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TELECOMMUNICATIONS: OBJECTIVES, KEY TERMS

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS: OBJECTIVES, KEY TERMS

TELECOMMUNICATIONS




AIM:

To recognize the English technical terms related to telecommunications and the development of this field;

OBJECTIVES:

On successfully completing this unit the student should be able to:

identify correctly the terms defining telecommunications devices and systems;

recognise the specific terms related to telegraph-, telephone- and broadcasting systems;

characterise the operation principles of each branch of telecommunications;

identify the types of equipment used for transmitting and receiving the various types of signals;

describe the applications made possible by each telecommunications system;

assimilate at least 30 terms specific of sending, receiving, and converting signals;

KEY TERMS:

electronic signal, optical signal, sender, recipient, telephone system, medium, radio wave, strand of glass fibre, point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, facsimile (fax) message, broadcast, telegraph, intercity message, transcontinental message, transoceanic message, electromagnetism, prototype, decipher, switching technology, , long-distance telephone service, public communications, Morse-code telegraph signal, wireless telegraphy, mass-communication

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

1. Introduction

Telecommunications, devices and systems that transmit electronic or optical signals across long distances. Telecommunications enables people around the world to contact one another, to access information instantly, and to communicate from remote areas. Telecommunications usually involves a sender of information and one or more recipients linked by a technology, such as a telephone system, that transmits information from one place to another. Telecommunications enables people to send and receive personal messages across town, between countries, and to and from outer space. It also provides the key medium for delivering news, data, information, and entertainment.

Telecommunications devices convert different types of information, such as sound and video, into electronic or optical signals. Electronic signals typically travel along a medium such as copper wire or are carried over the air as radio waves. Optical signals typically travel along a medium such as strands of glass fibres. When a signal reaches its destination, the device on the receiving end converts the signal back into an understandable message, such as sound over a telephone, moving images on a television, or terms and pictures on a computer screen.

Telecommunications messages can be sent in a variety of ways and by a wide range of devices. The messages can be sent from one sender to a single receiver (point-to-point) or from one sender to many receivers (point-to-multipoint). Personal communications, such as a telephone conversation between two people or a facsimile (fax) message, usually involve point-to-point transmission. Point-to-multipoint telecommunications, often called broadcasts, provide the basis for commercial radio and television programming.



2. History

Communicating over long distances has been a challenge throughout history. Modern telecommunications began in the 1800s with the discovery that electricity can be used to transmit a signal. For the first time, a signal could be sent faster than any other mode of transportation. The first practical telecommunications device to make use of this discovery was the telegraph.

2.1. The Telegraph

Beginning in the mid-1800s, the telegraph delivered the first intercity, transcontinental, and transoceanic messages in the world. The telegraph revolutionized the way people communicated by providing messages faster than any other means provided at the time. American art professor Samuel F. B. Morse pursued an interest in electromagnetism to create a practical electromagnetic telegraph in 1837. Morse partnered with Alfred Vail and was able to commercialize the technology with financial support from the U.S. government. In 1843 Morse built a demonstration telegraph link between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland. On May 24, 1844, the network was inaugurated for commercial use with the message, 'What hath God wrought!'

Telegraph use quickly spread; the first transcontinental link was completed in 1861 between San Francisco, California, and Washington, D.C. Railroad companies and newspapers were the first major telegraphy users. Telegraph lines were constructed parallel to railroad beds. Telegraphy helped the railroads manage traffic and allowed news organizations to distribute stories quickly to local newspapers. Within a few years, several telegraph companies were in operation, each with its own network of telegraph wires. Consolidation occurred in the telegraph industry (as it has in numerous telecommunications industries), and by the 1870s the Western Union Telegraph Company emerged as the dominant operator.

2.2. Commercial Growth of the Telephone

In 1876 American inventor Alexander Graham Bell ushered in a new era of voice and sound telecommunication when he uttered to his assistant the terms, 'Mr. Watson, come here; I want you,' using a prototype telephone. Bell received the patent for the first telephone, but he had to fight numerous legal challenges to his patent from other inventors with similar devices. Bell was able to make his prototype telephone work, and this enabled him to attract financial backers, and his company grew. The telephone was a vast improvement over the telegraph system, which could only transmit coded terms and numbers, not the sound of a human voice. Telegraph messages had to be deciphered by trained operators, written down, and then delivered by hand to the receiving party, all of which took time. The telephone transmitted actual sound messages and made telecommunication immediate. Improved switching technology (used to transfer calls from one local network to another) meant individual telephones could be connected for personal conversations.

The first commercial telephone line was installed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1877. Early telephones required direct connections to other telephones, but this problem was solved with telephone exchange switches, the first of which was installed in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1878. A telephone exchange linked telephones in a given area together, so a connection between the telephone and the exchange was all that was needed. Telephones were much more convenient and personal than telegrams, and their use quickly spread. By 1913 telephone lines from New York City to San Francisco had been established, and by 1930 radio signals could transmit telephone calls between New York and London, England. Eventually, long-distance telephone service in the United States was consolidated into one company, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (now known as AT&T Corp.), which was a regulated monopoly.

3. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

3.1. The Emergence of Broadcasting

Telephones and telegraphs are primarily private means of communications, sending signals from one point to another, but with the invention of the radio, public communications, or point-to-multipoint signals, could be sent through a central transmitter to be received by anyone possessing a receiver. Italian inventor and electrical engineer Guillermo Marconi transmitted a Morse-code telegraph signal by radio in 1895. This began a revolution in wireless telegraphy that would later result in broadcast radios that could transmit actual voice and music. Radio and wireless telegraph communication played an important role during World War I (1914-1918), allowing military personnel to communicate instantly with troops in remote locations. United States president Woodrow Wilson was impressed with the ability of radio, but he was fearful of its potential for espionage use. He banned non-military radio use in the United States as the nation entered World War I in 1917, and this stifled commercial development of the medium. After the war, however, commercial radio stations began to broadcast. By the mid-1920s, millions of radio listeners tuned in to music, news, and entertainment programming. Television got its start as a mass-communication medium shortly after World War II (1939-1945). The expense of television transmission prevented its use as a two-way medium, but radio broadcasters quickly saw the potential for television to provide a new way of bringing news and entertainment programming to people.

