Red tape 繁文縟節,官僚作風

Fed up with rules and regulations? You must learn this expression

115
Scissors cutting red tape


Rob is annoyed. He has spent hours filling in forms for his small house extension. Can Feifei help him? Listen to the programme to find out.

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Feifei
Hello Rob. You look so busy, 這都是些什麼呀?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 想把他們家的房子擴建一下,不過申請手續非常繁瑣,得填寫無數表格。

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

Feifei
So your problem is red tape? 你需要剪斷紅色膠帶紙?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. 你不是說要 cut through the red tape 嗎?我給你了剪刀,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! 原來在英語里,很多官方的規定、條款和繁瑣的做事程序被稱為 red tape “紅帶文件”,也就是我們說的“官僚作風”。下面我們來聽幾個例句。

Examples
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
據說,早在16世紀時的英國,所有官方的 文件會用紅色布帶系成一扎一扎的,從而也就出現了 red tape 這個比喻。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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