2006年11月26日

Rach Goes 1126

The Bout 'Translation VS No Translation' Round 2

I translate on my blog everyday. But, believe it or not, I don't stick to translation-oriented approach so much. Or rather, I am totally FOR 'no-translation' method.
Actually, I frequently use the English-English dictionary, although I can't stop using the English-Japanese dictionary from time to time.
When I was a student, teachers taught us how to translate an English sentence into Japanese.
I think this translation-oriented approach made students have an illusion that they can 'understand' English.
But in fact, students did not understand English itself. They just felt relieved to see 'close but not the same' sentence written in Japanese.

Needless to say, native English speakers learn English by reading & hearing a lot of English. I'm so sure exposing ourselves to as much English as humanly possible is the most standard, orthodox & effective way of learning English.
I insist we have to 'learn' how to understand English in English. But what should we do at first?
If you have several books written in English at hand and you feel like reading them as soon as possible, just do it!
Moreover, if you can say, "All I need is the E-E (English-English) dictionary. I've never used the E-J (English-Japanese) dictionary these days", you must be so lucky. You don't have to stick to the J-E dictionary anymore. Just go on your own way!
I think those who can appreciate English as it is must be so happy. They can enjoy the beauty of English, which makes them love English more.

I know, however, some people who have no confidence in their own English ability don't feel like using the E-E dictionary. They might see the contents of the E-E dictionary as just a combination of alphabets. They might feel dizzy at the sight of a flood of English words.
If you are one of them, you don't have to hesitate to use the J-E dictionary. You don't feel guilty about relying on the Japanese language.
The point is how to use this Japanese information.

If you translate an English sentence into Japanese at first and then you try to understand the meaning of the sentence, that's not good.
If you try to understand the meaning of the sentence in English and then you think, "If they were talking in Japanese, what kind of Japanese language would be suitable for this situation?", that's not so bad.

As I wrote above, I still use the E-J dictionary. That's because I just want to look for some hints or clues in order to understand the meaning of the sentence.

While watching dramas in English, I sometimes bump into a lot of expressions or phrases I've never heard before.
Then I try to guess the meaning or nuances of them by making the most use of information I have at the time, such as actor's facial expressions, the tone of their voices as well as situations and contexts. Moreover, I could use even Japanese subtitles or dubbed-in voices on DVD.
My motto: "You should use everything available to you."
Then I reach out for my grammar books and dictionaries. I sometimes find valuable information even in the E-J dictionary. I don't care if the books I get the useful information from is written in English or Japanese. I'm just searching for someone's opinions which can explain clearly and logically the images I received in watching dramas.

I believe Japanese English-learners gradually & naturally get to use mainly the E-E dictionary in accordance with the improvement of their English ability.
So I suggest that you may use the E-J dictionary if you want to use it.
The E-J dictionary is not harmful to your study of English, as long as you don't forget the fact that Japanese words cannot explain the meaning of English words or sentences perfectly.

After all, the best way of learning English depends on individuals. My method was effective to me at least when I restarted studying English.
5 years have passed since then. It is high time to say good-bye to my dear E-J dictionary?
But I have an excuse for using the E-J dictionary.
"I've had a dream for a long time: I want to be a translater. So I need to know how other Japanese people translate an English sentence into Japanese, for future reference."
I'm not ready to give up my dream yet.



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posted by Rach at 08:31| Comment(4) | Rach GOES | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2006年08月31日

Rach Goes 0831

What I learned from my experience

Nothing works well when you are in the biggest slump.
However, I tried something on Aug. 8.
So, what did I learn from that trial?

There were two reasons why I explained my complicated feelings 'in English' as Rach Goes 0808.
First, I was afraid it might sound so emotional if I posted it in Japanese. That's why I chose to use a logical language, English, in order to sound as logically as possible.

Second, I wanted to express myself honestly. On the other hand, I did NOT want ALL of my readers to know my depression.
If I had posted the same contents of Rach Goes 0808 in Japanese, almost all readers, who are undoubtedly Japanese, could have recognized at a glance that I felt really sad and depressed.
I didn't want to spread my sorrow all over the place unnecessarily.
That sort of ambivalence drove me to write the previous article in English.

After reading a lot of encouraging comments on the article, I found that those who posted those comments were able to fully understand my complicated feelings, a mixture of affection and hatred.
I didn't expect that result, because I knew the article was really confusing and hard to follow.

