14 How much longer we'll have enough energy to stay on here is anybody's guess -- perhaps for quite a while, perhaps not. When the time comes, we'll leave with a feeling of sorrow but also with a sense of pride at what we've been able to accomplish. We should make a fair profit on the sale of the place, too. We've invested about $35,000 of our own money in it, and we could just about double that if we sold today. But this is not a good time to sell. Once economic conditions improve, however, demand for farms like ours should be strong again.
没人知道我们还能有精力在这里再呆多久--也许呆很长一阵子,也许不是。到走的时候,我们会怆然离去,但也会为自己所做的一切深感自豪。我们把农场出售也会赚相当大一笔钱。我们自己在农场投入了约
  35,000美金的资金,要是现在售出的话价格差不多可以翻一倍。不过现在不是出售的好时机。但是一旦经济形势好转,对我们这种农场的需求又会增多。
15 We didn't move here primarily to earn money though. We came because we wanted to improve the quality of our lives. When I watch Emily collecting eggs in the evening, fishing with Jim on the river or enjoying an old-fashioned picnic in the orchard with the entire family, I know we've found just what we were looking for.
但我们主要不是为了赚钱而移居至此的。我们来此居住是因为想提高生活质量。当我看着埃米莉傍晚去收鸡蛋,跟吉米一起在河上钓鱼,或和全家人一起在果园里享用老式的野餐,我知道,我们找到了自己一直在寻求的生活方式。

Donna Barron describes how American family life has changed in recent years. She identifies three forces at work. What are they? Read on to find out. Then ask yourself whether similar forces are at work within China. Will family life here end up going in the same direction?
唐娜?巴伦描述了美国家庭生活近几年来的变化。她指出有三种力量在起作用。是哪三种力量?请读本文。读后问一下自己,同样的力量在中国是否也在起作用。中国的家庭生活最终是否会朝着同一个方向变化?
American Family Life: The Changing Picture
Donna Barron
1 It's another evening in an American household.
美国家庭生活:变化中的景象
唐娜?巴伦
这是美国家庭一个寻常的傍晚。

2 The door swings open at 5:30 sharp. "Hi, honey! I'm home!" In walks dear old Dad, hungry and tired after a long day at the office. He is greeted by Mom in her apron, three happy children, and the aroma of a delicious pot roast.
门在
  5:30准时推开。“嗨,亲爱的!我回来了!”亲爱的老爸走了进来,他在办公室上了一天的班,肚子饿了,人也累了。迎接他的是系着围裙的妈妈,3个快乐的孩子以及炖肉诱人的香味。

3 After a leisurely meal together, Mom does the dishes. That, after all, is part of her job. The whole family then moves to the living room. There everyone spends the evening playing Scrabble or watching TV.
全家人从容地吃完饭后,妈妈就刷洗碗碟。反正这是她的活。接着全家人聚在起居室。一个晚上大家玩玩牌,看看电视。

4 Then everyone is off to bed. And the next morning Dad and the kids wake up to the sounds and smells of Mom preparing pancakes and sausages for breakfast.
随后各自上床睡觉。第二天早上,爸爸和孩子们在妈妈准备早餐发出的声响和薄饼、香肠散发的香味中醒来。
5 (
  1) What? You say that doesn't sound like life in your house? Well, you're not alone. In fact, you're probably in the majority. 什么?你说那听起来不像你府上的生活?其实,不仅仅是你一个人这么想。事实上,大多数人很可能都跟你一样这么想的。

