uet-101-110

美語訓練班 第101-110課



美語訓練班  第101課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼!

A: Sure! 今天,我們要一起看看提高銷售業績的好方法,看看父母出錢上大學到底好不好,還要告訴你怎麼說兩害相權取其輕!

B: I know that it’s common for Chinese parents to pay for their kids’ education, but in America, a lot of people have to get a student loan to go to college. I guess that’s a major culture difference.

A: 我也覺得是,美國人好像都比較獨立。中國人呢,特別看重教育,所以父母為了讓子女受到更好的教育都不惜花好多錢。

B: Yep…look at you…graduate student….

A: I think this is only because I’m smarter than you! (B: Hey!) 好了好了,不開玩笑了,咱們趕快來學習吧! 先來進入第一個單元,Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1688 academic

今天我們要學的詞是academic. Academic is spelled academic, academic. Academic 學術的。Five states in America will add at least 300 hours to the academic calendar in some schools this year. 美國五個州今年會給一些學校的學生增加至少300個小時的教學時間。一項最新研究顯示,College students whose parents pay for their tuition tend to have lower academic performance. 父母出錢付學費的大學生,成績反而比較差。有研究顯示,Annual spending on sports by public universities is about six to twelve times the amount of their academic spending. 公立大學每年用在運動項目上的開銷是其教學經費的六到十二倍。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 academic, academic, academic…

A: Universities spend more on sports than academics? That totally explains it…see how much attention March Madness has received!

B: Exactly! But sports are fun! (Talk about a kind of sports that you do…)

A: 我就不行! 我什麼體育都不愛看,而且老覺得規則複雜,什麼都看不明白啊!

B: That sounds like you!

A: 嘿! 算了,不跟你貧了,咱們回到正題,來聽聽今天的美國習慣用語,leave in the lurch!

Words and Idioms 823 LEAVE IN THE LURCH

美國習慣用語第 823講

我去年在一家電器商店買了一台攝像機,當時店裡的售貨員告訴我說,如果發生故障,可以隨時把攝像機拿回店裡,五年內免費保修。結果,上星期,攝像機上的錄製鍵壞了,我拿回去修,誰知道,那家店早就倒閉了。今天我們要學的習慣用語能夠恰如其分地描述我當時的心情:

M: Leave in the lurch. Leave is spelled leave, and lurch; lurch. Leaveinthelurch. Leave in the lurch.

Leave in the lurch 這個習慣用語的意思是棄別人於危難之中,置別人於困境而不顧。這回你明白了吧,那家電器行倒閉,讓我沒辦法修理本來可以保修的攝像機。也就是,It’s left me in the lurch.

不過,並不是所有人都會置別人的利益於不顧。讓我們聽聽下面這個醫生的故事。

M: “The interview went so well that the hospital administrator offered Dr. Long the job. The trouble is she wanted him to start right away. He explained that his clinic wouldn’t be able to find a replacement so quickly. And he couldn’t abandon his patients like that. He was too professional to LEAVE them IN THE LURCH.”

醫院負責人經過面試,對龍大夫特別滿意,希望他能立即開始工作。但是龍大夫解釋說,他現在的診所無法馬上找到替代他的醫生,他不能就這樣拋棄自己的病人,作為醫生,他不能置自己的病人於不顧。

這不禁讓我想起了女兒的班主任。雖然她先生調到西部去工作,但是她卻決定要待到學期結束,因為她覺得中途換老師對學生不好。I appreciate her not LEAVING THEM IN THE LURCH. 她對學生如此負責的態度讓我深受感動。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “The interview went so well that the hospital administrator offered Dr. Long the job. The trouble is she wanted him to start right away. He explained that his clinic wouldn’t be able to find a replacement so quickly. And he couldn’t abandon his patients like that. He was too professional to LEAVE them IN THE LURCH.”

在剛才的例子里,我們提到,一位老師為了學生的利益,寧可暫時和丈夫分開,也不願意在學期結束前辭職。但是有些人,卻能對自己親生骨肉的利益都置若罔聞。讓我們一起聽聽看。

M: “After the divorce, Bill’s kids felt LEFT IN THE LURCH. They’d rarely see him as they grew up. Not only was he absent on special occasions like birthdays and graduations, but also during tough times when they really needed a dad. They never got over that sense of abandonment.”

離婚後,比爾的孩子感覺好像完全被父親遺棄了。在他們的成長過程中,很少能見到他,不僅孩子過生日或是畢業典禮等重要場合上看不到他的身影,其他孩子們最需要父親的時候他也從來不在他們的身旁。孩子們始終無法原諒他這種不聞不問的態度。

這些孩子的要求其實並不過份,雖然夫妻離異,但孩子是無辜的,不論是父親還是母親,只要依然在世,就應該繼續陪伴孩子的成長。

我的曾祖父很早就去世了,跟當時其他婦女一樣,我的曾祖母並不工作,而且又沒有現在的社會保障,She was LEFT IN THE LURCH。幸運的是,她在工廠里找到了一份工作,才能勉強養家糊口。好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “After the divorce, Bill’s kids felt LEFT IN THE LURCH. They’d rarely see him as they grew up. Not only was he absent on special occasions like birthdays and graduations, but also during tough times when they really needed a dad. They never got over that sense of abandonment.”

早在十六世紀的時候,法國有一個骰子遊戲叫 LOURCHE。按照遊戲規則,如果你的分數遠遠落後於其他人,就算是 LOURCHE。後來,這個詞逐漸被用在其他遊戲上,並發展成了今天的習慣用語 leave in the lurch.

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 現在失業率這麼高,政府又越來越窮,A lot of people were left in the lurch. 很多人都陷入困境,艱難度日。

B:Yep! So it’s really important to keep up the good work!

A: Definitely! We need to find a way to better promote our show as well.

B: Well, I guess you just have to remind everyone of how handsome I am…

A: OMG… Where does this overabundance of confidence come from?

B: Just kidding. Well, in today’s business etiquette, we are going to talk about ways to boost sales for a company. So let’s go and take a look!

禮節美語BE233 Boosting Sales I

公司副總裁Lisa找到銷售部經理Frank.

Lisa: Frank, we just got our sales figures in and the numbers are very disappointing. What’s going on here?

Frank: I haven’t actually seen the new figures. How far have we fallen?

L: We were in sixth place at the beginning of the year and we’ve now slipped to the eleventh! That’s a considerable drop.

F: Wow, that’s really bad news. Maybe we should brainstorm some ideas for a radical reinvention of our sales and marketing plan.

L: Yeah, let’s do that right now. What do you think the problem is?

公司副總裁Lisa找到銷售部經理Frank, 因為最新銷售數字很令人失望,年初的時候還排名第六,we’ve now slipped to the eleventh. 如今已經滑落到了第11位,下跌幅度很大,That’s a considerable drop. Frank聽了這個壞消息,覺得應該 brainstorm some ideas,to brainstorm 是頭腦風暴,集思廣益的意思,看看怎樣徹底調整一下公司的銷售和市場規劃。Lisa建議,擇日不如撞日,說談就談,問Frank覺得問題出在哪裡。

F: Well, it seems our competitors have managed to carve a niche in the market. They are now perceived as more “cool” or trendy than we are. Perhaps we should consider getting some celebrity endorsements.

L: You mean like a rock star or a famous sports figure?

F: Yeah, that might help. The person has to be seen as kind of a rebel so we can associate our brand with individuality.

L: That’s not a bad idea. I’ll talk to the Board of Directors about that.

F: I’d also suggest we reevaluate our packaging. Right now the box we sell our product in seems a little drab and colorless.

Frank說,公司的競爭對手 carved a niche in the market 在市場中找到了屬於自己的一塊地方,niche is spelled niche, niche 是縫隙的意思,動詞 carve 是雕刻,划出的意思。Frank說,現在消費者都覺得公司競爭對手的產品更時尚,因此不妨找兩個名人,給公司做產品代言,get some celebrity endorsements, 但選擇的名人一定要帶有反叛色彩,讓用戶覺得我們的產品有個性化,individuality. Frank 還建議,眼下的產品包裝有些呆板,a little drab, 可以考慮變化一下。Lisa說:

L: Yes, we could redesign our packaging. But on the other hand, there is a recent trend to move away from excessive packaging. You know…to help save the environment.

F: That’s another way we could go. We could reduce our packaging, and then advertise our environmentallyfriendly business policies. Being”green” is definitely cool these days. Perhaps environmentallyfriendly packaging would appeal to a younger customer demographic.

Lisa說,如今的趨勢是放棄過度包裝,實現包裝簡單化,因為這樣做有利環保 environmentallyfriendly. Frank覺得Lisa說得有道理,公司在包裝上可以走環保路線,用環保的新思維來吸引年輕客戶群,appeal to 是吸引的意思,demographic is spelled demographic, demographic 在這裡指的是消費人群中的一部分。

A: Lisa和Frank談起了如何改進公司的運營情況,Frank說,公司需要 carve a niche in the market, 在市場中找到屬於自己的一塊地方,get some celebrity endorsement, 找名人給公司代言,而且可以use environmentallyfriendly packing, 包裝更加環保化。

B: Yanglin, didn’t you study business for your graduate degree?

A: 沒錯啊!

B: So in your opinion, what are the best ways to boost a business?

A: Oh there are a lot of ways, streamline the production line, cutting labor costs, and better advertisement, etc. Overall there are two major things: cutting costs, and improving exposure to the public.

B: Well, what can I say, sounds like all that money in graduate school tuition wasn’t wasted!

A:那當然! 現在咱們接着來聽聽Lisa和Frank的討論吧!

禮節美語BE234 Boosting Sales II

公司副總裁Lisa找到銷售部經理Frank,商量如何提高產品銷量。

Lisa: What about our pricing? Are we competitive?

Frank: Actually, we are roughly 15% more expensive than our closest competitors. But it’s going to be hard to cut costs any further, seeing as we are already operating on a very slim margin.

L: There’re always ways to cut costs, we just have to think outside the box. Perhaps we should consider relocating one of our factories to a more costefficient country.

F: We can also talk to our vendors about where they place our products. Perhaps if they’re placed in a more prominent location in stores, they’ll catch the eye of more customers.

在價格方面,Frank說,他們的產品比競爭對手高出大約15%, 但要想進一步削減成本,恐怕很難,因為他們本來就沒有多少利潤,we’re already operating on a very slim margin. Lisa說,要降低成本,一定有辦法,必須 think outside the box 用創造性思維,比如考慮把工廠遷到成本更低廉的地方去。Frank說,也可以看看,銷售商能否把產品放在商店裡更顯眼的地方,catch the eye of more customers.吸引更多顧客的注意。

L: Would it help if we offered a mega sale to clear out some of our inventory? We might not make a lot of money, but we might gain some brand awareness.

F: That’s a great idea. Getting people talking about our brand would be a big boost.

L: Are we harnessing the power of social network websites?

F: What do you mean?

L: I mean like setting up a Facebook page or using Twitter. It’s free to get online and set up an account. We might as well take advantage of these opportunities.

Lisa 建議清倉甩賣,增加 brand awareness 品牌知名度。此外也不能忽視社交網站的力量。We should harness the power of social network websites. harness is spelled harness, harness 是駕馭的意思。Lisa說,公司可以在Facebook臉譜網和Twitter推特網上開帳戶,免費利用這些網站做宣傳。Lisa繼續說,

L: Another idea is for us to reevaluate where we are spending our advertising dollar.

F: Right now, we break it down between all the major media outlets. Television advertising gets 45% of our budget, 30% goes to print media, 20% goes to radio and 5% goes towards advertising online.

L: I think we should boost our online advertising. Online ads are cheap and they can reach a much wider audience.

F: All right, I’ll ask the ad department to make the changes.

L: If we can implement these new ideas by the end of this quarter, we might be able to reverse our sales slide and put ourselves in position for a major rebound come next year.

F: That would be great.

Lisa還主張在advertising dollar廣告開支的分配上進行調整,增加互聯網廣告投入,因為在網上做廣告不僅便宜,而且能 reach a much wider audience 能讓更多的人看到。她說,如果能在這個季度結束前把這些措施落實的話,公司就可能reverse our sales slide扭轉銷售量下滑的趨勢,為明年銷量翻身做準備。

A: 沒錯!增加brand awareness品牌知名度是最重要的!一旦樹立了品牌,賣什麼都好賣!

B: Yeah I agree. If people trust a brand, they will think whatever products that particular brand has deserves every dollar they spend.

A: Exactly. 哎,你剛提到了deserve這個詞兒,正好是今天我們Learn a word要教的!

B: And let’s listen!

Learn A Word 1689 deserve

今天我們要學的詞是deserve. Deserve is spelled deserve, deserve. Deserve 應該得到。All workers deserve fair treatment and respect in the workplace. 在工作場所,所有人都應該得到公平的對待和尊重。You deserve some time off after all the long hours you put in. 你加班加點的,真是應該好好休息一下了。The coach deserves a lot of credit for taking the team all the way to the playoffs. 球隊能一路打進季後賽,教練功不可沒。蘭斯.阿姆斯特朗承認使用禁藥並表示道歉。Do you think he deserves another chance? 你覺得應該再給他一次機會嗎?好的,今天我們學習的詞是 deserve, deserve, deserve…

A: Hear it? Everyone deserves respect at the work place. Mike,you need to show me some respect! Stop eating all my food!

B: What? You are the one who always want to lose weight, so I’m just trying to help you on your quest!

A: Ugh I know… Like last night for dessert, I was debating between chocolate ice cream and strawberry cheese cake, finally I chose the lesser of two evils…

B: Hahaha, well, you should have brought me along. I could have eaten for you! What is it, cheese cake? Oh I love Cheese cake!

A: 好,下次打電話叫你來吃。

B:But you did just mention a very good term: lesser of two evils. Let’s listen to today’s words and idioms and check it out!

Words and Idioms 824 LESSER OF TWO EVILS

美國習慣用語第 824講

如果你去住旅店,只有兩個房間可供選擇,一個在電梯旁邊,另外一個在飲料自動販賣機旁邊,你挑哪個?要是我的話,我肯定挑選飲料自動販賣機旁邊的那個,雖然不時會有人來買東西,但起碼不會象電梯口那麼吵。在英語里,有一種說法叫,

M: The lesser of two evils. Lesser is spelled lesser, and evils; evils. Thelesseroftwoevils. The lesser of two evils. Evil 是邪惡的意思,lesser 意思是比較小的,次要的。說 The lesser of two evils 就是說在兩種令人不快的選擇中,選擇一個傷害相對小的,也就是中文裡說的兩害相權取其輕。所以說,一個房間在飲料自動販賣機旁邊,另外一個在電梯口旁邊,我寧可選擇在飲料販賣機旁邊的那個,這就是兩害相權取其輕 The lesser of two evils。好在我隨身帶了一副耳塞。

不過,下面例子里這個新娘子可就沒有我這麼幸運了。讓我們聽聽新郎官是怎麼說,

M: “My inlaws insisted that my wife choose one her sisters as her maid of honor. She could have asked Marilyn, but she isn’t dependable at all. So she picked Ann, THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS. She may be rather unsociable, but, at least, she could be relied upon to help out with arrangements and be on time.”

我丈母娘和老丈人堅持要我妻子在她的妹妹里選一個當伴娘。她本來可以請瑪里琳來當,可是她太靠不住了,思前想後,我妻子最後挑選了 Ann,Ann 雖然不怎麼喜歡跟人搭訕,但至少還能指望她幫忙做一些婚禮的安排,而且知道她會準時出現。

難怪有人要跑到拉斯維加斯去結婚,這樣能省掉不少麻煩!那天女兒問我,在無糖但是帶有化學成分的健怡可樂,和含有很多糖分的普通可樂,哪個是 the lesser of two evils. 我想了半天,最後告訴她,還是喝水最健康。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “My inlaws insisted that my wife choose one her sisters as her maid of honor. She could have asked Marilyn, but she isn’t dependable at all. So she picked Ann, THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS. She may be rather unsociable, but, at least, she could be relied upon to help out with arrangements and be on time.”

美國大選前,很多選民都覺得,在民主、共和兩黨的候選人里,沒有任何一個讓他們感到滿意,我的鄰居約翰就持這種看法。讓我們一起聽聽他是怎麼說的。
M: “There doesn’t seem to be much choice in the upcoming election. Both candidates lack experience and leadership skills. I guess I’ll have to vote for the one who promises not to raise taxes. He’s THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS.”

在即將舉行的選舉中,好像沒有什麼選擇。兩個候選人都缺少經驗和領導才能。我最後可能還是會把票投給保證不增收個人所得稅的那個候選人,兩害相權取其輕嘛!

如今經濟不景氣,很多以前從來沒有考慮過的問題現在都變得格外現實了。昨天還有一個同事問我,在減少工資和不減少工資,但是增加工作小時數二者之間選擇哪個。換句話說,which is the lesser of two evils? 我一時還真答不上來,這裡面涉及了太多的因素,包括我的生活開銷、以及時間對我有多重要等等。好的,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “There doesn’t seem to be much choice in the upcoming election. Both candidates lack experience and leadership skills. I guess I’ll have to vote for the one who promises not to raise taxes. He’s THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS.”

THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS 這個習慣用語的歷史非常悠久,最早來自古希臘,從十四世紀末開始在英語里出現。十九世紀一篇非常著名的短篇小說“美女還是老虎”,就是要在“兩害”中權衡利弊,做出選擇。你可能會問,evil? 美女怎麼會是禍害呢?如果讀過這個故事,你就會明白了。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Working with you or finishing all the work by myself…I guess I have to choose the lesser of two evils. I know I’m stuck with you…(sigh)

B: You think you have it bad? I either have to work with you or be out of a job! Life is so unfair……..

A: You may be out of a job anyways for that comment! 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第102課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼!

A: Sure! 今天, 我們要給大家介紹一下在職場上非常有用的儀錶姿態,談談在辦公室里玩兒幽默該怎麼樣把握程度,還要告訴大家怎麼說“放任不管”。不過首先我們來–

B: Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1690 counseling

今天我們要學的詞是counseling. Counseling is spelled c-o-u-n-s-e-l-i-n-g, counseling. Counseling 是名詞,有諮詢的意思。比如,financial counseling 金融諮詢。Despite extensive support and counseling, 349 U.S. service members committed suicide in 2012. 儘管能夠得到廣泛的支持和心理諮詢,2012年還是有349名美國軍人自殺。有研究顯示,While the number of overweight and obese Americans is on the rise, the amount of weight counseling offered by primary care physicians has decreased. 美國超重和肥胖人口繼續上漲的同時,家庭保健醫生為患者提供的體重方面的諮詢幫助卻在減少。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 counseling, counseling, counseling…

A: 說到counseling 這個詞, 我認識的一對夫婦正在接受marriage counseling, 也就是婚姻出現問題,接受專業人士的諮詢幫助。

B: So what happened? What seemed to be their problem?

A: 據說是因為太太生孩子的時候和婆婆鬧了矛盾,結果幾年過去了,一直沒有解開心結。The tension in the family builds up over time, and eventually leads to their divorce!

B: That’s no good. Whatever problem she has with her in-laws, perhaps the wife should just let it slide.

A: Let it slide? 這個短語我們要解釋一下。來聽words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 825 Let Slide

美國習慣用語第 825講

昨天我在辦公室複印文件,結果發現,複印機里的紙用得一乾二淨,在我前面複印稿件的同事 Amy 竟然沒有按照辦公室里約定俗成的規矩把紙加好,後來我才知道,是老闆當時叫她去參加臨時會議,所以我就沒再計較。在英語里,這就叫let slide. Slide is spelled s-l-i-d-e. Let-slide. Let slide.

Slide 是下滑、滑落的意思。to let something slide 意思是說對某事採取放任的態度,聽其自然。儘管 Amy 把紙用光了,沒有填紙,讓我很不高興,但是我知道,她這麼做不是故意的,而是迫不得已。That’s why I chose to LET IT SLIDE. 我決定還是不跟她計較了。

在下面這個例子里,房東一開始對房客的處境還是挺同情的。讓我們聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “After my tenant lost his job, I understood why he didn’t have the rent on time. I decided to LET it SLIDE for a couple of weeks. Then I told him that he’d have to pay or plan to move out. I couldn’t overlook what he owed me.”

房東說:我的房客丟掉工作後,我知道他為什麼會拖欠房租,所以頭幾個星期一直沒有催他,再後來,我告訴他說,如果再不付房租,就得搬走了,我不能再對他欠的房租不聞不問了。

我覺得這個房東已經算得上是仁至義盡了。雖說有的事情不用過份計較,但是在教育孩子的問題上,我可是絲毫也不放鬆。我女兒最近在學校里學會了罵人,這在我們家可是絕對行不通的。每次發現她說髒話,我們都會嚴加管教,We’re not LETTING IT SLIDE. 我哥哥就不一樣,他覺得說髒話也是小孩子成長的一部分。因此大部分時間,He lets it slide. 他往往都會聽其自然。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “After my tenant lost his job, I understood why he didn’t have the rent on time. I decided to LET it SLIDE for a couple of weeks. Then I told him that he’d have to pay or plan to move out. I couldn’t overlook what he owed me.”

我的一個鄰居,特別注意鍛煉身體,鍛煉固然是件好事,但是即使生病,他也不間斷,我覺得這就有問題了。他的醫生同意我的看法,讓我們一起聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “When you’re not feeling well, it’s easy to LET exercise SLIDE. In fact, you should forget about working out for a while. What’s important is to get proper rest so that your body can fully recover. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to get back to your routine.”

