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Top 10 Commencement Speeches Quotes in American Universities——美国大学十佳毕业典礼演讲精选


李茂 选译自Graduation Wisdom

1. Steve Jobs
CEO of Apple Computers 苹果电脑CEO
Stanford University  斯坦福大学
June 12, 2005   2005年6月12日

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

2. David Foster Wallace
Novelist   小说家
Kenyon College  肯尼恩学院
May 21, 2005  2005年5月21日

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

… simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:

“This is water.”
“This is water.”

It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out.

3. Michael Uslan
Movie Producer  电影制片人
Indiana University 印第安纳大学
May 06, 2006  2006年5月6日

You must believe in yourself and in your work. When our first Batman movie broke all those box-office records, I received a phone call from that United Artists exec who, years before, had told me I was out of my mind. Now he said, “Michael, I’m just calling to congratulate you on the success of Batman. I always said you were a visionary.” You see the point here — don’t believe them when they tell you how bad you are or how terrible your ideas are, but also, don’t believe them when they tell you how wonderful you are and how great your ideas are. Just believe in yourself and you’ll do just fine. And, oh yes, don’t then forget to market yourself and your ideas. Use both sides of your brain.

You must have a high threshold for frustration. Take it from the guy who was turned down by every studio in Hollywood. You must knock on doors until your knuckles bleed. Doors will slam in your face. You must pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and knock again. It’s the only way to achieve your goals in life.

4. Woody Hayes
College Football Coach  大学橄榄球教练
Ohio State University  俄亥俄州立大学
May 14, 1986   1986年5月14日

In football we always said that the other team couldn’t beat us. We had to be sure that we didn’t beat ourselves. And that’s what people have to do, too — make sure they don’t beat themselves.

… you’ll find out that nothing that comes easy is worth a dime. As a matter of fact, I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face. Never.

5. Bradley Whitford
Actor     演员
University Wisconsin – Madison  威斯康辛大学麦迪逊分校
May 17, 2006    2006年5月17日

Number One: Fall in love with the process and the results will follow.
Number Two: Do your work.
Number Three: Once you’re prepared, throw your preparation in the trash.
Number Four: You are capable of more than you think.
Number Five: Listen.
Number Six: Take action.
You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life. Action is the antidote to apathy and cynicism and despair.

6. Jerry Zucker
Director, movie producer 导演、电影制片人
University of Wisconsin  威斯康辛大学
May 17, 2003   2003年5月17日

It doesn’t matter whether your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping.

Ask yourself one question: If I didn’t have to do it perfectly, what would I try?

Nobody else is paying as much attention to your failures as you are. You’re the only one who is obsessed with the importance of your own life. To everyone else, it’s just a blip on the radar screen, so just move on.

7. Earl Bakken
Businessman  商人
University of Hawaii 夏威夷大学
May 16, 2004  2004年5月16日

By all reckoning, the bumblebee is aerodynamically unsound and shouldn’t be able to fly. Yet, the little bee gets those wings going like a turbo-jet and flies to every plant its chubby little body can land on to collect all the nectar it can hold.

Bumblebees are the most persistent creatures. They don’t know they can’t fly, so they just keep buzzing around.

Never give in to pessimism. Don’t know that you can’t fly, and you will soar like an eagle. Don’t end up regretting what you did not do because you were too lazy or too frightened to soar. Be a bumblebee! And soar to the heavens. You can do it.

8. John Walsh
Author and art historian  作家和艺术历史学家
Wheaton College  惠顿学院
2000    2000年

Do one thing at a time. Give each experience all your attention. Try to resist being distracted by other sights and sounds, other thoughts and tasks, and when it is, guide your mind back to what you’re doing.

I’m not warning against learning many things on many subjects. My warning is against distraction, whether you invite it or just let it happen. In baseball, high-percentage hitters know better: it’s “focus” they talk about, and they prize it as much as strength. Psychologists describe skilled rock climbers and tennis players and pianists as going beyond focus, to what they have called a “flow” experience, a sense of absorption with the rock or the ball or the music in which the “me versus it” disappears and there’s a kind of oneness with the task that brings a joyful higher awareness, as well as successful performance. I’ve had these experiences, too little but not too late, and probably you have, too. They are a supreme kind of pleasure. You will have more of them if you do one thing at a time.

