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Thanks for all your comments. This has been the most viewed entry on the blog so far, although that might just be YU, Tomo, and Fumie chatting to each other (LOL). Anyway, it was a very interesting discussion. I read an article in a British newspaper yesterday about the new consumption tax law. Last time Japan raised consumption tax rate, it led to a drop in consumption, and a fall in overall tax revenues. It also did huge damage to the economy. Most people who understand economics believe that the same will happen again this time, but Japanese politicians and bureaucrats just keep on doing whatever they want. I can’t believe that the Japanese public keep voting for the same group of people, but I sincerely hope that something will change in the near future. If it doesn’t, the Japan you leave for your children will be very different to the one you lived in.

Anyway, here is some feedback on your comments…

> I heard that it comes from the sound of the heavy rain; it sounds as if cats and dogs were fighting.
I would forget this expression if I were you. It is very old-fashioned, and it sounds weird when Japanese people use it.

…so if you hear this word, you should know you are turned down, and you have to think about the way to get things forward.
…so if you hear this word, you should realise that you have been turned down, and you should think of another way of trying to get what you want.

I actually use the word”それは難しいです”to refuse something especially to people who are elder and superior to me.
“People who are superior to me” is grammatically correct, but it is a bit strange. It would be better to say “people with a higher status” or “people to who(m) I have to show deference.” That’s quite advanced, though.

There are many ambiguous words like that in Japan.
Nice use of the word “ambiguous.”

Sorry David, I report this to you afterwards…
Do you mean “Sorry for not mentioning this before”?

Actually, daughter of my friend from English language club is a member of the first graduating class of the school.
This is a tricky thing to say, even for native speakers. It’s either “one of my friends from English language club’s daughter” (which is very long and clumsy) or “the daughter of one of my friends from English language club” (which is better). You have to use “the” daughter here even if she has more than one.

No one in my English club got what you actually meant.
Nice use of “get” meaning “to understand.” Do you all know the expression “I don’t get it”?

We should have the courage to say to people that like using the word “zensyosuru”, “Please explain your idea concretely!”
Please do!

I mean my response will be positive and negative; I might buy that or might not.
I mean my response could be taken as either positive or negative; I might buy the thing, or I might not.

Preserving harmony is one of the virtues in Japanese culture.
In some circumstances, but it is not always a virtue, especially when change is needed.

I want to know what you think the ridiculous English education in Japan.
Do you mean, “I want to know why you think the English education system in Japan is ridiculous”?

I can watch your blog.
I found your blog. / I read your blog. (Nice to have you with us, Wakana.)

As a mother of a third-grade student in high school, I was totally shocked to know the problem of high school English education.
The first part of this sentence is really nice, but the second part should be “I was totally shocked to hear about the problem of high school English education.”

…but I don’t feel comfortable to call someone’s baby ‘it’.
…but I don’t feel comfortable calling someone’s baby ‘it’. (Many parents would take offence if you called their baby “it.”)

For example, you can oppose to your boss today,…
For example, you can oppose your boss today,…

I don’t mean that we should give up to change, though.
I don’t mean that we should give up on the idea of change, though. (A-Z: give up)

I think abolishing entrance exams(for high school/university) is one of the effective ways to reform Japanese English education.
I think abolishing entrance exams would be one effective way of reforming the Japanese English education system.

Why don’t schools draw up the curriculum teaching students enough to pass an average-level school?
A junior high school teacher once told me that public schools are there to teach children “how to be Japanese” (i.e., Don’t complain; Don’t ask questions; Do as you are told) and the jukus are the place where they do their academic study.

So please let me know if you read my tranlation and notice my mistakes.
So please let me know if you notice any mistakes when you read my translation.

I agree with you. I also think we should not take “problem of Japan” for “culture of Japan”.
These are completely different.
Very true! This myth about Japan’s “unique” and “mysterious” culture is often just a smokescreen for incompetence and inefficiency.

They should reduce the number of people working there and stop wasting our money!
That’s what the current government promised to do when they were elected. Now, of course, they have abandoned all those promises.