When it comes to comments, I was really glad to receive Japanese comments as well as English ones.
Since I am aware of how much time it takes to write something in English, I'd like to thank YOU for posting English comments.
And I'd also like to thank YOU for posting Japanese comments after reading my English article.
I said something in English, and you replied to it in Japanese so naturally. It's like we talk with each other without noticing what kind of language we use.
This is the very 'communication', isn't it?
Several years ago, I wanted to try to express myself and to convey my feelings to others in another language except Japanese. That's why I started to learn English. My trial reminded me of my original purpose. That was worth trying.

At the same time, I succeeded in keeping many people away from finding the top-secret information that carefree Rach could be down once in a while.
I'm sure those who didn't read Rach Goes 0808 don't know the fact that I was seriously blue then, because I've been as happy and joyous as ever in every other article except it.


Now, let's face the future.
What's my top priority of the moment?
As an author of this blog, the top priority is to maintain this blog steadily and regularly.
I become vaguely aware that every article of the Friends series is all the same and that not a few readers are fed up with my routine.
I am not saying keeping this series is my mission or vocation, but I would not be Rach any more if I stopped writing this Friends series.
This series is where I can behave in character without restraint, like my sanctuary.
I recognize the limitations of this 'translation-oriented approach', though.

As one of Japanese English learners, the top priority is to read more English, especially sophisticated one, and to write more English, more OFTEN.
I realize that it is almost worthless and meaningless to write something in English just once in a month or so.
I wish I could write English every day. Easy to say, hard to do. Still, I believe I'll be able to get to write English spontaneously in the near future.

If I really want to improve my English, I should put 'writing English more often' before anything else.
I suspect that I just enjoy talking pleasantly about English-related stuff with my friends.
I sometimes feel like asking myself,
"You always say you really want to improve your English. Do you seriously mean it, huh?"

From now, I won't stick to my own 'stupid' resolution that I should post English articles regularly on my blog.
I will write English article whenever I want. That's all.
Don't you think it has taken too much time to reach this easy and reasonable conclusion?
Human feelings sometimes get you going, and sometimes prevent you from going. A double-edged sword, so to speak.

P.S. Today is the last day of summer vacation. At last!
Wish me luck on my upcoming term!



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posted by Rach at 15:04| Comment(6) | Rach GOES | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2006年08月08日

Rach Goes 0808

I wrote one article.

Although this is the ONLY fifth article of Rach Goes series, I've already fallen into a slump and don't know how to come back into form. "What should I do?", I've asked myself the same question over and over again for about two weeks.

I don't have enough time to write English and feel a little tired both mentally and physically, since it's in the middle of summer vacation, which is the busiest season for mothers, you know.
But I don't think this is the immediate cause of my problem.
I don't know why, but I can't write an article in English as easily as before. I HAVE NO IDEA what I should write here.

Even if I start to write something in English, I can hardly complete one article. As a result, a lot of unfinished articles are scattered about on my PC, like dead bodies.

I often tried to make up "an article"(Rach fingers quote-mark gesture) out of a junk pile of alphabets.
Time just went by, but all my efforts were in vain. After doing it repeatedly, I started to be afraid of 'writing English' itself.
What if this feeling makes me allergic to writing English? What should I do if I come to hate English?
I couldn't believe I used the word 'hate', but my state of mind was that critical.
I was SCARED at English-related stuff. I'd never had this feeling toward English before, which made me more frightened.

After due consideration, a few days ago, I started to write one article, 'Rach Goes series is concluded', which obviously meant it would be the final article written in English on my blog.
I thought it was the best way to get rid of this worry or get away from suffering.
I finished the article with a lot of difficulty. (I don't want to say how many hours it takes to finish it.) I shut down my PC without rereading it that day.

The following day, I started to read the article. As I read, I felt tears welling up in my eyes. My decision that I would never write something in English again on my blog was shockingly and unexpectedly painful to me. It was like a girl saying, "I don't wanna break up with you because I still love you."
All of a sudden, I remembered how happy and satisfied I was when I posted an English article on my blog for the first time.
Those feelings have got me going until now. No matter how harsh my life is, I don't want to dump all of the sweet memories.

After all, I changed my mind at the 11th hour. In short, this is NOT the final article of Rach Goes series.
But this is definitely not a happy ending.
It's just that I had no guts to say good-bye to Rach Goes series. Maybe I am just an irresolute woman.

I am so sorry, my friends, for making you read this anguished and confused article.
I am not trying to invite a compliment or encouragement by whining about my English ability.
This is a sort of trial.
I anticipated that revealing emotions honestly and frankly would enable me to write something more easily.

I don't know if I did the right thing. I'm still groping blindly in the dark.
However I, one of the most optimistic people in the blogosphere, expect that something extraordinary will happen to me someday if I keep on writing English.
Wow, it is just like Rach to say such a happy-go-lucky thing in this gloomy article.

If I doubt, again, the effectiveness of writing Rach Goes series, I will fall an easy prey to the temptation to stop writing English.
It is so hard for me to keep writing English articles, knowing that the FINAL article is readily available on my PC.



Tomorrow, I'll get back to my usual self, 'carefree' Rach.
So please forgive me for saying something negative, only here, only now.

posted by Rach at 06:37| Comment(18) | Rach GOES | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2006年07月15日

Rach Goes 0715

Rach In Wonderland

Does this remind you of 'Alice In Wonderland'? What a coincidence! I've just remembered the same story.
You can imagine a little girl named Rach wearing a cute 'Alice apron dress'...
Hey, what are you giggling about, you guys? I don't see anything funny in this image, though...
Well, I surely admit that I sometimes forget how old I am while writing articles on my blog.

'Rach In Wonderland' means 'Rach in the Internet'.
Right now, I am living in the real world. At the same time, Rach is living in this blogosphere.
For Rach, this virtual-reality world is her own REAL world. Rach could not live without this Internet society.

As I said before, I have no need to learn English in my current situation. My husband is not interested in English. So I have no companion to talk with in English.

I guess you might think, "Oh, Rach. I'm so sorry for you. You are in a predicament. You can't talk with someone in English anytime you like. Your home environment is tough, harsh, and often disastrous for studying English. You look so pathetic!"
Oh, don't worry about it. I don't need sympathy. Do you want to know the reason? Because I have my own English world on the web.
In my English world, I have tons of friends who talk with me about English-related stuff and teach me a lot of useful information.
Anytime I need a friend, he or she will be here. What a wonderful world it is!
When I find a comment from one of my web-friends, I feel I can actually hear the theme song of Friends, 'I'll be there for you' by Rembrandts. (Don't say, "It's only your imagination.")

Whenever I put up a question, someone shows his or her idea. With others' hints or suggestions, I can sometimes get to the answer.
Despite lengthy discussion, some problems remain unsolved, of course. Does this mean all our efforts are fruitless? No, no. You learn a lot of things about English through passionate argument.
You have to search grammatical matters in grammar books or to check practical examples of words or phrases on Google (or I can use the word 'google' as a verb, like 'to google practical examples...') in order to approach problems logically or to defend yourself against objection.
To me, this process itself is study of English.

Come to think about it, we live in a world of convenience, don't we? We can acquire vast information through the Internet.
Needless to say, you have to remember the fact that some information on the Internet is wrong, so you should be careful dealing with acquired information.
However, you can come across useful information without taking much time out of your day. It's like 'in the blink of an eye', RIGHT?

Furthermore, 'Rach In Wonderland' also means 'Rach in the modern technological world'.
Here I have to thank people who invented DVDs.
I owe it to DVDs that I can now use English 'to some extent'. While watching DVDs, I feel as if I lived in the U.S., although I actually sit in front of TV in my living room in Osaka, Japan. Isn't it great?
You can listen to the the same lines or a series of conversation on DVD over and over again. If you talk with a REAL person in English, you won't be able to ask him or her, "I beg your parden?" so many times, right?

I think machines are so obedient to human beings and so patient with unreasonable request.
Oh, I just remembered Issac Asimov's 'Three Laws of Robotics', which says "A robot must obey the orders given to it by the human beings..."

Plus, I can confirm actors' lines in the drama by checking subtitiles on DVD. Even if I lived in the U.S., I couldn't find any subtitles around native English speakers when they speak English. Do you think it is possible to ask someone, "Would you write down every single word you have just said to me?" Even if you have guts to say so, you might be punched or...
Be careful!

I must say that it is so important for you to know precisely what they speak in English. I think random guesses won't improve your English at least when you start to study English. You need the right answer in the first stage. That's why so many people who have studied English for several years recommend using scripts, RIGHT?
In the real conversation, you have to make a guess at what they are talking about. What do you think is the best way to acquire ability to guess like that? AT FIRST, you have to check the sentences word by word that you are hearing at the moment, using DVD's subtitles or scripts. This kind of steady effort will make your English much better in the long run.