醫生說:身體不舒服的時候,很容易在鍛煉上懈怠。病人其實就應該暫停鍛煉,重要的是好好休息,儘快讓身體康復,這樣用不了多久,就能恢復日常鍛煉了。

這倒是提醒了我,我該跟醫生預約,去檢查身體了。定期的身體檢查對保健非常重要,絕對不能懈怠。You can’t let it slide. 定期去看牙也是一樣。我父親牙齒不好,但是又不肯去看牙醫,結果不到七十歲,牙齒就都掉光了。Perhaps if he hadn’t LET his dental care SLIDE, he’d have all his teeth today! 如果他沒有在牙齒保健上推延懈怠的話,他現在還有滿口好牙呢!好的,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “When you’re not feeling well, it’s easy to LET exercise SLIDE. In fact, you should forget about working out for a while. What’s important is to get proper rest so that your body can fully recover. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to get back to your routine.”

聽了上邊這些例子,我倒要問問大家。如果聽到別人在背後辱罵你的朋友,你會怎麼辦?Would you let it slide? 你會假裝沒聽見嗎?如果你發現同事把辦公文具拿回家,Would you let it slide? 如果你看見有人打孩子巴掌,Would you let it slide? 再比如,如果你的鄰居好幾個星期時間不割草,Would you let it slide?

Let something slide 這個習慣用語的歷史可以追溯到十六世紀下半葉。如果大家有什麼問題,可以隨時跟我們聯繫,I don’t want you to let it slide. 好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

下次節目再見。

A: 我倒覺得, It’s not helpful if you always let the small things slide, 在所有所謂的小事上都放任,不計較,並不是好事。

B: Because?

A: 因為這樣一來,別人不知道你心裡其實不高興,也不知道自己其實踩了你的地雷。

B: So you’re saying we should set clear boundaries by telling people their behavior has upset us.

A: 對啊,把話都說開了好啊! 特別是職場上,有時候更需要讓別人知道你的底線在哪兒,不能瞎容忍。

B: Speaking of that, let’s listen to today’s Business Etiquette!

禮節美語BE-225 Body Language III

公司主管Andy又請專門研究肢體語言的Monica給公司銷售員 Sara和James培訓。Andy說:

Andy: This morning we once again have business consultant Monica Wolf with us. Monica is going to speak to us today about body language and how it affects business relationships.

Monica: Hello again everyone! So….did you experiment with some of the pointers I gave you last time?

Sara: I did. I found that making a conscious effort to look people in the eye has been very useful. I think people find me more trustworthy now.

M: That’s great!

Monica問大家有沒有嘗試着把上次她教的東西用到實踐中去。她用到的一個名詞 pointer 意思是指點,建議。Sara說,她發現,講話時有意識地看着對方的眼睛真的很有幫助,別人會覺得她更可靠,讓人信得過,trustworthy. 上面那段話里另一個語言點是,to make a conscious effort to do something 意思是有意識地去做某事。James說,

J: I’ve been working on my posture. I find when I stand up straight with my shoulders back, I actually feel more confident going into a business negotiation.

V: Wonderful! I’m so glad you applied the principles I shared with you. Today let’s talk a little bit about attitude. What’s the first thing you notice about a character like James Bond?

J: He’s very cool and composed.

S: Yeah, he doesn’t ever seem to get too worked up over anything.

James說,他也在有意識地改進自己的站姿和儀錶,而且他發現,挺胸抬頭,真地會給自己平添一份自信。Monica聽說大家把上次講到的理論付諸實踐,很高興,說今天就來談談工作時的態度 attitude, 她問大家英國特工007 James Bond有什麼特點。James和Sara都說,007很酷,很鎮定, composed, 處變不驚。這裡用到的一個短語 worked up 是形容詞,意思是興奮,激動。Monica 說:

M: That’s right! The reason he’s so cool is because he’s in charge of the situation and he knows it. People who are in charge don’t get overly excited. So, what I recommend is that you try to appear to be in control by maintaining composure. If you find yourself in a very stressful business negotiation try to limit your body gestures and control the tone of your voice.

S: So even if I don’t feel confident, I should try to fake it?

M: Yes. You’ll be surprised that even if you’re faking, you’ll start to feel more in control. Try to reveal as few of your emotions as possible.

A: But of course you still have to appear friendly.

M: Absolutely. But like a poker player, you don’t want to show your cards.

Monica說,James Bond 007 之所以老是那麼淡定,是因為他知道,情況都在自己的掌握之中,所以建議大家一定要保持情緒的穩定,參加十分棘手的談判時,要 limit your body gestures and control the tone of your voice 盡量減少肢體動作,控制自己的音調,越少暴露自己的情緒越好,就好象是在打撲克牌,不能讓別人知道你手裡的牌。

A: wow, 看來,即使不淡定,也要裝淡定。 The fewer emotions you reveal, the more in control you appear to be, and the more respect you get from others. Right?

B: (Slowly, emotionless): I suppose that is right.

A: What are you doing, Mike?

B: I’m working on being composed. Do I look like James Bond now? 看我這樣子,多淡定啊!

A: No, you still look like Mike Bond.

B: Come on! Play along!

A: 算了吧,咱們還是繼續聽Business Etiquette吧。

禮節美語BE-226 Body Language VI

公司主管Andy又請專門研究肢體語言的Monica給公司銷售員 Sara和James培訓。Monica說:

Monica: Okay, so we talked about composure. Let’s go in the other direction now and talk about humor.

J: Ah, that’s something that’s always puzzled me. Is it a good idea to make jokes?

M: Research shows that people are more likely to accept an idea if it’s wrapped in humor. But the point isn’t about finding a really funny joke. Laughter is actually about bonding.

S: Yes….I’ve noticed that many times people at a meeting are all laughing about something that really isn’t all that funny.

Monica接下來談到了幽默在生意場上的作用。他說,有調查發現,用幽默的方式把一件事情說出來,更容易被對方接受。但關鍵不是要講一個特別好笑的笑話,而是笑聲能加強人與人之間的紐帶。

M: That’s right! They are not really joking….they are attempting to bond.

A: So go ahead and throw in a funny comment or a clever remark…but there’s got to be some minefields we should avoid as well, right?

M: Yeah….don’t make dirty, sexist or racist jokes or comments. And of course don’t humiliate anyone.

J: I have a question. I’m never quite sure where to sit during a business meeting.

M: The ancient Chinese art of “Feng Shui” teaches that you should never sit with the door behind youand actually there’s a scientific reason for that.

雖然及時講個笑話,或是發表一點幽默的評論能有助於調節氣氛,加強紐帶,但講笑話也有一些需要忌諱的地方,或者說是 minefield 雷區。Don’t make dirty, sexist or racist jokes or comments. Monica說,不要講黃色笑話、性別歧視的笑話和種族歧視的笑話,而且不要 humiliate 羞辱別人。James問了一個很簡單的問題,那就是,開會的時候應該坐在哪兒。Monica 說,按照中國風水裡的講究,後背不要對着門,這是有科學道理的,為什麼呢?

M: When a person’s back is placed towards an open space he becomes stressed; his blood pressure increases and his heart beats faster.

S: That makes sense! People subconsciously worry about getting attacked if they don’t know what’s lurking behind them.

J: Interesting. I’ll be sure to sit facing the door from now on!

A: Monica, thank you for another great class! I think we all learned a lot today.

M: My pleasure! See you next time!

Monica 解釋說,如果後背對着開放的空間,那這個人就容易有壓力,血壓升高,心跳加速,因為他們不知道身後可能會隱藏着什麼危險,They don’t know what’s lurking behind them. 所以會下意識地感到不安全,因此在選擇座位時,最好是臉衝著門。怎麼樣,大家是不是也學到了一些以前不知道的事情呢?

A: 我倒沒聽說過開會背對着門風水不好,離門近多方便啊,會議如果沒意思,馬上就能溜!

B: Is this the correct message we want to convey to our audience?

A: Okay, Mr. Worker of the Year, 那我們換個話題, 再來學個詞兒吧!

Learn A Word 1696 expansion

今天我們要學的詞是expansion. Expansion is spelled e-x-p-a-n-s-i-o-n, expansion. Expansion 擴展,擴充。The Kennedy Arts Center unveiled a $100 million expansion plan. 肯尼迪藝術中心宣布擴展計劃,耗資一億美元。President Obama supported the expansion of H1B visas from 65,000 to 115,000 a year. 美國總統奧巴馬支持將每年的外籍人員工作簽證發放數量從六萬五千個增加到11萬五千個。The Pentagon is moving toward a major expansion of its cyber security force to counter increasing attacks on the nation’s computer networks. 美國五角大樓計劃擴充負責網絡安全的人員和能力,抵禦美國電腦系統受到的越來越多的攻擊。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 expansion, expansion, expansion…

B: Speaking of expansion, I have an issue against the commercial real estate expansion in my neighborhood.

A: 怎麼?你們家那邊的商業區又擴張啦?

B: 對啊! Now the developer is thinking about closing down a local park to make room for a shopping mall. Isn’t that a horrible idea?

A: 關了小公園建商場?不是挺好么?逛街就方便了!

B: But we already have two shopping malls nearby and we need the park for exercise, hangout with friends, and to give kids a playground!

A: 你說得也有道理,你們家那邊最近是開發太快了點。

B: It’s been developed like crazy!

A: 說到這個,咱們先來聽下面的words and idioms, 教一下Like crazy 這個短語。

Words and Idioms 826 Like Crazy

美國習慣用語第 826講

今天播音我差點兒遲到。本來出門挺早的,誰知道路上遇到車禍,堵了個水泄不通,原來半個小時的路,我足足開了一個半小時。我一停好車,就向辦公室飛奔,衝進演播室的時候,只剩下三分鐘的時間了。這倒讓我想起一個可以跟大家交流的習慣用語,叫like crazy. Crazy is spelled c-r-a-z-y. Like-crazy. Like crazy.

大家都知道,crazy 是瘋狂的意思。Like crazy 就是不管不顧,象瘋了一樣。現在你能想象我下車後往辦公室飛奔的樣子了吧!在下面這個例子中,一名僱員講述了他們公司最近是如何解決定單的難題的。讓我們一起來聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “Our factory is expected to ship a new product by tomorrow, but the order isn’t ready yet. That’s why the boss has ordered extra shifts. If we work LIKE CRAZY, we’ll meet the deadline. But that means there can’t be any slowing down.”

他說:我們工廠明天要運走一批新產品,但是到現在還沒有完成。所以老闆決定加班加點。如果我們全力以赴的話,就能趕在最後期限之前完成定單,這就意味着我們絲毫不能鬆懈。

這就要看老闆的號召力,或是工人們的幹勁了。不久前,我年邁的祖母不遠萬里,到美國來看我們。我們姐妹幾個人連續三天,沒日沒夜的打掃衛生,準備飯菜。We cooked like crazy. 最後讓祖母在吃住上都格外滿意。

這讓我想起了每年的感恩節。美國人每年十一月最後一個星期四都要慶祝感恩節,感恩節最重要的一項節目就是感恩節大餐,包括火雞、蔬菜和甜點等,而且大家都要 eat like crazy 大吃特吃。

好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Our factory is expected to ship a new product by tomorrow, but the order isn’t ready yet. That’s why the boss has ordered extra shifts. If we work LIKE CRAZY, we’ll meet the deadline. But that means there can’t be any slowing down.”

剛才說到感恩節。感恩節過後的那天,對很多喜歡購物的人來說,恐怕比感恩節更為重要。讓我們聽聽其中的緣由。

M: “Have you ever heard of “Black Friday”? It’s the day after Thanksgiving when stores sell electronics at significant discounts. Prices for such items as computers, plasma TVs, and MP3 players can be so low that customers stand in lines for hours, and then shop LIKE CRAZY. You’ve never seen such excitement!”

這個人說:你知道“黑色星期五”嗎?黑色星期五就是感恩節的第二天,商店大降價,電器類商品,例如電腦、液晶電視、MP3播放器都降價出售,很多顧客排好幾個小時的隊,瘋狂地購物,從來沒見過這麼狂熱的。

這就叫“早起的鳥兒有蟲吃”。不過,我來美國這麼多年,感恩節第二天早上從來沒有去排隊搶購過,原因很簡單,你不僅需要披星戴月地起床,還要在徹骨寒風裡排隊,這一點我可做不到。好的,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “Have you ever heard of “Black Friday”? It’s the day after Thanksgiving when stores sell electronics at significant discounts. Prices for such items as computers, plasma TVs, and MP3 players can be so low that customers stand in lines for hours, and then shop LIKE CRAZY. You’ve never seen such excitement!”

這個習慣用語最早是二十世紀二十年代前後出現的,可以跟like mad 通用。LIKE MAD, that’s M-A-D, “MAD”. LIKE MAD. 你可以說,為了錄音不遲到,I had to run like mad. 為了完成訂單,the employees worked like mad. 黑色星期五那天,the customers shop like mad.

最近,我同事的兒子象瘋了一樣學西班牙語。He is learning Spanish like crazy. 家裡人很奇怪,後來才發現,原來他喜歡上了一個剛剛從阿根廷移民過來的姑娘。那個女孩不會英語,兩人無法溝通,小夥子為了愛情,苦學西班牙語,看來愛情也能成為學習的巨大動力。 好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。下次節目再見。

B: To preserve our local park, the residents in our town decide to write and call the government like crazy until they agree to stop the development project!

A: 好吧,祝你們成功! 好了,同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。


美語訓練班  第103課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼!

A: Sure! 今天,我們要一起來看看一個汽車公司怎麼挽回召回汽車的影響,聊聊人與人相處要互相寬容,還要告訴你如何和遠方的朋友保持聯繫!

B: I know, long distance is the enemy of any relationship. No matter whether its friendship or romance…

A: 那也不是啊! 我跟我高中大學朋友都好着呢! 我們中間隔着個太平洋,感情還是一樣好!

B: Maybe…..or maybe they are just humoring you!

A: 好了, 咱們等會再來聊這個,先來進入第一個單元…

B: Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1705 chore

今天我們要學的詞是 chore. Chore is spelled c-h-o-r-e, chore. Chore 家務事。Britons consider cleaning the oven one of the worst chores. 英國人覺得,清理烤箱是最煩人的家務活之一。美國華盛頓大學的一項研究顯示,Couples who shared the burden of chores tend to have the least active sex lives. 分擔家務事的夫妻性生活最少。一家英國法律事務所的研究發現,Most marriages break down over mundane arguments about who does household chores or pays the bills, rather than due to infidelity. 大多數婚姻都是因為誰該做家務,誰該付賬單這些瑣事引起的爭執,而不是婚外情而破裂的。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 chore, chore, chore…

A: Most marriages break down over mundane arguments. 所以說啊,100件小事加起來,就成了兩個人分開的原因。

B: I know what you mean. Marriage is not only about love and passion, it’s also about having the same values and similar life styles.

A: 沒錯! But sometimes you need to be more tolerant and open-minded. If it’s not something that is a complete deal breaker for you then my attitude is to live and let live.

B: That’s a great piece of advice! Hey, you just mention a very good term, live and let live, we need to check it out!

A: Let’s listen to today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 827 Live and Let Live

美國習慣用語第 827講

我這個人特別喜歡整齊,不論是在辦公室里,還是在家裡,我都會收拾得有條有理,東西的擺放也有一定之規。不過,坐在我旁邊的 Emma 跟我截然不同,她桌上永遠堆得亂糟糟的。老闆好幾次提醒她趕緊收拾乾淨,可我倒是覺得,我們應該

M: Live and let live. Live is spelled l-i-v-e. Live-and-let-live. Live and let live.

live 是生活的意思,Live and let live 自己活也讓別人活,換句話說,就是要相互寬容,互不干擾。Emma 的風格跟我截然不同,但我覺得,這也沒什麼不好,要讓我說,就應該 Live and let live,只要她自己喜歡,又不會影響到別人,那就應該給人家自由。

在下面這個例子里,一個男子談到自己的姐姐時說,

M: “My sister is raising her adopted son as a single parent. While that wouldn’t be my preference, I’m not about to criticize her. My attitude has always been LIVE AND LET LIVE. I accept people as they are even though they may do things differently from the way I do.”

他說: 我姐姐自己一個人,撫養抱來的兒子。雖然我不會選擇這麼做,但是我也不會對她橫加指責。我始終覺得,各人有各人的生活,大家應該相互包容,雖然別人的行事規則可能跟我不同,但我還是會毫無保留地接受他們。

前不久,我到麻薩諸塞州去開會。那裡是美國著名學府哈佛大學的所在地,但是如今,麻薩諸塞也是美國第一個承貌7b同性戀婚姻合法化的州。由此可見,當地人是相當開明的,對同性戀的生活方式採取了包容的態度,這就叫 live and let live;他們認為,任何人都有權選擇自己的生活方式。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “My sister is raising her adopted son as a single parent. While that wouldn’t be my preference, I’m not about to criticize her. My attitude has always been LIVE AND LET LIVE. I accept people as they are even though they may do things differently from the way I do.”

剛才我們說到同性戀婚姻合法化在美國引起的爭議。其實,前些年,在公共場所禁止吸煙的法律也曾引起過激烈的辯論,但是如今,已經越來越普及了。記者在下面這則健康新聞里報道說,

M: “Should smoking be allowed in places like offices and restaurants? Most Americans used to have a LIVE AND LET LIVE attitude about it. But more have become far less tolerant. That’s because research clearly shows that when smokers light up, they can create serious health problems for nearby non-smokers.”

報道說: 辦公室和餐廳里應該允許吸煙嗎?以前,大多數美國人都對吸煙持有一種包容的態度,但是如今,拒絕採取包容態度的人已經越來越多了,因為科學研究結果明確顯示,吸煙不僅對煙民本人有害,也會傷害到待在旁邊的非吸煙者。

這就是大家都知道的二手煙,在英語里叫 second-hand smoke,對非吸煙者間接造成傷害,因此,主張在公共場所禁止吸煙的人現在越來越多了。你的態度如何?是贊成在公共場所禁煙?還是主張 live and let live 呢?好的,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “Should smoking be allowed in places like offices and restaurants? Most Americans used to have a LIVE AND LET LIVE attitude about it. But more have become far less tolerant. That’s because research clearly shows that when smokers light up, they can create serious health problems for nearby non-smokers.”

每個人都會有一些自己難以容忍的事情。就說我老公吧,我家鄰居 Browns 夫婦對自己房子的保養特別不注意,外面一層油漆已經開始脫落,門口的台階也已經開始腐爛,更要命的是,他們已經一個多月沒有割草了,院子里凌亂不堪。對此,我老公的態度絕對不是 live and let live,他的理由是,一棟房子缺乏保養,會影響到我們整個社區的形象和居住環境。

好的,這次 美國習慣用語 就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 我這次到Boston去,也感受到了那裡的自由! People are very open-minded, they have the live and let live attitude!

B: Yeah, Massachusetts is the first state that allowed same sex marriage. so I’m not surprised.

A: But the friend who drove us there, his car got recalled right after we came back! The company said the passenger’s air bag is known to have problems deploying! 想起來好後怕呀!

B: I’m glad you are OK! Wait…am I glad? (A: You!) Hahaha, yeah I agree, car recalls can be terrifying! Actually, that is what we are going to talk about in today’s business etiquette, let’s see what we can learn from it!

禮節美語 BE-227 A Product Recall I

公司主管開會,執行總裁Rick說:

Rick: The Board of Directors has come to a decision. Our company will take an image hit, and it’s going to be very expensive, but it seems we have no other choice but to start a recall. Samantha, would you care to explain a bit more.

Samantha: A year ago we began receiving reports that several of the air conditioner models we manufacture can sometimes overheat. In very rare circumstances this overheating might lead to electrical fires. So far there have been three fires that may be connected to our air conditioning units.

R: Unfortunately, one person was seriously injured. Therefore, even though there is no definitive proof linking our ACs to these fires, we decided to take action immediately.

Samantha 介紹說,公司生產的幾款空調發生過overheat–機身溫度過熱的現象,可能起火,到目前為止,至少有三起火災懷疑跟他們公司生產的空調有關,還有一人受重傷。執行總裁Rick說,雖然沒有definitive proof,確鑿證據, 但公司董事會還是決定立即採取行動,start a recall. 召回相關型號的空調。recall is spelled r-e-c-a-l-l, recall 是召回有問題產品的意思。這樣做不僅會有不小的經濟損失,而且還要 take an image hit. 公司形象也會受到打擊。Hank 問:

Hank: How many units are we talking about here? And what is this going to cost us?

R: We will be recalling over 15,000 air-conditioners. The company will refit them with new thermal sensors and stronger wiring.

S: As far as costs go, we estimate the company will lose well over $6 million dollars.

H: Six million??! But we’re not even sure we’re responsible. Is a recall really the best way to go?

R: I believe that from both a business perspective and a moral perspective, a recall is necessary.

S: I think Rick is right. If there’s even a chance that our products could cause injuries we have a responsibility to step in.

公司估計要召回一萬五千台空調,召回的產品改用更耐熱的電線,還要安裝 thermal sensors 熱感應器,經濟損失將超過六百萬美元。公司執行總裁Rick和主管Samantha都覺得,不論是從商業角度還是從道義角度出發,只要公司產品可能跟火災的發生有一點關聯,他們也有義務step in–站出來。

R: Even if we look at it purely from a financial standpoint, six million dollars spent fixing any possible errors is definitely cheaper that being defendants in a lawsuit where somebody was seriously injured or killed.

H: So what’s the procedure?

S: Next Monday we will issue a press release explaining that even though there are no definitive links between our products and fires–we want to be good corporate citizens and have therefore decided to err on the side of caution.

Rick 補充說,即使單純從經濟角度出發,花六百萬美元修補產品的缺陷也比被人告上法庭的花銷小。產品召回的第一步是,下星期一公司先發一份news release新聞簡報,說明公司立場,雖然沒有確鑿證據證明火災和公司產品有關,但公司還是決定召回產品,to err on the side of caution,是“慎重起見,保險起見”的意思。新聞簡報以後還有哪些措施呢?我們下次繼續談。

A: Rick的公司決定to err on the side of caution, 慎重起見,進行product recall, 產品召回,原因是他們生產的一款空調有過熱起火的危險。公司總裁Rick說,這樣不僅有經濟風險,而且還會take an image hit, 公司形象也會受損失。

B: I think the company is making the right decision. Whenever there’s a public disaster, the best thing to do is to take actions as soon as possible. That way the customers see you as being a responsible and moral company.

