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中国时间: 07:07 2016年12月11日星期日

美语训练班第130课

  • 美国之音

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

A: And I'm Lin Yang.

B: What kinds of topics should you avoid in conversations? Do you know the social faux pas in western culture? We will offer you some tips in today's business etiquette.

A: 实体店会不会在未来生活中消失? 我们在下面节目中为你介绍。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what "out of hand" and "take a turn for the better" 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 1860 showroom

今天我们要学的词是 showroom. Showroom is spelled s-h-o-w-r-o-o-m, showroom. Showroom 是陈列室,展示厅的意思。日本东京获得2020年夏季奥运会主办权后,The number of visitors to apartment showrooms in the area where the Olympic Village will be built saw a big jump. 计划筹建奥运村的地区,去看公寓样品房的人数大增。我们现在日常生活中的哪些东西在不久的将来会消失呢?美国一家研究未来发展趋势的机构就此发表报告,报告中提到,Brick-and-mortar stores as we know them will likely become nothing more than showrooms. 现在生活中的实体店将来很可能也就起个展示商品的作用。好的,今天我们学习的词是 showroom, showroom, showroom...

A: I totally prefer shopping in a real store to shopping online. I never really trust what I’m getting unless I can see it first hand, especially when it comes to clothes.

B: I think E-commerce is extremely convenient. You just look online and pick whatever you want.
Buying is just a click away! A lot of times you don’t even have to pay for shipping!

A: But it’s also really easy to let things get out of hand. Sometimes when you are shopping online, you feel like you are not spending very much, but you end up maxing out your credit cards!

B: I guess that’s something I need to pay attention to. And…you just mentioned a good idiom: out of hand. Let's listen to today's words and idioms and check it out!

Words and Idioms 883 out of hand

美国习惯用语第 883 讲

每次家里人聚会,最高兴的就是孩子。我有好几个侄子、侄女,都是八、九岁上下。小时候,他们总要闹得鸡飞狗跳,但是这两年好多了,更懂事,更听话了。这也让我想起一个习惯用语,叫:

M: Out of hand. Out is spelled o-u-t. Out. Hand is spelled h-a-n-d. Hand. Out of hand.

大家都知道,hand 是手的意思。out of hand 这个习惯用语就是很难管,很难控制的意思。比如说,几个半大不小的孩子在一起,闹得天翻地覆,就可以说是 out of hand. 再比如,开会的时候两个人唇枪舌战,最后吵了起来,就可以说当时的局面 got out of hand. 在下面这个例子中,一群大学生开派对,最后为什么招来了警察?我们一起听。

M: "Everything was going fine until these guys got into a fight for some reason, then their drunk friends all joined in, then some idiot threw a chair through a window. It really got OUT OF HAND. The police had to come by and break it up."

这段话意思是:本来一切都是好好的,可是这帮人后来不知道为什么原因打了起来,他们那些喝醉了的哥们儿也都过来帮忙,不知哪个傻瓜居然把椅子从窗户扔了出去。当时的情况真是彻底失去了控制,最后只好叫警察来,才把他们拉开。

听起来真是够乱的。It really got OUT OF HAND. 我家对面的房子就出租给了几个大学生,每到周末都开派对,有时半夜三更还有人唱歌。

说起局面失控,我昨天看到两个拳击选手比赛前开记者会,结果当场差点儿打起来。The situation almost got out of hand. 好在双方教练马上把他们拉开了。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

M: "Everything was going fine until these guys got into a fight for some reason, then their drunk friends all joined in, then some idiot threw a chair through a window. It really got OUT OF HAND. The police had to come by and break it up."

Out of hand 这个习惯用语由来已久,大约八百年前,就有人开始说 in hand, 意思是处于掌控之中。后来,大约十六世纪的时候,又出现了跟 in hand 意思恰恰相反的 out of hand, 意思是失去了控制。

这一轮经济衰退,使很多人都开始反省美国人的信用卡消费文化。让我们一起听听下面这个人是怎么说的。

M: "My wife and I had to cut up our credit cards. We kept buying things we couldn't afford and our credit debt was getting OUT OF HAND. Now we're just trying to pay everything off."

