课文(Texts) Unit One 第一单元 Cultural Differences 文化差异 In 1993, I had my first opportunity to visit Russia as a representative of the University of California. I was there to provide some technical assistance in the area of agricultural labor management. “Russians are a very polite people,” I had been tutored before my arrival. One of my interpreters, once I was there, explained that a gentleman should pour the lemonade (a type of juice) for the ladies and show other courtesies to them. 1993 年,我作为加利福尼亚大学的代表有机会第一次访问俄罗斯。我此行的目的是为 俄罗斯农业劳动力管理提供技术协助。 “俄罗斯人很讲礼貌” 在去俄罗斯之前就有人跟我说 , 过。到了俄罗斯,一个翻译告诉我,在俄罗斯,男人应该给女士们倒柠檬水(一种果汁) , 并且还要在其他方面表现出对女士的谦恭。 Toward the end of my three-week trip I was invited by my young Russian host and friend, Dmitri Ivanovich and his lovely wife Yielena out to dinner. At the end of a wonderful meal Yielena asked if I would like a banana. I politely declined and thanked her, and explained I was most satisfied with the meal. But the whole while my mind was racing: “What do I do? Do I offer her a banana even though they are as close to her as they are to me? What is the polite thing to do?” 当为期三周的访问快要结束时,我的俄罗斯主人(也是我的朋友)达米奇依瓦诺维奇 和他可爱的妻子叶琳娜邀请我到餐馆吃晚餐。那晚的饭菜非常不错。在用餐快结束的时候, 叶琳娜问我是否要个香蕉,我礼貌地拒绝了,并且感谢她的好意,我告诉她,我很喜欢这顿 晚餐。与此同时,我在纳闷: “我要做什么呢?要不要为她也拿个香蕉,尽管她和我离香蕉 一样近?该怎么做才算礼貌呢?” “Would you like a banana?” I asked Yielena. “您要不要来个香蕉?”我问叶琳娜。 “Yes,” she smiled, but made no attempt to take any of the three bananas in the fruit basket. “What now?” I thought. “好啊” ,她笑着回答。水果篮里有三个香蕉,可她没有自己动手去拿。 “怎么办?”我 在想。 “Which one would you like?” I fumbled. “你要哪一个?”我试着问她。 “That one,” she pointed at one of the bananas. So all the while thinking about Russian politeness I picked the banana Yielena had pointed at and peeled it half way and handed it to her. Smiles in Yielena and Dmitei’s faces told me I had done the right thing. After this experience I spent much time letting the world know that in Russia, the polite thing is to peel the bananas for the ladies. Sometime during my third trip I was politely disabused of my notion. “那个, 她指着其中一个, ” 于是我按俄罗斯人的礼貌做法, 拿起叶琳娜指的那个香蕉,
剥开皮递给她。叶琳娜和达米奇脸上的笑容告诉我,我应该是做对了。有了这次经历,我不 遗余力地告诉我周围的人,在俄罗斯,男士为女士们剥香蕉是一种礼貌的做法。可是在我第 三次访问俄罗斯时,有人礼貌地纠正了我这样的观念。 “Oh no, Grigorii Davidovich,” a Russian graciously corrected me. “In Russia, when a man peels a banana for a lady it means he has a romantic interest in her.” How embarrassed I felt. And here I had been proudly telling everyone about this tidbit of cultural understanding. “噢,不,格里高利达威多维奇, ”一个俄罗斯人和蔼地纠正我。 “在俄罗斯,如果一 个男人主动给一个女士剥香蕉,那表明他对她感兴趣,想追求人家。 ”听他这么一说,我尴 尬至极??在此之前, 我已经自以为是地在那么多人面前广为宣传这个有关文化理解的珍闻 趣事。 Certain lessons have to be learned the hard way. Some well meaning articles and presentations on cultural differences have a potential to do more harm than good and may not be as amusing. They present, like my bananas, too many generalizations or quite a distorted view. 有些教训是在尝了苦头后才得到的。 一些本意良好的关于文化差异的文章和相关介绍可 能惹的麻烦比带来的好处还多得多,而且一点儿也不好笑。它们的陈述,正如我遇到的“香 蕉事件”一样,过于普通化,或者它们歪曲了事情本身。 Some often-heard generalizations about the Hispanic culture include: Hispanics need less personal space, make less eye contact, touch each other more in normal conversation, and are less likely to participate in a meeting. Generalizations are often dangerous, and especially when accompanied by recommendations such as: move closer when talking to Hispanics, make more physical contact, don’t expect participation, and so on. 