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I’m not sure if this was actually a competition or not, but in case anyone is interested, the result was a narrow victory (at the time of writing) to YU (21 comments) against Biwa (20 comments). You two must spend a lot of time at your computers! Thanks for keeping the discussion lively, but I’m afraid I can’t check all those comments, so I’ll ignore some of the ones that start with “Hi YU” or “Hi Biwa.”

From your comments, it seems that Ono-cho is a bit unusual. It is a very rural area, though, so I’m not surprised it has a different system from big cities. It would not be difficult to improve it, but I’m not holding my breath.

Here is some feedback on your comments.

In my area burnable rubbish is collected twice a week, plastic is once a week, and paper collection is twice a month.
You don’t need to repeat “is” after the commas, so “Rubbish is collected twice a week, plastic once a week, and paper twice a month.”

Anyone who is a member of the 町内会 has to do the job on a rotating basis.
All the members of the 町内会 have to take turns doing the job.

but some might find the rubbish collection rules too complicated
Indeed. Whenever I go to the town hall to ask a question, it takes the people there ages to find the answer, and they are supposed to be the experts!

However, I hate seeing those rubbish piles covered with green nets to avoid crows.
…to protect them from crows. / to deter crows.

I don’t think convenience stores don’t like to store other people’s rubbish.
I don’t think convenience stores would be prepared to store other people’s rubbish.

In my area, situation is almost same as YU and Biwa.
My area has a similar system to the ones that YU and Biwa described.

the government or each prefectural office hesitate setting up the center besides the present system 
the government and prefectural offices are reluctant to set up a center in addition to the present collection system

so I think bringing each persons bag is a good idea.
so I think it is a good idea for each person to bring their own bag.

By the way, I’m going on a Turkey tour with my husband.
Lucky you! I have heard very good things about Turkey. Hope you are having fun.

Yes, you’re right, but that’s what I exactly wanted to point out this time.
… but that’s exactly the point I was making.

Do you mean you don’t need the current collecting systems for recyclable staff at all? If you mean so,
Do you mean…? If you do, …

I was just suggesting that if there were more choices to dispose those recyclables, we don’t have to waste the eco-conscious feelings of those who have it.
I was just suggesting that if it were easier to recycle, we could take advantage of the feelings of eco-conscious people.

So, you can ask your town to set up a place like that. I wonder how they would react…
Unfortunately, I think I know the answer to that. 検討します…

I hope the Japanese supermarkets will take in the good system, too.
I hope that Japanese supermarkets will adopt this system, too.

I live in a condo and there is a place we can dispose of rubbish anytime, so all we have to do is just sort out of our rubbish and put it there.
Nice sentence. You don’t need “of” between “out” and “our,” though.

In my area, burnable rubbish are collected twice a week,
“Rubbish” is uncountable, so it should be “is collected.”

I don’t remember from when it started
I don’t remember when it started

I was going to take a day off today, but I have some loose ends I have to tie up. So I postponed my day off to tomorrow.
Nice, but “until tomorrow” would be more natural than “to tomorrow.” (“To” is not wrong, though.)

Do you think we should put a translation for this entry, too? I’m not sure if that is the reason, but we might be missing comments from other members.
Thank you for doing that.

There is a collecting spot just in front of the apartment I live.
…the apartment where I live.

Thank you, Biwa for translating the entry. It is very helpful to me.
It is very helpful for me.

The words impressed me the most was
Of all the things he said, what impressed me the most was…

When I read the part of David’s entry, “I wanted to scream at him, “Well stop making it so difficult, then!!”” I felt he is patient.
If it were me, I might have said it in reality.
Actually, I did!

However, they may ask me back, “Why did you choose to live in Ono-cho, then?? There are any thousands of choices where you live.
I would have replied “Because I didn’t know the town hall was staffed by idiots.”

I believe David has a very large brainstem and also his parents and brothers gave him lots of linguistic gifts!
I think my mother might disagree with you there!

