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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:.

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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?


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?




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?



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)



— 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)


— 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.


— 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



— 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.


— (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.


— 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.


— 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.


— 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



— 2) slow down or prevent the development of

  • Examples
  • The plant’s growth has been inhibited by a lack of sunlight.


— 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.


— 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.


— 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



— 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)


— 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



— 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.


— 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.


— 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



— 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.


— 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.


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: …


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.


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.


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.


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.



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




1. What role do DVDs play in the globalization of Hollywood movies?


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?


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?


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.


Read About It

  • Language Points
  • Content Awareness
  • Language Focus
  • Reading Skill Practice
  • Translating Skill Practice

The Great Global DVD Divide

Parents all over the world complain these days that kids watch too much TV. Our solution, however, offers a paradox: Kids should watch even more TV. What's the catch? They should watch their favorite DVDs in a language other than their own. Since they already know Harry Porter by heart intheir

native tongue, they could intuitively improve their comprehension of French, German, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. To implement our solution, however, the movie industry will need to take a broader view of its own business logic.


Whether you like it or detest it, Hollywood unites the world. People in every corner of the globe watch U.S. movies, many of them dubbed into their native languages. The faces of the same Hollywood stars grace the walls from Bangkok to Buenos Aires. And gossip magazines everywhere discuss their love lives and periodic nervous breakdowns.

Kids’ role models

That fascination runs even deeper among the world's children. Kids love watching movies, of course and they see their favorite ones over and over again. Soon, they know them by heart. Instead of dividing up the world with an electronic “Iron Curtain,” Hollywood should move to a truly global product.

In a globalized world, this could be abrilliantway of teaching them lots of foreign languages and do so while they are having fun. Especially since the DVD technology allows the same film to be viewed


with soundtracks as well as subtitles in a variety of different tongues. However, there is a snag. The truth is that the U.S. movie industry divides the world technologically even as it unites it culturally. It splits the world into regional markets.

From the Iron Curtain to the DVD divide

In each market, the movie industry wants to release its films according to local movie-going seasons and at the convenience of the local distributor. This same “divide and rule” logic is also followed in the release of each movie on DVD. As a result, all DVD players sold around the world come with a region-coding function. Naturally, there are semi-official hackers who can help you get around the regional code. In fact, in Europe, modified DVD players that can play disks from every region of the world are pretty common. Some 64% of DVD players in European countries have the multiregional capacity.But in the United States, most DVD players


remain locked in a single region variety. One reason is that the “Code 15” countries get the earliest releases of all the best movies. The built-in presumption is this: Only the movie buffs that love “art-house5” foreign flicks would need the multiregional function in America’s market.

Yet, the United States, the pre-eminent global power, is also a country where the native population speaks fewest foreign languages. American kids, in fact, could benefit the most if they could watch their favorite movies in foreign languages. They may also be the ones who need a strong inducement to learn foreign languages and cultures.

Myopic vision

Of course, the U.S. film industry would be up in arms against this idea. Why? It may no longer be able to maximize their profits if they didn’t have the ability tostack uptheir release on DVDs. After all, the DVD market is rapidly becoming the most important money-


making segment in the entertainment industry as DVD players become both cheap and widely diffused.

Plenty of U.S. parents would probably buy DVDs as a learning tool for their children, if they could.

However, this is surely a myopic vision. Globalization has been the secret of Hollywood’s success. It has contributed to its creativity as directors, writers and even movie stars nowhailfrom every corner of the globe. It is also part of its financial success, as 25% of America’s exports are comprised of entertainment. Worldwide receipts on blockbuster movies routinely surpass sums earned in the U.S. market alone. Many films would never be made were it not for the built-in expectations of global receipts.

As a result, anything that promotes globalization such as better knowledge of foreign languages among kids worldwide ultimately benefits Hollywood. Alternatively, anything thatdetractsfrom it such


as creating different technological standards for DVD players is a long-term loss for Hollywood.

Therefore, Hollywood and the entire U.S. entertainment industry should wise up and drop its artificial way of dividing up the world with some new kind of electronic “Iron Curtain.” Instead, it should move to a truly global product movie, DVDs, with wide pickings in alternate language tracks all as a part of the same package.

(805 words)



— say that one is not satisfied (usu. with about, or of)

  • Examples
  • They complained to the restaurant manager about the service they received.
  • Women workers complain that they do not get equal pay for equal work.
  • They took him to the doctor when he complained of violent stomachaches.
  • She always complained being forced to work overtime in the past year.


