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中国时间: 21:02 2016年12月06日星期二

美语训练班第121课

  • 美国之音

B: Welcome to American English Mosaic, I'm Mike Bond!

A: And I'm Lin Yang.

B: Today we will take a look at the dark side of the business world. What would you do if someone ask for a kickback? Is there a better way to deal with it than being ripped off? We will look for answers in today's business etiquette.

A: 手机上瘾会带来亚健康状态? 我们在下面的节目中为你介绍。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what "mixed blessing" and "rough and read" means!

A: All coming up on this edition of American English Mosaic!

B: Now let's go into our first segment, Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1809 fitness

今天我们要学的词是fitness. Fitness is spelled f-i-t-n-e-s-s, fitness. Fitness 身体健康状况。随着网络空间战的激烈化,各国都在招兵买马,搜罗网络电脑人才。Britain is waiving the fitness test when recruiting new cyber soldiers. 英国招募空间战斗人员时,不要求他们接受体格考核。In the U.S., fitness DVDs bring in about $265 million annually. 在美国,健身DVD每年的销售额高达2.65亿美元。美国肯特州立大学的一项研究显示,High cell phone use is linked to poor fitness levels in college students. 手机使用率的高低跟大学生的身体健康水平之间,有着直接的联系。好的,今天我们学习的词是 fitness, fitness, fitness...

A: High cell phone use is linked to poor fitness levels? That would explain me...I tried to run yesterday and I couldn't catch my breath when I hit one mile...

B: Ha! You just need to train more! No one can run marathon without training.

A: You are getting really fit these days Mike! Any secret?

B: No secret, just eat well and go to the gym everyday. My personal trainer forbids me from consuming carbs, and I eat tons of protein everyday.

A: See, that's what I was afraid you were going to say. If someone tells me that I can't eat something, I will start to have serious craving for that kind of food...

B: Haha, that sounds like you. But you know, being too fit is a mixed blessing, sometimes I get a lot of unwanted attention...

A: OMG! You know there is a difference between self confidence and over confidence right? 简直是给点阳光就灿烂的典范!

B: I'm kidding, kidding! I only mentioned it because it's the idiom that we are going to teach next!

A: Let's listen to today's words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 863 MIXED BLESSING

美国习惯用语第 863 讲

有时候,家里有钱也未必就是件好事。我老板 Johnson 的儿子,就是因为家里有钱,不仅不求上进,还三天两头惹事生非,在英语里,我们说 born with a silver spoon in one's mouth, 生在有钱的家庭,是一个

M: Mixed blessing. Mixed is spelled m-i-x-e-d. Mixed. Blessing is spelled b-l-e-s-s-i-n-g, blessing. Mixed blessing.

Mixed 意思是混合的。Blessing 是恩惠、赐福的意思。mixed blessing 意思是福祸兼俱,有好处也有坏处的事情。也就是说,出生在一个有钱的家庭,一方面,想买什么就买什么,不用担心钱的问题;但是另外一方面,孩子如果什么都有了,反而会失去自己去奋斗争取的动力。在下面这个例子中,一个父亲为什么会对女儿的美貌而大发感慨呢?我们一起来听听。

M: "Well, my daughter gets a lot of attention because of her beauty, but people are less likely to take her seriously because of it─especially at work. Her beauty is definitely a MIXED BLESSING."

这个父亲说:我女儿因为长得漂亮吸引了很多人的注意,但是也正因为长得好看,所以大家反而不太重视她的能力,特别是在工作中。她的美丽是一件既有好处,又有坏处的事情。

MIXED BLESSING 这个习惯用语是二十世纪上半叶才开始出现的,之所以出现时间较晚,是因为十八世纪的时候人们笃信宗教,只有到了二十世纪,才开始有人觉得上帝的赐福也不一定都是好的,可能会是 mixed blessing. 好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

M: "Well, my daughter gets a lot of attention because of her beauty, but people are less likely to take her seriously because of it─especially at work. Her beauty is definitely a MIXED BLESSING."

