中国时间: 15:37 2016年10月24日星期一


  • 美国之音

A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 我是杨琳!

B: 我是Mike! 杨琳,赶快来告诉大家今天都要学什么?

A: 没问题! ,今天,咱们要去看看美国人怎么给小费,跟移民律师聊聊怎么申请移民,还要告诉你怎么说“不同寻常”!

B:Tipping is definitely a western tradition. I remember when I had just come back from China, I always forgot to give a tip and people would give me dirty looks...

A: 哈哈哈!! 嗯,我也记得我刚到美国时也特别不习惯给小费呢! 不过这个咱们等会再说,现在,咱们还是赶快来进入第一个单元,Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1547 insane

今天我们要学的词是 insane. Insane is spelled i-n-s-a-n-e, insane. Insane 可以用来指疯狂的,精神不正常的。比如,A Texas judge found the JetBlue pilot insane and not guilty of interfering with a flight. 德克萨斯州的一位法官裁定,捷蓝航空公司的一个飞行员精神失常,所以他干扰正常飞行的罪名不成立。Insane 也可以用来形容某事过于荒谬,不同寻常。比如,He inherited an insane amount of money from a distant relative. 他从一个远房亲戚那里继承了一大笔钱。再比如,My boss puts in insane hours. He's a typical workaholic. 我老板工作没日没夜,他是个典型的工作狂。好的,今天我们学习的词是insane, insane, insane...

B: Ok, I have to say I like DC a lot, but summer here is kind of insane.

A: Are you talking about the humidity? If you are, I'm definitely with you...

B: Yes!! How can the humidity be 80 or 90 percent every single day? It's so insanely humid that my usually awesome hair looks frizzy! Ehh...

A: Usually awesome hair?....请不要自作多情。(笑) 不过今天早晨我在地铁站听人说马上就要下大雨了,so I guess this heat wave is at the end of the line.

B: That would be great! I don't know how long I can take this! Actually, you just mentioned a very good term: the end of the line. Let's listen to today's words and idioms to see what it means!

Words and Idioms 977

现在播送<美国习惯用语>第 977讲。我是杨琳。

M:我是 Dan Markus.


M: The end of the line. End is spelled e-n-d, and line; l-i-n-e. The-end -of-the-line.

The end of the line这个短语的意思是尽头,极限。在上面的例子里,由于服装店要关门了,很多年的经营走到了尽头,所以我朋友肯定会失去工作。在下一个例子里,我们将会听到美国臭名昭著的罪犯阿尔.卡彭是怎么倒台的。我们来听听看:

M: "Al Capone became well-known for being a crime boss in Chicago when alcohol was illegal. From the early 1920s to 1931, he made a fortune smuggling and producing liquor. He reached THE END OF THE LINE, not from those activities, but from trying to avoid paying taxes. His career was over when the government finally convicted him and sent him to prison."


那会儿,美国有个法令,叫PROHIBITION,中文意思就是禁酒令,根据禁酒令,制造、贩卖或者饮酒都是违法的。这个法律减少了人们的饮酒量,但同时也增加了集体犯罪。And that actually contributed to Prohibition reaching THE END OF THE LINE. 成了禁酒令最终被废除的推手。好了,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: "Al Capone became well-known for being a crime boss in Chicago when alcohol was illegal. From the early 1920s to 1931, he made a fortune smuggling and producing liquor. He reached THE END OF THE LINE, not from those activities, but from trying to avoid paying taxes. His career was over when the government finally convicted him and sent him to prison."

The end of the line 尽头,极限 。现在一切都变化得特别快,一个地方今天还好好的,明天可能就会 reach the end of the line 不复存在。 下面这个例子中,讲述者对童年有什么样的回忆呢?我们来听听看:

M: "When I was a kid, my dad and I used to go fishing at the lake near our house. Then we started to notice that there wasn't much to catch anymore. THE END OF THE LINE came when officials declared that the water was badly polluted. Nobody could enjoy it. "

这段话是说: 小时候,爸爸常带我去家附近的河里钓鱼。后来我们注意到,河里的鱼好像少了许多。直到有一天,有关部门宣布,河水污染过于严重,禁止钓鱼了,我们爷俩儿钓鱼的传统也就结束了。

