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中国时间: 03:54 2016年12月10日星期六

美语训练班第124课

  • 美国之音

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

A: And I'm Lin Yang.

B: Wanna know the differences in business culture between American and Chinese companies? We will offer you some great tips on how to perform in an international business environment.

A: 中国人到底有多要面子? 我们在下面的节目中为你介绍。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what "slippery slope" and "small potatoes" mean!

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 1828 expired

今天我们要学的词是expired. Expired is spelled e-x-p-i-r-e-d, expired. Expired 形容词,意思是过期的。He was pulled over by the police and got a ticket for having an expired registration. 他开车时被警察拦下来,因为车子注册已经过去,吃了一张罚单。Flushing expired medicines down the toilet is a source of pollution. 把过期药品从马桶里冲走,会对环境造成污染。A Chinese woman accused of defacing The Washington National Cathedral was traveling on an expired visa. 被控在美国华盛顿国家大教堂上胡乱涂抹,破坏建筑外观的一名中国女子所持有美国入境签证已经过期。好的,今天我们学习的词是 expired, expired, expired...

B: I always look at the expiration dates when I go grocery shopping. I guess that's a good habit.

A: I think you should pay more attention to the calorie chart instead!

B: Very funny, 杨琳,very funny.

A: I'm sorry! You know I'm kidding! It's just I've been eating a lot lately since the weather is getting colder, and I need to look at those numbers carefully!

B: Actually I can see that...sounds like you are already on a slippery slope! (A: Hey!) Let's listen to today's words and idioms, slippery slope!

Words and Idioms 871 slippery slope

美国习惯用语第871讲

我最近收拾东西,翻出一张十年前的照片,当时我在一家进出口公司做市场开发,老板 Sue 是我遇到的最严厉的上司,开会迟到一分钟都会挨骂,她的理论是,这次晚一分钟,下次就会晚两分钟。今天我们要学的习惯用语恰恰跟她的信条相吻合,那就是:

M: Slippery slope. Slippery is spelled s-l-i-p-p-e-r-y, and slope; s-l-o-p-e. Slippery-slope. Slippery 是打滑的意思;slope 是斜坡。不言而喻,A slippery slope 打滑的斜坡,意思是越来越糟。你现在一定明白了,为了我以前的老板 Sue 眼睛里揉不进一粒沙子。在她看来,迟到一次不纠正,Then you were on a SLIPPERY SLOPE. 以后就会越来越糟。在下面这个例子里,一个父亲发现十几岁的女儿在商店偷东西,我们一起听听这位父亲的反应。

M: "I realize when my 12 year-old took a bottle of perfume from a store without paying, she was shoplifting. But that doesn't mean she's heading down a SLIPPERY SLOPE towards a life of crime. She understands the seriousness of what she did. And she promises never to steal again."

这位父亲说:我知道,十二岁的女儿在商店里拿香水不交钱是偷东西,可这并不意味着她已经走上了一条越陷越深的犯罪道路。她已经明白了这件事情的严重性,而且保证以后再也不偷了。

我同意这个父亲的看法,只要让孩子了解问题的严重性,以后不犯就好了。但是有些事情,则万万不能开先例。比如说,我家狗还小的时候,老公觉得它可爱,让它进卧室更我们一起睡,我当时就警告他,We are on a slippery slope. 结果被我不幸言中,如今狗大了,可是再也赶不出去了。

让我们再来听听上面那段话。

M: "I realize when my 12 year-old took a bottle of perfume from a store without paying, she was shoplifting. But that doesn't mean she's heading down a SLIPPERY SLOPE towards a life of crime. She understands the seriousness of what she did. And she promises never to steal again."

在下面的例子里,一个小镇居民在是否愿意在镇子里兴建大型游乐场的问题上存在严重分歧。让我们听听下面的报道。

M: "The citizens are divided over whether to allow an amusement park to be built in our historic town. Supporters argue that it will bring entertainment and a needed source of tax revenue. Critics say we'd be getting on a SLIPPERY SLOPE. Before long, they contend, we could expect more and more traffic problems, and undesirable development. As they see it, our community's quality of life would eventually be destroyed."

