uet-091-100

美语训练班 第091-110课



美语训练班  第091课

A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 我是杨琳!

B: 我是Mike! 杨琳,赶快来告诉大家今天都要学什么?

A: 没问题! 今天我们要一起来聊聊美国人热衷的橄榄球比赛,看看怎么表达了如指掌,还要告诉你怎么拿别人开玩笑!!

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! 要讲咱们等会再说,现在,我们先来进入第一个单元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1659 poke fun at

今天我们要学的词是 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 意思是拿某人某事开玩笑,调侃。比如:Stop poking fun at me! 别拿我开玩笑。Prince William poked fun at his younger brother Prince Harry during a recent visit to Cambridge. 英国威廉王子最近在访问剑桥的时候,调侃了弟弟哈里王子。American comedian Ellen DeGeneres poked fun at a study on the effectiveness of gay-dar. 美国谐星艾伦.德杰尼勒斯对一项有关辨别同性恋能力的研究大肆调侃。好的,今天我们学习的词是 poke fun at, poke fun at, poke fun at…

A: 这个词可说到我心坎里去了,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,我们是帮你加强逻辑思维嘛!! 不过你刚好提到了一个很特别的说法,run the gauntlet, 咱们一起来听听今天的words and idioms, 学学这个习惯用语的用法!

Words and Idioms 808 RUN THE GAUNTLET

美国习惯用语第八百零八讲。

我是杨晨。我是 Douglas Johnson。

美国很多居民小区都设有小区委员会,编制不大,权力可不小。我有个朋友 Amy,她家的小区委员会管得就特别宽,从各家各户房子的颜色到院子护栏的风格,都要经过审查。Amy 最近想架个篮球筐,给儿子练球用,小区委员会专门就此开会,进行了激烈的讨论。这种情况在英语里叫:

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

Gauntlet 在中文里是夹击的意思。Run the gauntlet 这个习惯用语的意思就是受到很多人的批判、指责或是攻击。所以说啊,这个词用在 Amy 身上特别合适。她为了给儿子装个篮球架子,就要接受小区委员会的严格审批。She had to run the gauntlet.

在下面的例子里,一名高中校长提出了一项看似平常的提案,结果却受到了很多人的围攻,我们听听看,这是为什么。

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.”

这位校长说,[我提议取消学校的饮料贩卖机。本来以为会得到大家的支持,可是谁知道,却遭到了很多家长和老师的指责,说我这是剥夺学生选择饮料的权利。我从没想到会因此引火烧身。] 没错啊,那些饮料反正也没什么营养,取消饮料贩卖机应该是件好事,没想到在这个问题上大家也会存在争议。

最近有消息说,我们当地一家小学的校长,因为觉得孩子们玩的追逐游戏 TAG 动作越来越粗暴,所以决定禁止这个游戏,结果引起了社会上很多人的指责。She is still running the gauntlet. 好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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.”

申请工作要经过面试。有的时候,还要经过多次筛选,让我们一起来听听下面这个年轻人的经历。

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.”

这个人说,首先是人事部主任对我进行了非常深入的面试,然后让我把简历交给部门经理,最后客人服务部的负责人又仔细地询问了我的情况。这么繁琐的程序,其实我申请的就是一个在酒店停车的工作,为了这个工作,我可真是历经磨难。

真是够不容易的,一定是家五星级饭店。Run the gauntlet 的用法可以追溯到十七世纪上半叶,最初是军队里的一种惩罚方式,指士兵们手里拿着鞭杖,面对面站成两列,犯错误的人 从他们中间跑过去,接受士兵们的鞭打。到1661年的时候,这个习惯用语已经可以用来比喻各种形式的惩罚了。让我们再听一下上面的例句。

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.”

大家学习美国习惯用语,有问题可以跟我们联系,That way, you won’t have to RUN THE GAUNTLET of people who say you don’t know how to use this expression properly! 这样才不会有人说你不会用瞎用。

好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束。我是杨晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。这次节目的制作人是胡小玲。谢谢各位的收听。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 我也来造个句: I certainly ran the gauntlet when I was interviewed for this position. 我申请这个职位的时候可是历经磨难! 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,你又做梦了! 好好工作吧! 不过你刚才提到了一个词儿, allowance, 这可是美国孩子最喜欢的词儿了!

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

Learn A Word 1660 allowance

今天我们要学的词是 allowance, allowance is spelled a-l-l-o-w-a-n-c-e, allowance. Allowance 零用钱。A recent study reveals that 51% of American parents give their kids an allowance. 最近有研究显示,美国51%的父母会给孩子零用钱。另外还有研究发现,The average child with an allowance gets $65 per month. 父母给零用钱的孩子平均每个月能得到65美元。The most common ways kids spend their allowance is by hanging out with friends and purchasing toys. 孩子们通常会把零用钱花在跟朋友一起玩或是买玩具上面。好的,今天我们学习的词是 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 杨琳,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

美国习惯用语第八百零九讲。

我是杨晨。我是 Douglas Johnson。

你喜欢看时尚杂志吗?现在的时尚,每季都在换,一会儿时兴鲜艳的颜色,一会儿又时兴复古的样子。幸亏我不是服装设计师,否则我肯定无法把握潮流的脉搏。今天我们要介绍给大家的习惯用语是:

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

Fix 做为动词,有修理的意思,比如说 fix the car 修车。不过,fix 也可以做名词,其中的一个意思就是定位,get a fix on 这个习惯用语用了 fix 作为名词的定位的意思,指清楚地了解某些人或事。你现在明白我为什么说自己不适合做服装设计师了吧?I wouldn’t know how to GET A FIX ON the styles that people might want to buy.
在下面这个例子里,一名警官解释了他们对一起空难事故现场进行调查时所遇到的困难,让我们一起来听听看。

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.”

这位警官说,我们的调查人员对事发地点进行了好几个星期的仔细搜索,考查了数不清的证据,最后才确定了事故的起因,我们认为,这次空难是由飞机机翼上的冰块造成的。

说起空难,真是怪吓人的。我以前特别怕坐飞机,一上飞机就紧张,结果有个朋友向我推荐了一个网站,让我了解到了飞机的安全系数。That’s where I GOT A FIX ON plane safety. 其实啊,从统计学的角度看,出车祸的机率要比飞机掉下来的机率大得多。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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.”

有时候,能了解某个人或是某件事对一个人的成功有很大的好处,但是反过来,如果怎么也搞不懂的话,就会感到特别沮丧。让我们一起听听下面这个年轻人谈谈他跟岳父岳母的关系。

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.”

这个人说,我们结婚后,经常跟岳父岳母在一起,几乎每个周末我们都要一起吃饭或是出去玩。经过这些接触,我觉得我对岳父这个人有了比较清楚的了解,但是岳母大人的喜怒哀乐还是让我模不着头脑。

Oh-Oh。这个年轻人真应该向我表姐 Jamie 取取经。Jamie 最大的本事就是看人。她每次去开会或是参加活动,都会遇到很多陌生人,但是用不了多久,她就能 GET A FIX ON them 彻底了解他们,不仅知道他们的喜好,甚至还能未卜先知,知道他们可能会怎么做,难怪她干推销成绩总是那么好。让我们再听一下上面的例句。

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麦当娜。时间如梭,麦当娜如今已经年近五十,她在全球的唱片销量也超过了两个亿。我觉得,麦当娜的成功在很大程度上是因为她懂得不断地变化自己的外形和声音,总能给听众带来新鲜的感觉。She is always GETTING A FIX ON what her fans are looking for next. 她能清楚地把握歌迷们的脉搏,知道他们接下来可能追寻的东西,这可能就是麦当娜演出事业20多年常胜不衰的秘诀吧。

好的,I hope we have helped you GET A FIX ON another colorful expression. 希望我们帮助大家掌握了一个新的美国习惯用语。我是杨晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。这次节目的制作人是胡小玲。谢谢各位的收听。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

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

A: Super bowl? 橄榄球超级杯? 我还好啦…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! 听起来你是个铁杆球迷呀! 在今天的Business Etiquette里,Chris跟同事Ben谈起了美式橄榄球,咱们一起来听听吧!

礼节美语 American Football I

Chris早上在咖啡间跟同事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问Ben, Did you catch the game last night? 意思是昨天晚上有没有看比赛,英语里看比赛,看表演在口语里都可以用动词catch, 比如,Let’s go catch a movie. 咱们看电影去。Chris说的是美式足球比赛,football,巴尔的摩乌鸦队赢了德克萨斯人队17分。Ben说,足球好看, 每次World Cup finals世界杯决赛我都看,他显然是把soccer和美式足球football混了。Chris说,

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说自己不是特别爱看美式足球,I can’t say I’m a big fan. 在中国,美式足球没有多少球迷。Football doesn’t have a really big following. Following 在这里是名词,指粉丝,追随者,仰慕者。Ben还说,To be perfectly honest 意思是老实说,I’m not a sports nut. 这里的nut, n-u-t, nut是俚语,意思是对某事非常热衷爱好的人,比如history nut, movie nut 还有Ben所说的sports nut。Ben问Chris是不是铁杆美式足球球迷,a diehard football fan. diehard is spelled d-i-e-h-a-r-d, diehard 意思是死忠。Chris回答说,

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承认自己是铁杆球迷,I wouldn’t miss a game for the world. 不会因为任何原因错过比赛。not miss something for the world是一种很常见的说法,强调无论如何都不会错过,比如,I wouldn’t miss your concert for the world. 我绝不会错过你的音乐会。Chris说,美国人热爱体育,是从小培养的,大家来自不同背景,但是运动却能让彼此走到一起。

A: 原来,Chris是个铁杆球迷, a diehard football fan, 不会因为任何原因错过一场比赛,won’t miss a game for the world. 相比起来,Ben is not a sports nut, Ben不是个特别热衷体育的人。

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,就跟我们小时候看春节晚会吃饺子一样!

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

礼节美语American Football II

Chris跟同事Ben聊起美国人对体育运动的热爱。Ben问,

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.

在美国,体育运动是人际往来的一种纽带,a way for people to bond. Chris说,逢年过节,他们一家人都会围坐在电视机旁,enjoy the game and each other’s company. 欣赏比赛,共度时光。Ben说,中国人看比赛不太一样,一般都是有奥林匹克等国际赛事,中国队可能会拿奖牌,为国争光的时候,大家才会聚在一起看比赛。

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说,美国人一般住在哪里,就是那个地方球队的粉丝,上大学的时候替校队加油,毕业后在哪里安家,就替哪里的球队加油,root for 是支持某人,替某人加油助威的意思,Chris说自己喜欢的球队有两个,小时候在纽约长大,所以I’m first and foremost a New York Jets fan, 所以是纽约喷气机队球迷,first and foremost 意思是首要的,然后又因为去巴尔的摩上学,成了巴尔的摩乌鸦队的粉丝。

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承认,自己看不太懂美式足球,不知道美式足球到底是怎么个打法。Chris承认,football is like a war.美式足球确实就好像是在打仗,两只球队都设法穿过敌人的地盘 enemy territory, 攻到 end zone 阵区里。Chris还说,美式足球是从英式橄榄球发展而来的,英式橄榄球 rugby is spelled r-u-g-b-y, rugby,他用的evolve is spelled e-v-o-l-v-e, evolve 是发展演绎的意思。

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! 好了同学们,这次节目时间就到这里了。


美语训练班  第092课

A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 我是杨琳!

B: 我是Mike! 杨琳,赶快来告诉大家今天都要学什么?

A: 没问题! 今天我们要一起来聊聊换工作需要考虑些什么,看看怎么表达如释重负,还要告诉你怎么说毫不示弱!!

