Текст по страноведению English Character

Учимся характеризовать людей на английском языке: описывать характер и внешность, оценивать и осуждать особенности поведения.

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Тема ENGLISH ECCENTRIC

I have one friend who belongs to the higher levels of society called the ‘upper class’; he even has a title — Lord. We meet from time to time, he invites me for lunch or dinner to a cute restaurant and we enjoy not only the food, but the conversation too. He is a big lover of talking and a master at telling funny stories. Besides this, he is not against joking. I will tell you one such amusing occurrence. Есть у меня один друг, принадлежащий к высшим слоям общества, именуемым «высший класс»; у него и титул есть — лорд. Мы встречаемся время от времени, он приглашает меня на обед или ужин в милый ресторанчик, и мы наслаждаемся не только едой, но и беседой. Он большой любитель поговорить и мастер рассказывать забавные истории. Кроме того, он и сам не прочь пошутить. Я расскажу один такой забавный случай.
George — this was the name of this Lord — invited me for lunch in an Italian restaurant in Kensington not far from his house. The restaurant was small but very cosy and the interior stood out with exquisite Italian taste. Джордж — так звали этого лорда, — пригласил меня на обед в итальянский ресторан в Кенсингтоне, недалеко от его дома. Ресторан был маленький, но очень уютный, и интерьер отличался изысканностью итальянского вкуса.
George said that this restaurant was famous for its excellent lobster. He asked me if I wanted to enjoy this delicacy. I eagerly agreed as in truth, this expensive dish was not for my pocket. Lobster or langoustine in a good restaurant can cost 80 pounds or more a portion. I don’t even remember when the last time I enjoyed this seafood dish was. Джордж сказал, что этот ресторан известен своими превосходными омарами. Он спросил меня, не хочу ли я отведать этого деликатеса. Я с большой охотой согласилась, так как, по правде говоря, это дорогое блюдо мне не по карману. Омар или лангуст в хорошем ресторане стоит начиная от восьмидесяти фунтов и дороже за порцию. Я даже не припомню, когда я в последний раз наслаждалась этим морским блюдом.
And so, George called the waiter with his eyes. The waiters there are so well trained that they understand every blink with professionalism worthy of admiration. George asked the waiter to bring two portions of whole lobster. On the face of the waiter flickered a light shadow of embarrassment; he said that unfortunately today in the menu there was only lobster salad. Then George, puffing on his cigar and without a second thought announced that he will buy all the salads for today so that they can bring us lobster in its natural form — whole! I think it cost him a month’s income, but he liked extravagant jokes. There they are — Lords — enigmatic English eccentrics. Итак, Джордж взглядом подозвал официанта. Официанты там настолько вышколены, что понимают каждое моргание с профессионализмом, достойным восхищения. Джордж попросил официанта принести две порции омаров целиком. По лицу официанта пробежала легкая тень смущения; он сказал, что, к сожалению, сегодня в меню только салаты с омарами. Тогда Джордж, попыхивая сигарой и не раздумывая ни секунды, заявил, что он закупает все салаты на сегодняшний день только для того, чтобы нам принесли омаров в натуральном виде, целиком! Я думаю, что ему это стоило месячного дохода, но он любил экстравагантную шутку. Вот они — лорды, непостижимые английские эксцентрики.

VOСABULARY

occurrence – случай, происшествие
to stand out – отличаться
eagerly – охотно
to be not for one’s pocket – быть не по карману кому-либо
worthy – достойный
to flicker – зд.: пробежать, промелькнуть
embarrassment – смущение

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 1. Найдите английские соответствия следующих слов и выражений.

Принадлежать к высшим слоям общества; время от времени; пригласить на обед; он не прочь пошутить; недалеко от дома; быть известным своими омарами; по правде говоря; это мне не по карману; 80 фунтов за порцию; в последний раз; подозвать взглядом; профессионализм, достойный восхищения; легкая тень смущения; не раздумывая ни секунды; в натуральном виде; это стоило ему месячного дохода.

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 2. Составьте предложения, используя слова и выражения из упражнения 1.

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 3. Заполните пропуски подходящими предлогами.

