BBC Learning English 英语教学

Red tape 繁文缛节,官僚作风

It is not easy to cut through the red tape...


The script of this programme 本节目台词

Feifei: Hello Rob. You look so busy, 这都是些什么呀?What are all these papers?

Rob: Oh, Feifei, I have to get a permit to build an extension to my house. It's a very small bit of building work but I have to fill in all these forms.

Feifei: What is this one for?

Rob: This one here is for my local council. I need to apply for planning permission. And then they want lots of supporting documents to make sure it fits in with building regulations.

Feifei: It sounds exhausting. Rob 想把他们家的房子扩建一下,不过申请手续非常繁琐,得填写无数表格。

Rob: I hate red tape. If I could cut through this red tape it would be brilliant!

Feifei: So your problem is red tape? 你需要剪断红色胶带纸?太容易了!Say no more, Rob! The solution is in my bag! … Ah, here they are!

Rob: A pair of scissors and blue tape?

Feifei: Yes. 你不是说要 cut through the red tape 吗?我给你了剪刀,你一剪就行了! If you don't like red tape, use blue. I love the colour blue!

Rob: Thank you, Feifei. You're a good friend. But in English we call the rules and processes required to get official permits - which usually seem to be pointless - 'red tape'.

Feifei: Ah, bureaucracy! 原来在英语里,很多官方的规定、条款和繁琐的做事程序被称为 red tape “红带文件”,也就是我们说的“官僚作风”。下面我们来听几个例句。


  • Small firms won't be subject to new regulations under a government plan to cut red tape and boost the economy.
  • Andrea almost gave up studying abroad. The amount of red tape to get a visa was unbelievable!

Feifei: I think most people hate bureaucracy, Rob.

Rob: I'm not surprised. Some people say this expression might come from the 16th century, when bundles of documents were held together with red tape. I hate all these forms.

Feifei: 据说,早在16世纪时的英国,所有官方的文件会用红色布带系成一扎一扎的,从而也就出现了 red tape 这个比喻。Well, it's the 21st century now and we still have red tape. Good luck with your red tape, Rob. I'm off to paint the town red!

Rob: Oh Feifei, no more idioms with red for me today please.

Both: Bye.


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