I’d like to add 派閥 to the list. There are always factional struggles not just in the political world but also in many other organizations in Japan. You see factional struggles in universities, don’t you? I’m fed up with those ridiculous, ugly fights.
Good point. Yes, every university has factions, and they are really destructive.

To tell the truth, the high school I went was just like your son’s, and I didn’t go to a cram school too.
Actually, the high school I went to was just like your son’s, and I didn’t go to a cram school either. (“To tell the truth” is only used when you are admitting something that is a bit embarrassing or that you might have a reason to hide.)

And my son passed the test and moved up to the next class unexpectedly.
Congratulations.

He is doing nothing but club activities at the moment, so I don’t think he can pass entrance exams for universities without any trouble.
The Japanese system of club activities is also weird for us. That might be a good topic for another week. To an outsider, it just looks like a kind of brainwashing, and because everything is structured, the children never learn to explore, invent, or create adventures for themselves. It seems wrong to me that children’s lives are controlled and structured from the moment they wake up from the moment they go to bed, even at weekends. Maybe that is why they become 指示待ち adults.

I also think Japan should change the education system, and I think universities should change their entrance exams first. I agree with David that testing difficult and unimportant points of complicated grammar is meaningless, but high schools cannot change their ways unless universities change their entrance exams.
Universities are planning to change their exams, but it is 検討中, and I think you know what that means!

So we decided to let him go to university although we have to pay much money.
So we decided to send him to university even though we will have to pay a lot of money.

David, I’m sorry I might changed the flow of discussion from this week’s topic to current educational problem.
No problem. That keeps the discussion interesting.

>As you know, I love Japan, and I now consider it my home.
皆さんも知っている通り、私は日本が好きです。そして今では私の家(住処)とも思っています。
Actually, it’s very difficult to translate “home” in the sense in which I was using it. I don’t think Japanese has a word that is an exact translation in this case.

If I was asked this question 20 years ago, I would first answer the same way as the woman did and would be shocked with your words,too.
If I had been asked this question 20 years ago, my first answer would have been the same as the woman’s, and I would have been shocked by your words too.

…but I assume it’s a long way to remove this vicious circle.
…but it’s going to be difficult to break out of this vicious circle.

I’m relieved to hear that.
A useful expression to remember if you don’t know it.

My husband often says that there are very few boycotts and demonstrations against the government in Japan. He always wonders why Japanese people are so quiet and calm. He says “もっと怒ればいいのに”.
I agree with your husband, and his comment reminded me of another very dangerous expression: 仕方がない.

“I’ll see what I can do”
If you translate it literally “私に出来ることを考えてみます” or something like that. Don’t you think this words can be used in a same way like 難しい and 検討します? I am not sure where I read this but this phrase sometimes uses to refuse, and it said, if you are told this phrase, don’t hold your breath.
I think it depends on the situation and how the person says it. (This kind of ambiguity is not unique to Japan!) Normally, though, I would say that “I’ll see what I can do” has a positive meaning.

Oh, is that so! There are more boycotts and demonstrations against the government in other countries.
One of the big differences in other countries is the power of the media. In Japan, everything is controlled by the same small group of rich people, including the newspapers and TV. That is one reason why non-Japanese get annoyed by the stupid variety programmes. Japan is being destroyed, and its citizens are watching “talents” eat ramen, make jokes about each other’s bodies, and slap each other on the head!

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend, and see you again on Monday with a new topic.

29 Comments

  1. YU on 2012年06月29日 at 14:46

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback!!

    > Most people who understand economics believe that the same will happen again this time, but Japanese politicians and bureaucrats just keep on doing whatever they want.

    An economist said the other day, “The Prime Minister Noda might just want to achieve a feat(raising consumption tax rate) before resigning”.
    I also think that raising consumption tax rate now would just cause a further economic recession.

    > although that might just be YU, Tomo, and Fumie chatting to each other (LOL).

