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Thank you for all your questions and suggestions for Kattie. She emailed me to say that the information you had given her was very useful. I think we also broke the record for views of a blog entry this week, so I guess it must have been an interesting topic for most people.

By the way, Kattie asked me to say that if anyone wants to contact her because they have any other suggestions, or because they are thinking of going to the UK, it is fine for me to give you her email address. If you write “Please give me Kattie’s email address” in a comment, I will send it to you by email.

There were so many comments this week that it would be impossible for me to give feedback on all of them, but here are a few interesting points I noticed. If you learned any new words or expressions from this week’s entry and / or comments, please let me know.

I saw a picture of you for the first time.
This is the first time I have seen a picture of you. (A-Z: first time)

He looks very kind, and you look very young!! Are you really 46??
She looks much younger in real life. It’s actually a very bad picture.

When students from Japan hommestayed at your house, did they stay alone or stay with their friends together?
“Homestay” is not really a verb in English. Actually, it’s not even a noun, but many people use it as a single word nowadays. In this sentence, I would just say “When students from Japan stayed at your house, did they stay alone or with friends?”

He seems to have had a wonderful time, and I’m still having fun listening to his stories.
Nice sentence.

I’m so sorry that I’ve forgotten to say thank you for recommending the mangas!! As I’ve wrote before, they worked a lot!
Thank you so much!!
Glad to hear the homestay family liked them.

Do you have a plan to visit Japan?
I’m not sure why, but “plan” is always plural in this question: Do you have any plans to visit Japan?

Thank you for your joining here.
Thank you for joining us. (“Thank you for your ” [e.g., Thank you for your hospitality] or “Thank you for
Because she experienced some students she’d hosted shut themselves in the rooms apart from having meals at a dining.
This was the complaint I heard most often from New Zealand families about Japanese students.

I supposed to ask you a couple of question as I mentioned earlier.
I was going to / I was planning to ask you a couple of questions as I mentioned earlier.

Considering you’ve decided not to take people younger than 18,
Do you know this expression: Given that you have decided not to take…

>I have wondered whether I could ‘pick your brains’ —Let me share a couple of my thoughts. (The expression ‘pick your brains’ was new to me!)
Glad to see you are learning new language from Kattie.

We often say that the richest people in Japan are the young girls and the upper-aged women.
This is okay, but rather than “richest,” we might say “the people with the highest disposable income.” This means the people who have the most money to spend on luxuries.

That’s it for today. Thanks again for making the blog so lively and interesting this week. If you have any questions about the language used this week, please feel free to ask.

PS Apologies for the delay. Here are the photos that Kattie sent me.

Tom and Kattie 1

Tom and Kattie 2

Tom and Kattie 3

Tom and Kattie 4

Tom and Kattie 5

37 Comments

  1. Biwa on Friday October 19th, 2012 at 01:29 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback and also for giving us such a wonderful time to talk with Kattie.
    I’ve learned not only many words from her but also from the way she had written things. I thought her sentences were very feminine(is this a weird expression?) and I wish I could be able to write like her some day! Please say thank you to her for me.

    Also, do you think she knows you can say “gochisoh-sama” when someone says like this?

    >’Isn’t he lovely! Lucky you, Kattie!’ He’s lucky too!!!!

    If you don’t think she does, please let me know her email address because I think it might be a useful word when she talks with her young guests! LOL!



  2. Biwa on Friday October 19th, 2012 at 01:43 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for translating my weird Japanese!
    I think your sentence is perfect!



  3. YU on Friday October 19th, 2012 at 02:11 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback!

    Actually I didn’t expected that Kattie would answer us that much! That was really a nice surprise to me.

    > Glad to see you are learning new language from Kattie.

    Kattie, thank you for teaching us a lot of expressions like “pick up your brains”, “pigeonhole (people)”, “there’s nip in the air”, “food for thought”, etc… They were all new to me!(except 24/7!)

    > Do you know this expression: Given that you have decided not to take…

    Yes, but I learned it from your entry about “Island Problems”.

    > In the case of the Senkaku Islands, China and Taiwan apparently both agree that the islands belong to Taiwan, which is a bit surprising given that they cannot even agree who Taiwan belongs to!

    I guess this “given that…” is used in the same way.
    I remember this expression well because I translated the entry to Japanese to help George at that time, I finally didn’t post it, though. I feel the difficult entries like “Island Problems” need Japanese translation, actually.
    (そういう難しいエントリー「こそ」和訳が必要だと思う、と言いたいけど「こそ」の表し方がわかりません)

    Hi Biwa,

    I’m not sure if my sentense really makes sense, but I’m glad to be of help!

    By the way, I found Kattie’s sentences very feminine, too! I wonder how my sentences always sound to other people…Perhaps I’d better not ask!! 😉

    Have a great weekend all!

    See you !



  4. Anne on Friday October 19th, 2012 at 04:39 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback and giving us such a great opportunity. I really enjoyed this week’s discussion and have learned a lot of expressions.

    >“Homestay” is not really a verb in English. Actually, it’s not even a noun, but many people use it as a single word nowadays. In this sentence, I would just say “When students from Japan stayed at your house, did they stay alone or with friends?”—Oh, I see. Actually, I wondered if the use of “homestay” this way was correct or not, but using “stay” sounds like “滞在する” and sounds different from the meaning of ” ホームステイ.”