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,咱们言归正传,赶快先来进入第一个单元,Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1662 caregiver

今天我们要学的词是 caregiver, caregiver is spelled c-a-r-e-g-i-v-e-r, caregiver. Caregiver 看护,照料别人的人。统计数字显示,An estimated 42 million people, about 30% of the US adult population, are caregivers for family members. 美国大约有4200万人有家人需要照料,大约相当于美国成年人口的30%。皮尤研究中心的一项调查发现,Family caregivers are much more likely to go online in search of health information than other groups. 家里有人需要照顾的人群,比其他人上网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. 需要照顾别人的人上网搜索最多的包括痴呆,早老性痴呆,以及如何长期照料老年人和残疾人。好的,今天我们学习的词是 caregiver, caregiver, caregiver…

A: Caregiver 这个词也可以表示替人照顾小孩的人。

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!看不出来你还挺有爱心的嘛!不过就你这动手能力,别把人家小孩摔了…

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

A: 哈哈,不信, 换成我,我一定不放心。

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

A: 好, 你刚好提到了一个很特别的说法,give as good as one get, 咱们一起来听听今天的words and idioms, 学学这个习惯用语的用法!

Words and Idioms 810 Give As Good As One Gets

美国习惯用语第八百一十讲。我是杨晨。我是 Douglas Johnson。

我星期五要跟一个老朋友出去吃饭。她现在是一家电视台的老总。第一次见她的人都会问,这么一个身材瘦小,讲话轻声细语的亚洲女子,怎么能在竞争如此激烈的领域里出人头地呢?如果你了解她的性格,就不难理解了。今天我们要介绍给大家的习惯用语,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 这个习惯用语的意思是毫不示弱地加以反击。你现在明白了吧,我那个朋友绝对不会受人欺负,因此才能在娱乐圈子里闯荡出一番天地。She gives as good as she gets.

大家肯定都听说过希拉里•克林顿。她是美国前总统比尔•克林顿的夫人,后来当选纽约州参议员,再后来又成了美国民主党的总统参选人。我们一起来听听下面这个政治问题分析员是如何评价希拉里的。

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.”

这位评论员说,民意调查显示,大多数美国人都相信,希拉里•克林顿参议员很强悍,可以胜任美国总统,因为面对政治对手接连不断的政治攻击,她都能妥善处理,而且被认为是一个很能干的谈判者。她面对挑战,丝毫也不示弱。

话虽如此,但是美国要加入女性元首的行列,恐怕时机尚未成熟。大家恐怕还记得,早在上个世纪八十年代,英国就出现了女首相撒切尔夫人,在男性占据统治地位的政界,她毫不示弱。She used to give as good as she got. 也因此获得了铁娘子的称号。让我们再听一遍上面那段话。

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,往往需要不屈不挠的气概。让我们听听下面这个排球队的经历。

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.”

这个人说,第一个赛季,很多体育专栏作家都怀疑我们不是其他人的对手。但是我们以实际行动告诉他们,我们做好了迎接任何挑战的准备。每场比赛都证明,我们会毫不示弱地加以还击。如今,我们终于赢得了联盟的冠军头衔。

我可知道被人小看的滋味。上大学的时候,我加入了刚成立的辩论队。大家都觉得我们的对手经验丰富,因此我们不堪一击。不过,虽然我们缺少经验,但是并不必缺少决心和毅力。没过多久,我们就开始反击了。We were giving as good as we were getting. 最后,我们竟然获得了第二名。让我们再听一下上面的例句。

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 这个习惯用语的准确用法的历史并不久远,只有几十年。如今,大家既然已经知道 Give as good as one gets 的意思了,就可以尝试着把它用在日常对话中。没准什么时候你会遇到个英语不错的人,如果他故意向你炫耀的话,你也可以不甘示弱地露上一手。You can give as good as you get.

好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

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

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 北京烤鸭,鱼香肉丝,松鼠鱼,等等等等…哦,还有你最爱的串儿!

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

A: 没关系,我帮你把你那份也吃了!哈哈…好了好了,你提到了一个词儿,unconditional, 咱们来学学这个词儿怎么用!

Learn A Word 1663 unconditional

今天我们要学的词是 unconditional, unconditional is spelled u-n-c-o-n-d-i-t-i-o-n-a-l, unconditional. Unconditional 无条件的。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. 美国国会参议院通过决议,要求古巴政府立即无条件释放被判入狱15年的艾伦.格罗斯。1970年,佛罗里达州一个16岁的女孩因为药物反应进入昏迷状态,一直没有醒来。42年间,她的家人一直陪伴在她身边,直到她上星期去世。This is undoubtedly a true testimony of unconditional love. 这无疑是无条件爱的真实体现。好的,今天我们学习的词是 unconditional, unconditional, unconditional…

A: Unconditional love! 无条件的爱!又让我想起了我爸妈,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,亲戚太多了!我买都买不过来!不过呢,幸好我妈妈决定不回她老家了,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

美国习惯用语第811讲。我是杨晨。我是 Douglas Johnson。

很多人擅长在大庭广众之下讲话,比如说婚礼或是生日宴会等场合。我可不行,还没说话,脸先红了。不久前,我的一个小师妹结婚,让我发表贺词,害得我好几天没睡好觉。后来她终于同意,让我帮忙安排婚礼,不用讲话了,真让我如释重负。在英语里,我们说这叫 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 是钩子的意思。off the hook 脱钩,其实就是脱身,或是摆脱责任的意思。

这回你明白了吧,不用在小师妹的婚礼上讲话让我如释重负就可以说,I am off the hook. Off the hook 这个习惯用语也可以用在非常严肃的场合下。在下面这个例子中,一名警察告诉刑警队长说,一名涉案嫌疑人已经不再是调查对象了,让我们听听他是怎么说的。

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.”

这个警察说,我们已经证实,谋杀案案发的时候,此人正在两千英里以外的洛杉矶市,所以对于我们来说,他不可能参与此案。不再需要对他进行调查了。

不过有时候,警察也会故意放虎归山,为的是让犯罪嫌疑人自以为脱身了,off the hook。往往是在这种时候,犯罪嫌疑人非常容易露出马脚,让警察找到线索。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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.”

我先生星期六本来要加班,所以没办法跟我们一起去爬山。谁知星期五的时候,客户突然打电话通知他,要将星期六的电话会议改为下星期。My husband is off the hook. 我先生因此脱身了。

不难想象,off the hook 这个习惯用语是从钓鱼来的,最早的时候是指一条本来已经咬钩的鱼又脱了钩,重获自由,后来到十九世纪中叶,才引伸为摆脱困境和摆脱责任。

在下面这个例子中,一位商界领袖对市长颇有微词。他觉得,当地经济搞不好,做市长的不能一味把责任推到联邦政府的身上,自己也应该承担一些责任。让我们听听他是怎么说的。

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.

这个人说,我同意市长的看法,我们遇到的很多问题确实要归咎于联邦政府的政策,不过我觉得,市长也应该承担一部分责任,绝不能让他这么轻松地推卸责任。

这让我想起了英语里的一种说法,叫 success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan。意思是“事成都来居功,事败无人关怀。”看来确实是这个道理。好的,让我们再听一下上面的例句。

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.

我姐姐的小孩现在上高中,家里告诉他,周末出去玩一定要在晚上十点以前回家,但是他经常过点。他父亲上星期郑重警告他,If you are caught coming in late again, you won’t get off the hook so easily anymore. 如果我们再发现你晚回来,绝不会轻易放过你!

我帮同事 Jenny 的女儿介绍了一份工作,她今天要在家请我吃饭。Of course, I won’t let her off the hook. 因为 Jenny 做得一手正宗川菜。好的,这次[美国习惯用语]就到此结束。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 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!你怎么这么幸运呢!不过现在办公室里实习生真多呀!

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!想起以前我上学找工作的时候就焦头烂额的!

在今天的Business Etiquette里,Lisa跟同事Emily就谈起了找工作的话题,咱们一起来听听吧!

礼节美语 Looking for a Change I

Emily问同事Lisa要不要一起吃饭。

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问Lisa要不要一起吃饭,她在这里用的动词是 grab, g-r-a-b, grab, grab lunch 是一种口语里常用的说法,意思是随便买点午饭吃,也可以说 to grab something to eat. 听上去,Lisa跟Emily很久没一起吃饭聊天了,we haven’t hung out at all recently. to hang out 意思是跟朋友待在一起,Emily还说Lisa看上去sort of under the weather似乎有点不舒服,问她怎么回事。Lisa告诉Emily, 自己新年过后可能要辞职,但要Emily暂时保密,keep this under your hat. To keep something under one’s hat 意思是保守秘密,不要告诉别人。Emily听到这个消息感到很突然。

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是公司里最好的图像设计师之一, 目前这份工作对她没有挑战性,simply put 简单地说,她觉得现在的工作很无聊。put, p-u-t, put 在这里意思是说出来,表达出来,上面两人的对话里还有 that’s one way of putting it. 也是同样用法,意思是“可以这么说”。Lisa说,她需要一份能让她兴奋起来的工作,否则的话,工作就变成了a daily drudgery, drudgery is spelled d-r-u-d-g-e-r-y, drudgery, drudgery 意思是无聊乏味的工作。

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还说,想辞职的另外一个原因是觉得没有升职的机会,There isn’t a decent chance of promotion. Emily 表示赞成,因为工资已经有一段时间没涨了,而且她听说,next year it’s the same story. 明年也是一样。Lisa说,有时候上班就是在自己的小隔间 cubicle 里发愣,浪费时间,星期天晚上一想到第二天早上还要去上班,就睡不着觉。看来,Lisa真是得换份工作了。

A: Lisa最近有些under the weather, 看起来不舒服,不高兴,原来是因为她厌倦了现在的工作,觉得工作是a daily drudgery, 无聊乏味,而且there’s no decent chance of promotion,没有升职的空间。

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!

礼节美语 Looking for a Change II

Lisa告诉同事Emily新年过后准备辞职,因为她觉得眼下的工作很无聊,没有升职的机会,她还说:

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 还觉得公司运作墨守成规,set in one’s ways 是指生活方式或做事方法一成不变,类似的说法还有 stuck in a rut, rut is spelled r-u-t, rut 是指车轱辘留下的印儿,to stuck in a rut 陷在车轱辘印里,也是墨守成规,一成不变的意思。Lisa 说自己向部门经理和公司老板提出过很多好建议,但都没有得到重视。得到的回答一般都是:We’ll take a look and get back to you. 我们看一下再答复你,然后就再也没有任何消息了。

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问她工作找得怎么样了,Do you have any job prospects lined up? Lisa说自己发了一些简历,已经有一些公司对她表示有兴趣了,I’ve gotten a couple of bite. bite, b-i-t-e, bite 在这里是上钩的意思,意思是她的简历已经引起了一些公司的兴趣。看起来Lisa去意已定,Emily好心地建议Lisa, Don’t burn any bridges. 辞职的时候不要把事做绝,最后给自己留条后路。Emily进一步解释说:

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劝Lisa不要burn any bridges 断了自己的后路,不用告诉老板对公司有多不满意,而且还要 do your best to train your replacement 尽力把交接工作做好,这里所说的replacement 指的是接替Lisa工作的那个人。Emily说,这样的话,现在的公司还能是Lisa的候补选项 back-up option. Lisa觉得Emily这番话很有道理,并保证自己在处理这件事的时候,I’ll try to be as professional as possible. 这里的professional是专业的,as professional as possible意思是尽可能按照职场的惯例去做。

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!好了同学们,这次节目时间就到这里了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美语训练班  第093课


美语训练班  第094课

A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 我是小北!

B: 我是Mike!

A: 杨琳,你快给我回来主持节目!

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

A: 没错,赶快飞回来! 自己在北京探亲渡假,让我在这儿顶班!岂有此理!

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,说得也是。那就来介绍一下节目吧! 今天,我们要听听别人失业之后的心声,谈谈如何开始新人生,还要来学怎么说灰色地带!

B: But first, let’s learn a word!

