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20. The US and American Culture in Brief

I. Read and memorize the following words, word-combinations and word-groups:

to benefit

e.g. The countries benefit because trade enables them to exchange things they don't need for the things they do need and want.

transaction , ;

e.g. Nations trade with one another for the same reason that individuals and business firms within a country trade: both sides expect to benefit from the transaction.

advantage

e.g. A nation has a comparative advantage in the production of an item when its opportunity costs to produce the item are lower than those of other nations.

to restrict

e.g. Despite the many advantages of trade between nations, most countries, including our own, often restrict that trade in a number of ways.

revenue ;

e.g. Through most of its history (until 1910), the United States looked to the revenue tariff as its principal source of income,

to levy

e.g. Protective tariffs are levied to protect a domestic industry from foreign competition.

surplus

e.g. Both countries expect to benefit from the transaction, because trade enables them to exchange their surplus goods and services.

revenue tariff

e.g. Revenue tariff are levied as a way to raise money as a principal source of income.

protective tariff

e.g. The goal of the protective tariff is to make the foreign product more expensive than a similar item produced in the country.

dumping ;

e.g. Selling the same product for a lower price abroad than at home is called dumping.

administrative red tape

e.g. Administrative red tape is the deliberate use of governmental rules and regulations to make it difficult to import goods from abroad.

 

II. Give English equivalents of the following:

i-a  

 

III. Fill in the blanks with appropriate words:

a) transportation b) supply c) labor supply d) quotas e) specialize

f) opportunity costs g) tariff h) efficiently i) gain j) advantage

k) administrative red tape

1. Manufacturing can also be performed more ... in some parts of our country than in others.

2. Natural resources, an adequate labor ..., and ... facilities have promoted the development of certain industries in particular regions of the country.

3. Nations will ... because of differences in terms of climate, natural resources, ..., capital, and technology.

4. Differences make it sensible to ... in the production of some products.

5. A nation has a comparative ... in the production of an item when its ... to produce the item of an item are lower than those of other nations.



6. A ... is a duty, or tax, on imports.

7. Restrictions on the numbers of certain specified goods that can enter the country from abroad are called ... .

8. Another tactic that has been used to restrict foreign trade can be classified as ... .

IV. Read and translate the text:

Nations trade with one another for the same reason that individuals and business firms within a country trade: both sides expect to benefit from the transaction. They benefit because trade enables them to exchange things they don't need (their surplus goods and services) for the things they do need and want. Some areas can produce things that others cannot. Because of its warm climate and the type of soil it has, Florida grows oranges but not wheat. Kansas grows no oranges, but it does grow wheat. The people in Florida and Kansas would like to have wheat and oranges, and so each specializes in one of those crops and trades its surplus with the other.

Manufacturing can also be performed more efficiently in some parts of our country than in others. Natural resources, an adequate labor supply, and transportation facilities have promoted the development of certain industries in particular regions of the country. For example, the computer industry is concentrated in northern California, the steel industry developed in western

Pennsylvania, and large automobile factories were first built in southern Michigan.

Absolute Advantage. Nations will gain because of differences in terms of climate, natural resources, labor supply, capital, and technology. These differences make it sensible for them to specialize in the production of some products and to buy the other things they need from other countries.

Despite the many advantages of trade between nations, most countries, including our own, often restrict that trade in a number of ways. Some of these ways are discussed below.

Tariffs. A tariff is a duty, or tax, on imports. There are two basic types of tariffs. Revenue Tariffs are levied as a way to raise money. Through most of its history (intil 1910), the United States looked to the revenue tariff as its principal source of income. Protective Tariffs are levied to protect a domestic industry from foreign competition. The goal is to make the foreign product more expensive than a similar item produced in the United States. Then people will stop buying the foreign made item and purchase its domestic counterpart.

Quotas. Restrictions on the numbers of certain specified goods that can enter the country from abroad are called quotas. Like protective tariffs, quotas limit the amount of foreign competition a protected industry will have to face. In the 1980's, for example, the government protected the U.S. automobile industry by placing a quota on the number of automobiles that could be imported from Japan.

Other Tactics. There are a number of other devices that directly affect the flow of trade among nations. One of these is the expect subsidy a payment by a country to its exporters that enables them to sell their products abroad at a lower price than they could sell them for at home. Selling the same product for a lower price abroad than at home is called dumping.

Still another tactic that has been used to restrict foreign trade can be classified as administrative red tape. This is the deliberate use of governmental rules and regulations to make it difficult to import goods from abroad (pp. 151155).

