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In 2000, when I was still living in Sapporo, I bought a brand new Toyota Hiace van. It was (and still is!) the only car I have ever bought new from a dealer. Actually, it is only the fourth car I have ever owned in my life.

When I moved to New Zealand, I decided that I would lose more money by selling my van and buying another one than it would cost to take it with me, so I put it in a container and shipped it over. It took about four weeks and cost about 270,000 yen, but that was for the whole container, so I was able to fill the van with my clothes and furniture as well. When I came back to Japan a year later, I brought it back with me for the same reason.

My van began life with a Sapporo number. It changed to a New Zealand number when I took it there, and then to a Nagoya number when I brought it back. A few years ago, I had to change it to an Obihiro number because of Aichi’s restrictions on diesel engines, and then last April, I changed it to a Gifu number.

Last week was another milestone for me and my van, because the odometer clicked past 300,000 km. It had to have its shaken last month, and apart from a small oil leak that cost about 5,000 yen to repair, there was nothing wrong with it. There is some rust on the body now, but the engine still sounds and feels like it did the day I bought it, and the clutch is still the original one. I think this is a huge testament to Japanese car manufacturers, and to Toyota in particular.

My van and I have been around Hokkaido countless times, around the south island of NZ four or five times, and down to Kyushu twice. We have also driven from Aichi to Hokkaido and back again three times. I must have spent a good proportion of my life in that van!

Anyway, thinking about my van made me wonder whether you have anything that you bought a long time ago that is “still going strong.” If you do, please tell us about it.

Look forward to hearing your stories.

P.S. Yes, that is my van in the photo.

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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38 Comments

  1. David Barker on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 02:17 PM

    Hi YU,

    I wrote an answer to your questions on the last entry, so please take a look when you have time.

    Hi everyone,

    I forgot to mention in my entry that I saw another car accident on Saturday. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I heard it. I was about to go jogging along the river near my house, and as I was walking along to warm up, I heard a big crash from the bridge ahead. I couldn’t see anything because there were some trees in the way, but I have heard that sound before, and I knew what it was immediately. I ran to see if I could help, and I saw a “kei” car lying on its side pointing in the wrong direction. The driver was trying to climb out of the door (which was now the roof), so I ran over to help her. I pulled her out and carried her away from the car. Amazingly, she didn’t appear to have any injuries, although she was clearly in shock and didn’t really understand what was happening. There was smoke coming from the front of the car, so I reached in through the door, turned off the ignition, and took the key out. It was difficult to take anything from the car because there was glass everywhere, but I managed to get her handbag from the seat and give it to her.

    Later on, I spoke to a woman who had been driving behind the car. She said it had just suddenly started swerving for no apparent reason, hit the kerbstone on the side of the road, and flipped over twice. The driver was very lucky that there was a strong guardrail on the bridge, because if the car had gone into the river, she would have been very dead.

    When you see a car that has been in a smash, it reminds you how weak metal really is and how cars can be torn apart even at relatively low speeds. The woman was taken away by ambulance with a brace on her neck, but as far as I could tell, she didn’t have any injuries apart from some cuts on her hand from the glass. The driver’s airbag had gone off, and I guess that must have protected her. She had a very lucky escape!



  2. Mika on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 03:09 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I’m very glad to hear that you have been driving one of Japanese’s cars, TOYOTA since 2000. Your van in the photo looks a new one. I like the scenery. Did you take the picture in Hokkaido?

    >still going strong
    My mother used to say to me, “You should take good care of your things.” Also as the saying goes, ‘What costs little, is less esteemed.’ So, I try to buy high quality goods cheap and use them as long as possible. Example; a carpet in the living room (over 50 years)



  3. David Barker on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 03:11 PM

    Hi MIka,

    That picture was actually taken in NZ by a very famous lake. I think it was called Lake Tekapo. The mountains in the background are near Mt. Cook.



  4. David Barker on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 03:25 PM

    Come to think of it, that might actually be Mt. Cook.



  5. Mika on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 03:28 PM

    Hi David,

    Oh, you pulled her out and carried her away from the car at the righ time.
    You are a great person!