这可真让人沮丧!环境污染确实使很多人失去了享受大自然的乐趣。说起来,我今天刚刚收到一封信,说我们家旁边的邮局就要关门了。确实,现在人们大量使用电子邮件,邮局生意越来越差。The popularity of emails may mean THE END OF THE LINE for a lot of post offices. 好的,让我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: "When I was a kid, my dad and I used to go fishing at the lake near our house. Then we started to notice that there wasn't much to catch anymore. THE END OF THE LINE came when officials declared that the water was badly polluted. Nobody could enjoy it. "

今天我们学习的习惯用语是the end of the line 意思是“尽头、极限”。好的,这次[美国习惯用语]就到此结束,我是杨琳,我是 Dan Markus。谢谢各位的收听。

B: So, I have some good news. I finally find a place to settle in, so my daily 2 hour commute will finally come to the end of the line! 太高兴了!

A: 这样你就不用每天早晨3点半起床了呀!!! 恭喜你恭喜你!! There's no way that I can get up at three thirty am. Speaking of which, I'm going for my green card interview this Friday at 7 am! I need at least three alarm clocks to wake me up!

B: Hahaha, yeah, I don't think I've ever seen you before 11, ha? Actually, you seem a little freaking out, are you ok?

A: 哎,还好啦! 我只是有点紧张! God knows what they will ask? 我听说有好多人被面试两三个小时呢! 真可怕! I'm also a bit worried I won't be able to understand some legal terms since English is not my first language.

B: Just relax and tell the truth, I'm sure you will be fine! Or you can always bring a lawyer, that way it won't be only yourself, and you can make sure you can understand the questions correctly.

A: 请律师? Hmmm....that's a good idea! 正好,在今天的美语三级跳里,Amir就要去找他的移民律师John, 我们一起来听听律师的建议!

Citizenship: Intermediate


mir 正在申请成为美国公民,今天,他要去见移民律师 John, 听听他的建议。

John: Hi Amir, it's nice to meet you. I'm happy you want to become a US citizen.

Amir: Thank you, John. I'm very excited, but I'm also a little worried about how long and complicated the process can be.

John: Don't worry, I will be here to help you through it and explain what's going on.

Amir: Great, that's really helpful for me. When you aren't a native English speaker, it can be hard to read all the documents and understand the naturalization process.

哈,John 当然希望Amir申请入籍啦,这样他的生意就来啦!

Professor: Well, I guess you could look at it that way. But Winnie, why does Amir say the application process can be hard?

Amir说,他不是“native English speaker”--英语不是母语,所以在填表的时候会遇到困难。对了,professor, Amir提到一个词--naturalization,这是什么意思?

Professor: Naturalization is the process of becoming a citizen of another country.


John: So Amir, how did you come to America originally?
Did your company sponsor your visa?

Amir: Actually, no. I got married to an American while living in Iran, and we decided to settle in the United States.

John: Oh, you have an American spouse. Where do you live?

Amir: I really like city life so New York is my favorite city. But my wife has some family in Virginia, so we live there.

Professor: So Winnie, did Amir first come to America on a work visa?


Professor: That's right.

Professor, John 问Amir是不是有公司"sponsor him for a visa",这是什么意思呢?

Professor: When a company "sponsors" you for a visa, they ask the government to give you a visa. Usually you need a sponsor in the US to get a visa.


Professor: So if you are applying for a job in America, you might ask the company, "Can you sponsor me for a visa?"

John: Well there are some things you should do to start preparing for the interview. You should learn about US civics and the constitution.

Amir: Don't worry, I've already lived in the US for three years and know all about its history and politics.

John: Good, then the interview and test won't be a problem. Do you have any dependents?

Amir: No, my wife and I don't have any children.

Professor: So Winnie, does Amir have to prepare a lot for his citizenship test?

申请入美国籍需要参加citizenship test--公民考试,所以要了解美国的civics--公民知识,还有constitution--宪法。不过,Amir说他已经在美国生活三年了,这些知识他都懂,所以不需要做太多准备。

Professor: That's right. John also asked Amir if he had any "dependents". A dependent is anyone who depends on you to take care of him.