Learn A Word impersonator

今天我们要学的词是 impersonator, impersonator is spelled i-m-p-e-r-s-o-n-a-t-o-r, impersonator. Impersonator 假扮别人的人。The couple was robbed by a police impersonator. 这对夫妇被一个假警察给抢了。The doctor impersonator who scammed pharmacies was arrested. 那个假冒医生,从药房骗钱的人被抓住了。在美国,假冒猫王已经成了一种职业。很多电影里都有这样的场景。A young couple went to Las Vegas and got married by an Elvis impersonator. 年轻恋人跑到拉斯维加斯,由猫王模仿者主持婚礼结婚。Professional Elvis impersonators work all over the world as entertainers. 世界各地都有职业猫王扮演者客串表演。好的,今天我们学习的词是 impersonator, impersonator, impersonator…

A: Impersonator, 模仿者。那我现在给杨琳代班,Should I be a Yang Lin impersonator? (学嗲声…)

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 羊肉串儿 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! 不过她那么怕发胖,应该管管自己的嘴。

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

A: 在下面的words and idioms中,我们就来学学这个Go Easy On.

Words and Idioms Go easy on

美国习惯用语第 998讲。我是晓北。我是Dan

我的小侄女在学钢琴,她妈妈对她要求严格,每天练琴5个小时,弹不完不能出去和朋友玩儿。在钢琴比赛中,侄女得了第二名,要说已经是很厉害了,可是却被她妈妈训了一顿,因为没拿冠军。这种严厉的方式我可真看不惯,也让我想到一个习惯用语,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的意思是温和有耐心地对待某人或某事。如果是我的女儿在钢琴比赛中得了第二名,我绝对不会批评她。I’d go easy on her. 我会和颜悦色地对她。我可不想当个tiger mom,虎妈。在下面的例子里,我们要听听一本介绍美国历史上著名罪犯阿尔•卡彭的书。

“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!”

这段话是说: 在这本书中,阿尔•卡彭几乎被歌颂成了一个对慈善事业慷慨解囊的商人。书的作者显然对他所描写的人物心慈手软了。其实,阿尔•卡彭是个黑道人物,靠走私非法酒赚钱,还参与赌博和卖淫。另外,别忘了他手上还有很多条人命呢。

阿尔•卡彭在美国可是著名历史人物,而且是小说电影等艺术作品很青睐的人物。不可否认,虽然他不是好人,但却是个有意思的人物。好的,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

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还有一个意思,就是“少量地用某物”。 我们一起去听听下面这个例句。

“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.”

这段话是说:我在墨西哥长大,那里的饭菜特别辣。不过,当我给美国的朋友们做饭时,我得提醒自己有些人不喜欢吃太辣。我现在做饭时的辣椒用量已经比我小时候吃的少多了。只有当我的客人都喜欢更辣更重的口味时,我才会在菜里放很多辣椒。

除了口味上的考虑,有时出于健康原因我们也要少吃某种东西。比如,我妈妈的医生就建议她减少钠的摄入量。That’s why she’s been going easy on the salt when she cooks or eats out. 因此她做饭或者在外面吃的时候都要少吃盐。朋友胃酸过多,So she was advised to go easy on sodas and coffee. 所以医生建议她少喝汽水和咖啡。

好,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

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.”

今天我们学习的习惯用语是Go easy on, 意思可以是耐心温和地对待某人,或者少用某物。

A: Mike, 现在还没出蛇年正月,我得给你拜年啊! 过年好!

B: 恭喜发财! 红包拿来!

A: 嘿! 就知道红包! 要说过年,也是有人欢喜有人愁。

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

A: 你可不知道,你去亲戚家串门,三姑六婆对你的大拷问,你可招架不住!比如我有个朋友,他刚刚失业了,本来就郁闷,这个春节还不免要把这个坏消息一一告诉亲戚朋友,多烦人啊!

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 约朋友 Mickey 一起吃午饭。

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

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

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

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

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

M: I got laid off last Friday.

S: Oh….I’m so sorry to hear that.

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

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

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

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

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

M: And why was that?

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

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

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

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

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

A:人们说:树挪死,人挪活。这么看来,失去工作倒是给人生打开了一个新的契机。

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: 没错,挑战与机遇并存嘛。咱们就来把刚才的对话听完,看看Suzanne是怎么把失业变成一件好事儿的。

Business Etiquette Losing a job (II)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

B: If Mickey opens up a bicycle shop, then his interest in collecting vintage bicycles can also be his career. That’s fantastic!
A: 没错! 兴趣变成职业,一举两得!我们下面要学的这个词,就能用在这里,咱们听一听!

Learn A Word dual

今天我们要学的词是dual. Dual is spelled d-u-a-l, dual. Dual 双重的。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. 一些拥有双重国籍的台湾人决定放弃美国国籍,以免交按照海外帐户税收法案必须缴纳的税款。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. 两个医生在发表的新书中说,美国不断上涨的医疗开销是对民众健康和钱袋的双重威胁。好的,今天我们学习的词是 dual, dual, dual…

A: Mike, 你说杨琳这里回国探亲休假,会不会顺便相亲找个男朋友?

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

A: 可不是么。要不咱们打个电话问问她吧!

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

A: 不会吧,这不是关心同事么?

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

美国习惯用语第 999讲。我是晓北。我是Dan。

美国大选结束了,各种拉票和选战活动也终于告一段落。就拿我们家附近的教会来说,他们现在不用再向教友推荐应该给哪个候选人投票了。美国禁止宗教机构支持某一候选人,不过有些教会会打擦边球。他们不明确支持某个人,却以“推荐”的方式帮这个人拉票。这两者之间的界限很模糊,让我想到一个习惯用语,那就是:

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

Gray area,灰色地带,也就是不明确,不清楚的状态。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. 虽然法律明令禁止教会直接支持某个政客,但向教友建议如何投票却属于合法性模糊不清的做法。好的,我们再来听另外一个例句:

“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.”

这段话是说: 在职业、大学甚至高中,遇到有球员在运动中头部受伤的事情,教练都比以前更上心了。不过,如果是小孩子在运动中伤了头呢?这还不好说。目前还说不清人们对这个年龄层的受伤情况到底给予了多少注意。

头部受伤的确应该得到重视。特别是家长们,应该马上带孩子去医院检查。有句话说”better safe than sorry,” 就是说 “宁可事先谨慎过头,也好过事后后悔”。好的,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

“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.”

很多计算机机房房都禁止人们带吃的和饮料进去,这是因为食品的碎屑和饮料中的糖分对电脑键盘的损伤非常大。不过,Bottled water seems to represent a gray area, 瓶装水在这个问题上似乎没有定论。有的机房让带,有的不让。好的,让我们听一个新的例句。

“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.”

这段话是说:如果你是司机,在开车的时候能讲电话或者发短信么?以前,大部分雇主都没有确切规定。现在情况不同了。由于大量事故和官司的出现,现在有了人人都能明白的规定。再也没有什么模棱两可的了:在工作开车时绝不能使用电子设备。

在我看来,不光司机开车不能打电话发短信,任何人在开车的时候都应该精力集中,不能玩儿手机。不然,一个疏忽大意,害人害己。好的,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

“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.”

今天我们学习的习惯用语是gray area, 意思是模糊不清的状态,灰色地带。好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束,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,这就打电话拷问杨琳去! 同学们,节目就到这里了,拜拜了…

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

A: 走吧走吧!

B: See you next time!


美语训练班  第095课

A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 我是小北!

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

A: 今天,我们要谈一下穿着打扮对你能产生多大的影响,聊聊裁员,还要告诉你怎么说咬紧牙关忍受。

B: But first, let’s learn a word!

今天我们要学的词是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。世界经济论坛说,The lack of competitiveness in Europe is the root cause of financial instability and rising unemployment numbers in the region. 缺乏竞争力是欧洲经济不稳定和失业率高的根本原因。波音787梦幻客机全面停飞。The root cause for the Dreamliner’s problems are currently under investigation. 梦幻客机根本问题出在哪里目前正在调查之中。The root cause of gun violence in the U.S. is a hot button topic these days. 美国枪支暴力的根本原因是如今的热门话题。好的,今天我们学习的词是 root cause, root cause, root cause…

A: Root cause, 根本原因。Mike你知道嘛,要能当上微薄红人,就要每天积极和粉丝互动。所以咱们节目的微薄还得加强互动。

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: 这么说,你在咱们组很重要啊!

B: 当然! 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

美国习惯用语第 1000讲。

我妹妹的公司最近业绩不佳,于是公司请了个特别有销售经验的经理,希望能靠着这位高人扭转公司的销售状况。 让我想到一个习惯用语,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 指身负众望的人或事。The new hire at my sister’s company is expected to vastly expand sales. He is their great white hope. 大家都觉得我妹妹公司新雇的经理能把销售搞上去。在下面的例句中,一个政党的主席谈到了代表自己政党参选的理想候选人所具备的素质,咱们来听一听:

“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?”

这段话是说: 我们需要的候选人要能和我们的对手一样,吸引中产阶级选民。他必须代表我们的传统价值观,领导能力强,能有效地与人沟通。所有有可能的人选我们都看了,但是他们缺少赢得下次选举所需要的特质。那个可以让我们赋予厚望的人在哪儿呢?

我最近听说有的IT产品公司要开发一款智能电视,能够直接跟家里的电脑啊,DVD机啊,音响啊什么的连接,只要你一声令下,它就会自动为你播放电脑或DVD机的片子。The concept represents the company’s great white hope for the future.这个概念代表了这家公司未来希望的所在。这产品要是真出现了,我一定会买,多方便啊。 好的,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

“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?”

刚才我们说到了电子产品业界的新概念,下面的例句中,我们听听在冷饮业有什么好点子。

“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.”

这段话是说:离我们冰淇淋店不远又开了一家冰淇淋店,所以我必须得出点奇招。我的计划是推出一些用上好原料做的顶级好吃口味。我把希望寄托在黑巧克力口味小块冰淇淋上,相信这款产品一定会吸引来很多顾客。

美国的冰淇淋很好吃,世界知名。在美国人最喜欢的口味中,巧克力排第二名,第一名呢?是香草口味! 不知道这和您的喜好是否一致。好的,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

“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.”

学习的习惯用语是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: 穿漂亮衣服有什么用啊?

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 早上上班见到同事 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 问了 Adam 个personal question 私人问题,问Adam 为什么每天上班都西装领带的,而公司的着装标准并不严格,所以其他人一般都是怎么舒服怎么穿。Cathy 还补充说,I’m not criticizing your fashion choices. 意思是说我不是想对你的穿着指手划脚,而是好奇。Cathy 承认,平时如果没事,他就会穿得很随便。

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 说,如果有什么特别活动或是要开会,She’ll put on a suit or a nice business dress. 穿西装或套装,否则的话,她还是喜欢穿得随便些,to dress more casually. Adam 问 Cathy 有没有听过 power-dressing 的说法,也就是说,如果穿得正式,别人就会更把你当回事。Adam 说,他发现,power-dressing 不仅会影响别人对自己的看法,同时也会对他自己的精神状态产生影响。

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?

有很多研究显示,一个人身体的姿势,往往会对人的思维产生影响,比如,坐直了就比窝着的时候思维更敏锐。Slouch is spelled s-l-o-u-c-h, slouch 意思是很放松地窝在那里,蜷在那里。Adam 补充说,现在的一些新的研究结果发现,what you are wearing can also affect your thoughts. 一个人的穿着也会对他的思维产生影响。比如说,穿着实验室白大褂的学生,考试往往比穿日常衣服的学生成绩好,因为穿着白大褂,会让学生觉得自己智商更高,因此考试时大脑的表现也就更出色。

A: 下班我就去买漂亮衣服! 这回咱是有堂堂正正的理由去大血拼了–为了提升工作表现!

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:当然! 咱们赶快把刚才的对话听完,看看他们还有什么好建议!

