Everything about time
When people began living together they needed some way of telling the time. We can only guess what the earliest ways of telling the time were. No doubt they were natural phenomena.
One of the ways of telling the time was the sun. When a man planned to meet another he might point to a place in the sky and say, «I shall meet you when the sun is there».
It was possible to tell the time by shadows. Many trees and cliffs, by casting shadows, served as timepieces.
At night one could tell the time by the stars. The turning of the earth made the stars seem to move in the sky just as the sun did.
The first timepiece anyone made was a sundial. A sundial tells the time by shadows. The first sundial was probably nothing but a stick stood up in the ground in some open space. The oldest sundial known was made in Egypt about 3,500 years ago. It was common practice to divide the time between sunrise and sunset into 12 equal parts, or hours.
No one knows why 12 was chosen as the number of hours for the day. Perhaps it was because of the number of months in the year. Later the night was divided into 12 hours, too.
A sundial cannot tell the time at night when the sun is not shining. It cannot tell the time on days when the sun is hidden by clouds. And it cannot tell the time by minutes and seconds.
The water clock was invented almost as long as the sundial. Water clocks were much used in Greece more than 2,000 years ago. One kind of water clock was a metal bottle with a hole in the bottom. The bottle was filled with water, and then water dripped through the hole. Some water clocks had dials that could tell the time of the day. Water clocks could tell the time of day or night. But they often went wrong. Sometimes, for instance, the water froze. Besides, even the best water clock could not measure time in minutes and seconds.
The sand-glass is another timepiece that was invented long ago. No one knows how long ago. Sand-glasses were often called hour-glasses, because in many of them it took an hour for the sand to run from one bulb to another.
Before true clocks were invented, fire was also used to measure the time. Striped candles, knotted ropes and oil lamp could all measure the time by burning.
The first true clocks were probably made nearly 1,000 years ago. The first watches were made about 500 years ago.
As everyone knows, there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour. We could have any number of seconds in a minute and any number of minutes in an hour: We probably have 60 because 60 was a very important number to the people who lived in ancient Babylon, a land from which many of our ideas came.
We know that the time is not the same all over the world. For this reason the world has been divided into time zones. All the places in each zone have the same time. It’s called standard time.
You can't do without this vocabulary:
to tell the time — сказати, котра година
to guess — вгадувати, здогадуватися
no doubt — немає сумніву
natural phenomenon (phenomena) — природне явище (явища)
to cast a shadow — кидати тінь
a cliff — круча, стрімка скеля
a timepiece — годинник, хронометр
the turning of the earth made the stars seem to move — оборот землі сприймається як рух зірок
a sundial — сонячний годинник
an open space — відкритий простір
Egypt — Єгипет
a sunrise — схід сонця
a sunset — захід сонця
to shine — світити
to hide — ховати
a cloud — хмара
Greece — Греція
to drip — к(р)апати
a hole — отвір
a dial — циферблат, шкала
to go wrong — неправильно йти
to freeze — замерзати
to measure the time — вимірювати час
a sand-glass (hour-glass) — пісочний годинник
a bulb — балон, колба
a striped candle — смугаста свічка
a knotted rope — зав’язана на вузли мотузка
an oil lamp — масляна лампа
Babylon — Вавілон
a time zone — часовий пояс
a standard time — декретний час