对,dependent 就是需要供养的亲人,比如小孩,年迈的父母等等。Amir和妻子没有孩子,所以没有dependent.

Amir: So John, do you think there will be any problems with my application?

John: It definitely sounds like you are eligible to become a US citizen. I think that before too long, you won't have to be an alien anymore!

Amir: Yeah, I can't wait! Hopefully I will become a citizen in time to vote in the next election.

John: I sure hope so! Good luck!

Professor Bowman, alien不是指外星人么?我不懂为什么美国人把来美移民也称为"alien",我又不是从火星来的!

Professor: Really? Sometimes I doubt that.

哈,被你发现了! 言归正传,Amir希望自己能尽快入籍,这样,他就能享受公民独有的投票权了!

Professor: Let's listen next time to see if Amir is able to vote in the next election!

A: Amir找到移民律师,讨论naturalization , 入籍过程。他将需要通过citizenship test, 入籍考试,需要了解civics 公民知识和constitution 宪法。Amir希望更顺利入籍,so he will become a citizen in time to vote in the next election, 下次选举就能投票了!

B: That's exciting! Good luck with your interview as well! Speaking of which, what do you think was the most difficult thing to adjust to when you first came to America?

A: 我想想,我觉得主要是文化方面的东西。比如说我不理解美国人为什么那么喜欢橄榄球,还有那么喜欢喝啤酒,呵呵。哦对了对了,我记得我刚刚来的时候,特别不习惯给小费呢! 弄得别人老给我臭脸!

B: Hahahah, oh you poor thing! And...I can totally related to that. I remember when ever time I got back from China, I would always forget to leave a tip and people would give me dirty looks!

A: Oh, so it's not just me! I feel so much better!!!

B: Tipping really is a western thing. In today's Business Etiquette, Kyle and Jerry are debating the American custom of tipping, let's see what they have to say!

礼节美语 BE-253 Tipping I


Lily: Good afternoon, guys. Am I interrupting something?

Kyle: Jerry and I were just debating the American custom of tipping.

Jerry: Yeah, he's in favor and I'm opposed.

L: It's not just the custom in America....I'm from Canada and tipping is also common there. I'm not too fond of tipping, either. So Jenny, tell me why you're opposed.

J: I just don't like the inconvenience. I like to look at the menu and if the price of a meal is $10.45, I know that that's what I have to pay....$10.45. Back in China, I never have to think about whether someone deserves a tip or not.

Kyle和Jerry正在讨论美国给小费的习惯。tipping is spelled t-i-p-p-i-n-g, tipping 是给小费的意思。美国和加拿大都讲究给小费,Kyle is in favor of it. Kyle 赞成这种做法,但是Jerry is opposed to it. Jerry觉得这种习俗不好。他说,中国不用给小费,看菜单消费价格一目了然,根本不用考虑服务员的服务如何,是否 deserve a tip 应该给小费。

K: I can understand how tipping might not be convenient, especially for visitors to America. The one thing that I dislike about tipping in the U.S. is how sometimes the restaurant staff forget that tips are supposed to be a reward for quality service.

L: Yeah, that's a problem in Canada as well. Tipping has become such a part of the culture that everyone just expects one....even if they don't offer good service.

J: But quality service is supposed to be a part of the job! A restaurant hires staff to be a waiter or waitress and that means service is part of the job! The restaurant is paying you....your salary is your tip!

Kyle和Lily都觉得,给小费本应该是 a reward for quality service, 是对优质服务的奖励,可如今,餐馆服务员好象觉得拿小费是理所当然的,不管服务质量的好与坏。Jerry反驳说,餐馆雇服务员就是为了服务顾客,工资就是他们的报酬,为什么还要给小费呢?Kyle解释说:

K: But in the United States, restaurant staff depend on tips because American law allows many restaurant owners to pay workers less than minimum wage.

J: Why is that?

K: Because they're expected to get tips. Tips might make up as much as 30% or 40% of an employee's income.

L: That's true....many servers in restaurants depend on tips for a big part of their income.

