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Thanks for all your comments on this week’s entry. I am doing the feedback early this week because I’m going to Hokkaido tomorrow, so I will be busy getting ready for that. When I read your comments, I couldn’t help but think how lucky we all are to live in a world where the only complaints we have about our houses are things like rooms not getting enough sunshine! Anyway, I’m sure that I will make some mistakes when I design my house, but I’ve lived in around 12 houses and apartments in my life, so I have a good idea about the kinds of things I want and the kinds of things I want to avoid.

For me, the worst thing about Japanese houses is the lack of insulation and temperature control. The house I live in at the moment is boiling hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. The problem is that Japanese people don’t heat or cool houses; they just heat or cool individual rooms within the house. This is incredibly inefficient if the house is not insulated properly. It’s also horrible when you have to move from one room to another. My house is going to have proper insulation with triple-glazed glass. I’m also going to have an American-style central heating/cooling system that controls the temperature of the whole house in all seasons. I was reading about it the other day, and the estimated running cost is around 27 yen per day. I’m also planning to have solar panels, so the total electricity bill should be close to zero anyway. Now I just have to save the money to build the house!

Here is some feedback on your comments.

I live in an apartment ( I wonder if I should use condominium for マンション) with my husband and two sons.
I think “condo” is the usual translation, but it’s American, so I’m not sure.

It’s a quite small one,
This is an interesting point about English that many people don’t know. If you use “quite,” it comes before “a,” so it should be “quite a small one.”

we made a list which is sometimes called “pros and cons”.
we made a list of the pros and cons of different types of accommodation.

One of the things I like most is that we live on the 4th floor
Nice sentence.

Anyway, are you supposed to settle down in Japan?
Are you planning to settle in Japan?

I’ve been to Hida Takayama where I could enjoy 合掌造り and beautiful city.
I’ve been to Hida Takayam. I saw the … and the beautiful city. (A-Z: enjoy)

I like that it has several storage spaces.
Nice sentence.

By the way, I wish I had a big window in our kitchen.
Nice sentence.

Now, I give piano lessons in a living room because our house don’t have a room my family don’t use.
Almost perfect! “Now, I give piano lessons in the living room because our house doesn’t have a room my family don’t use.”

I wish I have my lesson room, but I don’t have money to add a room…
I wish I had a lesson room, … (A-Z: hope/wish; my car)

I like here
I like it here. / I like living here. (A-Z: there (1))

I wish the entrance door of apartment was automatically locked.
I wish the front door of the apartment building locked automatically.

Your story reminded me of the bar I visited with some friends of mine many years ago.
Nice sentence, but “a bar” would be more natural.

The first floor is for our office and the upstairs is for dwelling.
The first floor is for our office, and we live upstairs. (“Dwelling” is quite a formal word.)

we emphasized the design of our office,
we focused on the design of our office

I’m almost satisfied with my house, but if I had more money, I wished I had haven a larger balcony and bathroom.
I’m pretty satisfied with my house, but if I had had more money when we were building it, I would like to have had a larger balcony and bathroom.

I think you can comfortably spend winter days with only it.
I think the winter will be comfortable if you have it. (A-Z: spend)

For the real fire, I think people who live in the cities seldom have any, but perhaps for people who live in the countryside or mountains it’s more common. I wonder if David is thinking of having one.
Of course! But I don’t think I will use it very much, so it will mostly be for decoration.

Should I have wtitten “how we can deal with the summer” instead of “how we could deal with the summer”? I’m not sure.
“how we can deal” is correct.

I live in a detached house with my parents, younger brother, grandfather and three cats!
… with my parents, my younger brother, my grandfather, and three cats! (A-Z: family)

A good point of my house is having two toilets.
One good thing about my house is that it has two toilets.

We bought our house where is close to my parents’ house 12 years ago.
We bought our house, which is close to my parents’ house, 12 years ago. (A-Z: where)

I made each room (place) as some image.
I designed each room with its own theme.

David wrote: I am hoping to build a new house~. If we say “build a house” doesn’t it means you build a house by yourself or does it also mean we ask carpenters to build it?
It can mean both. It depends on the context. I am going to be paying someone else, though, because if I built it, it would probably fall down in a week!

As my house faces to the south, it is very sunny and not so cold even in winter, I love the fact!
Nice sentence, but the last part should be “I love that about it.”

about 2 years and a half ago,
about two and a half years ago (A-Z: half)

By the way, I found you call kattie’s name as “キャシー” not “ケイティ”,right?
I’m not sure how I said it in the recording, but it should be pronounced as it is spelt, so you need the “t” sound.

My parents-in-law built the house, so I’m not involved building the house from the scratch.
My parent-in-law built the house, so I wasn’t involved in designing it. (You don’t need “from scratch”here because that is obvious from the context.)

