Passage A Passage B Return to Menu
Passage A • Think About It • Read About It • Talk About It • Write About It
1. How American people celebrate Valentine’s Day? Reference: Every February 14, across the country, candies, flowers, especially roses, which symbolize love, and other gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. Giving Valentine’s Day greeting cards is also one of the activities of this day.
2. Do you buy Valentine’s Day’s cards printed in English or in Chinese for your girlfriend or boyfriend? Reference: Open
With the coming of globalization, some English holidays or festivals are becoming more and more popular all over the world. They are celebrated by some non-English speaking countries. For instance, in some big cities in China more and more people, especially the young celebrate foreign holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Christmas. A possible reason might be that young people easily accept new things and Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday. In addition love is global and universal, and many people enjoy celebrating this holiday to express their affection or emotions to those they love. 3. Why do you think more and more young people celebrate foreign festivals or holidays in China? Does this have anything to do with globalization? Reference:
Read About It • Language Points • Content Awareness • Language Focus
Hallmark’s Asian Valentine The tradition of card giving on Valentine's Day seemingly an American phenomenon is taking root in Asia, too. Yet, when Asian customers buy Valentine's Day cards, they often choose the original English versions even when they don't speak the language. Hallmark’s greeting cards are known throughout the world. The Kansas city-based company has developed into a $3.5 billion corporation, from its beginnings in 1910 when Joyce C.Hall started producing cards from samples he stored under his bed. Now, over 90 years later, Hallmark has developed into a global company with expansion into Asia a major part of its strategy. In Asia alone, the Kansas city-based firm acquired a company in Japan in 1994 and founded creative organizations in Hong Kong and Singapore in 1998 and in Shanghai
in 1999. Hallmark representatives like to point out that Asia has developed into an “area of emphasis.” Hong Kong and Singapore are being turned from distribution centers into investment centers. In the United States alone, 67% of Valentine’s Day activities consist of giving Valentine’s Day cards as gifts to people. And in 2000, according to Hallmark, Americans spent more than $3.6 billion on Valentine’s Day. But while the market in the United States is huge, the potential for Hallmark's 1 330 different Valentine’s Day cards in Asia is even bigger. Based on the sales of Hallmark cards, it appears that the number of consumer romantics in China, Japan and Korea is rising. This is not surprising, given that Hallmark greeting cards have proven to be a great way to overcome some of the emotional restrictions that still reign in a number of Asian societies.
Becoming Don Juan without losing face The problem in Eastern societies is that cultural norms and romance oftenrun intoadilemma: how do you tell a girl that you fancy her without putting yourself in a position in which you could “lose face”? In China, for example, because of cultural norms, men will perhaps never be mistaken for Shakespeare’s Romeo. Romance, of the Western variety, is simply not a Chinese man's cup of tea. So, how do you overcome this dilemma? To sidestep possible pitfalls of cultural impropriety, the Chinese Don Juan goes and buys his sweetie a Hallmark card for Valentine’s Day. Thus, he can express his emotions through a pre-made message on paper, rather than through uncomfortable sweet talk in person. In Japan and Korea, the rules are somewhat different. Here men generally tend to be much less inhibited about their emotions and romantic interests. Toassessjust howemotional Japanese mencan
be inall walks of life,just recall the occasional news feature of a top Japanese or Korean CEO apologizing in tears for the weak performance orbankruptcyof his company in front of his nation’s TV cameras. In Japan and Korea, it is the women that are more emotionally inhibited than the men. So, in order for them to display some affection in a suitable manner, women will send out the Hallmark Valentine cards to the object of their affection. But, if you think Hallmark cards need to be translated into the different Asian languages to enable lovers to exchange tender words, think again. Love talk is global, and no language skills are required. Since most of the Hallmark cards bought in Asia are produced within country, it seemed only natural that Hallmark cards would be translated into the local vernacular. To accommodate customers throughout the world, Hallmark prints greeting cards in 30 different languages.
Thus, cards are now actually being printed in Mandarin and Japanese with plans to extend the translations to various Indian languages, such as Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil. Customer surveys, however, revealed that this effort was not really necessary. English is the hip thing You see, if you really want to impress your Chinese girlfriend or your Japanese boyfriend, don't send them a Japanese or Mandarin language card. This is a turn-off. Contrary to Hallmark’s expectations, it turns out that Asian lovers prefer to give their sweeties English-language cards even when they speak little or no English. It is just the hip thing to do.
