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中国时间: 11:03 2016年12月05日星期一

美语训练班第134课

  • 美国之音

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

A: And I'm 蔚然. 杨琳 is on leave. 我来带班。

B: Do you work in an environment where a lot of people smoke? How do you deal with that? We’ll touch on the issue in today's business etiquette.

A: 英国为什么对碳酸饮料加征税? 答案节目中揭晓。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what "to have one’s back against the wall" and "back to the drawing board" 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 1895 hefty

今天我们要学的词是 hefty. Hefty is spelled h-e-f-t-y, hefty, Hefty 形容词,有数额很大的意思。英国是欧洲肥胖人数比例最高的国家。最新研究显示,Slapping a 20 percent hefty tax on soda could cut the number of obese adults by 180,000. 对碳酸饮料征收20%的高销售税,可以让英国减少18万成年肥胖者。Taiwan's health authorities leveled a hefty fine against a company for misleading consumers by selling adulterated products as pure oil. 台湾一家公司因为销售掺假油品,以次充好,欺骗消费者,被台湾卫生福利部门开出巨额罚单。好的,今天我们学习的词是 hefty, hefty, hefty....

A: Mike, 考考你. 你知道一听可乐里有多少克糖吗?

B: Let me guess, 20?

A: 再加一倍!一听可乐里有39克糖。

B: Wow! I know soda is packed with sugar, but I didn’t know it was this bad.

A: 新年决心加一个:跟碳酸饮料说拜拜。

B: Count me in. OK, let’s check out today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 891 to have one’s back against the wall

美国习惯用语第 891 讲

我是Douglas Johnson.

这几星期我都在看棒球比赛,我支持的队最近几天表现得不错,终于打赢了几场! 不过,我对它进决赛不抱任何幻想,因为这个赛季刚开始的时候,队员们的表现实在是差劲透了! 差点就被淘汰了! 现在他们的战绩有所好转,可能也是因为认识到了形势的危急,只能奋力一搏了。我们可以用一个习惯用语来形容他们的处境,那就是:

M: "To have one's back against the wall. Back is spelled b-a-c-k. Back. Against is spelled a-g-a-i-n-s-t. Against. Wall is spelled w-a-l-l. Wall. To have one's back against the wall."

To have one's back against the wall 字面的意思就是“后背贴着墙”,表示“没有退路”,“情况危急”。如果你已经毫无退路的话,就只有硬着头皮去面对问题了。在我们下面听到的这段话中,一个学校的董事会可能要采取不得以的行动:

M: “If we do not receive the necessary funding OUR BACKS WILL BE AGAINST THE WALL. We will be forced to fire some of our teachers.”

这段话意思是:如果得不到必要的资金,我们的处境就会非常困难,我们将迫不得已解雇一些老师。

如果有办法,谁也不愿意裁员啊! 可见学校真的是面临很大的财务亏空。to have one's back against the wall 最初是用来描述军队陷入绝境,当军人们无法继续撤退的时候,只能迎敌作战。到了16世纪,人们开始用这个短语形容进退维谷的处境。好,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: “If we do not receive the necessary funding OUR BACKS WILL BE AGAINST THE WALL. We will be forced to fire some of our teachers.”

To have one's back against the wall 经常可以用在商业领域,形容公司面临的严峻形势。我想,如果你是一家公司的雇员,你一定不愿意听老板说下面这段话:

M: "I'm afraid we really HAVE OUR BACKS AGAINST THE WALL now. We have no choice but to heavily discount all of our merchandise. If we don't bring in some money immediately, we'll have to shut down in two weeks."

这段话的意思说:恐怕我们真的到了山穷水尽的地步了。我们现在别无选择,只能把所有的商品都大幅降价销售。如果我们不能立即获得一些收入,两个星期后,我们就得关门大吉。

唉,不是裁员,就是清仓甩卖,经济形势不好的时候,很多店家都会这么做。不过,俗话说,山穷水尽疑无路,柳暗花明又一村。就如同我喜欢的棒球队一样,眼看要被淘汰,反而被激发了斗志,表现越来越好。希望这些面临困境的企业也能起死回生,有更好的发展。到时候,再回过头来看看 have their backs against the wall 的时候,可能会别有一番感慨吧! 好,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: "I'm afraid we really HAVE OUR BACKS AGAINST THE WALL now. We have no choice but to heavily discount all of our merchandise. If we don't bring in some money immediately, we'll have to shut down in two weeks."