A:沒錯! 有時候,危機也是公關的好機會,藉此塑造公司負責認真的好形象。Let’s keep listen!

禮節美語 BE-228 A Product Recall II

公司主管開會,執行總裁Rick宣布,公司要召回一批質量有問題的空調,召回行動的第一步是發表新聞簡報,Rick告訴公司另外兩位高管Samantha和Hank說:

R: We will then specify the year and model of the ACs included in the recall and set up a web site for our vendors and customers.

H: We should probably set up a toll-free line as well.

R: Yes, that’s a good idea, Hank.

S: The company will have to pay for advertisements in major newspapers that explain the recall.

H: Maybe I can speak to some of the members of the press I know and see if they’re interested in doing a news story on this. I’m hoping to spin it in our favor by highlighting the fact that this is a precautionary measure.

新聞簡報里要說明召回產品的出廠年份和型號,還要專門開設一個網站,方便銷售商家和顧客諮詢聯繫。Hank建議再開通一條 toll-free line 免費撥打的電話,他還主動提出,聯繫一些跟自己關係比較好的媒體,看看有沒有人願意發一篇報道,強調公司這次的產品召回是 a precautionary measure 預防性措施,從而 spin it in our favor. 讓這件事朝對我們有利的方向發展。

S: You know, a lot of big companies have been forced to recall products, and as long as they are honest about what happened and proactive in trying to make it better, most people are pretty forgiving of mistakes.

R: Yes. I think people understand that no company is perfect. The main thing we have to avoid is giving the impression of any kind of cover-up.

H: That’s right. If people believe we are being completely truthful we should be able to weather this storm.

很多大公司都曾遇到過被迫召回產品的事,只要公司對公眾誠懇,並儘可能提前採取措施解決問題,一般都會得到公眾的理解和原諒。Rick說,關鍵是不能讓人覺得公司是在cover-up,掩蓋些什麼。Hank表示認同,只要公眾覺得公司說的都是實話,we should be able to weather this storm. 我們就應該能渡過這次難關。to weather the storm 是渡過難關的意思。

R: I’m also going to order an inquiry into whether any safety measures were not heeded, or if anybody at our factory was trying to cut corners.

S: We will make the results of the inquiry public as well. We want to be as transparent and open as possible.

R: I want you to talk to all of your department heads and managers and explain our policy. If they know of any other mistakes or safety issues I want to hear about them. Heads will roll if I discover that anyone isn’t following our strict quality standards.

H&S: Yes, sir.

Rick 還說,他準備就安全措施的執行情況展開調查,還要看工廠里有沒有人偷工減料,to cut corners. Samantha補充道,調查結果最後也要對外公布,儘可能讓整個程序做到公開透明。Rick 最後要Samantha和Hank回去把公司的決定傳達給手下的部門主管和經理,發現問題要即時彙報,如果有人不嚴格執行公司的質量標準,heads will roll 意思是這樣的人一定會受到嚴厲的處罰。

A: 你看吧! 任何事情都有兩面性,把危機處理好了,這次召回危機倒成了他們公司樹立形象的好機會! 所以說,犯了錯誤就得趕快承認!

B: Exactly, exactly, 楊琳。

A: What does that suppose to mean?

B: Nothing! Just a little reminder for you though, if you ever make a mistake, say you forget to bring me cupcakes or something, you should correct the mistake ASAP!

A: 美得你! 好了,這個話題就到這兒吧! 下面咱們再來學個詞兒!

Learn A Word 1706 minimum

今天我們要學的詞是 minimum. Minimum is spelled m-i-n-i-m-u-m, minimum. Minimum 最少的,最起碼的。You need to keep a minimum balance of $250 in your checking account in order to avoid a monthly fee. 如果不想交月費,你活期帳戶餘額必須維持在250美元以上。In his State of the Union address, President Obama pushed to raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour. 美國總統奧巴馬在國情咨文講話中,主張將最低工資提高到每小時九美元。NBA對球員有年齡限制。Players can’t enter the NBA draft until they are 19 or have played on a college team for a minimum of one season . 要參加NBA選秀,球員必須年滿19歲,或是至少在大學校隊里打過一個賽季。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 minimum, minimum, minimum…

B: This reminds me of my first job. I was a waiter at a fancy French restaurant and I took the opportunity to learn some French and how to cook authentic French cuisine!
A:No wonder you cook so well!

B: I also made some really good friends! All the other waiters were students from Paris who were studying in the US.

A: Wow, cool! Are they still in the US? Can I go to that restaurant?

B: Of course you can! But unfortunately, I lost touch with all of them when they eventually moved back to France.

A: I’m sorry….but as long as I can get authentic French food! 你剛才提到了個短語,lose touch, let’s listen to today’s words and idioms and find out what it means!

Words and Idioms 828 Lose Touch

美國習慣用語第 828講

你有沒有什麼特別要好的朋友搬走的?最近,我從小一起長大的好朋友 Jamie 因為換工作,要舉家搬到德克薩斯去,雖然不能象現在這樣定期見面,但是我們兩個人相互承諾,一定不會

M: Lose touch. Lose is spelled l-o-s-e, and touch; t-o-u-c-h. Lose-touch.

Lose touch.Lose 是丟失,失去的意思,touch 是接觸的意思,Lose touch 就是逐漸失去聯絡。我知道 Jamie 要搬到很遠的地方去,但是我不希望我們 lose touch. 儘管我們保證要經常聯繫,但我還是很擔心,在下面這個例子里,兩個大學好友跟我們的情況十分相似。讓我們一起聽聽看。

M: “I’ll never forget my best buddy in college. Glen and I belonged to the same fraternity, played on the football team and shared a lot of friends. We were constantly together. But since graduating, we’ve slowly drifted apart. It’s too bad we’ve LOST TOUCH. I’d like to reconnect with him.”

其中一個人說: 我永遠不會忘記大學裡最要好的朋友 Glen。我們兩人是同一個兄弟會的成員,在同一個橄欖球隊里打球,朋友的圈子也都一樣。我們兩人形影不離。但是畢業後,卻逐漸疏遠了。跟 Glen失去聯絡讓我很遺憾,真希望能跟他重新取得聯繫。

隨着生活的變化,我們會結婚,生子,承擔各種家庭義務,每天在工作和家庭間奔波,就會疏於跟老朋友聯絡。也許上面這個人可以給校友會打個電話問問 Glen 的消息,沒準 Glen 也在後悔跟他失去聯繫呢!好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “I’ll never forget my best buddy in college. Glen and I belonged to the same fraternity, played on the football team and shared a lot of friends. We were constantly together. But since graduating, we’ve slowly drifted apart. It’s too bad we’ve LOST TOUCH. I’d like to reconnect with him.””

不要說是好朋友失去聯繫,有的時候,家裡的某個成員也會在很長時間內杳無音信呢!讓我們聽聽下面這段話。

M: “Nobody in the family had heard from Aunt Helen in years. One day we got a letter from her. In it, she said she regretted LOSING TOUCH with us, but promised to write more often. Since then, we’ve been getting news from her on a regular basis.”

這個人說: 多少年來,家裡人一直沒有小姨 Helen 的消息。突然有一天,我們收到了一封她的來信。她在信中說,她後悔不該跟家裡失去聯繫,並保證今後會多多寫信。從那以後,我們每隔一段時間就會得到她的消息。

這就體現出了互聯網的好處,不用找信封、信紙、郵票,只要把想說的話打出來,一下就寄走了。

我女兒特別喜歡發短信,隨時隨地跟朋友聯繫。只有電話沒電的時候,才是她唯一跟朋友們 lose touch 的時候。說句老實話,我倒是希望這種時候越多越好。好的,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “Nobody in the family had heard from Aunt Helen in years. One day we got a letter from her. In it, she said she regretted LOSING TOUCH with us, but promised to write more often. Since then, we’ve been getting news from her on a regular basis.”

lose touch 這個習慣用語可以追溯到十九世紀後期。從 lose touch 我們還可以想到很多相關的說法。例如,剛才例子里,跟大學好友失去聯繫的人想找到自己的老朋友,通過給校友會打電話,He might be able to GET IN TOUCH with his old friend. GET IN TOUCH 就是取得聯繫。還有,如果他們的聯繫一直沒有中斷,就是 KEEP IN TOUCH 或是 STAY IN TOUCH。我們可以說,Aunt Helen is KEEPING IN TOUCH with the family. 或是說 My daughter text messages to STAY IN TOUCH with her friends. 還有,很多人打電話,或是發電子郵件的時候,都會在最後加上一句,KEEP IN TOUCH. 保持聯絡。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: The best way to stay in touch with all your friends is to be more assertive! Pick up your phone when you have time!

B: Aw, you’re still making phone calls? That’s so quaint! (A: hey!)Time to learn how to Facebook N00b.

A: I’M NOT A N00B! 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。


美語訓練班  第104課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼!

A: 好! 今天,我們要一起來聊聊賭博上癮該怎麼辦,看看億萬富翁是如何練成的,還要告訴你怎麼說嚴厲懲罰!

B: I’ve never really been into gambling. I lived in Las Vegas for 2 years, and honestly I think I enjoyed all the buffets more than the slot machines!

A: That sounds like you!

B: Hey! … Yeah, that’s true.

A: 好了, 咱們言歸正傳,先來進入第一個單元…

B: Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1716 self-made

今天我們要學的詞是 self-made. Self-made is spelled s-e-l-f, self, and made, m-a-d-e, made, self-made. Self-made 意思是憑藉自己力量完成的。有統計顯示,在全球各大名校中,哈佛畢業生里百萬和億萬富翁人數最多。While about 14% of millionaires and billionaires inherited their wealth, 74% are self-made. 在這些百萬和億萬富翁里,大約14%的人是繼承了父輩的財產,還有74%的人則是白手起家,自己創業積累的財富。在中國百名首富里,八位是女性。與美國不同的是,Successful women in China are mostly self-made businesswomen. 中國最有錢的女性大部分都是白手起家創業成功的女商人。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 self-made, self-made, self-made…

A: 哈佛畢業生成為百萬富翁的機率最大! 這次我去哈佛參觀,覺得他們的畢業生不僅自身都很優秀,而且還非常努力! 哎,怎麼比嘛….

B: You don’t need to compare yourself with others. Surpassing yourself is the greatest achievement.

A: 哎喲,你還真會安慰人! Speaking of improving myself, I need to improve my time management skills! I’ve got so much going on in my life right now I feel like I’m not getting ANYTHING done! And worst of all, my reading time has gotten lost in the shuffle…

B: Ha, that must also be the reason for arriving at the office 4 hours behind me….

A: Hey! Shush!

B: (Laugh) Ok ok. . Actually you just mentioned an idiom, lost in the shuffle, let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 829 LOST IN THE SHUFFLE

美國習慣用語第 829講

半年前,我加入了一個讀書俱樂部,每個月聚會一次,討論讀書心得。上星期聚會,俱樂部成員們沒完沒了地聊經濟、聊大選、聊孩子上學,本來應該討論的書根本沒有涉及到,我非常失望,所以決定退出。不過,這倒讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,叫

M: Lost in the shuffle. Shuffle is spelled s-h-u-f-f-l-e. Lost-in-the-shuffle. Lost in the shuffle.

如果你喜歡玩牌的話,肯定知道,Shuffle 是洗牌的意思。lost in the shuffle 意思是在混亂之中把某件事情遺漏或是忽略了。比如說我們那個讀書俱樂部。俱樂部的成員們東拉西扯,可就是忽略了俱樂部的真正目的,交流讀書心得。The discussion of our book got LOST IN THE SHUFFLE.
讀書俱樂部的“走題事件”雖然讓我很不滿,但是跟下面這個人比,我簡直可以說是“小題大做”。讓我們一起聽聽他幹嗎那麼氣憤。

M: “There’s been so much controversy over the collapse of the bridge. The mayor’s office blames the engineers for poor design while they fault the city for not keeping up with routine repairs. But no one is showing much concern for commuters like me who desperately need the bridge to be fixed. We’re getting LOST IN THE SHUFFLE.”

這個人說:大橋倒塌引起了極大的爭議。市長辦公室責怪工程師設計失誤,工程設計人員則指責市政府沒有定期維修。可就是沒有人關心象我這樣每天開車上班,希望大橋能早日修復的人。我們完全被忽略了。

我以前一直痛恨開會,因為很多時候,開來開去,討論的都是一些並不重要的話題。最近我們剛換了主管,每次開會都按照輕重緩急,列出會議日程,so that the most important issues won’e be LOST IN THE SHUFFLE. 保證重要問題不會被忽略掉。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “There’s been so much controversy over the collapse of the bridge. The mayor’s office blames the engineers for poor design while they fault the city for not keeping up with routine repairs. But no one is showing much concern for commuters like me who desperately need the bridge to be fixed. We’re getting LOST IN THE SHUFFLE.”

大家都希望得到重視,孩子也不例外。讓我們聽聽下面這個人對自己童年的回憶。

M: “Growing up as a middle kid in my family could be tough. Sometimes my folks seemed to spend a lot of time looking after my younger brother and sister or worrying about my older siblings. Is it any surprise I felt LOST IN THE SHUFFLE? I wanted mom and dad to notice me more often.”

這個人說:我上面有哥哥姐姐,下面有弟弟妹妹,小時候,父母不是在照顧弟弟妹妹,就是在關心哥哥姐姐。我覺得自己簡直被遺忘了,這不奇怪吧?我真希望媽媽爸爸能更多地注意到我。

我表妹就是這種情況。小時候,她大部分時間都是在跟院子里的孩子玩,經常在鄰居家吃飯,甚至過夜,這倒培養了她跟人打交道的能力,如今,她已經成了一個成功的公關總裁。好的,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “Growing up as a middle kid in my family could be tough. Sometimes my folks seemed to spend a lot of time looking after my younger brother and sister or worrying about my older siblings. Is it any surprise I felt LOST IN THE SHUFFLE? I wanted mom and dad to notice me more often.”

對了!IN THE SHUFFLE 這個習慣用語源於二十世紀,毫無疑問,是從撲克牌來的。今天盡顧着解釋這個習慣用語的用法,The explanation of its original nearly got LOST IN THE SHUFFLE! 差點就忘了解釋它的來源。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。我是楊晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。這次節目的製作人是胡小玲。謝謝各位的收聽。我知道,大家每天的工作生活十分繁忙,但我還是要提醒大家,英語水平的提高靠的是勤學苦練。Don’t let practicing your English get LOST IN THE SHUFFLE.

M: This has been Words and Idioms. Until next time.
我們下次節目再見。

A: So how do you feel as the second kid in the family Mike, do you feel like you are lost in the shuffle?

B: Not at all. I think it’s because that I’m the youngest in the family. I get tons of attention from my parents. And what about you huh? You must always be the center of attention since you are the only-child!

A: Yes…but sometimes I feel like there’s just too much attention on me. My parents want to protect me from EVERTHING.

B: That sounds like my parents too. When I went to Las Vegas for my internship, they were so worried that I’m going to come home with a gambling problem!

A: 哈哈,理解父母吧! 我覺得你永遠都不會成為賭徒,cuz you will be spending too much time and money at the great buffets!

B: True, true. Actually, we are going to touch on gambling in today’s business etiquette. Kelly and Patricia are going to Macau for a business trip, and Patricia seems really excited to go gamble! Let’s see what we can learn from them!

禮節美語BE-229 Gambling I

Patricia去找同事Kelly。

Patricia: Hey, Kelly…the boss just called me into his office. You and I have to go to Macau for a meeting with our international marketing department. The meeting is on a Friday afternoon so I was thinking we could spend the weekend down there!

Kelly: Macau, eh? So I guess you’re thinking about doing some gambling, right?

P: Well, it is legal in Macau. We might as well take advantage of this golden opportunity! Oh, there’s John. John and I used to win some serious money in Las Vegas.

Patricia告訴Kelly,老闆讓他們兩人星期五去澳門出差,跟公司的國際營銷部同事開會,問Kelly願不願意索性在澳門待一個周末,去賭場試試手氣。這時候,另外一位同事John走過來,Patricia說,John和他以前就曾在美國的賭城拉斯維加斯贏過不少錢,他說的some serious money意思是可觀的數額。John說,

John: Yep, Pete and I used to go to Las Vegas at least twice a year. Gambling can be a lot of fun.

K: I’ve never really seen the appeal of gambling. I know it’s possible to win big, but I’ve never won. I really hate losing money.

P: I hear you….but if you ever hit a jackpot you’ll be addicted for life!

J: Winning is a pretty good feeling, but a lot of people can take it too far. Patricia, did you hear about Joe?

P: You mean Joe Klein? How’s he doing?

J: Not so good. He lost his house and his wife left him. We didn’t know it at the time, but he actually had a serious gambling problem.

John 和 Patricia以前每年至少一起去兩次拉斯維加斯。Kelly說自己逢賭必輸,所以賭錢對她沒有appeal吸引力。Patricia說,雖然win big贏大錢的機會不多,但是if you ever hit a jackpot, you’ll be addicted for life. 一旦中了頭獎,就會一輩子上癮。John說,贏錢感覺是不錯,但千萬不能 take it too far 玩過頭,他們有個朋友Joe Klein had a serious gambling problem. 就是賭錢上癮,結果輸了房子不說,老婆也不要他了。

P: Really? That’s too bad.

J: He was over $75,000 in debt…so eventually the bank took his house. As you can imagine, his wife wasn’t too happy about that.

K: See? These are exactly the kind of stories I’m talking about! I think gambling can be as addictive as illegal drugs!

J: And I would have to agree. I don’t have an addictive personality by nature so I’m generally able to control myself. But…I have lost more money than I can afford on more than one occasion.

Kelly 覺得,gambling can be as addictive as illegal drugs. 賭博跟毒品差不多,讓人上癮。John 表示贊同,他說自己雖然自控能力比較強,and don’t have an addictive personality by nature 也不是那種做事喜歡上癮的人,但是賭錢的時候,還是不止一次輸得超出了自己的承受能力,這裡說的 more than one occasion 意思是不止一次。

A: Kelly和Patricia討論去澳門該不該賭博,Patricia覺得他們可能會win some serious money, 贏一大筆,但是Kelly說,同事Joe就很愛賭錢, he has a serious gambling problem, 賭錢上癮,結果老婆房子都沒了。

B: Yeah, I guess if you have an addictive personality by nature, you should just stay away from casinos.

A: 沒錯! 我去Las Vegas賭場的時候都不帶卡,這樣你有多少錢,就只能賭多少錢。

B: That sounds like a smart idea for not overspending, period! Let’s keep listen to Patricia and Kelly!

禮節美語BE-230 Gambling II

Patricia和同事Kelly要去澳門出差,準備去賭場試試手氣。另一個同事John提到,自己有個朋友嗜賭成性,傾家蕩產。Patricia問:

P: So what happened to Joe? How is he holding up?

J: Joe is in Gamblers Anonymous right now. He sent me an e-mail the other day and he says he’s doing better…but recovering from any addiction is a long process.

K: What’s Gamblers Anonymous?

P: Have you ever heard of Alcoholics Anonymous or AA?

K: Not really.

J: Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization that tries to help people with alcohol problems overcome their addiction. Gamblers Anonymous does the same thing for gamblers.

K: I see, so it’s sort of like rehab.

Patricia問起Joe近況。John說,Joe現在加入了Gamblers Anonymous嗜賭者互誡協會。Gamblers Anonymous跟Alcoholic Anonymous嗜酒者互誡協會差不多,是幫助賭徒戒賭的組織。在英語里,有某件事情上癮可以用problem這個字,比如,He has a drinking problem. 他酗酒成性。He has a gambling problem. 他賭博成性。因此說,嗜賭者互誡協會差不多就是一種戒賭組織,it’s like a rehab. Rehab is spelled r-e-h-a-b, rehab 是戒毒,戒賭中心的意思。 John 接著說:

J: That’s right. Gamblers Anonymous offers a support system to gamblers who have a problem.

K: Well, I hope your friend gets better soon. So….what casino games do you usually play?

P: I’ve always liked card games….poker, especially. I don’t like slot machines because I don’t think there are any skills involved.

J: I like poker and all kinds of table games, but my favorite is Blackjack. Blackjack is a nice mix of skill and luck.

嗜賭互誡協會為賭博上癮的人提供了一個 support system 相互支持的系統。話說到這,Kelly問Patricia和John去賭場一般都玩些什麼。Patricia說自己一般都是玩card games玩牌,不喜歡拉老虎機slot machines, 因為他覺得老虎機完全憑運氣,一點技術含量也沒有。John說,凡是table games他都喜歡玩。在賭場里,table games除了撲克牌以外,還包括 craps輪盤骰子和羅萊特 Roulette等。John還說,但是他最愛玩的還是Blackjack, 21點。

K: I think I might be able to enjoy a game or two of Poker or Blackjack. Do you think I’ll get addicted?

P: Kelly, I’ve known you for a few years and you have excellent self-control. I don’t think you’ll have a problem controlling yourself.

J: Besides, you only get to go to Macau once in a blue moon. What I suggest is you set yourself a reasonable budget of money that you can afford to lose. Don’t go beyond that limit.

P: A little bit of legal gambling can be a lot of fun…but we have to know when to call it a night.

K: All right. You’re on! Let’s hit the casinos on Friday night.

Kelly 擔心自己賭錢上癮 get addicted. John建議她給自己設定一個合理的限度,set yourself a reasonable budget that you can afford to lose. 給自己定個輸得起的預算,不要超過那個限度。John還說,況且,You only get to go to Macau once in a blue moon. 去澳門的機會少之又少,once in a blue moon 是非常罕見的意思。Patricia 也說,we know when to call it a night. 我們知道什麼時候該打住。Kelly 在兩人說服下,最後說,You’re on. Let’s hit the casinos on Friday night. 星期五去賭場,我們就這麼說定了。

A: Exactly! A little bit of legal gambling can be a lot of fun…偶爾去一次賭場玩玩,其實還挺有意思的。

B: I don’t think you should ever try it, 楊琳。Remember your addiction to Korean sitcoms? or Cheese-cake? or Ice-cream?