That’s it for today. I’ll be getting back from Hokkaido on Monday night, so I’ll probably do the next entry on Tuesday.

Have a great weekend.

42 Comments

  1. Biwa on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 04:09 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for everything! Like Anne, it was also new to me that Kattie’s name was pronounced “Ka-tee” instead of “Kay-tee” and “often” was “off-ten”. It’s very useful for my listening practice. Your plans for the new house sounds great! I really wonder why don’t Japanese houses have the central heating system. I’m sure that will relieve one of our biggest stresses.

    Hi Kattie,

    The summers were not this hot when I was a child, and as many people say, I guess it’s getting worse because of the global warming. I sometimes hear some of the wine-making countries in Europe like Italy, France and Spain are also affected by it, too. They say those suitable areas for growing grapes are moving toward the north because of the heat. That’s really scary!

    Hi Fumie and YU,

    I’ve found a translation for “吹き抜け” in Eijiro(on-line-dictionary). It says “hellhole style”, quite a scary word, isn’t it?



  2. Biwa on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 04:17 PM

    Hi David,

    If you are planning to have an atrium or a hellhole styled room, I’d recommend you to have a ceiling fan. It helps circulate the warm air. Actually, I wanted to have one because we have high ceilings and a loft, but we couldn’t because our ceiling is sloped. How do you say斜めになっている?



  3. Anne on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 05:23 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    It’s nice to listen to the audio files. (By the way, I also listened to the one “The Busy Myth”!
    Yeah, I couldn’t catch Kattie’s name correctly, and missed the sound”t.” I tried reading out loud following your reading, but it was sooo tough.

    Your plan for the new house sounds great!

    > I was reading about it the other day, and the estimated running cost is around 27 yen per day
    —Oh really? I didn’t know that. I thought one of the reasons for people avoiding central heating was the cost for fuel. Anyway, you don’t need to worry about that.

    You are going to Hokkaido?
    Have a safe drive!

    Hi Kimi and Biwa,
    It was a good lesson for me,too:)

    Bye for now,
    Anne



  4. Biwa on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 06:33 PM

    Hi Fumie,

    I’m glad to hear you work with nice teachers and your students are really lucky!
    I think the lack of passion about those teachers I’ve met was none of their fault but the system’s. As you said in your older comments, I think 40 students are just too many for 1 teacher to manage. They also seemed to have lots of miscellaneous things to do. I’m not sure if those were one of the “busy myths”, though.
    Anyway, they didn’t have enough time to prepare for the English classes, so they let the students sing the “Hello song” and do some じゃんけんgames over and over. This was really disgusting! I felt so sorry for the children because it was like wasting their huge curiosity or interest to learn something. I think the system needs to be changed and hire people that can focus on teaching English.
    Fumieの学校の生徒たちは本当に幸せだと思います。ただただ歌やゲームに終始してしまう小学校の英語教育が悲しかったです・・・。いつも興味津々の子供たちの気持ちを無駄にしている気がして。英語を教えることに専念できる人を雇うことが出来る学校が増えるといいのですが・・・。



  5. Biwa on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 08:55 PM

    Hi everyone,

    This is off the topic, but can anyone tell me the difference between “relation” and “relationship”?



  6. amo on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    What a shame that I couldn’t join this week topic 🙁
    I was a bit of surprised to see your feedback today. I should have written a comment last night. I am a kind of busy this week, and I was late last couple of days. I was too tired to write a comment and I thought that I would have one more day, so…. Anyway, thanks for sharing yours stories everyone, and thanks for your feedback David 🙂
    I know it’s a bit of late to write a comment on this topic, though. You know that I love the British style houses but I don’t think I will have that kind of house here in Japan. When I was back to Okinawa this summer, I visited a traditional Okinawan house with my sisters. We liked it very much, and we wished that we could live in that house. The house was belong to a village headman back in 18th century. Of course we knew we couldn’t afford it though(lol) If I go back to Okinawa in future, I’d like to build a traditional Okinawan house.

    PS. David,

    >If you say the words “Our house” to any British person of my age, they will reply “In the middle of our street.”

    Oh, I thought I was much much younger than you(lol) but when I saw the tittle, Madness popped up in my mind 🙂
    Anyway, Hope you have a nice weekend in Hokkaido.

    good night and sweet dreams,
    amo



  7. Fumie on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    House is one of the very expensive purchase so we should think through before we buy it. Setting central-heating and solar-panels sounds very nice. I want to have central-heating but I wonder how much it would cost to install it. Also we want to set solar panels but initial cost is too high although electlicity bill would be close to zero.
    Hokkaido must be cold already. Good luck with the presentation.

