W hen a group of human beings work together, what does it take to make the cooperation go smoothly, effectively and productively? This question is one that every business manager faces. Good training, good conditions, a pleasant atmosphere, a common aim — all of these factors play a part, but the richness of human psychology makes management a subtle and demanding art. And when businesses go international, there are even more complexities to cope with. In the last unit, we looked at how cultural differences affect education. But what goes on after school? What happens at work in a world that ’ s rapidly becoming a “ global village ” ? The three texts you ’ re going to read in this unit explore some of the fascinating complications of international management. Pre-reading Activities: Preview Preview
First Listening: As you listen to the tape, fill in the missing parts in the blanks. Pre-reading Activities: Listening Pre-reading Activities, p. 70 A)Jack is interested in a job as an _____ manager located in _______. B)His qualifications include _____ years of experience knowing how to use ___________. C)He believes that people are _________ everywhere. Check-up
First Listening: As you listen to the tape, fill in the missing parts in the blanks. Pre-reading Activities: Listening A)Jack is interested in a job as an _____ manager located in _______. B)His qualifications include _____ years of experience knowing how to use ___________. C)He believes that people are _________ everywhere. office Tokyo four chopsticks the same
Second Listening: Think about the following questions. Pre-reading Activities: Listening What is the disagreement about? What is the disagreement about? Whose opinion do you agree more with? Why? Whose opinion do you agree more with? Why? Script
Jack:Wow, here’s a great job! “International firm seeks experienced office manager for new Tokyo branch. Excellent conditions, high salary.” Give me the phone, I’m going to call them right now to set up an interview. Jane:Yeah right — what kind of qualifications do you have to work as an office manager in Tokyo?! Jack:What do you mean? I have four years of experience as an office manager! Jane:Yeah, but not in Japan! Jack:So what? How different can it be from running an office anywhere else in the world? People are people. So what if they speak a different language and have a few different customs? Under the surface people are the same everywhere. Jane:But you don’t know anything about Japan, or Japanese culture! Jack:I know how to use chopsticks! Jane:I suspect there’s a little more to it than that … Pre-reading Activities: Listening
"Signal words" give hints about what is about to happen in what you're reading. Understanding them is a key to comprehension.
Number f_ _ _ _ s_ _ _ _ _ t_ _ _ _ What sequence or time order signal words do you know? Answer First Second Third Time Sequence ____ / ____ the beginning N_ _ _ t_ _ _ w_ _ _ F_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ that L_ _ _ _ B_ _ _ _ _ A_ _ _ _ S_ _ _ _ ____ / ____ the end The ______ thing E_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ F_ _ _ _ _ _ At /In the beginning Next Then When Following that Later Before After Soon At (in) the end The last thing Eventually finally
Events happing at the same time m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ At the______ time S_ _ _ _tane_ _ _ _ _ Answer Meanwhile At the same time simultaneously
_____________ a strong young man came with a big axe and got down to cutting the tree_______I was setting up my drawing board. _______he cut it off and pulled it away. ________ I got ready and turned round to draw, I found the tree had disappeared. “Dear me! Where on earth is the tree?” I could hardly believe my eyes. ________ I found out the truth. I was really disappointed and angry, too. _________, I went to the small woods not far from town to draw from nature with my drawing board. __________I was glad to find a tree living although the rest had been cut down. “That’s a fine tree to draw, ” I thought, __________ I began to set up my drawing board. One day Suddenly and then Just then Soon When while Finally
The Tale of a Cultural Translator 1 Joint ventures involving Western and Japanese companies often run into conflicts — a multitude of little things that escalate into big emotional battles in which all the parties keep exclaiming: “What’s wrong with them!? Can they understand that …?!” But because the conflicts are mainly due to cultural differences, neither side can understand — unless they have a “cultural translator”. due to due to Intensive Study
2 The first cultural translator I ever met was an installation engineer, George by name, who worked for an American company where I was the director of international operations. The company had just started a joint venture with a Japanese firm, and the American management needed someone to train the Japanese employees in its unique technology. George’s solid understanding of the equipment, its installation and use made him the best- qualified employee for the job, so everyone was happy when George accepted a two-year contract for temporary transfer to Japan. by nametransferby nametransfer Intensive Study