在接下来这个例子里,尽管大多数人都觉得香港的开发是件好事,但是下面这个人却看到了发展带来的负面效应。让我们一起来听听。

M: "I think the project is a MIXED BLESSING. Of course, it will create a lot of jobs for Hong Kong, but it will also destroy much of the natural habitat on the island. Many of the native birds and small animals will disappear."

报道说:我觉得这个项目有好处,也有坏处,这个项目确实会给香港创造很多就业机会,但同时也会破坏很多动物的自然栖息地。很多只有香港岛上才有的鸟类和小动物都会消失。

这是典型的发展给经济和环境,给目前和未来所带来的困扰。随着世界人口的不断增加,这个问题只会变得越发严重。发展对地球来说永远都是 a mixed blessing. 人类文明的代价就是地球的生态环境。现在全球气候变暖已经给人类敲响了警钟,督促我们去寻找更为环保的发展方式。好的,我们再来听一下上面那个例句。

M: "I think the project is a MIXED BLESSING. Of course, it will create a lot of jobs for Hong Kong, but it will also destroy much of the natural habitat on the island. Many of the native birds and small animals will disappear."

我老公马上要被调去上早班了。他自己觉得这是一个 mixed blessing. 好的一方面是,下班后有充足的时间去健身房锻炼身体,不好的地方当然是需要早起,再也不能睡懒觉了。

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.

B: See, this is what I'm talking about. Having to start working at 6am is a mixed blessing. One the one hand, I hate waking up at 5 everyday; on the other hand, I love all the free time I still have after getting off work at 2.

A: That's true. 事情都有两面性嘛!

B: Which is exactly what we are going to talk about in business etiquette! We'll see how this company deals with a particularly harsh situation.

A: Let's find it out in today's Business Etiquette!

礼节美语kickbacks I

项目主管Donny急冲冲地来找老板Simon.

Donny: Simon, there's something we need to talk about.

Simon: Go ahead, shoot.

D: I think maybe we better step into your office. It's a bit of a sensitive issue.

S: Oh, sure. Come on in. What's on your mind?

D: You know that project we have in the south of the country?

S: Do you mean the new processing plant we're building?

D: Yes. I'm afraid we've run into a couple of setbacks.

S: Oh? What's the problem?

Donny 有事找 Simon, 但是不方便在外面谈,说 we better step into your office. 最好去你办公室谈。原来是他们在南方兴建的加工厂遇到了麻烦。Donny 说,We've run into a couple of setbacks. run into something 是遇到的意思,setback, 意思是挫折。

D: I just got a call from the on-site manager and he says the local area's building inspector says our building is not up to code.

S: But that's impossible! I personally made sure that we followed all relevant local laws and I even insisted on a better standard than the code requires! How can this be?

D: Well sir, the on-site manager says the real problem is that we need to grease the wheels. In other words, there's nothing wrong with the building, the inspector just wants a kickback.

原来,问题出在当地检查施工建筑的官员身上。他为了拿回扣,kickback, 居然说Simon公司的建筑 not up to code. 不符合建筑规格。这里的 code, c-o-d-e, code 指政府关于建筑标准的法规。按 Donny 的话说,要想达标也不难,we need to grease the wheels. grease is spelled g-r-e-a-s-e, grease. Grease 是上油的意思,wheels 是车轮的意思,给车轮上油,引伸为让事情进行得更顺利。

S: I see. Hmm...this is frustrating.

D: On the one hand, the inspector is not asking for very much, a couple of thousand dollars will make this problem go away. But on the other hand, bribery is illegal.

S: Bribery is certainly illegal, but even more important for me personally, it's immoral. I've always tried to do the right thing in my business dealings and it's important to me that I run a clean shop.

