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«Астраханский государственный технический университет»

Кафедра « Иностранные языки в гуманитарном и естественно-научном образовании»


УЧЕБНОЕ ПОСОБИЕ ПО СТРАНОВЕДЕНИЮ ПО ТЕМЕ:

«США»

ДЛЯ СЛУШАТЕЛЕЙ ПРОГРАММЫ «ПЕРЕВОДЧИК В СФЕРЕ ПРОФЕССИОНАЛЬНОЙ КОММУНИКАЦИИ».


АСТРАХАНЬ 2009

Составитель и автор упражнений: А.В.Фатеева, асс.кафедры

«ИЯГЕНО» Астраханского государственного технического университета.

Рецензент: К.В.Кулемина к.ф.н., доцент кафедры «Иностранные языки в гуманитарном и естественно-научном образовании».

Учебное пособие утверждено и одобрено на заседании кафедры «ИЯГЕНО», протокол №6/14

от 30.06.09 г.


Пояснительная записка

Настоящее учебное пособие предназначено для студентов, обучающихся по программе «Переводчик в сфере профессиональной коммуникации», а также может быть использовано студентами II-III курсов всех специальностей, желающих углубить свои знания в страноведческом аспекте английского языка.

Цель данного учебного пособия — дать расширенные сведения о стране изучаемого языка, обычаях и нравах людей ее населяющих, их культуре и искусстве и закрепить навыки чтения, понимания, и говорения на основе предложенного лингвострановедческого материала.

Пособие включает 9 разделов, посвященных различным аспектам жизни страны, в каждом из которых предлагается материал для чтения, предтекстовые и послетекстовые упражнения. Предтекстовые упражнения предназначены для ознакомления, правильного произношения и перевода наиболее трудных слов и словосочетаний. Комплекс упражнений, разработанных после материала для чтения, направлен на активное усвоение лексики и расширение словарного запаса, а также на развитие навыков понимания смыслового содержания прочитанного. Всего в пособии содержится более 18 типов упражнений. Материал для чтения сопровождается иллюстрациями, схемами, таблицами, картами. Аутентичный материал, доступная и интересная форма подачи лингвострановедческой информации делает данное пособие особенно полезным в изучении такого аспекта языка как страноведение.

Все тексты заимствовались из различных англоязычных источников и интернет сайтов и подвергались в учебных целях адаптации и сокращению.

Содержание:
Unit 1 GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION 4

Unite 2 WE THE PEOPLE … 10

Unite 3 AMERICAN GOVERNMENT 6

Unit 4 THE USA NATIONAL SYMBOLS . 27

Unit 5 SKETCHES ON AMERICAN HISTORY 37

Unit 6 CULTURE IN AMERICA 53

Unit 7 LIFESTILES 63

Unit 8 SPORTS AND RECREATION 72

Unit 9 MEDIA 80

ЛИТЕРАТУРА 89



1. GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION

MIND THE PRONUNCIATION OF THE FOLLOWING WORDS:
Mainland [#meinl{nd] материк

Trinket [#triNkit ] безделушка, дешевое

украшение

rolling hills [ #rOliNg ] холмистая местность

sloping [# sl{upiN ] покатый., наклонный

fertile [# f{:rtail] плодородный

corn belt [kO:n belt] амер. кукурузный пояс

moist [mOist] влажный

dairy farming [#dE{ri # fA:miN] разведение молочного

скота

livestock [#laivstOk] домашний скот

nourishment [#n[riSm{nt ] питание

tame [teim] укрощать, покорять,

приручать

dike [daik] дамба., плотина, насыпь

dam [d@m] дамба, плотина, за пруд,мол

disaster line [di#za:st{ lain] «линия бедствий»,

граница засушливой зоны

drought [#draut] засуха

dust [d[st ] пыль

abandon [{#b@nd{n] покидать

bowl [b{ul] чаша

lure [#lju{] соблазн, притягательная сила

cluster [#kl[st{] группа однородных

предметов

promontory [#pr{m{ntri] мыс

strand [str@nd] прибрежная полоса

drain [drein] собирать воду, дре

нировать ,вытекать, осу шать

the Rocky mountain [#rOki #m{untinz] Скалистые горы

the Cascades [k@s#keidz ] Каскадные горы

the Coastal Ranges [#k{ust{l reinZ ] Береговые хребты

tributary divide [#tribjut{ri] приток

(the Great/Grand

Divide) [di#vaid] амер. водораздел

Foremost [# fO:m{ust] основной., главный

Flood [fl[d] наводнение

Basin [#beisn] бассейн, котловина

Bed [bed] русло реки

savage [#s@vidZ] дикий,

взбешенный,

неукрощенный.


