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Thanks for sharing your own electricity costs. Actually, I got my LP gas bill this morning, and this month, it’s more than 16,000 yen. That means my total energy bill will be almost 30,000 yen for the month.

The new house is electric-only, and it has central heating, proper insulation, triple-glazed windows, and an “eco-cute” so I’m hoping that it will be a lot warmer and a lot cheaper to heat than the place I live now.

I was interested to read Kattie’s comment because power has been de-regulated in the UK, so it should be cheaper. Unfortunately, the power companies abused the system and the government let them get away with it. Now, it seems that electricity is not only expensive, it’s also really confusing because the companies have lots of different rates that come with different conditions.

The Japanese monopoly system was apparently modelled on the system they had in the US after the war. The US changed the system many years ago, but Japan has just kept it. I would like to see the industry shaken up a bit, but I don’t want to end up with a situation like the British one.

Here is some feedback on your comments.

I’m not doing anything for keeping electricity bills down,
I’m not doing anything to keep electricity bills down,

I think 15000 yen is about £87 per month.
But as I said above, it’s actually double that when you include gas, which I use for cooking, heating water, and some heating.

Apparently, it is by a very tricky system called 総括原価方式 which was fixed by vested interest groups long time ago.
I laughed when I read this. Is there anything in Japan that wasn’t fixed by vested interest groups a long time ago??

It is said that we’re having more choices in 2016 or so.
Some people have said that / I’ve heard that we will have more choice from around 2016.

I don’t really think the system will be accepted in Japan.
I don’t really think a system like that would be accepted in Japan.

I try to save energies and remind my children not to waste enegies.
I try to save energy and remind my children not to waste it.

In the summer, we use air-conditioners, so the cost is up.
In the summer, we use air-conditioners, so the cost goes up.

I’m going on a trip to Hagi and Tsuwano, using a twilight express from today and be back on Saturday.
You’ll be back by the time you read this. I hope you had a nice time.

Remind you, they are not unemployed or low-income.
Just to remind you, they are not unemployed or low-income.

They haven’t decided yet where to throw away the nuclear waste.
They haven’t decided yet where to store (dispose of) the nuclear waste.

It seems that the system differes from city to city,
Nice sentence except for the typo (differs). It’s a good pattern for other people to learn.

Sorry, I’m a bit late to ask you this, but what is a “pupil premium?”
I think it just means that the government pays the school some extra money.

That’s all for today. I have to work tomorrow because of the centre examination.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll do a new topic on Monday.

32 Comments

  1. Biwa on Saturday January 18th, 2014 at 07:43 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the feedback. My son has just left home for that very center examination. I hope he can do his best!

    I have a question.
    >Some people have said that / I’ve heard that we will have more choice from around 2016.

    I don’t really see the difference between “It is said that” and “Some people have said that.” Can you tell me the difference?

    Also, thanks for explaining “pupil premium.” I just wonder why the government does that. I understand that schools are eager to have eligible parents apply because they receive exrtra money, but if the government pays double (actual lunch cost+ premium), what is the merit for the government? Maybe schools pay the actual lunch cost, but still, they gain some money because the premium is higher…



  2. YU on Saturday January 18th, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    I know your son will do his best!

    >I just wonder why the government does that.

    I guess it’s simply to aid low-income families.

    >I understand that schools are eager to have eligible parents apply because they receive exrtra money, but if the government pays double (actual lunch cost+ premium), what is the merit for the government?

    I’m not absolutely sure if my thought is right, though, I don’t think the government pays some extra money the school to make profit or have advantages, but I think it’s just part of social safety nets(child welfare). It’s the govenment’s duty to try to do everything they can to help the weak in their own country using our taxes, isn’t it?

