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
この記事へのコメント
It's just amazing, mesmerizing, and even to some extent scary to see your improvements. Obviously, the more you write, the more you develop your style.
Do we have to wait another three weeks to see the next one coming up?
Posted by fdj at 2006年05月31日 15:38
すばらしい!!!

Rachの情熱とお人柄がビビッドに伝わってくる記事ですね。そしてfdjさんが書かれている通り、文章の「スタイル」ができあがっているので、軽快にテンポよく読める文章だと思います。

Rachの和文・英文を読んでいていつも思うのは、音とリズムに対する感性がとても鋭くていらっしゃるんだなということです。

この文を読んでやっぱりと思いました。
"Because I really LOVE English. Regarding the English language, I love sound, pronunciation, rhythm and rhyme... you name it!"

英語の音とリズムを楽しみながら文章を書いていらっしゃるのがよく分かります。

そしていつも忘れないユーモア。これでさらに文章が軽快になっていますね。

お二人のお子さんを抱えながら、毎朝早起きして書くのは大変だと思いますが、とっても豊かで素敵な生活でうらやましいです。

また記事を(和文・英文とも)楽しみにしています。
Posted by YN at 2006年05月31日 22:20
It' a lot of fun to read your article! I wish I could write English like you! Our common point is we are housewife and mother of two children, isn't it? And that we are curious housewife who love children and English.

>In my English world, I feel I can change myself into another woman who doesn't have to care about household chores in Japan.

I completely agree with you! I nodded heartily! I want to become a different person occasionally.

My reason for studying English is simple. I want to communicate with people all over the world.
Posted by KIKKA at 2006年06月01日 11:33
Dear fdj
Thank you for your compliment. You are as good at praising and flattering me as ever!
You know what? This is the first time we have exchanged comments all in English here on this blog. This is a little bit weird, isn't it?

I beg you to wait another three weeks. I'm sure you know my true feelings: "I wish I could, but I..."
Right now, I really enjoy writing both this Rach Goes series and that Friends series.

Finally, thank you again for encouraging me and putting pressure on me. (JKD)
Posted by Rach at 2006年06月01日 13:24
Dear YN
そんなに絶賛(!)していただけてとても嬉しいです。本当にありがとうございます。あまりに誉めていただいて恥ずかしいのですが、でもそこまで誉めていただけると、恥ずかしいのを通り越して、ある種の感動を覚えております(ほんとですよ)。

「スタイル」と呼べるほどのものでもないのですが、最近、英文を書くようになって、自分の書いた英文に「自分らしさ」みたいなものがちょっと出てきたかなぁ、と思えるようになりました。「どこが?」と言われると説明に窮するのですが(笑)、どことなく、「あぁ、私の書いた文章だなぁ」と思える気がするんです。昔は、英文はただ単語を並べるか、どこからか表現を引っ張ってくるだけだったのに、そんな風に自分の気持ちや感覚を乗せられるようになってきたと思えるのは、我ながらすごい進歩だなぁ、と。(←自画自賛)

和文だとどこを切っても私っぽい感じがするのですが、それが英文でもそんな風に思えるようになるといいなぁ、と思いながら書いています。
やっぱり目標はリズミカルな文章でしょうかねぇ。英語の独特のリズムに乗せて書くことができれば素晴らしいなと思います。
ユーモアというときれいに聞こえますが、まぁ、ちょっとウケを狙ってしまうのは、関西人気質でしょうか?
結局、この Rach Goes シリーズ(!)という代物は、コラムでもエッセーでもなく、私の練習でしかないと思うんです。でも、そのただの練習を、こんな風にちゃんと隅々まで読んで下さる web-friends がいて下さるんですよね。本当に私はとっても幸せ者だと思っています。

和文ではあまり所帯じみたことは書かないのですが(時々書いてますが)、英文だと、これもまぁ英語を書く練習だと思って、つまらないことでも書いてしまえるんですね。そのうち、いろんなことを暴露し始めるかもしれません(笑)。

早起きしてるのは夜寝るのが早いからで全然大したことじゃないんですが、「豊かで素敵な生活」かどうかは・・・うーん。何だかパタパタしてるだけの毎日なんですけれどね。
でもこうして英語を学ぶようになって、今までと違う自分を発見できた気がして、そういう意味では毎日楽しく幸せに過ごせています。
いつものフレンズ解説もそうですが、やはり誰かが読んで下さると思うから、いろいろ書けるんだと思います。また、書く元気が湧いてきました。本当にありがとうございました。これからもよろしくお願いしますね。
(英語で説明できないもどかしい気持ちを日本語で書いちゃったので長くなりました。ごめんなさい。)
Posted by Rach at 2006年06月01日 13:30
Dear KIKKA
Thank you for your heartwarming comment! I'm SO glad that you posted your comment in English.
It's my great pleasure to exchange English comments with you, KIKKA!

Yes, we have a lot in common. That's why we met each other on the web, right?

YOUR reason is so logical and convincing. It's a lot of fun to communicate with a lot of people, of course! Just the thought of it makes us excited, isn't it?

I'm really looking forward to sharing a lot of stuff with you on this wonderful blogoshere.
Posted by Rach at 2006年06月01日 13:34
Rachさんへ
Rachさんの英文ブログに触発されて、今まで書かなきゃと思っていたアメリカへの友人達への英語のメールを先ほどついに書いて送信しました。久しぶりに英語を書くと、なんだかなんて書いて良いのかさえ、よくわからなくなってしまいます。改めて、時々英語で文章を書くというのが大事なのだということを認識しました。
Posted by ほんだ at 2006年06月01日 14:39
Hi, Rach,

When you do something, I believe PASSION and LOVE is important above all. You have already the talent to accomplish it when you feel them.

