Some years ago, I was hired by an American bank. I received

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Some years ago, I was hired by an American bank. I received a letter from the head of the Personnel Department that started, “Dear John, I am quite pleased that you have decided to join us.” That “quite” saddened me. I thought he was saying “we’re kind of pleased you decided to join us although I wish we had hired someone else.” Then I discovered that in American English “quite” sometimes means “very”, while in British English it means “fairly”.

So the first lesson about working in other countries is to learn the language and by that I don’t just mean the words people speak. It is the body language, dress, manners, ideas and so on. The way people do things highlights many of the differences we see between cultures.

Some of these differences may be only on the surface—dress, food and hours of work—while others may be deeper and take longer to deal with. Mostly, it is just a question of getting used to the differences and accepting them, like the climate, while getting on with business.

Some of the differences may be an improvement. People are more polite; the service is better; you ask for something to be done and it happens without having to ask again. However, other differences can be troubling, like punctuality(准时). If you invite people to a party at 7 o’clock your guests will consider it polite to turn up exactly on time in Germany, five minutes early in the American Midwest, an hour early in Japan, 15 minutes afterwards in the UK, up to  an hour afterwards in Italy and some time in the evening in Greece. I prefer not to use the word “late” because there is nothing wrong with the times people arrive. It is simply the accepted thing to do in their own country.

50. The author was unhappy as mentioned in Paragraph 1 because he thought________.

A. the American bank didn’t think much of him

B. the American bank might hire another person

C. it’s difficult to get used to American culture

D. it’s easy to misunderstand Americans

51. The word “highlight” in Paragraph 2 probably means____________.

A. encourages  B. helps to narrow     C. increases    D. draws attention to

52. According to the author, what should we do with most cultural differences?

A. Ask the native people for help

B. Understand and accept them

C. Do things in your own way

D. Do in-depth research

53. When invited to a party the people who are usually punctual are__________.

A. Italians       B. Germans       C. Greeks        D. The British

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