— 1) a statement including two elements which on first sight appear to contradict each other, but which is nevertheless true.

  • Example
  • “More haste, less speed” is a paradox.

More to learn



— 2) used to refer to a person or situation in which two or more apparently opposite ideas or qualities are combined

  • Example
  • It is a paradox that such an intelligent man should apparently have so little common sense.
  • It is a strange paradox in our times that social morality grows while personal morality is declining.

intuitive adj.

— of or coming from intuition

  • Examples
  • Her perception of right and wrong seemed almost intuitive.
  • He has a keen intuitive feeling about painting.

implement n.

—carry out ( a plan, an agreement, a promise etc.)

  • Examples
  • The new parking regulations will be implemented in the spring.
  • Whether the new tax policy will be implemented or not is still under discussion.
  • Now that we have reached an agreement, we should implement our promise as soon as possible.


— hate strongly, dislike

  • Example
  • I detest having to repeat myself.
  • He detests the dishonest behavior and never forgives the one who has cheated him.


— make another sound-track on or for a cinema film, esp. in a different language. To dub a film is to replace the actor’s voices on the soundtrack with the voices of actors speaking another language.

  • Example
  • The best-known Chinese films have been dubbed into English.


— 1) collapse or weakening,become depressed and anxious, an can’t cope with everyday life.

  • Examples
  • He suffered a serious nervous breakdown after years’ of miserable life.

More to learn



— 2) (relationship, agreement or discussion) come to an end because the people involved have an argument or disagreement.

  • Examples
  • The breakdown in talks between the union and management was not contrary to our expectations.

More to learn



— 3) (vehicles or machines) stop working

  • Examples
  • Our car had a breakdown on the way to the hill.

fascination n.

— things that fascinate, state of being fascinated

  • Examples
  • There was a look of fascination on the children’s faces as they watched the American cartoon Tom and Jerry.
  • The fascination of crossword puzzles made him spend much time on them.
  • One of the fascinations of Beijing is the Summer Palace.
  • Part of the fascination of this classic movie is that it can trigger off so many memories, especially those of the older generation.


— 1) very bright, splendid, causing admiration

  • Examples
  • The holiday is brilliant.
  • That’s a brilliant idea.
  • The brilliant sunshine made her blink.
  • They are working hard to restore the palace to its former brilliance.

More to learn


brilliant adj.

— 2) (of a person) intelligent, talented

  • Example
  • He is a brilliant young scientist and is bound to have a brilliant future.

subtitle n.

— 1) The printed translation that you can read at the bottom of the screen when you are watching a foreign film

  • Examples
  • If don’t know a foreign language when you watch a film you can read the subtitles.

— 2) the second title of a book or play, usually expanding on or explaining the main title

  • Examples
  • There are three subtitles in this expository writing which are used by the writer to explain his central idea respectively.


— break or divide into two or more parts

  • Examples
  • He used an axe to split the logs into firewood.
  • If we travel together, we can split the cost of the petrol (share).

split up

— separate

  • Examples
  • The electricity industry was split up into regional companies when it was privatized.
  • The children were split up into groups of four or five.


— allow to be published; allow (a film) to be exhibited publicly

  • Examples
  • The news was released by the spokesman of the government.
  • Michael Jackson released 13 albums in seven years among which the second one won him great fame and changed him from a popular singer into a famous artist.
  • The Chinese film Hero directed by Zhang Yimou was released last week and has attracted a large audience.

get around

— 1) begin to do something finally, especially after a difficulty or delay

  • Examples
  • Steven eventually got around to painting the garden gate.
  • They finally got around to carrying out the experiment which turned out to be satisfactory.

get around

—2) (news or information) spread

  • Examples
  • Rumors were getting around about how he mistreated the children.

—3) try to avoid a problem or difficulty instead of dealing with it

  • Examples
  • Whenever he encounters a problem, he always tries to get around it instead of taking active steps to solve it.


— make changes in, make different

  • Examples
  • If a theory can’t be tested or in agreement with the facts, it should be modified or even be abandoned.
  • The situation has changed; you should modify your plan accordingly.


