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On my way into work this morning, I saw an elderly lady getting out of her car, which was parked in the middle of the road at a busy junction. I thought she might have broken down, so I pulled into a convenience store and walked back to find out. I asked her if she was okay, and she said that her engine had just stopped. The car was in a dangerous position, so I offered to push her to a safe spot on the side. As I started to push, she put the car into gear (it was a manual transmission), so I had to tell her to leave it in neutral. As I was pushing her, another man came to help me, and we soon got her to the side of the road. She said that she didn’t have a telephone, so we asked her where she lived and who we could call to come and get her. She seemed quite confused, and I’m not sure she really understood what was going on. I asked her if it was possible that she might have run out of gas, but she said that she had plenty. I thought that she might have a flat battery, so I asked her if I could try the engine. When I turned the key, it started straight away! I think that she had stalled the engine at the junction and then just become confused. Anyway, she got back into the car, and shot off at high speed up the road. I don’t really know anything about this woman, but I am quite sure that she should not have been driving. She didn’t really seem to understand what was happening, and she was definitely not sufficiently alert and aware to be driving on a busy road.

In recent months, there have been a number of stories in the press here in Japan about older people causing accidents. For example, there was an incident in Nagoya a few weeks ago where an elderly man got confused and pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, crashing his car into a cafe and injuring some people. As the number of old people in Japan keeps growing, I’m sure we will start hearing more and more of these kinds of stories.

A couple of weeks ago, I listened to a talk show on BBC radio about this topic. The presenter was asking people how they coped with elderly relatives who are too old to drive, but who refuse to stop. It was a very interesting discussion.

Of course, it is not just a question of age. My dad is 76, and he still drives all kinds of vehicles, including huge trucks. A couple of years ago, my brothers and I paid for him to go to a rally driving school for a day. He and all the other students (most much younger than him) had practice sessions with instructors all day, and then a time trial race at the end. My dad was the fastest driver of the whole group! When I asked him last year if he was the oldest truck driver in Britain, he laughed. Apparently, there is a 90-year-old man who still drives the biggest type of trucks every day. His family were worried about him, and they asked him to allow a driving instructor to sit in with him for a day. The instructor’s comment at the end was that the old man was an excellent driver, and that he had learned a lot from watching him!

So, this week, I want to ask you the following questions:

1) Do you think there should be an upper age limit for holding a driver’s license?
2) Do you think older people should have to take a test every year?
3) Have you had any experience with an elderly relative who refused to stop driving?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

48 Comments

  1. YU on Monday June 18th, 2012 at 03:45 PM

    Hi David,

    > but I am quite sure that she should not have been driving.

    I totally agree with you.
    I just hope she has hit anyone on her way home.

    Here are the answers to your questions:

    1) Do you think there should be an upper age limit for holding a driver’s license?

    I don’t think so. I have really no idea what age should be an upper age limit, as there are lots of elderly excellent drivers like your father.
    I read in an article introducing Tokyo’s oldest driver’s license holder. He is 102 !!

    2) Do you think older people should have to take a test every year?

    I think so.
    My husband went to a driving school to get a driving license about three years ago. I saw many elderly people there and thought that they wanted to get a driver’s license, but I was wrong. They were there to
    be checked their driving skills to renew the license.
    However, drivers must renew their driver’s license every three years or five years in Japan, right?
    I think this interval is a bit too long for older drivers, because their health condition is more changeable than younger people’s one.

    3) Have you had any experience with an elderly relative who refused to stop driving?

    My mother’s older brother has a mountain and used to raise oranges there. About 15 years ago, he suffered a cerebral infraction and had speech difficulty, but he didn’t stop driving to grow oranges in the mountain. I think he was already over 70 then. His wife died at an early age, but I can remember his two daughters (who are my cousins) begged him not to drive again and again, but he just kept refusing it. Now he has a more serious disease and doesn’t drive any more.
    I heard that he used to teach “Judo” and was very confident of his health and physical strength.
    I think it is more difficult to make those people to admit their old age and persuade them to stop driving.

    Bye for now !



  2. Maki on Monday June 18th, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Hi David,

    It has been a loooooong time since I posted a comment last time. Hope you still remember me;-) Maybe I should write about this week’s topic as my mother is 77 years old and she still drives a car almost every day.

    As for your questions;
    1) Do you think there should be an upper age limit for holding a driver’s license?

    It’s difficult to say, because driving skills depend on each person even among young people.

    2) Do you think older people should have to take a test every year?

    I hear that older people have to take not only a paper test, but also a driving test when they renew their drivers’ licenses. And then some people get a three-year license, but others get only a one-year one. It depends on their driving skills. I think that it’s a nice system, though I don’t know that it’s the best way or not.

    3) Have you had any experience with an elderly relative who refused to stop driving?

    Fortunately, no, I haven’t.

    Bye for now,

    Maki



  3. amo on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Hi David,

    You know, I have a driving licence but I don’t drive at all, but I am going to renew my licence this week. Anyway, here are my answers your questions.

    1) Do you think there should be an upper age limit for holding a driver’s license?

    I don’t think so, because it depends on each driver’s skill.

    2) Do you think older people should have to take a test every year?

    I am not sure but 70 years old drivers have to take a test when they renew their licences. My father is 81 years old and my mother is 77 years old and they sill drive.

    3) Have you had any experience with an elderly relative who refused to stop driving?

    No I haven’t.

    Hi Maki,
    Glad to read your comment:)

    Good night and sleep tight,
    amo



  4. Fumie on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 05:53 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    This week’s topic is a serious matter. We sometimes hear the news which seniors drive expressways the opposite direction. That is very very dangerous.

    Let me tell you about a story about my sister-in-law’s mother. She has Parkinson’s disease and because of her illness she has emotional ups and downs. One thing that makes her happy though was taking dance lessons. She lives in a countryside in Hyogo prefecture. People need cars to get around in her village. She used to drive to the dance school. But about half a year ago, she bumped into a traffic signal when she was driving. Although she refused to stop driving but her family decided to stop her to drive. Unfortunately there are no one who can drive her to the school. Her husband is a dairy farmer and always very busy. I feel sorry for her that she can’t go to the dance school any more although that is one of few things that makes her happy.

    Here are my answers to your questions.
    1) Do you think there should be an upper age limit for holding a driver’s license?
    No, I don’t think so. It all depends on each person’s skill. Some eldery people are still good at driving like David’s father so we should not judge merely with their ages.
    2) Do you think older people should have to take a test every year?
    I have no idea that once every year is an approriate interval or not but they should take a test periodically.

    It might hard for senior people to be confiscated their driver’s licenses when their driving skills deteriorate but otherwise they might kill people and in the worst case-scenario they might end up spending their life in jail the rest of their life. Having said that, driving themselves is the easiest way of avoiding being confined in their homes and makes people active.

    Hi Maki,

    I’m so glad to hear from you again. Looking forward to hear from you again from time to time.
    🙂

    Fumie



  5. Tomo on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 01:00 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    You always don’t hesitate to help people you don’t know, and this time, you helped the elderly lady even though you were on the way to work, which means you were busy. You are very kind, David!

    1) Do you think there should be an upper age limit for holding a driver’s license?

    Hmmm, hearing of stories about older people causing accidents, I think something needs to be done, so maybe we should set an upper age limit and exceptions. For example, 70 years and older cannot have a drivers license unless they take a driving test every year or every other year. I’m not sure what age is appropriate for the limit, but I think it would be easier for you to stop your elderly relatives from driving if it was the law, and you wouldn’t have to worry about them so much if they passed a driving test regularly.

    2) Do you think older people should have to take a test every year?

    I think they should. I guess it’s not easy for them to admit that they are getting weak, but it will be too late if they realize it after killing themselves or others.

    3) Have you had any experience with an elderly relative who refused to stop driving?

    No, I haven’t.

    By the way, are you going to put a link to Jyoji’s blog in the “About this blog” explanation? I wrote some suggestions for the explanation on the last entry, but I’ve come up with another way to express it. How about “毎週、ブログエントリーの和訳に挑戦してくれているメンバーがいます。こちらのサイト(リンク)もぜひ参考にしてみてください。”?

    Also, YU suggested this idea:

    >That’s a good idea, but in my case, I didn’t read “About this blog” before I started reading David’s first entry, because I’m impatient.
    Instead, I clicked “language select buttons”(イギリスと日本の国旗のマークの) to see how they work, and I felt やっぱり~、Japanese translations were not available. It says 『申し訳ありません、このコンテンツはただ今 English のみです』.
    So, I think if possible, the link to Jyoji’s blog should be added there too.

    I think that’s a good idea because some people might miss to read “About this Blog.” What do you think?

    Hi Jyoji,

    Glad to hear you changed the settings for your blog. Please let us know when you have done a new entry. I’ll try to make a comment again.

    Hi Maki,
    Great to hear from you! 🙂 I hope you and your family are well.

    >I hear that older people have to take not only a paper test, but also a driving test when they renew their drivers’ licenses. And then some people get a three-year license, but others get only a one-year one.

    I didn’t know that. I also think that’s a good and fair system.

    Hi Fumie,

    I’m sorry to hear about your sister-in-law’s mother. Aren’t there some other ways to get to the dance school like a bus? I hope she will find something that makes her happy.

    See you soon,

    Tomo



  6. David Barker on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 01:20 PM

    Hi Maki,

    Nice to hear from you. How is life in Hokkaido?

    Hi Tomo and YU,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I have added a link to Jyoji’s blog on the Japanese version of this page. If you click on the Japanese flag at the top, it will take you to the message that Tomo suggested. I have tried it a couple of times, and it seems to work okay, but please let me know if you find any problems.

    One problem of doing it this way is that I will need to remember to add that message every time I do a new entry, so please check for me each week and remind me to do it if I forget.

    Thanks.



  7. YU on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 01:28 PM

    Hi Maki,

    My name is YU.
    Nice to talk to you ! 🙂

    Hi Fumie,

    > It might hard for senior people to be confiscated their driver’s licenses when their driving skills deteriorate

    I found an interesting aritcle.
    Apparently, in Tokyo, older people who have returned their driver’s license get a variety of discount at shops in Tokyo.

    http://www.japanprobe.com/2008/03/19/elderly-drivers-in-japan/

    My husband often says that driving in Tokyo is far more difficult than driving in Kanagawa(where we live).
    There are lots and lots of traffic signs in Tokyo, and they are too complicated. Anyway, I’m quite sure that roads in Tokyo are not elderly people-friendly.

    > Having said that, driving themselves is the easiest way of avoiding being confined in their homes and makes people active.

    Right. A car is often the only means of transportation for some older people especially living in the areas with the poor public transportation network.

    By the way, have you heard of the term, “買い物難民/弱者”? I hear more and more elderly people are becoming “買い物難民” these days, because small supermarkets are disappearing due to the economic recession. And this trend is a great blow to older people. It means, if they don’t drive a car, they can’t even buy their daily bread.

    Bye for now !



  8. YU on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 02:10 PM

    Hi David,

    >I have tried it a couple of times, and it seems to work okay, but please let me know if you find any problems.

    I had a look at the message and didn’t see any problems with it.

    By the way, don’t you add it to on “About this blog”?

    > One problem of doing it this way is that I will need to remember to add that message every time I do a new entry, so please check for me each week and remind me to do it if I forget.

    I see. I’ll try to tell you if you forget.



  9. David Barker on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 02:13 PM

    Hi YU,

    I tried that, but unfortunately I cannot post links in that pop-up window, so this will have to do.



  10. YU on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 03:14 PM

    Hi Tomo,

    > but I think it would be easier for you to stop your elderly relatives from driving if it was the law, and you wouldn’t have to worry about them so much if they passed a driving test regularly

    I agree with you.
    When the government established the Road Traffic Law, they didn’t provide an upper age limit for holding a driver’s license, because there weren’t so many elderly drivers nor traffic accidents caused by them as now. And that is why some older people hesitate to stop driving. They might feel, “That is not how we understood it.(自分たちが免許取ったときと話が違う)”??..I don’t know….
    As you say, if it was the law, they would be obliged to take a driving test every year, and that could bring them a good occasion to think when they should return their driver’s license themselves.

    See you !



  11. YU on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 03:19 PM

    Hi David,

    I see.
    Then, there’s nothing you can do about it.



  12. rinko on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 03:48 PM

    Hi David

    You were very nice and kind to the elderly woman!

    >1) Do you think there should be an upper age limit for holding a driver’s license?

    To tell the trueth, whenever I see older people driving very dangerously and also hear the news like that elderly man drove in reverse on the high way I think there should be a limit for holding a license. Having said that,there are lots of elderly people who can’t go anywere without cars especially in a small town.And as other members said there are lots of people who can drive well regardless of their age.
    I’ve heard that elderly people can get some tickets of taxi when they return their license in some areas.I think this idea and the one YU mentioned about getting a discount at shops are very good and effective.

    2) Do you think older people should have to take a test every year?

    I think they should have to every year. And I also think a test should be taken for free not to burden them.(It’s necessary to pay for it, isn’t it?? I’m not sure though….)

    3) Have you had any experience with an elderly relative who refused to stop driving?

    My farther is 72 and still drives. One day he drove me home and while he was driving I noticed the car was getting to close the center line of road. So I said to him “hey!!you are running over the line and going to another side!!” and he replied just”Oh I’m sorry” returning to the right position.
    Of course he was not asleep but just doing that unintentionally.
    My mother said to me he sometimes drives in a way like that so I told him about returning a driving license but he refused.
    I’m very worried about him because I’m sure he wouldn’t give up driving until he has an accident…

    Hi Maki. Nice to talk to you!

    Have a nice day everyone!

    rinko



  13. YU on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 04:42 PM

    Hi everyone,

    This has nothing to do with the topic, though…

    I saw the AKB’s commercial we discussed before was aired again. I thought it couldn’t be true, because it has been banned some months ago, but the contents have been changed.
    It started with the scene Yuko Oshima feeding a candy the next person mouth to mouth, but the next person was not a AKB member, but a candy-shaped CG character!
    And so changed other AKB memebers.
    I nearly fell off the chair laughing !!

    See you !



  14. David Barker on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 05:05 PM

    Hi YU,

    That’s funny, but I won’t be able to see it because I don’t have a TV.



  15. Tomo on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 06:04 PM

    Hi YU,
    I saw the commercial, too! It seems that they really like the idea of 口移し. どうしてもこのコンセプトで行きたかったんでしょうかねぇ…(笑)

    Hi David,
    You can see it on You Tube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tf3aOHyvY0

    Is it still sexual??

    > I have tried it a couple of times, and it seems to work okay, but please let me know if you find any problems.

    I checked it too, and it works okay.

    >One problem of doing it this way is that I will need to remember to add that message every time I do a new entry, so please check for me each week and remind me to do it if I forget.

    OK. No problem, but isn’t it a bit troublesome for you to do it every week? Is it easier to put a link at the bottom of an entry?

    >I tried that, but unfortunately I cannot post links in that pop-up window, so this will have to do.

    How about putting the message(and the name of the Jyoji’s blog) in the pop-up window without a link? Anyway, let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

    See you soon,

    Tomo



  16. YU on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 07:05 PM

    Hi Tomo,

    Thank you for the link.
    My son seems to have liked the video.
    He asks me to repeat it over and over again.
    I can somehow identify which candy-shaped face is who(which AKB member).
    Can you?? 別に得意になってるわけじゃないけど!(笑)

    > どうしてもこのコンセプトで行きたかったんでしょうかねぇ…(笑)

    Hmmm….maybe…
    I heard that 電通 produced the commercial.
    They are one of the best advertising agencies in Japan, but their ideas for advertisements seem to be very poor… Or there might have been some adult circumstances?? 大人の事情があったのでしょうか???

    Hi David,

    You don’t have a TV?
    I didn’t know that. Or did you tell us it before??
    I can’t imagine my life without a TV.
    I love watching TV !
    “No TV, No Life”, this is my motto!! hahaha..
    Some people call a person like me “バカ”, though…

    See you !



  17. David Barker on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 07:16 PM

    Hi YU,

    Actually, I do have a TV, but it’s not really a TV. It’s a TV that I bought about eight years ago, but it doesn’t work anymore because of the switch to digital, so I use it as a monitor for my Apple TV. I use Apple TV to watch YouTube and rent movies. Of course, I love TV as well, but not Japanese TV, so I watch British TV on the Internet.

    I moved house in April, and I got some NHK payment forms in my letterbox the other day. I’m not going to pay, because I can’t watch Japanese TV, but I’m wondering what they will say when I tell them that.



  18. YU on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 08:14 PM

    Hi David,

    >I moved house in April, and I got some NHK payment forms in my letterbox the other day. I’m not going to pay, because I can’t watch Japanese TV, but I’m wondering what they will say when I tell them that.

    Can you watch Japanese TV with your cellphone?
    How about your PC or car navigation system?
    Those equipments are all subjects to NHK payment.
    I didn’t know that, but a friend of mine who doesn’t have a TV has fought with NHK over the payment and told me so.
    So, please be careful when you talk with them.



  19. David Barker on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 08:26 PM

    Thanks Yu. I can’t watch TV on my car navigation, and I have no idea how to watch it on my phone. Actually, I would pay money NOT to be able to watch Japanese TV!



  20. YU on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 08:37 PM

    Hi David,

    I see. You probably don’t like Japanese TV.
    I love Japanese TV!
    They say Japanese TV programs are worthless, but I like the “worthlessness”(くだらなさ?)very much.
    Having said that, I kind of understand you because I didn’t like German TV at all !!



  21. David Barker on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 08:42 PM

    Don’t you get bored of seeing the same faces telling the same jokes and doing the same things night after night? I laugh when people talk about “variety” programmes, because the one thing they do not have is any kind of variety!



  22. Maki on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 08:50 PM

    Hi David, amo, Fumie and Tomo,

    Thanks for your kind words!

    Hi YU and rinko,

    Nice to talk to you, too!

    Maki



  23. YU on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 09:49 PM

    Hi David,

    Hahaha…I never get bored with them because I’m baka and I don’t expect much from “variety” programmes.

    When I watched comedy programmes in my husband’s country, I just thought “What’s funny about the jokes?”, he translated every details into Japanese language for me, though…
    Whenever I watched German comedy programmes, I felt they were all out of date.
    I think every country has a different sense of humor.



  24. trmr on Tuesday June 19th, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Hi David and everyone
    The typhoon is coming! Are you all right?
    I was ordered to go home earlier before typhoon came and train stopped.

    1) Do you think there should be an upper age limit for holding a driver’s license?
    There is a lower age limit for the license, so it may be understandable that they have an upper limit. But it originally depends on a skill. I don’t think it doesn’t need an upper one while a test for elderly people works correctly.

    2) Do you think older people should have to take a test every year?
    Yes I do. As Maki mentioned, such a system already exists.

    3) Have you had any experience with an elderly relative who refused to stop driving?
    No, I haven’t.
    I lost my grand father to car accidents. He got in a car his friend drove, then his friends lost control and crashed. I don’t know whether the reason he lost control was age or not. But I’m little worried when I see old people driving.

    Hi Maki
    I’m glad hear you again!

    good night

    trmr



  25. Fumie on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 05:43 AM

    Hi Tomo,

    >I’m sorry to hear about your sister-in-law’s mother. Aren’t there some other ways to get to the dance school like a bus? I hope she will find something that makes her happy.

    I’m afraid there is no bus service there. I also hope she will find something else she can enjoy which she can do at her home.

    Hi YU,

    I read the article you had posted.
    >Apparently, in Tokyo, older people who have returned their driver’s license get a variety of discount at shops in Tokyo.

    That’s an interesting idea.I hope that reduce the number of traffic accidents caused by elderly people.
    I have never heard of the term 買い物難民. At our local supermarket there is a delivery service when customers order goods by more than certain price purchase.

    Fumie



  26. YU on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 07:56 AM

    Hi trmr and everyone,

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather.

    > But it originally depends on a skill.

    Indeed.
    Do you remember きんさんぎんさん?
    ぎんさん’s four daughters often appear on TV these days.
    They are all very old, but the youngest sister(89!) still drives. She drives her older sisters anywhere they want to go. She looks much younger for her age and drives excellent! Apparently, she got her driver’s license when she was 60. I admire her because I don’t have a driver’s license.
    I think people like me shouldn’t drive at all, I’m still much younger than ぎんさん’s youngest daughter, though. My husband often says to me, “You’re the type of person who get confused and presses the accelerator instead of the brake”. And I totally agree with him.

    Some of my mama tomo suddenly finished their “paper driver career” and started driving for their children.
    As far as I know, most of them don’t have driving skills. One of them bumped against the fence of my neigbor’s house opposite when she was parking her car at my house’s parking space. Fortunately, no one has been injured, though.

    Hi Fumie,

    > At our local supermarket there is a delivery service when customers order goods by more than certain price purchase.

    Some of the supermarkets near my house offer “ネットスーパー” service, but the problems are :
    1. Most elderly people can’t handle PC, so they can’t oder goods by Internet.
    2. The service area is limited, and not all older people can use the service.

    I hear that lots of companies in Japan including convenience stores are trying to enter the market solving the problem of “買い物難民” now. I know it’s because they think of it as a big business opportunity, but it’s not a bad idea, anyway.

    Bye for now !



  27. amo on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 08:24 AM

    Hi everyone,

    We had had a heavy rain last night but it’s cleared up:)
    When I woke up, there was a scorching sun already. It seems to be a hod day today.

    Have a nice day,
    amo



  28. Tomo on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Hi YU,

    I’m glad your son liked the video. I can’t tell which candy is who, but my daughter told me this morning, “This is Mariko-sama, this is Mayuyu, and…” She was not sure about the third one, though. Can you tell who it is??

    I could live without a TV because I rarely watch TV while I’m at home alone, but my husband couldn’t live without one. He loves Japanese TV and says the same thing as you, “くだらなさがいい”(笑) He says he can relax by watching silly programs, thinking nothing and laughing. I guess that’s one of the ways to relieve stress for him. My children like variety shows, and they used to watch エンタの神様 every week. I didn’t like comedians who just made a funny face or noisy sounds, but I liked オリエンタルラジオ very much. They were very funny and witty.

    Hi everyone,

    The typhoon hit my area last night, and we had a heavy rain, too. My oldest son was on his way home when the typhoon hit our area, and he was stuck in the train for about 1 hour, so my husband went to pick him up at the station. I’m glad the weather is nice today.

    Hope you are all well.

    Tomo



  29. YU on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Hi Tomo,

    I was not really sure about the third one and the fourth one, so I looked it up on the Internet.

    http://www.puccho.jp/blog/puccho/comment.php?_id=351

    優子(実写) 1. 麻里子様 2. まゆゆ 3. さしこ 4.たかみな 
    5.あっちゃん

    When your daughter comes back from school today, you can proudly tell this to her. You’re sure of getting respect from her !!

    > He loves Japanese TV and says the same thing as you, “くだらなさがいい”(笑) He says he can relax by watching silly programs, thinking nothing and laughing.

    You see ! でしょ~?
    What a lovely man your husband is!! 🙂
    The other day, I saw 出川哲郎 talking “くだらない is the best praising words for comedians, because we are here to relax the audience by watching our silly programs, thinking nothing and laughing.”
    Wow !! He is a real comedian!
    I always thought 出川 was just a fool, but I have come to think better of him !!

    See you !



  30. David Barker on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Hi Tomo and YU,

    I realise that it is occasionally fun to watch stuff like that, but it is a shame that there are not more different kinds of programmes for people to watch. I used to date a TV producer who lived in Tokyo, and I asked her why the programmes are so poor. She said that everyone in the industry knows that it is rubbish, but the problem is that sponsors are really conservative, and they won’t pay for anything unless it has established “talents” and a familiar format. Anyway, I can watch British TV on the Internet now, so that keeps me happy 🙂



  31. YU on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 01:57 PM

    Hi David and Tomo,

    I think there is some truth in what the TV producer said. It is clear that she doesn’t work for NHK, because she mentioned “sponsors”.
    Sponsors want to use established talents and familiar format, because if the programm wins popularity, more audience will see their advertisements. People in TV industry are very eager to improve audience ratings of their programmes, so that they can earn more production costs from sponsors.
    Finally, we(audience) are left out in the cold??

    My aunt watches only NHK programmes, because others are all くだらない, according to her…



  32. Jyoji on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 06:58 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I posted new translation of the blog to my blog, actually I’ve already done it yesterday’s night (^_^;) So please let me know if I have some mistakes and give me some advices.

    Thanks,
    Jyoji



  33. Jyoji on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 07:14 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I forgot to write my blog’s link.
    Here is
    my blog’s URL.

    Thanks,

    Jyoji



  34. YU on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 08:33 PM

    Hi Jyoji,

    Here are some suggestions from me, but I’m not sure about any of them. It’s really difficult to translate David’s entries. Now I realized how carelessly I used to read them.

    >I thought she might have broken down, so I pulled into a convenience store and walked back to find out.

    故障したのかな?と思ったのでコンビニに(自分の)車を停めてどうしたのか訊きに行った。

    >I’m not sure she really understood what was going on.

    (その時)彼女が何が起こっているのか本当に理解していたのかわからない。

    > Of course, it is not just a question of age.

    もちろんそれは年齢だけの問題じゃありません。

    See you !



  35. Tomo on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Hi YU,
    Thanks for checking the answers for us! My daughter was a bit surprised to know that the third one was さしこ. Speaking of Sashiko, she seems to be in a big trouble at the moment. I don’t understand what the problem is, though… アイドルも大変ですね~

    Hi David,
    It sounds like your ex-girlfriends are everywhere in Japan!(in the world? LOL) As you know, there are always people who like 従来通り.

    Hi Jyoji,
    Thank you! I’m going to write a comment on your blog. I hope it will work out this time!

    Tomo



  36. Tomo on Thursday June 21st, 2012 at 08:27 AM

    Hi Jyoji,

    I posted a comment on your blog last night. I chose “名前/URL” from “プロフィールを選択.” I put my name and the URL of this blog, and then I put a code I saw on the screen. I hope I did it right… 分からなかったので、このブログのURLを入れてしまいましたが、URLは入れなくても大丈夫だったのでしょうか??

    By the way, did you use some tricks in your last comment? I mean, you wrote HTML commands, didn’t you? I didn’t know that we can use HTML in the comment box!(まぁ、知っても使えませんが…笑)

    Have a good day, everyone!

    Tomo



  37. YU on Thursday June 21st, 2012 at 08:31 AM

    Hi Tomo,

    >My daughter was a bit surprised to know that the third one was さしこ.

    Me too.
    There is nothing striking about さしこ’s face, so it must have been very difficult to make her figure.

    Hi David and Tomo,

    >It sounds like your ex-girlfriends are everywhere in Japan!(in the world? LOL)

    Actually I thought so too(!), but I couldn’t say that because I’m very reserved… 😉

    See you !



  38. Tomo on Thursday June 21st, 2012 at 08:57 AM

    Hi YU,

    >but I couldn’t say that because I’m very reserved…

    LOL! あれ、笑うところじゃない?? Sorry!(笑)



  39. Jyoji on Thursday June 21st, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Hi YU,
    Thank you for your correction!!

