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[wpaudio url=”https://www.btbpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Our-House.mp3″ text=”Our House”]

Now that I have a great job in a great place, I am hoping to build a new house here in Gifu either next year or the year after. I have to build it before the spring of 2014 to avoid the higher rate of consumption tax. I worked it out, and the difference between buying in 2014 and buying in 2015 would be the price of a new car!

I have a lot of friends who have built houses in Japan, so I often ask them for advice. It is interesting to hear what people say. Most of them are really happy with their houses, but of course they have some regrets as well. One of the things people mention most often is the number and location of electrical switches and sockets. Many of them say things like, “I wish we had thought more carefully about where to put the sockets in the living room.”

Anyway, I thought this might be an interesting topic to discuss on the blog because the language is quite tricky. (If you have my A-Z book, please read “hope/wish” before you write your comment.) I would like you to tell me what you like and don’t like about the house or apartment you live in, so you will need sentences like this:

I love the fact that the kitchen is always warm, but I wish that we had a bit more storage space upstairs.

I think this will be a good exercise for your English, and it will also give me lots of ideas for when I build my own house. (Some of it might be interesting for Kattie, as well!)

Look forward to hearing your opinions.

PS
If you say the words “Our house” to any British person of my age, they will reply “In the middle of our street.” This is because of the song “Our House” by a group called Madness that was a huge hit in the 80s. You may have heard a live version of it earlier this year because they performed it at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert. Here is the video for the original song.

このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか?」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ!

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39 Comments

  1. Biwa on Monday October 29th, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Hi David,

    As YU said that she was going to be quite busy this week, I tried translating your entry. If you don’t mind, I’ll just post it as my next comment.



  2. David Barker on Monday October 29th, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    That’s great. Thanks.



  3. Biwa on Monday October 29th, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    かなり意訳ですが、和訳してみました。不要な方は飛ばしてください。

    > Our House
    「我が家」(下記の歌のタイトルでもあり、ただの「家」よりももっと意味を含んだタイトルのようです・・・。)

    >Now that I have a great job in a great place, I am hoping to build a new house here in Gifu either next year or the year after.

    素晴らしい場所で、いい仕事にも恵まれた今、来年か再来年ここ岐阜に新しい家を建てたいと思っています。

    I have to build it before the spring of 2014 to avoid the higher rate of consumption tax. I worked it out, and the difference between buying in 2014 and buying in 2015 would be the price of a new car!

    2014年春に消費税が上がる前に建てなくては。試算してみたところ、2014年と2015年に建てるのでは新車1台分ほどの差になってしまうのですから。

    I have a lot of friends who have built houses in Japan, so I often ask them for advice. It is interesting to hear what people say. Most of them are really happy with their houses, but of course they have some regrets as well.

    私には日本に家を建てた友人が沢山いるので、よく助言をもらいます。人の意見を聞くのはなかなか面白いものです。ほとんどの人たちは自分の家にとても満足していますが、後悔している部分もいくらかあるようです。

    One of the things people mention most often is the number and location of electrical switches and sockets. Many of them say things like, “I wish we had thought more carefully about where to put the sockets in the living room.”

    よく話に出るのは電気のスイッチやコンセントの数や設置場所に関するものです。多くの人がこんな風に言います。「リビングのどこにコンセントを付けるか、もっとよく考えればよかった!」

    Anyway, I thought this might be an interesting topic to discuss on the blog because the language is quite tricky. (If you have my A-Z book, please read “hope/wish” before you write your comment.)

    とにかく、このブログでこんな話題について話し合うのも面白いのではないでしょうか。何故ならこれについて話すときに使う言葉が少々ややこしく注意が要るからです。(意訳)
    もし私のA-Zの本をお持ちなら、”hope/wish”の項を読んでみてください。)
    I would like you to tell me what you like and don’t like about the house or apartment you live in, so you will need sentences like this:

    今あなたが住んでいる家やマンションについて、気に入っているところや気に入らないところについて書いてみてください。例えばこんな具合です。

    I love the fact that the kitchen is always warm, but I wish that we had a bit more storage space upstairs.

