uet-091-100

美語訓練班 第091-110課



美語訓練班  第091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,趕快來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天我們要一起來聊聊美國人熱衷的橄欖球比賽,看看怎麼表達了如指掌,還要告訴你怎麼拿別人開玩笑!!

B: Football is an important part of being a guy in U.S. The game it self can be pretty hard to understand at first, lucky for you I happen to be an expert!

A: Haha, I’m not so sure about that…… But it’s true that every American guy seems to love football! I don’t quite understand it, it seems like the players are just wrestling for a ball to me…

B: (Sigh) oh Yanglin, ok I’ll try to put this in as simply as I can. Football is the most important sport in this world, because…

A: 打住打住! 要講咱們等會再說,現在,我們先來進入第一個單元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1659 poke fun at

今天我們要學的詞是 poke fun at, poke is spelled p-o-k-e, poke, fun, f-u-n, fun, at, a-t, at, poke fun at. To poke fun at 意思是拿某人某事開玩笑,調侃。比如:Stop poking fun at me! 別拿我開玩笑。Prince William poked fun at his younger brother Prince Harry during a recent visit to Cambridge. 英國威廉王子最近在訪問劍橋的時候,調侃了弟弟哈里王子。American comedian Ellen DeGeneres poked fun at a study on the effectiveness of gay-dar. 美國笑星艾倫.德傑尼勒斯對一項有關辨別同性戀能力的研究大肆調侃。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 poke fun at, poke fun at, poke fun at…

A: 這個詞可說到我心坎里去了,you are always poking fun at me, Mike!

B: I wouldn’t do it so often if you didn’t make it so easy….. (What?)
Kidding kidding. Well, at least you don’t need to run the gauntlet like I do! Every time I try to pitch one of my idea to you guys…

A: 哈哈,我們是幫你加強邏輯思維嘛!! 不過你剛好提到了一個很特別的說法,run the gauntlet, 咱們一起來聽聽今天的words and idioms, 學學這個習慣用語的用法!

Words and Idioms 808 RUN THE GAUNTLET

美國習慣用語第八百零八講。

我是楊晨。我是 Douglas Johnson。

美國很多居民小區都設有小區委員會,編製不大,權力可不小。我有個朋友 Amy,她家的小區委員會管得就特別寬,從各家各戶房子的顏色到院子護欄的風格,都要經過審查。Amy 最近想架個籃球筐,給兒子練球用,小區委員會專門就此開會,進行了激烈的討論。這種情況在英語里叫:

M: Run the gauntlet. Gauntlet is spelled g-a-u-n-t-l-e-t. Run-the-gauntlet. Run the gauntlet.

Gauntlet 在中文裡是夾擊的意思。Run the gauntlet 這個習慣用語的意思就是受到很多人的批判、指責或是攻擊。所以說啊,這個詞用在 Amy 身上特別合適。她為了給兒子裝個籃球架子,就要接受小區委員會的嚴格審批。She had to run the gauntlet.

在下面的例子里,一名高中校長提出了一項看似平常的提案,結果卻受到了很多人的圍攻,我們聽聽看,這是為什麼。

M: “When I proposed that our high school eliminate soda machines in the building, I thought I’d have everyone’s support. Instead, I was attacked by many parents and teachers for taking away the students’ right to choose what they wanted to drink. I never expected to RUN THE GAUNTLET on that issue.”

這位校長說,[我提議取消學校的飲料販賣機。本來以為會得到大家的支持,可是誰知道,卻遭到了很多家長和老師的指責,說我這是剝奪學生選擇飲料的權利。我從沒想到會因此引火燒身。] 沒錯啊,那些飲料反正也沒什麼營養,取消飲料販賣機應該是件好事,沒想到在這個問題上大家也會存在爭議。

最近有消息說,我們當地一家小學的校長,因為覺得孩子們玩的追逐遊戲 TAG 動作越來越粗暴,所以決定禁止這個遊戲,結果引起了社會上很多人的指責。She is still running the gauntlet. 好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “When I proposed that our high school eliminate soda machines in the building, I thought I’d have everyone’s support. Instead, I was attacked by many parents and teachers for taking away the students’ right to choose what they wanted to drink. I never expected to RUN THE GAUNTLET on that issue.”

申請工作要經過面試。有的時候,還要經過多次篩選,讓我們一起來聽聽下面這個年輕人的經歷。

M: “First, I had an in-depth interview with the personnel director. Then, I was asked to go over my resume with the department manager. Finally, I got questioned at length by the head of guest services. All of this so that I could get a job parking cars at a hotel! I certainly RAN THE GAUNTLET for that position.”

這個人說,首先是人事部主任對我進行了非常深入的面試,然後讓我把簡歷交給部門經理,最後客人服務部的負責人又仔細地詢問了我的情況。這麼繁瑣的程序,其實我申請的就是一個在酒店停車的工作,為了這個工作,我可真是歷經磨難。

真是夠不容易的,一定是家五星級飯店。Run the gauntlet 的用法可以追溯到十七世紀上半葉,最初是軍隊里的一種懲罰方式,指士兵們手裡拿着鞭杖,面對面站成兩列,犯錯誤的人 從他們中間跑過去,接受士兵們的鞭打。到1661年的時候,這個習慣用語已經可以用來比喻各種形式的懲罰了。讓我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “First, I had an in-depth interview with the personnel director. Then, I was asked to go over my resume with the department manager. Finally, I got questioned at length by the head of guest services. All of this so that I could get a job parking cars at a hotel! I certainly RAN THE GAUNTLET for that position.”

大家學習美國習慣用語,有問題可以跟我們聯繫,That way, you won’t have to RUN THE GAUNTLET of people who say you don’t know how to use this expression properly! 這樣才不會有人說你不會用瞎用。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束。我是楊晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。這次節目的製作人是胡小玲。謝謝各位的收聽。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 我也來造個句: I certainly ran the gauntlet when I was interviewed for this position. 我申請這個職位的時候可是歷經磨難! But something awesome came out of it, I got a job that I love!

B: That makes all the hard work worthwhile, huh? The best part is you got the chance to work with me…

A: Exactly. (Mocking) I love my job! But I just wish I could earn a little bit more…life in DC is really expensive.

B: I know! The high cost of living here almost makes me wish I could be a kid again and just get a weekly allowance from my parents….

A: 哈哈,你又做夢了! 好好工作吧! 不過你剛才提到了一個詞兒, allowance, 這可是美國孩子最喜歡的詞兒了!

B: Want to know why? Let’s check it out!

Learn A Word 1660 allowance

今天我們要學的詞是 allowance, allowance is spelled a-l-l-o-w-a-n-c-e, allowance. Allowance 零用錢。A recent study reveals that 51% of American parents give their kids an allowance. 最近有研究顯示,美國51%的父母會給孩子零用錢。另外還有研究發現,The average child with an allowance gets $65 per month. 父母給零用錢的孩子平均每個月能得到65美元。The most common ways kids spend their allowance is by hanging out with friends and purchasing toys. 孩子們通常會把零用錢花在跟朋友一起玩或是買玩具上面。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 allowance, allowance, allowance…

B: This totally brings back memories from when I was a little kid. My parents used to give me 5 bucks every week, and I would save up and go buy video games!

A: No wonder you always win when we play Halo! You’ve been practicing since you are a little boy!

B: Exactly. Prior planning prevent poor performance!

A: You definitely have gotten a fix on how to beat me in video games! Not that I think it’s anything impressive…

B: Don’t lie 楊琳,don’t lie. (both laugh) You did mention a term: get a fix on something, let’s listen to another words and idioms and check it out!

Words and Idioms 809 Get a Fix on

美國習慣用語第八百零九講。

我是楊晨。我是 Douglas Johnson。

你喜歡看時尚雜誌嗎?現在的時尚,每季都在換,一會兒時興鮮艷的顏色,一會兒又時興復古的樣子。幸虧我不是服裝設計師,否則我肯定無法把握潮流的脈搏。今天我們要介紹給大家的習慣用語是:

M: Get a fix on. Fix is spelled f-i-x. Get-a-fix-on.Get a fix on.

Fix 做為動詞,有修理的意思,比如說 fix the car 修車。不過,fix 也可以做名詞,其中的一個意思就是定位,get a fix on 這個習慣用語用了 fix 作為名詞的定位的意思,指清楚地了解某些人或事。你現在明白我為什麼說自己不適合做服裝設計師了吧?I wouldn’t know how to GET A FIX ON the styles that people might want to buy.
在下面這個例子里,一名警官解釋了他們對一起空難事故現場進行調查時所遇到的困難,讓我們一起來聽聽看。

M: “Our investigation team combed the site of the plane crash for weeks. Finally, after reviewing countless pieces of evidence, we were able to GET A FIX ON the cause of the accident. We’ve determined that ice on the wings was to blame for the tragedy.”

這位警官說,我們的調查人員對事發地點進行了好幾個星期的仔細搜索,考查了數不清的證據,最後才確定了事故的起因,我們認為,這次空難是由飛機機翼上的冰塊造成的。

說起空難,真是怪嚇人的。我以前特別怕坐飛機,一上飛機就緊張,結果有個朋友向我推薦了一個網站,讓我了解到了飛機的安全係數。That’s where I GOT A FIX ON plane safety. 其實啊,從統計學的角度看,出車禍的機率要比飛機掉下來的機率大得多。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Our investigation team combed the site of the plane crash for weeks. Finally, after reviewing countless pieces of evidence, we were able to GET A FIX ON the cause of the accident. We’ve determined that ice on the wings was to blame for the tragedy.”

有時候,能了解某個人或是某件事對一個人的成功有很大的好處,但是反過來,如果怎麼也搞不懂的話,就會感到特別沮喪。讓我們一起聽聽下面這個年輕人談談他跟岳父岳母的關係。

M: “Since we got married, my wife and I have spent a lot of time with her parents. Just about every weekend we all get together for dinner or go out. I feel like I understand my father-in-law pretty well, but not my mother-in-law. I still haven’t GOTTEN A FIX ON her.”

這個人說,我們結婚後,經常跟岳父岳母在一起,幾乎每個周末我們都要一起吃飯或是出去玩。經過這些接觸,我覺得我對岳父這個人有了比較清楚的了解,但是岳母大人的喜怒哀樂還是讓我模不着頭腦。

Oh-Oh。這個年輕人真應該向我表姐 Jamie 取取經。Jamie 最大的本事就是看人。她每次去開會或是參加活動,都會遇到很多陌生人,但是用不了多久,她就能 GET A FIX ON them 徹底了解他們,不僅知道他們的喜好,甚至還能未卜先知,知道他們可能會怎麼做,難怪她干推銷成績總是那麼好。讓我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “Since we got married, my wife and I have spent a lot of time with her parents. Just about every weekend we all get together for dinner or go out. I feel like I understand my father-in-law pretty well, but not my mother-in-law. I still haven’t GOTTEN A FIX ON her.”

大家肯定都知道世界著名的流行歌手麥當娜。時間如梭,麥當娜如今已經年近五十,她在全球的唱片銷量也超過了兩個億。我覺得,麥當娜的成功在很大程度上是因為她懂得不斷地變化自己的外形和聲音,總能給聽眾帶來新鮮的感覺。She is always GETTING A FIX ON what her fans are looking for next. 她能清楚地把握歌迷們的脈搏,知道他們接下來可能追尋的東西,這可能就是麥當娜演出事業20多年常勝不衰的秘訣吧。

好的,I hope we have helped you GET A FIX ON another colorful expression. 希望我們幫助大家掌握了一個新的美國習慣用語。我是楊晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。這次節目的製作人是胡小玲。謝謝各位的收聽。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

B: So 楊琳,are you ready for the super bowl this Sunday?

A: Super bowl? 橄欖球超級盃? 我還好啦…I can never get a fix on the rules…so I’ve never really gotten into football. I DO feel like Americans are all really into football though, why is that?

B: I guess it’s the kind of sport that bonds us all together. Football is an American sports, my grandfather loved it, my father loves it, and I started watching when I was a little boy. It’s like a family tradition for me.

A: Interesting! 聽起來你是個鐵杆球迷呀! 在今天的Business Etiquette里,Chris跟同事Ben談起了美式橄欖球,咱們一起來聽聽吧!

禮節美語 American Football I

Chris早上在咖啡間跟同事Ben打招呼。

Chris: Hey, Ben…did you catch the game last night?

Ben: Uh…what game?

C: Baltimore defeated Texas by 17 points!

B: Um…and what sport are we talking about here?

C: Football of course!

B: Oh…football. Football is cool. I usually try to catch the World Cup finals.

Chris問Ben, Did you catch the game last night? 意思是昨天晚上有沒有看比賽,英語里看比賽,看錶演在口語里都可以用動詞catch, 比如,Let’s go catch a movie. 咱們看電影去。Chris說的是美式足球比賽,football,巴爾的摩烏鴉隊贏了德克薩斯人隊17分。Ben說,足球好看, 每次World Cup finals世界盃決賽我都看,他顯然是把soccer和美式足球football混了。Chris說,

C: No, I’m talking about American football. The World Cup is soccer.

B: Oh, I understand. I can’t say I’m a big fan. I’m from China, and football doesn’t have a really big following over there.

C: So Chinese people prefer soccer or basketball?

B: Yes, I think so. But to be perfectly honest, I’m not really a sports nut. When I was in high school I played on the school volleyball team. Are you a diehard football fan?

Ben說自己不是特別愛看美式足球,I can’t say I’m a big fan. 在中國,美式足球沒有多少球迷。Football doesn’t have a really big following. Following 在這裡是名詞,指粉絲,追隨者,仰慕者。Ben還說,To be perfectly honest 意思是老實說,I’m not a sports nut. 這裡的nut, n-u-t, nut是俚語,意思是對某事非常熱衷愛好的人,比如history nut, movie nut 還有Ben所說的sports nut。Ben問Chris是不是鐵杆美式足球球迷,a diehard football fan. diehard is spelled d-i-e-h-a-r-d, diehard 意思是死忠。Chris回答說,

C: Oh, certainly. I wouldn’t miss a game for the world. My girlfriend says I have an addiction. And actually, if I had to choose between her and my games…I’d probably pick football.

B: It seems Americans are very passionate about sports. Is this just a part of your culture?

C: Oh, yeah! I think the love of sports starts when kids are very young. Americans come from many different backgrounds so I guess sports are something we can all enjoy together.

Chris承認自己是鐵杆球迷,I wouldn’t miss a game for the world. 不會因為任何原因錯過比賽。not miss something for the world是一種很常見的說法,強調無論如何都不會錯過,比如,I wouldn’t miss your concert for the world. 我絕不會錯過你的音樂會。Chris說,美國人熱愛體育,是從小培養的,大家來自不同背景,但是運動卻能讓彼此走到一起。

A: 原來,Chris是個鐵杆球迷, a diehard football fan, 不會因為任何原因錯過一場比賽,won’t miss a game for the world. 相比起來,Ben is not a sports nut, Ben不是個特別熱衷體育的人。

B: I agree with Chris. Sports are a way for us to bond. It’s a social occasion…a way to enjoy the game and each other’s company.

A: 恩,就跟我們小時候看春節晚會吃餃子一樣!

B: Exactly. Let’s see what Chris has to say about this!

禮節美語American Football II

Chris跟同事Ben聊起美國人對體育運動的熱愛。Ben問,

B: So sports is a way for people to bond?

C: Yeah. During holidays like Thanksgiving my family will sit around in front of the television and watch a football game together. It’s a social occasion…enjoying the game and each other’s company.

B: I’m not sure if Chinese people approach sports in the same way. If it’s something that can bring glory to China’s national team–such as Olympic table tennis or diving–then everyone watches the event together.

在美國,體育運動是人際往來的一種紐帶,a way for people to bond. Chris說,逢年過節,他們一家人都會圍坐在電視機旁,enjoy the game and each other’s company. 欣賞比賽,共度時光。Ben說,中國人看比賽不太一樣,一般都是有奧林匹克等國際賽事,中國隊可能會拿獎牌,為國爭光的時候,大家才會聚在一起看比賽。

C: I think in America people are often loyal to their regional team. In college you root for your school’s team and then when you settle down somewhere you follow that area’s team.

B: So what’s your favorite team?

C: I actually have two favorites. I grew up in New York so I’m first and foremost a New York Jets fan, but I went to school in Baltimore so I also like the Baltimore Ravens.

Chris說,美國人一般住在哪裡,就是那個地方球隊的粉絲,上大學的時候替校隊加油,畢業後在哪裡安家,就替哪裡的球隊加油,root for 是支持某人,替某人加油助威的意思,Chris說自己喜歡的球隊有兩個,小時候在紐約長大,所以I’m first and foremost a New York Jets fan, 所以是紐約噴氣機隊球迷,first and foremost 意思是首要的,然後又因為去巴爾的摩上學,成了巴爾的摩烏鴉隊的粉絲。

B: What happens when the teams play against each other?

C: (Chuckle) I usually support the New York Jets. But if the Ravens win it’s not too bad.

B: I have to confess I don’t actually understand how American football works. It kind of looks like a war to me.

C: Actually, football is like a war. Each team tries to advance the ball through enemy territory to the end zone. It evolved from the English game of rugby which is also kind of like a battle between two armies.

Ben承認,自己看不太懂美式足球,不知道美式足球到底是怎麼個打法。Chris承認,football is like a war.美式足球確實就好像是在打仗,兩隻球隊都設法穿過敵人的地盤 enemy territory, 攻到 end zone 陣區里。Chris還說,美式足球是從英式橄欖球發展而來的,英式橄欖球 rugby is spelled r-u-g-b-y, rugby,他用的evolve is spelled e-v-o-l-v-e, evolve 是發展演繹的意思。

A: Hmm…maybe I will watch Super Bowl this year, sounds like it’s an important step in understanding American Culture!

B: That’s the right thing to do! And…you have an expert here in case you don’t understand anything!

A:I will take you up on that! 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。


美語訓練班  第092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,趕快來告訴大家今天都要學什麼?

A: 沒問題! 今天我們要一起來聊聊換工作需要考慮些什麼,看看怎麼表達如釋重負,還要告訴你怎麼說毫不示弱!!

B: Making a career change is always a hard decision. There’s so much to think about, how much you can improve, is there room for promotion… the company’s culture plays a big part as well.

A: Yeah, the mere thought of writing a resume and updating a cover letter gives me a headache. I just feel lucky to have a job that I enjoy!

B: I second that!

A: 好了,咱們言歸正傳,趕快先來進入第一個單元,Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1662 caregiver

今天我們要學的詞是 caregiver, caregiver is spelled c-a-r-e-g-i-v-e-r, caregiver. Caregiver 看護,照料別人的人。統計數字顯示,An estimated 42 million people, about 30% of the US adult population, are caregivers for family members. 美國大約有4200萬人有家人需要照料,大約相當於美國成年人口的30%。皮尤研究中心的一項調查發現,Family caregivers are much more likely to go online in search of health information than other groups. 家裡有人需要照顧的人群,比其他人上網查找健康信息的比例要高出很多。Caregivers’ top Internet searches include dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and long-term care for the elderly or disabled. 需要照顧別人的人上網搜索最多的包括痴呆,早老性痴呆,以及如何長期照料老年人和殘疾人。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 caregiver, caregiver, caregiver…

A: Caregiver 這個詞也可以表示替人照顧小孩的人。

B: Yep, in my family I’ve always been the free caregiver! I help my sister look after her 2-year-old daughter all the time. Not that I mind, my niece is the cutest little girl in the world!

A: 呦!看不出來你還挺有愛心的嘛!不過就你這動手能力,別把人家小孩摔了…

B: What? I’m not bragging, ask around! I’m a baby-sitting expert.

A: 哈哈,不信, 換成我,我一定不放心。

B: Hey! At least I give as good as I get.

A: 好, 你剛好提到了一個很特別的說法,give as good as one get, 咱們一起來聽聽今天的words and idioms, 學學這個習慣用語的用法!

Words and Idioms 810 Give As Good As One Gets

美國習慣用語第八百一十講。我是楊晨。我是 Douglas Johnson。

我星期五要跟一個老朋友出去吃飯。她現在是一家電視台的老總。第一次見她的人都會問,這麼一個身材瘦小,講話輕聲細語的亞洲女子,怎麼能在競爭如此激烈的領域裡出人頭地呢?如果你了解她的性格,就不難理解了。今天我們要介紹給大家的習慣用語,形容她真是恰如其分:

M: Give as good as one gets. Give-as-good-as-one-gets. Give as good as one gets.

Give as good as one gets 這個習慣用語的意思是毫不示弱地加以反擊。你現在明白了吧,我那個朋友絕對不會受人欺負,因此才能在娛樂圈子裡闖蕩出一番天地。She gives as good as she gets.

大家肯定都聽說過希拉里•克林頓。她是美國前總統比爾•克林頓的夫人,後來當選紐約州參議員,再後來又成了美國民主黨的總統參選人。我們一起來聽聽下面這個政治問題分析員是如何評價希拉里的。

M: “Polls show that most Americans believe Senator Hillary Clinton is tough enough to be President of the United States. That’s because she has handled herself well against continuous political attacks by her opponents and is seen as a strong negotiator. She always GIVES AS GOOD AS SHE GETS.”

這位評論員說,民意調查顯示,大多數美國人都相信,希拉里•克林頓參議員很強悍,可以勝任美國總統,因為面對政治對手接連不斷的政治攻擊,她都能妥善處理,而且被認為是一個很能幹的談判者。她面對挑戰,絲毫也不示弱。

話雖如此,但是美國要加入女性元首的行列,恐怕時機尚未成熟。大家恐怕還記得,早在上個世紀八十年代,英國就出現了女首相撒切爾夫人,在男性佔據統治地位的政界,她毫不示弱。She used to give as good as she got. 也因此獲得了鐵娘子的稱號。讓我們再聽一遍上面那段話。

M: “Polls show that most Americans believe Senator Hillary Clinton is tough enough to be President of the United States. That’s because she has handled herself well against continuous political attacks by her opponents and is seen as a strong negotiator. She always GIVES AS GOOD AS SHE GETS.”

要取得成功,往往需要不屈不撓的氣概。讓我們聽聽下面這個排球隊的經歷。

M: “In our first season, a lot of sports columnists doubted that our volleyball team would be any match against our fierce competitors. But we showed them that we were ready to take on any challenge. Game after game, we proved that we could fight back. We GAVE AS GOOD AS WE GOT. And now we’re the league champions.”

這個人說,第一個賽季,很多體育專欄作家都懷疑我們不是其他人的對手。但是我們以實際行動告訴他們,我們做好了迎接任何挑戰的準備。每場比賽都證明,我們會毫不示弱地加以還擊。如今,我們終於贏得了聯盟的冠軍頭銜。

我可知道被人小看的滋味。上大學的時候,我加入了剛成立的辯論隊。大家都覺得我們的對手經驗豐富,因此我們不堪一擊。不過,雖然我們缺少經驗,但是並不必缺少決心和毅力。沒過多久,我們就開始反擊了。We were giving as good as we were getting. 最後,我們竟然獲得了第二名。讓我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “In our first season, a lot of sports columnists doubted that our volleyball team would be any match against our fierce competitors. But we showed them that we were ready to take on any challenge. Game after game, we proved that we could fight back. We GAVE AS GOOD AS WE GOT. And now we’re the league champions.”

Give as good as one gets 這個習慣用語的準確用法的歷史並不久遠,只有幾十年。如今,大家既然已經知道 Give as good as one gets 的意思了,就可以嘗試着把它用在日常對話中。沒準什麼時候你會遇到個英語不錯的人,如果他故意向你炫耀的話,你也可以不甘示弱地露上一手。You can give as good as you get.

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: I’m going home in 3 days! There’s going to be tons of delicious food and lots of family time. I cannot wait. 歸心似箭啊。

B: I envy you so much! Do you have any plans for your vacation?

A: 哈哈,not exactly. Probably treat myself to all the 北京烤鴨,魚香肉絲,松鼠魚,等等等等…哦,還有你最愛的串兒!

B: grrrr, I am so jealous of your life right now…you know my love for 串兒 is unconditional!

A: 沒關係,我幫你把你那份也吃了!哈哈…好了好了,你提到了一個詞兒,unconditional, 咱們來學學這個詞兒怎麼用!

Learn A Word 1663 unconditional

今天我們要學的詞是 unconditional, unconditional is spelled u-n-c-o-n-d-i-t-i-o-n-a-l, unconditional. Unconditional 無條件的。The U.S. Senate passed a resolution calling for Cuba’s immediate and unconditional release of Alan Gross, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison. 美國國會參議院通過決議,要求古巴政府立即無條件釋放被判入獄15年的艾倫.格羅斯。1970年,佛羅里達州一個16歲的女孩因為藥物反應進入昏迷狀態,一直沒有醒來。42年間,她的家人一直陪伴在她身邊,直到她上星期去世。This is undoubtedly a true testimony of unconditional love. 這無疑是無條件愛的真實體現。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 unconditional, unconditional, unconditional…

A: Unconditional love! 無條件的愛!又讓我想起了我爸媽,they have always given me unconditional love. No matter what I do or wherever I am, I know they will support me.

B: Yeah. We are both lucky we are from healthy, loving families.

Speaking of which, have you finish shopping for your trip?

A: 哎呀,親戚太多了!我買都買不過來!不過呢,幸好我媽媽決定不回她老家了,so I’m off the hook for now!

B: Good for you! Do you want to consider using the rest of your budget to get a gift for me?

A: Ha,no gift, but how about hot chocolate on me today!

B: I’ll take what I can get! Also, off the hook is a great idiom, let’s listen to another words and idioms and check it out!

Words and Idioms 811 Off the Hook

美國習慣用語第811講。我是楊晨。我是 Douglas Johnson。

很多人擅長在大庭廣眾之下講話,比如說婚禮或是生日宴會等場合。我可不行,還沒說話,臉先紅了。不久前,我的一個小師妹結婚,讓我發表賀詞,害得我好幾天沒睡好覺。後來她終於同意,讓我幫忙安排婚禮,不用講話了,真讓我如釋重負。在英語里,我們說這叫 off the hook.

M: Off the hook. Off is spelled o-f-f. Off. Hook is spelled h-o-o-k. Hook. Off the hook.

Hook 是鉤子的意思。off the hook 脫鉤,其實就是脫身,或是擺脫責任的意思。

這回你明白了吧,不用在小師妹的婚禮上講話讓我如釋重負就可以說,I am off the hook. Off the hook 這個習慣用語也可以用在非常嚴肅的場合下。在下面這個例子中,一名警察告訴刑警隊長說,一名涉案嫌疑人已經不再是調查對象了,讓我們聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “We have confirmed that the man was two thousand miles away in Los Angeles at the time of the murder, sir. So as far as we’re concerned, he is OFF THE HOOK, and no further investigation is required.”

這個警察說,我們已經證實,謀殺案案發的時候,此人正在兩千英里以外的洛杉磯市,所以對於我們來說,他不可能參與此案。不再需要對他進行調查了。

不過有時候,警察也會故意放虎歸山,為的是讓犯罪嫌疑人自以為脫身了,off the hook。往往是在這種時候,犯罪嫌疑人非常容易露出馬腳,讓警察找到線索。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “We have confirmed that the man was two thousand miles away in Los Angeles at the time of the murder, sir. So as far as we’re concerned, he is OFF THE HOOK, and no further investigation is required.”

我先生星期六本來要加班,所以沒辦法跟我們一起去爬山。誰知星期五的時候,客戶突然打電話通知他,要將星期六的電話會議改為下星期。My husband is off the hook. 我先生因此脫身了。

不難想象,off the hook 這個習慣用語是從釣魚來的,最早的時候是指一條本來已經咬鉤的魚又脫了鉤,重獲自由,後來到十九世紀中葉,才引伸為擺脫困境和擺脫責任。

在下面這個例子中,一位商界領袖對市長頗有微詞。他覺得,當地經濟搞不好,做市長的不能一味把責任推到聯邦政府的身上,自己也應該承擔一些責任。讓我們聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: I agree with the mayor that many of our problems can be blamed on the policies of the federal government, but I also think that the mayor has to take some of the blame himself. There’s no way he should be let OFF THE HOOK so easily.

這個人說,我同意市長的看法,我們遇到的很多問題確實要歸咎於聯邦政府的政策,不過我覺得,市長也應該承擔一部分責任,絕不能讓他這麼輕鬆地推卸責任。

這讓我想起了英語里的一種說法,叫 success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan。意思是“事成都來居功,事敗無人關懷。”看來確實是這個道理。好的,讓我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: I agree with the mayor that many of our problems can be blamed on the policies of the federal government, but I also think that the mayor has to take some of the blame himself. There’s no way he should be let OFF THE HOOK so easily.

我姐姐的小孩現在上高中,家裡告訴他,周末出去玩一定要在晚上十點以前回家,但是他經常過點。他父親上星期鄭重警告他,If you are caught coming in late again, you won’t get off the hook so easily anymore. 如果我們再發現你晚回來,絕不會輕易放過你!

我幫同事 Jenny 的女兒介紹了一份工作,她今天要在家請我吃飯。Of course, I won’t let her off the hook. 因為 Jenny 做得一手正宗川菜。好的,這次[美國習慣用語]就到此結束。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: So Mike, are you ready to take over my workload when I’m on vacation? I need to warn you, there’s a lot to get done…

B: Guess what? I’m off the hook! It turns out we will have an intern and she’ll be handling most of your workload!

A: 哎呦!你怎麼這麼幸運呢!不過現在辦公室里實習生真多呀!

B: Yeah. In today’s economy, a good job is hard to find. Lots of people take on internships hoping they will turn into full-time jobs later.

A: 找工作真不容易!想起以前我上學找工作的時候就焦頭爛額的!

在今天的Business Etiquette里,Lisa跟同事Emily就談起了找工作的話題,咱們一起來聽聽吧!

禮節美語 Looking for a Change I

Emily問同事Lisa要不要一起吃飯。

Emily: Hey Lisa…want to grab lunch with me?

Lisa: Sure, Emily. We haven’t done that in a while.

E: Yeah…actually, we haven’t hung out at all recently. You seem sort of under the weather. Is there something going on?

L: Well, keep this under your hat, but I think I’m going to quit after New Year.

Emily問Lisa要不要一起吃飯,她在這裡用的動詞是 grab, g-r-a-b, grab, grab lunch 是一種口語里常用的說法,意思是隨便買點午飯吃,也可以說 to grab something to eat. 聽上去,Lisa跟Emily很久沒一起吃飯聊天了,we haven’t hung out at all recently. to hang out 意思是跟朋友待在一起,Emily還說Lisa看上去sort of under the weather似乎有點不舒服,問她怎麼回事。Lisa告訴Emily, 自己新年過後可能要辭職,但要Emily暫時保密,keep this under your hat. To keep something under one’s hat 意思是保守秘密,不要告訴別人。Emily聽到這個消息感到很突然。

E: Quit this company? Oh…wow.

L: I know I should be pretty happy here, but I’m not finding the kind of job satisfaction I need. I’m a good graphic designer…

E: One of the best in the company.

L: That’s kind of you to say. But…the stuff we do here hasn’t really challenged me very much at all.

E: Oh, I get it. Simply put: you’re bored, huh?

L: That’s one way of putting it. For me, a job needs to stimulate my brain, otherwise it becomes a daily drudgery.

Lisa是公司里最好的圖像設計師之一, 目前這份工作對她沒有挑戰性,simply put 簡單地說,她覺得現在的工作很無聊。put, p-u-t, put 在這裡意思是說出來,表達出來,上面兩人的對話里還有 that’s one way of putting it. 也是同樣用法,意思是“可以這麼說”。Lisa說,她需要一份能讓她興奮起來的工作,否則的話,工作就變成了a daily drudgery, drudgery is spelled d-r-u-d-g-e-r-y, drudgery, drudgery 意思是無聊乏味的工作。

L: Another thing is that I don’t feel there is a decent chance of promotion. I’ve been here for three years and I’m doing the exact same thing at the exact same salary.

E: That’s true…salaries have been frozen for a while and I hear next year it’s the same story.

L: I’m finding that I spend a lot of time at work just sitting at my cubicle daydreaming or wasting time. I can’s sleep on Sunday nights because I know I have to go back to work the next day.

E: Wow…it sounds like you’re suffering from serious job dissatisfaction. I guess you really do need a change.

Lisa還說,想辭職的另外一個原因是覺得沒有升職的機會,There isn’t a decent chance of promotion. Emily 表示贊成,因為工資已經有一段時間沒漲了,而且她聽說,next year it’s the same story. 明年也是一樣。Lisa說,有時候上班就是在自己的小隔間 cubicle 里發愣,浪費時間,星期天晚上一想到第二天早上還要去上班,就睡不着覺。看來,Lisa真是得換份工作了。

A: Lisa最近有些under the weather, 看起來不舒服,不高興,原來是因為她厭倦了現在的工作,覺得工作是a daily drudgery, 無聊乏味,而且there’s no decent chance of promotion,沒有升職的空間。

B: Yeah, no one wants a boring job. I think a company’s culture is extremely important. You want to be in a company where the management team is open to new ideas and changes.

A: Exactly. You want to go to places like google or facebook! I hear their employee satisfaction is very high, partly because they don’t have to follow corporate bureaucratic procedures.

B: Yep. But again, good jobs are hard to find! Let’s continue and see what advice Emily has for Lisa!

禮節美語 Looking for a Change II

Lisa告訴同事Emily新年過後準備辭職,因為她覺得眼下的工作很無聊,沒有升職的機會,她還說:

Lisa: The other problem is that I think the company is really set in its ways.

Emily: What do you mean?

L: In other words, I think management is resistant to change. I’ve given great proposals to my section chief and I’ve even sent emails with ideas on how to streamline operations to the big boss, but the reaction is always the same.

E: What do they say when you offer suggestions?

L: Usually something like: “We’ll take a look and get back to you.” But that’s the last I’ll ever hear from them.

Lisa 還覺得公司運作墨守成規,set in one’s ways 是指生活方式或做事方法一成不變,類似的說法還有 stuck in a rut, rut is spelled r-u-t, rut 是指車軲轆留下的印兒,to stuck in a rut 陷在車軲轆印里,也是墨守成規,一成不變的意思。Lisa 說自己向部門經理和公司老闆提出過很多好建議,但都沒有得到重視。得到的回答一般都是:We’ll take a look and get back to you. 我們看一下再答覆你,然後就再也沒有任何消息了。

E: So, do you have any job prospects lined up?

L: I’ve been sending out resumes and I’ve gotten a couple of bites.

E: I see….so you’ve pretty much made up your mind to quit then?

L: I think so. I’ll miss seeing you everyday.

E: I’ll miss you, too. Can I make a suggestion?

L: Sure!

E: Don’t burn any bridges when you make your move.

L: What do you mean?

Emily問她工作找得怎麼樣了,Do you have any job prospects lined up? Lisa說自己發了一些簡歷,已經有一些公司對她表示有興趣了,I’ve gotten a couple of bite. bite, b-i-t-e, bite 在這裡是上鉤的意思,意思是她的簡歷已經引起了一些公司的興趣。看起來Lisa去意已定,Emily好心地建議Lisa, Don’t burn any bridges. 辭職的時候不要把事做絕,最後給自己留條後路。Emily進一步解釋說:

E: I mean, don’t tell the boss you hate your job or him. Simply inform them that you plan to resign from your position and do your best to train your replacement. That way, this company can remain a back-up option for you.

L: You make a good point. I’ll try to be as professional about this as possible. Thanks Emily! Talking to you makes me feel much better.

E: Sure! Now let’s eat!

Emily勸Lisa不要burn any bridges 斷了自己的後路,不用告訴老闆對公司有多不滿意,而且還要 do your best to train your replacement 儘力把交接工作做好,這裡所說的replacement 指的是接替Lisa工作的那個人。Emily說,這樣的話,現在的公司還能是Lisa的候補選項 back-up option. Lisa覺得Emily這番話很有道理,並保證自己在處理這件事的時候,I’ll try to be as professional as possible. 這裡的professional是專業的,as professional as possible意思是儘可能按照職場的慣例去做。

A: Wow, I feel so lucky to work on such a creative, open-minded, and smart team!

B: For once and only once, we agree on something!

A: 哈哈!好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第093課


美語訓練班  第094課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是小北!

B: 我是Mike!

A: 楊琳,你快給我回來主持節目!

B: That’s right! End your vacation and fly back to DC!

A: 沒錯,趕快飛回來! 自己在北京探親渡假,讓我在這兒頂班!豈有此理!

B: Calm down, Xiaobei. You know what they say: the show must go on. Let’s go ahead and preview today’s show, shall we?

A: 唉,說得也是。那就來介紹一下節目吧! 今天,我們要聽聽別人失業之後的心聲,談談如何開始新人生,還要來學怎麼說灰色地帶!

B: But first, let’s learn a word!

Learn A Word impersonator

今天我們要學的詞是 impersonator, impersonator is spelled i-m-p-e-r-s-o-n-a-t-o-r, impersonator. Impersonator 假扮別人的人。The couple was robbed by a police impersonator. 這對夫婦被一個假警察給搶了。The doctor impersonator who scammed pharmacies was arrested. 那個假冒醫生,從藥房騙錢的人被抓住了。在美國,假冒貓王已經成了一種職業。很多電影里都有這樣的場景。A young couple went to Las Vegas and got married by an Elvis impersonator. 年輕戀人跑到拉斯維加斯,由貓王模仿者主持婚禮結婚。Professional Elvis impersonators work all over the world as entertainers. 世界各地都有職業貓王扮演者客串表演。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 impersonator, impersonator, impersonator…

A: Impersonator, 模仿者。那我現在給楊琳代班,Should I be a Yang Lin impersonator? (學嗲聲…)

B: 呃……You can just be your awesome self, Xiaobei.

A: What do you think Yanglin is doing right now in Beijing?

B: I bet she’s eating 羊肉串兒 all day long, relaxing, hanging out with friends and having a good time.

A: 同意! 大吃大喝是肯定的了! 不過她那麼怕發胖,應該管管自己的嘴。

B: Yep. She should go easy on all the home-made heavy meals.

A: 在下面的words and idioms中,我們就來學學這個Go Easy On.

Words and Idioms Go easy on

美國習慣用語第 998講。我是曉北。我是Dan

我的小侄女在學鋼琴,她媽媽對她要求嚴格,每天練琴5個小時,彈不完不能出去和朋友玩兒。在鋼琴比賽中,侄女得了第二名,要說已經是很厲害了,可是卻被她媽媽訓了一頓,因為沒拿冠軍。這種嚴厲的方式我可真看不慣,也讓我想到一個習慣用語,那就是:

Go easy on. Easy is spelled e-a-s-y. Go-easy-on. Go easy on.

Easy是容易的意思,To go easy on someone or something的意思是溫和有耐心地對待某人或某事。如果是我的女兒在鋼琴比賽中得了第二名,我絕對不會批評她。I’d go easy on her. 我會和顏悅色地對她。我可不想當個tiger mom,虎媽。在下面的例子里,我們要聽聽一本介紹美國歷史上著名罪犯阿爾•卡彭的書。

“In this book, Al Capone is almost celebrated as a businessman who makes generous contributions to charities. The author GOES EASY ON his subject. The truth is that Capone was a gangster who made money smuggling illegal alcohol. He also engaged in gambling and prostitution. And let’s not forget he had several people murdered!”

這段話是說: 在這本書中,阿爾•卡彭幾乎被歌頌成了一個對慈善事業慷慨解囊的商人。書的作者顯然對他所描寫的人物心慈手軟了。其實,阿爾•卡彭是個黑道人物,靠走私非法酒賺錢,還參與賭博和賣淫。另外,別忘了他手上還有很多條人命呢。

阿爾•卡彭在美國可是著名歷史人物,而且是小說電影等藝術作品很青睞的人物。不可否認,雖然他不是好人,但卻是個有意思的人物。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “In this book, Al Capone is almost celebrated as a businessman who makes generous contributions to charities. The author GOES EASY ON his subject. The truth is that Capone was a gangster who made money smuggling illegal alcohol. He also engaged in gambling and prostitution. And let’s not forget he had several people murdered!”

Go easy on something還有一個意思,就是“少量地用某物”。 我們一起去聽聽下面這個例句。

“I grew up in Mexico, where the food can be really spicy. When I cook for my American friends, however, I have had to remember that some people prefer milder flavors. I’ve GONE EASY ON the hot chilies I knew from when I was a boy. I only put a lot of them in a dish when I know my guests appreciate the bolder taste.”

這段話是說:我在墨西哥長大,那裡的飯菜特別辣。不過,當我給美國的朋友們做飯時,我得提醒自己有些人不喜歡吃太辣。我現在做飯時的辣椒用量已經比我小時候吃的少多了。只有當我的客人都喜歡更辣更重的口味時,我才會在菜里放很多辣椒。

除了口味上的考慮,有時出於健康原因我們也要少吃某種東西。比如,我媽媽的醫生就建議她減少鈉的攝入量。That’s why she’s been going easy on the salt when she cooks or eats out. 因此她做飯或者在外面吃的時候都要少吃鹽。朋友胃酸過多,So she was advised to go easy on sodas and coffee. 所以醫生建議她少喝汽水和咖啡。

好,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “I grew up in Mexico, where the food can be really spicy. When I cook for my friends, however, I have had to remember that some people prefer milder flavors. I’ve GONE EASY ON the hot chilies I knew from when I was a boy. I only put a lot of them in a dish when I know my guests appreciate the bolder taste.”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是Go easy on, 意思可以是耐心溫和地對待某人,或者少用某物。

A: Mike, 現在還沒出蛇年正月,我得給你拜年啊! 過年好!

B: 恭喜發財! 紅包拿來!

A: 嘿! 就知道紅包! 要說過年,也是有人歡喜有人愁。

B: Why? Chinese New Year should be all about happiness!

A: 你可不知道,你去親戚家串門,三姑六婆對你的大拷問,你可招架不住!比如我有個朋友,他剛剛失業了,本來就鬱悶,這個春節還不免要把這個壞消息一一告訴親戚朋友,多煩人啊!

B: That’s right. As if losing a job is not bad enough…Actually in today’s Business Etiquette, we will listen to the story of a person who just got fired.

Business Etiquette Losing a job (I)

Suzanne 約朋友 Mickey 一起吃午飯。

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

Mickey: Hi, Suzanne! you’re right, it has been too long.

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

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

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

M: I got laid off last Friday.

S: Oh….I’m so sorry to hear that.

Suzanne 跟 Mickey 很久沒見面,發現 Mickey 心事重重,情緒不高,seem kind of down. Down 在這裡是形容詞,意思是情緒低落。原來,Mickey 上星期五被炒了魷魚,He got laid off. 也可以說,He was let go. 丟了工作,難怪心情沮喪,我們來聽聽這是為什麼。

They said it had nothing to do with my performance. They just need to try and save on costs. So they’re axing a bunch of jobs.
S: Ouch! Losing a job is such a nasty experience.

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

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

Mickey 被解僱是因為公司要削減開支,所以 they axed a bunch of jobs. Ax is spelled, a-x, 或者 a-x-e, 做為動詞,是砍的意思。他丟了工作,心情十分抑鬱,depressed. Suzanne 安慰他說,自己也曾有過類似經歷,好幾個星期緩不過來,但是最後證明,getting fired turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. 被開除是她這輩子最幸運的事。怎麼可能,我們繼續聽。

M: And why was that?

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

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

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

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

Suzanne 說,失業 gave me a jolt. Jolt is spelled j-o-l-t, jolt 在這裡是震動的意思。Suzanne 說,有工作的時候,她從來都是 coast along day in and day out. Coast along 做為詞組,意思是不用花一點努力隨波逐流, day in and day out 意思是日復一日,年復一年。過着這樣的生活,怎麼還會想着如何進取呢?被解僱後,她才開始思考這些問題,to reflect on things 意思是反思。Mickey 深有同感,說自己在原來的公司已經幹了將近八年了,I have been running on autopilot. Autopilot 自動駕駛,工作已經成了一種習慣,順手就幹了,就好象是 run on autopilot. 現在沒有工作了,Mickey 下一步有什麼打算呢?

A:人們說:樹挪死,人挪活。這麼看來,失去工作倒是給人生打開了一個新的契機。

B: Yep. That means you have to get out of your comfort zone now and start from scratch again. It is a challenge, but an opportunity as well.

A: 沒錯,挑戰與機遇並存嘛。咱們就來把剛才的對話聽完,看看Suzanne是怎麼把失業變成一件好事兒的。

Business Etiquette Losing a job (II)

Mickey 剛失業,跟朋友Suzanne 一起吃飯,Suzanne 勸他說,這未必不是件好事。她說,

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

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

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

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

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

Suzanne說,原來工作的時候,總是同樣的工作來回做,did the same thing over and over again. 完全不用動大腦,失業後,她用一年的時間才發現,機會不會自己找上門來,opportunities weren’t going to come my way, 還不如自己去創造機會。於是她決定自己開公司,幫助那些喜歡園藝但是沒有時間整理花園的人整理花園。

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

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

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

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

因此,Suzanne 開了一家公司,專門為公司和家庭 custom-design 量身定做花園。她說,要不是被解僱,她死也不會想到自己的愛好竟然會成為職業,in a million years 是一種誇張的說法,就是無論如何也不會的意思。正是被解僱,才讓她最終找到了自己的 calling, calling is spelled c-a-l-l-i-n-g, calling, 一個人最適合的職業。Suzanne 說,不過,這個過程也很艱難,她足足打了一年零工才走出低谷,odd jobs 是零工的意思。Mickey 聽後深受啟發。

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

S: Do you have a “dream” or something you’ve always wanted to do?

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

Mickey 說,自己存款有限,撐半年還行,再久就扛不住了。Suzanne 問他有沒有什麼夢想。Mickey 說,他一直想開一家自行車店,專賣那些不多見,古香古色,或是訂做的自行車。他在這裡用的 vintage is spelled v-i-n t-a-g-e, vintage 意思是老式的,古典的。

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

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

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

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

Suzanne 說, Mickey 想開自行車店的夢想很有意思,因為現在很流行騎車, it’s quite a trend. Suzanne 覺得 Mickey 可以認真地琢磨琢磨, give it some thought 好好想想,沒準真能行。Mickey 聽了很受鼓舞,說從來沒想到,自己這輩子真能有機會開一家自行車店,實現夢想。

B: If Mickey opens up a bicycle shop, then his interest in collecting vintage bicycles can also be his career. That’s fantastic!
A: 沒錯! 興趣變成職業,一舉兩得!我們下面要學的這個詞,就能用在這裡,咱們聽一聽!

Learn A Word dual

今天我們要學的詞是dual. Dual is spelled d-u-a-l, dual. Dual 雙重的。A number of Taiwan residents who hold dual citizenships have chosen to renounce their American citizenship to avoid paying taxes under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. 一些擁有雙重國籍的台灣人決定放棄美國國籍,以免交按照海外帳戶稅收法案必須繳納的稅款。In a new book, two doctors claim that the rising cost of medical care in the U.S. is a dual threat to our health and pocketbooks. 兩個醫生在發表的新書中說,美國不斷上漲的醫療開銷是對民眾健康和錢袋的雙重威脅。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 dual, dual, dual…

A: Mike, 你說楊琳這裡回國探親休假,會不會順便相親找個男朋友?

B: Wow, if that’s the case, the trip will service a dual purpose.

A: 可不是么。要不咱們打個電話問問她吧!

B: Good idea! But does that make us nosey?

A: 不會吧,這不是關心同事么?

B: Hmmm, I’m not sure…Let’s first listen to a new episode of “words and idioms” and talk about this later.

Words and Idioms

美國習慣用語第 999講。我是曉北。我是Dan。

美國大選結束了,各種拉票和選戰活動也終於告一段落。就拿我們家附近的教會來說,他們現在不用再向教友推薦應該給哪個候選人投票了。美國禁止宗教機構支持某一候選人,不過有些教會會打擦邊球。他們不明確支持某個人,卻以“推薦”的方式幫這個人拉票。這兩者之間的界限很模糊,讓我想到一個習慣用語,那就是:

Gray area. Gray is spelled g-r-a-y, and area; a-r-e-a. Gray-area. Gray area.

Gray area,灰色地帶,也就是不明確,不清楚的狀態。While there are laws that prohibit a church from directly supporting a particular politician, offering suggestions for how to vote is more of a gray area. 雖然法律明令禁止教會直接支持某個政客,但向教友建議如何投票卻屬於合法性模糊不清的做法。好的,我們再來聽另外一個例句:

“Sports trainers at the professional, college and even high school level are becoming more involved whenever a head injury occurs. But what about when kids who play sports get hurt? That’s still a GRAY AREA. It’s unclear how carefully anyone is paying attention to that age group.”

這段話是說: 在職業、大學甚至高中,遇到有球員在運動中頭部受傷的事情,教練都比以前更上心了。不過,如果是小孩子在運動中傷了頭呢?這還不好說。目前還說不清人們對這個年齡層的受傷情況到底給予了多少注意。

頭部受傷的確應該得到重視。特別是家長們,應該馬上帶孩子去醫院檢查。有句話說”better safe than sorry,” 就是說 “寧可事先謹慎過頭,也好過事後後悔”。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

“Sports trainers at the professional, college and even high school level are becoming more involved whenever a head injury occurs. But what about when kids who play sports get hurt? That’s still a GRAY AREA. It’s unclear how carefully anyone is paying attention to that age group.”

很多計算機機房房都禁止人們帶吃的和飲料進去,這是因為食品的碎屑和飲料中的糖分對電腦鍵盤的損傷非常大。不過,Bottled water seems to represent a gray area, 瓶裝水在這個問題上似乎沒有定論。有的機房讓帶,有的不讓。好的,讓我們聽一個新的例句。

“When you’re driving for a company, can you talk or text on your phone? Most employers never had a specific policy. That’s no longer true. Because of too many accidents and lawsuits, there are now rules that everyone can understand. There’s no GRAY AREA: using electronic devices is absolutely not allowed while on the job.”

這段話是說:如果你是司機,在開車的時候能講電話或者發短信么?以前,大部分僱主都沒有確切規定。現在情況不同了。由於大量事故和官司的出現,現在有了人人都能明白的規定。再也沒有什麼模稜兩可的了:在工作開車時絕不能使用電子設備。

在我看來,不光司機開車不能打電話發短信,任何人在開車的時候都應該精力集中,不能玩兒手機。不然,一個疏忽大意,害人害己。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

“When you’re driving for a company, can you talk or text on your phone? Most employers never had a specific policy. That’s no longer true. Because of too many accidents and lawsuits, there are now rules that everyone can understand. There’s no GRAY AREA: using electronic devices is absolutely not allowed while on the job.”

今天我們學習的習慣用語是gray area, 意思是模糊不清的狀態,灰色地帶。好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束,我是小北,我是Dan。

B: I guess asking Yang Lin whether she’s going on blind dates will be a gray area between we care and we’re nosey.

A: But it’s more like on the “we care” side, isn’t it? 走,這就打電話拷問楊琳去! 同學們,節目就到這裡了,拜拜了…

B: Xiaobei, we still need to end the show properly…

A: 走吧走吧!

B: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第095課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是小北!

B: 我是Mike! What are we going to teach today, Xiaobei?

A: 今天,我們要談一下穿着打扮對你能產生多大的影響,聊聊裁員,還要告訴你怎麼說咬緊牙關忍受。

B: But first, let’s learn a word!

今天我們要學的詞是root cause. Root is spelled r-o-o-t, root, and cause, c-a-u-s-e, cause, root cause. root cause 根本原因。世界經濟論壇說,The lack of competitiveness in Europe is the root cause of financial instability and rising unemployment numbers in the region. 缺乏競爭力是歐洲經濟不穩定和失業率高的根本原因。波音787夢幻客機全面停飛。The root cause for the Dreamliner’s problems are currently under investigation. 夢幻客機根本問題出在哪裡目前正在調查之中。The root cause of gun violence in the U.S. is a hot button topic these days. 美國槍支暴力的根本原因是如今的熱門話題。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 root cause, root cause, root cause…

A: Root cause, 根本原因。Mike你知道嘛,要能當上微薄紅人,就要每天積極和粉絲互動。所以咱們節目的微薄還得加強互動。

B: I think that’s a big part of it. People like to feel like they have a say in things and there is no better way to learn a language than to have a native speaker to practice with. It’s just one of the many important services I bring to the team.

A: 這麼說,你在咱們組很重要啊!

B: 當然! The following phrase we’re going to learn is exactly what can be used to describe me. Let’s listen!

Words and Idioms Great White Hope

美國習慣用語第 1000講。

我妹妹的公司最近業績不佳,於是公司請了個特別有銷售經驗的經理,希望能靠着這位高人扭轉公司的銷售狀況。 讓我想到一個習慣用語,那就是:
Great white hope. Great is spelled g-r-e-a-t, white; w-h-i-t-e, and hope; h-o-p-e. Great-white-hope. Great white hope.

Great white hope 指身負眾望的人或事。The new hire at my sister’s company is expected to vastly expand sales. He is their great white hope. 大家都覺得我妹妹公司新雇的經理能把銷售搞上去。在下面的例句中,一個政黨的主席談到了代表自己政党參選的理想候選人所具備的素質,咱們來聽一聽:

“We need a candidate who can appeal to middle-class voters like our opponent. It has to be someone that represents our traditional values, has strong leadership skills and communicates effectively. Every possibility we’ve looked at lacks what our party requires to win the next election. Where is our GREAT WHITE HOPE?”

這段話是說: 我們需要的候選人要能和我們的對手一樣,吸引中產階級選民。他必須代表我們的傳統價值觀,領導能力強,能有效地與人溝通。所有有可能的人選我們都看了,但是他們缺少贏得下次選舉所需要的特質。那個可以讓我們賦予厚望的人在哪兒呢?

我最近聽說有的IT產品公司要開發一款智能電視,能夠直接跟家裡的電腦啊,DVD機啊,音響啊什麼的連接,只要你一聲令下,它就會自動為你播放電腦或DVD機的片子。The concept represents the company’s great white hope for the future.這個概念代表了這家公司未來希望的所在。這產品要是真出現了,我一定會買,多方便啊。 好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

“We need a candidate who can appeal to middle-class voters like our opponent. It has to be someone that represents our traditional values, has strong leadership skills and communicates effectively. Every possibility we’ve looked at lacks what our party requires to win the next election. Where is our GREAT WHITE HOPE?”

剛才我們說到了電子產品業界的新概念,下面的例句中,我們聽聽在冷飲業有什麼好點子。

“With another ice cream shop down the street from mine, I’ve had to find ways to be unique. My plan is to introduce some super premium favors using the finest ingredients. The dark chocolate with bite-sized pieces is my GREAT WHITE HOPE. I believe it will bring in lots of customers.”

這段話是說:離我們冰淇淋店不遠又開了一家冰淇淋店,所以我必須得出點奇招。我的計劃是推出一些用上好原料做的頂級好吃口味。我把希望寄托在黑巧克力口味小塊冰淇淋上,相信這款產品一定會吸引來很多顧客。

美國的冰淇淋很好吃,世界知名。在美國人最喜歡的口味中,巧克力排第二名,第一名呢?是香草口味! 不知道這和您的喜好是否一致。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

“With another ice cream shop down the street from mine, I’ve had to find ways to be unique. My plan is to introduce some super premium favors using the finest ingredients. The dark chocolate with bite-sized pieces is my GREAT WHITE HOPE. I believe it will bring in lots of customers.”

學習的習慣用語是great white hope, 意思是被寄予厚望的人或事。

A: Mike, you need to work harder on being our team’s great white hope!

B: 好吧好吧, What if I start wearing nicer clothes to work everyday?

A: 穿漂亮衣服有什麼用啊?

B: Dressing to impress helps to improve your work performance and makes people to take you more seriously.

A: 真的?

B: Yes! I’ll just let this weeks Business Etiquette explain how it works.

Business Etiquette: You Are What You Wear

Cathy 早上上班見到同事 Adam.

Cathy: Hi, Adam, nice tie.

Adam: Thanks.

C: By the way, can I ask you a personal question?

A: Ask away!

C: How come you’re the only one at the office who wears a tie to work every day? I’m not criticizing your fashion choices, and you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.

A: No. I’m happy to answer that question! I assume you’re like most people: you prefer to wear comfortable clothing whenever possible, right?

Cathy 問了 Adam 個personal question 私人問題,問Adam 為什麼每天上班都西裝領帶的,而公司的着裝標準並不嚴格,所以其他人一般都是怎麼舒服怎麼穿。Cathy 還補充說,I’m not criticizing your fashion choices. 意思是說我不是想對你的穿着指手劃腳,而是好奇。Cathy 承認,平時如果沒事,他就會穿得很隨便。

C: Absolutely! If it’s a special event or a business meeting or something, then sure, I’ll put on a suit or a nice business dress. But I much prefer to dress more casually.

A: I understand that logic. But of course you’ve heard about “power-dressing,” no?

C: Yeah….if you wear nicer looking clothes, people take you more seriously, right?

A: That’s the idea. I think everybody knows that the clothing we wear affects how others perceive us. But I’ve also discovered that what I wear affects how I think.

C: Really? That’s an interesting idea. What exactly do you mean?

Cathy 說,如果有什麼特別活動或是要開會,She’ll put on a suit or a nice business dress. 穿西裝或套裝,否則的話,她還是喜歡穿得隨便些,to dress more casually. Adam 問 Cathy 有沒有聽過 power-dressing 的說法,也就是說,如果穿得正式,別人就會更把你當回事。Adam 說,他發現,power-dressing 不僅會影響別人對自己的看法,同時也會對他自己的精神狀態產生影響。

A: Well, there’s a lot of research out there that says the position of our bodies affects our thoughts.

C: I’ve heard about that. I read an article that said if you sit up straight your thoughts become sharper than if you were slouching.

A: Exactly! But there are some new studies that show what you are wearing can also affect your thoughts.

C: Give me an example.

A: Scientists found that students who were wearing white lab coats performed better on tests than students who were wearing their own clothes.

C: Ah! So because the white lab coat has an association with intelligence, the students’ brains actually got more intelligent?

有很多研究顯示,一個人身體的姿勢,往往會對人的思維產生影響,比如,坐直了就比窩着的時候思維更敏銳。Slouch is spelled s-l-o-u-c-h, slouch 意思是很放鬆地窩在那裡,蜷在那裡。Adam 補充說,現在的一些新的研究結果發現,what you are wearing can also affect your thoughts. 一個人的穿着也會對他的思維產生影響。比如說,穿着實驗室白大褂的學生,考試往往比穿日常衣服的學生成績好,因為穿着白大褂,會讓學生覺得自己智商更高,因此考試時大腦的表現也就更出色。

A: 下班我就去買漂亮衣服! 這回咱是有堂堂正正的理由去大血拚了–為了提升工作表現!

B: That’s the spirit! Though you still have to work hard as well I think. Dressing for success can only take you so far, your personal effort is the most key element.

A:當然! 咱們趕快把剛才的對話聽完,看看他們還有什麼好建議!

Business Etiquette: You Are What You Wear II

Cathy 跟同事Adam 正在討論,一個人的穿着是否會對他的精神狀態產生影響。Adam 說,

A: Have you ever heard the saying, “clothes make the man”? It might be truer than we imagine.

C: When a police officer or firefighter puts on their uniform it must affect their psychology. It probably gives them a sense of responsibility and authority.

A: Absolutely. When a judge puts on that heavy black robe it transmits an image of power, but it also serves as a reminder to the judge of the responsibility of their position.

C: I know when I’m wearing a nice suit I feel a lot more confident. If I’m going out for a night on the town and I’m all dressed up I feel a lot better about myself than if I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

英語里有一種說法叫 clothes make the man. 相當於中文裡說的人靠衣服馬靠鞍。Adam 說,這句老話恐怕比我們想的更有道理。警察穿上警服,消防員穿上消防服,法官穿上黑色長袍,都會平添一種使命感和權威感,Cathy 說,她每次穿西裝,也會倍感自信,還說,晚上出去吃飯消遣時,如果 dressed up 精心打扮,就會自我感覺更好。Cathy說的, go out for a night on the town, 是一種固定說法,意思是出去吃飯,喝酒,看節目,消遣。

A: Yeah, I think everyone recognizes that part about the power of clothes….but that’s not exactly why I wear a tie to work every day.

C: You wear it because you think it makes you smarter.

A: Yes. I think putting on a shirt and tie actually affects the way my brain works.

C: That’s a very interesting concept!

A: My eyes look down and see what I’m wearing and my brain gets a reminder that I’m a businessman…. and I think the brain responds to expectations.

Adam 說,他每天都穿西裝打領帶,不是給別人看的,更多的是在提醒自己,隨時提醒自己是商界人士,這樣大腦就會做出反應,做出的事,說出的話都會更加得體。

C: It’s kind of like an actor trying to play a role…you have to have the right costume!

A: I think that’s a good way of expressing it! I’m sure it’s much harder for actors and actresses to get into character before they put on the right costume.

C: Yeah….but after the clothes and the makeup go on, they look in the mirror and their brains are able to shift into the role.

A: The symbolic meaning of a tie is “business” and so for me it’s an identifying symbol that I think affects both how others see me and how I see myself.

C: Interesting…..hmm…..maybe I should start wearing a suit.

這就跟演員穿上戲服,才能進入角色一樣。Adam 覺得,這樣比喻恰如其分,that’s a good way of expressing it. 演員穿上戲服,化好妝,看着鏡子里的自己,他們的大腦就會做出反應,help them to shift into the role. 幫他們進入角色。Adam 最後說,西裝領帶,對他來說就是一種定位的象徵符號,不僅影響到別人對他的看法,也會影響到他自己的精神狀態。 Clothes make the man, 也可以說,you are what you wear, 人靠衣服馬靠鞍。

B: So, wearing nice clothes to work reinforces that what you are doing is important. Plus feeling a little extra confidence never hurts anyone.

A: 不過要是趕上辦公室裁員,你穿得再漂亮,再professional, 也沒用!

B: Well, that’s another story. Let’s learn how to say 裁員 in English.

Learn A Word: cutback

今天我們要學的詞是 cutback. Cutback is spelled c-u-t-b-a-c-k, cutback. Cutback 做為名詞,意思是減少,削減。When the budget is tight, one of the first things to happen is a cutback in travel. 預算緊張的時候,最先被取消的就是出差經費。Apple’s stock has fallen from a cutback on its orders to suppliers. 蘋果公司因為減少了供應商的訂單,導致股價下跌。美國郵政局宣布,從八月份開始,取消星期六的普通信件遞送服務。The Postal Service expects to save $2 billion annually from the cutback. 美國郵政總局估計,取消星期六的服務,每年能節省20億美元。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 cutback, cutback, cutback…

A: Mike, do you think our office will see any cutbacks?

B: It’s hard to say. The U.S. economy is not back at its full speed yet, so cutbacks can happen to any place. The best thing we can do is just grit our teeth and bear it……..Oh speaking of which that’s the topic of our next Words and Idioms! Let’s listen.

Words and Idioms Grit One’s Teeth

美國習慣用語第 1001講。

我爺爺90大壽,全家人都從各地趕來,要好好給他過個隆重的生日。其實,爺爺一個人清靜慣了,最不喜歡熱鬧。不過,為了不掃兒孫們的興,他還是同意讓大家熱熱鬧鬧地搞個壽宴。這讓我想到一個習慣用語,那就是:

Grit one’s teeth. Grit is spelled g-r-I-t, and teeth; t-e-e-t-h. Grit-one’s teeth.

Grit one’s teeth是咬緊牙關,咬牙接受困難的意思。My grandpa didn’t appreciate the fancy celebration of his birthday. But he had no choice but to Grit His Teeth. He felt uncomfortable throughout the birthday party. 我爺爺不喜歡這麼大張旗鼓地慶祝生日,不過他沒有別的選擇,只能默默地接受大家的安排。在整個生日慶祝會上,他都感覺很不自在。不過,不自在歸不自在,畢竟這還是兒孫的孝心,過生日也是好事,比起在下面例句中所要忍受的東西,可是好多了。咱們來聽一聽:

“Maggie was running well in the marathon when she tripped and sprained her ankle. The pain was intense and she had a long way to go. Many people would have quit. But Maggie decided she was going to continue. She GRITTED HER TEETH and made it to the finish line.”

這段話是說: Maggie本來在馬拉松比賽中跑得好好的,卻摔倒扭了腳腕,她疼痛難忍,可是離終點還遠着呢。很多人在這種情況下都會退出比賽。可是,Maggie決定繼續堅持。她咬緊牙關,跑到了終點。

看來精神作用還是很重要的,靠着完成馬拉松的信念的支持,這個女孩咬牙克服了疼痛。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

M: “Maggie was running well in the marathon when she tripped and sprained her ankle. The pain was intense and she had a long way to go. Many people would have quit. But Maggie decided she was going to continue. She GRITTED HER TEETH and made it to the finish line.”

要說身體上的疼痛還可以咬牙忍受,那精神上的折磨或壓力則可能更讓人難受。我有個朋友,和公婆生活在一起, 每天被公婆數落,什麼飯菜做得不好,沒有教好小孩,等等等等。She just listens and grits her teeth! 她也只能聽着,心裡忍着不作聲。跟這個朋友比,下面例句中的問題似乎沒那麼嚴重了,咱們來聽一聽。

“Every day on my drive to the office, I’m facing the same nightmare. There are long delays because of road construction. And there’s usually an accident or two. Since it’s the only route available, I keep GRITTING MY TEETH. It’ll continue to take all of my patience until the roadwork is finished.”

這段話是說:每天我在開車上班的路上都會遇到同樣的問題。那就是,因為修路,路上總會出現耽擱。而且時常會發生一兩起交通事故。不過,我上班只有這一條路線,所以對這些問題我只能咬牙接受。在修路結束以前,我只好動用自己全部的耐心來應對這些問題了。

堵車,排隊,等待,這的確是日常生活中既多見又煩人的事情。就比如我們在機場過安檢的時候,隊伍很長,如果再遇上有人不清楚安檢程序,忘記把兜里的金屬物品掏出來,一個人要過好幾次,而這時候你偏偏又在趕飛機,哎呀,那可要煩死了。There we are gritting our teeth. 在這種情況下,大家都在壓着心裡的煩躁,默默捱着。好的,我們再來聽聽剛才那段話:

Every day on my drive to the office, I’m facing the same nightmare. There are long delays because of road construction. And there’s usually an accident or two. Since it’s the only route available, I keep GRITTING MY TEETH. It’ll continue to take all of my patience until the roadwork is finished.

今天我們學習的習慣用語是grit one’s teeth, 意思是咬緊牙關,默默忍受。

B: I guess we will have to just grit our teeth and handle the extra workload until Yang Lin gets back.

A: 這你算是說對了! 不過算啦,我請假的時候大家也都在分擔我留下的工作嘛。

B: Good teammates cover for each other!

A: That’s right! 好了,今天節目時間差不多了。

B: If you have any questions or comments, please email us at meiyu@voanews.com. Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第096課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是小北!

B: 我是Mike! What are we going to teach today, Xiaobei?

A: 今天,我們要和大家聊聊旅行計劃,看看在家工作的好處,還要告訴你怎麼說發瘋。

B: But first, let’s learn a word!

Learn A Word 1663 unconditional

今天我們要學的詞是 unconditional, unconditional is spelled unconditional, unconditional. Unconditional 無條件的。The U.S. Senate passed a resolution calling for Cuba’s immediate and unconditional release of Alan Gross, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison. 美國國會參議院通過決議,要求古巴政府立即無條件釋放被判入獄15年的艾倫.格羅斯。1970年,佛羅里達州一個16歲的女孩因為藥物反應進入昏迷狀態,一直沒有醒來。42年間,她的家人一直陪伴在她身邊,直到她上星期去世。This is undoubtedly a true testimony of unconditional love. 這無疑是無條件愛的真實體現。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 unconditional, unconditional, unconditional…

A: unconditional love,真讓人感動啊! 在現在這個是故的社會中,很多事情都講條件。It’s hard to find unconditional support or unconditional friendship.

B: Speaking of friendship, I went to a highschool reunion last week. I had expected to meet some of my old friends and talk about the funny things we did in the old days.

A: 對啊,結果呢?

B: The reunion turned into a brawl!

A: 啊?同學聚會變成了吵架大會?What happened?

B: One guy confessed after a few drinks that back in high school he actually stole another guy’s girlfriend.

A: 原來是因為爭風吃醋啊。結果呢?

B: Well, we can use the phrase from the following program to describe the reaction of the other guy. Let’s listen.

Words and Idioms Go Berserk

美國習慣用語第813講

有時候,人急了會做出非常過激的反應。今天早上在樓下餐廳,一個男的不小心撞在了一位女士的身上,托盤裡的東西撒了女的一身。雖然他連忙道歉,但那個女的還是不依不饒,大叫着要找律師,把那個男的告上法庭,周圍的人都覺得有些過份。在英語里,這就叫 go berserk.
M: Go berserk. Berserk is spelled berserk. GoBerserk. Go berserk.

Go berserk 這個習慣用語是發瘋的意思,而且往往是以瘋狂、粗暴的形式表現出來。要形容今天早上我在餐廳里看見的那位女士, go berserk 這個詞簡直是再恰當不過的了。她本來不用發那麼大火的,完全沒有必要因為這點兒小事 go berserk.

在下面這個例子里,一場舞蹈比賽的觀眾對比賽結果做出了強烈的反響,讓我們聽聽其中一個“粉絲”是怎麼說的。

M: “After our favorite couple finished their dance, everyone stood up and applauded. No one had ever seen such a perfect performance. But the judges gave them scores which put them in second place. Well, the crowd WENT BERSERK. It took security guards to restore order.”

這個人說,我們最喜歡的一對參賽選手表演完畢後,全場起立,掌聲雷動。大家從來沒有看過如此完美的表演。但是評委給他們打的分,卻讓他們排在了第二位,場下的觀眾簡直氣炸了,直到保安人員進場,才恢復了秩序。Went berserk? 我怎麼從來沒遇到過這種情況呢?我最愛看的就是真人秀。現在的真人秀五花八門,不僅讓著名舞蹈演員、歌星,還讓設計師、廚師,甚至是髮型師現場一比高低,雖然那些號稱專家的評委有時打分也不公平,但是 The audience has never GONE BERSERK. 觀眾從來沒有為此而不依不饒。當然還有一種可能,就是節目是提前錄製的,觀眾鬧場的部分播出前被減掉了。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “After our favorite couple finished their dance, everyone stood up and applauded. No one had ever seen such a perfect performance. But the judges gave them scores which put them in second place. Well, the crowd WENT BERSERK. It took security guards to restore order.”

大家可以想象,go berserk 這個習慣用語不僅可以用來形容人,而且可以用來指事物。讓我們一起來聽聽下面這個例子。

M: “When I tried to use my laptop, the cursor began moving all over the screen by itself. Then it clicked on several documents without my ever touching it. So I unplugged the mouse, cleaned it, and plugged it back in. Now the computer isn’t GOING BERSERK anymore.”

這個人說,今天我的手提電腦好像發了瘋,光標自己在屏幕上到處亂跑,我根本沒碰它,它卻自做主張地打開了好幾份文件。我只好把鼠標拆下來,清理乾淨,再插回去,電腦才停止發瘋。]

這裡說 the laptop went berserk 意思就是電腦不聽指揮,好像發了瘋一樣。同樣的,go berserk 也可以用來形容動物。我曾經讀過一本暢銷小說,講的是馬戲團里的一頭大象跑了,出去闖了不少禍。至於它為什麼會 go berserk, 我現在已經記不清楚了。好的,讓我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “When I tried to use my laptop, the cursor began moving all over the screen by itself. Then it clicked on several documents without my ever touching it. So I unplugged the mouse, cleaned it, and plugged it back in. Now the computer isn’t GOING BERSERK anymore.”

大家可能會問,這種說法是從哪來的?有人說,Go Berserk 最早是指古代的北歐勇士,他們以英勇善戰著稱。這些人打仗不穿盔甲,只穿一件熊皮做的單衣,叫 Berserkar. Go berserk 這個習慣用語由此而來。

好的,這次美國習慣用語]就到此結束了。我是楊晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。這次節目的製作人是胡小玲。謝謝各位的收聽。

B: Yep. The guy who got dumped by his girlfriend went Berserk and the whole reunion was ruined.

A: 唉,都是陳年舊事了,何必動怒呢? They should let bygones be bygones.

B: I agree. Let’s lighten things up a bit and listen to a guy’s plan for a vacation!

禮節美語Vacation I

Jerry跟同事Paula和Will打招呼,注意聽他們三人周末都幹了些什麼。

Jerry: Hey, Paula. Hi, Will. Did you have a good weekend?

Paula: Yeah… I checked out that new 3D movie. It’s amazing what they can do with technologies these days!

Will: I went mountain biking with a couple of friends. We worked up a good sweat and had a good time. How about you, Jerry?

J: Actually, I spent most of the weekend looking at travel brochures.

Paula周末去看了新出的三維電影,3D movie. Will 跟幾個朋友一起去騎山地車,山地車在英語里叫 mountain bike,可以是名詞,在上面那段話里是做動詞用,Will went mountain biking. Will 還說,他們出了一身汗,玩得特別開心。work up a sweat 是一種習慣用法,指鍛煉身體或從事體力活動很投入,可以是真的出了一身汗,也可以形容特別賣力。Jerry呢,一個周末大部分時間都在看旅遊宣傳材料 travel brochures. 看來他是要休假嘍?Paula問:

P: Really? Are you going somewhere?

J: Well, starting on the 20th of this month, I’m taking a fiveweek vacation.

W: Five weeks!! No way!

P: Get out of here! How did you swing that?

J: Actually, the company owes me about four months’ worth of vacation time. I’ve been working here since 2002 and haven’t taken a vacation yet. I’ve got oodles of comp time as well.

W: Sorry, what’s comp time?

Jerry要休五個星期的假,Will和Paula都不敢相信,問Jerry, How did you swing that? to swing it 是一種口語里非正式的說法,意思是說服別人,達到自己的目的。Jerry解釋說,他從2002年來這家公司工作,就一直沒休過假,現在公司欠他四個月的假期,Jerry說,另外,I’ve got oodles of comp time as well. oodles is spelled oodles, oodles, oodles of something 也是一種非正式的說法,相當於 a lot of something 很多,Jerry說自己除了四個月的假期,還攢了很多 comp time. Will是新畢業的大學生,不知道什麼是comp time. Paula解釋說,

P: The “comp” is short for compensation. Basically he means overtime pay.

J: Yeah, but some companies like ours don’t really pay overtime…. they give you extra vacation hours instead. If you add up all the vacation time and comp hours I have, I have a lot of time.

P: When I was working for a company in Germany they had super short work weeks and very liberal overtime rules.

Paula解釋說,comp, comp, comp 是 compensation的簡寫,其實就是 overtime 加班,有些公司不發加班費,而是把員工加班的時間摺合成假期,補償給員工。另外,歐洲和美國的情況也有很大的區別,Paula說,她以前曾經在德國的一家公司工作過,they had super short work weeks and very liberal overtime rules. 那家公司不僅工作時間短,而且加班的規定也 very liberal, 很松。

A: 唉! 要去旅行一次真不容易,平時還要攢假,comp time, vacation hours,要加班加點才能獲得的一點獎勵。

B: That’s why we envy some of the European countries where the work weeks are short and overtime rules are liberal.

A: 好吧,咱們還是繼續把對話聽完,看看Jerry到底打算怎麼渡假。

禮節美語Vacation II

Jerry跟同事Paula和Will聊天,說到telecommuting遠程上班。Paula說:

Paula: Twenty years ago, many people thought that by this time, no one would be working in offices and everybody would have a more flexible schedule.

W: Well, that certainly hasn’t happened.

J: Not yet….but it could still be the wave of the future. Then again, you know the famous saying: “Old habits die hard.” Most bosses like to keep tabs on their employees and they think the best way to do that is by having them come into an office.

Paula說,20年前,很多人都以為社會發展到今天,大家都不用去辦公室,可以在家上班了,and everyone would have a more flexible schedule. 大家都有更靈活的工作時間,但這種情況顯然沒有出現。Jerry 說,It could still be the wave of the future. the wave of the future 意思是未來的發展趨勢。不過,老話說得好,”Old habits die hard.” 積習難改。Jerry說,Most bosses like to keep tabs on their employees 大多數老闆都想嚴格控制員工,to keep tabs on someone or something 是密切注意某人某事的意思。要想控制員工,最好的辦法當然就是讓他們來辦公室上班,在老闆眼皮底下工作。

J: I have to say I’m looking forward to my long vacation. I think you need at least three or four weeks of doing nothing before you can truly relax.

W: I thought you said you had months and months of vacation time available. Why are you only taking five weeks off?

J: Five weeks was the best I could negotiate with my boss. She says she knows I’ve earned the time, but she begged me not to take more than five weeks.

P: Five weeks should be long enough! Who knows? Maybe you’ll get bored and come back early!
J: (laugh) I doubt it.

Jerry雖然有好幾月的假期,但老闆最多只讓他休五個星期, 看來他一定是很能幹。Paula開玩笑說,五個星期也足夠了,搞不好用不了五個星期Jerry就覺得實在無聊,提前回來上班了呢!Jerry休假準備到哪裡去呢?

W: So, where are you going?

J: I can’t decide if I want to go with a more relaxing trip, or if I want to explore cities.

W: If you were to choose the more relaxing option, where would you go?

J: I’m thinking of the island of Bali in Indonesia. I hear it’s a very relaxing and cheap vacation destination.

P: And what’s your second option?

J: I was thinking of traveling around Europe, starting with Paris. I could take trains and visit other nearby major European cities as well. It’s a tough call.

W: I’m so jealous of you!

P: Me too! Don’t forget to bring us back some souvenirs!

J: I won’t!

Jerry說,他有兩種選擇,一個是印度尼西亞的巴厘島,去那裡更放鬆 more relaxing, 另外一種選擇是去歐洲,第一站是巴黎,然後可以從巴黎坐火車到其他歐洲城市去玩。Jerry 說,It’s a tough call. 意思是他很難在這兩種選擇之間做出決定。Will 和 Paula 都很羨慕 Jerry, 提醒他一定要帶 souvenirs 紀念品回來送給他們。

A: 原來Jerry要去歐洲,而且要坐火車游遍歐洲的各大城市,真夠爽的!

B: Yeah. That’s my dream vacation too. But Europe is expensive. I need to start saving right now. My first goal is to save enough money for an air ticket!

A: 說到坐飛機,咱們先來學一個很有用的詞!

Learn A Word inflight

今天我們要學的詞是 inflight, inflight is spelled in, in, flight, flight, flight, inflight. Inflight 飛行中的。比如:inflight meals 飛行餐點;inflight movies 飛行途中播放的電影。A number of airlines in the U.S. are now offering inflight WiFi service to passengers. 美國現在有好幾家航空公司都向乘客提供飛行途中無線上網的服務。In August, the FAA released a study of inflight use of cell phones in a few European countries that found no direct incidents of interference. 美國聯邦航空局八月份公布了一份在幾個歐洲國家進行的對飛行途中使用手機的研究結果,沒有發現直接影響飛行信號的情況。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 inflight, inflight, inflight…

A: I have to say a lot of airliner’s inflight service is not laudable.

B: I know what you mean. But still, flying is your only option if you want to go to a faraway place.

A: 對啊。另外,去外國旅遊最好還是要事先了解一下人家當地的風俗,不然很可能去了之後不光外語聽不懂,禮節也不懂,這可是要出醜的。

B: And the idiom we’ll teach in the following program can describe such a situation! Let’s listen

Words and Idioms 814 Be Greek to Me

美國習慣用語第814講

我花了整個一個周末的時間,終於把地下室清理乾淨了。你肯定想象不到,我找出了多少零七八碎的舊東西,其中不知道哪來的一本天體物理學課本,裡面的公式對於我來說,簡直就是天書。不過,這倒讓我找到了靈感,今天我們學習的習慣用語就是:

M: Be Greek to me. Greek is spelled Greek. BeGreektome. Be Greek to me.

大家都知道, Greek 是希臘語的意思。Be Greek to me 這個習慣用語的意思就是完全無法理解,換句話說,就是中文裡說的天書。這下你明白了吧,我對天體物理學一竅不通,所以那些公式對於我來說,就是天書。It’s Greek to me.

中文說,隔行如隔山,很多專業都有自己的術語,外行人聽上去自然會一頭霧水。讓我們聽聽下面這個人買房子的經歷。

M: “Finding a house to buy was complicated enough. But that’s nothing compared to all the paperwork my realtor is asking me to sign. I’m looking at nearly a hundred pages of official documents full of terms I’ve never seen before. It’s all GREEK TO ME.”

這個人說,找到合適的房子已經夠麻煩的了,但這跟經紀人讓我簽字的那些文件相比,簡直就是小巫見大巫。我要在一百來頁的正式文件上簽字,雖然裡面說的是什麼我完全搞不懂。

我也有同感。每次要在正式文件上簽字,我都會很緊張,因為文件上到處都是術語。It’s Greek to me. 另外一件讓我頭痛的事就是地方口音。就在幾天前,我接到了一個推銷產品的電話,推銷員一口美國南部口音,雖然她重複了好幾遍,但我就是聽不懂她在說些什麼。It was Greek to me. 好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Finding a house to buy was complicated enough. But that’s nothing compared to all the paperwork my realtor is asking me to sign. I’m looking at nearly a hundred pages of official documents full of terms I’ve never seen before. It’s all GREEK TO ME.”

說起電話,不知道聽眾里有多少人使用過“即時通信”instant messaging? 我侄女每天都不停地在手機小小的鍵盤上敲打,給朋友發短信,可說來慚愧,我發短信的次數最多不超過五次。這種代溝給很多家長帶來了困擾。讓我們一起來聽聽下面這位父親的牢騷。

M: “What was so important that our daughter was always exchanging messages with her friends? Finally, I grabbed her cell phone to see for myself. But it’s like she was writing in some kind of code. My wife couldn’t figure it out either. It WAS ALL GREEK TO US.”

這個人說,我女兒好像無時無刻不在給朋友發短信,這難道真的那麼重要嗎?最後,我拿起她的手機,要看看上面到底寫了些什麼。但她好像是在用密碼,我和太太根本看不懂。

沒錯,這些孩子們用的都是縮略語,比如LOL是laugh out loud太好笑了;BBL 是 be back later 一會兒見,還有 POTS 是 parents over the shoulder 有家長站在身後,意思是不方便。

不過,並非所有家長都象我這麼落伍,與時俱進的父母還是很多的,所有孩子們最好不要肆無忌憚。好的,讓我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “What was so important that our daughter was always exchanging messages with her friends? Finally, I grabbed her cell phone to see for myself. But it’s like she was writing in some kind of code. My wife couldn’t figure it out either. It WAS ALL GREEK TO US.”

大家可能會問,這種說法是從哪裡來的? It was Greek to me 這個習慣用語的歷史可以追溯到1599年莎氏比亞的名著凱撒大帝。在書中,他談到了一篇講話,很多聽眾都聽不懂,因為講話用的是希臘語。It was Greek to them. 這個習慣用語由此而來。

好的,這次美國習慣用語]就到此結束了。

B: Speaking of not being able to communicate, I had firsthand experience at my high reunion.

A: 又是你的高中聚會?

B: Yep! After the brawl, we went to an after party and for some reason all my friends started talking about investing in stocks and securities. They spoke in jargons and it was Greek to me!

A: 看來你落伍啦! 趕快多看點財經新聞吧,這年頭,不懂點股市期貨啥的都不好意思和別人打招呼啦!

B: Are you also speaking from personal experience, Xiaobei?

B: 這你就別管啦! 好了,節目時間到了,聽眾朋友,咱們下次再見嘍!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第097課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是小北!

B: 我是Mike! What are we going to teach today, Xiaobei?

A: 今天,我們要和大家聊聊買車,還要告訴你怎麼說陷入停頓。

B: But first, let’s learn a word!

Learn A Word 1667 extended

今天我們要學的詞是 extended, extended is spelled extended, extended. Extended 是形容詞,延長的,長期的。He has been on extended sick leave since this summer. 他因為生病,從今年夏天就開始休長假。聖誕節前,Many retail stores are offering extended hours to meet the need of lastminute shoppers. 很多零售商家都延長營業時間,滿足拖到最後一刻才來採購的顧客們的需要。extended warranty 延長的保修期。Experts say in most cases buying extended warranties are bad ideas. 專家說,大多數情況下,購買商品的長期保修其實並不划算。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 extended, extended, extended…

B: You know what, Xiaobei? Yanglin wechatted me the other day and said she might take an extended vacation and come back 2 weeks late, which means you’ll have to continue hosting the show with me for a while.

A: 啊?楊林假期延長兩周?憑什麼啊?不管,我已經代班這麼久了,下周你自己主持吧!

B: You want me to go solo?

A: I have faith in you.

B: You must be kidding! This show would grind to a halt if it was just me doing it! Think of our poor dedicated listeners Xiaobei!

A: Grind to a what? I don’t think I’ve ever head of that idiom before, let’s listen to Words and Idioms to find out what it means. 先聽一聽!

Words and Idioms 815 GRIND TO A HALT

美國習慣用語第815講。

華盛頓的天氣最近特別熱。只有這種時候,大家才能體會到空調的好處。如果沒有空調,真不知道怎樣才能工作。這倒讓我想起了一個有趣的習慣用語,這就是我們今天要學的:

M: Grind to a halt. Grind is spelled Grind, and halt; halt. Grindtoahalt. Grind to a halt.

Grind 是動詞,有嘎嘎作響的意思。Halt 是名詞,停頓的意思。Grind to a halt 這個習慣用語就是慢慢停下來,無法繼續前進。大家現在明白了吧,我剛才說最近天氣特別熱,如果沒有空調,Work would grind to a halt. 工作就會陷入停頓。

你們肯定還記得,上個世紀末的時候,因為擔心從二十世紀邁入二十一世紀,電腦無法正常工作,世界各地都在吵 Y2K 的問題。讓我們聽聽下面這個歷史學家的介紹。

M: “Before the new century began, there was a lot of discussion of Y2K. That’s the name of the software problem that was feared when the clocks rolled over into the year 2000. But despite terrible predictions, the world didn’t GRIND TO A HALT. Most computers continued to work just fine.”

這個歷史學家說,進入新世紀之前,出現了很多圍繞 Y2K 的討論,指的是鐘錶敲響 2000年的時候,電腦軟件可能會出現狀況。儘管有很多聳人聽聞的預測,但世界並沒有因此而陷入停頓。大多數電腦都照常運轉,並沒有出現問題。我還記得,當時所有人都如釋重負。

就在上周末,我去參加外甥的畢業典禮。他們這屆學生特別多,所以決定在室外舉行。出席畢業典禮的學生、家長和老師大約有1000人。可就在嘉賓講話的時候,忽然陰雲密布,瓢潑大雨劈頭蓋臉地下了起來。不用說,The program ground to a halt. 畢業典禮告一段落。我們只好開車回家,但是因為路上能見度太差,The traffic started to grind to a halt. 路上的車流開始陷入停頓。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Before the new century began, there was a lot of discussion of Y2K. That’s the name of the software problem that was feared when the clocks rolled over into the year 2000. But despite terrible predictions, the world didn’t GRIND TO A HALT. Most computers continued to work just fine.”

去年,美國好萊塢的劇作家協會罷工,給娛樂業帶來了巨大的困擾。讓我們一起來聽聽下面這個記者的報導。

M: “Last season’s strike by writers in Hollywood had a significant impact. Without scripts, production on most television series and movies GROUND TO A HALT. It took months of negotiations before a settlement was reached and filming started again.”

這個記者說,上一季好萊塢劇作家的罷工產生了非常大的影響。因為沒有劇本,所以大部分電視連續劇和電影的製作都陷入了停頓。經過好幾個月的談判,雙方才達成協議,讓拍攝工作得以恢復。

值得一提的是,grind to a halt 這個習慣用語還有另外一種說法,是 come to a grinding halt. 意思完全一樣。所以我們可以說,Work would have come to a grinding halt without air conditioning. 假如沒有空調,工作恐怕就得停下來了。The world didn’t come to a grinding halt because of Y2K. 世界沒有因為 Y2K 而陷入停頓。或是 Hollywood productions came to a grinding halt. 好萊塢劇目的製作陷入了停頓。好的,讓我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “Last season’s strike by writers in Hollywood had a significant impact. Without scripts, production on most television series and movies GROUND TO A HALT. It took months of negotiations before a settlement was reached and filming started again.”

美國習慣用語真是太多了,所以大家不用擔心,Our show won’t grind to a halt.

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

B: See? If you desert the show next week, and Yanglin’s not back yet, our show will grind to a halt! Then 領導 gets mad, and we all get fired!

A: 說得也對。所以不管楊琳會不會來,咱們都還是老實幹活吧。

B: Yep. Besides, Yanglin hasn’t finalized her plan yet, so she might be back on time.

A: 好吧,咱們繼續聽節目吧,今天的禮節美語要聊聊買車。

禮節美語215 Buying a Car I

Chris告訴同事Jason, 準備買輛新車。

Jason: Hey there Chris, what are you up to?

Chris: I’m just poring over some brochures about various car models.

J: Oh, so you’re thinking about buying a new car?

C: Yeah, it looks that way. My wife has been bugging me about it. I thought we could probably survive without one, but with a baby on the way, maybe it is time to get a car.

J: So this would be your first automobile?

C: That’s right. For quite a few years, I rode a bicycle to work. Then I got a motorbike.

Chris太太懷孕,所以不得不考慮買車。Chris說,my wife has been bugging me about it. 意思是我太太一直在軟磨硬泡要說服我,to bug someone是沒完沒了煩某人的意思,比如說,Stop bugging me. 意思就是別煩我了。這是Chris的第一輛車,他以前都是騎自行車或是騎摩托車上班,但現在 with a baby on the way 眼看就要有孩子了,所以只好考慮買車。Jason表示理解。

J: Yeah, I think I can understand your wife’s position. Asking her to ride on a motorcycle when she’s pregnant is a tall order.

C: Oh…I don’t let her ride with me. It’s just too dangerous. She takes the bus to work, but it is sometimes difficult to get a seat and it’s crowded and hot.

J: So it’s time to buy your very first car! Wow, that’s exciting!

C: Yes, but it’s also a pretty big financial responsibility.

J: Yeah. I still remember my first car. It was an old clunker that my dad gave me when I turned 17. I drove it around for a couple of years until I scraped together enough money to buy a better secondhand car.

Jason說,讓太太挺着大肚子坐Chris的摩托車確實有點強人所難,It’s a tall order. tall order 意思是很難完成的任務或要求。Christ解釋說,其實太太不坐他的摩托車上班,但是擠公交車也很辛苦,所以才必須買車。Jason說,他的第一輛車是17歲過生日時老爸送的,It was an old clunker. clunker is spelled clunker, clunker, clunker 是老破車的意思,開了幾年後,攢夠了錢才自己買了輛稍微像點兒樣的 secondhand car 二手車。Chris 說,

C: I’m having a hard time deciding which model is best for us.

J: Yeah, it is a tough call. Each one has its pros and cons. Are you looking for a sedan?

C: Yes, I’d like a Jeep, but my wife says we have to get a comfortable sedan for long drives home to see her relatives.

J: I’d advise you to listen to your wife. She will be sitting in the back taking care of the kids so whatever she prefers is probably the best choice.

Chris說,拿不定主意應該買什麼型號的車。Jason承認,It’s a tough call. tough call意思是很難做的決定。他還說,不同型號的車有各自的優缺點,pros and cons 是指一件事情的正反面,pros 是優點,正面的,cons 是缺點,負面的。Chris想買吉普車Jeep,但他太太堅持要買轎車sedan, 因為sedan開長途坐着更舒服些。買車還要考慮其他哪些因素呢?我們下次繼續聽。

A: 我覺得等到孩子生出來,轎車也不夠大,最好直接來個SUV!

B: Or a mini van! Some of my friends have had kids, and whenever they take a trip with their kids they have to carry tons of baby stuff along with them. So no car is too big for parents with kids!

A: 是啊,所以咱們繼續聽聽,看看Chris會不會考慮更大的車。

禮節美語 216 Buying a Car II

Chris準備買輛新車,向同事Jason徵求意見。

Chris: What do you think about this one? Here….take a look.

Jason: I like it. It’s quite stylish. But….it’s also pretty small.

C: That’s OK. We are only a family of three.

J: This model has a 1.3 liter engine. With a small engine, you’ll save a lot of money on gas.

C: That’s one of the reasons I’m considering this one. It gets good gas mileage and overall has good value.

J: When I was young, having a car was all about power, prestige and fashion. But today, everything is about economy, value and savings.

C: The world has changed.

Chris看中了一款車,徵求Jason的意思。Jason說,車外觀還是挺有形的,但就是有點小。Chris覺得,小點沒關係,因為他們就三口人,a family of three, 小點也夠用了。Jason說,這款車引擎是1.3公升的,省油,是優點。Chris承認,這也是他看中這款車的原因之一,It gets good gas mileage and overall has good value. 意思是說這輛車油耗低,總體上說很划算。Jason大發感慨,說自己年輕那會兒買車就是為了馬力,時尚,如今大家考慮的卻都是實用和省錢。

J: Have you considered getting a secondhand car?

C: My wife rejected that idea. She says that you never know if the car dealer is unscrupulous. The car could be water damaged or could have been involved in an accident.

J: She makes some good points. Anyway, having a new car is a great experience.

C: I’m also trying to decide if I should take the three or fiveyear payment option.

J: If I can make a suggestion: go with a threeyear plan. The fiveyear might look easier, but in the end, the interest payments are not worth it.

Chris不準備買二手車,因為他太太擔心碰上個缺德的二手車車行老闆,把出過車禍的車買回家,上面所說的 unscrupulous is spelled unscrupulous, unscrupulous, unscrupulous 意思是沒有道德操守的。Jason覺得,she makes some good points. 她說的很有道理。在貸款方面,Chris不知道應該三年還清還是五年還清,Jason建議他做三年的貸款,因為五年貸款每個月付的錢看上去雖然少些,但其實把交的利息都算進去,就不值了。

C: I’ll go home and do the math, but you’re probably right.

J: How about the color?

C: Blue is my lucky color, so I’ll pick blue if possible. My wife says we should consider black because it doesn’t look dirty so quickly.

J: Cool! Well, let me know when you decide. I’d love to check out your new car!

C: Sure, Jason. Thanks for the input.

Chris說,我回家算算 I’ll go home and do the math. Do the math 是口語里很常用的一種說法,意思是算算清楚,特別是指明擺着的事情,比如:We cannot afford that house with our salaries. You do the math. 咱們的工資買不起那棟房,你自己算算吧。在顏色選擇上,Chris說,藍色是自己的幸運色,而太太覺得黑色經臟。Jason最後說,I’d love to check out your new car! 買了新車別忘了給我看看。

A: 這個准爸爸也太小氣了,車買得不夠大,又怕費油,要不是老婆攔着,他弄不好還想買個二手車!

B: I don’t blame him. With a baby on the way, a father needs to be a bit frugal.

A: 也是,咱們沒孩子,體會不到現在養一個孩子要花多少錢。不過,對父母來說,孩子都是無價寶,容易為這個小傢伙衝動購買。

B: That’s right. But looks like Chris is still quite coolheaded. Okay, now let’s listen to another episode of Learn a word.

Learn A Word 1668 substitute

今天我們要學的詞是 substitute, substitute is spelled substitute, substitute. Substitute 名詞,是替代,替補的意思。A substitute teacher is heir to a trove of gold coins worth more than $7 million. 一名代課老師繼承了很多珍貴的金幣,價值七百多萬美元。Across the country, a lot of people are using a drug called Spice as substitute for marijuana. 美國各地有不少人吸食一種叫Spice的毒品,做為大麻的替代品。Pure maple syrup is the perfect sugar substitute in a variety of dishes, including desserts and baked food. 純楓樹糖漿在做菜時是糖的絕佳替代品,包括甜點和烘烤食物。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 substitute, substitute, substitute…學習的詞是 substitute, substitute, substitute…

A: I’ve been a substitute for Yanglin for quite a few weeks. 不知道聽眾朋友喜不喜歡我主持。

B: I think you did well. Even Yanglin spoke highly of your performance on the show!

A: Really? 難道她就不擔心被我徹底取代 ?

B: Ha! She probably is worried. The phrase we’re teaching next describe her concern to a T. Let’s listen.

Words and Idioms 816 Has Had one’s Day

我先要考考大家。你們都知道,一美元等於一百美分。誰能說出一美分 one cent 的另外一個名字?

(Tickers, and Buzzer Sound) 時間到!如果你說的是 penny, penny, 那就對了。Penny 以前還挺值錢的,可如今,早就沒人想要了,很多美國人甚至主張讓美分退休。這倒提醒了我。今天我們學習的習慣用語就是:

M: Has had its day. Hashaditsday. Has had its day.

如果說什麼東西 has had its day, 意思就是這種東西已經沒什麼用,不再受歡迎,不象以前那麼成功了。換句話說,就是過時了。什麼是你最喜歡的交通工具?讓我們聽聽下面這個記者的報導。

M: “Until very recently, travelers in the U.S. have chosen to get on an airplane for quick and affordable transportation. So HAS the train HAD ITS DAY? Maybe not. Because of increased security at airports and higher airfares, many passengers have shown a renewed interest in rail service. It may become popular once again.”

這個記者說,直到最近一段時間,很多美國人出門旅遊,還喜歡坐飛機,因為飛機速度快,價錢又不貴。那是不是說火車已經過時了?這可不一定。由於機場加強安檢,機票又不斷漲價,很多遊客又開始轉向火車了。沒準火車會重新受到歡迎呢!

沒錯,我就喜歡坐火車。雖然火車不如飛機快,但是坐火車很舒服,而且現在飛機的燃料價格不斷上升,都轉嫁到了乘客的身上,機票越來越貴。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Until very recently, travelers in the U.S. have chosen to get on an airplane for quick and affordable transportation. So HAS the train HAD ITS DAY? Maybe not. Because of increased security at airports and higher airfares, many passengers have shown a renewed interest in rail service. It may become popular once again.”

還有什麼東西是 has had its day 過時的呢?比如說,電報,肯定大家都同意。Telegram has had its day. 再比如說,報紙。 估計有一部分人同意。那 Internet 因特網呢?因特網如日中天,正火呢,肯定不能說 it has had its day. 還有啊,現在大家都上網購物,Shopping mall 購物中心是不是過時了呢?那恐怕也不盡然。

Has had its day 這個習慣用語也可以用在人身上,比如說早已沒人提起的老電影明星,我們就可以說 She has had her day. 下面讓我們聽聽一名消防隊員是怎麼說他的老隊長的。

M: “I have the greatest respect for the fire chief. Over the last thirty years, he’s been a courageous leader. But, frankly, he HAS HAD HIS DAY. Firefighting has changed and it’s time we appoint a successor who can take on new challenges.”

這個消防隊員說,我對我們隊長有着無限的敬意。過去三十年來,他一直是我們的領導,勇氣過人。但是坦率地講,他那一套已就過時了。消防工作日新月異,他需要一個能夠接受新挑戰的接班人。既然有過輝煌的事業,那麼急流勇退也沒有什麼不好。我昨天晚上看電視,是兩個喜劇表演的老搭檔。我從小就是看他們的節目長大的,可是40年過去的,同樣的笑話他們今天還在講。I really believe they have had their day. 好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “I have the greatest respect for the fire chief. Over the last thirty years, he’s been a courageous leader. But, frankly, he HAS HAD HIS DAY. Firefighting has changed and it’s time we appoint a successor who can take on new challenges.”

大家可能會問,這種說法是從哪裡來的? Has had its day 這個習慣用語最早可以追溯到16世紀。Every dog has its day. 意思是所有人都會有得意的日子,也就是我們常說的風水輪流轉。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Yanglin, you’ve had your day! Come back quickly, otherwise the job is mine.

B: I’ll relay the information to her. I’m sure it will help her decide to come back as soon as possible.

A: 咱倆可真夠壞的! 好了,不開玩笑了,今天節目時間又到了,咱們得說再見啦!

B: If you have any questions or comments, please email us at meiyu@voanews.com. Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第098課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 大家猜猜我是誰?

B: And……..楊琳,welcome back!! How was China?

A: It was great! 終於在北京過了一次春節,年味兒好濃呀! Plus I ate tons of delicious Chinese food, including your favorite 串兒! Here, 給你張我吃串兒的照片看看!

B: I should have known you would torture me like this! But I’m glad you had a good time! We’ll talk about your stories later in the show. Now let’s see what we are going to learn today, shall we?

A: 沒問題! 今天我們要一起來聊聊正式場合該如何着裝,看看怎麼表達維繫生活,還要告訴你怎麼吃飯最健康!!

B: Finding out the dress code is really important for attending an event. I remember this one time that I wore Jeans and sneakers to a formal event, it was just so embarrassing….

A: For you? I’m not that surprised.

B: Hey….

A: 哈哈,好啦! 不開玩笑了! 現在,咱們趕快先來進入第一個單元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1669 intern

今天我們要學的詞是 intern, intern is spelled i n t e r n, intern. Intern 實習生。不久前,A Senate intern was found to be an illegal immigrant and a registered sex offender. 美國國會參議院的一個實習生被發現是非法移民,而且還是記錄在冊的性犯罪者。Facebook interns make between $5,600 to $6,300 a month, the equivalent of $65,000 to $75,000 a year. 臉譜網的實習生每個月可以拿到5千6到6千3百美元,相當於一年6萬5到7萬5千美元。不過,別以為實習生都能賺那麼多錢,現在就業市場不景氣,Many college graduates are working as unpaid interns. 很多大學畢業生都在做沒有酬勞的實習生。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 intern, intern, intern…

A: Wow, Facebook interns can get more than 6000 dollars a month? A lot of full time jobs don’t even pay that well!

B: Yeah, IT companies like Facebook or Google pay their employees really well. I heard they usually throw in a signing bonuses of $50k 100k.

A: Wow, are you serious? So if you are a software engineer at Facebook, you will never have to worry about keeping your head above water!

B: Exactly! Hey, you just mention a phrase: keep your head above water. Let’s listen to today’s words and idioms and find out what it means!

Words and Idioms 817 KEEP ONE’S HEAD ABOVE WATER

美國習慣用語第 817講

我們家隔壁住着一位老奶奶,八十多歲,孤苦伶仃,沒有人照顧。如今,物價漲得這麼厲害,她的生活一天比一天困難。好在,我們左鄰右舍經常都會幫她一把。她的處境讓我想起了一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: Keep one’s head above water. Head is spelled h e a d, and water; w a t e r. Keep one’s head above water. Keep one’s head above water.
head 腦袋。water 水。把頭放在水面上,這樣就不會嗆水了。因此說,Keep one’s head above water 這個習慣用語就是說,在艱難的處境下維繫,克服生活、工作和財務上的困難。說到我們鄰居的那位老奶奶,She’s scarcely able to keep her head above water.

Keep one’s head above water 這個習慣用語很實用。讓我們聽聽下面這位餐館老闆最近的生意如何。

M: “Before the new highway was built, I could easily fill every table in my restaurant. These days, with fewer diners, it’s become a struggle to stay in business. I’m barely KEEPING MY HEAD ABOVE WATER. I don’t know how much longer I can afford to stay open.”

這位餐館老闆說,沒有那條高速公路的時候,我的餐館裡總是坐得滿滿的。可是如今,客人少多了,錢越來越難賺,能維持收支平衡就已經很不容易了。我真不知道還能堅持多久。

看來,這條高速公路真是斷了這個餐館老闆的財路。他肯定特別懷念以前生意興隆的日子。在英語里,我們說生意開在了黃金地帶,黃金地帶就是 goldmine, goldmine, goldmine, 金礦。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Before the new highway was built, I could easily fill every table in my restaurant. These days, with fewer diners, it’s become a struggle to stay in business. I’m barely KEEPING MY HEAD ABOVE WATER. I don’t know how much longer I can afford to stay open.”

我朋友的孩子從醫學院畢業,如今在醫院裡做實習生。他抱怨說,每天要在醫院裡待十幾個小時,到了家疲憊不堪,按照他的話說,I can barely keep my head above water. 雖說在美國,醫生賺得多,但是看來,他們也是要付出艱苦代價的。

眼下,越來越多的美國人都從東北地區搬走,住到南方去。不過,現在房地產市場不景氣,在買房和賣房之間一定要協調好,否則的話,就會出現跟下面這對夫婦同樣的狀況。

M: “My wife and I are excited about furnishing our new house in North Carolina. But since we still haven’t sold our old place back in Massachusetts, it’s been a huge financial challenge. So far we’ve KEPT OUR HEADS ABOVE WATER. We only hope we can find a buyer soon! ”

這位先生說,我跟太太正在裝修北卡羅來納州的新房子,興奮極了。但是因為我們在麻薩諸塞州的舊房子還沒有脫手,所以財務上壓力很大。到目前為止,我們還能勉強支撐着,真希望能儘快找到買主。

設身處地想想看,要同時負擔兩棟房子的按揭,ouch! 真夠他們受的。如果暫時賣不掉,把房子租出去也是一種選擇。我姑姑姑父就把自己的公寓租了出去,因為地點好,從來都不愁找不到房客。They not only keep their heads above water, 他們不僅不愁付不出按揭,而且還能小賺一筆,投資有了回報。好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “My wife and I are excited about furnishing our new house in North Carolina. But since we still haven’t sold our old place back in Massachusetts, it’s been a huge financial challenge. So far we’ve KEPT OUR HEADS ABOVE WATER. We only hope we can find a buyer soon! ”

大家肯定已經猜到了,keep one’s head above water 這個習慣用語是從游泳來的。沒錯,這個習慣用語最早是十八世紀初出現的,意思就是讓頭露出水面,不要被淹死。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 這次我回中國也有體會。The housing prices in Beijing are insane! Some of my friends told me that between a mortgage and inflation, it’s really hard to keep their heads above water.

B: I think that’s the situation in all big cities. I don’t even have a mortgage and I wish I could earn a little bit more!… life in DC is really expensive.

A: Yeah! But big cities have more interesting things to offer! Speaking of which, my friends invite me to go with them to the opera this Saturday. I’ve never been before, what should I wear?

B: Hmm, That sounds like a black tie event to me! And you are in luck…that’s the topic of today’s business etiquette. Let’s listen and see if you can get some useful tips!

禮節美語 BE 220 Attending a Black Tie Event I

Jim在走廊上碰見同事Gary。

Jim: Gary, did you hear about my upcoming trip to New York?

Gary: I think I did hear something about it. You and Henry are attending some kind of function, right?

J: Yeah. It’s an anniversary celebration for one of the companies we do a lot of work with, you know, Walcon Electronics.

G: Right! Walcon is one of our biggest clients.

J: It’s Walcon’s 120th anniversary and they’re throwing a big party.

Jim馬上要出差,到紐約去。Gary說,他聽說了Jim的 upcoming trip. upcoming is spelled upcoming, upcoming, upcoming是即將發生的意思,Gary還知道,他們這次是要去參加什麼活動,function 在這裡指正式的社交活動。公司最大的客戶之一 Walcon Electronics 慶祝成立120周年,they’re throwing a big party. 他們要辦個大派對。英語里說辦派對,經常會用動詞 throw, t h r o w, throw.

G: Walcon Electronics is 120 years old?

J: Yep. They started out as a shoe manufacturer and then branched off into electronics in the late 1960s.

G: That’s a big change, moving from shoes to electronics. But you have to give the company’s founder credit for thinking ahead.

J: Absolutely. Today they’re one of the world’s top home electronics brands.

G: Well, you’ll have fun. New York is always a great place to visit.

J: Yeah, but I’m a bit worried. I’ve never attended a function like this before. Look, here’s the invitation.

Walcon電器公司最開始是生產鞋的,60年代才改行生產電器。這裡用到的兩個動詞詞組,一個是 start out 意思是起步,另外一個是 branch off 意思是改變前進的方向。Gary 說,You have to give the company’s founder credit for thinking ahead. 咱們不得不佩服這個公司創始人有遠見,to give someone credit for something 意思是肯定某人的做法。紐約是個好玩的地方,可Jim卻很擔心,他拿請柬給Gary看。

G: Oh my! It’s a black tie event. That means you have to wear a tuxedo.

J: A tuxedo? I don’t own a tux!

G: Not very many people do….you can rent one, though.

J: Oh wow. That means it’s going to be a very formal event, huh?

G: A black tie event is about as formal as it gets. Men wear tuxedos and ladies wear evening gowns.

J: What else should I expect?

G: There will probably be a band playing soft music. Waiters will walk around serving drinks. Most of the guests will mainly stand around socializing with each other.

原來,這次活動是 a black tie event 參加者要穿禮服、打黑領結的正式活動,男賓要穿燕尾服,tuxedo, tuxedo is spelled t u x e d o, tuxedo, 女賓要穿 evening gown 晚禮服。Gary說,A black tie event is about as formal as it gets. 這基本上要算是最正規的活動了。as….as it gets 是指最徹底的表現,兩個as之間加形容詞。Jim會喜歡這種活動嗎?我們下次繼續聽。

A: 所以說,a black tie event is as formal as it gets! 給我們介紹一下美國公司不同的着裝標準吧!

B: Let me see. So let’s begin with casual, which is basically a t shirt and jeans; and then there is business casual, which is a button down shirt or a polo and suit pants; and the last is formal, and that usually means a business suit.

A: It’s so good that we don’t have a strict dress code! It’s nice to wear comfortable clothes at work.

B: yeah it’s great for you…. it’s the rest of us who have to see you in yoga pants that have to suffer….

A: Do you want to walk out of the office alive today?

B: Ok, I kid I kid! I’ve got a whole month of of teasing stored up since you have been away for so long! I need to get it out of my system, …

A: 等會再跟你算賬! 聽眾朋友們,我們趕快來接着聽聽black tie event 到底該怎麼辦吧!

禮節美語 BE 221 Attending a Black Tie Event II

Jim要去參加一次公司慶典活動,特別正式。他問同事Gary,參加這種社交活動有哪些注意事項。

J: Have you ever been to a black tie event?

G: Twice actually….and to be honest, it was a bit boring both times.

J: Aside from the tuxedo is there anything else I need to wear or take with me?

G: I suggest keeping all other accessories to a minimum.

J: I see. Any other tips or suggestions?

G: Keep your eyes open and just sort of do what everybody else does. And…don’t get drunk or talk too loud or draw any attention to yourself!

J: Okay, good points.

Gary說,自己參加過兩次這種要穿禮服打領結的 black tie event, 覺得很無聊。他建議Jim, 最好 keep all other accessories to a minimum盡量少帶裝飾品,accessory is spelled a c c e s s o r y, accessory 是指手錶、手袋等飾物,他還告訴Jim, 睜大眼睛看別人怎麼做,特別要注意 don’t get drunk 不要喝醉,don’t talk too loud 說話聲音不要太大,don’t draw any attention to yourself 不要讓別人注意到自己。

G: You and Henry are acting as representatives of the company so you’re kind of like ambassadors.

J: Wow. Now I’m really stressed!

G: It’s not that hard. Just be a good conversationalist and even more importantly, be a good listener. If someone makes a humorous remark, chuckle mildly; even if the comment isn’t very funny. And remember, always smile!

Gary說,Jim跟Henry這次去參加晚宴,代表的是公司,you’re kind of like ambassadors. 是公司使節。Jim聽後表示,壓力很大,Now I’m really stressed. Gary告訴他說,其實這項任務也不難完成,他們只要會聊天 be a good conversationalist,做個好聽眾就行了,別人講笑話,就算不好笑,也要chuckle跟着笑兩聲,臉上要隨時隨地保持笑容。

J: Can I rent the tux in New York?

G: Absolutely. Do some research before you go and find a good rental company. They will probably deliver it to your hotel. Make sure the tuxedo fits well….otherwise; you can end up looking pretty silly.

J: How much should I expect to pay to rent a tux?

G: I’d say roughly $100. You could probably find some cheaper options, but you want to look good.

J: Thanks Gary…. I really appreciate your help.

G: Not at all. It should be an interesting experience for you.

J: I hope so.

Jim想知道能不能到紐約去租tux, tux is spelled t u x, tux, tux是 tuxedo 的簡稱。Gary建議Jim事先查一下,找一家服務周到、能送貨上門的租賃公司,They can deliver it to your hotel. 他們可以把燕尾服送到 Jim下榻的旅店。Gary還建議Jim一定要穿上試試看,otherwise, you can end up looking pretty silly. 否則如果不合適的話,那你看上去會很傻的。Gary最後還告訴Jim, 燕尾服的租金應該在100美元上下。

A: 去參加正式的black tie event, 男士要穿 tuxedo, 燕尾服,女士要穿 evening gown, 晚禮服。而且要keep all other accessories to a minimum, 盡量少帶裝飾品。Don’t get drunk, don’t talk too much. 別喝醉,別太多話。 Those are really good tips!

B: Yeah, if you just be yourself, you will totally be fine at these kinds of events!

A: I need to watch how much I’m eating though. I only have one evening gown and I bought it a long time ago when I was super slim….

B: Stop it!

A: 哈哈,好啦! 既然說到了intake, 咱們就來看看怎麼吃才最健康吧!

Learn A Word 1670 intake

今天我們要學的詞是 intake, intake is spelled i n t a k e, intake. Intake 名詞,有攝取量的意思。家人一起吃飯,有助於幫助孩子養成健康的飲食習慣。Even if only once or twice a week, eating meals together as a family, increases children’s daily fruit and vegetable intake. 即使每個星期只有一到兩次能一家人一起吃飯,也能提高孩子每天蔬菜和水果的攝取量。一項最新研究說,Curbing kids’ salt intake could help fight childhood obesity. 控制兒童鹽分的攝取,可能有助於防止兒童肥胖。盤子的顏色也會影響人的食慾。曾經有研究說,Eating from a red plate could increase your calorie intake by 25%。用紅顏色的盤子吃飯,卡路里攝取量會增加25%。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 intake, intake, intake….

A: 我也聽說過耶! 人在暖色系的環境中食物攝取量會增加! 怪不得好多餐廳都把他們的牆刷成紅色或者桔色的!

B: I think the color of the surroundings does have some effect on your caloric intake. But for a foodie like me, using a blue plate won’t put the kibosh on my appetite at all!

A: 哈哈,這倒是真的! 你剛才提到了一個特別的詞兒,put the kibosh on, 我們來進入今天的最後一個單元,聽聽這個短語到底是什麼意思吧!

B:Let’s listen!

Words and Idioms 818 PUT THE KIBOSH ON

美國習慣用語第 818講

好,箱子總算打好了。我要到佛羅里達的歷史小城聖奧古斯丁去看朋友,現在已經整裝待發了。天氣預報說,這幾天那邊可能有點涼,不過,我渡假的興緻絕不會因此而降溫。這倒讓我想起了一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: Put the kibosh on. Kibosh is spelled k i b o s h. Put the kibosh on. Put the kibosh on.

Kibosh 的來歷我們先不去管它。Put the kibosh on 這個習慣用語的意思是防止一件事情,一項計劃的發生。我是鐵了心要去渡假,所有即使颳風下雨,也不會改變計劃。Even lousy weather won’t PUT THE KIBOSH ON my visit. 你說什麼?颶風?那就要另當別論了。我給大家講個故事,這可是真事,就發生在我朋友身上。

M: “I was walking my dog in the park when it happened. A big dog got excited and leapt toward us, pushing me hard against a light pole. My back hurt so badly for the next two weeks, I could hardly get in and out of bed. That accident PUT THE KIBOSH ON all my normal activities.”

他說,我當時在公園裡溜狗。一條大狗不知為什麼,忽然間向我們衝過來,結果我撞在了電線杆子上,後背肌肉扭傷,過去兩星期,上下床都困難。這件倒霉事讓我停止了一切日常活動。

Ouch! 好在他現在感覺好多了,不僅已經回去上班,而且還準備重新開始到健身房去鍛煉。

說到受傷,今年是我父母的金婚,大姐一直在籌備家庭聚會,給老倆口好好熱鬧熱鬧,但是媽媽的髖關節馬上要手術,That is putting the kibosh on the party. 我們只好等她老人家康復以後再說。

好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: M: “I was walking my dog in the park when it happened. A big dog got excited and leapt toward us, pushing me hard against a light pole.

My back hurt so badly for the next two weeks, I could hardly get in and out of bed. That accident PUT THE KIBOSH ON all my normal activities.”

上個周末,我們邀請了很多朋友來家裡燒烤,誰知天公不作美,下起了瓢潑大雨。The rain put the kibosh on our barbecue plan. 沒辦法,只好改吃 pizza, 孩子們倒是很高興。

你見過能載人的氫氣球嗎?一百年前,這種本來前途無量的氫氣球,因為一場事故的發生,一下子被打入了冷宮。事故發生在一艘名叫“興登堡”的飛艇的身上。

M: “On May 6, 1937, a German airship had made another successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. As it was docking in New Jersey, it suddenly burst into flames. That tragedy effectively PUT THE KIBOSH ON such travel. But now the development of airships is once again being encouraged.”

這位歷史學家說,1937年5月6號,一艘德國飛艇再次成功飛越大西洋,停在新澤西後突然起火。這場事故給飛艇旅行划上了句號。但是如今,飛艇的研製和開發再次受到了鼓勵。

我聽說,現在有人考慮,用飛艇提供短程和中程的交通服務,其中也包括旅遊。我想,能在大峽谷上空滑翔,一定美不勝收,但是我老公卻執意要去做直升飛機,我已經明確告訴他,我絕對不會擠到狹小的直升飛機里去。I’ve put kibosh on that idea!

好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “On May 6, 1937, a German airship had made another successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. As it was docking in New Jersey, it suddenly burst into flames. That tragedy effectively PUT THE KIBOSH ON such travel. But now the development of airships is once again being encouraged.”

說了半天,大家一定想知道,put the kibosh on 這個習慣用語里的 kibosh 一詞的來源。有人說,這個詞是猶太語,意思是壓迫,也有人說,這個詞最早來自德語。也許,We should put the kibosh on further speculation. 我們沒必要繼續猜測了,最重要的是學會這個習慣用語的用法。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Mike, I think it’s about time you put the kibosh on your dry humor…it’s really not that funny.

B: Meh, its seems to be well received by my intelligent and well educated friends….

A: I. Am. Going. To. Hurt. You! 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第099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,來說說咱們今天都要學什麼吧!

A: Sure! 今天,我們要一起看看如何保證網絡安全,學學怎麼表達運轉異常,還要告訴你勢不可擋么怎麼說!

B:Internet security is really an important topic right now. Last year some hackers used my credit card information to hack into my bank account ! I still don’t know how they did it because I had my credit card in my wallet the whole time!

A: I don’t understand how these hackers can be super smart computer geeks and still choose to be hackers! Why not go work for Microsoft and become a millionaire?

B: Some people are just hard to understand….

A: Like you…(B: ugh…)哈哈,好啦! 不開玩笑了! 現在,咱們趕快先來進入第一個單元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1672 free of charge

今天我們要學的詞是 free of charge, free is spelled free, of, of, charge, charge, charge, free of charge. Free of charge 免費。The course is offered to students free of charge. 學生可以免費上這門課。Google’s VoIP phone service will remain free of charge within the U.S. and Canada in 2013. 2013年用戶在美國和加拿大境內可以繼續免費使用谷歌的網上電話服務。Gunrights advocates in Utah trained 200 teachers in handling concealed weapons free of charge. 尤他州的槍支權利捍衛者為200名老師免費提供了攜帶和使用隱匿武器的培訓。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 free of charge, free of charge, free of charge….

A: Free of charge, 免費! I heard dunkin donuts is giving out milk shakes free of charge, wanna go together after work?

B: Free drinks? Of course I’m in!

A: 我就知道有吃的你准來!

B: Oh wait…I forget I have to go to the gym with my gym buddy! I already promised him I would go today! Oh gosh, this just threw my plans out of kilter….

A: Out of kilter? That’s an interesting phrase! 咱們來聽聽今天的美國習慣用語,看看這個說法是什麼意思!

Words and Idioms 819 OUT OF KILTER

美國習慣用語第 819講

在我們這兒,常常能看到路標,警告開車的人要小心,別撞上過馬路的鹿。我以前還不相信,可昨天差點兒撞上一隻,好在我反應快,一個急轉彎,躲開了,鹿雖然沒撞上,但是車輪定位卻出現了問題,開起來總是打偏。這讓我想起了一個習慣用語,那就是:

M: Out of kilter. Kilter is spelled kilter. Outofkilter. Out of kilter.

說什麼東西 out of kilter, 就是指因為其組成部分彼此之間失去平衡,所以運轉起來不正常。剛才說我為了躲開鹿,急轉彎,結果方向盤打得太急,造成了車輪定位的失調,就可以說 The wheels are out of kilter. 讓我們聽聽下面這個人回憶他小時候干過的淘氣事。

M: “Once my friend managed to get his mom’s washing machine to spin around with me standing in it! That was fun until the washer started shaking violently. We got it so OUT OF KILTER that his dad had to have it repaired. Did we get in trouble for that!”
他說,有一次,我朋友讓我站在他家的洗衣機里,然後居然開動了洗衣機,好玩極了,誰知後來洗衣機開始劇烈搖晃。我們把洗衣機弄得完全失調,他爸爸不得不拿去修理,可想而知,我們受到了多麼嚴厲的懲罰。

在孩子眼裡可能挺好玩,但是在大人看來,這太危險了。好在現在的大部分電器都有安全設置,不讓小孩子進行這種危險的舉動。很多人聽到剛才那個例子,肯定會說,”Boys will be boys.” 男孩就是男孩。難道淘氣真是男孩子的本性嗎?

上個周末,我們一家本來說好了要開車到海邊去玩,誰知星期六一大早下起了瓢潑大雨,完全打亂了我們的原定計劃。Our schedule was thrown out of kilter. 好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Once my friend managed to get his mom’s washing machine to spin around with me standing in it! That was fun until the washer started shaking violently. We got it so OUT OF KILTER that his dad had to have it repaired. Did we get in trouble for that!”

大家肯定都知道,蘋果和櫻桃等水果都需要蜜蜂的授粉。我以前從來沒怎麼考慮過這個問題,直到不久前,忽然聽說,美國的蜜蜂不見了。讓我們一起來聽聽下面這個農業記者是怎麼說的。

M: “Millions of bees in the U.S. have mysteriously died or disappeared. As a result, crops in 24 states have been severely thrown OUT OF KILTER. While scientists continue to search for answers, farmers wonder how long this disorder will last.”

這位記者報道說,美國數以百萬計的蜜蜂都奇怪地死去或是消失了。這樣一來,24個州的糧食作物的生長都出現了失常的現象。科研人員正在尋找問題的答案,而農民們想知道的是,這種情況還會持續多久。

我敢肯定,科學家們一定能夠找到問題的答案。他們既然能發現,風向、洋流、地震,甚至是融雪,都能影響到地球的運轉,那麼屈屈一起蜜蜂失蹤的小事情,肯定難不倒他們。好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “Millions of bees in the U.S. have mysteriously died or disappeared. As a result, crops in 24 states have been severely thrown OUT OF KILTER. While scientists continue to search for answers, farmers wonder how long this disorder will last.”

說了半天,大家一定想知道,Kilter 這個字的意思。Kilter 的意思就是“良好的狀態”。這個字的準確來源無法確定。有人說,Kilter 原來是指手裡沒用的廢牌,也有人說,這個字跟砍或是打有關係。因此,out of kilter 也可以說成是 out of whack. 不論 kilter 這個詞是怎麼來的,大家需要記住的就是,out of Kilter 可以用來形容任何機械設備的失調,也可以用於某個系統、過程、機構、預算、或是日程的失常。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。我是楊晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。只有勤學苦練,才能不斷進步。大家在學習過然b中,一定要注意準確理解和應用,這樣才能保證你的英語不會 out of kilter.

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 說起out of kilter, 我覺得這個詞最適合用來形容網絡了! Remember last time the building’s Internet service was down? All our work got thrown out of kilter!

B: Yeah. 10 years ago, who could have imagine that Internet would play such a big role in our life? I mean, searching for information, managing your money….we are doing everything on the Internet!

A: That’s true. our social lives have even moved into cyberspace! I have such mixed feelings towards social media right now. While it’s super convenient and can connect people all around the world, once your information is out, it’s there forever! For example, I really don’t want Facebook to store all my personal information.

B: That’s why Internet security is so important! And…that’s the topic of today’s business etiquette. Let’s listen and see if we can learn some useful tips to protect ourselves on the Internet!

禮節美語BE219 Internet Security I

Dylan早上見到同事Cory和Brenda, 告訴他們公司出事了。

Dylan: Hey, Cory….did you hear about the breakin?

Cory: No! Burglars broke in? Did they steal anything valuable?

D: Actually, they might have gotten quite a bit of valuable information. But it wasn’t thieves, it was online hackers.

C: Ah, so somebody broke into our computer system! Oh, good morning, Brenda. Did you hear the news? There was a cyber attack!

B: Oh my! But I thought we had very strong Internet firewalls.

D: We do, but all it takes is one mistake and hackers can come pouring in like an invading army.

Dylan問同事Cory聽沒聽說公司有人非法闖入breakin, 不過不是真的有人夜盜,而是 online hackers 網上的駭客。The hackers broke into our computer system. 駭客進入了公司的電腦系統,這也可以被稱為 cyber attack. 儘管公司安裝了 Internet firewalls 互聯網防火牆,但是稍一疏忽大意,還是被駭客鑽了空子。

B: Does the I.T. department have any idea how this happened?

D: It looks like the hackers got in from an unsecure corporate email account.

C: And then they loaded up a virus?

D: Not a virus, but they put spyware or malware into our system.

C: I’ve heard of spyware but what’s malware?

B: Malware is short for “malicious software.” Malware is any kind of software that is specially designed to infiltrate a computer system.

C: So spyware is a kind of malware.

公司電腦技術部門的調查顯示,這次襲擊是通過一個 unsecure email account 沒加保密措施的電子郵箱偷偷安裝的 spyware 或 malware. malware是 malicious software兩個字連在一起產生的,spyware間諜軟件是malware惡意軟件的一種,都是破壞電腦安全的軟件,目的是滲透進入電腦系統,infiltrate is spelled infiltrate, infiltrate, infiltrate 意思是滲透 。

B: Sometimes the malware follows each keystroke you make, and then sends the information back to the hacker.

D: Or, sometimes they install a program called a Trojan horse that steals data.

C: Do you think this cyber attack was instigated by one of our competitors?

D: I don’t want to point fingers, but it certainly could be. If a Trojan horse got into our mainframe it could download a lot of sensitive info about our company’s upcoming product launches.

B: Many companies do spy on each other….but of course, it’s illegal.

特洛伊木馬程序 Trojan horse 也是駭客常用的一種程序,目的是盜取電腦系統里的數據。Brenda說,現在很多公司都 spy on each other 彼此展開電子間諜行動,那這次的駭客入侵是不是他們公司競爭對手乾的呢?Dylan說,I don’t want to point fingers. 我不想指責誰,to point fingers at someone 是一種很形象的說法,意思是指責某人做某事,但是如果駭客真在他們公司的電腦系統里安裝了特洛伊木馬程序的話,就可能盜取很多 sensitive information 敏感的信息。

A: 原來,Brenda 和Dylan的公司遭到了cyber attack, 網絡黑客襲擊。黑客利用malware惡意軟件, infiltrate the company’s system, 滲透了公司系統。這黑客真是高智商犯罪呀,隨便動動手指頭,就能讓你好久的努力付諸流水!

B: Yeah, people are gradually realizing it now. After my bad banking experience, I’m really careful about giving out my personal information on the Internet. The more information the hackers have, the easier it is for them to hack into your system.

A:I guess setting strong password also helps.

B: Yep! Let’s see what Dylan and Brenda have to say about it!

禮節美語BE220 Internet Security II

公司電腦系統遭到駭客入侵,Dylan跟同事Cory和Brenda一起討論,Dylan說:

D: We may never be able to trace the origin of this attack. But what we can do is work harder to make our systems impenetrable.

B: Yes, a lot of people are quite lazy with computer security.

D: That’s true. For example, many people almost never change their passwords.

B: Or they use ridiculously easytoguess passwords.

C: Um….I guess I’m guilty of that. I don’t think I’ve ever changed my password.

Dylan說,他們可能永遠都查不到這次駭客襲擊是誰幹的,但他們可以吃一塹長一智,加倍努力 to make our systems impenetrable. 讓我們電腦系統的安全滴水不漏,impenetrable is spelled impenetrable, impenetrable 是無法進入的意思。Brenda說,很多人太大意,不重視電腦安全,從來不換密碼,或是用的密碼太簡單。Cory說,I’m guilty of that. 我就是這種人,從不換密碼。Dylan 說,

D: And let me guess…..your password is, “1234.”

C: Well, it’s not quite that simple….

B: Let me take a guess…. It’s your wife’s birthday.

C: That’s incredible! How did you guess that? Have you been spying on me?

B: (chuckle) Nope. It’s just that you selected one of the most common passwords on the planet. Are you a member of any social networking websites?

C: Yes, a couple.

B: Then your wife’s birthday is probably public knowledge.

D: That’s right! In the Internet age, very few things are private anymore. If I do a little research on you, I’ll bet I can find out where you were born, what school you went to, your wife’s maiden name….even the name of your dog!

Dylan和Brenda一下子就猜到了Cory的密碼,原來他用的是太太的生日,one of the most common passwords on the planet 最常見的密碼之一。由於Cory業餘時間用社交網站,所以實際上,他太太的生日簡直就是public knowledge 公開的信息。Dylan還說,在互聯網和社交網站如此發達的今天,沒有多少信息是真正保密的,稍微上網找一下,出生地,上過的學校,太太的名字等等都能找到。Cory說,

C: Wow, I hope I wasn’t responsible for this recent attack. What’s a good password then?

D: A good password uses a mixture of letters and numbers. For example, think of a simple sentence such as, “I like ice cream on Sundays.” Take the first letter from each word in the sentence….and, because Sunday is the first day of the week, add the number 1 at the end.

C: So my password would be, “ILICOS1?”

B: Yeah! That’s a pretty difficult password to break….and it’s easy to remember.

D: And….don’t forget to change it every couple of months.

C: Good thinking. I’m going to go change my password right now!

Dylan說,密碼最好是用字母和數字的組合。他舉例說,可以想一句話,I like ice cream on Sundays. 用這句話每個單詞的首寫字母,最後面再加個1,因為星期天是一周的第一天。這樣的密碼又好記,又難破譯。Cory 高興地說,他現在就去改密碼。

A: What kind of password do you use, Mike?

B: I’m not going to tell you!

A: Let me guess….its’ the day you got your dog Sunny, right?

B: Stop it! And OMG, how do you know that! Now I’m going to have to go change my password right after the show….

A: Haha, My powers of deduction are unstoppable!

B: And…that’s what we are going to listen to in the next learn a word!

Learn A Word 1677 unstoppable

今天我們要學的詞是 unstoppable, unstoppable is spelled unstoppable, unstoppable. Unstoppable 無法阻擋的。The Washington Redskins have won 7 games in a row. They’re unstoppable. 華盛頓美式足球紅人隊連贏七場比賽,勢不可擋。Ever since the introduction of Apple’s iPad in 2010, tablets have been enjoying seemingly unstoppable growth. 自從2010年蘋果首先推出iPad以來,平板電腦的發展突飛猛進。In the last few years, the acceptance of gay rights in America has been seemingly unstoppable. 過去幾年裡,美國社會對同性戀權利的認可度看起來勢不可擋。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 unstoppable, unstoppable, unstoppable….

A: 雖然大家總說iPhone 5這不好,那不好,可是買的人還是非常多!

B: Seems like that’s the case for all apple products. Once they have a new product, their sales always seem to unstoppable!.

A: 就是! 我這次回北京,整個蘋果店裡就都是人,到處都有科技發燒友呀!

B: All right all right. Calm down. Let’s put the apple fanboy fever aside. Now we are going to continue with our last segment, another words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 820 Know One’s Place

美國習慣用語第 820講

我最近一直在上一門藝術史的課。就在上個星期,一個學生在課堂上跟教授吵了起來,非說教授講得不對,讓我大吃一驚。我們上學那會兒,絕對沒有人敢去指出老師的錯誤。不過,這倒讓我想起了一個習慣用語,那就是:M: Know one’s place. Place is spelled place. Knowone’splace. Know one’s place.

to know one’s place 意思是按照自己的身份和地位行事,特別是指自己的地位比較低下的時候。中國文化講究的是尊師敬長,老師說的都是對的,學生怎麼能反過來質問老師呢?要讓我說,He didn’t seem to know his place. 他的表清太不得體了。讓我們聽聽下面這個工廠工人的經歷。

M: “During my first year on the assembly line, I noticed the foreman making a lot of mistakes. But I kept quiet. As a lowlevel worker, I KNEW MY PLACE. I didn’t want to get fired for telling my supervisor what he had been doing wrong.”

他說,我在組裝線上工作的第一年注意到,工頭犯了很多錯誤,但是我一聲沒吭,作為剛上崗的新人,我知道自己的身份,我可不想因為批評自己的上司不好,而被炒了魷魚。

這個工人看來挺會做人的,不象某些初出茅廬的年輕人。He knows his place. 我先生的公司去年夏天曾經來過一批實習生。臨走的時候,他們居然給公司總裁寫了一封聯名信,曆數公司在管理上所犯的錯誤。有人說,他們真是不知深淺,居然教育老闆如何去經營自己的公司。They should have known their place. 你覺得呢?暢所欲言需要考慮身份和等級嗎?

好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “During my first year on the assembly line, I noticed the foreman making a lot of mistakes. But I kept quiet. As a lowlevel worker, I KNEW MY PLACE. I didn’t want to get fired for telling my supervisor what he had been doing wrong.”

大家肯定還記得美國前總統卡特吧。他的太太羅莎琳•卡特受到很多美國人的敬重,但也有些人對羅莎琳頗有微詞。為什麼呢?讓我們一起來聽聽下面這個歷史學家是怎麼解釋的。

M: “During her years in the White House, Rosalyn Carter was not a traditional First Lady. She would often sit on her husband’s senior staff meetings and sometimes represented President Carter in discussions with world leaders. As a result, some voters criticized her for NOT KNOWING HER PLACE.”

這位歷史學家說,在白宮的時候,羅莎琳並不是一位傳統的第一夫人。她經常參加卡特政府高級官員的會議,有時候還代表卡特總統跟外國領導人會面。因此,有些選民批評她,說她沒有擺好自己的位置。我祖母就有這種看法。她覺得卡特夫人作為第一夫人,任務就是端端茶,或是跟其他政要的夫人聊聊天。不過,這也反應了我祖母那輩人的傳統思維。在她們眼裡,A woman who knows her place will not try to compete with a man for a job. 女人本來就不應該跟男人搶工作,女人就是應該待在家裡,照顧孩子、做飯、打掃衛生。好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “During her years in the White House, Rosalyn Carter was not a traditional First Lady. She would often sit on her husband’s senior staff meetings and sometimes represented President Carter in discussions with world leaders. As a result, some voters criticized her for NOT KNOWING HER PLACE.”

根據我的研究,know one’s place 這個習慣用語是十六世紀後半葉開始流行的,也許是因為那個時候,逐漸出現了嚴格的社會地位的規範吧。如果你有什麼更好的解釋,一定要告訴我,I’m not going to come down on you for not knowing your place. 我不會因為你糾正我而遷怒於你的。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。我是楊晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: See, you should always know your place. 你可以每天向你的領導我進貢食品呀,咖啡呀,之類的。

B: Sorry, But I think you misspoke. You put the words “you” and “my boss” in the same sentence. Did you mean to say that your going to bribe with food?

A: Dream on! 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第100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: Sure! 今天,我們要一起看看辦公室八卦有多可怕,看看麥當勞怎麼幫助孩子提高讀寫能力,還要告訴你怎麼說最後一博!

B: Yeah…I always try to stay away from office gossip. I feel like the more you know, the more likely you are to become a subject of gossip yourself…

A: 對啊! 我覺得,對於辦公室八卦,最好的方法就是敬而遠之!

B: Yeah, as if you don’t gossip…

A: 哎喲,都說了,節目上不能八卦!(both laugh) 好了好了現在,咱們趕快先來進入第一個單元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1679 neighborhood

今天我們要學的詞是 neighborhood, neighborhood is spelled n-e-i-g-h-b-o-r-h-o-o-d, neighborhood. neighborhood 居民區,小區。統計數字顯示,Almost 20% of people who recently moved regarded living in a Neighborhood close to where they work as a criteria in finding a new home. 最近搬家的人里,將近20%的人都把離上班地方近做為選擇住宅區的標準。最近,一個房產銷售網站的調查發現,A neighborhood in Texas is the most diverse neighborhood in America, equally divided between Asian, black, Hispanic and white residents. 德克薩斯州的一個居民區是全美最多元化的社區,亞裔,黑人,西班牙裔和白人居民人數基本相對。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 neighborhood, neighborhood, neighborhood….

A: Yeah, a good neighborhood is really important. You should be able to feel safe where you live.

B: Exactly. I love the neighborhood where I grew up. It’s a small town, but everyone was so open and friendly! You don’t get the same sense of community when you’re living in the big city.

A: 是啊! 在大城市裡,鄰里之間都不來往。我到現在也不知道我對面住的是什麼人! 都在那裡住了三年了….大城市真沒人情味啊! 咱們回到正題,來聽聽今天的美國習慣用語,last-ditch effort!

Words and Idioms 821 LAST-DITCH EFFORT

美國習慣用語第 821講

我昨天晚上特別倒霉,不小心一屁股坐在了自己的眼鏡上,把鼻樑架坐斷了。我先是用萬能膠粘,不管用,又用膠紙粘,也不管用。我老公說可以試試,看能不能焊上,如果還是不管用的話,那我只好去配一副新的了。所以說,我現在只有 last-ditch-effort:

M: Last-ditch effort. Ditch is spelled d-i-t-c-h. Last-ditch-effort. Last-ditch effort.

Ditch 在中文裡是壕溝的意思。Last-ditch effort 這個習慣用語的中文意思是指多次嘗試失敗後所作的最後努力。現在你一定明白了,我老公幫我修眼鏡架是最後的努力,如果再不行,我只好放棄了。

下面這位運動員也有類似經歷。讓我們一起聽聽體育評論員的解釋。

M: “The Olympic gymnast had scored well on her floor exercises, but not enough to earn a medal. She knows she has one final opportunity, so she’s making a LAST-DITCH EFFORT. If she doesn’t succeed this time, she’ll likely to be too old to try again at the Games in four years.”

評論員說,這名奧林匹克體操運動員的自由體操的得分不低,但是沒有達到拿獎牌的水平。她心裡明白,她只有最後一次機會了,所以她要做最後的努力。如果這次不成功,四年後的下屆奧運會,她的年紀就太大了。

雖說大多數體操運動員年紀都很輕,但是最近我見到一位35歲的體操運動員,她的表現居然超過了比她年紀小一半的選手,簡直是不可思議。

我們辦公室有個負責送信的小夥子,最近一直在追求我的一個同事,他先是留紙條,然後又給女孩子買咖啡,但是那個女孩子根本不動心。小夥子決定,最後再努把力,As a last-ditch effort, 他在女孩子生日當天送去了99朵玫瑰,終於贏得了芳心。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “The Olympic gymnast had scored well on her floor exercises, but not enough to earn a medal. She knows she has one final opportunity, so she’s making a LAST-DITCH EFFORT. If she doesn’t succeed this time, she’ll likely to be too old to try again at the Games in four years.”

你喜歡園藝嗎?種種花草,甚至可以種點蔬菜,自產自銷。我朋友 Jenny 經常說,千萬別跟我提種花,我這個人什麼也種不活。其實啊,象她這種人並不少見。讓我們聽聽下面這個例句。

M: “I’d never had much luck in my garden. Everything I’d ever planted failed to grow. I was about to give up. But I thought I’d try one more time by choosing a different location. My LAST-DITCH EFFORT made all the difference. Now I’ve got more tomatoes than I know what to do with!”

這個人說,我在花園裡的運氣永遠特別差,種什麼都活不了,最後我決定,換個地方,再試最後一次,結果居然成功了。如今,我種的西紅柿,多得吃都吃不完。

有時候,園藝確實需要技巧。在英語里,我們如果說什麼人特別擅長園藝,就可以說 He or she has a green thumb。Green thumb 沒錯,就是綠色的手指。如果哪天別人誇你 have a green thumb, 就是說你會種花種菜。好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “I’d never had much luck in my garden. Everything I’d ever planted failed to grow. I was about to give up. But I thought I’d try one more time by choosing a different location. My LAST-DITCH EFFORT made all the difference. Now I’ve got more tomatoes than I know what to do with!”

Last-ditch effort 這個習慣用語來自軍事,大家都知道,在戰場上打仗要挖戰壕,因此,Last-ditch effort 最後一道戰壕,也就意味着最後一道防線。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。有聽眾寫信給我,說英語學習太難了,想打退堂鼓,我希望這些聽眾不要放棄,make a last-ditch effort, 一定能成功!

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Ok, I’m going to make a last-ditch effort to give you some fashion advise, Mike…You can’t wear a green shirt with a yellow tie!

B:Ugh….it’s only because I didn’t have enough time to get ready this morning! My alarm clock didn’t wake me up and I had only 5 minutes to get ready for work!

A: Okok…你可得注意形象,咱倆可代表節目呢,你老這麼拉塌怎麼行? 今天早晨我跟小貝還在討論你奇怪的着裝….

B: What? You guys were gossiping about me? You two little…..

A: 我們是準備善意地幫助你! 不過啊,辦公室的閑話確實很可怕,今天的business etiquette里就要談到這個話題,咱們一塊來聽聽看!

禮節美語BE-221 Office Gossip I

Sally 早上遇到同事 Lisa, 馬上湊上前去,很神秘地說:

Sally: Did you hear the news about Tom and his wife?

Lisa: No….what happened?

S: Well, Jane told me that Tom has been having an affair! I heard his wife caught him at a hotel with another woman!

L: Really? That’s a shocker! I always thought Tom was a loyal, devoted family man.

S: Hey Mary, did you hear about Tom?

Mary: No, what happened? Is he okay?

S: Well, keep this under your hat, but it seems Tom has been having an affair! Everyone’s talking about it!

Sally 告訴 Lisa,她聽說 Tom 搞婚外情,被他太太在旅館裡捉姦。Lisa聽後很吃驚,說 That’s a shocker! 意思是這件事太出人意料了,因為她一直覺得Tom是個很忠實的居家男人 family man. 這時另外一位同事 Mary也加入討論。Sally 又把這個小道消息告訴 Mary, 還讓她 keep this under your hat 意思是保密。

Mary: You know, to be perfectly honest, I’m not really keen on office gossip. For one thing, how do we even know the rumor is true? Did you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth?

S: Not exactly. Jane said that Phyllis told her that they overheard a conversation between Katy and her friend Samantha about Tom’s affair.

M: Well, that doesn’t sound like a very accurate source. I really think you should take this rumor with a grain of salt.

Mary說,自己對辦公室里的這些八卦不感興趣。I’m not keen on office gossip. 她問Sally, Did you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth? Mary在這裡用到了一個習慣用語, straight from the horse’s mouth. 意思是從當事人本人,或是可靠消息來源那裡得到的消息。Sally承認,是輾轉好幾撥人,聽到的小道消息。Mary說,you should take this rumor with a grain of salt. 意思是那就不能全信了。,To take something with a grain of salt 意思是帶着懷疑的態度,有所保留。 Lisa 聽後說:

L: But Mary, everyone gossips in the office. It’s part of office culture.

M: That may be true, but sometimes gossip can be counterproductive and even dangerous. Did you ever play the “telephone game” when you were a kid?

L: Um….no. What’s the “telephone game?”

M: Everyone sits in a circle and you start with a sentence of information. For example, “John hates chocolate cookies.” Then each person whispers that sentence to the next person in turn.

Lisa 覺得,辦公室里大家都喜歡傳八卦,It’s part of office culture. 是辦公室文化的一個部分。Mary 卻覺得,gossip can be counterproductive. 這樣做只會有消極效應。Mary 問 Lisa 小時候玩沒玩過 “telephone game”電話遊戲,大家做成一圈,一個挨一個地把一句話用耳語的方式傳給自己旁邊的人,看傳到最後會變成什麼樣子。

A: Sally告訴Lisa,同事Tom有婚外情,Lisa覺得That’s a shocker! 太讓人吃驚了,Tom看着不像是會幹這種事情的人。Sally說,要keep this under your hat, 保密。Lisa本來就很反感在辦公室八卦別人的閑事兒,她說gossip can be counterproductive, 只會有消極反應。

B: I agree. Office gossip is a perfect example of the telephone game. The news gets more and more distorted with each telling, especially when it comes to other people’s personal lives.

A: I agree that you have to respect other’s privacy. But sometimes you have to gossip! Its a form of socializing, If you don’t do it, you lose the chance to bond with your co-workers.

B: What?? I think this may be one of those basic differences between men and women. Let’s see what Lisa has to say about this!

禮節美語BE-222 Office Gossip II

Sally 跟同事Lisa和Mary議論辦公室里關於Tom的傳聞,說Tom 大搞婚外情,被老婆發現。Mary覺得,在辦公室里議論這些不好,而且並不知道消息是否屬實。Mary 問Lisa小時候玩沒玩過一個叫“打電話的遊戲”,玩的人坐成一圈,把一句話從第一個人用耳語的方式一直傳下去,看傳到最後一個人會是什麼樣子。Lisa 說,

L: Oh, yes! I’ve played that game! By the time you come to the end of the circle the original sentence has been completely mangled.

M: Right! “John hates chocolate cookies” gets transformed into something like, “James likes monkey pudding.”

S: Ok, I get your point. What you mean is that when information gets passed around, often times it becomes corrupted and incorrect, right?

M: Exactly. Also, I think there is a difference between office gossip and commenting on someone’s private life.

Lisa 記得,小時候確實玩過這個遊戲。一圈人,等傳到最後一個人,最開始那句話,已經徹底走樣了。她在這裡用到的一個動詞mangle is spelled m-a-n-g-l-e, mangle, 意思是被肢解,破壞得不像樣子。換句話說,一件事一傳十,十傳百,是很難保證準確無誤的。Mary 還說,她覺得,大家議論辦公室里發生的事情,跟討論別人的私生活也是有差別的。

Mary: If the boss was hard on you today and you tell your colleagues about it, well….maybe that’s just part of office life. But Tom’s private life is no concern of ours.

L: But people have been gossiping since the dawn of time! It’s sort of a way for people to bond.

M: Yes, I understand that. But I worry about spreading personal attacks or revealing secrets about someone’s private life.

L: You might be right. For one thing, the person we’re talking about isn’t here to defend himself, and that’s not really fair. And like you mentioned, we don’t even know if the story is true.

Mary說,如果是老闆對你過於嚴厲,if the boss was too hard on you. 你回來跟同事抱怨,這可能是辦公室生活很正常的內容,但 Tom 的私生活 is no concern of ours. 完全不是我們應該關心的範疇。Lisa覺得很有道理,而且,被議論的對象現在不在現場,所以無法為自己做出辯解,而且大家也並不知道傳聞是否屬實。Sally 說,

S: Those are good points. Tom is actually a really nice guy. I’ve worked with him for five years and he’s always been a good friend.

L: For us, if Tom is a good co-worker that’s all that really matters.

S: All right….I’m not going to discuss this rumor any further. Let’s leave it alone.

L: Good idea.

M: I think we all hope Tom and his wife can work out any troubles they might be having. Let’s wish them the best.

Sally跟Tom共事過五年,覺得Tom是個很好的人。Lisa說,對我們來說,Tom只要是個好同事就足夠了,其他都不重要。Sally保證,不再去議論Tom的事,Let’s leave it alone. 不要再去管這些流言蜚語。Mary 補充說,希望Tom夫婦兩人能 work out any troubles they might be having. 妥善解決兩人之間的問題。

A: 真是一點都沒錯! 辦公室傳言有時候傳得都沒譜了! 比如上次吧,我跟小貝在討論一則新聞,說是有個孕婦人工受孕成功了,第二天就有人問她她是不是懷孕了! 什麼跟什麼呀!

B: Yeah, it must be that someone passed by and overheard part of the conversation, and they started to use their imagination….

A: Exactly. This kind of gossip is really counterproductive. 也不尊重人呀!

B: So it’s better not to gossip and also stay away from those that do.

A: 沒錯! 好了,這個話題就到這兒吧! 下面咱們再來學個詞兒!

Learn A Word 1683 literacy

今天我們要學的詞是 literacy, literacy is spelled l-i-t-e-r-a-c-y, literacy. Literacy 意思是讀寫能力。McDonalds stores in the UK will replace the toys which come with its Happy Meals with books to boost child literacy. 英國的麥當勞將把兒童套餐里的玩具換成書籍,幫助孩子們提高讀寫能力。印度研究機構的數字顯示,The Muslims have the lowest literacy rates among all religious communities in the country. 跟印度其他宗教的人相比,穆斯林的識字率最低。A new state law in Texas requires high schools to teach students about financial literacy. 美國德克薩斯州的一項新法律要求高中向學生傳授理財方面的知識。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 literacy, literacy, literacy….

A: Financial literacy! 這個我需要,這次報稅,我深刻體會到了我的金融文盲程度….

B: Haha, I’m not surprised! (A: what?) Kidding kidding. Yeah, paying taxes in America can be a real hassle. I never really understand any of those complicated forms…

A: I hope they can simplify the process and lay it on the line…

B: I don’t think we will see that in our lifetime. But you just mentioned a very good term: lay it on the line. Let’s listen to today’s words and idioms and check it out!

Words and Idioms 822 LAY ON THE LINE

美國習慣用語第 822講

我先生的公司有一位資歷很深的工程師,一貫遲到早退,從來沒有人敢管,直到上個月,公司換了一個新老闆,跟他談了一次話。從此以後,他再沒遲到過。很顯然,老闆是明明白白地告訴他,要麼準點上班,要麼就收拾東西走人。聽了這個故事,今天我們要學的習慣用語就不難理解了:

M: Lay it on the line. Lay is spelled l-a-y, and line; l-i-n-e. Lay-it-on-the-line. Lay it on the line.

Lay it on the line 這個習慣用語的意思是坦率地說明。剛才例子里的公司老闆,就是用這種法子根治了那個工程師遲到早退的壞習慣。He laid it on the line: if he came late again, he was going to be let go. 他說得很明白,如果再發生遲到的情況,就會被炒魷魚。

下面這個例子里的教授,也不得不對一個叫 Cheryl 的學生採取同樣的手段。讓我們一起聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “I’ve been too easygoing with Cheryl. She continues to turn her essays in after the deadline. But now I’m going to LAY IT ON THE LINE. If she tries that again, she’ll get an ‘F’ on her paper. Perhaps being firm and clear with her will get her to change.”

這個教授說,我對 Cheryl 可能太遷就了。她還是等最後期限過了以後,才把文章交給我。現在我要跟她講清楚,如果再發生這種情況,我就給她不及格。也許只有我強硬一點,她才能改正。

有些人就是吃硬不吃軟。只有 Lay it on the line, 才會真正引起他們的重視。這倒讓我想起我們的市長。我支持他的一個主要原因,就是因為他對選民的坦率。他知道,要治理經濟需要做出一些艱難的選擇,比如說要增加稅收。他沒有象其他政客那樣,躲避這些選擇,He laid it on the line. 他坦率地把一切告訴民眾,從而贏得了大家的信任和支持。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “I’ve been too easygoing with Cheryl. She continues to turn her essays in after the deadline. But now I’m going to LAY IT ON THE LINE. If she tries that again, she’ll get an ‘F’ on her paper. Perhaps being firm and clear with her will get her to change.”

直截了當,不繞彎子是很多教練的風格。讓我們聽聽下面這個乒乓球運動員對自己教練的評價。

M: “Our table tennis coach has never been subtle about criticizing our performance. When we’re not playing well, she LAYS IT ON THE LINE. Not everyone on the team appreciates her complete honesty, but I think it’ll help us be more competitive.

這個隊員說,教練在批判我們表現的時候,從來不會拐彎抹角。我們打得不好的時候,她一定會告訴我們。隊里有些人並不喜歡她的這種坦率,可我卻認為,這種風格能增加我們的競爭力。

乒乓球在美國並不普及,沒有多少人喜歡玩,美國很多還不錯的乒乓球選手其實都是從中國來的。我覺得,美國要想培養更多本土的乒乓好手,首先要讓年輕人產生興趣。比如說,可以組織乒乓球夏令營啊。現在的夏令營種類多得讓人眼花繚亂,既然模特夏令營都能有市場,為什麼不能辦個乒乓球的夏令營呢!雖然組織者們知道,參加模特夏令營的孩子們幾乎不會有人真正進入模特的領域,但是 They rarely LAID IT ON THR LINE. 他們才不會明說呢。好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “Our table tennis coach has never been subtle about criticizing our performance. When we’re not playing well, she LAYS IT ON THE LINE. Not everyone on the team appreciates her complete honesty, but I think it’ll help us be more competitive.

你肯定想知道這個習慣用語的出處。I have to LAY IT ON THE LINE with you. 說實話,除了這個習慣用語是從二十世紀二十年代開始出現的以外,我還真沒找到它的來源。好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Mike, I have to lay it on the line with you, That shirt and tie combination is making me physically sick!

B:Give it time, I promise it will grow on you!

A: You mean like mold on a tree?! 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


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