6 At one time in America, the above household might have been typical. You can still visit such a home -- on television. Just watch reruns of old situation comedies. (
  2) Leave it to Beaver, for example, shows Mom doing housework in pearls and high heels. Dad keeps his suit and tie on all weekend. But the families that operate like Beaver Cleaver's are fewer and fewer. They're disappearing because three parts of our lives have changed: the way we work, the way we eat, and the way we entertain ourselves. Becoming aware of the effects of those changes may help us improve family life.
上面描述的家庭可以说在美国曾一度相当典型。如今你仍能见到这样的家庭――不过得在电视里。只要看一看那些重播的情景剧老片子。例如,《交给比弗吧》一剧中妈妈带着珍珠项链、穿着高跟鞋做家务。爸爸整个周末都穿着西装,戴着领带。但像比弗?克立弗那样的家庭越来越少了。那样的家庭正在消失,因为我们生活中的三个部分发生了变化:我们的工作方式,餐饮方式以及娱乐方式。了解这些变化所带来的影响也许有助于我们改善家庭生活。

7 Let's look first at the changes in the way we work. Today the words "Hi, honey! I'm home!" might not be spoken by dear old Dad. Dear old Mom is just as likely to be saying them. A generation ago, most households could get along on one paycheck -- Dad's. Mom stayed home, at least until the children started school. But today, over half the mothers with young children go to work. An even greater percentage of mothers of older children are in the workforce. And the number of single-parent homes has mushroomed in the last thirty years.
我们先来看一下我们工作方式的变化。今天,“嗨,亲爱的,我回家了!”这句话可能不是出自亲爱的老爸之口。亲爱的老妈也同样可能说这句话。在上一代,大多数家庭可以靠一份工资――爸爸的工资――维持。妈妈呆在家里,至少在孩子上学前是如此。但今天,一半以上有幼儿的母亲外出工作。在职人员中有大孩子的母亲的比例更高。而单亲家庭的数量在过去30年中急剧增长。

8 These changes in work have affected children as well as parents. When only Dad went out to work, children came home from school to Mom. (In TV situation comedies, they came home to Mom and home-baked cookies) Today, we'll find them at an after-school program or a neighbor's house. Or they may come home to no one at all. In every community, children are caring for themselves until their parents return from work. Are these children missing out on an important part of childhood? Or are they developing a healthy sense of self-reliance? These are questions that Mrs. Cleaver never had to deal with.
工作方面的这些变化影响着家长以及孩子。当父亲一人外出上班时,孩子们放学回家有妈妈在。(在情景电视剧里,他们回家有妈妈在,还有家里做的饼干)如今,我们会在晚托班或邻居家里见到他们。要不他们就回到空无一人的家。在各社区,孩子们都自己照管自己,直到父母下班回家。这些孩子会不会失去童年时期本应有的一些重要的东西?还是会因此培养起一种健康的自立意识?这些问题是克立弗太太过去从来不用操心的。

9 In addition, Dad and now Mom are often gone from home longer than ever. Not too long ago, most men worked close to home. The office or factory was just downtown. Dad often walked to work or hitched a ride with a friendly neighbor. But no more.
此外,爸爸,如今还有妈妈,在外的时间常常比以往任何时候都长。不多久前,大多数男人还就近工作。办公室或者工厂就在市区。爸爸经常走着去上班,或者顺路搭友好邻居的车。但现在不一样了。

10 Today's working men and women are commuters. They travel distances to work that would have made their parents gasp. Commutes of forty-five minutes or an hour are common. Workers travel on buses, subways, and crowded highways. Many leave their suburban homes at dawn and don't return until dark. No running home for lunch for today's commuter.
今天的上班男女都是坐车来回的。他们上班距离之远会让他们的父母惊讶得倒抽一口凉气。45分钟或1小时的车程是常见的。上班族坐公共汽车、地铁,或开车行驶在交通拥挤的公路上。不少人一清早就离开位于郊区的家,一直要到天黑了才回来。今天的通勤族不再赶回家吃午饭。

11 And speaking of lunch, there's been a second big change in American family life. If both parents are away from home for long hours, who's whipping up those delicious meals in the kitchen? The answer, more and more, is nobody.
说起午饭,那正是美国家庭生活的第二大变化。要是父母都长时间不在家,那谁在厨房里忙着准备美味的菜肴呢?越来越多听到的回答是没有人做饭。




