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Традиции, обычаи и особенности Американской жизни / Traditions, customs and peculiarities of American life

Like every nation in the world the Americans have their own beliefs and traditions. There are also things that they find most important for them in their lives.

Most of all Americans value freedom. They see their society as the freest and the best in the world. It is pleasant for them to think that America is a welcoming place for people who want freedom, opportunity and democracy. And though the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1791 and gives freedom of press, speech and religion some social groups are still not as free as others.

There is a famous quote from the Declaration of Independence: “This country grants equal opportunities for all”. This is true only under law. But in real life your family background and education are very important.

Americans believe in progress greatly. And they measure personal progress by how much a person has achieved. This is where we should speak about “American dream”. “American Dream” is a specific phenomenon. In this country every person’s dream can come true. And it is really so. “Where there is the will there is the way”, they say. Nobody holds you back, if you want it, do it. It is as simple as one, two, three...

Americans like hard work and worship the dollar. It is a part of the American dream that if you work hard, you can make it. Society is really against people who do not want to achieve anything.

This is where the image of modern American yuppie comes from — everybody is trying to achieve, everybody is trying to be alike and everybody is trying to own a BMW. America is best known as the country of business — turning one dollar into a million of dollars in a short period of time.

But it is not important so much as far as money goes, it is more important for people to be happy.

“Winning” is a very important word for Americans. Winning is an American obsession. If you are the winner you are successful.

Americans were always trying to be the first and especially during the “cold war”, where key players were the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States. In 1957 the USSR launched the world’s first artificial satellite into space. It was called “Sputnik”. In response America decided to land the first man on the Moon. And that is what they actually did. The first astronaut who stepped on the surface of the Moon was an American Neil Armstrong in 1969. The name of his spaceship was Apollo II. His famous words are, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.

The most powerful development of the “information age” is the Internet which is used worldwide. This invention belongs to Americans. Like the first computers, the Internet was created by the U.S. military men. In 1990’s it became a mainstream thing and soon millions of people were using the World Wide Web (WWW). The Internet changed the reality, people around the world meet and connect online and the world around us seems smaller. Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft Corporation, began programming computers when he was only 13 in 1968. Computers were the size of refrigerators at that time. But he really believed that there would be time when every person would have a little computer on his or her desk. Then he dropped out of Harvard College and founded his corporation. Soon it became impossible to run a personal computer without Microsoft software (MS-DOS, Windows). He has been the richest man in the world since 1995 (according to Forbes magazine).

A spirit of strong support for the military is an American tradition. For Americans, soldiers are mostly people who fight for something just and fair whatever their task is.

Voluntarism is also very popular. It means to be a member of a volunteer organization.

Americans are very casual in contrast to the British. They are so casual that they are usually seen as shallow. It is wrong to think so, it is just their style of life, and it somehow removes borders in communication for them.

Individualism is also very important for Americans.

Practicality is very much welcomed, “do-it-yourself” and “can-do” books are very popular.

“Political correctness” is an issue in the USA. It is so extreme that McDonald’s restaurants do not sell “white coffee” or “black coffee”. They sell “coffee with cream” and “coffee without cream”.

Food is different in the USA. They brought it from all over the world. It is partly Italian, British, German, Mexican and Chinese. America as the motherland of McDonald’s is famous for “fast food”, which is not healthy at all. Many Americans like doughnuts. Doughnuts (“donuts” as Americans spell it) were originally from Holland. In 1847 a young American boy told his mother that her doughnuts were never cooked in the middle. He cut out the centres, his mother cooked them and they were very tasty. That is how the doughnuts got their holes.

Americans like different kinds of sports. The most famous of them are baseball, basketball, football and soccer. Baseball is considered to be the national sport. American football derived from the English game rugby.

And American mobility has always played a very important part in removing all the differences between them. Mobility means moving from one place to another, from region to region. For Americans it is easy to make a fresh start in a new place. This means that they are usually attached to a place very little.

Yet national pride is very strong. “I’m proud to be American”, they say.

Перевод некоторых слов:

belief – убеждение value – ценность freedom – свобода opportunity – возможность democracy – демократия the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution – Билль о Правах Человека (первые десять поправок к конституции США, принятые в 1791 г. и гарантировавшие основные права граждан) the Declaration of Independence – Декларация независимости family background – семейное происхождение to achieve – достигать “American dream” – Американская мечта “Where there is the will there is the way” – Где есть желание, там есть возможности A dream comes true – мечта исполняется phenomenon – феномен to worship – высоко ценить yuppie — яппи (сокр. от “young urban professional”) отчасти ироническое название для молодых людей, стремящихся к карьерному росту to turning one dollar into a million of dollars – превратить 1 доллар в миллион winning – стремление к победе successful – успешный key players – ключевые игроки to launch a satellite – запустить спутник to land – высадить кого-либо an invention – изобретение military men – военные a mainstream thing – общедоступная вещь the chairman of Microsoft Corporation – председатель корпорации "Майкрософт" to run a personal computer – управляться с персональным компьютером strong support for the military – сильная поддержка военных voluntarism – волонтерство shallow – поверхностный, пустой to removes borders in communication – стирать границы в общении individualism – индивидуализм (убеждение, что человек и его независимость имеют высшую ценность; поведение, соответствующее этому убеждению) political correctness – политкорректность (социальное явление в США – идеология, предписывающая выработку и употребление "нейтральных" терминов вместо того, чтобы называть вещи своими именами, так как это, с точки зрения этой идеологии, поможет сгладить различия и противоречия в обществе practicality – практичность doughnut — пончик to derive from – происходить от cultural peculiarities – культурные особенности common values – общие ценности to remove all the differences – убрать все различия to be attached to – привязываться к чему-то to make a fresh start – начинать все с начала, с нуля

Данный текст поможет вам написать сочинение для 8, 9, 10, 11 классов на тему "Традиции и обычаи Америки", "Особенности Американской жизни", "традиции Америки", "традиции Американской жизни", "Американские обычаи", "Жизнь в Америке".

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