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Название работы: Необходим краткий пересказ каждого текста на английском языке
Вид работы: Контрольная работа
Описание: Необходим краткий пересказ каждого текста на английском языке.
“Focus on America”- a short summary in a written form.
Few of us like to be told that we are average, and Americans are no exception. Far worse, however, is to be told that we, or the things we do, are typical of our nation. ''Oh, that's so typically American (or British, or French, etc.),'' is the kind of statement most of us object to. Generalizations about nationalities – Americans are incurable optimists, Germans are professional pessimists, and Italians are amused by both – are usually not welcomed even when they are basically accurate.
One generalization often made about Americans is that they value their individualism quite highly. They place great emphasis on their individual choices, and on doing things their own way. Even when working as a team Americans usually think in terms of several distinct individuals blending their efforts rather than a group working as a unit. Another generalization says ''what they are doing in California today will probably be trying in Europe tomorrow'', because more and more American social and cultural habits have taken hold in Europe and around the world from cornflakes and the televised news for breakfast to the evening barbecue or grill party. And this generalization remains valid today. Americans tend to be trend-setters in lifestyles, but what is thought to be typically American today probably won't be so for long.
Most interesting, therefore, are those habits and attitudes, customs and conventions which have been consistently observed among Americans over time. There are at least three American ''national characteristics'' which can be safely mentioned; these are: friendliness to strangers, a strong sense of community and neighborliness, and a general informality.
The American family is the basic unit of society, but it has experienced significant change in the last few decades. A generation ago the average family consisted of a mother, a father, and two or more children. The nuclear family often maintained important ties to members of the extended family. But today the traditional American family only represents about one–fourths of all families. Non-traditional families are more common; they include families with a single parent and one or more children, or unmarried couples with or without children. Half of all households have no children.
Parental roles have also changed. Before the 1970s, most married women did not work outside from home. Today, nearly one-half of all working Americans are women. In homes where both the husband and wife work, men are not expected to share some household duties traditionally reserved for women. Though men play greater role in raising children.
Older Americans (or senior citizens), who cannot care for themselves, live with their adult children or in retirement communities. Otherwise, older Americans live in their own homes.
The American family is very mobile. It is common to move from one region of the country to another for education, employment, or a change in living conditions.
Most Americans live in 'single-family dwellings', that is, houses which usually have a front and backyard. The percentage of Americans owning the houses (apartments) is one of the highest among western nations. In many American families children are expected to help around the house, they are assigned 'chores', which might include vacuuming the rugs, washing floors, cleaning windows, and so on. There is always something that needs to be done around the house, and most Americans homeowners do it themselves.
Geographical Facts on the USA
The United States covers the central part of North America and includes Alaska and Hawaii. It is the fourth largest country in the world. Because of its size and location, it has many different climates and a variety of geographical features: large mountains and wide canyons, vast deserts and prairies, frozen tundra, swamps and tropical forests.
The Rocky Mountains (the Rockies) in the West give way to a vast central plain, which merges with the rolling hills and lower mountains (the Appalachians) in the East. The Rockies are among the earth’s youngest mountains and because of that, they are not worn down, they have steep slopes and many peaks and valleys. This region has considerable volcanic activity.
The Mississippi River is without doubt the most important geographic feature in the U.S. It runs 2,300 miles, from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Another mighty river is the Colorado in the Southwest. The Grand Canyon was formed by this river cutting into a plateau in Arizona. The rapids of the Colorado River and the narrow twisting canyon walls are extremely dangerous.
The Midwest geographical attraction is the district of the Great Lakes which were carved out by glaciers long ago. The Great Lakes lie on the border between the U.S. and Canada, and they are the largest concentration of fresh water in the world.
Climates throughout the country are varied, and though most of the nation experience all four seasons, the Southwest and Southeast rarely receive snow in the winter.
Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and severe winter storms impact various regions.
Health Care in the USA
The health problems facing Americans are different, than those in some other countries. Sedentary lifestyles and risky physical behaviour are the two greatest causes of adult health problems. Nearly all children receive immunizations against diseases. Although the government provides some aid to the poor, the United States does not have a socialized health-care program. Because health care is expensive, most Americans rely on private health insurance to pay medical costs. Poorer people often do not have this insurance.
Health facilities are extensive and modern, except in some rural areas, and the United States is a world leader in medical research and training. The infant mortality rate is 8 per 1,000; life expectancy ranges from 72 to 80 years.
If you have health problems while in the United States, remember you are expected to pay for any treatment you receive, unless you are covered by some form of insurance, either from your country or through traveller’s insurance. If you need special medication, see a doctor for a prescription. Medications, readily available in your country, may be restricted there. You should go to a drugstore, or a pharmacy to shop for medications, although non-prescription drugs are available off the counter in most supermarkets.
Shopping in the USA
Shopping in the United States is both easy and pleasant. There is a huge variety of retail stores, grocery stores, supermarkets, etc.
Most stores in America remain open until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m., or even 11:00 p.m. (very often they are called 'seven-eleven') and many are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Large supermarkets usually carry anything from food and school supplies to electronics and sporting equipment, as well as prescription medication.
In suburban areas people shop for various items at large shopping complexes called 'malls'; a mall has dozen of businesses with clothing, computer equipment, jewelry, fast food, books, and music and entertainment items. Department stores, which are sometimes attached to malls, carry clothing, household goods, hardware items, gardening equipment, and hundreds of other products.
When shopping, be aware that many states add a sales tax onto retail sales. This tax is not included in the price of the item you are purchasing. Therefore, if you buy something for $ 20, 00, you will pay more than that for the item. Sales tax rates are different in each state, but average is about 7 percent.
