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中国时间: 15:57 2016年12月10日星期六

美语训练班第100课

  • 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,来告诉大家今天都要学什么!

A: Sure! 今天,我们要一起看看办公室八卦有多可怕,看看麦当劳怎么帮助孩子提高读写能力,还要告诉你怎么说最后一博!

B: Yeah...I always try to stay away from office gossip. I feel like the more you know, the more likely you are to become a subject of gossip yourself...

A: 对啊! 我觉得,对于办公室八卦,最好的方法就是敬而远之!

B: Yeah, as if you don't gossip...

A: 哎哟,都说了,节目上不能八卦!(both laugh) 好了好了现在,咱们赶快先来进入第一个单元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1679 neighborhood

今天我们要学的词是 neighborhood, neighborhood is spelled n-e-i-g-h-b-o-r-h-o-o-d, neighborhood. neighborhood 居民区,小区。统计数字显示,Almost 20% of people who recently moved regarded living in a Neighborhood close to where they work as a criteria in finding a new home. 最近搬家的人里,将近20%的人都把离上班地方近做为选择住宅区的标准。最近,一个房产销售网站的调查发现,A neighborhood in Texas is the most diverse neighborhood in America, equally divided between Asian, black, Hispanic and white residents. 德克萨斯州的一个居民区是全美最多元化的社区,亚裔,黑人,西班牙裔和白人居民人数基本相对。好的,今天我们学习的词是 neighborhood, neighborhood, neighborhood....

A: Yeah, a good neighborhood is really important. You should be able to feel safe where you live.

B: Exactly. I love the neighborhood where I grew up. It's a small town, but everyone was so open and friendly! You don't get the same sense of community when you're living in the big city.

A: 是啊! 在大城市里,邻里之间都不来往。我到现在也不知道我对面住的是什么人! 都在那里住了三年了....大城市真没人情味啊! 咱们回到正题,来听听今天的美国习惯用语,last-ditch effort!

Words and Idioms 821 LAST-DITCH EFFORT

美国习惯用语第 821讲

我昨天晚上特别倒霉,不小心一屁股坐在了自己的眼镜上,把鼻梁架坐断了。我先是用万能胶粘,不管用,又用胶纸粘,也不管用。我老公说可以试试,看能不能焊上,如果还是不管用的话,那我只好去配一副新的了。所以说,我现在只有 last-ditch-effort:

M: Last-ditch effort. Ditch is spelled d-i-t-c-h. Last-ditch-effort. Last-ditch effort.

Ditch 在中文里是壕沟的意思。Last-ditch effort 这个习惯用语的中文意思是指多次尝试失败后所作的最后努力。现在你一定明白了,我老公帮我修眼镜架是最后的努力,如果再不行,我只好放弃了。

下面这位运动员也有类似经历。让我们一起听听体育评论员的解释。

M: "The Olympic gymnast had scored well on her floor exercises, but not enough to earn a medal. She knows she has one final opportunity, so she's making a LAST-DITCH EFFORT. If she doesn't succeed this time, she'll likely to be too old to try again at the Games in four years."

评论员说,这名奥林匹克体操运动员的自由体操的得分不低,但是没有达到拿奖牌的水平。她心里明白,她只有最后一次机会了,所以她要做最后的努力。如果这次不成功,四年后的下届奥运会,她的年纪就太大了。

虽说大多数体操运动员年纪都很轻,但是最近我见到一位35岁的体操运动员,她的表现居然超过了比她年纪小一半的选手,简直是不可思议。

我们办公室有个负责送信的小伙子,最近一直在追求我的一个同事,他先是留纸条,然后又给女孩子买咖啡,但是那个女孩子根本不动心。小伙子决定,最后再努把力,As a last-ditch effort, 他在女孩子生日当天送去了99朵玫瑰,终于赢得了芳心。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

M: "The Olympic gymnast had scored well on her floor exercises, but not enough to earn a medal. She knows she has one final opportunity, so she's making a LAST-DITCH EFFORT. If she doesn't succeed this time, she'll likely to be too old to try again at the Games in four years."

你喜欢园艺吗?种种花草,甚至可以种点蔬菜,自产自销。我朋友 Jenny 经常说,千万别跟我提种花,我这个人什么也种不活。其实啊,象她这种人并不少见。让我们听听下面这个例句。

M: "I'd never had much luck in my garden. Everything I'd ever planted failed to grow. I was about to give up. But I thought I'd try one more time by choosing a different location. My LAST-DITCH EFFORT made all the difference. Now I've got more tomatoes than I know what to do with!"