  6. David Barker on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 03:30 PM

    Hi Mika,

    Not really – I just helped her to get out. If she had been unconscious, it wouldn’t have been possible.



  7. Mika on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 04:00 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I have been to over 30 countries but never been to NZ.I love national park very much, so someday I want to go there.

    訂正させてください。
    >a carpet in the living room (over 50 years)
    It’s over 40 years.



  8. YU on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 04:03 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for answering my questions!

    > This is tricky. “Taller / shorter / older / younger than I” is grammatically correct, and “… than me” is, strictly speaking, incorrect. The reason the sentence sounds unnatural to you, however, is that in modern spoken English, most people say “than me” even though it is wrong.

    Your explanation reminded me of one of your old entries. Do you remember this?

    – “Actually, I noticed something very interesting about English when I was watching a You Tube clip today.

    As you may know, native speakers of English often use “me” where “I” would be correct. For example, many people say things like “John and me went fishing.” It is also quite common to hear people getting confused and using “I” because they think it is correct even when they should use “me.” I even heard Bill Clinton make that mistake once!

    Anyway, if you ask most native speakers, they will tell you that it doesn’t really matter because people understand what you mean. However, when I was watching an interview with Denzel Washington on You Tube this morning, he used “me” in a way that gave his sentence a completely different meaning. He was talking about John Travolta, and he said, “Actually, my wife knows him much better than me.”

    Can you see the difference between that and “… knows him much better than I”? I’ll leave you to think about that. I’m sure some of you will be able to come up with the answer.”

    I enjoyed reading this part very much, and it still leaves a strong impression on me today.

    However, I didn’t wonder if “than I” was correct or not at all. Actually I felt something wrong with the part of “Now it has grown taller”, but it seems to have been just my imagination!

    > If your student is studying for entrance exams, teach them “than I”; if they are trying to learn natural English, you should probably teach them that “than me” is more common.

    All of my students are third year junior high school students, but I’ve almost never seen them writing “than me” so far. If I see “than me” after this, I’ll teach them that “than I” is correct, but “than me” is more common.

    > The appropriate expression for your sentence was “for some reason,” and this would be true even if the number of reasons was plural. Actually, if you want to stress the point that there is more than one reason, “for a number of reasons” would be better than “for some reasons.”

    That’s very interesting!
    Thanks for the tip!



  9. YU on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 04:53 PM

    Hi Mika,

    訂正させてください。
    >a carpet in the living room (over 50 years)
    It’s over 40 years.

    In any case(40 or 50years !), it seems that you look after your things very well, so that they last a long time!!

    Hi David and everyone,

    I wear a same wrist watch every day.
    It’s made by SEIKO.
    I bought it about at Yodobashi camera in Yokohama about 15 years ago. I think it was about 25000~30000yen. The face is pale pink, so I don’t think I would choose it if I went to buy a wrist watch now.

    I don’t buy a new watch for a number of reasons.

    1. It still works perfectly.

    2. I never tire of it because it is timeless design.

    3. It suit for almost any type of clothing, so I don’t need to have another ones.

    4. My watch and I have been spending a lot of common time(Japan-Germany-Japan), so I have a special attachment to it. My watch has been seeing my life of the last 15 years.

    5. I’m stingy.

    The main reason might be No.5!



  10. Mika on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 06:02 PM

    Hi YU,

    >5. I’m stingy.
    The main reason might be No.5!
    I could not help laughing but I know you love your watch very much.

    By the way, your story reminded me about my watch. About 30 years ago my husband gave a Tissot watch to me as a present. Since that day I have been wearing it every time when I go out. The reasons are the exactly same as your 1, 2 and 3.



