无障碍链接

中国时间: 21:56 2016年12月11日星期日

美语训练班第135课

  • 美国之音

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

A: And I'm 蔚然。杨琳休假,我带班。

B: Losing a job is a horrible experience. So, how do you make the most out of it?

A: 头胎生的孩子比弟弟妹妹有出息?你同意这种结论吗?

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what "to death" and "to no avail" 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 1898 giveaway

今天我们要学的词是 giveaway. Giveaway is spelled g-i-v-e-a-w-a-y, giveaway. Giveaway 是名词,意思是免费赠品。Fast food chains always use cheap toys and giveaways to draw in kids. 快餐连锁店往往依靠廉价玩具和免费赠品吸引孩子们前来消费。In order to lure students into coming to its women's basketball season opener, Kansas State University is offering a giveaway that they cannot refuse--free bacon. 为了吸引学生前来观看女子篮球校队的赛季首场比赛,堪萨斯州立大学让看比赛的学生免费享用培根,使他们无法拒绝诱惑。好的,今天我们学习的词是 giveaway, giveaway, giveaway....

A: 免费白送的赠品,大家都喜欢。

B: Yeah. But remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch. For that little something you get, you usually end up spending a lot more.

A: 是啊,天底下没有免费的午餐,天上也不会掉馅饼。

B: There was this one time that I got a couple of giveaways from a pet store. I gave them to my dog Furball, but they made him sick!
A: You must have been worried to death!

B: Yeah, I love Furball to death, and I WAS worried to death. Let’s check out today’s words and idioms, to death!

Words and Idioms 893 to death

美国习惯用语第 893讲

昨天晚上,我和先生一起去他们公司的Party, 席间遇到一位女士,拉着我们聊个没完。我们跟她并不熟,可是她一直在大谈自己的孩子,向我们炫耀她儿子考上了好大学,又是游泳健将,还受女孩子欢迎,blah blah blah。她倒是说得滔滔不绝,可我差点睡着了。我当时的感觉,有个习惯用语可以形容,那就是:

M: To death. Death is spelled d-e-a-t-h. To-death. To death.

death,大家都知道,是“死亡”,所以,把to death和某个形容词放在一起,就表示“到极点”、“如何如何得要命”。比如,我在party上遇到的这位女士没完没了地炫耀自己的孩子,她自己可能觉得很享受,可我简直bored to death - 快被烦死了! 不过,我宁愿无聊,也不想经历下面这段话描述的心惊胆战:

M: "I remember walking late at night in New York City years ago. A stranger came up behind me and pointed a gun at my back. He told me to hand over my wallet. I said that I didn't have it on me, which was the truth. I was scared TO DEATH he was going to shoot. I'd never been so afraid in my life! Fortunately, he ran and disappeared into a crowd. "

这段话意思是:我还记得,几年前的一个深夜,我在纽约的街上走路。一个陌生人出现在我身后,用一把枪顶着我的后腰。他让我把钱包交给他,可我真的没带钱包,只好实话实说。我当时真吓死了,怕他会开枪。我这辈子都没那么害怕过! 幸运的是,这个人跑掉了,消失在人群中。

被人用枪指着! 好家伙,听着都害怕! 我没有过这种经历,不过倒是体会过什么叫scared to death--怕得要死。上个周末,我带我侄女去看了场恐怖电影。在屏幕上,一个变态杀人狂血腥地杀戮。我侄女看得津津有味,可是我坐在电影院里直打冷战,I was frightened to death - 吓死了! 好的,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

M: "I remember walking late at night in New York City years ago. A stranger came up behind me and pointed a gun at my back. He told me to hand over my wallet. I said that I didn't have it on me, which was the truth. I was scared TO DEATH he was going to shoot. I'd never been so afraid in my life! Fortunately, he ran and disappeared into a crowd. "

在生活中,总是会有一些“要命”的事儿。比如,意外收到大礼包,你会trilled to death--高兴得要命;遇到暴风雪,天气--freezing to death--冷得要命;家人生病住院,你worried to death--万分担心。再比如下面这位会计师,我们来听听他遇到了什么要命的事儿:

M: "A lot of my friends like to get away when the weather starts warming up. But there's no way I can. That's because I'm an accountant. From February through April, I'm busy preparing tax returns for my clients. I'm expected to stay late at the office, come in on weekends...I'm worked TO DEATH. It's unbelievably stressful, but that's my job."

