The Police (Feedback)
Thanks for all your comments, and sorry the feedback is so late. I was really busy again this week. Biwa asked why I quit the police, and Fumie asked why I wanted to be a policeman in the first place.
I have to admit that I don’t actually know the answer to Fumie’s question. I always knew from a young age that I wanted to be a policeman, but I have no idea why. My father was a special constable, which is a kind of volunteer neighbourhood policeman, so maybe that had something to do with it. Or maybe I just like bossing people around!
Biwa’s question is much easier to answer. The job didn’t really suit me, and I began to realise that there was a big world out there to see, and that if I stayed in the police, I was going to miss it all.
Being a policeman in the UK is a very different job to being a policeman in Japan. When the English soccer team came to Sapporo for the World Cup, I did some training for the Sapporo police, so I had a lot of time to talk to them. One day, I had a class of about 10 policemen, and I asked how many arrests they had ever made. They were not particularly young, but none of them had ever arrested anyone for anything! When I was a policeman, it was not unusual for us to arrest two or three people in one day.
Part of the reason for this is the different legal systems. The Japanese word for arrest is 逮捕, but I think a better translation would be “charge.” In Japan, the police don’t arrest people until they are 100% certain that they have done something wrong. In the UK, the police can arrest people on suspicion and then get all the evidence they need after the arrest. (Of course, they have to have at least some evidence to start with.) For example, if we thought someone was guilty of a crime, we would arrest them, and then interview them and search their house. If we didn’t find anything, we would let them go, but if we had enough evidence, we would “charge” them. If my understanding is correct, Japanese police have to have that kind of evidence before they can make an arrest.
Anyway, here is some feedback on your comments.
so what does it mean ” the Japanese police in a particularly good light.”
So what does “the Japanese police in a particularly good light” mean? (A-Z: mean)
I cannot remember any experiences that I had to ask the police for help except for asking the way to some places.
I cannot remember ever having to ask the police for help except to get directions.
Are boys more sensitive than girls that they tend to think that breaking up with a girlfriend is like the end of the world?
Are boys so much more sensitive than girls that they think breaking up with a girlfriend is like the end of the world?
public safety in Japan is much better than in here.
“much better than here” or “much better than it is here.”
it was kinda shameful with no reason
I don’t know why, but I was kind of embarrassed.
Where there is power, there is almost always bribery!
Do you know the saying “Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely”?
and called to the police immediately.
and called the police immediately. (The man was lucky you helped him!)
so the police is afraid of being sued by citizens for their overdoing and they’re forced to be indecisive.
so the police are afraid of being sued for overreacting, and they end up being too indecisive.
I think the police needs to do something
Quite a few of you are treating “police” as singular. In British English, it’s always plural, and I think it’s the same in America too. “The police is” sounds very unnatural to me.
The anti-stalking law has already been in enforce
The anti-stalking law is already in force.
But it’s depends on each officer.
But it depends on the officer.
I cannot express suitably what kind education is best but I just feel like above.
I can’t say exactly what kind of education is best, but I just feel that it is important.
However, we should always remember that special privileges can be easily misused, too.
That’s very true. Countries where the police have huge powers are countries like China and North Korea.
Luckily, I never have been involved with the police, but asked directions a couple of times.
Luckily, I have never had anything to do with the police apart from asking for directions a couple of times.
That’s all for today. Have a great weekend, and let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for your feedback!
> Quite a few of you are treating “police” as singular. In British English, it’s always plural, and I think it’s the same in America too. “The police is” sounds very unnatural to me.
Thank you for your correction.
I was not really sure about it, so I treated “police” both as singlar and plural in my comments!
> In the UK, the police can arrest people on suspicion and then get all the evidence they need after the arrest. (Of course, they have to have at least some evidence to start with.)
Can they? That’s interesting.
You might know this, but there’s a way to arrest people on suspicion in Japan, too. It’s called “別件逮捕”. When the police are certain that someone is 99% guilty to a major crime, but they don’t have enough evidence to arrest them for it, they anyway arrest them for another minor crimes to gain time to collect enough evidence to arrest for the major crime. Of course, if they didn’t find anything, they would end up letting them go, though. It’s a bit similar to the way in the UK, but yours sounds bolder!!
Thank you for your feedback out of your busy schedule.
And also thank you for answering my question whom answer is uncertain. I see. I guess you have a sense of justice that’s why you chose to be a police officer. Even though you change your job, you often help people.
Your comment about the reason you quit the police is like relationship problem. When people get married or becoming a couple sometimes they ended up breaking up because their other half wasn’t they thought they hoped to be.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Thank you for the feedback and for answering my question. Your answer was exactly as I thought. 🙂
When I think about my sons’ future, I really hope that they will be able to pursue their dreams, and that they don’t hesitate too much to change careers. I know that many Japanese people change careers as well, but I guess we still have a relatively “fixed” society compared to other countries. Anyway, I have to worry about pursuing my own life first! (笑)
By the way, I didn’t know that “police” had to be treated as plural, either. I’m glad I know that now. Thanks!
Can I ask you a question?
Which would sound more natural?
