おそらく、多くの日本人は The store will be closed until Monday. のようにuntilを使って翻訳するのではないでしょうか? それでは、Aaronのアドバイスを見てみましょう。
Barking dogs, safe grammar, and until
When you were small, did you go for walks with your mother or father? Was there any place that you didn’t want to go? Was there a house with a dog that barked or something else that scared you?
If there was, you may have selected another way to walk, avoiding the problem. In fancy teacher talk, this is called error avoidance. For example, if I know that the word ‘まで’ in Japanese can cause confusion when it is translated into ‘until’ in English, I can avoid it. This will help me to avoid any possible mistakes.
‘まで’ is used fairly widely in Japanese. Let’s take a look at some English sentences that could have been translated from Japanese sentences that used ‘まで.’ At the same time, let’s see how they could be better said in English.
I need it until Friday.
In English, I would probably say, “I need it by Friday.”
The store will be closed until Monday. (This is the incorrect translation of the Japanese sentence in the example above.)
I would probably say, “The store will open on Tuesday.”
Forgetting about Japanese, the store will be closed until Monday has a different meaning. It means that the store will open on Monday.
Be careful when you translate ‘まで’ into ‘until.’ ‘まで’ and ‘until’ are not always used in English the same way.
1. I want him to repair my radio.
2. I want my radio repaired.
3. I want my radio to be repaired.
The grammar puzzle
At Aaron, we are frequently asked grammar questions.
Here is one such email:
When I was a student, I asked Japanese English teachers about three sentences.
1. I want him to repair my radio. [OK]
2. I want my radio repaired. [OK]
3. I want my radio to be repaired.
They said Example 3 was wrong, but they could not explain how or why.
We were not sure how to reply. All three of the sentences could be correct, depending on the context. The first two sentences seem as if they would be more commonly used.
However, all three sentences feel rather abrupt. If I were to bring my radio to be repaired, I would express myself a little differently.
4. I would like my radio repaired.
Example 4 feels better. Examples 1, 2, and 3 sound harsh. In particular, Example 3 seems to imply that there was some trouble. Was the person refused service? Did the repair place say they could not do it? Or, more likely, did they fail to repair it? Or has the person been waiting a long time? We don’t know.
We do know two things:
Sentences do not exist in a vacuum. They exist in context. The context is important. It gives meaning.
A number of students of English in Japan seem to enjoy grammar studies and to appreciate discussing grammar points. That is why we have so much grammar discussion at our site. Note, however, that most of it is in English. Therefore, while you are reading this page, you are learning more than just grammar. You are receiving our communication in English. We would be less excited if the explanation were taking place in Japanese. Then, the explanation might help your academic knowledge of English, but it would not help you get much better at English.
Think of playing the piano. Do you get better by listening to lectures or by practicing?
I Have a Dream
You have probably read or listened to Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. In August 1963, approximately 250,000 women, men and children marched in Washington for civil rights and equality for African Americans. Imagine so many people peacefully marching for civil rights and equality. Now think of the city you live in. I live in San Francisco. Imagine a third of the people in San Francisco marching.
Civil rights: the rights we get as citizens
March: to walk for a special reason such as civil rights and human rights
Usage note: You can see ‘women, men and children’ above. Traditionally, this was men, women, and children. Today, some people use the former and some use the latter. This is part of moving toward equality, except for children…
Traditionally: since long ago
Former: the one before
Latter: the one after
Long sentences II: Connecting two sentences with a comma and a gerund
Connecting two sentences with a gerund and a comma is a nice way to have sentence variety. Sentence variety makes reading more enjoyable.
All of your long sentences using the same pattern would be dull.
Let’s start with two sentences:
I traveled to Tokyo.
I rode the train.
Let’s connect them with a comma and a gerund.
I traveled to Tokyo, riding the train.
Let’s add some more information as we did in the previous entry in this category:
I traveled to Tokyo on Wednesday, riding the train through the winter snow.
I traveled to Tokyo on Wednesday for a meeting, riding the train through the winter snow and thinking about what I would say.
Do you notice how we started with a short sentence and added to it?
Do you do this when you write in English? Try it and see if it is helpful.
Translating long sentences from Japanese to English is a different process, requiring a different approach.
Long sentences I: Connecting two sentences with a comma and ‘and’
The sentence pattern for connecting two sentences using a comma and ‘and’ is fairly simple.
We start with two sentences:
I went to Tokyo.
I ate sushi.
We join them together with a comma and ‘and.’
I went to Tokyo, and I ate sushi.
However, the sentence becomes more complicated as it grows longer:
I went to Tokyo by train, and I ate sushi for lunch.
I went 1,100 km to Tokyo by train, and I ate sushi for lunch at a little restaurant.
I went 1,100 km from far away Hokkaido to Tokyo by train, and I ate sushi for lunch at a little restaurant in the Ginza.
I went 1,100 km from far away Hokkaido to Tokyo by train last week, and I ate sushi for lunch at a little restaurant in the Ginza that serves those live shrimp.
I went 1,100 km from far away Hokkaido to Tokyo last week by train, a ride that started with a local train and ended on a bullet train, and I ate sushi for lunch at a little restaurant in the Ginza that serves those live shrimp where they take the shrimp out of the tank in front of you, chop their heads off, and serve them while they are still wiggling.
That is quite a sentence, isn’t it. When I added more information in the last revision, I needed to move some of the information so it would still read smoothly.
Maybe we should divide it in two. There is just too much information in there for two sentences. How is this?
I went 1,100 km from far away Hokkaido to Tokyo last week by train, a ride that started with a local train and ended on a bullet train. I ate sushi for lunch at a little restaurant in the Ginza that serves those live shrimp where they take the shrimp out of the tank in front of you, chop their heads off, and serve them while they are still wiggling.
While there is no rule regarding word limitations for sentences, any time that a sentence goes over 30 words is probably a good time to check the sentence carefully or divide it in two or more sentences.
Remember that these sentences have fairly simple content. More complicated content will make the sentences even more difficult to understand.
Be careful when you write long sentences and check them carefully.
Company A did not make as much profit in the last quarter as was expected. Equally, company B didn’t, either, as the market remained dull.
Eventuallyと共に、「At last」と言い換えることができます。日本の学校では「At last」のほうを教えますので、代わりにこれらの副詞を使うと、こなれた、かつぴかりと光る文章となります。
日本人ならby the way と言うところを、ネイティブはincidentallyと言うことが多く、頻出されます。これを使うと、「いかにも上級」な印象を与えられます。
I have been to that resort island myself. Incidentally, my wife and I are spending the summer there this year!
Your boss has come to notice your tardiness. Incidentally, he said he would like to speak with you about that.
Initially, the company monopolized the market.
At first と言い換えることができます。
He is practically bankrupt.
That potential investor is practically their last hope.
Presumably, our competitor failed in the new project.
She primarily teaches corporate executives; she usually does not accept students.
This service primarily targeted business visitors; however, it turned out to be especially popular among female university students.
Again, we are now thoroughly investigating this matter. I cannot give you any answer until next Monday.
「前にも言ったけれど」と言うのを、”Like I told you,” ”As I said before,” で表現するのは小学生のようでレベルが低いので、代わりにagainと言う癖をつけてください。
「いやあ、あの件だけど、君が言ったとおり失敗したよ」、あるいは、「君が言ってたとおり、君の会社に頼んでいた方がよかったよ」と言われたら、親しい間柄なら、”I told you!”、”I said so!” と相槌を 打っても構いません。信頼関係のできていない顧客に対してはちょっとアウトかも知れません。
however, then, moreoverのような転換語を文章ごとに使用するなど、多用する日本人がいます。こえらの転換語は時には強調を意味することがあります。適度に使用すよう心がけましょう
Transition words such as however, then, and moreover
While transition words are appropriate in some situations, they are not used in every sentence, every other sentence, or every third sentence. Words such as however, then, thus, and moreover are sometimes used for emphasis and clarity.
- A driver’s license
A driver’s license is not mentioned on a resume. If I had a special license for truck driving or bus driving and if I were looking for a job driving, I would probably mention my license in my resume. Otherwise, a license is not relevant to my resume; it is not a qualification.
- Word processed
A resume should be word processed. A handwritten resume would be inappropriate.
- Information separation
Personal information is not included on English resumes. Such information includes age, height, weight, marital status, and number of children. In the United States, personal and family information is considered private and personal.
After we graduate from college, the educational section of our resume normally ends with college. We write the additional information in reverse chronological order. That is, the most recent education experience is first. If we have a college degree, we do not include information about high school.
- Education dates
For education, the dates for starting and leaving each school are normally not written. We only put the date of our degree on our resumes along with the name of the degree.
Pictures on resumes are inappropriate. In the United States, employers are not allowed to ask for pictures. The assumption is that candidates will be judged more for their appearance and less for their work qualifications.
- Resume forms
We do not have forms for resumes. We need to decide the format ourselves.
- Truth certification
We do not certify in writing that our resume is the truth. If prospective employers want to confirm that the resume is a truthful one, they may check references.
- Previous companies
While prospective employers may be interested in your previous employers, they are more interested in knowing what kind of work you did.
- Dated resumes
Resumes do not include dates. Prospective employers do not normally keep resumes for very long, so there is no need to date them.
- Signed resumes
Resumes are not signed. Generally resumes are sent via email. Sometimes they are sent snail mail with signed cover letters.
- Special skills and qualifications
While we will probably note special skills and qualifications on our resumes if we have any, licenses and qualifications in areas that may be totally irrelevant to employment are generally excluded. Japanese employers appear to like knowing about such special skills and qualifications.
- Specific positions
In the United States, generally people apply for a specific position. In a resume, we have a goal, which we often state on our resumes, while Japanese do not state such a goal. It appears that Japanese apply to work for a company, not to do something specific in a company.
Stay away from quotation marks
Japanese documents use quotation marks more frequently than English ones. Your translations should not copy the style of the Japanese original. Quotation marks are used to quote people. They are not used to change the “meaning” of a word. Quotation marks are sometimes used to imply doubt, but doing so is rather subtle and requires a very high command of English to do properly. We suggest being careful.
Native English speakers rarely write solely in CAPITALS. Such capitalization does not add MEANING to the TRANSLATION. Unnecessary capitals look STRANGE. Any native English speaker reading this would wonder what the capitals meant. Save your capitals for titles.
Note the title of this essay is sparing of capitals. Acronyms such as LDP should be in capitals. Otherwise, normally only the first letter of any word is capitalized. Capital letters are sometimes used in emails when someone wants to express a strong emotion. English speakers may interpret capital letters as an angry emotion.