To belong _____ the higher levels _____ society; to meet _____ time _____ time; to invite _____ lunch _____ a restaurant; the name _____ this Lord; not far _____ house; be famous _____ its lobster; be not _____ my pocket; called the waiter _____ his eyes; worthy _____ admiration; two portions _____ lobster; today _____ the menu; _____ a second thought; lobster _____ its natural form.

Extract from BREWER’S ROGUES, VILLAINS, ECCENTRICS: THROUGH THE AGES by William Donaldson

Queuing, home-ownership, hypocrisy, long walks in the rain, punk rock, the royal household, gardening, train-spotting, the pub: the character-building feats of English are endless. The English are meant to be eccentric. That’s the explanation. Quirkily brave in opinion, creative in behaviour — all this makes an Englishman to be proud. Nobody does eccentricity better.

The English eccentric is a comforter. It is supposed not anger but a chortle as a means of accommodating oneself to life. And that comfort is one of the few egalitarian consolations in the society. Whether a proletarian, pigeon-fancier on the allotment or a breeder of pigs, the English can console themselves with the thought that they’re all in on this particular thing together.

By the end of the 17th century it was accepted that there was such a thing as a unique English temperament. This temperament liked to tease people rather than to play with ideas. And it was anti-heroic in behaviour and literary style.

English literary culture has been anti-epic and cynic-friendly. Poetry may make nothing happen but the English eccentric humour does not just survive in the valley of its making. Something very odd happened to the English in the centuries. ‘There are those,’ writes De la Rochefoucauld, ‘who would never fall in love unless they had read about it first.’

English eccentric is now a pretty rundown model. But then an incapacity for foreign languages has long been a part of the eccentricity of the English.

VOСABULARY
queuing – стояние в очереди
hypocrisy – лицемерие
royal household – дела королевской семьи
quirkily – насмешливо
anger – гнев
chortle – сдавленный смех
egalitarian – борец за равенство
consolation – утешение
pigeon-fancier – любитель голубей
allotment – участок, временно выдаваемый горожанину для огородничества
breeder – селекционер
odd – странный
rundown – изношенный

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 4. Ответьте на вопросы.

1) Name several character-building feats of the English. Do you consider them to be strange? 2) What character features cause an Englishman to be proud of himself? 3) Is the English eccentric a comforter? Why do you think so? 4) When was the term ‘English temperament’ accepted? 5) Has it changed through the centuries? 6) What feature has become a part of the eccentricity of the English?

PENSIONER TURNED JACK OF ALL TRAPES GIVING NEEDY NEIGHBOURS A LIFETIME
Jack Stevenson pedals his bike into the deep flood. It is 2pm, the rain is pouring down and this is already the sixth trip the 69 year old has made today running errands for neighbours.
Since his property was one of the first to be flooded six days ago, Stevenson has done everything from lifting 93-year-old woman from her home, to fetching a much-wanted pack of beer for a stranded resident. His own life has been capsized: his uninsured bungalow is submerged and family photos are floating in the water.
‘The word biblical keeps coming to mind’, he says. In the quiet moments I want to cry and it is quite depressing, but somehow, even though I’m not a teenager, I dig deep and there’s another gear.’
His first errand of the afternoon is to check on Kris Jagden and his wife. The bottom stair into their ‘river room’ now forms part of a bank of the Thames.
‘Jack has helped so much we wouldn’t have managed without him,’ says Mrs. Jagden. ‘He’s given us moral support and all kinds of help.’
Mr. Jagden wants him to pick up some beer and to redeem some vouchers he has for a Spanish language course.
I’m trying to save lives and you’re giving me some vouchers,’ Stevenson jokes, but he pockets them and promises to try. ‘I think I would have been good value in the blitz,’ he says, back out on the streets that have become canals.

VOСABULARY
flood – наводнение
to pour down – лить как из ведра (о дожде)
errand – зд.: заезд для оказания помощи
to fetch – приносить
to capsize – перевернуться
uninsured – незастрахованный
biblical – библейский

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 5. Ответьте на вопросы.

1) What happened in the neighbourhood? 2) What happened to Jack’s own house? 3) Was it insured or not? 4) Why is Mr. Stevenson considered to be a hero? 5) How does he help his neighbours? 6) Is he a young person? 7) Is it difficult for him to help other people? 8) What do his neighbours say about his help? 9) What happened to the Jagden’ family? 10) Do the neighbours try to thank Jack? How?

