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First of all, I have to say thank you to Mika, because I came up with the idea for this week’s topic after reading her comment on the last entry. (Happy birthday, by the way!) For those of you who didn’t see it, she wrote…

The truth was that my father had worried about my academic ability and that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my lessons, therefore he changed my birthday to April 1st on my birth certificate. He had thought that I would enter elementary school one year later than my appointed year.

I don’t know whether you are aware of this, but a lot of research has been done on the “relative age effect” in sports. I may be wrong, but I think the first sport in which its importance was identified was ice hockey. Here is a summary of a research paper written on the topic in 2010.

At young ages, a few extra months of development can make a big difference in size, strength, and athletic ability. A child who turns 5 years old in January will be nearly 20% older by the time a child born in December has their 5th birthday. In many sports, including hockey, children born in the early months of the calendar year get noticed by their coaches because of the superiority they demonstrate due to their age advantage. As a result, boys born early in the year are more likely to reach the professional ranks of the National Hockey League (NHL). The phenomenon just described has been labeled the relative age effect (RAE).

I remember being very interested in this idea when I first heard about it because my birthday is in May, which is quite late in the British school year. I do remember that there were a lot of boys in my year who were much bigger than I was, and it was never going to be possible for someone of my size to compete with them at sports. (Another problem was the fact that I didn’t have any talent, but that’s a separate issue!)

I believe that similar research has been done on the RAE in academic achievement, and it seems that children who are slightly older than their peers have a big advantage in this area, too.

This week, I would like to hear about everyone’s experience of this phenomenon, both as a child yourself and, for some of you, as a parent. How important do you think the RAE is? Did it make a difference to your experience at school?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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44 Comments

  1. akane on Monday April 1st, 2013 at 09:12 PM

    Hi,David.

    It’s so interesting topic!

    I think when I was a child,I felt a long time for 1day and 1week and 1month, but I feeling how time fly for 1day and 1 week and 1month.
    Because few month for children is more important for growth than few month for adult.
    And it’s a clear for a a boy than a girl.
    My old sister is born in May,but we didn’t feel a differencea in sports after her classmate.

    (小さい頃は、時間が立つのがとても遅く感じてたけれど、大きくなるにつれて時間がたつのを早く感じるようになりました。だから、子どもにとって数ヶ月の違いは、成長の面でとても大きく影響すると思います。それは女の子よりも男の子の方が違いが明確なのではないでしょうか。私の姉は3月生まれですが、クラスメートと比べて、スポーツにおいても大きな違いはありませんでした。ということを書きたかったのですが、英語が苦手なのでうまく伝わるかどうか・・・)



  2. Mika on Monday April 1st, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Hi David,

    Wow! I couldn’t believe you came up with the idea for this week’s topic from my comment. I’m very glad I was of help to you.

    “relative age effect”
    One of my grandchildren is in the second grade at a private elementary school, and I was surprised to know that two-thirds of her classmates were born in April, May, June and July. Of course there are pupils who were born in January and February but a few ones.



  3. Anne on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 06:21 AM

    Hi Mika,

    Belated Happy Birthday!(?)

    Thank you for sharing interesting birthday related story. It was not uncommon to change a baby’s birthday those days. My birthday is December 31st, and many of my friends used to say to me, “Why didn’t your father changed your birthday to January 1st?”

    Anne



  4. Anne on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 06:24 AM

    it’s me again.

    【correction:】
    >many of my friends used to say to me—“many of my friends often said to me



  5. Biwa on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 08:13 AM

    Hi Mika,

    Belated Happy Birthday! and thanks for the interesting topic(^o^)b
    I hope this will be another fantastic year for you♪♪♪

    Hi akane,

    I know it was just a typo, but maybe you wanted to write “My older sister was born in March,”?

    Hi everyone,

    I was quite surprised to know that the RAE would affect a person’s athletic or academic ability for such a long period of time.
    By the way, the Japanese school year starts in April, so children born in January, February and March are ‘later-born’ than most of their peers, which are called ‘earlier(months of the year)-born’ in Japanese. Quite complicating, isn’t it!

    Anyway, watching young children, I often notice their differences in abilities like writing, drawing, cutting, pasting and of course speaking, mainly because they just lack experience. However, to me, they are mostly very hard workers as they are always made to compete or catch up with their older classmates. By the time they become 8-9, there is almost no difference, and interestingly, they often perform better. (This phenomenon always reminds me of the story of the Hare and Tortoise!)