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for the comment.
    >I’m not sure if those were one of the “busy myths”, though.
    I don’t think so. As you said, they have miscellaneous things to do.
    What I am always impressed with you is that you use words/phrases which we learned here soon after we learned. I want to do the same thing but they don’t pop up in my mind yet when I write comments.
    Biwaが”busy myths”を使っていたのでーすごいなぁと思うのはこのブログで学んだことをすぐに使いこなしてることです。私もそうなりたいのですが、understand からcomprehendのレベルになっていなかったり、コメントを書くときに思いつかなかったりです。
    >Anyway, they didn’t have enough time to prepare for the English classes, so they let the students sing the “Hello song” and do some じゃんけんgames over and over.
    That’s terrible! Poor kids. I hope things will be better.

    Hi amo,

    I watched some traditional Okinawan houses on web. They look nice. Did you grew up in such a house? amoは伝統的な沖縄の家で育ったんですか?

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

    Fumie



  8. Biwa on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Hi Fumie,

    Thanks for saying that! I think I’m just like a kid. Everytime I learn a new word/phrase, I think “aha!” and can’t wait to use it by myself. lol! I’d sound weird if I did it too much in the real world, but I think this blog is a place to practice so I just do so. I’m sure I’m making lots of mistakes, though.

    By the way, I forgot to reply your question about ためになる. The words “productive” and “effective” both sound okay to me. How about “fruitful” and “worthwhile”? I sometimes see sentences like “a fruitful discussion” 実り多い話し合い.



  9. Yumiko Nakatsuka on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 01:00 PM

    Hello David,

    I am a big fun of your books.

    Well, I have been teaching English in Japan.
    I have a question about a/an/the.

    The other day, my students wrote the sentences like …:

    There is a TSUTAYA in our town.
    Please come to the TSUTAYA.

    I am wondering if it is OK to put “a” before “TSUTAYA” or not.
    Also, I am not sure how to explain why it does make sense grammatically.

    Hopefully, I hear from you as soon as possible.
    Thank you for you time in advance.

    Best wishes,
    Yumiko

    P.S.
    When you write a sentence like:

    There is “(name) Junior High School”.
    OR
    There is “a (name) Junior High School.”

    Which sentence is correct?



  10. miktak on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 01:55 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    Your advice was very helpful for me.

    Have a good weekend.

    miktak



  11. rinko on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 04:17 PM

    Hi David.
    Thank you for your feedback!
    Other members’ comments about this week’s topic are very helpful for me when thinking about a house.

    >I’m also going to have an American-style central heating/cooling system that controls the temperature of the whole house in all seasons.

    Sounds very nice!
    I usually use an air-conditioner(heating) and a fan heater in Winter but they always cause my sore throat that is so terrible….Anyway I look forward to hearing how your house plan is going again.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    rinko



  12. Biwa on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 04:35 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Yumiko, your question about a/the made me think about my sentences, too. I’ve wrote like “the summers were not so hot”, but I see sentences without “the” as well. I also see “the winters” but no “the springs” or “the falls”. I guess it is because the last two remind us of 温泉 or 滝 if we put a “the” before them, though I’m not really sure.

    As for your students’ sentences,
    >There is a TSUTAYA in our town.
    Please come to the TSUTAYA.

    I think the first one is okay, but the latter one does not need “the” because TSUTAYA is a 固有名詞.

    >There is “(name) Junior High School”.
    OR
    There is “a (name) Junior High School.”

    I think these sentences should be like “~~ Junior High School is over there” or “That is ~~ Junior High School”. For the same reason as TSUTAYA, you don’t need “a”.



  13. yumi on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 05:04 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    About your advice, what is the difference between “there is a “TSUTAYA”” and “TSUTAYA:固有名詞”? I thought both “TSUTAYA”s are 固有名詞s.

    About the “there is/are” clause, I am wondering if it is OK to put a “固有名詞” in a sentence…or just put information words.

    Once again, thank you for your help.

    yumi



  14. David Barker on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 05:53 PM

    Hi Yumi,

    Thanks for your question, but that answer was from Biwa, one of our regular commenters, not me. What she said is mostly right, though.

    The first thing to say about “a” and “the” is that this is one of the most difficult things in English for speakers of languages like Japanese that don’t have articles, so I’m not surprised that people have problems with it.

    In English, we use shop names in the same way as we use descriptions of those shops. In other words, just as you can say “There is a convenience store near my house,” you can also say “There is a Lawson near my house.” In the same way, you could say “There is a bookstore near my house” or “There is a Kinokuniya near my house.”

