uet-111-120

美語訓練班 第111-120課



美語訓練班  第111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討價還價,看看怎麼說假警報,還要告訴大家怎麼說消滅在萌芽狀態!

B: Bargaining! That’s the most important skill I picked up in China!

A: 哈哈沒錯! 我原來也特喜歡砍價,好像佔了多大便宜似的,特別高興!

B: Yeah, that sounds like you…(A:Hey!) Ok Ok, we will introduce you to more bargaining tips later in the show, for now let’s go ahead with our first segment:

A: Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1769 record-breaking

今天我們要學的詞是record-breaking. record is spelled r-e-c-o-r-d, record, and breaking, b-r-e-a-k-i-n-g, breaking, record-breaking. Record-breaking 破記錄的。A record-breaking heat wave is raising the risk of fire in the Seattle area. 西雅圖出現破記錄的熱浪天氣,增加了火災的風險。The annual celebration is drawing a record-breaking crowd. 一年一度的慶祝活動吸引了眾多參觀者,人數衝破了往年的記錄。Iron Man 3 had a record-breaking opening weekend around the globe. 鋼鐵俠第三集上映的第一個周末,創下了票房新高。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 record-breaking, record-breaking, record-breaking……

A: Have you watched Iron Man 3? Gosh it is definitely the best movie I’ve watched this year so far! It’s about….

B: Wowowoww, 楊琳,no spoilers! Don’t ruin a film for me again!

A: Again? What do you mean again? Anyways…so the bad person is called the Mandarin…

B: (Interrupt) Stop it! Remember last weekend when you told me the whole plot of Game of Throne? You ruined it for me! Ruined it!

A: 我是讓你做好心理準備嘛!

B: Oh gosh you are enjoying this… I should have nipped this in the bud….

A: 哈哈! All right, all right, I will behave this time! But you just mentioned a very good idiom, nip in the bud! Let’s check out today’s words and idioms and see what it means!

Words and Idioms 843 NIP (STH) IN THE BUD

美國習慣用語第 843 講

我們辦公室新來了個製片助理。這個女孩子剛走出大學校園,帶着濃厚的工作熱情,而且很有創意。美中不足的是,喜歡工作時間聊大天。為此,老闆今天把她叫去談話,希望儘早糾正她的這個壞習慣。這個例子用我們今天要學的習慣用語來描述十分貼切,叫:

M: Nip something in the bud. Nip is spelled n-i-p, and bud; b-u-d. Nip-something-in-the-bud. Nip something in the bud.

Nip 是掐斷的意思。Bud 是花蕾,萌芽的意思。nip something in the bud 這個習慣用語意思是將一件事物消滅在萌芽狀態,防微杜漸。你現在一定明白了,老闆找我們新來的那位製片助理談話,就是要儘早把她喜歡聊天的壞毛病扳過來。He wants to NIP her behavior IN THE BUD. 以防日後發展到不可收拾的地步。

多年前,美國製藥業曾經遭受過一次沉重打擊,業界人士迅速採取行動,才在最短時間內恢復了元氣。讓我們一起聽聽有關介紹。

M: “In 1982, someone poisoned bottles of aspirin, killing seven consumers. Fear spread across the country. Fortunately, drug manufacturers recalled all remaining stock and changed the packaging of their products to prevent tampering in the future. By NIPPING the crisis IN THE BUD, their sales rebounded within a year.”

這段話說:1982年,有人在阿司匹林的藥瓶里下毒,造成七名消費者死亡,引起全國恐慌。好在製藥公司召回了全部存貨,採用新的包裝方式,防止產品再被人下手腳。正是因為他們及時採取措施,把危機消滅在萌芽階段,銷售量才在短短一年內出現了反彈。

現在藥瓶瓶口上的鋁箔封口和塑料包裝就是為了讓用戶對產品的安全放心。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “In 1982, someone poisoned bottles of aspirin, killing seven consumers. Fear spread across the country. Fortunately, drug manufacturers recalled all remaining stock and changed the packaging of their products to prevent tampering in the future. By NIPPING the crisis IN THE BUD, their sales rebounded within a year.”

雖然下面這個例子聽上去比較輕鬆,但是很多看似無關緊要的小事,也不能掉以輕心。讓我們一起來聽聽。

M: “Like a lot of puppies, mine liked to beg for food every time I sat down to eat. If I’d let her continue, she would have become uncontrollable. My friend suggested that I fill a can with coins and shake it whenever she started to bark at me. That really NIPPED IT IN THE BUD. She soon learned to stay quiet. Since then, Lucy has developed into a very well-behaved dog.”

這個養狗的人說:跟其他小狗一樣,每次我坐下吃東西,Lucy 就來要吃的。如果我聽其自然,肯定早就管不了了。我朋友建議我拿一罐硬幣,她一叫,就搖罐子,這招還真管用,改掉了她的壞毛病,讓她學會安靜。從那以後,Lucy 已經成了一隻很懂規矩的狗。

這招還真靈,因為狗不喜歡噪音,所以用搖硬幣的辦法來馴狗十分奏效。另外還有馴狗師建議,往狗臉上噴水也是馴狗的好辦法。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “Like a lot of puppies, mine liked to beg for food every time I sat down to eat. If I’d let her continue, she would have become uncontrollable. My friend suggested that I fill a can with coins and shake it whenever she started to bark at me. That really NIPPED IT IN THE BUD. She soon learned to stay quiet. Since then, Lucy has developed into a very well-behaved dog.”

我真希望有什麼好辦法能讓我侄子知趣點。自從上個月搬來我家住,他就一直無所事事,整天看電視,我暗示他出去找個工作,但是至今,I haven’t been successful at NIPPING his laziness IN THE BUD. 我還是沒能把他懶散的壞毛病改掉。看來只好改變策略。

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: My mom always tells me to nip any sign of sickness in the bud. Whenever you feel under the weather, take the day off, let your body relax before it turns into something more severe.

B: Really? Sounds like you should nip your laziness in the bud. (A: Say that again?) Ok kidding kidding. You are one of the most hardworking people I’ve ever met!

A: 這還差不多!

B: Well, let’s continue with our class!

A: In today’s business etiquette, 公司主管Fred要來跟客戶討價還價! Let’s listen and check out some useful bargaining tips!

禮節美語Raising PricesPart I

MicroMax 公司銷售部主管Fred 給客戶Tom打電話,討論漲價的事情。

Susan (secretary): Hello, Tom Grossman’s office. How may I help you?

Fred Lim: Hi, Susan. This is Fred Lim from MicroMax. Is Tom available for a second?

Susan: One moment, please. I’m connecting you now.

Tom: Hey, Fred. What’s up?

F: Well, I was going to send you an email, but I thought it might be better for me to call.

T: Uh, oh. Sounds serious.

秘書Susan幫Fred接通Tom的電話。Tom拿起電話來問,Hey, Fred, What’s up?這是熟人之間見面,或是打電話一上來很常見的說法。直截了當,又很親切。Fred 說,本想發個電子郵件,後來覺得還是電話里說好,是什麼重要的事呢?

F: It’s about the last order your company placed with us.

T: Let’s see…you mean the order for six containers of chipboards?

F: Yep, that’s the one. Now I know we originally agreed on the price, but there’s a little problem. Yesterday one of our major suppliers notified us that they are raising prices.

T: That’s never good.

原來是關於最近一批訂貨,訂貨要用動詞 place, to place an order. 供貨商昨天電話通知Fred的公司,要漲價 They are raising prices.這可不是好消息。

F: Also, due to recent jumps in energy prices, our shipping agent is also upping fees. I guess what I’m getting at is that we just can’t offer our product at the original price anymore.

T: But Fred, this order is already in! I made it two weeks ago! You can’t change prices on me like this.

F: I understand your position, Tom. But if we fill your order as is, we lose money. If we can’t find some kind of compromise, I’m afraid our company might have to cancel the order all together.

漲價也可以說 to up the fees。Fred 抱怨說,油價貴了,運費也水漲船高,What I’m getting at is that….歸根結底要漲價。Tom 不同意,因為 The order is already in. 貨已經定好了,怎麼還能漲價呢?Fred 表示,if we fill your order as is, 如果按原樣供貨,就會賠錢。如果談不攏,就只好 cancel the order 取消定單。

T: Well, how much more are you asking for?

F: We need to ask for another 25%.

T: 25%! That’s a huge increase, Fred!

F: Tom, you are one of our most valued customers. Your business is important to us, but this situation is out of our hands.

T: I understand that your company needs to make a profit. But it’s going to be very hard for me to pass on these increases to our customers.

Tom 聽說要取消定單,口氣軟了下來,但覺得漲25%還是太多。Fred解釋說,the situation is out of our hands. 目前的情況已經不是我們所能控制的了。Fred和Tom接下來如何討價還價,我們下次再聽。

A: 銷售主管Fred給客戶Tom 打電話,表示訂單需要漲價。Tom說,the order was placed two weeks ago, 兩周前就下了訂單,漲價太不合理了。Fred說,由於油價飛漲,everyone is upping the fees, 各方都在漲價,所以the situation is out of their hands, 他們也控制不了。

I can’t believe these people…they just pushed their responsibilities on to others and left the customers hanging there!

B: That’s true for some bad companies, but some companies has great customer service. My iPhone and kindle both broke this week. Amazon fixed my kindle within 48 hours and Apple replaced my phone in 20 minutes flat. I’m remarkably impressed with both companies for how quickly they got their devices back into my hands.

A: Wow that’s great! Maybe some of that good karma is coming back to you…

B: Ha, maybe! Well, let’s keep listening to Tom and Fred, and learn how the bargaining goes in the business world!

禮節美語Raising PricesPart II

MicroMax 公司銷售部主管Fred 給客戶Tom打電話,討論漲價的事情。Fred要漲25%,Tom嫌太多。

F: I feel your pain, Tom. We are also in hot water these days. The global financial crisis is hitting all of us hard.

T: Is there anyway we could cut costs in other areas? Could we find a new shipping agent?

F: Yes, we could do that. But in the end it still comes down to protecting our bottom line.

對別人表示理解,可以說 I feel your pain. 不過,Fred話鋒一轉說,We are also in hot water. 我們日子也不好過。in the end it still comes down to protecting our bottom line.歸根結底我們還是要保證公司利潤。the bottom line 意思是贏利。

T: Look, I understand that prices for everything are going up these days. It’s a tough time to be in business. My company had to lay off over 100 employees last summer; but 25% is just too much.

F: You and I go a long way back, Tom. I’ll do everything in my power to be flexible….how about 22%?

T: It’s still too high. Our board of directors is already going to give me a hard time over this. Can you do better?

Tom同意漲價,但不肯接受25%. Fred跟Tom拉關係,You and I go a long way back.咱倆可是老交情了,然後問Tom22%怎麼樣。Tom還是嫌多,說董事會會give me a hard time繞不了我。

F: Tom, seeing as I’ve known you for over 10 years and because this price increase really came out of the blue, I think I can go down to 20%. But that’s really the best I can do.

T: How about this: I’ll pay 15% more for this shipment. Then for the next order we’ll boost it up to 18%.

F: You certainly know how to drive a hard bargain. Ok….how about 18% for this one and a 21% increase for next time?

T: I think I can do that. Ok….Fred, you’ve got yourself a deal.

Fred降到20%,並表示,That’s really the best I can do.不能再低了,他肯這樣做,是因為the increase really came out of the blue這次漲價的要求確實很突然。Tom 還是不肯點頭。Fred 說,you certainly know how to drive a hard bargain. 意思是真會殺價。最後兩人同意這批貨漲18%,下批貨漲21%。 Tom 說,Fred, you’ve got yourself a deal. 意思是成交。成交後當然還要寒暄一下。

F: I appreciate your understanding, Tom. And I’m sorry for the trouble this has caused you.

T: Ah, that’s all right. I know it’s not your fault. Prices for everything these days are insane.

F: Still, I appreciate your understanding. Let’s get together for lunch next time you’re in town.

T: Sure thing. And say hi to your lovely wife, Katrina.

F: Will do. Thanks again, Tom.

A: Fred向Tom解釋說, we are also in hot water, 處境也不容易。Tom說,如果這麼漲價,董事會會 give me a hard time, 繞不了我。兩個人談了很久,Tom同意這次漲價20%. Fred說Tom,You drive a hard bargain, 意思是你很會砍價。

B: That’s something I learned at 秀水街 in China. You start by asking for half the price and bargain up from there, and it usually works!

A: You know what? This is why Chinese people are good at numbers, because we started practicing when we were kids!

B: I can’t argue with that! You definitely are better at calculating tips than me…

A: Haha, ok! Let’s move on to another segment of our class now!

Learn A Word 1771 false alarm

今天我們要學的詞是false alarm. False is spelled f-a-l-s-e; and a-l-a-r-m, alarm。False alarm的意思是烏龍,假警報。美國德州遭受龍捲風襲擊,據說,On average, roughly 70% of all tornado warnings are false alarms. 平均來說,大約有百分之70的龍捲風警報都是虛驚一場。報假火警會浪費公用資源,Some cities in the U.S. are considering starting to issue fines for false alarms. 美國的一些城市在考慮,對報假火警的人予以罰款。美國聯邦參議員萊文的辦公室收到可疑信件,Preliminary FBI testing shows that the letter was not contaminated with poison and was a false alarm. FBI 的初步化驗顯示信件並沒有被下毒,是虛驚一場。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 false alarm, false alarm, false alarm…

A: I think 80% of the fire alarms in my apartment building are false alarms, so I never actually go downstairs…I just wait for the alarms to stop.

B: Woo…you don’t want to risk that. What if there really is a fire? Life is too precious to risk on something silly like that!

A: OK OK professor….Let’s now…continue with our class!

Words and Idioms 844 NEITHER HERE NOR THERE

美國習慣用語>第 844 講我特別喜歡去電影院看電影,可是有時也會遇到一些不愉快的事情。比如說上個周末,我們後面坐的三個女孩子,從電影一開始就旁若無人地聊天。我後來實在忍無可忍,回頭請她們保持安靜,誰知其中一個女孩說,我們可是比你先坐在這兒的,讓我哭笑不得,因為英語里說:

M: Neither here nor there. Here is spelled h-e-r-e, and there; t-h-e-r-e. Neither-here-nor-there. Neither here nor there.

Neither here nor there 這個習慣用語的意思是無關緊要。我之所以這麼說,是因為在電影院里保持安靜是最起碼的禮貌,先來後到其實並不重要。換句話說,那個女孩子提出是她們先到的,完全就是 It was NEITHTER HERE NOR THERE.

在下面這個例子中,一名政客擅自挪用稅款,欺騙選民。讓我們一起聽聽他在為自己做出辯護的時候是怎麼說的。

M: “Our senator was found guilty of taking tax money to pay for his summer home. When confronted, he reminded reporters that he had been serving the citizens for over 40 years. That remark was NEITHER HERE NOR THERE; he’d broken the law! Did he think that he could divert our attention from his crime?”

這段話說:我們的參議員已經被認定有罪,罪名是挪用稅款,給自己蓋夏季別墅。被問到這個問題時,他居然提醒記者說,他已經為大眾服務四十多年了。從政多少年並不重要,重要的是,他違反了法律。他難道以為這樣說,就能讓我們不再注意他的罪行嗎?

這倒讓我想到一件好笑的事情。每次我老公做錯事,只要我嗓門稍微一升高,他馬上就會誇我看上去年輕漂亮。What he’s saying is NEITHER HERE NOR THERE. 他這麼說明擺着就是在轉移視線,避重就輕。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Our senator was found guilty of taking tax money to pay for his summer home. When confronted, he reminded reporters that he had been serving the citizens for over 40 years. That remark was NEITHER HERE NOR THERE; he’d broken the law! Did he think that he could divert our attention from his crime?”

我好幾個朋友的孩子都曾前往伊拉克作戰。最近,我跟一個馬上準備回來的孩子聊天,才發現,在這些軍人的心目中,什麼才是最重要的。讓我們一起聽聽他是怎麼說的。

M: “My tour of duty is nearly over and my mom’s busy planning my favorite meals. I really appreciate her thinking of me. But whatever she makes seems NEITHER HERE NOR THERE. It just isn’t that important. What I care about is being home with my family again.”

這個人說:我駐防的任務馬上就要結束了,媽媽正在準備做那些我最喜歡吃的菜。她能這麼惦記我,我當然高興,可其實,她做什麼飯菜並不重要,最讓我高興的是,我又能跟家人團聚了。

看來,戰場的磨鍊還真能讓人成熟。我哥哥的女兒其實跟上面這個男孩子差不多大。可她現在最關心的,卻是怎麼才能讓老爸給她買輛新車。她還專門把各款跑車的介紹從網上打印下來,拿給我哥看。不過,我哥說,她的這番努力是 NEITHER HERE NOR THERE 根本沒用。能開上家裡那輛十年的舊車,就已經算她好運了。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “My tour of duty is nearly over and my mom’s busy planning my favorite meals. I really appreciate her thinking of me. But whatever she makes seems NEITHER HERE NOR THERE. It just isn’t that important. What I care about is being home with my family again.”

說到年紀,NEITHER HERE NOR THERE 這個習慣用語最早出現是在1583年。如果大家有任何問題,即使你覺得可能是 NEITHER HERE NOR THERE 無關緊要,也不妨跟我們聯繫,電子郵件可以寄到 MEIYU@VOANEWS.COM。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Mike, stop making excuses for eating all my snacks…and stop pretending you are trying to help me lose weight or something, it’s neither here nor there…

B: Really? Because I’m pretty sure if you put on any more weight, Lingdao isn’t going to let you appear on camera…….

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112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,我們要一起聊聊在跨國企業中如何應對不同的文化,看看如何表達毫無概念,還要告訴你如何說本能!

B: Yeah, I went through major culture shock when I first went to China! People kept asking me about my salary…I mean, we almost never ask someone about that in the West!

A: Yeah, money is an acceptable topic in daily conversation among some Asian cultures. It took me a good two years to get used to American customs as well. First of all, hugging! Americans love to hug, but it kinda creeps me out!

B: (laughing) we’ll run out of time for the show if we keep on talking about this. Why don’t we start our class first, and then we will discuss some more cultural differences later in the show!

A: 好主意! 同學們,我們趕快先來進入第一個單元,Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1777 instinct

今天我們要學的詞是instinct. Instinct is spelled i-n-s-t-i-n-c-t, instinct. Instinct 是本能,直覺的意思。Survival instinct 生存本能。Animal instinct 動物本能。The offer was too good to be true. My instincts told me it must be a scam. 這事好得簡直令人難以置信,我的直覺告訴我,這一定是個騙局。龍捲風來襲之前,奧克拉荷馬州的一個媽媽毅然決定,不讓孩子藏在衣櫥里,開車出去避難,結果幸免於難,回來時房子已被夷為平地。Her maternal instincts saved her kids and herself. 她的母性直覺救了孩子的命,也救了她自己的命。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 instinct, instinct, instinct…

A: I got to say, sometimes your instincts are the best thing you can rely on.

B: I mean, you are a good judge of character, so your gut feeling about a person is usually right. But for me….it’s a different story.

A: Well, that’s why we are friends! I can always help you out, for a small fee!

B: Ahh…I was wondering when the real Yang Lin was going to come out…

A: Haha, actually, there’s only one rule to judging character: when something seems too good to be true, it must be fake or a scam. It applies to both things and people.

B: Yeah, I guess…I just have a very trusting personality! I always choose to look on the bright side and trust others!

A: OKOK…let’s stop this overflow of self-esteem . 我們趕快從吹牛大王這逃走,接着來聽美國習慣用語吧!

Words and Idioms 845 NOT KNOW BEANS

(sound effect: tweet, tweet).

大家肯定都聽過鳥叫,英語里形容鳥叫的相聲詞是 tweet, t-w-e-e-t, tweet. 你知道嗎,現在有個網站叫 twitter, 可以用電腦或是手機在上面發送字數不超過140個字的短訊。我也是最近才從年輕同事那裡知道這個網站的,但還是不知道具體怎麼操作。今天我們要學的習慣用語恰恰可以用來形容這種情況,那就是:

M: Not know beans about. Beans is spelled b-e-a-n-s. Not-know-beans-about. Not know beans about.

說一個人NOT KNOW BEANS ABOUT一件事情,意思就是對一件事情一無所知,毫無概念。就拿我來說吧,如果你讓我上網 tweet 你,那我簡直就是丈二和尚摸不着頭腦,因為 I do NOT KNOW BEANS ABOUT it.

奧巴馬夫婦入主白宮後,第一夫人米歇爾多次成為頭版新聞。就在前不久,她在白宮開墾了一個菜園子。讓我們聽聽下面這篇報道是怎麼說的。

M: “First Lady Michelle Obama recently started a vegetable garden at the White House. It’s a reflection of the many gardens that are sprouting up in backyards across the county. Even Americans who doN’T KNOW BEANS ABOUT farming are trying it. Soon enough these absolute beginners are enjoying their own delicious and healthy produce.”

