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中国时间: 01:21 2016年12月11日星期日

美语训练班第132课

  • 美国之音

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

A: And I'm Lin Yang.

B: Bullet trains are popular in Asian and European countries, but are nowhere to be found in the United States. In today's business etiquette, we will introduce to you the ways Americans travel.

A: 今年最棒的一部电影会是什么? 我们在下面的节目中为你介绍。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what "tit for tat" and "to a tee" 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 1885 hands-down

今天我们要学的词是 hands-down. Hands-down is spelled h-a-n-d-s, hands, and d-o-w-n, down, hands-down. Hands-down 意思是肯定地,轻而易举地。流感季节到了。In terms of safety and effectiveness, soap and water beats sanitizers hands-down. 从安全和有效性的角度看,用肥皂和清水洗手,绝对胜过洗手液。2013年还没有结束,不过,很多影评家都认为,Captain Philips, played by Tom Hanks, is hands-down the best movie of the year. 汤姆.汉克斯出演的菲利普斯船长绝对是今年最棒的一部电影。好的,今天我们学习的词是 hands-down, hands-down, hands-down.

A: So how was your Thanksgiving Mike?

B: It was great! We had a great traditional thanksgiving dinner: we had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie!

A: Wow, that's a lot of food! Sounds like it could feed an army!

B: Yep, we have a saying in my family: calories don't count on Thanksgiving. It's a holiday about overfeeding yourself, and enjoy quality time with the people you love.
A: That's the holiday spirit! We do the same thing during The Spring Festival in China.

B: Yep, from how you looked when you came back last year, I could tell!

A: A tit for tat, Mike, I'm going to get back at you...just wait for it...

B: Haha, I'll waiting right here! And...you mentioned a good idiom: tit for tat. Let's listen to today's words and idioms and find out what it means!

Words and Idioms 887 TIT FOR TAT

美国习惯用语第 887 讲

人们常说远亲不如近邻,可邻里间闹矛盾的事儿也不少。这不,我隔壁的邻居Jean就对对门的邻居Alice不满,说Alice总是不参加公共区域的大扫除。Jean还说,为了给Alice一个教训,她决定不参加Alice组织的rummage sale--清仓义卖会。这两个人你来我往的,让我想到了一个习惯用语,那就是:

M: Tit for tat. Tit is spelled t-i-t, and tat; t-a-t. Tit-for-tat. Tit for tat.

Tit for tat 就是“以牙还牙”,以同样的方式报复。我的邻居Jean对Alice就是tit for tat:你不参加集体扫除?那好,我也不会在你组织的活动中出力。这可以说是“以其人之道还治其人之身”。

在生活中,这种针尖对麦芒的事儿经常发生。我们来听听一个父亲是怎么描述他的两个女儿的:

M: "My daughters have really been acting childishly lately. It started when Ginny borrowed Esther's game without asking. As a result, Esther wouldn't let Ginny play with her doll. That made Ginny so mad she took back the book she'd lent Esther. How much longer is this TIT FOR TAT going to last?"

这段话意思是:最近,我两个女儿都在耍小孩脾气。事情的起因是Ginny没和Esther打招呼就擅自拿走了Esther的游戏。结果,Esther就不让Ginny玩儿她的布娃娃了。这下子,Ginny不干了,把以前借给Esther的书抢了回来。不知道她们这种针锋相对的报复还要持续多长时间。

哈哈,小孩子之间常有这种事儿,你打我一下,我就必须得踢你一脚,谁也不愿意吃亏! 让我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: "My daughters have really been acting childishly lately. It started when Ginny borrowed Esther's game without asking. As a result, Esther wouldn't let Ginny play with her doll. That made Ginny so mad she took back the book she’d lent Esther. How much longer is this TIT FOR TAT going to last?"

不过,别以为这种事情只发生在小孩儿身上,有些成年人也会这样以牙还牙以眼还眼地相互报复,而这种行为可能会带来严重的后果! 比如,在下面这段话中,一个城市的犯罪量突然增加,我们来听听是什么原因。

M: "The police investigator determined that the sudden increase of crimes was no coincidence. A gang of drug dealers wanted to punish a rival gang for shooting their leader. That led to a TIT FOR TAT series of murders, kidnappings and arsons that has paralyzed the city."