    If you are introducing something of which there is more than one into a conversation, you should use “a,” so your student would say “There is a Tsutaya near my house.” This would become “the Tsutaya” in two situations:

    1) You have already introduced the shop into the conversation:

    There is a Tsutaya on the corner of my road. Turn right at the Tsutaya, and then….”

    2) Both the speaker and the listener know which Tsutaya is being discussed:

    “See you at the Tsutaya at 8.”
    In this situation, just “See you at Tsutaya” is also possible.

    I’m afraid I don’t really understand your question about the name of the school, though. Neither of those sentences would normally be used in English, so I’m not sure what you want to say. This point is explained in my “A-Z” book under the key word “There (2).” If you can give me the Japanese sentence, I will be able to tell you how to say it in English.

    Hope that helps.



  15. Kimi on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 07:01 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for helpful feedback. I could learn a lot this time again.

    >For me, the worst thing about Japanese houses is the lack of insulation and temperature control.
    I think so. In many Japanese houses, each time we go to another room we have to go through cold places. Central heating system which can warm the whole house is ideal one. I thought it costs a lot as Anne mentioned though. Anyway, you’ve live in many houses and apartments, haven’t you? I’ve also lived in around 15. By the way, my father in law used to be a carpenter, so his house was well-built.
    私もそう思います。多くの日本の家では他の部屋に移動するたび、寒い場所を通らなければなりません。家全体を暖めてくれるセントラルヒーティングシステムは理想的ですね。Anneと同じようにコストがかかるのだとばかり思っていましたが。ところでたくさんの家に住んできたんですね。実は私も15か所ほど点々としました。ちなみに義父は元大工さんなのですが、さすが彼の家は頑丈です。

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for checking 吹き抜け. I wonder if “hellhole style” is common. It’s interesting.
    吹き抜け、調べてくださってありがとうございます。”hellohole”って普通に使われているのでしょうかね。面白い言葉です。

    Have a nice weekend everyone!

    Kimi



  16. Yukako on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for feedback. I read the part of “family” in A-Z book. When I introduce about all my family members, I’ll be careful not to make the same mistake.

    >I’m also going to have an American-style central heating/cooling system that controls the temperature of the whole house in all seasons.

    Wow! I didn’t know that system. It’s like magic! I wish I had that system in my house… I particularly want it because it’s been getting cold recently.

    Hokkaido is much colder than Gifu, isn’t it? Please take care of yourself not to catch a cold.

    Yukako



  17. Fumie on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    >~but I think this blog is a place to practice so I just do so.
    You are right. Practice makes perfect! Thank you for answering the question of ためになる。I like the word “fruitful” and also “a-ha (moment)”. You help many people with their questions. You are very kind!

    Fumie



  18. Anne on Friday November 2nd, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Hi Fumie and Biwa,

    Fumie’s question about ためになる, both of your idea sound good.
    I tried thinking, so let me share mine.
    “to make our classes better…”
    I’m afraid it’s too simple.

    Hi Biwa,
    As for your question about “relation” and “relationship”, I realized I hadn’t used the word “relation” so much.
    I found the following site, and if you are interested in, have a look at it:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv235.shtml

    I think some of the cases , “relation” and “relationship” are interchangeable, but some are not.
    *”Relation” is used as a synonym for “relative”
    *人、団体との関係— only the pl “relations” can be used.
    eg. enjoy friendly relations with O

    リンクのBBC learning English を読んだ限りでは、relationship の方がより人間的な感情が含まれていて、そのためにdiplomatic relations とは言えても、diplomatic relationship とは言えないのかな、と思いました。  あくまでも、感想です。

    Bye for now,

    Anne



  19. yumi on Saturday November 3rd, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    I am so sorry, Biwa. I was in a hurry, so I was confused the names: you and David… Also, I forgot to say “Thank you.” It was easy for me to understand what you said. 😀 I am glad to know you here!

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback. I understand your explanation.

    Before your feedback,
    Biwaに説明して頂いた
    >I think the first one is okay, but the latter one does not need “the” because TSUTAYA is a 固有名詞. 
    を読んで、文章中に使用した「TSUTAYA」は両方「固有名詞」のを表していると思っていました。だから、a/an/theが付かないと考えていました。

    ですから、
    ①There is 「a TSUTAYA」 in our town.
    ②Please come to 「TSUTAYA」.
    上記①&②の2つの文章中の「TSUTAYA」の使い方の違いがわかりませんでした。以下の質問は、その時に書いたものです。
    >About your advice, what is the difference between “there is a “TSUTAYA”” and “TSUTAYA:固有名詞”? I thought both “TSUTAYA”s are 固有名詞s.

    私の質問の意味は伝わりましたでしょうか…?

    でも、After you and Biwa’s feedbacks,
    ①の文では「固有名詞」としての使用ではなく、「普通名詞:店」として使用し、②の文では「固有名詞:社名」としての考え方で近いのかな?と理解しています。

    If you don’t make sense what I said, please let me know. I will try it one more time.

    Biwa and David, thank you so much!

    Have a nice weekend.
    yumi



  20. amo on Saturday November 3rd, 2012 at 01:28 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    >They look nice. Did you grew up in such a house?

    Unfortunately, I didn’t, but both of my parents did. When I was a child, we used to spend my grandmother(father side) a couple of weeks during the summer vacations. To tell the truth, I didn’t appreciate that when I was a child, though I do appreciate it now, because those houses are built to be ventilated so that one may spend the hot summer comfortably.

    Hi Biwa,

    >This is off the topic, but can anyone tell me the difference between “relation” and “relationship”?

    I was going to comment on this, but you seemed to get a answer from Anne.

    Have a nice nice weekend, everyone 🙂

    amo



  21. YU on Saturday November 3rd, 2012 at 01:45 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback when you’re very busy!
    It must be very cold in Hokkaido…

    > I’ll be getting back from Hokkaido on Monday night, so I’ll probably do the next entry on Tuesday.

    That’s convenient for me because I’m going to a 入園 interview with my son on Monday.
    Anyway, good luck with your presentation!

    Hi Fumie, Biwa and Anne,

    Anneの“to make our classes better…”、いいと思います。
    私も「ためになる」、考えてみました。

    > Luckily, homeroom teachers are nice and cooperative. We try to make our classes productive and enjoyable ones.
    担任たちはいい方で協力的なので、よりためになる楽しい授業になるように協力し合ってます。(ためになるはproductive でいいのかな?effectiveの方がいいのかな?)

    上のFumieのコメントの文脈から考えてこういうのはどうでしょうか?

    “We’re always working hard to make our classes more useful and fun.”

    Have a nice weekend, all!

    See you!



  22. kattie on Saturday November 3rd, 2012 at 02:17 AM

    HiBiwa,

    >The summers were not this hot when I was a child, and as many people say, I guess it’s getting worse because of the global warming. I sometimes hear some of the wine-making countries in Europe like Italy, France and Spain are also affected by it, too. They say those suitable areas for growing grapes are moving toward the north because of the heat. That’s really scary!

    Recently English wines (not to be mistaken with British wines) have become quite well regarded by wine experts, I’m not sure how much of this is to do with climate change but I’m sure it must be having an effect.

    By the way, Kattie is an unusual nickname – I am really called Katherine (but no-one calls me by that name, except some family members) Common nicknames for Katherine are Kate, Katie (pronounced Kay-tee), Kath, Kathy and sometimes Kat – although Kat is not quite so common as the others. When I was very young my friends called me Kat because my best friend was called Mouse (she was very small!) In Britain we often add a ie/y to names (particularly girls’ names) so, over time, it became Kattie – the two ‘ts’ change the way we pronounce the ‘a’

    Hi everyone,

    It’s turned cold here over the last week – our house has reasonable insulation but it’s not perfect so we have the central heating on for an hour or so in the morning and the evening and we also light the fire in the sitting room every evening. We did think about solar panels but we were told that you can only have them if you have a south facing roof because we don’t have enough sun. Quite a few houses near us do have them (I think the government help subsidise the cost) the only problem with the panels we have here is that I think they’re very ugly, especially on older style houses – I know I’m not being practical but it does put me off them!

    We have Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night tomorrow night- I think I mentioned it in the first blog I did but, if you’re interested, you can google the history behind it. It’s supposed to be on 5th November but we usually have it on the nearest Saturday. I love Bonfire Night and I think it’s a bigger occasion for most people in the UK than Halloween – I always look forward to Christmas after Bonfire Night – I’ve already bought our advent calendar! It sounds like Halloween is a big event in Japan and the children have a lot of fun.



  23. Fumie on Saturday November 3rd, 2012 at 06:09 AM

    Hi Anne and YU,

    Thank you for helping me with the question of ためになる。I think both of your sentences convey the meaning well.

    Hi amo,

    >To tell the truth, I didn’t appreciate that when I was a child, though I do appreciate it now, because those houses are built to be ventilated so that one may spend the hot summer comfortably.
    I feel the similar thing. When I was a child, I didn’t like my grandparents’ house (old country-style house古民家風? all rooms are Tatami floor and Kawara roof…) I used to like modern ones. But now I like semi-modern houses 古いスタイルと新しいスタイルの混じった家。

    Fumie



  24. Biwa on Saturday November 3rd, 2012 at 09:22 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for replying my question. I’m glad that people from other countries feel uncomfortable with these two words as well.