    キッチンの造りについては申し分がないけれど、2階にもっと収納スペースがあればいいのに・・・。

    I think this will be a good exercise for your English, and it will also give me lots of ideas for when I build my own house. (Some of it might be interesting for Kattie, as well!)

    (英語の)いい訓練になると思いますし、しかも私が自分の家を建てる時のいい参考になると思います。(ケイティーも興味がある部分もあるでしょうし。)

    Look forward to hearing your opinions.
    皆さんの意見、楽しみにしています。

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

    おそらく私世代の英国人に”Our house” と言えば、”In the middle of our street”という言葉が返ってくるでしょう。

    This is because of the song “Our House” by a group called Madness that was a huge hit in the 80s. You may have heard a live version of it earlier this year because they performed it at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert. Here is the video for the original song.

    これは80年代に流行ったMadnessというグループの歌から来ています。今年初めの女王の60周年記念式典でライブの演奏がありましたから、生で聴いた方もいらっしゃるかもしれません。オリジナルビデオを添付します。



  4. Biwa on Monday October 29th, 2012 at 07:21 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I live in an apartment ( I wonder if I should use condominium for マンション) with my husband and two sons. We bought it about 16 years ago, just before the consumption tax rised to 5% from 3%.
    It’s a quite small one, but it has a parking lot which is not those multistoried ones, and also only a 10-minute walk from a JR station. It’s not only in a very convinient area but also surrounded with lots of green and temples.

    When we considered where and what kind of a house we should buy, we made a list which is sometimes called “pros and cons”. We had a limited budget, of course, and were thinking of moving to a larger one in the future, we thought it should be a desirable/valuable one as possible.

    According to the decline of house prices, I don’t think we can afford a larger one, but we still love our small but cozy apartment and quiet surroundings. One of the things I like most is that we live on the 4th floor which is the top floor, we have a high ceiling and a loft. That makes me feel nice even if the rooms are quite small.



  5. Kimi on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Hi kyarako,

    Nice to have you with us. I just started to join here. Writing comment is good exercise and enjoyable. Look forward to your next comment.

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your advice. I will be careful not to use “we Japanese” in any case.
    Anyway, are you supposed to settle down in Japan? I’ve been to Hida Takayama where I could enjoy 合掌造り and beautiful city. I’m sure where you live would be also nice.

    アドバイスをありがとうございます。どんな時も”we Japanese”は使わないよう気を付けます。
    ところで、日本に永住するのですか?飛騨高山に行ったとき、合掌造りや美しい街並みを堪能しました。Davidが住んでいるところもきっと素敵なところなんでしょうね。

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for translating David’s entry into Japanese. They are helpful to me.

    Hi everyone,

    I live in a rental small flat with my husband. I like that it has several storage spaces. I looked for a flat where we didn’t have to have much furniture partly because I wanted to live in a spacious room. Now, we can do because some storage spaces are enough for us. My favorite storage is the book shelf which is along with a hallway. It is very convenient to store all our books into the shelf. It is also nice that it has a door to hide the books. Unfortunately, I don’t like the location of electrical switch. It is a bit away from the front door, so I can’t turn off the switch after putting on shoes. I have no choice but to wear shoes with the switch turned off. It is inconvenient. I will write later again if any others occur to me.

    今、小さなアパートを借りて主人と二人で暮らしています。気に入っている点は、収納の多さです。部屋を広く使いたいという気持ちもあり、できるだけ家具を置かなくて済む部屋を探しました。結果、収納スペースだけでほとんど事足りるため、希望通り広々と部屋を使うことができています。特にお気に入りの収納スペースは、廊下に沿って本棚があることです。たくさんの本が収容できて、大変便利です。扉がついているので、本が見えないのもgood! ただひとつ残念なことに、スイッチの位置が気に入りません。玄関から少し離れた位置にスイッチがあるため、靴を履いた後電気を消せないのです。仕方がないので電気を消したまま靴を履いていますが、不便です。また何か思いついたらコメントしますね。

    Good night!