这段话的意思说:警方的调查人员膂b定,犯罪行为突然增加并非偶然。一个贩毒团伙的头目被对立的帮派枪杀了,这个团伙于是展开报复行动。这导致双方以牙还牙的交恶,从谋杀、绑架到纵火,无所不为。整个城市因此陷入瘫痪状态。

每次听到这种消息,我总是既愤怒又伤心。前几天,华盛顿还发生了类似的事。一个年青人为了报复偷自己金项链的小偷,在街上开枪,结果打死了好几个路人。更讽刺的是,那个所谓的“报复目标”其实并不是偷他项链的人,是他认错了! 唉,这一切是多么愚蠢! 我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: "The police investigator determined that the sudden increase of crimes was no coincidence. A gang of drug dealers wanted to punish a rival gang for shooting their leader. That led to a TIT FOR TAT series of murders, kidnappings and arsons that has paralyzed the city."

Tit for tat 这个说法从16世纪中叶就有了,可见,人类千百年来都是爱记仇和报复。唉! 我觉得,大家在生活中都应该把肚量放大些,不要对人睚眦必报。比如,上个礼拜,我发现有个同事把我放在冰箱里的午饭给吃了。我就想,她一定是看错了,拿错了,我不会幼稚到隔天去偷她的午饭,作为报复。I refused to engage in a tit for tat。

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: I usually refuse to engage in a tit for tat. I find most of the time, letting go is way more useful than trying to get revenge.

B: I agree. People tend to treat you the way you treat them, so being nice and forgiving to your friends actually means having friends who will treat you well in return.

A: True. Speaking of which, could you offer me a ride to the airport for my flight back to China? Please?

B: Ugh...I knew something was coming...

A; Haha, I will take that as a yes! It's really inconvenient that there's no bullet trains here in the U.S., otherwise I would just take that!

B: Tell me about it. Bullet trains are widely popular in Asian countries, but people in America seems to prefer other forms of transportation.

A: We will get to know some American ways of traveling in today's business etiquette.

B: Let's go take a look!

礼节美语BE-259 Bullet Trains I

Lewis 在走廊上遇到同事 Jay.

Lewis: Hi, Jay!

J: Hi, Lewis. Are you ready for your big trip to Chicago?

L: Oh, yeah! I'm gonna nail the presentation.

J: I'm sure you will. Hey, I thought I remembered from an earlier conversation that you have relatives in the states, right? Any chance you'll get to see them?

L: I'd like to, but they're not in Chicago. My uncle moved to LA five years ago. I was thinking about going over to visit him but I don't have a lot of time...maybe I could just hop on a bullet train from Chicago.

Lewis要到美国芝加哥出差,对完成任务信心满满,说自己一定会 nail the presentation 出色完成演示任务。在英语里,to nail something 意思是出色完成某事。比如,父母问你考试考得好不好,你就可以回答说,I nailed it. 我考得好极了。Jay问Lewis是否准备顺便去看望一下自己在美国的亲戚。Lewis说,叔叔五年前搬去洛杉矶,离芝加哥很远,他时间有限,准备 hop on a bullet train from Chicago. bullet train 子弹头列车,相当于高铁。 Jay说,

J: That's not going to be possible.

L: Why not? It's probably only a few hours ride.

J: America doesn't have any bullet trains.

L: Really? You're kidding me!

J: No, actually I'm quite serious. The fastest train we have is called the Amtrak Acela Express. It goes from Boston to Washington DC, via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. But it's not really a bullet train....The Acela Express generally runs at not much more than 130 kilometers an hour.

L: One hundred and 30 kilometers an hour? That's not a high-speed train.

Jay说,美国没有高铁,最快的列车是 Amtrak Acela Express, 从波士顿到华盛顿特区,途经过巴尔迪摩,费城和纽约。可即便是这趟列车,一般时速也就是130多公里。Lewis说,Really? You're kidding me! 表示难以置信。

J: Sometimes the Amtrak train can push speeds up to over 240 kilometers per hour, but most of the time it cruises at only around 130.

L: Wow! I thought America was more advanced than that. We have trains that can easily run at 300 kilometers an hour! Japanese bullet trains run at about 260 and the Europe super fast trains travel at almost 300 kilometers an hour!

J: Yeah I know. Even Taiwan has a high-speed rail that goes at least 200 kilometers an hour. But America is a very large country, and for the last several decades flying has been cheap and easy.

Amtrak虽然最快也能飙到时速240公里,但一般情况下,只保持在130公里左右匀速行驶,这里用的动词 cruise, cruise is spelled c-r-u-i-s-e, cruise 意思是不紧不慢地匀速前进。Jay说,美国地域辽阔,坐飞机方便便宜,这也许是铁路不发达的原因之一。

A: Lewis本来准备hop on a bullet train,乘坐高铁去看他在洛杉矶的叔叔,但是Jay说, that's not going to be possible, 那是不可能的,因为美国没有高铁。Jay说,美国最快的列车是 Amtrak, 但也是 cruises at only around 130,只保持在130公里左右匀速行驶, it's not a high-speed train at all. 完全没有达到高铁的要求。

B: Yeah, America is a very large country, and flying is very affordable here. A lot of people also love to go on road trips!

A: I know! My uncle used to drive 2 hours to work and 2 hours back, that's 4 hours total in travel time! But he seemed to be fine with it!

B: I enjoy driving as well. Get ya some great music, snacks, and maybe a hot dog or two, and you are ready to hit the road! Road trips are my favorite way of seeing the U.S.

A: That sounds like you! 我们接着来听Jay如何介绍美国人的交通习惯吧!

礼节美语BE-260 Bullet Trains II

Lewis要去美国芝加哥出差,想坐高铁去洛杉矶看家人,但同事Jay告诉他说,美国没有高铁,原因之一是坐飞机十分方便。

Lewis: So there's been no incentive to build super fast trains.

Jay: Yeah, that's right. Also, Americans like to drive.

L: I've noticed in a lot of movies that Americans seem to enjoy road trips.

J: I'm from San Francisco, and I have friends who live in Los Angeles. It's a nine-or-10-hour drive, but I've done it many times. There's no convenient public transport in L.A. so I would have to rent a car anyway. So I just load up my CD player with good music, grab some coffee and hit the road.

除了坐飞机,美国人还喜欢开车。They enjoy road trips. Road trips 就是开车去一个地方,边走边玩。Jay说,从加州旧金山开到洛杉矶,需要九到十个小时,他来回开过很多趟,每次都是准备了好听的音乐,带上咖啡,然后就上路了。 hit the road 是上路的意思,hit 在口语里,后面还经常跟 the gym, to hit the gym 就是去健身房。

L: So driving really is a part of American culture.

J: Yeah. Most of us get our first driver's license when we are around 16 years old. I used to drive about an hour and a half to work every day--that's three hours round-trip-- and I didn't think it was a big deal.

L: So aside from New York, there really isn't much public transport infrastructure in the U.S.?

J: Many U.S. cities have some kind of light rail or subway system but except for New York, they don't really completely cover the city in the same way as the Beijing or Shanghai subway does.

看来,开车还真是美国文化的一个重要部分。Jay说,美国孩子16岁左右就可以拿驾照。他以前每天开三个小时上下班,and he didn't think it was a big deal. 而且也没觉得这有什么大不了的。 a big deal 经常在口语里出现。比如,It's a big deal for me. 这对我很重要。What's the big deal? 有那么严重吗?It's no big deal. 没什么大不了的。美国的很多城市都有地铁火车,但是除了纽约以外,其他城市的公交系统都不像北京或是上海的地铁那么发达。

L: I think high-speed trains are great! They are safe, fast, quiet and convenient. You can work on your laptop or read a book...it's a good way to relax.

J: That's true...driving can be very stressful. Americans have been talking about building high-speed rail lines for years. But to be honest, I don't know when or if it's ever going to happen.

L: Well, I hope they start building them soon. But in any case...I'm going to have to look into flights to LA now.

J: Yep. And you're probably gonna have to rent a car when you get there. Good luck and have a great trip!
L: Thanks Jay! See you in a couple weeks.

坐高铁可以放松,看看电脑读读书,不像开车,会让人 stressful精神疲劳。不过没办法,Lewis 这次出差,如果想从芝加哥到洛杉矶去,就必须得 look into flights 看看坐哪趟班机了。

A: Jay说,driving is part of the American culture. 开车是美国文化根深蒂固的一部分,美国人一般16岁就拿驾照了。美国人喜欢road trips, 边开车边玩儿,所以铁路系统非常不发达。Lewis说,I'd better look into flights, 看看坐哪趟班机去看自己的叔叔了。

B: Yep! In big cities like DC, you probably can live without a car, but in places like my hometown, you are not going to have a social life if you don't own a car.

A: I know what you are talking about. When I just got here, I didn't have a car for two years. And living in California without a car is a total nightmare, you basically can't go anywhere!