12 These days, few people have time to shop for and prepare "home-style" meals. The Cleavers were used to dinners of pot roast or chicken. Potatoes, salad, and vegetables went with the main course, with pie or cake for dessert. But this kind of meal takes several hours to fix. People can't spend hours in the kitchen if they get home at 5:
  30.
如今,很少人有时间采购、烹制“家常”饭菜。克立弗一家常常吃炖肉或炖鸡,除主菜外还有土豆、色拉、蔬菜,甜食是馅饼或蛋糕。但烧这种饭菜要花几个小时。要是人们
  5:30才回到家,就无法在厨房里呆上几个小时。




13 So what do working families eat? They choose meals that are easy to prepare or are already prepared. Fast food, takeout, and heat-and-serve dishes make up much of the modern American diet. Dad may arrive home with a bag of Big Macs and shakes. Mom may phone out for Chinese food or ask the local pizza parlor to deliver. And more and more people rely on microwaves to thaw frozen food in minutes.
那么双职工家庭吃什么呢?他们选择容易烹制或已经烹制好的食品。快餐,外卖食物,加热即食的菜肴构成了当今美国食谱的很大一部分。爸爸可能带回家一大包巨无霸汉堡包和饮料。 妈妈可能电话定购中国菜,或让附近的比萨店外送。越来越多的人依赖微波炉在几分钟内把冷冻食品解冻。




14 One consequence of these quickly prepared meals is that families spend less time dining together. And classic fast foods, like hamburgers and fries, are meant to be eaten on the run, not slowly enjoyed at the dinner table. The modern family no longer shares the evening meal. As a result, it no longer shares the day's news... or the feeling of togetherness.
这些烹制简易的菜肴造成的后果之一是,一家人一起坐下吃饭的时间少了。传统的快餐,如汉堡包,炸薯条,是让人匆匆忙忙吃的,而不是坐在餐桌旁慢慢享用的。现代家庭不再一起享用晚餐。其结果是,大家不再相互交流一天的事,也感觉不到合家团聚的气氛。




15 Finally, what about after dinner? Is the family evening at least something the Cleavers could relate to?
最后一点,晚饭之后又如何?晚上的家居生活总该跟克立弗家多少有几分相似了吧?




16 Not a chance.
没有丝毫相似之处。




17 We don't have to look outside the home to see the changes. The modern American family entertains itself in ways the Cleavers would never have dreamed of.
我们不必走出家门去看有什么变化。当今美国家庭的娱乐方式是克立弗家无从想像的。




18 Thirty years ago, families gathered around a radio each evening. Later, television took over. Most families had just one set, which they watched together. Today, television and computers bring a dizzying array of entertainment into the home. Cable television provides everything from aerobics classes to Shakespeare. VCRs expand the choices even more. (
  3) If there's nothing good on network TV or cable, the video store offers the best and worst of Hollywood: recent movies, cartoons, "adult" films, exercise programs, travel, sports, how-to tapes. Computer games, which make viewers part of the action, also provide excitement. Players can compete in the Olympics, search out aliens, or wipe out entire civilizations on their little screens.
三十年前,家家户户每天晚上围坐着听收音机。后来电视机取而代之。大多数家庭只有一台电视机,全家人一起收看。如今,电视机和电脑将多得令人眩目的娱乐活动带入家庭。有线电视播出的节目从有氧操到莎士比亚戏剧无所不有。录像机更是扩大了选择性。要是网络电视或有线电视没有中意的节目,录像制品商店可提供好莱坞制作的品质迥异的各种节目:新近发行的电影、动画片、"成人"电影、体育锻炼节目、旅游、体育以及入门指南录像带。让收看人参与其间的电脑游戏也提供了相当的刺激。游戏者能在奥运会上施展身手,寻找外星
 

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