Skip to content

Thank you for all the feedback, and thank you for your kind words about the blog. As most of your comments were in Japanese, it took me a long time to read through them all, but that was great practice for me.

One thought I had was that if the blog does its job, it is inevitable that it will end up with a lot of high-level writers. After all, the aim of the blog is to help people to develop their English writing skills! Some of you are probably impressed when you read comments written by Tomo and Anne, but I have watched their English develop over the years. Even though they are both very high-level now, they were not like that when we started. Of course, Anne and Tomo have studied by themselves as well, so I can’t claim all the credit for their improvement, but Anne wrote this week that:

10月9日のDavidのエントリー
1段目、1行目~2行目”I’m rushing to preparefor that.” の”rush to”の表現を使えるようになりたいと思いました。

That is exactly how I want people to use the blog, so if you notice any interesting or new language in my entries, please comment about it. If you want to try making your own sentences using the new language, I will check them when I do the feedback. By the way, Anne, I think “>David has been choosing become difficult ーーーーDavid has been choosing became difficult” should be “the topics David has been choosing have been getting more difficult.” (A-Z: become)

One thing I will try to do is include more “easy” topics and short entries. As the regulars will know, I tend to choose topics quite randomly based on whatever I happen to be thinking about or whatever has caught my attention that week. Of course, I will still continue to do the difficult ones as well, so please don’t worry if you prefer those. I think that taking on difficult topics will help you to develop a wide range of vocabulary.

As some of you pointed out, there is a Japanese explanation of this blog in “About this blog,” but I guess that many people never read it. Maybe I should add a Japanese explanation to every entry. The problem is that it would have to go at the end. If it was at the beginning, it would look terrible when people checked lists of old entries, because they would all look the same. How about something like this?

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くと必ず暖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、もちろん日本語のコメントでもOK。もし書きたいことの一部だけが英語で言えないなら混ぜて書いてください。その英語が知りたいなら、もしHow do you say 「〜」in English?と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれるでしょう。そして、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「”…”はどう言う意味ですか?」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ピックアップすると必ず自分の英語の自然さに影響があります。

Please give me some feedback on that, and I will post it on the new entry next week to see if it has any effect.

I certainly don’t want a blog where everyone comments only in Japanese – there would be no point in that. However, I think it is good for people to use Japanese as a tool to help them develop their ability to write comments in English. If someone new visits the blog and sees only English comments, they will probably just give up if their level is not very high. If there was some Japanese mixed in with the English, that might encourage them to try. If the regulars could add just one or two sentences in Japanese to summarize their English comments from time to time, I think that would be very useful. Shall we give it a try?

One point that most people seemed to agree on was trying to keep comments short. Of course there is no “limit” on the length of your comment, but please remember that the shorter your comment is, the more likely other readers (and me!) are to read it.

As for the “off-topic” discussions, I guess that if you put the name of the person you are writing to at the top of the comment, other people can just ignore it if they want to, so it shouldn’t be a problem. To be honest, I often skip through these personal messages when I am doing the feedback.

Anyway, thanks for all the comments. Your feedback was really useful for me. Next week, we are going to have a special guest, so the style will be a bit different from usual. I’ll tell you about it on Monday.

PS Hi Kimi. I laughed when I read your comment “It is that no matter how much I may learn, it is meaningless if I have nothing to talk about.” If you can write sentences like that, I don’t think you need to worry about your English!

PPS Hi YU. Thanks for writing an introduction. Maybe we could make that our topic one week? Every member could just introduce themselves and talk about their English learning history.

52 Comments

  1. Biwa on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 01:02 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the feedback for the feedback!(Strange sentence,isn’t it?)

    For your Japanese explanation, your last sentence might sound more natural if you put it like this:

    >このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさんピックアップすると必ず自分の英語の自然さに影響があります。

    このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん身に付ければ付けるほど、あなたの英語が自然になることは間違いありません。



  2. Tomo on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 01:16 PM

    Hi David,

    How about this?

    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。必ず暖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くことができますよ!

    コメントを投稿するときは、名前とメールアドレス、4文字の英数字(CAPCHA code)を入れてください。 最初のコメントは承認後の公開になりますが、2回目からはそのまま投稿できます。

    ※メールアドレスは公開されません

    Biwa’s version の「たくさん身に付ければ付けるほど、あなたの英語が自然になることは間違いありません」もいいですね!

    Tomo



  3. Biwa on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 01:53 PM

    Hi Tomo and everyone,

    I like your translation, too, Tomo.
    And thanks for adding the “CAPTCHA code” thing.
    「そこに表示されているゆがんだ文字がそれです。」は入れなくてもいいかしら?知らなかったのは私だけ?

    Also, can I ask about the “time expiration” again?
    Has any one of you experienced the same thing?



  4. Tomo on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 02:16 PM

    Thanks, Biwa. I have experienced “time expiration” too, so I know how you felt when you lost all what you had written. Then, how about this?

    コメントを投稿するときは、名前とメールアドレス、メールアドレス欄下に表示される4文字の英数字(CAPCHA code)を入れてください。 最初のコメントは承認後の公開になりますが、2回目からはそのまま投稿できます。

    ※メールアドレスは公開されません

    ※CAPCHA codeは時間切れになることがあります。コード右上の矢印で更新してから入力してください



  5. YU on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 02:19 PM

    Hi David,

    I almost can’t find any mistakes in your Japanese.
    Here are my suggestions ;

    1. 勇気を出してコメントを書くと必ず暖かく迎えてもらえます

    I think “温かく” is correct.
    When you say something lelated to 心、感情、性格,etc…, “温かい” is the correct kanji.
    The antonym of “暖かい” is “寒い”, but you don’t say “寒い人” or “寒い心”, but you say “冷たい人/心/性格”, don’t you?
    I think “暖かく” is used when you talk mainly about the weather.

    2. もし書きたいことの一部だけが英語で言えないなら混ぜて書いてください。

    …..日本語と英語を混ぜて書いてください。

    3. その英語が知りたいなら、もしHow do you say 「〜」in English?と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれるでしょう。

    それを英語でどう言うか知りたい時は、How do you….

    4. このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさんピックアップすると必ず自分の英語の自然さに影響があります。

    ……表現を身につけていくことであなたの英語はより自然なものになるはずですよ。

    > PPS Hi YU. Thanks for writing an introduction. Maybe we could make that our topic one week? Every member could just introduce themselves and talk about their English learning history.

    If you like, please.
    I read in one of your books that “self-introduction” is very important when you start learning English. I have talked about English learning history with my English Club friends. It was very interesting.



  6. Biwa on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 02:26 PM

    Wow! I’ve never known that the mark on the upper-right corner was for an update, Tomo!
    I guess I’m a real 機械オンチ!

    I definitely think some people will need this phrase. I think your explanation is perfect. Thanks!



  7. Tomo on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 02:34 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    Glad to be of help 🙂

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for your correction!

    David, YU is right. The kanji 暖 should be 温.



  8. Biwa on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 02:44 PM

    Hi YU,

    Yes, 暖should be温. Thanks.

    Hi David,

    Even though, I like your sentences as they are. They make me feel that they’re really YOUR words.



  9. Kimi on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 03:03 PM

    Hi mantra,

    Nice to meet you. As you wrote, I think here should be a place where we can discuss freely.

    Hi David and everyone,

    It is tough for me to write what I want to. So I think I write mix Japanese and English. Sentences I have no confidence in are accompanied by Japanese with parenthesis so that the readers can make out them.(自信がない文章は皆さんが理解できるようカッコ書きで日本語を添えますね) If I have no idea how to write in English, I write in only Japanese without parentheses. Then, I will ask, “How do you say ~in English.”

    Thank you for reading.



  10. YU on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 03:09 PM

    Hi Tomo,

    > Actually, I thought we were going to talk about the English education in Japan this week because David said, “Thanks for bringing this subject up” after your comment to Biwa.

    Same here!! 🙂
    (I learned this phrase at today’s English Club, but I’m not sure about the usage!!)

    And I guess some other members(Biwa, rinko…) also got David wrong and said “I’m okay with the topic” because everyone thought he meant “About English education in Japan”.

    > No, I don’t welcome those difficult topics. LOL I would never want to write a comment on those topics if it was not here.

    Really??
    But I always admire your relevant comments.

    > He looks very nice and kind, and so do my colleagues, so I don’t need to worry about the relationships with them.

    I’m happy for you!
    I think that relationship in the workplace is very important. You’re lucky!

    > You can make an appointment(受付)and check how many people waiting to see the doctor on your computer or cell phone, so you don’t have to wait at the waiting room for a long time. It’s a nice system, isn’t it?

    Yes, it’s very nice. The clinic my son goes has the system, too!
    By the way, when I saw my son’s doctor for the first time, I thought, “He looks like someone very famous, but who is it??”. Later I realized that it was “Baikinman”. Since then I can’t look him in the face as I can’t control my laughter!

    Hi Biwa,

    > I guess I’m a real 機械オンチ!

    Don’t worry, I knew it very recently too!



  11. Tomo on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 05:03 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Here are some sentences I found interesting.

    >One thought I had was that if the blog does its job, it is inevitable that it will end up with a lot of high-level writers.

    The part “If the blog does its job” is an interesting expression. I couldn’t have produce it myself.

    >I tend to choose topics quite randomly based on whatever I happen to be thinking about or whatever has caught my attention that week.

    This is a difficult sentence, but I hope I will lean sometime.

    Anyway, thanks for the compliment 🙂 I’m looking forward to finding out who the special guest is!

    Have a great weekend,

    Tomo

    PS YU, your son’s doctor must be very popular among children!



  12. rinko on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 05:20 PM

    Hi David.

    It was a good chance to discuss what we think about the blog frankly and freely, especially in Japanese. I could know again how much the members(including me) like and admire you,and I really hope this great blog will be more accessible by lots of people!

    >Next week, we are going to have a special guest, so the style will be a bit different from usual.

    !? I’m looking forward to your entry next week!

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    rinko



  13. Fumie on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 06:08 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I think it was a good opportunity to think about the style of the blog.
    >If the regulars could add just one or two sentences in Japanese to summarize their English comments from time to time, I think that would be very useful. Shall we give it a try?
    I think it’s a good idea and want to give it a try.

    As for the Japanese message, other members already answered and I agree with their version.

    We are going to have a special guest. I’m looking forward to it.

    Hi YU,

    今回のdiscussionの言いだしっぺがYUで、ちょっと話題にしたことで話が大きくなってしまったんではないかと気にしていたようですが、いい機会だったと思います。私はブログは今のままがいいなんて生意気なことを書きましたが、新しく訪れる人がレベルが高いと感じ、参加しにくいのは仕方がないかもしれないけれど、私が気になるのは、以前よくコメントを書いていたメンバーが遠ざかることです。もちろんそれぞれ理由があって忙しくて参加できないとかならいいんですが、最近難しくなってきて、それが原因ならそのことを考慮する必要があると思います。

    Have a great weekend!

    Hi Tomo,

    You are lucky to work in a nice environment and with nice people.

    Fumie



  14. YU on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 08:29 PM

    Hi Fumie,

    > 私が気になるのは、以前よくコメントを書いていたメンバーが遠ざかることです。

    That was exactly one of the things that I wrote to Tomo last week.
    (Tomoに相談したことのひとつがまさにそれでした。)

    Finally, I also think it was a good opportunity to know what other memebers think about the current blog. At the same time, it was nice that I could confirm the aim of the blog directly from David again.
    What I felt from his feedback was that he actually wanted to open the door to wider range of English learners.
    Like you and amo, I actually don’t want to have any changes, but David is the host of this blog, and I don’t think we should ignore his ideas.

    (私もみんなの率直な意見を聞けて良かったです。と同時に直接Davidからブログの本来の目的を再確認できたことも良かったです。
    Feedbackを読んでDavidは本当はもっと色々な(レベルの)人にこのブログの門戸を開放したいんだな、と感じました。
    私も本当はamoやFumieと同じくこのままのブログがいいんだけど、このブログのホストはDavidだからDavidの意向を無視することはできないと思いました。)



  15. Anne on Friday October 12th, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    It was really nice to share each person’s idea toward this blog, so YU, thanks for giving us the chance.
    >David, thank you for your correction and compliment.
    >mantra, Glad to see your comment here again and looking forward to hearing your ideas from time to time.

    Here’s one sentence that I found difficult to use:

    >I can’t claim all the credit for their improvement
    これは、「彼らの進歩が全部私のおかげだとは言えないけれど。。。」の意味だと思います。 claimが日本語のクレームとは異なることはわかりますが、このように使うのは難しいです。
    「私が書くとしたらどのように書いただろう」と考え、最初は” I can’t say all the credit..”と思いましたが、少しおかしい。
    I guess I would write, “I can’t receive/accept/take all the credit for their improvement.”
    (A-Z claim の項)

    Have a lovely weekend,everyone,

    Anne



  16. Gussan on Saturday October 13th, 2012 at 05:19 PM

    Hi YU and everyone,

    You said:
    >> 私が気になるのは、以前よくコメントを書いていたメンバーが遠ざかることです。
    > That was exactly one of the things that I wrote
    > to Tomo last week.

    We can’t help but accept this situation, I suppose, because it’s very difficult for some of us to continue to post comments on this blog.

    Actually, I don’t do so often.
    I can access this blog just twice a day:before having breakfast and after dinner.

    However, I’d like to read your comments.
    To tell the truth, I’m not willing to write my comments about controversial topics because it’s too touchy.

    On those cases, I’d like to post another topic which I’d like to share with you, unless you mind.

    See ya,



  17. Tomo on Saturday October 13th, 2012 at 08:19 PM

    Hi Fumie,

    Thanks! I also think I’m very lucky 🙂 I worked today too, and I’m getting used to the job though there are still lots and lots of things I need to learn.

    (ありがとう! 私も本当にラッキーだな~と思います。 今日もお仕事してきました。 まだまだ覚えることはたくさんあるけど、だんだん慣れてきた感じです)

    Hi Gussan,

    I’d like to read YOUR comments too!

    Hi everyone,

    Here’s another sentence I find interesting.

    >the shorter your comment is, the more likely other readers (and me!) are to read it.

    この間、並び順を間違えた『The 比較級~, the 比較級~』の形です。後半が “the more likely” のタイプは言ったことがないので今度使ってみたいです。

    Hope you are all having a nice weekend,

    Tomo

    PS YU, I have heard of the expression “Same here” in TV dramas several times, and I think you used it correctly 😉



  18. YU on Saturday October 13th, 2012 at 08:40 PM

    Hi Gussan,

    Thank you for your comment.
    I know you don’t need Japanese translations, but let me write them for beginners, sorry.

    Yes, as I wrote, that was exactly “ONE OF THE THINGS” that I wrote to Tomo at first.
    Here is my original comment to Tomo,

    (そうです。まさにそれがTomoに書いた”内容のうちの1つ”ですが、以下が私の元のコメントです。)

    “私が言うのもおかしいけど、ここ最近はコメントの内容が複雑で難しすぎて新しく参加しようにもできない読者が多いのでは、と思ってしまいました。また、昔は参加してたメンバーもそのせいで遠ざかっているのかも。。。”

    Now my concern is more about English beginners because if I were a beginner, I don’t think I would feel like jumping into the current blog.

    (今はコメントを書かなくなった昔のメンバーよりこのブログを読んでいる英語初級者の方が気になりますね。私が初級者なら今の状態のブログにコメントを書いて飛び込む勇気は多分ないと思うので。)

    I read the entries Anne mentioned.
    (> In November 2006, the style of this blog changed from Japanese to English, and there were discussions about it.)

    (Anneがコメントに書いていたエントリーを読んでみました。)

    You would see what David’s basic concepts of this blog originally were if you read the entry as of November 2, 2006, Title: “My new idea”.

    (2006年11月2日の”My new idea”というタイトルのエントリーを読むとDavidのこのブログに対する元々のコンセプトが分かると思います。)

    Of course, I don’t think this blog should stay as it is forever, but rather I think we should improve it from time to time. However, I have a feeling that David’s ideas of running this blog hasn’t changed much since that time. I guess he offers this blog to help every level of English learners.

    (もちろんこのブログが開設当初のままずっと変わらない方がいいとは思っていません。むしろ必要に応じて改善していくべきなんだと思います。でも、Davidの基本的なコンセプトは昔とあまり変わってないんじゃないかな、と思ったのです。Davidは”すべてレベル”の英語学習者を助けたくてこのブログをオファーしているんじゃないかと思います。)

    > However, I’d like to read your comments.

    So would I.
    I always enjoy reading everyone’s comments too.

    (私もみんなのコメントを読むのをいつも楽しみにしています)

    > To tell the truth, I’m not willing to write my comments about controversial topics because it’s too touchy.

    In my case, that is exactly why I want to discuss
    “touchy” topics on this blog because it is not easy to find friends to discuss them with in real life. This blog is “online”, and I can express my honest feelings more than having a conversation face to face.

    (私の場合はだからこそそういうデリケートな話題についてこのブログで話したいと思っています。現実の社会でそういうことを話し合う仲間に出会うのは至難の業だからです。それにこのブログは”オンライン”だから面と向かって話すより自分の正直な気持ちを言いやすい、というのもあります。)

    > On those cases, I’d like to post another topic which I’d like to share with you, unless you mind.

    Last time you posted a very funny video, and everyone liked it. I liked it, too! 🙂
    I of course don’t mind it because this is not my blog, but everyone’s blog.

    (前回面白いビデオを紹介してくれましたよね。面白かったです。みんなもすごく楽しんでいましたよね。もちろんGussanが気分転換に(?)どんなコメントを書こうがビデオを貼り付けようが私は全然OKです。みんなのブログですから!)

    See you!



  19. miktak on Saturday October 13th, 2012 at 09:02 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I think all of you are brilliant because you are trying to improve this blog.

    I always learn live English from this blog.

    At least reading your coments is very useful for me.
    I think I need to not only input but also output, so I’ll try to comment as possible.

    I’m happy if you point out my mistakes.

    See you.



  20. Yukako on Saturday October 13th, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    It was a great opportunity to discuss this blog.I hope more and more people will visit here and write their comments.

    Have a nice weekend!



  21. Tomo on Saturday October 13th, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Hi miktak,

    Glad to hear you found the blog useful.

    >I think I need to not only input but also output, so I’ll try to comment as possible.

    I’m looking forward to reading your comments 🙂

    By the way, if you changed the part “as possible” to “as much/often as possible” or “as much/often as I can”, I think your sentence would be more natural.

    See you soon,

    Tomo



  22. amo on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 01:03 AM

    Hi David,

    I didn’t expect to get your feedback so soon. I assumed that you would take more time. I should have known that your Japanese ability is much much better than my English ability :-O So there was no need to write a comment in English at that time 🙂

    Hi YU,

    >but David is the host of this blog, and I don’t think we should ignore his ideas.

    I was a little bit upset when I read your comment, and wondering if you got my thoughts wrong.
    I never, ever meant to imply that I wanted him to keep the current system against his ideas at all.
    I just wanted him to know how much I appreciate what he’s been doing for us. Also, I would like people who read this blog to write comments but I just don’t want to force them to do it. Like Gussan, there are some people who are just satisfied with reading this blog and the way to enjoy this blog differs from person to person.

    私の真意が伝わってないのではと不安になってきました。
    私としてはただDavidに感謝していると伝えたかっただけなんだけど・・・。
    今の状況に満足してるからと言って、Davidの意に反してまで続けてほしいとは思わないし、もちろん多くの人にコメントしてほしいですが、無理強いはしたくないし、中にはGussanのように読むだけで満足してる人もいるだろうし、このブログに対する関わり方は人それぞれなので、今のままでいいのかと思っただけなんだけどね。

    amo



  23. YU on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 02:58 AM

    Hi amo,

    I didn’t get you wong.

    わかっていますよ。
    でもamoを責めているように思ったならごめんね! 🙁

    > 私も本当はamoやFumieと同じくこのままのブログがいいんだけど、このブログのホストはDavidだからDavidの意向を無視することはできないと思いました

    When I wrote this, I thought the word “ignore” was a bit too strong, but I couldn’t think of any better word, and I still can’t. Sorry for my poor vocabulary. I didn’t mean you(amo) “ignore” his ideas, but rather I just wanted everyone to remember his original ideas again.

    これを書いたとき”ignore”も”無視”もちょっと強すぎると思ってはいました。でも”軽視”もちょっと違うし、とか色々迷ったんだけど、結局他にいい言葉が見つからなかった、今も。
    でもamoがDavidの意向を無視している、という意味で書いたんじゃないですよ、というかみんなにもう一度Davidがこのブログを始めたころのコンセプトを思い出して欲しかった(feedbackとAnneが教えてくれた昔のエントリーを読んで私は個人的にそう思った)。最近入った私が言うのもヘンだけどね!:-) 話し合いの中でだれもあまりそのことについて触れてなかった(私自身も含めて)から書いただけです。
    でも、きっと直前に”Like you and amo, I actually don’t want to have any changes”と書いてしまったからそう感じたんですね。ごめんなさい。

    PS Gussanのコメントに関してはamoとはちょっと違う風に受け取りました。参加はしたいけどcontroversialなトピックに関してはあまりコメントしたくないんじゃないかな。それと忙しいからなかなかコメントする時間がないけど読むのは読んでいるし、みんなのコメント読むのを楽しんでいる、と言いたいのだと私は受け取ったけど。読むだけで満足している、とは感じなかった。人それぞれ受け取り方は違いますね。

    では!



  24. YU on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 03:01 AM

    correction:

    ”Like you and amo, I actually …
    => Like amo and Fumie, ….



  25. Gussan on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 05:12 AM

    Hi YU,

    You said:
    >Now my concern is more about English beginners because if I were a beginner, I don’t think I would feel like jumping into the current blog.

    I agree with your opinion.
    For English beginners easy topics are more approachable.

    I think whenever a new member jumps in on this blog, David or some core members will give a warm comments to him/her.

    That’s very good.

    Concerning CAPCHA code, I type in the code in the blank box after I finish writing my comment and renewing the code to prevent from rejecting by the time limit.

    I suppose that’s a good idea.

    See ya,



  26. YU on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 09:21 AM

    Hi miktak,

    I think I’ve read your comment(s?) before.
    Is my memory correct!?

    > I think I need to not only input but also output, so I’ll try to comment as possible.

    I think so too.
    David says in the old entry ;

    “We learn languages (and most other things) by doing, so I want this blog to be a place where we are learning English not just by studying it, but also by using it for real communication. If you are scared that your English is not good enough, remember that there is only one way to improve it, and that is by trying your best with the English you have now.”

    I totally agree with him.
    Tomo is a good example.
    Her English wasn’t really good when she started learning here(ゴメンネ、Tomo!), but she just followed his instructions. And now you see, how good and natural her English is!

    > I’m happy if you point out my mistakes.

    “Teaching each other” is one of the essential ideas of this blog, I think. Some of the advanced members always answer your questions.
    Tomo learned a lot not only from David, but also from those advanced members in the past, and now she is teaching things she learned from them to other people. I’d like to call it “鶴の恩返し” system from now on. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to reading your comments! 🙂

    See you !



  27. Biwa on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 09:25 AM

    Hi everyone,

    Hope you’re all having a nice weekend.
    Last night, my son came back from his homestay with a happy face and a bit of confidence.
    I’m having a wonderful time listening to his funny stories.
    He seems to have enjoyed everything including bouncing and spinning on the trampoline all together in their backyard! LOL!

    He also told me that they had a “morning tea” at school every day. They don’t actually drink tea but have a break after the first period, and they eat fruit and snacks which they prepare themselves and bring to school aside from their lunches.
    After that, they had two classes before lunch and one or two after, but no one seemed to stay at school after 3 o’clock. So, they had plenty of time to do things together with their families.

    The host father seemed to be very surprised when my son said ” My father never comes back home before 10 o’clock on weekdays.” My son was surprised, too, because everyone in the house really went to bed at 10 and never got up until 7 in the morning.

    As many people would point, I guess this is a big reason why we have to be so busy and tired everyday, but I just don’t know why we can’t do it the right way. It just seems that time flows in a leisurely and healthier pace there.

    Anyway, I’m glad that my son could see different lives over there especially at this moment when he starts thinking about his future. I hope my younger son will also have a chance later, too.



  28. YU on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    It seems that your son had a meaningful time there! 🙂 By the way, did his hostfamily like the presents you chose? (マンガとキャンディー)

    > They don’t actually drink tea but have a break after the first period, and they eat fruit and snacks

    It sounds like “snack time” rather than “morning tea”, doesn’t it? My son used to go to the English Club for kids run by an English pre-school. They also had a break called “snack time” after the first activities(morning greetings and songs). I wonder if this kind of “break” is common at schools in western countries.

    (”morning tea” というより”snack time”ですね。息子が以前通っていたイングリッシュプレスクールが運営する英語サークルでも1つ目のアクティビティ後に”snack time”という休憩時間がありました。こういうのって欧米の学校では一般的なのかしら?)

    > As many people would point, I guess this is a big reason why we have to be so busy and tired everyday, but I just don’t know why we can’t do it the right way. It just seems that time flows in a leisurely and healthier pace there.

    I agree.
    I have read in somewhere that Japanese people certaily work hard and long hours, but the ways they work are not really efficient. When I lived in Germany, I often wondered why German people could leave office much earlier than Japanese people, though they had almost the same results from shorter working hours.

    (以前どこかで日本人は確かに働き者で長い時間働くけど働き方はあまり効率的でないというのを読んだことがあります。ドイツに住んでいる時、ドイツ人ってなんで仕事を早く終わらせて家に帰れるのかな、短い時間でも日本人と同じくらい成果をあげてるのに、と不思議に思っていました。)

    See you !



  29. Biwa on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Hi Anne,

    The same as you, I found the word “claim” interesting, too.

    According to my dictionary, it has two main meanings:

    1. to ask for something because you have a right to have it, or it belongs to you ( I think this is the one written in David’s book.)

    2. to say that something is true, even though it might not be (example; There’s a man at the door claiming to be your son.)

    I guess David’s sentence takes the second meaning and sounds slightly more than just “say”.
    日本語だと、あまりはっきり区別する言葉がないように思いますがどうでしょう。
    I’d like to use this word some time, too.



  30. Biwa on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for your reply!
    Luckily, they all liked the manga and other stuff. Not only the boys but the mother was a great fan of “Dragonball” and she happens to take karate lessons every week. lol!

    I suppose “morning tea” comes from a British tradition, but isn’t it elegant to call it that way instead of just “snack time”?
    I remeber my grandmother and mother used to prepare tea after they finish the morning housekeeping chores, and everyone gathered at the table and sipped hot green tea and chatted for a while. My son’s story reminded me of that and I guess many people used to do similar things. (or am I too old??)
    Perhaps, time always flows in the same pace, but it’s just the way you take it that differs. (「時間」は昔から変わらず、同じように流れているのに、自分の受け止め方のせいで、なんとなく忙しい気がするのかもしれません。)
    Especially in Japan, I guess, the people in the older days were more mature than us.



  31. Kimi on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I think there are some types of people who want to write a comment but can’t, aside from people who are satisfied with only reading. (読むだけで満足している読者は別として、コメントを書きたいけどそれができない人はいくつかのタイプにわけられると思います。) One which is beginner, one which does not have enough time to write a comment, and one which does not follow a difficult discussion.

    David’s new attempt can help them jump in here. I hope it works well.

    Kimi

    PS もしお時間がある方で面倒でなければ、間違いを訂正してくださると有難いです。



  32. Biwa on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Hi Kimi,

    こんにちは。図々しくも挑戦してみます。間違っていたら、たぶん他の方々が直してくださると思うので・・・(汗;)

    >One which is beginner,…
     
    If I were you, I might put it this way;

    Those who are beginners, those who do not have enough time to comment and those who just can’t follow the difficult discussions.



  33. YU on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    The mother might be a Japanophile?
    Anyway, your efforts were fully rewarded!!
    (あれこれ悩んだ甲斐がありましたね!)

    Indeed, “morning tea” sounds more elegant!
    By the way, the pre-school’s director is an American woman.
    I’m not sure if it is called “snack time” because the director is an American or because the students are really young…
    (学長がアメリカ人の女性だったせいでsnack time(おやつタイム)と呼ばれていたの生徒が小さい子供たちだからそう呼ばれてたのか定かではありませんが、morning teaはオシャレな感じで良いですね!)



  34. Biwa on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Hi YU,

    >Anyway, your efforts were fully rewarded!!

    I love this expression!
    I’m going to note it into my brain.
    Thanks!(^o^)b



  35. Kimi on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for your prompt correction.
    As David and everyone said, I want to enhance my English through this blog.



  36. YU on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    2. to say that something is true, even though it might not be (example; There’s a man at the door claiming to be your son.)

    Could anyone translate the example sentence into Japanese for me? I have no idea.
    「あなたの息子だと言い張っている男がドアのところにいる」ってことですか?多分間違ってそう。

    I’m going out with my family now.

    See you later!



  37. miktak on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 01:23 PM

    Hi Tomo,

    Thank you for your advice.
    I think it is one of the attractive point of this blog that some readers point out mistakes other make.

    Hi YU,

    As you say, I’ve written a comment before.

    >“Teaching each other” is one of the essential ideas of this blog, I think.

    I totally agree with you.
    (←I learned this expression from this blog.)

    >I’d like to call it “鶴の恩返し” system from now on.

    I hope I become good at English and do 恩返し as early as possible.

    See you,



  38. Biwa on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 01:30 PM

    Hi YU and everyone,

    YU, I think your translation is correct, and 「言い張る」seems to be a good word for this case.

    I’m starting to think that David’s “claim” was the first meaning.

    claim something (the credit)は、何か(功績)が自分のものだと主張することですから、やはり1番の意味ですよね。すみません。



  39. YU on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 07:27 PM

    Hi everyone,

    It has suddenly got cold, hasn’t it?
    I dined out at a Shabushabu & Sukiyaki restaurant with my family today.
    Time for Nabe is approaching.(鍋の季節が近づいています)
    I like Sukiyaki the best. What is your favorite Nabe??

    Hi Biwa,

    > so I can’t claim all the credit for their improvement
    > claim something (the credit)は、何か(功績)が自分のものだと主張することですから、やはり1番の意味ですよね

    そうですね、おそらく。私ならinsistとか書いちゃいそう。
    I guess Anne’s translation(「彼らの進歩が全部私のおかげだとは言えないけれど。。。」is correct.
    “not ~ all”だから部分否定なんですね。”I don’t say it is all thanks to me(this blog), though.” みたいな意味なんでしょうかね。(ヘンな文ですみません)

    Hi Tomo,

    I forgot to mention this.

    > PS YU, I have heard of the expression “Same here” in TV dramas several times, and I think you used it correctly

    Really? I’m relieved to hear that. Thanks! 🙂



  40. Tomo on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Hi YU,

    You don’t have to say “sorry” because it’s true. You are kind enough to put “really” before “good”, so thanks! (本当は「あまり良くなかった」どころか「全然良くなかった」だけど 笑)

    >Tomo learned a lot not only from David, but also from those advanced members in the past, and now she is teaching things she learned from them to other people. I’d like to call it “鶴の恩返し” system from now on.

    Ha ha, that’s a nice name. And yes, many advanced members helped me. I’m grateful to all of them.

    Hi Biwa,

    Glad to hear your son had a wonderful time! I enjoyed reading the stories of your son’s first homestay.

    Hi Kimi and everyone,

    >I think there are some types of people who want to write a comment but can’t, aside from people who are satisfied with only reading. One which is beginner, one which does not have enough time to write a comment, and one which does not follow a difficult discussion.

    「1つ目は初心者で、2つ目はコメントを書く時間がない人で、3つ目は難しい話題が好きじゃない人(難しいディスカッションはフォローしない人)」かな?(cannot じゃなくて does not を使っていたので) それともBiwaの解釈の方で、「難しい話題に付いていけない人」ということでしょうか…?

    1) One is beginners, another is people who don’t have enough time to write a comment, and the other is people who don’t prefer difficult discussions.(Biwaの解釈だったら… people who can’t follow difficult discussions)
    ↑ ここでの one/another/the other は type の代用で、なるべくオリジナルが残るようにしてみました。

    I’m not sure, but I would say…

    2) One is people who are not confident in their English, another is people who are too busy to write comments, and the other is people who don’t prefer difficult topics.

    or “type” から離れて「~という人もいれば、~という人もいる」という表現で…

    3) Some are nervous about writing in English, some are too busy to write comments, and others are don’t really like difficult/controversial discussions.

    なかなか難しいですね。これは全然自信がないので参考意見ということで。。 他に何かアイディアがある人はお願います!

    See you soon,

    Tomo



  41. Kimi on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Hi Tomo,

    Thank you for taking your time.
    What I meant is that there are people who CANNOT follow difficult discussions. Sorry for my mistake.

    There are a lot of ways of writing to express something, aren’t you? I can learn some expressions from Biwa and Tomo’s corrections.

    Hi everyone,

    Learning English is a good chance to review my Japanese. I hope my Japanese will improve at the same time. I can also learn Japanese from here. I’m impressed by both your English and Japanese comments.

    As miktak wrote, I also want to help others improve their English someday.

    See you,

    Kimi



  42. Biwa on Sunday October 14th, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Hi everyone,

    The word “credit” seems to be an interesting word, too. Here are some of the examples, and they all seem to have positive meanings.

    1. praise given to someone for doing something(claim the credit)称賛

    2. a way of buying goods which you pay later(I bought these on credit.)信用取引

    3. to be successful that people around you are proud of you(You are a credit to the school.)誇り

    4. 大学などの「単位」

    5. to have money in your bank account(be in credit)貸方勘定、つまりプラスであること

    6. a list of people who helped making a TV program or a movie(the credits)

    一見、まったく関係のない意味のようでありながら、全部「プラスの」というイメージの言葉なのかな、と勝手に解釈して、おもしろいなーと思いました。



  43. Anne on Monday October 15th, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Hi Biwa and YU,

    Sorry for the late reply. I just got back home from an over night trip.

    >I guess David’s sentence takes the second meaning and sounds slightly more than just “say”.
    日本語だと、あまりはっきり区別する言葉がないように思いますがどうでしょう。
    I’d like to use this word some time, too.

    —claimに関しては「主張する」、creaditは名声、称賛」の意味だと思います。claim the creaditで、称賛に値する、の意の熟語があります。なので、意味としては、No.1
      1. praise given to someone for doing something(claim the credit)称賛                 意味として訳すときは「。。。とは言えない」と意訳しましたが、私ならsay all the creditとしてしまうかな、と思いましたが、collocationとしては、claim(take) (all)the creaditで、sayは使えません。また、意味的には、receive,accept、takeだと思います。claimの中に、その意味するところが含まれているので、英文を読むとイメージが浮かんでくるのがおもしろいなと。
    >“not ~ all”だから部分否定なんですねーーーはい、そうだと思います。

    ではおやすみなさい。

    Anne



  44. Biwa on Monday October 15th, 2012 at 07:59 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for your reply. Hope you had a nice trip!
    What you wrote was correct and sorry for making things complicated!
    Yes, I should have noticed that meaning no.1 cannot be translated into “say”.