这个人说,我在花园里的运气永远特别差,种什么都活不了,最后我决定,换个地方,再试最后一次,结果居然成功了。如今,我种的西红柿,多得吃都吃不完。

有时候,园艺确实需要技巧。在英语里,我们如果说什么人特别擅长园艺,就可以说 He or she has a green thumb。Green thumb 没错,就是绿色的手指。如果哪天别人夸你 have a green thumb, 就是说你会种花种菜。好,我们再听一下上面的例句。

M: "I'd never had much luck in my garden. Everything I'd ever planted failed to grow. I was about to give up. But I thought I'd try one more time by choosing a different location. My LAST-DITCH EFFORT made all the difference. Now I've got more tomatoes than I know what to do with!"

Last-ditch effort 这个习惯用语来自军事,大家都知道,在战场上打仗要挖战壕,因此,Last-ditch effort 最后一道战壕,也就意味着最后一道防线。

好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束了。有听众写信给我,说英语学习太难了,想打退堂鼓,我希望这些听众不要放弃,make a last-ditch effort, 一定能成功!

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Ok, I'm going to make a last-ditch effort to give you some fashion advise, Mike...You can't wear a green shirt with a yellow tie!

B:Ugh....it's only because I didn't have enough time to get ready this morning! My alarm clock didn't wake me up and I had only 5 minutes to get ready for work!

A: Okok...你可得注意形象,咱俩可代表节目呢,你老这么拉塌怎么行? 今天早晨我跟小贝还在讨论你奇怪的着装....

B: What? You guys were gossiping about me? You two little.....

A: 我们是准备善意地帮助你! 不过啊,办公室的闲话确实很可怕,今天的business etiquette里就要谈到这个话题,咱们一块来听听看!

礼节美语BE-221 Office Gossip I

Sally 早上遇到同事 Lisa, 马上凑上前去,很神秘地说:

Sally: Did you hear the news about Tom and his wife?

Lisa: No....what happened?

S: Well, Jane told me that Tom has been having an affair! I heard his wife caught him at a hotel with another woman!

L: Really? That's a shocker! I always thought Tom was a loyal, devoted family man.

S: Hey Mary, did you hear about Tom?

Mary: No, what happened? Is he okay?

S: Well, keep this under your hat, but it seems Tom has been having an affair! Everyone's talking about it!

Sally 告诉 Lisa,她听说 Tom 搞婚外情,被他太太在旅馆里捉奸。Lisa听后很吃惊,说 That's a shocker! 意思是这件事太出人意料了,因为她一直觉得Tom是个很忠实的居家男人 family man. 这时另外一位同事 Mary也加入讨论。Sally 又把这个小道消息告诉 Mary, 还让她 keep this under your hat 意思是保密。

Mary: You know, to be perfectly honest, I'm not really keen on office gossip. For one thing, how do we even know the rumor is true? Did you hear it straight from the horse's mouth?

S: Not exactly. Jane said that Phyllis told her that they overheard a conversation between Katy and her friend Samantha about Tom's affair.

M: Well, that doesn't sound like a very accurate source. I really think you should take this rumor with a grain of salt.

Mary说,自己对办公室里的这些八卦不感兴趣。I'm not keen on office gossip. 她问Sally, Did you hear it straight from the horse's mouth? Mary在这里用到了一个习惯用语, straight from the horse's mouth. 意思是从当事人本人,或是可靠消息来源那里得到的消息。Sally承认,是辗转好几拨人,听到的小道消息。Mary说,you should take this rumor with a grain of salt. 意思是那就不能全信了。,To take something with a grain of salt 意思是带着怀疑的态度,有所保留。 Lisa 听后说:

L: But Mary, everyone gossips in the office. It's part of office culture.

M: That may be true, but sometimes gossip can be counterproductive and even dangerous. Did you ever play the "telephone game" when you were a kid?

L: Um....no. What's the "telephone game?"

M: Everyone sits in a circle and you start with a sentence of information. For example, "John hates chocolate cookies." Then each person whispers that sentence to the next person in turn.

Lisa 觉得,办公室里大家都喜欢传八卦,It's part of office culture. 是办公室文化的一个部分。Mary 却觉得,gossip can be counterproductive. 这样做只会有消极效应。Mary 问 Lisa 小时候玩没玩过 "telephone game"电话游戏,大家做成一圈,一个挨一个地把一句话用耳语的方式传给自己旁边的人,看传到最后会变成什么样子。

A: Sally告诉Lisa,同事Tom有婚外情,Lisa觉得That's a shocker! 太让人吃惊了,Tom看着不像是会干这种事情的人。Sally说,要keep this under your hat, 保密。Lisa本来就很反感在办公室八卦别人的闲事儿,她说gossip can be counterproductive, 只会有消极反应。

B: I agree. Office gossip is a perfect example of the telephone game. The news gets more and more distorted with each telling, especially when it comes to other people's personal lives.

