Red tape 繁文縟節,官僚作風

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

The script of this programme 本節目台詞

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! 原來在英語裏,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.