听众朋友,今天我们学的习惯用语是 have one's back against the wall, 意思是陷入困境,情况危急。如果您的生活也正遇到困难,觉得 you have your back against the wall, 请不要灰心,because there is always a way out!

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: Mike, 你有没有过这种山穷水尽的情况?

B: Totally! I was in between jobs, and my savings were almost gone.

A: 那后来呢?

B: A friend of mine recommended me to his boss, and I was hired on the spot.

A: 柳暗花明又一村啊。

B:Yep. But I also hope I never have to go through that again. It was the worst experience ever. Well, It’s time for our next segment: Business Etiquette

Business Etiquette 263

Antismoking campaign I

Marissa 早上一到办公室,就开始跟同事 Hank 发牢骚。

Marissa: I hate walking into our building in the morning! --All the smokers stand around the building's entrance puffing away....I can't take it! Sorry....I'm just a little bit worked up.

Hank: That's okay. I understand. A lot of people really hate smoke.

M: I'm glad they banned smoking inside the office, but I wish I didn't have to smell it while walking on the street. It makes me feel nauseous. I simply can't understand why a person would want to smoke.

H: well....I used to smoke. I quit about 20 years ago.

M: Yeah...I would assume at this point in history - especially given what we know about the dangers of smoking - most people would have quit already!

Marissa 说,每天早上来上班,大楼门口都有很多烟民在 puffing away 吞云吐雾,she can't take it. 实在让她受不了,烟味让她觉得反胃 nauseous, nauseous is spelled n-a-u-s-e-o-u-s, nauseous 意思是恶心,反胃。她觉得,现在吸烟的危害已经众所周知,怎么还会有人吸烟,真是让人匪夷所思。Hank 20年前也抽烟,我们看看他是怎么说的。

H: You know the saying, "old habits die hard." I think I would add that bad habits die even harder. You know, you could always move to Bhutan.

M: Bhutan? I don't think I've ever heard of it.

H: It's a small kingdom located in the Himalayan Mountains....near Nepal. In 2004, Bhutan banned tobacco altogether.

M: Cool! Did it work? If I go to Bhutan will I never smell cigarette smoke?

H: Actuall....no. I read a recent report that said there's a lot of loopholes in the law....and if you go to restaurants and bars you'll still see lots of people lighting up.

M: (Sighs) So I guess I'm just have to learn to put up with it.

俗话说得好,old habits die hard. 积习难改。Hank 觉得,坏习惯更难改。他开玩笑,建议 Marissa 搬到 Bhutan不丹去,因为不丹2004年就全面禁止烟草了。不过,这项法律其实还是有很多可以钻的空子,loopholes, 所以,在不丹的餐馆和酒吧里,还是能看到很多人 light up 点烟抽。

H: Things are changing, however. Smoking rates are dropping all around the world. Just the other day there was a newspaper report that said New Zealand is raising prices on a pack of cigarettes to US$15 by the year 2016!

M: US$15!? Wow! That's really expensive. But is there any proof that high prices are a deterrent?

H: There have been quite a few studies that show that every time a country raises cigarette taxes and prices, a certain percentage of smokers quit.

不过,情况也在逐渐向好的方向转变, Smoking rates are dropping all around the world. 世界各地的吸烟人口比例都在下降。Hank 看到一篇报道说,新西兰2016年之前,要把一包香烟的价格提高到15美元的天价。Mimi 问,有证据证明涨价能起到抑制作用吗? Deterrent is spelled d-e-t-e-r-r-e-n-t, deterrent 意思是起到阻止和威慑效果的因素。Hank 说,有不少研究都发现,一个国家每一次给香烟涨价或是提高税率,都会有一部分烟民戒烟。

A: Old habits die hard. 一点没错。我哥原来就抽烟,怎么也戒不掉,最后我嫂子威胁说,不戒烟就不生孩子,他才把烟给戒了。

B: How did he do it?