報道說:第一夫人米歇爾•奧巴馬最近在白宮開了個菜園。眼下,這樣的菜園子在全美各地象雨後春筍一樣紛紛出現。就連對種植一竅不通的美國人也躍躍欲試。沒過多久,這些初次「務農」的人就能嘗到自己種出來的可口健康的水果和蔬菜了。

我和老公就是從去年開始種菜的,去年第一次嘗試,We did NOT KNOW BEANS ABOUT IT. 所以只種了西紅柿、黃瓜和韭菜,結果大豐收。你別說,自己種的菜味道就是不一樣,又有利環保,絕對是一舉兩得。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “First Lady Michelle Obama recently started a vegetable garden at the White House. It’s a reflection of the many gardens that are sprouting up in backyards across the county. Even Americans who doN’T KNOW BEANS ABOUT farming are trying it. Soon enough these absolute beginners are enjoying their own delicious and healthy produce.”

常聽人說,愛情可以戰勝一切,真是這樣嗎?聽聽下面這個例子,你就會得出答案。

M: “When Brenda was first introduced to Jack, she was intimidated by his knowledge. When it came to his field, astrophysics, she frankly didN’T KNOW BEANS. But over several dates, she fell in love with his enthusiasm for galaxies and electromagnetism. It’s amazing how much she understands now.”

這個人說:布蘭達第一次經人介紹跟傑克認識的時候,傑克的博學多才讓她有些無地自容。對於傑克研究的天文物理學,布蘭達可以說是一無所知。但是幾次約會下來,她就被傑克對宇宙和電磁的熱情折服了。現在她懂得越來越多,簡直不可思議。

有趣的是,NOT KNOW BEANS 的另外一種說法是 NOT KNOW JACK. 因此,在上面這個例子里,我們可以說,對於天文物理學,Branda doesn’t know Jack. 這裡的 Jack 指的就不是 Jack 這個人了。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “When Brenda was first introduced to Jack, she was intimidated by his knowledge. When it came to his field, astrophysics, she frankly didN’T KNOW BEANS. But over several dates, she fell in love with his enthusiasm for galaxies and electromagnetism. It’s amazing how much she understands now.”

大家也許會問,為什麼要說 beans 豆子呢?或許恰恰是因為豆子小,微不足道吧。這個習慣用語早在十九世紀早期就已經出現了,一直沿用到今天。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Modern technology has been developing so fast. I remember just a year ago, when my friends introduced me to wechat, no one knew beans about it. But today everyone in China is using it!

B: That’s true. All this modern technology makes the world a smaller place. International businesses is everywhere now!

A: True. But it’s also a big challenge to understand how all these different cultures interact in the business world, and in your daily life.

B: In today’s business etiquette, we will get some tips about how to interact with your customers from different countries! Let’s check it out!

禮節美語Cross-Cultural SensitivityPart I

Jim 和 Emily 是一家跨國公司從中國聘用的新僱員,公司人事部的 Paula 對他們進行文化差異的培訓。

Paula: Hello and good morning. I’m Paula Higgins and I’ve been asked to help prep all of you for your new positions.
J&E: Good morning.

P: Well, let’s get right down to business, shall we? Each of you will be traveling to business meetings, attending fairs and exhibitions as well as receiving clients from abroad. It’s therefore very important that you make a good impression. Let’s start with how to greet people.

Paula自我介紹後,馬上展開培訓 get right down to business. Paula 說的,to prep someone for his or her new position 指就職前的培訓。做為跨國公司僱員,要經常出去開會,參展,接待外國客戶,因此給別人的第一印象很重要。It’s important to make a good impression.

P: Yes, Emily?

E: Why do some Europeans kiss each other when they say hello? I’ve even seen men kiss each other!

P: Yes, in some places in Europe such as France, people do give each other a light kiss on the cheek. It’s considered friendly and is not sexual in any way.

J: But Americans wouldn’t do that, would they?

P: No, it’s highly unlikely that an American would offer a kiss.

歐洲人見面喜歡在臉頰上蜻蜓點水地親一下,a light kiss on the cheek. 那美國人呢?Paula 說,It’s highly unlikely that an American would offer a kiss. 就是說美國人幾乎絕對不可能這樣做。

J: But Americans seem to like to hug each other frequently.

P: That’s true. In recent years it has become more popular to hug. But usually it’s people who have met before and perhaps haven’t seen each other in a while that might hug. At a first meeting, a hug would be very unlikely.

E: Hugs kind of creep me out! I don’t really like to be touched by strangers.

美國人似乎很喜歡擁抱。Paula 解釋說,其實,只有很久不見的熟人才會彼此擁抱,初次見面一般不會。Emily 說自己不喜歡陌生人碰她。Hugs kind of creep me out! 擁抱讓她渾身不自在。

P: Fair enough. I’d say hugging is not usually appropriate in a business situation. Some people are a bit overly friendly. But if the person initiates it, I’d recommend you grit your teeth and go along with it, otherwise people might think you are rude.

J: So the same rule would apply to getting a kiss from a European: if they initiate it, just go along and be friendly, right?

P: Yes. As the saying goes: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In other words: follow the local customs.

Paula 也承認,擁抱並不適合商業場合,但有些人確實會 overly friendly 過份友好。在這種情況下,她建議員工 to grit your teeth and go along with it. 咬咬牙,硬着頭皮去應和。 grit is spelled g-r-i-t. 常言說,When in Rome, do as the Romans do. 入鄉隨俗。

A: Paula說,歐洲人喜歡a light kiss on the cheek, 見面時行親吻禮,而美國人呢則更習慣hug,擁抱。她說,有些人確實over friendly,過於熱情,但是如果是在商業場合,you have to grit your teeth and go along with it, 得咬咬牙,硬着頭皮去迎合。

B: Yep, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

A: 沒錯! 入鄉隨俗。So Mike, what was the biggest culture shock you encountered when you were in China?

B: That would have to be how Chinese girls behave around each other. You know, Chinese girls like to walk hand in hand, or feed each other food, etc. In America, girls would NEVER, EVER do that unless they are a couple. So…that always confused me until a friend set me straight.

A: 沒錯沒錯! 這倒是真的! 而且啊,東西方文化中還有很多談話的禁忌也是不同的。我們接着來聽Paula是怎麼說的!

禮節美語Cross-Cultural SensitivityPart II

Jim 和 Emily 是一家跨國公司從中國聘用的新僱員,公司人事部的 Paula 對他們進行文化差異的培訓。Emily 說,

E: I know that we will be expected to chat and make small talk with our customers, but I’m worried I’m going to put my foot in my mouth.

P: There are a couple of topics that are considered “no-nos” in Western culture. It’s best to avoid discussions on politics, religion and money.

J: Why is religion a sensitive topic?

聊天兒,to chat, 也可以說 to make small talk. Emily 擔心跟客戶聊天的時候會 to put my foot in my mouth, 意思是說話不得體,講錯話。Paula 說,在西方文化中,確實有一些話題是 “no-nos” 最好不要涉及的領域,包括政治、宗教和金錢。宗教為什麼是敏感話題?

P: Well, there are a lot of religions and each one thinks very differently. Overall, it’s an area that could cause trouble; so it’s best to stay away from it.

J: When I visited Italy last year, I noticed a sign at a church asking people to remove their hats. Why is this necessary?

P: In some religious centers it’s considered impolite to wear hats. Many Western people also think you should remove your hat when dining or in a more formal setting.
Paula 解釋說,不同宗教信仰的人,如果話不投機,就很容易出問題。So it’s best to stay away from it. 所以最好遠離這個話題。Jim 問,為什麼意大利有的教堂要大家摘掉帽子。Paula 解釋說,某些宗教認為戴帽子很不禮貌,it’s considered impolite to wear hats, 而且在西方,正式場合和飯局一般都要把帽子摘下來。

J: You said money is off-limits as well. Can you explain?

P: In some parts of Asia, discussing salary amounts or how much you paid for something is an acceptable conversation topic, but in the West, people get very uncomfortable when discussing money.

E: That makes sense. Money can be a tricky subject.

金錢也是 off-limits 禁區。在亞洲某些地方,工資收入可以是聊天的話題,但是在西方,問別人賺多少錢,往往會讓人覺得不舒服。所以說,Money can be a tricky subject.

P: Ok…a couple more important points: In some Asian societies, when you meet someone and you notice they have put on weight, you might say “Hey! You’ve gained weight!” But in the West, it’s almost never appropriate to comment on someone’s appearance.

J: But why? It’s not a criticism; it’s just an observation.

P: In the West it is viewed as a criticism. So don’t comment on age or weight.

E: I think it’s best to simply say, “You look well.”

P: Yes….that would be perfect. Thank you all for your attention and we will meet again next week.

還有一點至關重要,見面千萬別說,「你發福了!」That’s a no-no. 西方人幾乎從來不討論別人的外表,還有年齡!Don’t comment on age or weight.

A: Emily 擔心跟客戶聊天的時候會put my foot in my mouth,意思是說話不得體,Paula說,在聊天中,不要涉及宗教,金錢和政治,it’s best to stay away from it. 而且don’t comment on age or weight,不要評價別人的外表還有年齡。But…but I always comment when you gain any weight!

B: Yeah…now you know. It’s considered very inappropriate in the western society.

A: But it’s common to comment on other people’s appearance in China! Like….you seemed to have put on a little bit of weight recently… Mike

B:You little…

A: Haha, its culture difference, so…you can’t blame it on me! (B:Ugh…) (笑) 好了同學們,我們接着來聽下面的learn a word!

Learn A Word 1779 runner-up

今天我們要學的詞是runner-up. Runner is spelled r-u-n-n-e-r, runner, and up, u-p, up, runner-up. Runner-up 比賽里的第二名。Jason came in as the runner-up in the 200-meter hurdles. 詹森在200米跨欄中名列第二。在美國國家地理小蜜蜂比賽中,12-year-old Sathwik Karnik got all five questions right in his one-on-one duel with the runner-up to clinch the title. 12歲的卡爾尼克在跟亞軍的一對一對決中,五道問題全部答對,贏得冠軍頭銜。American Idol Season 12 runner-up Kree Harrison says that she has no regrets about her time on the show. 美國偶像第12季亞軍克里.哈里森說,參加這個節目的全過程,她沒有一絲遺憾。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 runner-up, runner-up, runner-up…

A: In the competition between you and me, You are always the runner-up Mike

B: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa…hold on Yang Lin. Remember that time when we had the “president of the show” election, and you just ignored the results because you lost? I still have the evidence….I think Someone’s number is up!

A: Er…hmm….oh, you just mentioned a very good idiom, sb’s number is up! Let’s check it out first!

Words and Idioms 846 SB’S NUMBER IS UP

美國習慣用語第846講

在美國,一到星期五,很多公司里的員工都會輪流帶多納圈到辦公室,跟同事分享,我們辦公室也不例外。老實說,我本人並不喜歡多納圈,太甜,而且離我家最近的一家多納圈專賣店開車二十分鐘才能到,很不方便。你猜,明天輪到誰帶多納圈?沒錯,又輪到我了。這倒讓我想起一個有趣的習慣用語,叫:

M: Somebody’s number is up. Number is spelled n-u-m-b-e-r. Somebody’s-number-is-up. Somebody’s number is up.

Somebody’s number is up 這個習慣用語的意思是氣數已盡,要倒霉了。就好比我,雖然自己並不喜歡吃多納圈,而且又要繞道去買,但是輪到我了,沒辦法,在這種情況下,就可以說 My number is up! 不過,跟下面例子里的這些人相比,我恐怕還算是幸運的。我們一起聽下面這段話。

M: “We knew to expect another round of layoffs. So I had a bad feeling when my coworker got called in to meet with the boss. Sure enough, HIS NUMBER WAS UP. He and five other associates were given one hour to clean out their desks and turn in their office IDs. I’m just lucky I still have my position.

這個人說:我們都知道,還要裁一批人。所以,我的同事被老闆叫去談話,我就有一種很不好的預感。果不其然,輪到他倒霉了。他和另外五個人被要求在一個小時內整理好自己的東西,交還工作證件。我的運氣還不錯,至今還有工作。

現在經濟不景氣,誰都可能會丟飯碗。更糟糕的是,很多失業的人付不出房屋貸款,最後連房子都會被銀行沒收,我的一個朋友就擔心,她老公如果在三個月內找不到新工作的話,THEIR NUMBER WILL BE UP,他們就要慘了。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “We knew to expect another round of layoffs. So I had a bad feeling when my coworker got called in to meet with the boss. Sure enough, HIS NUMBER WAS UP. He and five other associates were given one hour to clean out their desks and turn in their office IDs. I’m just lucky I still have my position.

不過,也不是所有人都這麼倒霉。比如說我的鄰居 Judy Allen 就剛剛當選連任了市議員。我們一起來聽聽下面這段政治評論:

M: “Judy Allen’s reelection to the city council confirms that HER NUMBER ISN’T UP yet. It’s true that she may have made some political enemies in her first term. But the majority of voters still felt she did a good job. And what they want now is to see her build on her success.”

這個人說:Judy Allen 當選連任市議員說明,她的政治生涯還沒有走到盡頭。沒錯,她在第一個任期內確實樹了一些政敵,但是大多數選民還是覺得她幹得不錯。他們希望她能在成功的基礎上再接再勵。

我的另外一個鄰居可就沒這麼走運了。她兒子開車回家的路上跟一個醉酒開車的人撞上,結果車徹底報銷,人也受了傷,在醫院了躺了好幾天。按我鄰居的話說,現在馬路上這麼多危險駕駛的司機,You never know when YOUR NUMBER WILL BE UP. 誰也不知道什麼時候會輪到自己倒霉。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “Judy Allen’s reelection to the city council confirms that HER NUMBER ISN’T UP yet. It’s true that she may have made some political enemies in her first term. But the majority of voters still felt she did a good job. And what they want now is to see her build on her success.”

大家也許會問,這個習慣用語是怎麼來的呢?根據我的研究,這個習慣用語最早是十九世紀早期出現的,NUMBER 當時指的可能是沒中的彩票上的數字。也有人說,Number 是指任何可以用來辨別某個人身份的數字,比如說美國軍人脖子上掛的身份牌。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

B: So…huh? I guess there is no point in competing with me when you are not even in the same league!

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


美語訓練班  第113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,我們一起來看看美國人怎麼一起過白色聖誕,看看如何說時斷時續,還要帶你來看最流行的環保產品!

B: Christmas is my favorite holiday! There’s great food, presents, and most importantly you get the chance to spend time with you family! Talking, watching TV, eating food and opening presents…To me that’s what Christmas means -family time.

A: 沒錯! 好了同學們,我們等會再來討論聖誕的傳統,現在,我們趕快先來進入第一個單元….

B: Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1780 eco-friendly

今天我們要學的詞是eco-friendly. eco-friendly is spelled eco, e-c-o, friendly, f-r-i-e-n-d-l-y, friendly, eco-friendly. Eco-friendly 有利環保的。2011年的一項研究顯示,Forty seven percent of travelers will take eco-friendliness into consideration when booking a vacation. 百分之47的遊客在預定渡假地時,都會把旅遊區設施是否環保的因素考慮進去。如今,環保已經成為一種時尚。除了節水,省電,廢物再循環使用外,Growing your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to be eco-friendly. 自己種水果,蔬菜也是環保的好辦法。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 eco-friendly, eco-friendly, eco-friendly…

B: Being eco-friendly is important, and it can be fun too!

A: 沒錯! Remember Bike to Work day? People seemed to be having a lot of fun! 既保護了環境,還能減肥! Mike, you should seriously consider doing it more often….

B: Ugh…there she is, I was wondering where the real Yanglin was hiding…At least I can ride a bike! Unlike some people I know!

A: I swear I learned how to ride a bike when I was little! But I only rode on again, off again.. and the result is not that pretty. They say that once you know how to ride a bike you will never forget, I’m the walking proof that’s a lie.

B: Wouldn’t that be “riding proof”? (laughs) Ok Ok….you mentioned an interesting term, “On again, off again” let’s check it out in today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 847 ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN

美國習慣用語第 847 講

我昨天收到了大學室友寄來的一張生日賀卡,讓我感慨萬千。一眨眼,大學畢業已經20多年了,雖然我們一直保持聯繫,但是大家都在為生活奔波,所以每年也只有逢年過節才會互通信息。這倒讓我想起了我們今天要學的習慣用語,叫:

M: On again, off again. Again is spelled a-g-a-i-n. On-again, off again.

On again, off again 這個習慣用語的意思是斷斷續續的。就好象我畢業後跟大學室友的聯絡一樣,on again, off again. 時斷時續。下面例子里的這個遠足愛好者打算退出自己的遠足俱樂部,讓我們聽聽他是怎麼想的。

M: “I’m thinking of dropping out of my hiking club. It’s not that I don’t like getting out and exploring some of the great trails in the area. But one month there might be an outing every week, then the next there’s only one. I’d prefer a schedule of hikes that’s not so ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN.”

這個人說:我正在考慮是不是要退出遠足俱樂部,這樣做並不是因為我不喜歡跟大家一起去遠足,探索這附近很多有意思的山間小道,但是有時候一個月每星期都有活動,下個月卻可能只有一次。我真希望,俱樂部的遠足活動不要這麼時斷時續。

這倒讓我想起了我妹妹的那些男朋友,也許是因為她住在加州,那裡的男人更不願意安定下來吧,她每次交男朋友,都是幾個月的熱度,然後男方就會失去興趣,但又藕斷絲連,過一段時間又回來給她打電話,讓我妹妹十分苦惱。這種 ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN 時斷時續的交往方式並不適合她。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “I’m thinking of dropping out of my hiking club. It’s not that I don’t like getting out and exploring some of the great trails in the area. But one month there might be an outing every week, then the next there’s only one. I’d prefer a schedule of hikes that’s not so ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN.”

顯然,連續性對很多事情來說都很重要。我們一起來聽聽下面這位居民的看法:

M: “The last neighborhood committee never got much done. Perhaps it was because of all the ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN meetings they had. But now, the new leaders get together regularly. As a result, they’ve been able to improve public safety, organize civic events and accomplished a lot that’s made our area a nicer place to live.”

這個人說:上一屆居民委員會什麼都沒幹,也許是因為他們開會太少、太沒準日子了吧。新一屆負責人走馬上任後,定期開會,結果有效地改善了小區的公共安全,組織了各種活動,還做了很多其它事情,結果顯著改變了我們這片地區的居住環境。

這倒讓我想起了原來用的那家手機公司,信號特別不穩定,我每次開車出去買東西、辦事情,手機的信號總是時斷時續,絲毫沒有保障,這種情況持續了不到一個月,我就忍無可忍了,換成了現在的這家手機公司。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “The last neighborhood committee never got much done. Perhaps it was because of all the ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN meetings they had. But now, the new leaders get together regularly. As a result, they’ve been able to improve public safety, organize civic events and accomplished a lot that’s made our area a nicer place to live.”

大家猜猜看,這個習慣用語是怎麼來的?有些語言學家說, on again, off again 這個習慣用語最早是指那些並不嚴重的火車事故,因為火車剛剛出現的時候,經常會脫離軌道,過一會兒又會自己重新回到軌道上去,因此就有了 on again, off again 的說法。

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: My contact with my best friends from college is on again, off again. 但是每次我們一見面,都有說不完的話! I guess true friendships are like that, they aren’t faded by time or distance.

B: That’s true. My best friend is in Australia right now, and last year I visited him during Christmas! Man it was nice! It was Christmas but in the summer, we just sat on the beach and enjoyed summer drinks!

A: Oh yeah, In Australia Christmas is in the summer! That’s….intriguing! Actually, as long as you are with people you care about, it would be a great Christmas holiday.

B: In today’s business etiquette, we will go take a look at how American families celebrate Christmas! Let’s check it out!

禮節美語 Christmas in America Part I

來自中國的僱員 Dana 跟同事 Charlie 聊天兒,說自己要去美國朋友家過聖誕節。

Dana: Hey Charlie, you’re from Boston right?

C: Yeah, I’m from Newton. It’s a suburb of Boston.

D: I’m going to be visiting your hometown for Christmas.

C: Really? Boston is beautiful at Christmas time. Maybe you’ll get to experience a real white Christmas! Are you going there for business?

D: Actually, I was invited by an old friend of mine. He was an exchange student in Beijing in the 1980s. We’ve known each other for over 20 years now.

Dana 要到 Charlie 的 hometown 家鄉 Boston 去過聖誕節。波士頓是美國東北部的大城市,冬天經常下大雪,所以 Charlie 說,Maybe you’ll get to experience a real white Christmas. 沒準你能體驗一下真正的白色聖誕節呢!Dana 說,自己不是去波士頓出差,not for business, 而是去看一個認識很久的老朋友。

C: I see. So you’re going to hang out with your friend for the holidays?

D: Yes, but I’m a little nervous.

C: Why would you be nervous?

D: Because I’m going to be staying with his family. I’ve never experienced an American Christmas. What if I say or do the wrong thing?

C: Oh…there’s nothing to worry about. Christmas is a time of goodwill. People are supposed to forget about any differences and be nice to each other. Usually every one is in a really good mood.

跟老朋友 hang out 一塊兒過節,為什麼還會緊張呢?原來,Dana 擔心自己不了解過聖誕節的風俗,會說錯話,或是做錯事。Charlie 安慰她說,沒什麼可擔心的,因為 Christmas is a time of goodwill. 聖誕節是展現友好的時候。大家一般心情都很愉快、平和。Usually everyone is in a really good mood.

D: So give me a basic rundown. What are the Christmas traditions?

C: Each family is different, but basically you just go with the flow. If your friend’s family is religious they might go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.