    >故障したのかな?と思ったのでコンビニに(自分の)車を停めてどうしたのか訊きに行った。

    もう少し下の文章では she/her は車をさすのだと気付きましたが、ここではこの「老女に何かおきた」 ということに執着して考えが及びませんでした、、、(残念)

    >>I’m not sure she really understood what was going on.
    >(その時)彼女が何が起こっているのか本当に理解していたのかわからない。

    It was very difficult to translate into Japanese for a literal translation!!
    意訳したらもっと分かりやすく書けるんでしょうけどね(笑)

    >> Of course, it is not just a question of age.
    >もちろんそれは年齢だけの問題じゃありません。

    そうですか、、僕はその上の文章「The presenter was asking people」を受けてquestion を「質問」としたのですが、、、まぁちょっと違和感が有りましたが・・・

    Hi Tomo,

    Thank you for your comment!!
    ブログへのコメントもしてもらって感謝感謝!大変勉強になります!!
    ブログへのコメントはURLは無くても良いと思います。

    >did you use some tricks in your last comment?

    I wrote the comment to use a HTML’s linking markup.
    スパムコメントとしてはじかれてしまうかな、、と思って投稿してみたのですがいけちゃいました(笑)

    Jyoji



  40. David Barker on Thursday June 21st, 2012 at 01:01 PM

    Hi Jyoji and Tomo,

    HTML is okay on this blog because I have it set up so that every new commenter has to be approved by me. If someone posts a spam comment, I just block it, and none of the other readers ever see it. Having this kind of control was the main reason I wanted to switch the blog from ALC’s servers to my own.



  41. YU on Thursday June 21st, 2012 at 06:34 PM

    Hi Jyoji,

    > 意訳したらもっと分かりやすく書けるんでしょうけどね(笑)

    Indeed…
    In my case, I often translate too free and the translation becomes a completely different thing from the original, though…
    私の場合は意訳しすぎて原文とは全く別物になってしまうことがしばしばあるんですが…(汗)

    I can’t explain English grammar as Tomo does, I’m sorry.
    日本語なら多少教えたこともあるので説明できそうだけど。
    あまりお役に立てず、すみません。

    See you !



  42. Maki on Thursday June 21st, 2012 at 08:41 PM

    Hi trmr,

    Thank you for your message!

    Maki



  43. Anne on Friday June 22nd, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Here are my answers to this week’s question:

    1) Do you think there should be an upper age limit for holding a driver’s license?

    No, I don’t think so. Driving ability differs depending on each person.

    2) Do you think older people should have to take a test every year?

    Yes, I think so,especially for elderly people over 80. As other members said, their health conditions change year by year.

    3) Have you had any experience with an elderly relative who refused to stop driving?

    Yes, I have. My father is 92 now and stopped driving when he was 87.
    One day, my elder brother who lives with my parents called me and said, “Dad drives roughly these days and almost missed the light the other day. I’m very worried about if his driving causes something serious. I persuaded him not to drive anymore, but he doesn’t hear me. He is not happy with that. Please talk with him.”
    They live in the countryside and when they go shopping or see doctors, they need to drive 4km down. It’s a 10 km drive to a bit bigger city, and there’s no other transportation aside from cars, so most of the family members there have their own cars in my city( but village!)
    Giving up driving a car meant that my parents had to ask my sister-in law to drive them when they were going out. My father was not happy with that. He also liked going to rice paddies near his house driving a van. It took him for two years for him to stop driving completely. We discussed a lot before he return his driver’s license Firstly the car, secondly a tractor and lastly the van.

    As YU and Fumie mentioned, a lot of new services for elderly people have started recently and it’s good to solve the problems of “買い物難民.” No wonder elderly people don’t want to give up “door to door” convenience. I think it also helps them to encourage stop driving. A lack of public transportation and lack of services in reasonable walking distance are the keys to delay this problem.

    Hi Joji,
    Nice to meet you. I dropped by you blog, and read your translations. I really admire you because I once tried myself, but it didn’t last long…
    It’s very helpful for all of us!
    By the way, as for the part “I thought she might have broken down”, it was difficult to understand the usage of “she”, wasn’t it? When I first read this, I thought why “she”? Isn’t it “her car”? I also thought the following thing. Thinking of the content, it’s obvious that “she” means “her car”, but if you just read the sentence ” she might have broken down” without reading other part, you would say, “彼女は混乱しているに違いない.” In this case, I think “break down” means “うろたえる。”

    Hi YU,
    Belated Happy Birthday! I know it’s too late, but sorry to say, I was away from home.