A: He went cold turkey. 什么办法也没用,生戒。

B: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Let’s keep on listening to the second half of

Business Etiquette.

Business Etiquette 264

Topic: Antismoking campaigns Part II

Marissa 和同事 Hank 正在讨论吸烟的问题。Hank 说,有不少研究都发现,涨价确实能起到一定的抑制作用,促使一部分人戒烟。Marissa 说,

M: I see. The high prices act as "the straw that broke the camel's back." Smokers that have been meaning to quit see the price increase and it gives them a little push.

H: Yeah. But on the other hand, prices are already quite high in many places. A pack of cigarettes in London costs about US$10... in New York a pack costs roughly 8 dollars.... and in Norway it's already around $14....but I was in London not that long ago and I saw plenty of smokers!

M: Yeah. The last time I was in New York there also seem to be plenty of smokers. I guess there are some people who are wealthy enough to afford whatever price.

因此说,给香烟涨价就好像是 the straw that broke the camel's back 压倒骆驼的最后一根稻草,帮了那些本来就想戒烟的烟民一把,give them a little push. 但是高价格也只能对某些人发挥作用。现在伦敦一盒烟卖十美元,纽约卖8美元,挪威卖14美元,可抽烟的人还是很多,看来价格再高,也拦不住那些经济上能负担得起的烟民。

H: Definitely. I think the best way forward is to push education efforts for young people. If we can convince the next generation that smoking isn't "cool", eventually we might be able to eradicate smoking.

M: I suppose you're right. You can pass all the laws you want but that doesn't mean people will follow them. People's attitudes need to change.

H: Exactly! In the 1920s they banned alcohol in America, but of course people didn't stop drinking. Instead, lots of people got sick and even died from drinking industrial alcohol.

Hank 觉得,要真想杜绝吸烟,the best way forward 接下来最好的办法还是要通过宣传和教育,让年轻一代觉得,抽烟不是一件很酷的事情。Marrissa 表示同意,不管你通过多少项法律,只要大家的观念没有发生变化,法律就无法得到有效执行,就好像美国20年代时的禁酒令,并没有让人们停止饮酒,反而有很多人因为没有酒喝,结果饮用工业酒精而死亡。

M: I would imagine that as cigarettes get more expensive, smokers looking for a cheaper option will turn to counterfeit ones. I wonder if those would be even worse than the originals!

H: You're probably right. But I do think smoking will not be nearly as common a couple decades from now. That article about New Zealand said that country hopes to eradicate smoking by 2025.

M: That's not that long from now! Maybe I should start thinking about moving to New Zealand!

H: (Chuckles) Perhaps you should!

Marissa 觉得,如果香烟价格不断上涨,很多经济上负担不起的烟民,恐怕就会转向 cheaper option, 相对便宜的替代品,也就是 counterfeit ones, 假烟,counterfeit is spelled c-o-u-n-t-e-r-f-e-i-t, counterfeit 是假冒伪劣的意思。这些假烟的危害八成比正品的危害还要大。Hank 觉得,未来的前景还是很乐观的,新西兰就打算在2025年之前,彻底铲除烟草。也许,Marissa 真的可以考虑移民到新西兰去。

A: 哈哈,为了躲开二手烟移民,这还是第一次听说。

B: What would it take you to move to another country?

A: 这我还真没想过。唯一的可能是,如果孩子长大去了别的地方,我赖着过去伺候他们啊。

B: Haha. You’re a typical helicopter parent.

A: Guilty as charged. Ok,let's listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 8 sought after

今天我们要学的词是 sought-after. Sought-after is spelled s-o-u-g-h-t, sought, and after, a-f-t-e-r, after, sought-after. Sought-after 有受欢迎的,被追捧的意思。圣诞季节将至,Every year, the Toy Retailers Association releases a list of what it predicts will be the most sought-after toys of the Christmas season. 美国玩具零售商协会每年都会公布一份清单,预测当年圣诞季节最抢手的玩具都有哪些。CBS has won the bidding war for one of the most sought-after comedy projects this year. 美国哥伦比亚电视台通过竞标,拿到了今年最抢手的喜剧节目之一的播放权。好的,今天我们学习的词是 sought-after, sought-after, sought-after....