D: I’ve never attended a church service before…that sounds interesting.

C: The singing and music can be quite beautiful, but many American families just hang around at home on Christmas talking, watching TV, eating food and opening presents.

Dana 讓 Charlie 給她簡單講講美國人過聖誕節都有哪些傳統,a basic rundown of the Christmas traditions. Rundown is spelled r-u-n-d-o-w-n, rundown, 意思是概要。Charlie 說,每個家庭都不一樣,教徒一般聖誕前夜或是聖誕節早上會去教堂,但是很多美國家庭就待在家裡,聊天、看電視、吃東西、拆禮物。他建議 Dana, Basically you just go with the flow. 客隨主便就對了。美國人過聖誕,還有哪些傳統呢?我們下星期繼續聽。

A: Dana請Charlie給她a basic rundown of the Christmas traditions, 簡介聖誕節的傳統。Charlie說,Christmas is a time of goodwill,是大家展現友好的時候,除了去教堂,就是家人在家團聚, basically you just go with the flow,客隨主便就對了。

B: True. I invited some of my Chinese friends to my parent’s house for Christmas when I was in college. It was so much fun introducing them to all of my family’s Christmas traditions!

A: Yeah…I think Christmas is the toughest time for me during the year, since I always miss my family so much!

B: Aww….well, if you are up for it, you can join my family for Christmas this year!

A: That’s so nice of you! 一言為定! Let’s keep listening to Charlie and learn more about Christmas traditions!

禮節美語 Christmas in America Part II

來自中國的僱員 Dana 跟同事 Charlie 聊天兒,說自己要去美國朋友家過聖誕節,請 Charlie 給她講講美國人過聖誕的習俗。

D: Would you say Christmas is the most popular American holiday?

C: Definitely. It’s a really big deal. Most people don’t work on that day, and if you ask someone to work you have to pay them a lot of overtime.

D: Should I bring presents for all of his family members?

C: That’s probably not necessary because you’re a guest. You could bring a small souvenir or something from China for them. But one tradition is to bring a nice bottle of wine.

聖誕節是美國的重要節日。Charlie 說,It’s a really big deal. 意思是說聖誕節確實非常重要。大家都放假,讓人加班,得付很多加班費。you have to pay them a lot of overtime. overtime 是加班費的意思。去朋友家過聖誕節,要給每個人買禮物嗎?Charlie 認為不用,只要帶個中國紀念品就行了。但是美國人去朋友家作客,有帶葡萄酒的傳統。

D: Is there a lot of drinking during Christmas?

C: It depends on the family, but I’d say most people probably do enjoy alcoholic drinks. Have you ever tried eggnog?

D: No, what’s that?

C: It’s an alcoholic drink that sort of tastes like egg custard. It’s sweet and warm and perfect for the cold winter season.

D: Sounds delightful. What’s the traditional menu?

Charlie 說,美國人過聖誕節,most people do enjoy alcoholic drinks, 大多數人都喜歡喝一杯,其中一種很普遍的酒精飲料叫 eggnog, eggnog is spelled e-g-g-n-o-g, eggnog, 味道甜甜的,溫溫的,適合天氣冷的時候喝。聖誕節有什麼傳統菜肴嗎?

C: Probably roast chicken. During Thanksgiving most people eat turkey. Actually, we Americans eat way too much food during the holiday season. When New Year comes around, everybody makes a resolution to lose weight!

D: Are there fireworks or any kind of public events?

C: Not really. Usually in the town center there’s a huge Christmas tree. All the streets are lined with Christmas lights…it’s really quite pretty.

Charlie說,聖誕節很多家庭會吃烤雞。他還說,美國人過節總會吃很多東西,we Americans eat way too much food during the holiday season. 所以新年一到,大家都會立志減肥。Charlie 還說,美國人過聖誕節,一般不放煙火,但是市中心往往會有一棵特別高大的聖誕樹,街道兩邊也都是聖誕節的彩燈,充滿節日氣氛。美國是不是所有人都慶祝聖誕節呢?我們下星期繼續聽。

B: That’s true! I always over eat at Christmas.

A: You sure you only overeat at Christmas? (B: you…) Kidding kidding! Yeah things are the same in China! 春節7天猛吃,春節後開始減肥!

B: That’s the holiday spirit. Calories doesn’t count on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

A: Exactly! All right, let’s move on with our class. Let’s listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1782 virus

今天我們要學的詞是virus. Virus is spelled v-i-r-u-s, virus. Virus 病毒。The head of the WHO warned the world of a new virus named MERS-CoV, which is found in Saudi Arabia. 世界衛生組織負責人對一種在沙特阿拉伯發現的病毒向全世界提出警告,這種新病毒被命名為MERS-CoV病毒。The WHO has yet to learned how the new virus spreads, making it difficult to prevent infections. 世界衛生組織尚未研究出這種新病毒的傳播方式,這就給預防傳染增加了難度。The WHO is calling on all nations of the world to pull together their resources to study and tackle this new virus. 世界衛生組織呼籲世界各國集合資源,共同研究征服這種新病毒。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 virus, virus, virus…

A: That’s why I choose to use a Mac. Since there are so few viruses for Macs, I don’t have to worry about my personal information getting stolen.

B: Identity theft is a big deal these days. You can’t be overly careful when you use online banking.

A: Exactly, the Internet is so convenient because it has tons of information on tap. But at the same time, it makes us more vulnerable to hackers!

B: And you just mention the idiom for our next segment: On tap. Let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 848 ON TAP

美國習慣用語第 848 講

上個周末特別熱,我不得不把夏天的短褲和涼鞋全都找出來穿上。天氣預報說,這段時間會有一股暖氣流北上,所以會一直晴朗炎熱。這倒讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,叫:

M: On tap. Tap is spelled t-a-p. On-tap. On tap.

Tap 有水龍頭的意思。On tap 這個習慣用語的意思是可以隨時使用的。就像剛才說的,上周末一直晴朗無雲,with lots of sunny weather ON TAP,我充分享受了戶外活動的樂趣,又收拾花園、又去釣魚、還跟朋友在公園裡野餐。下面例子里一群志願工作者為了一項有意義的事業而走到了一起。讓我們一起聽聽他們做了些什麼。

M: “When members of our church suggested holding an amateur talent show to raise money for charity, many of us were skeptical. But we were soon overwhelmed by all the people who volunteered, from singers to musicians, magicians to jugglers…Looking at all the performers we now have ON TAP, we could put on two shows!”

這個人說:我們教會有教友建議,可以舉辦一次業餘才藝表演,為慈善事業集資,當時很多人對此表示懷疑。誰知道,後來居然有很多人表示願意參加,包括歌唱家、音樂家、魔術師和雜耍藝人,讓我們應接不暇,現在已經有的這些表演者足以組織兩台演出。

我妹妹住的地方不久前遭水災,附近很多人都趕去救災,there was no shortage of help ON TAP. 前來幫忙的人源源不斷,讓那個城鎮沒有蒙受嚴重的損失。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “When members of our church suggested holding an amateur talent show to raise money for charity, many of us were skeptical. But we were soon overwhelmed by all the people who volunteered, from singers to musicians, magicians to jugglers…Looking at all the performers we now have ON TAP, we could put on two shows!”

互聯網的發展,給我們的生活帶來了很多方便。比如說,下面例子里的這個網站,就給當地圖書館的服務帶來了一場革命。我們一起來聽聽網站的設計師是怎麼說的。

M: “The website I created for my local library has been a great success. Finally, patrons are linked to a variety of services, can locate and reserve books and other resources, and learn about sponsored events. They appreciate having so much information ON TAP; it’s all readily available with just a few clicks of the mouse.”

這個設計師說:我替本地圖書館設計的這個網站獲得了巨大的成功。用戶們終於可以通過網站得到一系列的服務了,包括查找資料、預定圖書,等等,還可以了解圖書館舉辦的一些活動。能隨時得到這麼豐富的信息,讓他們非常滿意,只要點擊幾下鼠標,就能找到所有想要得到的信息了。

也許我表姐應該辦個網站。她雖然是一名很出色的藝術家,但卻沒有多少固定的客戶。She doesn’t have many clients ON TAP. 我想,如果她通過互聯網的方式推銷自己,一定會有很大的幫助。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “The website I created for my local library has been a great success. Finally, patrons are linked to a variety of services, can locate and reserve books and other resources, and learn about sponsored events. They appreciate having so much information ON TAP; it’s all readily available with just a few clicks of the mouse.”

On tap 這個習慣用語最早是十九世紀中葉出現的,指某種飲料,比如說啤酒,可以隨時從酒桶里倒出來。

凡是我們的忠實聽眾都知道,雖然我不能提前預告下次要教的習慣用語,但是大家不用擔心,We have plenty of words and idioms on tap. 我們有足夠多的習慣用語可以跟大家分享。

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.

B: Ugh, I wish my parents didn’t have so much good food on tap during the holidays.

A: I’m sure they wish you wouldn’t eat all their good food during the holidays……….

B: Wha??? Yanlin, you finally had the last laugh!

A: 當然! 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114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: 好的! 今天,我們要一起來聊聊盜版光碟的危害,告訴你怎麼說一見如故,還要看看美國受歡迎的以舊換新行業!

B: Pirated DVDs can really harm the movie industry. A good movie can take years and millions of dollars to finish! We should really respect the artists by buying legal copies.

A: Plus with the availability of digital versions today, the originals are actually quite affordable!

B: True. All right, let’s go ahead and start our class.

A: 好!我們先來進入第一個單元: learn a word!

Learn A Word 1784 primary

今天我們要學的詞是primary. Primary is spelled p-r-i-m-a-r-y, primary. Primary 主要的。美國的最新調查數字顯示,A record four out of 10 households have mothers as the sole or primary source of income in the family. 在美國,每十個家庭里,就有四個家庭的唯一,或是主要收入來源是母親工作賺來的,是美國曆來的最高水平。美國人偏愛橄欖油。一項最新民意調查發現,According to 80 percent of the survey’s respondents, flavor is the primary reason for people to select olive oil over other oils. 百分之八十的被調查對象都說,喜歡橄欖油的味道是他們在各種食用油中,更願意選擇橄欖油的主要原因。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 primary, primary, primary…

A: Hmm….I can’t really taste the difference between different kinds of cooking oil. I choose to use olive oil mostly for health reasons.

B: Well…that’s because you are not a gourmet chef! Unlike me….(A: ugh…) OKOK. Olive oil is indeed a lot healthier compare to other kinds of cooking oil. I think I read somewhere that eating olive oil will lower your risk of heart disease and cholesterol levels.

A:Yep! Society has become a lot more health conscious these days. Remember the New York City Schools’ ban on sugary drinks? What’s your thoughts on that?

B: I mean, I’m pretty much on the sidelines. I don’t think the government should limit people’s choices on food, but at the same time better education would help people make healthier food choices!

A: 沒錯! 你剛才還提到了一個詞兒: on the sidelines! Let’s check it out in today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 849 ON THE SIDELINES

美國習慣用語第849講

我媽媽和我妹妹昨天又吵了起來。妹妹說老媽看她哪都不順眼,而老媽卻說妹妹從來不聽她的話。我知道,她們都想拉我幫忙,不過我可沒那麼傻,決不攪和進去,用我們今天要學的習慣用語來形容這種情況恰如其分,那就是:

M: On the sidelines. Sidelines is spelled s-id-e-l-i-n-e-s. On-the-sidelines. On the sidelines.

對體育感興趣的人都知道,sidelines 就是中文裏說的邊線。站在邊線以外,就是不參與比賽,在一旁觀戰的意思。我媽跟我妹吵架,把我夾在了中間,她們兩個我誰也得罪不起,所以只好 stay on the sidelines 在一邊觀戰。換成你是不是也會這樣做呢?在下面這個例子中,一份報紙的讀者為什麼不願意待在邊線以外呢?讓我們一起來聽聽。

M: “The owner of our newspaper said he may have to end production. That caused lots of us readers to form a coalition. Our goal is to persuade management that the publication can and should be saved. We realize how critical it is to get involved right now and not sit ON THE SIDELINES.”

這位讀者說:報社老闆說,他可能不得不停辦報紙,很多跟我一樣的讀者因此組成了一個聯盟,我們的目標是說服報社的管理層,一定要保住這份報紙。我們都知道,這種時候不能在袖手旁觀,必需要參與進來。

確實,由於經濟衰退和讀者群的流失,現在美國很多報紙都身陷困境,有的宣告破產、有的被迫減少版面,還有的逐漸向電子版過渡。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “The owner of our newspaper said he may have to end production. That caused lots of us readers to form a coalition. Our goal is to persuade management that the publication can and should be saved. We realize how critical it is to get involved right now and not sit ON THE SIDELINES.”

你喜歡喝可樂、雪碧嗎?學校里應不應該安裝這類飲料的自動販賣機呢?讓我們一起聽聽下面例子里這個孩子是怎麼說的。

M: “My parents got a letter from the superintendent. She wants to get rid of the soda machines at school. A lot of my friends think it’s unfair. Maybe I should be more concerned, but I’m ON THE SIDELINES. I’m going to wait and see what happens. Frankly, it’s no problem if I have to drink water or juice until I get home.”

這個學生說:我父母收到了校長寄來的一封信,她打算撤掉學校里的飲料自動販賣機。我的很多朋友都覺得這樣做不公平,也許我應該更關心這樣事,可我偏偏在一旁觀望。我倒是想看看結果會是個什麼樣子。老實說,就算是要等回家以後才能喝到水和果汁以外的東西,對我來說也沒有什麼大不了。

最近,很多年輕人在發短訊的時候,會附上自己十分暴露的照片,這叫 sexting. 我的鄰居覺得這無傷大雅,是時代的產物。可我覺得,這太可怕了。我女兒的學校不久前專門就此開會。我絕不會 remain on the sidelines, 堅決要求對 sexting 的學生進行懲罰。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “My parents got a letter from the superintendent. She wants to get rid of the soda machines at school. A lot of my friends think it’s unfair. Maybe I should be more concerned, but I’m ON THE SIDELINES. I’m going to wait and see what happens. Frankly, it’s no problem if I have to drink water or juice until I get home.”

On the sidelines 這個習慣用語前面可以用很多動詞,包括 be, sit, stay, wait 和 remain. 除此以外,還有另外一種說法,叫 to watch from the sidelines 站在邊線以外觀望。比如說開家長會的時候,如果有什麼我覺得特別重要的問題,I will not watch from the sidelines. 我一定不會站在邊線以外觀望。

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: I don’t like to be judgmental most of the time, so staying on the sidelines is a good way to avoid trouble.

B: That’s one way to think of it. But you can’t be silent about everything. If no one voices their opinion, there wouldn’t be any progress in society.

A: Wow, look at you, professor…不過也是,像我們下面要講的盜版光碟,就不能縱容!

B: Let’s listen to today’s business etiquette and check it out!

禮節美語Piracy I

Carl 下課,看到室友 Benny 買東西剛回來,好象很興奮。

Benny: Hey Carl! Check this out! I just picked up three brand-new Hollywood movies…they haven’t even been released in theaters yet!

Carl: Um…you mean they’re counterfeit copies?

B: Sure! They only cost a couple of bucks each!

C: Yeah, but…they’re illegal copies.

B: So? What’s the problem?

C: I just don’t think it’s right to buy pirated goods. I don’t want to sound too judgmental, but I think it’s wrong.

Benny 興奮地叫 Carl,Check this out! 快來看。原來,Benny買了三張盜版影碟,都是尚未發行的好萊塢大片。盜版可以說 counterfeit goods, 也可以說 pirated goods. 盜版碟很便宜,每張只要 a couple of bucks 兩美元。Carl 說,I don’t want to sound too judgmental, judgmental is spelled j-u-d-g-m-e-n-t-a-l, 意思是對別人妄加評論,但 Carl 還是要說,買盜版碟不對。

B: But Carl, those Hollywood film companies make millions and millions of dollars! It’s not like I’m hurting some poor kid in Africa. These guys are billionaires.

C: Yes, that’s true. But there’s a simple rule to find out if something is wrong or not: Ask yourself, “What would happen if everyone did what you are doing?”

B: Well, if everyone bought pirated copies, no one would buy originals.

C: And if that happened the movie companies would go bankrupt and you’d never be able to enjoy cool new films, right?

B: I guess so.

Benny 覺得,自己買盜版,受損失的只是那些身價數十億美元的好萊塢製片公司,所以沒什麼了不起。Carl 讓 Benny 想想,如果大家都象他一樣買盜版,會是什麼結果。Benny 承認,那就沒人買正品了。正品叫 original, original is spelled o-r-i-g-i-n-a-l, original. 沒人買正品,製片公司就會 go bankrupt 破產,那就沒電影看了。Carl 還說

C: Also, think about the initial investment. When a drug company makes a new medicine, it takes years to test it before they can sell it. If we buy the fake version, the drug company might not have the money to test some newer medicine. Movies are a big investment, too.

B: But the prices they charge are insane! I could buy 35 pirated DVDs for the price of one original!

C: Actually, I agree with you there. The movie studios do need to reduce their prices to something more reasonable. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still stealing.

Carl 提醒說,拍電影跟開發新葯一樣,需要大筆投資,這一點也不能忘。Benny 爭辯說,可正版影碟實在是太貴了。The prices are insane. Carl 在這一點上同意 Benny 的看法,覺得製片公司需要把價格降低到更合理的價位,to reduce their prices to something more reasonable. 但他堅持說,這改變不了買盜版就是盜取的事實。Carl 是否能夠說服 Benny 以後不再買盜版,我們下次繼續聽。

A: Benny買回了一些counterfeit goods, 盜版碟,Carl說,他不想表現得太judgmental, 對別人妄加評論,但是買盜版碟不對。Benny說,the price of the originals are insane, 正品的價格太貴了,Carl對此表示同意,可是還是認為買盜版不對。

B: Exactly. I won’t stand on the sidelines if any of my friends are buying counterfeit goods. Just look at our team, it takes an enormous amount of time to make just a 10 minute video, let alone a 2-hour movie. We need to respect the efforts made by the people at these production studios.

A: To find out if something is wrong or not: Ask yourself, “What would happen if everyone did what you are doing?” So Mike, as yourself, what would happen if everyone acts like you, and keeps eating my snacks?

B: Hmm.. you will finally be skinny?

A: You evil….

B: (Evil laugh) Alright! Let’s keep listening and see if Carl can persuade Benny!

禮節美語Piracy II

Benny 買了便宜的盜版影碟,他室友 Carl 覺得這樣做無異於盜竊。Benny 爭辯說,

B: Come on. If you steal, it means you hurt someone, right? When I buy fake DVDs, who am I hurting?

C: Actually, lots of people. Movie and software companies all over the world have lots of employees performing all kinds of jobs. There are designers, lighting people, make-up people and many, many more. If the company doesn’t make money, these people lose their jobs.

買盜版影碟,會傷害到很多人,包括 designers 設計師、lighting people 燈光師、make-up people 化妝師,等等。如果電影製片廠不賺錢,這些人都得失業。此外,盜版影碟質量也不好。

C: Besides, isn’t the quality of pirated DVDs really terrible?

B: Some of them are pretty bad. Sometimes you can barely hear the dialogue because the audio is so poor.

C: Then why not really enjoy the movie by renting a legal copy? You don’t usually watch films again anyway. They just sit on your shelf taking up space!

B: (Laughs) That’s true. I have 1000 of these things just lying around. OK, I can sort of see your point. But originals are still way too expensive!

盜版影碟質量差,有時連對話都聽不清楚。況且,Carl 說,一部電影也不會反覆看,無非是放在架子上佔地兒,take up space 。Benny 承認,I have 1000 of these things just lying around. 他確實有很多盜版影碟放在那裡。可他又說,正版實在是太貴了。Originals are way too expensive. 這裡的 way 起到了強調的效果。

C: Yes, I agree, but I think that will begin to change soon. Pretty soon everything will be digital and you’ll be able go online and cheaply buy a legal copy to download. Prices should start to go down soon.

B: It’s already happened for music. I can now buy single songs online legally for a very cheap price. Before I had to buy the whole album on a CD, but usually I only liked a couple of the songs on it.

Carl說,用不了多久,電影也會數字化,可以很便宜地合法下載。Prices should start to go down soon. 價格很快會下來。Benny 表示同意,因為他現在已經可以上網付費下載單曲,而不用象從前那樣買整盤CD了。

C: Also, don’t forget that buying original copies helps pay the salaries of your favorite movie stars. You’re a big Jackie Chan fan, right?

B: Yeah! Jackie Chan is the best! Nobody can do stunts like Chan!

C: But how can the movie studios pay Jackie Chan millions of dollars to star in the films if everybody buys fake copies of his movies?

B: Ok, Ok I get it! …I’ll give up pirated movies. ….Now what am I going to do tonight?

C: Want to play chess?

B: Sure!

Carl 知道 Benny 是成龍的影迷,他繼續勸 Benny 說,如果大家都買盜版,誰還付得起幾百萬美元請成龍拍電影呢?Benny 這才終於表示,Ok I get it! I’ll give up pirated movies. 意思是,好了,我明白了,以後不買盜版了。

B: Actually, I think the market for pirated DVDs is going to dry up soon. With everything being digitized these days, you can get an original copy at a very reasonable price.

A: Yeah, I always buy digital versions of songs on iTunes! It’s like 99 cents a song!

