Home > Blog > Life-Changing Experiences (Feedback)

December 20th, 2013 | Author: David

Life-Changing Experiences (Feedback)

Thanks for all your comments. I was quite surprised that you thought it was a difficult topic, though. I thought it would be quite easy.

I guess the title “A life-changing story” made you think that it had to be something very dramatic, but all I was after was a simple story along the lines of “X happened. If X had never happened, I would not have done / become Y,” or “When X happened, it completely changed my thinking about Y.”

To give you another example, I had a friend in university called Genny. Her mum used to work for a big Japanese bank in London. Genny told her mum that I was interested in working in Japan, and her mum offered to introduce me to the boss of the English school that her bank had a contract with. When I met that man, it turned out that he had a brother who owned a language school in Singapore, and that they were looking for a new teacher. That is how I ended up working in Singapore. When he first told me about it, I didn’t know whether Singapore was a city or a country, and I probably couldn’t even have located it on a map.

It’s interesting how the patterns of our lives are changed by chance meetings and coincidental circumstances. And by the way, I would love to hear everyone’s stories of how they met their partners!

Here is some feedback on your comments.

When I was a junior high school student, my teacher invited me sailing.
Hi Gui. Thanks for your comments. It’s nice to have you with us.

This was a first experience in my life.
“This was my first experience of sailing” or “I had never been sailing before.”

When I finally got my own skis, I was so happy that I even slept beside them!
You mean you put them in your bed?? I hope they were clean!

You work as a waitress for a very low-wage, but you get to ski for free on your free time.
Nice sentence. Does everyone know the structure “you get to ski for free”?

However, skiing with your family is rather like playing in the snow than actually skiing
However, skiing with your family is more like playing in the snow than actually skiing.

One day, I heard that my living place held free Japanese classes for foreigners on weekends
One day, I heard that the place where I was living held…

I don’t think any of you’re interested in how we got closer later,
I am!

I had been thinking about it.
“I’ve been thinking about it” or “I’ve been giving it some thought.”

I can’t think of a life without them!
I can’t imagine life without them!

Is this your first comment? If so, nice to have you with us!
Nice sentences. Very natural.

I’ve been always wondering why.
I’ve always wondered about that.

However, my English classes became busier, so I gave up on the idea of taking that course.
Nice way of expressing akirameru.

Those days, she couldn’t walk and had mild dementia.
At that time, she couldn’t walk and had mild dementia.

I longed to live in a foreign country once in my life and I chose Germany because I learned German at my university and I knew that the cost of living was lower there compared to other European countries like the UK or France.
Very nice.

I just came up with another one that had completely changed our life.
I just thought of another thing that has completely changed our lives.

Here in Japan, winter season is a good time for sailing because of the steady wind from north west.
I cannot imagine how cold that must be!

but I find it a very interesting job.
Nice.

and were awakened to teach Japanese to foreigners there.
and became/got interested in teaching Japanese to foreigners while they were there.

I didn’t want to (or couldn’t afford to)to pay such a huge money
“so much money” or “such a huge amount of money”

It’s this blog. This blog changed my life.
Hi Tomo. It’s great to have you back! We have missed your comments.

I can relax now, so I’m catching up with things I wanted to do but couldn’t find time to.
Very nice. Most people would forget the “to” at the end.

I know what you mean very well.
I know exactly what you mean.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend, and let me know if you have any questions. I think next year’s topic will just be Christmas, so get ready to tell us your plans!

Latest Learner Blog Entries

Latest Teacher Blog Entries

Latest News

  • November 17th, 2014 | Author: Muchi
    JALT Annual Conference 2014
  • February 24th, 2014 | Author: David
    New Books!
  • October 28th, 2013 | Author: David
    JALT 2013 – Thank You
  • October 18th, 2013 | Author: Muchi
    JALT 2013

Comments

  1. YU
    Commented on
    2013/12/20 at 10:53

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Do you think Genny was the key person that you have come to live in Japan for such a long time and decide to build a house there, although you seem to have come a very long way around?! Or do you think even if you hadn’t met her, you would have lived in Japan sometime?

    > And by the way, I would love to hear everyone’s stories of how they met their partners!

    Really? I never thought that you were interested in such a thing!

    > I cannot imagine how cold that must be!

    Me either!
    Many surfers live in the place where I live. They go surfing even in midwinter. Some of my ex-coworkers went surfing before they came to the office in the winter morning.

