英語新聞一點通:潛艇堡微幅領先大麥克

Footlong Inches Ahead of Big Mac

For years, McDonald’s has been the leader of the fast food field. It has had the most franchises, the widest international reach, and the highest profits. Now, however, Subway, the sandwich maker, has nosed ahead of the famous chain. At the end of 2010, Subway had 33,749 restaurants worldwide, whereas McDonald’s had 32, 737. This is a result of Subway’s aggressive expansion strategy. It has broken away from the pack mostly because of its determination to develop world markets. For example, it already has 199 stores in China, and expects to have more than 500 by 2015.

Even so, McDonald’s is far from an also-ran. Its revenues still make it the favourite for most analysts. With 24 billion dollars worth of sales last year to Subway’s 15 billion, it’s still too early to scratch the long-time champion from the race.

潛艇堡微幅領先大麥克

多年以來,麥當勞一直是速食界的龍頭,不僅擁有最多的經銷店、遍及全球的影響力,還有最高的利潤。然而,Subway潛艇堡專賣店卻已微幅領先這家知名連鎖店。截至2010年底,Subway在全球共有33,749家連鎖店,而麥當勞則擁有32,737家店,顯現出Subway積極擴展策略的成果,他們脫穎而出的主要原因是其開發國際市場的決心。例如,Subway在中國已擁有199家店,並預期將在2015年之前達成超過500家店的目標。

即便如此,麥當勞並不是個失敗者,因為它的營收對於大多數的分析師而言仍是最被看好的公司。麥當勞去年總營收達240億美元,而Subway的營收則為150億美元,所以若要判定這名長期的贏家出局,目前還言之過早。

字彙

  • franchise 經銷店;經銷權
  • chain 連鎖店
  • aggressive 積極的
  • expansion strategy 擴展策略
  • determination 決心
  • revenue 營業收入
  • analyst 分析師

解讀

Racing metaphors, especially horse racing metaphors, are a popular way of talking about business. Races are often won by inches or a nose, and competing companies are described as a pack or field. Favourites are the gamblers’ choice. An also-ran is a horse that does not come in the top three, and scratch from the race means to drop out.

作者談到商業活動時經常會使用和比賽相關的比喻,尤其是賽馬的用語。比賽常以「幾吋」或相當於「一個鼻子」的差距分出勝負,而互相競爭的公司則被形容為「一組」或「全部的賽馬」。「大家一致看好的熱門馬」是下注者的選擇,「失敗者」則是未擠進前三名的賽馬,而「自比賽中出局」代表退出比賽。

文句練習

  1. I plan to open a fast food _____________ in my neighbourhood.
  2. _________ is a key indicator of success.
  3. After the global recession, our company’s _____________ is starting to recover.
  4. Our _____________ involves marketing to new customers.
  5. Sometimes, you need to be ________ to break away from the pack.
  6. The Starbucks ______ was one of the great business successes of the late 90s.
  7. Financial ________ say the earthquake in Japan will have a severe effect on the country’s stock market.

文句練習解答

  1. franchise
  2. Determination
  3. revenue
  4. expansion strategy
  5. aggressive
  6. chain
  7. analysts

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:救援隊面臨日本震後棘手難題

Aid Workers Face Uphill Battle

Last week, Japan was hit by the most devastating earthquake in its history. The magnitude 9.0 quake was followed by a tsunami, which washed away whole towns. Thousands of people are now feared dead. Millions more are enduring everything from power cuts to homelessness. Most frightening of all, a Japanese nuclear power plant is struggling to control a radioactive leak.

Countries from all over the world have scrambled emergency relief teams to help. The UK, the US, Russia, and Taiwan have already deployed aid workers, doctors, and fire fighters. More than 90 countries have sent money to help the relief effort.

With the country still suffering aftershocks, the situation on the ground continues to worsen. Despite the overseas reinforcements, the Japanese Red Cross says they are fighting an uphill battle against hunger, thirst, and cold. Millions of Japanese people face an uncertain future, and not even the world’s help may be enough.