B: Exactly. And with that, you don’t have to worry about millions of DVD taking up space at your house!

A: 沒錯! 好吧,盜版問題就到這裡, Now let’s go to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1793 trade-in

今天我們要學的詞是trade-in. Trade-in is spelled t-r-a-d-e, trade, and in, i-n, in; trade-in. Trade-in 是以舊換新的意思。Apple plans to launch an iPhone trade-in program, encouraging consumers to upgrade to the iPhone 5. 蘋果公司計劃啟動蘋果手機以舊換新的項目,以鼓勵消費者把舊蘋果手機升級到第五代。An elementary school in California will sponsor a toy-gun trade-in program, encouraging kids to swap their toy weapons for a chance to win a new bike. 美國加州的一所小學將組織玩具槍以舊換新的活動,鼓勵孩子上繳玩具武器,參加這項活動的孩子都有機會贏得一輛嶄新的單車。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 trade-in, trade-in, trade-in…

A: I’m thinking of getting a new car. Maybe I can trade-in my old car.

B: You can but you should be careful when dealing with used car salesmen- they’re….tricksters.

A: Tell me about it! I can never figure out what they are thinking! they are just really good at playing with your head.

B: Maybe you need someone smarter to go with you! Hence… me!

A: Oh gosh…

B: Hahahaha. OK OK, in the next words and idioms, we will learn a phrase that is the opposite of tricksters!

A: Let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 850 An Open Book

美國習慣用語第 850 講

這個周末我認識了我們的新鄰居。當時我只是想去拜訪她一下,順便介紹一下自己,可是她非常熱情,非要留我在她家吃飯。結果一頓飯下來,我對她的一切都了如指掌了,包括她的職業,她為什麼要搬家等等。用英語來形容,她對我來說就是:

M: An open book. Open is spelled o-o-e-n, and book; b-o-o-k. An-open-book. An open book.

這個習慣用語中的形容詞 Open是打開的意思,book是書。An open book是打開的書。用open book來形容一個人意思是這個人像一本打開的書一樣,毫不掩飾他的個人情況,就像我那位新鄰居一樣,和我一見如故,什麼都告訴我。

M: I’m sure she would have told me anything I wanted to know because she strikes me as AN OPEN BOOK.

美國有一位著名的黑人女詩人叫Maya Angelou,下面這位讀者說,Maya Angelou能取得今天的成就,是因為她獨特的生活經歷:

M: Maya Angelou has written about her many challenges since growing up in the 1930s. From being discriminated against by Southern white society to being raped as a child, she’s experienced pain that many people might have kept secret. But Ms. Angelou’s life has been AN OPEN BOOK. Her courage and her insights are inspiring.

男:Maya Angelou 在她的作品中描述了她在1930年代成長的過程中遭遇的許多挑戰。從南方白人的歧視到小時候被強暴,很多人可能會把這種痛苦的經歷埋藏在心底,不願意讓別人知道。但是Maya Angelou 把自己的經歷毫無保留地講述給大家。她的勇氣和見識鼓舞了很多人。

沒錯。她可以讓這些痛苦的經歷變成永久的秘密,但是她寧願通過自己的作品向別人講述她的經歷。我覺得她很了不起。

前幾天我去看車,那個賣車的人別提多討厭了,油腔滑調不說,而且手段不高明,一眼就讓人看穿了他的伎倆,用我們今天學的習慣用語OPEN BOOK來說:
M: You were able to READ HIM LIKE AN OPEN BOOK.

Read someone like an open book.

Read someone like an open book,意思是很容易就能猜到這個人在想什麼。就像那個狡猾的汽車銷售員一樣,我可以READ HIM LIKE AN OPEN BOOK ,而且我知道這種人我不能和他打交道。

這樣的人絕對不能到下面我們要講的這個公司去申請工作,為什麼呢? 我們聽聽這家公司的老闆怎麼說:

M: My construction company reflects my values as a builder. I believe in doing honest work at a fair price. I invite clients to ask any questions they’d like and look carefully at projects I’ve worked on. I think of my business as AN OPEN BOOK. I have absolutely nothing to hide.

男:我的建築公司代表着我作為一個建築商的價值觀。我相信做生意要誠實,價格要公道。我歡迎我的客戶提出任何問題,也歡迎他們審查我們以往的工程。我認為我的公司是一本打開的書。我沒有任何東西需要隱瞞。

AN OPEN BOOK您覺得它的反義詞會是什麼呢? 不難猜, 就是

M:A CLOSED BOOK.

對。一本合上的書不知道它的內容當然很神秘了。 一個公司不想讓別人知道他們的情況,我們可以說這個公司是一個CLOSED BOOK。形容一個人很神秘,也可以說這個人是CLOSED BOOK。

這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。以後我想到更精彩的習慣用語一定和大家分享。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Mike, you are totally an open book! An open cook book that is (hehehe)…….

B: At least my book has more than two pages in it OOOH BURN!

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115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: 好的! 今天,我們要一起看看美國老闆鼓勵員工的方式,告訴你怎麼說陷入困境,還要來看看如何說越界!

B: Performance evaluations are very common in American companies. Basically, your supervisor gives an evaluation of your work performance every three months. Most of the time, they just want to see whether you perform your job well.

A: Aren’t your nervous that your first evaluation is coming up Mike? I can put in a good word for you if you buy me lunch today….

B: As if I need it.

A: 呵呵,好了,不開玩笑了! 咱們趕快開始今天的課程吧! 先來進入第一個單元…

B: learn a word!

Learn A Word 1794 replica

今天我們要學的詞是replica. Replica is spelled r-e-p-l-i-c-a, replica. Replica 是複製品的意思。Lego built a life-sized replica of an X-Wing Fighter, the iconic spaceship from the Return of the Jedi. 樂高公司搭建了一個跟星球大戰6傑迪歸來里的經典飛機X-Wing 一樣大小的複製品。A scaled replica of the Titanic will be put on display. 一個泰坦尼克號的複製模型將向民眾公開展覽。瑞士手錶生產行業說,The replica watch market costs them billions of dollars each year. 假冒偽劣的複製名表市場每年都會給他們造成數以十億美元計的損失。今天我們學習的詞是 replica, replica, replica…

B: So you just got back from your vacation to Las Vegas 楊琳。How do you like the city?

A: I heart it! Especially all the different theme hotels… and their buffets! But my favorite is the replica of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triumph, they’re breath-taking.

B: Yeah, Las Vegas is a very attractive city to visit. According to TripAdvisor.com, The fountains at the Bellagio Casino are actually the top place people wanted to see when they come to America.

A: You lived there for two years, right?

B: Yep, I really like the city. It’s diverse and energetic, but some times…it’s a little out of line…. But as we put it: what happens in Vegas ends up on Facebook.

A: 哈哈,對! 你正好提到了我們接下來要教的短語: Out of Line! Let’s check it out in today’s words and idioms!

Words and Idioms 851 Out of Line

美國習慣用語第 851講

這個周末我去參加一個派對,其中一個客人顯然是喝多了,居然去騷擾另一位客人的太太。 那位太太一氣之下甩了他一巴掌。我看是活該。

這個人的行為可以說是:

M: Out of line. Line is spelled l-i-n-e. Out-of-line. Out of line.

Out of line 這個習慣用語由三個很簡單的英文詞組成。Out ,外面;line,線,界限;那麼Out of line很容易理解,就是超越了界限。說一個人 Out of line,就是行為不檢點。比如我上次碰到的那個醉酒的男子,騷擾別人的妻子。

M:He shouldn’t have been acting like that; he was OUT OF LINE.

下面我們再舉個例子,有一位父親在足球場的行為超越了界限而遭到其他父母的非議:

M: Some parents don’t know how to behave. At my son’s football game, one player’s dad ran onto the field and started screaming at the referee about a call he didn’t agree with. He was so OUT OF LINE. I don’t blame the officials for banning him from the stands for the rest of the season. What he did was unacceptable.

有的父母就是不懂得控制自己的行為。在我兒子的足球比賽上,有一個球員的父親覺得裁判的判決不公平,所以就衝到足球場上,對着裁判大喊大叫。後來球隊決定禁止他在本賽季觀看比賽。他的行為讓人無法容忍。

其實很多父母都會這樣,看孩子比賽太投入了,常常就會做出一些缺乏理智的舉動,明明是大人,行為卻幼稚得像小孩子。

小孩也應該有大人正確引導,才不會行為出軌。有一天我走在路上,一隻籃球滾到我腳邊。有個孩子命令我說”把籃球給我扔過來”,我提醒他要加上一個”請”字,可是他既沒有道歉,也沒說”請”,自己把籃球撿起來轉身就跑了。 這種行為在我看來就是OUT OF LINE。

很多學生大學畢業要申請工作,走入社會。申請工作要面試,考官可以問你哪些問題,哪些問題又會OUT OF LINE呢?

M: What can a potential employer ask you? It’s fair enough for an interviewer to inquire about your job history and education. Yet questions about your age, religion and political views are way OUT OF LINE. You never have to answer them. Not only are they inappropriate, but they are also illegal.

你未來的僱主可以問你哪些問題呢? 面試官有權詢問有關你的工作經歷和教育程度方面的問題。但是如果他問你的年齡、宗教信仰和政治立場,那就大大超越界限了。這種問題不僅不恰當,而且不合法。

注意剛才這個人說

M: Way out of line.

這裡的 WAY 就是非常或者很嚴重的意思。

我們還可以在 out of line 前面用動詞 GET; 和STEP; 表示超越了界限。

M:Get out of line; step out of line.

例如:

M:If that unruly father STEPS OUT OF LINE next season, he might never be allowed to watch another football game.

這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。以後我想到更精彩的習慣用語一定和大家分享。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: True. Never talk about religion, sexual orientation, or politics in the work place. You may cross the line and get yourself in trouble.

B: Exactly. You don’t want that kind of record on your performance evaluation. Once your reputation is ruined, you can never get it back.

A: 沒錯! 今天的business etiquette里,部門經理就要來找手下談談他的年度中期工作表現!

B: Let’s check it out!

禮節美語Performance Evaluation I

部門經理 Fay 找手下 Steve 來,討論他的年度中期工作表現。

Fay: Hi there, Steve….grab a seat.

Steve: Hi, Fay. How are you this morning?

F: Very well, thanks. Great weather we’ve been having.

S: I know! Makes me want to sneak away from work and go hiking!

F: Yeah…hiking would be great right about now! Ok…let’s get down to the task at hand…your bi-annual performance evaluation.

Steve 的上司 Fay 讓他隨便坐,grab a seat 是非常口語的說法,意思就是請坐。談正事之前先要寒暄一下,Steve 說,最近天氣好,讓他恨不得上班開小差兒,去滑雪 to sneak away from work and go hiking. 寒暄過後,Fay 說,let’s get down to the task at hand,咱們開始談正事吧。Fay 找 Steve 來為了每年兩次 bi-annual 的工作表現評定。

S: So how did I do?

F: Well, in many areas you get high marks. You have a lot of creative thoughts and your enthusiasm regarding work projects is very much appreciated.

S: That’s good to hear. I enjoy being creative and I’m glad to see you appreciate that. Now what’s the bad news?

F: (Chuckle) Well, we all have areas in which we could do better.

S: And what are my areas?

Fay 首先表揚 Steve,說他很多方面都做得很好,get high marks, 得高分,尤其是他點子多 ,工作熱情高。Steve 問,So what’s the bad news? 壞消息呢?意思是缺點呢?Fay 婉轉地說,we all have areas in which we could do better. 大家都有可以改進的地方。

F: For starters, there is an issue of punctuality. You’ve been clocking in roughly 20 to 30 minutes late almost every day.

S: But I moved last month and the office is almost 40 miles away from my home now! Sometimes the traffic is really terrible.

F: Yeah, I know. I also live out in the suburbs. Sometimes I’m stuck in traffic for 45 minutes! But, as you know, the company requires all employees to be at work by nine A.M. sharp.

首先是準點上班的問題,the issue of punctuality. Steve 幾乎每天遲到二、三十分鐘,to clock in 指進辦公室的時間,to clock out 則是指離開辦公室的時間。Steve 解釋說,這是因為他最近搬家,路上堵車。Fay 表示理解,說自己有時也會 stuck in traffic for 45 minutes.有時路上會堵45分鐘,可是公司要求員工九點準時到辦公室,to be at work by nine A.M. sharp. 這一 點不能含糊。

S: Yeah…I know…but it’s really been tough for me lately! Can you possibly make an exception?

F: If it were up to me, I’d love for everyone to come in at noon. But I can’t make exceptions; otherwise everyone else will be unhappy. We’re a team and we all have to follow the rules.

S: All right. I guess I’m just going to have to wake up an hour earlier.

F: Sounds like a good plan.

Steve 問 Fay 能不能 make an exception 破例,讓他稍微晚點到。Fay 說,如果依她,if it were up to me, 大家中午到都行,但是公司的規定,大家都要遵守。除了上班遲到,Steve 還有哪些缺點,我們下次繼續聽。

A: Fay跟Steve談起了他的工作表現,Fay說,Steve有很好的一面,比如說have creative thoughts, 點子多,還有enthusiasm towards work,工作熱情高。但是話峰一轉,談到了the issue of punctuality, 準時的問題。Steve表示自己搬到了離公司很遠的地方,能不能make an exception.

B: I think rule No. 1 in work place is to be fair. You can’t make an exception for just one person, whatever the reason is. It’ll take a long time to get the office morale back.

A: I can say that again. Let’s keep listening to Fay and see what else he has to say about Steve!

禮節美語Performance Evaluation II

部門經理 Fay 找手下 Steve 來,討論他的年度中期工作表現,除了上班遲到,Steve 還有哪些缺點呢?

S: OK…what other issues are there with my performance?

F: Well, like I said before, you are very enthusiastic and we appreciate that, but sometimes you can be a bit over-the-top.

S: What do you mean by that?

F: Well, sometimes your co-workers feel that you are too loud, or you tell inappropriate jokes during office hours.

S: Who said that about me? Tell me their name!

Fay 說 Steve 有時熱情得 over-the-top, 有點過頭,辦公室同事覺得 Steve太吵,而且還開一些不合時宜的玩笑。Steve 氣得不行,問是誰在背後打他的小報告。

F: You know I can’t do that and I don’t think it’s important who feels this way. The truth is that maybe you could try to tone down your volume and be more careful of what you say.

S: I think people are too sensitive.

F: That could be true, but we all have to work together so it’s probably best not to step on people’s toes.

S: OK…I guess I can try to tone it down.

F: Can you handle another criticism?

S: Sure…why not? Bring it on!

Fay 表示,誰說的並不重要,她也不能告訴 Steve,但她建議Steve 還是要 tone down your volume 說話小聲點,Don’t step on people’s toes. 別踩到別人腳指頭,意思是不要冒犯別人。Fay 問Steve說,Can you handle another criticism? 天啊,還有?

F: I would recommend that you work on following through with projects. You have a lot of good ideas and you start quite a few different projects, but many times you don’t follow through. Then all these ideas are just floating around but nothing is really getting done.

S: But I’m really more of an idea person. I come up with concepts and start them, but the legwork is really not my style.

Fay 建議 Steve 做項目要 follow through. 做事有始有終。Steve 好主意雖然多,可是 nothing is really getting done. 沒有什麼是真正落實了的。Steve 說自己就是擅長出點子,I’m more of an idea person. 但是具體跑腿兒、落實就不是他的風格了,the legwork is not my style. legwork 意思是跑腿兒的活,具體工作。Fay 表示,這不利於Steve升職。

F: Honestly Steve, You have a lot of talent, but if you don’t complete tasks, you won’t get promoted.

S: Well, thanks for the advice. I’ll try to work on that.

F: Again, I can’t stress enough how grateful we are for all the work you do. Overall, you are a quality employee and we’re glad to have you.

S: Thanks for saying that, Fay. I appreciate it.

F: Sure. Thanks for stopping by and we’ll do this again in six months.

S: See you then!

Steve 保證,他會努力改正。I’ll try to work on that. 談話結束前,Fay 再次強調,Steve 是優秀員工,a quality employee,公司能有他這樣的員工很高興。We’re glad to have you.

A: 原來呢,Steve雖然很善於出點子,但是不善於follow through 做事有始有終, 而且有點不顧別人的感受, step on people’s toes, 有時會冒犯別人。Steve說,legwork is not my style, 不善於做具體工作,但是會從此注意,開始改正。

B: Creative ideas and the ability to follow through, that’s the way to get a promotion.

A: 沒錯! 哎,Mike,你兩樣都沒有,怎麼辦呢?

B: Ugh….

A: (笑) 好了好了不開玩笑了! 工作表現就到這裡吧! Now let’s go to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1795 showstopper

今天我們要學的詞是showstopper. showstopper is s-h-o-w-s-t-o-p-p-e-r, showstopper. Showstopper 意思是精彩的表演,或是吸引人的事物。New York is a city rich in landmarks and showstoppers for visitors to experience. 紐約有各種地標和吸引人的景點,給遊客提供豐富的體驗。音樂喜劇「海上情緣」正在美國的肯尼迪藝術中心上映。”Anything Goes” is a musical comedy full of showstopper numbers. 「海上情緣」里一段段演唱,精彩紛呈。The new 2014 Jaguar F-Type is a true showstopper. 2014年新款積架 F-Type 實在是太吸引眼球了。今天我們學習的詞是 showstopper, showstopper, showstopper…

B: Have you watched Pacific Rim? It’s a real showstopper! I highly recommend it!

A: Hmm…我不喜歡機械人打打殺殺的電影,我更喜歡看些輕喜劇什麼的! 有一次硬着頭皮跟朋友去看恐怖片,I was so afraid that I couldn’t look at the screen, but at the same time I couldn’t leave! I was stuck there, it was so painful…

B: Wow…OK. Then you probably should skip the next one. Well, the idiom we are going to teach next means exactly what you just said. Let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 852 PAINT ONESELF INTO A CORNER

美國習慣用語>第 852 講我表姐最近遇到了一件很為難的事。她準備兩個月後結婚,並答應讓自己最要好的朋友做伴娘,可是她忘了,其實她早就把伴娘的角色缸5c給了自己的親妹妹。我真不知道她要如何才能脫身。用我們今天要學的習慣用語來形容她的處境恰如其分,那就是:

M: Paint oneself into a corner. Paint is spelled p-a-i-n-t, and corner; c-o-r-n-e-r. Paint-oneself-into-a-corner. Paint oneself into a corner.

在英語里,Paint 是畫的意思,corner 是角落。TO PAINT ONESELF INTO A CORNER 意思是讓自己陷入困境。我表姐的情況一個很好的例子,因為她把伴娘的重要任務許給了兩個人。SHE PAINTED HERSELF INTO A CORNER. 別以為自己為難自己的人只有她一個。讓我們一起來聽聽下面這個人的故事。

M: “To make extra money, I took a part-time job. But then one of my co-workers at my full-time job quit and I volunteered to do some of his work. Now I’ve really PAINTED MYSELF INTO A CORNER. I’ve taken on too much. It’s impossible for me to get everything done!”

這個人說:為了多賺點錢, 我找了份兼職工作。後來我的一個同事辭職,我主動提出分擔他留下來的一部分工作,如今我是自作自受,攬了太多的工作,簡直是分身乏術。

我也經常干這種傻事。比如說,最近公司有個大項目,時間很緊,我主動承擔了下來,誰知負責該項目的另外一位同事突然生病,我只好周末加班,一個人干兩個人的活。I PAINTED MYSELF INTO A CORNER. 好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “To make extra money, I took a part-time job. But then one of my co-workers at my full-time job quit and I volunteered to do some of his work. Now I’ve really PAINTED MYSELF INTO A CORNER. I’ve taken on too much. It’s impossible for me to get everything done!”

我上周末去看電影,是去年夏天一部大片的續集。電影里的主人公本來已經死了,可以因為影片很賣座,所以製片人決定讓主人公起死回生。讓我們一起聽聽下面這個娛樂記者的報道。

M: “How can there be a movie sequel when the main character was killed off? Writers are used to coming up with solutions to impossible situations. They’re not about to PAINT THEMSELVES INTO A CORNER. So they’ll find ways to miraculously save the hero or explain that his death was only a dream!”

這個記者說:主人公死了還能拍續集?不論是多麼不可能的事情,編劇們都能找到出路。他們絕不會讓自己陷在裏面拔不出來。他們會神奇地找到解救主人公的辦法,或是說他的死其實是一場惡夢。

讓自己陷入困境是 PAINT ONESELF INTO A CORNER. 如果是別人讓你陷入困境該怎麼說呢?那就是要用到動詞 BACK 了, 說 BACK SOMEONE INTO A CORNER. 我朋友的公司最近緊縮開支,通知他,要麼同意減少工資,要麼就走人。THEY BACKED HIM INTO A CORNER. 再比如,我們社區委員會主任讓我組織節日遊行,但是給我的經費又少得可憐。I FEEL LIKE SHE’S BACKING ME INTO A CORNER。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “How can there be a movie sequel when the main character was killed off? Writers are used to coming up with solutions to impossible situations. They’re not about to PAINT THEMSELVES INTO A CORNER. So they’ll find ways to miraculously save the hero or explain that his death was only a dream!”

