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Archive for the ‘English Lessons’ Category

Watch the shows and movies in My Favorites Section. Start at the top and work your way down. I usually love movies which highlight the core of human emotions and the nature which we as americans wish we could achieve. Though some, focus more on what we are rather than what we want to be and others are geared towards dealing with life as it is. Americans are big on the idea that with in every person lies the chance of being noble in the face of adversity. Whether it’s Fight Club, Seven Pounds, What Dreams May Come, or Dawson’s Creek, that meaning is the core of the stories that unfold onscreen. This is not a look at american “pop culture” films , like Saw, but a look at the more dramatic serious side of the media, even Scrubs has some very serious cores in their stories.

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Notes for japanese people having trouble pronouncing english words because of their thick accent

You might have noticed an americajin or eigojin’s heavy accent. We can spot yours even easier. These tips will help your accent weaken or hide it from being heard.
Tip 1: Learn how to make L sounds. They DO NOT sound like Rs! (Look is not Rook. Rook is a chess piece.)
Tip 2: Learn your V sounds, too.
Tip 3: Learn TH, TH, TH! You can’t even say my name!
Tip 3: If you have trouble with consonants because you can’t drop the vowel sounds, DO NOT use “hard vowels” Example: Say my last name: Wolford . . .  (I’ll wait.)  . . . Now try this: wo – la – fu – ru – da. If the first time you tried you made my name sound like wo – ro – ho – ru – do, you need to work on pronunciation.

You gotta practice by listening, really listening to natives talk. Watch a movie, and repeat the words, and try to sound like that person.

I can hear the difference between a Missourian and Texan english after maybe less than three words. I can imitate the accents of Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, The Carolinas, Australia (You sound like you’re from Brisbane,” a visiting australian once told me), my Northern Irish is spot on, and my Parisian accent is much better in french than in english (again a french woman once told me that, after I bitched out an american woman I waited on in french).  I’m working on my japanese accent. I want to sound like I’m from japan, not a tourist with bad manners.

My point is to practice and pay attention. I’ve never been to Ireland, Austrailia, or France, but I pay attention and that’s how I do it.

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Kimochi vs. Feeling

From the point of view of english natives, the japanese over use the word “kimochi”. In english, we have both the word “Emotion” and “Feeling”. While similar, these words are used differently than “kimochi”.
There is a saying in english, “A picture speaks a thousand words.” So, I shall paint you a picture of words.

A man gives his wife a massage. Wondering if it is helping her muscles lossen, he leans forward and whispers in her ear, “Does that feel good?”
She delightfully responds, “That feels great, honey.”

A girl leans forward with stomach cramps her friend asks her, “You feelin’ okay?”
“I feel like shit! My whole stomach hurts.” She says peevishly.

As a young girl basks in the sunlight of a beautiful day she says under her breath, “This feels so good out here.”

In truth though, I think you should watch TV in english to trully grasp what  happens to “kimochi” when it is in english. Focus on every situation and when you would say, “kimochi,” notice what the characters say in english. Wakatta?

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 English uses affixes for a lot of words and I mean A LOT. If you learn the meaning of these little snippets it will make understanding english SOOOOO much easier. AND if you can’t think of the right word to use you can make one up like we natives do. Example: Deadish. You won’t ever find that one in a dictionary, but we get it, and it sounds native. A quick note on usage: we stick the words “kinda”, “sorta”, &“ uh like” a lot, too, in front of these made-up words. ‘Kinda’ & ‘sorta’ are actually informal contractions of “kind of” & “Sort of”. While, “uh like” is more similar to that famous “あのう” sound that japanese people make.
 “My cat was sorta deadish today. He didn’t move all day.”
 “You look kinda wiggerish today. What happened? Did someone steal all your clothes and replace them with FUBU and South Pole.” (FUBU and South Pole are clothing brands targeted toward black consumers. He must be a white guy who is now apparently dressing like he is black. Hama-kun Style!)
 “I had this, uh like, sharpish kinda pain in my side this morning.”
 “Well that was an Assholeish thing to say!”