HUMMING NOISE
For weeks, residents of Southampton have been complaining about a mystery humming noise that has been keeping them awake at night.
Sound fishy? That could be because it is. Experts are now saying that the noise could come from randy fish looking to attract a mate.
They say male midshipman fish try to out-hum each other using a drone from their swim bladder which is supposed to tempt females.
The noise — which could be amplified by surrounding buildings — is said to start at 10pm and go on all through the night.

VOСABULARY
to complain – жаловаться
humming – гудящий, назойливый звук
sound fishy – выражение, когда что-то подозрительно, плохо, зд. игра слов
mate – друг/подружка, пара
drone – гудение

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 6. Перечитайте отрывок из статьи и ответьте на вопросы.

1) Don’t you think it is quite an eccentric way to attract a mate? 2) Have you ever heard about fishes producing any kind of sound? 3) Where did the story happen? 4) What do the experts say? 5) Does it sound fishy? And why does the phrase seem funny?

DIALOGUE

Two friends are talking in a café.

Kate: I can’t believe you’ve gone an extra mile just to meet this bizarre man. He seems to be crazy!
Liz: Yes, all the locals in the pub think he is an out-of-the-ordinary star. But look first of all I didn’t know that he’d invited me to look after his twenty hunting dogs. On the Internet he wasn’t specific! He invited me to his estate for a blind date; and I was over the moon when I saw the pictures of him and his huge house (although he didn’t show me the picture of his twenty dogs). You know I am quite sure you would be the same in my shoes. And secondly I’ll be beautifully paid! One thousand pounds for looking after his dogs!
Kate: How long should you stay in his house?
Liz: About three weeks or so. He is going away on a business trip and asked me to feed his dogs and to provide a lot of exercise as they should be fit for hunting. He’s a very keen hunter.
Kate: Oh my! How on earth are you going to provide the exercise for these twenty bouncy hounds!?
Liz: Yes, my first reaction was to say: ‘No-no, thank you’. But he kind of guessed what I was going to say and asked me NOT to give him an immediate answer but to think first and answer in several days. So now I thought all things through and I feel that it’s a good offer. I found a solution for exercising these beasts. All that I have to do is to buy about 100 meters of a rope — a thick good quality one.
Kate: Well, go on… I’m intrigued…
Liz: Stop hurrying me, I am enjoying my cake — mmm … yummy! So I told you he has a huge house and his garden is vast. There are a lot of trees in it. It’ll be quite easy to find twenty trees — one for each doggy.
Kate: God! What are you going to do then?
Liz: Don’t you get it? Silly girl! I extend a lead of each dog for another five meters. So altogether it will be about eight meters long. It’s generous length for them to run around and jump and whatever they want to do… I think nights are quite warm now so they can remain all this time in the shade of their own tree. Ha-ha…
Kate: And feeding?
Liz: Oh, it’ll be a walk in the park.. .Twice a day I’ll bring them their dish (each one of them has a named bowl) and after they finish I collect them and wash in a dishwasher. Simple!
Kate: Oh Liz, you’re a genius! It really can work. Now I see it. Wow! Look can I come to you for the weekend to see your ideas in action?
Liz: Sure you can. I was going to invite you anyway. What do you think if we can have a girly garden party in the company of men (I mean dogs)? I’ll call the others. Do you think twenty girls would be a good idea? So each dog would have a nice pretty girl which will look after it. The girls can even take them for a long walk in the garden if they want to, play with them, and groom them. So doggies will have personal attention. It’ll be fun! And they will be ready to meet Montague looking their best.
Kate: Liz, you are so quirky, yeah, it’s a brilliant plan.
Liz: Sorted! So be it. Twelfth of July 2014 is the day!

VOСABULARY
to go an extra mile – слишком постараться
out-of-the-ordinary star – необычный, оригинальный человек
blind date – свидание «вслепую»
to be over the moon – быть на седьмом небе от счастья
be in one’s shoes – быть на чьем-либо месте
keen – увлеченный
Oh my! – Боже мой! (воскл.)
how on earth – как же; да каким же образом (воскл.)
bouncy – зд.: подвижный
hound – гончая
kind of – как бы
to guess – догадаться
to think things through – основательно обдумать
beast – животное
yummy – вкуснятина
a walk in the park – приятное занятие

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 7. Найдите английские соответствия следующих слов и выражений.