J: I would rather they paid the workers more. I'd even be OK with adding a 10% service charge to the price of the meal. I just refer things to be upfront.

Kyle说,正是因为有小费,所以美国法律允许餐馆老板给服务员的报酬低于最低工资水平 the minimum wage. 服务员收取的小费占了他们收入了很大一部分,有30%到40%之多。Jerry说,他宁可餐馆多付点钱给服务员,哪怕在饭菜价钱上增加10%的服务费 service charge 也在所不惜,他就是希望价钱能一目了然,upfront is spelled u-p-f-r-o-n-t, upfront, upfront在这里是直截了当的意思。

A: Jerry 认为算小费太麻烦,他希望价钱一目了然,to be up front; 而Kyle认为小费是a reward for quality service, 对优质服务的奖励,所以支持给小费。What's your thought on this, Mike?

B: Well, I'm in favor of tipping. Since most restaurants don't have to pay the minimum wage to their staff, I think they deserve to be tipped. It's just part of the culture that I grew up with.

A: 我刚来的时候其实特别不习惯! 每次都要算来算去,考数学呀!

B: 哈哈哈,yeah, it's our way to maintain your math level...

A: So how much would you usually tip?

B: I think 15% is the golden rule, but I usually tip 20%, since I'm ...awesome!

A: Yeah right. (两人笑) 好了好了,言归正传,我们还是接着去听听Kyle和Jerry的辩论吧!

礼节美语BE-254 Tipping II


Lily: I can see how the custom might make visitors uncomfortable. I've heard stories about restaurant staff getting angry at tourists. Some Americans might not realize that tipping is not a custom in many places around the world.

Kyle: In Japan some people get offended if you offer them a tip. Tipping is not a part of their culture at all. They feel quality service is their duty.

L: Every culture looks at this issue very differently.

Jerry: Yeah...back in China tipping goes the other way around! Restaurant owners will often give free drinks or food to customers as a reward for loyalty. So, what happens in Canada or the U.S. if the service is really awful? Can you skip the tip?

在小费方面的文化差异,有时还会引起纠纷,如果外国游客不给小费,有些不明就理的餐馆服务员就可能感到气不过。与此同时,在日本,给别人小费,则会让人觉得这是一种侮辱,而在中国,Tipping goes the other way around! 不是顾客给服务员小费,往往是餐馆给那些老顾客一些好处,让他们经常来照顾生意。Jerry问,那如果服务特别差,是不是就不用给小费了呢?Kyle回答说,

K: Um..not really. I know some people might reduce the amount as a way of demonstrating they were unhappy. But you pretty much always have to leave a tip.

L: In Canada, we don't tip as much as they do in the U.S.---ten or 15% is fine.

J: But in the states they expect 20%.

K: Yeah that's true. Back in the 1980s it was also about 10 or 15%, but everything has gotten more expensive.

J: Do you really think tipping inspires better service?


L: Even though I'm not such a big fan of the practice...actually, I think it does.

K: Yeah, I would have to agree. The staff knows that there is the potential for getting a nice tip if they treat the customers right.

L: The staff will often be more attentive, and will make sure they get all the little details of your order right, because sometimes a generous person might leave them a sizable gratuity.

J: I guess - just like everything - tipping has its pros and cons.

MC: Lily说,虽然 I'm not a big fan of the practice....虽然我不是特别认同给小费,be a big fan of something 是热衷,支持某事的意思,这里所说的 the practice 指的就是给小费的习俗,但是她觉得服务员确实会为了多拿小费而提供更周到的服务,对顾客更加 attentive 无微不至,如果碰上个大方的顾客,就可能拿到 a sizable gratuity 一笔数目可观的小费,gratuity is spelled g-r-a-t-u-i-t-y, gratuity也是小费的意思。

B: So 杨琳,you are still cooking me authentic Chinese food this weekend, right?

A: Well...that might happen, depending on how much tip I'm getting!

B: Ha! What? You are really a fast learner, ha? (笑)

A: Of course! 好啦同学们,这次节目时间就到这里。 如果你有什么建议,或者想提什么问题,请发电子邮件到meiyu@voanews.com.

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!