Proper Manners, Customs, and Culture in the United State, Part II
餐 桌 礼 仪
现在列出一些与美国人一起用餐时的建议。这些建议无论对在家里用餐或者在餐厅用餐都是有用的。如果你刚来到美国，就遇到美国人请你到家里晚宴，一个比较礼貌 的做法是带一瓶葡萄酒，或者一盒巧克力，或者你从国内带来的一个小礼品，给请你晚宴的主人。这样的小礼品不必昂贵，只要表达一些意思就好。美国人都对礼品 的意义看得比礼品的价格重得多。
大部分美国人会用刀和叉来切开食品。就是用他们惯用的手来切和把食品送入嘴里。就是说，如果我是习惯用右手的，当我吃牛排的时候，我就用右手来切牛排。当我 把牛排切好了以后，我就会把刀从右手放下，换成拿叉子，然后开始吃牛排。在正式的宴席中，最好是一个手拿刀，一个手拿叉，切出一块就吃一块。不要把整块牛 排全都切成小块，然后再吃。
美国人在吃饭的时候是很安静的，就是吃东西的时候不发出任何的声音。如果没有闭上嘴就在嚼食品的话，一般都认为这样的做法是粗鲁和没有礼貌的。在嘴里嚼食品 的时候，应该闭上嘴，这样就不会有任何不雅的声音发出来。在用餐的时候，千万不要打嗝或者让食品从嘴里掉出来。但是一旦发生了，就立刻需要致歉。但是不必多言，只要说“I am so sorry”或者“Please excuse me”就可以了。美国人认为在餐桌上发出吃喝的声音，比如喝汤或者喝饮料的声音，也是粗鲁和没有礼貌的。
Here are some suggestions about dining with Americans. These will be true whether you are eating with them in their home or at a restaurant. If you are invited to an American’s home for dinner it is polite to bring a wine, a box of chocolates, or something from your country as a gift for your host. It does not need to be expensive. Americans appreciate the thought of the gift more than the price tag.
It is considered proper to place your napkin in your lap while you eat. If you are not eating with both hands then your unused hand should also rest in your lap. Do not put your elbows on the table unless you are comfortable with your hosts as friends. In all formal settings your elbows should remain off the table.
Most of the time Americans will cut their food with a knife and fork. They will use their dominant hand to both cut and eat. So, if I am right-handed and I’m eating a steak, I would use my knife to cut my steak with my right hand. After the steak is cut, I’d put the knife down and take my fork in my right-hand to eat. For formal dinners it is best to cut each piece at a time and eat it. Do not cut the entire steak up all at once.
There are some foods which are o.k. to eat with your hands. We generally eat hamburgers, pizza, sandwiches and a variety of other foods with our hands. The only time we would not use our hands is if we are in a formal restaurant and having a formal meal. However, hamburgers and pizza are rarely ever served at a formal dinner or in a formal restaurant.
Americans eat much more quietly than other cultures. It is considered rude and offensive to eat with your mouth open. When you chew your food keep your lips together and chew so that there is not disturbing sounds coming from your mouth. If possible, never belch at the table. If you do so immediately make apologies. “I’m so sorry.” Or “please, excuse me” is sufficient. It is also considered rude to slurp your soup or loud sipping of your drink at the table.
One last strange custom among Americans is found with the phrase, “make yourself at home” or “help yourself.” Although this may at first seem rude to you it is actually a very good thing in America. If you are invited to an American’s home and they tell you to “help yourself” they are saying, “You are one of us, like family.” This is an invitation to go into the kitchen and prepare yourself a drink, a snack or whatever. If you’re a first time visitor to their home they will probably not tell you this. They will serve you and be more reserved. However, the next time you arrive at their home you will most likely hear those words and you will know you are truly welcomed.
What seems the strangest manner to you in this article?
What should Americans know about eating with Chinese people in China? What should Americans never do?
If Americans go to the home of a Chinese person what should they take as a gift?