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Driving

Driving 美国人的开车习惯

  Meet Mitsuaki. He recently arrived in the United States to enter university. He wants to do well in his studies and adjust to the new culture. But Mitsuaki has a problem. It's not his roommates. It's not his school fees. It's not even his English ability. Mitsuaki's problem is that he doesn't have a car. And in America, that really makes him a foreigner. Mitsuaki has already discovered a basic fact of American culture: Driving is a way of life.
  介绍你认识三和木,他最近刚到美国上大学。他的目标是想把书读好并且让自己能够适应这个新的文化。但三和木却遇到了一个问题。问题不是室友,不是学费,甚至不是他的英文能力,三和木的问题是没有车。在美国,没有车真的会让他成了一个十足的外国人。三和木已经发现了美国文化中一个很基本的事实:开车是一种生活方式。


  It's not that there's no public transportation in America. Many cities have taxis, buses and subways to help commuters get to and from work. Some large universities even have buses to take students to classes across campus. But most people find it much more convenient to drive, even if they do have to deal with traffic. Nowadays busy families often have more than one vehicle. Many people view their car as a status symbol. But no matter their social status, people without wheels feel tied down.

  美国不是没有大众运输工具,很多都市都有出租车、公车和地下铁帮助通车族上下班。有些规模大的大学甚至有公车在校园里载送学生到各个教室上课。不过大部份的人还是觉得开车更方便,即使他们得面对交通拥挤的问题。现今忙碌的家庭通常拥有一辆以上的车。很多人把车子视为地位的象征,但是不管他们的社会地位如何,没有车的人往往觉得很受束缚。.


  When Mitsuaki first arrived, he was amazed at how young many American drivers there were. Young people in America often get their driver's license around age 16 by passing a written test and a driving test. In many cases, before they can get their license, they have to take a driver education course. This course gives students hands-on practice with driving. It also helps to reduce the high cost of insurance. For teenagers, being able to drive--and in some cases, have their own car--is a big deal. It gives them a sense of power and freedom. Many young Americans consider a driver's license a right, not a privilege. It's rare to find an American teenager without one.

  当三和木刚抵达美国时,他很惊讶美国许多开车的人年纪实在很轻。美国的年轻人通常在16岁左右就会通过笔试和路考,取得驾照。很多时候在他们取得驾照之前,他们必须上一个驾驶人教育课程,这个课程提供给学生们实际的驾驶练习,它也有助于降低高额的保险费。对青少年来说,能够开车,甚至拥有一辆自己的车是一件了不起的事,因为它带给他们一种权力与自由的感觉。很多美国的年轻人把驾照视为一种权利,而不是一项特权。在美国要找到一个没有驾照的青少年是很不容易的。


  Mitsuaki finally decides that he needs a car. His host family helps him find a good used car to buy. But before he gets his license and starts driving, he has to understand that the American style of driving is defensive, not offensive. He also needs to learn some of the basic rules of the road that good drivers follow.

10 Commandments of Good Driving in America:
1. Yield to vehicles who have the right of way.
2. Don't cut in front of other vehicles.
3. Drive within the speed limit.
4. Obey all road signs and police officers.
5. Pull over to the side of the road when you hear a siren.
6. Stop completely at red lights and stop signs.
7. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
8. Park only in a designated parking space.
9. Use your turn signals when turning or changing lanes.
10. Don't drink and drive.

  三和木最后终于决定他需要一辆车,他的寄宿家庭帮助他找到了一辆好的二手车。但是在他拿到驾照并且开始开车之前,他必须先了解,美国人的开车方式是属于防守型,而不是进攻型。他也需要学习一些好的驾驶人应该遵守的基本道路规则。

在美国优良驾驶的十大诫命:
1. 礼让有先行权的车子。
2. 不超车。
3. 行车不超速。
4. 遵守所有的路标和交通警察的指挥。
5. 听到警笛声时,立即靠边停车。
6. 遇到红灯和停止标志时要完全停下来。
7. 在行人穿越道上要礼让行人。
8. 只能在指定的停车地区内停车。
9. 转弯或换车道时要打方向灯。
10. 不要酒后驾车。


  As a car owner, Mitsuaki has the responsibility of maintaining his car. He knows that regular maintenance checkups can help to prevent many serious problems. But no matter how careful the maintenance, all vehicles need to be repaired sometimes. Many Americans take their cars to a garage for maintenance and repairs. Others like to work on their own vehicles. Not Mitsuaki. He decides that being a student is enough work for him.

  身为一个车主,三和木必须负责维修他的车子,他知道定期作保养检查可以预防许多严重的问题发生。不过,不管多么小心地保养,所有的车子有时候都必须修理。很多美国人把他们的车子送到车厂保养和修理;有些人则喜欢自己动手修车。但三和木可不这么做。他觉得当一个学生已经够他忙的了。


  Driving is to Americans what flying is to birds. It's almost part of their nature. For many Americans, being behind the wheel is like their natural habitat. But if they don't drive carefully, they can become an endangered species.

  开车对美国人的必要性,就像鸟儿需要飞翔一样,几乎就是他们天性的一部份。对许多美国人而言,「坐在方向盘后面」就像是他们自然栖息之处。不过,如果他们不小心开车的话,他们可就会变成濒临危险的动物了。

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