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[翻译]Words and Their Stories - Lobbyists: Part of the Lawmaking Process

更新时间:2016/11/20 8:42:15 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Join us now for Words and Their Stories, a program from VOA Learning English.

欢迎收听美国之音慢速英语词汇典故节目。

Each week, we tell the story of words and expressions used in American English. Some of them are old. Some are new. Together, they form the living and always changing language of the American people.

每周我们都会讲述美式英语中的一些单词和措辞的故事。这些故事年代不一,它们共同形成了美国人民生动和不断变化的语言。

In the United States during an election, voters go to the polls to cast their votes.

在选举期间,美国选民前往投票站投票。

When deciding on which candidate to support, voters consider many things. They consider the issues a candidate supports. They also consider from whom the candidate receives money or campaign donations.

在决定投票支持哪位候选人的时候,选民会考虑很多方面的事情。他们会考虑候选人支持的议题,还会考虑候选人接受了谁的竞选捐款。

And that brings us to our word for this Words and Their Stories. It’s a political word: “lobby.” “Lobbying” is an attempt to influence a legislator’s vote on a bill.

这就给我们带来了本期词汇典故节目要讲的单词,这是一个政治词汇:游说(lobby)。游说是指试图影响议员对法案的投票。

Lobbying has been a legal activity since the earliest days of the United States.

游说自美国最早期以来就一直是一种合法活动。

The First Amendment to the Constitution says that no law may prevent people from petitioning or requesting the government to change things the people feel are wrong.

《宪法第一修正案》说,没有法律可以阻止人们要求政府改变被人们认为是错误的事情。

The right of the people to petition the government has led to lobbying. Lobbying is a type of free speech.

人们要求政府的权利就导致了游说。游说是一种言论自由。

English speakers have used the word “lobby” for almost 400 years.

英语人士使用游说这个词已经有近400年历史。
 

Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 8, 2016, on election day.

The lobby was the large room next to the House of Commons in the British Parliament. The lobby was a public area where private citizens could meet with legislators to make requests. So, people who met in the lobby with legislators were called “lobbyists.”

民众接待厅(lobby)是指英国议会下议院旁边的大房间。民众接待厅是公共区域,普通公民可以与议员会面提出要求。因此,在民众接待厅会见议员的人士被称之为说客(lobbyists)。

Besides politics, a lobby is also part of many large buildings. Many apartment buildings and hotels have lobbies. You also can meet your friends in the lobby of a theater or concert hall during the intermission of a performance. This, however, does not make you a lobbyist.

除了政治方面,大堂(lobby)也是许多大型建筑的一部分。许多公寓楼和酒店都有大堂。演出间歇期间,人们可以在剧院或音乐厅的大堂会见朋友。但是,这不让让你成为一名说客(lobbyists)。

During the early years of the United States, lobbyists had a bad name.

在美国早期,说客名声不好。

There were many cases of lobbyists buying the votes of lawmakers. They were seen by the public as dishonest people who influenced legislation illegally for their own private gain.

当时有很多说客向议员贿选的案例。他们被公众视为奸诈之徒,他们为了自己的私人利益非法地影响立法。

In later years, Congress and state legislatures passed laws to restrict dishonest lobbying activities. Lobbyists must register with the government and they must follow many complex regulations.

随后几年,国会和州议会通过了法律,限制不诚信的游说活动。说客必须向政府注册,并遵循诸多复杂法规。

Legislators and the public began to recognize the value of the job done by honest lobbyists. There are many honest lobbyists who try to influence legislation.

议员和公众开始认识到正直的说客所做的工作的价值。有很多正直的说客试图影响立法。

Lobbyists and lobby groups have an active part in making laws.

说客和游说团体在立法中具有积极作用。

Lobbyists help inform Congress and the public about problems and issues.

说客帮助国会和公众了解有关问题。

Lobbyists provide technical information about legislative proposals. And lobbyists let lawmakers know whom a bill would help and whom it would hurt.

说客提供关于立法提案的技术信息。说客还让议员知道,一项议案对谁有利对谁不利。

As the federal government has expanded, so has the number of special interest groups: industries, labor unions, professional organizations, citizens groups and representatives of foreign interests. These special interest groups all lobby Congress.

随着联邦政府的扩大,特殊利益群体的数量也在扩大,其中包括行业、工会、专业组织、公民团体和外国利益代表。这些特殊利益群体都在游说国会。

A lobbyist represents a group and tries to advance its interests. When a bill is proposed that affects that group, a lobbyist meets with lawmakers to explain the group’s position.

说客代表某个群体并努力促进其利益。当国会提出影响该群体的议案,说客就会与议员会面解释该群体的立场。

There are so many lobbyists that almost every side of an issue is represented. Some experts say the number of registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C. is decreasing.

美国有许多说客,几乎代表了议案的每一方。有专家表示注册说客人数正在减少。

However, other experts don’t agree. They claim the number of lobbyists actively lobbying the U.S. government is actually growing. However, to avoid the lobby registration system and regulations these lobbyists have gone underground -- or they do their lobbying out of public view. This does not help their public image.

然而,另一些专家不同意这种说法。他们声称,积极游说美国政府的说客人数实际上有所增长。然而,为了避免说客注册制度和监管,这些说客都转到地下,也就是在公众视线之外进行游说。这不利于他们的公众形象。

And that brings us to the end of this Words and Their Stories.

I’m Anna Matteo.

Words and Their Stories

intermission – n. a short break between the parts of a performance (such as a play, movie, or concert)

increase – v. to become larger or greater in size, amount or number

decrease – v. to become smaller in size, amount, number, etc.

underground – adv. in or into a place that is hidden or secret; out of the view of the public

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