    > Given that you have decided not to take…
    –I didn’t remember this. Thank you for your explanation,YU.

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone,

    Anne



  5. Anne on Friday October 19th, 2012 at 05:26 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for answering such a lot of our questions! It’s always nice to hear from you, especially I’m amazed to know how you and Tom are kind to the guests. I am sure all the guests were happy with staying at your house:)
    Besides discussion, I’ve learned a lot of expressions from your comments and would love to use them!

    Can I share my thoughts a bit more concerning your last comment?

    >Food:
    While reading your comment, I was thinking what the British Food is, and whatever it is, I think “Be British” is not in the typical things but in everyday life. That’s the nice part of experiencing everyday life like you have been doing. Speaking of Japanese food, “Sushi” and “Tempura” are just part of Japanese foods. Have you ever heard of a cook named “Harumi Kurihara”, a famous cook in Japan. She has lots of followings, especially among housewives,and she has published a couple of cooking books in English. Actually I have her first edition”Harumi’s Japanese Cooking.”
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=everyday+harumi+simple+japanese+food+for+family+and+friends&sprefix=everyday+Harumi%2Cstripbooks%2C408

    Speaking of Jamie Oliver, I think you’ve already known what he had been tackling and have watched the video from TED.com, but let me share it:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html

    >About the website:
    As Yu suggested, I think adding a bit of Japanese explanations makes people, especially middle-aged people, feel at easy to access. How about adding the following caption at the end?
    ” Sorry to say, Japanese enquiries are not available at the moment.” like that.

    >Learning Holidays:

    I’m going to be 60 this December, and many women in my generation who have been interested in learning English have a kind of longing for staying in foreign countries, especially in England. When I was searching for a language school four years ago, I found “home-tutor” system other than language schools. I didn’t know those teachers had the recognized qualification, and there wasn’t much information about each house or teacher, so I chose the language school. Soaking in an English-speaking environment is very effective to improve your(learners) English, but whether people want to take lessons or just experience everyday life differs depending on each person. If there were one hour or 90 minutes lessons, I guess middle-aged people would be happy with that because they can experience “study-abroad” feeling. I think if there was this type of “option”, it would be nice. In this case, you don’t need to do within the set fee, and should ask extra money, of course. I’m not sure if you need the recognized qualification in this situation or not, but, at language schools in Japan, not all the teachers are qualified as professionals.

    I hope you and Tom enjoy a lovely weather and weekend!

    Anne



  6. Kimi on Friday October 19th, 2012 at 05:58 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for the link. If I have a chance to visit the UK, I’ll let you know. I am starting to be motivated to learn English harder. I am lucky to get to know you though I just joined in this blog.

    リンクをありがとうございました。イギリスに行く機会があれば、連絡します。もっと勉強しよう、という気になってきました。このブログに参加したばかりですが、知り合うことができて幸運でした。

    I’m looking forward to seeing you someday!

    Kimi

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback and offering such a fruitful chance. I encountered a lot of new words and expressions. I didn’t realize all of the comments properly, but I enjoyed reading them. It’s fun to learn practical English. I’d appreciate it if you would give me Kattie’s email address.

    feedbackそしてこんな有意義な機会を提供してくださり、ありがとうございました。たくさんの新しい言葉と表現に出会いました。すべてをちゃんと理解できたわけではありませんが、読むのが楽しいです。生きた英語を学ぶのは楽しいですね。

    Have a pleasant weekend, everyone!

    Kimi



  7. kattie on Friday October 19th, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Hi everyone,

    David has already thanked you on my behalf but I just wanted to say thank you again for all your suggestions. I hope I’ll meet some of you in the future. If there is anyone who didn’t write on the blog and who wants to ask me any questions etc please ask David for my email address.

    Hi Fumie,

    I’ve asked Tom to download some house photos and I’ll try and post them sometime over the weekend.
    >’I just wondered if you mentioned that the host is a professional pianist on the advertisement?’
    Yes I think we will mention it but sometimes there’s a danger of over-selling things, it can be nice to hold something back so people are pleasantly surprised – also, Tom doesn’t really like too much publicity – I think a lot of ‘arty’ people are like that, he gets a bit embarrassed because he always thinks he could be better!

    >’Your viewpoints about Japanese cultures (comments addressed to Anne) is very interesting. If you didn’t point out them, I wouldn’t notice the difference of ours and other countries’ because I just take our cultures as granted.’
    I think the same applies to me too, I think we can all quite easily live in our own little bubble (Have you heard of this expression?) but I think there are also a lot of similarities between us.
    >May I ask you one more question? You said you never had any trouble with the guests. But have you ever worried if the guests are bad people?’ I don’t worry too much about ‘bad’ people because I think there are very few people who are really bad. If someone has planned to travel all the way from somewhere like Japan, organised their holiday with us and we have had a lot of email correspondence beforehand, they are unlikely to behave too badly. However, there are definitely some people you ‘click’ with more than other people and I think personal recommendations are always the safest way of ensuring this, which is why this blog is so good!

    Hi Kimi
    >’I knew you have a class system in the UK, but the details sounds very hard to understand for me. Does it mean people are classified when born?’ This is a really difficult question to answer, there are no two people who would give you the same answer! I think you are born into a certain class but sometimes people can change class through their lifetime, although this is rare (this is my view, I have discussed this with my business partner and he thinks it’s never possible to change your class). Market Researchers often classify people by the types of job they have and income bracket and although this is a good indicator, it’s often too simplistic – there are lots of other factors to be taken into account like education, the way people dress and furnish their houses (their taste), the types of food they eat, holidays they go on, accent, vocabulary etc. Foreigners often find it hard to identify these things. For example, you could have an upper class person (e.g. a titled person) who has no job, no income and might actually be very hard up (‘hard up’ is another way of saying poor) but they would still be upper class, or you could have a working class person who has become a millionaire but he or she might still be working class and identify themselves as working class – if you google Lord Sugar, you will see he is an example of this. It’s very complicated! This is a very topical issue in the UK at the moment because most of the people in the current government are seen as upper class and too removed from the rest of society. One of the people who has a senior position in the Conservative party (they are the party of government) had a row (argument) with a policewoman a few weeks ago and apparently called her ‘a pleb’ and said ‘she should know her place’ – the word ‘pleb’ is very derogatory and means someone is low class, so by saying she should ‘know her place’ he was implying that he was very superior to her. Many people (including me!) think this shows the general attitude of the government towards ordinary people in the country.

    Hi Yu
    > it differs depending on how long your children stay there.
    Yes I agree. It’s nice to go to a language college if you are in a place for a long time because you also have the social side. There are some companies (like the one I am registered with) who do offer homestay with home tutoring but I think all you really need for a short term stay (if anything) is English conversation lessons with a native speaker because this is often what you can’t get at home. However, some people might like to go to a language school for a few hours, just for the experience. There are language schools in most major cities.

    Hi Biwa
    Both you and Yu mentioned that I sound ‘feminine’ – this is very interesting. I have heard from people that in Japanese there is quite a distinction between how men and women speak, the words they use and their gestures, is this right? There may be subtle differences in the way the genders speak in Britain (I know linguist sometimes analyse this) but it’s not usually that apparent. I wonder what it is about my written English which makes me sound feminine. By the way, all of your written English is excellent, I generally don’t think of written English in terms of masculine or feminine – I might do, however, if I was analysing the particular language used in a piece of poetry or a novel
    >’Also, do you think she knows you can say “gochisoh-sama” when someone says like this?’ This is a new one on me, I’ll have to find out about this word! Please email me.

    Hi Anne, I’m glad you’ve come across some new expressions, I hope you get a chance to use them!

    >Have you ever heard of a cook named “Harumi Kurihara”, a famous cook in Japan. She has lots of followings, especially among housewives,and she has published a couple of cooking books in English. Actually I have her first edition”Harumi’s Japanese Cooking.” I’ll definitely look her up I would like to know how to cook some traditional Japanese dishes. I’m also going to have a look at your Jamie Oliver clip later today.

    > How about adding the following caption at the end?
    ” Sorry to say, Japanese enquiries are not available at the moment.” like that. This is a very good idea, I’ll definitely do something like that. I understand it is a bit scary booking a trip abroad and people would feel safer if the website is in their own language. I would like to reach out to women in your age group. I mentioned before that we had an older lady to stay who was an international synchronised swimming judge. She was sent by a sporting body to have a week’s home tutoring lessons ‘to brush up’ on her English before taking an exam. We had a lovely week, I mainly gave her conversation lessons but I also took her round English gardens (because this was her passion) and out for afternoon tea – Tom was playing a lot that week so I spent a lot of time one-to-one with her. By the way, she did pass her exam!

    I>f there were one hour or 90 minutes lessons, I guess middle-aged people would be happy with that because they can experience “study-abroad” feeling. I think if there was this type of “option”, it would be nice.’ So perhaps short English conversation lessons would be the answer, explaining any particular grammatical problems which come to light.



  8. Fumie on Saturday October 20th, 2012 at 07:02 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you again for answering my question.
    >Tom doesn’t really like too much publicity.
    -I understand that. I guess it’s difficult for well-known people to have privacy or quiet life.

    >I think we can all quite easily live in our own little bubble (Have you heard of this expression?)
    -I checked up “live in ones own bubble” but I couldn’t find the answer. Does that means something like – we can easily be accustomed to the life of our own, or we think our society is special(differnt from others) but I’m not sure. It’s a difficult expression.

    I think your written English is very sophisticated and be an ideal model which I want to be able to write in the future.
    Thank you again for taking your time to answer our questions. You are always so thoughtful!
    Please have a lovely weekend!

    Fumie



  9. YU on Saturday October 20th, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    > There are some companies (like the one I am registered with) who do offer homestay with home tutoring

    I see.
    As far as the student visa in Germany is concerned, it was required for students from non-EU nations like Japan to take at least 20(or 25?) hours lessons per week at an “official” language school(not “home-tutoring”) if you want to stay more than 3 months. So, I took the intensive course lessons at a language school for about a year. But then my saving was running out, so I decided to apply for the uni.
    I’ve heard that Japanese nation can stay in the UK for 6 month in a year at longest without getting any special visa. (Actually you can stay for 365 days if you enter July.1 and leave June.30 next year, though!).
    Have you ever heard of that? I guess your Japanese guests you’ve hosted didn’t need to think about that because they stayed only for a short period. But if they had wanted to stay longer than 6 months, they probably would have “had to” attend a language colleage because they are non-EU, I guess. Or they have to get another kind of visa like “working holiday visa” I mentioned before. I wonder if the “home tutoring” is recognized as the official English lessons in the UK.

    ドイツの留学生ビザに関して言えば日本のようなEU諸国外からの学生が3ヶ月以上滞在したい場合は公の語学学校で週に最低20(25だったかな?)時間以上のドイツ語のレッスンを受けることが必須条件でした。だから私も約1年間語学学校のインテンシブコースを受けました。そうこうしているうちに貯金が底をついたので大学に行くことにしました。

    日本人は特別なビザなしでイギリスに年間最長6ヶ月滞在できると聞いたことがあります。(実際には7月1日に入国して翌年の6月30日に出国すれば365日滞在できますが!)

    そういう話って聞いたことありますか?Kattieが今までホストしてきた日本人の学生さんたちは短期滞在だったからそんなこと考える必要なかったんでしょうね。でももし彼女たちが半年以上滞在したかったとしたら、おそらく公の語学学校へ「通わなくてはならなかった」のではないかな、と思います。EU諸国以外の国籍なので。あるいは以前ちょっと触れた「ワーキングホリデービザ」を取るとか。その”home-tutoring”ってイギリスでは”公の語学学校(レッスン)”と認められているのかしら?

    Have a lovely weekend!

    See you!



  10. YU on Saturday October 20th, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    Of course, I know that the UK doesn’t belong to the EU(!), but I just wanted to say that there must be more strict restrictions for non-EU nations compared to EU nations on the length of your stay in the UK.



  11. Biwa on Saturday October 20th, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    How nice to know you should still be here with us!
    The word “gochisoh-sama” is just a little something, so I’ll just explain about it breifly here.

    I guess you might have heard some of the Japanese guests use this word after finishing their meal. It means “thank you so much for the wonderful meal and I’m so happy!” . Also, there is a word “itadaki-masu” which is used when you start eating that means “thank you so much for preparing the meal”.
    Well, anyway, “gochisoh-sama” can be used when someone says something like they are getting along harmoniously or happily with their wife/husband/lover. It is, of course, a positive word and means “thank you for sharing your lovely story and I’m happy for you, too!”. I bet you can use it some time!

    Also, about your feminine writing, I can’t say exactly where is feminine, but I guess, given the idea of the class system in Britain, I think similar things exists almost everywhere around the world, and your way of writing made me feel that I’d like to be able to talk or write just like this. And yes, there is a slight gender difference in the language and the gestures here, but things are changing and I guess they aren’t so strict or clear as they were before.

    Lastly, I found a video in the link for “mr. partner” yesterday. They seem to have tied up with a travel agency and are sending lots of upper-aged women to homestay tours. It was interesting because they were really staying at old thatched-roof houses, did several house-tours, had tea and homemade cakes with the house owners and also visited antiques-fairs, just as we were talking about!
    Whenever you are ready with your website and of course if you want me to, I’d be happy to contact them in Japanese first.
    Sorry, this is not a breif comment at all!
    Have a nice weekend!



  12. YU on Saturday October 20th, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Hi Fumie,

    You might get a proper answer from Kattie later, but I found the expression “in a bubble” on the Interenet. It means,

    “To live sheltered from the outside environment.”

    So, what Kattie wanted to say by the sentence might be,

    “We all likely to live only within a small, closed society. However, you may find that actually the culture and people of us(=other countries and your own country) have also a lot of things in common if you turn your eyes the outside world.”
    私たちはみんな自分たちの小さな閉ざされた世界(環境)の中だけで生きがちだけど、外の世界に目を向けてみると、実は私たちの間(文化や人間)には共通点もいっぱいあると気づくと思うんだけど。

    すっごく妄想を働かせて考えたので間違ってるかもしれないけど!(笑)

    See you !



  13. Biwa on Saturday October 20th, 2012 at 07:34 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    Sorry, I misspelled “brief”!



  14. rinko on Saturday October 20th, 2012 at 07:51 PM

    Hi David.
    Thank you for your feedback and giving a great chance to talk with Kattie.
    I really enjoyed it and learned lots of things from her comments.

    Hi Kattie.
    It’s a great time to have a conversation with you!
    Your answers and comments for us were so kind and detailed that I could learn many things from that.
    I really appreciate it and hope I could see your comments sometimes here again.
    It must be getting cold in England.Take care of yourself!

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    rinko



  15. Fumie on Sunday October 21st, 2012 at 05:54 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback. And also thank you for giving us a chance to talk to Kattie. It was very interesting! As I said in the comment to Kattie, her English is an ideal model which I want to learn. Of course your English is sophisticated one that I want to learn too. We can see written English of native speakers like comments of Japan Times on the net but some of them are too casual or there are full of slangs and I think it is strange for people like me (non-native, not high level) to use them.
    And if you had gave us a chance to speak with a native speaker, I could not have learned so much. I can learn better from their(native speaker’s) writing because I can learn at my own pace.
    Kattieへのコメントでも書きましたが、彼女の書く英語は私が目指したい規範です。もちろんDavidの英語もそうですが。Japan Timesなどでネィティブの英語をネットで読むことができますが、すごくカジュアルだったりスラングが多かったりで、それらは私のような英語が上級でない、母語でない人が使うとおかしいと思います。もしネィティブと話す機会(会話)を与えてくれていたら私はこんなに学べないと思います。文書だから自分のペースで学ぶことができます。

    One thing I noticed in Kattie’s comments is the usage of “-“. I am not accustomed to use it and I want to use it.

    Here are some of the words and expressions which I learned from Kattie’s comments.
    >We like to tailor the holidays to our guest needs.
    “tailor”- I think her English is very British.あたりまえですが
    >convenience food
    I didn’t know this word.
    >I saw your comment straight after I had posted mine.
    This expression is very useful because we often be in such situations.
    >a few of you have touched on this.
    I guess the meaning of “touched” is “refering” in this case.
    >My personal view
    This phrase is short and convey the meaning well.
    >~in one visit
    This is another useful expression.
    >~taking an accredited
    “Accredited” is new to me. We can say like “an accredited school”.
    >I’m off to bed-night night!!
    This is useful and I want to use it.
    >people today
    This is very compact and good expression.
    >Some people still hold this view.
    I didn’t know that we use “hold” with “view”.
    >I think the same applies to me too.
    The usage of “apply” is interesting.
    >very topical issue
    “topical” is new to me.
    >and everyone else whose intersted Peak District
    I didn’t know that we can use “whose” in this case. I always write ~who is interested in~.

    And following are what I learned from members’ comments.
    >a liitle piece of ideas~
    “a little piece of” sound moderate and I want to use it.
    >instant food is designed for people~
    I didn’t know this meaning of “designed”.
    >Given that you have decided not to take~ (David’s feedback)
    “Given” is new to me.

    Thank you so much Kattie and everyone!

    I have several questions from Kattie’s comments.
    Please help me.

    >You said that you were most interested in my comment that Japan is an unusual mixture of the very traditional and the very modern – do you think this is the case?
    I don’t understand what Kattie asked Anne when she said “do you think this is the case”.

    >Sometimes our guests stay the odd night or two in other places and we help find a reasonable B&B.
    Does “odd night” means 残りの1日2日?
    >We helped her with all the planning and were always ‘on hand’ to provide any help,
    “on hand” means 待機する、いつでも手伝って上げる?

    I’m sorry I was rambling too much.

    Hi YU,

    Thank you for helping me with my question.
    I think your translation is right.

    Hi Tomo,

    If I remember correctly, didn’t you say that your eldest son was self-taught keyboard?
    If that is right, he could be next Tom!

    Take care!

    Fumie



  16. YU on Sunday October 21st, 2012 at 09:33 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    Fumieの質問に私なりに答えます。
    間違えていたら誰かが指摘してくれるでしょう。

    1)
    >You said that you were most interested in my comment that Japan is an unusual mixture of the very traditional and the very modern – do you think this is the case?
    I don’t understand what Kattie asked Anne when she said “do you think this is the case”.

    まず、2012/10/16 at 11:02 AnneがKattieに「KattieのFumieへの返事の中に”It seems that Japan is an unusual mixture of the very traditional and the very traditional.”という部分があってとても興味深かったです」、と書いています。

    それを受けて2012/10/16 at 9:53=21:53 にKattieがAnneに

    >You said that you were most interested in my comment that Japan is an unusual mixture of the very traditional and the very modern – do you think this is the case?

    と聞いています。つまり、Kattieは「Anneは私(Kattie)の”It seems that Japan is an unusual mixture of the very traditional and the vert traditional.”の部分が興味深いって書いてありましたが、これ(=日本が非常にモダンな面と伝統的な面が混在した稀有な国である、ということ)は実際に事実だと思いますか?」と聞き返しているんじゃないでしょうか?

    2)
    >Sometimes our guests stay the odd night or two in other places and we help find a reasonable B&B.
    Does “odd night” means 残りの1日2日?

    辞書に”odd”にはoccasional(臨時の、一時的な)の意味もあると書いてあります。例)do odd jobs 臨時の仕事をする
    だからこの文のoddもそのニュアンスじゃないかと思いました。

    和訳)
    時折ゲストが”一時的に”(我が家以外の)他の場所で1、2泊することもありますが、そういう時も手ごろできちんとしたB&Bをさがしてあげています。

    というような意味じゃないでしょうか?

    3)
    >We helped her with all the planning and were always ‘on hand’ to provide any help,
    “on hand” means 待機する、いつでも手伝って上げる?

    はい、そうだと思います。

    > In fact, one of the girls, who stayed with us for 2 months this year (2 separate visits), has visited numerous places around the UK, as well as short trips to Germany, France, Holland and Belgium. We helped her with all the planning and were always ‘on hand’ to provide any help, even when she was away.

    これがその文の前後の部分です。文脈から訳すと、

    和訳)
    彼女(ゲスト)のその旅の全行程のプランニングを手伝ったし、彼女が現地(ドイツやフランスなども含めた)に滞在している時もいつでも手助けできるようにこちらで待機していました(=そういう心構えでいました)。

    というかんじではないでしょうか?