Business Etiquette: You Are What You Wear II

Cathy 跟同事Adam 正在讨论,一个人的穿着是否会对他的精神状态产生影响。Adam 说,

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.

英语里有一种说法叫 clothes make the man. 相当于中文里说的人靠衣服马靠鞍。Adam 说,这句老话恐怕比我们想的更有道理。警察穿上警服,消防员穿上消防服,法官穿上黑色长袍,都会平添一种使命感和权威感,Cathy 说,她每次穿西装,也会倍感自信,还说,晚上出去吃饭消遣时,如果 dressed up 精心打扮,就会自我感觉更好。Cathy说的, go out for a night on the town, 是一种固定说法,意思是出去吃饭,喝酒,看节目,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 说,他每天都穿西装打领带,不是给别人看的,更多的是在提醒自己,随时提醒自己是商界人士,这样大脑就会做出反应,做出的事,说出的话都会更加得体。

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.

这就跟演员穿上戏服,才能进入角色一样。Adam 觉得,这样比喻恰如其分,that’s a good way of expressing it. 演员穿上戏服,化好妆,看着镜子里的自己,他们的大脑就会做出反应,help them to shift into the role. 帮他们进入角色。Adam 最后说,西装领带,对他来说就是一种定位的象征符号,不仅影响到别人对他的看法,也会影响到他自己的精神状态。 Clothes make the man, 也可以说,you are what you wear, 人靠衣服马靠鞍。

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: 不过要是赶上办公室裁员,你穿得再漂亮,再professional, 也没用!

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

Learn A Word: cutback

今天我们要学的词是 cutback. Cutback is spelled c-u-t-b-a-c-k, cutback. Cutback 做为名词,意思是减少,削减。When the budget is tight, one of the first things to happen is a cutback in travel. 预算紧张的时候,最先被取消的就是出差经费。Apple’s stock has fallen from a cutback on its orders to suppliers. 苹果公司因为减少了供应商的订单,导致股价下跌。美国邮政局宣布,从八月份开始,取消星期六的普通信件递送服务。The Postal Service expects to save $2 billion annually from the cutback. 美国邮政总局估计,取消星期六的服务,每年能节省20亿美元。好的,今天我们学习的词是 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

美国习惯用语第 1001讲。

我爷爷90大寿,全家人都从各地赶来,要好好给他过个隆重的生日。其实,爷爷一个人清静惯了,最不喜欢热闹。不过,为了不扫儿孙们的兴,他还是同意让大家热热闹闹地搞个寿宴。这让我想到一个习惯用语,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是咬紧牙关,咬牙接受困难的意思。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. 我爷爷不喜欢这么大张旗鼓地庆祝生日,不过他没有别的选择,只能默默地接受大家的安排。在整个生日庆祝会上,他都感觉很不自在。不过,不自在归不自在,毕竟这还是儿孙的孝心,过生日也是好事,比起在下面例句中所要忍受的东西,可是好多了。咱们来听一听:

“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.”

这段话是说: Maggie本来在马拉松比赛中跑得好好的,却摔倒扭了脚腕,她疼痛难忍,可是离终点还远着呢。很多人在这种情况下都会退出比赛。可是,Maggie决定继续坚持。她咬紧牙关,跑到了终点。

看来精神作用还是很重要的,靠着完成马拉松的信念的支持,这个女孩咬牙克服了疼痛。好的,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

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.”

要说身体上的疼痛还可以咬牙忍受,那精神上的折磨或压力则可能更让人难受。我有个朋友,和公婆生活在一起, 每天被公婆数落,什么饭菜做得不好,没有教好小孩,等等等等。She just listens and grits her teeth! 她也只能听着,心里忍着不作声。跟这个朋友比,下面例句中的问题似乎没那么严重了,咱们来听一听。

“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.”

这段话是说:每天我在开车上班的路上都会遇到同样的问题。那就是,因为修路,路上总会出现耽搁。而且时常会发生一两起交通事故。不过,我上班只有这一条路线,所以对这些问题我只能咬牙接受。在修路结束以前,我只好动用自己全部的耐心来应对这些问题了。

堵车,排队,等待,这的确是日常生活中既多见又烦人的事情。就比如我们在机场过安检的时候,队伍很长,如果再遇上有人不清楚安检程序,忘记把兜里的金属物品掏出来,一个人要过好几次,而这时候你偏偏又在赶飞机,哎呀,那可要烦死了。There we are gritting our teeth. 在这种情况下,大家都在压着心里的烦躁,默默挨着。好的,我们再来听听刚才那段话:

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.

今天我们学习的习惯用语是grit one’s teeth, 意思是咬紧牙关,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: 这你算是说对了! 不过算啦,我请假的时候大家也都在分担我留下的工作嘛。

B: Good teammates cover for each other!

A: That’s right! 好了,今天节目时间差不多了。

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!


美语训练班  第096课

A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 我是小北!

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

A: 今天,我们要和大家聊聊旅行计划,看看在家工作的好处,还要告诉你怎么说发疯。

B: But first, let’s learn a word!

Learn A Word 1663 unconditional

今天我们要学的词是 unconditional, unconditional is spelled unconditional, unconditional. Unconditional 无条件的。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. 美国国会参议院通过决议,要求古巴政府立即无条件释放被判入狱15年的艾伦.格罗斯。1970年,佛罗里达州一个16岁的女孩因为药物反应进入昏迷状态,一直没有醒来。42年间,她的家人一直陪伴在她身边,直到她上星期去世。This is undoubtedly a true testimony of unconditional love. 这无疑是无条件爱的真实体现。好的,今天我们学习的词是 unconditional, unconditional, unconditional…

A: unconditional love,真让人感动啊! 在现在这个是故的社会中,很多事情都讲条件。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: 对啊,结果呢?

B: The reunion turned into a brawl!

A: 啊?同学聚会变成了吵架大会?What happened?

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

A: 原来是因为争风吃醋啊。结果呢?

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

美国习惯用语第813讲

有时候,人急了会做出非常过激的反应。今天早上在楼下餐厅,一个男的不小心撞在了一位女士的身上,托盘里的东西撒了女的一身。虽然他连忙道歉,但那个女的还是不依不饶,大叫着要找律师,把那个男的告上法庭,周围的人都觉得有些过份。在英语里,这就叫 go berserk.
M: Go berserk. Berserk is spelled berserk. GoBerserk. Go berserk.

Go berserk 这个习惯用语是发疯的意思,而且往往是以疯狂、粗暴的形式表现出来。要形容今天早上我在餐厅里看见的那位女士, go berserk 这个词简直是再恰当不过的了。她本来不用发那么大火的,完全没有必要因为这点儿小事 go berserk.

在下面这个例子里,一场舞蹈比赛的观众对比赛结果做出了强烈的反响,让我们听听其中一个“粉丝”是怎么说的。

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.”

这个人说,我们最喜欢的一对参赛选手表演完毕后,全场起立,掌声雷动。大家从来没有看过如此完美的表演。但是评委给他们打的分,却让他们排在了第二位,场下的观众简直气炸了,直到保安人员进场,才恢复了秩序。Went berserk? 我怎么从来没遇到过这种情况呢?我最爱看的就是真人秀。现在的真人秀五花八门,不仅让著名舞蹈演员、歌星,还让设计师、厨师,甚至是发型师现场一比高低,虽然那些号称专家的评委有时打分也不公平,但是 The audience has never GONE BERSERK. 观众从来没有为此而不依不饶。当然还有一种可能,就是节目是提前录制的,观众闹场的部分播出前被减掉了。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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 这个习惯用语不仅可以用来形容人,而且可以用来指事物。让我们一起来听听下面这个例子。

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.”

这个人说,今天我的手提电脑好像发了疯,光标自己在屏幕上到处乱跑,我根本没碰它,它却自做主张地打开了好几份文件。我只好把鼠标拆下来,清理干净,再插回去,电脑才停止发疯。]

这里说 the laptop went berserk 意思就是电脑不听指挥,好像发了疯一样。同样的,go berserk 也可以用来形容动物。我曾经读过一本畅销小说,讲的是马戏团里的一头大象跑了,出去闯了不少祸。至于它为什么会 go berserk, 我现在已经记不清楚了。好的,让我们再听一下上面的例句。

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.”

大家可能会问,这种说法是从哪来的?有人说,Go Berserk 最早是指古代的北欧勇士,他们以英勇善战著称。这些人打仗不穿盔甲,只穿一件熊皮做的单衣,叫 Berserkar. Go berserk 这个习惯用语由此而来。

好的,这次美国习惯用语]就到此结束了。我是杨晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。这次节目的制作人是胡小玲。谢谢各位的收听。

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

A: 唉,都是陈年旧事了,何必动怒呢? 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!

礼节美语Vacation I

Jerry跟同事Paula和Will打招呼,注意听他们三人周末都干了些什么。

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维电影,3D movie. Will 跟几个朋友一起去骑山地车,山地车在英语里叫 mountain bike,可以是名词,在上面那段话里是做动词用,Will went mountain biking. Will 还说,他们出了一身汗,玩得特别开心。work up a sweat 是一种习惯用法,指锻炼身体或从事体力活动很投入,可以是真的出了一身汗,也可以形容特别卖力。Jerry呢,一个周末大部分时间都在看旅游宣传材料 travel brochures. 看来他是要休假喽?Paula问:

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要休五个星期的假,Will和Paula都不敢相信,问Jerry, How did you swing that? to swing it 是一种口语里非正式的说法,意思是说服别人,达到自己的目的。Jerry解释说,他从2002年来这家公司工作,就一直没休过假,现在公司欠他四个月的假期,Jerry说,另外,I’ve got oodles of comp time as well. oodles is spelled oodles, oodles, oodles of something 也是一种非正式的说法,相当于 a lot of something 很多,Jerry说自己除了四个月的假期,还攒了很多 comp time. Will是新毕业的大学生,不知道什么是comp time. Paula解释说,

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解释说,comp, comp, comp 是 compensation的简写,其实就是 overtime 加班,有些公司不发加班费,而是把员工加班的时间折合成假期,补偿给员工。另外,欧洲和美国的情况也有很大的区别,Paula说,她以前曾经在德国的一家公司工作过,they had super short work weeks and very liberal overtime rules. 那家公司不仅工作时间短,而且加班的规定也 very liberal, 很松。

A: 唉! 要去旅行一次真不容易,平时还要攒假,comp time, vacation hours,要加班加点才能获得的一点奖励。

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,咱们还是继续把对话听完,看看Jerry到底打算怎么渡假。

礼节美语Vacation II

Jerry跟同事Paula和Will聊天,说到telecommuting远程上班。Paula说:

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说,20年前,很多人都以为社会发展到今天,大家都不用去办公室,可以在家上班了,and everyone would have a more flexible schedule. 大家都有更灵活的工作时间,但这种情况显然没有出现。Jerry 说,It could still be the wave of the future. the wave of the future 意思是未来的发展趋势。不过,老话说得好,”Old habits die hard.” 积习难改。Jerry说,Most bosses like to keep tabs on their employees 大多数老板都想严格控制员工,to keep tabs on someone or something 是密切注意某人某事的意思。要想控制员工,最好的办法当然就是让他们来办公室上班,在老板眼皮底下工作。

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虽然有好几月的假期,但老板最多只让他休五个星期, 看来他一定是很能干。Paula开玩笑说,五个星期也足够了,搞不好用不了五个星期Jerry就觉得实在无聊,提前回来上班了呢!Jerry休假准备到哪里去呢?

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说,他有两种选择,一个是印度尼西亚的巴厘岛,去那里更放松 more relaxing, 另外一种选择是去欧洲,第一站是巴黎,然后可以从巴黎坐火车到其他欧洲城市去玩。Jerry 说,It’s a tough call. 意思是他很难在这两种选择之间做出决定。Will 和 Paula 都很羡慕 Jerry, 提醒他一定要带 souvenirs 纪念品回来送给他们。

A: 原来Jerry要去欧洲,而且要坐火车游遍欧洲的各大城市,真够爽的!