Without DVDs, my PC, and the Internet, I couldn't have read, written or listened to English as well as I do now. Without those information technology devices, Rach would not even exist right now. In other words, in the 21st century, I can be Rach. I have to thank my fortune to be born in the late 1900's and to live in the early 2000's.
Here's to modern technology. Cheers!

In conclusion, Rach is so happy in her wonderland, where she can talk with her friends about English-related stuff and chat on various topics in English, and can study English using a lot of imformation and amazing services or devices.

By the way...
Let's imagine that I 'Rach' live in the 22nd or 23rd century. I wonder if I would have difficulty learning English in the future. Maybe future people won't have to study English at all because sophisticated universal translators are available then...
I might watch too much science-fiction shows on TV. But isn't it exciting to just imagine such a world with a lot of state-of-the-art technology?
I am always a dreamer, or rather, a dreamy girl.
Yes, I am 'Rach In Wonderland'.



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posted by Rach at 07:16| Comment(8) | Rach GOES | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2006年06月25日

Rach Goes 0625

[Scene: Rach's house. Rach enters the living room to see her husband watching an NHK English-conversation TV program.]
(Attention: Rach is not Rachel Karen Green, but an author of this blog. Sorry. In the following conversation, they are talking with each other in Japanese, strickly speaking, in Osaka dialect. Sorry again.)

RACH: Wow! YOU are watching the English-language TV program! It's so weird.
RACH'S HUSBAND: Yeah, isn't it? Hey Rach, what does the English word 'went' mean?
RACH: What are you talking about, honey? 'Went' is the past tense of the verb 'go'. GO-WENT-GONE, see? Any of that trigger anything?
HUSBAND: Mmmm... I know the words 'want' and 'would'. But I don't remember the word 'went'. I guess I totally forgot. Because I haven't used English at all after graduation.
RACH: That's not the problem. It's so strange that you know 'would' without knowing 'went.' 'Went' is more basic word than 'would'. We learned the word when we were in junior high. How could you forget it. It's elementary, my dear Husband!
HUSBAND: Don't be so mad, sweetie. That can't be helped. In any case, I have no chance to use English. Can we drop this? Whatever.
RACH: WHATEVER?!

Please let me get this straight with you.
My husband doesn't know the English word 'went', and even more surprising, he doesn't care about at all the fact that he doesn't know such a basic word.
Yes, this is my husband, everybody!
As I said before on my previous article in English, my husband is not interested in English at all.

However, here, I must say there's SOME sense in what he said.

He works for a domestic company, or rather, a local company which I worked for about a decade ago. There's little possibility that he will get transfered to foreign countries. That's good for him, for me, and for my family. Because we don't have to worry about moving house and my children don't have to feel anxious about changing schools. Yes, I know. However, as a result, I will have to stay here in Osaka for the rest of my life, that is, to the death!?

If I am permitted to be brutally honest here, deep down in my heart, I have a teeny tiny dream of living abroad with my family before my husband's retirement from his company. This is not for my family, but just for me, just for my study of English. How selfish and egoistic!
Oh, please don't point out the fact that all of the people in the world don't necessarily use English as their national or officical lauguage.
I'm aware of that, of course. But I still believe I would have more chance to speak English if I lived abroad.

The point is he didn't, doesn't and won't need to use English in his situation. Therefore, he doesn't have to study English. Do you think his reason is quite convincing?

I study English because I love English. He doesn't study English because he is not interested in English and doesn't need English for his work. This is so simple and natural, right?

He doesn't or can't speak English. I don't care at all.
He doesn't intend to study English. It doesn't matter to me.
He is not interested in English at all. Mmmm... To tell you the truth, I wish he had a little interest in English itself.
I'd muttered to myself within my mind, "Why are you not interested in stuff I really care about?"

However, it is so hard to persuade him to study English. Rach, who is really interested in English, cannot force her own husband to learn English. So do you understand how hard to encourage others to study English?

By the way, is there anyone who thinks I tried to make fun of my own husband?
Don't get me wrong! I have no intention of hurting my husband's pride. I don't look down on him at all.
I'm really proud of my husband. I respect him. I am always grateful to him. And... it's hard to say here in public, I really love him!