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。我建議大家,每次學習一個新的習慣用語,都要反覆練習,這樣真到了用的時候,才不會 PAINT YOURSELF INTO A CORNER.

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: You need to give yourself some free time. When I was in graduate school, I painted myself into a corner by attending school, being a TA, and interning at a company. The end result was that I couldn’t do any of them well enough.

B:Maybe someone smarter, aka me, could have handled it?

A: Yeah, as if. 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116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: 好的! 今天,我們要一起看看如果在工作場合遇到騷擾該怎麼辦,告訴你怎麼說潑冷水,還要告訴你如何說意料之中!

B: Gosh, sexual harassment is the worst thing that could happen to anyone in the work place. The workplace is supposed to be a safe place to work in. You shouldn’t have to be looking over your shoulder all day.

A: I agree. But it’s also a very delicate situation that needs to be handled correctly.

B: And we will give you some tips later! Now let’s go into today’s lessons.

A: 先來進入第一個單元…learn a word!

Learn A Word 1797 breakdown

今天我們要學的詞是breakdown. Breakdown is spelled b-r-e-a-k-d-o-w-n, breakdown. Breakdown 做為名詞,有故障,崩潰的意思。AAA predicts nearly 115,000 motorists in Virginia will require assistance with car breakdowns this summer. 美國汽車協會預計,今年夏天維吉尼亞州會有11萬5千輛車中途拋錨,需要幫助。She suffered a nervous breakdown after her boyfriend walked out of her life. 被男友拋棄後,她陷入精神崩潰狀態。News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from his wife Wendi Deng Murdoch, citing a breakdown in the relationship. 新聞集團首席執行官默多克提出與妻子鄧文迪離婚的申請,理由是關係破裂。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 breakdown, breakdown, breakdown…

A: 我聽到鄧文迪和默多克離婚的消息時實在太驚訝了! All the news was saying they were super happy together! And…a breakdown in the relationship? What does that mean?

B: Relationships have to be maintained, if you don’t spend enough time and energy managing it, it can easily fall apart.

A: That’s true. Empathy, compassion, and a willingness to communicate are extremely important in any relationship.

B: Without mutual understanding of those things a breakdown becomes par for the course.

A: 沒錯! 這正好是我們下面words and idioms要教的詞! 什麼叫做par for the course 呢?

B: Let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 853 PAR FOR THE COURSE

美國習慣用語 第 853 講

如今很多人在網上寫的博客簡直讓人難以置信。比如說,昨天就有個年輕的媽媽在博客里抱怨說,生了孩子以後,再沒時間出去社交了,真沒勁。

生養孩子當然要付出代價,要花費時間,這不是天經地義的嗎?有什麼好抱怨的呢!不過,這倒讓我想起一個習慣用語,今天跟大家分享,那就是:

M: Par for the course. Par is spelled p-a-r, and course; c-o-u-r-s-e. Par-for-the-course.

有人打高爾夫嗎?這個習慣用語是從高爾夫球來的。Par指的是某個洞、或是高爾夫整場打下來的標準擊球杆數,比如說18洞72桿。說某件事情是 par for the course,意思就是正常的,意料之中的。就像我們剛才說的,有了孩子就不再有那麼多時間出去社交了,It’s PAR FOR THE COURSE.

你打高爾夫嗎?鍛煉身體嗎?注意飲食嗎?如果既鍛煉身體又注意飲食的話,你一定能長壽。相反的,不注意健康保健會有什麼樣的結果呢?讓我們一起來聽聽下面這個人是怎麼說的。

M: “Grandpa has never gotten much exercise. He also hasn’t watched what he eats. Is it any surprise that lab tests show he’s got a variety of health problems? After not taking care of himself, his poor condition is PAR FOR THE COURSE.”

這個人說: 我爺爺從來不鍛煉身體,也不注意飲食。化驗結果發現,他身上一大堆毛病,這也就沒有什麼好奇怪的了。常年不注意身體,結果當然會是這樣。 我的一位伯父,從十幾歲就開始抽煙,65歲的時候突然戒了煙,同時開始每天游泳。很多人都覺得毫無意義,但是醫生說,改善生活習慣,不論年紀大小,都是有好處的。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Grandpa has never gotten much exercise. He also hasn’t watched what he eats. Is it any surprise that lab tests show he’s got a variety of health problems? After not taking care of himself, his poor condition is PAR FOR THE COURSE.”

我的一個好朋友 Donna 最近剛剛升任部門經理。工資漲了,責任自然也更重了,而且還要經常加班。但是她知道,That’s all PAR FOR THE COURSE. 這些都是很自然的。
現在經濟不好,很多人找工作。下面這段話給那些經常在網上發信息的人提了個醒兒,讓我們一起聽聽下面這段科技報道。

M: “Do you frequently post on the Internet? Sure, your friends can see comments you made about your old boss or your suggestive photo at a wild party. But potential employers might look, too. These days, it’s PAR FOR THE COURSE. Expect all kinds of people to be able to access your data.”

報道里說: 你經常在網上貼東西嗎?確實,朋友們可以看到你對原來老闆的評價,也能看到你參加派對時拍的那些出格的照片。不過別忘了,一些用人單位也能看得到,如今這年頭兒,這是很正常的。什麼人都能看到你的信息。

我可能真是老了,不能接受新鮮事物了。我怎麼也想不通的是,為什麼會有人願意把自己的隱私拿到網上,讓大家都來看。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “Do you frequently post on the Internet? Sure, your friends can see comments you made about your old boss or your suggestive photo at a wild party. But potential employers might look, too. These days, it’s PAR FOR THE COURSE. Expect all kinds of people to be able to access your data.”

剛才說到,年紀越大,越不能接受新鮮事物了。Is it PAR FOR THE COURSE? 肯定有人不同意。你覺得呢?

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! I’ve heard that potential employers are now going on Facebook and Linkedin to check if you seem like a responsible and qualified employee. They also want to rule out those with weird habits.

B: So pay attention to what you post on your Facebook! Don’t talk about things in the office, and don’t ever make any jokes relating to politics, religion, or sexual orientation.

A: 是啊! I’m so grateful that we have a great work environment. 今天business etiquette里的Clarie就沒有這麼好運了,咱們一起來聽聽是怎麼回事吧!

禮節美語 Sexual Harassment I

Jessica 看到同事 Claire 情緒很低落。

Jessica: Hey Claire, you look sad. What’s up?

Claire: I guess I am a bit depressed.

J: Having a bad hair day?

C: (chuckle) No, that’ not it.

J: Come on. You can confide in me. I know how to keep a secret.

C: OK… but you really have to keep this to yourself. I don’t want to cause trouble.

J: Wow. Sounds serious!

C: You know my boss, Kevin?

J: Sure…I’ve met him at a couple of company functions.

Jessica 開玩笑,問 Clare 情緒低落是不是 having a bad hair day. 說某人 have a bad hair day 意思是因為不順,心情不好。Jessica 說自己嘴很嚴,所以 Clair 可以 confide in me 把秘密告訴我。Claire 告訴 Jessica 說,事情跟自己的上司 Kevin 有關。聽起來好象挺嚴重。

C: Well, he keeps commenting on how pretty I am and he frequently touches my shoulders. He says I look tense and could use a massage.

J: And this makes you uncomfortable, right?

C: Yeah! I don’t like it. I have a boyfriend and I’m not interested in Kevin at all. Plus, he’s my boss and it’s just a weird feeling!

J: That sounds like sexual harassment to me!

C: Really? Do you think it’s that serious?

原來,Claire 的上司 Kevin 經常誇她漂亮,還動手動腳,讓 Claire 很不舒服。Claire 有男朋友,而且 I’m not interested in Kevin 對 Kevin 沒興趣,所以感覺很怪。Jessica 肯定地說,這是性騷擾 sexual harassment. 這麼說性質可就嚴重了。

J: The workplace is supposed to be a comfortable place to work in. You shouldn’t have to be looking over your shoulder all day. It’s the responsibility of a boss to make sure your workday is safe and productive.

C: Well, every time he comes out to speak to me, I worry he’s going to do or say something that makes me uncomfortable.

J: That’s sexual harassment and it’s a crime!

Jessica 說,工作單位應該安全、舒適,員工不需要隨時隨地提心弔膽。You shouldn’t have to be looking over your shoulder all day. 這裡所說的 to look over one’s shoulder 意思是小心提防。Claire 承認,每次 Kevin 跟她講話,她都很緊張,生怕 Kevin 的舉止會讓自己感到彆扭。不過,她又說…

C: But overall he is a pretty good boss and most of the people in the office like him. I don’t want to be the one to stir up trouble. Maybe I’m too sensitive.

J: Sexual harassment is a common problem. I remember I once had a boss who kept asking me out on a date…even though I was married and wearing my wedding ring!

C: What did you do about it?

Claire 說,Kevin 總的來說是個不錯的老闆,大家都很喜歡他,所以 I don’t want to be the one to stir up trouble. 不想當那個挑起是非的人. Jessica 說,性騷擾是個很常見的問題,自己就曾遇到過一個老闆,明知她已經結婚,還三番五次要跟她約會。Jessica 是如何處理的呢?我們下次繼續聽。

A: Claire情緒不高,原來是因為她的上司Kevin總是對她動手動腳,sexual harassment,性騷擾。Jessica說,工作環境應該是舒適的,you shouldn’t have to look over your shoulder all day long, 不該成天提心弔膽,但是Claire不想stir up trouble, 挑起是非。

B: Luckily I have never been exposed to this, but I have heard that it is common for young women to experiencing harassment in the workplace. In my opinion, you need to tell the person that they are making you uncomfortable, and if they still don’t stop then you need to report them.

A: Ugh…what a horrible situation! Let’s keep listening to Jessica and see what advice she can offer to Claire!

禮節美語 Sexual Harassment II

Claire 告訴同事 Jessica,上司 Kevin 跟她動手動腳,讓她很不舒服。Jessica 說,這是性騷擾,自己以前也遇到過。她的做法是:

J: One day when my boss made a joke about my body, I spoke up and told him – in front of several colleagues – that I thought he was out of line. I told him what he’s doing is sexual harassment. He never did it again, but he also never spoke to me again.

C: See? That’s what I’m worried about. I want him to stop, but I don’t want to cause a scene.

J: Well, sometimes you don’t have a choice. You can’t let this guy get away with it.

Jessica 說,有一次她當著同事的面告訴老闆不要太過份。I told him that I thought he was out of line. 這裡的 out of line 意思是出格。雖然 Claire 說,I don’t want to cause a scene. 我不想當眾把事情鬧大, 可 Jessica 表示,有時你沒有其它選擇。

C: But is it really sexual harassment? Could he just be a rude person?

J: If he comments on your appearance or body or if he asks questions or comments about your personal life, that’s considered harassment. You have a responsibility to stop him so he doesn’t do it to someone else.

C: Yeah, I guess so. But what should I do?

J: You can report him to a superior, but before you do that, maybe you should confront him first.

Claire 還是不敢肯定 Kevin 的行為是不是夠得上性騷擾。Jessica 說,如果他對你的外表或個人生活過份關心或是說三道四,就屬於騷擾。她建議 Claire 直接去找 Kevin 談,confront him.

J: I suggest you look Kevin right in the eye and clearly and slowly tell him that you want him to stop touching you and commenting about your appearance. Don’t smile or joke this should be a serious conversation. When you finish speaking to him, just walk away and let him think about it.

C: And if it happens again?

J: Then you report him to company supervisors. If they are smart they will take care of it, otherwise, they know they could get sued. No one likes a lawsuit.

Jessica 說,應該直接去找 Kevin 明明白白地告訴他,希望他以後不要再動手動腳,或是品頭論足。如果還是不行,再去找公司高層。如果他們聰明的話,they will take care of it. 他們就會妥善處理。No one likes a lawsuit. 沒人願意吃官司。

C: Could I maybe write him a letter? I’m not good at face-to-face confrontation.

J: That could work as well. Or, if you’d like, I’d be happy to stand with you when you talk to him. It might be nice to have some support…and I’d be a witness as well.

C: Thanks, Jessica. You’re a real friend. I’m sorry to drag you into this.

J: Not at all. We ladies have to stick together right?

C: Yeah. Thanks!

Claire 想寫信給 Kevin,表達自己的意思,因為 I’m not good at face-to-face confrontation. 意思是我不擅長面對面的直接對抗。Jessica 很夠意思,主動表示願意陪 Claire 去找 Kevin, 給 Claire 壯膽,因為 We ladies have to stick together. 我們都是女性,應該抱團兒。

A: 顯然,Kevin對Claire的態度是out of line, 出格了,但是Claire呢又不想cause a scene,把事情鬧大。Jessica說,如果有人 對你性騷擾,一定要堅定地confront him,跟他對峙,讓他以後再也不敢這麼做。

B: I agree. You have a responsibility to stop him so he doesn’t do it to someone else.

A: True. And if confrontation doesn’t work out, you should always go to higher management to get it solved. 把任何罪惡消滅在萌芽狀態!

B: Alright! Let’s take a break at this serious topic. Why don’t we do another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1799 keep in check

今天我們要學的詞是keep in check. Keep is spelled k-e-e-p, keep, and check, c-h-e-c-k, check, keep in check. To keep something in check 意思是約束,控制某事。美國喬治華盛頓大學的研究人員說,A 15-minute walk three times a day after meals helps people in their 70s and 80s to keep their blood sugar levels in check. 每天三次飯後走15分鐘,有利於七八十歲的人控制血糖水平。Bank Indonesia’s new Governor said that keeping inflation in check would be one of the central bank’s top priorities. 印尼央行新行長說,控制通貨膨脹將是央行的工作重點之一。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 keep in check, keep in check, keep in check…

A: I always stand for half an hour after meals! I’ve heard that it will help keep your weight in check!

B: Hmm…based on what I see, I seriously doubt that that’s true …

A: You…

B: Haha, I’m just getting back at you! I didn’t mean to pour cold water on you, actually I think you look really fit these days!

A: Watching your intake and keeping a regular exercise schedule, that’s the trick! 哎,你剛提到了一個俗語:pour cold water on, let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 854 POUR COLD WATER ON

美國習慣用語 第 854 講

有時候覺得,當父母真不容易。最近,我們同意女兒重新粉刷自己的房間,誰知她要刷黑色。明知她會不高興,我們還是決定要打消她的這個念頭,在英文里這叫:

M: Pour cold water on. Pour is spelled p-o-u-r. Pour-cold-water-on.

Pour cold water on 很容易理解,就是中文裏面所說的潑冷水。雖然我們同意讓女兒自己選擇房間的顏色,但是黑色已經超過了我們的容忍範圍。We just have to POUR COLD WATER ON that choice. 她雖然有些不高興,但最後還是同意妥協,這才讓我們長長地出了一口氣。讓我們一起聽聽下面這些人最近遇到了什麼喪氣的事情。

M: “A spokesperson for the company had announced that we’d all be getting raises at the end of the year. Unfortunately, she made the announcement before the board of directors reviewed our financial situation. Given our recent losses, they decided it was best to POUR COLD WATER ON the increases for now. They didn’t want to go ahead with a plan that made little sense.”

這個人說: 公司發言人剛剛宣布,員工年底一律加薪。糟糕的是,她宣布這一消息趕在了董事會審查財政狀況之前。由於公司最近虧損,董事會決定最好先不提漲工資的事。他們不願意批准一項不合情理的計劃。

如果公司虧損超過了預期,這種決定是可以理解的。

我妹妹原來打算到哥斯達黎加去玩,誰知那裡突發地震,她只好推遲行程。It poured cold water on her itinerary.

好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “A spokesperson for the company had announced that we’d all be getting raises at the end of the year. Unfortunately, she made the announcement before the board of directors reviewed our financial situation. Given our recent losses, they decided it was best to POUR COLD WATER ON the increases for now. They didn’t want to go ahead with a plan that made little sense.”

剛才說到,由於地震,我妹妹沒能按計划到哥斯達黎加去玩,十分失望。下面例子里的一個男子本打算去拉斯維加斯玩個痛快,結果呢?讓我們一起聽聽。

M: “My buddies and I organized a fun weekend in Las Vegas. But then my girlfriend POURED COLD WATER ON the trip. She made it clear that she wasn’t about to let me go to “Sin City”. She was afraid that four guys together would get into too much trouble with all the casinos and bars there.”

他說:我們幾個哥們兒準備好一起去拉斯維加斯痛痛快快過個周末。結果我女朋友攪局。她明明白白地告訴我,不讓我去「罪惡之城」。她擔心,那裡到處都是賭場和酒吧,四個男人肯定會惹禍。

拉斯維加斯素有「sin city」罪惡之城的稱號,不過,除了賭場和酒吧以外,那裡也有很多超級享受的餐館和演出。這倒讓我想起,今年渡假可以到拉斯維加斯去,I don’t think my husband would POUR COLD WATER ON this one. 好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “My buddies and I organized a fun weekend in Las Vegas. But then my girlfriend POURED COLD WATER ON the trip. She made it clear that she wasn’t about to let me go to “Sin City”. She was afraid that four guys together would get into too much trouble with all the casinos and bars there.”

這個習慣用語是從救火來的,這一點恐怕不難理解。如果大家在學習習慣用語的過程中遇到任何困難,儘管跟我們聯繫,我保證,I am not going to POUR COLD WATER ON your enthusiasm for learning. 不會給大家的學習熱情潑冷水。

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: I hate to pour cold water on your weekend plans Mike, but your going to have to come in this weekend to help edit.

B: That’s ok Yanglin, I can get done in 2 hours what it takes you 8 hours to do. Plus I never say no to overtime…..

A: Yeah, as if. 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117課

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

A: And I’m Lin Yang.

B: We have a great lesson prepared for you today. First we will take you to see how to effectively build your social network.

A: 我們還要帶你去探索美國人對節食的看法,還有相關的有趣說法!

B: Then in words and idioms we will learn what “pull one’s weight” and “when push comes to shove” means!

A: All coming up on American English Mosaic!

B: Now let’s go into our first segment, Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1800 diet

今天我們要學的詞是diet. Diet is spelled d-i-e-t, diet. Diet 名詞,意思是飲食。對人類早期的牙齒化石進行的研究發現,About 3.5 million years ago early humans expanded their diet to include grasses and possibly animals。 古人類在大約350萬年前急劇擴大飲食結構,開始食用草類,甚至是動物。你是素食主義者嗎?最新研究顯示,A vegetarian diet has been linked to lower death rates when compared to meat-eaters. 素食者跟吃肉的人相比,同期死亡率偏低。另外一項有趣的研究發現,Obese patients trust diet advice from overweight doctors more than advice from normal weight doctors. 跟正常體重的醫生相比較,肥胖病人更相信體重超重醫生提供的飲食建議。今天我們學習的詞是 diet, diet, diet…

A: I know there’s a lot of health benefit to being a vegetarian, but…I just can’t give up meat. I mean, chicken wings might be bad for you, but it’s soul food! 雞翅最能慰藉我的心靈。

B: Haha, I hear you. Keeping a good diet doesn’t mean you need to limit the kinds of food that you take in. You just need to watch your overall calories. I think the best way is to keep your intake to a modest amount.

A: That’s true. 都說吃8分飽最好,聽見了嗎Mike? 8分飽….

B: Right, it only takes 60 dumplings to make me feel 80% full!

A: You certainly pulled your weight at the Korean BBQ restaurant last weekend!

B: You bet! Well, let’s check out today’s words and idioms, and learn the meaning of “pull one’s own weight”!

Words and Idioms 855 Pull One’s Own Weight

美國習慣用語第 855

講我最喜歡參加的志願活動就是翻修房子,為低收入的人提供住處。親手讓一棟破破爛爛的老房子煥然一新,會有一種難以言表的成就感,不過,這份工作也很辛苦,每個志願者都不能偷懶。我們今天要學的習慣用詞就與此有關,叫:

M: Pull one’s weight. Pull is spelled p-u-l-l, and weight; w-e-i-g-h-t. Pull-one’s weight.

Pull 是拉的意思;Weight 是體重。pull one’s weight 意思是完成自己那份工作。就象我剛才說的,整修房子工作艱巨,每個志願者都要 pull his weight 齊心協力,才能順利完成工作。

現在的美國社會,男人主外賺錢,女人主內持家已經不再是慣例。讓我們聽聽下面這個例子里家庭成員的分工。

M: “For the last two years, I’ve been a stay-at-home dad while my wife has continued her law practice. Anyone who thinks I’m not doing my share of work is wrong. In addition to taking care of our two kids, I’m busy grocery shopping, running errands, doing the laundry, cleaning the house and maintaining the yard. I’m definitely PULLING MY WEIGHT.”

這個人說:過去兩年,我太太繼續在律師事務所上班,而我卻待在家裡。不過,如果有人覺得我沒有盡到自己那一份家庭義務的話,那可是冤枉了我。除了要照顧兩個小孩外,我每天還忙着買菜、處理雜事、洗衣服、打掃房間、收拾院子。我絕對盡了自己的那一份義務。

有趣的是,這種家庭分工模式如今在美國已經越來越普遍。我個人覺得這樣很好,讓男人們也有機會去體會一下女人持家的辛苦。We’ve been PULLING OUR WEIGHT for centuries. 好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “For the last two years, I’ve been a stay-at-home dad while my wife has continued her law practice. Anyone who thinks I’m not doing my share of work is wrong. In addition to taking care of our two kids, I’m busy grocery shopping, running errands, doing the laundry, cleaning the house and maintaining the yard. I’m definitely PULLING MY WEIGHT.”

