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21世纪大学英语读写教程第二册第三单元Unit 3

所属教程:21世纪大学英语读写教程第二册

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UNIT 3

Text A

Pre-reading Activities
First Listening
1. As you listen to the tape the first time, fill in the missing parts in the blanks.
A) Jack is interested in a job as an ________ manager located in _______.
B) His qualifications include _______ years of experience knowing how to use ________.
C) He believes that people are _______ everywhere.

Second Listening
2. What is the disagreement about? Whose opinion do you agree more with? Why?

The Tale of a Cultural Translator

Joint ventures involving Western and Japanese companies often run into conflicts — a multitude of little things that escalate into big emotional battles in which all the parties keep exclaiming: "What's wrong with them!? Can they understand that ...?!" But because the conflicts are mainly due to cultural differences, neither side can understand—unless they have a "cultural translator".
The first cultural translator I ever met was an installation engineer, George by name, who worked for an American company where I was the director of international operations. The company had just started a joint venture with a Japanese firm, and the American management needed someone to train the Japanese employees in its unique technology. George's solid understanding of the equipment, its installation and use made him the best-qualified employee for the job, so everyone was happy when George accepted a two-year contract for temporary transfer to Japan.
From the start, George was well accepted by all the Japanese employees. Japanese managers often distrust anyone sent to represent US owners, but George was so naturally nonassertive that no one could see him as a threat to their careers. So they felt comfortable asking his advice on a wide range of matters, including the odd behavior of their partners across the ocean. Engineers throughout the company appreciated George's expertise and his friendly and capable help, and they got into the habit of turning to him whenever they had a problem — any problem. And the secretaries in the office were eager to help this nice bachelor learn Japanese.
Sooner than anyone expected, the company became a profitable, thriving and growing venture. George's first two-year contract came to an end. By then, he could speak good Japanese, and had picked up Japanese habits. He drank green tea at all hours, ate rice at every meal and had even learned to sit properly on Japanese tatami mats. So when George was offered a second two-year Japanese contract, he accepted at once. Another contract followed, and George's love affair with Japanese culture continued.
But as George's sixth year in the country was coming to an end, an unexpected difficulty became apparent: The Japanese engineers had surpassed George in their knowledge of the rapidly - changing technology. He had nothing left to teach them.
Was this the end for poor George? Was there nothing more he could offer to the now-mature joint venture he had served so loyally? Would he have to leave the country he had come to love? No! Faced with the threat of an unwilling departure from Japan, George reinvented himself as a "cultural translator".
The idea came to George one day when the Japanese joint-venture president was — again — offended by a message from the American management. As usual in such situations, he stormed into George's office and threw the message in front of him in a fury. And George, as usual, read the message and explained in his calm manner what the Americans had really meant by it, not what it sounded like in the context of Japanese culture.
Fortunately for everyone, both the Japanese and American sides of the joint venture had heard enough horror stories about cultural conflicts to recognize the value of George's skills, so when he proposed this new position for himself, the idea was quickly approved. The wisdom of this decision was proved again and again over the years.
At times something far more important than good English was needed. One such case was when the Japanese accountant had to explain the $46,534 spent on 874 December-holiday presents. Or there was the time when the Japanese personnel manager had to justify keeping a chemist on the payroll even though the company no longer needed his expertise. In cases like these, everyone turned to George.
Somehow or other, he made their messages sound at least halfway sensible to Americans. And when there was something that even George couldn't "translate" into American - style sense, he would write, "This will sound crazy, but you should go along with it anyway."
It worked the other way around, too. When the American managers visited Japan, George accompanied us everywhere to ensure that we didn't do or say anything too stupid from the Japanese viewpoint. Whenever we did that anyway, he came to the rescue at once: "What they really mean is...." Whole multitudes of difficulties never arose thanks to George's skill at smoothing over small conflicts before they became big, emotional and costly.
Since leaving that company in George's capable hands, I've advised many firms on international operations. And my first recommendation is always the same: Don't worry about language problems — the first thing you need is a cultural translator.
(776 words)

New Words

joint
a. shared, held or done by two or more people 共享的;共有的;共同做的

joint venture
n. 合资企业

conflict
n. 1. a state of serious disagreement or argument about sth. important 抵触;争论
2. war or battle; struggle 战争;战斗;冲突
vi. (with) 冲突;抵触