You may want to go back to the key words listed at the beginning of the unit and check that you are familiar with each one. Give their Romanian equivalents (if necessary, you can use the glossary provided at the end of the textbook).

 


EXERCISES

A. READING

The purpose of the following exercises is to develop reading strategies and reinforce topic related vocabulary, not to check background knowledge.

A.1. Having read the text, decide whether the information given in the statements below is true (T) or false (F). Correct the false statements (the specifications in brackets refer o the section in the text where the answer can be found):



1. Telecommunications, devices and systems that transmit electronic or optical signals across long distances.

2. Telecommunications usually involves a sender of information and a single recipients linked by a technology, such as a telephone system, that transmits information from one place to another.

3. Telecommunications devices convert different types of information, such as sound and video, into electronic or optical signals.

4. The messages can be sent from one sender to a single receiver(point-to-multipoint)or from one sender to many receivers (point-to-point).

5. Consolidation occurred in the telegraph industry (as it has in numerous telecommunications industries), and by the 1970s the Western Union Telegraph Company emerged as the dominant operator.

Early telephones required direct connections to other telephones, but this problem was solved with telephone exchange switches, the first of which was installed in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1878.

7. Telephones and telegraphs are primarily private means of communications, sending signals from one point to another, but with the invention of the radio, public communications, or point-to-point signals, could be sent through a central transmitter to be received by anyone possessing a receiver.

8. Radio and wireless telegraph communication played an important role during World War I (1914-1918), allowing military personnel to communicate instantly with troops in remote locations.

9. Television got its start as a mass-communication medium shortly before World War II (1939-1945).

10. Point-to-multipoint telecommunications, often called broadcasts, provide the basis for commercial radio and television programming.

A.2. Fill in the gaps following sentences with information about telecommunication systems given in the text.

1. Telecommunications usually involves a________of information and one or more ______linked by a _________, such as a telephone system, that ________information from one place to another.

2. Telecommunications ________convert different types of information, such as sound and video, into electronic or optical_______.

3. When a signal reaches its________, the device on the receiving end ______the signal back into an understandable message, such as sound over a________, moving images on a_______, or terms and ______on a ______screen.

4. Personal communications, such as a telephone conversation between two people or a __________(fax) message, usually involve ___________transmission.

5. The first practical telecommunications _______to make use of this discovery was the telegraph.

B. VOCABULARY WORK

The purpose of the following exercises is to promote the acquisition of new lexical items by providing collocations, terms followed by prepositions lexical sets and translations of the terms considered relevant to the topic.

B.1. Enter in the following table information related to telecommunications devices (see 1):

Table 1

Type of device

Type of

message

Medium of transmission

Application

Number of recipients



C. LANGUAGE FOCUS: ADVERBS USED FOR PRESENTING THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

The purpose of the following exercises is to develop language awareness in terms of use of adverbs when presenting the sequence of events or actions.

C.1. Select the suitable adverbs from the list below and use them to link two sentences, in accordance with the information provided by section 2 of the text.

List 1.

THEN, HEREAFTER, THEREAFTER, AFTERWARDS, BEFORE, SOON AFTER (THAT), SUBSEQUENTLY, PRIOR, AT THE SAME TIME, MEANWHILE, LATER, FIRST(LY), SECOND(LY), SIMULTANEOUSLY.

* some pairs of sentences can be linked by several of the adverbs in the list.

1. American art professor Samuel F. B. Morse pursued an interest in electromagnetism to create a practical electromagnetic telegraph in 1837. In 1843 Morse built a demonstration telegraph link between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland.

2. Telegraph use quickly spread; the first transcontinental link was completed in 1861. Beginning in the mid-1800s, the telegraph delivered the first intercity, transcontinental, and transoceanic messages in the world.

3. In 1876 American inventor Alexander Graham Bell ushered in a new era of voice and sound telecommunication when he uttered to his assistant the terms, 'Mr. Watson, come here; I want you,' using a prototype telephone. Bell received the patent for the first telephone, but he had to fight numerous legal challenges to his patent from other inventors with similar devices.

4. Radio and wireless telegraph communication played an important role during World War I (1914-1918), allowing military personnel to communicate instantly with troops in remote locations. By the mid-1920s, millions of radio listeners tuned in to music, news, and entertainment programming.

5. Television got its start as a mass-communication medium shortly after World War II (1939-1945). Radio broadcasters quickly saw the potential for television to provide a new way of bringing news and entertainment programming to people.

C.2. Read section 2. again and complete the list of adverbs with time reference below:

List 2.

throughout, in, the1800s, in the mid-1800s, on May 24, 1844

D. TRANSLATION

The purpose of this exercise is to develop translating skills.

D.1. Translate the following sentences into English:

. Telecomunicatiile au ca obiect transmisia de semnale optice sau electronice pe distante mari.

2. Dispozitivele utilizate in domeniul telecomunicatiilor transforma diferite tipuri de date, precum cele audio sau video, in semnale electronice sau optice.

3. La destinatie, dispozitivul de receptare, transforma semnalul din nou in mesaj.

E. SPEAKING

The purpose of these exercises is to develop speaking skills with a focus on presenting the chronological order of events.

E.1. Taking turns, describe the evolution of telephone systems each of you presenting the one important stage. Emphasize the chronological order of the stages.



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