“it’s like start running a full marathon” should be “it’s like to start running a full marathon”.
It’s like starting to run…

That’s all for today. I’m doing a presentation in Hamamatsu on Sunday, so I will be busy tomorrow getting ready for that. I will make time to go out for a ride on my bike if the weather is good, though.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday.

22 Comments

  1. Biwa on Friday November 16th, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Oh my! That much?!!!
    I hope we didn’t put most of you off by doing that! Actually, I was a bit worrying about that.
    Anyway, thanks for your feedback, David.

    >I think my mother might disagree with you there!
    Does this mean you weren’t good at English? or maybe, your brothers gave you physical gifts (by fighting with each other a lot) rather than linguistic gifts?

    Good luck on your presentation and have a nice weekend, everyone!



  2. amo on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 01:49 AM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback:)
    Hope you will find time to go for ride, and also your presentation will go well.

    Hi Biwa,
    >ところで、mentionの使い方、いつも悩みます。

    I remember David saying before that a lot of Japanese people use the term “mention about,” but “about” is not necessary.

    >“mention about something”は文法的におかしい?どなたか教えてください。
    So this is wrong.

    Here are some usage of “mention”
    mention + 目的語
    mention + (to + (代)名詞) + that節/wh節
    mention + ~ing

    1. “your teacher mentioned you about the importance”
2. “your teacher mentioned the importance about something” が正しい?

    So, I think 1 is wrong and 2 is correct, but for some reason 2 is a bit strange to me. I can’t explain the reason well so maybe I am wrong. Hope David help us:)

    By the way, I forgot to tell you this before, I bought that some clothes for my niece. I am going to her birthday party tomorrow(already today though)

    Have a nice weekend everyone.
    amo



  3. Gussan on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 05:33 AM

    Hi David,

    I don’t understand that part in your correction as follows:
    >> When I read the part of David’s entry, “I wanted >> to scream at him, “Well stop making it so
    >> difficult, then!!”” I felt he is patient.
    >>If it were me, I might have said it in reality.

    > Actually, I did!

    Could you explain the meaning of the phrase ‘If it were me, ‘?

    I know this phrase was not written by you, though.
    However, you answered, “Actually, I did!”

    I suppose you understood the meaning.

    I’m going to run soon.

    Good luck on your presentation.



  4. Biwa on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 09:28 AM

    Hi amo,

    Thanks! So, I guess my sentence should be like this: “your teacher mentioned (to you) the importance of something” and “to you” is unnecessary in this context.
    However, a sentence like “He mentioned something about someone.” is okay because “about” modifies? “someone”.

    I have thousands of other gray-zone-words and I think I will never be able to get rid of them!
    Anyway, have a nice birthday party!



  5. YU on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 09:34 AM

    Hi Gussan,

    Long time no see(talk!?)!

    I meant,

    If it were me(もしそれが私だったら) = If I were in his(David’s) situation

    You’ve heard of the phrases like “If I were you/him/her/them….”, haven’t you?

    In my understanding, it’s almost the same meaning as those expressions.

    Hope this helps you.

    See you!



  6. David Barker on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 02:36 PM

    Hi Gussan,

    YU is right. It means もしそれが私だったなら…

    Hi Biwa,

    There are two things you need to know about the verb “mention.”

    1. It means to say something in passing without it being the main point of the conversation.
    2. The pattern is “mention sth (to sb).”

    The teacher mentioned the importance of … (to me / us)

    Hope that helps.



  7. Kimi on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 04:32 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback and hope you did well in the presentation.

    Hi Biwa,

    ‘overlapping’ means ‘reading along’ as you mentioned. The teacher told us that when doing ‘overlapping’, we would do well to use materials for English learners. As ‘overlapping’ means to imitate even breath and pause, if we always use things like interviews, we would be good at speaking ‘well’ and ‘you know’. Haha..