    馬の前に人参をぶら下げるようであまり品がいいとは言えないのかもしれないけど。。。
    政府は給食費免除資格のある子供達(家庭)に申請漏れがないようにするために福祉の一環として学校に対して奨励金のようなものを出して該当生徒の親たちへの制度周知徹底を促すようにしているのでは?だから学校の方でも奨励金がもらえるので支払いのオンライン化など色々創意工夫をし始めたんじゃないですかね。
    Kattieはオンラインで給食費を前払いするシステムを採用している学校は給食費免除制度申請率が高いという調査結果が出ている、と書いてありましたね。子供たちはランチを買うときにsuicaのようにカードをかざすだけみたいだから子供たちの間で給食費を払っている家庭か免除家庭かなど、免除家庭の子供にしたらあまり周りに知られたくないことがわからなくなるから、該当家庭の親たちも申請がし易くなるんだと思います。



  3. YU on Saturday January 18th, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    ゴメンなさい。生徒たちがsuicaのようにカードをかざしてランチを買う、というのは最近までアメリカに住んで現地の学校に娘を通わせていた日本人の主婦のブログを読んで聞きかじったことでした。でも推測ですがイギリスでも同じような感じなのかな、って思います。因みにアメリカでは学校のカフェテリアのランチはオンライン前払いが主流みたいですよ。もちろん日によってランチ持参も可みたいです。何でもそういうサイトがあって自分の子供の学校を選んで簡単にオンラインで入金ができる仕組みになっているそうです。
    給食費前払い、というより前もってランチ用のお金を入金しておく、という感覚なのかな?

    面白いですね。日本って遅れてる?



  4. Kattie on Saturday January 18th, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Hi Biwa and Yu,

    Yu is correct. The government decided that they wanted to give extra money to schools which have large numbers of disadvantaged children, eligibility for school meals is a way of good way of assessing this. I think the school gets something like £600 per eligible child and the ideas is that they can then use this money towards helping these children.

    I think we discussed this before but schooling in the UK is free – i.e. from nursery to 18 but people can leave school at 16 if they want to. From what Yu was saying and from googling, I think schooling in Japan is free and compulsory until the age of 15 and, like the UK, school meals are only free for low income families and only until the age of 15. Is this right?

    Hi David,

    Is the house nearly finished? By the way, when I used the word storey – as in 2 storey house, I meant 2 staircases and 3 floors but I think American English would refer to that as a 3 storey house, is that correct? It just occurred to me and I can’t google because I’ll probably lose this message!



  5. Kattie on Saturday January 18th, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    PS idea should be singular!



  6. YU on Saturday January 18th, 2014 at 02:17 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    > From what Yu was saying and from googling, I think schooling in Japan is free and compulsory until the age of 15 and, like the UK, school meals are only free for low income families and only until the age of 15. Is this right?

    Schooling is compulsory until the age of 15, but it is free until the age of 18. As for school meals, I don’t think high school students(15-18) have school meals in Japan they usually bring lunch from home or buy something to eat at the school store, so I’m not really sure about how the government helps high school students from low-income families for meals.



  7. YU on Saturday January 18th, 2014 at 02:44 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback!

    Anyway, your energy bill is very expensive for a single houshold!

    > Is there anything in Japan that wasn’t fixed by vested interest groups a long time ago??

    Can you give me a month or so to think it over?!

    > Now, it seems that electricity is not only expensive, it’s also really confusing because the companies have lots of different rates that come with different conditions.

    Actually, the link I posted for Biwa gave examples like that of disadvantages when power is de-regulated in Japan, too.

    >Remind you, they are not unemployed or low-income.
    -Just to remind you, they are not unemployed or low-income.

    I see, but if I remember correctly, didn’t you write “Remind you,” alone several times yourself before? Or is it just my imagination?
    Anyway, I always translated it as “言っておくけど、~だからね!” from the context.
    Are there any differences between “Just to remind you,” and “Remind you,”? Or there’s no such an expression like “Remind you,” in the first place?!

    Hi Biwa,

    > I don’t really see the difference between “It is said that” and “Some people have said that.”

    Me either, but I just think “People say that” and “Some people have said that” are different.
    (そんなこと分かっていると思うけど)

    As you know, “It is said that”, “They say that” and “People say that” are interchangeable and they all mean “~と言われている”, whereas “Some people have said that/I’ve heard that” mean “(誰かが)~と言っているのを(自分で)聞いた”.

    In my understanding, “It is said that” is usually used when you talk about generalities or popular wisdom, so it doesn’t really go well with the part of “we will have more choice from around 2016”?!