9. David L. Calhoun
Businessman  商人
Virginia Tech  弗吉尼亚理工大学
May 13, 2005  2005年5月13日

I worked for a guy named Jack Welch for twenty years at GE. He was, and is, a great mentor as much as a great leader. If I had to isolate the subject he spoke most passionately to me about, over all those years, it is that SELF CONFIDENCE is the most important, the indispensable characteristic of success, the common characteristic shared by great leaders whose talents may have varied widely in most other respects.

So, how do you get it? What is the secret to developing your own brand of self-confidence?

First, you must resolve to grow intellectually, morally, technically, and professionally every day through your entire work and family life. You need to ask yourself every day: Am I really up to speed or falling behind? Am I still learning? Or am I just doing the same stuff on a different day or as Otis Redding sings, “Sitting on the dock of the bay… watching the tide roll away?”

The lust for learning is age-independent.

Another important way to build your confidence is to seek out the toughest jobs, the most daunting scientific, engineering or management challenges.

10. Marc S. Lewis
Clinical psychology professor  临床心理学教授
University of Texas at Austin  得克萨斯大学奥斯汀分校
May 19, 2000    2000年5月19日

There are times when you are going to do well, and times when you’re going to fail. But neither the doing well, nor the failure is the measure of success. The measure of success is what you think about what you’ve done. Let me put that another way: The way to be happy is to like yourself and the way to like yourself is to do only things that make you proud.

There’s that old joke, not very funny, that goes, “No matter where you go, there you are.” That’s true. The person who you’re with most in life is yourself and if you don’t like yourself you’re always with somebody you don’t like.


Funny Translation Errors

By Richard
At K International we get sent loads of these funny language translation errors… so here is a collection of some of the best/worst.


Taken from October 2008 issue of

By Carole Moore


A call for help

Twenty-six years ago, a San Jose police officer realized his department not only was fielding more calls for service from Spanish-speaking subjects, but a growing number of Vietnamese were also settling in the area. Launched originally as a non-profit, Language Line Services (LLS) of Monterey, California, acted as a kind of go-between for clients who needed to communicate with individuals who did not speak English.

Louis Provenzano, LLS president and COO, says the company partners with 911 calls, police and emergency dispatchers. LLS provides access to 176 different languages.

The concept is simple. The officer notifies dispatch of the need for an interpreter. Dispatch calls the company on a special emergency telephone line and the officer hooks up with an interpreter.

“Some cities just let the officer dial directly — [we do] whatever the police want to do to make it easier.” Provenzano says.

LLS’s most requested U.S. language is Spanish. No surprise there, but the runners’ up might make a few jaws drop: Mandarin is second, followed by Korean, Vietnamese and Cantonese. “We also get lots of requests for Polish and Portuguese,” says Provenzano.

One fascinating byproduct of this service are the trends they indicate — in the Washington, D.C., area, for example, there is a growing need for Krio interpreters. Krio is the language spoken in Sierra-Leone.

Phoenix, Arizona, has a growing need for Dari, spoken in Iran. Oromo, a language used in Ethiopia and other African countries, is showing up in Seattle, Washington, while Denver, Colorado, has a demand for the Tibeto-Burman language of Karen, and in Chicago, Illinois, Urdu is spoken by many Pakistani immigrants. Some countries, like the Philippines, have numerous dialects. They present challenges, but thus far LLS has managed to meet them.

Handling some of those calls is Susan Avila, one of LLS’s 4,000 translators. Some LLS staffers work in call centers, while others translate from their homes. Competition for Avila’s job is fierce: The company only hires one out of every 12 applicants.

Avila, who works in Fort Worth, Texas, has been interpreting for 10 years. She says one of the most dramatic cases she assisted with involved a man who had been kidnapped and managed to get hold of a cell phone to call for help. As the police were searching for him, she was asked to instruct him to kick walls and make noise so officers could find him. They did — and also found and arrested his kidnappers.

“Of course not every call is that memorable,” Avila says.

Commgap of Salt Lake City, Utah, is another company that works with law enforcement agencies and attorneys to facilitate interpretation over phone lines. Similar to LLS in structure, Commgap’s Leilani Craig, executive director, says “We’re a full translation agency and offer a whole round of language services. Part of our services are telephone interpreting on demand.”

The dynamics are pretty simple, says Craig. The agency contacts Commgap and within 30 seconds they have an appropriate interpreter on the line. Commgap routinely records conversations they interpret and, says Craig, there is no minimum, no set-up charges and no binding contract.

“Agencies can use us as much, or as little, as they want,” she says.



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