    Biwaの言うとおり、オーバーラッピングとは音声にあわせて一緒に読むことです。先生によると、英語学習者向けの教材を使ったほうがいいらしい。オーバーラッピングとは息継ぎや間の取り方さえもマネするものなので、インタビューのような素材ばかりで練習していると、’well’とか’you know’ばかり上手になってしまうとか。(笑)

    I just started to do ‘shadowing’ in accordance with the teaching, but it is very tough to repeat the material until I can comprehend it. I just concentrated on following the sound and could not comprehend it. I repeated it again and again, but after all I couldn’t do content shadowing.

    さっそく先生の教えに従ってシャドーイングをやってみましたが、理解するまで繰り返すってかなり難しい。音を追いかけるのに必死で、理解するところまで頭が回らず。何度も何度も繰り返しましたが、結局昨日はコンテンツシャドーイングまでは行きつきませんでした。(コンテンツシャドーイングとは先日も書きましたが、内容を理解しながらシャドーイングすることです。)

    I want to catch up with Biwa and other regular members. I know I have a long way to go, though.

    Have a nice weekend, everyone!

    Kimi



  8. YU on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 06:56 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback!

    > Actually, I did!

    I see.
    By the way, like Gussan, first I also understood that you wouldn’t do it in reality because you wrote, “I WANTED TO scream at him”. I guess our(Gussan and I) first understanding is right anyway, isn’t it? Gussan probably wanted to confirm directly from you if his understanding was right.
    He might have been a bit confused after reading your sentence “Actually I did!”, because he had been thinking “You wouldn’t” till then. This is just my imagination, though…

    Davidが”I WANTED TO scream at him”と書いていたので私も最初はGussanと同じように「でも実際にはグッとこらえて叫ばなかった」んだと理解していました。私たちの理解は正しいですよね?
    でもGussanは”Actually I did!”(実は叫んだんだよ)というコメントを読んだ後「えっ、どういうこと?」とちょっと混乱したので最初の理解は正しかったのかDavidに直接確認したかったのっではないでしょうか?推測ですが。。。

    > “Because I didn’t know the town hall was staffed by idiots.”

    Not only your town hall, but also almost everywhere in Japan is staffed by a small number of idiots. When I come across such people unluckily, I always feel like saying “You perhaps start work here from today? ひょっとして今日仕事初日?新人さん?”
    Am I too mean?

    I wonder if you finally could go out for a ride today, but it rained all day here.
    Anyway, good luck with your presentation!

    Have a nice weekend, everyone!

    See you!



  9. taco on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 08:33 PM

    Hi, David,
    I’m going to Hamamatsu tomorrow, not for your presentation, though. If I see you luckily, can I say hello to you?



  10. David Barker on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 08:56 PM

    Coming to Hamamatsu but not to my presentation! That’s terrible! But please say hello if you happen to see me 🙂



  11. Fumie on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 09:08 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback! I was surprised to know that rubbish collection system is so inconvenient in rural areas.

    I hope you have a time for a ride. Today was a miserable weather but tomorrow will be a fine day. It’s a good season to go out for a ride in beautiful autumnal landscape.

    Have a nice weekend, everyone!

    Fumie



  12. Biwa on Saturday November 17th, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks. I think I got it. It’s funny because if the pattern is “mention sth (to sb)”, it’s the same as “say” or “tell”, and why is it so confusing for us then?

    Hi Kimi,

    Thanks for explaining “overlapping”.
    I’m not a specialist at all, but I think “wrinting” also improves your listening skills. It might sound strange, but I think mostly, you can hear the words/phrases you know, but it’s difficult to hear what you don’t. 自分が知っている言葉は聞き取れるけど、知らない言葉は聞き取れないことが多い、と思うのです。So I guess this blog is one of the best places to practice! I like reading David’s older entries because they’re written in simple English and also the topics are things that I’d want to be able to talk about.



  13. Biwa on Sunday November 18th, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Hi David,

    I must revise my previous comment. “say sth (to sb)” and “tell sb sth”. やっぱり,ve–ry different from Japanese.