    By the way, when will your son come home?
    What will you cook for him tonight?
    かつ丼?
    Anyway, I hope he’ll do his best tomorrow too!!



  8. YU on Saturday January 18th, 2014 at 03:54 PM

    Hi David,

    I’m sorry, I was wrong!
    What I meant to say was “Mind you,”, not “Remind you,”!
    They are totally different!!



  9. Fumie on Sunday January 19th, 2014 at 06:57 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback!
    I’m not fully understand Kattie’s explanation of 2 storey house in British English. Does it mean 2階建ての家or3階建ての家? I understand when we talking about elevator(lift) how we call each floor differ between British English and American English. So when we say about story of house, are there also differece? 家が何階建てか言う時もイギリスとアメリカでは違う言い方をするのでしょうか?

    Hi Biwa and YU,

    It’s late to say this but you said school lunch fee is around 5000yen. But where I live it’s 3600yen per month. I know commodity price is higher in Kanto area but I was surprised to know that you have to pay much more.

    It’s been really cold be careful everyone!



  10. YU on Sunday January 19th, 2014 at 08:09 AM

    Hi Fumie and Biwa,

    3,600yen per month?
    Does the amount differ month to month or is it the same every month? I mean, the sum is calculated based on how many days students go to school in the month? Or is it fixed?

    In my son’s kindergarten children have school lunches called お楽しみ弁当(給食なのに) on Mondays and Fridays.
    They bring お弁当 from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
    Their school lunch costs 280yen per meal and you don’t need to pay it for the days your child was absent from school(kindergarten).



  11. amo on Sunday January 19th, 2014 at 09:20 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    >So when we say about story of house, are there also differece?
    I am in a hurry so I just answer your question. Yes, the first floor means 2階 in British English. If you want to say 1階 in British English, you can say “ground floor”

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback. By the way, 16,000yen?! Only one month gas bill? And yet, you live alone. What are you doing while you are home?? Our gas bill never goes up to 10,000yen and the lowest was less than 4,000yen.

    I am on my way to work so got to go.
    Have a nice day!
    amo



  12. YU on Sunday January 19th, 2014 at 09:57 AM

    Hi amo,

    Just to remind you, she knows what you mentioned.
    What Fumie wants to know is about if there are any differences between American English and British English when you talk about “~階建て” too.



  13. Biwa on Sunday January 19th, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Hi Kattie and YU,

    Thanks for your comments. I realized that I should have written this first: In Japan, low-income families receive school lunch fee, public housing rent, etc altogether with their income-support from the government. After receiving, they do all the necessary payments themselves. Naturally, the system is likely to cause arrears (=the supported money is used for different purposes), and some people have been saying for years that they should deduct the fees and rents in advance. However, the receivers(=low-income families) say that the support is not enough, and that they won’t be able to live without that money. So, the British system seemed like a nice idea, so I got interested in what makes the government and schools eager to adopt the system. Besides, we have lots of dishonest support-receiving problems. I agree 100% that people(government) should help the weak, but I don’t want our taxes to be used wrongly.

    Hi Fumie and everyone,

    Sorry, lunch fees in Yokohama was 4,000yen/month. I’m not sure if it was fixed, but I don’t think the total pay every month differed a lot.
    Anyway, I made a mistake because other things like PTA fees, supplement learning materials fee, accident insurance, etc were all deducted together, slightly more than 5,000yen/month in total.

    By the way, I think all public elementary schools(6-12years old) serve lunch, but some cities(including Yokohama) don’t serve lunch at junior highs(13-15years old). I don’t know why things differ from city to city, but I think this kind of unfairness is one reason that makes some people don’t want to pay the fee.



  14. Biwa on Sunday January 19th, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for answering my question!

    >In my understanding, “It is said that” is usually used when you talk about generalities or popular wisdom, so it doesn’t really go well with the part of “we will have more choice from around 2016″?!

    I see. However, I found an example sentence in my grammar book (Forest, P.156); 1)They say that his mother is an actress. (彼のお母さんは女優だそうです。) 2)It is said that his mother is an actress. (彼のお母さんは女優だと言われています。)
    The explanation also says that “His mother is said to be an actress.” is possible.