    Kimi



  6. Biwa on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 07:44 AM

    Hi Kimi,

    Yes, books are one of the ever-increasing things in my house, too! I often go to “book-off” to sell the ones I won’t read again, but I still have a lot in my loft, too.

    By the way, I wish I had a big window in our kitchen. I have a counter in front of the sink connected to our dining room, so it’s not so bad, but planting herbs by the window is one of my dreams.



  7. Biwa on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 09:21 AM

    Hi everyone,

    Can I ask something stupid?
    In the song, there is a phrase that says, “kids are playing up downstairs”. How can downstairs be up?
    And one more, when I heard the conversations before the song begins, I thought it was “Have you seen our XXX?(お尻?!!)” I couldn’t hear the “h” sound clearly.



  8. David Barker on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    “Playing up” is a phrasal verb that means “behaving badly.” The sentence should be read:

    The kids / are / playing up / downstairs.

    As for the dropping of the “h” sound, that is just a feature of the London dialect.



  9. Biwa on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Hi David,

    Thanks! The only meaning I knew for “play up” was to “emphasize something”. But aren’t the singers pointing their fingers upwards when they sing the phrase? Well I guess it’s just a gesture to show “they’re behaving badly”.



  10. Amica on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    お久しぶりです!
    I live in a house with my parents and my grandmother.
    My parents built this house when I was 11.
    They thought that they didn’t need lots of rooms, so they didn’t have guest room.
    Now, I give piano lessons in a living room because our house don’t have a room my family don’t use.
    While I give the lessons, my family can’t relax in the living room.
    The room has a large television, but they can’t watch it while I give the lessons. (There are small televisions in other rooms, though.)
    My grandmother’s room is a next door of it, so she have to be quiet while I give the lessons.
    I wish I have my lesson room, but I don’t have money to add a room…

    久しぶりに英文を書いたら疲れました(^^;)
    「○○している間中…」と言いたいときは、進行形にした方がいいのかな…?
    While I give piano lessonsとWhile I was giving piano lessonsと迷ったんです。
    それとも、ほかに言い方がある?

    あまり頻繁には書き込みができませんが、またたまにお邪魔させてもらいます!

    Amica



  11. David Barker on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Hi Amica,

    Lovely to hear from you. “While I give lessons” is correct.



  12. rinko on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Hi David and everyone.

    I live in a rental apartment that my husband has been living since before we got married.He once told me that he chose the apartment only because it’s very close to his work.I like here,very comfortable roomes, but I wish the entrance door of apartment was automatically locked and the kitchen had more space….As I mentioned before,we’ve been always hoping to buy a house but hesitating to do because we have no idea when we are goingt to move to another place for my husband’s work.But we have to think about it seriously before the rate of consumption tax is higher as David said.So other members’ stories about this week’s topic would be very helpful hor me to think about new place.
    今住んでいる賃貸マンションは、主人が私と結婚する前から住んでいるところで、ただ単に会社から近いという理由で決めたようです。とても住みやすくて気に入っていますが、マンションの入り口がオートロックでないのと、台所が少しせまいのが気になります。。。。何年も家を買うことを希望しているものの、主人の転勤でいつ別の県に移るかわからないためいまだ決めかねていますが、私たちも消費税が上がる前に、決心しないと!なので、皆さんの部屋や、家などに関するコメントを読むのがとても楽しみです。

    Hi Biwa

    Thank you for translating the entry!

    Hi Kimi

    >It is a bit away from the front door, so I can’t turn off the switch after putting on shoes.

    Your story reminded me of the bar I visited with some friends of mine many years ago.When I used the toilet there I was a bit surprised that the room was quite spacious for toilet.Also I found the toilet paper located so much away from the toilet that I couldn’t reach!! So I had to take it before sitting the toilet.It’s really strange to me although this story still makes me laugh talking with my friends who were there and experienced it.
    以前に入った居酒屋のトイレが、なぜかとても広いのに驚いたのですが、トイレットペーパーの位置がトイレからとても離れていて困りました・・・トイレに座ったままでは届かないので、あらかじめペーパーを取ってからトイレを使うという・・なぜあのレイアウトなのか本当になぞでしたが、いまだ一緒にその店に行った友達との笑い話になっています。

    Hi kyarako
    Nice to have you with us!

