发明西方活字印刷术:古腾堡 Johannes Gutenberg

2019年5月2日
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Johannes Gutenberg introduced the concept of movable type and the printing press to Europe.

约翰内斯·古腾堡将活字印刷的概念和印刷机引进了欧洲。

While this may not sound like a big deal at first, the printing press is often considered as the most important invention in modern times.

这一开始可能听起来并没什么大不了,但是如今印刷机通常被视为现代最重要的发明。

Think about how important information is today. Without books and computers you wouldn’t be able to learn, to pass on information, or to share scientific discoveries.

想想如今信息是多么重要啊。没有书籍和电脑,你将无法学习,无法传递知识,无法分享科学发现。

Prior to Gutenberg introducing the printing press, making a book was a laborious process in Europe.

在古腾堡引进印刷机之前,在欧洲,制作一本书是一个耗时费力的过程。

It wasn’t that hard to write a letter to one person by hand, but to create thousands of books for many people to read was nearly impossible.

给一个人手写一封信不是什么难事,但是制作出上千本书供许多人阅读几乎是不可能的。

Without the printing press we wouldn’t have had the Scientific Revolution or the Renaissance. Our world would be very different.

如果没有印刷机,科学革命和文艺复兴将不会发生。我们的世界将会非常不同。

Gutenberg was born in Germany around the year 1398. He was the son of a goldsmith. Not a whole lot more is known about his childhood.

古腾堡在1398年左右出生在德国,是一位金匠的儿子。我们对他的童年知道的并不多。

Gutenberg took some existing technologies and some of his own inventions to come up with the printing press in the year 1450.

古腾堡采用了一些现存技术和一些他自己的发明,在1450年创造出了印刷机。

One key idea he came up with was movable type. Rather than use wooden blocks to press ink onto paper, Gutenberg used movable metal pieces to quickly create pages.

他提出的一个关键性想法就是活字印刷。古腾堡不用木板将墨印到纸上,而是用可活动的金属块快速地印刷纸张。

Gutenberg introduced innovations all the way through the printing process enabling pages to be printed much more rapidly.

古腾堡在整个印刷过程中不断创新,使得印刷的速度大大提高。

His presses could print 1000 pages per day versus only 40-50 pages with the old method.

他的印刷机每天可以打印1000页,而老方法只能打印40-50页。

This was a dramatic improvement and allowed books to be acquired by the middle class for the first time in the history of Europe.

这是一项巨大的进步,他让中产阶级也能有书可读,这在欧洲历史上是第一次。

Knowledge and education spread throughout the continent like never before.

知识和教育以前所未有的速度传遍了整个欧洲大陆。

The invention of the printing press spread rapidly throughout Europe and soon thousands of books were being printed on printing presses.

印刷机的发明迅速传遍欧洲,很快成千上万的书籍被印刷机印刷出来。

Gutenberg’s real fame came from producing the Gutenberg Bible. It was the first time a Bible was mass-produced and available for anyone outside of the church.

古腾堡的真正的盛名来自他印刷的《古腾堡圣经》。这是第一次《圣经》被批量生产而且教堂以外人员也可以拥有《圣经》。

Bibles were rare and could take up to a year for a priest to transcribe. Gutenberg printed around 200 Bibles in a relatively short time.

《圣经》本来很稀有,一位神父要花上一年时间才能完成抄写。古腾堡在相对较短的时间里印刷出了大约200本《圣经》。

The original Bible sold for 30 florins. This was a lot of money back then for a commoner, but much, much cheaper than a handwritten version.

一本原版《圣经》要卖到30弗罗林。这在那时候对普通人来说是不小的一笔钱,但是要比一本手写版本便宜得多。

There are around 21 complete Gutenberg Bibles existing still today. One of these Bibles is likely worth around $30 million.

至今仍有大约21本完整的古腾堡圣经,一本可能要价值3000万美元左右。

毕昇发明了中国活字印刷术,比德国人古腾堡发明金属活字印刷早400多年。但出于各种原因,中国的活字印刷并未普及,其影响力在国内远不如雕版印刷术。

小e英语