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中国时间: 15:19 2016年12月10日星期六

礼节美语158:Kickbacks (2)

  • 美国之音



项目主管Donny急冲冲地来找老板Simon,因为公司即将竣工的加工厂遇到了麻烦。当地质检官员以不合格为由,索取贿赂。Donny说,

D: I hate to play devil's advocate, but doesn't everyone who does business here pay kickbacks? It's a part of the local culture. Maybe it's easier to look the other way this time.

S: Oh, it would certainly be easier to just pay it. That's for sure. We could wrap up this construction ahead of schedule if we can just clear this mess up. But...I'm having a hard time telling my conscience that this is OK.

MC: Donny 说,I hate to play devil's advocate, 我不是要故意唱反调。advocate is spelled a-d-v-o-c-a-t-e, advocate是支持者的意思。to play devil's advocate,扮演魔鬼的支持者,指的是虽然你认同某种看法,但却要故意从反对者的立场出发,提出质疑,以便证明这种看法确实是正确的。

Donny还说,行贿受贿在当地似乎司空见惯,或许最简单的做法是look the other way,睁一眼闭一眼。

Simon承认,这是最简单的解决方式,这样他们就能提前完工,wrap up this construction ahead of schedule, wrap up,是收尾的意思,ahead of schedule,意思是提前。不过,Simon觉得良心上过不去。I'm having a hard time telling my conscience that this is OK. Conscience is spelled c-o-n-s-c-i-e-n-c-e, conscience,意思是良心。

D: I've heard stories about situations like this getting out of hand. Sometimes when you pay the first time, they start blackmailing you for more.

S: Yeah, I'm worried we could end up in jail.

D: The on-site manager says if we don't pay up, the processing plant will be held up for at least six months and we'll end up paying an additional 25% in costs.

Donny说,如果第一次屈于压力给钱了,对方就可能变本加厉讹诈你,blackmail, b-l-a-c-k-m-a-i-l, blackmail,是讹诈的意思,搞不好局面还会失去控制,get out of hand. 但是不付钱,工期就要被拖延至少六个月,让开支平白无故地增加25%。

S: Six months? That's totally unacceptable! We should be on line in three months!

D: I know. That could really set us back. We might not be able to catch up with the orders already coming in.

S: You know what? I'm angry. I'm so angry that I'm going to do something about this!

拖延半年绝对不行,Simon说,we should be on line in three months! 我们还有三个月就应该开工了。这里说的on line,意思时投入生产。如果耽误半年的话,that could really set us back,就会让我们的进度延后。Simon会怎么做呢?我们下次继续听。

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