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中国时间: 02:26 2016年12月05日星期一

美语训练班第128课

  • 美国之音

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

A: And I'm Lin Yang.

B: Are you a good bargainer? Do you want to know the secrets of bargaining? We will offer you some tips in today's business etiquette.

A: 如何用能源来帮助人们增加收入? 我们在下面的节目中为你介绍。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what "stumbling block" and "swallow one's pride" 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 1851 to the tune of

今天我们要学的词是 to the tune of. Tune is spelled t-u-n-e, tune. To the tune of 有总计的意思。近年来,美国很多州石油和天然气产量出现增长。最新数字显示,Higher energy production in the states is boosting people's energy bottom line to the tune of $1200 per household per month. 这些州增加能源产量,让每户居民每个月的收入多了1200美元。可再生能源的使用要以基础设施的存在为前提。有研究说,The amount of investment required for new energy infrastructure, through 2030, will be something to the tune of $11 trillion. 到2030年,建设新能源设施需要的投入大约要11万亿美元。好的,今天我们学习的词是 to the tune of, to the tune of, to the tune of...

A: I think new energy is the way to go if China wants to solve big city pollution. I really hope we can see the blue sky again in Beijing like we used to.

B: True dat! But it's going to take a very long time to tackle the issue. You know, it took London 40 years to deal with the famous "London fog".

A:Yep, it's always hard to find a balance between protecting the environment and developing the economy. But now pollution is a stumbling block for China, I don't think we can hold any important international event until we get rid of the Beijing smog.

B:And...you mentioned a good idiom: stumbling block. Let's listen to today's words and idioms and check it out!

Words and Idioms 879 Stumbling Block

美国习惯用语第 879 讲

我先生准备在家开派对,请朋友来一起看世界杯总决赛。他早早就把客人名单和购物清单都列好了,现在剩下的唯一障碍就是-我。今年春节我们在家开派对,结果我整整做了一天的饭,又花了一天的时间打扫卫生。这就是为什么我坚决抵制在家开派对。这也让我想起一个可以跟大家分享的习惯用语,叫:

M: Stumbling block. Stumbling is spelled s-t-u-m-b-l-i-n-g, and block; b-l-o-c-k. Stumbling-block.

Stumbling block 意思是障碍物,绊脚石。就象刚才说的,我先生想在家开派对,请朋友一起看世界杯,我是他计划的唯一绊碉d石,I am the only stumbling block. 最后他没办法,只好同意,承担所有打扫卫生的工作。在下面这个例子里,一个汽车修配厂的车间主任,开会讨论如何才能绕过限制加班的规定,我们一起听。

M: "If there's any possibility of working overtime, we're going to have to get a change in our contract. As it is, we aren't allowed to put in more than 40 hours per week. That rule remains a STUMBLING BLOCK. Let's discuss a strategy for dealing with it at our next union meeting."

这个人说:要想有加班的可能性,我们就必需修改合同。按照目前的规定,我们每星期的工作量不得超过四十个小时。这项规定是我们的绊脚石,咱们下次工会开会的时候,可以讨论采取什么样的策略,解决这个问题。

我八岁的侄女觉得,只要撒娇就能说服她妈,允许她去扎耳朵眼儿。我知道,在这个问题上,我妹妹可不会轻易答应,我妹夫则是更难搬掉的 stumbling block,他绝不会同意八岁的女儿带耳环。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

M: "If there's any possibility of working overtime, we're going to have to get a change in our contract. As it is, we aren't allowed to put in more than 40 hours per week. That rule remains a STUMBLING BLOCK. Let's discuss a strategy for dealing with it at our next union meeting."

在下面的例子中,一个大学生正在考虑去哪儿度春假,让我们听听他有些什么选择:

M: "My friends and I are sick of all the winter weather. That's why we're thinking about heading down to Florida for spring break. But none of us have much money or a car. Those are a couple of STUMBLING BLOCKS we'll have to get around. Maybe we can pick up part-time jobs and earn some money and then rent a car!?"