    Hi Amica
    I’m very glad to hear from you again!

    Have a great day everyone!

    rinko



  13. miktak on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 02:41 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I live in a detached house with my husband and two children.
    The first floor is for our office and the upstairs is for dwelling.

    When we(my husband and I) considered the house design ten years ago, we emphasized the design of our office, so it took really long days to reach the final plan. On the other hand we easily decided the design of dwelling space because we decided it after the model of our apartment we had lived till then.

    I’m almost satisfied with my house, but if I had more money, I wished I had haven a larger balcony and bathroom.
    Furthermore I hope I have a well-kept garden.
    I would like to plant many trees and flowers and to grow some vegetables.

    By the way, Gifu area is very cold in winter, isn’t it? I recommend a floor heating to David.
    I think you can comfortably spend winter days with only it.

    I think it is easier for me to write a commment for this topic, because David gave us an advice to use the word “hope/wish”.
    Of course I read “hope/wish” in A-Z book before I wrote my comment.
    Thank you.

    I’m looking forward to reading commments of other members.

    Have a good day.



  14. Biwa on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 03:39 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry, I found a mistake in my translation.

    >I love the fact that the kitchen is always warm, but I wish that we had a bit more storage space upstairs.

    キッチンの造りについては申し分がないけれど、2階にもっと収納スペースがあればいいのに・・・。

    The first half should be キッチンがいつも暖かいのは良いのだけれど・・・ Excuse me!

    By the way, rinko’s story about the toilet reminded me of an extremely small one I met a few years ago. When I opened the door to get out of the place, it was so small that I had to stick on to the wall right next to the toilet flush to open it wide enough to get myself out! I guess anyone bigger than me could never get out of there.



  15. Kattie on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 05:36 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    If I was building a house from scratch I would think about which way the house would face – generally I think an east west facing house is best because you get the morning and evening sun and ideally I would like the garden to get the sun in the evening. In the UK any rooms in the house which are north facing are usually quite cold and miserable.

    I would also make sure that the house had good insulation, large double glazed windows with good views (some houses have windows which are too high up so when you are sitting down you can’t see properly out of the windows) and real fires (I don’t know whether people have real fires in Japan).



  16. Biwa on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 08:26 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    It’s so nice to hear from you!
    By the way, “build from scratch” was another new phrase for me. Yes, we think a lot about which way your house faces, too. As Japan is a long country from north to south, things should depend on where you live, but generally more priority is given to how we could deal with the extremely hot and humid summer. So especially in the summer, which I think is getting hotter and longer every year, we try to avoid the heat in the afternoon which comes from the west using bamboo/reed screens. They have lots of slits to let the wind come in while cutting off the strong sun and heat. That’s why we mostly have our living rooms face south. In the summer, the sun rises very high, so we don’t have to worry about the rays coming into our rooms.
    I guess in the UK, things seem to be different and you have long summer evenings and rather focus on the cold and dark winter. Very interesting!
    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.



  17. Biwa on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 08:39 PM

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



  18. Yukako on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 09:45 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I live in a detached house with my parents, younger brother, grandfather and three cats! My grandfather built the house about 50 years ago, so it is an old wooden house.

    A good point of my house is having two toilets. Every morning my father, younger brother and I go to the toilet before we go out, but we don’t have to wait thanks to two toilets!

    A bad point is being cold in the house in winter. We need the heats, gas-heaters and electric stoves in dead of winter.

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for translating the entry!

    See you.



  19. Fumie on Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Hi kyarako,

    Nice to have you with us. Looking forward to hearing your stories about the life in China.

