主持人：Maggie 黃蔚兒、Joanne 譚綺旻
每一輯Language Academy 都會聚焦一種語言。
One of the many problems you may encounter when you first move aboard is probably dealing with utility companies in English.
○ When I first moved to the U.S., I found that it was more difficult to understand people on the phone than to speak to them in person.
- Could you please repeat that?
- Can you speak a little slower, please?
- Could you spell that for me, please?
○ When I was in college, I had a few part-time jobs. One of them was working for a translation company as an over-the-phone interpreter 電話翻譯員.
- In the U.S., you can request an interpreter翻譯員.
Situation 1: Calling the internet company
- I am calling because…
- my internet isn’t working.
- the reception (or signal) is poor.
- the internet is very slow.
- In Sydney, Australia, it takes up to 2 weeks before someone comes and installs the internet.
- Most likely the internet company is going to tell you to
- “switch the modem off for 10 secs and back on”
- “Is the internet light flashing or solid?”
- For security purposes 保安理由, can you please verify the last 4 digits of your ID?
Situation 2: Calling a handyman company
- I am calling because…
- my toilet pipe has burst 廁所渠爆了
- a pipe is leaking 渠漏水
- Can you please send someone out here?
- When’s the soonest someone (or a technician) can come?
(It would be a pressing situation 緊迫情況 if your water boiler has stopped working.)
Situation 3: Noise complaint
- Calling the security guards downstairs or non-emergency services
- Hi, there’s a lot of noise coming from my neighbor's flat.
- It sounds like there’s a fight going on.
- It’s past ten o’clock and I think they are playing mahjong (or singing karaoke).
- My neighbor's dog has been barking the whole night.
- Can you please have someone take a look?
1. Do you know people like that in the office -
○ 刷鞋仔: Apple polisher / yes man
There are also colleagues who just can’t say no.
○ People may take advantage of you if you are too nice.
2. Instead of saying “no”, what can we say? (useful on emails as well)
○ I regret to inform you…（that we cannot accommodate 遷就/容納 your request）
○ I am afraid I cannot…(offer you a refund on this product)
○ Unfortunately, due to circumstances, we cannot …(deliver the product to you on time)
3. Sometimes, it’s not good to just say ‘no!’ Instead you can give them alternatives:
● I am sorry that hasn’t worked out, what we can do is…(offer you compensation 補償)
● I can understand your point of view, how about we do this instead.
● You’ve made some valid 有效 points, perhaps we can compromise 妥協 and…….
(The security system has been compromised. 保安系統已被破壞)
● I agree with you, but can we add…(more staff to help out at the event)
4. How to politely chase someone for their work
● Is there any chance that you can get it done sooner?
● Where are you on this project?
● I don’t mean to rush you but the client has been chasing me. 唔洗急最緊要快 (chase - 追趕)
● I would just like to follow up on the progress. (US and UK pronunciation)
5. Different work personality types.
● The Driver; data and results-minded person. Someone who is decisive 決定性，focused and wants to try new things.
● The Integrator; someone who builds relationships and boosts morale 鼓舞士氣. Someone who is diplomatic 懂得外交 and empathetic 善解人意.
● The Guardian; someone who maintains structure 保持結構 and order. It is someone who is reserved 含蓄, but they are methodical 有方法的 and detailed oriented 做事細心仔細.
● The Pioneer; a risk-taker 冒險者. These people are often leaders, they are outgoing, they see the bigger picture, and are confident.
Westernized companies might have a better emphasis on work-life balance.
● They would allow flextime 自由工作時間. You can choose your work hours.
○ I think because of Covid and technology, it has changed the way we work and has allowed us, the employees, to spend more time at home.
■ A lot of big companies are downsizing (downsize - (使)減員) their offices.
■ A lot of companies offer a hybrid model 混合模式 of working from home 1-2 days and then at the office for the rest of the week.
● Countries such as the UK, Belgium, and many Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway and Sweden, etc.) are implementing 實施 a 4-day work week.
● New World HK has also implemented a 4.5 half-day work week.
Studies show that working longer hours doesn’t make you more productive.
● The ideal number of hours you should work per week is 38-hours according to Denmark, consistently one of the happiest countries in the world. Studies have also shown you should take 6 weeks off per year to obtain optimal 最佳 happiness.
● Studies in Iceland also show that you are 13% more productive when you are happy.
● Americans are not taking half of their vacation days. Studies have shown that ⅔ of Americans even work on their holidays.
● The World Health Organisation said that if you work on average of 55 hours or more each week, you increase the risk of stroke by 35%, and the risk of dying from heart disease by 17%, compared to people who only work on average 35-40 hours per week.
主持人：Maggie 黃蔚兒、Joanne 譚綺旻
Have you had a staycation recently?
- Are you scared of staying in a hotel room by yourself?
- I am scared of 鬼壓床 (Scientists and doctors would tell you that it is just sleep paralysis 睡眠癱瘓).
- Do you believe in 迷信 (superstitions)?
寧可信其有 不可信其無 It is better to believe that it exists than that it does not.
- News headline
Chinese woman detained after another ‘lucky coin toss’ at aircraft engine
The woman threw half a dozen coins at the engine before the flight between the Inner Mongolian cities of Hohhot and Chifeng. The service was due to take off soon after 8am but was delayed by more than two hours as staff searched for the coins and moved the remaining passengers to another aircraft. All of the coins were recovered.What makes people superstitious?
(A scientific explanation from a medical website)
Superstitions have two main causes: cultural tradition 文化傳統 and individual experiences. If you grew up steeped in the superstitions of a particular culture or religion, you may carry these beliefs forward, even subconsciously 潛意識地.Chinese festivals such as 鬼節 Ghost Festival and Qingming Festival 清明節
- People burn joss paper (紙錢) and other joss paper products.
- Do you believe the deceased (已去世的人）would really receive them?Feng Shui 風水
- Many westerners believe in feng shui.
- My friend, who just bought a tiny apartment that looked like a flat that had been murdered in (凶宅) or a haunted flat (鬼屋) at first in Quarry Bay hired a feng shui master (風水師傅) to look over the layout.
- There was an abandoned house (廢棄的房子) near my old high school. It looked creepy (怪異可怕的、詭異).Numbers That Would Give You Bad Luck
- A lot of western superstitions have got to do with the Bible.
- 666 - the devil's number in the bible.
- Similar to 4 in Chinese for death and obviously 8 for good, but Chinese is just a play on sounds rather than meaning.
- Why is Friday the 13th Unlucky?
According to biblical (有關《聖經》的) tradition, 13 guests attended the Last Supper, held on Maundy Thursday, including Jesus and his 12 apostles (one of whom, Judas, betrayed him). The next day, of course, was Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Some buildings would not have a 13th floor.Let’s guess. Do you think these are true superstitions? And why?
- Walking Under a Ladder
This could be an old wives’ tale (無稽之談/ 不科學的陳腐說法/ 老太太的故事) to protect people from getting hurt. But it’s actually from back in the day, when they used to hang people and if you walked under the ladder, you would be walking directly under the dead person’s body.
- Smell Your Own Feet- Breaking a Mirror
Another one with an ancient history here! Some people believe that breaking a mirror is meant to give you 7 years of bad luck. This harks back to the Roman times, when they believed that mirrors were a portal to the soul, and breaking one would damage the soul, which couldn't be amended until life renewed itself, which was believed to be every seven years.
- Knocking on Wood
Knock on wood. / Touch wood. (The internet says they are both the same. “Knock on wood” is more of an American saying.)
Most common western superstition/ Celtic beliefs that spirits resided in tress and be called upon for protection.