  11. YU on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 09:29 PM

    今週のエントリーの訳です。

    In 2000, when I was still living in Sapporo, I bought a brand new Toyota Hiace van. It was (and still is!) the only car I have ever bought new from a dealer. Actually, it is only the fourth car I have ever owned in my life.
    まだ札幌に住んでいた2000年に新車のトヨタハイエースを買いました。ディーラーから新車を買ったのはその1台だけでした(今だにその1台だけです!)。実は私の人生でまだ4台目の車です。

    When I moved to New Zealand, I decided that I would lose more money by selling my van and buying another one than it would cost to take it with me, so I put it in a container and shipped it over.
    ニュージーランドに引っ越す時に、そのバンを向こうへ持って行くより、日本で売って向こうで新しい車を買うほうがお金がかかりそうだったのでコンテナに積んで送ることにしました。

    It took about four weeks and cost about 270,000 yen, but that was for the whole container, so I was able to fill the van with my clothes and furniture as well.
    4週間くらいかかって27万円くらいしましたが、それはそのコンテナ全体分の費用だったので衣類や家具などもバンと一緒にそのコンテナに詰め込んで送ることができたのです。

    When I came back to Japan a year later, I brought it back with me for the same reason.
    1年後日本に帰って来る時も同じ理由でそのバンを持って帰りました。

    My van began life with a Sapporo number. It changed to a New Zealand number when I took it there, and then to a Nagoya number when I brought it back.
    私のバンは最初札幌ナンバーでした。ニュージーランドに持って行った時にはニュージーランドナンバーに変わり、そのあと日本に持って帰った時に名古屋ナンバーになりました。

    A few years ago, I had to change it to an Obihiro number because of Aichi’s restrictions on diesel engines, and then last April, I changed it to a Gifu number.
    数年前、愛知県のディーゼル車規制条例のために帯広ナンバーに変えなくてはならなくなりましたが、去年の4月に岐阜ナンバーに変更しました。

    Last week was another milestone for me and my van, because the odometer clicked past 300,000 km. It had to have its shaken last month, and apart from a small oil leak that cost about 5,000 yen to repair, there was nothing wrong with it.
    先週私とバンにとって新たな段階に突入しました。走行距離が30万キロを超えたのです。先月車検に出さなくてはならなかったのですが修理に5千円かかった小さなオイル漏れ以外にはどこも悪いところはありませんでした。

    There is some rust on the body now, but the engine still sounds and feels like it did the day I bought it, and the clutch is still the original one. I think this is a huge testament to Japanese car manufacturers, and to Toyota in particular.
    ボディーに多少のサビはあるものの、エンジンは買ったその日とまったく同じように鳴るし、クラッチにいたってはまだ購入時のものです。これこそ日本車のメーカー、特にトヨタである証(あかし)だと思います。

    My van and I have been around Hokkaido countless times, around the south island of NZ four or five times, and down to Kyushu twice.
    私はそのバンで数え切れないほど北海道を周遊し、4、5回ニュージーランドの南の島を周り、2回九州に下りました。

    We have also driven from Aichi to Hokkaido and back again three times. I must have spent a good proportion of my life in that van!
    愛知から北海道まで走り、戻ってきたことも3回あります。私の人生のかなりの時間をそのバンで過ごしている、ということです!

    Anyway, thinking about my van made me wonder whether you have anything that you bought a long time ago that is “still going strong.” If you do, please tell us about it.
    とにかく、自分のバンについて考えているうちにみなさんもずいぶん前に買ったけどまだまだ丈夫で使えるモノを持っているんじゃないかな、という気がしてきました。もし持っていたらそれについて話してください。

    Look forward to hearing your stories.
    皆さんの話を聞けるのを楽しみにしています。

    P.S. Yes, that is my van in the photo.
    追伸:写真が私のバンです。



  12. Biwa on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 09:54 PM

    Hi YU and David,

    >”Actually, my wife knows him much better than me.”

    Wow, that’s a big difference!
    I asked my sons, as always, how their teachers explained the “I” and “me” part. They said they learned “I” first, but the teachers said that “me” is used more often. Either “me” or “I” is correct in their tests. However, if the sentence is like “The tree has grown taller than I have.”, it must be “I”. Their book says like this: 目的格を使うことの方が多いが、動詞や助動詞が続く場合は必ず主格。

    Hi David,

    I’ve never seen a car accident in front of me, and I don’t think I could have acted as bravely as you.
    Talking about the weakness of metal, I’ve always been wondering why Japanese car frames are much thinner than American cars. When I was little, my dad used to ride Malibu(Cheverolet?) or Buick and my mom a Toyota. Everytime I had to shut the door of my dad’s car, it was really thick and heavy, and was often half-closed.(半ドア) It never happened when I rode my mom’s car, so I think there was a big difference in the thickness of the metal.