II READ THE TEXT
The United States lies in the central part of the North American continent with the Atlantic Ocean to the East, the Pacific to the West, Canada to the North, and Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico to the South.

The country faces the Atlantic Ocean with the deep fiords and rocky promontories of New England; the low sandy strands of New Jersey and Virginia, cut deep into by Delaware and Chesa­peake Bays. Nearly parallel with the coast the Appalachian Moun­tains run from Alabama northeastward into Maine.

Beyond the Appalachian Range opens the Central Valley, drained by the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. The region of five Great Lakes is in the north-eastern part of the country. The lakes are: Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The heart of the United States is a vast plain, broken by the Superior Upland and Black Hills in the north and the Ozark Plateau in the south, which extends from central Canada southwards to Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains westwards to the Cordillera. These interior plains, which rise gradually like a saucer to higher land on all sides, are divided into two major parts: the wetter, eastern portion is called the Central Plains and the western portion the Great Plains, both of which have good soil .To the west of the Great Plains is the Cordillera, which accounts for one-third of the United States. This region can be subdivided into various other regions. On its eastern border the Rocky Mountains, a chain of mountains stretching from mountainous Alaska down to Mexico, rise sharply from the Great Plains. These mountains contain many important metals such as lead, uranium and gold .The Western edge of the Cordillera is characterized by a coastal chain of high mountains, among which there are broad fertile valleys. The most important ranges are the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades in the eastern part and the Coastal Ranges along the western coast.

Northeast USA is drained by rivers such as the Genesee, that flow into the St. Lawrence or Great Lakes.The east coast rivers such as the Susquehanna, Hudson, Delaware, Potomac, Roanoake and Savannah flow into the Atlantic Ocean. The central plains are drained by the great Red-Missouri-Mississippi River System as well as the Trinity, Saline, Alabama and Flint Rivers which flow into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Mississippi is one of the world's great continental rivers. The waters of the Mississippi are gathered from two-thirds of the United States. Together with the Missouri River (its chief western branch), the Mississippi flows some 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) from its northern sources in the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi has been called the "father of waters". The Ohio and Tennessee are the Mississippi’s principal eastern tributaries. The two great rivers of the Pacific side are the Colorado and the Columbia. The Rio Grande is the foremost river of the Southwest. The Yukon is the largest river in Alaska.

ACROSS THE USA

Stretching 4500 kilometers from east to west and 2500 kilometers south, the main land mass of the United States offers almost every variety of climate and physical feature. Including the states of Alaska and Hawaii, the country covers an area of more than nine million square kilometers, Hawaii lying in the Pacific 3,200 kilometers from the mainland, and Alaska 3,170 kilometers (by the Alaskan Highway through Canada) to the northwest.

The U.S. is too large and varied a country to sum up in a short explanation. To understand some of its differences, it can be di­vided into six regions.

Look at the NORTHEAST section of the map where New York is the largest city. Manhattan Island, which is the center of New York City, was bought from the Indians for a mere. $24 worth of trinkets. Now it is the financial center of the United States. New York was the welcoming port for most of the immigrants who saw, as they sailed into its harbor, the immense Statue of Liberty holding high her torch of freedom. There are three other major seaports in the Northeast. All, like New York, are great financial centers.

Boston, to the north, is the port that sent forth fishermen and whalers and the Yankee Clipper ships that sailed the China seas. It was one of the first settlements and major cities and is the heart of the New England States. Philadelphia is where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were drawn up and signed and where Benjamin Franklin, statesman and scientist, lived. Baltimore is a commercial and industrial center and important seaport.

From Boston to Washington, D.C., it is 719 kilometers. Along this narrow coastal strip more than 20% of the population live in less than 2% of the country's, land area. Washington, D.C., at the south­ern end of this string of cities, has little industry and no skyscrapers. The Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials are the Major landmarks.