    I like Kattie’s ways of wriiting, too.
    It’s very difficult to say which part of her writings is feminine exactly, but her sentences sound always “soft” to me. I mean, gentle, sympathietic…. I guess it is because she has a soft heart.

    See you !



  17. Biwa on Sunday October 21st, 2012 at 06:17 PM

    Hi YU and Fumie,

    I think YU’s explanation is perfect! Thank you, YU! I learned a lot, too!
    Kattie’s expression “live in our own little bubble” reminded me of the expression “the frog at the bottom of the well”.(井の中の蛙) I also found that you can say “a big fish in a little barrel/pond”, too. It’s really interesting that we have similar ways of thinking/saying things in different languages.

    Fumie, I also think the comments on Japan Today are too slangy that I can hardly understand anything for some of them. I’m relieved to hear you feel the same, too.



  18. Kattie on Sunday October 21st, 2012 at 06:22 PM

    Hi Fumie,
    Tom doesn’t really like too much publicity.
    -I understand that. I guess it’s difficult for well-known people to have privacy or quiet life.’
    Tom has played with one or two famous people and he is quite well known in the jazz world (It is a small world!) but he’s not famous he is just a little bit shy and he doesn’t like ‘to blow his own trumpet’ (Do you know this expression?)

    I read the list of words/phrases that I had written and I just wanted to comment on a couple of them. Firstly, you should be a proof reader! I made a mistake when I wrote ‘Whose’ if I actually meant to abbreviate ‘Who is’ – I should have written ‘Who’s’! This is a common mistake native speakers make because they are pronounced the same way and when you’re writing quickly, you sometimes forget!

    ‘My personal view/opinion’ This is just to add emphasis to the fact that this is my opinion but I only use it very occasionally because, of course, ‘my opinion’ is always personal. Sometimes people over use the word personal and it can be irritating!

    ‘I’m off to bed – night, night’. ‘Night, night’ is what I always said to my children when they went to bed, it’s a more informal and friendly way of saying ‘Good night’. Children would generally say this instead of ‘Good night’. When the girls were staying with us I always said ‘Night, night’ and they used to find it funny and imitate me!

    By the way, we are trying to post the photos so they should be on here soon!

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for all your nice comments, I hope you had a lovely weekend. It’s still Sunday morning here so we have the day to look forward to – it’s a beautiful autumnal day and I’m trying to persuade Tom to come for a walk with Poppy (our little dog) and me ….and then to the pub!



  19. amo on Sunday October 21st, 2012 at 07:03 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    Thanks for your comments and I enjoyed them:)

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback, though I haven’t read it all yet.

    Hi everyone,

    Guess where I am now? At Taiwan now. I have been here since Friday. As I mentioned before, it’s a company trip, two nights and three days, so I was a bit of busy to go around. Now I am leaving here and going back to Tokyo.
    I am off to go now,

    Bye for now,
    amo



  20. Fumie on Sunday October 21st, 2012 at 09:10 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thank you so much for helping me with my questions. I guess it took you long to find the sentences what I asked from so many comments. I should have put the date and time of the comments.
    You are so kind!

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for the explanation of “live in our own little bubble”. Now I understand it’s meaning.

    Hi Kattie,

    >‘to blow his own trumpet’ (Do you know this expression?)
    It’s same as “to blow ones own horn”. Yes, I know that.

    >This is a common mistake native speakers make because they are pronounced the same way and when you’re writing quickly, you sometimes forget!
    Same thing happen to us when we write Japanese.

    I hope you succeeded in persuading Tom and went for a walk and went to a pub!

    Hi amo,

    I hope you had a wonderful time in Taiwan.

    It’s evening here. It’s a bit early to say this but nighty-night!

    Fumie



  21. Anne on Sunday October 21st, 2012 at 09:38 PM

    Hi Fumie&YU,

    Thank you so much for explaining useful expressions from Kattie’s comments.
    As both of you (and Biwa) mentioned, Kattie’s sentences are the ones I want to learn and to write myself some time. Of course, I’ve been learning from David’s sentences ,a lot!

    Hi amo,
    Hope you had a great time there!

    Hi Kattie,
    I hope you had a nice walk with Tom and Poppy in the beautiful autumnal day.

    Anne



  22. Kimi on Sunday October 21st, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for answering about the complicated issue. It is too difficult to understand it, but it is worth considering. When my English improves, I will try to read a book about Lord Sugar. Every day I read all of your comments little by little to learn new words and expressions.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Kimi



  23. Tomo on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you so much for taking your time to answer our questions! And thank you also for the interesting links. They made me want to visit Britain even more! I’d love to visit The Lake District, The North York Moors, Lyme Park(like Pride and Prejudice.), Chatsworth House, and lots of other historic buildings. I hope we can meet sometime in the future!

    Like other members, I also learned a lot of new words and expressions from your comments.

    Here are some of them.

    itinerary (I didn’t know this word.)
    buy a round (This was new to me.)
    have had hardly any English (This is simple, but I couldn’t have said it myself.)
    get the most out of / get much more out of (I have used “make the most of…”, but I’ve never used these two. I want to use them sometime.)

    Hi Fumie,

    >If that is right, he could be next Tom.

    Thanks! 🙂

    I want to write more, but I can’t keep my eyes open anymore…

    Night night!