这个人说:小镇居民在是否应该在这个历史性小镇里兴建游乐场的问题上存在意见分歧。支持者说,游乐场会给小镇带来娱乐活动和税务收入。批判者说,我们会在这条路上越陷越深,用不了多久,交通堵塞和其它大家不愿看到的商业开发活动就会接踵而至。他们认为,我们社区的生活质量终将受到破坏。

这倒让我想起我的一个邻居。他坚决主张公民有权拥有枪支,反对任何限制枪支的立法。在他眼里,It's a SLIPPERY SLOPE. 用不了多久,政府就会全面禁枪。好的,我们再来听一下上面那个例句。

M: "The citizens are divided over whether to allow an amusement park to be built in our historic town. Supporters argue that it will bring entertainment and a needed source of tax revenue. Critics say we'd be getting on a SLIPPERY SLOPE. Before long, they contend, we could expect more and more traffic problems, and undesirable development. As they see it, our community's quality of life would eventually be destroyed."

好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束了。

M: Until next time.

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Gosh, I hope the government shutdown get fixed soon, otherwise it's going to be a slippery slope...

B: I know! The last government shutdown was in 1995 and it lasted for 21 days. That for sure hurt the economy enormously.

A: I feel like this is bad for everyone in the U.S., and it's such a loss of face for the congress!

B: Well, that's what happens when no one is willing to compromise! Actually in today's business etiquette, we will discuss this exact topichow to save face!

A: Ha, my favorite! Let's check it out!

礼节美语 saving face/guanxi I

Jerry 要去中国出差,找同事 Amy 请教。

Jerry: Hey Amy...your family is from China, right?

A:Yep. I was born and raised in Shanghai. Why do you ask?

J: Well, I hope you don't mind...but I'm planning a business trip to China soon and I was wondering if you could give me some pointers.

A: You mean like where to go for food or shopping?

J: That would be good, too. But I'm actually hoping you might give me some insights into doing business in China.

A: Ah...sure! I think I can help. Do you have a specific question?

Jerry 准备去中国出差,希望Amy能给自己点建议 give me some pointers. pointer is spelled p-o-i-n-t-e-r, pointer 是指点,建议的意思。Amy 从小在上海长大,看来 Jerry 算是找对人了。Jerry 并不是想了解吃饭、购物的事,而是想知道在中国做生意的一些规矩。

J: Well, for starters, what do they mean by "saving face?"

A: "Saving face" is a catch-all term for the concept of honor. In China there is a protocol to everything and it should be followed, otherwise you and the other party might be embarrassed.

J: So in short...saving face is about avoiding embarrassment?

A: Exactly. Say you're late to a meeting. This would cause you to lose face.

For starters, 首先,Jerry想知道什么是有面子,saving face. Amy 解释说,saving face is a catch-all term for the concept of honor. 有面子包括了所有跟荣誉和颜面有关的问题。这里所说的 catch-all is spelled c-a-t-c-h, catch, a-l-l, all, catch-all 意思是全部包含、统统适用的。Amy 说,中国人干什么都讲究规矩,protocol, p-r-o-t-o-c-o-l, protocol, 按规矩做事,大家都有面子,破坏了规矩,就会让人 lose face 丢脸,比如说开会迟到。

J: How can you go about regaining your "face", or your honor?

A: It depends on how serious the offense was. If you were late, you can repeatedly apologize and the other person will probably forgive you.

J: But I would need to apologize more times than I would if I was late here in America?

A: Yes. Make many apologies. The person will probably say it's not a big deal, but in fact it could be a pretty big deal to them, so make sure to say sorry if you make a mistake.

如何才能 regain face 挽回面子呢?Amy 说,这要看你错误的严重程度。It depends on how serious the offense was. 如果开会迟到,你最好使劲道歉,请求对方原谅。对方可能嘴上会说,it's not a big deal. 没什么大不了的,但事实上,他们心里可能非常在意,所以一定要再三道歉。

A: Jerry要到中国去出差,向同事Amy询问中国的企业文化, ask for some pointers, 寻求一些建议。Amy说,中国人很看重saving face, 有面子,所以要按规矩办事 follow protocols。如果做错了什么事,make many apologies, 使劲道歉。

B: That's what was frustrating for me when I was in China. Most of the time people don't mean what they say! They might tell me that it's not a big deal, but actually it can be a pretty big deal to them!