Look inland along the Hudson River from New York City to a lovely countryside of rolling hills and farms, curving around the tip of Lake Erie to Detroit, 1,000 kilometers northwest of New York. Detroit was the birthplace of mass production of motor cars and today it is the headquarters of the country's car manufacturers.

On to Chicago, second largest city in the U.S. Stretching for 47 kilometers around the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, it is a railway center, Great Lakes shipping center and famous for its stockyards and grain elevators. Nearby are great steel-mak­ing cities. Chicago serves the Midwest but is included in the Northeast regional division because it is part of the network of northern industrial and shipping centers. The Northeast is the major industrial area of the U.S.

The gently sloping prairie land of the CENTRAL BASIN was once the frontier to those who crossed the Appalachian Moun­tains. In Illinois, these pioneers reached the end of the great east­ern forests. Before them was a rich grass land. The fertile soil and the long hot summers with enough rain were a farmer's dream. There the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska are known as The Corn Belt. Father north in Wisconsin and Minneso­ta it is cooler and more moist. There dairy farming flourishes.

Springfield, in the center of the State of Illinois, is where Abra­ham Lincoln came as a young man to practice law, enter politics and finally be elected the 16th President.

Now look back across the Appalachian Mountains, south from Washington, D.C., into the SOUTHEAST. In the state of Virginia, Richmond was the capital of the Southern Confederacy during the Civil War, and Monticello, near Charlottsville, was the home of Thomas Jefferson, principal writer of the Declaration of Inde­pendence and third President of the U.S.

From Virginia to Texas where cotton was once king. But the big cotton plantations depended on slaves for labor and the cotton plant drained the soil of nourishment. A one-crop agriculture plus the terrible destruction of the Civil War left the Southeast the poorest area in the nation. Now it is changing rapidly. Mighty rivers that used to flood huge areas are being tamed with dikes and dams. Manufacturing, new crops, more mechanization, reforestation -all are transforming the Southeast.

Separated from the rest of the Southeast, Florida stretches out like a giant toe to test the Atlantic Ocean. Here subtropical fruits and vegetables grow all the year round and on its shores are the John F. Kennedy Space center and Miami Beach, a popular holiday area.

To the west, on the wide delta of the 4,000-kilometer-long Mississippi River, is New Orleans, whose wrought-iron balco­nies remind one of the early French settlers. In the late 19th cen­tury, Jazz was born among the Black musicians of the town, and to this day New Orleans is an important river- and seaport.

The GREAT PLAINS is where the rain gives out, about halfway across Texas and Oklahoma. From here, an imaginary line runs north and south almost through the middle of the U.S. It is called the 50-centimeter rainfall line. Farmers call it the "disaster line" be­cause those who have tried to farm to the west, where rainfall drops below 50 centimeters a year, have suffered ruin in years of drought.

The Great Plains is a hard country. The heat of the summer is scorching, the winter is freezing. The wind blows fiercely, with few hills or forests to stop it, from Montana on the Canadian bor­der to the Mexican border state of Texas. Water is precious. Its scarcity drove the settlers on across the plains as far as they could go. Only the Red Indians knew how to survive here. They cap­tured the wild horses, descended from those that escaped from Spanish explorers in the sixteenth century, and hunted the buffalo that provided them with most of their food, clothing and tools.

Not until the eastern prairies were settled and the valleys of the Pacific coast fairly well filled, did the farmers come to the plains. Before them came the cattlemen who stocked the former buffalo pastures with cattle. Cowboys rounded up wild longhorn cattle and drove them north and east to market. In the second half of the 1800's, Indians, cattlemen, cowboys and farmers were all fighting each other for land. Those were the days of The Old Wild West.

Eventually the farmer won out. However, in the 1930's there was a drought. Fierce winds blew the rich topsoil across the continent.

In Boston and Washington, D.C., 3,000 kilometers away, the air was filled with the dust of the plains. People had to abandon their farms. The Great Plains had become "The Dust Bowl".

Today both farmers and cattlemen are back. It is a long drive between the few towns on the plains. Most are small. You can look down their wide main streets out to the flat land as far as the eye can see. Only Denver, at the western edge of the plains, is a large city. A manufacturing and meat-packing center, it sits 1,000 meters above sea level in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Like the Great Plains, the MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS re­gion did not attract settlers at first. It was a fearful area, to be crossed as quickly as possible to reach the Pacific coast. Then the lure of gold, silver, copper and tin in the mountains drew people back. Quick fortunes were made and the mines were exhausted. Few are working today. All that is left are ghost towns - clusters of weathered wooden buildings in the gulches.