    So, I don’t really believe the research for the National Hockey League, because by the time they become professionals (maybe 17 or 18?), there must be no big difference in their abitlities, I guess.



  6. YU on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Hi David,

    Sorry, this is nothing to do with the topic, but may I ask you some questions?

    (自由英作文)

    – To hit a ball with a racket is comfortable.

    1. Is this sentence grammatically correct?
    2. “To hit ‘the’ ball with a racket” is better?
    3. Is the adjective “comfortable” appropriate for this sentence? For example, “….is exciting/fun to me.” sounds more natural?

    – I am on the tennis team in the school.

    1. I googled “I’m ‘on’ the tennis team”
    Some say that it is correct to use “on” because it sounds like you are a “幽霊部員” if you say “I’m ‘in’ the tennis team”.
    That was new to me, but is it really so?
    2. Is “in the school” correct for this sentence?

    (英訳問題)

    日本文) また彼女にあのレストランで会うときは失礼があってはいけませんよ。

    model answer :

    Don’t be rude when you meet her again in that restaurant.

    studnet’s answer :

    When you meet her at that restaurant again, don’t be rude to her.

    1. Is student’s sentence grammatically correct?
    2. “Again” must be put after ‘in that restaurant’ like the model answer?
    3. I hear more often “at the restaurant” than “in the restaurant”. Is “‘at’ that restaurant” wrong in this case? If so, why?

    I’ll write a comment about the topic later!



  7. YU on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    correction : Sorry!

    2. “Again” must be put after ‘in that restaurant’ like the model answer?

    …..must be put BEFORE” ‘in that restaurant’….



  8. David Barker on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    I’m afraid the research done in Canada was completely irrefutable. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but something like 80-90% of professional hockey players were found to have been born in January or February. That is a far higher percentage than could be accounted for by chance. After the initial study was done, follow-up research was done in other countries and with other sports, and they found the same pattern everywhere.

    Hi YU,

    I know that Japanese schools tend to focus on what is “grammatically correct,” but really, this is a meaningless term. Here are some grammatically correct sentences:

    1) Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
    2) Put the window on the dream.
    3) The drawer is waiting slowly for the man who likes hats.

    The point is that even sentences that are absolute nonsense and have no meaning at all can be “grammatically correct.”

    To answer your questions…

    – To hit a ball with a racket is comfortable.

    1. Is this sentence grammatically correct?
    2. “To hit ‘the’ ball with a racket” is better?
    3. Is the adjective “comfortable” appropriate for this sentence? For example, “….is exciting/fun to me.” sounds more natural?

    1. Grammatically, there is nothing wrong with it. But it’s weird.
    2. Both “a” and “the” could be correct here. It would depend on the context.
    3. No, “comfortable” is not at all appropriate for this sentence. I don’t even understand what this person is trying to say.

    – I am on the tennis team in the school.

    1. I googled “I’m ‘on’ the tennis team”
    Some say that it is correct to use “on” because it sounds like you are a “幽霊部員” if you say “I’m ‘in’ the tennis team”.
    That was new to me, but is it really so?
    2. Is “in the school” correct for this sentence?

    “I’m on” and “I’m in” are both okay. For me, there would be no difference in meaning. I think Americans would use “on, ” though, so they might make a distinction.
    “In the school” should be “in school.” (A-Z: a/the [special cases])

    日本文) また彼女にあのレストランで会うときは失礼があってはいけませんよ。
    What a weird sentence! I can’t imagine the context for this, so it’s difficult to translate. Your student’s answer is fine, though. “Again” can be in either position. I think “at” the restaurant is more American, but both sound fine to me.



  9. YU on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 02:45 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for answering my questions.

    > I know that Japanese schools tend to focus on what is “grammatically correct,” but really, this is a meaningless term.

    I couldn’t agree with you more!
    I think that’s all because of the jyuken system in Japan. If it was banned, students would be able to learn only natural English in school, but the problem is that the work is far beyond the ability of almost all English teachers in Japan!!

    > 3. No, “comfortable” is not at all appropriate for this sentence. I don’t even understand what this person is trying to say.

    I ‘guess’ what s/he wanted to say was that ラケットでボールを打つのは気持ちいい/壮快だ or something like that….

