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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen
Panama surprises
    2017-September-12  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

As nearly as I can tell, Panama is the only country in the world located entirely on an isthmus. Contrary to expectation, it runs west-to-east, and not north-to-south, as befits something that lies between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Another Central American country, Costa Rica, lies to its west, and the South American nation of Colombia to its east. The Caribbean portion of the Atlantic is on the north, and the Pacific to the south.

Only 3 million years ago or so — a mere blink geologically — the isthmus served as a land bridge between North and South Americas. Human and animal populations, as well as agricultural and technological ideas, were thus able to spread from one continent to the other.

Indigenous tribes occupied the land until the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. With Ecuador, Venezuela, and the now-defunct Nueva Granada, Panama became independent of Spain in 1821. Those nations formed a union called Gran Colombia, which only lasted 10 years; the first two went their own way, but Nueva Granada and Panama were still joined as part of what is now Colombia. In 1903, the United States helped Panama and Nueva Granada break away and form the nation of Panama, in order to build there Panama’s most famous feature (besides hats): the Panama Canal.

Completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1914, the canal eliminated the need for ships sailing between the two great oceans to travel all the way around the tip of South America. In 1994, the American Society of Civil Engineers declared the canal one of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World,” along with the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France, Canada’s CN Tower, and others. Transferred to Panamanian ownership at the end of the century, today the canal’s revenues represent a significant part of the country’s GDP. However, commerce, banking, and tourism are all on the rise. By one measure Panama has the second most competitive economy in Latin America (after Chile).

Panama City is the capital and largest city. Some 40 percent of the country is covered by jungles.

Vocabulary:

Which word above means:

1. opposite (of), against

2. related to the physical history of the earth

3. man-made “river”

4. very short time

5. narrow piece of land between two bodies of water, connected to bodies of land at either end

6. no longer existing

7. is appropriate for

8. income

9. become independent

10. what people think will happen

 

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