    Hi everyone,

    I’m looking for old things in my house now, and realized that all the air-conditioners(Panasonic) and the refrigerator(Toshiba) and most of the furniture are with us since our marriage! That means they’re working all right for almost 18 years. Of course our marrige rings are both 18 years old, too! Well, furniture and rings don’t move, so I guess Panasonic and Toshiba are great. By the way, how do you translate “a huge testament to Toyota”? トヨタの(偉大な技術の)立派な証拠である?



  13. Biwa on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 09:57 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for the translation. I’m glad I got the meaning correctly.



  14. Biwa on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    correction:

    >furniture and rings don’t move
    ⇒of course they don’t ‘move’, they ‘work’



  15. Fumie on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I have several things that I have been using for many years. I have been even used some of them from when I was a child. My parents don’t throw away things merely because they are old if they still working. So I am thrifty too. Of course, I throw away things when they become dingy. I still use an electrical pencil sharpner which my parents bought me when I got into a primary school. I also use a manual ice shaver which I have been using since my childhood. We bought a new electrical pencil sharpner and a new electrial ice shaver but they broke soon. I think appliances, electrical goods which were made during Syowa Era, especially ones with JIS mark, have simpler functions yet they are more durable than new ones.
    I can’t throw away things with memory. I bought Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse stuffed dolls when I went to TDL about 20 years ago. Their clothes are worn out but I still put them (Mikey and Minnie dolls) on a piano.

    Hi David,

    Wow, your van is like your partner. You have so many memories with it. I guess when the time, you have to part with it, comes, you would gonna really miss it.

    And thank you for sharing a good story. You saved a woman’s life. You are really a hero. If you were not there, she might have not alived. What you did is really a courageous act.



  16. Anne on Monday April 22nd, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    What happened to the woman is really scary! If I remember correctly, I guess this is the second time for you to help someone out at the car accident,right? I’ve never bumped into such a car accident in my lifetime.

    My husband and have been talking about what type of car we should buy at the moment. We are planning to buy it next year or the year after next because we’ve been ridden our old car for eleven years now. (It’s almost same as you, but I haven’t spent my life in my car that much as you have had!) Anyway, there has been nothing wrong with it besides minor repairs. I love our Toyota car!
    I guess the next car would be the last one for us.

    For me, another one is a pressure cooker.
    One day, a few months later after we(my husband and I) got married, he asked me,”Do you want to buy a pressure cooker? You can get it at a reasonable price from “Seikyou” at the moment.” I told him,”Yes, I want!” A few days later, he got back home with the pressure cooker. It has been working well and still works even though it’s out of fashion and looks dull. Well, I’ve been using this for thirty four years now.

    The other one is a watch. My parents gave me the watch as a present when I started working; it’s a Seiko watch, the wind-up type and its color is silver. It still works and I sometimes put it on. It has been with me for thirty eight years!

    I use anything it becomes useless. I guess this is my basic rule in my everyday life.

    Hi YU,
    Thanks for your translation as always. BY the way, when I read your translation, I couldn’t stop laughing because of my stupidity.
    When I read the part “It had to have its shaken”, I thought to myself, “What does this sentence mean? “shaken? ゆれる?” Then, after reading your translation, I found it “車検” not “shaken.”

    Anne



  17. YU on Tuesday April 23rd, 2013 at 09:18 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    >I think appliances, electrical goods which were made during Syowa Era, especially ones with JIS mark, have simpler functions yet they are more durable than new ones.

    I totally agree with you.
    About 4 years ago, we bought an AQUOS TV set that had a Blu-ray recorder in the back side of the TV screen. My husband and I thought that it was good for those who were not really good with machines like us, but soon it turned out to be a big mistake. It often gets out of order, the instances are too numerous to recall.
    We learned that not techy people like us should always buy the simplest ones after all!!

    Hi Anne,

    To tell the truth, at first, I thought “What does this シェイクン mean?”, too(!), but because it was written in 斜め字体, I realized that it was a Japanese word.