You know what? Ironically, he will never know this passionate confession on this article BECAUSE he is not interested in English!
Where are you? What are you doing right now, honey? I'm sure it wouldn't kill you to read my English article once in a while.

He always enjoys that kind of conversation I mentioned in the beginning of this article. He always says something funny or incomprehensible, and I always point out his inconsistencies.
I was really shocked that he didn't know the basic word 'went' the other day. Then I asked him if I could write about this anecdote on my blog.
He was so pleased to hear that and said, "Sure. Go ahead!" That is to say, he gave me the green light.
That's why I wrote this topic right here, right now.
I don't know why, but he seems to be proud that he is not interested in English. I wonder if he might try to go against current trends. He is still mysterious to me although we've been married for nine years.
Well, I'm sure men and women will never fully understand each other...
Oh, I have to get back on the right track.
My point is I don't either betray him or talk against him behind his back. Now, did I succeed in clearing up your misunderstanding?

Still, I have a dream.
In the future, I will say in English, "I really love you, honey."
And my husband will replay also in English, "Me, too, Rach! I will love you till death do us part."
And...

Oh, This dream will NEVER come true UNLESS he changes his job and gets transferred abroad!



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posted by Rach at 07:50| Comment(15) | Rach GOES | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2006年05月31日

Rach Goes 0531

My six year old son always asks me, "Why do you study English, Mom?"
(FYI: My son speaks this sentence not in English but in Japanese, of course. I neither have him go to English conversation school nor teach him English as a second language at home. Occasionally, I use simple phrases to him jokingly, like "What are you doing?" or "What do you want to drink?", though. Are you a little disappointed or relieved?)

He knows that I'm really interested in English or English-related stuff. Because I always watch English-language dramas on DVD, and hum English songs or practice pronouncing English sentences in the kitchen while listening to them on my iPod connected with a minispeaker.

I am always quick to reply to his simple question, "BECAUSE I really want to live in the U.S. in the future, when I become 60 years old or so!"

To tell you the truth, although I state my answer clearly, I'm not so sure if that is my true feelings or not. I admit that I really want to go abroad, especially to the U.S., but I don't feel this is MY REASON for studying English. I have no intention to tell a lie to my dearest son. It's just that I can't explain the reason precisely. So I might use this as an OFFICIAL reason of mine.

I just think about my dream.
Why do I want to go to the U.S. so eagerly?
This is not because I want to pursue and obtain an MBA in some American college, of course.
(For the record, MBA is neither an acronym for 'Master of Being American', nor one for 'Married But Available'. Addtionally, to my regret, these phrases are not my original creation.)

I just want to hear English all the time. I just want to soak my body in a pool filled with English language. I mean, I want to be immersed in English all day long, 24/7. I just dream I am speaking English fluently and talking with English native speakers happily and pleasantly.

My reason for studying or learning English is so vague and unclear.
In first place, I don't feel the necessity of having a good command of English in my current situation.
I just live in Osaka. I don't have any friends from abroad or even any acquaintance who can speak English fluently. I don't need to speak or write English every day. I don't have a chance to express myself in English in the neighborhood, where I seldom see a person from other countries.
And yet, why do I want to study or learn English?
Honestly speaking, I have my own reason for it at the bottom of my heart. But that is TOO emotional and illogical to mention in public.
That's why I can't say my true reason to my son whenever he asks why.

I ask myself again. Why do I want to study or learn English?
Because I really LOVE English. Regarding the English language, I love sound, pronunciation, rhythm and rhyme... you name it!

Long time ago, I fell in love with 'English' at first sight, or, in more precise terms, at first HEARING, so to speak. I don't remember when, but I was so fascinated and overwhelmed by the language I couldn't understand at all.
It's like, "He's speaking English so fluently! So COOL! He's singing the English song so passionately! So COOL!"
COOL! COOL! You might think I have a poor vocabulary. But I don't care at all. I can't find any proper word except 'COOL' for explaining my obscure feelings. To be more exact, COOL or 'something like that'.
Well, 'something like that' is not a good expression. I'm aware of this. Someone once taught me that to keep using this phrase is detrimental to my ability in English. But in this case, 'cool or something like that' is the most articulate expression in order to express my vague feelings toward English. I might say this is some kind of admiration or adoration for English.

