A: 欢迎大家来到这期的美语训练班! 我是杨琳!

B: 我是Mike! 杨琳,咱们今天学些什么呢?

A: 今天,咱们要来聊聊美国人日常谈话中的禁忌,去看看美国大选怎么投票,还要告诉你怎么说"不折不扣"!   

B: 谈话禁忌? Are you talking about sensitivity training?

A: 对呀! 人家都说美国人非常直接了当,但是其实也有很多约定俗成大家不会触及的话题呢!

B: Yeah that's true. Just like the other day, one of my Chinese friend told me that he thought I'm gaining weight! I didn't know how to respond...but Americans would never say such things in front of your face!

A: 哈哈哈!!!Hmmm.....你应该跟他说,我这个叫肌肉! (笑) 不过这个咱们等会再说,现在,咱们还是赶快来进入第一个单元,

Learn a word!

B: Speaking of sunburns, remember that I said I didn't need sun scream at our pool party? Turns out I'm totally wrong....

A:  哈哈,你怎么晒得都脱皮了?不过啊,我觉得你们外国人晒完只是变成粉色,不像我,你看,晒完之后就变成了一只小红猪.....

B: Hahahaha, LOL yeah... actually I think you are right....

A: Hey!!! But seriously, I'm never going to the swimming pool at 2pm again! Every inch of me got sunburn!

B: You know, a lot of people here would love to get tanned!

A: 我可不喜欢,我晒完黑里透红呀....

B: Well, it's considered very healthy in American culture! Actually, you just mentioned a very good term: every inch. Let's listen to today's words and idioms to see what it means!

A : 我也来造个句! Hmmm...说什么好呢? I'm every inch a great host!  嘿嘿嘿,do you agree, Mike?

B: You? Well... you can't judge your ability by yourself! How about we start a vote and let the audience decide who's better, ha?

A: 让听众投票? 好呀,我才不怕你呢!  肯定我赢!

B: Well... we need to see about that, let the reality speak.

A: 就是呀! 到时你别太郁闷就行! 话说,现在好像人人都在谈投票!

B: Yeah, that's because we are going to have the presidential election in November, so who to vote for is currently our hot issue.

A: 对了,美国大选将近,大家都在讨论要投谁的票! 正好,今天的美语三级跳里,刚刚成为美国公民的Amir就在跟他的妻子Sharon谈论要投票给谁,咱们一起来听听吧!

Citizenship: Advanced


Professor: Amir just became an American citizen, and this year he is voting in his first American election. Today he is having breakfast with his wife, Sharon, and they're talking about the upcoming election.

Amir: So honey, who do you think you're going to vote for in the election? I really like both the Republican and Democratic candidates, but I can't decide who to vote for.

Sharon: You like both of them? I think they're both terrible. For me the question isn't who I like the most, but who I dislike the least!

Amir: Well, I guess that's an interesting way to look at it. To be honest I don't care if Virginia is a blue state or a red state. I just want a moderate candidate who will do a good job.

Sharon: Yeah, you're right. The only thing I care about is that whoever wins isn't too partisan.

看来Amir和 Sharon都是 moderate voters--温和的选民。不过我不明白,Amir说,他不在乎Virginia州变成blue state or red state,这是什么意思呢?

Professor: In America, the color red represents the Republican Party, and the color blue represents the Democratic Party.

 哦,红色代表共和党,蓝色代表民主党。所以,Amir 意思是,他不在乎州长是由共和党人来做,还是民主党人来做,最好是个温和派、干实事儿的人。

Professor: Right! And Sharon says she doesn't want a candidate who is too partisan. Someone is partisan if he refuses to compromise with the other side.

 哦, partisan就是“党派性的”

Amir: Well what do you think the results are going to be? Virginia used to always be a landslide for the Republicans, but these days it's a tossup.

Sharon: You're right, it's pretty hard to say. But since the incumbent is a Republican, I'd have to give him a slight advantage.

Amir: Yeah, incumbents always have an easier time with fundraising, and everybody already knows them because they've been in office for a while.

Sharon: Yeah, but judging by what a bad job he's done, I don't think that name recognition is going to help him!

看来这次选举竞争很激烈。现在选举结果是tossup - 就像扔硬币一样,胜选机会是一半一半,哪个候选人都不会有landslide--压倒性胜利。

Professor: Exactly. But one candidate has an advantage, right?

