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岂能尽如人意,但求无愧于心

【小阅读^大脑袋】0524 NO.367

I travel a lot, and I find out different “styles” of directions every time I ask “How can I get to the post office?”

Foreign tourists are often confused in Japan because most streets there don’t have names; in Japan, people use landmarks in their directions instead of street names. For example, the Japanese will say to travelers, “Go straight down to the corner. Turn left at the big hotel and go past a fruit market. The post office is across from the bus stop.”

In the countryside of the American Midwest, there are not usually many landmarks. There are no mountains, so the land is very flat; in many places there are no towns or buildings within miles. Instead of landmarks, people will tell you directions and distances. In Kansas or Iowa, for example, people will say, “Go north two miles. Turn east, and then go another mile.”

People in Los Angeles, California, have no idea of distance on the map; they measure distance in time, not miles. “How far away is the post office?” you ask. “Oh,” they answer, “it’s about five minutes from here.” You say, “Yes, but how many miles away is it?” They don’t know.

It’s true that a person doesn’t know the answer to your question sometimes. What happens in such a situation? A New Yorker might say, “Sorry, I have no idea.” But in Yucatan, Mexico, no one answers “I don’t know.” People in Yucatan believe that “I don’t know” is impolite. They usually give an answer, often a wrong one. A tourist can get very, very lost in Yucatan!

DBC
答案解析:
1. When a tourist asks the Japanese the way to a certain place, they usually ______.
A. describe the place carefully
B. show him a map of the place
C. tell him the names of the streets
D. refer to recognizable buildings and places
解析:D正确
当一位游客向日本人问路时,他们通常会怎样?
in Japan, people use landmarks in their directions instead of street names,日本使用有辨识作用的地标来指路。

 

2. What is the place where people measure distance in time?
A. New York.
B. Los Angeles.
C. Kansas.
D. Iowa.
解析:B正确
什么地方的人用时间表示距离?
文中有很明确的答案:People in Los Angeles, California, have no idea of distance on the map; they measure distance in time, not miles.

3. People in Yucatan may give a tourist a wrong answer ______.
A. in order to save time
B. as a test.
C. so as to be polite
D. for fun
解析:C正确
尤卡坦半岛的人可能会给游客一个错误的答案,这是为什么?
People in Yucatan believe that “I don’t know” is impolite.所以他们宁可给出错误答案,也不说“我不知道。”

参考译文:
我去过很多地方旅行,我发现每当我问“到邮局怎么走?”时,我都会得到不同风格的指引。

外国游客到了日本常常感到很困惑,因为那里大部分的街道没有名称;在日本,人们使用地标而不是街道名称来指路。比如,日本人会告诉游客:“直走到拐角处。在大酒店那里左拐,穿过一个水果市场。公交车站对面就是邮局。”

在美国中西部地区的乡间,通常没有那么多地标。地势平坦,没有山峰;在许多地方数英里内都没有城镇或建筑物。人们不使用地标,而是告诉你方向和距离。在卡萨斯州或是爱荷华州,例如,人们会说:“向北走两英里。往东再走一英里。”

加州洛杉矶的人们对地图上的距离没有概念;他们用时间而不是英里数表示距离。“邮局有多远?”你问道。“噢,”他们回答,“离这儿大概有5分钟。”你接着说:“是的,但是离这儿有多少英里?”他们无从得知。

的确有时人们并不知道你的问题的答案。在那种情况下会发生什么呢?一位纽约人也许会说:“对不起,我不知道。”但是在墨西哥的尤卡坦半岛没人会说“我不知道。”尤卡坦半岛的人们认为“我不知道”是不礼貌的说法。他们通常会给出一个答案,往往是错误的答案。旅行者可能会在尤卡坦半岛彻彻底底地迷路!



词汇及短语:
landmark: 目标,明显的标志 
be across from: 在……的正对面
New Yorker: 纽约州人或居民,纽约市人或居民
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个人分类: 每日英语
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