    At first, I was thinking like you, as other words like “membership” “friendship” reminds me of “something positive”. However, I see both “diplomatic relation/relationship” in other places, so I’m getting very confused. I agree with your saying that some are interchangeable, but I still don’t think I can explain it to someone. I guess I have to wait for more “new car phenomena” to make it clearer.

    Hi yumi,

    No problem. I’m glad you got the correct explantion from David. As you say, both TSUTAYAs are 固有名詞 of course.(stupid explanation!) Anyway, if you have two TSUTAYAs in your town, I think you can say like this: “We have two TSUTAYAs in my town. Let’s meet at (the) TSUTAYA nearer to the station.”
    Also, there is a similar case like, “Bring me a Kleenex!”「ティッシュ持って来て!」 I think it’s American English, so I wonder how David would say it. I hope your second question is solved, too.



  25. Biwa on Saturday November 3rd, 2012 at 09:38 AM

    Hi Kimi,

    I’m not really sure if “hellhole style” is a common word or not because I found only one translation. The example sources from Hiragana Times, but I don’t even know who translated the article. I think the best way is to look into an interior magazine, but I haven’t. I wonder if Kattie knows it.



  26. Biwa on Saturday November 3rd, 2012 at 06:15 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    English wine! I’m sure where there is good food, there is always good wine/beer/sake! I’d like to try it some time, but a glass of wine is enough to get me drunk.
    And thank you for the story of your nickname. I wonder if there was a Cheese, too. By the way, Biwa(pronounced be-wa)is a nickname, too. It’s a round orange fruit (if you’re intrested;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loquat), and my friends started calling me that way because the sound resembles my real name Miwa(me-wa).
    I googled Bonfire Night. I’ve heard Guy Fawkes once or twice but I didn’t really know about him. Burning things on a bonfire is something we do, too. On New Years Day, the temples and shrines have bonfires, and we burn the charms that brought us good and expelled evil the previous year and get new ones.
    Halloween was not so common in Japan until only 6/7 years ago. Like other events from abroad, only the decorations, costumes, food and other fun parts are introduced, but I’m afraid very few people know the concept/origin. For Halloween, we have a similar occasion called Obon(it continues for 4days). We burn some straw on a dish to lead our ancestors to come back home from heaven, and enjoy family gatherings, and burn it again to lead them back to heaven.
    I’m looking forward to hearing more about your Christmas over there! Thanks always.



  27. Kattie on Saturday November 3rd, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    I’m glad I know how to say your name now – I did wonder how it was pronounced and it’s nice to be named after a piece of fruit!

    Thank you for telling me about burning the charms on New Year’s Day – I love hearing about different festivals in other countries. Whenever people come to stay I always ask about this type of thing.

    As far as Christmas is concerned, I think every family has slightly different ideas about how they like to celebrate and it’s also interesting to find out about different Christmas customs in other European countries where Christmas is traditionally celebrated – whenever we have Europeans to stay I always ask about this too.



  28. YU on Sunday November 4th, 2012 at 06:04 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > I’ve found a translation for “吹き抜け” in Eijiro(on-line-dictionary). It says “hellhole style”, quite a scary word, isn’t it?

    Yes, it’s scary, but isn’t it perhaps “wellhole style”, not “hellhole style”!?
    My dictionary says;

    1. hellhole この世の地獄、悪の巣窟、ひどく不快な場所

    2. 吹き抜け wellhole, blow-by, open ceiling, stairwell, etc…

     *吹き抜けの玄関ホール
      an entrance hall built in wellhole style
     *階段の吹き抜け
      a stairwell

    By the way, I’ve just finished writing “ご家庭の教育方針” and “当園を選ばれた理由”. It was much tougher than writing English comments here!
    Finally, I just wrote very boring sentences like, “きちんと挨拶ができて思いやりのある優しい子に育って欲しい”, “家が近い”, “園舎が新しくて清潔”, “先生方が明るくてきびきびしている”, etc….
    I wonder if other mothers write boring things like these, too!! hahaha….;-)

    Hi yumi,

    > 私の質問の意味は伝わりましたでしょうか…?

    Davidが日本語で説明して欲しいと言っているのはTSUTAYAの質問ではなく Junior High Schoolの方だと思いますけど。

    “I’m afraid I don’t really understand your question about the name of the school, though. ……..If you can give me the Japanese sentence, I will be able to tell you how to say it in English.”

    とDavidは書いているので。

    Hi Kattie,

    > I’ve already bought our advent calendar!

    I bought an Advent calendar for my son, too!
    He tried to open one of the doors(?) already at the store, so I put it where he can’t get it.
    I really miss German Christmas markets!!

    See you!