 But least’s just go for real words now. Add “Re-”, “Un-”, “-able”, or “-ment” and you will most likely pop out a real word. There are exceptions. “Usement” & “doment” are not words. But, “reuse”, “usable”, “reusable”, “redo”, “undo”, “doable”, “redoable” & “undoable” are all words. Save “-ment” for longer verbs like “Refinement” or “Government”. This turns verbs into transitive verbs, adjectives and nouns.
React, Reactive, Realign, Rearrange, Reassure, Rebid, Rebirth, Reboot, Rebore, Reborn, Rebound, Rebuild, Recall, Recapture, etc.,. The list goes on and on. Anyways, I’m really far off from where I wanted to go.
 Let’s look into the meaning of some affixes.
-able  Means ‘ability to be’.
 “researchable” means it has the ‘ability to be researched’.
 “killable” means it has the ‘ability to be killed’.
 “redoable” means it has the ‘ability to be redone’.
-like Means ‘similar to’.
 “Catlike” means ‘similar to a cat’.
 “Rocklike” means ‘similar to a rock’.
 “Godlike” means ‘similar to a god (or God)’.
Re- Means ‘again’.
 “Reuse” means ‘use again’.
 “Retread” means ‘tread again’.
 “Reincorporate” means ‘incorporate again’.
Anti- Means both ‘against’ and ‘opposite of’, but implies acting against, in a moral, social, ethical, mental, physical, and abrasive way.
 “Antigovernment” means ‘against government’.
 “Antiracist” means ‘opposite of (and against) racists’.
 “Antichrist” means ‘opposite of (and against) christ’.
 “Antireform” means ‘against reform’ if whatever it has not reformed yet.
 “Antireform” means ‘opposite of reform’ if whatever it was has already reformed.
 “Antiparticle” means ‘opposite of a particle’.
Un-  Is similar to Anti- but is not actively acting against something, but is instead not like something.
 “Unborn” means ‘not born’.
 “Undying” means ‘not able to die’ (e.g. Eternal.)
 “Unglue” means ‘no longer glued’.
 “Uncomfortable” means ‘not comfortable’.
 “Unleash” means to ‘no longer leash’ (this form of the word “leash” is archaic and very rarely used. Meaning to restrain.)
  “The barbarians unleashed pure chaos. The romans were felled like trees. Not one (roman) survived the battle.”
   “The hurricane unleashed a torrent of rain on the coast. It looked like a wall of water falling out of the sky.”
 “Unchain” means ‘to remove the chains (or restraints)’.
-ly  Similar to -like, it implies ‘by way of’ and ‘in ___ manner’.
 “Daily” means ‘by way of a day’ (e.g. every day).
 “Yearly” means ‘by way of a year (e.g. every year).
 “Quintessentially” means ‘in a quintessential manner’ (e.g. archetypically; “in an archetypical way”; “in the purest, most perfect, way”).
-logy
-ology Both mean ‘study of’ (really, ‘reason, speak’ from the greek “logos”)
 It actually refers to a set of things, a way of looking at a group of, or type of things, that can be grouped to together for reference. (That’s kinda confusing, I know. I can’t make it easier to understand. Just look at the examples.)
 “Phraseology” means both ‘study of a group of phrases’ and a ‘group of phrases used’
  “He explained the lawyer phraseology so I could understand the copyright laws.”
  “He’s a phraseologist.”
 “Endocrinology” means the “field of study that focuses on the endocrine system of the body”.
 “Technology” can mean “machines”, “a group of skills & applications”, “study of machines”.
  “I’m a Communications Technology Major.”
  “The Sumerians irrigation technology was the reason why Sumer was called, The Fertile Crescent.”
  “Japanese Mobile Technology is much more advanced than its American counterpart.”
 “Deontology” means the “study of what is morally right or wrong”.
Archaeo- 
Archeo-  Both mean ‘ancient’.
 “Archaeology” means the “study of ancient (things)”.
 “Archaeobotany” means the “study of ancient plants”. (Greek. “botane”; plants)
Anthropo- Means “human; humankind”.
 “Anthropology” means the “study of humankind”.
 “Anthropomorphic” means “to look, appear, or act like a human”. (Like Werewolves.)
 “Anthropophagi” means “human eaters”. (Cannibals. Those Latin terms are starting to look amusing now, huh?)
Paleo- Means “long ago”
 “Paleontology” means the “study of long ago(ancient) life”
 “Paleoliths” means “long ago stones” (Refers to the stone tools of ancient man.)
-ment Means “condition of (being)” or process towards that condition.
 “Bewilderment” means the “condition of being bewildered”.
 “Advancement” means the “condition of being advanced”.
 “Government” means the “condition of being governed” or “condition of governing”
 “Arrangement” means the “condition of being arranged” (e.g. How it’s arranged.)
-ist Means “person who”.
 “Botanist” means a “person who studies plants”.
 “Anthropologist” means a “person who studies historical mankind”.
 “Sociologist” means a “person who studies modern mankind.
  (These last two overlap slightly, as what is considered “modern” is vague.)
-ic, -ique, -ous, -eous, -ious
 These all refer to the “nature” of something, but they are NOT interchangeable. Just pay close attention to which root word they are attached to. Some examples:
 Alcoholic, shopaholic, cobaltic, cubistic, vampiric, symbiotic
 Technique, unique
 Viscous, porous, vaporous,
 Gaseous
 Vicious, Delicious
  (There’s a lot more but those are all I can think of off-hand.)
 I hope you found the few things mentioned in this article informative and useful in your studies of the english language. Even if you are a native speaker.

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 Now a company that wishes to display it product, slogan, or whatnot in another language should ALWAYS get a regional native speaker of that language to tailor and/or reword it to be understood. This should be done to avoid mistakes or quirks of both languages.
 Here’s some examples of BIG mistakes:

japangrish homo sausage

Oh My God…Ahahahaha…            …HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Why would I laugh so hard? Because “Homo” is an unpleasant term for a Homosexual male and “Sausage” can refer to a penis, your “ちんちん”, if I remember right.

So this product’s title says, “Homosexual Man’s Penis.” If it said, “Fag Dick,” is about the only way that it could be any funnier. (And no I have no problem with gays so don’t attempt to ream me. Pun Intended. 😉 )

 

Or how about this:

japangrish walnuts(1)

 

Sorry Tomobaka-sama, I don’t talk to my Coffee-san. It won’t talk  to me. And I sure as hell am not going to walk around in public talking to Coffee-san. I’d like to see it though.

“ねね、こひさん。ここわどこですか?”

 

This is my personal favorite:

japangrish i want you for my ass

Let me rephrase this in case you’re not native:

“I want you to stick your penis in my anus and have intercourse with me.”

Which reminds me. We don’t call a rooster a “cock”. It’s a “chicken” dammit! Just a chicken.

Words that mean “Penis”: “Dick”, “Cock”, “Shlong”, “Sausage”, “Wang”, “Schwang”, “Ding-a-ling”, “Mushroom Stamper”, “Beatin’ Stick”, “Man Meat”, “Third Leg”, “Stomach Poker”.

 

But here’s the best one:

japangrish naked coffee

WHAT…THE…FUCK…IS…THAT!?!

1.  I don’t drink coffee.

2. I don’t drink coffee while I have no clothes on.

3. I don’t take off my clothes when my family is around.

4. Why, how, could anything taste better with my clothes off?

5. What kind of conversation would we have? (“Hey mom, nice tits.” Ewww… That is fucking nasty to even think about.)

6. It’s “you’re” not “your’e”.

 

Now all of these things could’ve been solved before they printed these things if they would just ask an english  NATIVE speaker to write the slogan. Hell, I’ll pop a slogan out for you for free…maybe…

 

 

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I notice that among all the most common mistakes made by asian language natives speaking or writing english is the quirk of affinitive pluralization. Take a look at these following examples:

“…every oak trees…”
“Is you feeling better?”
“…is they going?”

 In the first example, “every oak trees”, ‘every’ IS the pluralization for the noun ‘tree’. So, the ‘s’ is unneeded. Why? Who knows, especially when you compare ‘every’ to other quantitative modifiers like ‘some’, ‘many’, ‘a lot’, and ‘quite a few’ which do not modify their parent noun. Just try to remember that ‘every’ is a special case. Just like Example 2.

 In Example 2, “Is you” is incorrect, because while ‘is’ is paired with singular nouns ‘you’ and ‘I’ have unique sets. (“I am”, “am I,” “are you,” & “you are.”)
 A note on this; “am I,” & “are you.”  If they are used as a fragment in, or as, a rhetorical question they are actually quite aggressive and usually sarcastic if the question has a negative answer. Read the narrative below.
       As the light turns green, John begins to hit the gas. He notices movement out the corner of his eye. As he turns his head to see, he slams on his brakes to avoid the other driver from hitting him. “Shit,” he exclaims, as they collide into each other. John, while cursing his luck, watches as the other driver gets out of his car with something shiny and silver in his hand. John’s first was scared at first, as he thought it was a gun. But his fear turned to anger as he realized what it really was. “A cell phone! He was on his cell phone! Dude hit me ‘cause he was talking on his damn phone!” Meanwhile, the man looks at his car, then John’s, then back at his before he yells at John.
     “Fucking asshole,” the man says, blaming John for the accident he caused himself.
     “AM I!!!” John retorts in a growl, getting out of his own car and in the face of the other man.
     The other man makes the classic fatal mistake of not knowing when to quit. “I don’t know, are you?” He replies in a condescending tone as he pushes John away.
     Ten minutes later, John takes the time out to check his hands. They’re covered with blood. None of it is his. John grabs his “new” wallet and checks for cash. Counting it, he chirps to himself, “$610. Not bad. This’ll pay for the headlight and popping the dent outta the front bumper.” He then reaches for his “new” cell phone and places it under his tire for a little added amusement later.
     Eight miles away, the other man wakes up to the sound of a young woman asking him what happened. The man tries to speak but the pain is unbearable. He knows his nose and jaw are broken and he’s pretty sure he just swallowed three teeth. As he nurses his jaw he realizes his wallet is missing from his pocket and his phone is nowhere to be seen.
    As John cleans his hands in his kitchen sink he mutters to himself, “Doubt he’ll do that again.”

 Otherwise you can think of “am I” & “are you” as similar to “ですね” in that it is usually rhetorical but it can imply a need for longer answer than just a “yeah” or “no”.
 Examples of this use include, “I’m not an idiot, am I?”, “I’m not missing something, am I?”, & “You’re not getting it, are you?”
 These can all be translated as, “何、全全分わかったない,” (since japanese loves to leave out topics if they are “self-evident”). It depends upon context. 

The third of the examples, “…is they going,” is the easiest to correct. “Is” is for singulars, “they” is a plural, so you must use “are” (“are they” not “is they”).

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Some Idioms

Today, I’ve decided to cover some english idioms.
What’s an idiom?
An idiom is a nonsensical expression whose meaning is completely non-literal an actually means something nearly completely different.
  
“Dead as a doornail” means no longer alive or charged.
 “I found this cat yesterday. It was dead as a doornail, all stiff and nasty.”
 “Well these batteries are dead as a doornail.”
  
To “turn green” can mean to become nauseous.
 I told Nancy about the dead cat and she turned green. It was hysterical!”
  
To “feel blue” means to feel depressed or sad.
 What wrong Sarah? Don’t tell me you’re still feel blue over your boyfriend dumping you.”
  
To “bite the dust” can mean both to literally fall on one’s face and to stop functioning.
 “Man, you bite the dust like a champ, dude! You okay?”
 “My TV bite the dust last night.”
  
“Come Hell or high water” means regardless of whatever happens to hinder something.
 “I’ll finish fixing my car this week come Hell or high water.”
  
“Cool as shit”, “Cool as hell”, “Cool as fuck”, “awesome as hell”, “awesome as fuck”, “awesome as shit” all imply that the topic is beyond just “cool” or “awesome” but extremely likeable, acceptable, and desirable.
  “Dude, I love Chiodos! They’re cool as shit!”
Pay attention to context here as these phrasings can be used to ridicule the topic as well.
 “Look at that stupid wigger. Oh, he’s cool as shit, huh? What a fucking loser.”
 
To “Screw to pooch” means to do something with an end result being the complete worst outcome.
 “Tommy fell asleep on the job and got caught. He really screwed the pooch on that one, didn’t he?”
 
To “flip shit” means to argue about a matter adamantly.
 
“They got me scheduled to do Nadine’s job again so that lazy, drunk bitch can come in and sleep in the office. I’m gonna flip shit when she comes in, just watch.”
 
“Sitting around with his thumb up his ass” implies that the person is being extremely lazy and is probably stupid as well.
 “Gary gets to sit there with his thumb up his ass and they expect us to do his job.”
 “I told her to get back to work and she just stood there, staring at me, with her thumb up her ass.”
 
(Okay, okay. That last one wasn’t an idiom. Ya got me.)
There’s a shit ton more I use alone than just these but I could begin to cover them all.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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