美国人的问候方式

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美国人的问候方式

East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet." At least, that's what English writer Rudyard Kipling said. Truth is, nowadays Easterners and Westerners meet quite often. And when they do meet, naturally, they have to find an appropriate greeting. Aye, there's the rub. What's culturally appropriate for people in one culture may be completely out of line in another culture. So the best approach is to follow the well-known maxim, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

「东方是东方,西方是西方,两者是不会相会的。」至少,英国短篇小说家吉普林是如此认为。事实上,当今东方人与西方人时常碰面。当他们会面时,自然而然地必须找出一种合适的问候方式。唉,这就麻烦了!在某个文化里可能恰到好处的事,到另一个文化里,就可能过分踰矩。因此,最佳的做法就是遵守这个耳熟能详的行事准则:「入境随俗」。

So what's an appropriate salutation for Americans? Maybe you already know how to say, "How are you?" You might even know the customary response, "Fine, thanks, and you?" Is that all there is to greeting people American-style? Well, Americans do often use this trite greeting, and they generally expect nothing but the standard answer. (If you want to shock an American friend, the next time he greets you this way, tell him how you're really doing.) But most Americans enjoy a little variety now and then. In informal settings, you might hear Americans say, "How's it going?" (which doesn't mean, "What's your destination?") or "What's up?" (which isn't an inquiry about the stock market). Formal situations, on the other hand might call for expressions like "Good morning" or "Hello, it's nice to see you."

那么,对美国人而言,什么才是适当的问候语?可能你已经懂得怎么说「How are you?」(你好吗?)你甚至也知道一般常用的回答「Fine, thanks, and you?」(我很好,谢谢,你呢?)用美国的方式来问候别人,就仅仅如此而已吗?其实美国人的确常用这老套的问候方式,而他们所期待的,也只是一般的标准回答。(你如果想让你的美国朋友吃惊,下一次他如此问候你时,你就把你真正的感觉告诉他。)但是,多数的美国人偶而会喜欢有些变化。在非正式的场合里,你可能听到美国人说「How's it going?」 (它不是在问「你的目的地是哪里?」)或者是「What's up?」(它也不是询问股市的动态) 而在另一方面,一个正式的场合所使用的问候语,则可能是「Good morning」(早安),或是「Hello, it is nice to see you.」(哈啰!很高兴见到你。)

After the initial "hello," what kind of comments are appropriate to kick off a conversation? You might engage in small talk and make a remark about the weather, your job or current events. Or you could ask your American friend about his recent activities or his upcoming plans. If you know that he's been under the weather, you might ask him how he's feeling. But don't make use of personal comments or questions like "Boy, you've put on weight!" or "What are all those bumps on your face?" or "How much money did that necklace cost?" Americans might take offense at questions or comments about money or their appearance.

说了开场的「Hello」之后,用什么话来适当地打开话闸子呢?你可能与对方闲聊,提及天气、你的工作或是时事。或者,你可以问你的美国朋友他最近做了什么,或是再来的计划有哪些。如果你知道他一直身体不适,你或许可以问他感觉如何。但千万不要用牵涉个人的评语或问题,像是:「唷!你体重又增加了9或是「你脸上一粒一粒的是怎么来的?」或是「那条项练你花了多少钱?」美国人可能会对于有关金钱以及个人外表的问题或批评,感到反感。

One other caution: In some social contexts, particularly in an office or a professional setting, greetings between the sexes should be very conservative. If you're a man, greeting a woman with a statement like "Wow! You look beautiful today!" may be construed as a come--on. So when you're giving a compliment, the key is to use discretion.

另一项值得注意的:在某种社交场合,尤其是在办公室或专业场合里,两性之间的问候应该非常保守。如果你是男性,而问候女性时你说:「哇!你今天真漂亮9这可能会被误解为一种挑逗行为。因此,赞美他人时,仔细斟酌非常重要。

What about overt displays of affection, like hugging and kissing? Contrary to some stereotypes, Americans don't go around hugging and kissing everyone they meet. Of course, girls might give each other a squeeze as a friendly gesture, and in some high society circles, a little peck on the cheek is a common courtesy. But except with family members and close friends, Americans usually don't give out wholesale hugs. Besides that, not all Americans are inveterate huggers anyway. So don't wrap your arms around the next American you see. He or she might be just as uncomfortable as you are.

那么,公开地表示感情,例如拥抱以及亲吻,又该如何呢?美国人与一般人所认定的典型不同,他们并不会到处拥抱、亲吻遇见的每一个人。当然,女性们可能会在见面时彼此紧抱一下以示友好;而且在某些上流社交圈里,轻吻对方的面颊是很普遍的礼节。但除了对家人与好友外,美国人通常不会经常随便拥抱他人。此外,并不是每一位美国人都习惯拥抱他人。因此,不要随便把手臂环住下一个你碰到的美国人。他可能会跟你一样地不自在。

 

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