这段话的意思是:天气一转暖,我的好多朋友就都出去旅游了。可我却没法这样做,因为我是个会计师。每年二月到四月,我都忙着为客户报税,作退税的准备工作。我晚上得加班,周末也不能休息...简直是精疲力尽。压力之大别人难以想象,可没办法,这就是我的工作。

美国的报税截至日期是4月15号,所以2月到4月是会计师们最忙的时候,他们的工作压力当然很大。不过,即使在自己家里,你也难免要承受一些压力。比如,我女儿前几天把她的几个同学带回家,在地下室里组了个乐队,她们叮当五四,吹拉弹唱,练个没完。我觉得,they're rehearsing some of the songs to death - 她们已经把其中一些歌练得快烂了! 不过,我也不能说什么,不能打击她们的积极性,因为I love my daughter to death--我女儿就是我的心头肉啊! 好了,我们再来听听刚才那段话吧:

M: "A lot of my friends like to get away when the weather starts warming up. But there's no way I can. That's because I'm an accountant. From February through April, I'm busy preparing tax returns for my clients. I'm expected to stay late at the office, come in on weekends...I'm worked TO DEATH. It's unbelievably stressful, but that's my job."

听众朋友,今天我们学习的习惯用语是 To Death, 意思是“极端”“什么什么得要命”。

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: 我朋友 Jenny 是美发师,逢年过节别人休息,也是她最忙的时候,大家都想在过节前美容美发,She’s always busy to death during the holidays.

B: When I was in high school, I worked as a cashier for Walmart during the Christmas shopping season. We were worked to death!

A: I can imagine, but sometimes being busy is a good thing. A friend of mine was let go right before Christmas. I don’t know what she’s gonna do.

B: I’m sorry to hear that. Losing a job is never easy. So, how can you make the most out of a bad situation? Let’s listen to our next segment: Business Etiquette

Business Etiquette 265 Losing a job can be a positive experience

Suzanne 约朋友 Mickey 一起吃午饭。

Suzanne: Mickey! Good to see you! It's been too long!

Mickey: Hi, Suzanne! You're right, it has been too long.

S: Did you find something on the menu that interests you? Sorry I'm late for our lunch. Traffic was horrific.

M: Yeah....I think I'll have the chicken Caesar salad.

S: That sounds pretty good.... hey, is everything okay? - You seem kind of down.

M: I got laid off last Friday.

S: Oh....I'm so sorry to hear that.

Suzanne 跟 Mickey 很久没见面,发现 Mickey 心事重重,情绪不高,seem kind of down. Down 在这里是形容词,意思是情绪低落。原来,Mickey 上星期五被炒了鱿鱼,He got laid off. 也可以说,He was let go. 丢了工作,难怪心情沮丧,我们来听听这是为什么。

M: They said it had nothing to do with my performance. They just need to try and save on costs. So they're axing a bunch of jobs.

S: Ouch! Losing a job is such a nasty experience.

M: Yep....it sure is. I guess I have been a bit depressed.

S: I remember when I got fired from my job as a senior manager with a Web design company. I felt awful for weeks. But you know something? Getting fired turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

Mickey 被解雇是因为公司要削减开支,所以 they axed a bunch of jobs. Ax is spelled, a-x, 或者 a-x-e, 做为动词,是砍的意思。他丢了工作,心情十分抑郁,depressed. Suzanne 安慰他说,自己也曾有过类似经历,好几个星期缓不过来,但是最后证明,getting fired turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. 被开除是她这辈子最幸运的事。怎么可能,我们继续听。

M: And why was that?

S: It gave me a jolt that I really needed. I was just coasting along in my position day in and day out, never really thinking about my life or my career.

M: So getting fired helped you reflect on these things?

S: Absolutely! I started asking myself what I really wanted to do.

M: That makes sense. Our daily routines can turn into habits. I've been working at this company for almost 8 years and I have kind of been running on autopilot.

Suzanne 说,失业 gave me a jolt. Jolt is spelled j-o-l-t, jolt 在这里是震动的意思。Suzanne 说,有工作的时候,她从来都是 coast along day in and day out. Coast along 做为词组,意思是不用花一点努力随波逐流, day in and day out 意思是日复一日,年复一年。过着这样的生活,怎么还会想着如何进取呢?被解雇后,她才开始思考这些问题,to reflect on things 意思是反思。Mickey 深有同感,说自己在原来的公司已经干了将近八年了,I have been running on autopilot. Autopilot 自动驾驶,工作已经成了一种习惯,顺手就干了,就好象是 run on autopilot. 现在没有工作了,Mickey 下一步有什么打算呢?我们下次继续听。

B: That’s why I love my job here. Being a journalist means you get to do different things every day.