    To me, the sentences don’t sound like generalities or popular wisdom. In fact, they seem to be 100% interchangable, don’t they? I’m a bit confused…

    By the way, I made chicken curry with lots of vegetables last night. My friend said that the spices in curry is good for the brain. She also said that people in India have less Alzheimer desease compared to other countries. Anyway, she said that if curry is good to prevent Alzheimer, it must be good for memorising things, so it must be perfect for a mid-exam-dinner! (lol!)

    Have you tried the English test of the center examination? It’s in today’s paper. I’ve tried it (except for the listening test), and made one error. I wonder what native speakers like David think about the test. Are the question weird? I can’t tell because I’m so used to these kind of Japanese-styled English tests!



  15. YU on Sunday January 19th, 2014 at 01:28 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    >To me, the sentences don’t sound like generalities or popular wisdom.

    -In my understanding, “It is said that” is usually used when you talk about generalities or popular wisdom,

    Actually, the above mentioned is just my personal idea. By the way, I have a feeling that that “They say that” “People say that” are almost always used in the same way too, but this is again just my personal idea.

    うわさ、一般論、世間に広く知られた知恵などを言う時にこの3つの表現がよく使われるような気がします。

    > so it doesn’t really go well with the part of “we will have more choice from around 2016″?!

    これは既に報道された内容で、もう噂の域を超えていて、しかも一般論でもないから 最初読んだとき何となく違和感を感じました。でもあくまでも個人的な感想に過ぎませんので。。。

    Actually, I had found exactly the same three example sentences(Forest) before I wrote my coment to you, but the Japanese translation 彼のお母さんは女優だと言われています seems to have been deleted from the edition I have. In the edition I have all the three versions using “It is said that” “They say that” and “is said to be” are just translated as “彼のお母さんは女優だという噂です” and no other translations.

    By the way, I wonder who on earth uses such an unnatural Japanese(=彼のお母さんは女優だと言われています) in the first place, though! Don’t you think so? Was it really proofread by Japanese staff before it was published?
    I personally think “I heard that his mother is an actress.” sounds much more natural…probably I’m wrong!

    Anyway, as I mentioned at the beginning of my comment, David suggested you “Some people HAVE SAID THAT”(NOT “People say that” or “They say that” instead of your “It is said that”, and I think they mean totally different. I hope you understand what I mean.

    I don’t know why, but your original sentence sounds a bit unnatural to me too. Yours should mean “2016年以降ぐらいから選択肢が増えると言われている/増えるという噂です)”, and I don’t really think it sounds natural even in Japanese because that is what the news media clearly reported.

    I’m not sure if your original sentence is wrong or just unnatural, but I guess David just suggested you the most natural English as usual.

    > My friend said that the spices in curry is good for the brain.

    I’ve heard it too.
    By the way, back to our last topic, though, I think this kind of things are often expressed with “It is said that/They say that/People say that”.

    – It is said that spices in curry are good for your brain.

    > Have you tried the English test of the center examination?

    Yes, a few times at my English club, but I’ve never done the whole questions. Only one error!?
    You’re great! 東大突破レベル!I’ll try it later too!



  16. Anne on Sunday January 19th, 2014 at 02:54 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Hi everyone,
    I just got back from the trip last night.

    I really had a great time.
    My husband and I joined a tour using a sleeper train called “Twilight Express.” It’s a sleeper train operated by JR 西日本 and is usually runs from Osaka to Sapporo. It seems to be very popular and is difficult to get a ticket.
    This time it was a special tour planned by the tour company from Osaka to Shimonoseki. When you use a bullet train, it doesn’t take that much but it took 18 hours. We enjoyed the time just relaxing including dinner and breakfast. Luckily, we saw a beautiful sunrise from the Inland Sea when we were having breakfast.
    One of the places we visited was Itsukushima, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Red and big torii is famous for its scale and vivid color, right? It was much bigger than I had imagined! Did you know this torii was just put there not was buried? It was well-considered and well- balanced not to collapse or not to be affected by the typhoon. Tides were low, so we walked to the bottom of the torii.



