,但維京人的房舍及冶鐵工作坊的遺跡存在於此是無可否認的證據。


Even more importantly, the original inhabitants of the Americas, the Native Americans (also known First Nations, aboriginal people, or indigenous people) had been living in the Americas for thousands of years (15,000 years or more!) before Columbus arrived. So it is silly to say that Columbus ‘discovered’ America.

Vocabulary 好字精選

1. hemisphere (n) one half of the world (usually N/S or E/W) (地球的)半球;半球體
88% of the world’s population lives in the Northern Hemisphere.

2. modern-day (adj) relating to modern times 現代的、當代的、今日的
This playwright is so good that some people have called her a modern-day Shakespeare. 

3. iron (n) a metal 鐵;(食物中所含的)鐵質
Shelly does most of her cooking with an iron pan.

4. undeniable (adj) true, impossible to deny 無可否認的
It is undeniable that Albert is the most talented player on the team.

5. inhabitant (n) a person who lives somewhere (某地區的)居民,居住者
The inhabitants of this region are mostly Native Americans.

6. indigenous (adj) native, or original person/plant/animal 土產的;土著的;本地的
This cactus is indigenous to this region. 

Phrases and Sentence Patterns 句型解析

1. step foot in (phr) to stand on or arrive/go to a place  踏進
Shelly says she would never step foot in a McDonalds.  

2. be + ADJ to V (sentence pattern) 
It is really easy to see that you haven’t taken a shower for a while.

3. had been + V-ING (grammar tense) something was happening up to a specified point in the past
Nick had been researching different wines for weeks before he finally decided to buy that one.

Exercise 課後練習題

1. Canada, Mexico, and Brazil are in the Western ____________.

2. _______________ scientists can make use of far more advanced technology that ancient ones could.

3. ______________ is commonly used for construction because it is a strong and hard metal.

4. That many animal species are dying out is an ______________ truth.

5. Many of the _____________ of this area have been complaining about the poor quality of the roads.

6. The ______________ people of Australia have been living there for 65,000 to 75,000 years, making them the oldest continuous culture in the world.

7. Have you ever _______________ a haunted house?

8. It is impossible ____________ hear what the man on the hill is saying.

9. The mouse ____________ living in our house for months before we finally caught it.

1. Hemisphere
2. Modern-day
3. Iron
4. undeniable
5. inhabitants
6. indigenous
7. stepped foot in
8. to
9. had been

Comprehension Questions 閱讀理解

1. According to the article, who discovered the Western Hemisphere?
a. Christopher Columbus.
b. Leif Erikson.
c. The indigenous people.
d. We don’t really know for sure.

2. What area did Christopher Columbus actually set foot in on his first trip to the Americas?
a. Canada.
b. The USA.
c. The Bahamas.
d. South America.

1. 根據這篇文章內容,以下何人發現西半球?
a. Christopher Columbus(克里斯多福.哥倫布)
b. Leif Erikson(萊夫.艾里克森)
c. 原住民
d. 我們無法確定。

2. 事實上,以下何處是Christopher Columbus(克里斯多福.哥倫布)踏上美洲的第一步?
a. 加拿大
b. 美利堅合眾國
c. 巴哈馬
d. 南美洲


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