救援隊面臨日本震後棘手難題

日本於上週遭逢其史上最為嚴重的地震,高達芮氏規模9.0的強震引發海嘯,吞噬了沿海的城鎮。據估計,恐怕已有成千的民眾不幸罹難,更有數百萬人遭逢斷電及無家可歸的打擊。最令人擔憂的是日本需設法控制核能電廠輻射外洩的意外。

許多國家皆已派出緊急救援隊前往救災,英國、美國、俄羅斯及台灣都在當地佈署了救援隊、醫療及消防團隊。目前已有超過90個國家提供捐款協助。

日本居民對於餘震仍然心有餘悸,而事發現場的災情卻是每況愈下。即使各國已紛紛加入救災的行列,日本紅十字會表示,他們目前正面臨著民眾飢寒交迫的棘手難題。數百萬的日本民眾雖有來自國際的支援,面對不確定的未來,他們仍不知該何去何從。

字彙

  • Magnitude 震級;規模 (用以表示地震的強度)
  • Tsunami 海嘯
  • nuclear power 核能發電
  • radioactive 放射性的
  • deploy 佈署;展開
  • on the ground 現場
  • reinforcement 增援部隊;援軍

解讀

Writers often use military language to describe disaster relief efforts. Here, scrambled comes from the air force phrase when fighters are sent out to protect against bombers. Deployed and reinforcements are both words associated with troops. An uphill battle is an unfavourable situation.

作者通常會使用軍中用語來形容盡力協助救災。本文引用空軍派遣戰鬥機迎戰轟炸機的用語「scrambled 緊急起飛應戰」,以及軍隊裡常用的「Deployed 佈署兵力」、「reinforcements 增援部隊」。「An uphill battle」一詞則是指「艱苦的戰鬥」。

文句練習

  1. Exposure to ________ material can lead to cancer.
  2. Reporters have travelled to the accident zone to report the news ________.
  3. I have never experienced an earthquake of that ________.
  4. They plan to ________ more troops to the area over the next six months.
  5. We don’t have enough troops. We need ________.
  6. The ________ was caused by an earthquake under the ocean floor.
  7. Nearly 80 percent of France’s electricity is produced by ________ plants.

文句練習解答

  1. radioactive
  2. on the ground
  3. magnitude
  4. deploy
  5. reinforcements
  6. tsunami
  7. nuclear power

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:利比亞反政府抗爭引發內戰

Rebellion Brings Libya to the Edge of War

First there was Tunisia and then Egypt. Now, the storm of popular protest in the Middle East has reached Libya. The country has been ruled by Colonel Gaddafi, a dictator, for the past forty years. However, his rule is now threatened. Waves of rebellion against his government have brought the country to a standstill. In response, Gaddafi has ordered the army to attack the protestors.

The situation is getting worse every day. Important government officials have refused to carry out Gaddafi’s orders to attack the protestors. Others have joined the rebels. This includes the defence minister and Libya’s foreign diplomats. The rest of the world has unanimously withdrawn support from the dictator. Even so, Gaddafi seems determined to hold onto power. Many observers think that a tsunami of violence could wash across the country if a full civil war develops.

利比亞反政府抗爭引發內戰

繼突尼西亞和埃及之後,襲捲中東地區的抗爭風暴已延燒至利比亞。獨裁者格達費統治利比亞超過四十年,然而,他的政權正受到威脅。一波又一波的反政府抗爭已使該國陷入停頓,格達費卻下令軍隊向示威者展開鎮壓。

利比亞境內的武裝衝突愈演愈烈,重要的政府官員,包括國防部長與利比亞的外交官,都加入了抗爭的行列,並拒絕執行格達費指示攻擊示威者的命令。全球各國皆一致撤除對於獨裁者的支援,即便如此,格達費仍執意繼續掌權,許多觀察家擔憂一旦內戰全面爆發,暴力事件可能會如海嘯般淹沒利比亞。

字彙

  • Rebellion 反抗;動亂
  • dictator 獨裁者
  • threaten 威脅
  • standstill 停滯不前
  • unanimously 一致地
  • withdraw 撤除
  • civil war 內戰

解讀

Writers often compare public unrest to violent natural events. Here, the writer uses ‘storm’ and two sea metaphors, ‘waves’ and ‘tsunami’, to describe the way protestors have attacked their governments.

作者經常將動亂比喻為嚴重的天災,本篇文章中,作者使用「暴風雨」與另外兩個與「海」相關的比喻-「波浪」及「海嘯」以形容示威者反抗政府的行為。

文句練習

  1. The troubles in the Middle East _______ the recent economic recovery.
  2. We _______ elected Zhao as class president.
  3. The only US _______ was fought between northern and southern states.
  4. Obama plans to ______ US forces from Afghanistan.
  5. During Chinese New Year, Taipei comes to a _______.
  6. The fashion designer Galliano lost his job for saying he admired the _______ Hitler.
  7. There was a _______ because of the unfair new taxes.