  17. Fumie on Sunday January 19th, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    Hi YU and Biwa,

    Regarding school lunch fee, 3600yen per month is fixed. Other fees differ depend on month but lunch fee is always this amount.
    In my area, there is no school lunch at junior high so we have to make box lunch. My friends said the reason they don’t serve school lunch at junior high. It’s probably that some junior high students behaved badly like when they had their unfavorite food, they scattered the pot, take their favorite food as much as they want, so serving school lunch at junior high gives teachers a lot of stress and burden.

    Hi amo and YU,

    Thank you always for helping me.:-) As YU said I know the difference of floor when we use elevator between British English and American English but I don’t get the difference of storey of house. I googled “2 storey house in British English” some sites show pictures of just 2 storied houses so I’m confused.

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for your travel report! You had a luxurious train trip and superb time. I’m happy for you!



  18. YU on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    correction ;

    > because that is what the news media clearly reported.

    because it has been already officially announced by the government and the news has been reported by the media.

    Hi everyone,

    Today we had lunch at the Italian restaurant and then went grocery shopping by car. On the way to the supermarket, our car was surrounded by 湘南爆走族! They didn’t harm to us, but they teasingly took zigzag courses and it was very dangerous. My son was frozen with horror and the roar.
    It was actually my husband’s idea that we would drive the seafront, not our usual course. We’ll never take the seafront course again!

    Hi Anne,

    I’m glad to know that you had a great time.

    > One of the places we visited was Itsukushima, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    So, you went to Hiroshima, too?

    > Did you know this torii was just put there not was buried?

    That’s interesting. I didn’t know that.
    I’ve been to Hiroshima when I was a child, but I can’t remember if I visited Itsukushima shrine then. I only remember I visited 原爆ドーム and bought もみじ饅頭 as a souvenir from Hiroshima.

    Actually, the torii of Hakone shrine here in Kanagawa prefecture is built in(on?) the Lake of Ashinoko too. I wonder if it’s buried there or not. I had a look at their HP. The shape of the torii is just like the one of Itsukushima shrine(It has six legs too!).

    http://hakonejinja.or.jp/

    By the way, I’d like to take a sleeper train some day too. I’ve once traveled from Hamburg(Germany) to London by ship. It took for about 16 hours, so I stayed at a small cabin with my friend. The room was simply built, but I was very excited about sleeping in the ship!

    Hi Biwa,

    > So, the British system seemed like a nice idea,

    I thought so too.

    > so I got interested in what makes the government and schools eager to adopt the system.

    I don’t know, they’re eager because that’s their job.
    I guess the government adopted the system the money to be spent for those students without fail, not to be misused by their parents.

    As for schools, Kattie wrote as below ;

    – the government now give a pupil premium to the school for each child who receives this benefit, so I’m sure they will try to do everything they can to encourage these parents to apply.

    So, I guess that means, the school gets extra money of about £600 for each eligible child to have free meals, but the money can be spent for other purposes except for their school meals fees.

    > but I don’t want our taxes to be used wrongly.

    Me either, so after reading Kattie’s explanation I doubted a bit that the school could misuse the pupil money.

    Hi Fumie and Biwa,

    >It’s probably that some junior high students behaved badly like when they had their unfavorite food, they scattered the pot, take their favorite food as much as they want, so serving school lunch at junior high gives teachers a lot of stress and burden.

    As your city there’s no junior high school lunch system in my city either, but I don’t really think the reason is like what your friend told you.
    Actually I have received a letter(questionnaires) from my city a couple of years ago. It was about if we should have started the school lunch system in junior high schools in my city. The letter explained that then we would have to share the tax burden to build facilties for providing meals school and the personnel expenses, etc…even if you didn’t have any children yourself. I remember the amount was much more higher than I had imagined.
    So, I guess it’s finally the matter of if your city is rich or not, if taxpayers of your city agree with sharing the costs.

    > I don’t know why things differ from city to city, but I think this kind of unfairness is one reason that makes some people don’t want to pay the fee.