    Hahaha… It seems that no one could break into our
    “hot argument” !! 🙂

    > Sorry David, I report this to you afterwards…
    Do you mean “Sorry for not mentioning this before”?

    I actually wanted to say, “事後報告ですみません”, but I didn’t know how to say it.
    Your “Sorry for not mentioning this before” means that?

    > It’s either “one of my friends from English language club’s daughter” (which is very long and clumsy) or “the daughter of one of my friends from English language club” (which is better). You have to use “the” daughter here even if she has more than one.

    I see.
    Then I’ll use the latter version next time! Thank you!

    > “To tell the truth” is only used when you are admitting something that is a bit embarrassing or that you might have a reason to hide

    Actually after I posted, I realized that I made a mistake!

    May I ask some questions?

    > It seems like that he passed the test because of his “genki”.

    1. “It seems like” is strange here?
    2. “because of~” is usually translated as “~のせいで”, but I actually wanted to say, “彼のgenkiのおかげで”. So, I should have written “thanks to his genki”? I feel “thanks to” is also strange somehow, though…

    By the way, I read somewhere in an article that English teachers teaching Japanese students in Japan sometime use the term “genki” without translating into English word when they talk each other, because English doesn’t have a word that is an exact translation for “genki”. Is that true?
    I can’t remember if it was your artice or someone eles’s….

    > I agree with your husband, and his comment reminded me of another very dangerous expression: 仕方がない.

    Many of us give up on the idea of change, because Japanese politicians have been deceiving us all the time. And it led us to believe that “どうせ変わらない”.

    Hi Fumie,

    『原発ムラ』じゃなくて『原子力ムラ』の間違いでした!!

    Have a great weekend, all !

    See you!



  2. David Barker on 2012年06月29日 at 14:58

    Hi YU,

    That would be “Sorry for not asking your permission before showing it to my friends.” It’s a bit formal, and of course you don’t need to ask my permission, but it is a polite expression.



  3. David Barker on 2012年06月29日 at 15:02

    1. “It seems like” is strange here?
    “Like” is okay, but it’s quite informal.

    2. “because of~” is usually translated as “~のせいで”, but I actually wanted to say, “彼のgenkiのおかげで”. So, I should have written “thanks to his genki”? I feel “thanks to” is also strange somehow, though…

    “Thanks to” would be better, but you can use “because of” with a positive meaning if it is obvious from the context.

    By the way, I read somewhere in an article that English teachers teaching Japanese students in Japan sometime use the term “genki” without translating into English word when they talk each other, because English doesn’t have a word that is an exact translation for “genki”. Is that true?
    I can’t remember if it was your artice or someone else’s….

    That’s in my book, isn’t it?



  4. Tomo on 2012年06月29日 at 15:32

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback. Yes, it was a very interesting discussion, and it was a lot of fun to chat! 🙂

    >I can’t believe that the Japanese public keep voting for the same group of people,

    Me, neither! They(politicians) must use some tricks.

    >That’s what the current government promised to do when they were elected. Now, of course, they have abandoned all those promises.

    That’s why I don’t trust politicians. They are big liars.

    >The Japanese system of club activities is also weird for us. That might be a good topic for another week…..Maybe that is why they become 指示待ち adults.

    I’m looking forward to it. It would be an interesting discussion.

    >Universities are planning to change their exams, but it is 検討中, and I think you know what that means!

    That sounds very promising. Can you ask them whether they will be able to finish their 検討 by the time my future grandchildren go to university?

    >There are many ambiguous words like that in Japan.
    Nice use of the word “ambiguous.”

    The word “ambiguous” was new to me. I learned a lot of new expressions thanks to you and other members.(The problem is that I can’t remember them all…)

    My sons are having end-of-term tests next week, so they are supposed to study for the tests this weekend. If they ask for my help, I will help them with their English studies. I hope my oldest son won’t ask me difficult questions!

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

    Tomo



  5. YU on 2012年06月29日 at 15:49

    Hi David,

    Thank you for answering my questions.

    I didn’t know that you can use “because of” with a positive meaning if it is obvious from the context.