A: Yep, you got to learn how to pick up subtleties for you to do well in a Chinese cultural environment. Let's keep listening to Amy and see what pointers she has for us!

礼节美语 saving face/guanxi II

Jerry 要去中国出差,找同事 Amy 请教。

Jerry: My book on Chinese culture says that the idea of shame is a big part of how society works.

A: That's true. Chinese culture places more value on the group and less on the individual.

J: Pretty much the opposite of the U.S. huh?

A: Yeah. In China your actions at work reflect on your employer and your daily conduct reflects on your family.

J: So if you shame yourself you're also shaming your employer?

A: In some cases, yes.

集体的概念在中国文化里很重要。Amy 说,Chinese culture places more value on the group and less on the individual. 相对个人而言,中国文化更重视集体,the opposite of the U.S. 跟美国正相反。你工作时的表现会影响到你公司的形象,你的日常举止行为能反映出你的家庭教养,to reflect on someone 是影响到某人形象的意思。

A: Chinese culture doesn't encourage showboating or aggressive self-promotion.

J: Ha! In America, we promote ourselves all the time! It's the only way to get noticed.

A: But in Chinese society, you might have a better chance at getting a promotion at work by being a real team player. The best advice I can give to a foreigner who wants to do business in China is this: be sincere, try not to offend and tone down the volume.

中国文化不鼓励 showboat 自我吹嘘,也不鼓励 self-promotion 自我宣传。在美国,只有自我宣传才能得到上司的注意,然而在中国,最好的途径是 be a real team player. 做团队的一员。Amy 说,她给外国人最好的建议是:be sincere 真诚;try not to offend 不要冒犯别人;以及 tone down the volume. 调低音量。

J: What do you mean when you say, "turn down the volume?"

S: Well, for one thing: don't talk so loud! Americans are loud and although China is a very noisy country, people don't like it when you draw attention to yourself.

J: Would that include how I dress as well?

A: Certainly. Try to blend in as much as possible. The locals will appreciate the effort.

J: Wow, Amy....I'm so glad I talked with you! You've been a great source of information.

A: Sure. Let me know if you need more specifics.

Amy 建议 Jerry 讲话不要太大声,因为 People don't like it when you draw attention to yourself. 大家不喜欢那些故意吸引别人注意的人。另外,穿着打扮也不要太醒目,Try to blend in as much as possible 意思是融入周围的环境,也就是说,Jerry 应该尽量设法跟周围的人打成一片。

A: Amy说,Chinese culture places more value on the group and less on the individual. 中国文化的核心就是集体的概念比个人概念更重要。中国公司里不鼓励self-promotion 自我宣传,最好的方法就是be a real team player, 做团队的一员。她给Jerry的建议是: be sincere 真诚;try not to offend 不要冒犯别人;以及 tone down the volume. 调低音量。

B: Yeah, I found that all to be true when I was in China. Its more about succeeding as a group than finding personal success.

A: That's true. Alright, 面子的话题就到这里吧! 我们接着进行我们的课程,来听下面的learn a word!

Learn A Word 1830 outright

今天我们要学的词是outright. Outright is spelled o-u-t-r-i-g-h-t, outright. Outright 形容词,意思是全面的,彻底的。An outright lie 彻头彻尾的谎言。The company has no other choice than an outright sale. 这家公司已经别无选择,只能准备把公司卖掉。在美国,The Food and Drug Administration has the authority to regulate the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, but it can't ban it outright. 食品和药物管理局有权规定香烟里尼古丁含量的多少,但是不能彻底禁止香烟里尼古丁成分的存在。好的,今天我们学习的词是 outright, outright, outright...

A: Speaking of cigarettes, I heard DC is coming out with a law that will ban smoking in public places and within 20 feet of a building, but it can't ban it outright.