    I’m usually in charge of the third year junior high school students of private schools or 中高一貫校. That means, they are elite students in Japan. My company(school) seems to be famous for the high examination pass rate to 東大, but I wonder if we can say those students are really “elite” in English on a global level, too. I think they just passed the exam to test if they had a good knowledge of so-called “gramatically correct English”… 



  10. Fumie on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 04:12 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    My birthday is September, so I’ve never felt the RAE so much. But I often felt inferior to others in study and sport. I guess it’s just I’m not clever.
    My eldest son was born in February, come to think of it, he was not good at in athletic and academic abilities compared with other kids when he was little. Again I just thought he was born in that way or I brought him poorly.
    Other two of my sons were born in April and May. My youngest son was fast to learn many things. He learned to write/read Hiragana, though no one taught him. (Maybe because he has older siblings.) He was one of the fast runners at his nursery school.
    I never thought that the RAE affect so much. I didn’t control my younger two boys’ birthdays. I just wanted to avoid winter birthdays because feeding frequently during night in winter is hard.

    Hi Mika,

    Belated happy birthday!
    >One of my grandchildren is in the second grade at a private elementary school, and I was surprised to know that two-thirds of her classmates were born in April, May, June and July.
    People really care for the age advantage so much!



  11. YU on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 04:24 PM

    Hi akane,

    > I think when I was a child,I felt a long time for 1day and 1week and 1month, but I feeling how time fly for 1day and 1 week and 1month.

    I’m 42 now and I know exactly what you mean!!
    Have you ever heard that ‘the illusion’ has a lot to do with the decline of your metabolism?

    Hi David and everyone,

    > In many sports, including hockey, children born in the early months of the calendar year get noticed by their coaches because of the superiority they demonstrate due to their age advantage.

    Reading this part, I suspected that they often performed better also when they are grown up just because they got noticed by their coaches when they were small and received special trainings only for superior child athletes after that.
    As you know, elite child athletes are often in the sports clubs under professional sports teams to receive special training programs. Messi is a good example.

    Now I’m looking at the player directory of Yomiuri Giants Club, but it doesn’t seem that players born in the early months of the calendar year are particularly more than others in the list. Of course, this is just as long as Yomiuri Giants concerned, though…

    > Anyway, watching young children, I often notice their differences in abilities like writing, drawing, cutting, pasting and of course speaking, mainly because they just lack experience.

    I totally agree with you.
    My son was born at the end of August. I feel he is average in almost all abilities (I hope!). I notice that some of his friends born in January to March are still slighty behind from others, but they will be my son’s classmates in school whether they like it or not. So it’s not surprising that lots of parents in Japan try to avoid producing children born in March, in particular.
    However, it is also true that mom friends around me having older children born in March say “It was worry for nothing, after all. They learned to catch up with others in a couple of years after they enetered school”.



  12. Biwa on Tuesday April 2nd, 2013 at 06:10 PM

    Hi YU,

    >but the problem is that the work is far beyond the ability of almost all English teachers in Japan!!

    I feel really hopeless, both as a teacher and as a mother who sends her sons to a private school! There are four native speakers in my sons’ school, so I really hope they don’t waste time learning nonsense English.

    Hi David and everyone,

    >After the initial study was done, follow-up research was done in other countries and with other sports, and they found the same pattern everywhere.

    Thanks, I didn’t mean to say I didn’t trust you(of course!), but I just felt it a bit unfair to sort children by their birthdates. Now, after googling some other articles, I understand what they really want to say.
    By the way, I laughed when YU said she looked up the Giants directory, because I did exactly the same thing with the National Volleyball Team Directory! However, I didn’t find any particular tendencies, either.

    Anyway, to me, this article from the BBC sport was easy to understand. Here’s the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/18891749

    I especially agree with the part that explains the “cumulative effect” which means “you are likely to persist at something new when you receive some form of early success”. Also, I think this part is very important for the coaches, teachers and parents to keep in mind; “The smaller, less developed player therefore needs to be resilient to the knock-backs they are likely to experience, not easy for a 10-year-old. Eventually, after a few years they often get dispirited and may leave the sport.”

    Now I kind of understand that the “Hare and Tortoise phenomenon” I often see in my class was caused by the extra care of their parents, teachers at school and maybe a little bit of mine.(I hope!) I didn’t know about the RAE, but I just felt they needed extra help or attention. I wonder if other teachers learn about this before they become teachers.