    Hi David and everyone,

    We bought our house where is close to my parents’ house 12 years ago. It’s a semi-custom house. We couldn’t decide the size or the number of rooms but we could decide both interior and exterior. I chose mostly not my husband, so most places of our house is my taste. I made each room (place) as some image. For example, the image of one of the bathroom is ocean – the pattern of the wallpaper is various sea-creatures swim in the sea. The image of children’s room is sky – the pattern of the wallpaper is seagulls flying in blue sky and pattern of ceiling is white clouds in blue sky. And there is a toplight. I wanted my sons could see stars from it when they get in bed. Unfortunately we can’t see them clearly because we can’t clean the toplight. I asked too much so we had to pay extra money a bit much.
    There is a pond in front of our house and right side of the house is a field. So we get a lot of sunshine but the disadvantage is afternoon sunshine from west is too bright and wind gets too strong when typhoon and storm. I like my house very much but I wish we could have built-in closet but we couldn’t. Even if we had it, where should we put our furnitures?
    12年前に実家の近くに家を買いました。注文住宅ですが、大きさや部屋の数は変更できないのですが、内装、外装などは好きなものを選べました。ほとんど私が決め、主人は何でもいいという感じでした。それぞれの部屋(場所)にあるテーマを決めました。たとえばトイレの1つは海のイメージにしたので壁紙は海で泳ぐ魚たちのものにしました。子供部屋のイメージは空にしたので、壁は青い空に飛ぶかもめ、天井の柄はスカイブルーに白い雲のものにしました。そして天窓をつけました。子供たちがベットに入って天窓から星が見えるとすてきだなぁと思ったからです。でも天窓は磨けないからほとんど見えません。
    ちょっと懲りすぎたので、追加料金が少し高くなってしまいました。
    家の前には池があり、右横は畑です。日当たりはとてもいいのですが、午後の西日は強烈だし、台風や嵐の日の風はすごいです。この家をとても気に入っていますが、できれば作り付け押入れにしたかったのですが無理でした。もしできたとしても、家具を置く場所がありませんから仕方なかったです。

    >Now that I have a great job in a great place,~
    Sound like an ideal life!

    I have a question.
    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?
    “build a house” は自分自身で大工さんのように家を建てたという意味ですか?それとも建設業者に建ててもらったという意味にもなるのですか?

    Hi Biwa,

    I heard the conversation before the song, “Have you seen our house?” What did he really say? It’s really difficult to hear British dialect for me.道で出くわした人に、「私の家、見た?」と聞くのも変なきがしますが、実際はなんていってたんですか?
    BTW, today and tomorrow I did and I’m going to do Halloween lessons. I read the book called “The Hallo-Wiener”: Oscar, the dog is really cute. And I wear Mickey Mouse hat and gloves.

    http://www.amazon.com/Hallo-wiener-Dav-Pilkey/dp/0439079462

    Thank you for reading.

    Fumie



  20. Biwa on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 08:42 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    British English is hard to get for me, too. I think they’re saying “Have you seen our house?”. It’s a funny question to ask a person in the middle of the street, but I guess it’s just an introduction for the song and “our house” has a meaning like “our home sweet home with lots of memories”. If you are intrested, here’s the link for the lyrics: http://www.lovecms.com/music-madness/music-our-house.html

    By the way, I’ve read in the older entries that you help with the English classes at elementary school. Are the Halloween lessons for that? I’m curious because I used to do the same thing as a volunteer for 2 years. Well, in my case, I had no chances to really teach or at least share ideas for teaching. The teachers seemed to lack passion to make the classes more interesting.
    Anyway, thanks for the link!

    Happy Halloween, everyone!
    Our trick-or-treating is going to be on Friday, so two more days to go!



  21. Kimi on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 06:45 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I don’t understand why David answered “While I give lessons” is correct” for Amica’s question. What is the difference between “while 現在形” and “while 進行形”?
    なぜDavidがAmicaの質問に対し、“While I give lessons” is correct”と答えたのか、わかりません。“while 現在形” と “while 進行形”では何が違うのでしょうか?