And upon learning of this cultural preference, Hallmark reacted quickly. Even though Chinese and Japanese descendants of Romeo and Juliet are now able to buy greeting cards in their native language, Hallmark has made sure the supply of greeting cards in English is plentiful. Thus, their customers can achieve both a display of their hipcosmopolitanflair,while also sending their sweetie that all-important message of love at the same time. (761 words)
seeminglyadv. — in appearance; apparently • Examples • A seemingly endless stream of refugees flooded into the neighboring land which became a great burden for the host countries. • Seemingly, what happened was he threatened to resign.
take root — 1) (of a cutting) send out a root or roots • Example • The seeds sprouted and took root. • The shoot which was grafted (嫁接) from a good apple tree into an old one has taken its root and blossomed. More to learn
take root — 2) (fig.) become established • Example • His ideas have taken root in the minds of his followers. • Try to find a piece of land to strike root. ( take root)
versionn. — translation into another language; a version of something is any of the several types or forms in which it exists, especially one particular form of a piece of writing, or one particular person’s account of an accident. • Examples • You must give your version of the accident to the police. • The film version of the novel has come out but far from being exciting as the original novel. • The first and second version of this report is quite different and somewhat contradictory.
potentialadj. — 1) the range of qualities that a person or thing has that can be developed • Examples • He is surely going to fulfill his potential if he is encouraged properly. • She has the potential to be a great singer because she has showed a keen interest and gift in singing since she was a child. • He bought the house because he could see that it had development potential. More to learn
potentialadj. — used to describe something that is possible or capable of developing into or being developed into a particular thing • Examples • It is regarded as a potential health hazard by the scientists, do not expose yourself too much to this kind of radiation. • The book which is being written by a popular TV presenter is said to be a potential bestseller. • He has been identified by the media as a potential cabinet minister.
reignv. — (a particular quality, e.g. hope or fear) be influential, prevail • Examples • A sense of depression still reigned in the office though the crisis was over. • What still reigns in the country is the belief that every one can realize his or her dream by hard work and intelligence.
run intov. — 1) unexpectedly faced with, fall into ( difficulties, troubles or debts) • Examples • We ran into serious problems when we were in the middle of doing the experiment. More to learn
run intov. — 2) meet unexpectedly (with sb.) • Examples • The old man ran into his best childhood friend on the train with whom he has lost touch for twenty years. More to learn
run intov. — 3) bump into or collide with • Examples • Her car ran into a tree, but fortunately she was not injured and there was only a minor damage to the car.
dilemman. — situation in which one has to make difficult choice between two opposite things or two unsatisfactory alternatives • Examples • His mother’s deteriorating mental state put him in a dilemma, as he was reluctant to hand her over to the care of others, but knew he could not look after her properly himself. • She ran into a dilemma when she had to make a choice between family and her career.
fancyn. — take a fancy (have a fancy for) : like, be fond of • Examples • She took a fancy to the house as soon as she saw it and finally bought it by hire purchase. • I sent for a dress that had taken my fancy in the catalogue last week.
in person — 1) being physically present. If you meet, see or hear someone in person , you are present to see or hear them, as distinct from seeing or hearing them on television or radio • Examples • You will be able to meet him in person tomorrow if you get there early enough. More to learn
in person — 2) by oneself, on one’s own. If you do something in person, you do it yourself, as distinct from another person doing it. • Examples • He decided to deliver the letter in person. • If you wish, you may appear in person before the court.
inhibitv. — 1) restrain either consciously or unconsciously • Examples • The people in the West countries are not as inhibited as those in the East in showing their feelings. More to learn
inhibitv. — 2) slow down or prevent the development of • Examples • The plant’s growth has been inhibited by a lack of sunlight.
assessv. — decide or fix the amount or value of ( a situation, a person’s abilities or achievements, worth or cost of something) • Example • He looked around at the other competitors and assessed his chances of winning. • The value of the stolen jewelry was assessed at $50 000. More to learn
assessment n. • Example • The BBC correspondent was giving us his assessment of the situation in Iraq. • Full assessment of the damage caused by the earthquake will take time.