3 From the start, George was well accepted by all the Japanese employees. Japanese managers often distrust anyone sent to represent US owners, but George was so naturally nonassertive that no one could see him as a threat to their careers. So they felt comfortable asking his advice on a wide range of matters, including the odd behavior of their partners across the ocean. Engineers throughout the company appreciated George’s expertise and his friendly and capable help, and they got into the habit of turning to him whenever they had a problem — any problem. And the secretaries in the office were eager to help this nice bachelor learn Japanese. felt comfortable asking were eager to felt comfortable asking were eager to Intensive Study
4 Sooner than anyone expected, the company became a profitable, thriving and growing venture. George’s first two-year contract came to an end. By then, he could speak good Japanese, and had picked up Japanese habits. He drank green tea at all hours, ate rice at every meal and had even learned to sit properly on Japanese tatami mats. So when George was offered a second two- year Japanese contract, he accepted at once. Another contract followed, and George’s love affair with Japanese culture continued. came to an endat all hourscame to an endat all hours Intensive Study
5 But as George’s sixth year in the country was coming to an end, an unexpected difficulty became apparent: The Japanese engineers had surpassed George in their knowledge of the rapidly-changing technology. He had nothing left to teach them. surpassed 6 Was this the end for poor George? Was there nothing more he could offer to the now-matured joint venture he had served so loyally? Would he have to leave the country he had come to love? No! Faced with the threat of an unwilling departure from Japan, George reinvented himself as a “cultural translator”. George reinvented himself as a “cultural translator” George reinvented himself as a “cultural translator” Intensive Study
7 The idea came to George one day when the Japanese joint- venture president was — again — offended by a message from the American management. As usual in such situations, he stormed into George’s office and threw the message in front of him in a fury. And George, as usual, read the message and explained in his calm manner what the Americans had really meant by it, not what it sounded like in the context of Japanese culture. when the Japanese joint- venture president was — again — offended by a message from the American managementstormedwhen the Japanese joint- venture president was — again — offended by a message from the American managementstormed Intensive Study
8 Fortunately for everyone, both the Japanese and American sides of the joint venture had heard enough horror stories about cultural conflicts to recognize the value of George’s skills, so when he proposed this new position for himself, the idea was quickly approved. The wisdom of this decision was proved again and again over the years. The wisdom of this decision was proved again and again over the yearsThe wisdom of this decision was proved again and again over the years Intensive Study
9 At times something far more important than good English was needed. One such case was when the Japanese accountant had to explain the $46,534 spent on 874 December-holiday presents. Or there was the time when the Japanese personnel manager had to justify keeping a chemist on the payroll even though the company no longer needed his expertise. In cases like these, everyone turned to George. justify Intensive Study
10 Somehow or other, he made their messages sound at least halfway sensible to Americans. And when there was something that even George couldn’t “translated” into American-style sense, he would write, “This will sound crazy, but you should go along with it anyway. Somehow or other, he made their messages sound at least halfway sensible to Americans Somehow or other, he made their messages sound at least halfway sensible to Americans Intensive Study
11 It worked the other way around, too. When the American managers visited Japan, George accompanied us everywhere to ensure that we don’t do or say anything too stupid from the Japanese viewpoint. Whenever we did that anyway, he came to the rescue at once: “What they really mean is …” Whole multitudes of difficulties never arose thanks to George’s skill at smoothing over small conflicts before they became big, emotional and costly. It worked the other way around, too ensuresmoothing over It worked the other way around, too ensuresmoothing over Intensive Study
12 Since leaving that company in George’s capable hands, I’ve advised many firms on international operations. And my first recommendation is always the same: Don’t worry about language problems — the first thing you need is a cultural translator. (776 words) Intensive Study
run into — meet by chance; encounter unexpectedly e.g. I ran into Joe yesterday on Main street.I ran into Joe yesterday on Main street. Translate如果你不当心，会碰到麻烦的。 Key You will run into trouble if you don’t take care. = come across
… — a multitude of little things that escalate into big emotional battles in which all the parties keep exclaiming: “… a multitude of — a very large number of e.g. A multitude of people gathered at the gate of the exhibition hall. A multitude of people gathered at the gate of the exhibition hall. Translation Drill: 大群人聚集在展览大厅的门口。
(be) due to — because of (always related to some bad influence) e.g. Our new washing-machine keeps breaking down, which is entirely due to shoddy workmanship. Translation Drill: 我们的新洗衣机老出毛病－－完全是因为做的质量太差。
By name —a familiar name for a person (often a shortened version of a person's given name) e.g. She met a handsome boy, John by name. Translation Drill: 她遇到了一位名叫约翰的英俊少年。 e.g. A strange man, Fred by name, come to see me.