A: 对,没错。每天的新闻都不一样。不过说实话,失业确实会给人带来很大的打击。

B: At the same time, it’s also an opportunity to make changes to your life. Let’s keep on listening to the second half of Business Etiquette.

Business Etiquette 266

Losing a job can be a positive experience II

Mickey 刚失业,跟朋友Suzanne 一起吃饭,Suzanne 劝他说,这未必不是件好事。她说,

S: Back at my old job there were some days where I barely used my brain at all! I just did the same thing over and over again.

M: So what happened after you got fired? Did a new opportunity come your way?

S: Not exactly. It took me about a year to figure out that opportunities weren't going to come my way.... I learnt that you have to create your own opportunities.

M: So that's when you started your company.

S: Yeah! I always had an interest in gardening, so I thought to myself: There must be a lot of people who also have this interest and would like to have a garden but don't have the time to set one up.

Suzanne 说,原来工作的时候,总是同样的工作来回做,did the same thing over and over again. 完全不用动大脑,失业后,她用一年的时间才发现,机会不会自己找上门来,opportunities weren't going to come my way, 还不如自己去创造机会。于是她决定自己开公司,帮助那些喜欢园艺但是没有时间整理花园的人整理花园。

M: So now you go around making custom-designed gardens for homes and offices, right?

S: Yes! I never would've thought in a million years that my interest in gardening would turn into a career! If I hadn't gotten fired, I would've never found my calling!

M: That's cool....and it does offer me some hope. I guess I need to do some thinking about what I really want to do.

S: I'm not saying it's going to be easy.... I spent almost one year doing odd jobs and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Not having a stable income can be difficult.

因此,Suzanne 开了一家公司,专门为公司和家庭 custom-design 量身定做花园。她说,要不是被解雇,她死也不会想到自己的爱好竟然会成为职业,in a million years 是一种夸张的说法,就是无论如何也不会的意思。正是被解雇,才让她最终找到了自己的 calling, calling is spelleed c-a-l-l-i-n-g, calling, 一个人最适合的职业。Suzanne 说,不过,这个过程也很艰难,她足足打了一年零工才走出低谷,odd jobs 是零工的意思。Mickey 听后深受启发。

M: Yeah....right now I have some savings so I'll be good for about six months...but if I can't find something after that it's going to start getting tough.

S: Do you have a "dream" or something you've always wanted to do?

M: Well, I have always had the idea of opening a bicycle store. I'm talking about selling rare, vintage or special custom-made bicycles.

Mickey 说,自己存款有限,撑半年还行,再久就扛不住了。Suzanne 问他有没有什么梦想。Mickey 说,他一直想开一家自行车店,专卖那些不多见,古香古色,或是订做的自行车。他在这里用的 vintage is spelled v-i-n t-a-g-e, vintage 意思是老式的,古典的。

S: Interesting! Cycling is quite a trend these days and if you can find bicycles that no one else has....it just might work!

M: I've always been interested in bicycles and I know a lot about them. I never thought I would have a chance to open a bike store.

S: Give it some thought! This could be your calling in life!!

M: I'll think about it! Thanks, Suzanne! Now let's eat!

Suzanne 说, Mickey 想开自行车店的梦想很有意思,因为现在很流行骑车, it's quite a trend. Suzanne 觉得 Mickey 可以认真地琢磨琢磨, give it some thought 好好想想,没准真能行。Mickey 听了很受鼓舞,说从来没想到,自己这辈子真能有机会开一家自行车店,实现梦想。

A: Mike, 你的梦想是什么?

B: I’ve always wanted to become a naval officer, and I’m still working towards making it a reality.

A: 真羡慕你,我好像从来也没什么梦想。All through my life, I’ve been going with the flow.

B: There is nothing wrong with that. Ok, let's listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1899 first-born

今天我们要学的词是 first-born. First-born, first is spelled f-i-r-s-t, first, and born, b-o-r-n, born, first-born. First-born 名词,意思是头胎生的孩子,老大。Time and again, research has shown that first-born children are better at a lot of things than their younger siblings. 各种研究多次显示,头胎孩子在很多事情上都要比弟弟妹妹强。Half of U.S. Presidents are first-born children. 美国总统里有一半都是家里的老大。最近一项研究的作者说,First-born kids get better grades in school because their parents are stricter with them than later-born children. 家里老大学习成绩更好是因为家长对老大的要求比后面的孩子更加严格。好的,今天我们学习的词是 first-born, first-born, first-born....

A: Mike, you have an older sister, right?

B: Yeah. I think the study is right in the sense that my parents were way stricter with my sister than with me. You must be a first born, right?

A: Guess again.

B: But you have all the characteristics of a first-born.

A: I have a brother who is 10 years older.

B: Oh, that makes sense. So you are a second-born who was treated like a first born!

A: 没错。好了,让我们进入下面一个单元,美国习惯用语。

Words and Idioms 894 to no avail

美国习惯用语第 894讲

我实在是没辙了! 我办公室里有一盆君子兰,养了好几年了,本来一直挺好的,可是最近突然不行了,叶子也枯黄了,花也不开了。我又是浇水,又是换花盆,又是给它晒太阳,可是这盆花一点没有好转的迹象。所以,我这些努力的结果,只能用下面这个习惯用语来形容,那就是:

M: To no avail. No is spelled n-o, and avail; a-v-a-i-l. To-no-avail.

Avail,当动词时表示“起作用”,当名词时表示“益处”,所以to no avail这个短语就是指“没用,徒劳无功”。我一直在想办法挽救我的君子兰,可是它没有一点起色,我只能眼看它死掉了,唉! 下面这段话中的俩夫妻,也遇到了跟我同样无能为力的情况,不过最终,他们还是把问题解决了,我们来听一下:

M:"Our cat had a terrible habit of ripping our sofa with his claws. First, we thought we could encourage him to use a scratching toy instead. Then we tried treating the furniture with pepper spray. When all our attempts were TO NO AVAIL, we had to have his claws removed. Success at last!"

这段话意思是:我们家的猫有个坏习惯,就是喜欢在沙发上乱抓。开始时,我们给它买了个磨爪子用的玩具,鼓励它在玩具上抓,后来,我们又试着往沙发上喷辣椒水。可是,这些做法都没用。于是,我们只好把它的指甲拔掉了。这下,问题终于解决了!

把猫指甲拔掉?我听说这是很疼的,这只猫咪可受苦了! 不过,主人要不是没办法,也不会出此下策! 当然了,我还是建议想养猫的人,如果舍不得自己的家具,最好就别养猫,免得最后要去给猫拔指甲,让宠物受苦! 我们再来听听刚才那段话吧:

M: "Our cat had a terrible habit of ripping our sofa with his claws. First, we thought we could encourage him to use a scratching toy instead. Then we tried treating the furniture with pepper spray. When all our attempts were TO NO AVAIL, we had to have his claws removed. Success at last!"

我这个人啊,就是热心肠儿,喜欢给别人提建议。比如,我姨妈觉得胸闷,我就让她赶快看医生;女儿成绩下降,我就让她少花点时间在乐队上;妹妹失恋,我就四处给她找对象......我这么操心,可都是To No Avail - 徒劳无功! 因为她们谁也不听我的! 真是辜负了我一番苦心! 下面这段话中的选民,也和我一样,提意见没人听,不过,他们可不是像我这样,抱怨两句就算了,我们来听听看:

M: "We warned our senator that she wasn't doing enough to lower taxes. Our supporters held meetings with her, organized a massive e-mail campaign and staged protest marches throughout the state. After these proved TO NO AVAIL, we started to look for a new candidate. This has been a much more productive strategy."

这段话的意思是:我们已经警告过我们州的参议员,我们觉得她没有竭尽全力去实现减税。我们的支持者和她开了好几次会,组织了一场大规模的电邮宣传活动,还在州里各地举行了抗议游行。但是,这一切行动都没有奏效,所以,我们开始物色一位新的议员候选人。这种做法比以前那些有效多了。

哇,看来选民不是好惹的! 不过,我们也得认识到,很多问题是复杂的,解决起来没那么简单,而且需要时间。所以,选民们也应该更有耐心才对,不然可能会适得其反。好了,我们再来听听刚才那段话吧:

M: "We warned our senator that she wasn't doing enough to lower taxes. Our supporters held meetings with her, organized a massive e-mail campaign and staged protest marches throughout the state. After these proved TO NO AVAIL, we started to look for a new candidate. This has been a much more productive strategy."

听众朋友,今天我们学习的习惯用语是 To No Avail, 意思是“徒劳无功”。我想跟大家说的是,如果你复出努力,却发现 your efforts are to no avail--收不到成果,那也不要灰心。就好像学英语,遇到挫折和瓶颈时,还是应该坚持。日积月累,总会有收获!

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!
XS
SM
MD
LG