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Thanks for all your comments. The discussion about NHK was particularly interesting. I might do that as a separate topic sometime. It was also interesting to know that Japanese people tend not to have a negative image of Western celebrities who star in commercials. I guess that is why they do it!

I noticed that a couple of you mentioned the music used in commercials. I was surprised when I came to Japan to find that when my friends heard me playing songs that are classic hits in the West on my stereo or in my car, they usually associated each one with a different commercial. I suppose that is how a lot of Western popular music came to Japan originally.

Here is some feedback on your comments.

Sorry for bothering you so many times,
Sorry to keep bothering you,

Jean Reno acts as Doraemon in TOYOTA commercial
“In a Toyota commercial” or “in the Toyota commercial” if you think everyone will know which one you are referring to.

Yes that’s right and, as you guessed, the term does come from psychology, although I think it’s quite a new psychological term.
Is everyone familiar with Howard Gardner’s “Theory of Multiple Intelligences”? If not, you can find out about it just by googling “multiple intelligences.”

I just hate the way the programs are interrupted so often by them!
Have you ever been to the US? The commercials there are so long that it feels like the commercials are being interrupted by the TV shows!

Making commercials is just part of their job
I think the best translation of this would just be 彼らの仕事の一部. “Just” doesn’t really affect the meaning at all.

You don’t need to worry other members at all.
You don’t need to worry about the other members at all.

I heard that peoples who do commercials on TV are mostly novice actors or actresses, so I guess doing them would mean lowering their status as movie stars
I think that is a key point, yes.

No wonder Japanese company want to use celebrities to sell their company’s image, and they contract to earn huge amount of money.
No wonder Japanese companies want to use celebrities to promote their image, and that is why they pay huge amounts of money.

I have no idea, but one thing for sure is that I’m happy to see Leonardo DiCaprio appearing on whiskey or Toyota’s commercials.
Nice sentence, but you appear in a commercial on TV. Confusing, isn’t it!

I have to admit that some TV commercials in Japan have goofy logic,
I think this is a good use of “goofy.”

I should have said like this.
“I should have said this” or “I should have put it like this.”

I don’t watch Japanese TV much, so I don’t have much thought about it.
… so I haven’t thought about it much.

I don’t pay attention them as I mentioned above.
I don’t pay much attention to them, as I mentioned above.

Thanks for your comment. I watched “Flight,” and unfortunately it wasn’t good that I had expected.
… it wasn’t as good as I had expected.

I’m not really sure if my husband’s claim would make sense!
I’m not really sure if my husband’s argument would make sense!

because he acted the main character so well.
because he played the main character so well.

No, I didn’t because it might have sounded that I was complaining to them.
… might have sounded like I was criticizing them.

I am Akane.
Hi Akane, nice to have you with us. “I am” is only used when you can see someone’s face, though. On a blog, it would be “My name is….” I’m looking forward to your next comment.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend.

29 Comments

  1. ashmoleanmuse on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 05:05 PM

    Oh, it’s too late, but just let me post my comment on Movie Stars in Commercials.

    David,

    >> I read on Japan Today the other day that Leonardo DiCaprio has made a commercial for whisky. <> Another problem is that Japanese commercials tend to be very formulaic. <<

    You said you don’t have a TV, so I reckon that you don’t know much about Japanese commercials.

    NTT DoCoMo ad is one of the best commercials that I’ve ever seen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhIQ2S1gDMM&feature=related

    Boss Coffee and Softbank commercials are unique.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3mrpqLBkLw&NR=1&feature=endscreen

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=ZQdtzhmU6m0

    Here is my favourite CM. I love horses. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling down my face when I saw the scene that the horse is running up to the man in the car.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2prAccclXs&feature=player_embedded

    Ash



  2. David Barker on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 05:38 PM

    Hi Ash,

    I don’t have a TV, but I see commercials on the TVs in the gym, on You Tube, and when I go to the cinema. I also see them on the pumps when I am putting diesel in my van!



  3. David Barker on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 05:38 PM

    I’ll watch your links later.



  4. Mika on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 05:45 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    A few days ago I bought your book titeled “A to Z” and understood why you give us feedback so kindly.
    I’ll keep studying English diligently even though I forget new words very quickly. I believe that “Today’s lesson is the first step towards tomorrow.”



  5. YU on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 05:47 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback!

    As I wrote in my comment to Biwa, my English club had three visitors today.
    I made a worksheet from your A to Z book myself and used it in the class. They all (including other members) liked it very much.
    Thanks to your book, all three visitors decided to join our club finally! Or was it just because of my great teaching skills? hahaha!!! 🙂

    > The discussion about NHK was particularly interesting.

    I thought so, too.
    I pay about 25000yen a year to NHK. Actually, it is quite expensive, but my son watches NHK educational programs every day, so I’m perfectly satisfied with paying the fee at the moment. However, NHK says that those who have no TV or never watch TV like you should pay it, too. That’s very strange, I think.

    > Have you ever been to the US? The commercials there are so long that it feels like the commercials are being interrupted by the TV shows!

    I like your joking!
    By the way, I think Biwa lived in the U.S. when she was small.

    Hi Akane,

    Nice to have you with us! 🙂
    I’m looking forward to your next comment!

    Have a nice weekend, all!!



  6. Mika on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 06:25 PM

    Hi Ash,

    Wow!
    About the NTT DoCoMo commercial, it’s full of ideas! I watched two times in a row.
    I know that ninety per cent of inspiration is perspiration, and I think this is it.
    Thank you very much!



  7. ashmoleanmuse on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 08:40 PM

    I missed posting this.

    >> I read on Japan Today the other day that Leonardo DiCaprio has made a commercial for whisky. <> I know that ninety per cent of inspiration is perspiration, and I think this is it. <<

    Indeed!

    Ash



  8. ashmoleanmuse on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 08:48 PM

    I think something is wrong.

    > I read on Japan Today the other day that Leonardo DiCaprio has made a commercial for whisky.

    I remember that Suntory used Sean Connery for its whisky commercial. He comes from Scotland, which is reputed for its whisky. So, that was a perfect commercial! Oh, and ‘whisky’ is the spelling used in Britain, and ‘whiskey’ is used in the Ireland and America.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ0yy5ZKyl8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=KDG2V4veQLU&NR=1

    Hi Mika,

    > I know that ninety per cent of inspiration is perspiration, and I think this is it.

    Indeed!

    Ash



  9. Fumie on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for your feedback. I’m guessing that things are getting better now? You said that it’s been a crazy couple of days. Well, I hope it’s better now!

    Hi Biwa,

    >Back to our last topic, I found out they still serve whale meat for school lunch at two of the elementary schools near my house.
    One time last month, they served whale dish called クジラのノルウエー風(chunk of fried whale seasoned with Worcester sauce and ketchup.)in elementary schools in Hirakata. I don’t know the reason. Anyway, the dish is one of student’s favorite one. I used to love that, too.

    Hi Akane,

    Nice to have you with us!

    > “I am” is only used when you can see someone’s face, though.(This is David’s correction.)
    I didn’t know that. I thought the differnce between “I am” and “My name is” that the former one is more casual than the latter one.

    Hi YU,

    >Thanks to your book, all three visitors decided to join our club finally! Or was it just because of my great teaching skills? hahaha!!!
    That’s wonderful! I think both (your skill and David’s book) are the reason that they decided to join your club! 🙂



  10. amo on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback.
    >… it wasn’t as good as I had expected.
    I think I make the same kind of mistake again and again 🙁

    Hi Biwa,

    >Maybe you wanted to say because he acted the main character so awfully?
    I am afraid but you seemed to mistake my words?? I am sorry that my words made you confused.
    What I wanted to say is, the movie was not that good because the main character was not a good person so I couldn’t sympathize with him. 主人公の性格が嫌なやつだったので共感できなかったから、期待したほどではなかった。
    >That’s why I thought that I was going to dislike him because he acted the main character so well. 彼が主人公(嫌なやつ)を上手く演じたので、思わずデンゼル自信を嫌いになりそうだった。と言いたかったのですが、多分間違ってるのでしょう。すみません。こういう時どう言ったらいいのでしょうか? 

    Good night and have a nice weekend 🙂
    amo



  11. Anne on Friday March 8th, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Hi David,
    Thank you for your feedback as always.
    >but you appear in a commercial on TV. Confusing, isn’t it!—When I read this, was not sure what you were saying. Yes, confusing!

    Hi Akane,
    Nice to have you with us. Looking forward to hearing from you again:)

    By the way, same as Fumie, I didn’t know the difference between “I am..” and “My name..”

    Hi YU,

    That’s great!

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

    Anne



  12. YU on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Hi amo and Biwa,

    > What I wanted to say is, the movie was not that good because the main character was not a good person so I couldn’t sympathize with him. 主人公の性格が嫌なやつだったので共感できなかったから、期待したほどではなかった。
    >That’s why I thought that I was going to dislike him because he acted the main character so well. 彼が主人公(嫌なやつ)を上手く演じたので、思わずデンゼル自信を嫌いになりそうだった。と言いたかったのですが、多分間違ってるのでしょう。すみません。こういう時どう言ったらいいのでしょうか? 

    How about this?

    The movie wasn’t as good as I had expected. Denzel Washington played the main character in the film and it was a very disgusting man. He actually acted the villain’s part very well, so I felt like disliking even Denzel himself after seeing the film.

    Hi everyone,

    Samurai Japan beated Taiwan!
    It was a really good game!!



  13. Tomoaki on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 03:18 AM

    Hi David and everyone

    This week, I am too busy to comment, but I read some of your comments. I don’t watch TV very much, so I don’t know how many Western celebrities star in commercials. However, I think many Japanese people have a positive image of them.

    By the way, I confirmed that I will be able to graduate my university by the end of this month.



  14. Fumie on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 05:55 AM

    Hi David,

    I forgot to mention about this.
    >Is everyone familiar with Howard Gardner’s “Theory of Multiple Intelligences”?
    Yes, a teacher trainer taught about this. She said that we should put all those 8 smarts when we make lesson plans in a unit.

    >I also see them on the pumps when I am putting diesel in my van!
    What does “the pumps” mean? バン(車)にガソリンを入れる時にコマーシャルをポンプ/パンプスで見れる??? I thoght maybe “pumps” has differnt meaning and I checked but I couldn’t find particular one.

    Hi Tomoaki,

    >By the way, I confirmed that I will be able to graduate my university by the end of this month.
    That’s so nice. Congratulations!



  15. YU on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 08:23 AM

    Hi Tomoaki,

    >By the way, I confirmed that I will be able to graduate my university by the end of this month.

    Good for you!! Congratulations!!!

    Hi Fumie and Anne,

    I forgot to mention this.
    Thank you for your kind messages!



  16. Biwa on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 08:50 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback.
    “Celebrities appear in a commercial on a TV.”-very confusing, indeed! So I guess, they appear in a program, in a play on a stage.

    By the way, I googled “multiple intelligences”, too. Very interesing. Unlike Fumie, I didn’t know the theory, but I guess it’s a kind of idea almost everyone is aware of by experience. Anyway, it makes me even more interested in people!

    Hi amo,

    Sorry for my terrible understanding!:(
    I think YU’s translation is fine, but let me try myself for practice. “Denzel Washington has played the main character who was a really disgusting man so perfectly that it almost made me dislike Denzel himself!”

    Hi YU and Tomoaki,

    >all three visitors decided to join our club finally!
    >I confirmed that I will be able to graduate my university by the end of this month.

    Congratulations!!

    Hi Fumie,

    >What does the pumps mean? バン(車)にガソリンを入れる時にコマーシャルをポンプ/パンプスで見れる??? I thoght maybe pumps has differnt meaning and I checked but I couldn’t find particular one.

    I’m not sure because I don’t have a car and I never go to gas stations, but I think “pumps” means “ガソリンの給油機”. So maybe they have TV monitors on the 給油機 these days. I sound like a person from the old days, don’t I? lol!

    By the way, クジラのノルウェー風was new to me. Sounds quite fancy. I wonder what the teachers tell their students about whaling.

    Hi Ash and Mika,

    The NTT Docomo ad is perfect. I would watch TV for just seeing commercials if they aired these nice ones only.



  17. ashmoleanmuse on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 09:44 AM

    Hi Fumie and Biwa,

    > I also see them on the pumps when I am putting diesel in my van!

    http://www.1000nensha.com/cago/blog/?m=201301

    Ash



  18. Mika on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 09:54 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    >I also see them on the pumps when I am putting diesel in my van!
    What does the pumps mean? バン(車)にガソリンを入れる時にコマーシャルをポンプ/パンプスで見れる??? I thoght maybe pumps has differnt meaning and I checked but I couldn’t find particular one.

    I’m not sure, but maybe David used the word “pumps” as “gas station”.
    But, if so, why he didn’t say “at the pumps”?
    Example; For Americans accustomed to cheap gas, that price produces pain at the pump.安価なガソリンに慣れ親しんだアメリカ人にとって、この価格はガソリンスタンドでの悩みの種となっています。

    Hi YU,
    Congratulations!
    I believe that you have great motivation and it has a positive effect on them.

    Hi everyone,
    Have a nice weekend!



  19. Mika on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Hi Ash,

    Thank you!
    I just checked your imformation about the pump.
    I have a car but don’t feed by myself. So, I have never seen any pump.
    But, I’m happy because I learned a new word.

    Have a nice day!



  20. Anne on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Hi Tomoaki,

    Congratulation!!

    Hi ash,
    Thanks for sharing ads. I like the ad horses appearing in a commercial on TV,too!

    Hi YU,
    >Samurai Japan beat Taiwan!
    —Yeah, especially, well done Ibata:)

    Hi David,
    >Is everyone familiar with Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences?
    —I didn’t know this theory. It’s interesting!
    I found a lecture by him:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRUN1F4rWAE

    Hi Mika,
    I tried translating the first part of your comment. I hope you don’t mind.

    > 人気俳優をコマーシャル採用しても、その商品価値が証明されるわけではない。
    Just because the company using famous actors to advertise the products doesn’t necessarily mean that they(products) are good.
    >むしろ「高額の出演料が商品価格に跳ね返っているだろう」と考えると、彼らの採用は適切とは思えないし、彼らの採用で売り上げを伸ばそうとしている会社の意図はあまりにも安易で愚かだと思われる。
    Even more, some might think that huge amount of money that they are paying for them(actors) could lead higher price. I don’t think hiring them is a good idea. Also, the company’s intention to boost its sales by signing up with them looks easygoing(?/lax?) and silly.

    >また、スター自身が何を考えて出演しているのか分からない視聴者も多いと思う。
    I think a lot of viewers sometimes wonder why celebrities agree to do commercials.

    >一方で、 Anneが紹介してくれた2社のコマーシャルには「相手を思いやる心豊かな日常」が存在している。
    On the other hand, two commercials Anne told us about express genuine sympathy for ordinary people and their everyday lives.
    >商品販売促進に宣伝は不可欠であるが、予算の制限や製作者の思惑があるにしても、そこは技量と発想の転換で乗り切るべきである。そして、たとえ30秒間の作品であっても、人の心に残る上質な作品を制作すべきであると思う。
    Advertisements are indispensable in promoting products, and yet even with limited budget and producer’s expectations or intentions, the conversion of affluent skills and ideas should be surmount these issues. Also, even in a work of 30 seconds, it should be the commercial of unforgettable quality.