A: Ugh….maybe I have an addictive personality by nature…

B: Haha, I don’t think so, but I do know of a good “Korean Sitcoms Antonymous” group if you ready to kick the habit.

A: 哈! 咱們接着來聽下面的Learn a Word, 再來多學學additive這個詞兒的用法!

Learn A Word 1714 addictive

今天我們要學的詞是 addictive. Addictive is spelled a-d-d-i-c-t-i-v-e, addictive. Addictive 容易讓人上癮的。Deaths from drug overdoses rose for the 11th straight year in 2010. Most cases were accidents involving addictive painkillers. 2010年,藥物服用過量造成的死亡事件連續11年持續上升,其中大部分案例都涉及服用後容易上癮的止痛藥。臉書網和推特網的用戶總數加在一起,有十億多人。美國芝加哥大學的研究人員發現,Social networking can be more addictive than nicotine or alcohol. 使用社交網站甚至可能比尼古丁和酒精更能讓人上癮。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 addictive, addictive, addictive…

A:Social networking is totally addictive! I can’t go on one day without checking my facebook.

B:Yeah…the first thing I do in the morning is to check my gmail and facebook accounts on my cell phone, and I definitely check my email more than necessary.

A: You are totally addicted to your cell phone! You even take it with you when you go to the bathroom…

B: Well…let’s…talk about something else! We still have one last segment to go!

A: 哈哈,小樣! 好吧,來聽今天的最後一個單元!

Words and Idioms 830 LOWER THE BOOM

美國習慣用語第 830講

我剛剛參加了三天的電腦安全培訓班。負責培訓的老師對學生要求特別嚴格,對我們這些大記者絲毫不留情面。我的一個同事就因為培訓最後一天遲到了二十分鐘,被老師請出了教室,要他下次培訓班從頭來過。不過,這倒讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,叫

M: Lower the boom. Lower is spelled l-o-w-e-r and boom; b-o-o-m. Lower-the-boom. Lower the boom.

大家都知道,low 是低的意思,後面加上 er, 變成 lower, 就是動詞,是降低、放低的意思。 Lower the boom 里的 boom 是一個帆船上的專業術語,指的是張帆桿,又叫下桁。Lower the boom 這個習慣用語是嚴厲懲罰的意思。比如說剛才談到的培訓班的那位老師,對學生遲到進行了嚴厲的懲罰。She lowered the boom on the student.

雖說很多人都覺得這個老師的做法未免有些過火,但是在教育孩子方面,做家長的很多時候恐怕都必需得狠下心來。讓我們一起聽聽下面這位父親是怎麼說的。

M: “We warned our teenage son not to come home late again. So when he returned after midnight, we were in the living room waiting. That’s when we LOWERED THE BOOM. For the next month, he’d have to stay in except for going to school. It was a harsh but necessary punishment.”

這位父親說:我們的兒子十幾歲了,我們事先已經警告過他,不要再晚回家,結果這次他又是晚上12點才到家,我們坐在客廳里等他,毫不留情地告訴他,作為懲罰,接下來的一個月里,除了上學以外,哪兒都不能去,這種懲罰雖然嚴厲,但也是絕對必要的。

在美國,家長管教孩子,不講究打罵,經常用的手段就是在一段時間,比如一個星期內,剝奪孩子出去玩,給朋友打電話,看電視,玩電子遊戲等等的權利。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “We warned our teenage son not to come home late again. So when he returned after midnight, we were in the living room waiting. That’s when we LOWERED THE BOOM. For the next month, he’d have to stay in except for going to school. It was a harsh but necessary punishment.”

剛才我們談到家長管教孩子,是為了讓孩子知道,採取行為,就要承擔後果,如果違反了規定,就會受到懲罰。這個簡單的道理,有時候連成年人都會忘記。讓我們聽聽下面這個人是怎麼說的。

M: “A buddy of mine is stupid if he thinks he can avoid paying income taxes. Eventually the government will find out and then LOWER THE BOOM on him. That means he’ll get a stiff fine. Well, that’s what happens when you don’t obey the law!”

這個人說:我認識的一個朋友覺得自己能逃避繳納所得稅,如果他真這麼想,那簡直是太愚蠢了。到頭來,政府一定會發現,對他進行嚴厲的懲罰。也就是說,到時候,他必需要繳納很多罰款。不遵紀守法,就是這個下場。

我注意到,一到周末,我們社區路口旁總有一個女交警在那裡值勤,對來往車輛的司機進行抽查。一旦發現酒後駕駛的人,毫不留情。She lowers the boom on drunk drivers, immediately taking them to jail。馬上把他們帶走關起來。好的,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “A buddy of mine is stupid if he thinks he can avoid paying income taxes. Eventually the government will find out and then LOWER THE BOOM on him. That means he’ll get a stiff fine. Well, that’s what happens when you don’t obey the law!”

即使你不精通帆船,可能也會知道,風向發生變化的時候,帆船的張帆桿會劇烈搖擺,這也是最危險的時候。Lower the boom 這個習慣用語是在二十世紀上半葉出現的,可能就來源於此。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。我是楊晨,我是 Douglas Johnson。這次節目的製作人是胡小玲。謝謝各位的收聽。我知道,大家每天的工作生活都十分繁忙,如果不能每次按時收聽美國習慣用語節目,也沒有關係。I’m not about to LOWER THE BOOM!

M: This has been Words and Idioms. Until next time.

我們下次節目再見。

A: Never try to escape from your taxes. The IRS will lower the boom on you!

B: I think the fashion police are going to lower the boom on you YL, I mean, seriously? That dress with those boots?

A:…..好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第105課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼!

A: 好! 今天,我們要一起來聊聊戒煙有什麼好方法,看看不同工作場合的着裝要求,還要告訴你怎麼說得寸進尺!

B: I feel like the dress code in DC is just formal. I see suits everywhere…

A: 沒錯! 每天一上地鐵都一片黑壓壓! 好了西裝男, 咱們言歸正傳,先來進入第一個單元…

B: Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1719 hallmark

今天我們要學的詞是 hallmark. Hallmark is spelled h-a-l-l-m-a-r-k, hallmark. Hallmark 意思是特點,標誌。A strong defense has always been the hallmark for our team. 我們球隊最大的特點是防守能力強。Personalized customer service has been our hallmark for over 20 years. 貼心的顧客服務20多年來始終是我們的特色。Renewable technology development has been the hallmark for Steven Chu’s tenure as the U.S. Secretary of Energy. 朱棣文在任美國能源部長期間,政策核心一直是可再生能源的開發。 好的,今天我們學習的詞是 hallmark, hallmark, hallmark…

A: 看看美國推廣可持續能源,我真羨慕! 這次回北京,每天都是霧霾天,想想小時候的藍天,真讓人沮喪!

B: Yeah, you should not develop your economy at the cost of the environment! It took London 40 years to fix its fog problem, I hope Beijing can fix it soon…

A: I don’t know. It seems like we are pushing our luck. I really want the old Beijing back….the blue sky and the fresh air, you don’t even need air conditioning in the summer!

B: We’ll keep our fingers crossed! But you just mention an idiom, push one’s luck, let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 831 Push One’s Luck

美國習慣用語第831講

我先生牙不好,但又特別不喜歡去看牙醫。前不久,他補過的一顆牙里的填料掉了出來,我勸他趕緊去找牙醫修補,這不,一個月過去了,他還是沒給牙醫打電話預約。或許現在那顆牙並不疼,不過,誰都知道,這是遲早的事。這讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,叫

M: Push one’s luck. Push is spelled p-u-s-h, and luck; l-u-c-k. Push-one’s-luck.

大家都知道,動詞 push 是推的意思,Luck 是運氣。Push one’s luck 這個習慣用語的意思就是,有點兒運氣就得寸進尺,貪心不足。就說我先生吧,牙里的填料掉了,但是牙卻不疼,夠幸運的吧?但是他卻得寸進尺,不趕緊去找牙醫修補,這就叫 push his luck.

我早上開車,路上聽了一個關於汽車保養的節目。主持人念了一封聽眾寄來的電子郵件,讓我們一起聽聽看。

M: “Every time I get my oil changed, the mechanic reminds me to bring the car back in another 3,000 miles. Now I see that I’ve driven almost 8,000 more miles and still haven’t had any problem. Do you think I’m PUSHING MY LUCK? Or do I really need to get my car serviced again?”

這位聽眾在信中說:每次我去換機油,車鋪的人都提醒我,每開三千英里就要來換一次機油。可是現在我都開了八千英里了,車子還好好的,沒有出現任何問題。你覺得我這樣做是貪心不足嗎?我是不是真地需要把車隍7d到修車行去保養呢?

要讓我說,這個人絕對是在 push his luck。車子的定期保養是絕對不能放鬆的,車子跟人一樣,人要吃好睡好鍛煉好才能長壽,車子也要定期檢查,保養才能長期給你服務,否則壞了,又要去修,更得不償失。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Every time I get my oil changed, the mechanic reminds me to bring the car back in another 3,000 miles. Now I see that I’ve driven almost 8,000 more miles and still haven’t had any problem. Do you think I’m PUSHING MY LUCK? Or do I really need to get my car serviced again?”

剛才我們說到,車子要定期保養,如果本應三千英里換一次機油,結果開到八千英里還不去的話,就是在 push your luck。老實說,我也犯過類似的錯誤。那天我鞋的後跟掉了,我就自己粘了回去,打算堅持兩天,周末有時間拿去修。我得意洋洋地穿着去上班,結果上班的路上鞋跟又掉了下來,害我當眾出醜。我當時唯一的想法是,I shouldn’t have pushed my luck. 在下面這個例子中,一群登山愛好者要做出一項十分艱難的選擇。讓我們一起聽聽看。

M: “My friend and I had planned this climb for months. And there we were, almost to the top.

But the sun was going down on us. Did we want to try and hurry? We decided not to PUSH OUR LUCK and risk an accident. After all, the mountain could wait until morning.”

其中一個人說:我跟朋友們策劃這次行動已經好幾個月了,眼看就要到山頂的時候,偏偏太陽下山了。我們要決定,是否繼續攀登,但是大家最後決定,還是不要挺而走險,可以等到早上,以免發生事故。

英語里有一句常說的話,叫 better safe than sorry,意思是寧可加倍小心,也要比發生意外好。還好這些登山愛好者比較明智,沒有 push their luck, 否則發生意外,後悔就完了。好的,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “My friend and I had planned this climb for months. And there we were, almost to the top. But the sun was going down on us. Did we want to try and hurry? We decided not to PUSH OUR LUCK and risk an accident. After all, the mountain could wait until morning.”

Push one’s luck 這個習慣用語可以追溯到二十世紀,也有人說得更簡單,就叫 push it. 我可以說,我先生不趕緊去看牙醫,是在 push it. 我沒有及時去修鞋,也是在 push it. 看來,我們大家都有這種時候。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: This has been Words and Idioms. Until next time.

我們下次節目再見。

A: Yeah, I always push my luck when it comes to dental problems…I will think it’s just a small cavity that could be fixed in a heartbeat, but it always turns out to be a bigger problem.

B: Exactly. You need to fix any health problems as soon as possible, otherwise you don’t know what’s going to happen. You just got to nip it in the bud.

A: 沒錯,消滅在萌芽狀態。

B: Actually in today’s business etiquette, we are going to talk about a thing that can affect your health, smoking. Let’s get some tips about how to quit smoking!

禮節美語 BE-231 Quit Smoking I

Daisy在公司走廊上跟同事Johnny打招呼。

Daisy: Hey Johnny, good to see you! How have you been? I haven’t seen you in almost a month.

Johnny: Eleven days, six hours, 21 minutes, and let me see….twenty something seconds.

D: Umm….eleven what?

J: Eleven days since my last cigarette!

D: Hey…good for you! High five!

Daisy將近一個月沒見到Johnny,Johnny在這期間把煙戒了,戒煙已經持續了 eleven days, six hours, 21 minutes, and twenty something seconds. 11天6小時21分鐘20幾秒。Daisy對Johnny表示讚揚,說 good for you! 有你的。這時候女同事Kathy湊了過來。

Kathy: Good afternoon. What are we celebrating?

D: Johnny here has been trying to quit cigarettes for years!

J: And today I’m almost 2 weeks into my program!

K: Wow, congratulations! I quit 10 years ago, but then again, I was never really a serious smoker.

D: Johnny here was a three-pack-a-day man!

K: You smoked three packs a day??! That’s some hard-core smoking! So…It must have been very difficult to quit.

J: Well, I’ve only been smoke-free for 11 days so I can’t pat myself on the back too much. But yes, it has been really tough…probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.

Kathy說自己是十年前戒的煙,但戒煙前其實抽得也不是很多,I was never a serious smoker. 這一點跟 Johnny 比大不一樣,Johnny原來每天抽三盒,He was a three-pack-a-day man. 英文里根據抽煙的多少,可以分為 social smoker 偶爾抽着玩的人;light smoker 煙癮不大的人;heavy smoker 煙癮很大的人,還有 chain smoker 一根接一根抽的人,Johnny顯然就是這種人,a hard-core smoker 鐵杆煙民。Johnny說,自己剛剛戒了11天,還不能 pat myself on the back 自滿。to pat oneself on the back 是自我表揚,自我鼓勵的意思。 Daisy說,

D: I quit cold turkey, and that was pretty darn hard.

J: Quitting smoking takes a lot of willpower, but these days a lot of help is available if you look for it.

K: My uncle tried hypnosis. A specialist tried to hypnotize him to give him the suggestion that he should stop smoking.

J: Did it work?

K: He quit for a few months, but then he fell back into his old habit.

D: A lot of my friends have tried nicotine patches. Nicotine is an addictive drug and when you quit using it, you get seriously grumpy. Sometimes a patch can help reduce nicotine cravings.

戒煙需要毅力,It takes a lot of willpower. Daisy說自己當年說不抽就不抽了,to quit something cold turkey. 意思是乾淨利落地戒掉某種習慣。Kathy說,她叔叔曾嘗試過hypnosis催眠,hypnosis is spelled h-y-p-n-o-s-i-s, hypnosis, 動詞是 hypnotize, h-y-p-n-o-t-i-z-e, 但是只堅持了幾個月,就又fell back into his old habit 重新撿起了舊習慣。Daisy說,他很多朋友都用 nicotine patches 尼古丁貼片,減少身體對尼古丁的 cravings, cravings 指強烈願望,在這是指對尼古丁的癮頭。戒煙還有其他什麼好辦法呢?我們下次繼續聽。

A: Johnny是個鐵杆煙民,a hard-core smoker, 原來每天都要抽三包。Daisy說,她當年戒煙,說不抽就不抽了,quit smoking cold turkey。Johnny覺得戒煙確實很難,it takes a lot of willpower, 需要很大的毅力。

B:Yeah definitely. Once your body is addicted to nicotine, it’s pretty hard to get it out of your system.

A: 我爺爺原來就是鐵杆煙民,不過啊我天天在他的煙上寫吸煙有害,現在呢,他每天抽三根,也算是戒煙成功一半了!

B: It’s always a good thing to have support from family and friends. Daisy is advising Johnny to participate in a therapy group so he can get support from people just like him. Let’s keep listening!

禮節美語 BE-232 Quit Smoking II

Daisy和Kathy聽說同事Johnny戒煙,很替他高興。Kathy問Johnny是怎麼戒的。

K: What’s worked so far?

J: Well, for starters, I saw a doctor who specializes in helping people quit smoking. The doctor recommended a therapy group that meets twice a week.

D: So everyone in the group is trying to quit smoking?

J: yep…we were all in the same boat. We have a buddy system….if we need help, we call each other.

K: That’s really great!

J: Also, the doctor recommended getting some exercise so I started doing some cycling. I could barely make it down the street for the first couple of days, but now I’m riding as much as 10 kilometers!

原來,Johnny專門找了個醫生,指導他如何戒煙,醫生建議他加入一個 therapy group 治療小組,小組成員都是想戒煙的煙民,同病相憐,they were all in the same boat. in the same boat是一個很常用的短語,意思是處境相同。另外,醫生還建議Johnny鍛煉身體,騎自行車。

D: When you quit smoking you also have to change your lifestyle. I had to stop drinking too much beer, because when I drank, it made me want to smoke. I started eating more fruits and vegetables and I cut down on red meat.

K: Yeah, that makes sense. Change your diet…change your lifestyle…start a new you!

J: So far the toughest time is when I’m hanging out with friends in clubs, bars or KTVs.

D: I guess you’ll just have to chew a lot of gum.

J: Yeah…the doctor told me to keep my mouth and hands busy! Chew gum, drink water, whistle, draw, hold a pencil…just try to distract my mind.

Daisy說,戒煙的一部分是要改變生活習慣,比如他自己,原來愛喝啤酒,一喝啤酒就自然而然地想抽煙,所以為了戒煙他索性連酒也少喝了,開始多吃蔬菜水果,並且 cut down on red meat. 少吃紅肉。to cut down on something 是減少的意思,red meat 紅肉,包括豬肉,牛肉,羊肉等,跟 red meat 相對的是雞肉和魚肉等 white meat. Johnny說,最痛苦的時候是跟朋友到夜總會和酒吧那種地方去,周圍抽煙喝酒的人太多,誘惑太大,醫生曾建議他,不要讓自己的嘴和手閑着,嚼口香糖,喝水,吹口哨,或者乾脆手裡拿根筆,都行。

K: I applaud your efforts to quit! I’m sure you’ll be much happier in the long run.

D: Yeah…a couple of years from now, you look back and wonder how you could’ve ever been a smoker!

J: I hope so…because it’s been pretty tough.

D: Don’t worry; there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

K: Keep up the good work!

J: Thanks, guys!

最後,Kathy 和Daisy都鼓勵Johnny一定要堅持,Daisy說,there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 隧道盡頭能看到光明,類似中文裡說的曙光就在前面。

A: 戒掉不好的習慣就靠毅力! 戒煙戒酒都是一樣。

B: Yep, the key is to be persistent. It applies to everything.

A: 萬事開頭難! 接下去就好了。Speaking of which, I think it’s time that you should start working on your sweets addiction…

B: Meh, I also exercise everyday, unlike……some people!

A: 哈! 算了,不跟你貧! 咱們現在再來學個詞兒!

Learn A Word 1720 dress code

今天我們要學的詞是 dress code. dress is spelled d-r-e-s-s, dress, code, c-o-d-e, code, dress code. Dress code 着裝要求。Under Iran’s Islamic dress code, women are required to cover their entire body in public. 根據伊朗的伊斯蘭教着裝要求,婦女在公共場合必須把身體遮蓋得嚴嚴實實的。美國伊利諾伊州一個學生因為身穿美國海軍陸戰隊T恤衫,T恤衫上畫著兩支槍的圖案,被學校指責違反着裝標準。The student’s father asked the school district to reconsider its dress code after the incident. 事發後,學生父親要求學校所在學區重新考慮對學生的着裝要求。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 dress code, dress code, dress code…

A: Yeah, different work places have different dress codes. I’m so glad we don’t have any!

B:Yeah….I mean, I still want to dress up for work though. I feel like when I’m dressed in business professional clothes I’m more productive. Dressing the part really makes a difference.

A: Yeah, that’s true. If I’m wearing something casual, I feel like I should be outside exploring the city….

B: Haha, we will have plenty of opportunities for that this weekend! Now let’s move on to our last segment of the day!

A: 來聽今天的美國習慣用語, Make a dent in!

Words and Idioms 832 Make a Dent in

美國習慣用語第 832講

第一次用信用卡的人,都會覺得,這簡直太方便了,身上不用帶現金,就能想買什麼就買什麼。可以別忘了,刷卡也是花錢,銀行帳戶里要有足夠的存款,賬單來的時候才不會陷入被動。我侄女就是,第一次有了自己的信用卡,興奮得忘乎所以,結果付不起賬單,欠了信用卡公司很多錢,只好節衣縮食,用了整整一年的時間,才慢慢還上。這讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,叫

M: Make a dent in. Dent is spelled d-e-n-t. Make-a-dent-in. Make a dent in.

名詞 dent 在中文裡是凹痕的意思。Make a dent in something 這個習慣用語的意思就是取得初步進展。從剛才我侄女的信用卡的例子里,我們就能看到,要還清信用卡債務,有多困難。It is very difficult to make a dent in credit card debt. 所以一定不能大意。

生病總是難免的,特別是冬天。大家可能都有過類似經歷,在家歇幾天病假,回去上班時,會發現很多工作都在等着自己處理。讓我們聽聽下面例子里這個可憐人是怎麼說的。

M: “After being home with the flu for a week, I finally returned to the office. I can’t believe how much I missed. I’ve already spent two days trying to catch up on the pile of paperwork on my desk. But I’ve barely MADE A DENT IN it. There’s still a lot more I need to do.”

這個人抱怨說:我因為流感在家歇了一星期的病假,真沒想到短短一個星期,會積累下這麼多工作。我花了整整兩天的時間,處理桌子上堆積如山的文件,但是好象一點也不見少,還是有一大堆需要處理。

我特別理解他的感受。前不久我去墨西哥渡了一個星期的假,沒帶電腦。結果回來後,信箱里積累了好幾百封電子郵件,我整整用了一個晚上的時間,才基本上處理完畢。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “After being home with the flu for a week, I finally returned to the office. I can’t believe how much I missed. I’ve already spent two days trying to catch up on the pile of paperwork on my desk. But I’ve barely MADE A DENT IN it. There’s still a lot more I need to do.”

每年聖誕節前夕,商店裡都會擁擠不堪,大家都要給親朋好友購買禮物。對於很多人來說,這是一件躲不過去的頭疼事兒,但是下面這個顧客好象卻很有成就感。讓我們一起聽聽這是為什麼。

M: “I come from a large family, so I have many people to buy for at Christmas. I’m usually rushing around in stores until the last minute, but this year is different. I’m really MAKING A DENT in my shopping list. Now I only have to pick up a few more presents and then I’ll be ready.”