— sth. that seems likely though there is no proof

  • Examples
  • She remarried on the presumption that her first husband was dead.
  • This is just your presumption; it’s not a fact.
  • Your presumption that she would like to accept your money as a kind of compensation is false.

be up in arms against

— in active rebellion; protesting strongly

  • Examples
  • The trade unions are up in arms against wage cuts by capitalists and try to ask for a pay rise.
  • The United States is up in arms against the terrorists all over the world.

stack up

— pile up

  • Examples
  • The room is not big enough to hold these chairs; we have to stack them up.
  • The global corporation has stacked up considerable profits in the last few months by promoting its high-tech products.


— send out , spread

  • Examples
  • Rumors were diffused that he had made great fortune by illegal means.
  • One of the aims of this organization is to diffuse knowledge in the poor areas.
  • I stopped shivering as the warmth gradually diffused itself through my body.


— 1) greet, give a welcoming cry

  • Example
  • He saw her appearing in the distance and hailed her.

More to learn



— 2) hail a taxi when you wave or signal to the driver to stop and pick you up

  • Example
  • It’s hard to hail a taxi when it is the rush hour.

More to learn


hail v.

—3) a person or achievement is hailed as something great or important when they are claimed publicly to be that thing ,acclaim

  • Example
  • Critics hailed it as the best new film of the decade.
  • The crowd hailed the Korean actress with joy.

hail from

— come from

  • Example
  • The film stars hail from all parts of the world to attend the Oscar Academy Award night.
  • The freshmen in this university hail from all parts of the country.
  • The ship hail from Shanghai.


— exceed, excel, do better than (if you say that something surpass something else, you mean that it goes beyond it in amount or extent or is of much better quality

  • Example
  • Her performance at the concert surpassed all our expectations.
  • We should believe in ourselves that someday we are bound to surpass the developed countries in the field of science and economy.
  • What a wonderful meal you have prepared. You really surpassed yourself.


— take away (from the credit, value, etc. )

  • Example
  • Any cracks or chips will certainly detract from the value of the plates.
  • Though he has some shortcomings, that does not detract from his merit.
  • They detracted his attention from investigating the real issues.

wise up

— (informal) 1) learn, understand , you wise up when you find out the facts about something.

  • Example
  • It’s time for you to wise up about those people; they are just taking advantage of you.

More to learn


wise up

2) teach, instruct, make understand

  • Example
  • They were too young for anyone to be able to wise them up to that kind of thing.
  • You’d better wise that young man up to the dangers.


— not natural or real; made by the art of man

  • Example
  • The shoes are made of artificial leather instead of the real ones as they have claimed.
  • We have launched many artificial satellites into the space.
  • He was still wearing an artificial smile when his tricks were disclosed.


— (of things of two kinds) by turns, first the one and then the other

  • Example
  • The days passed by, alternately wet and fine.
  • He experienced alternate bouts of depression and cheerfulness.
  • We used to spend alternate Sundays with my husband’s parents.
  • The festival was held in alternate years.


— a mark on the ground left by a person, animal or thing that has passed, especially a footprint; a rough path or road

  • Example
  • He followed the bear’s tracks through the forest.
  • They were able to drive up a narrow track leading up to the foot of the mountain.
  • Passengers are not allowed to walk across the tracks.

More to learn


keep track of

  • Example
  • You should try and keep track of the money you spend.

lose track of

  • Example
  • I somehow lose track of suitcase between the airport and the station.
  • They lost track of time when they flew kites on the hill owing to the great joy it brought to them.

In a globalized world, this could be a brilliant way of teaching them lots of foreign languages and do so while they are having fun.


In a globalized world, we can encourage children to watch more films in other languages, in this way we can teach children foreign languages and they will feel interested while learning the language.

words to learn:



Yet, the United States, the pre-eminent global power, is also a country where the native population speaks fewest foreign languages.


The United States is the most powerful country in world globalization, but its people speak the fewest foreign languages.


It may no longer be able to maximize their profits if they didn't have the ability to stack up their release on DVDs.


If they cannot make big money by releasing their DVDs, they can hardly maximize their profits.

Words to learn:

stack up


It has contributed to its creativity as directors, writers and even movie stars now hail from every corner of the globe.


As many famous directors, writers and movie stars come to join from all over the world, Hollywood becomes even more creative.

Words to learn:



Alternatively, anything that detracts from it such as creating different technological standards for DVD players is a long-term loss for Hollywood.


If we work against globalization by actions, such as creating different technological standards for DVD players, Hollywood will suffer a long-term loss.

Words to learn: