今年夏天流行的「冰桶挑戰」,透過YouTube以及臉書等社群媒體,一波一波的喚起大眾對於「漸凍人」的關懷與認識。本文以英文觀點,帶讀者學習「熱潮、流行」等幾個相關的英文名詞和動詞片語。

The Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media this summer. This challenge is a gift for the ALS Association: The organization raised more than US$10 million on 8/21 alone.
今年夏天,「冰桶挑戰」在社群媒體上像病毒一樣擴散。這對美國肌萎縮性脊髓側索硬化症協會來說是個禮物:光是8/21單日的募款就突破美金一千萬元。

What is ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)?
什麼是肌萎縮性脊髓側索硬化症(俗稱漸凍人)?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease with various causes. It is characterized by muscle spasticity, due to muscle atrophy, and difficulty in speaking, swallowing and breathing.
肌萎縮性脊髓側索硬化症是一種神經漸進退化的疾病,成因有許多。發病癥兆有:肌肉萎縮造成的癱瘓、說話與呼吸吞嚥困難。

In mid-2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge blew up social media and became a pop culture phenomenon, particularly in the United States, with numerous celebrities, politicians, athletes and everyday people posting videos of themselves online.
2014年中,「冰桶挑戰」在社群媒體上發燒,迅速成為美國本土為主的大眾文化現象,不少名人、政治人物、運動明星,還有一般人都張貼影片到網路上。

Before the challenge, public awareness of ALS was relatively limited. The ALS Association state that by the time of the Ice Bucket Challenge going viral, only half of Americans had heard of the disease.
在這股熱潮之前,對於漸凍人的大眾意識還相對地有限。美國肌萎縮性脊髓側索硬化症協會發言表示,在冰桶挑戰流行前,只有一半美國人聽過此病。

As long as there’s the Internet, any trends could occasionally go viral. However, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t going away. Even if you think the whole fad is stupid or dangerous to pour ice water all over yourself, it’s still important to awake the public awareness and to donate to ALS.
只要有網路的一天,任何風潮都可能突然間傳開。不過冰桶挑戰還沒結束,即使你可能覺得這股全身淋冰水的熱潮很蠢或危險,重要的是,它喚醒大眾意識並捐款至美國肌萎縮性脊髓側索硬化症協會。