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大学体验英语第四册Unit8-Passage A

时间:2007-01-17 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:belle0920   字体: [ ]
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Hallmark's Asian Valentine
The tradition of card giving on Valentine's Day seemingly an American phenomenon is taking root in Asia, too. Yet, when Asian customers buy Valentine's Day cards, they often choose the original English versions even when they don't speak the language.  

 Hallmark's greeting cards are known throughout the world. The Kansas city-based company has developed into a $3.5 billion corporation, from its beginnings in 1910 when Joyce C. Hall started producing cards from samples he stored under his bed. Now, over 90 years later, Hallmark has developed into a global company with expansion into Asia a major part of its strategy. 
 In Asia alone, the Kansas city-based firm acquired a company in Japan in 1994 and founded creative organizations in Hong Kong and Singapore in 1998 and in Shanghai in 1999. Hallmark representatives like to point out that Asia has developed into an "area of emphasis." Hong Kong and Singapore are being turned from distribution centers into investment centers.

  In the United States alone, 67% of Valentine's Day activities consist of giving Valentine's Day cards as gifts to people. And in 2000, according to Hallmark, Americans spent more than $3.6 billion on Valentine's Day. But while the market in the United States is huge, the potential for Hallmark's 1,330 different Valentine's Day cards in Asia is even bigger. 

  Based on the sales of Hallmark cards, it appears that the number of consumer romantics in China, Japan and Korea is rising. This is not surprising, given that Hallmark greeting cards have proven to be a great way to overcome some of the emotional restrictions1 that still reign2 in a number of Asian societies.  

 Becoming Don Juan without losing face
The problem in Eastern societies is that cultural norms and romance often run into a dilemma3: how do you tell a girl that you fancy her without putting yourself in a position in which you could "lose face"? In China, for example, because of cultural norms, men will perhaps never be mistaken for Shakespeare's Romeo. Romance, of the Western variety, is simply not a Chinese man's cup of tea. So, how do you overcome this dilemma? To sidestep possible pitfalls4 of cultural impropriety, the Chinese Don Juan goes and buys his sweetie a Hallmark card for Valentine's Day. Thus, he can express his emotions through a pre-made message on paper, rather than through uncomfortable sweet talk in person. 

  In Japan and Korea, the rules are somewhat different. Here men generally tend to be much less inhibited5 about their emotions and romantic interests. To assess just how emotional Japanese men can be in all walks of life, just recall the occasional news feature of a top Japanese or Korean CEO apologizing in tears for the weak performance or bankruptcy6 of his company in front of his nation's TV cameras.  

 In Japan and Korea, it is the women that are more emotionally inhibited than the men. So, in order for them to display some affection in a suitable manner, women will send out the Hallmark Valentine cards to the object of their affection. But, if you think Hallmark cards need to be translated into the different Asian languages to enable lovers to exchange tender words, think again.  

 Love talk is global, and no language skills are required.
Since most of the Hallmark cards bought in Asia are produced within country, it seemed only natural that Hallmark cards would be translated into the local vernacular7. To accommodate customers throughout the world, Hallmark prints greeting cards in 30 different languages.

?Thus, cards are now actually being printed in Mandarin8 and Japanese with plans to extend the translations to various Indian languages, such as Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil. Customer surveys, however, revealed that this effort was not really necessary. 

?English is the hip9 thing
You see, if you really want to impress your Chinese girlfriend or your Japanese boyfriend, don't send them a Japanese or Mandarin language card. This is a turn-off. Contrary to Hallmark's expectations, it turns out that Asian lovers prefer to give their sweeties English-language cards even when they speak little or no English. It is just the hip thing to do. 

 And upon learning of this cultural preference, Hallmark reacted quickly. Even though Chinese and Japanese descendants of Romeo and Juliet are now able to buy greeting cards in their native language, Hallmark has made sure the supply of greeting cards in English is plentiful10. Thus, their customers can achieve both a display of their hip cosmopolitan11 flair12, while also sending their sweetie that all-important message of love at the same time.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 restrictions 81e12dac658cfd4c590486dd6f7523cf     
约束( restriction的名词复数 ); 管制; 制约因素; 带限制性的条件(或规则)
参考例句:
  • I found the restrictions irksome. 我对那些限制感到很烦。
  • a snaggle of restrictions 杂乱无章的种种限制
2 reign pBbzx     
n.统治时期,统治,支配,盛行;v.占优势
参考例句:
  • The reign of Queen Elizabeth lapped over into the seventeenth century.伊丽莎白王朝延至17世纪。
  • The reign of Zhu Yuanzhang lasted about 31 years.朱元璋统治了大约三十一年。
3 dilemma Vlzzf     
n.困境,进退两难的局面
参考例句:
  • I am on the horns of a dilemma about the matter.这件事使我进退两难。
  • He was thrown into a dilemma.他陷入困境。
4 pitfalls 0382b30a08349985c214a648cf92ca3c     
(捕猎野兽用的)陷阱( pitfall的名词复数 ); 意想不到的困难,易犯的错误
参考例句:
  • the potential pitfalls of buying a house 购买房屋可能遇到的圈套
  • Several pitfalls remain in the way of an agreement. 在达成协议的进程中还有几个隐藏的困难。
5 inhibited Fqvz0I     
a.拘谨的,拘束的
参考例句:
  • Boys are often more inhibited than girls about discussing their problems. 男孩子往往不如女孩子敢于谈论自己的问题。
  • Having been laughed at for his lameness,the boy became shy and inhibited. 那男孩因跛脚被人讥笑,变得羞怯而压抑。
6 bankruptcy fPoyJ     
n.破产;无偿付能力
参考例句:
  • You will have to pull in if you want to escape bankruptcy.如果你想避免破产,就必须节省开支。
  • His firm is just on thin ice of bankruptcy.他的商号正面临破产的危险。
7 vernacular ULozm     
adj.地方的,用地方语写成的;n.白话;行话;本国语;动植物的俗名
参考例句:
  • The house is built in a vernacular style.这房子按当地的风格建筑。
  • The traditional Chinese vernacular architecture is an epitome of Chinese traditional culture.中国传统民居建筑可谓中国传统文化的缩影。
8 Mandarin TorzdX     
n.中国官话,国语,满清官吏;adj.华丽辞藻的
参考例句:
  • Just over one billion people speak Mandarin as their native tongue.大约有十亿以上的人口以华语为母语。
  • Mandarin will be the new official language of the European Union.普通话会变成欧盟新的官方语言。
9 hip 1dOxX     
n.臀部,髋;屋脊
参考例句:
  • The thigh bone is connected to the hip bone.股骨连着髋骨。
  • The new coats blouse gracefully above the hip line.新外套在臀围线上优美地打着褶皱。
10 plentiful r2izH     
adj.富裕的,丰富的
参考例句:
  • Their family has a plentiful harvest this year.他们家今年又丰收了。
  • Rainfall is plentiful in the area.这个地区雨量充足。
11 cosmopolitan BzRxj     
adj.世界性的,全世界的,四海为家的,全球的
参考例句:
  • New York is a highly cosmopolitan city.纽约是一个高度世界性的城市。
  • She has a very cosmopolitan outlook on life.她有四海一家的人生观。
12 flair 87jyQ     
n.天赋,本领,才华;洞察力
参考例句:
  • His business skill complements her flair for design.他的经营技巧和她的设计才能相辅相成。
  • He had a natural flair for business.他有做生意的天分。
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TAG标签:   体验英语  综合教程  passage
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