这个人说:我和太太不得不把我们所有的信用卡都剪掉。我们没完没了地买那些根本负担不起的东西,因为刷卡而欠下的债务已经失去控制了。我们现在要努力把欠的钱都付清。

刷卡真的很容易一发不可收拾 get out of hand,尤其是信用卡债务一般都有很高的利息,用不了多久,就能欠一大笔钱。这次经济衰退,让很多美国人意识到理财的重要性,知道了不能让信用卡上的债务变得 out of hand. 好,我们再来听一下上面那个例句。

M: "My wife and I had to cut up our credit cards. We kept buying things we couldn't afford and our credit debt was getting OUT OF HAND. Now we're just trying to pay everything off."

每年年底前后,我都会接二连三地开派对,体重也跟着往上蹿。所以一过元旦,我就要开始控制饮食,加紧锻炼,为的就是不让体重 get out of hand. 好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束,去健身房的时间也到了。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: I do think using cash will help you save. It helps make you more aware of how much you are spending, so it’s easier to make adjustment if you overspend in one particular area.

B: I agree. But for me…I’m just so easily tempted by food! If I see something exotic, I desperately want to try it. Unfortunately, dining in DC is expensive.

A: That’s true. Look at those love handles…

B: Let me remind you again, talking about weight is a very sensitive topic in western culture…

A: I’m kidding, kidding! Speaking of sensitive topics, we will talk about some social faux pas in today’s business etiquette!

B: So you won’t make inappropriate comments. Let’s go check it out!

礼节美语 BE-255 Sensitivity Training Money I

晚宴结束,Jason跟同事Harold一起往外走。Jason说:

Jason: That was a lovely party, wasn't it?

Harold: Yes, it was. The food was pretty good, too.

J: I was a little puzzled about something, though.

H: What was that?

J: At one point in our conversation, Mr. Jones gave me a really funny look...it was almost like I'd broken some sort of a rule.

H: Oh, yes...well you did ask him how much he paid for his apartment.

J: And? What's wrong with asking someone how much they paid for a piece of property? Back in China everybody talks about buying and selling apartments.

Jason是从中国来的,在晚会上问东道主Mr. Jones公寓是多少钱买的。Mr. Jones gave me a really funny look. Mr. Jones 看他的表情有些奇怪,好象他这样问犯了什么大忌。a funny look意思是说不清楚的奇怪表情。Jason 说,在中国,大家见面就是谈房子,因此他不懂,What's wrong with asking someone how much they paid for a piece of property? 问别人买房子花了多少钱有什么不妥呢?Harold解释说:

H: Yeah, I know....but in many Western societies, talking about money in public is a faux pas.

J: What's a faux pas?

H: It's a French term that means a social blunder. Questions like that are considered a little bit impolite.

J: Really? I had no idea. Back in China, it's not generally a problem to ask about how much something costs.

H: I know you meant no offense. When I was assigned to Guangzhou for 6 months, people frequently ask me how much my monthly salary is.

Harold解释说,在很多西方国家,公开谈钱是 faux pas, faux pas is spelled f-a-u-x, faux and pas p-a-s, pas, faux pas 也就是 social blunder 在社交上忌讳做的事,属于失礼的行为。Jason听了觉得很出乎意料,说自己完全不知情,I had no idea. 因为在中国,询问财物的价钱完全不是问题。Harold说,I know you meant no offense. 我知道你不是故意冒犯 Mr. Jones. Harold说自己派驻广州半年时,就经常有人问他每个月的工资是多少。Jason说:

J: That's funny, because Western society seems so open. People talk about all kinds of private things that we wouldn't bring up in China. Buy money is a no-no, huh?

H: If your Western friend buys something for a really good price, he or she might mention it to you by saying something like, "Take a look at this camera that I got on sale for only $99 dollars." But unless the person is a close friend, we almost never ask how much something costs.

J: So, do you avoid talking about money so that people with less money don't feel bad?

Jason 觉得很有意思的是,西方社会如此开放,对很多中国不敢涉猎的私人问题都可以拿到台面上来说,但是 money is a no-no. 钱的问题却是个禁区。no-no 两个no连在一起,中间加个连接线,是一种非正式用法,名词,意思是不可以,不被接受的事情。西方人回避谈钱,是因为怕刺激没钱的人吗?我们下次继续听。

A: Jason说,东道主Mr. Jones gave him a funny look,看他的表情很奇怪。Harold说,这是因为Jason问他房子是多少钱买的,在西方国家,随便谈钱是a faux pas, 社交禁忌,虽然很多其他事情都可以谈, but money is a no-no,钱的问题是个禁区。

B: When I was in China, I got asked about how much I make or how much I pay for rent, like ALL THE TIME. At first it was annoying, but later I just tried to answer briefly and change the topic to something more interesting.