Most Americans today work 8 hours a day five days a week at their jobs. The availability of child-care centres and the fact that children attend school until 3 or 4 in the afternoon and eat lunch there has helped many women to take jobs outside from home. So, the common meal of the day, consisting usually of potatoes, rice and pasta, is eaten in the evening. This varies in time according to family traditions and depending upon each family member's schedule. It's usually the only time of the day when everyone is at home. In a country with many fruit and vegetable growing regions such items as fresh grapefruit, orange, lemons, melons, cherries, peaches, or broccoli, iceberg lettuce, avocados do not have to be imported. This is one reason why fruit dishes and salads are so common. Family vegetable gardens help to keep fresh food on the table. American women today do not feel that their lives are best spent in the kitchen. They would rather pay and enjoy a good meal at a restaurant. At the same time, there is an increase in fine cooking as a hobby for both men and women.
As a result of nationwide health campaigns Americans in general are eating a much lighter diet. Cereals and grain foods, fruits and vegetables, fish and salads are emphasized instead of heavy and sweet foods. More than one American, of course, will refuse to give up that 'solid' meal of meat, potatoes and gravy.
America has two strong advantages when it comes to food. First is that, as the leading agricultural nation, it has always been well supplied with fresh meats, fruits and vegetables in great variety at relatively low prices. Secondly immigrants have brought with them and continue to bring, the traditional cuisines of their countries and cultures. Most Americans really enjoy trying new food and easily adapt to new dishes.
Transport in the USA
The United States has developed an enormous modern transportation system, an extensive network of roads and highways. Public, state supported mass transportation systems - buses, commuter trains, street cars, subways – make sense for those parts of the U.S. that are densely settled.
The most extensive and one of the least expensive means of transportation in America is the bus. Both city traffic and inter-city transportation are largely provided by bus companies - public and private.
Inter-city and suburban bus companies operate between some 15,000 cities, towns and villages. The two largest inter city state supported bus companies, Greyhound Lines and Trailways together, operate about 7,000 buses and transport both passengers and goods.
The early decades were the 'Golden age' of the railroads in America. Trains could go where boats and ships could not. This was especially important west of the Mississippi, where there were fewer large rivers. The government supported many railroads by giving them land for building tracks. In 1971 Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) was created and today its system links over 500 cities in 44 states. C
Compared with railroad passenger transport in Europe it is of relatively little importance though Amtrak works best and most profitably in densely populated areas where distances are short. On the longer distances, Amtrak has a hard time competing with the airplane.
Freight trains are still very important, especially for the transportation of 'bulk goods' (coal, grain, ore, etc.) Modern rail freight system operates at a profit without government subsidies.
The problem of describing American television is simply this: there is so much of it, so many different types and so much variety. Each small city has one or two local TV stations, and the larger cities have ten or more.
The TV stations may be commercial or non-commercial, i.e. supported by the state or privately owned, but they all must be licensed to broadcast by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent federal agency.
Ninety percent of all American homes can receive at least six different TV channels, and about half of them get more than 10 without cable and without paying a fee. If you pay a certain fee, though, you can get attached to a cable TV and watch more than 50 different channels; some of them broadcast news, or sports, or movies, etc.
There is a tremendous variety of channels, a ''piece of air for everyone''. It means also hundreds of foreign language channels, broadcasting in Spanish, Chinese, French, Japanese, Polish, etc.
The largest TV networks are: PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), CNN (Cable News Network), CBS, NBS, ABC, MTV. Commercials (advertisements) on TV take 10 minutes of every 60.
Television sets in America are turned on in the same way and for the same reasons as radios are; as background music and noise. Life does not stop in either case; many morning and daytime programs are only viewed intermittently, while other things are going on. TV is only watched when something interesting is heard
Home for Christmas
Going home for Christmas is a most cherished tradition of the holiday season. No matter where you may be the most of the year, being at 'home' with your family and for Christmas is a must. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are the busiest times of the year at airports, train stations, and bus depots. It seems that all America is on the move and Americans are on their way to spend the holidays with their loved ones. This means that the house will be full of cousins, aunts and uncles that might not see each other during the year. Everyone joins in to help in the preparation of the festivities. Some family members go to choose a Christmas tree to buy and bring home. Others decorate the house, or wrap presents. And, of course, each household needs to make lots of food. On Christmas Eve, there are evening Church services which everyone attends. Attention is focused on the nativity scene, while all join in singing carols. On Christmas Day, there are other religious ceremonies at churches which families attend before they make their rounds to visit friends and relatives.
The US Post Office
Today the post office is an efficient place to go should you need to send letters or packages, get a money order, or rent a mail box. At the post office, you can also send important items through express mail, which will ensure that your mail will reach its destination within working days. If you don’t need to send letters to foreign countries, you can simply find a nearby drug store which sells booklets of stamps. If you need to send mail, esp. packages to international destination, it is recommended that you do go to the post office to make sure you pay the proper amount, that your item has been correctly classified in shipping method, and that you have a green customs declaration filled out and glued to the outer surface. A package would need to be weighed for the appropriate postage.You will also have to specify how you would like to send the item: the two most popular choices are airmail and book rate. Airmail obviously is the fastest and most expensive method of shipping. Book rate, on the other hand, is usually for bulk packages that are too expensive to send via airmail. Book rate items are shipped literally on a ship and the time it takes to arrive is anywhere from 3-8 weeks, if your item is going to Europe or another continent.There is one additional service worthy of mention available at the post office: express mail or registered mail for something very important (like a check or job application) you want to send. Express mail is more expensive than registered mail.
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