    As you can see from the school lunch food posisoning case in Hamamatsu city this time, things differ from city to city because your city manages the school lunch system, not the government. To level the unfairness, I think either the government should support poor cities more or you should share the tax burden.



  19. YU on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 01:06 AM

    correction ;

    > I doubted a bit that the school could misuse the pupil money.

    …pupil premium

    > to build facilties for providing meals school

    ….school meals

    Hi Fumie and Biwa,

    One more thing.

    > but I think this kind of unfairness is one reason that makes some people don’t want to pay the fee.

    I still can’t get why the unfairness could be one reason why they don’t want to pay school lunch fees. I suspect they just don’t want to pay in any case!
    The fact remains that parents anyway have to pay school lunch fees even if school lunch was started to be served in their city’s junior high schools.



  20. Kattie on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 08:11 AM

    Hi Yu and Biwa,

    >So, I guess that means, the school gets extra money of about £600 for each eligible child to have free meals, but the money can be spent for other purposes except for their school meals fees.

    I’m sorry it’s all a bit confusing! The free school meals are paid for by the government and are part of the benefits system, I don’t think it affects a (state) school’s budget at all. However, schools are paid an additional pupil premium for each child who comes from a disadvantaged background and the easiest way of finding out who these children are, is simply by seeing whether they receive free school meals because this is a means tested benefit. Schools are actively trying to make sure that all eligible pupils apply for this benefit otherwise they won’t get all their pupil premiums. This measure was brought in by the current coalition government because the Liberal Democrats (the weaker party) made it one of their conditions.



  21. Biwa on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 08:13 AM

    Hi YU,

    >I don’t know why, but your original sentence sounds a bit unnatural to me too. Yours should mean “2016年以降ぐらいから選択肢が増えると言われている/増えるという噂です)”, and I don’t really think it sounds natural even in Japanese because that is what the news media clearly reported.

    Did it sound unnatural?
    I think, in Japanese, we say「~~と言われている。~~らしいです。」when we talk about what we have learned from the news, especially when you are not really sure about the details. And I think the Japanese translation 「~と言われている。」made me think automatically that I can use “It is said that.” As you say, it is quite different from “Some people have said that.”

    >- It is said that spices in curry are good for your brain.

    I know what you mean, but I didn’t know that until I heard about it from my friend this time. How can I say 「友達によると、カレーのスパイスは脳に良いらしい。(彼女もそのことをどこかで聞いてきた。)」? Maybe “She told me that spices in curry are good for your brain.”? そうすると、まるで友達がその説を唱えているみたいに聞こえる? 考えすぎて、少々混乱しています。(笑)

    Anyway, thanks for your help! All this makes me realize what I am not sure about, and helps me sort them out.



  22. Biwa on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 08:24 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    I saw your comment right after I posted mine.
    I see. So that means the government pays both the free meals+ pupil premiums, right?
    If so, the current British government gives more weight to helping the weak, which I think our government should learn more from!



  23. YU on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 09:29 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > I’m sorry it’s all a bit confusing!

    Why confusing?
    All you explained about a pupil premium hit the point.
    I guess “extra money=pupil premium” is something like “incentives” for the schools, although the “official” ideas is that they can use this money towards helping children from low-income families.

    > So, I guess that means, the school gets extra money of about £600 for each eligible child to have free meals, but the money can be spent for other purposes except for their school meals fees.

    “低所得世帯の生徒の多い学校”に対して政府は給食費免除資格のある生徒一人当たり約600ポンドの臨時手当(報奨金)を支給する(=少ない学校には支給されない)。この手当は当該生徒たちの給食費以外の他の目的に使用すること、とされている。

    So, no wonder why the schools are keen for all the eligible parents to apply for free meals benefit.
    低所得者世帯の生徒の割合=給食費免除資格のある生徒数の割合で判断される。その割合が高い学校にしか pupil premium が支給されないからどの学校ももれなく給食費免除の申請をさせようと躍起になるんじゃないですか?



  24. YU on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 09:34 AM

    Hi Kattie and Biwa,

    I’m soooooooooooo sorry!
    I’ve taken Kattie’s comment for Biwa’s!