    Have a great weekend, all!

  2. Tomo
    Commented on
    2013/12/20 at 11:56

    Hi YU,

    I’m glad to hear that you feel the same way as me! You have a lot of experiences others don’t have, but as you know, those experiences have made you who you are today, and I think they make you an interesting teacher, too.

    Hi Anne,

    If we hadn’t found the blog by chance, we wouldn’t have been able to meet, either. I’m glad we did ;-)

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your message and your feedback.

    >It’s interesting how the patterns of our lives are changed by chance meetings and coincidental circumstances.

    Yes, indeed!

    I have to work tomorrow, but I’m going to have a year-end party with my colleagues in the evening. I’m looking forward to a nice meal and wine.

    Have a great weekend,

    Tomo

  3. Fumie
    Commented on
    2013/12/21 at 6:53

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback!
    I read your story with interest. So if you didn’t meet Genny, you might not live in Japan, right?

    >It’s interesting how the patterns of our lives are changed by chance meetings and coincidental circumstances. And by the way, I would love to hear everyone’s stories of how they met their partners!
    - Oh, mine isn’t so dramatic! If someone didn’t go certain place at certain time, he/she wouldn’t meet that partner and their life might be completely different!

    Hi Tomo,

    >I still have lots of things to learn, but I can relax now, so I’m catching up with things I wanted to do but couldn’t find time to.
    - That’s great! Enjoy your time and we are expecting to see your comments from time to time.

    Hi everyone,

    Winter vacation started (my work and my children’s schools too.) Now I have to start cleaning up our house. It’s been cold for these days, please take care and have a nice weekend!

  4. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/12/21 at 7:24

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks, I think I know what you mean. Probabaly, 今の私の横に、若かりし頃の私がそこで働いている姿が容易に想像できる(目に浮かぶ), right?

    Hi YU,

    >but 過去のある時点まで(=before I got to know the woman who taught Japanese to foreigners at the English conversation school)「誰かに日本語を教えることなんて考えたこともなかった」と言いたかったので過去完了形にしました。

    I see. I didn’t know that you can use the past perfect tense like that.

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    Yes, I put my skis in my bed. They were brand-new, shiny-clean as a mirror. Don’t you do that? Well, I know it’s hard to put your bike in your bed, but I bet you touch it and hug it, or even kiss it(?) all day! My sons used to sleep with various things such as their new soccer balls, baseball gloves, 遊戯王cards, etc. I found my younger son sleeping with his Oakley sunglasses recently. (lol!)

    By the way, I have a question.
    >>I’ve been always wondering why.
    >I’ve always wondered about that.

    I wonder why my sentence was wrong. (Is this sentence wrong, too?)

  5. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/12/21 at 7:35

    Hi Tomo,

    Your story made me want a Kindle! As you say, I notice that you can buy books much cheaper. I wonder if your eyes don’t get tired compared to paper books. I might ask Santa for one. (lol!)

    Have a great weekend everyone!

  6. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/12/21 at 8:32

    Hi David,

    >“X happened. If X had never happened, I would not have done / become Y,” or “When X happened, it completely changed my thinking about Y.”
    —I got it.

    >It’s interesting how the patterns of our lives are changed by chance meetings and coincidental circumstances—Yes, that is very true!

    Hi Biwa and YU,
    Sorry for making you confused.
    > 今の私の横に、若かりし頃の私がそこで働いている姿が容易に想像できる(目に浮かぶ), right?—-Almost right, but slightly different what I meant to say.
    I wanted to say, “若いお嬢さんがそこで働いている姿か簡単に想像できるわ、ただし顔をのぞいてはね。(Because I’ve never met you in person.)
    Should I have written “I can easily imagine a young woman working there, but I can’t figure out your face.” Hmmm… I wanted to say,”。。。をのぞいては.” Also I thought it would be better to use “besides” than to use “except.” It7s difficult!

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

  7. YU
    Commented on
    2013/12/21 at 9:22

    Hi Biwa,

    > I see. I didn’t know that you can use the past perfect tense like that.

    I just explained what I actually meant to say, but I don’t know if you can really use it that way.

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for your explanation.

    “ただし顔をのぞいてはね”… Now I know what you meant to say. I understood the first part of the sentence instantly, but I simply couldn’t connect the part “besides your face” with it!