A: I guess you have to develop some canned answers for certain questions like that if you spend enough time in a foreign country.

B: True. Let’s keep listen to Harold and see how he’s going to explain this to Jason!

礼节美语 BE-256 Sensitivity Training Money II

晚宴结束,Jason跟同事Harold一起往外走。Jason是从中国来的,对西方人交往时回避谈钱的问题感到不解,问这样做是不是为了不去刺激那些没什么钱的人。Harold回答说:

Harold: Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head. Also, I think many Westerners believe that if you're rich, you should be quiet about it. In fact, I believe many wealthy people in the West feel a little bit guilty.

J: Why would they feel guilty?

H: Because so many other people work very hard, but never become successful. When the wealthy turn on TV, they see so much pain and suffering.... but their own lives are so comfortable.

J: Ah....I can understand that. If I were a wealthy person I think I'd feel the same way.

Harold说Jason, you hit the nail on the head. 你说得一点没错。to hit the nail on the head 意思是一下子就说到了点子上,还有两种类似的说法,一种是 you are right on. 另外一种说法是 you are right on the money. 都是同样的意思。Harold说,因为西方很多人不喜欢炫富,有些人还会因为自己太有钱,而其他人生活贫苦而感到内疚。Harold 说:

H: It's interesting that some of the most successful entrepreneurs such as John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates ended up setting up charity organizations and giving away a large portion of the money they made.

J: So you're saying that Bill Gates, for example, doesn't necessarily think he deserves all the money he made....he knows a part of it was luck, right?

H: Yeah. Bill Gates is a computer genius, but he was there at the right place and the right time.

J: That's a good attitude. It's good to remember that hard work and good luck often go hand-in-hand. Okay, so one more time....what's the etiquette when it comes to talking about money with Westerners?

Harold说,这也就是为什么比尔.盖茨和洛克菲勒这种成功的企业家最后都会 end up setting up charity organizations 成立慈善机构,把钱捐出去。虽说比尔.盖茨是电脑天才,但他的成功在很大程度上也是靠机遇,He was there at the right place and the right time. 他在正确的时间出现在了正确的地方,类似中文里说的天时地利人和。Jason很欣赏这种心态,因为 hard work and good luck often go hand-in-hand. 勤奋和运气二者往往必须兼备才能成功。

H: If the person doesn't volunteer information about how much something costs...don't bring it up. Don't ask about personal savings or salary.

J: Is it OK to comment on or praise someone's possessions? If you have a really nice car, can I say, "Wow...nice car?"

H: Yes, that's fine. It only gets complicated when you start talking about specific prices.

J: I see your point. Topics like that could lead to embarrassment.

H: Exactly. Maybe Mr. Jones' apartment was really expensive, but his company paid for it...or maybe he overpaid and got a bad deal....in either case, it's easier for everyone if we don't discuss it in public.

Harold最后总结说,在西方,除非别人主动告诉你,否则不要问人家赚多少工资,有多少存款,买东西花了多少钱这类问题,可以夸别人的东西好,但不要询问价钱,免得彼此尴尬。

A: Harold解释说,在西方, 富人一般don’t show off不会炫富,很多成功的企业家都会set up charity organizations,成立慈善机构。所以除非主人主动提起,一般不要get into specifics, 不要具体问一个东西多少钱。

B: I agree. You can complement someone on their personal possessions, but unless you are talking to your best buddy, don’t bring up the topic of money.

A: It’s indeed fascinating to see how different western and eastern cultures are.

B: That’s what makes the world a more interesting place, diversity! Alright, enough about faux pas, let's go ahead with our class.

A: Let's listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1862 Seasonally

今天我们要学的词是 seasonally. Seasonally is spelled s-e-a-s-o-n-a-l-l-y, seasonally. Seasonally,受季节影响地。美国房地产市场仍然波动频繁,但是 Overall, housing market rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.9%。考惮7b季节调节因素,房地产市场以每年0.9%的速度增长。营养专家建议,我们应该吃应季的食物。Experts suggest eating seasonally because our bodies require different nutrients throughout the differing seasons. 专家建议应该吃应季的食品,因为我们的身体在不同季节需要不同的营养成分。好的,今天我们学习的词是seasonally, seasonally, seasonally.

A: Eating seasonally is healthy; your body needs different kind of nutrients at different times of the year. 像我们中国人说, 冬季吃羊肉进补,夏季吃羊肉上火,就是这个意思!