文句練習解答

  1. threaten
  2. unanimously
  3. civil war
  4. withdraw
  5. standstill
  6. dictator
  7. rebellion

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:「曲球」捏造伊拉克軍情

“Curveball” Throws Curveball on Iraq

You may not know the name Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi. However, under the codename “Curveball”, he was one of the chief sources of information about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This information led directly to the Iraq war, because the US believed that Iraq had to be stopped from building these weapons. Even at the time, people questioned the call. Now, “Curveball” has admitted that he was lying about the WMD program. The CIA and their German counterparts, the BND, were responsible for passing on Curveball’s information as true. As a result, they are facing serious criticism. Colin Powell, the former US secretary of state has stepped up to the plate to demand that the CIA explain why they did not cover all the bases. It seems that the CIA are now facing curveballs of their own.

「曲球」捏造伊拉克軍情

或許你從未聽過「賈納比」這個名字,他正是以代號「曲球」提供關於伊拉克擁有大規模毀滅性武器的主要情報來源。即使在當時,這項判定曾遭到質疑;由於美國認為必須阻止伊拉克製造這些武器,該情報仍直接引發了伊拉克戰爭。如今,「曲球」坦承有關大規模毀滅性武器的情報是憑空捏造的,美國中央情報局和德國聯邦情報局因此必須對當初散播不實的情報而負責,並遭受嚴厲的批評。美國前國務卿科林鮑威爾挺身而出,要求美國中央情報局解釋為何當初未全面確認軍情的真實性,以自我保護,看來美國中央情報局正面臨相當棘手的難題。

字彙

  • codename 代號
  • chief 主要的
  • admit 承認
  • counterpart 對應的人(或物)
  • responsible 需承擔責任的
  • criticism 批評

解讀

Writers often use sports metaphors in stories. This story uses baseball metaphors. A “curveball” is a difficult question, and “call” is the umpire’s decision. “Stepping up to the plate” means getting ready to hit the ball, and “cover the bases” means to protect yourself.

作者經常在寫作時使用與運動相關的比喻,本篇文章使用了源自棒球運動的術語作為比喻。「曲球」代表困難的問題,「判決」則是比賽時裁判的判定。「站上本壘板」代表球員準備擊球了,而「涵蓋所有的壘包;守壘員不讓打擊者上壘的守護動作」則引申為全面防備、保護自己。

文句練習

  1. You should always soften __________ with a compliment.
  2. As class monitor, Mark is _________ for taking the register every day.
  3. One of the early US stealth planes was developed under the ________ Aurora.
  4. President Obama’s Taiwanese ____________ is Ma Ying-jeou.
  5. The strength of technology companies like Acer and Asus is one of the ____ factors in Taiwan’s economic growth.
  6. I have to ______ that I was surprised by the news.

文句練習解答

  1. criticism
  2. responsible
  3. codename
  4. counterpart
  5. chief
  6. admit

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:埃及開羅情勢混亂

Chaos in Cairo

Over the past few weeks, thousands of people have been on the streets in Egypt. They have been holding some of the biggest demonstrations the country has seen in recent history. They were unhappy with their President, Hosni Mubarak, and wanted him to leave. Demonstrators in Cairo said they would not go home until the President resigned. They made beds, bathrooms and all the things necessary to live for a long time in a public square in the city centre.

From the demonstrators’ point of view, the President had been in power for too long and it was time for change in the country. In response, the President first said he would stay until September. In mid February, however, he gave in and stood down. In the eyes of many Egyptians, this is a tremendous victory for the people. They see it as a new beginning for Egypt.

埃及開羅情勢混亂

過去幾週以來,成千上萬的埃及民眾走上街頭,爆發該國近年來聲勢最浩大的示威活動。示威民眾對總統穆巴拉克感到強烈不滿,並要求他下台。開羅的示威者表示,在總統辭職下台之前他們絕不回家。他們搭建了床、浴室以及在市中心公共廣場長期示威必備的生活用品。

從示威者的立場而言,總統已執政太久,國家應該有所改變。總統首先回應,他將會留任至2011年9月,然而,他終於在2月中讓步並宣佈下台。在許多埃及民眾的眼中,這是人民莫大的勝利,他們認為這是埃及全新的開始。

字彙

  • demonstration 示威活動
  • resign 辭職
  • necessary 必要的
  • public square 公共廣場
  • in response 回應
  • trust 信任
  • tremendous 極大的

解讀

Phrases related to ‘seeing’ are often used to show our understanding of the world. We only believe what we can see. They can also be used to express an opinion, such as ‘from my point of view’ or ‘in his eyes’.