这个人说:我跟我那些朋友都烦死冬天的天气了,所以想去佛罗里达过春假。可是我们这群人谁都没有钱,也没有车。这是我们必需解决的两大障碍。兴许我们可以去打点零工,赚钱租辆车。

这倒是个不赖的主意,不过,除了车,他们还得考虑住宿、吃饭、汽油费、和玩的开销。交通工具固然重要,但是这个学生好象没有考虑到其它这些 stumbling blocks. 好,我们再来听一下上面那个例句。

M: "My friends and I are sick of all the winter weather. That's why we're thinking about heading down to Florida for spring break. But none of us have much money or a car. Those are a couple of STUMBLING BLOCKS we'll have to get around. Maybe we can pick up part-time jobs and earn some money and then rent a car!?"

stumbling block 这个习惯用语早在十六世纪初期就开始出现了。不难想象,如果你在树林里散步,遇到被砍倒的树,不小心,可能会被剩下的一节树桩绊倒,这不就是 stumbling block 吗?

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: During the government shutdown, the lack of manpower was a stumbling block for producing our show.

B: You can say that again. With this whole shutdown thing being over, I really hope the two parties can work together and keep us from going through the same thing ever again.

A: 嗯! 好了,不谈政治了,我们接着来看看下面的内容!

B: You will totally love this topic Yang Lin. In today's business etiquette, we will teach you how to bargain!

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

礼节美语 Bargaining I

Gina带美国老板Jason去购物。

Gina: Good morning, Jason. How did you sleep?

Jason: Pretty well, thanks. Still feeling the effects of jet lag a bit, but last night I got at lease six hours of rest.

G: Great! So, are you ready for a full day of shopping?

J: Yep. Let's do it. I'm pretty excited!

G: I know a place that should be perfect. It's called the "China Friendship Shopping Center" and it's pretty much like an American mallexcept with more variety. You can even buy a live chicken there if you want.

Jason虽然有时差,但晚上睡得不错,做好了去购物的充分准备。Gina 要带他去“中国友谊购物中心”,It's just like an American mall. 跟美国的购物中心很象,mall is spelled m-a-l-l, mall, mall 是美国购物中心的通称,mall 里有很多店家,出售各种商品。

J: Live chicken? (Chuckle) Thanks, but no thanks. So....tell me about bargaining. How can I do it like a local?

G: Well. I'll be honest and say you'll never be as good at bargaining as a local person. You're a foreigner and the sellers can see that. But...if you're smart, you can get bargains that are not too far away from the "local price."

J: Cool! Teach me!

Jason听说购物中心还能买到活鸡,觉得很好笑,说 thanks, but no thanks,意思是谢谢,但不必了。Jason让Gina教他讨价还价,bargain is spelled b-a-r-g-a-i-n, bargain, 是砍价的意思,Gina 说,你长一张老外脸,不可能 as good at bargaining as a local person. 意思是不可能象本地人一样砍价,local is spelled l-o-c-a-l, local 意思是当地人。不过如果懂行的话,还是能拿到跟本地人差不多的价格的。

G: For starters, you want to do a lot of scouting first. You've got to know what things cost.

J: Someone told me to go to a convenience store and see how much a soft drink or a tube of toothpaste costs. The idea is that by comparing the prices of those items, you can figure out the relative prices of everything else.

G: That could be helpful. But when you go into a shopping center...prices become very flexible. You have to be able to read the market.

Gina说,Jason首先要去摸清情况, scout is spelled s-c-o-u-t, scout, scout 是搜集信息的意思。有人曾告诉Jason, 可以找个便利商店,a convenience store, 看看饮料、牙膏等生活用品的价格,了解大概齐的价格标准。但是 Gina 说,到了购物中心,价格弹性就会变得很大,所以还是要学会 read the market 弄懂市场行情。

A: 老板Jason准备去购物,Gina说,要先scout,搜集信息,找个便利店, a convenience store, 看看基本生活用品的价格,以便figure out the relative prices of everything, 了解相对价格。

B: It's hard to read the market as a foreigner. When I was in China, I thought everything was so cheap, but it turned out I always paid twice as much as the locals!

A: I know! It's the same everywhere! I got ripped off by a car mechanic because apparently he could tell that I'm not a local...

B: I'm sorry 杨琳! Next time bring a car expert, aka me, with you. I'm sure you won't get ripped off!

A: Ha thanks! I'll take it! 好了,我们接着来听听Gina的建议吧!

礼节美语 Bargaining II

Gina带美国老板Jason去购物,Jason让Gina教他砍价。

Jason: So what's the general amount that they mark up by? Thirty percent? Forty?