Feel comfortable doing something e.g. I always feel comfortable lying in bed listening to music after finishing whole-day study. Translation Drill: 结束一天的学习后，躺在床上听音乐总是让我感到很舒服。 e.g. I always feel comfortable talking with Peter, because he is very amiable.
transfer —n. the process by which sb. or sth. moves or is moved from one place, job,etc. to another e.g. David was fed up with his job in London so he asked for a transfer to the Paris office.David was fed up with his job in London so he asked for a transfer to the Paris office. Translate Blake’s transfer to an Italian football club came as a shock to all his supporters. Key布莱克转会到一个意大利足球俱乐部令他的所有拥趸大为震惊。
get into the habit of doing sth. —start to do sth. so often that it becomes a habit e.g. He’s got into the habit of switching on the TV as soon as he gets home.He’s got into the habit of switching on the TV as soon as he gets home. I got into the habit of studying in the library when I was in college.I got into the habit of studying in the library when I was in college. Fill in the blank __________ ( 他养成了用筷子吃饭的习惯 ), he prefers them to a knife and fork. He has got into the habit of eating with chopsticks
Be eager to do something. E.g.: I was eager to get back to work as soon as possible. Translation Drill: 他渴望出人头地, 在某方面与众不同. He was eager to get out of the common and distinguish himself in some way. = look forward to doing
come to an end —stop; finish e.g. The team’s run of success seems to come to an end.The team’s run of success seems to come to an end. And here the story come to an end. And here the story come to an end. Translate When this temporary job comes to an end, he’ll be unemployed again. Key这份临时工作干完以后，他就又失业了。
pick up —learn or acquire easily without making much effort e.g. George picked up a few Japanese phrases when he was on a business trip to Tokyo.George picked up a few Japanese phrases when he was on a business trip to Tokyo. We need someone who will pick the job up quickly. We need someone who will pick the job up quickly. Translate我不知道孩子们上哪儿学到这些无礼的字眼的！ Key I don’t know where my children have picked up those rude words!
at all hours —at any time; all the time e.g. The restaurant serves meals at all hours.The restaurant serves meals at all hours. Translation Drill: 他喜欢不分昼夜的招待朋友。 He likes entertaining his friends at all hours of the day and night.
Tatami Tatami is a rectangular mat used as a floor covering in Japanese houses. It consists of a thick straw base and a soft, finely woven rush cover with cloth borders. A tatami Measures approximately 6 by 3 feet (180 by 90 cm) and is about 2 inches (5 cm) thick. Text-related information
surpass —v. be even better or greater than; go beyond e.g. His time for the 100 meters surpassed the previous world record by one hundredth of a second. His time for the 100 meters surpassed the previous world record by one hundredth of a second. Translation Drill: 你的优异表现已经超出了所有人的期望。 Key Your excellent performance has surpassed everyone’s expectations.