這個人說:我來自一個大家庭,聖誕節要給很多人買禮物。往年我都要等到最後一分鐘才匆忙跑到店裡去採購,但是今年不同,購物清單上的很多東西都已經買齊了。如今只剩下幾件東西,我就萬事大吉了。
真是好樣的,加油!

最近,我們那個社區突然出現了很多胡亂塗鴉,破壞公物的情況。雖然警察局增派警力,加強巡邏,但絲毫沒有改善。It hasn’t made a dent in it. 好的,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “I come from a large family, so I have many people to buy for at Christmas. I’m usually rushing around in stores until the last minute, but this year is different. I’m really MAKING A DENT in my shopping list. Now I only have to pick up a few more presents and then I’ll be ready.”

有些事情不能操之過急。比如說,我女兒念書的那所學校里,去年學生□c讀考試的成績普遍下降。校長決定使用一套新教材。整整花了一年的時間,The teachers finally made a dent in test scores. 老師們終於幫助學生提高了考核的成績。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。雖然英語里有成千上萬的習慣用語,但是日積月累,必能滴水穿石。I am sure you are making a dent in them.

M: This has been Words and Idioms. Until next time.

我們下次節目再見。

A: I think all that running has worked Mike! I see you are making a dent in losing your beer belly!

B: Why thank you 楊琳! When you are ready to make a dent in those love handles you are free to come with me!

A:…..好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第106課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼!

A: 好! 今天,我們要一起來聊聊在公司報銷都有什麼規矩,看看別出心裁的結婚儀式,還要告訴你怎麼說捉刀人!

B: Yeah, most couples want a special wedding ceremony. It’s the kind of memory that will last a lifetime. I wonder what my wedding will be like…

A: You got to find someone who is willing to marry you first!

B: Ugh…

A: Kidding kidding! You will be fine! 咱們等會再來討論你夢想中的婚禮,現在, 先來進入第一個單元…

B: Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1743 ghost writer

今天我們要學的詞是 ghost writer. Ghost is spelled g-h-o-s-t, ghost, and writer, w-r-i-t-e-r, writer, ghost writer. Ghost writer 代筆作者,捉刀人。Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is taking heat for hiring Marc Thiessen, who vocally supports “enhanced interrogation techniques”, as his ghost writer. 威斯康辛州長沃克因為找馬克.泰森代寫新書而受到批評,因為泰森公開支持使用強化審訊手段。Michael Malice, the celebrity ghost writer, raised $30,000 to write an autobiography of Kim Jong-il. 著名捉刀人邁克爾.馬利斯集資三萬美元,準備給金正日寫傳記。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 ghost writer, ghost writer, ghost writer…

A: Ghost writer, 代筆作者。 現在是個人就可以出書,最後都不知道書是誰寫的!

B: Yep, I feel like Internet is the thing to blame. Nowadays a lot of people just go on the Internet, get whatever information that they can find and then start writing a book!

A: Yeah, the Internet is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s so much easier to obtain information now, but on the other, you need to have the ability to identify the useful from the useless.

B: Yep, or you can always just march to a different drummer, go back to reading academic papers!

A: 沒錯! 誒,你剛才提到了個很好的短語, march to a different drummer, 讓我們來聽今天的美國習慣用語,學學這個短語的用法!

Words and Idioms 833 MARCH TO A DIFFERENT DRUMMER

美國習慣用語第833講

我干廣播這一行已經十幾年了,以前的編輯都是每星期一早上開會,但是最近剛來的這位領導別出心裁,把小組會議改在了星期五下班以前。這倒讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,叫

M: March to a different drummer. March is spelled m-a-r-c-h, and drummer; d-r-u-m-m-e-r. March-to-a-different-drummer. March to a different drummer.

March to a different drummer. March 是齊步走,行軍的意思,drummer 是鼓手。March to a different drummer 按照不同鼓手的節奏前進,意思就是獨樹一幟,標新立異。這下大家明白了吧,別人一般都是星期一早上開會,但是新來的這位編輯卻規定星期五下班前開會,跟別人不一樣,這就叫 march to a different drummer. 其實啊,生活中這種人並不少見,讓我們聽聽下面例子里這個人是怎麼過年的。

M: “My friends are always inviting me to these crazy New Year’s Eve parties. But I’ve always MARCHED TO A DIFFERENT DRUMMER. Going to big noisy celebrations just to wait until midnight isn’t for me. I’d much rather stay home and have a quiet evening watching a good movie or reading a good book.”

這個人說:朋友們經常邀請我去參加他們那些瘋狂的元旦派對,但是我跟他們不一樣。我一點也不喜歡那種喧鬧的慶祝活動,我更願意一個人待在家裡,晚上安安靜靜地看個電影,或是讀本好書。

雖然我也是喜歡安靜的人,大年夜可不是安靜的時候,要讓我說,迎接新的一年到來,跟親朋好友在一起慶祝,一年就這麼一次,是無論如何也少不了的。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “My friends are always inviting me to these crazy New Year’s Eve parties. But I’ve always MARCHED TO A DIFFERENT DRUMMER. Going to big noisy celebrations just to wait until midnight isn’t for me. I’d much rather stay home and have a quiet evening watching a good movie or reading a good book.”

有時候,我還會穿上晚禮服,跟先生一起到大飯店裡去參加新年慶祝活動, 玩個通宵呢!

剛才說到新年晚會,下次我要記得,一定得穿一雙舒服點兒的鞋。我朋友建議我,下次買鞋,可以上網去試試。下面就讓我們一起聽聽一家網上鞋店的介紹。

M: “Zappos, the biggest online shoe store could have copied its competitors. Instead, it MARCHED TO A DIFFERENT DRUMMER. By offering free shipping, a 365-day return policy and continuously available service, it provided some of the best service in the industry. Maybe that’s why it’s grown from nothing to an almost $1 billion giant.”

這個人說:最大的網上鞋店 Zappos 本來可以效仿對手的做法,隨大流,但是他們卻選擇了獨樹一幟,為顧客提供網上購物一些最優惠的服務,包括免費送貨上門,購物一年之內包退包換等,這可能就是
他們白手起家,發展成為一個價值十億美元的大公司的秘訣。

看來,這家公司的經營者還真是挺有創意的。我認識一對夫婦,他們結婚是在山崖上,婚禮最精彩的節目是蹦極。WOW,真夠刺激的。這就叫 March to a different drummer. 好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “Zappos, the biggest online shoe store could have copied its competitors. Instead, it MARCHED TO A DIFFERENT DRUMMER. By offering free shipping, a 365-day return policy and continuously available service, it provided some of the best service in the industry. Maybe that’s why it’s grown from nothing to an almost $1 billion giant.”

很顯然,March to a different drummer 這個習慣用語的出處跟閱兵,儀仗有關,來自美國著名作家和思想家亨利•戴維•梭羅1854年著作《沃爾登》里的一句話。也許你聽人說過,March to a different beat, march to a different tune, 還有 march to the beat of a different drum or drummer, 其實這些說法都是一個意思。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: This has been Words and Idioms. Until next time.

我們下次節目再見。

B: That’s what I was talking about. I want to march to a different drummer for my wedding. Actually, instead of having a wedding, I would rather spend the money on an around-the-world trip!

A: 其實現在很多人都這樣結婚啊! 省去了婚禮的繁瑣,還多了一份共同的旅行記憶! 我也覺得這樣很好!

B: And you can save a lot of money on all the useless things you have to get for a wedding, like flowers….You can actually have a better financial starting point for your future life.

A: That’s definitely true! In today’s business etiquette, we will touch on how to save expense, not for your personal life, but in business settings. Let’s check it out!

禮節美語–Expense Accounts

公司開會,最後一項討論內容是支出賬目,經理 Tim 讓會計部主任 John 介紹情況。

Ok, now for the last item on our agenda: expense accounts. Let me turn the meeting over to our chief accountant, John Summers. John?

Thank you, Tim. As you all know, the current economic climate is, to put it mildly, difficult. Our company is being affected by higher prices and a downturn in orders.

Basically, we are going to have to tighten our belts.

支出賬目 Expense accounts 是指員工可以因公報銷的賬目。會計部主任 John 說,現在經濟不景氣,公司成本價格上升,定單減少。經理 Tim 說,因此大家要勒緊褲腰帶,tighten our belts.

Yes, that’s exactly right. And one of the first ways we can save money is by clarifying what you can and cannot claim as “company expenses.” For starters, we will henceforth limit each person’s personal expense account to $300.

That’s cutting it pretty close, no? I mean, when I have to go to New York on a business trip, 300 bucks blows by pretty fast.

John 說,要減少不必要開支,先要明確什麼支出可以報銷。For starters, 首先,要把個人支出賬目限制在三百塊以內。Shannon 認為,限制太嚴了cut it pretty close. 她舉例說,去紐約出差,300塊一眨眼就花光了。300 bucks blows by pretty fast.

Yes, we understand. But your $300 isn’t for “special expenses” such as taking a client to dinner. And, of course, the company still pays for your hotel accommodation and all airfares.

But transport while traveling such as taxis, etc., that comes out of the $300?

Yes, it would. So would food for yourself and any other small purchases.

John 說,三百塊限額不包括請客戶吃飯,也不包括旅館住宿和機票,這三百塊的用途是打車和自己吃飯。

It does – however — mean that you’ll have to cut back on some of the “extras.”

Like what?

Well, I don’t want to single people out, but here’s a good example: someone claimed $120 for a massage. That’s the kind of stuff that will be axed.

John 進一步解釋說,要減少額外開支,cut back on some of the “extras”, e-x-t-r-a-s, extras 是指額外的東西。比如說按摩 massage. 按摩這類不必要的□
‘7d支一定要被砍掉 will be axed。

Let me speak up here. I’m the one that claimed the massage, but I think I deserved it. I was at the Berlin trade fair for three days before flying directly to Peru to visit our supplier. I was doggone tired!

Mike 承認,報銷按摩的人就是他,但他覺得這是自己應得的。I deserved it. 因為他在柏林參加了整整三天的博覽會後,又直接飛到秘魯去見公司的供應商。I was doggone tired! 累死了。

A: 經理Tim說,現在經濟不景氣,公司預算不好,大家需要tighten our belt, 勒緊褲腰帶, cut back on some of the extras, 減少額外的開支,things like massage will be axed, 像按摩這類的一定要砍掉。

B:Yeah, I feel like some of the expenses in private companies are really ridiculous. There’s an expense account called entertainment, and you basically can take your clients everywhere, including a strip bar!

A: Well…not that I agree with it, but some business is done in that way. Let’s keep listen to Tim and John about how to cut their expense!

禮節美語–Expense Accounts II

公司開會討論支出賬目,經理 Tim 和會計部主任 John 告訴大家,要緊縮開支,首先從員工可報銷的賬目下手。Tim 說,

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: we’ll have to cut back on our expenses or we’ll have to cut back on staff, something I’d rather not do.

But we still have discretionary spending money, right?

Sure. You can spend half of the $300 on whatever you want without providing a receipt.

經理 Tim 說,我不想粉飾太平,sugarcoat it. 實際情況是,不減少開支,就得裁員。Mike 問,是不是還有 discretionary spending money, 可以隨便支配的錢。答案是,三百塊里一半的開銷都可以不交收據。

What other ways can we help cut costs?

Well, if it’s a flight of less than four hours, we’re going to ask you to fly economy class. For long distance flights you can still use business class.

And we need to talk about client dinners. I know you have to take the client to a nice place. I know you can’t take them to McDonald’s.

But…the five Michelin star A+1 Golden Steakhouse? That’s pushing it. I see a $265 claim here for a business dinner for two. That’s got to come down.

Tim 說,今後凡是不到四個小時的短途飛行,一律改為經濟艙。John 補充說,請客戶吃飯,雖然不能去麥當勞,但兩個人吃牛排花265塊,則未免有些過份。That’s pushing it.

Actually, I’ve been doing more Internet research before I take clients to business meals. I’ve found you can save a lot of money by choosing an interesting, special place that isn’t necessarily expensive.

Right! Say, “I know this little place…” and take them somewhere cool, but not at $265 a pop!

Shannon 建議,不用帶客戶去太貴的地方吃飯,可以帶他們去一些更有意思,但並不貴的餐館。Tim 贊成,說最好是 take them somewhere cool, but not at $265 a pop. A pop 是每次花多少錢的意思。

Another thing: stay out of the hotel bar! It’s outrageous what they charge for a couple of cocktails! Go find a bar down the street to meet at. It’s got more character and it’s substantially cheaper.

Yes, good thinking.

And it goes without saying, the hotel room’s “adult” movies are not business expenses. (Laughter)

No, they most certainly aren’t! Thanks guys! I appreciate your understanding.

Mike 補充說,旅館酒吧太貴。最好能出去找個酒吧見面。不僅便宜,而且 It’s got more character. 還更有個性。Mike 搞笑道,It goes without saying 不用說,旅館的成人電影是不能報銷的。

A: I agree! A 300-dollar business meal is definitely over the limit! It’s always more fun to go to some place that has more personality.

B: Yeah, for a foodie like me, it’s always important to go where the best gourmet food is.

A: But you need to watch out though. We don’t have a big paycheck!

B: Yeah. That’s why I’m learning to cook for myself.

A: Well, let’s see how to use the word “paycheck”!

Learn A Word 1745 paycheck

今天我們要學的詞是 paycheck. Paycheck is spelled p-a-y-c-h-e-c-k, paycheck. Paycheck 工資單。為了顯示跟被迫停薪休假的聯邦僱員同甘共苦,President Obama will give 5% of his paycheck back to the federal government. 美國總統奧巴馬將拿出工資的5%來還給國庫。在美國,一個典型中產階級家庭把孩子養大到17歲,平均要花費23萬5千美元。對於學齡孩子的家長來說,Costs from their children’s extracurricular activities like football, gymnastics, and music lessons, chip away at their paychecks. 家長收入的一部分要花在孩子的橄欖球,體操和聲樂等課餘活動上。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 paycheck, paycheck, paycheck…

A: 哇,養個小孩到17歲要花23萬美元,簡直可以買棟房子了!

B:Yeah, kids are really expensive. In America, tuition at private schools is off-the-charts. If you send you kids to private high school, their tuition is going to be over 50k a year.

A: That’s true, but there’re also different kinds of scholarship to help those who can’t afford to pay tuition but are qualified to go to a good school!

B: Yep, I got a couple of scholarships to go to college in Ohio thanks to some local NGOs!

A: A lot of NGO are going to the mat for the students in need these days. Speaking of which, 我們來聽今天的美國習慣用語, go to the mat!

Words and Idioms 834 GO TO THE MAT

美國習慣用語第 834 講

我可不是老古董,對進步事物總是拍手稱快。不過,最近有人建議,把我們家附近的一個公園推掉,蓋個超市,這我可不贊成。好在,市政委員會的一名代表跟我的想法一樣。他正在竭盡全力設法推翻這項提案。這倒讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,叫

M: Go to the mat. Mat is spelled m-a-t. Go-to-the-mat. Go to the mat.

Mat 是腳墊,地板墊的意思,to go to the mat 意思是不遺餘力,設法解決難題,往往是為了那些無權無勢的小人物的利益。就好像剛才說到的,我們地區的那位市政議員努力說服其他人,不要拆掉我們附近的公園。I’m so thankful that he’s been willing to GO TO THE MAT for my neighborhood. 他能為我們這個居民區搖旗吶喊,據理力爭,真讓我感動。在下面這個例子中,上司的支持讓一名僱員感激涕零。我們一起聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “When I told my supervisor that I was going to be let go, she marched into the president’s office to defend me. Apparently, she told him that the company couldn’t afford to lose one of its most valuable employees. If she hadn’t GONE TO THE MAT for me, I wouldn’t still be here.”

這個人說:我告訴上司說,公司要解僱我,她馬上找到總裁,為我進行辯護。顯然,她告訴總裁說,公司不能失去象我這樣最有價值的僱員。要不是她挺身而出,替我說話,我今天早不在這兒了。

有這麼個替自己撐腰的上司,可真夠幸運的。這倒讓我想起我的一個高中同學,他後來在一個大學裡當系主任。那所大學裡很多有學習障礙的學生多年來一直抱怨說,他們得不到應有的幫助。直到我的這位同學當上系主任,他們的問題才得到了解決,She went to the mat for them. 給他們爭取到了各種各樣的幫助。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “When I told my supervisor that I was going to be let go, she marched into the president’s office to defend me. Apparently, she told him that the company couldn’t afford to lose one of its most valuable employees. If she hadn’t GONE TO THE MAT for me, I wouldn’t still be here.”

很顯然,每個社會裡都有不少需要別人代言的群體。讓我們一起聽聽下面這個例子。

M: “What happens to the poor and sick who need to see a doctor? Fortunately, one of my favorite charities is GOING TO THE MAT for these needy people. It’s a clinic that travels across the U.S. to provide thousands with free medical services. Because of its staff of volunteer health care professionals and donated supplies, there’s a little less suffering in the country.”

這個人說:那些沒錢看病的窮人該怎麼辦呢?幸運的是,我們最喜歡的一個慈善機構正在向這批人伸出援手。他們出資辦的一個流動診所到美國各地去,給數以千計的人免費看病。診所里不求報酬的醫務工作者和社會各方捐獻的醫療設備,讓我們這個國家減少了一分病痛。

真巧,我最近剛剛在電視上看過這個流動診所創辦人的人物介紹,這個人真是太了不起了。正是因為這種人的出現,社會上需要幫助的人才有了希望。好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “What happens to the poor and sick who need to see a doctor? Fortunately, one of my favorite charities is GOING TO THE MAT for these needy people. It’s a clinic that travels across the U.S. to provide thousands with free medical services. Because of its staff of volunteer health care professionals and donated supplies, there’s a little less suffering in the country.”

也許你能猜到,go to the mat這個習慣用語是從摔跤比賽來的,指把對手摁在墊子上,最早的使用可以追溯到二十世紀初。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。你現在又多了一個習慣用語,用一下試試看,如果有人敢說你用得不對,只管告訴我,I will go to the mat for you.

A: My dream is to be a journalist that can make a difference in the world! I want to go to the mat for those who are underprivileged.

B: I’m pretty sure the underprivileged would rather have someone else going to the mat for them….

A:…..好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。 如果你有什麼建議,或者想提什麼問題,請發電子郵件到meiyu@voanews.com.

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第107課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼!

A: 好! 今天,我們要一起來聊聊慈善捐款,看看如何表達貨真價實,還要告訴你如何自控!

B: Yeah, I put aside some money for charity every year. Even though I don’t have a big paycheck, I feel like it’s everyone’s job to help those who are in need.

A: 哇,可以嘛 Mike! I didn’t know you had such a noble heart!

B: Of course! Well…we’ll save this for later in the show. For now let’s begin our lesson with….

A: Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1748 prepaid

今天我們要學的詞是 prepaid. Prepaid is spelled p-r-e-p-a-i-d, prepaid. Prepaid 預付的。Many states in the U.S. offer prepaid tuition plans for public universities. 美國很多州都提供預付公立大學學費的計劃。Justin Bieber is launching a new prepaid debit card aimed at teens. 賈斯汀.比伯準備發行一個新的借記卡,主要吸引十幾歲的青少年用戶。一項最近研究顯示,People between the age of 18 to 34 are more likely than other age groups to consider using a prepaid card instead of a checking account. 18歲到34歲的人,比其他年齡層的人更願意使用預付卡,而不是活期銀行帳戶。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 prepaid, prepaid, prepaid…

A:I guess prepaid cards are safer than credit cards. You can’t over spend since there is only so much money on the card.

B: They certainly can help you better manage your budget, but you need to be careful as well. One time I bought a gift card for my mom, but it turned out that there was less money on the card than what the store advertised!

A: Yep, you need to make sure you have the real McCoy.

B: Exactly! Our audience probably are wondering what “the real McCoy” is! Let’s check out today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 835 THE REAL McCOY

美國習慣用語第 835 講

常聽人說,如果什麼事聽上去好得難以想象,那八成就是騙人的。我的一個朋友不久前在小攤上買了一塊鑽石,只要一百塊。我告訴她,這麼大小的鑽石在商店裡起碼要花三百塊。結果她到珠寶店去鑒定,發現鑽石是假的。這倒讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,

M: The real McCoy. McCoy is spelled M-c-C-o-y. The-real-McCoy. The real McCoy.

大家也許會問,McCoy 是什麼意思。其實啊,這個詞沒有意思,而是一個人名。The real McCoy 這個習慣用語的意思是“貨真價實的,不是假冒仿造的”。剛才說到我的一個朋友貪便宜,結果買了一顆假鑽石,就跟大街上的偽造名牌皮包和手錶一樣,It was not The real McCoy.下面例子里的這位男士也被假象蒙住了眼睛,不過好在沒有金錢上的損失,讓我們一起聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “I haven’t traveled much. So when I visited Las Vegas, I was shocked to see the Eiffel Tower. I just couldn’t understand what the symbol of France was doing in Nevada. Well, it turned out to be an impressive replica. I guess I’m rather gullible. If I really want my picture in front of THE REAL McCOY, I’ll have to fly to Paris!”

這個人說:我很少出門旅行。這次到拉斯維加斯去,居然看到了埃菲爾鐵塔,我真搞不懂,巴黎的標誌怎麼會跑到了內華達,最後發現,原來是仿造的,我可真夠傻的。如果真想站在埃菲爾鐵塔前面照相,我還得飛到巴黎去。

確實,我最近剛去過拉斯維加斯,那裡的賭場都有自己的名堂,在拉斯維加斯大道上,不僅能看到埃菲爾鐵塔,還能看到紐約的自由女神像呢。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “I haven’t traveled much. So when I visited Las Vegas, I was shocked to see the Eiffel Tower. I just couldn’t understand what the symbol of France was doing in Nevada. Well, it turned out to be an impressive replica. I guess I’m rather gullible. If I really want my picture in front of THE REAL McCOY, I’ll have to fly to Paris!”

我這次在拉斯維加斯看了一場演出,表演者模仿的是貓王。他從穿着打扮到舉止聲音,都酷似貓王,簡直讓人覺得 He is THE REALY McCOY.

在剛剛過去的2008年總統大選中,奧巴馬改寫了美國歷史,成為第一位非洲裔總統。但與此同時,共和黨的副總統候選人佩林也出盡了風頭,讓我們聽聽這是為什麼。

M: “Governor Sarah Palin became the first woman to run for Vice President as part of a Republican ticket. While many critics dismissed her candidacy, she drew huge crowds at campaign stops across the U.S. Supporters found her refreshingly different from typical politicians. To them, she was THE REAL McCOY, a genuine person that they could identify with.”

這個人說:佩林州長成為共和黨有史以來的第一位女性副總統候選人。雖然很多評論人士對她不以為然,但她所到之處,都會吸引很多支持者,他們在佩林身上看到了跟普通政客不同的地方。對他們來說,佩林是一個真實的人,能設身處地地理解人民的疾苦。

也許再過四年,佩林又會出現在共和黨的選票上,誰知道呢!好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “Governor Sarah Palin became the first woman to run for Vice President as part of a Republican ticket. While many critics dismissed her candidacy, she drew huge crowds at campaign stops across the U.S. Supporters found her refreshingly different from typical politicians. To them, she was THE REAL McCOY, a genuine person that they could identify with.”

對於 THE REAL McCOY 這個習慣用語的出處,研究辭源的專家們有不同見解。有的說 THE REAL McCOY 是從19世紀80年代中期一個蘇格蘭威士忌的廣告來的;有的說是從美國19世紀晚期一個臭名昭著的家族紛爭來的;還有人說 McCoy 是美國歷史上一個有名的牧場主、或是造船主、或是走私酒的人。最為大家接受的說法是,THE REAL McCOY 跟二十世紀一個著名的拳擊冠軍有關,他為了防止別人盜用自己的名號,取名 Kid McCoy.

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

M: This has been Words and Idioms. Until next time.

下次節目再見。

A: 沒錯! 這次我回北京,滿大街人都背着LV包! Although I think at least half of them are not the real McCoy.

B: Well…personally I think knock-offs are not all that bad. I really can’t understand why people would spend over 2000 dollars on a bag! It’s just a bag! If I had that kind of money to spend, I would rather give it to charity to help those who are less fortunate!

A: Wow, good for you Mike! Speaking of which, I’ve already spent my entire paycheck for the month. Do you wanna…maybe…buy me lunch today?

B: Ha, I’m talking about people who really need help. But….I guess lunch is OK!

A: Deal! 咱們言歸正傳, In today’s business etiquette, we will touch on the topic of giving to charity. Let’s check it out!

禮節美語 Giving to a Charity part 1

公司開會,討論慈善捐款的問題,Michael說:

Michael: Ok, folks….It’s been a tough year, but we’re going to stick with our tradition and give our usual yearly amount. Any suggestions?

Frank: Perhaps we could donate to my church’s missionary group. I know a couple other good Christian organizations that could use some help.

Jenny: Um….if I might interject. I don’t have a problem with religious charities but I do object to any proselytizing.

雖然公司不景氣,但還是打算依慣例捐款。Frank 建議捐給基督教團體,但是 Jenny 反對向特定宗教色彩的團體捐助,避免支持某一宗教之嫌。p-r-o-s-e-l-y-t-i-z-e proselytize 是勸人信教的意思。

M: Ok, that’s a good point to think about. We want the donations to reflect the entire company so we should avoid anything controversial.

Gina: I was thinking perhaps we could give to more international causes. The victims of that horrible earthquake in China still need a lot of help.

F: How about the Red Cross? They have a pretty good track record, right?

G: Yeah, let’s give them 10%.

M, G, J: Agreed.

Michael 同意 Jenny 的看法,因為捐助代表整個公司,應該避免任何爭議。Gina 提議捐給國際慈善事業,比如說中國地震災民。Frank 提出,紅十字會的記錄就不錯,track record 記錄。大家同意把百分之十的錢捐給紅十字會。

J: I was doing some research before this meeting and I found a great website called CharityWatch.org. They have lots of tips about avoiding fraud and giving to the right organizations. Did you know that nearly 70,000 new American charity groups were founded just last year?

F: Wow….that’s a lot of choices. It’s kind of daunting!

M: So should we stick with the tried and proven groups or should we branch out?

Jenny 說,有個叫“charitywatch.org”的網站,上面有不少如何選擇慈善團體的建議,去年一年,美國就成立了七萬個慈善團體。Michael 問大家,我們是循規蹈矩,還是做一些新的嘗試呢? stick with the tried and proven groups 是指經過證明可靠的慈善團體。

G: Here’s an interesting one. A group called “Water-4-Africa” sponsors water-purifying kits that can help eliminate serious diseases.

M: I like it. All in favor?

G, F,: Yes.

J: It sounds good. But I think I should do a bit more research. The American Institute of Philanthropy suggests we check to see how much of the funds they use for direct charity work and how much goes to administration costs.

F: You know, Jenny has a point. All these groups look good on paper, but you never know.

Gina 提到一個為非洲提供潔凈水的團體,大家都覺得不錯。但是 Jenny 表示,應該再調查一下,看看捐款有多少直接用於慈善項目,多少是給工作人員發工資的。Frank 覺得 Jenny 言之有理,Jenny has a point. 這些團體寫得都很冠冕堂皇,All these groups look good on paper. 但實際操作就不一定了。

A: So you mentioned earlier that you do charity work. What kind of work do you do then?

B: I help out at a local soup kitchen a couple of times a month.

A: Yeah, I’m going to donate some of my clothes to Goodwill this weekend. I’m never going to wear them, so I think they should go to those who need them!

A: Good for you! Now Let’s keep listening to Jenny and Michael.

禮節美語 Giving to a Charity part II

公司開會,討論慈善捐款的問題,Jenny 建議事先調查一下,某個慈善團體的項目資金和行政開支的比例:

J: The recommendation is that 60% of funds should go to projects with no more than 40% going to the charity’s own costs.

M: Here’s another good website: CharityNavigator.org. You can search specific groups and check their ratings. The Red Cross is number five in the “Most Recommended Charities.”

G: There’s also animal-related groups. How about the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals?

F: They’re number four on the list. Sounds good.

一般的開支規範是,慈善團體要將百分之六十的捐款用於慈善項目,行政開支不得超過百分之四十。Michael 提到了一個叫“CharityNavigator.org”的網站,在該網站推薦的慈善團體中,紅十字會排名第五,反對虐待動物社團排名第四。

J: World Vision is number one. They’re a Christian group that provides lot of medical assistance in Asia and Africa.

M: And of course, while we all enjoy doing a good deed, we do need to ensure that the company can get a tax break from our contributions.

G: I’ll double check that donations to each of those groups are in fact tax-deductible.

向亞洲和非洲提供醫療幫助的基督教團體“世界視野” 名列第一。Michael 提醒說,做好事的同時,也要保證公司的捐款能抵稅。We do need to ensure that the company get a tax break from our contributions. Gina 說,她會 double check 查清楚,這些慈善捐款都是能夠抵稅的,tax-deductible.

F: I just had a thought. Every year we give corporate donations and that’s all well and good, but we might consider giving our time instead.

G: Interesting! You mean like volunteering? I like it.

M: Hummm…. that could work. Any specific suggestions?

F: Well, we all have our pet causes. Gina is an animal lover. I have church projects. Jenny is a computer genius….we all have something we could teach or offer.

Frank 建議,在捐款的同時,也可以用做義工的方式為慈善事業出力,這一建議受到了大家的肯定。Frank 說,we all have our pet causes. 我們都有自己熱衷的事情 pet causes。Gina 喜歡動物,我積极參加教會的活動項目,而 Jenny 是個電腦天才。

J: That idea is very worth considering. In some ways, that’s a lot more meaningful than giving money.

G: Yeah. Even doing something simple like volunteering to answer the phone lines at the Red Cross can be a huge help.

M: Ok, how about if we give half of our contribution as donations and for the other half we give our time or expertise to the group of our choice?

All: Agreed!

大家都覺得這個主意不錯。Jenny 說,從某種角度說,這比給錢更有意義。That’s a lot more meaningful than giving money. 最後大家一致同意,捐款只做為慈善募捐的一部分,另外一部分由大家自己挑選慈善團體,為它們貢獻時間或是專業技能。

A: 我也覺得貢獻自己的時間比給錢更有心! I remember one time I went to an organization to help teach “English as a Second Language” courses, I felt so good helping immigrants learn English!

B: It’s always better to give than to receive. There is this place that I go to every Wednesday. Basically we help kids with ADHD learn how to concentrate. Since I had ADHD when I was a kid, I learned self-control the hard way. I want to share my experience so these kids can have a easier time than I did.

A: 你的形象簡直都高大了! Now let’s look at how to use the word “self-control”!

Learn A Word 1750 self-control

今天我們要學的詞是 self-control. Self-control is spelled self, s-e-l-f, self, and control, c-o-n-t-r-o-l, control, self-control. Self-control 自控。A growing body of research suggests that there is a link between low levels of self-control in childhood and serious problems later in life. 越來越多的研究顯示,孩子小時候缺乏自控能力會導致長大成人後的很多問題。還有研究發現,If you’re struggling with self-control, the best way to achieve it is to surround yourself with strong-willed friends. 如果你缺乏自控能力的話,最好的辦法就是多交一些意志力堅強的朋友。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 self-control, self-control, self-control…

A: 缺乏自控,就交一些自控能力很強的朋友。這靠譜! 環境真的會影響人! 這就是近朱者赤,近墨者黑啦!

B: Exactly. Yang Lin, now that you work with ME everyday, I guess…we can expect an improvement in your productivity and creativity.

A: Ugh….I think the only thing that I’m going to improve on is my eating ability!

B: Hey!

A: 哈哈,好了好了,不開玩笑了! 我們來聽今天的最後一個環節:美國習慣用語!

Words and Idioms 836 METHOD TO ONE’S MADNESS

美國習慣用語第 836 講

我上個月坐火車到紐約去看朋友,上車後剛要坐下,旁邊座位上的女乘客就開始很大聲的自言自語,看上去好像不太正常,嚇得我只好在過道對面遠遠地坐下。後來我注意到,每次有人要在這個女的旁邊坐下,她就會開始自言自語,如果沒人,她就很安靜。我這才恍然大悟,原來她是在裝瘋賣傻,為了就是不讓別人坐在自己身邊。這也讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,

M: Method to one’s madness. Method is spelled m-e-t-h-o-d, and madness; madness; m-a-d-n-e-s-s. Method-to-one’s-madness. Method to one’s madness.

在中文裡,method 是方式方法;madness 是瘋狂。我們說 Method to one’s madness,意思是表面看似瘋狂的舉止,其實有它隱含的目的。剛才說到的火車上的那個女人,為了不讓別人坐在自己身邊而裝瘋賣傻。我們就可以說,There was a Method to her madness. 在生活中,讓人摸不着頭腦的事情有很多,但是仔細分析,往往又會發現其中的道理。讓我們一起聽聽下面這個孩子的回憶。

M: “When I was a kid, my dad used to take long drives around the state I grew up in. I thought he wanted to go sightseeing. Then I realized he was looking around for the service station offering the cheapest price on gas. I should have known there was a reasonable explanation for those odd road trips. Yes, there was a METHOD TO HIS MADNESS.”

這個人說:小時候,爸爸常常帶我開車到處跑,我原來以為他是開車出去兜風,後來才明白,他是在找便宜的加油站。我早該明白,他開車莫名其妙地到處走不是沒有目的的。

其實,很多人都干過這種事,開車到處跑,就為了找個便宜的加油站,特別是油價特別貴的時候。不過,也不能離家太遠,否則花在路上的汽油錢刨去省下來的錢,也就所剩無幾了。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “When I was a kid, my dad used to take long drives around the state I grew up in. I thought he wanted to go sightseeing. Then I realized he was looking around for the service station offering the cheapest price on gas. I should have known there was a reasonable explanation for those odd road trips. Yes, there was a METHOD TO HIS MADNESS.”

說到省錢,我爺爺可不是一般人,我還記得小時候到爺爺家去,看到他攢了很多空的鐵罐子,後來我才發現,他把這些鐵罐子整齊地擺放在一起,上面鋪塊布,然後睬在上面夠東西。雖說我肯定不會這樣做,但至少 I saw a METHOD TO THEIR MADNESS. 下面例子里有人別出心裁,為了漲工資而背水一戰。讓我們一起聽聽看。

M: “My colleagues assumed I’d gone crazy when I threatened to resign my position as assistant sales manager. What none of them suspected was that I wanted the boss to give me a promotion. And it worked. Within a week I was running the department. See, there was a METHOD TO MY MADNESS!”

這個人說:我宣布要辭去銷售部副經理的職務,同事們都以為我瘋了。沒人會想到,我這樣做其實是為了逼着老闆給我升職。我的計劃居然成功了,怎麼樣,我看似瘋狂的舉動其實是有目的的。

這個人可真夠意思,不過我還是建議,想升職的朋友不要效仿他的做法,搞不好連飯碗都丟了。好,我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “My colleagues assumed I’d gone crazy when I threatened to resign my position as assistant sales manager. What none of them suspected was that I wanted the boss to give me a promotion. And it worked. Within a week I was running the department. See, there was a METHOD TO MY MADNESS!”

有時候,大家也會聽到有人說,METHOD IN ONE’S MADNESS,特別是在英式英語裡面。METHOD IN ONE’S MADNESS 跟 METHOD TO ONE’S MADNESS 兩種說法的意思是一樣的。莎氏比亞的名著《哈姆雷特》裡面就曾出現過這個習慣用語。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: This has been Words and Idioms. Until next time.

下次節目再見。

A: Wow….threatening you are going to resign to get a raise?(Pause) Mike, I think you should go try it!

B: I don’t need threats to get a raise, my work performance speaks for itself.

A:…..好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第108課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼!

A: 好! 今天,我們要一起來聊聊綠色環保,看看怎麼表達沉重的負擔,還要告訴你怎麼說像紐約這樣的大熔爐!

B: Yep, everyone should do what they can to protect the environment. You should always recycle your garbage, always choose to go paperless with bank and utility statements, and….stop using disposable chopsticks! (Eyeing at Yanglin)

A: Who are you referring to?

B:Nobody!

A: 算了,不跟你計較! 同學們肯定等着急了,咱們趕快來進入第一個單元吧!

B: Let’s listen to learn a word!

Learn A Word 1754 in recent memory

今天我們要學的詞是 in recent memory. In recent memory, recent is spelled r-e-c-e-n-t, and memory, m-e-m-o-r-y, memory, in recent memory. In recent memory 意思是在最近的記憶中。We just had the longest and coldest winter in recent memory. 剛過去的冬天是我們能記得起來的最漫長,最寒冷的一個冬天。與此同時,Skiing resorts had the best conditions in recent memory for the month of March. 滑雪渡假地三月份的雪況也是近年來最好的。Brittney Griner, one of the most dominant female basketball players in recent memory, came out as being gay. 我們能想得起來的最厲害的女籃球選手之一布蘭妮.格瑞娜宣布,自己是同性戀。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 in recent memory, in recent memory, in recent memory…

A: We just had the longest spring in recent memory for DC! I love spring, it’s the best season! 總覺得一切都充滿生機呢!

B: Not for me! I anything less then 75 degrees is too cold! I’ve even been avoiding going out with my friends because its been so cold.夏天怎麼這麼慢來?

A: HAHA,aw…. you poor thing! Sounds like a real millstone around your neck! I’m sorry Mike…Look at the bright side, at least you are working with me!

B: Exactly! (Sarcastically) But you did mention a interesting idiom “millstone around one’s neck”. Let’s check out today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 837 Millstone Around One’s Neck

美國習慣用語

我有個表兄,說起來挺可憐的。他從小就立志要做律師。幾年前如願以償,從法學院畢業,加入了一家律師事務所。如今,他一天從早忙到晚,周末都不能跟家人在一起。可是因為上法學院欠下的一屁股債,所以又不能放棄律師的工作。他面臨的進退兩難的局面,倒是讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,

M: Millstone around one’s neck. Millstone is spelled m-i-l-l-s-t-o-n-e. Millstone-around-one’s-neck. Millstone around one’s neck.

在中文裡,Millstone 是磨石、磨盤的意思。Millstone around one’s neck 脖子上掛着磨盤,意思是沉重的負擔,就象我表兄眼下的工作,雖然他不願意沒日沒夜地干,但又無法放棄這份工作,成了負擔。It’s a millstone around his neck.

雖然收入豐厚,又有社會地位,但是不開心的律師絕不只我表兄一個,如果在選擇發展方向之前就知道做律師的辛苦,可能很多人都會選擇其他職業。

在美國,除了住宅外,很多人家還有專門渡假用的別墅,但有的時候,別墅也會成為負擔。讓我們聽聽下面這段話。

M: “Imagine having your own vacation property; a place you can go whenever you want to relax! Before you invest, make sure you understand what you’re getting involved in. The reality is that a second home can often be a tremendous demand on your time, energy and resources. Do you really want a MILLSTONE AROUND YOUR NECK?”

這個人說:想象一下,如果有自己渡假用的屋子,隨時可以去放鬆精神。但是投資前,你可得考慮周全,現實情況是,保養別墅需要佔用你很多時間、精力和金錢。你想承受這樣的負擔嗎?
我的鄰居曾經有一艘私人遊艇。他後來告訴我說,賣掉遊艇的那一天是他除了結婚以外,這輩子最開心的一天,因為保養遊艇需要太多的時間和精力。It was a MILLSTONE AROUND HIS NECK. 好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Imagine having your own vacation property; a place you can go whenever you want to relax! Before you invest, make sure you understand what you’re getting involved in. The reality is that a second home can often be a tremendous demand on your time, energy and resources. Do you really want a MILLSTONE AROUND YOUR NECK?”

繁重的工作、遊艇和別墅,別以為只有這些事情才會成為負擔,聽了下面的例子,你就會發現,有時候,某個人也會成為負擔。

M: “My wife and I looked forward to hosting my nephew while he looked for a job. But now it’s been weeks since he arrived. We’d probably be more understanding if he offered to help out around the house instead of playing video games all the time. Frankly, he’s become a MILLSTONE AROUND OUR NECKS. We can’t endure him much longer.”

這個人說:我侄子找工作的時候,我和太太非常願意讓他跟我們住在一起。但是現在,他已經待了好幾個星期了,如果他主動幫助做些家務,而不是成天玩電子遊戲的話,我們或許還能理解,說實話,他已經成了我們的負擔,我們實在受不了了。

這個人也真不懂事。在英語里,這叫 overstay your welcome 已經變成了不受歡迎的人。有些人就是不自覺。我的一位同事自願提出,招待一個實習生在家住。一開始還很愉快,但是這個實習生的要求越來越多,He became a MILLSTONE AROUND HER NECK 成了負擔。我同事最後只好請他出去住。我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “My wife and I looked forward to hosting my nephew while he looked for a job. But now it’s been weeks since he arrived. We’d probably be more understanding if he offered to help out around the house instead of playing video games all the time. Frankly, he’s become a MILLSTONE AROUND OUR NECKS. We can’t endure him much longer.”

MILLSTONE AROUND ONE’S NECK 這個習慣用語最早可以在聖經里找到。好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: This has been Words and Idioms. Until next time.

A: I don’t know how you can work full time and have an internship as well! From what you have been telling me it sounds like your internship has become a millstone around your neck. Why don’t you just quit?

B: Well…I made a promise to them that I’m going to stay there for 10 weeks. I don’t want to break my promise, plus I want to build some business contacts there as well.

A: Ehh, that sounds like a dilemma! Well…take it as an opportunity to learn how to manage your time better! You will benefit from it in the long term.

B: That’s true. In today’s business etiquette, we are going to talk about something that we can all benefit form in the long term as well. Go green and protect our environment!

A: Let’s check it out!

禮節美語 Go Green part I

公司總裁 Tim 召集部門經理開會,討論公司可以採取哪些節能環保的措施。對話中經常出現的 going green 走環保之路。

Tim: Good morning folks, thanks for joining us. In light of the recent economic downturn, we thought we should pow-wow some ways we can conserve energy. This is Henry Peterson, a consultant with GreenOffices Inc.

Henry: Hi everyone. As Tim mentioned, not only is saving energy good for the environment, it’s also a good way to keep costs down…and that’s a win-win situation for everyone. I’m sure some of you have suggestions for ways we could become “greener.” Anyone?

總裁 Tim 說,今天召集大家開會,商量如何節省能源開支。 pow-wow 源於北美印第安人的語言,意思是開會。參加會議的還有節能專家 Henry Peterson. Henry 說,節能既環保,又能減少開支,是雙贏之舉,a win-win situation. 辦公室節能有哪些措施呢?

Faith: I think we could easily cut down on “vampire power.” Our computers and other electronic devices actually continue to suck power, even when they are switched off.
H: Good one! The online encyclopedia Wikipedia claims that “vampire power” or “standby power” is responsible for using as much as 10% of electricity consumption.
Dana: We could unplug the equipment or put in power strips that can completely turn off power.

T: Just imagine…we could save 10 or 15 % on our energy bill just by unplugging our computers! That’s incredible!

Faith 提議削減 vampire power 吸血鬼功率,又稱 standby power 備用功率。因為即使電腦關機,只要電源不拔,電腦就會繼續耗電,Henry 補充說,備用功率耗電量高達用電量的百分之十。Dana 建議拔掉電源或是採用可以切斷電源的接線板 Power strip。

H: And that’s just the beginning! You see these lights above us? These use LED bulbs that are 10 times more efficient as the bulbs you are using in the rest of the office.

