uet-071-080

美語訓練班 第071-080課



美語訓練班  第071課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天,咱們要來去體驗一下刺激的賽車比賽,聊聊繼續深造學習,還要告訴你怎麼說飛速完成!

B: Yeah, considering the currently poor economic environment, further education is definitely a hot topic these days . A lot of people are going back to school since they got laid off from work.

A: 對呀! 不過回去上學也不錯,充充電,整裝待發嘛! 咱們現在也來充電,趕快來進入第一個單元,Learn a Word!

Learn A Word 1556 noteworthy

今 天我們要學的詞是 noteworthy. Noteworthy is spelled n-o-t-e-w-o-r-t-h-y, noteworthy. Noteworthy意思是值得注意的,值得引起重視的。雅虎公司宣布,年僅37歲的邁耶將擔任雅虎公司首席執行官。Her selection is noteworthy both because she is one of only a few woman CEOs in the tech world, and because she is expecting her first child. 她的任命引起了外界的極大關注,不光是因為她是高科技業界為數不多的女性首席執行官之一,而且也因為她正懷著自己的第一個孩子。The results of a new study are noteworthy for the fact that online donors jumped nearly 60 percent compared to two years ago. 最新研究顯示,在網上捐錢的人數增加了近60%,這一研究結果值得引起人們的重視。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 noteworthy, noteworthy, noteworthy…

B: So 楊琳,did you do anything noteworthy over the weekend?

A: 讓我想想….哦對了對了,I hiked for 6 miles!!!!!

B: What? That’s not noteworthy, that’s a piece of cake! I run 6 miles EVERY SINGLE DAY!

A: But I was fast and furious! Just like a professional hiker!

B: Why do I find that hard to believe? I mean, the only time I can imagine you being fast and furious is when you go SHOPPING!

A: At least I’m not fast and furious at eating, unlike someone I know!
B: 好了好了,不跟你鬥嘴! 剛才我們都用到了一個詞, fast and furious, 趕快帶著聽眾朋友去聽聽這個習慣用語的用法吧!

Words and Idioms #981

現在播送美國習慣用語第 981講。我是楊琳。

M:我是Dan Markus.

隔了一個長周末去上班,我發現辦公樓對面一座20層的大樓好像一夜之間忽然消失了。老闆告訴我,一個爆破小組在幾天之內完成了全部的爆破,清掃和整理工作。這也讓我想到了一句習慣用語,那就是:

M:Fast and furious. Fast is spelled f-a-s-t, and furious; f-u-r-i-o-u-s. Fast-and-furious.

這 個短語由兩個簡單的單詞構成:fast 快速的; furious 憤怒的。連起來,fast and furious,意思變成了「飛快地,很快完成」。上面說到,我們辦公室旁邊的大樓爆破瞬間就完成了。The demolition was FAST AND FURIOUS. It’s as if the building just vanished overnight! 人間蒸發了。在下面的例子里,一名青少年的天資被快速挖掘出來,讓我們來聽聽他爸爸對此怎麼評價:

M: “Ever since my son won the national math competition, requests have been coming in FAST AND FURIOUS. Suddenly hundreds of kids and their parents want his advice, interviewers are begging for his story, and colleges across the country are offering him four-year scholarships.”

這段話是說:[自從我兒子贏了全國數學競賽之後,對他的邀請就接踵而至。忽然之間,成百名孩子和他們的家長都希望向他取經,記者都想要採訪他,而全國各地的大學也紛紛表示願意為他提供大學四年的獎學金。]

一 夜成名不一定是好事,我記得以前一個談話節目中,一個人談到了他中彩票之後的經歷。Once his name was announced on television, attention on him was FAST AND FURIOUS. 自從他的名字出現在電視上之後,對他的關注就撲面而來。他的手機永遠在響,銷售商向他推銷各種產品和服務。最可怕的是,凡是沾得上點邊的親戚和朋友都跑來 跟他借錢!所以說,什麼事情都有兩面性。好了,讓我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Ever since my son won the national math competition, requests have been coming in FAST AND FURIOUS. Suddenly hundreds of kids and their parents want his advice, interviewers are begging for his story, and colleges across the country are offering him four-year scholarships.”

上面我們講到了fast and furious, 飛快的。冬天的阿拉斯加向來是非常寒冷的。 不過,今年的嚴寒似乎格外嚴酷,讓我們來聽聽看:

M: ” The residents in Alaska are used to bad weather in winter. But they weren’t prepared for all the snow they recently got. That’s because the storm moved in FAST AND FURIOUS. Within a few short hours, towns became overwhelmed by mountains of snow.”

這段話是說:冬天的嚴寒天氣對阿拉斯加居民來說司空見慣,但他們還是沒有為最近的大雪做好充足的準備,因為這次風暴來得又快又猛。短短几個小時內,很多城鎮都完全被大雪所覆蓋。

我 聽說,今年有些地方的積雪多達60英寸。還記得兩年前,美國首都華盛頓也經歷了同樣的大雪,天氣預報里說要下大雪後,The sales at grocery stores were going FAST AND FURIOUS! 人們都去商店搶購商品,以儲備好食物以應對大雪的到來。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: ” The residents in Alaska are used to bad weather in winter. But they weren’t prepared for all the snow they recently got. That’s because the storm moved in FAST AND FURIOUS. Within a few short hours, towns became overwhelmed by mountains of snow.”
music bridge

今天我們學習的習慣用語是fast and furious ,意思是「飛快的」。好的,這次[美國習慣用語]就到此結束,我是楊琳,我是Dan Markus。謝謝各位的收聽。

B: This episode reminds me of a famous movie when I was a teenager. It’s literally called “the fast and the furious”, and of course it’s about street racing.

A : Street racing? 哦,飆車啊?

B: Right! street racing is just one type of car racing though, the most popular kind of car racing in America is stock car racing, 賽車!

A: That’s interesting! 那,你喜歡看賽車嗎?

B: Not really. I mean, it’s boring to watch someone driving around the circle for 6 hours. I would much rather watch college football!

A: 同意!賽車另外還特危險! 這不,在今天的Go English里,Roger為了報復Daphne,要帶她去賽車! 咱們一起去聽聽吧!

Hiking: Advanced

今天我們為您播出「美語三級跳」節目「遠足旅行」單元的高級課程。

Professor: Daphne took Roger on a camping trip, but Roger had a terrible time because he is from the city and isn’t used to being in nature.

沒錯,Roger還說,Daphne讓他在野營時受罪,他一定要報這個仇。

Professor: Right. So today, he is taking Daphne to a car race.

A car race? 賽車?賽車很精彩啊! 這算什麼報仇?

Daphne: Roger, do you really find car races fun to go to? It’s incredibly boring just watching the cars go around and around the track, and I can hardly breathe because of all the smoke and fumes!

Roger: You aren’t having fun? Daphne, car racing is the most popular sport in America.

Daphne: I hate cars. They make so much pollution, which is creating holes in the ozone layer. And the environmental problems are only getting worse with global warming!

Roger: Daphne, cars are a part of American culture. Americans have always relied on cars instead of making do with public transportation.

哈,看來Daphne非常討厭賽車,就像Roger討厭露營一樣!

Professor: Right. Why doesn’t Daphne like cars?

她說,汽車污染環境,傷害ozone layer–臭氧層。不過Roger說, Americans don’t make do with public transportation,這是什麼意思呢?

Professor: When you “make do” with something, that means you accept it reluctantly.

哦,make do with something, 就是勉強接受某事。

Professor: Right. For example, “I really wanted to see the new horror movie that just came out. But because it was sold out, I had to make do with another movie, which wasn’t very good.”

Daphne: Roger, It’s often difficult to see how your lifestyle impacts the world. But we need to prevent pollution by driving cars less and investing in renewable energy.

Roger: Why do you like the environment so much? It’s full of mosquitoes that want to bite you, and bears that want to eat you!

Daphne: If you’re not nice to nature, nature won’t be nice to you. If the polar ice caps melt, ocean levels will rise and flood the coastal cities.

Roger: Oh Daphne, that isn’t going to happen. You watch too
many movies.

我真想知道Daphne和Roger是怎麼成朋友的,這倆人的看法相差十萬八千里! Daphne說, 人們應該盡量少開車,而且應該開發renewable energy–可再生能源。

Professor: Right. But what does Roger say?

Roger卻覺得,什麼極地冰冠融化,海水淹沒城市都是嚇唬人的。他說,這些事情根本不會發生,Daphne是電影看多了,瞎操心。

Daphne: Roger, most scientists agree that global warming is real, and evidence shows that the polar ice caps have been melting.

Roger: Well what do you want me to do about it? I’m just one person. What can I do to make a difference?

Daphne: Well to start, you could buy more energy-efficient appliances. You could also think about buying an electric or hybrid car.

Roger: But I don’t have the money for all that!

Daphne 說,Roger應該從我做起,保護環境,所以要買more energy-efficient appliances–能源利用率更高的電器。Professor Bowman, Daphne的話使我想到,我應該把電腦關了,不寫作業了,這樣也可以為環保出力啊!

Professor: Nice try, Winnie!

Roger: Alright, Daphne. You’ve convinced me I need to do more for the environment. I’m going to stop washing my clothes in the laundry machine to save electricity, and stop taking showers to save water.

Daphne: What? Roger, there’s no need to go crazy, you know.

Roger: But Daphne, I have to do my part to save the environment! I’m going to “recycle” my dirty socks and wear them over and over again.

Daphne: Roger, in that case the disgusting gasses given off by your body are going to make a bigger hole in the ozone layer than all the cars in the world combined!

哈哈,Roger說,為了節約能源,他決定不洗衣服,不洗澡了,而且要 recycle his dirty socks–把臟襪子一穿再穿!

Professor: Sounds like a good plan! It’s nice that he is doing his part.

啊?您別開玩笑了! 如果Roger真這麼做,只會更加污染環境! 就像Daphne說的那樣,Roger身上發出的臭氣會讓臭氧層空洞變大的!

A: 就像Roger討厭野營一樣,Daphne特別討厭賽車。她覺得賽車不僅無聊,而且傷害ozone layer臭氧層,Daphne覺得人們應該少開車,開發renewable energy, 可再生能源,而且要多買more energy-efficient appliance, 能源利用率更高的電器。

B: I agree with Daphne. If you are not nice to nature, nature won’t be nice to you. Plus using energy saving appliances can save you a ton of money.

A: 對呀! 我覺得吧,為了自然,咱們就該都呆在家裡休息,這樣也沒人開車了,自然也沒污染了呀?

B: Haha, now I know what your dream job is: doing nothing and still get paid, right?

A: 恭喜你,答對了!

B: Well, with so many people out of work these days, I think we should do everything we can to keep our jobs!

A: 哎喲…對嘛對嘛,我就開個玩笑,不要那麼認真嘛! 不過,在今天的Business Etiquette里, Jesse就被公司炒魷魚了,咱們來聽聽他的朋友是怎麼安慰他的!

禮節美語Getting Laid Off-part I

Paul 和 Sara 夫婦倆跟老朋友 Jesse 和 Miika 一起吃飯。

P: It’s so good to see you guys! It’s been forever!

M: We should try to set a monthly dinner date…we’ve missed you!

S: So what’s new?

J: Tracy just turned four. She’s growing ridiculously fast. Seems like yesterday she was a tiny infant in my arms.

S: Oh…that’s so sweet. Did she like the teddy bear we sent?

M: She loved it! She named it Puki and the two of them are inseparable!

S: Glad to hear it.

兩 對夫婦很久不見。It’s been forever! 是誇張的說法,意思就是好久不見。 So what’s new? 有什麼新鮮事呢?Jesse 和 Miika 的女兒 Tracy 剛過四歲。She’s growing ridiculously fast. 長得太快了。Tracy 很喜歡 Paul 和 Sara 送的泰迪熊,走到哪裡都帶在身邊,The two of them are inseparable.

P: So how’s work these days, Jesse? Times are tough, huh?

J: You know, you guys are such old friends…I’m not going to beat around the bush. I got laid off last month.

經 濟不好,Times are tough. Jesse 說,大家都是老朋友,我就不拐彎抹角了。I am not going to beat around the bush. Beat around the bush 是兜圈子的意思。I got laid off 我被裁員了。

S: Oh, that’s awful! But we should level with you too…the hospital cut me back to part-time.

M: I’m so sorry to hear that! You work such long hours! What explanation did they give?

S: They said they were outsourcing most of the hospital’s paperwork to India…it costs like a third of what they are spending now.

J: Makes sense from a business perspective, but it’s very unfortunate for you.

Sara 也坦白地說,她在醫院的工作從全職改成兼職了。level with somebody 向某人坦白。part-time 兼職工作。醫院減少她的工作時間是為了節省開支,把大部分文書工作 paperwork 都外包到印度去了。Outsource 意思是外包。

S: How about you? Why did you get a pink slip?

J: The company is “restructuring”…which in this case is a fancy word for going bankrupt.

P: Well, you two are some of the most resilient people I know…so what’s the plan?

M: I’m taking more freelance writing work. I can do that from home and still watch Tracy. That way we save on daycare.

J: And I’m thinking I’ll go back to school and finish my Master’s Degree. Then when the economy picks up, I’ll be much more marketable.

pink slip 解僱通知。Jesse 說,自己失業是因為公司重組restructuring, 其實就是破產,還美其名曰重組,a fancy word for going bankrupt。Miika 說自己打算多做一些自由撰稿工作,freelance writing work. Jesse 則打算回去完成碩士學位,Master’s Degree ,等待市場回暖。

A: 原來, Times are tough ,經濟不景氣,Jesse 接到了pink slip,解僱通知書,got laid off, 被裁員了。他打算多做一些freelance work, 自由職業工作,而且還要去get a Master’s Degree, 完成碩士學位,等待市場復甦。

B: I guess that’s what people usually do when the economy is bad. That’s why there’re so many people in school right now.

A: Are you considering going back to school for a Master degree some day?

B: Yeah, definitely. But I want to work for a few years first to figure out what I’m really interested in, and then go for a master program which suits my interests and will be useful in my career!

A: That’s smart! 我覺得真的應該先工作,再回去讀碩士學位,這樣你更了解自己的事業方向! 這不,Jesse和Miika就談起了這個問題,咱們一起來聽聽他們怎麼說!

禮節美語-Getting Laid Off-part II

Paul 和 Sara 夫婦倆人跟老朋友 Jesse 和 Miika 一起吃飯,Jesse 剛失業,打算回去完成碩士學位。

P: But that’s gonna take you at least two years to finish!

J: Actually, I can do it in 10 months by online correspondence course.

M: You know…distance learning. It used to be sort of dodgy, but in the last couple of years even the big-name schools are getting in on the act.

Jesse 說,通過網上教學,online correspondence course 十個月就能拿到碩士文憑。Miika 說,遠程教學原來好象不可靠 dodgy, 但是最近幾年,Even the big-name schools are getting in on the act. 就連很多名牌大學都加入了進來。big-name schools 名牌學校。get in on the act. 加入進來。

S: Yeah. I’ve done some research into online distance learning myself. I’m thinking I should get a nursing degree. All the career-guidance web sites say nursing is a field that’s definitely growing. They say millions more qualified nurses are going to be needed over the next 20 years.

Sara 說,她正在考慮去學護理,因為 nursing is a field that’s definitely growing. 護理絕對是一個正在成長的領域。今後二十年需要數百萬合格的護理人員。

P: But just getting by on Miika’s income isn’t going to be enough, no?

J: No, you’re right. I’m going to bite the bullet and take a part-time job with Miika’s dad. In tough times, pride is not a virtue.

S: Especially when you have a family to feed. Paul and I worry everyday that his firm might get into trouble.

光 靠 Miika 一個人的收入肯定不夠。to get by 是勉強過日子的意思 。Jesse 準備 bite the bullet 忍辱負重,去給老丈人打工,因為 in tough times, pride is not a virtue. 困難時期,驕傲可不是什麼優點。

S: Well, I’m not worried about you. I think you both have exactly the right attitude and have made exactly the right plans to make it through these troubles.

J: Yeah! I’m pretty optimistic about things.

P: What’s that saying? Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?

M: That’s the one!

S: Let’s do this again next month

J: It’s a date!

分 手前,Sara 說 Jesse 和 Miika 一定能渡過難關,make it through these troubles. Paul 補充說,What’s that saying? 那句話是怎麼說的來著?Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger 殺你不死者會讓你變得更強壯,類似中文裡說的,大難不死必有後福。Sara 建議下個月再聚。Jesse 說 It’s a date. 一言為定。

A: 看他們的心態多好! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

B: That’s the truth! I figure after a couple more weeks of working with you I should be strong enough to compete in the Olympics!

A: (冷笑) Yeah, you’d better be fully prepared for tons and tons of challenges! 好啦不理他啦! 同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了


美語訓練班  第072課

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 好滴! 今天,我們要帶你去看看美國的藥店,聊聊怎麼健身保持體型,學學怎麼表達走極端,還要告訴你怎麼說”冷幽默”!

B: Oh, dry humor? Its one of my many expertise!

A: Well, I think that’s your only expertise! (Mike: ouch) 不過現在,咱們還是先來進入第一個單元,Learn a Word!

Learn A Word 1568 across the board

今天我們要學的詞是 across the board. Across is spelled a-c-r-o-s-s; board is spelled b-o-a-r-d, across the board. Across the board 指所有人,所有方面。最新調查顯示,The number of young adults living with their parents has risen across the board, no matter their age, race or geographic locations. 跟父母住在一起的年輕成年人全面增加,不論年齡,種族,也不論地理位置。美國房屋市場7月底公布的數字顯示,Housing prices are up across the board from a month before. 跟一個月前的數字相比,房價普遍上漲。在福布斯雜誌公布的最新大學排名中,普林斯頓名列第一。Princeton is doing really well across the board. 普林斯頓大學的各項表現都很出色。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 across the board, across the board, across the board…

A: 讓我也來造個句, 哦有了! Across the board, our listeners prefer my voice to yours.

B: 楊琳,I hope that’s supposed to be dry humor because otherwise you are horribly out of touch with reality.

A: 哈哈,好了好了。咱們休戰,好吧? (笑) So, what did you do over the weekend?

B: Oh I took an artist friend out to dinner. She does paintings for business offices but the bad economy means that few businesses are spending money on art. So she’s having some trouble making ends meet.

A: 哈? 藝術家阿?

B: Yeah, My friend says that life as an artists is hard because work is either feast or famine.

A: 哦,藝術家的生活確實沒太多保障。不過既然你已經提到了feast and famine, 咱們就來聽聽這個習慣用語的用法吧!

Words and Idioms #982

現在播送美國習慣用語第 982講。我是楊琳。

M:我是Dan Markus.

最近我的小外甥特別高興。他今年鏟雪賺了不少錢,正好可以用這些錢來買新的電子遊戲。今年下了不少雪,所以他也賺得很多。可去年冬天天氣就特別暖和,所以他一點活兒都沒有。在英語里,我們可以用一個習慣用語來形容這種情形:

M: Feast or famine. Feast is spelled f-e-a-s-t, feast; and famine; f-a-m-i-n-e. Feast or famine.

Feast 是盛宴的意思,而 famine 是饑荒,feast or famine 意思就是走極端,要麼多得要命,要麼少得可憐。上面的例子里,我外甥的工作要不就是多得數不過來,要不就是一點都沒有。 It’s been either FEAST OR FAMINE。在下面的例子里,我們來聽聽一個爵士樂手的經歷,你就能明白為什麼藝術有時候只能當作一種愛好了。

M: “I love playing in a jazz band. But I can’t rely on it for a full-time salary. During the spring and summer, we get hired a lot to play at weddings, outdoor concerts and festivals. Then, once the cooler temperatures set in, we don’t get that many jobs at all. It’s FEAST OR FAMINE.”

這段話是說:我很愛在爵士樂隊里演出。但是我不能靠這個來謀生。春夏兩個季節,我們經常去各種婚禮,室外演唱會和節日場合演出。可是一旦天氣開始變冷,我們的工作機會就沒那麼多了。忙的時候忙死,閑的時候閑死。]

這也讓我想起我的一個鄰居。她是個畫家,儘管大多數時候生活還行,可是有些時候手頭也會覺得緊。這是因為經濟好的時候,人們有足夠的錢來享受生活,也會更多地投資藝術品。可是每當經濟不好的時候,人們可能什麼都不會買。For painters or musicians, it’s either FEAST OR FAMINE. 對畫家或音樂家來說,就是這麼,活多的時候忙死,活少的時候閑死。好的,讓我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “I love playing in a jazz band. But I can’t reply on it for a full-time salary. During the spring and summer, we get hired a lot to play at weddings, outdoor concerts and festivals. Then, once the cooler temperatures set in, we don’t get that many jobs at all. It’s FEAST OR FAMINE.”

對於美國人來說,夏天有很多旅遊勝地,其中一個是Cape Cod 鱈魚角。這是美國馬塞諸塞州的一個半島,由於氣候涼爽宜人,人們喜歡在夏天去那裡休閑度假。讓我們來聽聽旅遊記者是怎麼介紹的:

M: “Cape Cod is the eastern tip of Massachusetts. It’s always been a popular destination for tourists in the summer who enjoy activities like going to the beach, fishing or whale watching. For providers of goods and services there, business used to be rather FEAST OR FAMINE. But people are now living in the area year-round. So business is much more constant.”