    > Hmmm… I wanted to say,”。。。をのぞいては.” Also I thought it would be better to use “besides” than to use “except.” It7s difficult

    I guess the reason why Biwa and I got confused was that your sentence sounded like “a lady(=Biwa)” and “you(=Biwa)” of ” besides your face” weren’t the same (person). Anyway, I don’t really think it’s the matter of if you should have used “except” or “besides”.

    難しいですね。
    a lady – her face とするか you – your face とするかどちらかに統一したほうがいいんじゃないんでしょうか?でも you-your face のほうが分かりやすい気がします。

  8. YU
    Commented on
    2013/12/21 at 9:39

    Hi Anne,

    Sorry, one more thing.

    > Sorry, I meant to say,”I can easily imagine a young lady working there besides your face:)

    最後の部分を ”…. besides your face, though” とかにしないと”ただし”の意味合いが出ないんじゃないでしょうかね?

    So, how about this?

    I can easily imagine you in your younger days working there, besides[except]your face, though!

    やっぱりまだなんかヘンですね!(笑)

  9. amo
    Commented on
    2013/12/22 at 3:13

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback. I have a question about this sentence.

    >I’d never thought of teaching Japanese to someone, either, because I’d never been trained as a Japanese teacher, but I find it a very interesting job.

    YU was talking about her past so shouldn’t it be “but I found it a very interesting job” instead of “but I find…?

    Hi Anne,

    >Hmmm… I wanted to say,”。。。をのぞいては.” Also I thought it would be better to use “besides” than to use “except.” It’s difficult!

    I am afraid but besides would not be suitable word in your sentence. You know, besides is used if you want to add not remove. Here are two sentences from David’s book.
    1. I learned many things in your class except English.
    2. I learned many things in your class besides English.
    They look similar but the meanings are totally different. If you use “besides your face” in your sentence, it would mean ”若いお嬢さんがそこで働いている姿か簡単に想像できるわ、もちろん顔もね。” wouldn’t it?? What do you think?

    Have a nice weekend.
    amo

  10. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/12/22 at 7:25

    Hi David,

    As for my question about “wonder”, would my original sentence have been okay if I had added phrases such as “for long” or “since you said you have studied Japanology in Germany”?
    >I’ve been always wondering why “for long.”

    If so, I’ll kick myself! I think I made the same mistake before. (Can I use the phrase like this?)

    Hi amo,

    I’d like to know the answer for the question you asked to David, too.

    And for your comment to Anne, I took the sentence exactly the same way as you did. That’s why I thought it was 今の私の横に(今の私+)若かりし頃の私.

    Hi Anne and YU,

    If it were me, I would have said, “I can easily imagine you in your younger days working there except for your face.” and would have added a sentence like “I hope we can all meet up some day!”

  11. YU
    Commented on
    2013/12/22 at 8:18

    Hi amo,

    Thank you for your comment.

    >I’d never thought of teaching Japanese to someone, either, because I’d never been trained as a Japanese teacher, but I find it a very interesting job.

    First of all, David’s book says you can use past perfect tense only when you want to write about two different affairs in the past in a sentence. So, as Biwa pointed out, the first half of the sentence was wrong. I shouldn’t have omitted one of two affairs. For example, I should have written ;

    “I’d never been trained as a Japanese teacher or thought of teaching Japanese to someone before I got to know a woman who taught Japanese to foreigners at the English conversation school.”

    > YU was talking about her past so shouldn’t it be “but I found it a very interesting job” instead of “but I find…?

    I think your theory is right and of course, I know the basic rules(時制の一致の原則).
    As you mentioned, I was talking about my past in the first half of the sentence, but as for the part “but I find it a very interesting job”, I wasn’t talking about it at a point in the past or the fact that “Teaching Japanese is a very intersting job” was truth only in the past, so I just thought it might have applied to one of the exeptions to the rules. (時制の一致の原則を受けない例外の1つに当たるのでは、と思ったので現在形をあえて使った)

    However, actually, I didn’t need to put everything into a sentence first of all, I think!

    Hi amo and Biwa,

    > I am afraid but besides would not be suitable word in your sentence. You know, besides is used if you want to add not remove. Here are two sentences from David’s book.

