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美國人的待客之道

來源:www.8472462.live | 作者:王華東 | 本文已影響

An American friend has invited you to visit his family. You've never been to an American's home before, and you're not sure what to do. Should you take a gift? How should you dress? What time should you arrive? What should you do when you get there? Glad you asked. When you're the guest, you should just make yourself at home. That's what hospitality is all about: making people feel at home when they're not.

 

  一位美國朋友邀請你去他家。你以前從未去過美國人的家,你不確定該怎么做。該帶一個禮物嗎?該怎么穿?該幾點到?到了那里該做什么?很高興你發問。你若是客人,只要使自己感到自在就好了。待客之道就是這樣:雖然不是在家里,卻使客人有實至如歸之感。

  The question of whether or not to bring a gift often makes guests squirm. Giving your host a gift is not just a social nicety in some cultures-it's expected. But in American culture, a guest is not obligated to bring a present. Of course, some people do bring a small token of appreciation to their host. Appropriate gifts for general occasions might be flowers, candy or-if the family has small children-toys. If you choose not to bring a gift, don't worry. No one will even notice.

  是否帶禮物的問題常使客人不安。在某些文化中,送主人禮物不只是社交禮節——還是必要的。但是在美國文化中,客人并不一定要帶禮物。當然,有些人的確會帶個表示感謝的小禮物給他們的主人。在一般情況下,帶花或是糖果,如果這家人有小孩,玩具應當是恰當的禮物。如果你選擇不帶禮物,別擔心,甚至沒有人會注意到的。

  American hospitality begins at home-especially when it involves food. Most Americans agree that good home cooking beats restaurant food any day. When invited for a meal, you might ask, "Can I bring anything?" Unless it's a potluck, where everyone brings a dish, the host will probably respond, "No, just yourself." For most informal dinners, you should wear comfortable, casual clothes. Plan to arrive on time, or else call to inform your hosts of the delay. During the dinner conversation, it's customary to compliment the hostess on the wonderful meal. Of course, the biggest compliment is to eat lots of food!

  美國人的待客之道從家里開始——尤其是和食物有關。大多數美國人都同意,無論如何,好的家常菜勝過餐館的菜。受邀吃飯時,你或許可以問:「我可以帶些什么嗎?」除非是每人帶一道菜的聚餐,否則主人很可能會回答:「不用,你來就可以了。」大多數非正式的聚餐,你應該穿舒適、輕便的衣服。設法準時到,否則打電話告訴主人你會晚點到。用餐時,習慣上,人們會稱贊女主人烹調的美食。當然,最大的贊美是多吃!

 When you've had plenty, you might offer to clear the table or wash the dishes. But since you're the guest, your hosts may not let you. Instead, they may invite everyone to move to the living room for dessert with tea or coffee. After an hour or so of general chit-chat, it's probably time to head for the door. You don't want to wear out your welcome. And above all, don't go snooping around the house. It's more polite to wait for the host to offer you a guided tour. But except for housewarmings, guests often don't get past the living room.

  當你吃得差不多時,或許可以主動表示要幫忙清理桌子或洗碗盤,但你既是客人,你的主人可能不會讓你這樣做。他們或許會邀請大家到客廳吃點心、喝茶或咖啡。聊個大約一小時或許就該離去了,你可不希望變得不受歡迎吧。還有最重要的是不要在屋子里四處窺探,等主人邀請你參觀才較有禮貌。可是除了喬遷喜宴之外,客人通常都只待在客廳里。

  Americans usually like to have advance notice when people come to see them. Only very close friends drop by unannounced. This is especially true if the guests want to stay for a few days. Here's a good rule of thumb for house guests: Short stays are best. As one 19th century French writer put it, "The first day a man is a guest, the second a burden, the third a pest." Even relatives don't usually stay for several weeks at a time. While you're staying with an American family, try to keep your living area neat and tidy. Your host family will appreciate your consideration. And they may even invite you back!

  美國人通常喜歡訪客事先通知他們,只有非常親密的朋友才可能不請自來,尤其在客人要待好幾天時更是如此。最好不要久留——這是給訪客的經驗之談。如同十九世紀一位法國作家所寫的:「第一天是客人,第二天是負擔,第三天就是討厭鬼了。」即使是親戚通常也不會一次待上幾個星期。當你住在美國人家里時,設法使你住的地方保持整齊清潔。你的主人一家都會感謝你這么體貼,他們甚至會再邀請你!

  Most Americans consider themselves hospitable people. Folks in the southern United States, in particular, take pride in entertaining guests. In fact, "southern hospitality" has become legendary. But in all parts of America, people welcome their guests with open arms. So don't be surprised to find the welcome mat out for you. Just don't forget to wipe your feet.

  大多數美國人都認為他們是好客之人。尤其是美國的南方人更以款待客人自豪,事實上,「南方的款待」是人們所津津樂道口口相傳的。不過在美國各地,人們都展開雙臂歡迎他們的客人,所以當你發現有WELCOME字樣的鞋墊為你而時,別驚訝,只是別忘了把你的腳擦干凈就是了。


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