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: 说到坐飞机,咱们先来学一个很有用的词!

Learn A Word inflight

今天我们要学的词是 inflight, inflight is spelled in, in, flight, flight, flight, inflight. Inflight 飞行中的。比如:inflight meals 飞行餐点;inflight movies 飞行途中播放的电影。A number of airlines in the U.S. are now offering inflight WiFi service to passengers. 美国现在有好几家航空公司都向乘客提供飞行途中无线上网的服务。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. 美国联邦航空局八月份公布了一份在几个欧洲国家进行的对飞行途中使用手机的研究结果,没有发现直接影响飞行信号的情况。好的,今天我们学习的词是 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: 对啊。另外,去外国旅游最好还是要事先了解一下人家当地的风俗,不然很可能去了之后不光外语听不懂,礼节也不懂,这可是要出丑的。

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

美国习惯用语第814讲

我花了整个一个周末的时间,终于把地下室清理干净了。你肯定想象不到,我找出了多少零七八碎的旧东西,其中不知道哪来的一本天体物理学课本,里面的公式对于我来说,简直就是天书。不过,这倒让我找到了灵感,今天我们学习的习惯用语就是:

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

大家都知道, Greek 是希腊语的意思。Be Greek to me 这个习惯用语的意思就是完全无法理解,换句话说,就是中文里说的天书。这下你明白了吧,我对天体物理学一窍不通,所以那些公式对于我来说,就是天书。It’s Greek to me.

中文说,隔行如隔山,很多专业都有自己的术语,外行人听上去自然会一头雾水。让我们听听下面这个人买房子的经历。

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.”

这个人说,找到合适的房子已经够麻烦的了,但这跟经纪人让我签字的那些文件相比,简直就是小巫见大巫。我要在一百来页的正式文件上签字,虽然里面说的是什么我完全搞不懂。

我也有同感。每次要在正式文件上签字,我都会很紧张,因为文件上到处都是术语。It’s Greek to me. 另外一件让我头痛的事就是地方口音。就在几天前,我接到了一个推销产品的电话,推销员一口美国南部口音,虽然她重复了好几遍,但我就是听不懂她在说些什么。It was Greek to me. 好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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.”

说起电话,不知道听众里有多少人使用过“即时通信”instant messaging? 我侄女每天都不停地在手机小小的键盘上敲打,给朋友发短信,可说来惭愧,我发短信的次数最多不超过五次。这种代沟给很多家长带来了困扰。让我们一起来听听下面这位父亲的牢骚。

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.”

这个人说,我女儿好像无时无刻不在给朋友发短信,这难道真的那么重要吗?最后,我拿起她的手机,要看看上面到底写了些什么。但她好像是在用密码,我和太太根本看不懂。

没错,这些孩子们用的都是缩略语,比如LOL是laugh out loud太好笑了;BBL 是 be back later 一会儿见,还有 POTS 是 parents over the shoulder 有家长站在身后,意思是不方便。

不过,并非所有家长都象我这么落伍,与时俱进的父母还是很多的,所有孩子们最好不要肆无忌惮。好的,让我们再听一下上面的例句。

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.”

大家可能会问,这种说法是从哪里来的? It was Greek to me 这个习惯用语的历史可以追溯到1599年莎氏比亚的名著凯撒大帝。在书中,他谈到了一篇讲话,很多听众都听不懂,因为讲话用的是希腊语。It was Greek to them. 这个习惯用语由此而来。

好的,这次美国习惯用语]就到此结束了。

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

A: 又是你的高中聚会?

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: 看来你落伍啦! 赶快多看点财经新闻吧,这年头,不懂点股市期货啥的都不好意思和别人打招呼啦!

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

B: 这你就别管啦! 好了,节目时间到了,听众朋友,咱们下次再见喽!

A: See you next time!


美语训练班  第097课

A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 我是小北!

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

A: 今天,我们要和大家聊聊买车,还要告诉你怎么说陷入停顿。

B: But first, let’s learn a word!

Learn A Word 1667 extended

今天我们要学的词是 extended, extended is spelled extended, extended. Extended 是形容词,延长的,长期的。He has been on extended sick leave since this summer. 他因为生病,从今年夏天就开始休长假。圣诞节前,Many retail stores are offering extended hours to meet the need of lastminute shoppers. 很多零售商家都延长营业时间,满足拖到最后一刻才来采购的顾客们的需要。extended warranty 延长的保修期。Experts say in most cases buying extended warranties are bad ideas. 专家说,大多数情况下,购买商品的长期保修其实并不划算。好的,今天我们学习的词是 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?杨林假期延长两周?凭什么啊?不管,我已经代班这么久了,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. 先听一听!

Words and Idioms 815 GRIND TO A HALT

美国习惯用语第815讲。

华盛顿的天气最近特别热。只有这种时候,大家才能体会到空调的好处。如果没有空调,真不知道怎样才能工作。这倒让我想起了一个有趣的习惯用语,这就是我们今天要学的:

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

Grind 是动词,有嘎嘎作响的意思。Halt 是名词,停顿的意思。Grind to a halt 这个习惯用语就是慢慢停下来,无法继续前进。大家现在明白了吧,我刚才说最近天气特别热,如果没有空调,Work would grind to a halt. 工作就会陷入停顿。

你们肯定还记得,上个世纪末的时候,因为担心从二十世纪迈入二十一世纪,电脑无法正常工作,世界各地都在吵 Y2K 的问题。让我们听听下面这个历史学家的介绍。

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.”

这个历史学家说,进入新世纪之前,出现了很多围绕 Y2K 的讨论,指的是钟表敲响 2000年的时候,电脑软件可能会出现状况。尽管有很多耸人听闻的预测,但世界并没有因此而陷入停顿。大多数电脑都照常运转,并没有出现问题。我还记得,当时所有人都如释重负。

就在上周末,我去参加外甥的毕业典礼。他们这届学生特别多,所以决定在室外举行。出席毕业典礼的学生、家长和老师大约有1000人。可就在嘉宾讲话的时候,忽然阴云密布,瓢泼大雨劈头盖脸地下了起来。不用说,The program ground to a halt. 毕业典礼告一段落。我们只好开车回家,但是因为路上能见度太差,The traffic started to grind to a halt. 路上的车流开始陷入停顿。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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,美国好莱坞的剧作家协会罢工,给娱乐业带来了巨大的困扰。让我们一起来听听下面这个记者的报导。

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.”

这个记者说,上一季好莱坞剧作家的罢工产生了非常大的影响。因为没有剧本,所以大部分电视连续剧和电影的制作都陷入了停顿。经过好几个月的谈判,双方才达成协议,让拍摄工作得以恢复。

值得一提的是,grind to a halt 这个习惯用语还有另外一种说法,是 come to a grinding halt. 意思完全一样。所以我们可以说,Work would have come to a grinding halt without air conditioning. 假如没有空调,工作恐怕就得停下来了。The world didn’t come to a grinding halt because of Y2K. 世界没有因为 Y2K 而陷入停顿。或是 Hollywood productions came to a grinding halt. 好莱坞剧目的制作陷入了停顿。好的,让我们再听一下上面的例句。

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.”

美国习惯用语真是太多了,所以大家不用担心,Our show won’t grind to a halt.

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

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 领导 gets mad, and we all get fired!

A: 说得也对。所以不管杨琳会不会来,咱们都还是老实干活吧。

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

A: 好吧,咱们继续听节目吧,今天的礼节美语要聊聊买车。

礼节美语215 Buying a Car I

Chris告诉同事Jason, 准备买辆新车。

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太太怀孕,所以不得不考虑买车。Chris说,my wife has been bugging me about it. 意思是我太太一直在软磨硬泡要说服我,to bug someone是没完没了烦某人的意思,比如说,Stop bugging me. 意思就是别烦我了。这是Chris的第一辆车,他以前都是骑自行车或是骑摩托车上班,但现在 with a baby on the way 眼看就要有孩子了,所以只好考虑买车。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说,让太太挺着大肚子坐Chris的摩托车确实有点强人所难,It’s a tall order. tall order 意思是很难完成的任务或要求。Christ解释说,其实太太不坐他的摩托车上班,但是挤公交车也很辛苦,所以才必须买车。Jason说,他的第一辆车是17岁过生日时老爸送的,It was an old clunker. clunker is spelled clunker, clunker, clunker 是老破车的意思,开了几年后,攒够了钱才自己买了辆稍微像点儿样的 secondhand car 二手车。Chris 说,

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说,拿不定主意应该买什么型号的车。Jason承认,It’s a tough call. tough call意思是很难做的决定。他还说,不同型号的车有各自的优缺点,pros and cons 是指一件事情的正反面,pros 是优点,正面的,cons 是缺点,负面的。Chris想买吉普车Jeep,但他太太坚持要买轿车sedan, 因为sedan开长途坐着更舒服些。买车还要考虑其他哪些因素呢?我们下次继续听。

A: 我觉得等到孩子生出来,轿车也不够大,最好直接来个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,所以咱们继续听听,看看Chris会不会考虑更大的车。

礼节美语 216 Buying a Car II

Chris准备买辆新车,向同事Jason征求意见。

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看中了一款车,征求Jason的意思。Jason说,车外观还是挺有形的,但就是有点小。Chris觉得,小点没关系,因为他们就三口人,a family of three, 小点也够用了。Jason说,这款车引擎是1.3公升的,省油,是优点。Chris承认,这也是他看中这款车的原因之一,It gets good gas mileage and overall has good value. 意思是说这辆车油耗低,总体上说很划算。Jason大发感慨,说自己年轻那会儿买车就是为了马力,时尚,如今大家考虑的却都是实用和省钱。

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不准备买二手车,因为他太太担心碰上个缺德的二手车车行老板,把出过车祸的车买回家,上面所说的 unscrupulous is spelled unscrupulous, unscrupulous, unscrupulous 意思是没有道德操守的。Jason觉得,she makes some good points. 她说的很有道理。在贷款方面,Chris不知道应该三年还清还是五年还清,Jason建议他做三年的贷款,因为五年贷款每个月付的钱看上去虽然少些,但其实把交的利息都算进去,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说,我回家算算 I’ll go home and do the math. Do the math 是口语里很常用的一种说法,意思是算算清楚,特别是指明摆着的事情,比如:We cannot afford that house with our salaries. You do the math. 咱们的工资买不起那栋房,你自己算算吧。在颜色选择上,Chris说,蓝色是自己的幸运色,而太太觉得黑色经脏。Jason最后说,I’d love to check out your new car! 买了新车别忘了给我看看。

A: 这个准爸爸也太小气了,车买得不够大,又怕费油,要不是老婆拦着,他弄不好还想买个二手车!

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

A: 也是,咱们没孩子,体会不到现在养一个孩子要花多少钱。不过,对父母来说,孩子都是无价宝,容易为这个小家伙冲动购买。

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

今天我们要学的词是 substitute, substitute is spelled substitute, substitute. Substitute 名词,是替代,替补的意思。A substitute teacher is heir to a trove of gold coins worth more than $7 million. 一名代课老师继承了很多珍贵的金币,价值七百多万美元。Across the country, a lot of people are using a drug called Spice as substitute for marijuana. 美国各地有不少人吸食一种叫Spice的毒品,做为大麻的替代品。Pure maple syrup is the perfect sugar substitute in a variety of dishes, including desserts and baked food. 纯枫树糖浆在做菜时是糖的绝佳替代品,包括甜点和烘烤食物。好的,今天我们学习的词是 substitute, substitute, substitute…学习的词是 substitute, substitute, substitute…

A: I’ve been a substitute for Yanglin for quite a few weeks. 不知道听众朋友喜不喜欢我主持。

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

A: Really? 难道她就不担心被我彻底取代 ?