    Tomo



  24. Anne on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 08:22 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Did you have a great weekend? What is the weather like around your are? In the morning, it’s a bit cool, but I guess you are having a lovely autumnal weather. I smelled the Fragrance olive(金木犀) when I was taking a walk yesterday. This smell makes me feel happy.

    As many of you mentioned how you(in general) had learned from kattie’s comments, I found this again when I re-read all the comments.

    Let me share some of the words or phrases what I’ve learned and thought are useful when you write sentences besides Fumie and Tomo’s ones:

    1. I think there are often too many middle-men *involved.* (多くの中年の人が含まれている。10/16 Yu へのコメントから)

    2.It’s also more cost *effective* to do certain thins,(行動するのに割が良い。)
    (10/16 Anneへのコメントから)

    3.I wonder whether there is a generation *divide*,..(年代の差があるのでしょうか。。)私なら、generation gapとしたところです。(10/16 同じくAnneへのコメントから)

    4.Many curries have been adjusted to the British taste and some are completely British inventions.(多くのカレーはイギリス人の好みに合わせていて、ある者は完全にイギリス人によって作られたものです。)(10/18 Yuへのコメントから)---これは、Many cuisines have been adjusted to Japanese taste and some are completely Japanese inventions. と言葉を置き換えれば、そのまま日本における世界各国の料理の状況を言えると思いました。

    Hi Tomo,
    How is the new life? I mean, are you accustomed to the life as a working mom? Take care not to catch a cold.

    See you soon,

    Anne



  25. Tomo on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 09:49 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for your kind words 🙂 I’m still struggling to balance work and family. Actually, I’m busier than I thought I would be. They got two part-time workers(me and the other young woman) this month, but the women quit after working 3 days! At the moment, there are 6 clerks other than me, and 4 of them are working part-time. They all want to work within the limit of the dependent exemption(扶養控除), and they are getting near the limit, so I’m the only one who can work for a long time… As you know, hospitals are crowded in this season because of colds and the flu. My clinic is open till 7 p.m., but we had so many patients that I had to work until 9 p.m. last Monday.(On that day, my mom came to my house and stayed with my children until my husband came back home.) I was going to work mainly in the morning(8:30-1:30), but as I said, we are understaffed now, and I have to work in the afternoon today too. I hope they solve this manpower shortage as soon as possible!!

    Have a nice day!

    Tomo



  26. YU on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Hi Tomo,

    Oh, poor you!
    Actually, I’d been a bit worried about you because you didn’t write much last week. But I didn’t mention it because I didn’t want you to feel pressured. I was thinking that you might have had a cold or have been too busy with your new job…

    Anyway, I just hope your clinic will find someone to share your burden with as soon as possible!

    Take care, Tomo!



  27. David Barker on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I finally managed to update Kattie’s photos. Sorry for the delay. They are posted at the end of the entry.



  28. Biwa on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 07:00 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you so much for sharing the lovely photos! I can imagine how cozy your place is! A living room with a fireplace is one of the things I always long for, but it seems to be a pipe dream for me.
    I’d really love to visit your place some time!
    Take care and looking forward to talking with you again!



  29. YU on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 07:23 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    I saw your photos.
    All rooms are tidy and create cozy atmosphere!!
    I like your furnishings very much.
    Did you choose all of them by yourself or with Tom??
    Do you have a cat? She looks very noble, I can’t see her face clearly, though…
    And I can see greenery over the window.
    You seem to live in a quiet residential area.
    Anyway, you should place photos like these when you do the website!!

    See you!



  30. Kimi on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 09:27 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    How lovely your house is! I’m sure any guests can relax. You have a variety type of chairs and sofas. They look all very comfortable. These pictures make me feel like visiting there more.

    Thank you and enjoy your life!

    Kimi



  31. Fumie on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Hi Kattie and Tom,

    Thank you for sharing photos of your beautiful house. Your house is like the ones we see on magazines. It is well furnished and it has cozy and warm atmosphere! You keep your house clean and tidy. It must be great feeling live in such a house especially christmas time with decoration and tree. Oh you have two fireplaces.
    Looking forward to talking with you again!

    Fumie



  32. kattie on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Hi everyone,

    I’m glad you like the photos – I love looking at photos of other people’s houses, especially if they are very different from my own. In the UK, people often try to make their houses cozy because the weather is never very good – even the summers can be quite cold and miserable. Tom and I like lots of lamps, so the rooms are dimly lit and we like soft furnishings (curtains, cushions, sofas and rugs) but best of all, we love a real fire. Real fires are not so common in the UK now because people think they’re hard work but I think the hard work’s definitely worth it!

    Hi Yu,
    Tom and I usually choose everything together – it’s lucky because we generally like the same things.

    Hi Biwa,
    Thanks for explaining “gochisoh-sama” – actually our guests did teach us this but because I had never seen it written down, I didn’t know this was the same word/phrase. I know I can use it after a meal but I’m still a little bit confused about using it correctly in other contexts, I will practise with our next guest!