  14. Gussan on Sunday November 18th, 2012 at 04:58 AM

    Hi David & YU,

    I’m interested in David’s action. I mean David shouted at him or not, because the consequence would become completely different.

    Beside, I’ve never heard of the phrase:’If it were me’ before. So, I guessed the meaning is the same as ‘If I were him(=David)’.
    However, regarding the phrase:’If it were me’, I wonder if the phrase is natural or not?

    See ya.



  15. David Barker on Sunday November 18th, 2012 at 09:03 AM

    Hi Gussan,

    It’s perfectly natural. If it hadn’t been, I would have mentioned that when you asked me about it.

    I didn’t shout at the guy, but I did say the same thing that the commenter suggested.

    Hope that helps.



  16. Biwa on Sunday November 18th, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Hi David, Gussan and YU,

    Your discussion about “if it were me” was interesting and I’ve looked up some dictionaries.

    I understood that “if it were me” is “if it were up to me” originally, because it’s a bit weird to think that “it(a situation)” was equal to “me(a person)”. Is this understanding correct so far?
    So I guess there are two patterns when you want to say もし私だったら, as “if I were you” and “if it were me”. Is it something like a taste to choose either phrase, or is there a slight difference? I’d like to know.



  17. YU on Sunday November 18th, 2012 at 01:36 PM

    Hi Gussan,

    I don’t really think that my English is natural, but as for “If it were me”, I learned from one of David’s older comments to me and just copied it(Please have a look at his comment on 2012/06/08 at 2:42).

    “Hi YU,

    The books are exactly the same, but the Japanese version is written in Japanese, and the English version is written in English. If it were me, I would buy the one written in my own language.”

    So, I think “if it were me” is natural because I don’t think David uses unnatural English.

    Hi Biwa,

    > So I guess there are two patterns when you want to say もし私だったら, as “if I were you” and “if it were me”. Is it something like a taste to choose either phrase, or is there a slight difference?

    Thank you for checking the origin of “if it were me”.
    I’m not sure if there’s a slight difference between the two phrases, but I’m not surprised at finding weird expressions in English because that is often the case.
    I just felt “by instinct” that “if I were you” might be the same as “if it were me” when I read his David’s comment above. I didn’t look up it in a dictionary at the time.



  18. rinko on Sunday November 18th, 2012 at 03:26 PM

    Hi David.
    Thank you for your feedback!
    I hope you’ve done a perfect presentation in Hamamatsu.

    See you.

    rinko



  19. Gussan on Monday November 19th, 2012 at 04:13 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for letting me know the origin of the phrase:’If it were me’.

    My question was really as the same as that you wrote down.

    The phrase:’if it were up to me”’ sounds very natural.

    See ya,



  20. Biwa on Monday November 19th, 2012 at 09:52 AM

    Hi Gussan,

    Glad I could be of some help, though I’m still waiting for David’s comment if I’m right.

    Hi everyone,

    By the way, I’ve read an article about “Moe-dates” in Japantoday. (If you’re interested:http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/rent-a-girlfriend-service-offers-simulated-romance) To be honest, I’m not surprised any more by these miserable young men, but I really wonder why they can’t just ask for a date in an ordinary way. To me, it sounds more embarrassing to hire a date!



  21. David Barker on Monday November 19th, 2012 at 03:01 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    I prefer to think of “If it were me” as “If it were me who were in that situation.” I don’t think that “If it were me” and “If I were you” are exactly the same, but they have the same basic meaning. I’ll let you know if I think of any examples that show a difference in nuance, but at the moment, I can’t.



  22. Biwa on Monday November 19th, 2012 at 04:08 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for taking your time. I know how busy you must be! When I translate both phrases into Japanese, “If I were you” sounds a bit more direct than “If it were me (who were in that situation)”, and I guess the difference in nuance might be something like a difference in preference between British and American English. Just a guess, though.



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