  13. Anne on Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 06:56 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    As members mentioned, for children around three or four years who go to kindergarten, I think this one year difference is big in physique or the ability to deal with everyday things.
    My younger son was born in February, and I worried about whether he was able to (could?)keep other friends. He walked to the kindergarten with his friends who lived in a same apartment house, and one of them who was born in April took care of him very well. She was tall, and was capable of everything. They were good friends and when they were together, she looked like a reliable wife(姉さん女房).

    >I can’t remember the exact numbers, but something like 80-90% of professional hockey players were found to have been born in January or February—-If I remember correctly, we discussed a book called “Outliers” on the blog a couple of years ago, and in the book, Malcolm Gladwell, the author of this book, referred to this point. I’m just wondering if this affects even in their later lives or not. Is it related to the time when children start learning something because Japan’s school year starts in April and you need to take this point into consideration.

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for letting us know the site.
    >Now I kind of understand that the “Hare and Tortoise phenomenon” —Yes, I understand what you mean. When children are small, I guess this happens.

    Anne



  14. Biwa on Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 08:44 AM

    Hi Anne and everyone,

    >They were good friends and when they were together, she looked like a reliable wife(姉さん女房).

    (LOL!) I can imagine how they looked like!
    I think it’s really important for the later-born children to have nice and warm circumstances like good friends, teachers and parents not to feel inferior. It’s also good for the early-born children, too, to learn that everyone has different abilities and thoughts.

    By the way, thank you for letting us know about “Outliers”. I found the blog, at last! If any of you are interested;
    http://eng.alc.co.jp/kaiwa/davidbarker/2009/02/outliers.html
    These are the kind of books I love, but I’m not sure if I can read it through. Have you read it? I don’t like Japanese versions, because the translations are often very weird. Hmmm…I’m staring at the amazon site wondering whether I should buy it or not! ha-ha!



  15. YU on Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for sharing the interesting article. Now I kind of understand what RAE is.

    > Of course there are plenty of exceptions to these findings but the overall message is that children born immediately after the cut-off point in their specific sport or country are usually bigger and therefore are more likely to be picked in their early years leading to a cumulative advantage.

    I think this part explains what RAE is very well, and I have no doubt that there’s a RAE.

    Those who were born immediately after the cut off point in their sport or country(=I guess this means “school year” in your country) tend to be picked in their early years, they feel more confident that they are good at something. Those factors motivate them to keep practicing hard, in consequence, they are likely to become “a success” in the field even in their later years.

    Hi everyone,

    I came across an article says that there’s a RAE in Japan, too.

    http://www.narinari.com/Nd/2006076232.html

    Apparently, the rate of the number of people who play an active part in pro baseball and Koshien is the highest in children born in April, and it has a downward trend as the month goes throgh like May, June, July, August.
    The writer explains this trend that it is because they receive a “proper” training in their early years whilst children born in March are likely to be forced to collect balls for other older, superior players, and eventually, after a few years they often get dispirited and may leave the sport.

    This trend seems to apply to the academic achievement, too. Four-year guraduation rates in Japan is the highest in children born in April and it is the lowest in those born in March.



  16. Mika on Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Hi Anne, Biwa and Fumie,

    Thank you for your nice messages on my birthday!
    A few days ago my family held the first anniversary of my father-in-law’ death, and the night my children celebrated my birthday. I was grateful for their thoughtfulness. I wish I could have my birthday party at least 20 more times (?).

    Hi Anne and Biwa,

    Thank you for the nice information about “Outliers”.
    Time management is not easy for me, but I’ll read all of his old topics by the end of this year.

    Hi David and everyone,

    This is nothing to do with this week topic, but do you know about 66 years of age (in one’s 66 year) is called rokujyu (緑寿). The Japan Department Store Association proposed it in September of 2002. (以下は日本語で失礼します)
    緑寿は他の長寿の祝いとは異なり、2002年9月に日本百貨店協会が提唱したもの。 数え年の66歳は齢世代に区分されるが介護も必要なく、現役世代と高齢世代の節目となる年齢で、新たな社会活動への参画を促すスタートラインに位置づけられた。 21世紀が「環境の世紀」といわれることから「緑」をイメージし、66歳なので「緑緑寿」となるところを簡潔にしたものである。
    This provided some motivation for me to take the rest of my life, especially this year, one day at a time.
    Also, as Biwa said to me,
    >I hope this will be another fantastic year for you♪♪♪
    I enjoy myself at everything I do.



  17. YU on Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    【correction】

    > Those who were born immediately after the cut off point in their sport or country(=I guess this means “school year” in your country) tend to be picked in their early years, they feel more confident…

    …..tend to be picked in their early years “DUE TO THEIR AGE ADVANTAGE”, they feel….

    Hi everyone,

    I think being born in April, May and June in Japan might be luck given the fact that the school year in Japan starts in April. Study proves it.
    However, I think your ‘natural ability'(持って生まれた能力) has nothing to do with your birthdate.

    I was born in June, but I was average in the areas of academic ability and far below average in the area of athletic ability, although I should have had “age advantage” over my classmates. Maybe I didn’t make use of my age advantage very well.

    So I don’t think your natural ability itself has much to do with your birthdate, but it has more to do with genetic factors or others.



  18. Biwa on Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 07:05 PM

    Hi YU and everyone,

    Thanks for the Japanese article. I couldn’t find a good one, so, bravo!!
    There was another link in your article. “早生まれは損か?”http://www.volleyball.gr.jp/hayaumare.htm
    Have you seen it?

    It says that the RAE is most remarkable(obvious?) in sports like baseball and soccer, which are both very popular among little boys. Next are basketball and volleyball, which are both popular among junior high school students. “Popular” means that the children need to beat out many rivals to play in the main team, so it’s quite understandable that later-born children have disadvantages.

    The article also says that non-contact sports like tennis, badminton, table-tennis or individual sports like skiing have no remarkable RAE patterns. However, interestingly, some of the most hard-looking contact sports like judo, boxing and wrestling didn’t have any RAE patterns, either. Also, many of the jockeys for horse-racing are later-borns.

    Anyway, these researches reminded me of what my children said when they chose which club to join. They were born in May and August, so I’ve never worried about their birthdates. However, they said they would never join soccer nor baseball because those have too many members, and most of them have been playing since elementary school, so there would be very little chance to play as a regular. Finally, they both joined the volleyball team which wasn’t so popular among the students, but automatically, they were always playing as the main team. I think it motivated them a lot, they get lots of feedback from their coach and seniors, and their efforts are often rewarded, so they get even more interested in the sport.

    I think the point is that even if you are just playing for fun, it’s really important that every child is paid attention and educated fairly to continue doing the sport. And that means, we need reasonable number of educators(coaches,teachers) according to the number of children. Of course, when we talk about academic abilities, the same thing applies to the size of the class at school, so this is a real serious problem, especially in Japan!



  19. YU on Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 at 09:30 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for sharing another interesting article!

    > However, interestingly, some of the most hard-looking contact sports like judo, boxing and wrestling didn’t have any RAE patterns, either.

    The article from BBC says like,

    “The implications of the RAE for Olympic sports are more complex. For a start, the cut-off date for Olympic sports is 1 January again.
    Furthermore, weight groupings account for some size differences in combat sports like boxing, wrestling, taekwondo, judo and even in rowing but it pays to be more diminutive in other sports like gymnastics and endurance running.”

    That means, in combat sports like boxing, wrestling, and judo players are classified into some groups based on their weight from the beginning. Therefore, physique doesn’t really play a big role in those sports or we can’t find remarkable RAE patterns??

    > I think the point is that even if you are just playing for fun, it’s really important that every child is paid attention and educated fairly to continue doing the sport.

    I agree.
    Coaches tend to pick only older, bigger children and invest more time in them to win, but it could end up ruining the potential of those who have a poor physique before it had a chance to develop.



  20. Anne on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 06:34 AM

    Hi Biwa,
    >Have you read it?
    —Yes, I read it in English. It was tough to read it through but it was great and was worth reading.

    YU and Biwa,
    Thanks for letting us know the articles about the case in Japan.

    Hi Mika,

    Yes, I know its name. The department stores create new words or ideas to sell goods!

    >This provided some motivation for me to take the rest of my life, especially this year, one day at a time.
    —Good for you! By the way, I was shocked to hear a word “a sixty years old senior citizen” on TV. It says, “60歳の老女が。。”
    I thought to myself,” Am I a senior citizen?(私って老女?)”

    Anne



  21. Biwa on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 07:50 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks, I’ve just ordered it!