A: 每年到了这会儿,抢手的玩具就会脱销。

B: You can say that again. The most sought-after toys are really hard to find now.

A: Mike, 你今年准备给女朋友买什么?

B: I was trying to land either an Xbox One or a Playstation 4, but couldn’t find any. Now I am back to the drawing board.

A: sigh you don’t understand women at all do you? Well at least you just introduced our next segment.

B: Yeah, let’s check out words and idioms and see what “back to the drawing board” means!

Words and Idioms 892 back to the drawing board

美国习惯用语第 892 讲

我是Douglas Johnson.

明天是我女儿生日,我们要给她开个Party。今年,我打算自己做生日蛋糕。这是我头一次做这么大的蛋糕,所以下足了功夫。昨天晚上,蛋糕胚子终于烤好了,奶油也抹上了,眼看就要大功告成,谁知道一个不小心,蛋糕掉在了地上,被砸瘪了一大块儿! 啊呀,我这个心疼啊! 没办法,我只好从和面开始,一点点重来了! 这个倒霉的经历让我想到了一个习惯用语,那就是:

M: “Back to the drawing board. Drawing is spelled d-r-a-w-i-n-g. Drawing. Board is spelled b-o-a-r-d. Board. Back to the drawing board.”

Drawing board 指的是绘图板,back to the drawing board 表示在做事的过程中遭遇失败,于是“从头再来”,“重起炉灶”。就好比我做蛋糕,蛋糕被摔烂了,小规模的修修补补是不行的,只能一切重来。虽然很倒霉,但是和下面这段话中的科学家们相比,我这点挫折真不算什么。我们来听听,火星探测器出了什么问题:

M: "We spent five years and I don't want to tell you how much money on designing and constructing that little video camera on wheels. And now that we've lost contact with it, well, it's BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD."

这段话意思是:这个火星探测器轮子上的小摄像头是我们花了5年时间搞成的,花在设计和制作上的钱更是不计其数,可现在,探测器和地球失去了联系,没办法,我们只能一切从头开始。

哦,我想起来了,在探测火星的过程中,那个像玩具吉普车一样的探测器曾经给地面上的科研人员发回了一张张珍贵的火星表面图片,可是有一天,探测器突然中断了和地球的联系,什么都不发了。也许,是火星人看到这个玩具吉普,拿走玩儿去了! 好的,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: "We spent five years and I don't want to tell you how much money on designing and constructing that little video camera on wheels. And now that we've lost contact with it, well, it's BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD."

Back to the drawing board 这个说法起源于二次世界大战时“纽约客”杂志上的一副漫画。在漫画中,很多军人奔向一架坠毁的飞机,而设计这架飞机的工程师把图纸夹在胳膊底下,默默地走开了。漫画的标题是:“唉,只好重新拿起绘图板了”。意思是,设计师看到他的飞机在战场上坠毁,只好从头再来,再设计一架。在生活中,很多东西需要多次尝试才能找到正确的途径,比如,下面这个公司,就在为营销策略头疼:

M: “I think we're going to have to fire our marketing director. None of our new promotions have worked. I think we need to reconsider our entire marketing strategy. I'm afraid it's BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD."

这段话的意思是:我觉得,我们得解雇现在的这位市场总监。我们新推出的这几次促销都不奏效。我认为,我们需要重新考量整个市场营销的战略。恐怕,我们要做出一些根本性的改变,重新制定一套战略。

听起来,这个公司的营销部门可有的忙了! 如果是战术上的修补和改变,还好说,可要是战略上的更新,哈,换掉总监可能只是其中最简单的一步! 所以,每次听到别人用 "back to the drawing board",您就知道了,很多工作等着呢! 好,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: “I think we're going to have to fire our marketing director. None of our new promotions have worked. I think we need to reconsider our entire marketing strategy. I'm afraid it's BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD."

听众朋友,今天我们学习的习惯用语是 back to the drawing board, 意思是从头开始,重来。其实,“从头再来”虽然听起来麻烦,但是因为你已经从先前的失败中领悟了教训,增长了经验,所以这次一定能做得更好! 当然了,我们还是希望您能一次成功,顺利达到目标!

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: 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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