1. The audience were mostly young people.
2. The audience was mostly young people.
As for the saying,”Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”, I found a column in the ALC site. The writer says that the translation of “absolutely” should be “徹底的に” instead of “絶対に”.
The saying continues as “Great men are almost always bad men.” I think it’s true if “great men” means “men with power.” If any of you are interested: http://eng.alc.co.jp/newsbiz/hinata/2007/09/post_411.html
The first person who came to my mind was Silvio Berlusconi!
誤解を恐れずに言うなら(by the way, how do you say this in English?), his comments are often too crazy that they make me laugh.
Hi Davit-san and all of you.
Nice to meet you !
It is my fun to read the comments of all of you.
This time, it is a first time to put my comment.
I got the courage to write this letter now.
I’m a ordinary company employee working in Fukushima prefecture, and already mid 50’s.
I lived in Thailand for one year and a half for job.
In Thailand, I had a hard time due to the poor English and the difference of culture.
Now also, I am very poor of understanding about English, current affairs so on.
But I feel to be able to change from my own now if I try to contact with all of you in this Blog site.
So I’m thinking to try to talk with all of you from next week .
But it is difficult to put and reply my comment timely, so I’m going to put my commnet several times per a week.
Finally I think there are times when I can not talk smoothly ,so I ask you not to worry and not to feel bad about it.
Thank you again !!
Nice to have you with us!
I’m looking forward to your next comment!
I have no idea.
So, how about this?
If you ask me, his comment are often …
Is it too simple?
Thanks for your feedback.
According to Oxford dictionaries online, “Most collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural … There are a few collective nouns which are always used with a plural verb, the commonest of which are police and people.”
Also, I found an example in Cambridge dictionaries online.
“The audience was/were clearly delighted with the performance.”
But your sentence, you are talking about “member of the audience” so I think it should be treated as plural.
Nice to have you with us.
Thanks for your help!
“If you ask me” is “私に言わせれば”, right? So I guess it’s slightly different from what I meant. Since almost everyone (I think!) thinks his comments are thoughtless and stupid, it’s not only my view. How about this?
I don’t want to sound as if I like his comments, but they are so thoughtless(=funny) that they often make me laugh.
Thanks for your help, too!
Yes, I know what you mean, but as in your example sentence “The audience was/were clearly delighted with the performance.”, both “was” and “were” are possible, right? I was trying to figure out a sort of rule by asking David which one he would use.
1. Would it be a matter of preference?
2. Do they use choose the proper one according to the context?=Do native speakers express slightly different meanings by choosing either one?
Nice to have you with us.
I thought you wrote「誤解を恐れずに言うと」because you didn’t want me to take you wrong although you would object my argument that he was a great man with power. I never thought that you actually wrote it to everyone!
>“If you ask me” is “私に言わせれば”, right?
•if you ask me
・What you say could be true, but if you ask me, it is suspicious. : あなたの言うことは本当なのかもしれないが、私の見たところ、それは疑わしい。
・”The way he talks is cute.” “Huh? Sounds pretty stupid if you ask me.” : 「彼の話し方って、かわいいよね」「そう？ 私にはばかばかしいとしか思えないけど」
As I mentioned above, I thought you wanted to object my opinion, so I thought “If you ask me” might be the apropriate expression for it.
> I don’t want to sound as if I like his comments, but they are so thoughtless(=funny) that they often make me laugh.
In my understanding,「誤解を恐れずに言うと」is usually used when you are going to say something that might make someone angry with you, but you want to venture to say it.
So, I’m afraid, but I feel it is slightly different from(or too strong for) what you actually meant. I don’t think someone including me would be angry with you if you just meant as above!
Hi Biwa, YU and everyone,
—How about this?
No offense, but I dare day….
Hi Taro, mt and Kiyoshi,
Nice to have you with us!
Looking forward to hearing from you again.
>So, I’m afraid, but I feel it is slightly different from(or too strong for) what you actually meant. I don’t think someone including me would be angry with you if you just meant as above!
なるほど～。私が書こうとしたのは、ベルルスコーニが “a great man with power=a bad man” であることは周知の事実で（もちろんYUの意見に反対したのではなく賛成したのです）、彼の問題発言の数々に呆れる人がほとんどだと思います。⇐という前提で、「こんな言い方すると誤解を招くかもしれないけど（彼のことを好意的にとらえている訳ではないので・・・）、でも正直、彼の発言に思わず「面白すぎ！」と笑ってしまうことがしばしばある。」というようなことだったのです。
私がまず、Yes! とか I agree! と書けばよかったですね。だから、「誤解を恐れずに言うと」は、YU に対してというより、「ベルルスコーニをよく思っているように取られると困るけど・・・」という意味合いで使ったのです。
Thank you for your help, too!
Nice to have you with us. If I were you, though, I would write your name as “Kiyoshi.” If you write it without the “h,” English speakers will pronounce it wrongly.
With regard to singular and plural nouns, Amo’s explanation is correct. “The audience was” and “the audience were” are both fine. Sometimes there is a difference between American and British English. For example, Americans tend to treat teams as singular, whereas we usually treat them as plural. In a British newspaper, you would see “Man Utd. win again,” but in America, it would be “Man Utd. wins again.” That sounds very strange to me.
Hope that helps.