    My dictionary says “besides” is “mainly” used in negative and interrogative sentences when you want to say “除いて, 以外に” and it is used in affirmative sentences when you want to say “~のほかに、~に加えて”.
    Actually, Anne’s original sentence was a negative sentence as follows ;

    > Oh, you found a good job and I can’t easily imagine a young lady besides your face:)

    So, I don’t think it was “gramatically” wrong, it was different from what she actually meant to say, though.

  12. amo
    Commented on
    2013/12/22 at 9:02

    Hi YU,

    >(時制の一致の原則を受けない例外の1つに当たるのでは、と思ったので現在形をあえて使った)

    I thought so, but I wasn’t sure you had used that way, that’s why I asked him. But still, I want to know if it’s ok to use past tense.

    >So, I don’t think it was “gramatically” wrong, it was different from what she actually meant to say, though.

    Yes, Anne’s original sentence was a negative one but she said that a mistake. See follow her correction
    >Sorry, I meant to say,”I can easily imagine a young lady working there besides your face:)
(My sentence should be “can” not “can’t.”)
    So her sentence was not a negative at all. Even if it was a negative it would mean deferent. As you said, if you use besides 〇〇 in a negative sentence, it means 〇〇以外には. For example,
    “There was no one there besides the boy” その少年以外には誰もいなかった。
    So if Annes’s sentence was a negative one it should be translated like this:

    「若いお嬢さんがそこで働いている姿か簡単に想像できません、でも顔なら想像できる。」(変な訳ですみません)になると思うのですが、どうでしょう?

  13. YU
    Commented on
    2013/12/22 at 11:14

    Hi amo,

    > Yes, Anne’s original sentence was a negative one but she said that a mistake. See follow her correction
    >Sorry, I meant to say,”I can easily imagine a young lady working there besides your face:)
(My sentence should be “can” not “can’t.”)

    Yes, I know it, but your following sentence sounded as if “besides” was never used in the meaning of “~を除いて” in any kind of sentences “to me”, so I just wrote what I learned from my dictionary, but you seem to have known it, so I’m sorry.

    - You know, besides is used if you want to add not remove.

    > Even if it was a negative it would mean deferent. As you said, if you use besides 〇〇 in a negative sentence, it means 〇〇以外には. …..
    So if Annes’s sentence was a negative one it should be translated like this:

    「若いお嬢さんがそこで働いている姿か簡単に想像できません、でも顔なら想像できる。」(変な訳ですみません)になると思うのですが、どうでしょう?

    I’m not sure, but I can’t get why you should intentionally translate the last part as “でも顔なら想像できる”. It could be translated as “あなたの顔以外に(は)/あなたの顔を除いて(は)” in her negative sentence, couldn’t it? It just doesn’t make sense with other parts of the sentence because she actually wanted to write “can imagine” and as you pointed out, “besides” is not usually used in affirmative sentences.

    Well, anyway, as Anne corrected, it wasn’t what she actually meant to say, right? So, I just wonder if it has meaning to keep saying this and that to the sentence that someone actually meant something else. I don’t really feel it is a productive discussion. Of course, I want to learn the right usages from David too, though.

  14. YU
    Commented on
    2013/12/22 at 11:36

    correction ;

    > However, actually, I didn’t need to put everything into a sentence first of all, I think!

    ….into one sentence in the first place, I think!

    >the fact that “Teaching Japanese is a very intersting job” was truth only in the past

    ….wasn’t truth only in the past

  15. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/12/22 at 1:53

    Hi Biwa, Yu, amo and everyone,

    My original sentence seemed to made you confused.
    Yu, thanks for thinking about the sentence what I wrote a lot and helping me. I really admire you.

    As amo mentioned, using “besides” here is not proper.
    > 若いお嬢さんがそこで働いている姿か簡単に想像できるわ、もちろん顔もね。” wouldn’t it?? What do you think?
    —Yes, you are right. I totally misunderstood the word “besides.”
    “besides” is used to add something, and whereas “except” is used to remove item from the list.

    What I wanted to say was “顔は想像できない”(お会いしたことがないから),so I should have used “except (for).”

    >“I can easily imagine you in your younger days working there except for your face.” and would have added a sentence like “I hope we can all meet up some day!”
    —Biwa, thanks for a nice translation.I had no idea about the part “you in your face”!

  16. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/12/22 at 2:00

    it’s me again.
    “you in your face” should be “you in your younger days.”