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。你们都知道,一美元等于一百美分。谁能说出一美分 one cent 的另外一个名字?

(Tickers, and Buzzer Sound) 时间到!如果你说的是 penny, penny, 那就对了。Penny 以前还挺值钱的,可如今,早就没人想要了,很多美国人甚至主张让美分退休。这倒提醒了我。今天我们学习的习惯用语就是:

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

如果说什么东西 has had its day, 意思就是这种东西已经没什么用,不再受欢迎,不象以前那么成功了。换句话说,就是过时了。什么是你最喜欢的交通工具?让我们听听下面这个记者的报导。

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.”

这个记者说,直到最近一段时间,很多美国人出门旅游,还喜欢坐飞机,因为飞机速度快,价钱又不贵。那是不是说火车已经过时了?这可不一定。由于机场加强安检,机票又不断涨价,很多游客又开始转向火车了。没准火车会重新受到欢迎呢!

没错,我就喜欢坐火车。虽然火车不如飞机快,但是坐火车很舒服,而且现在飞机的燃料价格不断上升,都转嫁到了乘客的身上,机票越来越贵。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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.”

还有什么东西是 has had its day 过时的呢?比如说,电报,肯定大家都同意。Telegram has had its day. 再比如说,报纸。 估计有一部分人同意。那 Internet 因特网呢?因特网如日中天,正火呢,肯定不能说 it has had its day. 还有啊,现在大家都上网购物,Shopping mall 购物中心是不是过时了呢?那恐怕也不尽然。

Has had its day 这个习惯用语也可以用在人身上,比如说早已没人提起的老电影明星,我们就可以说 She has had her day. 下面让我们听听一名消防队员是怎么说他的老队长的。

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.”

这个消防队员说,我对我们队长有着无限的敬意。过去三十年来,他一直是我们的领导,勇气过人。但是坦率地讲,他那一套已就过时了。消防工作日新月异,他需要一个能够接受新挑战的接班人。既然有过辉煌的事业,那么急流勇退也没有什么不好。我昨天晚上看电视,是两个喜剧表演的老搭档。我从小就是看他们的节目长大的,可是40年过去的,同样的笑话他们今天还在讲。I really believe they have had their day. 好,我们再听一下上面的例句。

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.”

大家可能会问,这种说法是从哪里来的? Has had its day 这个习惯用语最早可以追溯到16世纪。Every dog has its day. 意思是所有人都会有得意的日子,也就是我们常说的风水轮流转。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

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: 咱俩可真够坏的! 好了,不开玩笑了,今天节目时间又到了,咱们得说再见啦!

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!


美语训练班  第098课

A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 大家猜猜我是谁?

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

A: It was great! 终于在北京过了一次春节,年味儿好浓呀! Plus I ate tons of delicious Chinese food, including your favorite 串儿! Here, 给你张我吃串儿的照片看看!

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: 没问题! 今天我们要一起来聊聊正式场合该如何着装,看看怎么表达维系生活,还要告诉你怎么吃饭最健康!!

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! 不开玩笑了! 现在,咱们赶快先来进入第一个单元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1669 intern

今天我们要学的词是 intern, intern is spelled i n t e r n, intern. Intern 实习生。不久前,A Senate intern was found to be an illegal immigrant and a registered sex offender. 美国国会参议院的一个实习生被发现是非法移民,而且还是记录在册的性犯罪者。Facebook interns make between $5,600 to $6,300 a month, the equivalent of $65,000 to $75,000 a year. 脸谱网的实习生每个月可以拿到5千6到6千3百美元,相当于一年6万5到7万5千美元。不过,别以为实习生都能赚那么多钱,现在就业市场不景气,Many college graduates are working as unpaid interns. 很多大学毕业生都在做没有酬劳的实习生。好的,今天我们学习的词是 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

美国习惯用语第 817讲

我们家隔壁住着一位老奶奶,八十多岁,孤苦伶仃,没有人照顾。如今,物价涨得这么厉害,她的生活一天比一天困难。好在,我们左邻右舍经常都会帮她一把。她的处境让我想起了一个习惯用语,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 脑袋。water 水。把头放在水面上,这样就不会呛水了。因此说,Keep one’s head above water 这个习惯用语就是说,在艰难的处境下维系,克服生活、工作和财务上的困难。说到我们邻居的那位老奶奶,She’s scarcely able to keep her head above water.

Keep one’s head above water 这个习惯用语很实用。让我们听听下面这位餐馆老板最近的生意如何。

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.”

这位餐馆老板说,没有那条高速公路的时候,我的餐馆里总是坐得满满的。可是如今,客人少多了,钱越来越难赚,能维持收支平衡就已经很不容易了。我真不知道还能坚持多久。

看来,这条高速公路真是断了这个餐馆老板的财路。他肯定特别怀念以前生意兴隆的日子。在英语里,我们说生意开在了黄金地带,黄金地带就是 goldmine, goldmine, goldmine, 金矿。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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.”

我朋友的孩子从医学院毕业,如今在医院里做实习生。他抱怨说,每天要在医院里待十几个小时,到了家疲惫不堪,按照他的话说,I can barely keep my head above water. 虽说在美国,医生赚得多,但是看来,他们也是要付出艰苦代价的。

眼下,越来越多的美国人都从东北地区搬走,住到南方去。不过,现在房地产市场不景气,在买房和卖房之间一定要协调好,否则的话,就会出现跟下面这对夫妇同样的状况。

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! ”

这位先生说,我跟太太正在装修北卡罗来纳州的新房子,兴奋极了。但是因为我们在麻萨诸塞州的旧房子还没有脱手,所以财务上压力很大。到目前为止,我们还能勉强支撑着,真希望能尽快找到买主。

设身处地想想看,要同时负担两栋房子的按揭,ouch! 真够他们受的。如果暂时卖不掉,把房子租出去也是一种选择。我姑姑姑父就把自己的公寓租了出去,因为地点好,从来都不愁找不到房客。They not only keep their heads above water, 他们不仅不愁付不出按揭,而且还能小赚一笔,投资有了回报。好,我们再听一下上面的例句。

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! ”

大家肯定已经猜到了,keep one’s head above water 这个习惯用语是从游泳来的。没错,这个习惯用语最早是十八世纪初出现的,意思就是让头露出水面,不要被淹死。

好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束了。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 这次我回中国也有体会。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!

礼节美语 BE 220 Attending a Black Tie Event I

Jim在走廊上碰见同事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马上要出差,到纽约去。Gary说,他听说了Jim的 upcoming trip. upcoming is spelled upcoming, upcoming, upcoming是即将发生的意思,Gary还知道,他们这次是要去参加什么活动,function 在这里指正式的社交活动。公司最大的客户之一 Walcon Electronics 庆祝成立120周年,they’re throwing a big party. 他们要办个大派对。英语里说办派对,经常会用动词 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电器公司最开始是生产鞋的,60年代才改行生产电器。这里用到的两个动词词组,一个是 start out 意思是起步,另外一个是 branch off 意思是改变前进的方向。Gary 说,You have to give the company’s founder credit for thinking ahead. 咱们不得不佩服这个公司创始人有远见,to give someone credit for something 意思是肯定某人的做法。纽约是个好玩的地方,可Jim却很担心,他拿请柬给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.

原来,这次活动是 a black tie event 参加者要穿礼服、打黑领结的正式活动,男宾要穿燕尾服,tuxedo, tuxedo is spelled t u x e d o, tuxedo, 女宾要穿 evening gown 晚礼服。Gary说,A black tie event is about as formal as it gets. 这基本上要算是最正规的活动了。as….as it gets 是指最彻底的表现,两个as之间加形容词。Jim会喜欢这种活动吗?我们下次继续听。

A: 所以说,a black tie event is as formal as it gets! 给我们介绍一下美国公司不同的着装标准吧!

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: 等会再跟你算账! 听众朋友们,我们赶快来接着听听black tie event 到底该怎么办吧!

礼节美语 BE 221 Attending a Black Tie Event II

Jim要去参加一次公司庆典活动,特别正式。他问同事Gary,参加这种社交活动有哪些注意事项。

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说,自己参加过两次这种要穿礼服打领结的 black tie event, 觉得很无聊。他建议Jim, 最好 keep all other accessories to a minimum尽量少带装饰品,accessory is spelled a c c e s s o r y, accessory 是指手表、手袋等饰物,他还告诉Jim, 睁大眼睛看别人怎么做,特别要注意 don’t get drunk 不要喝醉,don’t talk too loud 说话声音不要太大,don’t draw any attention to yourself 不要让别人注意到自己。

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说,Jim跟Henry这次去参加晚宴,代表的是公司,you’re kind of like ambassadors. 是公司使节。Jim听后表示,压力很大,Now I’m really stressed. Gary告诉他说,其实这项任务也不难完成,他们只要会聊天 be a good conversationalist,做个好听众就行了,别人讲笑话,就算不好笑,也要chuckle跟着笑两声,脸上要随时随地保持笑容。

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想知道能不能到纽约去租tux, tux is spelled t u x, tux, tux是 tuxedo 的简称。Gary建议Jim事先查一下,找一家服务周到、能送货上门的租赁公司,They can deliver it to your hotel. 他们可以把燕尾服送到 Jim下榻的旅店。Gary还建议Jim一定要穿上试试看,otherwise, you can end up looking pretty silly. 否则如果不合适的话,那你看上去会很傻的。Gary最后还告诉Jim, 燕尾服的租金应该在100美元上下。

A: 去参加正式的black tie event, 男士要穿 tuxedo, 燕尾服,女士要穿 evening gown, 晚礼服。而且要keep all other accessories to a minimum, 尽量少带装饰品。Don’t get drunk, don’t talk too much. 别喝醉,别太多话。 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! 既然说到了intake, 咱们就来看看怎么吃才最健康吧!

Learn A Word 1670 intake

今天我们要学的词是 intake, intake is spelled i n t a k e, intake. Intake 名词,有摄取量的意思。家人一起吃饭,有助于帮助孩子养成健康的饮食习惯。Even if only once or twice a week, eating meals together as a family, increases children’s daily fruit and vegetable intake. 即使每个星期只有一到两次能一家人一起吃饭,也能提高孩子每天蔬菜和水果的摄取量。一项最新研究说,Curbing kids’ salt intake could help fight childhood obesity. 控制儿童盐分的摄取,可能有助于防止儿童肥胖。盘子的颜色也会影响人的食欲。曾经有研究说,Eating from a red plate could increase your calorie intake by 25%。用红颜色的盘子吃饭,卡路里摄取量会增加25%。好的,今天我们学习的词是 intake, intake, intake….

A: 我也听说过耶! 人在暖色系的环境中食物摄取量会增加! 怪不得好多餐厅都把他们的墙刷成红色或者桔色的!

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,这倒是真的! 你刚才提到了一个特别的词儿,put the kibosh on, 我们来进入今天的最后一个单元,听听这个短语到底是什么意思吧!

B:Let’s listen!

Words and Idioms 818 PUT THE KIBOSH ON

美国习惯用语第 818讲

好,箱子总算打好了。我要到佛罗里达的历史小城圣奥古斯丁去看朋友,现在已经整装待发了。天气预报说,这几天那边可能有点凉,不过,我渡假的兴致绝不会因此而降温。这倒让我想起了一个习惯用语,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 的来历我们先不去管它。Put the kibosh on 这个习惯用语的意思是防止一件事情,一项计划的发生。我是铁了心要去渡假,所有即使刮风下雨,也不会改变计划。Even lousy weather won’t PUT THE KIBOSH ON my visit. 你说什么?飓风?那就要另当别论了。我给大家讲个故事,这可是真事,就发生在我朋友身上。

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.”