    > That’s in my book, isn’t it?

    Oh, was it!?
    So, of course, you would answer “Yes, that’s true.”
    I’m losing my memory….Help!!

    By the way, this morning I had a terrible stomachache and felt nauseated.
    I said to my husband, “It must be a serious disease! It is the hardest pain I’ve ever had in my life!”
    I rushed to the clinic with my husband and son, saw a doctor and had a blood test.
    And it was finally just “food poisoning”…
    Now come to think of it, it was not the hardest pain, but the second hardest pain.
    I had a harder pain when I gave birth to my son!!

    Anyway, please be careful of food poisoning !! 😉



  6. Tomo on 2012年06月29日 at 16:16

    Hi YU,

    Are you OK?! I hope you feel better soon!

    By the way, have a look at the page 12 of A-Z. You’ll find the explanation of “genki” 😉

    Take care!!

    Tomo



  7. YU on 2012年06月29日 at 16:52

    Hi Tomo,

    I feel much better now! Thank you!! 🙂

    > By the way, have a look at the page 12 of A-Z. You’ll find the explanation of “genki”

    Immediately after reading David’s comment “That’s in my book, isn’t it?”, I looked for the page in his book and found it!! I’m sooooo baka!!

    As you know, I bought his book just a few weeks ago(I received it on my birthday by chance!) and read the “genki” story then! Haaa….I’m getting old….

    See you !



  8. Tomo on 2012年06月29日 at 17:31

    Hi YU,

    Glad to hear you feel better now. You are neither baka nor old. It’s just because you were sick 😉

    Hi David,

    I wrote “That sounds very promising” in my first comment, but I’d never used the word “promising” myself, so I’m not sure if it fits here or not. I wanted to use irony and say, “それはとっても期待できそうだ”, but… did it work? Does “promising” sound strange here? What would you say?



  9. ashmoleanmuse on 2012年06月29日 at 19:46

    Hi YU and Tomo,

    > English doesn’t have a word that is an exact translation for “genki”. Is that true?

    > have a look at the page 12 of A-Z. You’ll find the explanation of “genki

    I don’t have the book, so I would appreciate it if either of you could tell me the explanation of ‘genki.’

    Hope David doesn’t say to me, “Why don’t you buy my book?”

    Ash



  10. Anne on 2012年06月29日 at 21:29

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    >If I had been asked this question 20 years ago, my first answer would have been the same as the woman’s, and I would have been shocked by your words too.
    —Oh, tense problem is always one of the difficult part when I write sentences.

    >Maybe that is why they become 指示待ち adults.
    –I totally agree with you. I’ve heard about a student who couldn’t not get the job even though he got the good marks at a graduate school. Going to the university never means that he/ she gets the golden ticket to the company.

    Hi YU,
    Glad to hear you feel better now.
    By the way, which team did you root for when you watched the soccer game this early morning? Actually, I watched the latter half of the game.

    Have a lovely weekend,everyone!

    Anne



  11. YU on 2012年06月30日 at 00:13

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you, I feel much better now.

    I cheered for neither of the teams, although I lived in Germany. I’m not familiar with soccer, but I like watching soccer games.
    When I was in Germany, Takahara Naohiro joined Hamburger SV(I lived in Humburg). A friend of mine from uni(he was half German and half Japanese) once interpreted for him and talked proudly about it.
    But, I didn’t know Takahara at all !! Does he still play soccer?

    You are a fan of 名古屋グランパスエイト, right?

    Hi Ash,

    Nice to talk to you 🙂

    I don’t have not so much to explain about “genki” than I mentioned :
    “English teachers teaching Japanese students in Japan sometime use the term “genki” without translating into English word when they talk each other, because English doesn’t have a word that is an exact translation for “genki”. ”

    The term “genki” is introduced as an example of 『A言語の便利な表現がB言語にないということは本当に多い』.
    I have only the Japanese edition, so I wonder if the same example is shown in the English edition too.