  18. Biwa on Tuesday April 23rd, 2013 at 09:24 AM

    Hi Anne,

    >When I read the part “It had to have its shaken”, I thought to myself, “What does this sentence mean? “shaken? ゆれる?

    Same here! I looked up in the dictionary if there was a special meaning for ‘shake’. However, I noticed it was about 車検 because the font was different from others.

    Hi everyone,

    This has nothing to do with the topic, but yesterday, when I was walking through the graveyard of the temple near my house, I saw a tomb surrounded by lots of lilies of the valley. I think it’s quite rare to plant them around a Japanese-styled tomb. However, the green and white colors looked really clean and bright, and they reminded me of the song “Edelweiss”. Do you know the lyrics? “Small and white, clean and bright, you look happy to meet me~~♪” I think the person is feeling happy, too, to see them in full bloom!



  19. Biwa on Tuesday April 23rd, 2013 at 03:37 PM

    Hi David,

    By the way, it says in today’s newspaper that they’re going to adopt an annual salary sysytem for the teachers working in national universities from 2014. Would that have any changes to you? I hope I don’t sound nosy by asking this, though.



  20. David Barker on Tuesday April 23rd, 2013 at 04:05 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    I haven’t heard anything about that. What does an “annual salary system” mean? How is that different to what we have already?

    They already cut our salaries once last year. I hope they are not going to do it again. At the moment, salaries are much higher in private universities. If that situation continues, all the best new teachers will go to private schools, and national universities will just be left with the ones who couldn’t find jobs anywhere else. That means the best students will be getting the worst teachers. I don’t think that will be good for Japan.



  21. YU on Tuesday April 23rd, 2013 at 04:56 PM

    Hi David, Anne and Biwa,

    It’s embarrassing, but I’m still reading “Outliers”(Japanese edition)…
    Anne, Biwa, I can’t help but admire you! You finished reading this book in English!!

    Anyway, I’ve just finished reading the chapter about “the cultural differences and plane crashes” now.
    It reminded me of a small talk between a NOVA teacher and a student.

    Student : I’m going to Seoul this weekend.

    Teacher : Which airline are you flying with?

    Student : Korean Airlines

    Teacher : Oops! Take care.

    After the class I asked the teacher why he said “Take care”. He told me that Korean Airlines and Aeroflot(Russia) were called “never come back airlines” because they were the airlines that have had the most crashes in those days.

    However, this is the story before they(Korean Air) changed their company culture.

    Hi David,

    > That means the best students will be getting the worst teachers.

    Do you mean the best students study in national universities? Maybe you’re right because I graduated from private university! hahaha!! 🙂



  22. YU on Tuesday April 23rd, 2013 at 08:16 PM

    Hi everyone,

    A friend of mine from my English club told us an interesting story. She has a son(4th grader) and a daughter(1st grader).

    When I was in elementary school(about 30~35 years ago), our teachers used to visit pupils’ home to check their home environment(家庭訪問) around this time of the year, but it seems that its way has changed a lot since then.
    Apparently, teachers come to pupils’ home just to comfirm where their pupils live, so all what parents have to do is to show their face at the front entrance when their teacher rings the bell!

    時代は変わったんですね~!

    My mother used to clean the house and prepare sweet teacake every year before my teacher visited us!



  23. Biwa on Tuesday April 23rd, 2013 at 09:37 PM

    Hi David,

    I’m terribly sorry. I’m afraid I skip-read some parts. I’m so embarrassed!

    First of all, an “annual salary system(年俸制)” means “performance based salary”. Like most of the Japanese workers, public officials(公務員) have a “fixed” and also “rising” salary system according to seniority. The article was on the front page with a headline as “国立大教員に年俸制”, which sounded quite sensational to me.
    Anyway, the top-leveled universities ‘overseas’ are going to adopt the system from ‘2014’. Sorry for surprising you. (By the way, this means it’s not only Japanese national universities that have fixed salaries, doesn’t it? and that’s also surprising.) It seems like it’s still just a ‘plan’ for Japan, but they’re trying to carry it out as soon as possible to invite good teachers and researchers not only within Japan but also from other countries.

    I think it would be a good change because where there are many good teachers, good students will come, and that would be good for the universities, too.