在下面這個例子里,Carla 工作非常努力。讓我們一起聽聽老闆對她的評價。

M: “Don’t underestimate Carla. She may have a lot less experience than other employees. But she contributes just as much as anyone on our team. There’s no doubt in my mind that she PULLS HER WEIGHT around this office.”

他說:千萬不要低估 Carla. 也許她沒有別的員工那麼豐富的經驗,但是她的貢獻跟組裡其它成員一樣多。我絲毫也不懷疑,她盡了自己的那份力量。

我老公那兒剛剛開除了一個新員工。從簡歷上看,此人非常優秀,但是沒用幾個月的時間,老闆就發現,他非常懶惰。He hadn’t PULLED HIS WEIGHT. 好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “Don’t underestimate Carla. She may have a lot less experience than other employees. But she contributes just as much as anyone on our team. There’s no doubt in my mind that she PULLS HER WEIGHT around this office.”

在英語里,專門有個詞,用來指工作特別懶的人,叫 slacker, s-l-a-c-k-e-r, slacker。
Pull one’s weight 這個習慣用語最早是從划船來的。大家都知道,划船的時候大家要齊心協力,每個人都要出力,船才會前進。

Pull one’s weight 這個詞的來歷和用法我已經傾囊相贈,接下來就靠大家自己去練習了。You have to PULL YOUR WEIGHT.

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: 確實,學習外語很多程度在於自身的堅持和努力。俗話說,師父領進門,修行在個人。

B: That’s for sure. It also helps a lot if you immerse yourself in the environment. My Chinese was way better when I lived in Qingdao. Now I try to hang out with other people here in DC who speak Chinese to keep up my fluency.

A: So that’s the reason you hang out with me?

B: Duh. You think I really want to hang with you? (awkward silence) I’m kidding, kidding! All I’m saying is, I love to meet new people, and networking is very important in this town.

A:哼,饒了你! 沒錯,建立自己的人際網非常重要,不過如果你天性比較內向,不愛社交怎麼辦呢?

B: We can offer you some tips! Let’s check them out in today’s Business etiquette!

禮節美語 Social Networking I

Brad 和 Pam 邀請同事 Jimmy 下班後一起去酒吧,可 Jimmy 一再推辭,我們聽聽為什麼。

Brad: Hey Jimmy, a couple of us are going out to Sam’s Bar after work. Care to join us?

Jimmy: Oh, um…thanks for the invitation, but I’m pretty tired. I think I’ll take a rain check.

Pam: But you took a rain check last time!

J: Yeah, I know. I’m just not so fond of bars.

Brad 說他們幾個人下班準備一起去酒吧,問 Jimmy 要不要一起來, Care to join us? Jimmy 推辭說很累,還說 I’ll take a rain check. 意思是這次算了,改天吧。比如說,朋友約你去逛街,可你已經說好跟男朋友吃飯,就可以說 I’ll take a rain check. 下次吧!

P: Well, how about joining the company picnic next Saturday? We’re playing beach volleyball and you could join our team! Come on! It’ll be fun!

J: Um…you’re so kind, but…I’m really not sure if I’ll be able to make it.

B: Hey! I’ve got the perfect idea! We’re making plans for a dinner appointment with all the department heads this Sunday…you should definitely come!

Pam 不肯放棄,問 Jimmy 要不要參加下星期六的公司野餐,company picnic, 還可以加入他們的沙灘排球隊。 Jimmy 再次推辭,說自己可能去不了。I’m really not sure if I’ll be able to make it. 這裡說的 to make it 就是參加、出席的意思。比如說,朋友請你參加生日派對,可你那天已經有了安排,你就可以說 I’ll try to make it. 我一定爭取來。

J: Uh…guys, I really appreciate what your trying to do, and I don’t mean to be a wallflower. I’m just a bit shy. Plus, I really don’t like loud bars or clubs.

B: Let me tell you a secret. I hate bars and clubs too! But, I know that going out and being seen is a big part of networking.

J: You mean like on a computer?

P: No, Brad means social networking.

B: Basically, it means going out and meeting people. It really can mean the difference between success and being stuck at a career dead-end.

Jimmy 知道 Brad 和 Pam 的好意, 說自己 I don’t mean to be a wallflower. 這裡所說的 wallflower 壁花,指的是因為天性靦腆,或是不招人喜歡、所以很不合群的人。Jimmy 承認,自己不願意參加這些活動,主要是因為害羞。Brad 馬上說,其實他也很討厭酒吧、夜總會這種地方,但是 I know that going out and being seen is a big part of social networking. 經常出去,跟人接觸是建立社交關係網的一個重要部分。這裡所說的的 social networking 就是多結識一些人,擴大社交關係圈子。Social networking 對事業發展很重要,可能會決定一個人的成功,還是 being stuck at a career dead-end 在事業上走進死胡同。

A: Brad和Pam約Jimmy出去跟大家一起social networking, 社交,但是Jimmy說,他不想做wallflower, 不合群的人,但是自己生性靦腆,not fond of bars, 不喜歡酒吧。Brad說,社交很重要,認識各個領域的人,這樣你才不會being stuck at a career dead-end, 在事業上走進死胡同。

B: Yeah, networking seems like no problem for extroverts, but for introverts it’s often a burden. Actually, I used to be really shy because I was afraid people would judge me if I said something wrong.

A: How did you overcome your fear?

B: I realized that most people don’t judge! Once I overcame that psychological obstacle, networking becomes a piece of cake.

A: Good for you! Let’s keep listening to Brad and Pam and see what advice they can offer Jimmy!

禮節美語 Social Networking II

Jimmy 因為天性靦腆,所以每逢社交活動,一律能推就推。同事 Brad 和 Pam 努力說服 Jimmy, 因為 social networking 是事業發展一個不可缺少的環節。Pam 說,

P: You know, I’m not such a big fan of company events myself. I don’t like all the organization involved. I don’t like being told when and where to do things. In fact, I don’t even like big crowds of people.

B: But, in today’s society these are the ways we connect. Social networking has boosted my career in so many ways.

J: Such as?

B: Well, take last week for example. I was at a club when I saw this guy I hadn’t seen in a long time. He starts talking about his friend who is looking for a computer programmer.

Pam 說,其實她也不是特別喜歡公司舉辦的各種活動。I’m not such a big fan of company events myself. 這裡說的 a big fan of something 意思就是對某件事情非常熱衷。比如說,I’m a big fan of sushi. 我特別愛吃壽司。I’m a big fan of hip hop. 我特別愛聽嘻哈歌曲。I’m not a big fan of horror movies. 我不喜歡看恐怖電影。

Brad 補充說,參加社交活動為他提供了不少機會,上星期他去夜總會,遇到一個很久不見的熟人,這個人的朋友正好在找電腦編程師。

J: And you got the job?

B: Yeah! The next day his friend called me and yesterday we signed a contract. I’m going to be setting up their company website, and the money is pretty good.

P: So I guess what Brad’s saying is that if you don’t get out there and be seen, people might forget about you.

J: Yeah, I can sort of understand your point. But how do I overcome my shyness? I’m just not very good with people.

結果,Brad 還真拿到了這份工作,幫一家公司 set up their company website 設計網站,而且 the money is pretty good. 報酬也很好。看來,有熟人介紹就是不一樣。Jimmy 聽後表示,I can sort of understand your point. 我大約明白你的意思了。這裡所說的 point 是指問題核心。我們經常聽人說 The point of the matter is….問題關鍵是。。。言歸正傳,就算真願意出去社交,Jimmy 要如何克服性格靦腆的障礙呢?按他的話說,I’m just not very good with people. 我就是不擅於跟人打交道。

P: I was super shy for years! Then one day I finally realized that the world isn’t looking at me.

J: What do you mean?

B: In other words, sometimes we feel shy because we think people are looking at us and judging us. But in reality, that’s almost never the case.

Pam 說,自己以前也特別靦腆,I was super shy for years! 這裡所說的 super 是特別的意思,用來加重語氣。我們可以說,Her boyfriend is super sweet. 她男朋友特別溫柔體貼,或是 It’s super hot in here. 這裡簡直熱死了,還可以說 I have been super busy this week. 我這個星期忙得兩腳朝天。

Brad 也說,很多人天性靦腆,是因為覺得大家都在注意自己,但事實上 that’s almost never the case. 根本不是這樣。Pam 跟 Brad 能說服 Jimmy 嗎?我們下次繼續聽。

A: Jimmy說,他不是a big fan of company events, 不是很喜歡公司的活動,又說自己not so good with people, 不善於和別人交往,Brad說,社交can boost up your career, 是事業發展的推動力。

B: Sometimes good networking skills mean the difference between success and being stuck at a dead-end job.

A: Networking is easy for me, I love to hear other people’s stories, sometimes it can be inspiring for your own life!

B: Good Point! We will continue talking about social networking in our next class. For now, let’s take a break from this topic.

A: 好,來聽接下來的learn a word!

Learn A Word 1801 hold true

今天我們要學的詞是hold true. Hold is spelled h-o-l-d, hold, and true, t-r-u-e, true, hold true. To hold true 意思是證明是對的,正確的,過去時是 held true。最新研究顯示,每天睡眠不足六小時會加重心臟病,增加心臟病突發的機率。不過,The findings only held true for women. 研究結果只適用在女性身上。另外一項有趣的研究發現,臉書網站有利於提高申請大學的高中生的信心。However, the study only held true for first-generation college students. 不過,這項研究只適用於第一代大學生,也就是父輩從來沒有人上過大學的孩子。今天我們學習的詞是 hold true, hold true, hold true…

A: Going on facebook can boost your confidence? I think it’s the opposite! People only post the best moments of their lives on facebook.

B: I feel the same way, whenever I’m on facebook, I feel like my life is not as awesome as my friends’.

A: That’s because your life IS not as awesome as your friends’…

B: You…

A: Kidding kidding! I think there is some scientific study that proves that logging onto facebook all the time can actually leads to symptoms of depression because you are constantly comparing yourself to others.

B: That’s true. I guess, if push comes to shove I will just delete my facebook account.

A: Yeah, as if. (laugh) 哎,你剛提到了一個俗語:when push comes to shove, let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 856 When Push Comes to Shove

美國習慣用語第 856 講我叔叔一家來華盛頓玩,最後一天本來說好我帶他們出去參觀景點,我妹妹請他們在家吃飯。誰知到下午,我妹妹突然打電話說她不舒服。我只好趕快訂餐館,帶叔叔一家去吃飯,好在一切都很順利,這倒讓我想起一個今天要學的習慣用詞,叫:

M: When push comes to shove. Push is spelled p-u-s-h, and shove; s-h-o-v-e. When push comes to shove.

Push 是推;shove 是猛推。When push comes to shove 一般的推變成了猛烈的推,意思就是情況變得緊急時,迫不得已的時候。就象剛才所說的,我妹妹突然身體不舒服,只好由我來招待叔叔一家吃飯。When push comes to shove 出現緊急狀況時,出面解決問題的總是我。

在下面這個例子中,一位公司總裁雖然公務繁忙,經常出差,但還是堅持鍛煉身體,讓我們一起聽聽他是如何做到這一點的。

M: “Normally I work out every day. But sometimes I have to travel out of town for work and I don’t have access to a gym. So I run up and down the stairs at the hotel where I’m staying and use the room’s furniture for doing sit-ups and dips. WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, I find ways to exercise.”

這個人說:我通常每天健身,但有時出差,旅館沒有健身房,我就在旅館的樓梯上跑上跑下,藉助旅館房間里的傢具,做仰卧起坐,做支撐臂屈身推起,條件雖然不好,我也能想辦法堅持健身。

這個人還真挺會隨機應變的。其實,為了滿足這些人的健身要求,現在越來越多的旅館都開始增設健身中心,裏面至少會有幾台跑步機和一些啞鈴。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “Normally I work out every day. But sometimes I have to travel out of town for work and I don’t have access to a gym. So I run up and down the stairs at the hotel where I’m staying and use the room’s furniture for doing sit-ups and dips. WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, I find ways to exercise.”

在美國,貸款是常事,不論是買房還是買車,跟銀行借錢都是少不了的。不過,跟別人聯合貸款必須十分謹慎,為什麼呢?讓我們一起來聽聽。

M: “Has a friend or relative ever asked you to co-sign for a loan? Although it sounds like an innocent request, be careful. In the event that person isn’t able to make regular payments, it will be you who’s legally responsible. That means you could have your salary or property taken away. IF PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, the lender will do whatever is necessary to be repaid.”

他說:你遇到過親戚朋友求你跟他聯名,一起向銀行貸款的事情嗎?雖然這個要求聽起來沒什麼錯,可你一定要小心。一旦這個人無力還錢,還錢的法律責任就會落到你的頭上,也就是說,你的工資和財產都會面臨被沒收的風險。如果迫不得已,銀行會不惜一切代價,把欠款要回來。

大家一定注意到了,這個例句里用 IF 取代了 WHEN。這個習慣用語是從英式橄欖球來的,交戰雙方隊員有時擠做一團,相互推搡,直到哪個隊員把球搶走為止。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “Has a friend or relative ever asked you to co-sign for a loan? Although it sounds like an innocent request, be careful. In the event that person isn’t able to make regular payments, it will be you who’s legally responsible. That means you could have your salary or property taken away. IF PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, the lender will do whatever is necessary to be repaid.”

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: If push comes to shove 領導 would totally fire you first!

B: And if push comes to shove I would totally rat you out for not coming to work that week 領導 was on vacation. Nothing personal, but I’ve got bills to pay!

A: Yeah, as if. 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118課

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

A: And I’m Lin Yang.

B: Today we are going to take a look at the business world. What do you need to enter the global market? A competitive product, great service, and a little thing called international certification!

A: 我們還要來看看開車用手機帶來的安全隱患!

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what “put in mothballs” and “quit while one’s ahead” means!

A: All coming up on American English Mosaic!

B: Now let’s go into our first segment, Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1802 distracting

今天我們要學的詞是distracting. Distracting is spelled d-i-s-t-r-a-c-t-i-n-g, distracting. Distracting 形容詞,意思是分散注意力的。A new study shows that hands free cell phones are two times more distracting for motorists than those not using a cell phone behind the wheel. 一項最新研究顯示,跟開車時完全不用手機的人相比,使用免提手機的司機注意力分散程度要高出一倍。澳大利亞的另外一項關於駕車安全的研究說,Children riding in the car are 12 times more distracting to drivers than cell phones. 孩子讓開車人分散注意力的危險程度是手機的12倍。這一點估計做父母的都深有體會。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 distracting, distracting, distracting…

A: Yeah, nothing is more dangerous than being distracted while you are driving. People with smart-phone addiction should pay special attention to this, ahem ahem…

B: Ok Ok, I have to admit I’ve been guilty of that. I agree with you though, texting while driving is extremely dangerous. Nothing is more precious than your life, nothing is so important that it can’t wait till you park your car.

A: I know! But today we are just too attached to our smart phones; Now we’re habitually checking them without even knowing we are doing it!

B: Yeah…The first thing I do in the morning is check my phone for emails and Facebook updates….

A: We are definitely checking our emails and social media more than necessary these days…Hmm, I was about to buy a smart phone for my niece for her birthday. Now I’m thinking that plan should be put in mothballs…

B: Hmm…you certainly need to make it clear to her when she’s allowed to use it! Well, to continue our class, you just mentioned a interesting idiom,put in mothballs.

A: Let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 857 PUT IN MOTHBALLS

美國習慣用語第 857 講

我最近建議製作一個新節目,以美國語言和文化為主題,舉行相關的知識競賽,大家都說是個好主意,讓我立即開始做。誰知我的一個同事突然請長假,她的工作全都推給了我,結果我的新節目還沒開始,就被無限期擱置了。這在英語里叫:

M: Put in mothballs. Mothballs is spelled m-o-t-h-b-a-l-l-s. Put-in-mothballs.

mothball 在中文裏是衛生球,樟腦丸。put in mothballs 就是束之高閣,無限期擱置的意思。My show idea has been put in mothballs. 我新節目的提案就這樣被無限期地擱置起來了,不知道什麼時候才有時間去做。

很多人喜歡收藏舊東西,不捨得扔,其實,這些看似沒用的東西有時也能派上用場。讓我們聽聽下面例子里這個父親是怎麼說的。

M: “My son loves the ice skates his grandmother gave him. I don’t think he realizes they had been mine when I was his age. Mom had PUT them IN MOTHBALLS, not sure if anyone would ever get any use from them. I’m sure glad she’d decided not to throw them out.”

這個人說:我兒子特別喜歡奶奶送他的冰鞋。其實他可能不知道,這雙冰鞋是我小時候穿過的,後來被媽媽收了起來,並不知道以後會不會有人能穿。她沒把這雙冰鞋丟掉,讓我太高興了。

我祖母也是一樣,什麼東西都不捨得扔。She puts everything in mothballs. 家裡跟個二手店似的。英語里有個詞專門形容這種人,叫 packrat, p-a-c-k-r-a-t, packrat。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “My son loves the ice skates his grandmother gave him. I don’t think he realizes they had been mine when I was his age. Mom had PUT them IN MOTHBALLS, not sure if anyone would ever get any use from them. I’m sure glad she’d decided not to throw them out.”

剛才說到,我祖母什麼都不捨得扔,經常拿箇舊打字機什麼的老古董問我要不要。你別說,有時候還真有點兒值錢的東西。我覺得,她可以把所有東西都捐給下面這個例子里正在籌備中的歷史博物館。讓我們一起聽。

M: “Our town clearly supports building a history museum. But the mayor came out to say that he’s PUTTING the proposal IN MOTHBALLS for now. Apparently there isn’t enough funding available. Still, no one’s giving up hope that it can be reconsidered in the not-to-distant future.”
他說:我們鎮里的人顯然都很贊成建一個歷史博物館,但是鎮長卻說,他要暫時把這項提案擱置起來,因為沒有足夠的資金。不過,大家都不肯放棄,希望不久的將來這項提案會重新被考慮。

很多項目不能上馬,問題都出來資金上。我的一個朋友在美國航空航天局工作,他開發的很多項目都是因為缺少聯邦撥款而處於停頓狀態。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “Our town clearly supports building a history museum. But the mayor came out to say that he’s PUTTING the proposal IN MOTHBALLS for now. Apparently there isn’t enough funding available. Still, no one’s giving up hope that it can be reconsidered in the not-to-distant future.”

Put in mothballs 最早是二十世紀四十年代出現的,如果更簡單一點的話,可以直接把 mothball 做為動詞來用,比如我可以說,My show idea has been mothballed. 或者說 The mayor is mothballing the proposal for a new museum.

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。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Because of sequestration, a lot of government projects are being put in mothballs.

B: Yeah, the budget situation is not pretty right now. But I think the whole economic picture is on the right track. Actually, because of the expansion in international market, hiring in the private sector is on the rise again in our area.

A: 對啊! 現在所有公司都要攻佔國際市場,全球化嘛!

B: And that will lead to an important procedure called international certification.

A:國際認證! 大家都聽過這個詞兒,到底這都需要哪些程序呢?

B: Let’s find it out in today’s Business Etiquette!

禮節美語International Certification I

一家香港公司的老闆 Hank 帶 Chris 去見部門主管 Rebecca。

Hank: Rebecca, I’d like you to meet Chris Lee.

Rebecca: How do you do, Mr. Lee?

Chris: Very well, thank you. And call me Chris.

H: Chris is here to walk us through the certification process.

R: Why are we getting certified?

老闆 Hank 為部門主管 Rebecca 引見 Chris。Chris is here to walk us through the certification process. 原來,Chris 是要幫他們公司完成國際認證程序。to walk someone through something 意思是帶某人按部就班完成某一程序。這裡用的名詞 certification is spelled c-e-r-t-i-f-i-c-a-t-i-o-n, 意思是認證,動詞則是 certify, c-e-r-t-i-f-y, certify. 這家公司為什麼要申請國際認證呢?

C: You’re required to get certified by an independent auditor before beginning business with certain American companies.

H: And as we just landed that new account in California, we have to get the ball rolling on this ASAP.

R: Ok, what is required?

C: To be honest, it’s quite a lengthy list of things. Let’s start with safety issues.

原來,要跟特定美國公司做生意,就必須通過 independent auditor 獨立審計師,完成國際認證。公司在加州剛找到一個新客戶,just landed a new account. 這裡的 account 不是帳戶,而是指正式商業夥伴和客戶。所以,we have to get the ball rolling on this ASAP. 所以要立刻開始申請國際認證。to get the ball rolling, 意思是着手做某件事。ASAP 是 as soon as possible 意思是立即動手。Chris 說,申請國際認證非常繁瑣,首先是安全方面的要求。

C: We need to make sure there are fire extinguishers on every floor and there should be proper ventilation.

H: I think we are already compliant in these areas.

C: Workers need to wear protective gear if they’re near dangerous chemicals or machines.

R: Yes, we already require that.

C: Also, we need to make sure your factory is safe from the threat of terrorism.