  12. Tomo on 2012年06月30日 at 00:22

    Hi Ash and YU,

    Here’s the excerpt from the English edition.(I have both English and Japanese versions.)

    It is actually quite common for a word or expression in one language to cover a gap in the lexicon of another. For example, you will often hear teachers of English who live in Japan saying, “My students are very ‘genki.'” In English, “genki” means “active” or “energetic,” but neither of those words really captures the essence of “genki,” so teachers have simply adopted the Japanese phrase. There are many other Japanese words that are frequently used in conversations between native speakers of English living in Japan, and equally, of course, there are countless English words that have been adopted by Japanese people to fill gaps in their language.

    Good night,

    Tomo



  13. Fumie on 2012年06月30日 at 07:06

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback. It’s SO useful as always!

    Yes, it will be heated discussions whenever we talk about our children (childrens’ education.)

    >Do you mean, “I want to know why you think the English education system in Japan is ridiculous”?

    I want to say 日本の英語教育のどんなてんをridiculosと思うのですか? So I think your sentence covers that.

    >(“To tell the truth” is only used when you are admitting something that is a bit embarrassing or that you might have a reason to hide.)

    I didn’t know about that. It’s good to know that.

    >The Japanese system of club activities is also weird for us.

    Again, this could be an lively discussion!

    A junior high school teacher once told me that public shools are there to teach children “how to be Japanese” (i.e., Don’t complain; Don’t ask questions; Do as you are told) and the jukus are the place where they do their academic study.

    I hate this teacher’s remarks! I think most teachers love their students and teaching both study and ethical points. Unless who choose that hard job in the first place?

    Hi Tomo,

    >My sons are having end-of-term tests next week, so they are supposed to study for the tests this weekend.

    At my son’s school, students are taking tests next week too. So my son is tense now because 今回のテストの結果までが内申にひびくから。
    I noticed that students are compared with other students both in study and physical test 体力測定。
    例えばあなたの(数学の点数は)何人中の何番目とか、あなたの志望する大学を受験する人のこのテストの平均値はいくらとか、事細かに比較するんですね。ひとりひとりを見るというより、すべてにおいて他の生徒との比較(平均値)で評価される。
    I hope schools(teachers) to see each student’s good point (what’s he/she good at) not compared with other students.

    Hi YU,

    I’m glad to hear that you feel better now!
    Speaking of Genki, you are Genki. 🙂
    You know, although you had the second hardest pain, you joined here. If that happened to me, I would just lie down on Futon and do nothing all day long. I admire your Genki!

    >『原発力ムラ』(原発関連の官僚、学者、政治家などの総称)は人命を危機にさらしてまで自分の利権、立場を守りたいのでしょうか。正気とはおもえませんけど!

    原発反対のデモを起こしても何も変わらないなんて! David も外国ではthe power of the mediaが違うと言ってますが、どんなに反対しても、最後の判断は私たち自身が選挙で選んだわけではない首相の判断にゆだねられる、それなら私たちはどうやって自分たちの安全を守ればいいのでしょうか?
    I hope Japanese media will change.

    I mistakenly pushed the Esc button after I wrote my comment. It took me 2 hours. :< Be careful the Esc button.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Fumie



  14. YU on 2012年06月30日 at 09:09

    Hi Fumie,

    > You know, although you had the second hardest pain, you joined here. If that happened to me, I would just lie down on Futon and do nothing all day long. I admire your Genki!

    Even I can’t believe that!! 自分でも信じられない!
    The pain suddenly started, stayed only for 3,4 hours and disappeared ! It was just like a storm !!

    > 原発反対のデモを起こしても何も変わらないなんて!

    This morning I saw on TV news that there was a big demonstration against restarting Oi nuclear power station in front of the prime minister’s official residence yesterday. Apparently, many parents and their children took part in it.

    > どんなに反対しても、最後の判断は私たち自身が選挙で選んだわけではない首相の判断にゆだねられる、それなら私たちはどうやって自分たちの安全を守ればいいのでしょうか?