And I think people who can use COOL English with complete control are also COOL. So I'm so happy to imagine myself speaking English fluently and writing English smoothly. In my imagination, I can feel as if I were a beautiful blonde woman with alluring blue eyes, like Rachel Karen Green. (Don't laugh out loud, you guys!)
In my English world, I feel I can change myself into another woman who doesn't have to care about household chores in Japan. This might be a desire to become a totally different person. I can say this is a desire to change myself. (I really like and love myself, though.) If I were to use one phrase, "The metamophosis of an ordinary Japanese housewife into a incredibly beautiful American woman."
Is this expression so girlish or dreamy? Maybe. But I don't think you should have a noble, logical reason for learning English. The important thing is that you have strong PASSION which gets you going.
To me, To learn English is to love English. To love English is to understand English more, and... Do you need more explanation?
Expressed in another way, the more I understand English, the more I love English. The more I love English, the more I understand English.
It's just like the mystery 'Which came first, the chicken or the egg?'
...Mmmm... What am I supposed to write about here today? I'm a little bit confused. Are you following me so far?

Oh-oh, it's time to wake up my son and husband. (I don't have to wake up my two year old daughter since she wakes up by herself every morning. She is not a high-maintenance girl at all. Thank God!) It's always so hard to wake them up, because they wouldn't get up so easily. I have to go to the bedroom and shake them awake at least 3 times at intervals of 5 minutes. Why do I have to do the same thing every day, every morning? This is what housewives are for? Maybe. I wouldn't fight against destiny.

Well, while I am writing this column, I keep forgetting the fact that I am just a Japanese housewife... This phrase sounds so familiar? No, no, coming sentences are a little bit different from ones of previous article.
I keep forgetting the fact that I'm a Japanese housewife, who was born and brought up in Osaka and who has never been abroad except that I went to Italy, Greece and France on my honeymoon about a decade ago, and who is married to a Japanese guy who is NOT interested in English AT ALL!
Can you believe this? As you know, I have a great deal of interest in English. But my husband has NO interest in English at all. He is incredibly UNINTERESTED in learning English and unbelievably INDIFFERENT toward English itself.
Would you like me to tell about my husband? Whether you want to or not, I'm afraid I can't say about this right here, right now.

Here I declare in a loud voice...
TO-BE-CONTINUED



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posted by Rach at 06:44| Comment(16) | Rach GOES | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2006年05月11日

Rach Goes 0511

突然ですが・・・
「GWボケをぶっとばせ企画」といたしまして、英語オンリーの文章を書いてみることにしました。
何故、これを書くことになったのか、興味のある方は、英語本文を読んでいただくとして(笑)、これは私の「個人的な練習」ですので、無理して読んでいただく必要はありません。
興味のない方は、また明日のフレンズ解説でお会いしましょう。
一度書いてみたらどんな感じになるかなぁ、程度ですので、この企画、これっきりになる(可能性大)かもしれませんが、まぁ、青春の一ページということで・・・(爆)。
もし万が一(if ... should)、英文を読んで何かご感想がございましたら(「こんな企画やめろぉー!」とかの文句でも何でもいいですよ!・・・笑)、コメントは日本語で入れていただいても結構ですので、どうぞお気軽に!(もちろん、無理してコメント入れて下さらなくていいですよっ!)
それでは、Here we go! (私はどこぞのDJかっ!?)


Rach Goes 0511

One of my web-friends asked me to write something in English on his blog the other day.
That was the day when it all began.
(I don't announce his name here because I'm sure he prefers being anonymous, but... I guess you guys know who he is, right?)

The details are as follows:
One day I was completely stunned by his comment on his blog. The comment said, "Dear Rach, I'd like you to write columns in English on my blog regularly, say, like once in every two weeks or so. If possible, I strongly recommend that you write them not as comments but as main bodies."

What? What? WHAAAT??? I didn't understand what he was trying to say. Not on MY blog, but on HIS blog? What are you talking about? What are you driving at? Are you serious? Do you mean it? ... (The rest is omitted.)
I had to gather any and all lines from the Sitcom 'Friends' in order to express my confused feelings. I was preoccupied with a lot of questions and question marks at that time. I felt slightly dizzy because I had no idea how to deal with this very very difficult problem.
I saw nothing but black darkness ahead of me. It was completely black dark.

What should I insert right now? For instance, 'Intermission' or 'Opening titles' ?