    Another thing that surprised me was that when a university (national) professor did a joint research with a private firm, they don’t receive any extra pay besides their fixed salary just because of the complexity in calculating their contribution. This sounds completely ridiculous. I think they really need to change unless no one would want to come to a country (university) like that!



  24. Manami on Tuesday April 23rd, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Hello,everyone

    This is the first time for me to write a comment on your blog.

    David,what a nice story.I have seen your van at a BBQ last summer. You are always with yout ba.It is so strong! and it must have huge memories with you.

    I changed my car this month becase of a acccident.I loved my old car,which my past-grandfather gave for me. I had bumped my old car many times before I had the acccident,but I have never injured. I think my grandfather and my old car,mini van, defended me. I will never forget my memories with my old car,and I will drive my new car really safety.

    There may be many mistakes. I’d appreciate it if someone correct thise .



  25. Biwa on Wednesday April 24th, 2013 at 08:32 AM

    Hi Manami,

    Nice to have you with us. Are you one of David’s students?
    Thanks for the nice story about your old car. I think so, too, that your grandfather protected you. Your story reminded me of the pearl necklace which my father gave me on my 20th birthday. He passed away 2 years ago, but I can still recall his smile when he gave it to me. I wear it whenever I attend special ceremonies like my children’s entrance or graduation ceremonies, my friends’ weddings (and of course, my own wedding, too!) or sometimes, funerals. It makes me feel strong and protected. I’m sure it’s going to be one of the oldest things I’ll have in the future.

    Hi YU,

    >Apparently, teachers come to pupils’ home just to comfirm where their pupils live, so all what parents have to do is to show their face at the front entrance when their teacher rings the bell!

    That’s right. I think it’s because of more busier teachers, more working mothers and also some students from deprived environments. However, I used to talk standing in front of our entrance hall for say, 10 minutes or so, with my sons’ teachers because I wanted to know what kind of a teacher s/he was.

    By the way, I’ve been reading “The Tipping Point” for a week or so, and I find it a bit more difficult than “Outliers”. I think it’s because I’m using the dictionary more often. I ususally skip the words I don’t know as long as I can figure out the context, but this time, there are so many unfamiliar words like names of diseases, youth culture and others. However, the whole idea is great! I think I can finish today. I wonder if they have it in Japanese, too. It’s not just an entertainment book but also a great tip for people working in the marketing/planning fields.



  26. YU on Wednesday April 24th, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Hi Manami,

    Nice to have you with us! 🙂

    Thanks for the nice story.
    It’s a mercy that you didn’t hurt yourself in the accident.

    > I’d appreciate it if someone correct thise .

    I don’t have any confidence in my English grammar, but let me try some.

    > it must have huge memories with you.

    – もし「それ(車)には思い出がいっぱい詰まっているにちがいない」と言いたいのなら、

    you must have a lot of memories in/on(?) it

    でも自信はありません。

    > I changed my car this month becase of a acccident.

    – I bought a new car this month because my old car had been damaged in an accident.

    > I loved my old car,which my past-grandfather gave for me.

    – I loved my old car which my last grandfather gave me.

    > I will drive my new car really safety.

    I’ll drive my new car carefully(safely).

    – safety は名詞なので 副詞 safely に変える。でも carefully の方が自然だと聞いたことがあります。Davidの本だったかも。

    I hope someone will correct my sentences! :-p

    Hi Biwa,

    > However, I used to talk standing in front of our entrance hall for say, 10 minutes or so, with my sons’ teachers because I wanted to know what kind of a teacher s/he was.

    My friend told me that some of the mothers do the same as you, but it seems that they are more interested in how their children learn or behave in school, not in what the teacher is like.

    > I’ve been reading “The Tipping Point” for a week or so, and I find it a bit more difficult than “Outliers”.

    I find “Outliers” difficult to read even in Japanese. I don’t think I can finish it by the return date.