    As you know, in Japan, the party leader of the party in power automatically becomes the prime minister. And because the majority of us (eligible voters)voted for a party, and the party becomes the government party. So, theoretically, the prime minister is chosen by us….
    Having said that, I exactly know what you mean.
    I guess that’s why David and Tomo also can’t believe why Japanese people keep voting for the same group of people.

    Fumieも知っているように日本の首相は与党第一党の党首が自動的になりますよね。で、その与党は有権者の過半数以上がその政党に投票したから与党になるので、理論的には首相は国民が選んだ、ということになるんでしょうね。
    とは言え、私もFumieと同じ気持ちです。
    だからDavidやTomoもどうして日本人が同じ政治家たちに投票し続けるのか分からないんじゃないでしょうか。

    See you !



  15. ashmoleanmuse on 2012年06月30日 at 10:41

    Hi Fumie,

    > I admire your(YU’s) Genki!

    I agree with you. I’m impressed that YU has time and energy to post here often while raising her 3-year-old.

    Hi Anne and YU,

    The Brits call soccer ‘football’. Oh, and Beckham was not selected for Olympic Games, which is quite disappointing.

    Ash



  16. ashmoleanmuse on 2012年06月30日 at 10:43

    Thanks about ‘Genki’, Tomo and YU!

    Ash



  17. ashmoleanmuse on 2012年06月30日 at 10:51

    Oh shoot!

    Thanks about ‘Genki’ should have read Thanks for the explanation of ‘Genki’.

    I wish this blog has a delete button.

    Ash



  18. ashmoleanmuse on 2012年06月30日 at 10:53

    Or at least an edit button.

    Ash



  19. Yukako on 2012年06月30日 at 13:15

    Hello David,

    Thank you for your feedback!
    The consumption tax was introduced in 1989. It was the year I was born, so I don’t know how Japan has changed because of the consumption tax.
    I’m worried that the raise of consumption tax won’t solve fiscal problems…

    Hi YU,

    I felt relieved to hear that you feel better now.

    Hi everyone,

    It’s a little hot today. I turned on the electric fan.
    Have a nice weekend!



  20. YU on 2012年06月30日 at 13:41

    Hi Yukako,

    Thank you for worrying about me.
    BTW, I was very surprised to know that you were born in 1989.
    You are very young !!! Or I’m very old !?

    Hi everyone,

    I found a very interesting video.
    Some of you might have seen it, because it was aired in a TV programm called “World Business Satellite” about two weeks ago.
    It’s about Rakuten group’s “Englishnization”.
    Please have a look if you have time!

    http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/mv/wbs/feature/post_22321



  21. Fumie on 2012年06月30日 at 21:01

    Hi YU,

    >As you know, in Japan, the party leader of the party in power automatically becomes the prime minister. And because the majority of us (eligible voters)voted for a party, and the party becomes the government party. So, theoretically, the prime minister is chosen by us….

    That’s right. Politicians always pledge bright manifestos though they sometimes can’t succeed them. I think if they are not sure whether they can do them or not, they shouldn’t pledge unsure things.
    That’s why I can’t trust them!

    Fumie



  22. amo on 2012年06月30日 at 21:32

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Hi everyone,

    How’s your weekend? It’s a bit hot today. I went out and when I got home, I felt tired so that I took a nap for a couple of hours. It seems that I am already suffering from the heat. And yet, it’s going to be hotter and hotter day by day!

    Have a nice weekend,
    amo



  23. Yukako on 2012年07月01日 at 16:50

    Hi YU,

    You are not old! I’m impressed by your 元気!

    I watched the video you recommended to us. It was very interesting. I think Rakuten group’s “Englishnization” is a fresh project. But I wonder if this project will work well. There may be other better ways for globalization.

    Anyway thank you for a interesting video!!



  24. Anne on 2012年07月02日 at 04:16

    Hi David and everyone,

    The finale “UEFA EURO 2012 between Spain and Italy has just started! Which team will win!?