Donny 说,一方面,几千美元就能解决问题,make the problem go away, 让这个问题消失;但另外一方面,行贿是非法的, bribery is illegal. Simon 说,行贿不仅非法,更重要的是,他个人认为这样做是不道德的,it's immoral. Simon 还说,自己做生意一概奉公守法,努力 run a clean shop. 这里的 clean 指正派的,遵纪守法的,shop 在口语里可以用来泛指生意、公司、店铺等等。Simon 最终会让步吗?我们下次继续听。

A: Donny向老板汇报说, 他们的项目 run into a couple of setbacks, 遇到了一些麻烦。 原因是检察人员说他们的项目not up to code, 不符合规定,其实是想借机索取kickbacks, 回扣。Donny很矛盾,因为其实几千美元就能make the problem go away, 让问题消失,可是bribery is illegal and immoral, 行贿不仅非法,而且也不道德。

B: Not only its is illegal and immoral, but people who ask for kickbacks are not going to stop if you make the first payment. Once you start, you are stuck with them because you violated the law and that knowledge gives them the leverage on you.

A: That sounds awful. I really dislike all these hidden business rules. Luckily 老板 Simon seems to be against paying kickbacks.

B: Let's keep listening and see how this is going to play out!

礼节美语kickbacks II

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.

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。

A: Donny表示,他不想play the devil's advocate, 故意唱反调,但是给回扣好像已经成了这里做生意的潜规则,最简单解决问题的方法就是look the other way,睁一眼闭一眼。但是老板Simon不愿意这样解决问题,他说 I'm having a hard time telling my conscience that this is OK. 良心上过不去。

B: I think a lot of companies choose to pay kickbacks because their product is not 100% up to code. If you have nothing to hide, you don't need to deal with this crap.

A: 哎,你跟公司老板Simon想的一样!

B: Great minds think alike! (A: Ugh...) Let's see what action the company is going to take!

礼节美语kickbacks III

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突然遇到了麻烦,当地质检官员以建设标准不合格为由,索取贿赂,Simon 表示,这个钱坚决不能给。Donny 问要怎么办?

D: What would you like me to do?

S: How much does this lowlife inspector want?

D: About 2,500 dollars, sir.

S: Well, I'm going to spend that same amount on lawyers and we're going to sue this guy!

Simon 问,那个质检官员想要多少钱。Simon 用 lowlife 来形容此人,lowlife is spelled l-o-w-l-i-f-e, lowlife 意思是卑鄙的,下流的。原来,此人要价并不高,只要两千五百美元就能解决问题。Simon 决定,就用这笔钱来 sue this guy 把此人告上法庭。

D: You want to take legal action against him?

S: That's right. Call our legal department and tell them to get a team and get down there.

D: Maybe I can get the on-site manager to record their conversation. Then we'll have evidence.

S: Good idea! But don't forget, our best evidence is our building. It's completely up to standard so if it's re-inspected, anyone can see we are following the law.

D: That's true. The building will speak for itself.

对某人提出诉讼,可以说 sue someone, 也可以说 to take legal action against someone. Donny 建议把跟质检官员的对话偷偷录下来,做为证据,evidence. 不过,Simon 强调说,我们的工程才是最有力的证据。因为这一工程完全符合标准, completely up to standard。Donny也说,The building will speak for itself. speak for itself 无需解释,明摆着的,意思是建筑工程就在那里,是最有说服力的证据。

S: And tell the legal team not to cut any corners and to proceed with this case by the book. We are sending a message here that bribery won't be tolerated.

D: Wow, sir! I've never seen you so worked up.

S: Well, I'm sick and tired and I'm not going to put up with this anymore! Let's get this bad guy!

D: I'm on it, sir!

Simon 说,让律师们不要 cut corners, cut corners 意思是偷工减料,一切要按法律上的规定去办,by the book 意思是严格遵守法律。Donny 从来没见老板 Simon 如此激动过,I've never seen you so worked up. worked is spelled w-o-r-k-e-d, worked up 是激动的意思。Simon 说,I'm sick and tired. 在这里,sick and tired 不是我又病又累,而是指厌倦了某件事情。Simon 还说,I'm not going to put up with this. put up with something 指忍受一件事情。Donny 最后说,I'm on it. 意思是交给我吧,我这就去办。

A: 老板Simon决定,take legal action against this lowlife, 对要求回扣的人提起诉讼,让公司法律部门do this by the book, 严格按照法律程序处理这件事。 因为公司的项目completely up to standard, 完全符合标准,所以呢,他们没什么可害怕的。

B: Wow, I wish every company's CEO had the guts to stand up for what is right like Simon! Then we could cut out bribery in the business world altogether!