B: Yep! Alright, enough about road trips, let's go ahead with our class.
A: Let's listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1889 exhibit

今天我们要学的词是 exhibit. Exhibit is spelled e-x-h-i-b-i-t, exhibit. Exhibit 意思是展览。The Smithsonian Institution is putting on what is believed to be the first art exhibit on yoga. 据信是第一个关于瑜珈的艺术展在史密森学会的博物馆隍7d展。The Chicago History Museum is relying on online "crowd sourcing" to come up with an exhibit idea. 芝加哥历史博物馆在网上征求意见,集思广益,寻找有趣的展览主题。A photo exhibit on super storm Sandy opened on the storm's one-year anniversary. 超级风暴桑迪一周年之际,一个关于桑迪的摄影展正式开幕。好的,今天我们学习的词是 exhibit, exhibit, exhibit.

A: I love museums, and that's one of the most attractive things about DC. So many free museums!

B: Yeah, do you know there's an Anchorman exhibit at the Newseum? I heard the exhibit displays the whole production process to a tee!

A: I have to go see! 不过大家知道 to a tee这个词儿是什么意思吗? Let's check it out in today's words and idioms!

Words and Idioms第888讲

昨天晚上,我去一个朋友家吃饭,饭后,朋友的太太给客人们表演了一场模仿秀。她不仅模仿了一些明星,居然还模仿了我! 而且模仿得太象了! 不仅举手投足,连声音都唯妙唯肖! 这种模仿功力让我想到了一个习惯用语,那就是:

M: To a tee. To is spelled t-o, and tee; t-e-e, or simply the capital letter T. To-a-tee. To a tee.

To a tee 就是“完美”“恰到好处”。我朋友太太的模仿秀达到了to a tee 的答7b度。我想,下次如果我有事不能来主持节目,完全可以让她来代班,观众朋友们八成听不出区别!

除了模仿秀,其它很多艺术工作也追求逼真、传神,让我们来听听下面这段话:

M: "My wife suggested that we have a nice portrait painted of our family. So we sat for the artist and a couple of weeks later he told us he'd finished. I had my doubts that the painting would come out really looking like us. But when he unveiled it, I was astonished! He captured our likenesses TO A TEE."

这段话意思是:我太太说,我们应该请人画个全家福,于是我们找了一位艺术家,让他给我们画。几个星期后,他告诉我们,作品已经完成。我本来还心有疑虑,觉得他可能会画得不像,但是,当他把作品拿到我们眼前时,我完全惊呆了! 他完全抓住了我们的神态,画得太逼真了!

这个画家真有本事! 我对画画是一窍不通,不过,我先生说我在烹饪方面很有天赋。去年他生日的时候,我照着菜谱做了一次烤牛排,结果大获成功! 牛排的火候和味道都是To A Tee--恰到好处! 模样也和菜谱上的照片相差无几! 好,让我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: "My wife suggested that we have a nice portrait painted of our family. So we sat for the artist and a couple of weeks later he told us he'd finished. I had my doubts that the painting would come out really looking like us. But when he unveiled it, I was astonished! He captured our likenesses TO A TEE."

做饭要掌握火候,作人也是一样。比如买衣服,就要买符合自己身材和气质的。我们来听听下面这段话:

M: "With my job interview coming up, I wanted to look my best. I decided it was worth spending extra money on a high-quality designer suit. After trying on several, I found one that fit me TO A TEE. It was as if a tailor had made it to my exact measurements."

这段话的意思说:我过几天要去一个工作面试,所以我想,我得以最佳形象去见未来的雇主。我决定多花点钱,买一套高品质的名牌西服。在试穿了好几套之后,我终于找到了一套特别合适的。这衣服太合身了,简直像是裁缝为我量身定作的。

我想,这个年青人的面试一定进行得不错,因为他听上去很自信。而且,一套得体的西服能够给他的外表加分,能给雇主一个好印象,正所谓"clothes make the man - 人靠衣装”嘛! 衣服不仅要大小合适,还要符合个人气质。比如,我妹妹是个非常热情、外向的人,所以她的衣服大多是颜色鲜艳,款式潇洒的,我觉得,这些衣服suit her to a tee非常适合她。好,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: "With my job interview coming up, I wanted to look my best. I decided it was worth spending extra money on a high-quality designer suit. After trying on several, I found one that fit me TO A TEE. It was as if a tailor had made it to my exact measurements."

To A Tee 这个说法由来以久,据说在17世纪时就有了。当时,这个短语中的tee指的是英文书写中细微的笔划。所以,to a tee,原意就是每一笔一划都精准。后来,就变成了“恰到好处,刚刚好”的意思。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

B: Yang Lin, I think this show fits you to a tee.

A: Really? How so?

B: Its simple and fun! Just like you!

A: Did you just call me simple?????

B: Uhh, I meant it as a compliment?

A: Tit for Tat Mike, Tit for Tat..... 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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