Narita International Airport（成田国際空港）、Tokyo International Post Office（東京国際郵便局）、Tokyo International Exhibition Center（東京国際展示場)、Tokyo International Women’s Marathon（東京国際女子マラソン）等、日本を見渡すと、Internationalの言葉が溢れています。本来、英語のInternationalを正しく使用するなら、おそらくNarita International Airport（成田国際空港）のみが正しい英語と言えるでしょう。この頻繁に使用されているInternationalの言葉が、海外から日本に訪れる外国人にとって非常に奇妙に聞こえ、困惑させています。単に誇大広告としてこの言葉を使用しているのでしょうが、Internationalの言葉が持つ大きな意味合いが、安っぽく聞こえてしまいます。日本が真の国際化を目指す上で英語の表現は大変重要であり、宣伝広告等の手段で本来の意味を歪曲するのはなるべく避けるようにしましょう。少なくとも海外と取引をしている日本人の方は留意しておく必要があります。
More on Internationalism
Fly into Japan and you naturally arrive at Narita International Airport. Take the train into Tokyo and you can go to the Tokyo International Post Office for your postal needs. If you are interested in seeing an exhibit, you can go to the Tokyo International Exhibition Center. If you like marathons, you can watch the Tokyo International Women’s Marathon. There are other International Women’s Marathons too. Don’t forget the Osaka International Women’s Marathon and the Nagoya International Women’s Marathon.
Looking at these names, Narita International Airport is the only name where the word international does not need to be questioned. All of the other names would probably be fine without international. Travel around Japan and you can see the word international used over and over again. This frequent unnecessary use of the word, almost as decoration or puffery (Vocabulary: Puffery means to make something bigger, often done for PR.), cheapens the word.
People from abroad who are in Japan will also hear references to international. Anything they participate in can become international: an international meeting, an international lunch, or an international game. Such conversation always seems to be accompanied by a great deal of excitement. This overuse of the word goes beyond cheapening it to confusing the person from abroad. Why this constant overuse of the word international?
We won’t go into a discussion of this here. We imagine that you can answer this question. We would simply like to suggest moderation (Vocabulary: Moderation means not to use too much.) in using this word. One sign of true internationalization is when things really are international and people don’t keep talking about internationalization. Japan is on the way there, but it will be a while.
the email from JaneとJane’s email、あなたはどちらの表現が自然な英語だと思いますか。Aaronのアドバイスをお読みください。最後に、練習問題がありますので、是非試してください。
Grammar: nouns as adjectives
One change you may want to make in your English is to use nouns as adjectives. Doing so has two benefits:
1) Your English would sound more natural.
2) Your sentences would be shorter.
Correct example 1: The invoice for April is attached.
Correct example 2: The April invoice is attached.
Both example 1 and example 2 are correct. However, example 2 sounds better.
Using nouns as adjectives shortens sentences, and shorter sentences are generally better than longer sentences.
Correct example 3: I read the email from Jane.
Correct example 4: I read Jane’s email.
To my ear, example 4 sounds better than example 3.
If you would like to practice changing nouns into adjectives, here are a couple of sentences to try:
Two Students, Sarah and Michelle
1) The table in the dining room had been pushed against the wall.
2) Both students completed their assignments for homework together every afternoon.
3) Sarah and Michelle had been classmates in elementary school.
4) Sarah showed her assignment for Tuesday to Michelle.
5) Michelle found a mistake in Sarah’s homework for geometry.
You may check your answers in Aaron answers.
Grammar: nouns as adjectives
1) The dining room table had been pushed against the wall.
2) Both students completed their homework assignments together every afternoon.
3) Sarah and Michelle had been elementary school classmates.
4) Sarah showed her Tuesday assignment to Michelle.
5) Michelle found a mistake in Sarah’s geometry homework.
Some Japanese learners have a tendency to want to discuss the logic and reasoning behind some corrections, and are very interested in studying grammar. This tendency gets complicated. This kind of learning also becomes learning about English, not learning English. Learning, understanding, and remembering complicated rules with many exceptions is too difficult. Students would often do far better to read more, exposing themselves to more and more writing. Students improve writing through getting a feeling for English. Your getting a feeling comes from your writing practice, seeing your writing corrected, and your reading. Reading is essential.