    Hi YU,

    >Coaches tend to pick only older, bigger children and invest more time in them to win, but it could end up ruining the potential of those who have a poor physique before it had a chance to develop.

    Exactly. I understand the coaches need to do that for “matches(試合)” because a sport is a kind of competition anyway. However, it’s really unfair if some children are always collecting balls and having no chances to actually play, especially for the “school clubs(部活)”. It’s not a place to nurture professionals, but just a part of the whole educating process, isn’t it?

    By the way, can I ask you what ‘it’ indicates in the sentence below? I know it’s saying something like what you said, but I don’t get it exactly.(笑)

    >Furthermore, weight groupings account for some size differences in combat sports like boxing, wrestling, taekwondo, judo and even in rowing but it pays to be more diminutive in other sports like gymnastics and endurance running.”



  22. YU on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > especially for the “school clubs(部活)”. It’s not a place to nurture professionals, but just a part of the whole educating process, isn’t it?

    Very true.
    I wonder if the coaches are forced to think only of the immediate profit(=victory) to gain honor of the school and secure the position as a coach.

    > By the way, can I ask you what ‘it’ indicates in the sentence below? I know it’s saying something like what you said, but I don’t get it exactly.(笑)

    “Furthermore, weight groupings account for some size differences in combat sports like boxing, wrestling, taekwondo, judo and even in rowing but it pays to be more diminutive in other sports like gymnastics and endurance running.”

    Me either!
    However, I think you need to consider the following sentence in connection with the part above ;

    “The implications of the RAE for Olympic sports are more complex. For a start, the cut-off date for Olympic sports is 1 January again.”

    I ‘guess’ it = The implications of the RAE.

    全く自信がないけど全体を訳すと・・・

    “オリンピック競技スポーツにRAEが与える影響は更に複雑である。まず第一に、オリンピック競技スポーツの”基準日”もまた1月1日である。

    その上、ボクシング、レスリング、テコンドー、柔道などの格闘技やあるいはボート競技においては重量クラス分けで体格差(による不平等)を解消しているのに対し、体操やマラソンといった他の競技においてはそれ(RAEによる影響)に対する配慮が(そもそも小柄な方が有利な競技だから?)少なかったりと
    バラバラだ(からRAEの影響を一律に語ることは難しい)。”

    A account for B AでBを説明する = 解消する
    pay to ~に注意を払う = 配慮する 

    と意訳してしまいました。それにしても訳すのが難しい文ですね!



  23. YU on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > I ‘guess’ it = The implications of the RAE.

    何となく自信がなくなってきました。
    もしかして it = some size differences かあるいは全く別のことを指しているかも!
    お役に立てずかたじけない。結局、

    You’d better ask David! (笑)



  24. YU on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    たびたびすみません。
    「かたじけない」と書きましたが現代の意味では「ありがたい/恐れ多くてもったいない」という意味みたいですね。文語では「恥ずかしい、面目ない」という意味があったようですが。
    一体私は何時代の人間なんでしょう!30歳過ぎて古文を勉強し直した影響なのでしょうか。。。(^O^)



  25. David Barker on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    “Outliers” is a great book. I highly recommend it. If you haven’t read it, “Tipping Point” by the same author is a classic.

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for the link. It’s interesting to see that the same effect is observable in Japan, too.



  26. Biwa on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Hi YU,

    Thank you so much for translating that part!

    >I ‘guess’ it = The implications of the RAE.

    I first thought so, too, but why isn’t it plural(=implications)?
    And I took “pay” as 相応する、値する, so ‘it’=some size differences(still plural, though!).
    So I translated the latter part like this:

    体操やマラソンといった他の競技では、体格による差はごく小さい(あまり関係がない)。(だから、オリンピック競技におけるRAEの影響を一律に語るのは難しい。)
    私もまったく自信がないのです・・・。Anyway, thanks always!



  27. David Barker on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Are you talking about the phrase “it pays…”? If you are, “it” is just a dummy subject.



  28. Biwa on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Hi YU,

    I use かたじけない! in the same way as you! Maybe I’m an old person, too!

    Hi David,

    Yes, I’m going to receive “Outliers” from amazon tomorrow. I can’t wait! I found “Tipping Point”, too, but I’ll read “Outliers” first.



