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Vocabulary

City backyards

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If you live in San Francisco, you might have a city backyard like this one. You might have a small pond under a fruit tree. Ferns and rocks surround the pond. You might have a brick walkway leading to the pond and potted plants might dot the walkway. Plus you might have a gate under a wooden arch, just a small arch. This is a lovely city backyard.

 

 

Vocabulary
Backyards: area behind a house or apartment
Ferns: green plants
Surround: around
Walkway: a path
Potted plants: plants growing in pots
Dot: a few along the path
Arch: a curved entry way

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
For a city
Not about parks
Trees and greenery
I sometimes wonder
Walk on sidewalks
Link us to other living creatures
24/7
Unnatural environments

Reading and books

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You read, right? My questions are about the format in which you read. Are you reading online? Are you reading printed material? Are you reading magazines? Are you reading newspapers? What about books? Do you read books? I wonder about the future of printed material.

 

Vocabulary
Format: how something is arranged
Printed material: books, magazines, newspapers

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
Approximately three
Steam printing press
Paper mills
Powered by streams and rivers
Reduced costs meant
Still be reading printed material

Our appendages

We humans have a number of appendages that our ancestors did not. Our ancestors probably carried tools for digging and scraping. Their tools, like ours, were probably their appendages. Our appendages are cameras and cell phones. Today seems like a day when everyone is carrying their appendages.

 

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Vocabulary
Appendages: things that we carry that seem a part of us
Ancestors: people who lived long ago
Digging: cutting into the earth for an item such as a root or fruit
Scraping: removing the surface of an item

 

Words and phrases you just heard
An ESL exercise
Take everything out
Make sure you know
Glasses in a case
Wallet with credit cards, driver’s license
Nail file
Spiral notebook
Umbrella
Business cards

A miniature town

 

 

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This is a miniature town. You can see houses in the background. The houses are painted in a variety of colors: yellow, turquoise, purple, green, blue and gold. You can see train tracks in the foreground and in the middle. You can see the game house on the left side, which is the building with the chessboard rooftop.

 

 

Vocabulary
Miniature: small, tiny
Background: the area in the back, a compound word
Variety: different ones
Tracks: the train path
Foreground: the area in the front, a compound word

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
Suppose we talk about
A compound word
Two words
Several examples
Chessboard and rooftop

Fall days

 

What is your plan for this lovely fall day? You might have errands to do. You might have to go to school or work. You might have to take your children to school. You might have to prepare a report. Still you might have a free day today. You might want to play a round of golf by Lake Merced in San Francisco.

 

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Vocabulary
Fall: one of the four seasons
Errands: small tasks such as going to the cleaners or buying stamps
A round of golf: a game of golf

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
Many of us love
Tai chi
Ping pong
Energy in sports
The excitement of winning
The sorrow in losing
Experience life

City backyards

 

If you live in San Francisco, you might have a city backyard like this one. You might have a small pond under a fruit tree. Ferns and rocks surround the pond. You might have a brick walkway leading to the pond and potted plants might dot the walkway. Plus you might have a gate under a wooden arch, just a small arch. This is a lovely city backyard.

 

pic01

 

 

 

Vocabulary
Backyards: area behind a house or apartment
Ferns: green plants
Surround: around
Walkway: a path
Potted plants: plants growing in pots
Dot: a few along the path
Arch: a curved entry way

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
For a city
Not about parks
Trees and greenery
I sometimes wonder
Walk on sidewalks
Link us to other living creatures
24/7
Unnatural environments

Minutiae

 

 

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The minutiae of life take up a tremendous amount of time. Minutiae? Is that a new vocabulary word? Minutiae mean small details. What are the small details of life? Completing forms, cleaning off your desk, getting a haircut, washing your car, filling up the tank with gas. The minutiae of life take time and effort. Minutiae are the small tasks we all have to do each day.

 

 

Vocabulary
Minutiae: small details
Tremendous: huge, large
Completing: finishing
Tank: the place in your car where gasoline is stored
Effort: attempt, try
Have to do: must

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
This is Jenna
A coffee shop
Sips coffee
What human beings do
The question for you
Accomplish
Just part of

日本語の「まで」と英語の「until」について:

あなたは下記の日本語をどんな英語に翻訳しますか。
「そのお店は月曜日まで閉まっています。」
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.

副詞について

世界的に成功している企業家やビジネスマンとメールをやり取りしているうちに、彼らの英語についてひとつ気付いたことがあります。副詞が非常に頻繁に、かつ鮮やかに使われているのです。

 

英米人なら誰でもいい英語が書けるというわけではないことは、日本人でもいい日本語を書けるひとが少ないことからも窺えるかと思います。ネイティブとはいえ、拙い英語を書くひとはいくらでもいますし、逆にいい英語を書くひとは非常に少ないようです。その中で、「英語の達人」が書く文章には副詞が実に効果的に使われていました。

 

「アメリカのビジネス英語」というのは、平易な単語や表現を使った明確な英語です。その中でもとりわけスピードとキレが要求されるe-mailに副詞が頻繁に使われているということから、私たちは多くを学ぶことができると思うのです。

 

副詞ひとつを使うことにより何語にも及ぶ節を省略でき、その分インパクトの強い文章となります。また、「なくても済むけれどこの副詞ひとつを入れることによって文にリズムが生まれる」こともありますし、相手の心を掴む、ユーモアやニュアンスに満ちた文章に仕上げることができます。

 

ここでは、ことばの間や切れ目に入れて使用する投詞、接続詞タイプのものと、「最初に、同様に、当然ながら、最後に」のような、文脈の流れを表すタイプの副詞を紹介いたします。

 

1. Equally「同じく、等しく、同様に、一方では」

 

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.