  25. Biwa on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 09:58 AM

    Hi YU,

    I don’t think Kattie says schools which have less children eligible for free meals cannot get pupils premiums. I think she’s saying that schools just try to make sure to get the premiums for “all” eligible children.

    該当の生徒が少ない学校には報奨金が出ない、とは書いていないと思いますが・・・。単に、該当者分(人数分)の報奨金がもらえるように漏れがないようにしている、ということだと思います。



  26. YU on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > I don’t think Kattie says schools which have less children eligible for free meals cannot get pupils premiums. I think she’s saying that schools just try to make sure to get the premiums for “all” eligible children.

    I just thought so(=only schools which have more disadvantaged children than the certain rate the government set can get the pupil premium) because Kattie also mentioned as below, but I’m not absolutely sure about it. でもそう考えるとよくつじつまが合うと思ったんです。

    – The government decided that they wanted to give extra money to schools which have large numbers of disadvantaged children,

    > I think, in Japanese, we say「~~と言われている。~~らしいです。」when we talk about what we have learned from the news, especially when you are not really sure about the details.

    Do you? Really? I don’t!
    Well, I might say 「~らしいよ」to my friends, but I never say 「~と言われているよ」in those situations.
    I feel “ニュースで(そんなようなこと)聞いたよ/言っていたよ” is the most common way to say it.

    > And I think the Japanese translation 「~と言われている。」made me think automatically that I can use “It is said that.”

    I’m a bit skeptical to translate all「~と言われている」as “It is said that”. I don’t say 「~と言われている」in the situation you mentioned in the first place, though!(笑)
    Anyway, I suspect what you meant to say was;

    – Apparently, we’ll have more choice from around 2016.

    or

    – We seem to be going to have more choice from around 2016.

    > I know what you mean, but I didn’t know that until I heard about it from my friend this time.

    I know it! I just wanted to say things like what your friend told you was a good example of popular wisdom and they are often expressed with “It is said that”.



  27. Kattie on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Hi Yu and Biwa,

    <I don’t think Kattie says schools which have less children eligible for free meals cannot get pupils premiums. I think she’s saying that schools just try to make sure to get the premiums for “all” eligible children.

    Yes, that's right! The amount of premiums a school gets depends on the numbers of kids who get free school meals. Some schools in deprived areas have lots of kids who are eligible so they get a lot of extra money in pupil premiums but a premium is paid for each child at every state school. The idea is that they will then use this extra money to help the children educationally.



  28. Kattie on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    When I said ‘a premium is paid for every child – I meant every eligible child

    It’s v late here!



  29. YU on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for your clalification!
    However, then I still can’t get what you meant with the sentence below.

    > The government decided that they wanted to give extra money to schools which have large numbers of disadvantaged children,

    I know I was wrong, but reading the part “large numbers of”, I’ve jumped to the conclusion that only schools which have “large numbers of” disadvantaged children can get the pupil premium and others can’t…

    By the way, it seems that both the government and schools in the UK are quite considerate and not as wicked as I am!! hahaha…



  30. YU on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I’d like to pick your brain.

    I saw an interesting English message for guests on the menu of the Italian restaurant we went yesterday.
    Here it is ;

    To think about customers is our business.

    How would you correct it?



  31. David on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 05:15 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I’m afraid I’ve lost track of this discussion a bit, but “It is said that” is, as someone pointed out, used to talk about generalities. It wasn’t wrong, but it sounded very unnatural, like someone was reading from a textbook.

    Hi Anne,

    Glad to hear you had a nice time. One of my dreams is to ride the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia. Maybe you are planning that for your next trip?



  32. Biwa on Monday January 20th, 2014 at 06:56 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your help! And how would you say 「友達が、カレーのスパイスは脳に良いらしいよ、と言っていた。」?
    Would “My friend told me that the spices in curry is good for your brain.” sound okay?

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for telling us about your trip. I hope my husband and I can do a calm and elegant trip like you two when he retires! Sounds really nice to see the sunrise while having breakfast on a train. I’d like to ride the Galaxy Express some day. Does anyone know how to get the tickets?



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