V. Answer the following questions:

1. Why do countries trade with each other?

2. What is absolute advantage?

3. Why do nations gain when they specialize?

4. How can you explain the term comparative advantage?

5. What does the law of comparative advantage explain?

6. Why do most countries restrict trade?

7. In what ways do some countries restrict trade?

8. What is tariff?

9. How can quotas restrict trade?

 

VI. Define the terms:

transaction to specialize to restrict trade revenue absolute advantage tariff revenue tariff protective tariff quota expect subsidy dumping administrative red tape  

 

VII. Translate into English:

1. , .

2. , , , , .

3. , , .

4. г , , .

5. , .

6. .

7. , , , .

8. , , .

 

VIII. Read and dramatize the following dialogue:

A. : It's amazing!

B. : What's amazing?

A. : We had an assignment the other day to discover how much we depend on foreign trade.

B. : What's so amazing about that?

A. : I found that my clock radio was made in Japan, my slippers came from Taiwan, my robe from India, my comb was made in Mexico, my sweater was from Scotland and my shoes from Italy.

B. : And I want to treat you to the hot chocolate made by a Swiss company out of cocoa beans from Ghana and sweetened with sugar from Ecuador.

A. : I see that we are all dependent upon the goods and services from other countries, and imports have risen steadily almost every year in the past.

B. : But why do countries trade with each other?

A. : Trade among nations takes place for the same reasons that it does within a nation; to obtain goods and services that a region could not produce itself, or to obtain them at a lower cost than they could be produced for at home. This is explained by the principle of comparative advantage.

B. : But I've heard that some countries put up barriers to trade and what is the reason for that?

A : Despite the advantage of international trade, most nations have erected artificial barriers to that trade. These barriers are usually in the form of tariffs or quotas.

B : And how are payments made in international trade?

A. : Imports must be paid for in a currency that is acceptable to the seller. In order to facilitate these transactions, there is a market for the currencies of all trading nations. The selling price of one nation's currency in term of the currencies of other nations is known as its exchange rate. Exchange rates fluctuate in accordance with the laws of supply and demand.

B. : How do exchange rates' fluctuations influence the nation's exports and imports?

A. : When the value of a nation's currency is decreasing in terms of other currencies, its exports are likely to increase because they will be less expensive to people in foreign countries. Imports, in these circumstances, are likely to decrease because foreign goods will become more expensive. When a nation's currency is appreciating in terms of other currencies, the opposite is likely to occur.

. : I see. And why do economists look to the balance of payments?

A. : The balance of payments summarizes the transactions that have taken place in international trade over a given period of time, usually one year. Economists look to the balance of payments for clues to future trends in the value of a nation's currency and other consequences of its foreign trade.

IX. Make up your own dialogue using the following expressions:

to levy protective tariffs

to benefit from the transaction

to specialize in the production of

to limit the amount of foreign competition

to place a quota

to exchange things

to be concentrated

to restrict trade

X. Translate into English using the Future Continuous Tense (the Active Voice):

1. .

2. .

3. .

4. ( .

5. .

 

 

20. The US and American Culture in Brief

 

1. What is the official name of the country?

The official name of the country is the United States of America. The other names are the United States, America, the USA or US.

 

2. Where is the country situated?

USA is situated on the continent of North America. It is the 4th largest country in the world (over 2 million km2). It is bordered by Canada on the north, by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, by the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico on the south, and by the Pacific Ocean on the west.

The Great Lakes containing about half of the worlds total supply of fresh water (Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Eries, Lake Ontario) are on the north border.

 

3. What is the climate of the country?

The climate in the US is mostly temperate, but varies from tropical (Hawaii) to arctic (Alaska). There are four time zones.

 

4. What are the parts of the country?

America consists of 50 states (48 states located in the central portion of North America, plus states of Alaska and Hawaii).

The largest state is Alaska and the smallest is Rhode Island.

Hawaii was the last to get state status.

 

5. What are national symbols?

The national flag known as Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, Star-spangled Banner, consists of 13 horisontal stripes and 50 Stars. Stripes represent 13 original states (former British colonies) and stars represent 50 current states. It has three colours red (symbolizing courage), white (liberty), blue (justice).

The Statue of Liberty or the Lady is the symbol of freedom, opportunity and international friendship. It is a gift from France. It is the first sight of America as it is situated on Ellis Island near New York City. There is a torch of liberty in the right hand and a tablet with the day July 4th 1776 (the date of signing the Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom) in the left hand.

Liberty Bell is the symbol of freedom. It is placed in Independence Hall (Philadelphia). It first rang on July 4, 1776 for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence.

The national anthem is the Star-Spangled Banner.

The national personification of the US and the American Government is Uncle Sam. He is depicted as an elderly white man with a beard and a top hat dressed in clothing that recalls the US flag.