B: I kinda wish it could be a outright ban, I hate the smell of cigarettes!

A:I know, but compare to the old days when smoking was not banned at all, I enjoy bars and restaurants a lot more today!

B: Ah, you are so content with what you have! It might be small potatoes for you, but it's a big deal for me!

A: 知足长乐嘛! 好啦,你刚才提到了一个词儿,small potatoes, let's listen to today's words and idioms and check it out!

Words and Idioms 872 SMALL POTATOES

美国习惯用语第 872 讲

我的一个朋友要买房,我周末陪她一起去看,我看着最满意的一栋房子有三个卧室,两个卫生间,地下室全都铺了硬木地板,新装修的厨房,还有一个一英亩大的花园。可我那个朋友居然因为不喜欢厨房的橱柜,就一口回绝了。这倒让我想起一个习惯用语,可以跟大家分享,那就是:

M: Small potatoes. Potatoes is spelled p-o-t-a-t-o-e-s. Small-potatoes.

SMALL POTATO 小土豆,说一个人或是一件事是 SMALL POTATO 意思就是无足轻重,微不足道。就好比我那个朋友,买房子不看房子的格局和设计,反而对厨房的抽屉,橱柜挑三拣四。我认为,其实这些东西都是 SMALL POTATOES 根本不重要。

不过话说回来,有时候,对一个人微不足道的事情对另外一个来说却是举足轻重的大事。为了说明这一点,让我们一起来听下面这个经济记者的报道。

M: "How much would you guess the United States annually spends on its agriculture and forests? $10 million? $1 billion? Actually, last year, it was about $20 billion. That might seem like a huge amount of money. But compared to the more than $610 billion dollars on both defense and Social Security, it's really SMALL POTATOES."

这位记者说:你猜猜,美国每年在农业和林业上的开支是多少?一千万?十亿?告诉你吧,去年美国在农林业上的支出有大约两百亿美元。这听上去好象是很大的一笔钱,但如果跟花在国防和社会保障上的6100亿比,那可真是微不足道了。

说起来不好意思,我上周末在家还因为请客吃饭买什么牌子的葡萄酒跟先生斗嘴。转念一想,跟那些失去工作,或是失去房子的人相比,我生活中那些问题全都是 SMALL POTATOES. 好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

M: "How much would you guess the United States annually spends on its agriculture and forests? $10 million? $1 billion? Actually, last year, it was about $20 billion. That might seem like a huge amount of money. But compared to the more than $610 billion dollars on both defense and Social Security, it's really SMALL POTATOES."

在下面这个例子里,年轻画家 Dorothy 的作品最近引起了很大反响。让我们一起听听她哥哥是怎么说的。

M: "Dorothy's getting lots of attention for her paintings. Her recent exhibit made headlines in the local paper. And she just received the top prize at our town's art festival. Some people dismiss her work as SMALL POTATOES. Then again, perhaps one day it may hang in important museums."

她哥哥说:Dorothy 的画引起了很多人的注意,她最近的画展登上了本地报纸头条,她还赢得了镇里艺术节的头等奖。有些人说她的作品微不足道,可谁知道呢,她的作品没准哪天还能出现在大博物馆的墙上呢!

如果Dorothy真有天才,运气又好的话,没准真能出名!这倒让我想起,几个星期前,韩国歌星 Rain 来华盛顿为自己的新电影做宣传,我打了几通电话,没想到 Rain 的经纪人居然同意让他跟我做专访。没想到,我这种 SMALL POTATO 居然能请到 RAIN 这样的大牌明星。好的,我们再来听一下上面那个例句。

M: "Dorothy's getting lots of attention for her paintings. Her recent exhibit made headlines in the local paper. And she just received the top prize at our town's art festival. Some people dismiss her work as SMALL POTATOES. Then again, perhaps one day it may hang in important museums."

SMALL POTATO 这种说法最早可以追溯到1836年。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: So are you finally coming to grips with the fact that you are small potatoes around here Mike?

B: Sure! At least a potato is useful, unlike some people I know......

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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