F: But they’re pretty pricey, aren’t they?

H: Yes, they cost more, but you’ll find that they pay for themselves.

Henry 建議使用 LED 燈泡,比普通燈泡節能十倍。Faith 問 LED 燈泡是不是很貴,pricey, p-r-i-c-e-y。Henry 承認,LED 燈泡價格確實要貴一些,但是 they pay for themselves 非常划算。

D: I’ve got one that will require a bit of sacrifice. We really don’t need to use bottled water for meetings. We could also get rid of paper cups for the water cooler and everyone could use their own mug instead.

F: Ahhh…. I love bottled water…. but I agree, Dana’s idea is certainly more environmentally friendly.

H: Yep. Sometimes going green does require that we change our mindset. It’s funny how many of us are very conscientious at home. We recycle and reuse, but when we get to the office, we sometimes become very wasteful.

Dana 建議公司取消瓶裝水,不用紙杯子,得到大家的認可。Henry 指出,工作場所節能需要改變思維 change our mindset。大家在家都很注意省電、回收,可一到辦公室就好象忘得一乾二淨了。

A: 公司總裁Tim開會要求大家注意節能,因為這樣公司既能省錢,又能保護環境,it’s a win-win situation, 雙贏的局面。這需要大家change our mindset, 改變思維,多用節能的東西,LED燈泡,自己的杯子等等。最開始的投入可能稍微多一點,but they pay for themselves, 非常划算。

B:That’s true. Two months ago I changed all light in my apartment to LED bulbs. I saved almost 50 bucks on my electricity bill! They are a little pricey to begin with, but they sure end up paying for themselves.

A: Exactly! 要看長遠嘛! 這樣還為你的兒子,還有你的兒子的兒子,你的兒子的兒子做了好事!

B: OKOK….enough for showing off your Chinese…Let’s keep listen and learn some other tips about how to save energy!

禮節美語 Go Green part II

公司總裁 Tim 召集部門經理開會,討論節能措施。

T: I’ve recently noticed how much paper I use on a daily basis and I’ve been trying to cut down. I’ve found that I very rarely actually need to print emails. Also, by utilizing my fax-modem, I don’t ever need to print a hardcopy for faxing.

H: That’s gonna add up! In the end you’ll find it makes a huge positive difference!

D: But you know, even with all these good ideas and strategies, I feel like it counts for nothing when you factor in air travel. Our people make a lot of international trips each year and flying puts tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

總裁 Tim 說,他最近一直注意節省紙張,盡量不打印電子郵件和傳真。節能專家 Henry 表示,That’s gonna add up! 日積月累,一定會有成效。Dana 提出,儘管這些想法很好,但是 it counts for nothing when you factor in air travel. 如果考慮到出差坐飛行釋放的二氧化碳,那麼這些措施都無異於杯水車薪。

H: Ah! Good point! Well, for starters, with teleconferencing and instant email one would hope business travel could be reduced. Did you know an economy class flight from Baltimore to Taipei makes you responsible for just over four tons of CO2? If you fly business class the number jumps to 12 tons.

Henry 說,這個問題提得好。Good point! 從巴爾的摩到台北一張 economy class 經濟艙機票相當於釋放四噸二氧化碳,business class 商務艙更可怕,相當於排放12噸二氧化碳。

T: But sometimes there’s just no alternative. We have to check out factories,
locations and in some countries, you really have to look the person in the eye and physically shake their hand.

H: This is true. So I’d like you all to consider buying carbon credits.

總裁 Tim 提出,有些時候,除了出差,沒有其他辦法 sometimes there’s just no alternative。Henry 因此建議大家考慮購買 carbon credits 碳信用額。

F: Ah, I’ve heard about that. You can actually calculate how much carbon your trip is likely to put into the environment and you can offset that by paying to plant some trees.

H: That’s right! There are web sites such as CarbonPlanet.com. They can help you work out our carbon debt, and then direct you to where you can buy carbon credits that go toward planting new trees.

D: That would make me feel a lot less guilty.

H: Well, it’s great that you are all so willing to do your part to make a difference. Let’s get back together in two weeks for another brainstorming session.

碳信用額就是把飛行里程摺合成對環境的傷害,然後出錢種樹,作為補償。Henry 告訴他們,可以到 CarbonPlanet.com 等網站上尋找幫助。大家決定兩周後 have another brainstorming session 再開會,繼續集思廣益。

A: 我也覺得咱們該多用電子版的東西! Do you know how many scripts we print out each week? It’s such a waste!

B: I totally agree. I think we could print out just one copy and hold on to it, instead of printing out new ones every other day.

A: 好嘛,互相監督! 希望大家也一樣,為了我們的地球,節省能源,環保靠大家!

B: Haha, I forget how much you love slogans! All right, now let’s continue our class! Let’s listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1755 on the basis of

今天我們要學的詞是 on the basis of. On the basis of, basis is spelled b-a-s-i-s, on the basis of. On the basis of 根據某種原因。The study drew its conclusions on the basis of hard data. 這項研究是根據硬數據得出研究結論的。He was denied employment on the basis of nationality. 他因為國籍不符合要求,沒有被錄用。美國童子軍正在討論取消禁止同性戀加入的規定,如果通過的話,No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation. 任何年輕人都不能因為性取向的理由被拒於童子軍的大門之外。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 in on the basis of, on the basis of, on the basis of…

B: So Yanglin, what is your favorite place you have been to so far?

A: Based on my person preferences, DC is my favorite city besides my hometown Beijing!

B: Oh really? Why is that?

A: I love learning different cultures, meeting different people, and DC is the place to offer that! The city is so diverse, the next person you meet might be from Sweden, or Nigeria, or Sri Lanka! The city is a mixed bag, and I love it for that.

B: Ha, I feel the same way! And you mentioned a very good idiom: a mixed bag! Let’s check out today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 838 A Mixed Bag

美國習慣用語第 838 講

我姐姐剛在一個高尚社區買了房子,那裡住的都是醫生、律師這一類的高薪單身貴族,跟我住的地方截然不同。我們這裡有單身漢、有年輕父母、有雙職工、也有不上班的專職媽媽;有白領,也又藍領;而且還有不同國家、不同種族的人。這在英語里叫

M: A mixed bag. Mixed is spelled m-i-x-e-d, and bag; b-a-g. A-mixed-bag. A mixed bag.

在中文裡,mixed 是混合的意思。A mixed bag 是指各式各樣的人、東西或是活動。用 A mixed bag 來形容我的鄰居的組成簡直是再貼切不過了,they are a mixed bag. 在下面這個例子里,一位記者在介紹為美國新總統奧巴馬舉辦的音樂會時,就用到了這個習慣用語,讓我們一起聽聽看。

M: “Did you happen to see the concert for the new president on TV? It featured so many different styles of music, from pop to country, hip-hop to rock and roll. In addition to the talented singers, many famous actors also made presentations. The event represented such A MIXED BAG that viewers of every age and taste seemed to enjoy it.”

這位記者說:你看電視里為新總統舉辦的音樂會了嗎?音樂會裡有各種風格的音樂,從流行到鄉村、從嘻哈到搖滾,除了著名歌唱家以外,很多演員也到場獻藝,這次音樂會的節目五花八門,讓任何年齡段、任何品味的觀眾都能欣賞。

那場表演我也看了,絕對一流。說到音樂,我的MP3播放機里就有各種各樣的音樂,有上榜金曲,有懷舊老歌,還有古典音樂。I like listening to A MIXED BAG. 否則的話,聽不了多久就會感到千篇一律。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Did you happen to see the concert for the new president on TV? It featured so many different styles of music, from pop to country, hip-hop to rock and roll. In addition to the talented singers, many famous actors also made presentations. The event represented such A MIXED BAG that viewers of every age and taste seemed to enjoy it.”

不知道大家有沒有出於興趣而去選修課程的經歷,就是不為學分、學位,單純是因為喜歡,花錢去上課。在美國,這種情況十分常見。讓我們一起聽聽下面這個人是怎麼說的。

M: “My girlfriend and I have been looking through the catalog of courses that our community offers. We thought there’d only be a few choices, but there’s quite A MIXED BAG. Among the assortment are classes in many areas, such as cooking, dancing, computers, arts and crafts, recreational activities and foreign languages! We may have to take a couple.”

這個人說:我和我的女朋友一起查看社區學校開設的一些課程,本來以為可能只有幾種選擇,結果發現,各種課程琳琅滿目,涉及的領域包括烹調、舞蹈、電腦、藝術和手工、還有外語等等。我們可能得選上好幾門呢。
嘗試新鮮事物,才能永遠年輕,不是嗎?我記得去年,我曾經拉着我先生一起去學瑜珈,結果,其他人還在熱身的時候,他就睡著了,看來,瑜珈不僅能讓他放鬆,還能起到催眠的效果。最近,他又拽着我去學木工,雖然很辛苦,可還真是滿有意思的。我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: “My girlfriend and I have been looking through the catalog of courses that our community offers. We thought there’d only be a few choices, but there’s quite A MIXED BAG. Among the assortment are classes in many areas, such as cooking, dancing, computers, arts and crafts, recreational activities and foreign languages! We may have to take a couple.”

A mixed bag 這種說法早在二十世紀上半葉就已經出現了。閉上眼睛想象一個大口袋,裡面裝滿了各式各樣的東西,保證你一定能夠記住這個字。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。我是蔚然,我是 Douglas Johnson。這次節目的製作人是胡小玲。別忘了,美國之音中文部除了英語節目以外,還有新聞、時事、音樂、文化各種其他節目,種類繁多。Now that’s a mixed bag you don’t want to miss!

M: This has been Words and Idioms. Until next time.

A: I feel like our agency is a mixed bag! We have people from all over the world!

B: Yep! luckily everyone seems to be hard workers, well except for you……

A:…..好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。


美語訓練班  第109課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼!

A: 好! 今天,我們要一起來聊聊環保有什麼好方法,看看如何用地道美語表達符合標準,還要告訴你怎麼說上當受騙!

B: Yeah, economic development is important, but at the cost of the environment.

A: Speaking of the air quality of my hometown Beijing, I definitely agree with you.

B: Well, we are going to learn some useful tips about that later in the show. Now let’s go ahead with our first segment:

A: Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1756 fall for

今天我們要學的詞是 fall for. Fall for, fall is spelled f-a-l-l, fall, for is spelled f-o-r, for, fall for. To fall for 有上當的意思,過去時是 fell for。Don’t fall for that! He is just playing a prank on you. 他在拿你惡作劇,別上當。That was such an old trick. I cannot believe I actually fell for it. 這是老把戲了,簡直不敢相信我居然會上當。有統計數字顯示,美國有兩千五百多萬成年人都曾被騙局迷惑,成為受害者。The Internet is the most common place for victims to fall for scams. 互聯網是受害者上當受騙最多的地方。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 fall for, fall for, fall for…

A: Yeah, I agree that you need to be very careful with the Internet, especially if you do your banking online.

B: You can say that again. One time I got involved with this online charity to help kids in Africa, and I donated 5% of my paycheck for 6 months. When I was getting ready to go to Africa with the group, the contact person just disappeared! That’s was the moment of the truth. It was a total scam.

A: Aww…I’m sorry Mike. Yeah, things like that make me think twice about doing things on the Internet. 不過啊,你這個不幸的經歷倒是說出了一個美國人常用的俗語: the moment of the truth! 咱們來聽今天的美國習慣用語,看看這個詞兒的用法!

Words and Idioms 839 Moment of Truth

美國習慣用語第 839 講

上星期,是我婆婆七十大壽。我專門給她烤了一個生日蛋糕。因為第一次做,心裡一點譜都沒有,雖然蛋糕看上去樣子還不錯,但是吃到嘴裡味道如何,就不知道了。這麼關鍵時刻在英語里叫

M: Moment of truth. Moment is spelled m-o-m-e-n-t, and truth; t-r-u-t-h. Moment-of-truth. Moment of truth.

Moment 在中文裡是時刻,truth 在中文裡是真相。moment of truth 就是說最終得知一件事情是否會如願成功的意思,特別是指一件你投入了極大努力的事情。所以,對我來說,第一口蛋糕吃到嘴裡的那一刻,就是 the moment of truth. 還好,我初戰告捷,蛋糕香濃可口,受到了公婆的一致表揚。下面例子里這個高中生,正用急切的心情等待 the moment of truth. 讓我們一起聽聽看。

M: “Algebra didn’t come easy to me. But I knew I had to pass the class in order to graduate. Throughout the semester, I met my teacher after school for extra help and studied real hard for tests. My MOMENT OF TRUTH came when my grades arrived. I got a B, which was good enough to earn my diploma!”

這個學生說:代數對我來說很難,但是我知道,要想畢業,代數考試就一定得及格。整個一個學期,我下課後都要找老師補習,為準備考試做出了很大的努力。考試成績發下來的關鍵時刻到了,結果我得了個 B,讓我順利過關,拿到了畢業證書。

這就叫工夫不負有心人。我有個朋友,用了大半年的時間幫她爸爸造船。船刷好漆後,就等着下水了。I was there for their MOMENT OF TRUTH. 結果竟然大功告成。去年夏天,我還跟他們一起出去遠航過好幾次呢!好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Algebra didn’t come easy to me. But I knew I had to pass the class in order to graduate. Throughout the semester, I met my teacher after school for extra help and studied real hard for tests. My MOMENT OF TRUTH came when my grades arrived. I got a B, which was good enough to earn my diploma!”

我們上面談到的幾個例子,關鍵時刻 MOMENT OF TRUTH 來到的時候,結果都是令人滿意的。但是下面這個例句里的小夥子,卻碰了一鼻子灰。讓我們一起聽聽他的遭遇。

M: “I’d been going out with Kerry for months. We seemed to share similar interests and values. In my mind, she was the perfect woman for me. So I decided that the time had come to ask her if she’d marry me. It was the MOMENT OF TRUTH; a day I’ll never forget because she turned me down.”

這個人說:我跟凱莉約會已經好幾個月了。我們好象有很多共同的愛好和價值觀。我覺得,她是最適合我的女人。所以我決定,鼓起勇氣,向她求婚。這可是緊要關頭。我永遠也忘不了這一天,因為她拒絕了我。

Ouch! 太殘忍了。或許這個女孩子還沒有做好安定下來的準備。我妹妹就是這個樣子,總是朝三暮四。有一次,她心血來潮買了一條金魚回家養,結果到家後才意識到,原來養魚是一份很大的責任,所以馬上把金魚退了回去。我們再聽一下上面的例句。

M: I’d been going out with Kerry for months. We seemed to share similar interests and values. In my mind, she was the perfect woman for me. So I decided that the time had come to ask her if she’d marry me. It was the MOMENT OF TRUTH; a day I’ll never forget because she turned me down.”

Moment of truth 這個習慣用語其實是從西班牙語翻譯過來的,美國著名作家海明威在1932年出版的小說《午後之死》里第一次用到了這個習慣用語。如今,你又多掌握了一個習慣用語,可以把它用在口頭、寫作和電子郵件里。只要多學多練,you’re sure to sound like a native when your MOMENT OF TRUTH arrives. 到了關鍵時刻,你的英語聽上去絕對地道。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Exactly! 這就是我們中國人說的,台上一分鐘,台下十年功嘛! 歡迎同學們每期關注我們的美語訓練班,這樣….

B: it’s like what my dad always says “Prior planing prevents poor performance” !

A: 沒錯! 對了對了,上次咱們說到節能,我回家就把我們家的燈泡都換了! The moment of truth is going to come when I get my utility bill this month….

B: I’m sure it’ll be fine! In today’s business etiquette, we will continue this topic. Now let’s follow Tim for some useful tips in branding your company as “Green”!

禮節美語Go Greenpart II

公司總裁 Tim 召集部門經理開會,討論節能措施。

Tim: Morning everyone. As promised, we are returning to our topic from a fortnight ago: How can we make this firm more “green?” I’m sure you all remember environmental consultant Henry Peterson who has joined us here today.

Henry: Hello and good morning.

Dana & Faith: Hi, Henry. Nice to see you again.

H: Thanks. Great to see you all. As a quick re-cap, last time we discussed ways to save electricity and reduce office waste. And we also talked about buying carbon credits when traveling on business trips.

根據兩周前的約定,from a fortnight ago,公司總裁 Tim 再次邀請節能專家 Henry 參加會議,商討公司節能措施。Henry 簡要回顧了上次討論的內容,包括省電、減少辦公物資的浪費,購買碳信用額彌補環保損失等。Henry 說的 a quick re-cap, r-e-c-a-p, re-cap 意思是總結概述。

F: Yeah, I’ve already started implementing those ideas in my division. It’s only been two weeks, but I’d say most people are getting the hang of it.
H: That’s great! Ok, then…have you done your homework? Who’s discovered some other ways this company can save?

Faith 說,她已經開始試行一些措施,短短兩個星期,most people are getting the hang of it. 大多數人已經慢慢習慣。to get the hang of it 是掌握的意思。Henry 問,have you done your homework? 有沒有事先做好準備,意思是有沒有想到更多的節能措施。

D: I want to talk about packaging. We use some very nice-looking plastic clamshell packaging, but I’m thinking we could cut down on the packaging and cut both our expenses and our carbon footprint.

H: Yes, I see what you mean. These days many products are over-packaged. But if you can accept using fewer materials or use mainly recycled materials you could then advertise how “green” your company is.

Dana 提到產品包裝,她覺得,如果簡化包裝,不用 plastic clamshell packaging 硬塑料殼包裝,就能減少開支和污染。Henry 補償說,如果公司採用回收材料 recycled materials,還可以用環保做宣傳。

F: But is it ethical to use environmental issues in advertising?

T: I’d vote “yes.” As long as the claim is verifiable, it can be advertised.

D: Yeah, I’d agree. People have a right to know if you are trying to help solve the problem or simply contributing to it.

H: This is a company. Companies need to make a profit. I believe there is business sense in going green and telling the world about it. Many customers will appreciate your efforts and might even pay a tad bit more if they really believe your company is doing its best to help the environment.

Faith 提出,在廣告里打環保牌是否符合行業道德。總裁 Tim 覺得沒有問題,只要內容屬實,as long as the claim is verifiable. Verifiable 是可以證實的意思。Henry 也說,There is business sense in going green and telling the world about it. 採取環保措施,並且加以宣傳是符合商業理念的。很多顧客會認可你的努力,appreciate your efforts, 即使你的產品比別人貴一點,也沒有關係。They might even pay a tad bit more. A tad bit 是一點的意思。

A: 公司總裁Tim請了節能專家Henry來給大家出謀劃策,短短兩個星期的節能實踐,people are getting the hang of it, 大家已經掌握了節能的生活方式。Henry提議說,可以在包裝上做文章,採用recycled material,回收材料,這樣公司還可以用環保來宣傳。

B: It definitely makes good business sense in going green and telling the world about it. =

A: 沒錯。就拿我自己來說,如果我看見一件皮衣寫明沒有使用動物皮毛做成,我願意出更高的價錢來買。也是這個道理!

B: Yep. In the following episode, Henry is talking about giving people some incentives to live a more environmental- friendly life. Let’s check it out!

禮節美語Go Greenpart IV

公司總裁 Tim 召集部門經理開會,討論節能措施。

F: I know it might sound like an old-fashioned idea, but what about some kind of a carpooling program?

T: You know, that just might work for a few of our departments. I know a few of the marketing guys live pretty close to each other.

H: Ah! But now we come to a problem. How do we convince people to sign up for a program that will ━ at least mildly─inconvenience them?

D: I have to confess, if you asked me to volunteer, I’d turn you down.

H: Sure. So would I. So we can’t rely on the kindness of people’s hearts. We’re not bad people, we’re just busy people.

Faith 提議,可以考慮拼車計劃 carpooling program。Henry 指出,拼車會給大家帶來不便,inconvenience them, 問題是如何說服大家加入。sign up for something 是報名參加的意思。

T: I think I get your point. You’re talking about a fundamental motivator. What Henry’s saying is that people need an incentive.

H: Bingo! For the past few years, several companies have been experimenting with paying employees a tiny fee to carpool, use public transport or cycle. One organization in Florida pays twenty cents a mile.

D: Huh. I’d consider riding my bicycle if I was getting paid. That’s like getting paid to work out!

總裁 Tim 說,I get your point. 我明白你的意思了。Henry 是說要給大家一些好處 incentive 。Henry 說,Bingo! 這在口語里很常用,意思是沒錯!對了!他說,過去幾年,一些公司試着用小額獎金的方式,鼓勵員工拼車,坐公車或是騎車上班。 Dana 覺得這個主意不錯,從員工的角度看,既鍛煉了身體,又能拿獎金。

H: Yeah! The company has to consider the fee as an investment in carbon reduction and in workers’ health. Less driving means less stress.

T: It’s a very interesting idea. But I think you’re right….without an incentive, it’s doomed to failure.

H: It might seem like a lot of hassle and in the end you might only get a few people to change their commuting habits, but just to put it into perspective, here’s a fact from planetgreen.com: If every commuter car in the U.S. carried just one more person, the nation would save 8 billion gallons of gas.

T: It really adds up, doesn’t it? Thanks for the tips, Henry. I think we got a lot of food for thought today.

公司要把這筆錢看成是減少廢氣排放,促進員工健康的投資。總裁 Tim 表示贊同,without an incentive, it’s doomed to failure. 如果沒有好處,這個項目一定會失敗。 Henry 說,雖然聽上去好象挺麻煩,It might seem like a lot of hassle 而且最後可能只有幾個人會改變上班的交通方式,但如果美國每輛上班用的車裡都多坐一個人的話,美國就能節省80億加侖的汽油。It really adds up.

A: I think carpooling is the way to go in DC! The traffic here is terrible, but if you choose to carpool, you can drive in the carpool lane, which is way faster during rush hour!

B: That’s true. Plus it helps reduce your carbon footprint, and coworkers can bond while they sit in the car together!