The modern national motto is In God We Trust (1956) (the earlier E Pluribus Unum (Latin for One from many). The national bird and the US symbol is the Bald Eagle.

 

6. What is the capital of the country?

The capital of the United States is Washington D.C. (the District of Columbia a federal territory). It is the seat of Federal Administration. The city is called in the name of the first President George Washington. The district is called in the name of Christopher Columbus - a discoverer. It is built on the Potomac River. Every state has its own capital.

 

7. What is the population of the country?

The population of the USA is 265 million people. The United States is a land of ethnic diversity as immigrant from many countries come to the US. Among them are European Americans, Afro-Americans, Latin American (Hispanics), Asian Americans and Native Americans (American Indians).

Moderns Americans value their ethnic and cultural identity. Before the late 1960s the idea of the melting pot prevailed. According to it immigrants were discouraged from keeping their own language, cultural traditions in order to to become typical members of a mixed American society. Nowadays the idea of ethnic pride dominates.

 

8. What is the official language?

The official language is English. The language Americans speak is called American English. It is different from British English in vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling.

 

9. What are the largest cities?

The largest city is New York. The Big Apple is and the popular nickname. It is the gateway to the US for many immigrants. The famous ethnic neighborhoods include Chinatown, Little Italy and others. There are five boroughs in the city among which are Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

The Empire State Building (one of the tallest buildings in the world) stands in the centre of New York on Manhattan.

Broadway is the centre of the theatres and night life. It is known as the Great White Way because of the electric signs which turn night into day.

Time Square is the heart of the Theatre District with firstrun cinemas, playhouses, restaurants, hotels and shop. On December 31 a lighted globe comes down a pole on the top of the building announcing the arrival of the New Year. People come to see the event.

Major museums are Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, Ellis Island Immigration Museum (European immigrants arrived at Ellis Island).

New Yorks Best bridges are the Brooklyn Bridge, the double-decker George Washington Bridge.

Wall Street in New York City is the centre of the New York Stock Exchange and the centre of the world financial life.

The main headquarters of the United Nations (a world organization of nations) are in New York City.

The second largest city is Los Angeles (LA). Tourists, are attracted by its suburbs like Hollywood (the center of the movie industry) and Beverly Hills (famous actors and other celebrities live here).

Chicago is the third largest city. It is an industrial center and a port.

Detroit is the centre of automobile industry.

Four Americans greatest Presidents (G. Washington, Th. Jefferson, Th. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln) are carved on the face of Mount Rushmore in the state of South Dakota.

 

10. What is the official religion?

There is no official religion in the United States, and there is a strict separation of church and state. The freedom of religion is a basic right, as written in the First Amendment of the US Constitution (1791). People of different faiths live side by side. 56% of the present American population are Protestants, 25% - Roman Catholic, 11% - none, 2% - Jewish, 6% - other religions (Muslims, Buddhists, Christian groups).

 

11. What industries are developed in the country?

The US has one of the strongest economies in the world. It is the world leader in aeronautics, space technology, electronics, computer hardware and software. Many Americans work in the service sector.

High-tech industries are developed in the US. Universities and research institutes work closely with industry. Among which are MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Stanford University and Caltech (California Institute of Technology). The fastest-growing industry in the United States is developing computer hardware and software. Silicon Valley (south of San Francisco) is famous because it has many companies that specialize in computer technology. Aerospace industries are also developed here.

 

12. Who is the head of the country?

The President is the head of the country and the Government.

 

13. What is the system of government in the country?

The US is a constitutional (federal) republic and representative democracy. The US President is the head of the State and Government. The executive power belongs to the President, Vice president, and federal departments and agencies. The Legislative power is exercised by Congress, consisting of the Senate (100 members) and the House of Representatives (435 members).

Judicial powers belong to the Supreme Court and the system of federal and state courts.

 

14. What are the main political parties?

The two major parties are Republican (its symbol is elephant) and Democratic (its symbol is donkey).

 

15. When are elections held?

The presidential election is held every four years (on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November as stated in the US Constitution).

 

16. What are the major national holidays?

Independence Day, July 4, is a major national holiday.

Other national holidays are Presidents Day (November 11), Thansgiving Day (November, fourth Thursday), Christmas Day (December 25) and others.

New Years Eve is usually celebrated in Time Square in New York City.

 

17. What are the sights of the capital?

There are many governmental buildings in Washington, DC. The Capitol is the place where Congress meets. Inaugurations of US Presidents take place in front of the Capitol.

White House is the place where the US President works and lives. Oval office is the Presidents office. President Adams was the first to live in the white House.

Washington monument is built to remember the first American President - George Washington. Its nickname is The Pencil.

