English Collection


Bright idea

2013年06月30日 | 英語学習
A man walks into a dentist's office, obviously distressed.
"How may I help you?" asks the dentist.
"I'm in big trouble, Doc. I think I'm a moth."
"I'm sorry to hear that, but you really should see a psychiatrist."
"I know that," says the man. "But your light was on."


2013年06月29日 | 英語学習
Japan's Cultural Code Wordsの「物の道理」(Something New in Japan)からの抜粋です。
On an individual basis, most Japanese think logically and atempt to conduct themselves according to a precise set of principles, although the latter are not always the same principles that exist in the West. But when the Japanese act as members of groups, regardless of the size or nature of the group, they are forced by tradition to Westerners dealing with their groups, no end of problems.
By the 1980s the overwhelming majority or the Japanese had subscribed to the new and still revolutionary concept that they and the country had to begin acting on universal principles in order to put themselves in harmony with the rest of the world.
subscribe: は以前取り上げました。 おさらいです。
・Vocabulary: adopt as a belief: “I subscribe to your view on abortion”
When you subscribe to a belief, you adopt it as your own. You might subscribe to the notion that children should be seen and not heard, or you might wholeheartedly subscribe to your town's proposal to save the wetlands. A less common use of subscribe is to sign your name on something, reflecting the origin of the word, which comes from the Latin subscribere, "to write below," that is, to sign at the bottom of a document.

booby trap

2013年06月28日 | 英語学習
Japan's Cultural Code Wordsの「懇談会」(Personalizing the Business Process)の項にあった表現です。
There are numerous cultural subtleties that are involved in this kind of negotiation, and several books have been written on the subject. It takes a special kind of personality, including extraordinary patience and perseverance, to do it successfully. Generally speaking, the best approach for the foreign side is to engage the service of a highly competent, highly respected Japanese consultant to lead and guide them through what amounts to a minefield of pitfalls and booby traps.
ゴルフで優勝した経験はありませんが "booby"賞はもらったことがあります。 上記引用文の最後に出てきた "booby traps" は何でしょう?
・Collins Dictionary:
1.a hidden explosive device primed in such a way as to be set off by an unsuspecting victim: He was setting an exploding booby trap when it accidentally went off.
2.a trap for an unsuspecting person, esp one intended as a practical joke, such as an object balanced above a door to fall on the person who opens it
an explosive mine hidden underground; explodes when stepped on or driven over
an unforeseen or unexpected or surprising difficulty:
Specialists have been brought in to deal with any possible booby traps laid by the protesters.
"minefield" に "booby traps" は付き物ですね。

brow beating

2013年06月27日 | 英語学習
Japan's Cultural Code Wordsの「切っ掛け」、「攻め」(Putting on an Act)の項にあった表現を取り上げます。
The Japanese are unlikely to use the kikkake/seme strategy against a foreigner unless the person is in a power position, or unless the Japanese are confident that the foreigner is so commited to continuing the negotiations or relationship that he or she will accept the brow beating and give in to the Japanese demands, even if the person is not guilty of any misbehavior.
"brow beating" は実際に額を叩く訳ではなく、比喩的な表現だと思いますが、辞書で確認します。
・Urban Dictionary: to stare someone down,to check them out hard: Damn those girls over there keep brow beating us and they need to back off!
"brow beating" では上の辞書しか引っ掛かりませんでしたが、"browbeat" だとどんな辞書にも説明があります。
・Wiktionary: To bully in an intimidating, bossy, or supercilious way.: Though the teacher browbeat all the children, they still acted out during the lesson.
・Vocabulary.com: discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate
To browbeat is to intimidate with language. Picture yourself in a police station. The cops are trying to get you to talk by using tough, even abusive, language. They are browbeating you.
When someone browbeats you, they're giving you a beating with their mouth and their mind. If your parents have to browbeat you into cleaning your room, they nag you, yell at you and they may even make fun of you and your bad cleaning habits. While the word brow means forehead, think that they're using their head, or brow, to beat you down. It's a figurative, rather than a literal, beating.


2013年06月26日 | 英語学習


日本語でも植物の名前はなかなか覚えられないし、覚えても直ぐに忘れてしまいますが、植物好きの私としては植物の名前は気になります。ASJの4月例会は Mr. Graham Hardman, Honorary Vice President of Japanese Garden Society, UKが英国の日本庭園について話しました。
If gardens are left unattended, nature speedily takes over, as at Giggle Alley in the Lake District, where the gardens of 1913 has become completely overgrown. Attempts are being made to restore it, but bamboos have caused havoc, and the acer, once small, have become huge trees, so the original feel of the garden cannot be replicated.
"acer" は木の一種ですが、どんな木でしょうか?
・Cambridge English Dictionary: a Eurasian or North American deciduous tree or shrub of a genus which includes the maples and the European sycamore.
・Wikipedia: Acer is a genus of trees or shrubs commonly known as maple.
・Vocabulary.com: type genus of the Aceraceae; trees or shrubs having winged fruit
「カエデ」や「もみじ」などの木のようです。 "winged fruit" は何年か前に取り上げて覚えています。 もみじの種子を思い浮かべれば良いので簡単に覚えられました。
BackyardGardener.comにあったAcer (Maple)の項を下に引用します。
Considered one of the most well known landscape plants, maples range from small, delicate, lacy foliaged shrubs to towering, shade producing trees. All maples are woody and can be found growing in their native habitats from the Northern hemisphere to the tropics of southeast Asia. From temperate Europe across to Turkey, Pakastan and up to the Himilayans. It is not uncommon to find several different types of maples thriving within close proximity to one another which attests to their hardy, not too picky nature. Valued for their fall color, many maples also have showy spring flowers and others provide us with sap for syrups. Whether a sturdy lawn tree for shade or a collectible weeping specimen for a container, you are sure to find a maple that fits your needs