    Also thank you for your offer to contact Mr Partner when the time comes – however, I think one of the problems is that they are already using an agent so again there will be ‘too many middle men’ which will force the prices up too high. Another possible problem is that it seems that the houses advertised are in places like the Cotswolds, so not really in the North of England. The Cotswolds is a very picturesque area and lovely to visit but it’s not diverse – it conforms to the old fashioned vision that people have of Britain but this is not representative of Britain as a whole



  33. Biwa on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    I think I understand what you say about Cotswolds, and I’d never insist you to put ads at all, but the tour in the video is just a part of the magazine. It’s a kind of information magazine for both Japanese and foreigners, so it’s full of all kinds of advertisements like schools, hotels, restaurants, flea markets and so on. So I just thought it might be a good idea to put your link in one of those lists. Anyway, it’s just an idea so please don’t take it too seriously.

    By the way, does “hard work” for your fireplace mean you chop firewood by yourself? I can’t imagine you using an axe!



  34. kattie on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 01:53 AM

    Hi Biwa

    >It’s a kind of information magazine for both Japanese and foreigners, so it’s full of all kinds of advertisements like schools, hotels, restaurants, flea markets and so on. So I just thought it might be a good idea to put your link in one of those lists’
    I thought they only had a connection with one agent, I didn’t realise you could advertise directly, that sounds like the perfect place for us. Thank you so much for letting me know about it, I would never have found out about it by myself.

    >By the way, does “hard work” for your fireplace mean you chop firewood by yourself? I can’t imagine you using an axe!
    No, thank goodness I don’t chop firewood but my sister has a very big old fireplaces and she sometimes does chop her own firewood. Generally Tom and I buy coal for the fire because our fire grate is quite small and also because coal is much hotter. Sometimes we buy a few logs at Christmas because they look festive but the crackles scare Poppy (our little dog)!

    Re: Muffins
    They do sound like muffins and we sometimes have them for breakfast with butter and marmalade but it’s difficult to say for certain without seeing them. There is a cook/chef called Delia Smith who probably has a recipe for muffins, I am just about to mention Delia to Anne.

    Hi Anne,
    I looked at Harumi Kurihara’s cookbook and read all the reviews, it sounds brilliant, I’ve put it on my Christmas list. I think a similar chef in Britain would be Delia Smith – her recipes are easy to follow and everyone says they always work!



  35. Biwa on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 08:15 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    I took a look into Delia Smith’s site and I’m glad to know we’re eating the same muffins! Thanks!
    I was just curious because sometimes when a food is called “Japanese something”, I laugh because it’s not Japanese at all.
    Also, I didn’t know that you can use coal for a fireplace. It sounds so nice and I think Santa Claus is lucky because he has a place to come down! At our house, he has to come in from the veranda because we live in a condominium. LOL!



  36. YU on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 04:40 PM

    Hi everyone,

    This is quoted from the link Kimi posted.

    “クリスティーヌ・ラガルドさん:ここで大事なのは、企業が不利だと感じるような制度にしてはならないことです。
    社会保障費の拠出や給与に対する課税なども、釣り合いのとれたものにして、パートタイムで雇用した企業が不利になるような仕組みであってはなりません。これは極めて重要です。”

    I totally agree with her.
    In Japan employers and employees halve the social security tax so I don’t think employers like to pay the tax for the employees who can work only for short hours(5-6 hours) a day in average. That’s why Tomo’s clinic, for example, hires 6 part-timers instead of maybe 2-3 full-time employees.

    ラガルドさんの意見に賛成です。
    日本では雇用主と従業員が社会保障税を折半することになっているので雇用主側は短時間しか働けない人にそういう費用をかけたがらないと思います。だから例えばTomoの働いているクリニックも2,3人の正社員を雇うんじゃなくて6人のTomoのようなパート社員をやとっているのでしょう。

    It will be also more profitable for employers if they employ 3 people who can work 8 hours than 4 people who can work only for 6 hours. The total working hours are both 24 hours, but the former case will cost them less than the latter one because they only need to pay the tax for 3 employees wheras the latter case is for 4 people.

    それに6時間しか働けない人を4人雇うより8時間働ける人を3人雇った方が企業にとっては有益になります。どちらも総労働時間は24時間ですが後者の方がコストがかかりません。なぜなら前者が4人分の社会保障税を払う羽目になるのに対し、後者は3人分の社会保障税しか負担しなくていいということになるからです。

    The point is actually the work efficiency, not the total length of working hours, though….
    Anyway, I don’t really think that the idea of “work-life balance” will establish in Japanese society so easily unless this tax system is changed.

    でも実は大事なのは延べ労働時間じゃなくて仕事の効率なんですけどね…
    とにかくこの税制度が変わらない限り「ワークライフバランス」という概念は日本ではあまり浸透していかないような気がします。

    “長谷川氏:….時間外の労働をまずは徹底的になくすことによって、より効率的な仕事ができるようにする。
    特に日本の場合は、ホワイトカラーの生産性が非常に低いといわれています。
    それをずっと放置してきた経営者側も悪いんですけれども、そこを大幅に効率化をすることによって、まずは残業を少なくするということと……”

    As Mr.Hasegawa points out, I really wonder why comapanies and managers in Japan just have been ignoring the low productivity among white-collor workers until today. Does anyone have any ideas??

    日本の企業や経営者はなぜ今日までホワイトカラーの労働者の
    低生産性を放置してきたのかとても不思議なんですけど。誰か分かる方いますか?



  37. YU on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 08:52 PM

    Sorry, it seems that I’ve posted my comment above to the wrong entry!!