他说,我当时在公园里溜狗。一条大狗不知为什么,忽然间向我们冲过来,结果我撞在了电线杆子上,后背肌肉扭伤,过去两星期,上下床都困难。这件倒霉事让我停止了一切日常活动。

Ouch! 好在他现在感觉好多了,不仅已经回去上班,而且还准备重新开始到健身房去锻炼。

说到受伤,今年是我父母的金婚,大姐一直在筹备家庭聚会,给老俩口好好热闹热闹,但是妈妈的髋关节马上要手术,That is putting the kibosh on the party. 我们只好等她老人家康复以后再说。

好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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.”

上个周末,我们邀请了很多朋友来家里烧烤,谁知天公不作美,下起了瓢泼大雨。The rain put the kibosh on our barbecue plan. 没办法,只好改吃 pizza, 孩子们倒是很高兴。

你见过能载人的氢气球吗?一百年前,这种本来前途无量的氢气球,因为一场事故的发生,一下子被打入了冷宫。事故发生在一艘名叫“兴登堡”的飞艇的身上。

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.”

这位历史学家说,1937年5月6号,一艘德国飞艇再次成功飞越大西洋,停在新泽西后突然起火。这场事故给飞艇旅行划上了句号。但是如今,飞艇的研制和开发再次受到了鼓励。

我听说,现在有人考虑,用飞艇提供短程和中程的交通服务,其中也包括旅游。我想,能在大峡谷上空滑翔,一定美不胜收,但是我老公却执意要去做直升飞机,我已经明确告诉他,我绝对不会挤到狭小的直升飞机里去。I’ve put kibosh on that idea!

好,我们再听一下上面的例句。

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.”

说了半天,大家一定想知道,put the kibosh on 这个习惯用语里的 kibosh 一词的来源。有人说,这个词是犹太语,意思是压迫,也有人说,这个词最早来自德语。也许,We should put the kibosh on further speculation. 我们没必要继续猜测了,最重要的是学会这个习惯用语的用法。

好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束了。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

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! 好了同学们,这次节目时间就到这里了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美语训练班  第099课

A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 我是杨琳!

B: 我是Mike! 杨琳,来说说咱们今天都要学什么吧!

A: Sure! 今天,我们要一起看看如何保证网络安全,学学怎么表达运转异常,还要告诉你势不可挡么怎么说!

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! 不开玩笑了! 现在,咱们赶快先来进入第一个单元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1672 free of charge

今天我们要学的词是 free of charge, free is spelled free, of, of, charge, charge, charge, free of charge. Free of charge 免费。The course is offered to students free of charge. 学生可以免费上这门课。Google’s VoIP phone service will remain free of charge within the U.S. and Canada in 2013. 2013年用户在美国和加拿大境内可以继续免费使用谷歌的网上电话服务。Gunrights advocates in Utah trained 200 teachers in handling concealed weapons free of charge. 尤他州的枪支权利捍卫者为200名老师免费提供了携带和使用隐匿武器的培训。好的,今天我们学习的词是 free of charge, free of charge, free of charge….

A: Free of charge, 免费! 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来!

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! 咱们来听听今天的美国习惯用语,看看这个说法是什么意思!

Words and Idioms 819 OUT OF KILTER

美国习惯用语第 819讲

在我们这儿,常常能看到路标,警告开车的人要小心,别撞上过马路的鹿。我以前还不相信,可昨天差点儿撞上一只,好在我反应快,一个急转弯,躲开了,鹿虽然没撞上,但是车轮定位却出现了问题,开起来总是打偏。这让我想起了一个习惯用语,那就是:

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

说什么东西 out of kilter, 就是指因为其组成部分彼此之间失去平衡,所以运转起来不正常。刚才说我为了躲开鹿,急转弯,结果方向盘打得太急,造成了车轮定位的失调,就可以说 The wheels are out of kilter. 让我们听听下面这个人回忆他小时候干过的淘气事。

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!”
他说,有一次,我朋友让我站在他家的洗衣机里,然后居然开动了洗衣机,好玩极了,谁知后来洗衣机开始剧烈摇晃。我们把洗衣机弄得完全失调,他爸爸不得不拿去修理,可想而知,我们受到了多么严厉的惩罚。

在孩子眼里可能挺好玩,但是在大人看来,这太危险了。好在现在的大部分电器都有安全设置,不让小孩子进行这种危险的举动。很多人听到刚才那个例子,肯定会说,”Boys will be boys.” 男孩就是男孩。难道淘气真是男孩子的本性吗?

上个周末,我们一家本来说好了要开车到海边去玩,谁知星期六一大早下起了瓢泼大雨,完全打乱了我们的原定计划。Our schedule was thrown out of kilter. 好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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,苹果和樱桃等水果都需要蜜蜂的授粉。我以前从来没怎么考虑过这个问题,直到不久前,忽然听说,美国的蜜蜂不见了。让我们一起来听听下面这个农业记者是怎么说的。

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.”

这位记者报道说,美国数以百万计的蜜蜂都奇怪地死去或是消失了。这样一来,24个州的粮食作物的生长都出现了失常的现象。科研人员正在寻找问题的答案,而农民们想知道的是,这种情况还会持续多久。

我敢肯定,科学家们一定能够找到问题的答案。他们既然能发现,风向、洋流、地震,甚至是融雪,都能影响到地球的运转,那么屈屈一起蜜蜂失踪的小事情,肯定难不倒他们。好,我们再听一下上面的例句。

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.”

说了半天,大家一定想知道,Kilter 这个字的意思。Kilter 的意思就是“良好的状态”。这个字的准确来源无法确定。有人说,Kilter 原来是指手里没用的废牌,也有人说,这个字跟砍或是打有关系。因此,out of kilter 也可以说成是 out of whack. 不论 kilter 这个词是怎么来的,大家需要记住的就是,out of Kilter 可以用来形容任何机械设备的失调,也可以用于某个系统、过程、机构、预算、或是日程的失常。

好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束了。我是杨晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。只有勤学苦练,才能不断进步。大家在学习过然b中,一定要注意准确理解和应用,这样才能保证你的英语不会 out of kilter.

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 说起out of kilter, 我觉得这个词最适合用来形容网络了! 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!

礼节美语BE219 Internet Security I

Dylan早上见到同事Cory和Brenda, 告诉他们公司出事了。

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问同事Cory听没听说公司有人非法闯入breakin, 不过不是真的有人夜盗,而是 online hackers 网上的骇客。The hackers broke into our computer system. 骇客进入了公司的电脑系统,这也可以被称为 cyber attack. 尽管公司安装了 Internet firewalls 互联网防火墙,但是稍一疏忽大意,还是被骇客钻了空子。

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.

公司电脑技术部门的调查显示,这次袭击是通过一个 unsecure email account 没加保密措施的电子邮箱偷偷安装的 spyware 或 malware. malware是 malicious software两个字连在一起产生的,spyware间谍软件是malware恶意软件的一种,都是破坏电脑安全的软件,目的是渗透进入电脑系统,infiltrate is spelled infiltrate, infiltrate, infiltrate 意思是渗透 。

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.

特洛伊木马程序 Trojan horse 也是骇客常用的一种程序,目的是盗取电脑系统里的数据。Brenda说,现在很多公司都 spy on each other 彼此展开电子间谍行动,那这次的骇客入侵是不是他们公司竞争对手干的呢?Dylan说,I don’t want to point fingers. 我不想指责谁,to point fingers at someone 是一种很形象的说法,意思是指责某人做某事,但是如果骇客真在他们公司的电脑系统里安装了特洛伊木马程序的话,就可能盗取很多 sensitive information 敏感的信息。

A: 原来,Brenda 和Dylan的公司遭到了cyber attack, 网络黑客袭击。黑客利用malware恶意软件, infiltrate the company’s system, 渗透了公司系统。这黑客真是高智商犯罪呀,随便动动手指头,就能让你好久的努力付诸流水!

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!

礼节美语BE220 Internet Security II

公司电脑系统遭到骇客入侵,Dylan跟同事Cory和Brenda一起讨论,Dylan说:

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说,他们可能永远都查不到这次骇客袭击是谁干的,但他们可以吃一堑长一智,加倍努力 to make our systems impenetrable. 让我们电脑系统的安全滴水不漏,impenetrable is spelled impenetrable, impenetrable 是无法进入的意思。Brenda说,很多人太大意,不重视电脑安全,从来不换密码,或是用的密码太简单。Cory说,I’m guilty of that. 我就是这种人,从不换密码。Dylan 说,

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的密码,原来他用的是太太的生日,one of the most common passwords on the planet 最常见的密码之一。由于Cory业余时间用社交网站,所以实际上,他太太的生日简直就是public knowledge 公开的信息。Dylan还说,在互联网和社交网站如此发达的今天,没有多少信息是真正保密的,稍微上网找一下,出生地,上过的学校,太太的名字等等都能找到。Cory说,

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说,密码最好是用字母和数字的组合。他举例说,可以想一句话,I like ice cream on Sundays. 用这句话每个单词的首写字母,最后面再加个1,因为星期天是一周的第一天。这样的密码又好记,又难破译。Cory 高兴地说,他现在就去改密码。

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

今天我们要学的词是 unstoppable, unstoppable is spelled unstoppable, unstoppable. Unstoppable 无法阻挡的。The Washington Redskins have won 7 games in a row. They’re unstoppable. 华盛顿美式足球红人队连赢七场比赛,势不可挡。Ever since the introduction of Apple’s iPad in 2010, tablets have been enjoying seemingly unstoppable growth. 自从2010年苹果首先推出iPad以来,平板电脑的发展突飞猛进。In the last few years, the acceptance of gay rights in America has been seemingly unstoppable. 过去几年里,美国社会对同性恋权利的认可度看起来势不可挡。好的,今天我们学习的词是 unstoppable, unstoppable, unstoppable….

A: 虽然大家总说iPhone 5这不好,那不好,可是买的人还是非常多!

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! 我这次回北京,整个苹果店里就都是人,到处都有科技发烧友呀!

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

美国习惯用语第 820讲

我最近一直在上一门艺术史的课。就在上个星期,一个学生在课堂上跟教授吵了起来,非说教授讲得不对,让我大吃一惊。我们上学那会儿,绝对没有人敢去指出老师的错误。不过,这倒让我想起了一个习惯用语,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,特别是指自己的地位比较低下的时候。中国文化讲究的是尊师敬长,老师说的都是对的,学生怎么能反过来质问老师呢?要让我说,He didn’t seem to know his place. 他的表清太不得体了。让我们听听下面这个工厂工人的经历。

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.”

他说,我在组装线上工作的第一年注意到,工头犯了很多错误,但是我一声没吭,作为刚上岗的新人,我知道自己的身份,我可不想因为批评自己的上司不好,而被炒了鱿鱼。

这个工人看来挺会做人的,不象某些初出茅庐的年轻人。He knows his place. 我先生的公司去年夏天曾经来过一批实习生。临走的时候,他们居然给公司总裁写了一封联名信,历数公司在管理上所犯的错误。有人说,他们真是不知深浅,居然教育老板如何去经营自己的公司。They should have known their place. 你觉得呢?畅所欲言需要考虑身份和等级吗?

好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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.”

大家肯定还记得美国前总统卡特吧。他的太太罗莎琳•卡特受到很多美国人的敬重,但也有些人对罗莎琳颇有微词。为什么呢?让我们一起来听听下面这个历史学家是怎么解释的。

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.”

这位历史学家说,在白宫的时候,罗莎琳并不是一位传统的第一夫人。她经常参加卡特政府高级官员的会议,有时候还代表卡特总统跟外国领导人会面。因此,有些选民批评她,说她没有摆好自己的位置。我祖母就有这种看法。她觉得卡特夫人作为第一夫人,任务就是端端茶,或是跟其他政要的夫人聊聊天。不过,这也反应了我祖母那辈人的传统思维。在她们眼里,A woman who knows her place will not try to compete with a man for a job. 女人本来就不应该跟男人抢工作,女人就是应该待在家里,照顾孩子、做饭、打扫卫生。好,我们再听一下上面的例句。

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.”