有關「看見」的片語經常用於表達我們對世界的了解程度,意即我們只相信眼見為憑的事物。這些片語也可用於表達意見,例如:「從我的立場而言」或「在他的眼中」。

文句練習

  1. You can’t ________ him. He always tells lies.
  2. People often go to the ________ during a festival.
  3. If you don’t like your job you can ________.
  4. It is ________ to eat and drink to survive.
  5. When lots of people are unhappy about something, they often have a ________.
  6. The government reduced taxes ________ to public demand.
  7. The twentieth century was a time of ________ change.

文句練習解答

  1. trust
  2. public square
  3. resign
  4. necessary
  5. demonstration
  6. in response
  7. tremendous

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:史上規模最大的掃黑行動

Biggest Mafia Crackdown in History

FBI* officers have arrested 127 people across the north-east US in one day. They are all believed to be members of the mafia, the well-known crime organisation. It is the largest ever crackdown on organised crime in a single day. The FBI say leaders of the five biggest mafia families in New York have all been arrested. They are involved in gambling, extortion and other illegal activities.

Many people believe the mafia is a problem of the past. It is true that the mafia has been weakened since the 1990s. A large number of gangsters have left “the mob” and testified against other gang members. Many mafia figures have been sent to prison for a long time. But the FBI’s director has warned that the secret crime organisation is still a danger to the American economy. He says these arrests are not the end of organised crime in New York. They are one more step in an on-going struggle.

*Federal Bureau of Investigation

史上規模最大的掃黑行動

美國聯邦調查局在短短一日內於美國東北部逮捕了127名嫌犯。這些嫌犯皆為知名犯罪組織黑手黨的成員,此行動為歷年來單日規模最大的掃黑行動。美國聯邦調查局表示紐約五大犯罪家族的領導人長期參與賭博、詐欺勒索等非法活動,皆已陸續在紐約遭到逮捕。

多數人認為黑手黨所引發的社會問題已成為歷史,黑手黨的勢力的確在90年代後逐漸衰微,許多幫派份子也紛紛脫離「犯罪集團」,並對其他同黨作出不利的證明。雖然許多黑手黨的主嫌已入獄很長一段時間,美國聯邦調查局局長仍發出警告:秘密犯罪組織對於美國經濟仍具有威脅性,近期的逮捕行動並未終結紐約的組織犯罪,而只是持續打擊犯罪的一小步。

字彙

  • arrest 逮捕
  • crackdown 鎮壓;痛擊
  • gambling 賭博
  • extortion 詐欺勒索
  • gangster 盜匪;流氓
  • testify 作證
  • prison 監獄

解讀

Writers try to avoid using names or words repeatedly because it is dull to read. By using alternative words, they can also give the reader more information. Instead of just being the mafia, it is also called organised crime, the mob and the secret crime organisation.

作者通常會避免重複使用相同的名稱或詞彙,否則讀者閱讀文章時易感到枯燥無味。透過詞彙變換,作者可提供給讀者更多的資訊。文中「黑手黨」一詞,也可稱為「組織犯罪」、「犯罪集團」或「秘密犯罪組織」。

文句練習

  1. Three people saw the crime and _____ in court.
  2. Police ______ him when he left his house.
  3. He broke the law, so they sent him to _____.
  4. All _____ apart from the national lottery is against the law in this country.
  5. Most _____ do not live to an old age.
  6. Gangs use _____ to get money from small businesses.
  7. The government is having a ______ on bad driving.

文句練習解答

  1. testified
  2. arrested
  3. prison
  4. gambling
  5. gangsters
  6. extortion
  7. crackdown

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:天文學家喜獲新行星蹤跡

Astronomers over the Moon about New Planet

Imagine a planet with a year that lasts a single day and a temperature much higher than on Earth. It may not sound much like home, but For NASA astronomers, this is as good as it gets.

In January 2011, scientists from NASA’s Kepler project announced they had found a tiny, rocky planet called Kepler-10b. It is very close to its star and moves around it very fast, so humans could not live there. Nevertheless, it is only 1.4 times bigger than the Earth. It is also made of iron and rock like the Earth – and this is what makes it so exciting. Most of the planets so far discovered outside of our solar system have been gas giants similar to our own Jupiter. The discovery of Kepler-10b shows that Earth-like planets really do exist outside of our solar system – and, one day, we could find a second Earth.

