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Taboos in America 美国人的禁忌

Age. Yes, age is a very sensitive subject to many Americans, especially to women over age 30. In this youth upheld culture, the thought of growing older is a painful one and most of us,if possible, would like to have nothing to do with it. So many Americans work hard to maintain a youthful appearance. The last thing they want to be asked is the unthinkable, "How old are you exactly?"

年龄。是的,对许多美国人来说,年龄是个非常敏感的问题,特别是对年过 30 的女人来说更是如此。在这个崇尚年轻文化中,想到变老是很痛苦的。我们大多数人,如果有可能的话,都不想沾它的边儿。所以,许多美国人竭力想维持外貌的年轻,他们最不愿别人问及的问题就是:“你到底有多大年纪了?”

Weight. This is one of the touchiest subjects. In America, it is okay, even desirable, to be thin but it is a sin and a huge embarrassment to be overweight. In fact,the thinner you are, the prettier you are considered. Looking through any American fashion magazines, you'll notice that most models are nothing more than skin and bones. Believe it or not, the tall and thin look was the hottest look of the 1990s.  体重。这是最敏感的话题之一。在美国,长得瘦是不错,甚至会让人羡慕,但超重就让人极为难堪,是种罪过。实际上,你越瘦,别人会认为你越漂亮。随便翻翻美国哪本时尚杂志,你会发现大多数模特都是皮包骨头。不管你信不信,细高的身材可是20世纪90年代最酷的。

Americans very much mind their weight and rarely disclose how much they weigh … even if they are thin and in great shape. Therefore, you best not to ask. But if you absolutely have to comment on this subject, it's always safe to say, "Oh, you look like you have lost weight" than "Oh, you look like you put on a few pounds". However, if you would like to be honest but not hurtful, I recommend you choose your words carefully, perhaps by saying, "Hey, you look great. Very healthy looking. " And always remember, it's not fat. It's muscular.

美国人很关注体重,且极少透露他们的体重……即使他们很瘦,身材很好。所以,你别问为妙。但如果你非得要讲,那就说:“噢,你看起来掉磅了”比“噢,你看起来像是重了几磅”常常要稳妥。然而,如果你想说实话但又不伤人,我建议你用词要小心,或许可以说:“嘿,你看起来棒极了。很健康。”千万要记住,那不是脂肪,是肌肉。

Income You should never ask how much someone's salary is. There's no way around this one. However, it's perfectly suitable to ask about their job title and what they do for a living. This information should give you some idea how much they make a year.

收入你绝对不要问别人挣多少钱。这没什么可说的。但你完全可以问他们的工作头衔和以什么为生计。这个信息可以让你对他们一年挣多少有所了解。

Matters of the Heart This is a tricky one. Sometimes you'll run into people who cannot wait to pour their hearts out to you. Then there are those who make sure their personal business stays behind closed doors. The general rule is not to get too personal, too fast. You don't want others to think that you are looking into their lives. Therefore, try not to ask too many questions about someone's love life, marriage and family until you have a friendship with this person. Even then, you better wait for your friend to come to you with the matters of their heart.

心里的事 这是个很微妙的问题。有时你会碰到迫不及待向你倾诉心声的人。但有些人时刻确保自己的私事不为外人知晓。总的原则是,不要太急于跟人谈个人私事。不要让人认为你在刺探他们的生活。所以,不要对别人的爱情、婚姻和家庭情况提太多问题,直到你跟此人结成了朋友。即便那时,你最好还是等着你的朋友带着心事来找你谈。

Anyhow, it's difficult to always avoid conversation landmines so be sensible, watch your steps and try not to open a can of worms.

不管怎样,在谈话中往往难免触雷,所以头脑要清醒些,行事要注意些,尽量不要触及那些忌讳的话题。

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