Lincoln Memorial is built to remember one of the greatest President Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves and united the country.

The Library of Congress.

The Metro is called subway.

Jefferson memorial is built to remember Thomas Jefferson the author of the original draft of the Declaration of Independence.

 

18. What is the national mass media?

The most famous newspapers are the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal. There are more than nine thousand radio stations. Most of them are commercial, except for National Public Radio stations.

National commercial networks are ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox Broad casting Company. The only noncommercial network is PBC (Public Broadcasting Service). There are about 500 cable stations. Two well-known of them are HBO (Home Box office showing movies) and CNN (showing news).

 

19. What is the system of education?

All American children from the age of five to seventeen have the right to get free education at a public school. There are also private schools.

The school system includes: elementary school, including kindergarten (age 5), and grades 1-5 (age 6-12); secondary school, including middle school / grades 6-8 (age 12-15) and high school / grades 9-12 (age 15-18).

High education system comprises: college or University: undergraduate studies which take 2 years at a community college (lead to Associates Degree), or 4 years (lead to Bachelors Degree); graduate school: postgraduate courses (lead to Masters Degree and Doctorate or PhD).

 

20. What is traditional food?

The only true American foods are those that the Native Americans gave the first settlers. Roast turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie are still eaten at Thanksgiving. Immigrants have brought all kinds of dishes from their home countries. A typical family may eat tacos (originally from Mexico), pizza (from Italy), or apple pie (from England). Steaks and hamburger are popular. Take out meals are a regular part of everyday life.

 

21. What sports are popular in the country?

Baseball is regarded as the national sport. American football, basketball, and ice hockey are the three other leading professional team sports.

The big prize in professional football is to win the Super Bowl. For basketball teams, it is the NBA (National Basketball Association) Championship, and in baseball the World Series.

College football and basketball are popular.

Basketball, volleyball, skateboarding, snowboarding, and cheerleading are American inventions.

Professional sports in US are big business.

 

22. Who are the famous people?

Literature

Among the famous writers are Henry Longfellow (a poet), Theodore Dreiser, Mark Twain, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, OHenry, Salinger.

Science, technology

The most famous inventors are Robert Fulton (the steamboat), Samuel Morse (the telegraph), Christopher Sholes (the typewriter), Alexander Graham Bell (the telephone), Thomas Alva Edison (the phonograph, the lightbulb, the motion picture camera), George Eastman (the roll-film camera), Nikola Tesla (alternating current, AC motor, radio), Wright brothers (the airplane), Bill Cates (a founder of the Microsoft Corporation).

Politics, government

George Washington is the first president of the USA. Abraham Lincoln is one of the greatest presidents who freed the slaves and united the country. John Fitzgerald Kennedy is the youngest President of the USA.

Founding Fathers is a group of political leaders who headed the fight against the British Grown and played a prominent role in forming the USA. Among them are George Washington (the 1st President), James Madison (the father of the Constitution), Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson (the author of the original draft of the Declaration of Independence).

Martin Luther King the leader of the civil rights movement who fought against racial discrimination.

 

23. What are the characteristics of the national and its people?

- American s are generally optimistic.

- Americans believe that people can control their own destiny.

- Americans are future-oriented. They are sure that time is money so it must not be wasted. They consider a rapid rate of change (the same as improvement) as normal.

- Americans are action-oriented. They believe in keeping busy and productive at all times even on vacation. They have become very proficient at problem solving and decision making.

- Individualism and the equality of all people is important in social orientation for Americans.

- Among American values are self-reliance and hard work.

 

24. What is national currency?

The United States dollar (sign $, code USD) is the official currency of the United States. It is divided into 100 cents.

Paper money comes in $ 1, $5, $10, $50 and $100 denominations.

Americans use the following coins (cents): 1¢ (called Penny), 5 ¢ (Nickel), 10 ¢ (Dime), 25 ¢ (Quarter), 50 ¢ (Half Dollar), 100 ¢ (Dollar coin).

 

25. What system of weights and measures is used?

The modern metric system is not yet used. United States customary system. (American system) similar to the British Imperial units is used in the US.

Liquids are measured by the gallon (=3.785 liters), weight by the ounce (= 28.35 grams) and pound (=453.59 grams), length by the inch (=2.54 centimeters), foot (=30.48 centimeters), and yard (=0.91 meters).

Temperature in the US is normally displayed in degrees Fahrenheit (320 F=00 C, 680 F=200 C).

 

 

Sources

1. Bordman, Martha. In the USA. Chancerel International Publishers. : , 2000. 105 .

2. The USA: geography, history, education, painting (a reader). . / .: .. . .: , 1997. 192 .


Date: 2014-12-29; view: 490


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