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  1. #1
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    Could you please help me with my speech?

    Dear Teachers, I am going to delivering a speech to an audience of 200. I am very nervous about it. I wrote the script myself, but I feel very unsure about it. It is so long that I could not expect you to edit the whole script for me. Please, if you could afford the time, edit the sentence which you think is most needed to be rephrased. I'd appreciate your help if you correct one sentence for me. Thank you very much!

    Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, let me begin my speech with some simple calculation. Suppose we—all of 25,000 students in this University—use single-use chopsticks every day. If a chopstick is about 20cm3, we will consume 500 m3 of wood just by using this single-use item. That is about 10,000 trees with an average height of 5m and an average diameter of 10cm. Let’s also pretend that we plant a single tree every 3m, then more 100,000 m2 of forest are disappearing every year just because people in one college use single-use chopsticks in their three meals every day. My dear friends, what a big challenge we are facing in environmental problems.

    For our Chinese, there is no more pressing issue than environmental protection. We have been making a big step ahead for economic growth but an even bigger step back for environmental protection. None of us would ever obliterate the memory of the 1998 flood, nor would we forget the millions of refugees with their homes destroyed in a flash. My dear friends, you must remember the SARS epidemic last year, an infectious disease threatened every single individual in this country. I don’t think anyone could state that it had nothing to do with what we have done to nature and keep a straight face at the same time.

    The situation is quite pathetic. We have long been accustomed to calling the earth “mother”, but very often we seem to ignore our obligations as sons and daughters. We talk about it a lot, but we practice it a little. We wrote a blank check to nature, saying,” Hello, I am busy with something else. I’ll take care of you when I can afford the time.” I must say, many people, including myself, do not have an strong sense of environmental protection. When I was preparing this speech, I was astonished by the contrast between China and developed countries in the area of environmental protection. For example, in Germany, you could be severely criticized if you put the garbage in the wrong bin on the street, but I cannot imagine the same thing happening in my country. The environmental protection is always a hot issue in the election campaign in Germany, because the political parties realize that if they are not committed to make their country a better place to live, they will not be able to muster enough support for their election. In my opinion, the idea of protecting the environment is deeply ingrained in most German people. I do not want to offend anyone here, but the point is that we, Chinese, have a long way to go to meet our environmental needs.

    The question is “how”. My dear friends, as individuals, we should never feel impotent and undervalue our prospective contributions to nature. We should carry out our own efforts in our daily life; we should make full use of every bit of natural resources; we should minimize the use of single-use items; we should give away waste like batteries in a sensible way. In fact, the list can go on and on. Only by doing so, can we fulfill our commitments to the environment, can we give our offspring a green future, a world where everyone can breathe fresh air, where everyone would say, “I am proud of my ancestors!”

  2. #2
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    Re: Could you please help me with my speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    Dear Teachers, I am going to delivering a speech to an audience of 200.
    Say either "I am going to be delivering a speech" or "I am going to deliver a speech". (I prefer the latter.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, let me begin my speech with some simple calculation.
    Try:
    • Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Let me begin my speech with a simple calculation.



    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    Suppose we—all of 25,000 students in this University—use single-use chopsticks every day. If a chopstick is about 20cm3, we will consume 500 m3 of wood just by using this single-use item. That is about 10,000 trees with an average height of 5m and an average diameter of 10cm.
    That's good. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    Let’s also pretend that we plant a single tree every 3m, then more 100,000 m2 of forest are disappearing every year just because people in one college use single-use chopsticks in their three meals every day.
    That doesn't work. Trees take up space. You need to say "one tree every square meter" or "one tree every two square meters" or something like that. Also, instead of "in their three meals every day" say "three times a day".

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    My dear friends, what a big challenge we are facing in environmental problems.
    That's not bad, but try:
    • My dear friends, we have a big environmental problem on our hands.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    For our Chinese, there is no more pressing issue than environmental protection.
    How about:
    • For this generation, there is no more pressing issue than protection of the environment.

    Or:
    • For this generation of Chinese, there is no more pressing issue than protection of the environment.



    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    We have been making a big step ahead for economic growth but an even bigger step back for environmental protection.
    • We have taken a big step forward for economic growth, but we have taken an even bigger step backward for environmental protection.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    None of us would ever obliterate the memory of the 1998 flood, nor would we forget the millions of refugees with their homes destroyed in a flash.
    • None of us will ever forget the 1998 flood, nor will we forget that millions of people had their homes destroyed in a flash.


    (It wasn't the refugees that had their homes destroyed. It was getting their homes destroyed that made those people refugees.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    My dear friends, you must remember the SARS epidemic last year, an infectious disease threatened every single individual in this country.
    The first part of that is good, but you could do it better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    I don’t think anyone could state that it had nothing to do with what we have done to nature and keep a straight face at the same time.
    Rework that, takng out the part about the straight face.

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Re: Could you please help me with my speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    The situation is quite pathetic. We have long been accustomed to calling the earth “mother”, but very often we seem to ignore our obligations as sons and daughters.
    That is good. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    We talk about it a lot, but we practice it a little.
    • We talk about it a lot, but we practice it only a little.


    I am not at all sure what "it" refers to there.

    [quote="Joe"]
    We wrote a blank check to nature, saying,” Hello, I am busy with something else. I’ll take care of you when I can afford the time.”
    I'm not sure what you mean by the "blank check" phrase. Say:
    • I'll take care of you when I can spare the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    I must say, many people, including myself, do not have an strong sense of environmental protection.
    • I must say, many people, including me, do not show much concern for the environment
    .

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    When I was preparing this speech, I was astonished by the contrast between China and developed countries in the area of environmental protection. For example, in Germany, you could be severely criticized if you put the garbage in the wrong bin on the street, but I cannot imagine the same thing happening in my country.
    That is good. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    The environmental protection is always a hot issue in the election campaign in Germany, because the political parties realize that if they are not committed to make their country a better place to live, they will not be able to muster enough support for their election. In my opinion, the idea of protecting the environment is deeply ingrained in most German people. I do not want to offend anyone here, but the point is that we, Chinese, have a long way to go to meet our environmental needs.
    • Environmental protection protection is always a hot issue in the election campaigns in Germany, because the political parties realize that if they are not committed to making their country a better place to live, they will not be able to muster enough support at the polls.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    The question is “how”. My dear friends, as individuals, we should never feel impotent and undervalue our prospective contributions to nature. We should carry out our own efforts in our daily life; we should make full use of every bit of natural resources; we should minimize the use of single-use items; we should give away waste like batteries in a sensible way. In fact, the list can go on and on. Only by doing so, can we fulfill our commitments to the environment, can we give our offspring a green future, a world where everyone can breathe fresh air, where everyone would say, “I am proud of my ancestors!”
    Say: "our daily lives"

    Say "dispose of" rather than "give away"

    The ending is not bad.

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