A: That's true! 好啦,严肃的回扣问题就到这里吧! 现在咱们来进入今天最后一个单元....

B: Let's listen to another words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 864 Rough and Ready

美国习惯用语第 864 讲

我这个人,干什么事情都喜欢做好准备充分。谁知道昨天早上,老板突然通知我,两个小时内要做好一份新节目的展示报告,这就意味着我要马上搜集节目话题、筹划预算开支和人员分配,把相关信息综合起来。最后总算是完成了任务,虽然并不尽善尽美。这也让我想起了一个习惯用语,叫

M: Rough and ready. Rough is spelled r-o-u-g-h, and ready; r-e-a-d-y. Rough-and-ready.

形容词 Rough 是粗糙的意思,ready 的意思是准备好。Rough and ready 连在一起,意思就是虽然有些粗糙简陋,但是可以用。我上面说的展示报告就是 rough and ready, 虽然因为时间紧,报告做得不够精细,但是已经达到了目的。我侄女是高中学生,她本来以为,申请大学只要考试成绩好行了,其实不然。我们一起听听下面这位大学招生专家是怎么说的:

M: "Scores on standardized tests don't completely show a student's potential. They're only a ROUGH AND READY guide. That's why colleges look at a wide variety of data, including grades, a list of extracurricular activities, a personal essay, and recommendations from people who have assessed the candidate's talents and personal characteristics."

这位专家说:标准化考试的成绩并不能全面显示一个学生的潜力,只能做为基本参照标准。这就是为什么大学招生要考虑诸多因素,包括学习成绩、学生参加的各种课外活动、学生自己写的作文、还有推荐人对学生的能力和性格的评价。

还好,我侄女即时了解到了这种情况。如今,她不仅学习成绩优秀,而且课余时间还参加学校足球队、乐队和戏剧社。让我们再来听听上面那段话。

M: "Scores on standardized tests don't completely show a student's potential. They're only a ROUGH AND READY guide. That's why colleges look at a wide variety of data, including grades, a list of extracurricular activities, a personal essay, and recommendations from people who have assessed the candidate's talents and personal characteristics."

刚才提到,我侄女参加学校的足球队,经常出去巡回比赛,长了不少见识,眼界比接下来例子里这个人开阔多了。让我们一起听听下面这段话。

M: "I grew up in a small town in the country. So it was a big change when I moved to the city. Going to fancy parties and dealing with so many different kinds of people are new to me. But I guess I do o.k. in those situations. Still, there's no denying I'm a ROUGH AND READY kind of guy."

这个人说:我是在乡下的一个小镇长大的。搬到城里住给我的生活带来了巨大的改变。参加各式各样别致的派对、跟各种类型的人打交道对我来说都非常新鲜。不过,我的表现还算说得过去。尽管如此,不能否认的是,我就是一个粗人。

我觉得,性格粗犷有时候反而更具魅力。现在我们市正在举行地方选举,我支持的那个候选人就不是一个典型的政客,不会花言巧语笼络选民。He is ROUGH AND READY. 好的,我们再来听一下上面那个例句。

M: "I grew up in a small town in the country. So it was a big change when I moved to the city. Going to fancy parties and dealing with so many different kinds of people are new to me. But I guess I do o.k. in those situations. Still, there's no denying I'm a ROUGH AND READY kind of guy."

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: I think you're definitely the rough and ready type Mike, well rough at least, ready might be stretching it a bit.

B: OOOOOO, well played Yanglin, well played.

A: 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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