As you know, I'm too weak and vulnerable to refuse his proposal. (It's so strange if you didn't know that.)
I guess he knows my character very well. Moreover, he is reallly good at encouraging me. And to make matters worse, I get flattered so easily.
So I can't find any proper reason to turn down his suggestion. But I have no guts to write something on HIS blog, because I really love his blog and I don't wanna stain his excellent work.
I know he hates this kind of expression 'stain', but I can't find any appropriate words but this.
I think, therefore I am...writing something in English here on my blog right now.

At the same time, we can see this situation in a different way.
Believe it or not, the other myself hates to lose in almost every respect. 'She' is as competitive as Monica, I guess. That's why the other Rach has no choice but to respond to his challenge. Challenging stuff sometimes turns Rach on. Not sexually, of course!

To tell you the truth, I've never kept a journal in English before. Because I kinda doubt the effectiveness of doing it without having native speakers proofreading it.
But he said, "Anyway, you should write something in English. You should try to express yourself in English. Don't be afraid to make mistakes!"
And he has kept saying to me, "Write more, write more!" since I started to write something in English.
That's why I am writing English column here on my blog right now and have made a lot of English comments over there on his blog. Actually, I like writing English. I can say I LOVE doing that.

However, I'm not so sure that I can write that long article in English like his. His English article is SOOO long, isn't it? I'm sure a lot of people, including me, are always surprised at the fact that he has written a lot of long articles with such an amazing pace.
I guess he doesn't need so much time to do that. I actually imagined that he must've cast a spell with a magic wand on his blog, considering that he has posted new articles so frequently these days. Come to think about it, he sometimes changed the time when he posted the article, like Time Cop.

I really like to make comments in English on his blog. Needless to say, I also like to read his English very much. Whenever I find his new article, I can't wait to read that even if I have to go to bed in order to wake up early in the next morning. As a result, I've been losing sleep there days and that is bad for my health and my 'smooth' skin. Oh, I have to get my beauty sleep tonight! (I kinda digressed from the main subject, didn't I?)

Why am I so fascinated with his English? What is so attractive about his English? I can say his English is so natural, fluent, vibrant, ardent
and... blah-blah-blah... Anyway, I can't make it clear with proper one word. The only thing I can say is his English is GREAT. Do you agree with that?
I am keenly aware that he himself will try to deny that idea, though.
Well, in a way, I really ENJOY making him feel awkward by praising him TOO much. Am I so mean and obnoxious? Yeah, that's me! I can't deny that.

In fact, it takes a long time to read his English itself and takes a much longer time to understand his intention hidden between the lines. But it is my pleasure to decipher his English. And after succeeding in decoding his article, I feel like writing something in English as soon as possible. Sometimes I feel I am kinda possessed by his spirit. If I use more realistic expression, I am inspired by his power and guts.

This is the first time I've written so long article in English. After posting this, I'm sure I'll find tons of mistakes on my article.
But I won't feel embarrassed or ashamed. Definitely not!
I would rather praise myself, who accomplished great things, and say, "Well, I’m sort of proud of my achievement. Good job, Rach!"

At this moment, I have a serious confession to make. Are you prepared to be surprised?
To be honest, I am extremely happy to have him as my friend on the web. He's been invigorating me since we got to know each other. Without him, I would be just a babe in the woods, or a little stray sheep in the deep English forest...

...Wow! Did I sentimentalize it too much? HEY, I almost had you guys, didn't I?

FYI: As a matter of fact, he often uses this phrase 'I almost had you' on his blog. He seems to like this expression very much. This phrase reminds me of the lines by Joe Pesci, who played as Tommy in the movie 'GoodFellas.' I don't know where he learned this expression, though.

Phew! I think I did my job to the best of my ability. I can't write anymore. I can't stand even the sight of PC.
Well, now, I have to do the laundry, do the dishes, and...
Right now, I just rememebered I am just a Japanese housewife. I keep forgetting the fact that I could be Rach ONLY on the internet. Yeah, I am NOT Rachel, who is so beautiful that she could get married to Brad Pitt. The harsh realities of life!

Thank you for reading this article to the end, you guys! See you next month, or never!
As of today, I can't assure you that I will write this kind of column once a month. Hopefully, once in a blue moon.

Finally...
The only reason why I wrote this column here is that I'd like to surprise readers on my blog, especially YOU, my dear!
'To be continued' or 'this is concluded'? God only knows.

posted by Rach at 06:53| Comment(20) | Rach GOES | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする