Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Narau yori narero, go nuts

March 28, 2006

Let me introduce a Japanese proverb to you. (I'm not sure who "you" are. haha)

習うより、慣れろ(ならうより、なれろ Narau yori narero.)

According to my dictionary, the English word of the Japanese proverb is "Custom makes all things easy." or "Practice makes perfect." Sounds cool ! I can't make such nice phrases due to my poor skill. :-<
If I make the phrase for the proverb, I'll do like this - "It's more important for your study to get used to the stuff(thing ? theme ? issue ?) than to learn it." Hm.... Only easy words. I've just felt certain that I have to learn English so hard.... Ooops ! No, no ! It's more important to get used to English as I've just written down....

By the way, I've ever seen an English idiom "go nuts" in an email magazine. I guess it's a little dirty slang word, right ? However, let me wite a composition with the word.

If I fail in the test which I'm going to take next Sunday in order to be a level 4 student at an English school, I bet I go nuts !

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Level up !?

March 27, 2006

recommendationYesterday the head teacher of the English school I attend gave me a recommendation(推薦状 すいせんじょう) of being a level 4 student. Yes ! I did it !

I was soooooo excited(wired ?) when he gave me the paper !
やったー!(I did it !)うれしいぃぃ!(I'm so happy !)

But I have to take a test in order to be a level 4 student. I'd like to say "I aced it" after the test. The paper is sort of a requirement for taking the test.

"I aced it" : I found out this phrase and "ace out" in one of the email magazines(newsletters) which I often read on my cell phone.

Wow ! When you google this phrase, my blog comes up as the number one !
Please click the following URL. Amazing !

To tell the truth... When he gave the paper, I made merry like a child who get a perfect score on a test. And then, I made a mistake when another female teacher gave me her congratulations. I wanted to reply like this - "Thank you for teaching ! I did it !" But I replied, "Thank you for teaching ! I got it !" Oops ! I could have replied, "I did it !" My poor speaking skill often irritates(bothers, annoys) me...(ToT) I lost the confidence to level up...haha. I may fail the test which I'm going to take next Sunday.

As a matter of fact, my speaking skill and my vocabulary are still very poor. I might should be pleased when I become a level 3 student. Of course I know it's more important to talk smoothly in English than to level up. Anyway, the paper motivates me and makes me proactive.

I'll keep going ! Thanks for your teaching, all the teachers !

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Omiyamairi - Visiting Shinto shrine

March 26, 2006

My new niece was born last month as the second daughter of my younger brother. I've ever posted about this news on my blog if I remember correctly.

Today my brother's family went to a Shinto shrine in order to pray her happiness and good fortune. It's called "Omiyamairi(お宮参り, おみやまいり)" in Japan. It's a Japanese traditional custom for children after they are born.

The grandmother of the child mostly carry them to a Shito shrine with his or her parents. And also, if the baby is a boy, they write the character "大(だい, means big in English)" on his forehead when visiting a Shito shrine so that he grows up greatly. If the baby is a girl, they write the character "小(しょう, means small in English) on her forehead so that she doesn't grow up so big. (Maybe it means to grow up so cute.)

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

SEO for Yahoo ! JAPAN

March 25, 2006

I have 2 web sites on the Internet, which is to describe what we manufacture at our factory. One of them is a normal type web site, which is built in HTML, and the other one is blog type.

Our main site, which is the normal type web site of our factory, comes up as the number-one site when you google with some Japanese technical words of the industry to which we belong. But the site never comes up as the number-one site when you search with the same words on the search engine provided by Yahoo! JAPAN. But on the other hand, our blog comes up as a better site than our main site. I think that's a little strange because our main site has more useful information than our blog, of course I don't know the structure of YST(Yahoo Search Technology), though...

I've just realized why the result comes up when searching on the site of Yahoo! JAPAN. I guess the reason is because of style sheets ! I didn't build our main site with any style sheets ! Many of blogs are built with some style sheets as it is generally known. Let me build our main site with style sheets one day !

The search engine of Yahoo! Japan is more popular than Google in Japan. I think that's strange. I know Google is the most popular and useful search engine in the world.

NOTE: SEO is the abbreviation of "Search Engine Optimization".

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

[ Study ] - Deciding on a plan

March 23, 2006

The following is a kind of the simulation for my review of the English lessons I've taken before.

- Deciding on a plan

A:Maybe we should go get a drink first after work.
B:Sounds good to me, but I'd like to go shopping before going for a drink.
Do you mind going shopping with me ?
A:No, I don't mind. Let's go get a drink after shopping.
B:Yeah !

A:Why don't we go to the restaurant first, and then the karaoke room after dinner ?
B:Fine by me if it's OK with you.
(Fine by me if you're certain.)
(Fine by me if you're sure.)

A:I'd like to see the movie. How about you ?
B:I'd prefer shopping [to seeing the movie, rather than seeing the movie].
(I'd rather go shopping [than see the movie].)
A:Where should we meet after the movie ?
B:How long will you be at the movie theater ?
A:About 2 hours. I expect to see the movie soon. There isn't always a long line.
B:Let's meet back in front of the station at about 3 pm.
A:OK. See you there.

* New Words

I('d) prefer A (to B, rather than B) A,B - nouns
I'd rather A (than B) A,B - verbs
Fine by me if it's OK with you.
Fine by me, if you're certain.
Fine by me, if you're sure.
I don't mind ....(normal)
I wouldn't mind .....(polite)
go for
catch a show
We should leave shopping to last.
meet up
get soaked
In that case, ....
.... on the way out
Say, .......(when you speak to someone.)
What's the time now ? = What time is it now ? = Do you have the time ?
What have you been up to this weekend ?

* Others, tips

"-ish" : when something is hard to describe exactly
with times, colors, and appearance.
- Why don't we meet back here about five-ish ?
- His pants are a kind of blue-ish green.
- Her hair's kind of long-ish.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

[ Study ] - Meeting people

March 22, 2006

I've just decided to review all the English lessons which I've ever taken at an English school. Of course I'll have to do it from the start !

The following is a kind of simulation. :-)

- Meeting people I've heard about

Hi, We've never met before, but my name's RUSSELL CROWE. haha. Just kidding. An American English teacher has ever said to me before that I look like Japanese RUSSELL CROWE. If he(Mr. CROWE) heard that, he must get angry. hehe. Anyway, just call me Takashi.
You must be Kazuyoshi's friend Kunihiro. It's great to finally meet you in person ! Kazuyoshi told me so much about you. Yes ! I've heard so much about you ! Eh ? You heard a lot about me, too ??? Nothing bad, I hope ! haha.
Actually, Kazuyoshi is a friend of mine from work. So, how do you know Kazuyoshi ? Eh ? a co-worker ? I used to be one of his co-workers ! So, I hear you're an excellent computer programmer and good at playing the guitar, right ? Plus he tells me you're going to rise to a section manager.

* New Words, tips

in person
mingling at a party
Be confident, yet modest - Accept compliments, but don't brag.
Remember not only names, but also something about the person.

* Others

I wish I were more athletic.
I wish I could have more hair.... haha.
(Good weather).... I hope it lasts.
It's a pleasure to finally meet you in person.
fuel-efficient = doesn't waste gas.

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Put something on ice, Worn out

March 22, 2006

I've ever studied this phrase, "put something on ice", on en email magazine(newsletter) before. Sounds interesting !

In Japan we say "put something on a shelf(棚上げする, たなあげする)" for the same meaning. In addition, I've just studied the word "shelve" in my dictionary. Wow ! It's similar to the above Japanese idiom ! shelf.... shelve... haha.
The meaning of the word "shelve" looks like the verb "suspend", right ?

I always feel amused whenever I find out such interesting things between English and Japanese. :-)

And also, I've just studied the phrase "worn out" on an email magazine(newsletter).

I'm worn out by my job....

This phrase accurately expresses my current status, I suppose. haha.

Actually, I sometimes read some email magazines(newsletters) on my cell phone in order to study English when the production line in my factory is working well and I have nothing special to do.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bar and mixi

March 21, 2006

I went get a drink to a bar with a friend of mine last Saturday. There are some Japanese women and some American guys at the bar.

The Japanese women asked us how we got to know each other because the friend looks so young as my friend. In fact, the friend is 23-year-old guy and he's going to graduate from university soon, and I'm a strange(?) 43-year-old man. I know we look a strange couple. :-)
I replied, "We got to know each other on mixi !", of course in Japanese language. They are very surprised to hear that. Because they also have the accounts of mixi. (mixi is the most popular SNS in Japan as I've ever posted before.) In addition, the master of the bar has the one, too ! What a nice surprise ! We talked a lot about mixi so we had a great time. The master asked us to join the community of the bar which is on mixi. Of course I've already done !

When we were talking about mixi, some Americans asked us what mixi is. I told them, "mixi is the most popular and famous SNS in Japan ! What ? Don't you know what SNS is ? OK, let me tell the details. SNS stands for Social Networking Site. You can meet nice friends there easily and can take part in lots of interesting communities - such as Sushi and Cars. mixi is very similar to Myspace.com in the USA as you probably know." These are all contents I told them if I remember correctly. When I'm drinking, I can actually speak English more fluent than usual. hehe. I bet my English sentences had tons of mistakes but it's the most important thing to have communication each other from my point of view. :-)

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Monday, March 20, 2006

My picture

March 20, 2006

my picture drew by my daughterLast week my daughter drew my picture as a present for me. :-)
Some people say this picture expresses my features correctly - such as glasses and short legs. haha.
My sons never often drew such a picture when they are kindergarten students. I'm so happy and lucky to have such a considerate daughter.
To tell the truth, my wife and I kept trying to have a daughter. :-) We did a good job !
I hope she will draw many pictures for me in the future.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Japanese plum(ume) blossoms

March 13, 2006

This picture is a Japanese plum tree in my garden.

Japanese plum(ume) blossoms
- Japanese plum : ume(梅:うめ)

It's the best season to see Japanese plum blossoms now in Osaka, Japan. I'd really like to go and see them over the next weekend.
But... I'm still tied up with my work and have to study English. In fact, I don't spend much time with my family these days...
Weather permitting next Sunday, let me go out somewhere with my family !

Today's diary is exactly short like my legs... haha.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Thanks and farewell Festival(Event)

March 10, 2006

I visited to the public preschool(kindergarten 幼稚園,ようちえん) last Sunday where my daughter attend, in order to take part in an event. Actually, my brother and I used to be its kindergartners when we were little children.
The event was called "Thanks and farewell festival". In fact, the kindergarten is closed this month. It was built 59 years ago, so it's really an aging one. And the number of children in Japan has been decreasing recently, plus there are many private nursery schools these days in my city. In addition, my city has been facing a budget deficit lately... Therefore it's necessarily going to be closed in the near future. I'd like to say to the preschool, "Thanks a lot. Otsukaresama.(お疲れ様,おつかれさま It's difficult to translate the word into English.)"

an event booths

There were so many events there - such as dancing, refreshment booths, and a concert by a brass band consists of young people. They played many children's songs. I was so impressed with their music performance and some choruses of all kindergartners, especially the song "Believe". You can listen to the melody and read the lyrics written in Japanese language on this web page. Should I translate it into English ? But I have no confidence to do it correctly... OK ! Let me translate it into English !

chorusFor example... Whenever you are hurt and feel yourself weakening, I'm surely around you, hold you round the shoulders, and support you...
The earth turns with the wish around the world...
Now, when you open the door toward future,
your sadness and suffering will change to happiness someday.
I believe in future...
I believe...

My translation probably has lots of mistakes, I think....

And now, the preschool is going to be used as a park and an event hall. I was so relieved to hear that. (^o^)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Wedding Reception

March 5, 2006

a very happy coupleI attended a wedding reception yesterday afternoon. It was held in Osaka city for one of my ex-coworkers and his bride.
In fact, I haven't attended wedding ceremonies or wedding receptions for a long time. When I tried to put on(wear) one of my formal suits, I was very surprised ! Wow ! The suit is too big for me now ! Because I lost around 15 kilograms after quitting the former job, so almost all of my suits are too big for me now.....(ToT) But I assume my eldest son will be able to put them on in the near future. There was nothing for it but to wear the oldest one which was made 20 years ago, even though it's a little big for me now...

We had a super great dishes and so good time. The couple really looked very happy. I've just remembered a witty remark about marriage then.

"Marriage is a lottery in which men stake their liberty and women their happiness."

Hmm.... That's right !!! haha.

By the way... To tell the truth, I have to apologize to the bride. I did something wrong to her 3 years ago when I was so drunk. I don't remember how many drinks I had and what I did to her, but somebody said to me the next day that I had to apologize to her. I guess it was a little bit bad incident... No, no... I wish.... haha.

Congratulations on your marriage !!! >> Y-kun and E-san.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Dolls' Festival

March 3, 2006

The Dolls' FestivalIn Japan, it's the day of "The Dolls' Festival(雛祭:ひなまつり hina-matsuri)" today !

Many families that have girls celebrate the day to wish for their girls' growth and happiness - especially to get married well. The dolls are usually displayed at the beginning of February. According to a Japanese common saying: If they didn't tidy away their dolls as soon as the festival finished, the girls would lose their chance of marriage. So almost all of the families that have girls tidy them away immediately after March 3.