Chris 說,每層樓都要有滅火器,fire extinguisher, 要有通風設施,ventilation, 靠近化學物品和危險儀器的員工要穿戴保護性工作服 wear protective gear。這些都沒問題。We are already compliant in these areas. 這些措施公司已經在做了。compliant is spelled c-o-m-p-l-i-a-n-t, compliant 意思是遵守的,服從的。可是,生產家用產品的公司為什麼要防範恐怖襲擊呢?我們下次繼續聽。

A: 老闆Hank說,公司just land a new account, 剛剛在加州爭取到一個新客戶進行國際業務,所以要get international certification, 國際認證。Chris來這裡walk them through the process, 來幫助他們按步就班完成這個程序。與美國公司合作,程序很多,他們需要get the ball rolling ASAP, 立即開始這項程序。

B: International certification is a very complicated process and involves a lot of change and compromise. But once you get certified, you can open a lot of new doors.

A: Yep, in today’s economy, you can’t just stay in the domestic market. You need to improve yourself so you can fit into the global village economic model!

B: True! Let’s keep listening to Chris and see what else the company needs to do!

禮節美語International Certification II

Chris 向一家香港公司的老闆 Hank 和部門主管 Rebecca 介紹申請國際認證的程序。首先是安全,其中還有防範恐怖襲擊的要求。老闆 Hank 表示不解。

C: Well, after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, all the rules and regulations have become much stricter. If you ship a container to the United States, it could possibly be used by bad guys to send dangerous materials.

R: So what kind of precautions do we need to take?

C: You need to have a 24-hour surveillance and alarm system set up, and the doors and gates should be monitored by guards to make sure only those who should be in the factory are in the factory.

H: That’s pretty reasonable and I think we can handle that.

Chris 解釋說,九一一恐怖襲擊事件發生後,保安方面的要求嚴格了很多。要得到國際認證,需要安裝全天候的監視和警報系統,24-hour surveillance and alarm system; 門口需要警衛站崗。老闆 Hank 覺得,這些要求很合理,pretty reasonable, 公司完全可以做到。We can handle that. Chris 繼續說,

C: Ok, let’s move on to the next point: treatment of workers.

H: You know, I don’t mean to be rude, but why do U.S. companies need to know how we treat our workers? That’s an internal affair, isn’t it?

C: I can understand your frustration, but nowadays it’s a big issue. A few years ago, many activist groups began targeting the big American retailers. They demanded that the big sellers prove that the cheap items they are selling weren’t made by child laborers or through other unethical practices.

除去安全保障措施外,還有工人待遇的問題。Hank 不明白,自己公司的事情,internal affair, 美國公司為什麼要插手。Chris 解釋說,這是因為幾年前,一些人權活動團體開始針對美國一些主要零售商家,要求他們證明,自己出售的廉價商品,沒有使用童工 child laborers, 也沒有其它unethical practices不正當的做法。

R: So now any company that sells to the big retailers has to prove they are above board?

C: Yep. And it’s not just America. When you sell to Europe you have to do the same thing in fact, the European laws are even stricter!

H: Well, I guess I can understand their position, but it is quite a hassle.

R: Yeah, but it’s worth it. As soon as we’re certified we can sell our goods all across Europe and the U.S.

因此,現在凡是這些美國零售商的供貨商家,都必須證明,They are above board. 他們的經營方式是光明正大的。雖然申請國際認證很麻煩,it is quite a hassle. 可是 Rebecca 覺得值,it’s worth it. 因為有了國際認證,跟美國和歐洲公司做生意就可以暢通無阻了。

A: 原來,國際認證中還有一大部分涉及到如何對待員工。比如,不使用童工, child labor, 沒有不正當的做法, no unethical practices。老闆覺得,it’s quite a hassle, 很麻煩,但是Rebecca 認為,一旦完成,公司就能自由與美國和歐洲國家做生意了。

B: I agree international certification is a hassle, but it’s worth it. The employees get fair treatment, and the companies can expand their business into the global market. It’s a win-win situation.

A: 沒錯! 好啦,國際認證就先到這裡,我們下面換個話題,來聽今天的learn a word!

Learn A Word 1803 sibling

今天我們要學的詞是sibling. Sibling is spelled s-i-b-l-i-n-g, sibling. Sibling 是兄弟姐妹的意思。Sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up. 兄弟姐妹間的競爭是成長中很正常的一部分。Normal rivalries with siblings can foster healthy competition. 正常的你爭我斗可以促進孩子間的健康競爭。然而,有時候,這種爭鬥也會對孩子的心理造成嚴重傷害。一項最新研究就發現,Bullying by a sibling can be as damaging as bullying by a classmate, neighbor, or other peers. 被自己的兄弟姐妹欺負,跟被同學,鄰居或是其他同齡人欺負,會對孩子造成同等的傷害。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 sibling, sibling, sibling…

A: I so wish I had a brother or a sister…

B: Haha, be careful what you wish for…when I was growing up, my sister and I fought all the time.

A: But you also learn how to share and compromise during those fights!

B: Well, we used to fight a lot when we were little kids. But then I grew up and got bigger than my older sister, and she decided to quit while she’s still ahead!

A: 哈哈,she’s the clever one! 哎,你剛提到了一個俗語:quit while one’s ahead, let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 858 QUIT WHILE ONE’S AHEAD

美國習慣用語第 858 講這麼多年來我最喜歡的一家冰激凌店居然要關門了。我問經理是怎麼回事,經理說本來公司經營得很好,結果拓展業務,增加商品,反倒失去了很多老顧客。這讓我想起了今天要學的習慣用語,叫:

M: Quit while one’s ahead. Quit is spelled q-u-i-t, and ahead; a-h-e-a-d. Quit-while-one’s-ahead.

Quit 在中文裏是停止、放棄的意思。ahead 意思是在前面。Quit while one’s ahead 就是中文裏所說的見好就收。就說我喜歡的那家冰激凌店吧,本來賣冰激凌挺賺錢的,可偏偏要增加產品種類,結果反而造成了服務和產品質量的下降。They should have QUIT WHILE THEY WERE AHEAD。他們本該見好就收才對。下面例句里玩撲克牌的人就明白這一點。我們一起聽。

M: “I’m not the greatest poker player. But so far tonight, I’ve managed to win about $500. If I stay in the game, I stand to make even more. But I also risk losing it. I think I’ll QUIT WHILE I’M AHEAD. That way, I’m sure to walk out with a nice pot of money I hadn’t expected.”

這個人說:我打牌不是最厲害的,但是今天晚上已經贏了五百美元。如果繼續打下去,我可能會贏更多,但也有輸錢的風險。我覺得最好是見好就收,這樣一來,我就能帶着一筆不小的外財離開這裡。

我老爸告訴過我,他年輕時有一次剛領了工資就被朋友拉着去賭場,一上來贏了不少,可是 He didn’t QUIT WHILE HE WAS AHEAD. 最後輸了個精光,整整吃了一個月的即食麵。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “I’m not the greatest poker player. But so far tonight, I’ve managed to win about $500. If I stay in the game, I stand to make even more. But I also risk losing it. I think I’ll QUIT WHILE I’M AHEAD. That way, I’m sure to walk out with a nice pot of money I hadn’t expected.”

我喜歡看電影,特別是老片子。上星期,我又把七十年代的幾部經典影片拿出來看。大家一定看過 GODFATHER「教父」,如果沒有的話,請聽下面這段介紹。

M: “Have you watched “The Godfather”, a thriller about the lives of a fictional Italian-American crime family? It’s ranked as the second greatest film in our country’s cinematic history. After it won several Academy Awards, a sequel was planned. Although producers considered QUITTING WHILE THEY WERE AHEAD, they soon went on to make “The Godfather, Part II”. It also received Oscars, including one for Best Picture.”

這個人說:你看過「教父」嗎?教父是一部關於意大利裔美國人犯罪家庭的驚險片,是美國電影史上第二大經典影片,拿了很多項奧斯卡獎,後來有人計劃排續集。雖然製片人也考慮見好就收,但最後還是選擇拍了教父第二部,又贏得了包括最佳影片在內的多項奧斯卡獎。

你也許會問,那排名第一的電影是哪部?排名第一的電影就是”CITIZEN KANE”公民凱恩。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “Have you watched “The Godfather”, a thriller about the lives of a fictional Italian-American crime family? It’s ranked as the second greatest film in our country’s cinematic history. After it won several Academy Awards, a sequel was planned. Although producers considered QUITTING WHILE THEY WERE AHEAD, they soon went on to make “The Godfather, Part II”. It also received Oscars, including one for Best Picture.”

好的,這次美國習慣用語就到此結束了。

M: Until next time.

下次節目再見。

M: This has been Words and Idioms.

A: Mike, it looks like you have put on 15 pounds while I was gone, I think it’s time for you to quit while you’re ahead!

B: Well I think…..Uh…. darn I can’t argue with you when you’re right………

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119課

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

A: And I’m Lin Yang.

B: Do you often work over time? Are you addicted to stress? Do you know what Karoshi means?
Let’s take a closer look at this modern day disease and give you some tips on how to balance your work and social life.

A: 我們還要來看看特技演員的生活,還有男性和女性對待閑暇時間有什麼不同!

B: Then in words and idioms we will learn what “rack one’s brain” and “rant and rave” means!
A: All coming up on American English Mosaic!

B: Now let’s go into our first segment, Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1804 stunt double

今天我們要學的詞是stunt double. Stunt is spelled s-t-u-n-t, stunt, and double, d-o-u-b-l-e, double, stunt double. Stunt double 意思是特技演員,替身演員。 A former stunt double for Angelina Jolie launched a lawsuit against News Corp. 安吉麗娜.朱莉以前的一個替身演員對新聞集團提出起訴。超人「鋼鐵之軀」劇組主要演員之一克里斯托弗.梅洛尼在一次採訪中說,He almost shot his stunt double. 他差點開槍誤傷他的替身演員。Bruce Willis’ long-standing stunt double Larry “the Ripper” launched the “Die Hard Workout.” 長期飾演布魯斯.威利斯替身的拉里.瑞賓克羅伊格推出了「虎膽龍威」健身法。今天我們學習的詞是 stunt double, stunt double, stunt double…

B: Maybe I should go be the stunt double for superman! you know… a lot of my friends say that I kinda look like him from the side.

A: You have REALLY sweet friends then. 做人要有自知之明…

B: Hmm…yeah I can’t argue with you when you are right.

A: Haha, well, 你還是有優點的嘛! I really envy your great memory! You have a memory like an elephant, and I have a memory like an ant…I racked my brain today and I still couldn’t recall my online bank password…

B: That happens to everybody! With everything going electronic these days, it’s impossible to keep it all straight! What you need to do is write them down on a piece of paper and keep the paper in a safe place.

A: What if I forget where I keep the paper?

B: Haha, then I can’t help you anymore! Anyways, you just mentioned an idiom: rack one’s brain, let’s check it out in today’s word’s idioms!

Words and Idioms 859 RACK ONE』S BRAIN(S)

美國習慣用語 第 859 講

我最近發現自己還沒上年紀,就已經開始健忘了。昨天,一個接受採訪的專家向我推薦了一家很有介紹價值的機構,今天本想搜集點資料,可是那家機構的名字卻死也想不起來了。如果你有類似經歷的話,那你一定會喜歡今天要學的習慣用語,

M: Rack one’s brain. Rack is spelled r-a-c-k, and brain; b-r-a-i-n. Rack-one’s-brain.

大家都知道,Brain 是頭腦的意思,前面加上動詞 rack 意思就是挖空心思地努力想要記起、理解,或是解決某件事情。今天一大早,我就一直在努力回憶昨天那個專家推薦的機構的名稱,I’ve been RACKING MY BRAIN ever since this morning, 可死活就是想不起來。我們一起聽聽下面這個人有什麼高招。

M: “You probably have passwords for a wide variety of purposes, right? From a personal identification number to access your bank account to secret codes for your e-mail, webpage, and other on-line affiliations, your list keeps growing. But why struggle to remember all of these? Write them down in one secure place and then you won’t have to RACK YOUR BRAIN anymore!”

這個人說: 你八成有很多各種各樣的密碼吧?從進入銀行帳戶、到登陸電子郵件信箱、網頁等等,密碼清單越來越長。幹嘛非得都記在腦子裡呢?把它們寫下來,放在一個安全的地方不就完了?那就再也不用絞盡腦汁去記密碼了。

這倒是個好主意,我甚至聽說,有專門的網站讓用戶存放密碼。不過,要登陸這個網站,想必也一定需要密碼。HA HA! 好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “You probably have passwords for a wide variety of purposes, right? From a personal identification number to access your bank account to secret codes for your e-mail, webpage, and other on-line affiliations, your list keeps growing. But why struggle to remember all of these? Write them down in one secure place and then you won’t have to RACK YOUR BRAIN anymore!”

我老公經常亂放東西,每天早上上班出門前不是找這就是找那,最常找不到的是鑰匙,還好有我在。不過,下面這個例子中的人可就沒這麼幸運了。我們一起聽。

M: “When I went to pick up my girlfriend, there was a note on the door. She wrote that she didn’t want to see me anymore. Huh?! How could our relationship be over? I’ve been RACKING MY BRAIN trying to recall everything I’ve done and said lately. Instead of making me struggle, couldn’t she at least let me know how I upset her?”

這個人說: 我去接我女朋友,發現門上有張條。條上說,她不想跟我交往下去了。我們怎麼會就這麼結束了呢?我絞盡腦汁,回想最近自己是不是做錯了什麼事,說錯了什麼話。她至少可以告訴我我什麼地方得罪了她,讓我不用這麼百思不得其解。

我對此人深表同情,不管發生了什麼,跟別人分手也應該有個說法。Rack one’s brain 這個習慣用語可以追溯到十六世紀。Rack 是一種刑具,有點象五馬分屍。除了 rack one’ brain 外,大家還會經常看到 w-r-a-ck, wrack one’s brain, 或是 rack one’s brains, brains 用複數,意思其實都是一樣的。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “When I went to pick up my girlfriend, there was a note on the door. She wrote that she didn’t want to see me anymore. Huh?! How could our relationship be over? I’ve been RACKING MY BRAIN trying to recall everything I’ve done and said lately. Instead of making me struggle, couldn’t she at least let me know how I upset her?”

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: 哎,這個亂放東西真是說到了我心上,我每天不是在找鑰匙,就是在找手機,不然就是在找錢包….

B: You certainly need to find a better system for managing your personal effects. The fast pace of lifestyles of today makes things even harder. When there’s no work-life balance, you are more likely to mess things up.

A: True. 壓力大是現代白領的通病,好多人就這樣一直處於亞健康狀態!

B: Yep, but what does stress do to your mental and physical health?

A: Let’s find it out in today’s Business Etiquette!

禮節美語 Working Overtime I

星期五晚上,Jason 和 Wanda 準備下班,跟同事 Larry 說再見。

Jason: Goodnight, Larry! I’m heading home. It’s been a long day.

Larry: Goodnight, Jason. Have a good evening.

Wanda: You’re not going home, Larry?

L: Na…thought I’d try and finish up this project I’ve been working on.

J: But it’s already 9:30! How many more hours do you plan to work?

L: Oh, I’d say this project will be done in six hours or so.

W: So you’re going to work through the night? Larry…have you ever heard of “karoshi?”

Jason 準備下班回家,I’m heading home. Larry 卻說要把手頭項目做完 finish up the project. 當時已經九點半了,Larry 估計還要六個小時才能完事,所以一定要熬夜,work through the night. Wanda 問 Larry 聽沒聽說過 karoshi.

L: Karaoke?

W: No…karoshi, the Japanese word for death by overwork! You’ve been putting in overtime every night this week!

J: You know, Wanda has a point. We all need some down time. If you put in too many hours, it can hurt your body and it can affect your work.

L: So people in Japan actually die from working too hard?

W: Yep. It’s becoming a big problem. More than 100 people die from overwork in Japan every year.

原來,karoshi 是個日本詞,意思是工作過度而死,俗稱過勞死,Wanda 說,日本每年有一百多人過勞死,勸 Larry 不要太玩命 put in too many hours, 工作太長時間。Jason 也說,We all need some down time. 所有人都要勞逸結合,down time 就是放鬆的時間。

L: But I have so much to do, it seems the best way to get it all done is to plow through it until it’s complete!

J: Well, that might seem like a smart way but you might be shooting yourself in the foot.

W: These days we are connected to each other with computers, cell phones and email…and that means work can find us at any time. If you’re not careful, you’ll never get time off!

Larry 說,自己永遠有做不完的事,只能一點點去做完。Jason 警告他說,you might be shooting yourself in the foot. 這樣做可能是在搬起石頭砸自己的腳,因為現在有電腦、手機,工作隨時隨地會找上門來,如果不小心,you’ll never get time off. 就永遠沒有時間休息。

J: Scientists say rest is one of the most important things a human brain needs. Did you know you will have more creative ideas if you are well-rested?

L: These days I hardly have any good ideas. I drink a lot of coffee and I always finish my work, but I’m not having many creative ideas.

W: Maybe that’s because your brain is overloaded. You know how you have to “defragment” your computer? Well, sometimes our brains need some defragmenting, too!

科學家說,大腦需要休息,休息好了,就能有更多的創意,creative ideas. Wanda 也表示,不能讓大腦負荷過重,overload, 人腦跟電腦一樣,也需要 defragmenting清理清理。

A: Larry呢是個工作狂,經常put in too many hours, 工作時間過長。Jason說,大腦需要休息,人呢也need some down time, 需要放鬆的時間。Work overtime,加班是現代社會的一個問題,日本就有很多人Karoshi,因為工作過勞死。

B: That’s terrifying. I try to separate my work and home lives. I try not to think about work while I’m hanging out with friends, and vice versa.

A: That’s the ideal situation. But I find it hard to do considering how connected we are with emails, cell-phones, social media now. Work always finds its way to you.

B: Then it’s time to turn off some of that technology when it’s your down time! Let’s keep listening to Jason and Wendy and see what tips they have!

禮節美語–Working Overtime II

星期五晚上,Jason 和 Wanda 勸同事 Larry 不要老加班,應該勞逸結合。Larry 卻說,手頭總有做不完的工作。

L: But I feel like I’m wasting time if I go home and watch TV…even if I’m reading a good book I still feel like I should be working!

J: You know Larry; you might be addicted to work.

L: Really? A person can get addicted to work?

J: Well, maybe it’s not the same as being addicted to drugs, but many people believe you can get addicted to stress.

W: Yeah. If you find that you can’t enjoy being at home and relaxing, it might be a problem.

Larry 說,如果回家去看電視、讀書,就會覺得自己是在浪費時間。Jason 和 Wanda 都覺得,他簡直是個工作狂 addicted to work。原來,除了毒品會讓人上癮,addicted to drugs, 工作和疲勞同樣會讓人上癮,addicted to work and addicted to stress.

L: I guess I am a bit of a perfectionist. It irritates me when things aren’t perfect.

J: Maybe you are too hard on yourself. If you were your own boss, would you demand such long hours?

L: No way…I think it would be illegal anyway.

J: Well then maybe you need to treat yourself better. You have to believe that you deserve to relax!

W: You not only deserve it, you need it. You know, I find that sometimes I have my best ideas in the strangest places. The last time I had a really great idea, I was scuba diving on vacation!

Larry 說自己的問題可能是過於追求完美。perfection 意思是完美,後面加上-ist, perfectionist 就是追求、崇尚完美的人。Jason 說 Larry 對自己過於嚴格 too hard on yourself,應該對自己好一些,treat yourself better.

L: But I want the boss to notice my devotion! The economy is not great these days and I don’t want to get laid off!

W: Yeah, that’s true. Some bosses do think the guy who puts in overtime is the most loyal. But smart bosses know that quantity is not as important as quality.

J: Besides, this is your job, not your life. You’re too young to die of a heart attack!

L: Thanks guys! Your advice makes sense. I’m going to go home and have a nice long bath! See you on Monday!

Larry 說,自己加班也是為了讓老闆注意到自己的敬業精神,my devotion. devotion is spelled d-e-v-o-t-i-o-n, devotion. Wanda 卻說,聰明的老闆都知道,工作數量的重要性遠遠趕不上質量。Quantity is not as important as quality. 再說了,按 Jason 的話說,This is your job, not your life. 這畢竟是你的工作,不是你生活的全部。Larry 最後終於想通了,決定回家去,好好洗個熱水澡。

A: Larry說,自己是個perfectionist, 追求完美的人,所以經常too hard on himself, 對自己要求過高。Jason說,他看起來addicted to work and addicted to stress, 是個工作狂,應該treat himself better, 對自己好一些。

B: I think it helps if you develop a hobby. I enjoy running and am currently training for Marathon. Exercise helps me relax and having a goal to reach helps keep me going!

A: That’s true. 好啦,你正好說到了leisure time,今天我們的Learn a word就要來教教你這個詞兒的用法!

B: Let’s listen!

Learn A Word 1805 leisure time

今天我們要學的詞是leisure time. Leisure is spelled l-e-i-s-u-r-e, leisure, and time, t-i-m-e, time, leisure time. Leisure time 閑暇時間。皮尤研究中心的報告顯示,Although men and women spend roughly the same amount of time working each week, men tend to have more leisure time than woman. 雖然男性和女性每周工作時間大致相當,但是男性的閑暇時間比女性多。Without young children at home, men spend about 5 more hours of leisure time than women. 如果家裡沒有小孩子的話,男性比女性的閑暇時間多五個小時。When there are young children at home, the gap in leisure time drops down to three hours. 如果家裡有小孩子的話,男性比女性多享受的閑暇時間就減少到了三個小時。今天我們學習的詞是 leisure time, leisure time, leisure time…

A: Men have more leisure time than women even if they work the same amount of hours? That’s weird…

B: I know why. Take you for example, because you are a clean freak, you are constantly cleaning at home while I’m relaxing watching TV….