人们经常听说的有关西班牙文化的概括往往是这样的: 西班牙人不需要太多的个人空间; 较少进行目光交流;在正式的交谈中常常接触对方身体;不太愿意参加会议。这样的概括常 常是很危险的, 尤其是当进行这样的概括之后还给出以下的建议: 与西班牙人交谈时离他们 近一些,多做身体接触,别指望他们出席会议,等等。 Differences between people within any given nation or culture are much greater than differences between groups. Education, social standing, religion, personality, belief structure, past experience, affection shown in the home, and a myriad of other factors will affect human behavior and culture. 任何国家或文化之间的差异都比群体间的差异要大得多。所受教育、社会地位、宗教信 仰、人的个性、信仰结构、曾有的经历、家庭情感以及其他各种各样的因素都会影响人的行 为和文化。 Sure there are differences in approach as to what is considered polite and appropriate behavior both on and off the job. In some cultures “yes” means, “I hear you” more than “I agree.” Length of pleasantries and greetings before getting down to business, level of tolerance for being around someone speaking a foreign (not understand) language, politeness measured in terms of gallantry or etiquette (e.g., standing up for a woman who approaches a table, yielding a seat on the bus to an older person, etc.) and manner of expected dress are all examples of possible cultural differences and traditions. 对于在职场内外,什么是礼貌的、恰当的行为,人们的看法并不相同。在某些文化中,
人们回答“是的” ,意思是“我听到你说的话了” ,而不是“我同意” 。在做正事前开玩笑、 寒暄时间的长短; 与某个操一口让人听不懂的外语的人呆在一起时对他的忍耐程度; 以人的 勇敢和礼节来衡量的礼貌(例如,看到有妇女要入席时应起身,在公共汽车上给老人让座, 等等) ,以及不同场合应穿着不同样式的服装。这些都表现了文化间存在的差异和它们的传 统。 In Mexico it is customary for the arriving person to greet the others. For instance, someone who walks into a group of people eating would say provecho (enjoy your meal). In Chile, women often greet both other women and men with a kiss on the cheek. In Russia women often walk arm in arm with their female friends. Paying attention to customs and cultural differences can give someone outside that culture a better chance of assimilation or acceptance. Ignoring these can get an unsuspecting person into trouble. 在墨西哥,来访的人应该主动问候在场的其他人,这是当地的风俗。打个比方,如果有 人来到一群正在用餐的人当中,他会对大家说“provecho” ,意思是“祝你们用餐愉快” 。在 智利,女人在与其他女人或男人见面寒暄时会亲吻对方的脸颊。而在俄罗斯,女人们在和自 己的女性朋友一起走路时往往是手挽着手。 留意当地的风俗习惯和文化间的差异有助于身处 该文化之外的人更好地融入当地的文化从而被人们接受。 毫无疑问, 忽视这些的人会遇上很 多麻烦。 There are cultural and ideological differences and it is good to have an understanding about a culture’s customs and ways. Aaron Pun, a Canadian ODC net correspondent, wrote:”In studying cross-cultural differences, we are not looking at individuals but a comparison of one ethnic group against others. Hence, we are comparing two bell curves and generalizations cannot be avoided.” Another correspondent explained the human need to categorize. True, but the danger comes when we act on some of these generalizations, especially when they are based on faulty observation. Acting on generalizations about such matters are eye contact, personal space, touch, and interest in participation can have serious negative consequences. 这里提到的差异包括文化的差异和意识形态的差异, 了解文化中的风俗习惯和行为方式 是有必要的。加拿大 ODC 网的记者亚伦潘曾这样写道: “在研究跨文化的差异时,我们不 是在盯着一个个的个体, 而是在对不同的种族进行对比。 由此, 我们对比的是两条钟形曲线, 然后将对比的结果进行概括。 另一位记者解释说, ” 有必要对人进行分类。 是的, 是有必要。 但当我们进行某些概括, 尤其这些概括不是基于充分的观察而得出的时候, 我们就有惹麻烦 的危险。 在对诸如目光交流、个人空间、身体接触以及参与事物的兴趣等方面进行概括的时候, 就有可能带来严重的负面后果。 New Words / n. 代表 / v. 当……导师;辅导 / n. 口译人员 / n. 礼貌,好意,恩惠 / v. 摸索 / v. 剥皮;削皮 / v. 纠正(错误想法)