A: I agree that you have to respect other's privacy. But sometimes you have to gossip! Its a form of socializing, If you don't do it, you lose the chance to bond with your co-workers.

B: What?? I think this may be one of those basic differences between men and women. Let's see what Lisa has to say about this!

礼节美语BE-222 Office Gossip II

Sally 跟同事Lisa和Mary议论办公室里关于Tom的传闻,说Tom 大搞婚外情,被老婆发现。Mary觉得,在办公室里议论这些不好,而且并不知道消息是否属实。Mary 问Lisa小时候玩没玩过一个叫“打电话的游戏”,玩的人坐成一圈,把一句话从第一个人用耳语的方式一直传下去,看传到最后一个人会是什么样子。Lisa 说,

L: Oh, yes! I've played that game! By the time you come to the end of the circle the original sentence has been completely mangled.

M: Right! "John hates chocolate cookies" gets transformed into something like, "James likes monkey pudding."

S: Ok, I get your point. What you mean is that when information gets passed around, often times it becomes corrupted and incorrect, right?

M: Exactly. Also, I think there is a difference between office gossip and commenting on someone's private life.

Lisa 记得,小时候确实玩过这个游戏。一圈人,等传到最后一个人,最开始那句话,已经彻底走样了。她在这里用到的一个动词mangle is spelled m-a-n-g-l-e, mangle, 意思是被肢解,破坏得不像样子。换句话说,一件事一传十,十传百,是很难保证准确无误的。Mary 还说,她觉得,大家议论办公室里发生的事情,跟讨论别人的私生活也是有差别的。

Mary: If the boss was hard on you today and you tell your colleagues about it, well....maybe that's just part of office life. But Tom's private life is no concern of ours.

L: But people have been gossiping since the dawn of time! It's sort of a way for people to bond.

M: Yes, I understand that. But I worry about spreading personal attacks or revealing secrets about someone's private life.

L: You might be right. For one thing, the person we're talking about isn't here to defend himself, and that's not really fair. And like you mentioned, we don't even know if the story is true.

Mary说,如果是老板对你过于严厉,if the boss was too hard on you. 你回来跟同事抱怨,这可能是办公室生活很正常的内容,但 Tom 的私生活 is no concern of ours. 完全不是我们应该关心的范畴。Lisa觉得很有道理,而且,被议论的对象现在不在现场,所以无法为自己做出辩解,而且大家也并不知道传闻是否属实。Sally 说,

S: Those are good points. Tom is actually a really nice guy. I've worked with him for five years and he's always been a good friend.

L: For us, if Tom is a good co-worker that's all that really matters.

S: All right....I'm not going to discuss this rumor any further. Let's leave it alone.

L: Good idea.

M: I think we all hope Tom and his wife can work out any troubles they might be having. Let's wish them the best.

Sally跟Tom共事过五年,觉得Tom是个很好的人。Lisa说,对我们来说,Tom只要是个好同事就足够了,其他都不重要。Sally保证,不再去议论Tom的事,Let's leave it alone. 不要再去管这些流言蜚语。Mary 补充说,希望Tom夫妇两人能 work out any troubles they might be having. 妥善解决两人之间的问题。

A: 真是一点都没错! 办公室传言有时候传得都没谱了! 比如上次吧,我跟小贝在讨论一则新闻,说是有个孕妇人工受孕成功了,第二天就有人问她她是不是怀孕了! 什么跟什么呀!

B: Yeah, it must be that someone passed by and overheard part of the conversation, and they started to use their imagination....

A: Exactly. This kind of gossip is really counterproductive. 也不尊重人呀!

B: So it's better not to gossip and also stay away from those that do.

A: 没错! 好了,这个话题就到这儿吧! 下面咱们再来学个词儿!

Learn A Word 1683 literacy

今天我们要学的词是 literacy, literacy is spelled l-i-t-e-r-a-c-y, literacy. Literacy 意思是读写能力。McDonalds stores in the UK will replace the toys which come with its Happy Meals with books to boost child literacy. 英国的麦当劳将把儿童套餐里的玩具换成书籍,帮助孩子们提高读写能力。印度研究机构的数字显示,The Muslims have the lowest literacy rates among all religious communities in the country. 跟印度其他宗教的人相比,穆斯林的识字率最低。A new state law in Texas requires high schools to teach students about financial literacy. 美国德克萨斯州的一项新法律要求高中向学生传授理财方面的知识。好的,今天我们学习的词是 literacy, literacy, literacy....