天文學家喜獲新行星蹤跡

當你得知有顆行星繞著恆星公轉一周僅需一天,且溫度遠高於地球,是否直覺地認為它不適合人類居住?然而,對於美國太空總署的天文學家而言,發現新行星總是令人雀躍不已。

2011年1月,美國太空總署參與「克卜勒計畫」的科學家宣佈發現一顆微小的岩質行星,命名為「克卜勒10b」。它的運行軌道非常接近主恆星且移動極為快速,並不適合人類居住。然而,令人驚喜的是它的體積相當於地球的1.4倍,就像地球一樣由鐵和岩石構成。目前已知的大多數太陽系外行星皆為類似木星的氣態行星,「克卜勒10b」的出現證實了類地球行星確實存在於太陽系之外,有朝一日,我們極有可能發現第二個地球。

字彙

  • astronomers 天文學家
  • announced 宣佈
  • nevertheless 然而
  • iron 鐵
  • solar system 太陽系
  • gas giants 氣態行星
  • Jupiter 木星

解讀

The phrase ’over the moon’ means very happy. It comes from a children’s nursery rhyme, which has a line where a cow jumps over the moon. The phrase became popular because soccer players and managers often used it in interviews when their team won.

「over the moon」這個片語意指非常高興,此說法源自於一首童謠,其中一句歌詞提及一頭牛躍過了月亮。當球隊比賽獲勝時,足球員和球隊經理在接受採訪時經常提到這個片語,因此成為一種廣為流傳的說法。

文句練習

  1. _____ is used to make steel.
  2. Our ________________ has eight planets.
  3. _________ is the largest planet in our solar system, and is named after the Roman king of the gods.
  4. Kepler was a famous _________ who gave his name to the NASA project.
  5. Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus are the four ________ in our solar system.
  6. The weather was terrible, but we had fun ___________.
  7. The government recently _________ that teachers and soldiers have to pay taxes.

文句練習解答

  1. Iron
  2. solar system
  3. Jupiter
  4. astronomer
  5. gas giants
  6. nevertheless
  7. announced

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)

英語新聞一點通:隱形戰機引發新一波全球軍備競賽

Stealth Fighter Signals New Arms Race

China’s new prototype stealth fighter plane, the J-20, has had its first test flight. Stealth planes have an unusual body shape and are made of modern lightweight materials instead of metal. This means they are harder to see and produce less noise than normal aircraft. It also means they are invisible to radar and are very hard to follow.

Currently, the US is the only nation with an operational stealth plane. But both Russia and China are working on new stealth fighters. The Chinese government have said their plane will not be ready until 2017 at the earliest. However, many in the US see this as another sign of China’s growing military power.

China’s military budget quadrupled between 1999 and 2009 as the country’s economy grew. In 2010 it was $78 billion. But the US still has the largest military budget in the world, at just over $700 billion.

隱形戰機引發新一波全球軍備競賽

中國隱形戰機「殲廿」(J-20)的原型機日前首次試飛,隱形戰機具有特殊的機身,並以新一代的輕質材料取代金屬製成,這代表它們很難被發現,也較普通的飛機不易產生噪音。此外,這也意味著在雷達上看不見它們,並且難以追蹤。

目前美國是唯一擁有隱形戰機的國家;然而,俄羅斯和中國都正在研發更為先進的隱形戰機。中國政府表示他們所研發的戰機需至2017年才會完成,許多美國人認為這顯示了中國正在逐漸擴張軍力。

隨著中國的經濟成長,其軍事預算自1999年至2009年間增加了四倍,2010年的預算更高達780億美元。然而,美國仍是全球擁有最多軍事預算的國家,共計超過 7千億美元。

字彙

  • prototype 原型;試製品
  • aircraft 飛機
  • invisible 隱形的
  • radar 雷達
  • operational 可實際操作的
  • military 軍事的
  • budget 預算
  • quadrupled 成為四倍

解讀

An arms race is a situation where two countries compete to make larger numbers of weapons, bigger armies, or better military technology. It often refers to the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union after World War II.

「軍備競賽」是指兩國競相增設武器配備、訓練強大的軍隊、或開發更為先進的軍事技術;通常意指美國和蘇聯在二次世界大戰後的軍備競賽。

文句練習

  1. The movie has a __________ of five million dollars.
  2. In the story, the wizard could make himself _________ with a magic spell.
  3. My company makes helicopters and other small _________.
  4. The town’s population __________ in just 20 years.
  5. I have built a _________ of my new invention.
  6. In Taiwan, young men have to do ________ service.
  7. The new MRT station will be _________ in 2012.
  8. The airport uses _________ to detect approaching planes.

文句練習解答

  1. budget
  2. invisible
  3. aircraft
  4. quadrupled
  5. prototype
  6. military
  7. operational
  8. radar

(資料來源:British Council 英國文化協會)