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Posts Tagged ‘japanese’

Part 1 here.

Space ALC: my favorite general online dictionary, that treasure-trove of excellent example sentences and entirely bizarre translation possibilities, that bright spot in the depths of translation despair. (Some are a little NSFW for language.)

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Space ALC is one of my favorite online dictionaries, especially since it uses a lot of example sentences and words in context. The dictionary also has a huge database of English-language slang terms, both historical and modern, and as the dictionary is more directed at English-to-Japanese translation (read: Japanese speakers inputing English terms, including slang), sometimes the results I get are nothing short of hilarious. My other translator friends and I like to swap screenshots of some of the weirder terms we get, and so I wanted to share some of my favorites with you all.

Just a note: none of these entries is wrong; this is not Engrish. If I had to deal with the sheer amount of slang that English has as a non-native speaker, I would be glad to have a place that could explain what buck wild means. However, going from Japanese to English turns up a lot of results that have odd slang terms listed as the first entries, which is why I find it so funny.

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Happy 100th post to me!

There’s a lot of Kanazawa that visitors don’t see. This is probably because the main roads, which are the bus routes, are easier to stick to when walking, particularly those that lead from the station to Kohrinbo and Katamachi, the heart of downtown. The narrow back streets, however, are much easier to use when biking, and biking everywhere in Kanazawa has really opened my eyes to this area I didn’t know existed.

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Let me just start this out by saying that I’m not an English teacher. I do not have a degree in education or English (though I considered an English major).

However, I spend an obscene amount of time in Japanese public schools, and the English-language textbooks are pretty consistently lacking. For example, the English taught often has a lot of Japanized grammar, like the tendency to use “Do you know OOO?” for “Do you know her personally?” AND “Have you heard of her?” AND “Are you familiar with her body of work?” (New Horizons). This makes sense in Japanese, but in English the context determines how specific you need to be.  There’s unnatural phrasing right and left, like big letters and small letters for capital letters/uppercase and lowercase (Eigo Note). Not understanding that cake is collective (“I’ll have the cake.” “I like cake.” “Have a piece of cake.” “Would you like some cake?” NOT “Here are cakes!” when referring to one cake sliced into pieces.) And don’t get me started on Shougakusei no Eigo, with Santa Claus’s “I am from Finland! I live in Snowland! I have presents! I like children all over the world!” or Kintaro’s statement that he has a masakari. You have an axe, son, because we are speaking English.

Today I went to work and found a set of 2012 Columbus 21 junior high English books on my desk. I read through the Columbus books today, and these are actually good textbooks. The English is, by and large, natural. The characters sort of remind me of the characters from Genki. Click below to see my comments.

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The Beauty of Kanji

As a long-time student of Japanese, kanji have always been one of my weak points. There are just so many of them! Recently, I’ve started studying all the Heisig kanji via an online flash-card maker, and I have to say, I’ve fallen in love with kanji.

Especially the ones I’ll likely never use.

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For the English version of this post, click the cut.

Photo by me; Dune Climb

Photo by me; Dune Climb

最近、自己紹介と私の州の紹介を準備していますから、ミシガン州はなつかしいです!私、高学年性のために北米土人のミシガンのSleeping Bear Sand Dunesという場所の神話に関する授業を考えています。そして、今日は暇のときに翻訳しました。 私は日本語まだぺらぺら書けませんから、間違いがあると思っていますが、楽しめましょうか?

寝ているくまの砂丘(さきゅう)の物語

ミシガン州のチッパワというインデアン(北米土人)の話

昔々、現在のアメリカのウィスコンシン州に、母親の熊(くま)と子熊(こぐま)が二匹いた。ある日、森で食べ物を集めている最中に、火事があった。熊たちは早く出るわけにはいかなかった。熊たちはミシガン湖に入って、泳いでみた。何時間も泳いだが、子熊たちはすぐに疲れて、母親に遅れとってしまった。母親の熊はミシガン州の沿岸に来た時、砂の丘の頂に登って、子熊を待ち望んだ。何時間も、何日も待ったが、子熊は来なかった。

その子熊は泳ぎ続けられなかった。そして、全部の動物を見守るグレート・スピリット(The Great Spirit-千パワというインデアンの神様)は子熊を二つの島に変えてくださった。疲れていた母親の熊は湖の中の新しい島を見て、子熊がグレート・スピリトの世話になったことが分かった。安心して、眠り込んだ。

現在、その島が二つ「北マニトウ島と南マニトウ島」 (North Manitou Island and South Manitou Island)と言われる。母親の熊が寝ている間に寒くならないように、グレート・スピリットが砂を被されてくださった。今まで、砂の丘から母親の熊は自分の子熊を見守っている。この母親の熊が「寝ているくまの砂丘」と呼ばれている。

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