representative tutor / interpreter / courtesy / fumble / peel / disabuse /
/
notion / / n. 观念,想法,主张 graciously / / adv. 可亲地 romantic / / adj. 罗曼蒂克的;谈情说爱的 embarrass / / v. 使窘迫,使尴尬 tidbit / / n. 趣闻 presentation / / n. 讲座,演讲 potential / / n. 潜力,潜能 generalization / / n. 概括,推论 distort / / v. 歪曲,曲解 Hispanic / / adj. 西班牙的 recommendation / / n. 建议,劝告 personality / / n. 人格,个性 affection / / n. 喜爱,感情 myriad / / n. 许多 pleasantry / / n. 幽默,开玩笑 tolerance / / n. 宽容,容忍 gallantry / / n. 对妇女献殷勤,彬彬有礼 etiquette / / n. 礼节,礼仪 yield / / v. 让出,放弃 customary / / adj. 习惯上的,惯常的,合乎习俗的 assimilation / / n. 同化 acceptance / / n. 接受,接纳,认同 unsuspecting / / adj. 无疑心的,无戒心的 ideological / / adj. 思想上的,意识形态的 ethnic / / adj. 种族的 hence / / adv. 因此,所以 correspondent / / n. 通信员,记者 curve / / n. 曲线,弯曲,曲球 categorize / / v. 分类 faulty / / adj. 有错误的,有缺点的 Phrases and Expressions be satisfied with 以……满足(使……满足) 对……满意 , attempt to do sth 试图/企图做某事(尤指较难的事) ;试图做某事 disabuse sb of sth 纠正(某人)的(错误想法) participate in 参加 a myriad of 许多 in terms of 用……方式;在……方面 act on 遵照……行动;奉行 Exercises Ⅰ. Reading Comprehension Choose the best answer to each question based on the information you obtain from the passage.
  1. What did the author learn about Russians before he visited Russia? A A. They are very polite. B. They are frank and romantic.
C. Their behavior is usually very different. D. They are very hospitable.
  2. How did the author feel about his peeling a banana for a woman in Russia during his first visit to Russia? A A. He felt he did the right thing in line with Russian culture. B. He felt embarrassed for having broken a Russian custom. C. He felt he was making a mistake. D. He felt excited about his romantic experience.
  3. How did the author realize that he had made a cultural blunder(错误)? C A. He studied Russian etiquette after his first visit to Russia. B. He got a hint from the lady he offered the banana to. C. He was politely corrected by a Russian during his third visit. D. He consulted some books and realized his mistake.
  4. What does the author mean by the study of cross-cultural differences? B A. Studying the differences between individuals within one ethnic group. B. Making a comparison between one ethnic group and another in terms of culture. C. Making cultural generalizations about one culture based on the standards of the other. D. Comparing and categorizing different cultures.
  5. What can we infer about the author from the passage? A A. He was a male tourist. B. He could speak Russian very well. C. He often traveled around the world. D. He was an expert in world cultures. Ⅱ. Vocabulary Directions: Fill in the blanks with the words given below, change the form where necessary. tutor embarrass potential appropriate affection disabuse presentation hence get down to romantic acts on in terms of yield recommendation base… on
  1. I was really embarrassed when I knocked over the cup of tea on my teacher’s desk.
  2. Criminals are very diverse in terms of gender, race and age. Some are indeed white men in their 40s,
 

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