B: True. But I totally prefer frozen meals. You just slap it in the microwave! It’s super easy and saves a lot of time!

A: That’s why you still have those love handles, Mike! Eating fresh is going to help you get better nutrients and maintain a good shape! You should learn how to cook, take a turn for the better…

B: Haha, luckily my girlfriend is so good at cooking! And you just mentioned what we are going to learn next: take a turn for the better.

A: 我们来听今天的美国习惯用语,学学这个短语的用法!

Words and Idioms 884 take a turn for the better

美国习惯用语第 884 讲

今天我总算是松了口气! 昨天,我姑姑突然觉得胸口疼、头晕、想吐,结果被送到了急救中心! 还好,医生给她检查完之后,她已经不那么难受了。在放心之余,我还想起了一个习惯用语,那就是:

M: Take a turn for the better. Turn is spelled t-u-r-n, and better; b-e-t-t-e-r. Take-a-turn-for-the-better. Take a turn for the better.

大家都知道,Turn是“转变”的意思,而better表示“更好”,所以“take a turn for the better”就是说“情况好转”。比如说,我姑姑原本生病,但后来身体逐渐恢复,我就可以说 Her health took a turn for the better. 在下面这个例子中,一个失业的人守得云开见月明。我们一起来听。

M: "After being unemployed for 6 months, I was getting desperate. Nobody seemed to be hiring and my bank account was running low. Then my job search TOOK A TURN FOR THE BETTER. A recruiter called me and managed to set me up with an interview at an accounting firm. Now I'm working again."

这段话意思是:我已经六个月没工作了,心情沮丧极了。现在,好像所有的公司都不雇人了,我银行里的存款也快用光了。就在这时,情况出现了转机。有个猎头打来电话,他帮我联络到了一家会计公司,让我去面试。现在,我又有工作啦!

这可真是柳暗花明又一村! 找不到工作的确很急人,不过你不要放弃希望,试着联系一下以前的同事,他们可能知道一些雇人的信息。只要找到正确的门路,你得到工作的前景就会TAKE A TURN FOR THE BETTER. 好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

M: "After being unemployed for 6 months, I was getting desperate. Nobody seemed to be hiring and my bank account was running low. Then my job search TOOK A TURN FOR THE BETTER. A recruiter called me and managed to set me up with an interview at an accounting firm. Now I'm working again."

俗话说,人生不如意事十之八九。 所以,遇到挫折时千万不要放弃希望,因为生活可能会突然 TAKE A TURN FOR THE BETTER, 让我们来听听下面这个人的故事:

M: "I never expected to find myself alone. But two years ago, I lost my wife to cancer. All the joy I had known disappeared. I was lost until a friend introduced me to Carrie a few months ago. Ever since we went on our first date, my life has TAKEN A TURN FOR THE BETTER. I can hardly believe how happy I am thanks to her."

这个人说:我从没想过自己会孤单地生活。可是,两年前,癌症夺走了我太太。所有的快乐都离我而去,也让我失去了生活的目标。可是,几个月前,有个朋友给我介绍了Carrie。从我们第一次约会开始,我的人生就完全改观了。她给我带来了难以置信的快乐。

这个人真幸运,迎来了爱情的第二春,他一定和新女友有很多甜蜜的约会。不过,并不是所有约会都是美好的。有一次,我和先生去餐馆吃饭,过结婚周年,开头挺浪漫的,可服务员上菜时一个不留神,把整盘菜扣在了我的新裙子上! 约会彻底砸了! 在这个时候,你就可以说 THE DATE TOOK A TURN FOR THE WORSE。 这和TAKE A TURN FOR THE BETTER 正好相反,指的是情况变差。你还可以说,公司的生意 TOOK A TURN FOR THE WORSE,业务一落千丈;或者和某人的恋情 TOOK A TURN FOR THE WORSE,感情亮起红灯。我们再来听一下上面那个例句:

M: "I never expected to find myself alone. But two years ago, I lost my wife to cancer. All the joy I had known disappeared. I was lost until a friend introduced me to Carrie a few months ago. Ever since we went on our first date, my life has TAKEN A TURN FOR THE BETTER. I can hardly believe how happy I am thanks to her."

希望你能多练习我们学过的习惯用语,只要坚持,你的英语水平就能 TAKE A TURN FOR THE BETTER! 好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束,

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Well, I think our show is going to take a turn for the better after the New Year!

B: Really? But I’m going on an extended leave right after the New Year.

A: Exactly…….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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