Не могу поверить; они считают его странным; присматривать за собаками; пригласить на свидание «вслепую»; я была на седьмом небе от счастья; если бы ты была на моем месте; быть в форме; он увлекается охотой; как же ты сделаешь; моя первая реакция; дать ответ немедленно; это хорошее предложение; найти решение; я заинтригована; прекрати меня подгонять; глупышка; оставаться в тени; дважды в день; это сработает; в действии; в лучшем виде; ты такая находчивая; это прекрасный план.

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 8. Составьте предложения, используя слова и выражения из упражнения 7.

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 9. Заполните пропуски подходящими предлогами.

First ___ all; to look_dogs; to invite ___ a dinner; the pictures ___ his house; to be ___ my shoes; to go ___ a business trip; to provide a lot ___ exercise; to befit ___ hunting; to find a solution ___ exercising; 100 meters ___ a rope; one ___ each dog; ___ the shade ___ a tree; to come ___ weekend; to take ___ a walk; ___ their best appearance; the 12th ___ July.

VOCABULARY
to go away — уезжать
to go on business trip — уезжать в командировку

► В английском языке будущее действие может быть выражено при помощи конструкции to be going + инфинитив, которая выражает личное намерение что-либо сделать. Конструкция указывает, что действие запланировано, и переводится чаще всего «собираться сделать что-либо».

What are you going to do then? — Что ты тогда собираешься делать?
How on earth, you are going to provide the exercise? — Да как же, скажи на милость, ты собираешься обеспечить им физические упражнения?
I was going to invite you anyway. — Я собиралась пригласить тебя в любом случае.

Обратите внимание, что конструкция to be going + инфинитив, как правило, не употребляется с глаголами to до и to соте. Вместо этого используют I’m going и I’m coming.

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 10. Составьте список новогодних обещаний самому себе, используя приведенные ниже словосочетания и конструкцию to be going + инфинитив.

Read ten books in English; remember the birthdays of all my friends; be nice to my colleagues; visit my Granny; do my exercises every day; go on a trip to Europe; spend a lot of time with my family; not to watch a lot of TV.

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 11. Дайте краткое описание того, что вы собираетесь делать в следующих ситуациях.

1) what’s the weather going to be like this afternoon; 2) what are you going to do tomorrow; 3) how is your family is going to spend next weekend; 4) what you are going to present your mother for her birthday; 5) what you are going to order for lunch if you have a meal out.

► Как и в любом другом языке, в английском есть устойчивые выражения для обозначения того, что не представляет особой сложности, словом — просто, как дважды два:

quite easy
a walk in the park
a piece of cake
as easy as pie
not rocket science
as easy as drinking a glass of water
like shooting fish in a barrel

Все эти выражения довольно широко используются в разговорной речи:
It’ll be quite easy to find twenty trees — one for each doggy. — Совсем не сложно будет найти двадцать деревьев — по одному на каждую собачку.
And feeding? — Oh, it’ll be a walk in the park… – А кормление? — О, а это будет просто, как дважды два (= как прогулка в парке).

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 12. Соедините части идиом между собой, а затем составьте с ними мини-диалоги.

Например: I thought this was a difficult problem. — It isn’t. In fact, it’s as easy as pie. I can do it by myself.

as easy as drinking | a walk | like | quite | like shooting | not | as easy as

a piece of cake | easy | fish in a barrel | a glass of water | in the park | pie | rocket science

УПРАЖНЕНИЕ 13. Прочитайте описание ситуации, а затем, выполните задание.

Вы продолжаете гостить у своего друга в Англии. Однажды утром вы отправляетесь на прогулку и сталкиваетесь с человеком, выходящим из квартиры напротив. Вы здороваетесь с ним, но в ответ получаете лишь насмешливую улыбку. Вечером вы расспрашиваете своего друга об этом странном человеке. Составьте шутливое описание соседа вашего друга (внешность, возраст, привычки, стиль общения т.д.).