*multitude
n. a large number of 大批;大量

*escalate
v. make or become greater or more serious (使)逐步升级;(使)逐步加剧

emotional
a. 1. having or causing strong feelings (令人)情绪激动的
2. concerned with emotions and feelings 感情(上)的;情绪(上)的

party
n. a person or group of people involved in an argument, agreement, or other activity, esp. a legal matter (条约、诉讼、争论等中的)一方,当事人

exclaim
v. speak or say loudly and suddenly, because of surprise or other strong feelings (由于惊讶、痛苦、愤怒、高兴等而)叫嚷,叫喊

installation
n. 1. 安装;设置
2. 装置;设备

management
n. 1. the people who control and organize a business or other organization 管理层;管理部门
2. 管理;经营

equipment
n. the set of things needed for a particular activity 设备;装备

qualified
a. having suitable knowledge or qualifications, esp. for a job 胜任的;合格的

qualify
v. (cause to) gain a certain level of knowledge, ability, or performance, or a qualification(使)取得资格

contract
n. a formal written agreement, having the force of law, between two or more people or groups 合同,契约
v. l. 订(约);承包
2. 收缩,缩小

distrust
v. lack trust in; mistrust 不信任;怀疑
n. lack of trust; mistrust 不信任;怀疑

represent
vt. 1. act or speak officially for (another person or group of people) 代表
2. 象征;体现

naturally
ad. 1. in a manner to be expected, as a natural result 可预期地,自然地
2. according to the nature of sb. or sth. 天生地;天然地

nonassertive
a. not expressing or tending to express strong opinions or claims 谦虚的;不武断的

behavio(u)r
n. manner of acting 行为;举止

partner
n. a person who shares (in the same activity) 合伙人;合作者;伙伴

*expertise
n. special skill or knowledge in a particular field 专门知识(或技能、意见等),专长

*bachelor
n. an unmarried man 未婚男子;单身汉

*profitable
a. producing or resulting in profit or advantage 有利(可图)的,有赢利的;有益的

thrive
vi. develop well and be healthy, strong, or successful 繁荣;茁壮成长

properly
ad. 1. suitably, correctly, sensibly 适当地;正确地
2. really, actually, exactly 真正地

tatami
n. (日)榻榻米(指日本人铺在房内地板上的稻草垫)

mat
n. 1. a small piece of carpet or other thick material which is put on the floor for protection, decoration, or comfort 地席;席子
2. 垫子

apparent
a. 1. (to) clearly seen or understood 显然的,明明白白的
2. seeming; according to appearance 表面上的

*surpass
vt. exceed; go beyond in amount, quality, or degree 超过;超越

loyally
ad. faithfully 忠诚地,忠实地

loyal
a. faithful 忠诚的,忠实的

departure
n. 1. the act of leaving a place 离开;启程
2. turning away from what is planned or what is usually done 背离;违反

context
n. 1. the general conditions in which sth. takes place 背景;环境
2. what comes before and after a word or sentence which helps to fix the meaning 上下文

horror
a. (of a story or film) intended to be very frightening (文学作品、电影等)意在引起恐怖的
n. a strong feeling caused by sth. extremely unpleasant 恐惧;震惊

propose
vt. 1. suggest; put forward for consideration 建议;提出
2. (as, to be) put forward to be voted on 提名,推荐

approve
r. (of) agree (officially) to 同意,批准

accountant
n. 会计师

personnel
n. 1.the department in an organization that deals with employees, keeps their records, and helps with any problems they might have 人事部门
2. [总称]职员

justify
vt. give a good reason for 证明…正当(或有理)

*justification
n. a good or proper reason for doing sth. 正当的理由;辩解的理由

payroll
n. a list of workers employed by a company and the amount of wages each person is to be paid 工资表;在职人员名单

sensible
a. 1. reasonable;having or showing good sense 合情合理的;明白事理的
2. (of) knowing;aware 知道的;意识到的

crazy
a. 1. (infml.) foolish or strange 愚蠢的;古怪的
2. (infml.) wildly excited; very keen or interested 着迷的;热衷的

accompany
vt. 1. go with, esp. on a journey 陪同;陪伴
2. (fml.) appear or exist at the same time or in the same place as 和…一起发生(存在)

ensure
vt. (esp. BrE) make (sth.) certain to happen 保证,担保

viewpoint
n. point of view; a particular way of considering or judging a situation, person, event, etc. 观点;看法

    Phrases and Expressions

run into
unexpectedly begin to experience; meet by chance 意外遇到;偶然遇到

a multitude of/multitudes of
a very large number of 许多,众多

due to
because of; caused by 由于,因为

by name
with the name of 名叫

get into the habit of
develop a regular way of doing (sth.) 养成…的习惯

come to an end
(of sth. which goes on for a while) finish, stop 结束;终了

pick up
acquire without effort 获得;学会

be faced with
be confronted with 面临着(某种情况)

at times
sometimes; once in a while 有时;间或

keep sb. on the payroll
keep sb. employed 使某人留任

somehow or other
in one way or another 以某种方式

go along with
agree with; accept; support 同意;接受;支持

the other way around
in the opposite way 相反地;倒过来;以相反方式

thanks to
owing to, because of 幸亏;由于;因为

smooth over
make (problems or difficulties) seem less serious and easier to deal with 缓和;减轻

leave in sb.'s hands
give sb. the responsibility for dealing with sth. 把…交某人管理

 

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