    Hi Maki,
    Glad to see your comment here^^)

    Bye for now,

    Anne



  44. trmr on Friday June 22nd, 2012 at 08:45 AM

    Hi YU
    I didn’t know about きんさんぎんさん’s daughter. What a incredible woman! I’m sure that I can’t drive anymore when I get old.
    It’s said in a book I’m reading that It’s not your fault when you confuse the break pedal and acceleration, it’s just a bad design. I think so. There should be some innovation.

    trmr



  45. Jyoji on Friday June 22nd, 2012 at 09:09 AM

    Hi YU,

    >I can’t explain English grammar as Tomo does, I’m sorry.
    >日本語なら多少教えたこともあるので説明できそうだけど。
    >あまりお役に立てず、すみません。

    Don’t mention it!!
    I think your advice are very useful for me and everyone!!
    とんでもございません!
    YUさんの指摘、とっても役に立っていますよ!!

    We discuss about English sentence more detail , then I understand it more deeply!!
    こうやって改めて詳細について話し合うと余計に英文の理解が深まりますよね~。

    Hi Anne,

    Nice to meet you, too.
    Thank you for your suggestion!!
    Indeed!! I didn’t know “break down” means “うろたえる。”.
    If I knew its mean , I must translate the sentence “彼女は混乱しているに違いない.” (^^;)

    Jyoji



  46. Tomo on Friday June 22nd, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Hi YU,

    Wow, you were a Japanese teacher?! What kind of people did you teach? Did you teach in Germany or in Japan? I’ve read somewhere before that learners often ask their teacher tricky questions(マニアックな質問) that even native speakers of Japanese don’t know. Have you had experiences like that?
    題名は忘れてしまったのですが、外国人に日本語を教えている人がそういう体験談みたいなのを書いた本があったような…。 私はネットで少し読んだだけなのですが、とっても面白くて笑いました。そんなの私も知らないよ~って感じで(笑)

    Hi Anne,

    Glad to see your comment! I was wondering how you were doing. Did you go on a trip or something?

    Hi Jyoji,
    >We discuss about English sentence more detail , then I understand it more deeply!!
    こうやって改めて詳細について話し合うと余計に英文の理解が深まりますよね~。

    Yes, indeed. Let’s learn from each other!

    Talk to you later,

    Tomo



  47. YU on Friday June 22nd, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Hi Anne,

    > Belated Happy Birthday! I know it’s too late, but sorry to say, I was away from home.

    Thank you ! 🙂
    I’d been missing your comments!( I thought why “she”? Isn’t it “her car”? I also thought the following thing. Thinking of the content, it’s obvious that “she” means “her car”, but if you just read the sentence ” she might have broken down” without reading other part, you would say, “彼女は混乱しているに違いない.” In this case, I think “break down” means “うろたえる。”

    It’s a very acute analysis as usual!
    To tell the truth, I translated “she” as “her car” just by an animal instuition…

    I found an interesting Q & A :

    ” Question. Why are ships named after women?

    Answer)
    Because most captains had wives, so to keep close to their wives they named them women
    I always heard it had religious foundation; i.e. Eve was created from Adam so, many things created by man, espesially ships, are given female names.”

    That was news to me. It’s interesting, isn’t it?
    I have a feeling that I’ve heard ships or airplanes are called “she” sometimes(!?), but I’m not sure about “cars” at all.
    So, I’m wondering if “she” in David’s entry meant “car” for “religious reasons” or just because the car was a possession of a woman(elderly woman).

    By the way, some people call their pets “he/she”, don’t they? I guess they do so because they think of their pets as a member of the family. Am I right? Or do animals in English language have a gender as French language or German language?? I always thought English was a simple language bcause it doesn’t have a gender…

    Hi trmr,

    > It’s said in a book I’m reading that It’s not your fault when you confuse the break pedal and acceleration, it’s just a bad design.

    I’m not really sure waht you meant by “a bad design”.
    You mean, “the break is placed next to the acceleration, and it is the cause of driver’s confusion”??

    See you !



  48. YU on Friday June 22nd, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Hi Tomo,

    > Wow, you were a Japanese teacher?! What kind of people did you teach? Did you teach in Germany or in Japan?

    About 15 years ago I took a Japanese language teacher(for foreigners) training course, but I’m not a Japanese teacher !
    As I mentioned before, I studied Japanology in Germany and exchanged languages with German students. I was a very polpular teacher because I was the only Japanese student in the department!! ha-ha-ha !! 🙂
    In addition, I’ve taught Japanese language to foreigners as a volunteer teacher. Actually, I met my husband there.

    > I’ve read somewhere before that learners often ask their teacher tricky questions(マニアックな質問) that even native speakers of Japanese don’t know. Have you had experiences like that?

    I have. I think we can’t answer those questions because we are native speakers. A teacher in Japanese teacher’s course taught us, “When students ask you, ‘What are the differences between A and B?’ and if you couldn’t find the differences, then just answer them, ‘Almost same, but I’ll look it up later’, and tell them what you learned at home in the next class.
    Being a native speaker does not necessarily mean that you know everything about Japanese language.

    Bye for now !



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