這段話是說: 鱈魚角位於馬塞諸塞最東部。在夏天,這裡是一個旅遊勝地。人們喜歡去海灘,釣魚或者出海看鯨魚。對於在那裡買東西或是提供各種服務的人來說,過去生意不穩定,忙的時候特別忙,淡的時候特別淡。不過現在,很多人常年住在那裡,所以生意也就比較平衡穩定了。]

的確是這樣。很多以季節為賣點的旅遊勝地,旅遊旺季生意就多,旅遊淡季生意就少。For a ski resort or a beach, business has always been FEAST OR FAMINE. 比如滑雪場或者海灘,生意就是時好時壞。我覺得,這些地方應該開發其他服務項目,設法常年吸引顧客。好的,讓我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Cape Cod is the eastern tip of Massachusetts. It’s always been a popular destination for tourists in the summer who enjoy activities like going to the beach, fishing or whale watching. For providers of goods and services there, business used to be rather FEAST OR FAMINE. But people are now living in the area year-round. So business is much more constant.”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是feast or famine, 意思是「極端化,時好時壞」。好的,這次[美國習慣用語]就到此結束,我是楊琳,我是Dan Markus。謝謝各位的收聽。

A : Feast and famine, 走極端。That seems to describe our situation pretty well. While I’m always super busy, you always seem to be doing nothing. 哎,沒辦法,能幹的人總是這麼忙呀!

B: Hey,after spending 5 years in America, you’ve finally learn how to do dry humor!!! We’ve Americanize you!

A: What? 才沒有! 我可是取其精華,去其糟粕! I think dry humor is a very important part in American culture, people always appreciate if you have a good sense of humor.

B: Yep, actually one of the top things that American’s look for in a significant other is a good sense of humor.

A: 對! 在下面的美語怎麼說里,我們就要帶你去看看各種幽默笑話要怎麼說!

B: Let’s listen!

How to say it in American English

Jessica 在北京學漢語,她的中國朋友要是遇到了不知道用美語怎麼說的詞,就會來請教她。今天是Luis要問的:冷幽默。

LZ: Jessica, you won’t believe it! Last night, I met the funniest guy ever!
Jessica: No way! 他怎麼好玩兒了?Did he wear bunny ears?

LZ: 頭上戴著兔耳朵?這種是幼兒園級的搞笑,沒勁! 這人的特點是,每句話都特逗,可是自己從來不笑! 對了,這種冷幽默在美語里要怎麼說呢?

Jessica: We call that dry humor. With dry humor, the emphasis is not on funny facial expressions or exaggerated body moves, rather, it’s the joke itself that’s really humorous.

LZ: 哦,dry humor, 不靠誇張的表情和動作,純粹靠笑話本身好笑。The guy I was talking about did have a dry sense of humor.

Jessica: I bet he kept a straight face while telling jokes that made everyone else laugh their pants off!

LZ: exactly! 別人都笑翻了,就他自己面無表情地繼續講。這人的冷幽默在party上特受人歡迎。以前大家為了找樂子,頂多就是講幾個葷段子。哎?這「葷段子」又要怎麼說呢?

Jessica: We call them “off-color jokes.” The most common off-color jokes are about sex, but they can also touch on violence, ethnic groups or other impolite topics.

LZ: 原來葷段子就是off-color jokes, 除了情色內容,還可以是別的有冒犯性的話題。

Jessica: Off-color jokes can be really offensive to those who aren’t that close to you or don’t share your sense of humor. So, use them carefully.
LZ: 沒錯,講葷段子得分對什麼人,不熟的朋友可別講! 啊,說了這麼多段子,幽默,我真是躍躍欲試!

Jessica: What? Give what a try?

LZ: 我本來就是個特有幽默感的人,我覺得我能成一單口相聲演員!

Jessica: A standup comedian? You?

LZ: 原來, Standup comedian 就是單口相聲演員,那行,I’ll make standup comedian one of my career goals!

Jessica: Is this dry humor? ‘Cos I didn’t get it!

LZ: 今天我們學了,冷幽默是dry humor; 葷段子off-color jokes; 單口相聲演員是standup comedian.

A: Standup comedian! Oh my gosh, I L-O-V-E Russell Peters!
B: Russell Peters is pretty funny. I’m more of a 相聲 guy myself though

A: 哇,你這麼中國吶! 不過也是,我記得我小時候生病的時候,爸爸就給我放中央台相聲,一樂我就好了!

B: Hahaha, yep, in English we have a saying: “laughter is the best medicine”! When you are really sick, you still need to go the doctor or get some medicine! In today’s Go English, we will take you to an American drug store!

A: 對,在美國,醫院和藥店是分開的,我們趕快去聽聽看吧!

Health: Beginner

大家好!今天我們為您播出「美語三級跳」節目「醫藥」單元的初級課程。

Helen 覺得不舒服,要去藥店買葯。Professor Bowman, 「藥店」的英文我知道兩個,一個是drug store, 還有一個是pharmacy, p-h-a-r-m-a-c-y.

Professor: Yes, Winnie, they are both stores where you buy medicine. In this first section, Helen is talking to the pharmacist to get recommendations on what kind of medicine she should take.

Pharmacist: Hello. Can I help you?

Helen: Yes, I haven’t been feeling well lately and need some medicine.

Pharmacist: I see. Do you have a prescription?

Helen: No, I just want some non-prescription medicine.

Professor: So Winnie, what kind of medicine does Helen want?

藥店的pharmacist – 藥劑師問Helen是不是要買 prescription medicine– 處方葯,不過Helen說她只想買點 non-prescription medicine–非處方葯。

Professor: That’s right. Prescription is spelled p-r-e-s-c-r-i-p-t-i-o-n, prescription. Sometimes people also call non-prescription medicine “over-the-counter” medicine.

哦,counter是櫃檯的意思,所以”over-the-counter” medicine,就是「直接從櫃檯抓的葯」,也就是不需要醫生開的非處方葯。

Professor: Now let’s hear what’s wrong with Helen.

Pharmacist: Before I can recommend some medicine, I need to know your symptoms.

Helen: My stomach has been hurting, and I have had a bad headache.

Pharmacist: Sure, I have a very good medicine for those symptoms.

Helen: I hope it works! I’ve really been feeling under the weather.

原來,Helen感覺胃疼,頭疼。 Professor, 我猜symptom就是「癥狀」的意思吧?

Professor: Exactly! symptom is spelled s-y-m-p-t-o-m, symptom. Doctors will ask you to describe your symptoms so that they can diagnose what is wrong with you.

對,醫生要聽病人講了癥狀之後,才能診斷。對了, professor, Helen還說 she is feeling “under the weather”,這是什麼意思?

Professor: That’s just a common phrase to say that you are feeling sick. For example, I didn’t go to work yesterday because I was feeling under the weather.

哦,under the weather就是「感覺身體不舒服」。真希望藥劑師能給Helen推薦一些有效的葯。

Pharmacist: Take this medicine once in the morning and once at night. You will feel much better.

Helen: OK, what is the dose?

Pharmacist: There are two pills per dose.

Helen: And are there any side effects?

Pharmacist: It may make you feel drowsy, so don’t drive after taking it.

Professor, 什麼叫「dose」?

Professor: The dose, d-o-s-e, is the amount of medicine you should take.

MC: 哦,dose 就是服藥的劑量。藥劑師讓Helen早晚各吃一次葯,每次的量是 two pills–兩片兒。

Professor: Right. And did you hear what the side effects of this medicine are?

嗯,這個葯有side effects–副作用,那就是 Helen可能會覺得drowsy–睏倦,想睡覺。所以,藥劑師說,在吃了這些葯之後,不要隍7d車。

Pharmacist: Before I give this to you, I need to ask one last question. Do you have any allergies?

Helen: I’m not allergic to any medicine, although I have an allergy to peanuts.

Pharmacy: That isn’t a problem. There aren’t any peanuts in this medication.

Helen: Well thank you very much for your help. I will follow the directions.

Pharmacist: If you don’t feel better, you should schedule a doctor’s appointment to get a diagnosis.

Professor: So Winnie, did you hear what Helen is allergic to?

allergic就是指對什麼東西過敏,Helen說她對藥物並不過敏,不過,她對peanuts–花生,過敏。

Professor: Right. And what did the pharmacist tell Helen to do if her symptoms don’t get better?

他說,如果吃了葯不見好,就要去看醫生。我總覺得,問問醫生的意見比較保險,醫生總比藥劑師強吧?
Professor: But don’t you think this pharmacist sounds pretty good?

那就要看Helen吃了這些葯,效果如何嘍!

A: 原來,Helen感覺under the weather,身體不舒服,於是去藥店想買一些over the counter medicine, 非處方葯。 藥師向她推薦了一種葯,而這種葯有個輕微的side effect,副作用,就是容易疲倦,get drowsy.

B: Yep, a pharmacist’s advice is pretty useful when you don’t have time to see a doctor.

A:我也是這麼覺得,在美國要是生了病我可懶得去看醫生,還得預約,太麻煩了!

B: True true. the best thing you can do is to try and live a healthy lifestyle, that way you won’t get sick easily.

A: Exactly! 少吃多運動! 不過吧,對我來說,我又不愛運動,又愛吃….

B: You really should come to the gym with me! If start now I might be able to help you work off those love handles before you 90.

A: 你說什麼 呢??,That had better have been dry humor! 好了好了,不說咱們了,在下面的business etiquette里,三個公司高管要開會討論員工保健項目! 咱們一起去聽聽看!

禮節美語 – Fitness Program – part I

公司高管 Peter, Jason 和 Helen 開會討論員工保健項目。Peter 首先發言。

Peter: Well folks, we’ve come to the last item on our agenda: our corporate wellness program.

Jason: Yeah, I’m very interested to see where you’re going to do with this. It’s a very delicate issue.

P: Yes, it can be. But here’s our general thinking: if employees are healthier the company benefits and makes more profit. Making more profit is good for everyone in the company.

會議最後一項議事日程是公司的保健項目。The last item on the agenda is the corporate wellness program。這是個 delicate issue 很棘手、很微妙的問題。Peter 解釋說,員工健康會增加公司的利潤,公司利潤的提高對大家都有好處。

P: Studies show that when employees are fit, there is less illness, a better attitude toward work, lower absenteeism and even better
relationships at work.

Helen: Ok…I get you. But I’m concerned about our company becoming a kind of “big brother.” Is it really our job to tell our workers how to care for themselves?

有研究說,僱員健康的好處包括:少生病,工作態度改善,少請假,以及更為融洽的同事關係。這裡的 absenteeism, a-b-s-e-n-t-e-e-i-s-m, 是缺席的意思。Helen 說,I get you. 我明白你的意思。但她擔心公司會成為對員工指手劃腳的 big brother 過於專制的老大哥。

P: Well, let me explain the idea. The first part is on our side. We in management need to provide some kind of affordable exercise options. I’ve spoken to several of our designers who say they would definitely sign another year’s contract if we could provide exercise options.

J: So part of the plan is an effort to retain talent?

P: Yep. And to that end we will be turning the basement level into a small workout center with a shower.

Peter 解釋說,公司要提供某種形式的健身項目,目的之一是 to retain talent. 留住人才。為此,公司準備把地下室改造成帶淋浴的小型健身中心,a small workout center with a shower.

H: I like that. Then we could be flexible with what time we workout.
Come in early, stay late or even grab a workout during a lunch break…that would be great.

P: It requires some investment on our part, but we really do believe it could boost productivity.

J: I’m on board for that!

這樣一來,大家健身的時間可以很機動,very flexible, 可以早來、可以晚走,也可以利用午飯時間,during lunch break. Jason 說,I’m on board for that. 我支持。

A: 公司高管們們在討論在辦公大樓里修建一個健身中心,他們認為勞役結合才能夠retain talents, 留住人才。Peter認為應該build a small workout center with a shower, 建一個帶淋浴得小型健身中心,這樣讓員工們能夠保持健康,心情愉快,自然boost productivity, 提高生產力。

B: I think that’s a great idea. I go to the gym in our building after work everyday. It’s convenient and it definitely helps me to relax after a long day of work.

A: 可是我一跑步就覺得好累好無聊…..

B: That’s the beauty of the gym. You don’t necessarily need to run, there’s a lot of weights and fitness machines you can use. I’m sure you can find something that you enjoy!

A: That’s true! 好啦,咱們接著回到節目里來,Peter提出了一個棘手的問題,咱們一起來看看高管們有什麼解決方案!

禮節美語 – Fitness Program – part II

公司高管 Peter, Jason 和 Helen 開會討論員工保健項目。大家都贊成把地下室改成健身中心。然而,Peter 提出了一個棘手的問題。

P: Now comes the sensitive part — setting standards and setting penalties for non-compliance.

H: Oooh. That is tough.

P: Take smoking for example. Smoking tobacco is legal – of course – but our records show we pay roughly 25% more in medical costs for our employees who smoke. Is that fair to the other employees or to the company?

如果員工不按規定做,該怎麼辦,這個問題很敏感 sensitive。Take smoking for example. 比如說吸煙。Peter 說,公司為吸煙員工支付的醫療費用比不吸煙的人多百分之25,這種情況對其它員工、對公司公平嗎?

H: That’s an interesting point. A person’s actions really do have a bigger effect than we think they do.

J: As they say: “No man is an island.”

P: That’s right. OK…here’s an even more delicate situation. What do we do with people who are seriously overweight or obese?

No man is an island 沒有人是孤島,意思是說你的行動一定會影響到別人。除了吸煙的員工外,還有一類員工也很讓人頭疼,那就是體重超重或是肥胖的人。overweight 是超重的意思,如果更嚴重的話,就變成了 obese, o-b-e-s-e, 肥胖。

J: Um…like me?

(Laughter)

H: You’re not that bad, Jason!

J: Well, I’m certainly overweight. I’ve been carrying around an extra 20 pounds for years now.

P: Well, you’re certainly not alone. Weight is a serious problem faced by many in this country. But again, our records show that obese people also cost a great deal more to insure and their medical conditions are much more expensive to deal with. We don’t want to be callous, but it’s affecting our bottom line.

J: Well, I’d personally love to lose some weight and the new gym might help.

Jason 承認自己體重超標。他說,I’ve been carrying around an extra 20 pounds for years now. 很多年來,我的體重一種超標20磅。Peter 說,you are certainly not alone. 意思是超重絕不是你一個人的問題。雖然我們不想不盡人情,we don’t want to be callous, c-a-l-l-o-u-s, 意思是冷酷無情,但是這個問題已經影響到了公司的 bottom line. Bottom line 指的是公司的利潤底線。Jason 說,他個人其實很想減肥,新開的健身房說不定會對他有幫助。

A: You know what, I think I’ve been carrying an extra 5 pounds….怎麼辦? 怎麼辦?

B: Well, I mean, I could be your personal trainer…. for a minor fee

A: 你啊? 還是算了吧…


美語訓練班  第073課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天,我們要帶你去看看在美國看病有什麼不同,聊聊怎麼為工作面試做準備,還要告訴你怎麼說精挑細選!

B: Yep. You were complaining about going to hospitals in China, but actually I think here is way worse. It’s significantly more expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance.

A: 可不是嘛! 有一回等我約到醫生,病都好了! 不過這個咱們等會再討論,現在我們先來進入第一個單元,Learn a Word!

Learn A Word – 1570 outsell

今天我們要學的詞是 outsell. outsell is spelled o-u-t-s-e-l-l; outsell. Outsell 銷量超過。「格雷的50道陰影」這套書熱賣。The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy is outselling the seven Harry Potter books to become the best selling book series on Amazon.co.uk.「格雷的50道陰影」三部曲銷量超過哈里.波特的七本書,成為英國亞馬遜網站上銷量最好的系列書籍。Outsell 的過去時是 outsold. 電子書ebook的銷量繼續呈上升趨勢。Publishers are reporting that in 2011, e-book versions of novels aimed at adults outsold hard covers for the first time. 出版商說,2011年,成年人小說類書籍的電子版銷量首次超過精裝本銷量。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 outsell, outsell, outsell….

A: 說起outsell,最該提的就是iphone5了! iPhone 5 outsold all other smart phones! 我也特想要一部呢!

B: Yeah, Apple said it got 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 in just 24 hours. That nearly doubles the sales record of the previous version!

A: 正好,你不是前兩天在健身房馬大哈把手機摔了嗎? 你也去換個新的嘛!

B: Well as you know, I like to be unique. I don’t want to use the same phone as everybody else. So I’ve been trying to ferret out which smart phone I should get by reading all the comments on tech web sites.

A: Oh you’re so smart! 你剛才提到了一個很好的詞兒 ferret out, 咱們來聽聽這個習慣用語的用法吧!

Words and Idioms-983

現在播送美國習慣用語第 983講。我是楊琳。

M:我是Steve Baragona.

最近我想去剪個新髮型。雖然髮廊很多,但是因為剛來到這個新城市,對哪家髮廊好一點都沒有概念。幸好有互聯網,只要到特定的網站去搜索一下,哪些髮型師的評價好就一目了然了。在美語里,我們可以用一個習慣用語來形容這種情形:

M: Ferret out. Ferret is spelled f-e-r-r-e-t. Ferret-out.

Ferret 作為動詞,意思是搜尋,尋找。Ferret out 作為一個片語,是通過全面查找而搜尋出來的意思。在上面的例子里,通過網上的顧客評論: I can FERRET OUT the poor service providers from the good ones. 我能很容易找到好的和差的服務。在下面的例子里,一名男子堅持要參加訓練最嚴酷的特種部隊,我們來聽聽他爸爸是怎麼說的:

M: “I support my son wanting to enlist in the military. But he’s determined to join one of the toughest units in the world. Their basic training involves physical, mental and emotional challenges that nearly impossible to endure. They FERRET OUT the weaker candidates within days.”

這段話是說:[我支持兒子想去參軍的打算。但是他堅決要參加世界上訓練最嚴酷的軍種之一。他們的基本訓練包括對體能,精神和情緒的極限挑戰。他們在幾天內就能把不夠強壯的候選人淘汰掉。]

這人說的一定是那些在泥里爬,冰水裡游泳,然後每天只睡四個小時的特種部隊。我真不明白人類怎麼能忍受這些。我記得,原來我去參加一個鋼琴比賽的選拔,The judges quickly FERRETED OUT everyone but the most exceptional talents. 評委們很快就挑選出了最傑出的人才。好了,讓我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “I support my son wanting to enlist in the military. But he’s determined to join one of the toughest units in the world. Their basic training involves physical, mental and emotional challenges that nearly impossible to endure. They FERRET OUT the weaker candidates within days.”

在工作中,大家都討厭那種幹活拖拉,或者光拿錢不干事的人。在下面例子里,一間工廠就發生了這種事。讓我們來聽聽他們的發言人是怎麼說的:

M: “It was announced that some workers got paid overtime that they hadn’t worked. The accounting department is reviewing all recent records. They’re FERRENTING OUT any fraud. The employees responsible can expect to be punished.”

[這段話是說:據稱有些工人沒加班就擅自領取加班費。現在會計部門正在審核所有紀錄。他們將撤查任何舞弊行為。那些應當對此負責的人將受到懲罰。]

幹了缺德事,總是會被發現的。我記得原來大學在一間旅遊公司實習,人們發現一些導遊強行多收了遊客的錢。It didn’t take long for the boss to FERRET OUT abuses and fire those employees. 老闆沒過多久就發現了這種行為,炒了那些導遊的魷魚。好的,讓我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “It was announced that some workers got paid overtime that they hadn’t worked. The accounting department is reviewing all recent records. They’re FERRENTING OUT any fraud. The employees responsible can expect to be punished.”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是ferret out, 意思是「搜尋出來,查找出來」。好的,這次[美國習慣用語]就到此結束,我是楊琳,我是Dan Markus。謝謝各位的收聽。

B: Speaking of ferret out, one of the reasons medical care is so costly in America is because medical school is so hard and expensive. It’s extremely hard to get in, and they are constantly trying to ferret out the weaker candidates during the four years of study.

A: 這樣才能保證最後出來的醫生都是最優秀的呀! 不過我覺得美國呢,尖端醫學確實特別發達,可是普通人要去看病可太貴啦!

B: For sure. The worst part is that even with insurance sometimes the cost of medical care can be in the thousands.

A: 就是! 記得嗎,上回Helen也不想看醫生,可病一點沒好,所以這回不得不去了。咱們跟著她去看看美國醫生有什麼高招!
B: Let’s listen!

Health: Intermediate

大家好!今天我們為您播出「美語三級跳」節目「醫藥」單元的中級課程。

Helen因為頭疼和胃疼到藥店買了一些葯,可是不管用。所以她今天約了醫生看病.

Professor: That’s right, Winnie. In this first part, Helen is describing her symptoms to the doctor. Let’s listen.

Helen: I hope you can help me doctor. I really haven’t been feeling well the past few days.

Doctor: I see. Can you describe your symptoms for me?

Helen: I’ve had a persistent pain in my stomach, and I’ve been getting really bad headaches too.

Doctor: Can you describe the stomach pain? Is it a dull pain or a sharp pain?

Helen: It’s mostly a dull pain. No matter what I do, nothing seems to make it go away.

Professor, Helen說她的頭疼和胃疼都是persistent是什麼意思?

