The Glad Game > 2011年6月のアーカイブ

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ディスカッション備忘録 トム先生

I’ve been using Twitter since May 2009. Two years have passed, but there was no sign of getting tired of it.

I joined a LingQ conversation with four Japanese participants on Sunday. It was a casual conversation, and one of the topics, “communication skills”, moved naturally to Twitter. The tutor valued face-to-face communication rather than Twitter or Facebook. He said that connections via Twitter is a lazy way of communicating with people, and we should meet as many people as we can in person, and hug each other.

I didn’t disagree with him during the discussion, because there wasn’t much time left at that time. After the discussion, I regretted not expressing my ideas about Twitter.

Meeting people in person is certainly a great way to know each other, but the variety of people we can meet is limited to where we live unless we travel all over the world or become a celebrity whom everyone comes to see. On the other hand, we can get to know new people on Twitter regardless of our profession, place or age. I can follow as many as I like, and others follow me if they find something interesting about me. Easy availability of new acquaintances is one of the appealing features of Twitter.

People who don’t use Twitter might say the relationship might be shallow. It is true that for many people who follow thousands of people, the relationship would be shallow as we can’t deal with such a large group of people. Although, as I carefully follow the tweets of the new acquaintance, I come to know what kind of person he/she is. Then, I select people whom I really want to become friends with. Twitter is like panning for alluvial gold in a river. What we value as gold is different from person to person, and it is worth trying to find a new friend from vast scope of shallow relationships.

Twitter just gives us an opportunity to make new friends. Whether or not we have a good relationship depends on the users. I don’t heed advice from those who just criticize without trying what they are criticizing. I understand that the tutor prefers face-to-face conversation to Twitter, but he doesn’t have to call people lazy unless he has experienced the advantages and disadvantages of Twitter.





ディスカッション備忘録 レイチェル先生



その後、日本の喫煙事情から無理やり医療ドラマ→目的のイギリスドラマの話へ。先生に是非聞いてみたかったのは、イギリスドラマの発音のこと。初めて見たイギリスドラマのMerlinでは、あまり発音は気にならなかったのですが、その後Doctor Who, Torchwoodと現代ドラマを見るようになって、普段オーディオブックやBBCニュースで聞く英語とはだいぶ違うと感じました。エイの発音がアイに発音されていたり、t が脱落していたり‥。Beautifulがビューフルと発音されているのには驚きました。レイチェル先生によると、ちょっとコックニー訛りなのでは?ということでした。BBCドラマばかり見ているのでうつってしまいそうですが、真似をしないように、とのことです。







Your pronunciation was very clear except for the exceptions above. Don’t worry too much about minor errors as I think fluency and communication are far more important. At no point do I have any difficulty understanding you and I think that you are very inspiring.

Discussion summary.

This is a summary of today’s conversation. I also did some research on today’s topic and added what I wanted to sayduring the conversation.

We talked about smoking in Japan. When I was asked about the smoking rate in Japan, I forgot the exact number and answered that the female smoking rate is among 10% to 20%. The correct statistics are 11.9% for women, and 38.9% for men, and the overall average rate is 21.8%. Although, the number of smokers has been decreasing gradually considering the fact that the highest smoking rate was 83.7% in 1966, Japan has the 5th highest smoking rate in the world. One of the reasons for the relatively high smoking rate is that the price for tobacco is cheaper compared with other countries. The price of a packet of tobacco used to be 300 yen (2.5 pound), and increased to 410 yen last year, it is still less than half the price of England’s. Lenient regulation of advertisement might be another reason for the high smoking rate. Several years ago the Japanese government made a new law to require an ID card to purchase tobacco from vending machines to prevent teenagers from smoking, I hope men’s smoking rate will also decline over time.

Then, I asked about pronunciation of BBC dramas. I realized that the pronunciation of heroines in BBC dramas is different from BBC News. Rose Tyler in Dr. Who pronounced ei as ai, and she said beauiful without t sound instead of beautiful. You told me that it was a Londoner’s accent, and it would be better for me not to acquire the accent. English people don’t want their children to have any dialects or accent. (Or did you say the least thing mothers want for their children is dialect or accent? ) It’s still good for me to watch the drama and understand different dialects for my English study.

ディスカッション備忘録  Why are you learning English?




日本とは違う考え方に触れられたのもよかった。特に女性の生き方、考え方が日本とはだいぶ違うと感じました。最近読んだ Bossypants は、男性中心であったコメディ俳優の世界に飛び込み、成功をおさめただ Tina Fay の自伝ですが、性別に関係なく努力で自分の夢を勝ち取る姿に感動しました。日本にいて日本のメディアだけに囲まれていると、女子力だとか、年齢にふさわしい生き方などの固定観念を常に意識させられて窮屈に感じるので、強くて魅力的な女性のロールモデルについて知ることができたのは大きな収穫です。




I have been learning English at LingQ since September 2006. When I started learning English, I didn’t have opportunities to use English in my daily life. Now, I can enjoy English dramas without subtitles, listen to English audiobooks on commute to my work, and speak with LingQ friends from all over the world. I also gave a presentation at an international  conference last year. I wouldn’t have had such an opportunity if I hadn’t studied English. I will be going to France to give another presentation at the end of August this year.

I’m glad that learning English has opened up so many new opportunities, but I am most grateful that I can watch the latest drama episodes on the internet thanks to my hard study. What I’m into now is English dramas such as Merlin, Doctor Who,Torchwood, and Glee. Since the Japanese translated version of these dramas usually takes a year to be published, watching these dramas in English is a strong incentive to learn English.

ディスカッション備忘録 Body language: the significance of gestures or vocalizations


マリア先生によると、北部に住んでいるスウェーデン人は寡黙だと言われているそうです。あまり言葉を発せず、同意する時は”Yes”というかわりに”シュッ”とストローで息を吸い込むような音を発するんだとか。知らないでお話をしている途中に”シュッ” ”シュッ”と言われたら、ただの気味の悪い人と思ってしまいそう。




I talked with a person who is British living in Sweden. She told me that the northern Swedish are quiet people. When they agree with something, they make a sucking sound as if they suck through a straw instead of saying yes. I’ve never heard of that, and I would think it’s weird if a Swede made such strange sounds during a conversation.

Interestingly, the gesture is different, but northern Japanese people are also said to be quiet. The reason why they are taciturn is that it’s too cold to open their mouths to speak. In addition, northern Japanese people don’t open their mouths wide while they speak, which makes a unique accent of their own. I don’t understand what the local people say, and there are sometimes Japanese subtitles on TV if the accent is too thick. They also save words. In Japanese, “watashi” means “I” in English. It has three syllables, wa, ta, shi. People in Tohoku say just wa, instead of watashi. Shortening of words help them to save energy in cold weather.

I assumed that northern Swedes save words for the same reason. Although, it would be better to breathe out instead of breathe in because sucking cold air makes us colder. Foreign people will be more confused if Swedes sigh every time they consent.


TwitterでKeikoさんに教えていただいたpostcrossing を始めてみました。これが予想以上に面白くて、かなりハマってしまいそう。


postcrossingは2005年にポルトガルの学生が始めた、ポストカード交換サイトです。無料で登録でき、メンバーは204カ国から229,859人(2011年6月現在)が登録しているようです。しくみは、まずウェブサイトに登録し、自分のprofileを書き込んだら、画面左端にあるSend a postcardを選びます。






これらの写真はのちに、postcard wallで、自分が送ったハガキ、受け取ったハガキの画像をコレクションとして見ることが出来るようになります。また、メンバーはお互いにこのwallを見ることができ、自分に届いたわけではないが、気に入った絵葉書のイメージをfavoriteとして登録することも出来ます。













The element of surprise of receiving postcards from different places in the world (many of which you probably have never heard of) can turn your mailbox into a box of surprises – and who wouldn’t like that?

とありますが、mailboxがbox of surpriseになる、というコンセプトは素晴らしいと思います。


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