    特に、”in your younger days” の使い方は、あれこれ考えていましたが全然思いつきませんでした。

  17. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/12/23 at 7:09

    Hi Anne,

    >特に、”in your younger days” の使い方は、あれこれ考えていましたが全然思いつきませんでした。

    Glad to be of help (and of course, I’m not sure if the expression is natural…), but coincidentally, the first half of my sentence was exactly the same as YU’s idea.

    Hi YU,

    As for “besides” in a negative sentence, I think amo’s translation was fine. (余計なお世話ですが、ちょっと気になったので・・・)

    >I’m not sure, but I can’t get why you should intentionally translate the last part as “でも顔なら想像できる”. It could be translated as “あなたの顔以外に(は)/あなたの顔を除いて(は)” in her negative sentence, couldn’t it?

    “I can’t ~A~~ besides ~B~~” は「B以外はA出来ない。」つまり、元々の文(否定文の場合)は、amoの訳の通り、「若いお嬢さんがそこで働いている姿か簡単に想像できません、顔以外は(想像できません)=でも顔なら想像できる。」で合っていると思います。否定文でbesidesを使った場合は、besides以降が逆の意味になるのではないでしょうか。

  18. YU
    Commented on
    2013/12/23 at 8:16

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for your comment.

    > amoの訳の通り、「若いお嬢さんがそこで働いている姿か簡単に想像できません、顔以外は(想像できません)=でも顔なら想像できる

    Yes, I know it.
    I just wanted to say that I didn’t get why 「わざわざ」 it should be translated as「でも顔なら想像できる」as if Anne’s translation was wrong because it’s actually the same meaning as her translation of「ただし顔を除いてはね」she gave us. Please see her translation below. This is what she wanted to say, she admited her original sentence was wrong, that’s all. So, as I mentioned, I don’t think it has meaning to discuss her original sentence.

    - I wanted to say, “若いお嬢さんがそこで働いている姿か簡単に想像できるわ、ただし顔をのぞいてはね。(Because I’ve never met you in person.)

    前のコメントにも書きましたが、もうこの辺でやめにしませんか?
    私がAnneだったら間違いを認めたにも関わらず、間違っていた元の文をあれこれ言われたらあまりいい気はしません。
    以前確か”watch”について話し合った時にamoの書いた1文を私も含めたメンバーが執拗に議論して彼女を不快な思いにさせたことがあります。Davidも怒っていました。その時は結局amoの文はあってました。正しい英語を知りたい気持ちはありますが、その欲望のために誰かを不快な気持ちにさせてはいけないと思うのです。
    だから私はもうこれでこの件に関してはコメントしません。

  19. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/12/23 at 9:02

    Hi YU,

    >正しい英語を知りたい気持ちはありますが、その欲望のために誰かを不快な気持ちにさせてはいけないと思うのです。

    I totally agree.
    It’s just that your comment to amo made me think that you were mixing up the translation of “besides” in a positive sentence and a negative sentence. As I said, it was a 余計なお世話, I just wanted to tell you that it sounded so. That’s all.

  20. David
    Commented on
    2013/12/23 at 4:40

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry, but that discussion is way too long and complicated for me. If there are still any unresolved issues, I will be happy to help as long as someone can summarise it for me.

  21. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/12/23 at 4:50

    Hi Yu,
    Just for the record, I didn’t feel bad at all^^)
    Thanks for your concern, anyway.

    I went out to enjoy Christmas market at Sakae yesterday with my friends. That was a bit shabby and I was disappointed. Maybe I expected to be like the one I strolled around at Tokyo last year. It was the first time in Nagoya, so I really hope next year’s market would be nicer!

    Anyway, after that I had dinner with my friends and had a great time, so it was OK.

    >訂正:
    seemed to made you ーーーseemed to make you

  22. amo
    Commented on
    2013/12/27 at 1:21

    Hi Anne

    I am really sorry if I offended your feelings, but that was not my intention at all.
    >So, I don’t think it was “gramatically” wrong, it was different from what she actually meant to say, though.
    when I read this comment, I thought that YU still didn’t get the usage of “besides.” So I felt that I should have explained it in more detail. That is the reason, I translated in Japanese again.
    間違った文に対してあれこれ言ったつもりはないのですが、Anneの原文を日本語訳し直したのは事実だし、それが他の人に理解してもらうためだったとしても、Anneに対して配慮が足りなかったですね。すみません。

    amo

Add your comment


*