Professor: You can call a symptom persistent if it won’t go away. For example, “I get a persistent headache every afternoon as soon as my children come home from school.”

哦,persistent pain就是持續的疼痛。

Professor: Exactly. And do you know what sharp and dull pains are?

我知道,dull pain就是隱隱作痛,而sharp pain是劇烈疼痛。

Doctor: Do you have a history of these kinds of symptoms?

Helen: Well I’ve had stomach aches and headaches before, but never this serious and for so long.

Doctor: Right. How long have you been feeling ill? Is it every day?

Helen: It’s been on-and-off for a few months. I’ve tried taking aspirin to lessen the pain, but it doesn’t help.

Professor: So Winnie, how long has Helen had these symptoms?

她說已經疼了幾個月了,不過,她說這些癥狀是on-an-off,這是什麼意思呢?

Professor: That means that sometimes she has them, and sometimes she doesn’t.

哦,on-and-off 就是說有時候疼,有時候不疼,時好時壞。

Professor: Right. You can use this phrase for other things too. For example, “Chris and Tammy keep breaking up, but then getting back together. Their relationship has been on-and-off for the past year.”

哦,形容戀人的關係是on-and-off,就是說他們總是分分合合。Professor, 醫生還問Helen是不是有a history of these symptoms,這就是問她是不是有這個病史,是不是老毛病吧?

Professor: Right again! The doctor might also ask if you have a “family history” of a disease, meaning that other people in your family have had the same thing.

Family history of a disease? 也就是家族病史。

Doctor: I’m not sure what the problem is. I need to do some tests before I can diagnose you.

Helen: How long will that take?

Doctor: It will take about a week for the test results to come back. Until then, I can give you some pain killers to help alleviate the pain.

Helen: Thanks doctor. I think that would be really helpful.

看來,醫生一時也不能判斷Helen到底有什麼病,所以要 do some tests 做一些化驗,看看結果再說。

Professor: Yes, Winnie. And what does the doctor say he will do to help Helen alleviate the pain while they are waiting for the test results?

醫生說先給Helen開一些pain killers–止痛藥,希望這樣能alleviate–緩解她的疼痛。

Doctor: I have just one last question. Have there been any big changes in your life that have affected your mental health?

Helen: Actually, my dog died a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been really sad about it.

Doctor: You know, sometimes when you are under a lot of mental stress, it can cause physical health problems. Have you thought about talking to a therapist?

Helen: No, I haven’t. Do you think that would help?

Doctor: It might. You should think about it.

原來,Helen的狗幾個星期前死了,醫生說,心理壓力也可能引起身體不適,所以建議Helen去看看therapist–治療師。

Professor: That’s right. Usually when Americans mention “therapist”, they refer to someone who you talk to about your mental health, but a “physical therapist” is someone who helps people recover from physical injuries.

哦,therapist一般指心理治療師, 「physical therapist」,就是物理治療師了。Professor, 你說Helen會去看therapist么?

Professor: Let’s listen next time to find out!

A: 醫生問Helen身體有什麼不適,她說她一直have a dull pain in her stomach, 肚子隱隱作痛,而且幾個月來一直on and off, 時好時壞。醫生問她有沒有 a history of these symptoms, 家族病史。了解到沒有之後,醫生說得做些檢察,先給了Helen一些止痛藥來 alleviate the pain, 減輕疼痛。

B: Yeah, she also mentioned that she’s under a lot of mental stress. I guess that also contributed.

A:我也是這麼覺得,在美國要是生了病我可懶得去看醫生,還得預約,太麻煩了!

B: Not necessarily, a lot of cities have special clinics call “Urgent Care Centers” where you can just walk in and see a doctor. No one wants to get sick, especially when you have something important to do. I remember once I got really sick before an important interview, and it nearly killed me! I was too dizzy to follow what the interviewer was saying!

A: 啊? 要是我肯定就先取消了嘛!

B: Well, sometimes you get sick suddenly and there is no time to cancel or maybe the interview is extremely important and you can’t cancel.

A: 也對也對! 在今天的Business Etiquette里, David得到了他一直夢寐以求的面試機會,咱們去看看他是怎麼準備的!

禮節美語-Prepare for Job Interview-part I

MC: David 興高彩烈地來找 Peter。讓我們聽聽他有什麼好消息。

David: Peter! Have I got news for you!

Peter: Wow, Dave…I’ve never seen you so excited. What’s the occasion?

D: Ok…you’ve known me for years, right?

P: Uh huh.

D: What’s the one job I’ve been dreaming of having my whole life?

P: You’ve always wanted to work as a writer for PLAYERS Magazine.

David 說,Have I got news for you! 在這裡不是問句,而是要加強語氣,意思是我有事要告訴你!So What’s the occasion? 是什麼重大消息呢?Peter 故意賣關子,暗示 David ,跟他多年來的理想有關,那就是給 Players 雜誌撰稿。

D: That’s right!! And I landed a job interview with them!!! I go in to meet the boss next Tuesday!!

P: Wow, man! I’m so happy for you! Good for you!

D: But, truth be told…I’m terrified of the interview. How can I ace it?

David 喜出望外地告訴 Peter, I landed a job interview with them. 他得到了面試的機會。Land, l-a-n-d, 在這裡是動詞,意思是得到。但是 David 承認,truth be told,說實話,他很怕,所以讓 Peter 給他出主意,怎樣才能 ace it. Ace it 是一種很口語化的說法,意思是得滿分,一舉拿下這次面試。

P: Awww, everyone is terrified of job interviews, but there are some things you can do to help prepare.

D: Such as?

P: Well, for starters, you should do as much research as possible on PLAYERS Magazine.

D: Yeah…I’ll need to review some of their older issues and brush up on the magazine’s history. I need to know that company inside and out!

P: That’s right. Bosses like the guy who does his homework.

如何為面試做準備?Peter 說,for starters, 首先,要對 Players 雜誌有一個徹底的了解。David 說,他準備回去 brush up on the magazine’s history. 重溫一下這份雜誌的歷史,brush up on something 的意思是溫故知新. David 還說,I need to know that company inside and out. 意思是把這家雜誌從裡到外了解個底兒透。Peter 表示贊成,因為 bosses like the guy who does his homework. 老闆都喜歡認真的人。do one’s homework 做好功課,就是事先做好準備工作的意思。

D: I was thinking about asking you to play the role of the interviewer so I can rehearse my performance. I’ve already done it front of a mirror like a hundred times.

P: (chuckle) Sure…I’ll play the boss. But you know…you’re going to have to fight to stay calm. It doesn’t look good if you go into the interview too hyper. You gotta look calm and in control.

David 讓 Peter 扮演面試考官,play the role of the interviewer, 幫他模擬面試,so I can rehearse my performance. Rehearse, r-e-h-e-a-r-s-e, 是綵排的意思。Peter 建議 David 不能過於激動 too hyper, h-y-p-e-r, hyper 是高度興奮的意思。You gotta look calm and in control. 要顯得鎮定自若。

A: David得到了夢寐以求的面試機會,他決定好好準備,brush up on the magazine’s history, 熟悉雜誌的歷史,know the company inside and out, 透徹了解這家公司。Peter 說去面試的時候不能hyphy hyh hyper,過於興奮,要 look calm and in control, 鎮定自若。

B: Those are all good tips. I think preparation is key. If you are fully prepared, you will have more confidence, and it will show through your gestures and words.

A: Yep. 而且我覺得穿著和舉止也特別重要! 一定得穿自己最舒服最自信的衣服,一走進去就讓面試官感覺到你的自信!

B: Yep, it’s better to be over-dress than under-dress! Let’s continue to listen and see what kind of advice that Peter has for David!
B:

禮節美語-Prepare for Job Interview-part II

David 要去面試,他準備穿什麼呢?我們一起聽聽他跟好朋友 Peter 的對話。

D: I’m going to get there early and make sure I have my best outfit all washed and ironed way ahead of time. If I wait for the last minute, I know I’ll panic!

P: Yeah, preparation is key. Remember to call the interviewer by their name. People like to hear their name spoken out loud. But don’t over-do it. Ok…so what are you planning on wearing next Tuesday?

D: Well, I want to look good, but I don’t want to look too stuffy. I was thinking about nice jeans and a sports coat.

David 準備提前到達面試地點,早早把要穿的衣服洗好、熨好。way ahead of time 意思是早早的。If I wait for the last minute, 如果等到最後一分鐘的話,就會 panic, p-a-n-i-c, 意思是感到慌亂。Peter 提醒 David 要稱呼面試官的名字,但是 don’t over-do it. 不要做得太過頭。David 說,他不想顯得乏味,古板,too stuffy, s-t-u-f-f-y, 所以想穿牛仔褲和休閑西裝上衣去面試。

P: Ummm…I’d recommend erring on the conservative side when it comes to clothes. I read somewhere that 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look. I’d say go with a suit and tie.

D: 55% huh? Then I guess it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed.

P: Yeah. I’d say a dark suit with a conservative tie.

Peter 建議 David 選擇相對正式的西裝和領帶。to err on the conservative side, 意思是寧可保守一點,因為別人對你的印象有百分之55都是根據你的外表得出的。It’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. 寧可穿得過於正式 over-dressed,也不要穿得過於隨便 under-dressed。

P: But the one main thing that I can’t stress enough is confidence. Look the person in the eye. If you need a clarification on something, speak up and ask…but don’t turn into a blabbermouth.

D: Do you think I should tell him how terrible it is working at Shimomatsu Publishing? I bet he’d get a kick out of that!

Peter 強調說,要 look the person in the eye 看著對方的眼睛。有什麼問題儘管問,但不要喋喋不休 don’t turn into a blabbermouth. B-l-a-b-b-e-r-m-o-u-t-h 是多嘴多舌的意思。David 想告訴面試官自己對現在的工作不滿意。I bet he’d get a kick out of that. 我想他聽了一定很高興。

P: Actually, when I interview people, I hate it when they badmouth previous employers. I think it’s bad form and I also think “Is this what you’re going to do to me one day?”

D: Good point. Peter, you are a true friend and I value your input.

P: Call me right after the interview and tell me how it went, OK?

D: Absolutely.

Peter 覺得,最好不要 badmouth previous employers 說以前老闆的壞話, badmouth 是說別人壞話的意思,因為 it’s bad form 這是一種粗魯的表現,form 在這裡是舉止行為的意思。

A: 聽到沒有,絕對不能說老闆或者同事的壞話! So you need to stop being mean to me!

B: I’m not being mean, I’m just being honest…

A: There will be some serious consequences for your action mister! You just wait and see!

B: HA! ok, I’ll be waiting right here.

A: a切! 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。


美語訓練班  第074課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天,我們要跟著Helen去瞧瞧心理醫生管不管用,經歷一次特別的面試,還要告訴你怎麼說緊跟潮流!

B: Are you talking about therapists?

A: Yep! I feel like therapists and anti-depression drugs are very common in America. In China, no one would admit they are depressed since it’s a sign of weakness!

B: I think Americans are generally more open with this issue. And yes, anti-depression drugs are pretty common here.

A: 好! 等會再讓你給大家介紹! 現在,咱們先趕快來進入第一個單元,Learn a Word!

Learn A Word – 1573 foolproof

今天我們要學的詞是 foolproof. Foolproof is spelled f-o-o-l-p-r-o-o-f, foolproof。 Foolproof的意思是「簡單有效的」「不會出錯的」。Social networks whose target audience is kids, acknowledge that there may be no foolproof way to block online predators. 那些以兒童為主要消費者的社交網站承認,能完全阻止網路人身侵害的方法也許並不存在。As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney once proposed a foolproof death penalty law that guaranteed only the guilty could be executed. 美國共和黨總統候選人米特•羅姆尼在當麻州州長時曾提起一項死刑法,據說可以萬無一失地確保只有真正犯罪的人才被處決。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 foolproof, foolproof, foolproof…

A: Speaking of foolproof, Mike,你不是把手機摔了之後一直要買新手機嗎? Did you get a new one? Is it foolproof? I mean, you need something at your level of tech savvy.

B: Hahaha, oh you’re just a riot aren’t you? I’ll have you know I always have my finger on the pulse of new technology. But seriously, everywhere I go, people are talking about the new iPhone 5. I really don’t see the appeal, its only slightly thinner and longer than the iPhone 4s!

A: Yep. And I heard iPhone 5 has a battery life problems. When you start to download a lot of data, the battery drains out super fast.

B: Hey! Seems like we both have our fingers on the pulse of the newest apple products! !

A: 那當然! 你剛才提到了一個很好的詞兒 have one’s finger on the pulse, 咱們來聽聽這個習慣用語的用法吧!

Words and Idioms 984

美國習慣用語第 984講。我是楊琳。

M:我是Steve Baragona.

最近我們給園藝社社長舉辦了一個慶功會!她在一次地區園藝大賽上獲得了傑出成就獎。其實這也不奇怪,她經常參加全國各地的園藝大會和比賽,而且一直緊跟園藝界最新走向。她對園藝的這種熱情執著,我們可以用一個詞來形容,那就是:

M: Have one’s finger on the pulse. Finger is spelled f-i-n-g-e-r, and pulse; p-u-l-s-e. Have one’s finger on the pulse.

大家都知道,finger是手指的意思,pulse 脈搏,have one’s finger on the pulse, 手指放在脈搏上,意思就是緊跟最新動態。上面例子里,When it comes to gardening, our club president seems to HAVE HER FINGER ON THE PULSE. 我們園藝社社長對園藝的走向簡直是了如指掌。在美國,Superbowl 超級盃一向都是全民關注的重點。而中場表演嘉賓也備受矚目。今年的表演者是Madonna 麥當娜,讓我們來聽聽下面這位娛樂記者的介紹:

M: “Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. She’s also recognized as the top-selling female rock artist of the 20th century. How did she become so immensely popular? She continuously reinvented her music and image based on what the public was looking for. Especially during the 1980s and 90s, Madonna always HAD HER FINGER ON THE PUILSE. ”

這段話是說:麥當娜光碟的全球銷量已經超過3億張。她被公認是20世紀銷量最好的女性搖滾歌手。她是怎麼變得如此深受歡迎的呢? 原因是,她不斷根據市場需求,變換曲風和形象,特別是八、九十年代,麥當娜對潮流走勢一直了如指掌。]

做明星確實得緊跟時尚潮流。不過愛美之心人皆有之,女孩子都喜歡去逛商店,或者看服裝展,了解最新潮流動向。I keep my finger on the pulse of fashion through window shopping or watching fashion shows. 好的,讓我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. She’s also recognized as the top-selling female rock artist of the 20th century. How did she become so immensely popular? She continuously reinvented her music and image based on what the public was looking for. Especially during the 1980s and 80s, Madonna always HAD HER FINGER ON THE PUILSE. ”

說起潮流,不光是時裝界,各行各業的人都得了解自己行業的潮流走向,才能成功。下面的例子中,一名公司職員就談到了如何更好地了解顧客群,以服務顧客。讓我們來聽聽他是怎麼說的:

M: “It’s clear to me why our company is falling behind our competitors. We need to understand our younger customers. They’re much more familiar with communications, media and digital technologies. If we want to be successful, we have to show that we HAVE OUR FINGER ON THE FULSE of modern life. ”

[這段話是說:目前很清楚,我們公司為什麼會在與競爭對手的較量中落後。我們需要更好地了解年輕顧客群。他們更熟悉通訊,媒體和電子技術。如果我們想成功,我們就得做到緊跟現代生活的變遷。]

他說得確實很對。像前一段時間柯達公司破產,就是因為如今很少有人需要衝洗相片了,讓他們失去了顧客群。Companies need fresh ideas in order to keep their fingers on the pulse of the market. 公司不斷需要有新觀念,緊跟市場潮流。好的,讓我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “It’s clear to me why our company is falling behind our competitors. We need to understand our younger customers. They’re much more familiar with communications, media and digital technologies. If we want to be successful, we have to show that we HAVE OUR FINGER ON THE FULSE of modern life. ”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是have one’s finger on the pulse, 意思是緊跟最新動態。好的,這次[美國習慣用語]就到此結束,我是楊琳,我是Steve Baragona。

A: 讓我也來造個句: I have my finger on the pulse of whatever is happening in the office. And I can tell Mike that you are stressed out!

B: What? How can you tell!!! I have so many things to do! I need to get up at 5 every day to come to work, I need to go to the gym to keep this awesome body of mine fit, I need to shop for food, do laundry, find health insurance….I’m worn out!!!

A: You know what? You should talk to me, after all the ‘girl talk’ sessions I’ve had with my friends, I’m basically a professional therapist. Maybe I can give you a discount…

B: Yeah, as if I would ever do that!

A: 哈哈哈,好了好了,今天Helen就聽醫生的話去看了看心理醫生,咱們一起跟著她去看看!

Health: Advanced

今天我們為您播出「美語三級跳」節目「醫藥」單元的高級課程。

Professor: Helen hasn’t been feeling well lately, and in the last episode the doctor told her that the cause might be mental stress. So today she is going to talk to a therapist.

哎,如果Helen有心事,可以找朋友、男友或者家人聊聊啊,何必非找心理治療師呢,多貴啊!

Helen: Thank you for seeing me, doctor. I’ve been having a lot of mental stress which I think may be affecting my physical health.

Therapist: Of course. Can you tell me a little bit about what has been upsetting you?

Helen: Well, I had a dog named Herman. He died a couple months ago and I’ve been feeling really down ever since .

Therapist: I see. Were you and Herman close?

Helen: We were the best of friends (sobbing). Whenever things weren’t going well for me, I used to share all my problems with him. He was a great listener.

怪不得Helen情緒如此低落,原來她的狗Herman對她這麼重要,不僅是寵物,還是她最好的朋友呢。

Professor: That’s right, Winnie. Why does Helen say Herman was so great to talk to?

Helen說她有心事都跟狗狗說,因為Herman總是很認真地聽她傾訴。

Therapist: Have there been problems in your life recently that you’ve needed to talk about with someone?

Helen: Yeah, so many problems. I’ve been really stressed out at work ever since my boss gave me a huge new project, and I’ve been going through a rocky period with my boyfriend.

Therapist: Does your stress level interfere with your work or home life?

Helen: Yeah, when I’m under a lot of pressure it’s difficult for me to fall asleep, which makes me tired and unproductive at work the next day.

Therapist: Well, being under a lot of mental pressure like that can have an effect on the body.

Professor: So Winnie, what has been causing Helen so much stress lately?

她的老闆交給她a big new project,一份規模很大的新項目,而且她和男友關係好像有問題,Professor Bowman, 她說正和男友go through a rocky period,這大概不是什麼好事兒吧?

Professor: Winnie, you can call something “rocky” if it is difficult, or not going smoothly. In this case, Helen is saying her relationship with her boyfriend has been experiencing trouble lately.

我明白了,rocky就是困難重重的意思,我想到一個詞, b-u-m-p-y, bumpy,意思一樣嗎?

Professor: Yes, they’re the same.

唉,可憐的Helen, 有這麼多煩心事。不知道心理治療師有什麼好建議。

Therapist: There are some things you can do to relieve your stress. First, you need someone to talk to about your feelings so that they don’t get bottled up inside.

Helen: Hmm …. I guess you’re right. Do you think I should get another dog?

Therapist: No, it’s much better if you pay $200 per hour to talk to me once per week.

Helen: Oh …. but what if spending all that money causes me to worry about my bank account?

Therapist: Don’t worry, if you start feeling even more stressed because of your finances, you can come in twice per week for more therapy.

Professor: Winnie, do you understand what the therapist means when he tells Helen not to bottle up her emotions inside?

Bottle是瓶子的意思,所以我想醫生是讓Helen不要把情緒都憋在心裡。

Professor: That’s right.

Professor, 我覺得這個心理治療師幫不了Helen, 他一小時收200塊錢,Helen 說這麼大的花銷會讓自己有更大壓力,可治療師似乎盼的就是這個,這樣Helen就需要看更多次醫生,他就可以賺更多錢了!

Helen: I don’t know, doctor. I think I really just need to blow off some steam every once in a while. I’m not sure I need all this therapy.

Therapist: In my professional opinion, Helen, you may be very ill. We need to discuss an integrated treatment plan, with therapy sessions and anti-depression medications.

Helen: Anti-depression medications? Now I’m sure I don’t want all that.

Therapist: But Helen, this may be the only way to make you happy again.

Helen: Actually, now I know what will make me happy. A trip to the pet store!

Helen很聰明,治療師讓她多看病,還讓她吃抗抑鬱葯,可Helen沒上當! 她說,她只需要blow off some steam every once in a while – 時不時給自己減減壓,就可以了!

Professor: Yes. I guess Helen, like everyone else, just needs a shoulder to cry on sometimes.

A: 原來,Helen最近壓力很大,小狗死了,工作繁忙,而且going through a rocky period with her boyfriend, 跟男友的關係也不好。心理諮詢師跟她說不能 bottle up her emotions, 積攢不良情緒,而且要她制定integrated treatment plan,綜合治療方案,而且還得take anti-depression medications, 吃抗抑鬱的藥物。這個心理醫生怎麼聽起來像騙人的啊?

B: That treatment plan sounds a little drastic to me. I think Helen just need a shoulder to cry on.

A: Yeah, I don’t take stress very well. 我記得有一次面試的時候,面試官問我受壓能力怎麼樣,我本來就緊張,他一問我就更緊張了!

B: Well, I don’t blame you. Not a lot of people have the ability to handle stress as well as me. That’s why I’m the top dog! (A: ugh…) kidding kidding. Honestly though, nothing makes me more stressed than a Job interview, especially if it’s an interview for a job that I really want!

A: 對呀! 在今天在Business Etiquette里, David就在接受他夢寐以求的求職面試,咱們一起來聽聽看!

禮節美語 – Job Interview – Part I

David Tang 到 PLAYERS 雜誌社求職面試,考官是雜誌社經理 Fred Dixon。

F: Hello Mr. Tang. Take a seat.

D: Thanks Mr. Dixon. Call me David, please.

F: Ok, David…call me Fred. How are you this morning?

D: Very well, thanks. Actually, I’m quite excited.

F: Oh?

D: I’ve been a big fan of PLAYERS Magazine for many years now. I love what you do here. I love the witty writing, the clever features and even the layout.

David 多年來一直是 Players 雜誌的忠實讀者,很欣賞雜誌的 witty writing, clever features and even the layout. 風趣的文風,巧妙的特寫,甚至是版面設計。

F: Nice of you to say. We’ve been working hard to try to keep the magazine as current and relevant as possible. So…I’ve looked over your resume. You’re bilingual, right?

D: Yes. Actually, technically Chinese is my mother tongue…my parents immigrated to Canada when I was seven years old. Later on I went to school in the States and Europe as well.

F: Well, being bilingual is always a plus. We are thinking about expanding our operations and ━ of course — China is a huge market. Anyway…let’s see here…can you tell me why you think you’d be a good fit for our organization?

David 是雙語 bilingual,中文是母語 mother tongue. Fred 承認, bilingual is always a plus. 雙語當然更好。plus 在這兒是優勢的意思。Fred 問 David 為什麼覺得自己適合雜誌社的工作。a good fit for the organization。David 說自己年輕、思維敏銳、精力充沛,and I’m always looking for that next big thing. 隨時準備迎接新的時尚和潮流。

F: That’s good. Ok…here’s a question that might seem kind of off the wall. If you were a car…what kind of car would you be and why.

D: Hmmm…interesting question. I’d say I’d be one of those Japanese sports cars. Not too big…not too flashy on the outside, but lots of power under the hood. You’re asking this to get a sense of my personality, right?

F: Yeah, that’s the idea. So you’re saying you are reliable and quietly powerful…is that it?

D: Yeah…that’s a good way of putting it.

Fred 問 David 假如是一輛車的話,會是什麼車?這個問題確實有些 “off the wall,” 出人意料,不同尋常。David 說願意是一輛日本跑車 sports car,不以大小和外表取人,但是馬力十足 lots of power under the hood. Fred 理解為 David 是一個可靠而且 quietly powerful 不聲不響、但幹勁十足的人,David 回答說,That’s a good way of putting it. 這話說不錯。to put it 是表達的意思。面試還有哪些問題,我們下次繼續聽。

A: David has a talent for two languages, 雙語人才,而且自己年輕,有衝勁, always looking for that next big thing. 隨時準備迎接新的時尚和潮流。So Mike, what do you think is the most important thing when it comes to your dream job?

B: Well as you know, my dream job is to do nothing and still get paid.

A: AHH?

B: Hahaha, ok ok. Let’s be serious. I think for a good job you need to have a high level of satisfaction, freedom to implement your own methods, and meshing well with your team is extremely important because your work environment plays a major role as well.

A: Oh,You must be so thankful for your current job then!

B: And why is that?

A: Duh! Because you are working with me! (Mike tries to say something but Lin interrupts) 好了! 我們言歸正傳,接著去聽聽David的面試過程吧!

禮節美語 – Job Interview – Part II

David Tang 到 PLAYERS 雜誌社求職面試,考官是雜誌社經理 Fred Dixon。

F: Ok…what do you think are your biggest weaknesses?

D: Hmm…I’d say that my biggest weakness is a tendency to be a bit of a perfectionist. Sometimes I get too close to the project and need to step back to get the whole picture.

F: All right. How would you say you react under pressure?

D: I’ve had to make a lot of major adjustments in my life such as moving to a new country, learning a new language and making new friends. I’d say it was all quite stressful but I faced each challenge as it came and step-by-step things got better. For me I think the key is not to let things pile up but instead to face each problem as it comes and attack it head-on.

David 說自己最大的缺點是有點 perfectionist 萬事追求完美。有時過份投入,get too close to something, 需要退一步縱觀全局 to step back to get the whole picture. David 承受壓力的能力也不差,他覺得關鍵是不能讓問題積累起來,not to let things pile up 而是遇到一個解決一個,attack it head-on 迎頭痛擊。

F: Ok. So what would you say is the one thing that’s most important to you in your job?

D: I’d say having good direction from my supervisors but also a high degree of freedom to implement creative ideas. I need guidance, but I don’t want my creativity to be stifled.

F: Can you tell me why you left your last job?

D: Well, I needed a challenge. I felt like I was in a comfort zone and I needed to shake things up in my life. I enjoyed my time at my last job, but I feel like I’m ready for the major leagues.

David 說,他想換工作是因為感覺自己是在一個各方面都駕輕就熟的地方 I was in a comfort zone, 需要變化 to shake things up. 他覺得 I’m ready for the major leagues. 應該更上一層樓了。Major League 是職業棒球大聯盟,代表棒球最高水平,高於 minor league 小聯盟。

F: I noticed that you have recommendation letters from each of your previous supervisors. Their comments are all quite positive.

D: I’m honored that they value my work. I’ve found that I generally get along well with co-workers. I’m just not really into drama and I’m pretty easy-going.

F: Well…thanks for coming in today, David. We will be reviewing your info and you’ll get a callback within a week.

D: Great! And thanks for your time, Fred. I’ll be looking forward to your call.

David以前的上司都給他寫了很好的推薦信。他說自己 not into drama 不喜歡惹事生非,pretty easy-going 很好相處。Fred 聽上去對David很滿意,說一周內給他迴音。

B: Ok, I’ll admit that you are easy-going, but apart from that…

A: At least I’m not a drama queen like certain people I know… Michael Scott Bond.

B: I see, so what do you call all that time you spend gossiping among that little gang of yours?


美語訓練班  第075課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天,我們要跟著電腦達人學學怎麼自己修電腦,聊聊怎麼用合適的方法炒別人魷魚,還要告訴你怎麼說料事如神!

B: Fixing computers? Sounds like you need a professional! It just so happens that I know a guy who is quite handy with computers….me!

A: Well, I thought people good with computers usually have high IQ? 哈哈,好了,不開玩笑了! 我們言歸正傳,趕快先來進入第一個單元,Learn a Word!

Learn A Word – 1577 see something coming

今天我們要學的詞是 see something coming. See is spelled s-e-e; and c-o-m-i-n-g; coming; see something coming. See something coming是預料到某事會發生。I wasn’t surprised when the company closed down. You could see it coming. 公司關門我並不吃驚。這是意料之中的事。研究發現,美國的二氧化碳排放量降到了近20年來的最低點,Many of the world’s leading climate scientists did not see the drop coming. 大部分權威氣象學家都沒料到會出現這個情況。

After last year’s dry winter, forecasters see big snows coming to cities from New York to Washington, D.C. 繼去年乾燥的冬天之後,天氣人員預測,今年冬天,大雪會席捲從紐約到華盛頓的多座城市。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 see something coming, see something coming, see something coming…

A: Ok, so Mike, how was the party last weekend? Did you meet anyone interesting? Did you…meet the future Ms. Bond?

B: Hahaha, you know what? Actually I found this totally cool, cute….

A: 啊? 什麼什麼? 快說!

B: Dog. OMG it’s a basset hound and he was so friendly!

A: Ah….I didn’t see that coming….

B: Well, it’s probably because you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed……

A: You’d better watch out, you’re about to be on the firing line. You do understand that I know Kongfu, right?

B: Hahaha, really? what style? 吃飯吃得快的方式嗎? But you did just mention a really good term: on the firing line. Let’s listen to today’s Words and Idioms and find out what it means!

Words and Idioms – 985

現在播送美國習慣用語第 985講。我是楊琳。

M:我是Steve Baragona.

最近,我們的一個製片人製作的短片引起了軒然大波。短片談的是環境保護問題,而其中一位科學家認為全球變暖只是一個噱頭,這種說法馬上引起了其他很多科學家和公眾的不滿,很多人表示了對這個觀點的反對,製片人也被批評報道偏頗,不夠嚴謹。她的處境讓我想到一句習慣用語, 那就是:

M: On the firing line. Firing is spelled f-i-r-i-n-g, and line; l-i-n-e, line. On-the-firing-line. On the firing line.

Firing line, 是射擊線,開火線的意思,那麼on the firing line, 在火線上,引伸出來意思就是處於容易被攻擊的位置上。就像上面提到的例子:The producer of the show ended up ON THE FIRING LINE for presenting only one side of the argument. 製片人因為只介紹了對全球氣候變暖的一種看法而受到批評。 在下面的例子里,一系列的問題食品帶來了公眾恐慌。我們來聽一聽:

M: “Last month, there was an terrible outbreak of people getting sick from contaminated spinach. Some Americans even died. Not long before, a similar incident happened with peanut butter. That’s why the public became very angry at government officials. They’ll probably remain ON THE FIRING LINE until citizens can be assured of the safety of our food. ”

[這段話是說: 上個月,出現了一輪公眾因食用受污染的菠菜而患病的事件,這些蔬菜甚至導致有些人死亡。不久前,市面上還出現過有問題的花生醬。這激起了公眾對政府官員的憤怒情緒。在市民們重新對食品安全感到放心之前,這些政府官員可能會一直是大家批評的對象。]

食品安全可不是小問題,政府確實應該對這種問題負責! 想起我租的公寓,租賃辦公室一直在提高租金。在租戶會議上,They were clearly on the firing line; they were grilled about why the renters had to pay more. 他們顯然變成了租戶的眾矢之的,人們紛紛質問為什麼要沒完沒了地上漲租金。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Last month, there was an terrible outbreak of people getting sick from contaminated spinach. Some Americans even died. Not long before, a similar incident happened with peanut butter. That’s why the public became very angry at government officials. They’ll probably remain ON THE FIRING LINE until citizens can be assured of the safety of our food. ”

一般在中國家庭里,財政大權都掌握在妻子手裡。其實很多美國家庭也一樣。下面例子里的這個人就要講講他妻子是怎麼控制家庭預算,降低生活開支的。咱們一起來聽一聽:

M: “My wife controls the budget in the house. She says we have to cut down on spending. That means buying new clothing, going out to restaurants and taking a summer vacation are all ON THE FIRING LINE now. She’s against any purchases until there’s enough money to pay for them. ”

[這段話是說:我妻子掌握家裡的財政大權。她說我們得減少開支。這就意味著買衣服,下餐館,和夏天出去渡假全都可能被取消。她覺得在有足夠的錢以前,不應該再有任何不必要的消費。]

大家注意,on the firing line可以用來形容人的情況,也可以用來形容事,形容事的時候意思就是可能被取消。比如說,Because of the huge tax bill, my plan to purchase the New iPad is on the firing line. 因為得交好多稅,買最新版 iPad 的計劃很可能泡湯。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “My wife controls the budget in the house. She says we have to cut down on spending. That means buying new clothing, going out to restaurants and taking a summer vacation are all ON THE FIRING LINE now. She’s against any purchases until there’s enough money to pay for them. ”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是on the firing line, 意思是處於被攻擊的位置。好的,這次[美國習慣用語]就到此結束,我是楊琳,我是Steve Baragona。謝謝各位的收聽。

A: Speaking of which, my old computer is on the firing line.

B: Wait…what’s wrong with your old computer?

A: My old Mac is super slow now. It takes about 3 minutes to just start it and always freezes in the middle of a show!

B: You know what? You should just consult me…I’m a computer expert. Maybe I can even offer you a discount on my consulting fee if you agree to cook me some Chinese food…Hmmm…

A: 好的聽眾朋友,我們可以直接忽略Mike了。(B: What?) 今天的美語三級跳里,我們就要跟著電腦達人去診斷一下電腦問題。一塊來聽吧!

Computers: Beginner

今天我們為您播出「美語三級跳」節目「電腦」單元的初級課程。

Chloe 的電腦出了點毛病,她打電話給朋友Matt,讓他幫忙看看。

Professor: That’s right, Winnie. Isn’t it good to have friends who understand computers?

那可不,有電腦達人當朋友真不錯!

Chloe: Hi Matt, thanks for coming over to help me fix my computer.

Matt: No problem. I know everything about computers. What’s the problem?

Chloe: I can’t surf the Internet. What do you think the problem is?

Matt: Well it could be a software problem, or it could be a hardware problem.

Matt說,只要是有關電腦的東西,沒他不懂的,口氣還真大,希望他不是吹牛。

Professor: Well, we will see. Winnie, what is wrong with Chloe’s computer?

她說,她不能 “surf” the Internet. Professor Bowman, surf 不是衝浪的意思么?

Professor: Yes, but you can also use it to talk about browsing the Internet. For example, I spend three hours every day surfing the Internet.

我明白了,surf the Internet 就是上網。Matt 說,Chloe的電腦不能上網,這不是hardware problem–硬體的問題,就是software problem – 軟體的問題。

Professor: That’s right! Let’s see if Matt can help fix the computer.

Matt: Well, let’s see if the computer can turn on. Here, I’ll just press the power button.

Chloe: Uh … Matt? That’s not my computer. That’s my TV.

Matt: Huh? Oh yes, of course. Where is your computer?

Chloe: My computer is over on the desk. See? It is turned on, but when I try to open the browser, there is no connection to the Internet.

這個Matt,怎麼連電腦和電視都分不清!他說開電腦,卻伸手去按 TV 的 power button–電視開關!

Professor: He doesn’t sound like a computer expert at all.

可不!不過 Professor, Chloe說,她想打開 browser的時候,沒法連接網路。Browser就是上網用的瀏覽器吧?

Professor: Correct. You can also say you opened a browser window.

哦….open a browser window 就是打開一個瀏覽窗口。我倒真想看看Matt是不是真懂電腦。

Matt: Hmm …. have you tried re-starting your computer?

Chloe: Matt, of course I tried re-starting my computer. That was the first thing I did!

Matt: Really? Well if that didn’t work, I don’t know what to do.

Chloe: That’s your only idea? You said you know everything about computers. I should have just called technical support.

Matt: Well re-starting the computer always works for me.

我猜的沒錯!Matt 唯一的辦法就是re-start the computer,重新啟動電腦,這誰不會啊!對了,重啟電腦是不是也可以說 re-boot the computer?

Professor: That’s right. Re-start and re-boot mean the same thing.

看來,Chloe對Matt很失望,覺得自己還不如打電話給電腦公司的technical support–技術服務部門呢。

Professor: Matt has one more idea to fix the computer. Let’s listen.

Matt: Wait! I know how to fix the problem!

Chloe: Great! What should we do?

Matt: We should contact the Internet company to see if their service is down. Let’s log on to their website to find their phone number.

Chloe: Uh, Matt? The Internet isn’t working. How can we log on to the website?

Matt: Oh yeah.

Professor: So Winnie, what is Matt’s solution for fixing the computer?

Chloe: 他出餿主意說,去網路公司的網站找他們的聯絡電話,然後打過去問問是不是網路出問題了!

Professor: Exactly. But that’s impossible because the Internet is down.

就是!Chloe的問題就是不能上網,Matt卻要上網查東西,這不是瞎出主意么!對了,Professor, Chloe說 Internet is down, 就是說網壞了吧?

Professor: Yes. For example, you can say “I couldn’t go to work today because the subway is down.” You can also say that your E-mail or phone service is down.

我明白了。希望Chloe不是因為什麼急事需要上網,要不然都讓這個假行家Matt給耽誤了!

Professor: Well, let’s listen next time to find out!

A: 原來, Chloe can’t surf the Internet, 上不了網,請了她的好朋友Matt來幫她看看。Matt說,這不是hardware problem,硬體問題,就是software problem,軟體問題。Matt讓她reboot the computer,重啟電腦,然後就沒招啦! 這個Matt,根本就是個水貨嘛!

B: Yeah, not everyone has the same level of expertise as I have….(A: ugh…) seriously though, people who pretend to know things just irritate me. I knew this guy in college, he looked great on paper, but he constantly got fired after being hired for just two to three months. It turns out the only real skill he had was to interview well and brag about himself on his resume.

A: Yep. 不懂裝懂最煩人了! 不過雖然被炒魷魚是很慘,炒別人的魷魚其實也不容易! 今天的Business Etiquette里,部門經理Peter就得開除一名僱員,這不,他正在跟同事討論該怎麼辦,咱們一起去聽聽吧!

禮節美語 – You’re Fired – Part I

部門經理 Paul Chen 和他的上司 Sue Krammer 要開除一名僱員。

P: Sue, I really need your help with this one.

S: Oh? What’s the problem?

P: I’ve been asked to fire Tom Smith.

S: Oh…yeah…firing someone is hard. I’ve had to do it many times.

P: I hate it. It’s probably the worst part of my job as a manager.

S: But…it has to be done and somebody’s got to do it. In this case…you.

Paul 要解僱 Tom Smith, 問 Sue 該怎麼做。Sue 說,開除手下確實是一件頭痛的事情,但 Somebody’s got to do it. 總要有人去做。

P: I know…I just want some advice on how to do this properly.

S: Well, let’s review Tom’s case, shall we? First question: Have you given him fair warning?

P: I believe so. I spoke to Tom in March and in May. I informed him he was on probation.

S: OK…so he knows he’s on thin ice. So this action isn’t going to be a complete surprise to him, right?

P: No. He should understand by now that the company is not really happy with his performance.

Paul 說,他事先警告過 Tom. I informed him he was on probation. on probation 意思是留職查看。換句話說,He knows he’s on thin ice. on thin ice 如履薄冰,在這的意思就是他知道公司對他的表現不滿意,知道自己可能會丟飯碗。

S: I think you should simply give Tom a list of behaviors the company has found unacceptable and then fire him. You can’t allow him to drag you into an argument or debate. In this case you are merely the messenger and it’s really not personal.

P: And if he promises to change and do better?

S: You have to firmly but politely let him know that the time for improvement has passed.

Sue 建議,可以列舉Tom種種令人不滿的表現,然後告訴他被解僱了,不給他爭辯的機會。You can’t allow him to drag you into an argument or debate。因為Paul只是傳達上級的決定,you are merely the messenger。你只不過是個傳信的,It’s not personal. 不是針對個人,只是公事公辦而已。如果Tom保證改過自新呢?Sue 建議,要 firmly but politely 既堅定又客氣地告訴他,沒有機會了。

S: Are you planning on asking him to sign a release form?

P: Yes. The policy is if you voluntarily sign a paper accepting your termination, you get 6 weeks of severance pay. Otherwise, if you wish to challenge the decision, you get just two weeks.

S: Ok…good. So go ahead and call him in. Remember: keep it simple. Inform him of the decision and tell him why, then explain the severance deal.

P: Ok…here goes. (Picks up phone) Kathy, please ask Tom to come in…thanks.

公司規定,如果員工自願 voluntarily, v-o-l-u-n-t-a-r-i-l-y, voluntarily 簽字接受解僱的決定,就可以得到六個星期的遣散費 severance pay, severance is spelled s-e-v-e-r-a-n-c-e, 否則只有兩周。Sue 最後提醒 Paul, 要 keep it simple. 越簡潔越好。

A: Paul解釋說,他已經告訴Tom: he was on probation, 留職查看,he knows he’s on thin ice, 如履薄冰。Sue說,解僱他的時候要keep it simple,越簡潔越好,讓他知道這是上級的意思,you are merely the messenger, 你只是傳信兒的。最重要的是: You can’t allow him to drag you into an argument or debate. 不給他爭辯的機會。

B: That’s why I think I can never be a manager.

A: Ehmm?

B: It’s awful to have to fire someone and take away their livelihood. I just don’t think I can do that.

A: Yep. 領導可不好當啊! Paul終於把Tom叫到了辦公室,準備動手了! 咱們趕快接著去聽聽吧!

禮節美語 – You’re Fired – Part II

Tom Smith 被叫到部門經理 Paul Chen 的辦公室。

Tom: Good morning, Paul. How are you?

P: I’m well, thanks. Take a seat. This is Sue Krammer from the head office.

T: Hi, Sue.

S: Hi.

P: Tom, there’s no easy way to say this so I’m just going to say it. We are letting you go.

Paul 開門見山,告訴 Tom 公司決定解僱他。在這種情況下,要說 We are letting you go, 不能說 you’re fired。

T: Go where?

P: Um…we mean we are terminating your employment here.

T: You mean you’re firing me?

P: Um…yes.

T: Wow! Mind telling me why?

P: We’ve warned you about some of your unacceptable behaviors several times now. Also, we feel you are under performing or not up to the standards we demand here.

T: (belligerent) Really? How so?

Tom 顯得很意外,氣憤地質問道,Mind telling me why? 能告訴我為什麼嗎?Paul 解釋說,公司覺得 you are underperforming, underperform, u-n-d-e-r-p-e-r-f-o-r-m, 意思是工作表現不佳,not up to the standards 不符合要求。Tom 很不客氣地讓 Paul 舉例,這時候 Sue 說話了。

S: If I might interject, here. Tom, your file says that last month you called up a client and chewed him out…without authorization. Tom, that is simply unacceptable.

P: You are frequently late and we’ve received more than a few complaints about your abrasive style with co-workers.

T: All right…but I have good explanations for all of that. You see……

S: I don’t want to interrupt, Tom, but it’s important that you understand that this decision comes down from the top. Paul and I are just the messengers. It would be best if you understood that this decision is final.

Tom 上個月在電話里 chewed a client out 痛罵客戶。chew someone out 是嚴厲責罵的意思。此外,他上班還經常遲到,對同事態度粗魯,he has an abrasive style with co-workers. Tom 想爭辯,Sue 果斷地說,這是上頭的決定,the decision comes down from the top, and the decision is final. 是不可改變的。

T: So I’m fired and that’s that?

P: Yes, you are being let go. But we would be happy to help you in any way we can.

S: If you need a general reference letter we can provide one, but if they call and ask if you were fired we will have to tell the truth. That’s the law.

P: We can offer a six week severance package if you accept your termination.

T: Fine. I’ll pack up my stuff and be out of here by Wednesday.

S: Thanks for understanding, Tom. We wish you well.

P: Yeah. Please do email me if you have further questions.

Tom 無可奈何地問,so I’m fired and that’s that? 我就這麼被開除了?回答當然是肯定的。公司願意給他寫例行推薦信,但如果用人單位打電話了解情況,公司也不能隱瞞他被解僱的事實。Tom 同意在解聘書上簽字,收拾東西走人 pack up and be out of here。

A: See Mike, you really need to listen to your supervisor, me, otherwise you run the risk of being fired! For example, I really like cupcakes…

B: (sarcastically) Really? I would have never guessed……..

A: a 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。


美語訓練班  第076課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天,我們要去eBay上賣個東西,看看怎麼解決信用卡的巨額欠費,還要告訴你怎麼說難以想像!

B: I was a huge eBay fan when I was in college. Sometimes I would skip class just to make sure I won an auction I had bid on!

A: 哈哈,yep! I think Internet is the second best invention in the whole world!

B: What’s the best one?

A: Duh, it’s glasses of course! 我這個小瞎子,要是沒有眼鏡我不就完了? (笑) 好了,我們言歸正傳,趕快先來進入第一個單元,Learn a Word!

Learn A Word – 1589 unthinkable

今天我們要學的詞是 unthinkable. Unthinkable is spelled u-n-t-h-i-n-k-a-b-l-e, unthinkable. Unthinkable 意思是無法想像的。U.S. companies are preparing for the once-unthinkable, that Greece might leave the eurozone. 美國公司為希臘可能離開歐元做準備,這本來是無法想像的事情。美式足球NFL的很多後衛球隊一貫以大塊頭著稱。然而如今,體重對身體的壓力讓很多球員難以承受。
Many super-sized NFL players are now doing the unthinking: they are on a diet. 很多大塊頭的NFL球員如今開始控制飲食,這在以前本來是無法想像的。好的,今天我們學習的詞是unthinkable, unthinkable, unthinkable…

A: Speaking of unthinkable, the first thing that popped into my head is the Gangnam Style! Who would ever think that it could become so popular?

B: I know! when I first heard it, it was unthinkable that it would become so popular across the globe!

A: 對啊! 我還聽說有人的婚禮就用Gangnam Style來做裡面的舞曲! 這太搞笑了! They might think it’s funny now, but what about in 20 years? They are going to think they were crazy!

B: Ha, yep. Did you see that we even have a Gangnam style burrito in our cafeteria? (兩人笑) But as with all the pop music, I think it will gradually fizzle out.

A: Yeah I guess that’s true for all pop music. 不過你剛提到一個很好的詞兒, fizzle out! 咱們現在就來學學這個習慣用語的用法吧!

Words and Idioms 986

美國習慣用語第 986講。我是楊琳。

M:我是Steve Baragona.

我侄女最近說想當律師。我問她為什麼想當律師的時候,她說這樣她就能掙大把鈔票,住豪華公寓,去高級餐廳,還能環遊世界。她沒有意識到,作為律師在職業生涯初期的工作時間有多長,他們又得為了工作犧牲多少個人生活。我想如果她知道了,她想成為律師的興趣可能就可以用下面這個詞來形容:

M: Fizzle out. Fizzle is spelled f-i-z-z-l-e, fizzle. Fizzle out.

Fizzle這個詞本身的意思是失敗,而fizzle out, 作為一個片語,意思是”歸於失敗,漸漸消失”。有一項調查顯示,很多法學院的學生都是這樣。Once they discover how consuming that profession is, their enthusiasm seems to FIZZLE OUT. 當他們了解到律師行業有忙後,他們此前的熱情就會漸漸退去。在下面的例子里,我們要來聽聽一對情侶Chris和Sandy的故事:

M: “Chris and Sandy started dating months ago. All of our friends thought they made a great couple. Soon they moved in together and there was talk about them getting married. What Chris hadn’t realized was that Sandy had an uncontrollable temper. Soon their relationship FIZZLED OUT. We were sad to learn that another promising lover affair came to an end. ”

[這段話是說: 幾個月前,Chris和Sandy開始約會。朋友們都認為他們很合適,沒過多久,他們就搬到一起住了,還有人聽說他們快要結婚了。Chris不知道的是,Sandy脾氣很不好,後來他們的感情就慢慢淡薄了。我們很失望地看到,本來特別有希望的一對情侶並沒走到一塊兒。]

結婚前發現不合適,總比結了婚再離婚好吧! 我有一個朋友就是這樣,她經常在網路上認識人,聊天交友。可是真見了面,總發現那個人根本就不是網上說的那麼回事! The dates often fizzle out and my friend goes home depressed. 約會經常不了了之,我朋友還特鬱悶。所以說,尋找另一半得靠運氣。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Chris and Sandy started dating months ago. All of our friends thought they made a great couple. Soon they moved in together and there was talk about them getting married. What Chris hadn’t realized was that Sandy had an uncontrollable temper. Soon their relationship FIZZLED OUT. We were sad to learn that another promising lover affair came to an end. ”

在美國,經常有組織馬拉松或是各種比賽來為抗擊癌症募捐的活動。不過下面的例子里,一個競賽組織團隊的資金慢慢枯竭了。這是為什麼呢? 咱們一起來聽一聽:

M: “Hundreds of races take place every year to raise money to fight lung cancer. But one organization has been having trouble getting contributions. That’s because its president was recently caught stealing and then lying about it. No wonder funding is FIZZLING OUT! ”

[這段話是說:每年都會有幾百個競賽項目為抗擊肺癌籌集資金。但是其中一個組織今年募集的資金特別少。結果有人發現這個組織的主席挪用公款,而且還撒謊! 難怪他們籌集的資金越來越少!]

基金的經營出現問題後,一旦主要支持者退出,其他人就會跟著退出。這就好像去參加一個派對,一旦有人開始離開,慢慢大家就會接二連三跟著回家,the party begins to fizzle out. 派對就會慢慢結束。不過我們的節目可不會 fizzle out! 好的,言歸正傳,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Hundreds of races take place every year to raise money to fight lung cancer. But one organization has been having trouble getting contributions. That’s because its president was recently caught stealing and then lying about it. No wonder funding is FIZZLING OUT! ”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是fizzle out, 意思是歸於失敗,漸漸消失。好的,這次[美國習慣用語]就到此結束,我是楊琳,我是Steve Baragona。謝謝各位的收聽。

A: So Mike, 節目剛開始你說你大學時成天在eBay上買東西,你都買了什麼嘛?

B: I bought everything there. Books, my I-pod, clothes, computers, I even got my jeep from eBay!

A: 啊? 在網上買吉普車? 你也太牛了….

B: It’s actually really convenient. I just saw an ad and went to see the jeep…and…it was love at the first sight! But then eBay started to fizzle out, and now Amazon and Craigslist have basically replaced it.

A: 原來是這樣! 不過呢,網上購物現在是越來越方便,大家也經常在網站上賣自己不要的東西! 今天的美語三級跳里,我們就要跟著Chole一塊來在網上貼廣告。咱們趕快來聽聽吧!

Computers: Intermediate

今天我們為您播出「美語三級跳」節目「電腦」單元的中級課程。

Chloe家裡有很多用不著的東西,她想上網把它們賣了。上次,她的電腦上不了網,東西沒賣成。現在,網修好了,Chloe的朋友Matt過來,幫她在網上發帖子賣貨。

Professor. That’s right, Winnie. Let’s hope Matt is more helpful selling things than he was fixing the Internet.

Matt: Chloe, you are really lucky that I am here to help you sell this stuff online. I am an expert at this!

Chloe: Well you also said you were an expert at fixing my computer, but you couldn’t do that at all.

Matt: Believe me, this time I mean it. I am going to help you sell your things for a lot of money.

Chloe: I guess I have to trust you. I’ve never posted an advertisement on the Internet before. What should we do first?

Matt又來了,說自己是上網賣東西的行家!他一定又在吹牛!對了,Professor, Chloe 說,她想在網上 post一則廣告。post這個詞在這是登的意思吧?

Professor: That’s right. You can also “post” pictures on a website, or “post” comments on a blog.

在網上登廣告、發照片、寫評論都可以說 post.

Matt: The first thing we have to do is decide where to post the ad. Do you want to auction it on eBay?

Chloe: Yeah, that sounds good. How do I do that?

Matt: Well first you will have to create an account. Then you will have to write a description of the item and upload some pictures. What are you selling?

Chloe: I’m selling my bike. I don’t ride it very often anymore, but it’s still in good condition.

Professor Bowman, auction, a-u-c-t-i-o-n, 是「拍賣」的意思么?

Professor: That’s exactly right, Winnie. What does Matt say Chloe has to do to auction her bike online?

他說,Chloe可以去拍賣網 – eBay,先註冊一個account – 帳號,然後就可以賣她的自行車了。

Professor: Winnie, you can also create other kinds of accounts on the Internet, such as an e-mail account. Matt also says Chloe needs to “upload” some pictures. Do you know what that means?

這個我知道! upload 上傳,跟download下載正好相反,賣東西當然最好有照片,所以要upload some pictures 上傳一些照片。

Matt: You know what else you can do? You can post a link to the bike company’s Web site so that people can find more information about it.

Chloe: That’s a great idea. But how much do you think I should sell it for?

Matt: We can search the advertisements for other bicycles on eBay, and see what the asking price is.

Chloe: Hey, great idea! You know Matt, you’re a lot better at selling things online than you are at fixing computers.

Professor: So Winnie, what does Matt say Chloe should post on her advertisement?

Matt說,Chloe應該在廣告中放個link – 鏈接,接到自行車廠家的網站,這樣,感興趣的買主就能更多地了解這輛車的情況。

Professor: Right! You can also use the word “link” as a verb, too. For example, you can link from one page to the next by clicking on the link.

哦,link還可以當動詞用。對了,professor, 什麼是asking price?

Professor: It’s the original price you ask for, before you start negotiating.

哦,asking price就是賣家開出的要價。

Chloe: Well, it looks like we are finished posting the ad. Do you think I will get many responses?

Matt: Maybe. It would also be a good idea to post a link to your ad on your personal Web page.

Chloe: Oh yeah, I’ve got a MyFace page. Maybe some of my friends would want to buy my bike.

Matt: Well, post the link and see what happens. MyFace gets a lot of traffic.

Professor, Matt說 MyFace這個網站gets a lot of “traffic.” “traffic”不是指馬路上的車么?

Professor: Yes, but you can talk about Internet traffic too.

哦, Internet traffic應該就是網站的訪問量! Professor, Matt 這次好像沒吹牛,的確幫了Chloe不少忙。希望Chloe的自行車能很快賣出!

Professor: Listen next time to find out!

A: 原來, Chloe要賣自己的自行車,她準備先register for an account on eBay, 註冊賬號,然後upload some pictures, 上傳一些照片,給出asking price, 賣家要價,而且還要跟她的個人網站連起來 to attract more traffic, 增加點擊量。 看來這次,Matt 還幫了她蠻多忙的嘛!

B: Yep, I definitely prefer buying things on eBay and Amazon over shopping in the mall. A) it’s more convenient and B) you can find a better deal on the Internet!

A: 對啊! 好像很多理財專家都說,其實很多東西都沒有必要買新的,二手的跟新的一樣好,而且價錢還便宜非常多!

B: There you go! Shop smart and you won’t be in debt!

A: Exactly! 在今天的business etiquette里, 負債纍纍的Jane正在請教公司的財務專家Vincent和Anna怎麼擺脫債務,我們一塊來聽聽吧!

禮節美語 – Getting Out of Debt – Part I

Jane找上司Vincent, 可不是為了工作。

Jane: (knock knock) Hi, Vincent…got a second?

Vincent: Sure, Jane…come in. Grab a seat. What’s on your mind?

J: Well, I know this doesn’t fall under your responsibilities, but I really need some advice. Do you mind?

V: Not at all. Shoot.

J: Ok…I’ll just say it: I’m quite heavily in debt and I need advice on how to get out of this hole I’m in.

Jane問Vincent有沒有時間 got a second? 請別人坐,可以說 grab a seat. Vincent 讓 Jane–shoot. Shoot 在這兒不是開槍,而是「說吧」。原來,Jane 是因為債務纏身,heavily in debt, 讓Vincent 幫她出主意,to get out of this hole 擺脫困境。

V: I see. Is this mainly credit card debt?

J: Yes. But there’s a mortgage and car payments as well.

V: You know what? I’m going to ask Anna Wang to join our conversation. She’s our company’s financial expert.

(Picks up phone) Anna? Would you mind joining me for a second? Thanks.

J: Oh. I don’t want to be a burden.

V: No…it’s really no problem. Millions of people have fallen into debt and it’s great that you are trying to take positive action. Oh, hi Anna. This is Jane.

Anna: Hi Vince. Hi Jane.

Jane 不光信用卡欠了很多錢,還有房貸和車貸。Vincent 請公司的財務專家 Anna 來諮詢。注意聽,Jane欠了多少錢。

V: Jane wants advice on how to get out of credit card debt.

A: Ah. That’s a popular problem these days. Can I ask how much you owe?

J: Um…it’s kind of embarrassing…but Ok…25,000 dollars.

A: Jane, I’m going to be blunt: if I were you, I’d cut up all my credit cards today.

J: All of them?

A: Well, you might keep one for emergencies, but the point is: stop using the cards.

Jane 一共欠了兩萬五千美元。Anna說,I’m going to be blunt 我直話直說:要是我,今天就把信用卡都剪碎。The point is: stop using the cards 關鍵是:不能再刷卡了。

V: I never used to pay attention to the fine print, but one day I looked up the details from my bank and I discovered I got charged 14% interest!

A: Yes, you really have to read the fine print. In Jane’s case though, I’d recommend actually canceling the cards.

J: Can’t I get the bank to lower my interest rates?

V: Sure, but you also want to stop new spending. When you buy something with a credit card, you think you are paying what the price tag says. But really there are a lot of extras.

消費者一定要注意信用卡的 fine print 合同細則,Vince的銀行就收他14%的利率。刷卡購物,你以為付的是商品標價 the price tag, 可實際上有很多額外收費。a lot of extras。Jane 具體該怎麼做?我們下次繼續聽。

A: 原來,Jane is heavily in debt, 債務纏身,請Vincent和Anna幫她出主意,to get out of this hole,擺脫困境。Anna說, 她的建議是把信用卡都減碎, stop using the cards, 不能再刷卡了。而且,用信用卡一定要注意read the fine print, 閱讀合同細則,Jane的銀行就收取她14%的利率,there are a lot of extras, 有很多額外費用。

B: That’s why Warren Buffett said that everyone only need one credit card. The more credit cards you have, the more you will spend. Sometimes people just lose track of their spending. Then next thing you know they’re in major debt.

A: 沒錯! 刷信用卡老讓人覺得沒花錢似的,其實零零碎碎加起來一點也不少! 現在就有很多財務顧問建議大家開始使用cash,現金! 你看,我們中國人民多麼聰明,一直使用!

B: Haha, I agree with you on that. On average Chinese households save around 25% of their salary, while Americans save less than 10%. We need to learn from you guys in that aspect!

A: 不錯不錯! 先給老師端一杯茶來! (笑) 好了不開玩笑了,我們還是接著聽聽Anna給了Jane什麼建議吧!

禮節美語 – Getting Out of Debt – Part II

Jane 向上司Vincent和財務專家Anna請教,如何才能擺脫信用卡債務。Anna建議說:

A: You have to freeze everything and reevaluate your position. Figure out exactly – to the dollar – how much you owe and who you owe it to.

J: How can I get the credit card companies to stop calling me a hundred times a day?

V: (chuckles) They can be quite persistent, can’t they?

A: They need to be convinced that you’re serious about getting your finances in order. You will probably need to go down and speak with a bank representative.

V: Your bank should be willing to reduce your debt if you can work out a repayment schedule.

Anna建議 Jane “freeze everything and reevaluate your position”凍結一切財務活動,對現狀重新評估,看自己到底欠誰錢、欠多少錢。要想讓信用卡公司別沒完沒了地打電話催債,stop calling me a hundred times a day, 就要讓他們相信,你真心想把債務付清 get the finances in order。Anna 還建議 Jane 去找銀行,work out a repayment schedule 就如何分期分批還清債務達成協議。

J: I think I made a bad decision with my car as well. I chose the five-year payment plan, but with the interest, it’s actually much more expensive than the three-year plan.

A: It’s very important that you do the math before you sign any papers. Can I be blunt with you?

J: Yes. I can take it.

A: You can’t be financially healthy if you’re lazy. Many people make really bad decisions just because they’re too lazy to really figure it out.
V: I’m sure guilty of that.

J: Yes. I agree. I’m going to start paying better attention.

沒錯,在任何貸款協議上簽字之前一定要 do the math 把帳算清楚。Anna 說,很多人在財務上犯錯誤都是因為懶得去算這筆帳。
Vincent 承認,他就是這樣的人,I am sure guilty of that. 言歸正傳,Anna 要還清債務,具體有哪些步驟呢?

V: So let’s see if I can summarize the plan. One: Stop spending. Two: Talk to the banks and work out a deal … and three: Pay closer attention to the fine print.

A: That’s pretty much it. Becoming a financially healthy person is possible, but it takes exercise.

J: So basically my brain needs to go to the gym.

A & V: (mild chuckle)

J: Thank you both very much. I appreciate your good counsel.

第一:不能再隨便花錢;第二:跟銀行談,work out a deal 設法達成還錢的協議;第三:以後務必注意財務協議的細則。Anna 打比方說,要做一個財務上的健康人是可能的,但需要練習。Jane 也開玩笑,說要讓自己的大腦去去健身房。

A: See Mike, you can’t be lazy if you want to be financially healthy, you need to be as hardworking as I am! So before I give you any more important tips, I need a cheesecake and a cup of latte….

B: Cheesecake? Tell you what, when you get fiscally fit, I’ll get stop being lazy with my finances.


美語訓練班  第077課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天,我們要聊聊怎樣變成社交網站最跑紅的人物,學學西方文化中有哪些禁忌,還要告訴你怎麼說壓力山大!

B: Well, if you are talking about the most popular guy on social media who ever lived you don’t have to look anywhere else! (咳咳…)

A: Exactly! Only on social media, never in real life! (笑; B: Hey!) 好了好了, 不開玩笑了,我們言歸正傳,趕快來進入第一個單元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1590 stressful

今天我們要學的詞是 stressful. Stressful is spelled s-t-r-e-s-s-f-u-l, stressful. Stressful 意思是壓力很大的。Starting a new job can be exciting and stressful at the same time. 開始一份新工作可能既令人興奮,又讓人倍感壓力。有調查顯示,Law enforcement agents, taxi drivers, and corporate executives are among the most stressful jobs in the country. 執法人員,計程車司機和公司主管屬於美國各種職業中壓力最大的行業。美國新聞周刊公布了2012年度壓力最大的25所大學的排行榜。在排行榜中,Washington University at Saint Louis is ranked as the most stressful university in the country. 聖路易斯的華盛頓大學被列為全美國學生壓力最大的學校。好的,今天我們學習的詞是stressful, stressful, stressful…

A: 說起壓力大,最近工作真多,I’m so stressed out!

B: Awww…I’m sorry yanglin! You know what? I hear that making food for others can help you release stress. As a very compassionate friend, I will help you. You can bake me some cookies!

A: 你!做! 夢! Yeah, but seriously, I think that a messy environment can actually stress me out.

B: Exactly! I’m the same way! Last night I spent 4 hours cleaning my room, it was covered in flotsam and jetsam! No wonder I’ve been so stressed this week!

A: 對啊! 環境整潔,心情也更好! 不過你剛才提到一個很好的詞兒, flotsam and jetsam ! 咱們現在就來學學這個習慣用語的用法吧!

Words and Idioms 987

美國習慣用語第 987講。我是楊琳。

M:我是Dan Markus.

上個禮拜我幫一個好朋友搬家,結果發現她家有好多我認為沒什麼用的東西,什麼大學時候的筆記本啊,書啊,還有看起來她好久都沒穿過的衣服。我問她這些筆記本里是不是有很多珍貴資料,但她說,其實裡面都是一些:

M: Flotsam and jetsam. Flotsam is spelled f-l-o-t-s-a-m, and jetsam; j-e-t-s-a-m. Flotsam-and-jetsam.

這兩個詞都不太常見,flotsam意思是船沉沒以後漂浮在水面上的廢物,而jetsam是指因為擔心船會沉,所以扔到水裡的廢物,以便減輕船上的載物量。大家可能猜到了,flotsam and jetsam, 連起來就是沒有價值的物品。就像上面的例子中,在我朋友的大學筆記本里: There wasn’t any important information written down, it was all FLOATSAM AND JETSAM. 裡面沒有什麼重要信息,全都沒什麼用。在下面的例子里,我們要看看一個人在他爺爺去世後整理遺物時發現了什麼:

M: “After my grandfather died, I went to clean out his garage. I found piles of yellowed newspapers and magazines, empty bottles, pieces of used furniture, and broken tools and sports equipment. There was nothing of any value. It was nothing more than flotsam and jetsam.”

[這段話是說: 我爺爺去世後,我去整理他的車庫。那裡有成捆范黃的舊報紙和雜誌,空瓶子,舊傢具,還有已經損壞的工具和體育器材。什麼值錢的東西都沒有,全都是廢物。]

其實大家經常會在車庫裡堆些沒有用的東西,久而久之也就忘記了。比如我,我每年就得清理一次我的衣櫥,能發現好多我再也不會穿的衣服,把他們捐給慈善機構。I clean my closet once a year, and there are always some flotsam and jetsam. 好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “After my grandfather died, I went to clean out his garage. I found piles of yellowed newspapers and magazines, empty bottles, pieces of used furniture, and broken tools and sports equipment. There was nothing of any value. It was nothing more than flotsam and jetsam.”

Flotsam and jetsam 這個短語,除了指沒有價值的物品以外,還有另外一個意思,就是不受重視的人。下面的例子里,一個記者就要來給我們講講當地居民關注的問題,我們來聽聽看:

M: “Citizens who want more upscale living areas have been pleading with the City Council. They want to see more of the poorer neighborhoods redeveloped. They’re tired of seeing homeless people wandering around. To them, such FLOTSAM AND JETSAM needs to be removed. ”

[這段話是說:希望提升居住環境的居民一直請求市政廳,他們希望重新開發更多的貧困社區。他們不想再看到無家可歸的人到處遊盪,對他們來說,這些人不該出現在他們的社區附近。]

這也是可以理解的,誰不想要一個安全的居住環境呢?我最近聽我們小區的人說,當地學校校長決定啟動一個項目,幫助那些問題學生。He believed it was time to pay greater attention to the FLOTSAM AND JETSAM. And, truthfully, it is those struggling students that need more help. 他認為應該給那些不受重視的學生更多關懷。確實,那些問題學生需要更多的幫助。好了,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Citizens who want more upscale living areas have been pleading with the City Council. They want to see more of the poorer neighborhoods redeveloped. They’re tired of seeing homeless people wandering around. To them, such FLOTSAM AND JETSAM needs to be removed. ”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是flotsam and jetsam, 意思是毫無價值的物品,或者不受重視的人。好的,這次[美國習慣用語]就到此結束,我是楊琳,我是Dan Markus。

A: This term totally reminds me of facebook! Some of my friends put everything up there. There is so much flotsam and jetsam on their Facebook page! 都是沒用的信息!

B: You can say that again. I really don’t need to see 100 photos of a cat wearing a hat; or a status about someone’s bodily functions, or a huge paragraph detailing your fight you just had with your girlfriend….

A: 就是! 我有個朋友,每天都在微博上上傳100張她和她的狗的照片! 我有時候真想把她屏蔽了…

B: Yeah, it’s all about how you use it. Social media is a great thing to connect with friends who are far from you, but you really need to watch out how much information you share.

A: 不過我們的節目不也是在微博上才積攢了那麼多粉絲? 所以社交網站還是很有用的! 正好,在今天的美語三級跳里,我們就要跟著Matt一塊在MyFace上建個帳戶。咱們趕快來聽聽吧!

Computers: Advanced

今天我們為您播出「美語三級跳」節目「電腦」單元的高級課程。

Professor: Today we’re learning some advanced words for talking about online social networking. Chloe is helping Matt build his MyFace page.

MyFace一聽就知道是社交網站。

Matt: Thanks a lot for helping me build my MyFace profile, Chloe. I’m hoping that it will make me seem a lot cooler than I am in real life.

Chloe: Don’t worry, Matt. By the time I’m done setting up your online profile, you will be the coolest, most popular guy who ever lived.

Matt: Awesome! So what should we do first?

Chloe: To start, we need a really cool profile picture. Do you have any pics of you doing something really exciting or funny?

Matt: Well …. I do have a great picture of me playing chess. Is that exciting enough?

Chloe: That’s the most exciting picture you have? I can see I have a lot of work to do.

Chloe這下可有的忙了! Matt想當社交網站上的帥哥,Chloe說,第一步是要有一張特別吸引人的頭像照片。可是Matt沒什麼拿得出手的好照片!

Professor: That’s right. And did you notice how Chloe called the pictures “pics”? On the Internet, photographs are often called p-i-c-s, “pics”.

噢,” pics” 就是照片。

Chloe: Alright. Next we need to set your status to say that you’re in a relationship.

Matt: Wait a minute, I don’t have a girlfriend.

Chloe: I know! But you see, Matt, women only want what they can’t have. Being unavailable will only make you more attractive to them.

Matt: But what happens after a girl starts to like me? If I ask her out on a date when I have a girlfriend, she will think I’m a creep.

Chloe: Don’t worry. Then you just change your status to “It’s Complicated” and tell her that you’re going through a painful breakup, and that you need someone to talk to.

Matt: Wow, you’re really good at this stuff!

哇, Chloe 還真是戀愛專家!她讓Matt在網站上寫自己有女朋友,這樣反而更能獲得女孩子的青睞! 因為女人總是越得不到的東西越想要!

Professor: Right! But what does she say he should do if a girl starts to like him?

她說,如果有女生看上Matt, Matt就要把感情狀況”status”改成”It’s complicated”,「一言難盡」! 然後告訴對方,自己正在和女友分手。這樣一來,就能和對方約會啦!

Chloe: Alright, the next thing we have to do is get you a lot of friends. You should send everyone you have ever met a message inviting them to be your friend on MyFace.

Matt: But what if I haven’t talked to them in years? Isn’t that kind of weird?

Chloe: Matt, that’s not the point! The important thing is that when people look at your MyFace page, they see how popular you are because you have at least 500 friends.

Matt: Five hundred friends? But I don’t have 500 friends. In fact, I think it’s impossible for anyone to have 500 friends.

Chloe: Well then, invite people you don’t like to be your friends too. It doesn’t matter.

Matt: Invite people I don’t like to be my friends? Man, this social networking stuff is really weird.

Chloe還建議Matt在網站上多加好友,好讓別人覺得他交友廣泛,受歡迎。為了湊數,她甚至讓Matt邀請自己討厭的人。

Professor: That’s right. Matt thinks this kind of social networking is really strange.

對啊,本來是社交嘛,為什麼要把自己討厭的人也拉進來呢?

Chloe: Alright Matt, we’re almost done. But there is one last important thing. Remember to post updates to your status every 15 minutes.

Matt: You mean every 15 minutes I should post an update about what I’m doing? What if I’m doing something really boring, like cleaning my apartment?

Chloe: It doesn’t matter if you’re doing something completely uninteresting. Post a message on your Web page so everyone knows what you’re doing 24 hours per day.

Matt: Wow, this sounds like a lot of work. Maybe I don’t really want a MyFace page.

Chloe: Oh yes you do! I want to add you to my list of friends. I’m almost to 700!

Chloe還讓Matt隨時隨刻把生活中芝麻綠豆的事兒寫在網上。我有些朋友就是這樣的,哪怕是出門倒垃圾都要寫在社交網站上,煩死人了!哎? Professor Bowman, 你幹嘛呢?

Prof: ….What? Oh, yes! Winnie, (lower voice) I’m updating my Facebook status ….

A: Matt決定在社交網站上註冊一個帳戶,想變成網路紅人。Chole說,一定要把 relationship status,感情狀態寫成Matt有女朋友,因為women only want what they can’t have.女人總想要她們得不到的東西。而且要 post updates to your status every 15 minutes, 每隔15分鐘就更新狀態,讓人家知道你24小時都在幹什麼! 這聽起來好像天天不出門的宅男!

B: Post updates every 15 minutes? That’s just insane. I think it’s a social faux pas to post too frequently online. A lot of people find that really irritating.

A: 沒錯! 不過我記得我剛來美國的時候,對很多文化和風俗都不夠了解,所以經常犯錯!

B: Haha, but now you are an expert! In today’s business etiquette, we are going to learn some of the social faux pas in American culture. Let’s go and check it out!

禮節美語 Avoiding a Faux Pas Part I

中國僱員Cathy 憂心忡忡地去找美國同事 Mark 請教。

Kathy: Hey Mark…do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?

Mark: No problem, I’ve got time.

K: Great! Well, I’m going to Seattle for half a year. I’m attending a course at a university and I’ll be doing some research as well.

M: Sounds like fun!

K: Yes. But I’m really worried that I don’t understand American culture well enough. You know how here in China we have lots of little things that are considered impolite…what if I do something wrong in America? I’d be so embarrassed if that happened!

原來,Kathy 要去西雅圖進修半年,但是擔心自己對美國文化和風土人情了解不夠,會在小事情上鬧笑話,讓自己難堪,embarrassed, e-m-b-a-r-r-a-s-s-e-d, embarrassed。

M: Ah, I see! Actually, we have a great word in English that describes making a cultural mistake…it’s called a “faux pas” and it’s actually originally a French term.

K: So I should say I want to avoid any cultural “faux pas?”

M: That’s correct. You know, actually you shouldn’t worry too much. America is a pretty relaxed country, but there are a couple things you should be aware of.

K: Oh? Such as?

Mark 說,這種文化上的失誤叫 faux fas, f-a-u-x and f-a-s, faux fas 是從法語來的。前面可以用動詞 avoid 避免或是 commit 犯下。
Mark安慰 Cathy 說,美國是一個很隨便的國家,American is a pretty relaxed country. 不過還是有些地方需要注意。Such as? 比如說呢?

M: Americans – and western people in general – can be very sensitive about smells.

K: Oh…so I should be careful after eating spicy foods, right?

M: Yep. Things like garlic or various Chinese dishes can have a strong smell. It’s best to chew gum or use a breath freshener.

K: That’s a good thing to remember. How about when I visit a friend’s home? What do I bring?

Mark 說,西方人對氣味非常敏感,中國人喜歡吃的大蒜等食物,都會留下十分濃重的味道,It’s best to chew gum or use a breath freshener. 所以最好嚼嚼口香糖,設法去去嘴裡的味兒。去朋友家作客,帶點兒什麼呢?

M: If you and your guest drink alcohol, it’s always nice to bring a bottle of wine. If wine is a problem, you could try fruit or some kind of dessert.

K: But should it be an expensive gift?

M: No, the price is not so important. Just bring something to show you care about your hosts and are grateful for their invitation.

Mark 說,如果賓主雙方都喝酒的話,帶瓶葡萄酒絕對沒錯,否則的話,可以考慮帶點水果或是甜點。禮物不一定要非常貴重,能夠表達對主人的關心和對邀請的感激就可以了。

A: 原來,Kathy要去西雅圖進修,請Mark來給她講講美國社會的風俗。Mark 說,America is a pretty relaxed country, 美國是一個很隨便的國家,但是西方人普遍對氣味很敏感,所以吃飯之後,It’s best to chew gum or use a breath freshener, 應該嚼嚼口香糖,去去嘴裡的味兒。去別人家做客,要帶點小禮物,to show you are grateful for their invitation. So Mike, 你覺得什麼是文化失誤呢?

B: Hmm, there are a lot. For example, never ask someone about how much they make, never ask someone you just met about their political or religious belief; never ask a woman if she’s pregnant…because it’s just soo awkward if her answer is no….

A: 哈哈哈,對對對! 這可千萬得小心,不然人家恨你一輩子! 好了,咱們接著去聽聽Mark還給Cathy講了什麼吧!

禮節美語 Avoiding a Faux Pas Part II

中國僱員Cathy 要去美國考察,找美國同事 Mark 了解美國文化,以免在待人接物的時候在禮節方面鬧笑話。

K: If I’m using public transport…should I give up my seat if I see elderly people?

M: Yes. I think that’s proper behavior pretty much everywhere in the world. Give up your seat to pregnant women, senior citizens and people with small children.

K: A friend told me that Westerners don’t like it when people blow their nose.

M: Actually, that’s true. In the West many think blowing your nose in public is a bit rude. Of course, if you have to do it, then you may – just turn as far away from people as possible and do it quietly. It would be even better to get up and move away before blowing your nose.

K: Wow…that’s good to know. I might have committed a real “faux pas.”

坐公交車給老人、小孩和孕婦讓座,到哪裡都不會錯。在大庭廣眾之下擤鼻子會被認為是舉止粗魯。It is a bit rude to blow your nose in public. 如果迫不得已,最好盡量離別人遠點,或者索性站起來,到旁邊去擤。

M: And of course, spitting is always a no-no.

K: Yeah. I agree with that one. It’s disgusting when someone coughs and spits in public. In the movies it seems like all Westerners wear their shoes indoors, is this true?

M: Many people in America do wear their shoes in the house. You should wipe off your shoes on the doormat before you go inside. But…more and more Western people are beginning to follow the Asian tradition of removing your shoes in the house.

Mark 說,隨地吐痰是絕對不行的。spitting is always a no-no. 美國人在家也穿鞋?Mark 說,不少美國人在家確實穿鞋,但是去別人家作客,最好 wipe off your shoes on the doormat before you go inside. 進去以前最好在門墊上把鞋底擦乾淨。

K: My boss told me that it’s a super big faux pas to be late in Japan. Is that true in America as well?

M: Yes…but we are a little more flexible. If you arrive within five minutes of a meeting time it might be OK. But it’s always best to be on time or be early.

K: When I was in London last year I was eating with my Chinese friend. She whistled for a waiter to come over and when the man came over, he looked so angry!

M: Oh, yes…that’s a major faux pas. NEVER snap your fingers or whistle at any kind of service personnel. It’s considered very impolite!

K: Mark…I can’t thank you enough for your tips! I really appreciate it!

M: Sure! Let’s chat again before you leave.

遲到在日本是大忌,a super big faux pas。Mark 說,在美國雖然沒那麼嚴格,遲到五分鐘也算正常,但最好還是準時或是提前到。還有,在西方,招呼任何服務人員,都不能打響指或是吹口哨。NEVER snap your fingers or whistle at any kind of service personnel. 這樣做被認為是非常不禮貌的。

A: Yeah, I hate people who’s constantly late! What’s the point in setting a specific time if you are not going to be there by then?

B: But isn’t it you who always set the alarm clock at seven and come to office at eleven?

A: aThat’s different, I need my beauty sleep! (B: you need more than sleep….) 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。


美語訓練班  第078課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天,我們要聊聊美國的大學排名,看看西方人有什麼迷信傳統,還要告訴你怎麼說短板!

B: Western superstitions? There are a bunch of them, especially now that Halloween is around the corner….the ghosts are….

A: (cut mike off) 你別說你別說! 我聽了鬼故事睡不著覺! (B: Oh really….) 好了好了不開玩笑了,我們趕快來進入第一個單元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1593 household

今天我們要學的詞是 household. Household is spelled h-o-u-s-e-h-o-l-d; household. Household 是家庭,一家一戶的意思。American gymnast Gaby Douglas made a household name out of herself with her gold medal win at the London Games. 美國女子體操選手Gaby Douglas在倫敦奧運會上贏得金牌,變得家喻戶曉。美國農業部公布的報告顯示,Almost 18 million American households struggled to find enough to eat in 2011. 美國有將近1800萬個家庭2011年曾遇到過缺少足夠食物的情況。利物浦連續第四年成為全英國失業家庭比例最高的城市。Almost a third of all households in Liverpool have no employed family members. 利物浦將近三分之一的家庭,都沒有任何家庭成員工作。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 household, household, household…

A: 說起household, 那天我看到了一個報導,The median income of American households peaked in 2007, and has been decreasing ever since. 這經濟怎麼也不復甦呀!

B: Actually the economy has been improving. However, it will take at least 5 to 10 years for the economy to get back on track after the major economic recession we’ve had.

A: 那你覺得經濟的短板是什麼呀?

B: Well, I guess it’s still the housing market. The market had a major bubble five years ago, and then everything just collapsed.

A: 嗯,對! 不過這個短板,該怎麼說呢? 咱們一塊去聽聽今天的美語怎麼說你就明白啦!

How to say it in American English
weak point

Jessica 在北京學漢語,她的中國朋友要是遇到了不知道用美語怎麼說的詞,就會來請教她。今天是Lulu要問的:短板。

Jessica: Hi, Lulu, how’s your new job treating you?

LL: 唉,還可以吧。不過我覺得同事們都很強勢,弄得我不敢說話。這種內向害羞,真是我的短板!

Jessica: 短板?

LL: 短板就是我的弱點,缺點。哎?這用美語該怎麼說呢?

Jessica: I see. It is your weak point, or shortcoming.

LL: 哦,短板在美語中就是 weak point, 或者 shortcoming. I think being shy is my weakest point. I really should be more aggressive.

Jessica: Don’t worry. Sometimes it takes me time to open up to people too. You should stick to your strengths by showing your co-workers what you’re good at.

LL: 你是說,讓我多向同事展示自己拿手的方面,stick to my strengths, 就是揚長避短,對么?

Jessica: 沒錯!

LL: 說是這麼說,可是現在,我們組我資歷最淺,好像覺得插不上嘴,好象局外人。

Jessica: As I said, you just need some time to warm up. It’s natural to find it a bit challenging to fit in at the beginning, but you’ll be fine very soon! Talk to your co-workers! Ask them stupid questions! They won’t see you as a poor fit.

LL: a poor fit? 這又是什麼意思啊?

Jessica: You find people or things a poor fit if they don’t suit you, or don’t get along with you. For example, if someone is a poor fit in a team, he is not working well with other team members.

LL: 明白了,a poor fit 就是不合適,如果一個團隊里有個人不合群,他就是 a poor fit for the team.

Jessica: That’s right. Lulu, I’m sure you’re a good fit for the team. Now let’s see what you’ve learned today!

LL: 今天我們學了,短板是 weak point, 或者 shortcoming; 揚長避短是 stick to your strengths; 不合適,不合群是 a poor fit.

A: 聽見沒有Mike, you need to stick to your strengths! 揚長避短!

B: You realize that means I basically have to take care of everything since I’m working with you! Compare to you, I’m better at EVERYTHING…

A: And that just flies in the face of common sense. 大家都知道這不是事實…

B: Hahah, I kid I kid. But you just mentioned a really good term “fly in the face of.” Let’s listen to today’s words and idioms and find out what it means!

Words and Idioms 988

美國習慣用語第 988講。我是楊琳。

M:我是Steve Baragona.

我阿姨去年開了一個蛋糕店。現在她生意越做越好,她還正在準備開個分店。這使得很多甜品業同行感到奇怪,他們都因為經濟不振而收入下降。而我阿姨的蛋糕店生意蒸蒸日上,與他們的情況正相反。這也讓我想到一句習慣用語,那就是:

M: Fly in the face of. Fly is spelled f-l-y, and face is spelled f-a-c-e. Fly in the face of.

這個片語里的詞都很簡單,不過連起來跟飛或者臉都沒有關係,而是「完全相反,截然不同」的意思。像上面的例子中,甜品業普遍業績不好,可是我阿姨的蛋糕店卻蒸蒸日上。It appears to FLY IN THE FACE OF what’s typical in the industry. 祝她好運!再下面的例子里,我們要講講教育領域的一些改革。你肯定認為現在高科技教育佔了主導地位,咱們來聽聽下面這些學校的做法有什麼不同:

M: “Most American schools have been increasing spending on high technologies. That meant more computer-assisted learning in the classroom. Yet a small minority of institutes are focusing on traditional learning. They believe it’s much better for the students. It’s unclear if they’re right. But it certainly FLIES IN THE FACE OF what most schools are emphasizing.”

[這段話是說: 大多數美國學校現在都在高科技上投資。這就意味著課堂里出現更多電腦技術的支持。但是也有一小部分學校堅持傳統教育。他們認為這樣更有利於學生。現在還不清楚他們是否正確,不過很顯然,他們的做法跟大多數學校背道而馳。]

我的一個朋友 Jenny 也是這樣。現在很多人都通過 facebook,微博和twitter 這類社交網站聯絡溝通,可我朋友 Jenny 堅持不用這些社交平台,她認為面對面的溝通才是最好的。It flies in the face of what most people do these days. 這與眼下大多數人的做法都截然不同。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Most American schools have been increasing spending on high technologies. That meant more computer-assisted learning in the classroom. Yet a small minority of institutes are focusing on traditional learning. They believe it’s much better for the students. It’s unclear if they’re right. But it certainly FLIES IN THE FACE OF what most schools are emphasizing.”

不知道我們的聽眾是不是體育迷,我本人就挺愛看美式橄欖球,總覺得是一種不同的文化體驗。下面這個例子里就講到了一個名叫Tim的球員,我們來聽聽看:

M: “Tim is one of a few football players who isn’t shy about his religious beliefs. Before every game, in front of huge television audiences, he kneels in prayer on the field. He knows not everyone approves. Still, he doesn’t regret FLYING IN THE FACE OF how athletes are expected to behave.”

[這段話是說:Tim是少數敢於表明自己宗教信仰的球員之一。每場比賽開始前,當著電視觀眾的面,他都會跪在賽場上祈禱。他知道並不是每個人都贊成他的做法。他並不取悅社會對運動員的一些期待,他也絲毫不後悔。]

我覺得每個人的宗教信仰都是他的自由。就像最近很火的Jeremy Lin,林書豪,他也對自己的宗教信仰毫不掩飾。我有一個同性戀朋友,she’s very open about her sex orientation, this flies in the face of some traditional views. 她很公開自己的性取向,這與很多保守的觀點大相徑庭。好了,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Tim is one of a few football players who isn’t shy about his religious beliefs. Before every game, in front of huge television audiences, he kneels in prayer on the field. He knows not everyone approves. Still, he doesn’t regret FLYING IN THE FACE OF how athletes are expected to behave.”

今天我們學習的習慣用語fly in the face of, 意思是截然相反,大相徑庭。好的,這次[美國習慣用語]就到此結束,我是楊琳,我是Dan Markus。謝謝各位的收聽。

A: Fly in the face of 截然相反。我這就能造個句! 天氣預報說今天很熱,結果我就穿了個小短袖! But the weather today flies in the face of the weather forecast, it is freezing outside!

B: Haha. Didn’t you know that being a weatherman is the only job in the world which you can be wrong 90% of the time and still get paid?

A: 哈哈,then I take it that being a Weatherman ranks no. 1 on your list of possible careers! (B: Hey! ) 咱們接下來要再來學個詞兒,順便來聽聽世界大學的最新排名怎麼樣!

B: Let’s listen!

Learn A Word 1598 ranking

今天我們要學的詞是 ranking. Ranking is spelled r-a-n-k-i-n-g, ranking. Ranking 是排名的意思。Harvard and Princeton remain tied for No.1 on the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges Ranking”. 美國新聞與世界報道雜誌公布的最新美國大學排名,哈佛大學和普林斯頓大學並列第一。在另外一項世界大學排名中,MIT took first place, knocking Britain’s University of Cambridge into second place and Harvard into third, according to the QS World University Rankings. 根據QS世界大學排名,美國的麻省理工學院排名第一,把英國劍橋大學和美國哈佛大學擠到了第二位和第三位。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 ranking, ranking, ranking….

A: 這個世界大學排名榜,不同的機構排得都太不一樣了! 不能信不能信!

B: Aww 楊琳,honestly is it because your school is not listed ? (打噴嚏 sneeze)

A:你看,報應來了吧! 你是不是感冒了?

B: Me? No! Don’t you see how strong I am? I never get sick!

A: Uh-Oh, Mike, you’d better knock on wood, don’t jinx it…不過大家可能正在納悶為什麼讓Mike敲木頭呢? 聽聽下面的禮節美語你就明白啦!
B:

禮節美語–Superstitions Etiquette-Part I

MC: 來自中國的僱員 Sue 跟男同事 Pete 和女同事 Julie 一起去吃飯。

Pete: Hey Sue! Don’t walk under that ladder…it’s bad luck!

Sue: Julie, Is he serious?

Julie: Kind of. There is an old tradition in the West that says it’s bad luck.

S: You mean a superstition?

J: Yes, I guess it is a superstition.

S: But, Julie…you’re from the UK and Pete is American! I thought Western people weren’t superstitious!

Pete: Actually, many of us are. In America we have a whole bunch of superstitions.

Pete 警告 Sue 不要從梯子下面走,It’s bad luck. 會帶來壞運氣。這不是迷信嗎! superstition, s-u-p-e-r-s-t-i-t-i-o-n, superstition 迷信。Julie 是英國人,Pete 是美國人,原來,西方人也迷信。

S: Wow…I always thought Westerners considered superstitions old-fashioned. My family is Chinese; almost all of us are very superstitious.

Julie: Well, I think the superstitions might be different, but pretty much every country in the world has them.

S: Is the number “four” unlucky in the West?

J: No…I don’t think so.

P: Um…wait. Why is the number “four” bad?

S: In Chinese the pronunciation of the “four” sounds a lot like the word for “death.”

P: Oh, I can see why that would be bad.

Sue 原以為,西方人覺得迷信是 old-fashioned 守舊過時的,只有中國人迷信,沒想到,其實西方人也迷信,但是東西方迷信的內容不同。比如說,中國人覺得數字「四」不吉利,跟「死」諧音。

J: We might be OK with the number “four” but some Western people think “thirteen” is an unlucky number.

P: That’s true. Some buildings will skip the thirteenth floor or call it “12A” or something.

S: Ha! That’s funny! In many Chinese places they do exactly the same thing with the fourth floor! But why is thirteen unlucky?

J: Well, it’s not too clear how that happened…but it probably has something to do with twelve being a lucky number.

西方人不忌諱「四」,但是忌諱「十三」,很多大樓因此沒有十三層,用12A來代替。Sue 說,中國也有類似做法。不過,在西方文化里,「十三」為什麼不吉利呢?Julie 說,大概是因為「十三」前面的「十二」是一個 lucky number 特別吉利的數字。

J: Twelve is a number featured in many stories and legends and so it’s kind of considered to be a good number.

S: But thirteen is not?

P: Yeah…and the most unlucky day of all is if a Friday falls on the 13th of a month. That’s considered to be a super unlucky day.

S: Yeah. I saw a horror movie called “Friday the 13th” once!

J: Yeah! That’s a great horror movie!

在西方,很多傳說和故事裡,十二都是吉祥數字,可十三卻代表著厄運,如果哪個月的十三號正好又是星期五的話,一定要小心,that’s considered a super unlucky day. 那可是特別不吉利的日子。

A: Pete和Julie給Sue講起了western superstitions, 西方的迷信傳統,比如don’t walk under a ladder, don’t use the number 13等等。Sue本來還以為西方人覺得迷信是”old-fashioned” 傳統守舊的,沒想到西方人比東方人還迷信。Do you believe in superstitions, Mike?

B: I sure do!

A: So what are some other superstitions in the west?

B: Hmmm, if you see a black cat crossing your path, you are going to have very bad luck. I guess it’s because black cats have long been associated with witchcraft.

A: 啊? 我有個好朋友就有隻小黑貓,我還覺得他挺可愛的呢!

B: Oh my gosh, then your friend is in serious trouble. But actually, for all these superstitions, it all depends on weather you believe it or not.
A: 對! 信則有,不信則無。咱們接著聽 Sue 告訴了Pete 和Julie什麼吧!

禮節美語–Superstitions EtiquettePart I

來自中國的僱員 Sue 跟男同事 Pete 和女同事 Julie 一起去吃飯,三個人談到了東西方的迷信。Sue 說,

S: What about walking under a ladder? What’s wrong with that?

J: You know, I’m not really sure! But it’s probably a good idea to avoid it…something might fall on your head!

P: That makes sense!

S: So many of your superstitions don’t really have a specific origin?

J: Many of them might be related to religious issues…but the origin kind of gets lost in history.

Julie 說,西方很多迷信都不知道是從哪來的了。The origin kind of gets lost in history. 比如說,從梯子下面走會帶來壞運氣,可為什麼呢?或許是上面會掉東西下來砸到你吧,但沒有人能肯定。

P: Oh! I can think of one superstition that’s related to religion. Many Western people say “Bless you!” to a person if they sneeze.

J: Right. That’s because around 500 years ago, people thought saying “God Bless You” could help heal the person and stop the spread of disease.

P: Still today, many people say, “Bless you” after someone sneezes. It’s now considered polite.

S: I think that’s a sweet thing to say. Tell me some more Western superstitions!

不過,不少迷信跟宗教有關,Pete 舉例說,有人打噴嚏,旁邊的人說 “Bless You” 就起源於宗教。 Julie 說,大約五百年前,人們覺得說上帝保佑你 God Bless You 能防治疾病,但是今天,別人打噴嚏,你說 Bless You已經變成一種禮貌了。

P: Well, if you see a black cat walking in front of you…bad luck might be coming very soon!

S: A black cat is kind of evil, huh? I guess that’s why a witch always has a black cat!

J: Yeah…but I have a black cat at home and he’s not evil at all. He’s a sweet little cat.

P: I’d say many Western people don’t take these things very seriously, but they are still a part of our culture.

J: I know one! Breaking a mirror is seven years of bad luck! Back in ancient times, a mirror was said to be a window to your soul, so breaking one was very bad!

在西方,如果你前面有一隻黑貓,那可糟了,意味著厄運臨頭。可 Julie 就養了只黑貓,可愛極了。看來西方人也並不真信 They don’t take these things very seriously. 另外,打碎鏡子代表七年的壞運程,因為古代人覺得鏡子是通向心靈的窗口。

S: Do you have superstitions about where things are built?

J: You mean like Feng-Shui?

S: Yes! Exactly! How do you know about that?

P: Feng-Shui is becoming quite popular in the West. Some people now do try to follow some of the rules if they can.

S: Wow! It seems we are starting to share traditions!

P: Sure! Why not?

J: Yes…I think it’s good to get to know each other’s culture better.

西方人信風水嗎?Pete 說,Feng-shui is becoming quite popular in the West. 風水在西方越來越流行,這也算是文化互通吧。

B: (Sneeze)

A: aGod bless you, Mike! 我看你是感冒了,還是回家好好喝水睡覺吧…

B: I’m not sick! I’m just allergic to you!


美語訓練班  第079課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天,我們要聊聊隨大流,看看美國辦公室的著裝標準,還要告訴你怎麼說能說會道!

B: Oh you mean good at negotiating? Dear audience, you don’t have to look anywhere else…

A: 哈哈,就你? 你不是才問我怎麼跟領導談漲工資嗎?

B: Hey! Don’t give out my secret!

A: 好了好了不開玩笑了! 我們言歸正傳,趕快來進入第一個單元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1599 donor

今天我們要學的詞是 donor. Donor is spelled d-o-n-o-r, donor. Donor 是捐贈者的意思。Mitt Romney’s campaign offered some supporters the opportunity to fly with the candidate on his charter plane as a donor prize. 羅姆尼競選團隊說,某些支持者可以乘坐羅姆尼的專機,做為對競選捐贈者的獎勵。在美國,More than 100 million Americans are registered organ donors, but it’s not enough to keep up with the demand. 註冊登記的器官捐贈者有一億多人,但還是供不應求。Sixteen states offer tax incentives to organ donors, but a recent study found that these sweeteners aren’t working. 美國有16個州對器官捐贈者提供稅收方面的優惠,但是最近有研究發現,這些鼓勵機制沒有作用。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 donor, donor, donor….

A: 哇! 美國總統候選人為了競選,真是不惜血本呀! I would totally want to ride in Romney’s charter plane!

B: That’s for sure! But you’ve got to be a major donor for that to happen!

A: Yeah…I will leave that task for rich folks. 不過話說回來,你的漲工資任務進行的怎麼樣了?

B: Oh that…I mean, I think I should ask, but I don’t think I’m the most persuasive guy here….I always hesitate before I go into Sasha’s office…

A: 哈哈,我就知道! 今天我特地挑了一集美語怎麼說來教教你怎麼變得能說會道! 趕快來聽吧!

How to say it in American English

Jessica在北京學漢語,她的中國朋友要是遇到了不知道用美語怎麼說的詞,就會來請教她。今天是瓊燕要問的:能說會道。

Jessica: Hi, Qiong Yan! I heard there was a riot in your office…

QY: Riot? 哈哈,沒那麼嚴重,其實就是我們這些小白領一塊兒找經理談判,要求漲工資!

Jessica: And did you get the raise?

QY: Yes! I didn’t expect management to give in,不過我們的談判代表是一個特別能說會道的人,我估計,經理是被他侃暈啦! 哈哈! 對了,在美語中要怎麼形容一個人能說會道呢?

Jessica: You can say someone has a silver tongue, or someone is silver-tongued. It means a person can clearly and effectively express himself and convince other people.

QY: I see. So, thanks to my silver-tongued co-worker, we got the raise!

Jessica: Congratulations!

QY: 其實,仔細想想,這次也不全是因為這個同事能說會道。經理以前老說大家工作努力,應該漲工資,可都是光說不練! 所以他這次也自覺理虧!

Jessica: So he’d been paying lip service to you!

QY: Pay lip service? Lip 不是嘴唇么?我知道了,pay lip service 就是用空話安撫別人,對么?

Jessica: That’s right. Managers at your company must have said how much they appreciated all your hard work, but if they’re really impressed by what you’ve done, they should have given you a raise already! Their insincere appreciation is lip service.

QY: 沒錯! 以前經理還老說公司財政緊張,所以大家都應該支持公司,暫時不要漲工資,可我聽說,他自己的工資漲得可帶勁了!

Jessica: Ah! This is a textbook example of “talk the talk, but not walk the walk.” 說一套,做一套。

QY: 真氣人,If they talk the talk, they should walk the walk! 怎麼能搞雙重標準呢?

Jessica: Well, I’m just happy you guys got what you wanted. You should be proud of yourselves!

QY: 今天我們學了,形容一個人能說會道,用silver tongue; 說空話是pay lip service; 說一套,做一套是talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

B: Yeah. I have this friend back home who works in the banking industry. One time he got a speeding ticket from the policeman, but ended up selling the policeman a saving account at his bank! Now THAT is a silver-tongued dude.

A: 阿,真是! 我覺得那些在銀行里工作的人都是這樣! 個個能把死的說成活的! Isn’t this how the financial crisis started?

B: Exactly! Plus, since the banking industry is very profitable, a lot of people were trying to follow suit and get rich.

A: 哈哈,也沒那麼誇張吧! 不過呢,你剛才提到了一個很好的詞兒,follow suit! 咱們來聽聽今天的words and idioms, 學學這個習慣用語怎麼用!

Words and Idioms 989

美國習慣用語第 989講。我是楊琳。

M:我是Steve Baragona.

今天中午我忽然想吃麥當勞,由於很久沒去,我看到他們的菜單時有些吃驚。我印象里的麥當勞都是些不健康的快餐,漢堡,薯條什麼的,但是現在,菜單里多了全麥麥片,水果片,沙拉等等選擇。這種改變可以用一個習慣用語來形容,那就是:

M: Follow suit. Follow is spelled f-o-l-l-o-w, and suit; s-u-i-t, suit. Follow suit.

大家都知道,follow是跟隨的意思,而suit,可以指撲克牌四種花色里的任意一種,兩個詞連起來 follow suit,跟著出同樣的花色,引伸為「效仿,跟著做」。就像上面的例子里,隨著人們健康意識的提高,越來越多的餐廳紛紛推出健康的低卡路里菜單,連麥當勞都沒落下。All the restaurants started to offer healthy food items. McDonald felt they needed to FOLLOW SUIT. 在下面例子里,我們要講講casual Friday的來歷,讓我們一起來聽一聽:

M: “Who wants to have to wear formal business clothes every day? For many employees, Friday is when you can dress casually. You might even be allowed to wear jeans. It seems the trend began in California in the late 1990s. Before long, workplaces throughout the U.S. copied the practice. Other countries have been FOLLOWING SUIT ever since. ”

[這段話是說: 誰想每天都穿正裝上班呢? 對很多人來說,星期五就是能穿便裝的日子,或許你還能穿牛仔褲呢!這個潮流似乎是90年代末從加利福尼亞州興起的。不久,美國各地的公司都開始實行這種做法,其他國家也紛紛效仿。]

這個Casual Friday就是星期五便裝日! 誰都不希望每天西服革履的。由於燃油價格上漲,美國的西南航空公司最近宣布,往返機票價格上漲4到10美元。業內觀察人士說,其他航空公司很可能會follow suit 跟著漲價。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Who wants to have to wear formal business clothes every day? For many employees, Friday is when you can dress casually. You might even be allowed to wear jeans. It seems the trend began in California in the late 1990s. Before long, workplaces throughout the U.S. copied the practice. Other countries have been FOLLOWING SUIT ever since. ”

人身攻擊在美國社會是一件絕對不被接受的事情。在下面的例子里,咱們要去看看一個廣播主持人中傷別人之後,給他自己帶來了什麼樣的後果:

M: “The radio entertainer made a habit of making rude comments. Perhaps that’s why his talk show was so popular. But when he insulted a woman repeatedly on the air, people from across the country complained loudly. Before long, one of his advertisers withdrew its support. Then another FOLLOWED SUIT. Soon the majority had done the same, leaving the show with few sponsors. ”

[這段話是說:這名廣播節目主持人一貫以言辭犀利著稱,也許這就是為什麼他的談話節目那麼受歡迎。不過當他多次在節目中對一名女士出口不遜後,很多地方的聽眾都表示不滿。沒過多久,他的一個廣告商就不再支持他了,隨後,另一個也撤走了對節目的贊助。很快,大多數廣告商都選擇退出,整個節目沒剩幾個贊助人了。]

不久前,美國著名體育頻道ESPN就解僱了一名員工,原因就是他使用了侮辱性的語言來形容冉冉升起的亞裔籃球明星林書豪。這確實說明,言論自由是要在有框架內的自由,並不是毫無限制的隨便亂說。好的,讓我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “The radio entertainer made a habit of making rude comments. Perhaps that’s why his talk show was so popular. But when he insulted a woman repeatedly on the air, people from across the country complained loudly. Before long, one of his advertisers withdrew its support. Then another FOLLOWED SUIT. Soon the majority had done the same, leaving the show with few sponsors. ”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是follow suit, 意思是效仿,照做。

A: 原來,casual Friday是在加州興起的! 加州人民的風格確實很隨性! 我原來就在加州上學,記得畢業的時候,校長穿著 flip flop,人字拖就來給我們頒學位了! 這也許就是加州風吧!

B: Haha, that definitely sounds like it! I guess in public schools there’s usually no strict dress code. But things change when you come into the workplace!

A: Exactly! 特別是DC! 一上地鐵一片黑藍灰! 每個人都穿西裝!

B: Yeah, we are lucky that we don’t have to wear business formal in our office! In today’s business etiquette, the management team is talking about proper dress code in the company, let’s go and take a look!

禮節美語Dress Code I

公司高層開會,老闆 Frank 建議,規定著裝標準,不能太隨便。

Frank: Good morning everyone. Thanks for being on time.

Gary & Penny: Good morning, Frank.

F: We’ve got a whole bunch of topics to go over today, but let’s start with a simple one: our company’s dress code.

G: We have a dress code?

F: Well…if we didn’t have one before, I’m instituting one, starting now.

P: What exactly does this mean?

公司老闆 Frank 說,首先討論著裝要求,dress code。Gary 覺得奇怪,不知道公司什麼時候有了 dress code. Frank表示,以前沒有沒關係,I’m instituting one starting now. 就從現在開始定。

F: I’ve become concerned that we are getting a bit too casual. I was walking through the office the other day and some people were wearing shorts and T-shirts! I don’t think that is appropriate office wear.

P: It’s true. Our standards have been going down. It used to be that we wore casual clothes only on Fridays, but these days it seems we do it almost everyday.

Frank 原來是看到員工穿得太隨便,a bit too casual. T恤衫,短褲,什麼都有,不合適上班穿。Penny 承認,著裝標準是有些下降,原來只有星期五不用穿得太正式,也就是常說的 Casual Friday, 可如今大家每天都穿得很隨便。

G: But Frank, don’t you think maybe this isn’t such a big issue? I mean, why does it matter what we are wearing? I think productivity is more important!

F: Actually, I agree with you, Gary. Productivity is the most important thing. But I think what we wear is linked to productivity.

P: In what way are they linked?

F: Police officers wear uniforms, right? It’s a symbol to both them and the public that they are serious about what they do.

Gary覺得,穿著並不重要,重要的是工作效率,productivity. Frank 卻認為,穿著跟效率之間也有密切聯繫。比如警察穿制服,就是一個象徵,a symbol, 告訴自己,也告訴大眾,他們覺得自己的工作很重要。

G: You’re the boss, Frank, so of course it’s your call…but I have to say, I’m not so keen on this idea. I think neckties cut off blood circulation. I’m much more in favor of a relaxed workplace environment.

F: And for some companies a relaxed atmosphere might work. At Google they let you bring your dog to work! But we are a serious financial company with an image to uphold.

Frank 的工作態度論並沒有說服Gray. 他說,you’re the boss. It’s your call. 你是老闆,你說了算,但我還是主張有一個輕鬆的工作環境 I’m in favor of a relaxed workplace environment. Frank 看來已經拿定主意,說輕鬆的工作環境適合某些公司,但他們是一家嚴謹的金融公司,with an image to uphold. 要保持公司形象。新的 dress code 是什麼呢?我們下次繼續聽。

A: 原來,公司經理Frank覺得公司的dress code 著裝標準太過隨意,a bit too casual. 作為一家嚴謹的金融公司,they have an image to uphold,要保持公司形象,而且他認為 what we wear is linked to productivity, 穿著與效率有密切關係。What do you think, Mike?