  29. Biwa on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you. So how shall I translate the latter part?



  30. David Barker on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Sorry, you’ve lost me. The latter part of what?



  31. Biwa on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    This sentence:

    >Furthermore, weight groupings account for some size differences in combat sports like boxing, wrestling, taekwondo, judo and even in rowing but it pays to be more diminutive in other sports like gymnastics and endurance running.”

    but it pays to be moreのあとの意味を教えてください



  32. David Barker on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Ah, I see what you mean.

    “Diminutive” means “small,” so it just means that whereas in sports like boxing and wrestling, it is an advantage to be big, in other sports, it is actually an advantage to be smaller.



  33. Biwa on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Hi David,

    正確に言うと、「何が」diminutiveなのですか?



  34. David Barker on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Nothing. “It” is a dummy subject. It’s just part of the phrase “it pays to.”



  35. David Barker on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Sorry, I misread your question.

    “Diminutive” refers to a person’s body size.



  36. Mika on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Hi Anne,

    >By the way, I was shocked to hear a word “a sixty years old senior citizen” on TV. It says, “60 歳の老女が。
    I thought to myself,” Am I a senior citizen?(私って老女?)”

    That can’t be right! You are young!!
    I’m wondering why they didn’t say “高齢女性” instead of “老女”.

    In my case, soon after I turned 60 years old, I began to wonder what my mother would think about my life if she could see me today. Of course, my life is different from my mother’s because I naturally had more opportunity, just as my children have had more opportunity than me. Fortunately I have already had many experiences that she never had or didn’t have the opportunity to try. If I live the average life expectancy, I will have enough time to try lots of new things. It makes me smile. Today is the youngest day in the rest of my life.
    So, I think that people in their 60s are still young.



  37. David Barker on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Hi Mika and Anne,

    They say that “60 is the new 40”! Comparing 60-year-olds today with 60-year-olds when I was a child, I think it’s true.



  38. YU on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > I first thought so, too, but why isn’t it plural(=implications)?
    > so ‘it’=some size differences(still plural, though!).

    I thought so(why not plural?), too.
    But “it” might indicate the whole part of ” weight groupings account for some size differences in combat sports like boxing, wrestling, taekwondo, judo and even in rowing”, finally.

    そう考えれば it でもおかしくない?!



  39. Biwa on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Hi David,

    Ah! So it means like “but it’s better to be smaller in other sports like….”. I got it! Thank you so much. あースッキリしました。



  40. David Barker on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    That’s right.



  41. YU on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Hi David and Biwa,

    Thank you for your discussion!
    Finally, the answer is very simple as always!

    Hi David,

    > Sorry, you’ve lost me. The latter part of what?

    I find the expression of “Sorry, you’ve lost me.” very interesting !
    In Japanese you would feel like saying “あなたの言っている事を見失ってしまった = Sorry, I’ve lost you.”, but you say it in the opposite way in English!

    Anyway, you and Biwa talk like chat online.



  42. Mika on Thursday April 4th, 2013 at 04:32 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the nice comment about 60s.

    After I turned 60, I felt younger in my mind than my actual age, and that difference becomes even greater with age. Isn’t that nice?



  43. amo on Friday April 5th, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I am a bit busy this week due to a lack of manpower. One of my staff is taking a leave this week so the rest of us have to take care of her task. I am going to take a leave for two weeks next month so I don’t complain 🙂
    As for the topic, I was born in May, so I didn’t have any troubles when I was in elementally school. My younger sister was born in February and she was much smaller than her peers(she is still small though.) I do remember that her grades were not quite as good as mine when she was in elementally school, so it might be true??
    To tell the truth, I really didn’t like getting older before other kids(他の子達より先に年取るのが嫌だった)I still remember wishing I had been born in March back then(lol) But after reading some articles about “RAE,” I start thinking that I was lucky because I might have been lost interest in anything if my birthday had been late in the school year.

    Hi akane,

    >I think when I was a child,I felt a long time for 1day and 1week and 1month, but I feeling how time fly for 1day and 1 week and 1month.
    
I feel the same way too.

    Good night,
    amo



  44. Anne on Friday April 5th, 2013 at 06:56 AM

    Hi David and Mika,

    >They say that “60 is the new 40″!—Yes, I couldn’t agree with you and more!
    I feel “young at heart.” Same as Mika, I feel younger and more positive than in my 40s:) I’m thrilled with the idea what I should do this year!

    Anne



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