    Hi Fumie,

    “build a house”は自分で建てる、という意味になると思います。もし建設業者に建ててもらうという意味なら”have a house built”になるのではないかと。
    もし違っていたらごめんなさい。どなたかが訂正してくれるでしょう。

    Thank you for sharing the pretty book. Is children’s book like this a bit more difficult than expected? I remembered having some difficulty with that kind of book.
    かわいい本の紹介ありがとうございます。子供向けの本って意外と難しくないですか?この手の本にちょっと手こずった記憶があります。

    Kimi



  22. Biwa on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 08:41 PM

    Hi Kimi,

    I’m not good at grammar at all, but I think “while I am giving lessons” is okay. However, a lesson is something that continues for a certain time, I guess “while I give lessons” is more natural.
    (私の予想です。違ったらごめんなさい。)

    As for “build a house” is the same case as in Japanese. I think「家を建てる」can be used for both. 「自分で建てる」も「大工さんに建ててもらう」にも使えると思います。逆に、どちらかと言えば、自分の手で「家を建てる」人のほうが少ないでしょうから、それを強調したいときは “I’m going to build a house with my own hands” とも言えると思います。

    For the children’s books, I think some of them are difficult, too. They use lots of unfamiliar words (for us) to rhyme. I try to choose books with simple repeating sentences for my children.
    I’m often very impressed because those sentences seem to be very different from the ones we learn at school. For example, it goes like this: ” A bus takes me to school. A car takes me to the market. A train takes me to the market. But my feet take me to the ice cream store!” I think a typical Japanese would write like this: ” I take a bus to go to school.” The original one is more lively and attractive, isn’t it?



  23. Biwa on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 08:56 PM

    Sorry Kimi,
    I guess I’ve interrupted you and Fumie’s conversation. ごめんなさい!



  24. kattie on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 09:15 PM

    Hi Biwa

    > we try to avoid the heat in the afternoon which comes from the west using bamboo/reed screens. They have lots of slits to let the wind come in while cutting off the strong sun and heat. That’s why we mostly have our living rooms face south.

    That’s interesting, I thought the heat from the sun would be a big issue in Japan – we rarely have this problem in the UK!



  25. Kimi on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 09:24 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    You don’t have to say “sorry”. I’m glad that you helped us. Thank you!

    >The original one is more lively and attractive, isn’t it?
    Yes. As I read page after page, I can imagine the scene and I am getting drawn to its fascination! I like ORT. (Oxford Reading Tree)



  26. David Barker on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 09:34 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I’m experimenting with putting audio files on the blog again. I have added a file for this entry. You can hear it by clicking on the “play” button at the top. Please try it and let me know if you find any problems.

    Thanks,

    David



  27. Kimi on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Hi kattie,

    I’m glad to hear from you again!

    >I thought the heat from the sun would be a big issue in Japan
    That’s right. Unfortunately, my kitchen faces west. I try setting a blind and a shade to block sunlight in summer. Still heating the room can’t be avoided.

    Hi David and everyone,

    I can’t catch almost all of the song. I can pick up only “Our house in the middle of our street”. I will try it again and again.



  28. YU on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Hi everyone,

    As my house faces to the south, it is very sunny and not so cold even in winter, I love the fact! 🙂

    By theway, have you ever heard of the word “リビングイン階段”?
    As its name suggests, there are stairs to the 2nd floor inside our living room. Apparently, this type of layout is getting popular year by year. With this layout all family members will need to pass the living room to go to their own rooms, so it seems to be good for improving your family’s communication. (My son’s room is on the second floor, but he hasn’t used it yet as he is still 4. So, I don’t know if this layout is really good for our family’s communication, though…)

    Anyway, as I mentioned before, my family bought a 建売住宅 about 2 years and a half ago, and by chance it had a layout like that.
    When we bought a house, we didn’t care much about the リビングイン階段, but soon we realized that the heating didn’t work well in winter because “hot air goes up” due to the リビングイン階段!!



  29. Fumie on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thanks for posting the lyrics of the song.

    I’m an assistant English teacher at an elementary school and Halloween lessons are for that. I’m ashamed to say my profession because my English is this bad. I’m really grateful to a board of education for giving me a job that I can enjoy and also getting paid. Luckily, homeroom teachers are nice and cooperative. We try to make our classes productive and enjoyable ones.
    小学校の英語指導助手をしてます。この程度の英語力なんで職業名を言うのは恥ずかしいのですが。(この場合asamed でいいのかな?embarrsed の方がいいのかな?A-Z book 見たんですが)好きな仕事をいただき、お給料ももらえて感謝感謝です。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?)