根据我的研究,know one’s place 这个习惯用语是十六世纪后半叶开始流行的,也许是因为那个时候,逐渐出现了严格的社会地位的规范吧。如果你有什么更好的解释,一定要告诉我,I’m not going to come down on you for not knowing your place. 我不会因为你纠正我而迁怒于你的。

好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束了。我是杨晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: See, you should always know your place. 你可以每天向你的领导我进贡食品呀,咖啡呀,之类的。

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! 好了同学们,这次节目时间就到这里了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美语训练班  第100课

A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 我是杨琳!

B: 我是Mike! 杨琳,来告诉大家今天都要学什么!

A: Sure! 今天,我们要一起看看办公室八卦有多可怕,看看麦当劳怎么帮助孩子提高读写能力,还要告诉你怎么说最后一博!

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: 对啊! 我觉得,对于办公室八卦,最好的方法就是敬而远之!

B: Yeah, as if you don’t gossip…

A: 哎哟,都说了,节目上不能八卦!(both laugh) 好了好了现在,咱们赶快先来进入第一个单元,learn a word!

Learn A Word 1679 neighborhood

今天我们要学的词是 neighborhood, neighborhood is spelled n-e-i-g-h-b-o-r-h-o-o-d, neighborhood. neighborhood 居民区,小区。统计数字显示,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,将近20%的人都把离上班地方近做为选择住宅区的标准。最近,一个房产销售网站的调查发现,A neighborhood in Texas is the most diverse neighborhood in America, equally divided between Asian, black, Hispanic and white residents. 德克萨斯州的一个居民区是全美最多元化的社区,亚裔,黑人,西班牙裔和白人居民人数基本相对。好的,今天我们学习的词是 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! 在大城市里,邻里之间都不来往。我到现在也不知道我对面住的是什么人! 都在那里住了三年了….大城市真没人情味啊! 咱们回到正题,来听听今天的美国习惯用语,last-ditch effort!

Words and Idioms 821 LAST-DITCH EFFORT

美国习惯用语第 821讲

我昨天晚上特别倒霉,不小心一屁股坐在了自己的眼镜上,把鼻梁架坐断了。我先是用万能胶粘,不管用,又用胶纸粘,也不管用。我老公说可以试试,看能不能焊上,如果还是不管用的话,那我只好去配一副新的了。所以说,我现在只有 last-ditch-effort:

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

Ditch 在中文里是壕沟的意思。Last-ditch effort 这个习惯用语的中文意思是指多次尝试失败后所作的最后努力。现在你一定明白了,我老公帮我修眼镜架是最后的努力,如果再不行,我只好放弃了。

下面这位运动员也有类似经历。让我们一起听听体育评论员的解释。

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.”

评论员说,这名奥林匹克体操运动员的自由体操的得分不低,但是没有达到拿奖牌的水平。她心里明白,她只有最后一次机会了,所以她要做最后的努力。如果这次不成功,四年后的下届奥运会,她的年纪就太大了。

虽说大多数体操运动员年纪都很轻,但是最近我见到一位35岁的体操运动员,她的表现居然超过了比她年纪小一半的选手,简直是不可思议。

我们办公室有个负责送信的小伙子,最近一直在追求我的一个同事,他先是留纸条,然后又给女孩子买咖啡,但是那个女孩子根本不动心。小伙子决定,最后再努把力,As a last-ditch effort, 他在女孩子生日当天送去了99朵玫瑰,终于赢得了芳心。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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.”

你喜欢园艺吗?种种花草,甚至可以种点蔬菜,自产自销。我朋友 Jenny 经常说,千万别跟我提种花,我这个人什么也种不活。其实啊,象她这种人并不少见。让我们听听下面这个例句。

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!”

这个人说,我在花园里的运气永远特别差,种什么都活不了,最后我决定,换个地方,再试最后一次,结果居然成功了。如今,我种的西红柿,多得吃都吃不完。

有时候,园艺确实需要技巧。在英语里,我们如果说什么人特别擅长园艺,就可以说 He or she has a green thumb。Green thumb 没错,就是绿色的手指。如果哪天别人夸你 have a green thumb, 就是说你会种花种菜。好,我们再听一下上面的例句。

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 这个习惯用语来自军事,大家都知道,在战场上打仗要挖战壕,因此,Last-ditch effort 最后一道战壕,也就意味着最后一道防线。

好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束了。有听众写信给我,说英语学习太难了,想打退堂鼓,我希望这些听众不要放弃,make a last-ditch effort, 一定能成功!

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

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,咱俩可代表节目呢,你老这么拉塌怎么行? 今天早晨我跟小贝还在讨论你奇怪的着装….

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

A: 我们是准备善意地帮助你! 不过啊,办公室的闲话确实很可怕,今天的business etiquette里就要谈到这个话题,咱们一块来听听看!

礼节美语BE-221 Office Gossip I

Sally 早上遇到同事 Lisa, 马上凑上前去,很神秘地说:

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 告诉 Lisa,她听说 Tom 搞婚外情,被他太太在旅馆里捉奸。Lisa听后很吃惊,说 That’s a shocker! 意思是这件事太出人意料了,因为她一直觉得Tom是个很忠实的居家男人 family man. 这时另外一位同事 Mary也加入讨论。Sally 又把这个小道消息告诉 Mary, 还让她 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说,自己对办公室里的这些八卦不感兴趣。I’m not keen on office gossip. 她问Sally, Did you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth? Mary在这里用到了一个习惯用语, straight from the horse’s mouth. 意思是从当事人本人,或是可靠消息来源那里得到的消息。Sally承认,是辗转好几拨人,听到的小道消息。Mary说,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 意思是带着怀疑的态度,有所保留。 Lisa 听后说:

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 觉得,办公室里大家都喜欢传八卦,It’s part of office culture. 是办公室文化的一个部分。Mary 却觉得,gossip can be counterproductive. 这样做只会有消极效应。Mary 问 Lisa 小时候玩没玩过 “telephone game”电话游戏,大家做成一圈,一个挨一个地把一句话用耳语的方式传给自己旁边的人,看传到最后会变成什么样子。

A: Sally告诉Lisa,同事Tom有婚外情,Lisa觉得That’s a shocker! 太让人吃惊了,Tom看着不像是会干这种事情的人。Sally说,要keep this under your hat, 保密。Lisa本来就很反感在办公室八卦别人的闲事儿,她说gossip can be counterproductive, 只会有消极反应。

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!

礼节美语BE-222 Office Gossip II

Sally 跟同事Lisa和Mary议论办公室里关于Tom的传闻,说Tom 大搞婚外情,被老婆发现。Mary觉得,在办公室里议论这些不好,而且并不知道消息是否属实。Mary 问Lisa小时候玩没玩过一个叫“打电话的游戏”,玩的人坐成一圈,把一句话从第一个人用耳语的方式一直传下去,看传到最后一个人会是什么样子。Lisa 说,

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 记得,小时候确实玩过这个游戏。一圈人,等传到最后一个人,最开始那句话,已经彻底走样了。她在这里用到的一个动词mangle is spelled m-a-n-g-l-e, mangle, 意思是被肢解,破坏得不像样子。换句话说,一件事一传十,十传百,是很难保证准确无误的。Mary 还说,她觉得,大家议论办公室里发生的事情,跟讨论别人的私生活也是有差别的。

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说,如果是老板对你过于严厉,if the boss was too hard on you. 你回来跟同事抱怨,这可能是办公室生活很正常的内容,但 Tom 的私生活 is no concern of ours. 完全不是我们应该关心的范畴。Lisa觉得很有道理,而且,被议论的对象现在不在现场,所以无法为自己做出辩解,而且大家也并不知道传闻是否属实。Sally 说,

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共事过五年,觉得Tom是个很好的人。Lisa说,对我们来说,Tom只要是个好同事就足够了,其他都不重要。Sally保证,不再去议论Tom的事,Let’s leave it alone. 不要再去管这些流言蜚语。Mary 补充说,希望Tom夫妇两人能 work out any troubles they might be having. 妥善解决两人之间的问题。

A: 真是一点都没错! 办公室传言有时候传得都没谱了! 比如上次吧,我跟小贝在讨论一则新闻,说是有个孕妇人工受孕成功了,第二天就有人问她她是不是怀孕了! 什么跟什么呀!

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: 没错! 好了,这个话题就到这儿吧! 下面咱们再来学个词儿!

Learn A Word 1683 literacy

今天我们要学的词是 literacy, literacy is spelled l-i-t-e-r-a-c-y, literacy. Literacy 意思是读写能力。McDonalds stores in the UK will replace the toys which come with its Happy Meals with books to boost child literacy. 英国的麦当劳将把儿童套餐里的玩具换成书籍,帮助孩子们提高读写能力。印度研究机构的数字显示,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,穆斯林的识字率最低。A new state law in Texas requires high schools to teach students about financial literacy. 美国德克萨斯州的一项新法律要求高中向学生传授理财方面的知识。好的,今天我们学习的词是 literacy, literacy, literacy….

A: Financial literacy! 这个我需要,这次报税,我深刻体会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

美国习惯用语第 822讲

我先生的公司有一位资历很深的工程师,一贯迟到早退,从来没有人敢管,直到上个月,公司换了一个新老板,跟他谈了一次话。从此以后,他再没迟到过。很显然,老板是明明白白地告诉他,要么准点上班,要么就收拾东西走人。听了这个故事,今天我们要学的习惯用语就不难理解了:

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 这个习惯用语的意思是坦率地说明。刚才例子里的公司老板,就是用这种法子根治了那个工程师迟到早退的坏习惯。He laid it on the line: if he came late again, he was going to be let go. 他说得很明白,如果再发生迟到的情况,就会被炒鱿鱼。

下面这个例子里的教授,也不得不对一个叫 Cheryl 的学生采取同样的手段。让我们一起听听他是怎么说的。

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.”

这个教授说,我对 Cheryl 可能太迁就了。她还是等最后期限过了以后,才把文章交给我。现在我要跟她讲清楚,如果再发生这种情况,我就给她不及格。也许只有我强硬一点,她才能改正。

有些人就是吃硬不吃软。只有 Lay it on the line, 才会真正引起他们的重视。这倒让我想起我们的市长。我支持他的一个主要原因,就是因为他对选民的坦率。他知道,要治理经济需要做出一些艰难的选择,比如说要增加税收。他没有象其他政客那样,躲避这些选择,He laid it on the line. 他坦率地把一切告诉民众,从而赢得了大家的信任和支持。好的,让我们再来听听上面那段话。

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.”

直截了当,不绕弯子是很多教练的风格。让我们听听下面这个乒乓球运动员对自己教练的评价。

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.

这个队员说,教练在批判我们表现的时候,从来不会拐弯抹角。我们打得不好的时候,她一定会告诉我们。队里有些人并不喜欢她的这种坦率,可我却认为,这种风格能增加我们的竞争力。

乒乓球在美国并不普及,没有多少人喜欢玩,美国很多还不错的乒乓球选手其实都是从中国来的。我觉得,美国要想培养更多本土的乒乓好手,首先要让年轻人产生兴趣。比如说,可以组织乒乓球夏令营啊。现在的夏令营种类多得让人眼花缭乱,既然模特夏令营都能有市场,为什么不能办个乒乓球的夏令营呢!虽然组织者们知道,参加模特夏令营的孩子们几乎不会有人真正进入模特的领域,但是 They rarely LAID IT ON THR LINE. 他们才不会明说呢。好,我们再听一下上面的例句。

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.

你肯定想知道这个习惯用语的出处。I have to LAY IT ON THE LINE with you. 说实话,除了这个习惯用语是从二十世纪二十年代开始出现的以外,我还真没找到它的来源。好的,这次美国习惯用语就到此结束了。

M: Until next time.

下次节目再见。

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?! 好了同学们,这次节目时间就到这里了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


返回《美语训练班》页。