2011/2/24 木曜日

Bilingualism 2カ国語でボケ防止

Filed under: English entries,国際家族,,英語一般 — admin @ 8:43:26

An article in the Daily Yomiuri today, “Speaking 2 Languages Protects the Brain,” reporting an announcement at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says that bilingualism can delay Alzheimer onset by almost 5 years. The reason is that it keeps the brain busy. (Ellen Bialystok of York University in Canada)

“When you’re speaking, all the languages you speak are turned on…the brain…allows you to limit interference from one language when speaking in the other.”(Amy Weinberg, University of Maryland)

So it takes work to say anything! Speaking in one language means actively not speaking in another one.

“Bilinguals simply acquire specific types of expertise to help them attend to critical tasks and ignore irrelevant information,” explains Judith Kroll, from Penn State University. So this makes bilinguals, or people who merely use more than one language,  better at multitasking, too.

The article ends by saying that the ability to speak multiple languages does not make you more intelligent. That may be the “irrelevant information” I choose to ignore here!


2011/2/19 土曜日

出版社のアプリ〜 eブックの挑戦

Filed under: books,cyberspace,life in Japan,日本語, — admin @ 14:54:36







2011/2/18 金曜日


Filed under: books,life in Japan,日本語,,翻訳業 — admin @ 7:53:33





2011/2/17 木曜日


Filed under: books,日本語,,英語一般 — admin @ 17:21:59

先週、マルコム・グラッドウェル 著『天才!成功する人々の法則』を読みました。日本語のタイトルは大げさですが、たしかに天才の法則を教えてくれます。それは、「天才」として知られる人々(音楽であろうが、野球であろうが、なんであろうが)を調べて見ると大体全員が1万時間の練習を積んでいるそうです。著者の計算では10年間毎日まとまった時間を練習すれば、「天才」になれる可能性があります。だから、産まれ持った才能よりは人間の成功は努力にあるらしいです。






2011/2/10 木曜日

Audiobooks! 英語を聞く!

Filed under: books,cyberspace,English entries,英語一般 — admin @ 17:12:22

My new iPod is keeping me busy. Besides containing all of my Kindle books, there is also an Audiobook app. I paid a big 115 yen extra for the premium version. But there is a free version, too.

Public domain audio recordings can be downloaded with a single touch, for your listening pleasure.

Look forward to further discussion of Audiobooks and other fun & free English sources on the One Chapter Reading Club blog

…coming soon!


2011/2/8 火曜日

Redefining “mottainai” in the new century

Filed under: English entries,life in Japan — admin @ 9:21:33

When I hear someone mumble “mottainai,” I tense up. I’ve got mottainai PTSD. I moved to Japan when the generation that grew up during the war was still in charge, the mottainai missionaries. Translated strictly, “mottainai” means “what a waste.” But it is usually used to mean “Are you out of your cotton-pickin’ mind? How could you even think of throwing that out?”


In the name of mottainai, most gifts received during the Age of Obligatory Gift Giving (roughly 1970-1995) were put in closets–until the closets were jampacked, after which they were stacked against walls, and then against other piles… you get the picture. Schools and churches dipped into stocks of stuff to hold bazaars. Crowds showed up to buy the stuff. You might call it a rearranging of the gifts–people with too many bottles of soy sauce could bring them in and purchase boxes of soap for a low price. And so on. But people without connections to bazaars were left with rooms of stuff, all much too mottainai to give up. All much too old to be of use after about 20 years.


Nowadays, though you have to buy your own stuff to keep and not be mottainai. Housewives  buy food for any contingency–especially when on sale. 20 carrots for the price of 3? Why not! Vegetables can conveniently be left for up to a month to re-color in the refrigerator. But woe the person tasked with cleaning it out to make room for new food. And for goodness sake, don’t cut off anymore of those aging carrot tops than is green. A millimeter of orange will have the mottainai police at your door.

I’d like to declare the new century (somewhat belatedly) The Post-mottainai Era. The motto of the post-mottainai generation should be “Don’t buy it in the first place! Don’t take it home even if they’re giving it away!” Instead of chiding people who dispose of the used up and unneeded, stand behind people in line at the cash register, and seethe “mottainai” when a purchase looks unnecessary or excessive to you (use your own standards, don’t be shy). Go up behind the purchaser and ask in a sincere tone, “Are you really going to use all of that? Do you have room for that at home? Shall I carry it back to the shelves for you?”

Don’t worry, no one will consider you a busybody. And you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings because any admonishment is acceptable–it always has been–as long as it is preceded by a low growl of “mottainai!”


Huckleberry Finnと再会

Filed under: books,日本語, — admin @ 7:38:47

散歩中、運転中、台所中、今は全部「The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn」とともに。LibriVox Recordingsからの無料ダウンロードを新しいiPodで聞いています。Mark Twainは昔の作家なので、言葉使いは難しいけれど、ゆっくりした南部なまりの朗読者を聞くと物語とミシシッピー川の風景が浮かんできます。

子ども時代に読んだTom SawyerやHuckleberry Finnは楽しかったが、大人になってから作家のつこみがよりはっきりみてくるので、それも 格別です。

Huckleberry Finn relaxing

2011/2/2 水曜日

iPod Touch 毎日新しい機能の発見

Filed under: books,cyberspace,日本語 — admin @ 20:31:05

電子本の研究の関連で、iPod Touchを買ってもらいました。iPhoneより安い上、電話の機能以外はほとんど同じことができる。

キンドルアプリをダウンロード、iBookのアプリもOK。Face Timeで娘と話ができた。Project Gutenburgで本1冊 の朗読をダウンロードして、運転中、調理中読書を楽しんでいます。



iPod as paperweight


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