    Hi Kimi and Biwa,

    Thank you for giving your ideas about “building a house”. David also wrote, “I have a lot of friends who have built houses in Japan, so I often ask them for advice.
    I don’t think all of them built houses by themselves so I think this sentence has both meanings.
    “Building a house” の意味を考えてくれてありがとう。よく読んだらDavid が別のsentence を書いていて、友達みんなが自分自身で家を建てたってことはあり得なく感じるから、両方の意味があるんではないかなぁと思いました。

    As for children’s books,
    >The original one is more lively and attractive, isn’t it?
    I agree with you! As for “The Hallow Wiener”, students can’t read or repeat. After I read 2 pages, homeroom teacher read Japanese translation so students can follow the story. They can guess the story from the pictures too. They love this story. (Biwa, please don’t be apologize.)
    Biwaの言うように、英語の絵本などの英文はリズムがあって口ずさむと響きがいいですね。”The Hallow Wiener”は生徒は読めないし、リピートもできないので、私が読んだ後、担任に日本語訳を読んでもらいました。でも絵からもストーリーを想像してました。この本をとても気に入ってくれました。
    日本語訳もここに載せるのは私には理想的です。英語だけだと「ちゃんと伝わったかなぁ?」と思う時があるので。

    Hi David,

    Thank you for putting an audio file. You have a good voice and it’s good for our listening practice. I learned how to pronounce Kattie.

    Good night!

    Fumie



  30. Anne on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Hi kyarako,

    Nice to have you with us. Looking forward to hearing from you again.

    Hi David and everyone,
    David, I could hear the audio file. It worked fine. By the way, I found you call kattie’s name as “キャシー” not “ケイティ”,right?

    I have lived in two rented apartment houses and one condo so far, and moved here 12 years ago. My parents-in-law built the house, so I’m not involved building the house from the scratch. The house is the traditional Japanese style, so most rooms have tatami mat, paper sliding doors (shoji) and sliding doors(Fusuma). I like the soft sunlight through the shoji, but it takes much time to repaper them!

    私はこれまで、2つの賃貸と1つの分譲に住んできました。そして12年前にここに越してきました。 夫の両親がこの家を建てたので、計画の段階からかかわってはいません。  家は、伝統的な日本家屋で、ほとんどの部屋が畳と障子、ふすまがあります。 障子を通した柔らかな日の光が好きですが、障子の張り替えは大変です・
    When my family moved here, we added our son’s room, and one thing he had wanted was lots of space to put books. We ordered the carpenter to meet his hope; it was built-in bookshelf from the ceiling to the floor, and the height of each shelf varies.

    ここに越した時、息子の部屋を建て増ししました。 彼が一つ希望したのは、本を置く場所。彼の希望に沿うように、大工さんに作り付けの本棚を作ってもらいました。 それは天井から、床まであって、棚のサイズはいろいろです。

    I like the bathroom dryer. We equipped it when we had our bathroom and kitchen renovated last year. I was hoping to have this, so I’m happy about it.
    On the ceiling there are two poles to hang up the laundry. The space between the two is 20 cm, but I should have asked the staff to set 5 cm wider(longer?). I regretted this because the space is a bit short to dry each pieces of clothes.

    私は浴室乾燥機が気に入っています。昨年、台所と、洗面所を改築した時、つけました。  これが欲しいと思っていたので、気に入っています。 
    天井には、洗濯物をつるす2本の棒があるのですが、棒の間隔は20センチ。衣類を乾かすのにこの間隔は少し狭く、あと5センチだけ広くすればよかったと後悔しています。
       
    The bathroom is not so spacious, so a washing machine is placed in another room. I wish I had a laundry room. Anyway, the bathroom dryer is very convenient and helpful when it rains.
    洗面所はそれほど広くないので、洗濯機は別の部屋にあります。  洗濯室があったらいいのに、と思います。  ともかくも、浴室乾燥機は雨が降った時、とても便利ですし、助かります。

    Hi Amica,
    Glad to see your comment here again!