G: They could mark it up seventy percent or even one hundred! That's why you've got to have an in-depth working knowledge of local pricesthat way, if they quote an outrageous price, you can just laugh.

Jason 想知道购物中心商品标价一般要比合理价格高出多少,mark up 是把抬高价格的意思,相反的,mark down 则是减价销售。Gina 说,有时价格会故意标高70%,甚至100%,这也就是为什么要了解当地的价格行情,have an in-depth working knowledge of something 是深度了解的意思,in-depth is spelled i-n in, and d-e-p-t-h, depth, in-depth,这样如果别人 quote an outrageous price, 抬出宰人的高价,outrageous is spelled o-u-t-r-a-g-e-o-u-s, outrageous, 意思是超乎寻常的,另外需要注意的,要价动词用的是 quote, q-u-o-t-e, quote.

J: In America we generally can't get away with bargaining in many shops. The prices are listed on the price tag and that's that. Sometimes you can get a discount, but it's usually never more than ten percent or so.

G: In China, pretty much all prices are negotiable. Some vendors tell me they actually respect buyers who can drive a hard bargain.

J: That's interesting.

Jason说,在美国,商店都是明码标价,The prices are listed on the price tag. Price tag 是价格标签的意思,有时也能享受优惠discount, discount 是减价、打折的意思,但是一般很少超过百分之十。Gina 说,在中国,几乎所有价格都可以砍,negotiable is spelled n-e-g-o-t-i-a-b-l-e, negotiable是可以商量的意思。有些卖主甚至更瞧得起会砍价的买主,drive a hard bargain 是固定用法,意思是会砍价。

G: Yes...but of course the seller will always try to win the bargaining battle...that's the nature of the game.

J: Yeah, it is like a game, isn't it? Both people are bluffing, just like in poker.

G: That's right. But you have to get a sense of where the bottom line is. After a while you learn to recognize a look in the seller's eyes that says: I'm really not going to go any lower.

确实,砍价就象打牌,讨价还价的双方都要虚张声势,bluff is spelled b-l-u-f-f, bluff, bluff 是虚张声势的意思。Gina 说,没错,关键是要识别卖主的底线,bottom line, 要能从卖主的眼神里看出,他真的不会再降价了。砍价还有其他招数吗?我们下次继续听。

A: I totally enjoy bargaining at 秀水街! All the prices are negotiable.

B: I think I enjoy the American style. The prices are listed on the price tag, and you normally don't get ripped off.

A: 没错! 我们接着来听Gina给Jason支招吧!

礼节美语 Bargaining III

Gina带美国老板Jason去购物,Jason让Gina教他砍价。

Jason: What about walking away? Some friends back home told me if I don't like the price, just walk away and the vendor will run out and give me their best price.

G: (Chuckle) Oh...the vendors know that tactic as well! The shopkeeper will only chase you if they are 99.9 percent sure you'll buy something. They have a knack of knowing who is serious and who isn't.

J: So, what's our first purchase of the day going to be?

Jason问,如果觉得卖主是在宰自己,转身就走这招管不管用。Gina 说, 这种策略卖主早就知道,tactic is spelled t-a-c-t-i-c, tactic 是策略的意思,卖主只有在觉得你百分99.9会在他那买东西的情况下才会追出来,而且他们一眼就能看出谁是真心要买,knack is spelled k-n-a-c-k, knack, have a knack of doing something, 是十分擅长做某事的意思。他们今天先要去买什么呢?

G: I think we should start with some silk items. First, I'll make sure it's the genuine article and not a fake. Then we'll start bargaining.

J: Can I pay with a credit card?

G: In an established store, sure. But when we go into the area with lots of little stalls, they generally only take cash. Also when they see cash in your hand...prices do come down a bit more.

Gina 建议去买丝绸制品,她要先确认产品是真货,不是fake,假货,然后开始砍价。Gina 还说,在 established store 正规的大商店里,Jason 可以用信用卡付费,pay with a credit card, 但在小店里,就要用现金了,而且卖方看到你手里拿着现金,the prices do come down a bit more 价格能降得更低些。

J: We have an expression in English: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

G: Oh...I think I get it. That means it's better to have something tangible, even if it's not as exciting as other possibilities.

J: That's right. You know something, Gina? I think I like China's way of doing business. It's a little wild, but it's a challenge and much more interesting than shopping back home.

G: Ah...there's the store. Now let's get down to business.