    I was thinking about the sentence that David had corrected:
    >…but I assume it’s a long way to remove this vicious circle.
    …but it’s going to be difficult to break out of this vicious circle

    When I wrote this, I didn’t looked up a dictionary and meant to say,”悪循環を取り除くには長い時間がかかるだろう.”  Then phrases “it’s a long way..” and vicious circle” came to mind. After reading David’s correction, I looked up the dictionary, and noticed that “break(out of” is commonly used with “circle(cycle).” It makes sense if you think of Japanese sentence”悪循環を断ち切る.”
    Now I’m wondering two things:
    1. Are there any differences between “cycle” and “circle” in nunance or meaning? Or just the choice of the word?
    2. Is it possible to say “it will take much time” instead of ” it’s going to be difficult”?

    Hi YU,
    >Does he still play soccer?
    I think he plays for Shimizu -S- Pulse?
    Your friend must have been thrilled with translating for Takahara!
    A lot of Japanese soccer players play for foreign teams these days and Kagawa is one of them. He did a great job in Dortmond and has moved to Manchester United recently. By the way, Ash, I know the word “football” is used in Britain but the word “soccer” is easier to say for me.

    I had a look at the site you showed us. Yes, Rakuten announced the use of English a couple of years ago(?),right? A lot more people would be required to handle English freely.

    Spain scored the first goal! I’ll get back to watching the game.

    Anne



  25. ashmoleanmuse on 2012年07月02日 at 08:33

    Good morning, Anne.

    Spain won!

    Ash



  26. YU on 2012年07月02日 at 08:59

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for letting me know about Takahara’s information.

    BTW, I watched the final match this morning too.
    Spain won by a large margin(4-to-0).
    I was a bit disappointed, because I had expected a close game(接戦).

    Hi Yukako and Anne,

    Rakuten started the “Englishnization project” about two years ago. Apparently, the average TOEIC score among Rakuten employees had risen by 160-170 points(530->700) over the past 18 months.

    >But I wonder if this project will work well.

    As you say, it might cause confusion among employees and a decline in their productivity in a short term.

    >There may be other better ways for globalization.

    “We are not requiring native level, but the courage to express”, Rakuten CEO Mikitani at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan June 29.

    I don’t think that good TOEIC score equates to sterling English abilities, but as Mr. Mikitani says, it may motive employees and gain confidence in their English ability. And it eventually may bring vast benefits to his company.

    See you!



  27. Anne on 2012年07月02日 at 09:26

    Hi YU and ash,
    >I was a bit disappointed, because I had expected a close game(接戦).
    –Yes, me too.
    Spain was astonishingly strong and on the contrary, Italy seems to have lost concentration in the second half of the game because of the reduction of one injured member.
    As you know, I got up 3 in the morning and it was an earlier start to the day than usual and will be a long day!

    >I don’t think that good TOEIC score equates to sterling English abilities—I totally agree with you, and a lot more employees have to gain practical English ability.

    Oh, I’m getting back to picking up weeds.

    See you soon,

    Anne



  28. YU on 2012年07月02日 at 09:50

    Hi David, Jyoji and Tomo,

    >As you know, I love Japan, and I now consider it my home.
    皆さんも知っている通り、私は日本が好きです。そして今では私の家(住処)とも思っています。
    Actually, it’s very difficult to translate “home” in the sense in which I was using it. I don’t think Japanese has a word that is an exact translation in this case.

    “Home” in the sense David meant in his sentence is maybe “A place where your heart(you) belongs to??
    This blog might be a “home” for us, because many former regulars visit here and restart correspondence after a long “vacation”.

    Hi Anne,

    Please be careful of Heat Stroke.
    I’m going to the park with my son.

    Talk to you later!!



  29. David Barker on 2012年07月02日 at 11:45

    Hi Tomo,

    “Promising” is quite natural in that sentence. It is obvious from your comment about your grandchildren that you are being ing sarcastic. And by the way, I think they will be doing 再検討 just as your grandchildren graduate!

    Hi Anne,

    Your question actually relates to this week’s topic, so I’ll answer it in the next entry.



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