be faced with —be confronted with; be made to meet (sth.bad or difficult) e.g. Faced with the threat of losing their jobs, the workers on strike decided to go back to work.Faced with the threat of losing their jobs, the workers on strike decided to go back to work. He is faced with a difficult choice after graduation: to go back to his hometown or stay in the big city.He is faced with a difficult choice after graduation: to go back to his hometown or stay in the big city. Fill in the blank 面临严重的财政问题 ), the company had to lay off some of the workers. __________ ( 面临严重的财政问题 ), the company had to lay off some of the workers. Faced with severe financial problems
…, George reinvented himself as a “cultural translator”. Translate the sentence: ? 乔治将自己重新塑造成了一名 “ 文化翻译 ” 。
e.g. My last question is again a somewhat personal one.My last question is again a somewhat personal one. Again, that’s very impossible.Again, that’s very impossible. The adverb again can be used to indicate and emphasize a similarity between the situation, action or subject that is happening or being discussed now and a previous one. … when the Japanese joint-venture president was — again — offended by a message from the American management.
storm —v. move or walk quickly and noisily in an anger e.g. After the argument she stormed off. After the argument she stormed off. He stormed round the house in a rage. He stormed round the house in a rage.
The wisdom of this decision was proved again and again over the years. Paraphrase the sentence: ? The decision (to act as a cultural translator) was proved sensible by one incident after another during all these years.
justify —v. give good reasons for / to do (sth.) e.g. Does the end always justify the means? Does the end always justify the means? It’s hard to justify making everyone wait for so long. It’s hard to justify making everyone wait for so long. Translate你怎能为这样对待你的母亲而辩护？ Key How can you justify yourself for treating your mother like that?
Somehow or other, he made their message sound at least halfway sensible to Americans. somehow or other — in some way; in one way or another e.g. Somehow or other, we will get the machine working again.Somehow or other, we will get the machine working again. Don’t keep the secret from him; he will know it somehow or other.Don’t keep the secret from him; he will know it somehow or other. More to learn More to learn
e.g. Any halfway decent teacher should be able to explain it.Any halfway decent teacher should be able to explain it. He halfway surrendered to their demands.He halfway surrendered to their demands. Somehow or other, he made their message sound at least halfway sensible to Americans. The word halfway is used as an adverb to mean fairly or reasonably.
go along with — agree with; accept; support e.g. She’ll go along with your decision.She’ll go along with your decision. We’ll go along with your suggestions, although they’re not exactly what we want.We’ll go along with your suggestions, although they’re not exactly what we want.
It worked the other way around, too. Paraphrase the sentence: ? It was also effective with messages from the American management to the Japanese.
ensure —v. make sure, guarantee e.g. This letter will ensure you an interview. This letter will ensure you an interview. The door did not lock, but at least it ensured a reasonable amount of privacy.The door did not lock, but at least it ensured a reasonable amount of privacy. Translate This medicine will ensure you a night’s good sleep. Key这药可以保证你一夜好睡。
e.g. Thanks to a cool summer, our electricity bills have been very low.Thanks to a cool summer, our electricity bills have been very low. The play was a great success thanks to the effort and commitment of everyone involved.The play was a great success thanks to the effort and commitment of everyone involved. Cf. due to —because of e.g. It is reported that accidents due to driving at high speed have increased a lot.It is reported that accidents due to driving at high speed have increased a lot. thanks to — because of; owing to; with the help of More to do More to do
1. The big emotional battles are mainly _____ cultural differences. 2. One company I worked for avoided this entire problem _____ the sensitivity of one of their employees. V.Study the use of “due to” and “thanks to” and then use them to complete the following sentences. due to thanks to Exercises Vocabulary Ex. V, p. 65 《读写教程 II 》 : Ex. V, p. 65
3. _____ circumstances beyond our control, the store will be closed for the entire month of August. 4. _____ effort and good will of everyone involved, the Christmas party was a great success. Due to Thanks to V.Study the use of “due to” and “thanks to” and then use them to complete the following sentences. Exercises Vocabulary
5. All flights have been delayed _____ a thick fog. 6. _____ the public ’ s generous donations, the earthquake victims were able to rebuild their homes within two months. due to thanks to V.Study the use of “due to” and “thanks to” and then use them to complete the following sentences. Exercises Vocabulary
smooth over —make (problems or difficulties) seem less serious or more pleasant e.g. Perhaps a gift of flowers will help to smooth your quarrel over. Perhaps a gift of flowers will help to smooth your quarrel over. Translate比尔试图平息和妻子的争吵。 Key Bill tried to smooth over his argument with his wife.