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Portraits of America – Thick skin

?Уровень B1-B2 (Средний-Выше среднего)
♦to critique [krɪ’tiːk] – examine and evaluate
♦a standpoint – position from which someone is able to view a scene or an object
♦reserved – not talkative, not easygoing, a bit old-fashioned
♦judgemental – judge everyone
♦day-to-day – ordinary; everyday
♦earnest = serious / fundamental
♦thick skin = like in Russian, if you have thick skin, it’s not easy to offend you
♦strivers = a person who males lots of efforts, fight, achieve his goals
♦pioneer spirit
miserable = very sad, unhappy

Очень крутой текст, прям вообще суперский. Полный всяких интересных словечек и что мне больше всего нравится, вот такой замечательный экскурс-сравнение в ирландскую и американскую культуру. Надеюсь, что вы проберетесь через текст. Оно того стоит.

portraits_of_america10“We’re half and half. Our mom is American. But we’ve lived in Scotland most of our lives.”
“How do you feel as half and half?”
“It’s a sort of limbo-nothingness. Our Scottish friends and family say that we sound and act American. Then our American friends and family say, ‘You are so Scottish.’ But it’s good to get the best of both worlds. It gives you the ability to critique each culture from the standpoint of the other. For example, in Scotland people can be quite reserved and judgmental. Americans are very friendly in day-to-day life—‘Hey, how’s it going?—and very earnest and happy. But they’re precious; they get offended by a lot of things. Scotland is the land of cynicism and thick skin. Nothing is sacred. You can take the piss out of anything. You come here and people are like, ‘What did you say? Did you—?’
In America they’re more strivers. It’s the individual, pioneer spirit. But they can’t accept the fact that bad things happen to good people. They tend to be a bit too optimistic. In Scotland, it’s more hierarchical, get on with life, do your thing. It’s the whole Calvinist approach: Life is shit, you’re probably going to hell, make the best of a bad situation. All the optimistic Scots.



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