    一気に読む時間がなくてとぎれとぎれに読んでいるのでなかなか頭に入らない。。。
    あ~、早く一日保育になって欲しい。



  27. Biwa on Wednesday April 24th, 2013 at 03:29 PM

    Hi YU and Manami,

    > – もし「それ(車)には思い出がいっぱい詰まっているにちがいない」と言いたいのなら、

    you must have a lot of memories in/on(?) it

    I’m not good at grammar, either, but maybe “with”?
    ⇒You must have a lot of memories with it

    Hi YU,

    >一気に読む時間がなくてとぎれとぎれに読んでいるのでなかなか頭に入らない。。。
    あ~、早く一日保育になって欲しい。

    I know what you mean. Take your time:)



  28. amo on Thursday April 25th, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    As I mentioned before, I have a lot of watches and some of them are more than 15 years old. One of them is about 20 years old, and I found that it had stopped a couple of month ago. I just thought it run out of battery, so I took it to the watch shop to replace a battery. But it wasn’t a battery but it needed to be clean. The cost of cleaning was a bit expensive but I wanted to use it as long as possible because the watch was a gift from my ex boss and he passed away a few years ago, so it was a kind of memento of him.
    I am not sure but our fridge and washing machine are about 15 years old.

    Hi Minami,

    Nice to have you with us and looking forward to reading your next comment.

    >I have seen your van at a BBQ last summer.

    You use past tense if you say when something happened, so the sentence should be:

    I saw your van at a BBQ last summer.

    Good night and sweet dreams,
    amo



  29. Biwa on Thursday April 25th, 2013 at 08:16 AM

    Hi YU and Manami,

    > – もし「それ(車)には思い出がいっぱい詰まっているにちがいない」と言いたいのなら、

    I came to think that maybe the simplest way to say this was “It(Your car) must be full of good memories.” Sorry, I’m still not sure, though…

    One more, my dictionary says「(最近)亡くなった~」is “late ~~”, so “I loved my old car which my late grandfather gave me.” is correct, I think.

    Hi amo,

    Sounds like you really like watches. I have hardly ever worn my watch after I quit my job, so I’m sure the battery needs to be changed, or perhaps it won’t work any more. I know I need to bring it to the watch shop, but I always forget. I’m a real lazy person. By the way, the word “momento” was new to me. Thanks!



  30. YU on Thursday April 25th, 2013 at 09:24 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > “It(Your car) must be full of good memories.”

    I found the sentence you mentioned in my dictionary, too, and I thought that it was the simplest way, but I also came across another example sentence like ;

    This album has a lot of memories in it.
    (このアルバムにはたくさんの思い出が詰まっている)

    That’s why I thought you might be able to say ;

    You must have a lot of memories on/in it.

    Maybe I should have written “It must have a lot of memories in it.”
    However, as I wrote, I’m not confident of my sentences at all.

    > One more, my dictionary says「(最近)亡くなった~」is “late ~~”, so “I loved my old car which my late grandfather gave me.” is correct

    As you can see in my comment to Manami, I corrected Manami’s sentence in the same way, too.
    Or what do you mean actually???



  31. YU on Thursday April 25th, 2013 at 09:32 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    Sorry, you’re right.
    I made a mistake.
    I thought that I had written “late”, but I it seems that I’ve written “last” instead! It was a typo. Sorry.
    My dictionary also says 「(最近)亡くなった~」is “late ~~”, so I was going to write “my late grandfather”, too!

    Thank you for pointing out my mistake.



  32. YU on Thursday April 25th, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Hi Manami and amo,

    >I have seen your van at a BBQ last summer.

    I didn’t mention this because I thought it was a minor mistake, but I guess “at THE BBQ last summer” is better here as David should know which BBQ party Manami means.

    A-Z a/the P.31
    (4. Aさんが話しているものについて、Bさんは前から知っているから)

    Hi amo and everyone,

    > I am not sure but our fridge and washing machine are about 15 years old.

    I know you don’t need to buy new ones because ones you’re using now still work well. However, as for fridges or air conditioners, the latest models are so energy efficient and wallet-friendly that it won’t compare to what you bought 15 years ago, so it’s difficult to say which brings you more profit ; keep using them until they are out of order or buy new ones right now.