英语里有种说法叫 a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush 一鸟在手胜过两鸟在林,意思是现在已经有的,要比追求更多而失去一切强。Jason说,他觉得中国人讨价还价的购物方式比明码标价更有意思,更具挑战性。正说着,商店到了,Gina 说,let's get down to business. 开始了,意思是咱们开始杀价吧。

A: I think using cash can help you save money. Whenever I have my credit card in hand, I always overspend!

B: Well, you can use it like a debit card and be sure to pay it back every month! Never carry too much debt, it will eat you up in the end!

A: True, true! I don't want to end up like you! (B: Hey...) 好了,砍价就到这里,我们来听今天的最后一个单元,学学swallow one's pride 这个短语是什么意思!

Words and Idioms 880 Swallow One's Pride

美国习惯用语第 880 讲

我昨天跟同事争得面红耳赤。美国联邦最高法院明明是11位大法官,可她非说只有9个,我还理直气壮地说人家连这点基本常识都没有,结果一查,才知道,原来真是9个,是我自己错了。这也让我想起一个可以跟大家分享的习惯用语,叫:

M: Swallow one's pride. Swallow is spelled s-w-a-l-l-o-w, and pride; p-r-i-d-e. Swallow-one's-pride.

Swallow 是吞咽,pride 是骄傲,从字面上看,swallow one's pride 意思是吞下自己的骄傲,引伸为放下自尊,忍气吞声。本来嘛,最高法院明明只有9个大法官,我却很无知地非说有11个,最后也只好忍气吞声地承认自己错了。I had to swallow my pride and admitted that I was wrong. 在下面这个例子里,意大利厨师罗伯特好象跟我有类似遭遇,不过人家处理得可比我强多了。我们一起听。

M: "Chef Roberto has received almost every honor for his Italian cooking. Yet, despite his years of experience, he accidentally cut his finger on live television last week. He could have pretended that nothing had happened. Instead he SWALLOWED HIS PRIDE, joking that even he makes mistakes from time to time."

这段话意思是:罗伯特厨师凭借一手意大利厨艺,几乎赢过所有烹调比赛。尽管他有如此丰富的经验,上星期还是不小心在电视上切破了手指。他本来可以装得若无其事,可他没有这样做,而是放下自尊心,开玩笑说,就连他,也会时不时犯点儿错误。

或许,这样做反而更能得到大家的尊重。不久前,日本丰田汽车公司发现,已经出厂的数百万辆汽车都有毛病,于是, They SWALLOWED their PRIDE,宣布召回这些车辆,免费检修。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

M: "Chef Roberto has received almost every honor for his Italian cooking. Yet, despite his years of experience, he accidentally cut his finger on live television last week. He could have pretended that nothing had happened. Instead he SWALLOWED HIS PRIDE, joking that even he makes mistakes from time to time."

我打电子游戏,早就不是八岁女儿的对手了,认输成了家常便饭,但是下面例子里这个当舅舅的,下棋输给七岁的侄子,却感到十分意外。让我们听听他是怎么说的:

M: "When my seven-year-old nephew begged me to play chess, I indulged him. My plan was to let him take out a few of my pieces to build his confidence. Imagine when he checkmated me within four moves! That was humiliating. I'm not used to SWALLOWING MY PRIDE, but I had to admit defeat and congratulate him.

这个人说:我七岁的侄子求我跟他下棋,我同意陪他下一盘。我本来打算让他几个子儿,帮他建立点自信心。谁知道,他只走了四步,就将了我的军。太丢人了。我虽然不习惯忍气吞声地放下自尊,但还是不得不认输,并向他表示祝贺。

这不算什么。我有个朋友,准备求婚的前一天,被女朋友甩了,He had to swallow his pride and return the engagement ring. 他不得不放下自尊,回到珠宝店,把订婚戒指退掉。好,我们再来听一下上面那个例句。

M: "When my seven-year-old nephew begged me to play chess, I indulged him. My plan was to let him take out a few of my pieces to build his confidence. Imagine when he checkmated me within four moves! That was humiliating. I'm not used to SWALLOWING MY PRIDE, but I had to admit defeat and congratulate him."

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 think I need to swallow my pride and admit that your are more critical to the show than I am.

B: WHAT? REALLY?

A: No, but you could imagine! 好了同学们,这次节目时间就到这里了。

A: See you next time!
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