对,那就是the incumbent--现在在任的州长。Amir说,他在 fundraising--筹款,和name recognition--知名度方面,都有优势。

Professor: That's true, but name recognition isn't always a good thing, right?


Amir: A lot of analysts are saying that the election is going to be decided by turnout. The more people vote, the more it's likely to benefit the Democrat.

Sharon: (Sigh) .... Amir, can we stop talking about politics? I just want to eat my breakfast in peace.

Amir: But Sharon, this is my first time voting in an American election. Can't you understand how excited I am?

Sharon: Look, if you're really into the election, why don't you listen to the pundits talk about it?

Amir: Come on Sharon, how can you think about eating breakfast at a time like this? This election is going to decide the future of our country!

Sharon: Amir, if you don't stop talking about politics, it's going to decide the future of your marriage!

 professor, 什么叫“turnout”?

Professor: Turnout is the number of people who actually go out and vote on election day. In the US, turnout is usually about 50 percent across the country.

哦, turnout就是投票人数。 那么,什么叫pundits呢?

Professor: Pundits are professional commentators. They are famous people who spend all their time talking about their views on current events.

 哦,就是那些专门在电视广播里对时事发表看法的评论家! 这么说,我同意Sharon的观点。现在,只要一开电视,到处都是pundits,已经够烦人了,谁还想自己家里的老公也每天大谈政治呢?

A: 原来,Amir和Sharon都是moderate voters, 温和选民,他们更注重的不是partisan党派,而是谁的政策更合理。两人觉得,这次的选举会是个tossup, 两党机会旗鼓相当,哪个候选人都不会有landslide, 压倒性胜利。

B: Yeah, I guess that's the situation today. The new poll shows that Obama and Romney's support rate are incredibly close.  

A: So who are you going to vote for?

B: Hmm....杨琳, let me give you some sensitivity training. In America, we don't ask people this kind of question. Anything involving the politics are extremely sensitive.

A: 哦对了,政治问题不能随便问! 不过……咱俩都这么铁了,你就告诉我嘛!

B: Haha, I'm a moderate voter, I will vote for whoever with the best policy for my country. But...remember don't ask other people such questions, you might offend them without even realizing it!
A: 嗯,谢谢你的忠告! 在今天的business etiquette里,Jason也犯了跟我类似的错误,咱们赶快去听听吧!

礼节美语 - BE-255 Sensitivity Training - Money I


Jason: That was a lovely party, wasn't it?

Harold: Yes, it was. The food was pretty good, too.

J: I was a little puzzled about something, though.

H: What was that?

J: At one point in our conversation, Mr. Jones gave me a really funny look...it was almost like I'd broken some sort of a rule.

H: Oh, yes...well you did ask him how much he paid for his apartment.

J: And? What's wrong with asking someone how much they paid for a piece of property? Back in China everybody talks about buying and selling apartments.

Jason是从中国来的,在晚会上问东道主Mr. Jones公寓是多少钱买的。Mr. Jones gave me a really funny look. Mr. Jones 看他的表情有些奇怪,好象他这样问犯了什么大忌。a funny look意思是说不清楚的奇怪表情。Jason 说,在中国,大家见面就是谈房子,因此他不懂,What's wrong with asking someone how much they paid for a piece of property? 问别人买房子花了多少钱有什么不妥呢?Harold解释说:
H: Yeah, I know....but in many Western societies, talking about money in public is a faux pas.

J: What's a faux pas?

H: It's a French term that means a social blunder. Questions like that are considered a little bit impolite.

J: Really? I had no idea. Back in China, it's not generally a problem to ask about how much something costs.

H: I know you meant no offense. When I was assigned to Guangzhou for 6 months, people frequently ask me how much my monthly salary is.

Harold解释说,在很多西方国家,公开谈钱是 faux pas, faux pas is spelled f-a-u-x, faux and pas p-a-s, pas, faux pas 也就是 social blunder 在社交上忌讳做的事,属于失礼的行为。Jason听了觉得很出乎意料,说自己完全不知情,I had no idea. 因为在中国,询问财物的价钱完全不是问题。Harold说,I know you meant no offense. 我知道你不是故意冒犯 Mr. Jones. Harold说自己派驻广州半年时,就经常有人问他每个月的工资是多少。Jason说:

J: That's funny, because Western society seems so open. People talk about all kinds of private things that we wouldn't bring up in China. Buy money is a no-no, huh?