(I didn't realize HONDA san has his blog instead of the name added your blog list!)



Posted by agathe at 2006年06月02日 01:05
ほんださんへ
えへへ、お役に立てました? スポーツってブランクがあっても、またすぐに勘を取り戻せるとか言いますけど、英語は常に練習して勘を磨いてないといけない、などと言いますよね。そういう危機感は常にあるので、私はできるだけ英語から離れないように気をつけてます(笑)。

ほんださんがアメリカにいた頃は、私は、今みたいな英語の学習をまだ始めてなかったんですよ。その頃だったら、メールとか、電話とか(←コストかかり過ぎる、っちゅーねん!)いろいろ練習相手に使えたのになぁ。惜しいことをしました(笑)。でも、アメリカにいる時に、日本人と英語でメール交換はしないか・・・(笑)。

じゃあ、今度メールくれる時は、英語で書いて下さいね!(←絶対に書かないだろうって知ってて言ってる・・・笑)
実際、顔を合わせてお互いが英語で話してる姿なんて、想像できないよねぇ?(爆)
Posted by Rach at 2006年06月02日 09:20
Hi, agathe!

I really appreciate your kindness. I'm so impressed with the fact that you posted your English comment after midnight.
I guess you were so tired from working during the day. I'm so sorry to have you read a long English article late at night. Take good care of yourself and rest yourself well.

Yes, PASSION and LOVE always get me going.
I am a type of woman who can't live without passion and love, you know. (LOL = laughing out loud)

P.S. Mr. Honda started his blog at the end of January and I added his blog to my blog list in February, I guess.
But you didn't notice his blog, did you? Actually, among the people who post comments on my blog, he is the only person who knows me in person.
However, please don't ask him about my privacy! (I'm sure he doesn't know a lot of information about me, though.)
Posted by Rach at 2006年06月02日 09:42
This is a wonderful achievement! I respect you.
Posted by A at 2006年06月06日 13:27
Dear (A)
I'm so honored to receive such a high praise from you. Thank you so much.
I'm not sure if I deserve to be respected...
But I swear that I WILL work harder than ever before.
Posted by Rach at 2006年06月07日 10:34
たのしくブログ読ませていただきました。
英語が好きなようで、かなり勉強されているようですね。
海外経験がないのに、「実際話されている英語」の表現が文章の中に沢山あってびっくりしました。海外ドラマファンの影響でしょうか?
私も8年前にどうしても英語圏で働きたくってNZに移り住みました。「フレンズ」やイギリスの「コロネーションストリート」なども一応NZで見れるんですよ。
英語を失うのがいやなので日本には帰れないでいます。どうしても日本語を使ってしまうでしょうから。。。
私は英語を習得するのにかなりつらい思いをしましたので。笑)

単なるハウスワイフだなんてもったいないですね。
英語に対しての情熱をを失わないでがんばってくださいね。
Posted by とむ at 2006年09月18日 03:50
とむさんへ
これ、随分前(2006/5/31)の記事なんですよ。見つけて下さって、読んで下さって、さらにはコメントまで下さって、本当にありがとうございます!
正直申しますと、これは自分のライティングの練習のために書いているちょっとした「企画」で、いつも私のブログを読んで下さっている読者の人になら、何となく雰囲気わかってもらえるかなぁ・・・くらいの気持ちで書いているんですよ。ですから、初めて来られた方にたのしく読んでいただけたなんて、とっても嬉しいです。
英語は大好きで、自由時間のほとんどを英語に使っていますが、それはあんまり苦になりません。ハウスワイフとしての仕事の手抜きがどんどんひどくなっていって、それが一番の問題だと思っているのですが・・・(笑)。

貴ホームページ、拝見させていただきました。きれいな写真がいっぱいでとっても素敵なサイトですね。NZには行ったことないんですが、治安も良さそうだし、国民性も暖かそうなイメージがあります。trout (マス)釣りなんていいですねぇ〜。

これからも情熱を失わずにがんばりたいと思います。(ほとんど passion だけで今まで乗り切ってきた気がするので・・・笑)
本当に素敵なコメントありがとうございました。とっても元気が出ました!
Posted by Rach at 2006年09月18日 07:36
Hi, I read this article you wrote in English. It is my first time to do. I always read your articles of Friends, but I skipped reading ones in English...actually....because somehow reading English seems difficult and troublesome. I guess my English skills haven't been high enough to do, yet.
Now, I enjoyed reading yours. It was interesting to read your passion against English. The reason I am studying, I have been studying English is close to your reason. I love English,learning English and getting some knowledges from doing so in the face of the fact that English is often beyond my understanding. Still I love English. And I always dream I might become a great professional someone in the future, not an ordinary worker , when I touch English. So I am feeling sympathy with you.
Today JR lines have been delayed because of the heavy rain and fire or something. Thank you for killing time and making my time fruitful!
I am still on the train, though....I want to get home....(^_^;)
英語だけだと投稿できないんですねΣ(゚д゚lll)
私の英語がpoorなのは違いますが、共感できるところがあって、嬉しくなりました~。
Posted by k at 2013年08月25日 19:20
Dear k
Thank you for reading my English article and leaving a heart-warming comment. You & your kind words make me so happy. :-)

I'm so glad to know you understand my passion. When I'm writing pieces in English, I can express myself and share my thought with others 'in English.' As a Japanese English-learner, could I BE any happier? If this isn't happiness, then what is? Thank you for making me this happy, making my life this fruitful, again.

May your dreams come true. I'm crossing my fingers for you. :-)

P.S. ご指摘の通り、このコメント欄は、英語のみだと投稿できないシステムになっているんですよね。英語のコメント、とても嬉しかったです。ありがとうございました!(^^)
Posted by Rach at 2013年08月27日 11:52
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