    普段コメントをするときに、日本語から考えないので、Mikaさんのようなすばらしい考えと日本語の文章を(これは皮肉でもなんでもなく、正直な感想です!)英語にどう訳せるのかな、とふっと思ったものですから、前半部分だけトライさせていただきました。気を悪くされないといいんですが。。。いい勉強させていただきました。Thanks:)

    Bye for now,

    Anne



  21. Anne on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    it’s me again.
    >” should be surmount these issues” should be ” should surmount these issues.”



  22. Mika on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you so much for your great help!!
    I hope you will help me sometimes.

    Have a nice day!



  23. YU on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Hi Anne,

    It turned to be a very long game, but I couldn’t let up even a second!!
    My favorite player is Chono(Don’t you think he is sexy?), but he is in a big slump at the moment….

    Anyway, I hope Samurai Japan will win three straight victories!!

    See you!



  24. David Barker on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 04:03 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I did my first long bicycle ride of the season today. It’s really warm here in Gifu, so I was wearing shorts and summer gloves. I rode 82 km, but it was quite a slow average speed. I need to do some more training to get ready for the spring and summer.

    Hi YU,

    I’m glad your students liked my book, but I’m sure the teacher was the reason why they decided to join your class.

    Hi Tomoaki,

    Congratulations on your graduation. What’s next?

    I have to work again today. Another book to be prepared. I hope they all sell well and make lots of money!



  25. amo on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 07:07 PM

    Hi Akane,

    Welcome to the blog, am looking forward to your next comment.

    Hi Tomoaki,

    Congrats!! I am happy for you 🙂

    Hi YU and Biwa,

    Thanks for helping me. both of your sentences are much much better than mine. thanks again.

    Hi David,

    I don’t know if it only happens to me but I keep getting errors when I access to this blog on my iPhone. You said that the problem would be sorted out soon. Has it already been sorted out?
    By the way, I bet your new books will sell well 😉

    Bye for now,
    amo



  26. Fumie on Saturday March 9th, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Hi Biwa, Ash and Mika,

    Thank you for helping me with the ads on the pumps. I didn’t know that. Mostly my husband put gasoline in our car so I couldn’t figure out David’s this sentence.

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for posting Haward Gardner’s video.

    Hi David,

    You rode 82km, that’s a good exercise! It’s been quite warm for a couple of days.
    I hope your new book will be a huge success! It will cover the cost of your new home! 🙂



  27. YU on Sunday March 10th, 2013 at 08:04 AM

    Hi everyone,

    The IOC officials visited Japan to evaluate Tokyo’s plan to host the Olympics and Paralympics.

    Tokyo governer Inose made an English speech as part of the Tokyo’s presentations.

    Here you can see his speech in the video, it starts from 00:55.

    http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2136238766020637101

    How did you like his speech?

    Well, my eyes and ears were glued on his excellent speech !! lol
    Joking apart, seeing his speech on TV news I almost dropped my chopsticks in surprise, of course, in a bad sense, though….

    However, on the same day, after he made the “excellent” English speech, he demonstrated how important he thinks sports are with a tennis demonstration with Shingo Kunieda, gold medalist in the men’s wheelchair tennis.

    To be honest, both his English and tennis were anything but good, but his enthusiasm for hosting the Olympics was thoroughly conveyed to me, so I won’t criticize his poor English any more!! 🙂



  28. Anne on Monday March 11th, 2013 at 08:29 AM

    Hi YU,
    >My favorite player is Chono(Don’t you think he is sexy?), —Yes, I think so, but how can you read his name as “Chono” not “Nagano”?

    Samurai Japan won the game again. Six home runs!

    Anne



  29. YU on Monday March 11th, 2013 at 08:58 AM

    Hi Anne,

    > but how can you read his name as “Chono” not “Nagano”?

    You mean, you never thought that you would read “長野” as “Chono”?
    「長野」とをまさか「ちょうの」と読むとは思わなかった、という意味ですよね?

    Yes, I think it’s a very rare name, too!



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