all walks of life — all professions, occupations, social status • Examples • The representatives come from all walks of life. • He enjoyed making friends with people from all walks of life.
bankruptcyn. — bankrupt condition, not have enough money to pay one’s debts, the process of being declared bankrupt • Examples • The club was plunged into bankruptcy because of its ill management. • There were an increasing number of bankruptcies among small shopkeepers with the entering of multinational chain supermarkets.
accommodatev. — 1) adapt; get into agreement or into adjustment • Examples • He is capable of accommodating himself to the changed circumstances and always can achieve his goal step by step. • The President seemed unwilling to accommodate himself to the public desires. More to learn
accommodatev. — 2) provide a place for someone to stay , live or work • Examples • Some of the homeless families are being temporarily accommodated in hotels. • The new hotel can accommodate up to 1000 tourists. (same as take or hold)
hipadj. — 1) fashionable • Examples • It is a hip thing nowadays to send an e-card to one’s friends, relatives and their beloved ones. More to learn
hipn. — 2) the two sides of the part of one’s body between one’s waist and the top of his legs, or this part at its widest point. • Examples • He stood with his hands on his hips. • She fell and broke her hip.
descendantn. — person who is descended from the person or persons named • Examples • As one of the descendants of an old family, he fells pride for his ancestors. • They are the descendants of the native American Indians.
cosmopolitanadj. — 1) of or from all or many different parts of the world, describe things that display the traditions and cultures of many different countries • Examples • New York is a very cosmopolitan city where you can meet with people of different races and ancestors and encounter all kinds of foreign cultures. More to learn
cosmopolitanadj. — 2) A cosmopolitan person has experience and knowledge of the traditions and cultures of many different countries. • Examples • The new minister for the Arts has a very cosmopolitan outlook.
flairn. — natural or instinctive ability (to do sth. well, to select or recognize what is best) • Examples • I was amazed by his artistic flair. • We need badly a designer with plenty of flair.
The Kansas city-based company has developed into a $3.5 billion corporation, from its beginnings in 1910 when Joyce C. Hall started producing cards from samples he stored under his bed. Paraphrase The headquarter of the $3.5 billion corporation is now in Kansas City; however, the corporation can be traced back to 1910 when Joyce C Hall started producing cards from samples he stored under his bed.
The problem in Eastern societies is that cultural norms and romance often run into a dilemma: … Paraphrase In Eastern societies, people are often facing a conflict between cultural norms and romance… run intodilemma
To assess just how emotional Japanese men can be in all walks of life, just recall the occasional news feature of a top Japanese or Korean CEO apologizing in tears for the weak performance or bankruptcy of his company in front of his nation's TV cameras. Paraphrase It is not so difficult for us to understand how emotional Japanese men can be when we watch the men apologizing in tears on TV for their weak performance and bankruptcy of their companies. Assessall walks of lifebankruptcy
Contrary to Hallmark’s expectations, it turns out that Asian lovers prefer to give their sweeties English-language cards even when they speak little or no English. Paraphrase It was beyond Hallmark’s expectations that Asian lovers would like to buy cards with English words even though they speak little or no English.
Thus, their customers can achieve both a display of their hip cosmopolitan flair5, while also sending their sweetie that all-important message of love at the same time. Paraphrase In this way, Hallmark's customers can send their important love messages to their sweeties, and on the other hand they can show how fashionable they are by following international trends. cosmopolitanflair
Passage B • Think About It • Read About It
Describe the following pictures: Before reading passage B, try to describe the functions of some of the things which are important in our globalized world. Mobile phone DVD MP3
1. What role do DVDs play in the globalization of Hollywood movies? Reference: DVD play an important role in the globalization of Hollywood movies. The diffusing of DVDs all over the world accelerates the spread and popularity of American movies.
2. What benefits has the United States obtained from the releasing of global DVD products? Reference: The United States has earned big profits from the release of global DVD products. The DVD market has become the most important money-making segment in the entertainment industry as DVD players become both cheap and widely diffused.
3. Do you think DVDs will still be useful in the future globalization of world culture? Reference: I think DVDs and DVD products will still be useful in the future globalization of world culture because they are not only cheap but also easily available.