    Hi Kimi and Biwa,

    >なぜDavidがAmicaの質問に対し、“While I give lessons” is correct”と答えたのか、わかりません。“while 現在形” と “while 進行形”では何が違うのでしょうか?—I agree with Biwa. Do you have the book A-Z? If you have, have a look at the part”present simple tense.”

    “If you are talking about something you do regularly, you should use the present simple tense in English even if you would express this with “…teiru” in Japanese.”

    Good night,

    Anne



  31. Anne on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Hi Fumie,

    You seem to have had a good Halloween lesson. I like the picture book,too!
    By the way,I help two people from foreign countries with their Japanese as a volunteer at the moment. One of them who I taught today said that he put on a stuffed toy bear(クマのプーさん)and played games or Halloween event today. He teaches at several elementary school.
    By the way, I think using ” embarrassed ” sounds good for me.

    Anne



  32. Biwa on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 07:38 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Can I ask a basical question?
    I can’t find the audio file you’re talking about. All I see is the song file. Where is the “play” button?
    Hmmmm…I’m really bad at using PCs.



  33. Biwa on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 07:44 AM

    I found it!
    Really funny because the file appeared suddenly after I tried accessing the site again. I hate PCs…



  34. Anne on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 08:04 AM

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    Biwa, that happened to me,too.
    Anyway, good for you!

    I think you (in general) can see the file when you click the botton “English” on the right of the top. You’ll see the same title ”our house”with triangle mark under the title again, and all you have to do is to click that part.

    ブログのトップページの右側 “English” クリックするとブログタイトルの下にもう一つ▽マークとともにタイトルが現れます。それをクリックすればOKだと思います。参考までに。

    【訂正】
    *I regretted this because the space is a bit short to dry each pieces of clothes

    —I regretted this because the space was a bit short to dry each pieces of clothes.

    Anne



  35. David Barker on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 08:09 AM

    Sorry Biwa and Anne,

    That was my mistake. I posted the audio in the English section, but not in the Japanese one. You should be able to see it in both now.

    Actually, I realised yesterday that I have been posting new entries in the wrong way. My site can be viewed in English or Japanese. If your computer has a Japanese operating system, it will automatically display the site in Japanese. I was only posting my entries in the English part of the system, so only the Japanese text was showing up on the Japanese pages. I have changed this now, so you should be able to view it in the same way regardless of what language your computer is set to.



  36. Biwa on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 08:09 AM

    Thank you Anne! I think that will be great help to people like me (if there are any…)!

    And thank you for the information about the “present simple tense”. David’s book covers almost everything! Great book!



  37. David Barker on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 02:45 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I’m practising uploading audio files, and I have just added one for “The Busy Myth.” Please have a listen if you are interested.



  38. Kimi on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 02:59 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for uploading audio files. I’m glad that I can train for listening.

    Hi Biwa, Fumie and Anne,

    Thank you. 考えてみたら、日本語でもいちいち「家を建ててもらう」とは言わず「家を建てる」と言うので、同じように考えればいいのかもしれませんね。

    Then, thank you for showing “present simple tense”. Earlier YU told me about David’s book, but I haven’t bought it yet. I’ve got to get one at once!

    Hi YU,

    I know what you mean because my parents’ house has リビングイン階段. Furthermore, the living room is 吹き抜け.(いろいろ考えたけど、どう訳せばいいのかわかりません。何かいい表現があればどなたか教えてください) The room is just passed through to go upstairs in winter. Actually, many years ago, when I was a child I asked them for it. I shouldn’t have asked for 吹き抜け.
    実家がリビングイン階段なので気持ちわかります。しかもリビングは吹き抜けです。冬になると2階にあがるために通る部屋と化しています。実は、私が子供の頃にねだってそうしてもらったんです。吹き抜けなんてお願いするんじゃなかった・・。



  39. David Barker on Thursday November 1st, 2012 at 03:30 PM

    Hi Kimi,

    My house is going to have a 吹き抜け too. I had no idea how to say it in English, so I looked it up. The only word I could find was “atrium,” but I think that is normally used in big buildings. I’ll ask some of my friends to see if anyone knows.



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