A: Financial literacy! 这个我需要,这次报税,我深刻体会到了我的金融文盲程度....

B: Haha, I'm not surprised! (A: what?) Kidding kidding. Yeah, paying taxes in America can be a real hassle. I never really understand any of those complicated forms...

A: I hope they can simplify the process and lay it on the line...

B: I don't think we will see that in our lifetime. But you just mentioned a very good term: lay it on the line. Let's listen to today's words and idioms and check it out!

Words and Idioms 822 LAY ON THE LINE

美国习惯用语第 822讲

我先生的公司有一位资历很深的工程师,一贯迟到早退,从来没有人敢管,直到上个月,公司换了一个新老板,跟他谈了一次话。从此以后,他再没迟到过。很显然,老板是明明白白地告诉他,要么准点上班,要么就收拾东西走人。听了这个故事,今天我们要学的习惯用语就不难理解了:

M: Lay it on the line. Lay is spelled l-a-y, and line; l-i-n-e. Lay-it-on-the-line. Lay it on the line.

Lay it on the line 这个习惯用语的意思是坦率地说明。刚才例子里的公司老板,就是用这种法子根治了那个工程师迟到早退的坏习惯。He laid it on the line: if he came late again, he was going to be let go. 他说得很明白,如果再发生迟到的情况,就会被炒鱿鱼。

下面这个例子里的教授,也不得不对一个叫 Cheryl 的学生采取同样的手段。让我们一起听听他是怎么说的。

M: "I've been too easygoing with Cheryl. She continues to turn her essays in after the deadline. But now I'm going to LAY IT ON THE LINE. If she tries that again, she'll get an 'F' on her paper. Perhaps being firm and clear with her will get her to change."

这个教授说,我对 Cheryl 可能太迁就了。她还是等最后期限过了以后,才把文章交给我。现在我要跟她讲清楚,如果再发生这种情况,我就给她不及格。也许只有我强硬一点,她才能改正。

有些人就是吃硬不吃软。只有 Lay it on the line, 才会真正引起他们的重视。这倒让我想起我们的市长。我支持他的一个主要原因,就是因为他对选民的坦率。他知道,要治理经济需要做出一些艰难的选择,比如说要增加税收。他没有象其他政客那样,躲避这些选择,He laid it on the line. 他坦率地把一切告诉民众,从而赢得了大家的信任和支持。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

M: "I've been too easygoing with Cheryl. She continues to turn her essays in after the deadline. But now I'm going to LAY IT ON THE LINE. If she tries that again, she'll get an 'F' on her paper. Perhaps being firm and clear with her will get her to change."

直截了当,不绕弯子是很多教练的风格。让我们听听下面这个乒乓球运动员对自己教练的评价。

M: "Our table tennis coach has never been subtle about criticizing our performance. When we're not playing well, she LAYS IT ON THE LINE. Not everyone on the team appreciates her complete honesty, but I think it'll help us be more competitive.

这个队员说,教练在批判我们表现的时候,从来不会拐弯抹角。我们打得不好的时候,她一定会告诉我们。队里有些人并不喜欢她的这种坦率,可我却认为,这种风格能增加我们的竞争力。

乒乓球在美国并不普及,没有多少人喜欢玩,美国很多还不错的乒乓球选手其实都是从中国来的。我觉得,美国要想培养更多本土的乒乓好手,首先要让年轻人产生兴趣。比如说,可以组织乒乓球夏令营啊。现在的夏令营种类多得让人眼花缭乱,既然模特夏令营都能有市场,为什么不能办个乒乓球的夏令营呢!虽然组织者们知道,参加模特夏令营的孩子们几乎不会有人真正进入模特的领域,但是 They rarely LAID IT ON THR LINE. 他们才不会明说呢。好,我们再听一下上面的例句。

M: "Our table tennis coach has never been subtle about criticizing our performance. When we're not playing well, she LAYS IT ON THE LINE. Not everyone on the team appreciates her complete honesty, but I think it'll help us be more competitive.

你肯定想知道这个习惯用语的出处。I have to LAY IT ON THE LINE with you. 说实话,除了这个习惯用语是从二十世纪二十年代开始出现的以外,我还真没找到它的来源。好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束了。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Mike, I have to lay it on the line with you, That shirt and tie combination is making me physically sick!

B:Give it time, I promise it will grow on you!

A: You mean like mold on a tree?! 好了同学们,这次节目时间就到这里了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!
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