sub rosa

2013年06月25日 | 英語学習
春バラの盛りは過ぎましたが、バラの木の下で何かを行うことを意味しているような表現ががJapan's Cultural Code Wordsの「けじめ」の項にありました。
Although the term kejime may not be applied, there are regular occasions within companies when groups of employees decide that certain managers are not acceptable and mount sub rosa campains to oust them--a technique that has been used to get rid of any number of foreign expatriate namagers who failed to hit it off with their Japanese employees.
"sub rosa" はいかにも外来語の感じですが、どんな意味でしょうか?
・Collins Dictionary: in secret: Still, it would always have to be sub rosa -- done secretly.
・Vocabulary.com: in secret or covertly: But sub rosa conspiracy theories about gun control have turned the contempt vote into something more than a power struggle between government branches.
Latin, literally: under the rose; from the rose that, in ancient times, was hung over the council table, as a token of secrecy


2013年06月24日 | 日記・エッセイ・コラム
今日はJapan's Cultural Code Words、「けじめ」 Drawing a Lineの項に出てきたちょっと怪しげな単語を覚えたいと思います。
What has changed in contemporary Japan that puts an entirely different slant on skullduggery committed by politicians is that the news media, at least since the 1960s, has assumed the role of kejime judge and jury. The news media, rather than the criminal justice system, has uncovered and exposed virtually all of the major scandals of the era, bringing down one cabinet minister and Diet member after anothe, and sent several prime ministers scuttling. The news media has presumed the right to apply a kejime judgment against anyone it thinks has crossed the line. It then applies enough public pressure against the politicians concerned to force them to resign. The fourth estate has assumed the role of morality watchdog.
"fourth estate" は2年前にこのブログで取り上げていますね。 "skullduggery" は政治家が一線を外すような何か悪いことの様ですが何でしょう? 辞書を見ます。
・Collins Dictionary: (informal) underhand dealing; trickery: "I have no answers," she said, unwilling to speculate on the possibility of any skullduggery behind the donation.
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: underhanded or unscrupulous behavior; also : a devious device or trick: the company's apparently healthy bottom line was merely an illusion, the result of years of accounting skulduggery
・Vocabulary.com: verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you in some way: His approach was to allow limited borrowing to cover operating expenses only if the state broke with the accounting skullduggery of the past.
"skullduggery" は論外ですが、政治家は自分が発する言葉の影響をよく考えた上で持論を披露して欲しいですね。

Taking charge

2013年06月23日 | 英語学習
A police officer stopped at a farm and told the farmer, "I need to inspect your farm for illegally grown drugs."
The farmer said, "OK. As long as you don't go in that field over there."
The policeman sneered nastily. "I think you'll find, sir, that I have the authority of the police force behind me." He pulled out his badge. "See this? It means I'm allowed to go whereever I want. No questions asked, no answers given. I'm in charge. Understand?"
The farmer nodded politely and went about his chores. A short time latere, he heard loud screams. He looked up to see the policeman running for his life, pursued by the farmer's massive bull. With every step, the beast was gaining ground. The policeman looked terrified.
The farmer threw down his tools, ran to the fence and shouted at the top of his lungs, "Your badge - show him your badge!"

Contradictions permeated Japanese society

2013年06月22日 | 英語学習
Japan's Cultural Code Words by Boye Lafayette De Menteの中の飴と鞭 (Candy or the Whip) についての説明文に次ぎの記述がありました。
The cultral contradictions demonstrated by the dual attitude of the Japanese toward harmony and peace and the means to achieve them were not limited to matters involving ribalries between clans, or issues of shogunate law, public security, and so on. Contradictions permeated Japanese society in general, just behind the facade of Japan's exquisitely refined etiquette, the extraordinary hospitality extended to guests, and the gentleness and generousity of the common people, there was a hard core of cruelty lurking in the background.

Turning a Blind Eye

2013年06月21日 | 英語学習
Japan's Cultural Code Words、「一見の客」の項の英語のタイトルが "Turning a Blind Eye" となっていました。
One area of this infludence is expressed in the term ichigen no kyaku, which can be translated as "an unknown customer," and refers to the propensity of the Japanese to ignore or to give bad service to strangers.
Until as late as the 1980s, it was very common for Japanese companies to refuse to accept orders from customers, or to buy from suppliers, with whom they had not previously established an acceptable personal relationship involving introductions and a variety of social rituals designed to bind the two groups together.
タイトルの "Turning a Blind Eye" は「見て見ぬ振りをする」と言う様な意味だと思いますが、この表現の説明が辞書に載っているでしょうか? 調べると、"turn a blind eye" の表現の説明はちゃんとありました。
・Collins Dictionary: to disregard deliberately or pretend not to notice (something, esp an action of which one disapproves): But blockades, to which the French authorities turn a blind eye, are a different matter.
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: to refuse to see: be oblivious: might turn a blind eye to the use of violence
・Cambridge English Dictionary: to ignore something that you know is wrong: Management often turn a blind eye to bullying in the workplace.