    Anneの説明を読んで納得したのに、辞書を調べているうちに頭が混乱して訳のわからないことを書いてしまいました。ごめんなさい。



  45. Anne on Monday October 15th, 2012 at 08:18 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    No problem. Actually, I checked each word too and found I couldn’t say,” say credit”as a collocation. I don’t think I can use this word correctly at the moment,either.

    私も辞書を調べて考えた結果なので、同じです^^)
    こうしたところが、英語の難しくもあり、面白いところかな、と思います。
    I find these kinds of the process of learning English difficult and interesting.

    I really had a great time in Kobe visiting two museums and hanging around “異人館.”
    By the way, your son seemed to have had a wonderful time, and I’m happy for you and your son.

    Anne



  46. YU on Monday October 15th, 2012 at 08:33 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for your explanations when you were very tired!
    (お疲れのところ解説ありがとうございます)

    While reading your comment, another word popped up in my brain – “deserve”.
    I’m not sure if my idea is correct, but do you think you can say David’s original sentence in the following way, too?
    (Anneの説明を読んでて他の単語が突然浮かんできました。”deserve”です。合ってるか自信はないけどこういう風にも書き換えられるかな?)

    “I don’t think I deserve all the credit for their improvement.”



  47. Biwa on Monday October 15th, 2012 at 08:43 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for your kind words.
    I feel exactly the same way as you when I learn new words and expressions. Also, it takes quite a time until I really “understand” them.

    Seems that you’ve had a nice weekend. Lucky you!
    Have a nice day!



  48. Biwa on Monday October 15th, 2012 at 09:01 AM

    Hi YU,

    >I don’t think I deserve all the credit for their improvement.

    Sounds OK to me, and we also might say, “I can’t say I deserve all the credit for their improvement” as well.
    But I guess “claim the credit” is a kind of fixed expression.



  49. Biwa on Monday October 15th, 2012 at 09:53 AM

    Hi YU,

    It’s me again. Sorry for breaking into your conversation with Anne, but I found that “deserve the credit” and “deserve the praise” are also possible expressions.



  50. YU on Monday October 15th, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Hi miktak and Kimi,

    You both are such good writers.
    I think you can already help other members.

    Hi Anne,

    My best friend used to live in Kobe long time ago, and I often visited her at that time.
    I like the exotic mood and the historical monuments very much!
    Anyway, you travel a lot! Lucky you!!

    Hi Tomo,

    Thank you for your suggestions.
    I wish you were my 赤ペン先生! 🙂
    As you know, I started work last week. And I’m a bit upset to find out the fact that most of the questions are either 英訳/和訳 or 虫食い問題. I know they have to learn such “techniques” for the entrance exams, but I wonder if “accurate translations” like that are really important to communicate with people from other countries.
    (添削の仕事を先週始めて今更ながら問題がほぼ英訳/和訳あるいは虫食いなのにちょっとビックリしてます。受験のためにそういう「テクニック」が必要なのは重々承知していますが、果たしていろんな国の人とコミュニケーションをとるのにそんなに正確な訳が必要なんでしょうかね。)

    > 他に何かアイディアがある人はお願います!

    I’m not very good at grammar, but how about starting with the following?

    I think there are several reasons why you don’t write comments. One is beginners, the other…

    Hi Kimi,

    > There are a lot of ways of writing to express something, aren’t you?

    I think the last part should be “,aren’t there?”
    Do you have David’s A-Z book?
    You can find his explanations about the usages in his book. (“tag question”/付加疑問文, usage No.5)

    文の書き出しに呼応させて作るといいと思います。

    You “are” Japanese, “aren’t” you?
    He “lives” in Paris, “doesn’t” he?
    You “can’t” swim, “can” you? などなど。

    Sorry, if this was just your careless mistake.
    もしただのケアレスミスだったらゴメンなさい。

    > Learning English is a good chance to review my Japanese. I hope my Japanese will improve at the same time. I can also learn Japanese from here.

    I know what you mean.
    In my opinion, those who are interested in/good at your mother tongue have good chances of becoming a good learner of foreign languages.
    母国語に興味がある人、得意な人は外国語を学ぶ時もとても有利だし上手になる可能性もすごく高いと思う。

    David is a good example!

    See you!



  51. YU on Monday October 15th, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for always helping me understand various expressions!

    I went to my son’s future kindergarten to get an application form. Now I really feel that he’s going to enter the kindergarten.
    なんか段々入園する実感がわいてきました。



  52. Biwa on Monday October 15th, 2012 at 02:45 PM

    Hi YU,

    I guess both you and your son are really excited preparing things for kindergarten. ピッカピッカの~、よ~ちえ~んせい♪♪♪まだ早いですが・・・

    It’s a kind of special event for a child to enter a school, isn’t it, and each school has a common symbol. Kindergarten reminds me of “yellow hats”, elementary school reminds me of “ランドセル” and junior-high or high school reminds me of “school uniforms”. I wonder if they have these kind of common symbols or images in other countries.