The Rocky Mountains are the long backbone of the continent -over 4,200 meters high and 560 kilometers wide in Utah and Colo­rado. Because of its unusual and varied natural beauty, much of this mountain and desert region has been preserved unspoiled in nation­al parks - such as Yellowstone in Wyoming and Death Valley in California. There are few towns and they are far apart.

The desert land between the Rockies and the coastal Sierra Nevada Mountains at first seemed worthless. Temperatures reach 48 degrees Centigrade (120 degrees Fahrenheit) in the shade. It rains only twice a year, in mid-summer and in mid-winter. Then the rain falls in torrents, washing great gullies across the land. In addition, the desert blooms briefly.

Finally, a few brave men tried to irrigate and farm. The most successful was Brigham Young and his group of Mormons. They settled in the desert by an enormous salty inland sea and in 1847 established Salt Lake City. From Salt Lake City to Los Angeles it is 1,206 kilometers mostly across desert and mountains.

Los Angeles is the world's largest metropolitan area: 117,000 hectares. This vast collection of connecting communities could not exist without the giant aqueducts that bring water from 400 to 640 kilometers away. Citrus fruit grows in the San Fernando Val­ley and nearby Hollywood is where motion pictures and many television shows are made.

From Bakersfield, near Los Angeles, stretching northward, is the fertile region called the COAST VALLEYS. English, Rus­sian and other explorers, first reached the Pacific Coast, from San Francisco to Seattle. Some established fur trading posts. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark up the Missouri River and down the Columbia River to ex­plore and chart this unknown region. By 1843, settlers followed them along the Oregon Trail. In the northern coastal valleys they found rich soil, abundant water and mild climate. These snug valleys were ideal for orchards, dairies, and even wheat. In California the Central Valley liad water, too, but in raging rivers that could not be controlled. Now a series of dams, canals and irrigation pipes makes this one of the richest farm areas in the U.S.

All three Pacific coast states - Washington, California and Or­egon - face toward the Orient. Cargoes of fish, timber and fruit are shipped from the ports of San Francisco, Portland and Seattle to Asia. There is a large Chinese community in San Francisco. Since gold rush days it has been a cosmopolitan city where many people have preserved their languages and customs. Quaint cable cars clang up and down its steep hills and ships sail from the Pa­cific Ocean under the sweeping span of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco Bay, one of the world's finest land-locked harbors.

Seattle is the gateway to Alaska, the forty-ninth State.

You must drive through Canada or take a boat or airplane to get to Alaska. It has a very rugged terrain, great ranges of moun­tains and few roads. Because it is so far north, its winters are long, its summers are short. Fishing, mining, lumber and re­cent oil strikes make Alaska rich in natural resources. The coast of southeast Alaska is mountainous with glaciers and fiords while the Alaskan Peninsula and Aleutian Islands form an arc of more than 75 volcanoes. Interior Alaska is for the most part, the drainage basin of the state's principal river, the Yukon and its tributaries. The Arctic Slope contains Point Barrow, the northernmost point in the USA.

The fiftieth State of Hawaii is a string of sun-drenched islands, which are volcanic formations of basaltic lava flows, over 3,200 kilometers out in the Pacific Ocean from the coast of California. Pineapple plantations and Waikiki Beach are world famous. Peo­ple living here speak of the rest of the U.S. as the Mainland.

Alaska, Hawaii, and all six regions of the U.S. are in sharp contrast to each other. The geography and climate and kinds of people who have settled them have shaped their destinies differ­ently. But all are bound together by a way of life that is American.

EXERCISES:
I GIVE RUSSIAN EQUIVALENTS OF THE FOLLOWING ENGLISH EXPRESSIONS:

To flood huge areas; rocky promontories; dikes and dams; narrow coastal strip; scorching summer; unspoiled desert region; arc of volcanoes; the drainage basin; deep fiords; reforestation; long backbone; moist; interior plains; main land mass; fertile valleys; drought; torrent.

II GIVE ENGLISH EQUIVALENTS TO THE FOLLOWING:

Приток реки; защищенные от непогоды равнины; гавань; узкое глубокое ущелье; разнообразие климата и рельефных особенностей; дефицит воды; песчаная береговая линия; китолов; фруктовый сад; гигантский канал; пастбище буйволов; базальтовая лава; простираться (протягиваться); разведение молочного скота.
III MATCH THE SYNONYMS IN PARTS A AND B:

A) to attract, worthless, fiercely, escape, cattleman, gully, prosperity, destruction, to face, string, sloping, nourishment, foremost, to contain, to extend, frontier, shore, lure, exhausted, fertile, abundant, terrain, destiny.

B) region, to stretch, important, sequence, fruitful, to front on, beach, violently, compatible, wealth, herdsman, devastation, ravine, expended, prevalent, fate, temptation, to comprise, slanting, boundary, fare , to captivate, to flee.
IV FILL IN THE GAPS WITH THE MISSING WORDS:
Irrigation pipes, clang up and down, settled, drought, harbor, sweeping span, deep fiords, welcoming, oil strikes, sloping prairie, fertile valleys, giant toe.
1 The country faces the Atlantic Ocean with the … and rocky promontories of New England.

2 Separated from the rest of the Southeast, Florida stretches out like a …. to test the Atlantic Ocean.

3 The Western edge of the Cordillera is characterized by a coastal chain of high mountains, among which there are broad …. .

4 Not until the eastern prairies were … and the valleys of the Pacific coast fairly well filled, did the farmers come to the plains.

5 New York was the … port for most of the immigrants who saw, as they sailed into its … the immense Statue of Liberty holding high her torch of freedom.

6 Now a series of dams, canals and … makes this one of the richest farm areas in the U.S.

7 The gently …. land of the CENTRAL BASIN was once the frontier to those who crossed the Appalachian Moun­tains.

8 Fishing, mining, lumber and re­cent …. make Alaska rich in natural resources.

9 Farmers call it the "disaster line" be­cause those who have tried to farm to the west, where rainfall drops below 50 centimeters a year, have suffered ruin in years of……. .

10 Quaint cable cars …….its steep hills and ships sail from the Pa­cific Ocean under the …… of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco Bay, one of the world's finest land-locked harbors.
VI BE READY TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS:

1 What is geographical location of the USA?

2 What is the total area of the USA?

3 How can physical relief of the major part of the country be characterized?

4 What can be called the heart of the USA?

5 What are the interior plains in the USA?

6 What the most important mountain ranges of the country do you know?

7 What are the main six regions the country can be divided into?

8 What territories are included into the Northeastern region?

9 What makes that region different from other regions? What are the largest cities of the Northeastern region?

10 Why are the states of the Central Basin called The Corn Belt?

11 What contributed to the fact that Southeast used to be the poorest area in the nation?

12 Why is the Great Plains called a hard country?

13 What kinds of agricultural and industrial activities are being developed there now?

14 Was the Mountains and Deserts region attractive for settlers? Why?

15 What was the story of foundation of Salt Lake City?

16 What made the Coast Valleys the most flourishing region of the country?

17 What do you think the visitors to America are stricken by most of all?

18 Bearing in mind the diversity of climate, relief and general character, which part of the USA would you like to live in?
VII TRANSLATE INTO ENGLISH :

1 США принадлежат остров Пуэрто-Рико и Виргинские острова в Карибском море, Восточное Самоа, остров Гуам и острова Микоронезии (подопечная территория ООН) в Тихом океане и тихоокеанские атоллы Уэйк и Мидуэй.

2 Официальный статус языка, на котором ведётся официальное делопроизводство, английский получил только в 23 штатах. Остальные 27 еще не приняли такого решения, основываясь на том, что ограничения в сфере использования различных языков могут нанести ущерб идеалам демократии.

3 Вплоть до прихода европейцев общественный строй коренного населения- индейцев, эскимосов и аулетов оставался на стадии первобытнообщинного уровня, что крайне пагубно отразилось на способности вести оборонительные войны с захватчиками.

4 Территория США находится на стыке умеренно теплого и субтропического климатических поясов, а на крайнем юге заходит и в тропики.

5 Уникальность территории США заключается в том, что нигде в мире нет столь обширных равнинных территорий, обладающих очень теплым климатом, весьма благоприятным для жизни и хозяйственной деятельности человека.

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