「A社は、最終四半期において予想されていたほどの利益を上げることができなかった。(だが)同様に、市場が停滞していたことにより、B社も利益を上げることができなかった。」

 

2.Eventually「遂に、最後には」 

 

Finallyに準じます。いつもいつもfinallyと言わず、eventuallyも語彙に加えると印象が違ってきます。

3.Finally「遂に、最終的に」

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。

 

4.Generally「一般的に、たいてい」

Usuallyに通じるものがあります。

 

5.Usually「普通、だいたい」

6.Incidentally「ところで、ついでながら言うと、偶然に」

 

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!

「そのリゾート・アイランドなら行ったことがあります。というか(ついでながら言っておくと)、今年の夏は家内とそこで過ごす予定です。」

Your boss has come to notice your tardiness. Incidentally, he said he would like to speak with you about that.

「君は遅刻が多いということに君の上司は気づいているよ。ついでながら言っておくと、そのことについて君と話をしたいと言っていたよ。」

 

7.Initially「最初は、初めに」

 

Initially, the company monopolized the market.

「当初は、その会社は市場を独占していた。」

At first と言い換えることができます。

 

8.Practically「実際、事実上、~も同然」

 

He is practically bankrupt.

「彼は破産したのも同然だ。」

That potential investor is practically their last hope.

「事実上、あの<ポテンシャルな>投資家が、彼らの最後の希望だ。」
「事実上、あの投資家が投資しなければ彼らは終わりだ。」

 

9.Presumably 「推定上、もっともらしく、おそらく,たぶん、どうやら…らしい」

 

Presume(「推定する、~を前提とする」)から派生した副詞。

Presumably, our competitor failed in the new project.

「わが社の競合者は新しいプロジェクトで失敗したらしい(=失敗したと推定される)。」

Cf. Conceivablyと比較

Conceive(「考え出す、思い描く、(子をもうける、はらむ)」)から派生した副詞。

Presumablyの方が確実性が高いです。

 

10.Primarily「主に、第一に」

She primarily teaches corporate executives; she usually does not accept students.

「彼女は主に会社役員を教えており、普通、学生は引き受けない。」

This service primarily targeted business visitors; however, it turned out to be especially popular among female university students.

「このサービスはもともと、ビジネス客をターゲットとしたものでしたが、ふたを開けてみると、女子大生に特に好評でした。」

 

11.Again ここでは、「再び、もう一度」という意味ではなく、「繰り返しになりますが」という意味で取り上げています。

Again, we are now thoroughly investigating this matter. I cannot give you any answer until next Monday.

「前にも申し上げましたが(繰り返しになりますが)、この件に関しては現在徹底的に調査中です。来週の月曜まではお返事できません。」

「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。

英語語彙力をつける

 

ヒアリングをしたり、英文を読んだりするときに頻繁に出てくる語から覚えることがポイントのようですね。時折使用される英単語は後回しで、頻出英単語を優先しましょう。後半には、英単語集に加えて、さらに実行していただける語彙増強の学習方法を説明しました。参考になりましたか?毎日、英語学習のための時間を作り出し、語彙を充実させ、英語のヒアリング、リーディング、スピーキング、ライティングの力をアップさせましょう。

 

 

How to study vocabulary

 

Vocabulary is important.

 

You need to learn more and more vocabulary, so you can understand when you listen, read, speak, and write.

 

There is nothing wrong with memorizing lists of vocabulary words.

 

However, memorizing lists of words is not productive if you memorize the wrong lists or if you do not listen and read.

 

Memorizing words is almost useless if you do not later read or hear these same words again.

 

We recommend that you be sure you have the right book to memorize words from. These words should be lists of high frequency words, the words you will hear most often and see most often.

 

Other ways to select words are to keep a notebook and write down new words. You may be better off writing down words that you hear often. You probably don’t want to put more than 10 new words in your notebook a day. If you are a beginning or intermediate student, you should focus on frequent words, not words that you hear occasionally.

 

What else can you do to learn vocabulary words besides memorize lists of words?

 

We suggest the following:

 

1. Study the words in NHK textbooks. We recommend them. The textbooks are reasonably priced and cover the basics.

2. If you hear or see words over and over again, look them up in the dictionary.

3. For advanced listening, listen to the news in English without subtitles. Write down new words you do not know. If you have trouble finding the words because you cannot spell them, make a note of what you think the spelling is. Set the unknown words aside. You may hear them again.

4. Set time aside each and every day to study vocabulary.

 

英語学習