    However, if they have some special function that others don’t or you have a special attachement to them, that would change everything.
    (もし他にはないすごい機能があるとか特別な思い入れがあるのなら話は全然別だけど。。。)



  33. Anne on Thursday April 25th, 2013 at 03:44 PM

    Hi YU,

    Did you have a time to read the book today?
    I understand what you mean. That might be a short time for you to feel, “I’m alone! I’m free!.” Take your time:)

    Hi Manami,

    Nice to have you with us. You are lucky to have such a good memory about your late grandfather

    Manami,YU and everyone,

    >“I loved my old car which my late grandfather gave me.”
    —I would say,”I loved my old car which my late grandfather had given me.” (past past tense)

    >I loved my old car,which my past-grandfather gave for me
    —I loved my old car,which was given by my late grandfather.(非制限用法の場合)

    >I think my grandfather and my old car,mini van, defended me.
    —-I think my grandfather and my old car,mini van, protected me.

    I’m not sure, but I don’t think using “defend” here fits for some reason. I guess “defend” is used only for a specific action.

    I watched a movie called “Lincoln” the day before yesterday. It was great and I think the movie describes the human side of him, and Daniel Day Lewis did a great job. It was interesting to see the process “playing dirty to win the victory; to finish the slavery.



  34. Anne on Thursday April 25th, 2013 at 04:05 PM

    Hi, it’s me again.

    Can I add one more thing?
    >but I have never injured.
    —but I never got injured.



  35. Biwa on Friday April 26th, 2013 at 09:12 AM

    Hi YU,

    Sorry, I couldn’t write back earlier. I’m getting a bit busy with the PTA work. We’re planning a “zazen-tour” at the temple near my house(lol!), and I had a meeting yesterday with two “obo-san”. However, thanks to the computer, I think we’re having less meetings, and most of the work can be done by emails, attaching files and things. I’m quite amazed that there are many techy mothers!

    >It was a typo.

    That’s okay, I’m always making mistakes. And that means we’ve solved at least one problem(^O^)b
    Also, I would write “the BBQ last summer”, too.

    Hi David,

    Have you read “Blink”, too? Do you have other recommendations? I’m wondering what I should read next.



  36. YU on Friday April 26th, 2013 at 02:36 PM

    Hi Anne,

    > Did you have a time to read the book today?

    No, unfortunately…

    > That might be a short time for you to feel, “I’m alone! I’m free!.” Take your time:)

    Yes, but school lunch will start in his kindergarten after GW, so my son will stay there for three hours longer than now! I’m already looking forward to the day!! Instead, I will have to make bento twice a week, though…

    Hi Biwa,

    > We’re planning a “zazen-tour” at the temple near my house(lol!), and I had a meeting yesterday with two “obo-san”.

    That’s sounds interesting!!
    For who are you planning the “zazen-tour”?
    For parents? Or for students?

    The other day, I received a letter from my son’s kindergarten saying that there were some clubs such as a chorus club or a tennis club and some classes like handcraft, flower arrangement, cooking, gardening, etc… for mothers.
    I’m wondering how many mothers on earth are interested in things like that.
    In my case, I don’t really want to get involved with people(mom friends) from kindergarten more than necessary.
    幼稚園のママ友の間でも陰湿なイジメがあるらしいですね。子供まで巻き込まれると可哀想なので私はつかず離れずぐらいで適度に付き合おうと思ってます。幼稚園外のママ友とつきあう方が気がラクだな~、私は。。。あまり沢山友達がいる方ではないけど、あまりいても大変ですよね(^_^;)

    > However, thanks to the computer, I think we’re having less meetings, and most of the work can be done by emails, attaching files and things.

    That’s nice!
    PTA meetings might be held by video conference in the near future!?



  37. YU on Friday April 26th, 2013 at 02:52 PM

    correction :

    > That’s sounds interesting

    That sounds interesting!



  38. Fumie on Friday April 26th, 2013 at 02:54 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Some of you were talking about Kateihoumon(homeroom teachers of elementary and junior high school visit his/her class students’ houses and talk about each student with their parent). In my area, traditional Kateihoumon is still done. Today, my son’s teacher (elementary school) visited my house and talked about my son. The allocated time for one person is 10 minutes though some talkative mothers can’t stop talking. I feel sorry for the teacher. He ended up being really beat and get home late.