H: If your Western friend buys something for a really good price, he or she might mention it to you by saying something like, "Take a look at this camera that I got on sale for only $99 dollars." But unless the person is a close friend, we almost never ask how much something costs.

J: So, do you avoid talking about money so that people with less money don't feel bad?

Jason觉得很有意思的是,西方社会如此开放,对很多中国不敢涉猎的私人问题都可以拿到台面上来说,但是 money is a no-no. 钱的问题却是个禁区。no-no 两个no连在一起,中间加个连接线,是一种非正式用法,名词,意思是不可以,不被接受的事情。西方人回避谈钱,是因为怕刺激没钱的人吗?我们下次继续听。

A: Jason在聚会的时候问东道主房子是多少钱买的,主人给了他a funny look, 一个奇怪的表情。原来,在西方文化中,公开谈钱是faux pas, 社交忌讳,除了特别熟识的好友,money is a no-no,钱的问题是个禁区。

B: Yeah, money is something we always avoid talking about.

A: 这跟中国真不一样! 我一回去,就常常有人问我挣多少钱呢! 真让人没法回答! 为什么西方人不愿意谈钱呢?

 B: I think it's in part because personal finances are considered to be a private matter in American culture.

A: 听起来真不错萨! What are the other topics that you would avoid in your conversation?

B: Let me see....Politics, income, age, family issues, religion....there are a lot!

A: 真麻烦呀……咱们还是接着去听听Harold分析为什么外国人不谈钱吧!

礼节美语 - BE-256 Sensitivity Training - Money II


Harold: Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head. Also, I think many Westerners believe that if you're rich, you should be quiet about it. In fact, I believe many wealthy people in the West feel a little bit guilty.

J: Why would they feel guilty?

H: Because so many other people work very hard, but never become successful. When the wealthy turn on TV, they see so much pain and suffering.... but their own lives are so comfortable.

J: Ah....I can understand that. If I were a wealthy person I think I'd feel the same way.

Harold说Jason, you hit the nail on the head. 你说得一点没错。to hit the nail on the head 意思是一下子就说到了点子上,还有两种类似的说法,一种是 you are right on. 另外一种说法是 you are right on the money. 都是同样的意思。Harold说,因为西方很多人不喜欢炫富,有些人还会因为自己太有钱,而其他人生活贫苦而感到内疚。Harold 说:
H: It's interesting that some of the most successful entrepreneurs such as John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates ended up setting up charity organizations and giving away a large portion of the money they made.

J: So you're saying that Bill Gates, for example, doesn't necessarily think he deserves all the money he made....he knows a part of it was luck, right?

H: Yeah. Bill Gates is a computer genius, but he was there at the right place and the right time.

J: That's a good attitude. It's good to remember that hard work and good luck often go hand-in-hand. Okay, so one more time....what's the etiquette when it comes to talking about money with Westerners?

Harold说,这也就是为什么比尔.盖茨和洛克菲勒这种成功的企业家最后都会 end up setting up charity organizations 成立慈善机构,把钱捐出去。虽说比尔.盖茨是电脑天才,但他的成功在很大程度上也是靠机遇,He was there at the right place and the right time. 他在正确的时间出现在了正确的地方,类似中文里说的天时地利人和。Jason很欣赏这种心态,因为 hard work and good luck often go hand-in-hand. 勤奋和运气二者往往必须兼备才能成功。

H: If the person doesn't volunteer information about how much something costs...don't bring it up. Don't ask about personal savings or salary.

J: Is it OK to comment on or praise someone's possessions? If you have a really nice car, can I say, "Wow...nice car?"

H: Yes, that's fine. It only gets complicated when you start talking about specific prices.

J: I see your point. Topics like that could lead to embarrassment.

H: Exactly. Maybe Mr. Jones' apartment was really expensive, but his company paid for it...or maybe he overpaid and got a bad deal....in either case, it's easier for everyone if we don't discuss it in public.


A:Hard work and good luck often go hand-in-hand. 听见没有,要成功,勤奋和运气缺一不可呀!

B: Yeah, you are already lucky enough to host the show with me, the only thing you need now is working hard!

A: 我了个去 ! 你真是个臭美典型! (笑)  好啦同学们,这次节目时间就到这里。
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