A:沒錯! 還能省油錢,簡直一舉三得! (excited)

B: Alright alright, I know you’re trying to find a carpool buddy, but I’m not your guy. (A: Sigh) Now let’s go ahead with our program, another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1760 nonstop

今天我們要學的詞是 nonstop. Nonstop is spelled n-o-n-s-t-o-p, nonstop. Nonstop 意思是不停歇的,不間斷的。They have been working nonstop since this morning. 他們從今天早上開始,一直在不停地工作。The movie is packed with nonstop action. 這個電影從頭到尾都是動作場面。The case received nonstop coverage by the media. 媒體對這起案件進行了毫不間斷的報道。Delta Airlines will launch its first nonstop flight between Shanghai and Seattle in June. 達美航空公司六月份開啟從上海到西雅圖的直飛航線。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 nonstop, nonstop, nonstop…

A: I don’t know how I feel about nonstop flight. Last time I took the nonstop flight from DC to Beijing, I was stuck in the cabin for 14 hours! I think I prefer to stop somewhere and actually breathe for a bit.

B: I think the airline you choose also makes a difference. I flew with ANA one time. Everything was perfect, the meal was delicious, the seat was comfortable and the service was great. They definitely cut the mustard for nonstop flights!

A: Cut…the mustard? 這個詞兒真有意思! Does it actually have something to do with mustard?
B:Well, let’s find out in today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 840 Cut the Mustard

美國習慣用語第 840 講

上星期商店大甩賣,我買了個咖啡壺,樣子雖然很好看,但是質量卻不咋地。剛用不到一個星期,就開始漏水,而且煮咖啡的時候噪音也很大。我決定馬上把它退回去。這倒讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語

M: Cut the mustard. Cut is spelled c-u-t, and mustard; m-u-s-t-a-r-d. Cut-the-mustard. Cut the mustard. .

動詞 cut 在中文裡是切割的意思,mustard 是芥末的意思。直譯顯然說不通。其實啊,cut the mustard 這個習慣用語的意思就是符合標準、符合要求。我剛買的那個咖啡壺,顯然不符合我的要求。It simply does NOT cut the mustard. 下面這個例子里的消費者,對新買的手機很不滿意,因為 it does not cut the mustard. 讓我們聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “The sales agent convinced me to buy my cell phone. But I haven’t been impressed with its service. It drops calls and takes forever to recharge. What I really need is a phone that’s much more dependable. This one just does NOT CUT THE MUSTARD.”

他說:賣手機的推銷員說服我買了這部手機,但是手機質量讓我很不滿意,電話打到一半經常斷線不說,充電還需要很長時間。我需要一部隨時可以靠得住的手機,這部手機不符合我的要求。

這個人錯就錯在不應該輕信那個推銷員的話,結果跟我一樣,買了個質量拙劣的產品。在美語裡面,這種質量偽劣的產品有一種說法,叫 LEMON, l-e-m-o-n. 比如說,我姐夫的新車就是 LEMON。他因為貪圖便宜,買了這輛車,結果開了不到半年,就大修了兩次,花了很多錢。好在美國有專門的 LEMON LAWS,保護消費者利益。我姐夫恐怕要好好研究一下這些法律,因為 His car does not cut the mustard. 好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “The sales agent convinced me to buy my cell phone. But I haven’t been impressed with its service. It drops calls and takes forever to recharge. What I really need is a phone that’s much more dependable. This one just does NOT CUT THE MUSTARD.”

不過,質量不過關的也並不都是產品,有的時候,不符合標準和要求的可能也會是某個人。讓我們一起聽聽下面這個例子。

M: “After my niece had trouble finding work, I managed to get her a position as an administrative assistant at my office. What a mistake! Not only was she slow, but she was rather lazy. After two weeks, I had to let her go because she could NOT CUT THE MUSTARD.”

這個人說:因為我侄女找不到工作,所以我就在自己的辦公室給她安排了一個行政助理的職務。這簡直是天大的錯誤。她不僅做事慢慢騰騰,而且懶得要命。兩個星期過後,我只好請她走人,因為她無法達到我們的要求。

給親戚朋友安排工作,很容易遇到這種棘手的狀況。值得說明的是,cut the mustard 也可以用於肯定某個人或是某件事。比如說,我們公司的老闆準備給一個在我們這裡實習的學生轉正,因為 He can really CUT THE MUSTARD. 他已經達到了正式員工的標準。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “After my niece had trouble finding work, I managed to get her a position as an administrative assistant at my office. What a mistake! Not only was she slow, but she was rather lazy. After two weeks, I had to let her go because she could NOT CUT THE MUSTARD.”

很多人想知道,CUT THE MUSTARD 這個習慣用語的來歷。在這個問題上,語言學家們眾說紛紜。有人認為這個習慣用語來源於芥末的製作程序;另外一些人則認為是從 pass mustard 轉變而來的。If those explanations are NOT CUTTING THE MUSTARD for you, you’ll have to wait until we have conclusive research. 如果上面的解釋不能讓你滿意的話,那你就只好等待更深入的研究後得出結論了。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

A: Yeah…I guess it’s about time that I find a partner that can actually cut the mustard….
B: Hey, you beat me to it!

A:…..好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第110課

A: 歡迎大家來到這期的美語訓練班! 我是楊琳!

B: 我是Mike! 楊琳,來告訴大家今天都要學什麼!

A: 嗯! 今天,我們要一起來聊聊如何把生意外包到國外,看看怎麼表達給一個地方注入新鮮血液,還要告訴你如何表達名譽掃地!

B: A lot of companies are outsourcing part of their operations to other countries these days.

A: I know! The other day I called my phone company and the operator had a slight accent. We chatted a bit and she told me she’s working in Nairobi! I would have never guessed that a woman in Africa would be answering my questions about my phone in America!

B: Yep, the world just keeps getting smaller and smaller! Well, we will talk more about globalization later in the show. For now let’s go ahead with our first segment:

A: Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1761 middle-aged

今天我們要學的詞是 middle-aged. middle-aged is spelled m-i-d-d-l-e, middle, and aged, a-g-e-d, aged, middle-aged. Middle-aged 中年的。美國政府的最新報告顯示,The suicide rates for middle-aged Americans climbed to a startling 28 percent in just a decade. 過去十年里,美國中年人的自殺率驚人地上漲了28%。英國的一項研究發現,The biggest new adopters of social media in the UK are not teens, but their middle-aged parents. 在英國,新近開始使用社交媒體的最大的人群不是十幾歲的青少年,而是他們的中年父母。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 middle-aged, middle-aged, middle-aged…

A: 父母為了解孩子的生活,開始學習使用社交媒體。這真沒錯! 我媽媽現在打字打得特別快,就是為了跟我在g-chat上聊天!

B: Yeah, most parents will do anything to keep up with their kids. But I personally would think twice before adding my parents on Facebook…Yeah…

A: 哈哈,I can see why you might want to censor the information that they get! (hey!) I’m so grateful that my parents are respectful to me, they never invade my privacy.

B: We are both lucky that we have great parents. My cousin isn’t that lucky though. His dad always tried to sneak a peek into his journal when he was a teenager. He pretty much stopped trusting his dad once he found out!

A:I’m sure his dad was only trying to better understand his son, but a journal is a very private thing! Once you lose someone’s trust, your name is mud with them.

B: Well said Yanglin! You also mentioned a very interesting idiom, your name is mud! Let’s check out today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 841 ONE’S NAME IS MUD

美國習慣用語第841講

手機鈴聲

一定是我老公打電話來賠禮道歉,不接!今天是我們結婚十周年紀念日,我早上試探他,問他今天有什麼安排,他居然象沒事兒人一樣,好象根本就忘了結婚紀念日這回事,簡直氣死我了。我決定,今天就來教一個形容他目前處境的習慣用語,叫:

M: One’s name is mud. Mud is spelled m-u-d. One’s-name-is-mud.

在中文裡,name 是名字;mud 是泥巴。說一個人 His name is mud 可不是說他的名字叫泥巴,而是說此人失去信譽,名聲掃地。要讓我說,My husband’s name is mud. 在我心目中,他的地位急劇下跌。下面例子里的一位模範市民最近也遇到了麻煩。讓我們聽一聽。

M: “I really admired the charity work of my neighbor. For years, she had raised lots of money to help provide food and shelter for homeless people in the community. But now a criminal investigation has found her guilty of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors. These days HER NAME IS MUD. She should go to jail!”

這個人說:我的鄰居熱衷慈善事業,一直讓我十分欽佩。多年來,她籌集資金,為社區里無家可歸的人提供食物和住所,但如今,一起刑事案件的調查結果發現,她把募捐來的數萬美元都據為了已有。現在她算是名聲掃地了。她真應該進監獄!

這就叫知人知面不知心。就在不久前,我還在報紙上讀到,一家著名的能源公司欺詐自己的顧客;更惡劣的是,這家公司還誤導自己的員工,讓他們把退休儲蓄都投資了公司股票,結果變得一文不值了。Today its name is mud. 這家公司現在已經名聲掃地了。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “I really admired the charity work of my neighbor. For years, she had raised lots of money to help provide food and shelter for homeless people in the community. But now a criminal investigation has found her guilty of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors. These days HER NAME IS MUD. She should go to jail!”

最近有一個牧師,挪用了教會數百萬美元的資產,過花天酒地的生活。很顯然,His name is mud. 在下面這個例子里,一位父親顯然十分重視自己在孩子們心目中的形象。讓我們一起聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “The kids have been asking again when we’re going to Disneyland. I realize I did promise them last summer that I’d take them. I’d better start making plans. If they don’t get to go, MY NAME WILL BE MUD. I just can’t disappoint them.”
這個人說:孩子們最近又問我,什麼時候帶他們到迪斯尼去。我這才想起,去年夏天曾經答應過他們。我最好馬上開始計劃,如果不帶他們去的話,我就會完全損失信譽,我可不能讓孩子失望。

One’s name is mud. 這個習慣用語的出處有好幾種說法。有人說,確實曾經有個醫生姓 MUDD, M-U-D-D,此人因為幫助刺殺林肯總統的兇手正骨,被叛同謀罪,因此名聲掃地。這種說法聽上去好象很有道理,但其實,one’s name is mud 這個習慣用語在林肯時代以前就出現了。經考證,MUD 這個字是十八世紀初期的一個俚語,意思是“傻瓜”。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “The kids have been asking again when we’re going to Disneyland. I realize I did promise them last summer that I’d take them. I’d better start making plans. If they don’t get to go, MY NAME WILL BE MUD. I just can’t disappoint them.”

這是怎麼回事?剛剛有人把一束鮮花送進演播室,上面還有一個卡片。卡片上寫着:“親愛的,我要在結婚十周年這個特殊的日子給你一個驚喜。做完節目馬上下樓,我們要直奔機場,帶你去一個浪漫的地方。 ”Huh….我怎麼好象是搬起了石頭砸自己的腳,剛才我說我先生的壞話都不算數,It looks like MY name is mud.

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Yeah, everything is about reputation. You never want to do anything to damage it.

B: Exactly. Especially now with the Internet, anyone can write a review or comment for the whole world to see. Once your name is mud, it’s definitely going to hurt your business.

A: True, true. In today’s business etiquette, 公司總裁Dave就要和公司成員來挑選哪家公司值得業務外包,let’s listen.

禮節美語OutsourcingPart I
公司執行總裁 Dave 召集董事會成員Helen和 Pete開會,討論業務外包和公司重組。

Dave: I’ve called this meeting to discuss a very important decision we need to make. In the interest of cost saving, it’s been suggested that we outsource some of our operations.

Helen: I have a lot of concerns about this idea. What exactly are we talking about, here?

D: Well in my view there are benefits to outsourcing for both our company and for our customers. In our case, the cost savings are impressive. And from the customers’ perspective, outsourcing means we can expand services at no additional cost to them.

執行總裁 Dave說,開會是要討論為節省開支、將部分業務外包的問題,to outsource some of our operations. Helen 表示有顧慮。Dave 解釋說,外包對公司和客戶都有利,既可以為公司省錢,也可以增加客戶服務 at no additional cost 而不必增加任何成本。

Pete: Can you give us an example of exactly which divisions you’d outsource?

D: I’d say accounting is a good place to start. It would mean that we would axe around 100 jobs but we’d be able to save up to a quarter million dollars a year.

H: Where are you thinking of moving the accounting department to?

D: We have a great offer from an Indian company. They handle a lot of big clients and have a solid reputation.

Pete希望了解外包的業務範圍。Dave表示,可以從財務開始,Accounting is a good place to start. 這就意味着 to axe 裁員100人,但是每年可以節省25萬美元。他們看中了一家印度公司。They handle a lot of big clients and have a solid reputation. 很多大公司都找他們,信譽很不錯。

P: Should we consider outsourcing customer relations? Many corporations are using Indian call centers, right?

D: Yes…that has become a trend. But in our case, I’d recommend we do not switch to a call service overseas because many companies have experienced difficulties with accents and culture. It’s created a backlash that I’d like to avoid.

H: But we could move our email customer service center overseas.

D: Yes, absolutely. We can also consider moving the development and managing of our web site to a firm in China. They have a great track record and their prices are very competitive.

Pete 提出,很多公司都把客戶服務 customer relations 外包給印度呼叫中心。Dave 承認,that has become a trend. 這已經成了一種潮流,但是因為口音和文化的關係,出現了 backlash 負面的反彈,所以不準備把客戶服務外包到海外去。Helen提議把電子郵件服務外包出去。Dave 同意,並表示,考慮把網站的開發和管理外包給一家中國公司,they have a great track record and their prices are very competitive. 因為他們的業績一貫不錯,價格也很有競爭力。

A: 公司總裁Dave表示,希望outsource some of the operations, 外包一些業務,以減輕公司負擔。他們希望從財務開始,axe about 100 jobs, 裁員100人,把業務外包到海外。這需要看海外公司是否有 a solid reputation, 好的信譽,competitive prices, 價錢也要便宜。
B: Yeah, outsourcing is very common these days.

A: 沒錯! 但是把業務外包,就意味着公司裁員,這會不會導致員工的不滿呢?

B: Let’s keep listening.

禮節美語OutsourcingPart II

公司執行總裁 Dave 召集董事會成員 Helen和 Pete開會,討論業務外包和公司重組。

H: I guess one of the biggest questions here is how the general public might perceive these moves. Will we face a backlash for cutting some local jobs and moving some operations abroad?

P: Yes, it’s entirely possible that we will get some negative press over this decision. We will need to do some damage control and try to explain as best as possible the reasoning behind our decision.

D: I’ll have a chat with our public relations people and brief them on how to respond to media inquires.

Helen 擔心公司業務外包,裁減員工,會引起社會反響 face a backlash。Pete也表示,媒體很可能會有負面報道 negative press, 因此要盡量控制不良影響 do some damage control。執行總裁 Dave表示,會和公關部門討論,告訴他們如何回答媒體的問詢。

P: The logic is pretty simple; either we make some needed cuts or the company risks going under and even more jobs will be lost.

D: We also want to be responsible players here. Let’s offer job counseling and let’s be reasonably generous with severance packages.

H: The companies that we plan on contracting to work for us have all been vetted by an independent auditor, right?

D: Yes, and they all passed with flying colors.

Pete表示,公司重組理由很簡單,不裁員公司就可能破產,the company risks going under。Dave 建議為遣散員工提供就業諮詢 job counseling,遣散費也多給點,be generous with severance packages. severance packages 是遣散員工時給的補貼。Helen問,外包公司是否都已經通過了獨立審計單位的審查,vet, v-e-t, vet 是審查的意思。Dave 表示,審查結果非常好,to pass with flying colors 意思是成功通過考查。

D: The law says sub-contracted firms must follow some basic guidelines such as no child labor, equal pay for men and women, etc. If they’re not up to snuff, they have a certain number of days to rectify the situation. Otherwise, we have to find another firm.

H: So it’s decided then. All in favor of outsourcing accounting and web maintenance please raise your hand.

P: Looks like it’s a unanimous decision.

D: Thank you all for understanding. I’ll write up a memo explaining this decision to everyone and send it out in a couple of days.

H+P: Sounds good.

D: All right, then. This meeting is adjourned.

Dave 表示,法律規定,如果分包公司達不到基本要求,If they’re not up to snuff, 必須在特定時間內改正 to rectify the situation。Up to snuff, s-n-u-f-f, snuff, 意思是合格的,符合標準的。最後三人舉手表決,同意將財會和網站管理業務外包。It’s a unanimous decision. 決定一致通過。Dave 準備寫一份備忘錄,幾天後宣布。

A: 公司擔心外包業務裁員會face a backlash,遭到強烈反對,不僅要面對憤怒的員工,而且要面對negative press,媒體的負面報導。所以,公司要做一些damage control, 控制不良影響,為員工提供job counseling,就業指導,而且be generous with severance package, 提供相當數額的遣散費。

B: It’s a pretty hotly debated topic right now. With outsourcing, you are going to lose some jobs domestically. Most Americans think that outsourcing was one of the things that led to the 2008 economic crisis. Too many jobs were going out to the international market instead of staying in the United States.

A:但是美國人工實在太貴了! 我記得我去修個車,換個小零件,就要150美元!

B: I’m not going to debate that with you! Well, let’s take a break from this serious topic and move on to another segment of our class!

Learn A Word 1765 open house

今天我們要學的詞是 open house. Open house is open, o-p-e-n, open, and house, h-o-u-s-e, house, open house. Open house 對外開放日。My gym is having an open house this weekend for nonmembers to come in and enjoy the facilities. 我參加的健身房本周末對非會員開放,所有人都可以來使用健身房的設施。More than 40 embassies in DC are scheduled to have open houses in Mid May so the public can have a taste of their culture. 華盛頓特區四十多個大使館五月中旬都安排了開放日,讓公眾可以前來感受一下他們的文化。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 open house, open house, open house……

A: I love the DC embassy open houses! Every embassy offers samples of its local food and has exhibitions that represent its culture, and its all for free!

B: Which tour did you like the best?

A: I would have to say the Turkish embassy. They offered us Turkish Kabobs and coffee, had a Turkish dance show, and you could also try on the traditional Turkish clothes! It was a blast! DC always gives me something new, I’m never bored!
B: Ain’t that the truth. In today’s last segment, we are going to learn a way to express new things. Let’s listen!

美國習慣用語第 842 講

大家千萬不要誤會,我對傳統的事物並不反感,可我同時又很喜歡推陳出新。就拿我們的社區組織來說吧,每年都是同樣的人,組織同樣的活動,只有老鄰居搬走,卻沒人設法把新鄰居吸引進來。這種局面用我們今天要學的習慣用語來形容恰如其分,叫:

M: New blood. Blood is spelled b-l-o-o-d. New-blood. New blood.

New Blood 這個習慣用語指的是帶來生機和活力的新生力量。我覺得,我們的社區組織需要的就是 new blood, 新成員,有了新成員,大家才能集思廣益,舉辦更多吸引人的活動,增強社區的凝聚力。大家注意聽下面這個例子,看看一家公司管理層的人員變化給公司到來了什麼樣的影響。

M: “When our manager passed away, his daughter took over the company. Many employees were afraid of some of the changes she might make. Yet it’s because of her ideas and energy that we’ve been able to adjust to today’s economy. Frankly, she’s exactly the kind of NEW BLOOD we needed to become profitable again.”

這個人說:老闆去世後,公司由他的女兒接管。很多僱員都對她所做出的一些調整感到擔心,但是正因為她提出的一些意見和她所帶來的能量,我們才得以採取措施,適應了今天的經濟,坦白講,她恰恰是讓公司轉虧為盈所需要的新生力量。

很多人都認為,阻礙變革最大的障礙來自老一代。英語里有句話叫 You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. 老狗學不會新把戲,意思是說老頑固很難接受新鮮事物。其實我覺得,抵制變革的並不一定是上年紀的人,而是那些習慣於現狀,不願意看到自己的生活和利益受到影響,發生變化的人。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “When our manager passed away, his daughter took over the company. Many employees were afraid of some of the changes she might make. Yet it’s because of her ideas and energy that we’ve been able to adjust to today’s economy. Frankly, she’s exactly the kind of NEW BLOOD we needed to become profitable again.”

我還記得姑奶奶兩年前曾經搬過來跟我們住過一段時間。雖然她當時已經年界七旬,但是由於她見多識廣,思路開闊,反而給我們這個家帶來了一股新鮮的氣息,跟她比起來,我倒成了老頑固。

如今,很多美國人都為這個國家的前途感到擔心。下面這位評論人士認為,美國未來的前途走向,在很大程度上要看第44位總統奧巴馬的表現。讓我們一起聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “President Obama came to Washington promising to take the U.S. in a different direction. His enthusiasm for addressing the problems of health care, energy and the economy represent bold thinking. He may be the NEW BLOOD that will move our nation forward in these difficult times.”

他說:奧巴馬總統來到華盛頓,保證要帶領美國改變方向。他對解決醫療保健、能源和經濟問題的熱情代表着大膽的構想。他可能將成為帶領我們在困境中前進的新生力量。

這位評論人士的話是否會兌現,只有時間能做出回答。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “President Obama came to Washington promising to take the U.S. in a different direction. His enthusiasm for addressing the problems of health care, energy and the economy represent bold thinking. He may be the NEW BLOOD that will move our nation forward in these difficult times.”

你也許會問,new blood 這個習慣用語是什麼出現的呢?我的研究顯示,這種說法最早出現於1853年,指的是輸血時用的“新的、新鮮的”血液供給。大家可能在閱讀中遇到過 “fresh blood” 的說法,fresh blood 可以跟 new blood 通用。因此我可以說,我們社區組織需要一些 fresh blood, 也可以說奧巴馬總統也許恰恰是面對挑戰的美國所需要的 fresh blood.

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Yeah..Maybe it’s about time that we had some new blood in the show, instead of, you know…you….

B: I have thought about it more than once Yanglin, but then I realized that the show would wither and die without my artistic talents!

A:…..好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

A: See you next time!


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