A: That’s called not being a caveman!

B: Haha, all right, at least you never rant and rave! That consumes a lot of energy too, from what I can tell from my sister…

A: Hahaha, I bet it’s because she’s around you! 你剛提到了一個俗語:rant and rave, let’s check it out!

Words and Idioms 860 Rant and Rave

美國習慣用語 第 860 講

昨天晚上我去參加一個社區居民大會,會上有位太太發言,反對在社區增設交通標誌,頗有一種控訴的感覺。我雖然主張大家各抒已見,可我覺得,任何事情都可以心平氣和地談。這位太太的表現讓我想起了一個可以跟大家分享的習慣用語。

M: Rant and rave. Rant is spelled r-a-n-t, and rave; r-a-v-e. Rant-and-rave.

Rant, r-a-n-t 和 rave, r-a-v-e, 都是指怒氣沖沖地大喊大叫。讓我無法理解的是,為什麼有人情緒那麼容易失去控制,比如上面說的那位太太,還有下面例子里的這個媽媽。讓我們一起聽聽她兒子是怎麼說的。

M: “So I flunked a quiz in history; I don’t know why mom had to get so angry. She could have been more understanding. But instead of being cool, she RANTED AND RAVED about how I wasn’t studying hard enough and would never go to college, and blah, blah, blah…”

這個人說: 我只不過是歷史小測驗不及格,真不明白媽媽幹嘛那麼生氣。她本來應該表示理解,冷靜一點兒,可她卻沒完沒了地罵我,說什麼我學習不夠努力,肯定上不了大學之類的話。

還真不好說是誰的錯。也許是媽媽說話,兒子不聽;也有可能是媽媽脾氣過於暴躁。我侄子以前就常說,上了大學,離開家,就不用再挨他媽媽的罵了,可如今,She still rants and raves, only now by texting. 她還是會通過發短訊責罵他。看來,下次我去練瑜珈得帶上姐姐,讓她學會放鬆,別動不動就上火。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “So I flunked a quiz in history; I don’t know why mom had to get so angry. She could have been more understanding. But instead of being cool, she RANTED AND RAVED about how I wasn’t studying hard enough and would never go to college, and blah, blah, blah…”

在下面這個例子里,一個員工抱怨自己的上司脾氣不好,讓我們一起聽聽情況是如何出現好轉的。

M: “I’m glad our last foreman was let go. Every time some little thing went wrong on the assembly line, he was RANTING AND RAVING. The new guy is the complete opposite. He explains problems calmly, never getting agitated. I find his approach helps the team work a lot more effectively.”

這個人說: 我們的上個工頭被解僱,我真是太高興了。每次組裝線出點兒什麼小問題,他都要沒完沒了地罵了這個罵那個。新來的這個工頭完全兩樣,他總是心平氣和地說明情況,從不着急上火。我發現他的這種方式使我們的工作效率提高了許多。

別人發火的時候,有時候越勸越糟。上星期六,鄰居家開派對,一直鬧到夜裡三點,我老公睡覺本來就輕,被吵醒了好幾回,更有甚者,其中一個客人的車竟然停在了我們家的私人車道上。星期天早上,My husband RANTED AND RAVED all morning. 我老公整個一上午都沒好氣。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

“I’m glad our last foreman was let go. Every time some little thing went wrong on the assembly line, he was RANTING AND RAVING. The new guy is the complete opposite. He explains problems calmly, never getting agitated. I find his approach helps the team work a lot more effectively.”

大家可能會問,既然 RANT 和 RAVE 是一個意思,為什麼還有把兩個詞連在一起用呢。這可能是因為這兩個字都是 R 打頭,壓頭韻吧。英語里很多繞口令都是壓頭韻的,比如說 Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers. 大家要不要試着連起來說上幾遍?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: I’ve thought about trying to rant and rave at you to get more work done, but then I realize I can’t change how a person naturally is.

B: Hmm, is that why you never come to work on time? Your just naturally late for everything?

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120課

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

A: And I’m Lin Yang.

B: Today we will tell you how to dress to impress! Get ready to learn all the different kinds of dress codes in the business world.

A: 成天興高采烈得到升職的機會比較小? 我們在下面的課程里為你介紹。

B: And in words and idioms, we will learn what “ride high” and “blessing in disguise” means!

A: All coming up on American English Mosaic!

B: Now let’s go into our first segment, Learn a word!

Learn A Word 1807 critical

今天我們要學的詞是critical. Critical is spelled c-r-i-t-i-c-a-l, critical. Critical 形容詞,重要的。Proactively managing your health is critical to staying healthy. 積極注意自己的身體對保持健康很重要。Experts say getting enough sleep plays a critical role in maintaining good health. 有關專家說,保證睡眠充足對身體健康有很重要的作用。

Location is a critical factor for the success of any business. 對於任何商業機構來說,地理位置是成功的一個重要因素。Job creation is critical to the growth of any economy. 創造就業對任何一個經濟體的成長來說都很重要。好的,今天我們學習的詞是 critical, critical, critical…

A: Enough sleep is critical in maintaining good health. 我就是,要是睡不好昏沉沉的,我一天什麼都干不好。

B: Yeah, I definitely agree with that. I once read a scientific study that said sleep deprivation will not only affect how you behave, but can also permanently damage your brain. That’s why sleep deprivation is used as a torture technique in some countries.

A: 哎呀太可怕了! Having a good night sleep can make your brain function at peak efficiency, thus everything will ride high!

B: See, that’s what I’m talking about. All you need is more sleep, Yang Lin.

A: What?

B: Haha, OK, you know I’m kidding! Well, you just mentioned an interesting idiom: ride high. Let’s check it out in today’s word’s idioms!

Words and Idioms 861 RIDE HIGH

美國習慣用語第 861 講。

真希望每個禮拜都象上星期一樣。先是推出新節目受領導表揚,接下來是一個接受採訪的嘉賓請我去給他學生做報告,居然還有一個以前的實習生請我吃飯,感謝我對他的關照。喔賽,簡直讓我不知道姓什麼了。這也讓我想起了一個習慣用語,

M: Ride high. Ride is spelled r-i-d-e, and high; h-i-g-h. Ride-high.

Ride 是騎、駕馭的意思; high 是高的意思。Ride high 連在一起,意思是「大獲成功」。我最近的生活就是這句話,I’ve been RIDING HIGH. 做什麼事兒都順。如果能一直這樣該多好!我敢說,美國總統奧巴馬一定了解我的感受,讓我們聽聽下面這段報道。

M: “After a U.S. President is inaugurated, he usually RIDES HIGH in the polls. Such is the case with Barack Obama, who enjoyed the support of a significant majority of the population. After a number of months, however, his standing began to slip. Some Americans became more critical of his performance in office.”

這個人說:美國總統宣誓就職後,民意調查的支持率向來很高,奧巴馬也是一樣,得到了大多數美國人的支持。然後,短短几個月後,他的民眾支持率就開始下滑了,一些美國人開始對他的業績感到不滿。

這就是我們常說的蜜月期結束,Honeymoon is over. 這也讓我想起了參加 British Got Talent 「英國達人」比賽而轟動一時的 Susan Boyle 蘇珊.波伊爾。一夜之間,世界各地的人都從互聯網上知道了蘇格蘭有個天才歌手,叫蘇珊.波伊爾。 She was RIDING HIGH. 可是沒過多久,媒體的狂轟濫炸就讓她承受不起了。看來,不管是誰,一夜成名都是很難適應的。讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “After a U.S. President is inaugurated, he usually RIDES HIGH in the polls. Such is the case with Barack Obama, who enjoyed the support of a significant majority of the population. After a number of months, however, his standing began to slip. Some Americans became more critical of his performance in office.”

你知道全球最大的咖啡連鎖店是哪一家嗎?沒錯,就是1971年在美國西雅圖成立的星巴克。讓我們聽聽下面的報道。

M: “Throughout the 1990s, Starbuck’s Coffee opened a new store every workday. It was RIDING HIGH. But lately, despite its more than 16,000 locations in 49 countries, success hasn’t come as easily. A struggling economy and increased competition have created challenges for the world’s largest coffeehouse.”

報道說:上個世紀九十年代,星巴克每天都有新店開張,獲得了巨大的成功。但是最近,儘快星巴克在全球49個國家開設了一萬六千多家分店,但是成功之路並不平坦。舉步維艱的經濟和不斷加劇的行業競爭都為這家全球最大的咖啡店帶來了挑戰。

是啊,現在象麥當勞這種快餐店都賣咖啡,物美價廉。但是在快餐店買咖啡,跟去星巴克里坐坐感覺還是不一樣。畢竟,星巴克的經營策略就是要為顧客提供一個在家庭和公司以外,能跟別人接觸的第三類場所。好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “Throughout the 1990s, Starbuck’s Coffee opened a new store every workday. It was RIDING HIGH. But lately, despite its more than 16,000 locations in 49 countries, success hasn’t come as easily. A struggling economy and increased competition have created challenges for the world’s largest coffeehouse.”

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: 說起蘇珊大媽,she was riding high for quite a while! But then she got fed up with the crazy amount of attention on her life. 看來一夜成名真不容易。

B: You can say that again. You know, sometimes I watch these talent shows as well. What fascinates me is not only how well they sing, but how ridiculously dressed up they get.

A: I guess stars needs to dress differently than normal people. I find that you can tell a person’s occupation by observing how he/she dresses.

B: That’s true. Especially in business world, you need to be a lot more careful about what you are wearing.

A: Yep, beauty is skin deep, but first impression do make a difference. Let’s learn about different dress codes in today’s Business Etiquette!

禮節美語 Dress Code I

公司高層開會,老闆 Frank 建議,規定着裝標準,不能太隨便。

Frank: Good morning everyone. Thanks for being on time.

Gary & Penny: Good morning, Frank.

F: We’ve got a whole bunch of topics to go over today, but let’s start with a simple one: our company’s dress code.

G: We have a dress code?

F: Well…if we didn’t have one before, I’m instituting one, starting now.

P: What exactly does this mean?

公司老闆 Frank 說,首先討論着裝要求,dress code。Gary 覺得奇怪,不知道公司什麼時候有了 dress code. Frank表示,以前沒有沒關係,I’m instituting one starting now. 就從現在開始定。

F: I’ve become concerned that we are getting a bit too casual. I was walking through the office the other day and some people were wearing shorts and T-shirts! I don’t think that is appropriate office wear.
P: It’s true. Our standards have been going down. It used to be that we wore casual clothes only on Fridays, but these days it seems we do it almost everyday.

Frank 原來是看到員工穿得太隨便,a bit too casual. T恤衫,短褲,什麼都有,不合適上班穿。Penny 承認,着裝標準是有些下降,原來只有星期五不用穿得太正式,也就是常說的 Casual Friday, 可如今大家每天都穿得很隨便。

G: But Frank, don’t you think maybe this isn’t such a big issue? I mean, why does it matter what we are wearing? I think productivity is more important!

F: Actually, I agree with you, Gary. Productivity is the most important thing. But I think what we wear is linked to productivity.

P: In what way are they linked?

F: Police officers wear uniforms, right? It’s a symbol to both them and the public that they are serious about what they do.

Gary覺得,穿着並不重要,重要的是工作效率,productivity. Frank 卻認為,穿着跟效率之間也有密切聯繫。比如警察穿制服,就是一個象徵,a symbol, 告訴自己,也告訴大眾,他們覺得自己的工作很重要。

G: You’re the boss, Frank, so of course it’s your call…but I have to say, I’m not so keen on this idea. I think neckties cut off blood circulation. I’m much more in favor of a relaxed workplace environment.

F: And for some companies a relaxed atmosphere might work. At Google they let you bring your dog to work! But we are a serious financial company with an image to uphold.

Frank 的工作態度論並沒有說服Gray. 他說,you’re the boss. It’s your call. 你是老闆,你說了算,但我還是主張有一個輕鬆的工作環境 I’m in favor of a relaxed workplace environment. Frank 看來已經拿定主意,說輕鬆的工作環境適合某些公司,但他們是一家嚴謹的金融公司,with an image to uphold. 要保持公司形象。新的 dress code 是什麼呢?我們下次繼續聽。

A: 公司領導Frank給大家開會,希望給公司員工制定 dress code,着裝標準,他認為what we wear is linked to productivity, 着裝與效率有直接的關係。員工Gary說,I’m in favor of a relaxed workplace environment, 主張有輕鬆的工作環境。

B: I agree with the boss. Sometimes what you wear is like a symbol of your work. It shows that you take your job seriously.

A: That’s true. I have an uncle who is a business man. He once told me that he needs to drive a Benz to business meetings, so first time customers will take him and his company more seriously. I think that’s the symbol of power.

B: That’s why luxurious brands are so expensive! They are just selling the social status! Well, let’s keep listening to Frank and see what dress code they are going to have!

禮節美語 Dress Code II

公司高層開會,老闆 Frank 建議,嚴格員工的着裝標準,穿得不能太隨便。公司主管 Penny 說,

P: I’m inclined to agree with Frank. You know that old saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, almost everyone DOES judge by what they see on the outside. I think we do need to present a more professional image.

F: Some of the ladies may also have to tone down their attire as well. Clothes that are too revealing are not appropriate either.

G: What exactly is acceptable and what is not?

俗話說,Don’t judge a book by its cover. 人不可貌相,可實際上,Penny 表示,幾乎所有人都難免以貌取人 judge by what they see on the outside, 因此公司需要樹立專業形象。Frank又說,女員工穿着也要 tone down 收斂,不能過於暴露,revealing, r-e-v-e-a-l-i-n-g, revealing 是暴露的意思。 那到底什麼樣兒才符合要求呢?

F: Well, for the men it’s pretty simple. They should wear a button-down shirt with a collar and preferably a tie as well. Jeans are not acceptable.

P: For the women I’d say professional looking skirts or dresses that go down to at least the knee are acceptable. And blouses or shirts should not show too much skin.

F: And of course, no sandals or flip-flops. Shorts are NEVER acceptable.

P: Do you think members of the board should try to dress especially well?

F: Yes I do. We are representatives of the company and we need to be a good example. I’d say the men should try to wear a full business suit when possible.

男人簡單,無非是襯衫領帶,不穿牛仔。女人則要穿職業女裝,裙子過膝,上衣不能太露,一個字,professional looking 看上去要職業化。此外,涼鞋、拖鞋和短褲是萬萬不能穿的。Frank 還說,理事會成員代表公司,要以身作則,穿得更正式。

G: Can we still have “Casual Fridays?”

F: (chuckle) Sure, Gary…let’s keep that tradition. But “casual” can’t be too casual. I’d say jeans are OK on Fridays, but no T-shirts. Polo shirts or short-sleeved sports shirts are OK.

G: So I guess we are going to need to send out a memo with these new guidelines. Some people aren’t going to be very happy about this.

F: Well, we in management can lead by example.

P: Actually, I kind of enjoy getting dressed up! It’s fun!

G: And I guess I’ll get used to the new rules. I do look pretty good in a suit.

F&P: (Chuckle)

Frank 同意保留星期五隨意着裝的傳統,但不能太過份,牛仔褲可以穿,帶領子的馬球衫 Polo shirts 和短袖襯衣可以穿,但是沒領子的T恤衫還是不行。Gary 最後無可奈何地說,I guess I’ll get used to the new rules. 我想我會慢慢習慣新規矩的。

A: Frank給大家制定了着裝標準,男士要穿a button-down shirt with a collar,有領的襯衫,女士呢要穿professional looking skirts or dresses,職業裝。他們將保留casual Friday, 便裝星期五。這意味星期五可以穿Jeans和Polo shirt, 牛仔褲和馬球衫。Frank說,管理層要穿a full business suit, 全套西裝,because they are representatives of the company.他們代表公司的形象。

B: I guess if a company is in service industry, it needs to have a dress code. Clients are going to judge how professional you are by what they see on the outside.

A: That’s true. 好啦,着裝這個話題呢就到這。咱們接着今天的課程吧!

B: Let’s listen to another learn a word!

Learn A Word 1808 overly

今天我們要學的詞是overly. Overly is spelled o-v-e-r-l-y, overly. Overly 過多的,過份的。Critics say the new rules are overly restrictive. 批評人士指責說,新規定過於嚴格了。一項最新研究顯示,Overly cheerful women are less likely to be promoted. 每天老是興高采烈的女性,跟其他人比,得到升職的機會比較少。家長關愛孩子沒有錯,但是孩子長大了一定要學會放手。Helicopter parents who are overly involved in their adult children’s lives can do more harm than good. 過份介入成人子女正常生活的「直升機」父母,給孩子帶來的傷害可能要超過給孩子帶來的好處。 好的,今天我們學習的詞是 overly, overly, overly…

B: You hear that Yang Lin? Overly cheerful women are less likely to be promoted.

A: Overly cheerful? It’s called having a sunshiny personality! You know, being positive can make your life a lot easier. You should try it Mike.

B: Ha! I would rather get promoted! But I do find that if you have a positive attitude, a lot of bad things can actually turn out to be not so terrible. You just need to keep calm and handle things in a logical way.

A: I call those blessings in disguise!

B: And let’s check this idiom out!

Words and Idioms 862 BLESSING IN DISGUISE

美國習慣用語第 862 講。工夫不負有心人。我們終於買到房子了。這是我們看着滿意,出價想買的第三棟房子,也是我們最滿意的一棟。現在看來,好在前兩棟都被別人出更高的價錢搶走了,塞翁失馬,焉知非福,用英語說,就叫

M: Blessing in disguise. Blessing is spelled b-l-e-s-s-i-n-g. Blessing. Disguise is spelled d-i-s-g-u-i-s-e. Disguise. Blessing in disguise.

Blessing 在這裡是好事,喜事的意思。Disguise 是偽裝、掩飾。a blessing in disguise 意思就是原來以為是倒霉事,可結果證明反倒是件好事。塞翁失馬,焉知非福。就好象我們家買房子,前兩棟房子都沒買到手,本來覺得挺沮喪,後來買到第三棟房子,最符合我們的要求,這才意識到,前兩棟房子沒買到原來是 a blessing in disguise. 在下面的例子里,一名飛機乘客遇到的倒霉事最後居然救了他的命。讓我們一起來聽聽。

M: “I was so annoyed when I missed my flight. I knew it meant waiting an extra five hours for the next plane to Hawaii. But when I heard that my original flight had been hijacked. Oh my god, what a BLESSING IN DISGUISE it was to miss it!”

這個人說:我誤了飛機,心裏本來特別煩,因為這就意味着我要在機場多等五個小時,才有下一班飛機去夏威夷。後來聽說,我原來要坐的那架客機被劫持了。天啊,錯過那架航班原來是塞翁失馬,焉知非福。

這個人運氣可真是夠好的。Blessings in disguise 這個習慣用語最早出現於十八世紀,當時,虔誠的清教徒認為,所有好事都是上帝的賜福 blessing,而那些表面上看起來很倒霉的事情,其實都是 blessings in disguise 是好事經過了偽裝,不讓你一下子識別出來。不過,今天大家說 blessings in disguise 已經不再帶有宗教意義了。好的,讓我們再來聽聽上面那段話。

M: “I was so annoyed when I missed my flight. I knew it meant waiting an extra five hours for the next plane to Hawaii. But when I heard that my original flight had been hijacked. Oh my god, what a BLESSING IN DISGUISE it was to miss it!”

如今經濟不景氣,很多人都面臨失業。對於下面這個例子里的年輕人來說,失業反而變成了他生活的動力。讓我們一起來聽聽。

M: “Getting fired turned out to be a BLESSING IN DISGUISE because it made me think about my future for the first time. Now I have clear goals for the first time and I intend to follow them.”

報道說:被公司解僱讓我第一次開始為自己的前途認真思考。這可是塞翁失馬,焉知非福。如今,我第一次為自己找到了明確的目標,決定就朝着這個方向發展。

我的一個搞室內裝修的朋友不久前被公司解僱,只好自己開公司單幹,結果反倒做得越來越有起色。看來,有時候人確實不能安於現狀,失去朝九晚五,給人打工的飯碗,未必是件壞事,興許就是 A BLESSING IN DISGUISE. 好的,我們再來聽一下上面那個例句。

M: “Getting fired turned out to be a BLESSING IN DISGUISE because it made me think about my future for the first time. Now I have clear goals for the first time and I intend to follow them.”

我侄子去年踢球把小腿踢斷了,不能再去參加訓練和比賽,結果反倒專心學習,SAT 考了很高的分數,被哈佛大學錄取。我姐姐私下裡跟我說,這可真是 A BLESSING IN DISGUISE.

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: Well, I can honestly say working with you has been a blessing in Disguise.

B: huh? Why is that?

A: Since your so lazy I’ve been having to do both of our work, which has taught me how to be more efficient with my time and showed me that I can accomplish more than I ever believed possible!

B: Ow Yanglin, just ow……..

A: You are welcome! 好了同學們,這次節目時間就到這裡了。

B: Tune in next time for American English Mosaic!

A: See you next time!


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