B: I definitely agree with this manager, that’s why I dress up for work everyday. I feel like when you are in business casual, you feel more like you are working. While in a T-shirt, you just feel you are chilling.

A: Yeah, I guess what you wear IS linked to productivity for certain people. 像我這種自制力這麼強的人,穿什麼都效率高嘛!

B: Riiiighhttttt. But seriously, almost everyone judges by what they see on the outside.

A: Yep, beauty is skin deep, but first impressions do make a difference. 我們接著來聽聽老闆Frank能不能說服大家吧!

禮節美語Dress Code II

公司高層開會,老闆 Frank建議,嚴格員工的著裝標準,穿得不能太隨便。公司主管 Penny 說,

P: I’m inclined to agree with Frank. You know that old saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, almost everyone DOES judge by what they see on the outside. I think we do need to present a more professional image.

F: Some of the ladies may also have to tone down their attire as well. Clothes that are too revealing are not appropriate either.

G: What exactly is acceptable and what is not?

俗話說,Don’t judge a book by its cover. 人不可貌相,可實際上,Penny 表示,幾乎所有人都難免以貌取人 judge by what they see on the outside, 因此公司需要樹立專業形象。Frank又說,女員工穿著也要 tone down 收斂,不能過於暴露,revealing, r-e-v-e-a-l-i-n-g, revealing 是暴露的意思。 那到底什麼樣兒才符合要求呢?

F: Well, for the men it’s pretty simple. They should wear a button-down shirt with a collar and preferably a tie as well. Jeans are not acceptable.

P: For the women I’d say professional looking skirts or dresses that go down to at least the knee are acceptable. And blouses or shirts should not show too much skin.

F: And of course, no sandals or flip-flops. Shorts are NEVER acceptable.

P: Do you think members of the board should try to dress especially well?

F: Yes I do. We are representatives of the company and we need to be a good example. I’d say the men should try to wear a full business suit when possible.

男人簡單,無非是襯衫領帶,不穿牛仔。女人則要穿職業女裝,裙子過膝,上衣不能太露,一個字,professional looking 看上去要職業化。此外,涼鞋、拖鞋和短褲是萬萬不能穿的。Frank 還說,理事會成員代表公司,要以身作則,穿得更正式。

G: Can we still have “Casual Fridays?”

F: (Chuckle) Sure, Gary…let’s keep that tradition. But “casual” can’t be too casual. I’d say jeans are OK on Fridays, but no T-shirts. Polo shirts or short-sleeved sports shirts are OK.

G: So I guess we are going to need to send out a memo with these new guidelines. Some people aren’t going to be very happy about this.

F: Well, we in management can lead by example.

P: Actually, I kind of enjoy getting dressed up! It’s fun!

G: And I guess I’ll get used to the new rules. I do look pretty good in a suit.

F& P: (chuckle)

Frank 同意保留星期五隨意著裝的傳統,但不能太過份,牛仔褲可以穿,帶領子的馬球衫 Polo shirts 和短袖襯衣可以穿,但是沒領子的T恤衫還是不行。Gary 最後無可奈何地說,I guess I’ll get used to the new rules. 我想我會慢慢習慣新規矩的。

A: 老闆Frank說,男士應當穿 a button-down shirt with a collar and preferably a tie,襯衫領帶,女士應當穿dresses that go down to at least the knee,及膝裙,總之一個字, professional looking, 看起來要職業化。

B: See, Yanglin, you should be taking some notes from the episode and start to dress up for work!

A: I repeat: for really smart people, it doesn’t matter what they wear, it’s all about the brain. Thank you.

B: I think someone may be getting a little too self confident!

A: 哈哈,開玩笑開玩笑! 節目最後,我們再來學個詞,一起來聽吧!

Learn A Word 1601 undocumented

今天我們要學的詞是 undocumented. Undocumented is spelled u-n-d-o-c-u-m-e-n-t-e-d, undocumented. Undocumented 形容詞,沒有合法證件的。Mitt Romney riled Latino voters early this year when he said “self-deportation” is the best way to deal with the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. 羅姆尼今天年初時說,自我驅逐時解決美國數以百萬計非法移民的最好辦法,這種說法激怒了拉美裔選民。與此同時,奧巴馬六月宣布新政策。Under President Obama’s new policy, undocumented students can avoid deportation if they meet certain requirements. 根據奧巴馬的新政策,沒有合法身份的在校學生只要符合特定條件,就可以避免被驅逐出境的命運。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 undocumented, undocumented, undocumented….

B: Woops…Yanglin, you are not undocumented immigrant, are you?

A: Yes, I am. Woops, now you know my deepest secret, which means I can’t let you live…

B: Woops….

A: 哈哈, 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。


美語訓練班  第080課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天,我們要聊聊怎麼大力宣傳,看看外國人對中國菜的印象,還要告訴你怎麼說勵志!

B: My impression of Chinese food? Let me tell you, there’s only one word to summarize it: AWESOME!

A: 哈哈,那是當然! 第一,我們中國菜全世界第一好吃,第二,你是一個百年難得一見的吃貨。

B: Hey!

A: 好了好了不開玩笑了! 我們言歸正傳,趕快來進入第一個單元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1606 publicity

今天我們要學的詞是 publicity. Publicity is spelled p-u-b-l-i-c-i-t-y, publicity. Publicity 有宣傳的意思。The lead singers’ feud turned out to be just a publicity stunt for the band’s new album. 樂隊主唱之間的矛盾,其實只是樂隊為了新唱片問世,而採取的一種宣傳手段。有人說,Any publicity is good publicity. 任何宣傳都是好的宣傳。言外之意,即使是負面宣傳,也會增加產品的知名度。另外一種類似說法是,There is no such thing as bad publicity. 黑莓手機上周服務中斷。The service outage created a wave of negative publicity for Blackberry. 這次服務中斷事件給黑莓公司帶來了一輪負面宣傳。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 publicity, publicity, publicity….

A: 說起 publicity, 我第一個想到的就是剛剛過去的總統大選! 聽說這次是美國有史以來競選花費最高的一次,the two candidates spent nearly 2 billion dollars on publicity!

B: Yeah, presidential elections are not only policy wars , They’re money wars as well. You need to be rich enough, or have enough endorsements, before you can step into politics.

A: Well, I guess it’s better to spend all the money on election rather than a real war. 而且我聽奧巴馬連任後的演講,好勵志呀! I feel that the American people are all once again united in order to move forward.

B: Yep, and President Obama does have the charisma and aura to convey his message to the public.

A: 沒錯! 不過聽眾朋友們,我們剛剛說到的這個勵志用美語該怎麼表達呢? 來聽聽今天的美語怎麼說你就明白啦!

How to say it in American English

Jessica在北京學漢語,她的中國朋友要是遇到了不知道用美語怎麼說的詞,就會來請教她。今天是Lulu要問的:勵志。

LU: Jessica. I-Want-You!!!

Jessica: 哈哈! You watched that show, didn’t you, Lulu?!

LU: 沒錯!在你的推薦下,我也看了這個選秀節目! 太感人了! 你看那些選手,都是平凡人,可是唱得多棒啊!看他們被評委選中,太勵志了! Jessica, 你教教我,「勵志節目」在美語里怎麼說?

Jessica: You can say the show is inspirational. Inspirational is spelled i-n-s-p-i-r-a-t-i-o-n-a-l. This talent show is definitely inspirational as all the contestants have incredible life stories and their performances rock!

LU: Exactly! 那我要是說勵志電影,是不是inspirational movies?

Jessica: 沒錯! But Lulu, I was really disappointed that the young woman from Chengdu didn’t make it to the next around.

LU: 我也特喜歡那個成都女生。Did you see how sad she was when the judges all turned her down?

Jessica: Yeah. She was crushed! For a moment I thought she was gonna faint!

LU: Crushed? 就是「深受打擊」的意思,對么?

Jessica: 對。For example, after learning his girlfriend had dumped him for a wealthier guy, he was crushed.

LU: 唉,看著那女孩兒傷心的樣子,真可憐。I don’t know what those judges were thinking! That girl should have been selected! 唉,真是有眼無珠。

Jessica: I agree! Well, it’s their loss!

LU: Their loss? The judges’ loss? 我明白了,這就是說他們不選這個選手,是他們自己的損失!

Jessica: 沒錯! 好啦 Lulu, another episode of the show is starting in 5 minutes. Let’s go watch!

LU: 今天我們學了,勵志節目是 inspirational show, 深受打擊是 crushed, 形容有人選擇錯誤,有眼無珠,可以說 It’s their loss!

A: Speaking of this, although Mitt Romney lost the election, he didn’t seem so crushed. 而且他還挺大方地祝賀奧巴馬連任呢!

B: Yeah, I mean, in terms of popular votes, President Obama did win with only a narrow margin of victory. He got 50% of the popular votes, while Romney got 49%. The two candidates were definitely neck and neck.

A: 對啊! 大家都說這是美國歷史上最刺激的一次大選,因為雙方咬得太緊,之前沒人知道選舉結果到底會是怎麼樣!
B: Yep, and in today’s words and idioms, we will tell you how to express an inevitable outcome! Let’s go and check it out!

Words and Idioms 991

美國習慣用語第 991講。我是曉北。

M:我是Dan

昨天我去看了我好朋友的籃球比賽。雖然我很希望他贏,不過我也知道,他所在的球隊處於弱勢,如果沒有奇蹟出現的話,他們輸定了。果不其然,他們以大比分敗北。這也讓我想到一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: Foregone conclusion. Foregone is spelled f-o-r-e-g-o-n-e, and conclusion; c-o-n-c-l-u-s-i-o-n. Foregone-conclusion.

Foregone的意思是先前的、預知的,而conclusion,結果。Foregone conclusion, 意思就是”註定的結果, 不可避免的結果”。上面的例子就是這樣。It’s obvious that my friend’s team was the underdog. It was a FOREGONE CONCLUSION that they’d lose the game. 我朋友的球隊顯然不是對手,在比賽中失利是不可避免的。在下面的例子里,我們要去看看一個公司里的員工如何討論誰會升職。

M: “Susana had worked as the assistant manager in the store for three years. When the boss decided to take a job with another company, most of us assumed Susana would be getting a promotion. It seemed a FOREGONE CONCLUSION. But our predictions were wrong. A new manager with more experience was hired instead.”

[這段話是說: 蘇珊娜當了三年副經理。老闆接受另一份工作決定辭職後,我們很多人都認為蘇珊娜一定會得到晉陞。這看起來是註定的結果了。不過我們都猜錯了。公司雇了一名更有經驗的經理人。]

是啊,這世界上的事情誰能百分之百打保票呢?就拿我經常去光顧的一家餐廳來說,那裡的服務員幾個月前告訴我,餐廳可能要關門了,因為老闆得了重病。They were sure the restaurant had to close down. It seems like a foregone conclusion. 可是前兩天我去訂pizza的時候,他們告訴我,老闆手術成功,迅速康復,餐廳會繼續開下去?這真是個好消息! 好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Susana had worked as the assistant manager in the store for three years. When the boss decided to take a job with another company, most of us assumed Susana would be getting a promotion. It seemed a FOREGONE CONCLUSION. But our predictions were wrong. A new manager with more experience was hired instead.”

美國歷史上的南北戰爭人盡皆知。這次戰爭以北方取勝告終,結束了奴隸制,是美國歷史的里程碑之一。有些歷史學家認為北方顯然會獲勝,可是有些歷史學家則認為雙方勢均力敵。我們一起去聽聽他們不同的見解。

M: “Some historians believe that the American Civil War was far from a FOREGONE CONCLUSION. In their view, it wasn’t clear at all that the North was going to beat the South. It’s true that the North had a larger population and greater resources. But, they argue, the South had the advantage of fighting on their own soil. And they had the most experienced generals. ”

[這段話是說:一些歷史學家認為當時美國內戰的結果並不是板上定釘的。在他們看來,北方並不一定能打敗南方。的確,北方擁有更多的人力和資源。但是他們認為,南方擁有主場優勢。而且他們有經驗更加豐富的將軍。]

歷史是個值得討論的話題。每個人看相同的問題都會得出不同的結論。各種戰爭,選舉,都可能出現出人意料的結果。就比如今年的總統大選,鹿死誰手,還很難講。Who will win the presidential election this year is far from a foregone conclusion.好,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Some historians believe that the American Civil War was far from a FOREGONE CONCLUSION. In their view, it wasn’t clear at all that the North was going to beat the South. It’s true that the North had a larger population and greater resources. But, they argue, the South had the advantage of fighting on their own soil. And they had the most experienced generals. ”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是FOREGONE CONCLUSION, 意思是註定的結果,不可避免的結果。好的,這次[美國習慣用語]就到此結束,我是小北,我是Dan。謝謝各位的收聽。

A: 說起這個,我也來造個句。 It’s a foregone conclusion that xiaobei is going to get a promotion soon! 我覺得她得請咱們撮一頓,對吧?

B: That’s definitely true! Especially with her superb ability to cook Chinese food, unlike somebody here….

A: I’m sorry, who are you talking about here? (threatening)

B: Woo….well, ok, I’m wrong!! You are so good at cooking Chinese food…

A: 不止是中國菜,中西合璧,哪樣我都行! 哈哈! 在今天的business etiquette里, 我們就要來討論東方和西方菜式的不同,趕快一起來聽聽看!

禮節美語Food Part I

美國駐中國員工Tiffany 跟中國同事Kelly聊天兒。

Kelly Yan: So Tiffany, you’ve been working with us here in China for a few months now. Are you still feeling culture shock?

Tiffany Scolini: Yes, a bit. But it’s much better than the first few weeks. Back then I was really a fish out of water.

K: Remember the first time I took you to eat real Chinese food? You barely touched anything!

T: I know! I was scared! A lot of the food here is very different from back home. And the Chinese restaurants I’ve been to in America are very different from here.

Tiffany 來中國幾個月,文化上還是有些不習慣,I am still feeling culture shock a little bit. 不過,跟剛開始比已經強多了。剛來那會兒,I was really a fish out of water. 就象離了水的魚,意思是跟環境格格不入,特別不自在。Kelly 第一次帶Tiffany 去中國餐館吃飯,Tiffany 幾乎沒動筷子,因為這兒的中尷5c館跟美國的中餐館差別太大了。

K: Yeah. We Chinese like to joke about American Chinese food. It’s really not very authentic.

T: Yes, that’s true. But I think it’s true all around the world. You really have to be in the food’s original country to truly experience it. My family is Italian and in Italy they think American-Italian food is awful!

K: Oh, but I love pizza!

T: Me, too! But the pizza in Italy isn’t anything like American pizza. In the U.S. we like to borrow the general idea of a food, and then we give it an American twist.

吃中國飯去中國,吃義大利菜去義大利,這樣才能吃到最正宗的,authentic, a-u-t-h-e-n-t-i-c, authentic. 在美國,雖然什麼都能吃得到,但是美國人喜歡把別人的菜拿來,give it an American twist. 加入美國自己的特色。

K: I remember when I was in the States I ordered fish one time. When the dish arrived I was surprised to see just a little chunk of meat. I thought “Where is the head and tail?”

T: (laughs) Oh…yes. In the States we almost never leave the head and tail on a fish! Americans are kind of squeamish when it comes to dead animals. We would never ━ not in a million years — leave the head on a chicken!

K: Yeah, that’s right! I never saw a chicken head when I was there.

Kelly回憶說,她在美國點魚,結果上來的只是一盤魚肉。原來,美國人不吃魚頭和魚尾。Tiffany解釋說,Americans are kind of squeamish when it comes to dead animals. 美國人對殺生非常敏感。squeamish意思是容易受驚的,神經質的。Americans would never–not in a million years—leave the head on a chicken. 美國人絕不會把雞頭留在盤子里。這裡說的 not in a million years, 一百萬年都不會,是強調的意思。Tiffany對中國菜還有哪些印象呢?我們下次繼續聽。

A: 原來,Tiffiny才到中國兩個月,看到了很多 authentic Chinese food, 地道中國菜,可是她吃不習慣,像 a fish out of water, 特別不自在。Kelly說,她剛到美國的時候也很不適應,因為美國人引進各種食物,可是都 give it an American twist, 加入美國特色,食物都進行了改良。So Mike, what’s your impression of Chinese food ?

B: Haha, I LOVE Chinese food! I think Chinese food is a lot more delicate and interesting compared to western cuisine. I love trying out all the local food, Ganbian sijidou, Shandong Geli (Qingdao ren jiao Gala), shao long bao, huo guo, and my favorite is definitely 串兒! Gosh how do I miss Beijing!

A: 沒錯! 哎呀,被你這麼一說,我又想起了魚香肉絲那可人疼的樣子!

B: Well…stop dreaming, you are drooling all over the place! (A: Hey!) haha kidding kidding. Let’s keep listening and see what Tiffany has to say about Chinese food!

禮節美語Food Part II

美國駐中國員工Tiffany 跟中國同事Kelly聊天兒,說起中西餐的差別,比如,美國人飯桌上永遠看不到魚頭或是雞頭。Tiffany 大發感慨道,

T: In some ways, perhaps the Chinese approach to meat-eating is more honest. If you’re eating a chicken, well, that’s what a chicken looks like!

K: Huh…that’s interesting. So you think Western people are trying to forget that the chicken was a living animal?

T: Maybe. I think many American kids don’t really understand that chicken nuggets are made out of real chickens.

Tiffany 覺得中國人的吃法更真實,而西方人則不希望把盤子里的肉跟活生生的動物聯繫在一起。結果是,Many American kids don’t really understand that chicken nuggets are made out of real chickens. 很多美國孩子並不知道炸雞塊其實是用活生生的雞做的;

K: But if you don’t use all of the animal…isn’t that wasteful?

T: Oh, it’s very wasteful. America has a big problem with being wasteful. We really need to learn to use things more efficiently.

K: Maybe Americans should try being more adventurous with food. When I was there it seems everybody ate pretty much the same things every day!

T: Yeah, that’s another good thing about Chinese food; there are a million different dishes with a million different flavors. You can try something new everyday!

Kelly覺得,美國人在飲食方面應該大膽些。More adventurous with food. adventurous is spelled a-d-v-e-n-t-u-r-o-u-s, 意思是具有探險精神。Tiffany表示,美國人吃的東西千篇一律,而中國菜卻是 there are a million different dishes with a million different flavors. 變幻無窮。

K: But I do think Chinese food can sometimes be too greasy!

T: Yeah, but American food is greasy too. I think overall, Chinese people must be eating a pretty healthy diet because there are so few people here with weight problems. Back home it’s a really big problem!

K: Well, I’ve gained a few too many kilos myself recently. I need to cut down on the meat and eat more fruit and vegetables. Hey! That reminds me! There’s a new vegetarian restaurant downtown…want to come try it with me?

T: Sure! Lets have another adventure!

Kelly說,有些中國菜太油膩,too greasy, greasy is spelled g-r-e-a-s-y. Tiffany 卻覺得,中國人飲食相對健康 a pretty healthy diet,因為中國體重超標的人並不多。Back home it’s a really big problem. 這在美國可是大問題。這也提醒了Kelly,她說自己最近長了好幾斤,需要 cut down on the meat and eat more fruit and vegetables. 少吃肉,多吃蔬菜水果。她立即拉Tiffany去城裡新開的一家vegetarian restaurant素菜館去嘗嘗鮮。

A: Kelly覺得美國人吃飯有些千篇一律,覺得他們應該be more adventurous with food, 更大膽些。Tiffany 覺得中國菜相對健康 a pretty healthy diet, 因為中國人相對來說體重都比較正常。兩人決定今晚健康飲食,去vegetarian restaurant 素菜館嘗嘗鮮。

B: I definitely agree with Tiffany. Chinese food itself was a great diet for me. I lost 35 pounds just by eating Chinese food and walk around in China, I guess it’s because there’s more fresh meats and vegetables in Chinese cuisine.

A: 沒錯! 而且中國菜還能變很多花樣,把素菜做成葷的,葷菜就更不用說了! 你想,魚香肉絲,紅燒獅子頭,火爆腰花,醬肘子,糖醋魚! 哎呀,好了好了不說了,咱們還是回到現實中來,節目最後,我們再來學個詞兒!

Learn A Word 1607 parental consent

今天我們要學的詞是 parental consent. Parental is spelled p-a-r-e-n-t-a-l, consent is spelled c-o-n-s-e-n-t, parental consent. Parental consent 家長同意。美國聯邦貿易委員會FTC建議修改有關規定,加強對網上兒童隱私的保護。Under the FTC proposals, some current online practices, like getting children under the age of 13 to submit their photos, would require parental consent. 根據聯邦貿易委員會的提案,互聯網上讓13歲以下的孩子提交照片等現行做法,都要得到家長的同意。Parents have voiced concerns when morning-after pills were distributed to NYC’s high school girls without parental consent. 紐約市高中在未經家長同意的情況下向女生髮放緊急避孕藥,引起家長的不滿。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 parental consent, parental consent, parental consent….

A: 哎,是呀, 這年頭互聯網誘惑太多,孩子真是不好管呀…

B: Yeah, now you understand how hard it is for me to always have to direct and supervise you to do your work….

A: I think it’s time that I bring you back to heal…..哈哈, 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。


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