  29. Anne on Sunday November 4th, 2012 at 06:12 AM

    Hi Kattie and Biwa,

    It was nice to hear from both of you about your nickname.
    Oh, Kat and Mouse! That sounds lovely. That must be a good memory with your best friend.
    Biwa, your name was from”the fruit びわ”? I like Biwa! I was wondering why your name here was Biwa, but now I got it:) By the way, I use “Anne” here because I’m a fan of a novel called ” Anne of Green Gables.” Anyway, my image is completely different from that name,haha!

    Kattie, thank you for sharing the story about Bonfire. As Biwa mentioned, we have long history concerning Bonfire. Every New Year Days, my husband and I visit the shrine near my house with old charms; we thank for everything about the last year and pray for good heath for our family. Lots of people visit shrines on New Year Day, but I don’t think it has a strong religious meaning, but it’s a kind of tradition.

    Looking forward to hearing your Christmas story!

    Hi everyone,
    Are you having a good holiday? Isn’t it cold these couple of days? Take care not to catch a cold.

    Anne



  30. Anne on Sunday November 4th, 2012 at 06:23 AM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for letting us know about “吹き抜け.” I’d like to read it later.
    >Finally, I just wrote very boring sentences like, “きちんと挨拶ができて思いやりのある優しい子に育って欲しい”, “家が近い”, “園舎が新しくて清潔”, “先生方が明るくてきびきびしている”, etc….
    I wonder if other mothers write boring things like these, too!! hahaha….;-) —That’s great, and made me grin:) This reminded me that I had written these kind of applications for my sons long time ago.
    Good luck with tomorrow’s 入園 interview!

    Anne

    PS. I feel like I want to buy an Advent Calendar for me!



  31. Biwa on Sunday November 4th, 2012 at 07:33 AM

    Hi YU, Kimi and everyone,

    Thanks YU, I think “wellhole” is right, too.
    I was not sure because “hellhole” had other meanings like you said, >1. hellhole この世の地獄、悪の巣窟、ひどく不快な場所 which seems nothing to do with 吹き抜け. Also, there was only one example in Eijiro, I was a bit suspicious about it. I’m afraid the translator for Hiragana Times made a mistake. I should have looked into other dictionaries, sorry for that, everyone. I found “wellhole” in another on-line-dictionary.
    If you’re interested; http://ejje.weblio.jp/content/wellhole

    By the way, I know how you feel about writing those “boring sentences”! When your son enters elementary school, you’ll probably have to write “contact information in case of emergency (緊急連絡先)” “family information(家族構成)”and draw “a map that shows you the nearest route from school to home(学校から家までの地図)” every April. This is really disgusting!



  32. Biwa on Sunday November 4th, 2012 at 07:59 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Ah! you’re Anne from “Anne of Green Gables”! I used to have a book called “赤毛のアンのお料理ノート”, and I think I’ve read it more than the original story. It showed recipes related to the stories like “Toffies Anne made with her friend” “Maria’s roast chicken and harvest soup”etc and tickled my imagination a lot. I think my curiosity for “yummy things” started from that book.



  33. kattie on Sunday November 4th, 2012 at 08:19 AM

    Hi Anne,

    We actually have three advent calendars; I always buy a chocolate one for both my daughters (even though they are 19 and 21) and a traditional one for me! I think you should definitely buy one for yourself- can you get the traditional advent calendars in Japan? They normally have pictures of a snowy, old fashioned village scene with glitter but this year I have a picture of a christmas stocking hanging from a snowy tree with little birds.



  34. amo on Sunday November 4th, 2012 at 09:43 AM

    Hi Kimi, Biwa and everyone,

    I had a chance to talk with one of my sister who lives in the USA yesterday, and asked about 吹き抜け in English. She couldn’t think of any, so I asked her that she has heard of “hellhole” and she said “never.” She has heard “stairwell” and “vaulted ceiling” though.

    Hi Kattie,

    Thanks for your nickname story:) It was interesting to hear this kind of thing. I have a friend from elementary school and her nickname is “A (pronounced ɑː).” This named after that she called herself “A” instead of “watashi(in English “I.”)
    Oh I got to go, this is my stop. I am working today:(

    Have a nice day everyone;)
    amo



  35. Kimi on Sunday November 4th, 2012 at 01:34 PM

    Hi Biwa, YU, amo and everyone,

    Thank you for checking 吹き抜け. I think there is no word which is completely consistent with 吹きぬけ。Not only this case, Japanese isn’t always consistent with English (If anything, it might be difficult to find completely-consistent words). Literally translation can make a little bit strange expression. I’ve strongly been thinking that I should get over that difficulty since I joined here.
    吹き抜けについていろいろ調べてくださってありがとうございます。きっと完全に一致する言葉はないんでしょうね。今回のケースに限らず、日本語と英語は完全に一致しているわけではないので(むしろ完全に一致した言葉を探すほうが難しいのですが)、文字通りに訳するとおかしな表現になることが多々あります。徐々にこの壁を乗り越えていかなければいけないな、とこのブログに参加して以来、思いを強くしています。

    Anyway, I’m asking you about a A-Z book. Which edition do you have, English or Japanese?
    ところでA-Z bookについてお伺いしたいのですが、皆さんが持っていらっしゃるのは英語版ですか?日本語版ですか?

    I hope you are having a good time.

    Kimi



  36. Anne on Sunday November 4th, 2012 at 09:45 PM

    Hi kattie,

    You have three advent calenders! Actually, I was thinking to buy it last year, but didn’t. I think not everyone is familiar with the advent calender in Japan, and it is mostly for children. Lots of Christmas ornaments are sold at the department store at this time of the year, sometimes the ones from Europe before the Christmas. I like browsing around those corners, and I saw several traditional advent calendars last year, so I think I can get it.
    >I have a picture of a Christmas stocking hanging from a snowy tree with little birds.—That sounds lovely! I can’t wait to buy the calender.

    Hi Kimi and everyone,
    Your discussion about “吹き抜け” was interesting.
    I happened to find an article by some architect referring to living spaces with higher ceiling and it says, “double-height.” I’m not sure if this word is used by people in Western countries or not,though…
    Here’s the link:

    http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/345296/list/Inspiring-Double-Height-Living-Spaces

    Hi Kimi,

    As for the A-Z book, I have both.
    I guess YU asked David which one to recommend before, he said if you are going to have one, Japanese version would be good. Right,YU?

    Bye for now,

    Anne



  37. Kattie on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 02:06 AM

    Hi Anne (of Green Gables!),

    If you have a problem getting an advent calendar, let me know (ask David for my email address) and I’ll send you one.

    Kattie



  38. Biwa on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 08:00 AM

    Hi amo, Kimi, Anne and everyone,

    There seems to be a lot of ways to express the word 吹き抜け! “Stairwell””vaulted ceiling””double height”, and they all sound much more nicer than “hellhole”! Thanks.

    Amo, your sister must be excited about the presidential election. Everytime I watch the news, I realize the difference of choosing a nation’s leader between the USA and Japan. I know they still have lots of problems in the election system, but I think at least, the USA citizens are more involved in the election than us.

    Kimi, I agree with your saying that “Literally translation can make a little bit strange expression.” Since English and Japanese are different languages, I think the words don’t correspond exactly to each other, and that is the difficult and also interesting part of learning a different language. We’re lucky to have a place to know that.



  39. Biwa on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 08:02 AM

    Sorry, I should have said “much nicer”!



  40. David Barker on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 09:06 AM

    Hi Yumi

    ですから、
    ①There is 「a TSUTAYA」 in our town.
    ②Please come to 「TSUTAYA」.
    上記①&②の2つの文章中の「TSUTAYA」の使い方の違いがわかりませんでした。以下の質問は、その時に書いたものです。
    >About your advice, what is the difference between “there is a “TSUTAYA”” and “TSUTAYA:固有名詞”? I thought both “TSUTAYA”s are 固有名詞s.

    If you say “There is a Tsutaya,” you are describing the existence of one of a chain of shops that have the same name. It’s a bit like saying, “You know how there are lots of shops called ‘Tsutaya’? Well, there is one of them near my house.” In other words, the “a” in the example sentence means “one of many shops that are owned by the same company.”

    If you say, “Come to Tsutaya,” you are treating that shop as a single entity, which of course, it is. This is like saying, “Come to Tokyo Tower” or “Come to Shinjuku.” In other words, a shop that is part of the chain has two identities: it is a single shop that exists in a neighbourhood, but it is also one small part of a bigger chain. The two examples above just reflect those different ways of thinking about it. I suppose we could say that shops that are part of a chain are a special case of 固有名詞.

    Hope that helps.



  41. yumi on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 09:24 AM

    Hi Biwa, David, and everyone

    Good morning! Oh, no…It’s raining…today.

    Well, thank you for your help, Biwa and David. I would really appreciate your support. I am going to explain the differences to my students.

    I am glad to know this blog! I will check it out whenever I have a question. 😀

    Have a nice day!
    yumi



  42. Biwa on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 09:48 AM

    Hi David, yumi and everyone,

    Thanks for the explanation, David. So I guess “Bring me a Kleenex” was quite a different example to bring up. In this case, Kleenex does not mean a certain brand/name of tissue paper, but a generic word to describe it. However, I just wanted to say that there are some cases to put an “a” before a 固有名詞.



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