実践ビジネス英語 2008年5月分


2008年5月第1週分 Lesson 3  A Great Place to Work (1)


● 今日のテーマ

Shiga asks about Grim Reaper and finds out a bit about his colleagues’ attitudes to work.


● cope  対処する,うまくやる

When you cope with something, it usually means it’s difficult, or you’ve take on difficulties, but you’ve handled it successfully.

・ take on difficulties  困難なことを引き受ける


● “Tell it like it is”  率直に言ってください

“Tell it like it is” is a phrase that many people in the U.S. connect with probably the 60s and maybe hippies. Um .. it sort of refers to being clear and honest and not trying to sugarcoat or hide whatever it is that you’re saying. It’s also a song that became very popular in 1966.

・ sugarcoat うわべを飾る,オブラートにくるむ


● lend a helping hand  手を貸す

You can also use this phrase without the “helping.” You can say “lend a hand” and it still has the same  meaning.

・ lend a helping hand = lend a hand   give a (helping) hand も。


● “I feel I have a dream job now.”

Instead of “dream job”, Shiga could have said an ideal job.


● My colleagues in Japan would envy me …



● blurry  あいまいな,ぼやけて

“Blurry” is often used to talk about the way something looks. You can’t see it clearly. It’s kind of the way that things look when you’re looking out of the window on a rainy day and  the water is running down the window rather heavily. That’s blurry.


● watch out  気をつける

 ”Watch out!”   「あぶないっ!」


● incurable disease  不治の病

Yeah, you can still say “incurable disease,” but to me it sounds a little bit literary or maybe from some kind of fiction or even movies. For example, I think nowadays you’d say “terminal” cancer rather than “incurable” cancer. But “incurable” is used in another way when you are not talking about disease. It tends to describe a characteristic that you’re not really happy about that a person you’re very fond of has. So, for example, you could describe someone as an “incurable” romantic, meaning it’s OK to be romantic, but this person takes it a little too far. But it’s part of what makes up that person and because you’re fond of them, it’s not such a bad thing.

・ Matsushitaさんの説明では,incurable は何か愛すべき奇癖のようなものに使う感じがあります。辞書の例も, an incurable optimist のようなものです。悪い例を探して,たとえば “incurable fool” でググっても,あるにはあるが少数(しかも日本人の英文が多い)です。馬鹿は死ななきゃなおらないにはならなさそうです。


● Grim Reaper  死神

“Grim Reaper” is the name used for the personification of death in English. Sometimes “Grim Reaper” is also called the Angel of Death. And if you see a character of the “Grim Reaper” either on TV or a drawing in a book, it’s usually a skeletal figure sometimes dressed in a black cloak but almost always carrying a scythe.

© May, 28th, 2005 – Uyacan Felipe muniz Imaginary entity – The Death (cartoonized) This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.



● to say on one’s deathbed “I wish I’d spent more time in the office.”

This phrase is used a lot in English, when people are talking how much they should work or not work, or when they are trying to decide if they should take a job that will demand a lot more of their time. I couldn’t find out where it was originally used. It seems to be a very common idea.


● “karoshi”   過労死

Probably all English speakers don’t know the word “karoshi.” But it has become somewhat well-known especially among people who do work hard and put in a lot of overtime.

・ put in ~ ~をつぎ込む

・ overtime 残業




2008年5月第1週分 Lesson 3  A Great Place to Work (2)


● 今日のテーマ

Shiga and his coworkers talk about the importance of finding a good balance between work life and home life, and the way Great Lakes is helping them cope.


● work your butt off  猛烈に働く

Tyson used a couple of interesting phrases here. First, he says “work your butt off.” This is very common to talk about working extremely hard. You might hear “work your tail off,” or, in British English, “work your ass off.” They all have pretty much the same meaning.


● cut yourself some slack  息抜きをする

The other phrase Tyson uses is “cut yourself some slack.” What that refers to is the rope. If you cut a rope short, it tends to be very tight. You just have enough length to fasten it without any looseness in it. But if you cut yourself some slack, it means you’ve cut the rope long enough, so there’s some looseness, there’s ease in it. So, “cut some slack” for yourself or for someone else means “ease off” or “loosen up,” relax, or “take it easy.”

・ ease off  のんびりやる

・ loosen up  くつろぐ,筋肉をほぐす


● in good shape  体調がいい

・ shape (n.) the physical condition of sb/sth

    ⇔ out of shape    not in good physical condition


● be on top of something  ~を支配して,~に通じていて

If you’re on top of something — when it’s not physically —  it usually means you’re in control, you know all about it, you can handle it with no trouble.

Do you think he’s really on top of his job?   (OALD)


● grouch  不平・不満をいう

Cortez uses the word “grouch.” She could have said “grumble,” or she could have even said “bellyache.” You can use “bellyache” as a verb to mean “complain a little bit.”

・ bellyache しきりに不平を言う (原義は belly(腹) + ache(痛))


● chafe at ~ ~にやきもきする,いらだつ

Kinkaid mentions that she chafed at the bit. That means she was anxious about something she wanted to get started, she was tired of waiting, and wanted to finish it. You also hear the same phrase with the verb “champ.”

・ champ at ~  ~に対していらいらする


● Lo and behold  驚いたことに,何と

“Lo and behold” is basically a set phrase. It was used in this form probably since the early 19th century. “Lo” seems to be short for “look.” “Behold” means almost the same thing. So it’s just basically saying, “Pay attention”, “Take a look.”


● I get my car washed or suits dry-cleaned  ⇔ get my work done

ひとつめの get O p.p. は「Oをp.p. してもらう,される」(自分ではせずに) という使役。

ふたつめの get O p.p. は「Oをp.p. してしまう」(自分で) という完了。


● box office  チケット売り場,人気の映画

A box office is usually a booth in a theater or stadium, kind of in an outside wall, where you can buy tickets.

Nowadays box office doesn’t only refer to that place where you can buy your tickets. It also talks about how profitable [it was], or how much money the movie, or the play or even the sport event brought in. You could say “What was the box office?”

・ box office (n.) (1) 切符売場 (2) 興行収入,大当たり (adj.) 大人気の


● on second thought   考えなおして (イギリス英語では on second thoughts)

= used to say that you have changed your opinion


● morale ⇔ moral  やる気,士気 ⇔ 道徳,倫理(的な)

Cortez uses the word “morale.” It’s M-O-R-A-L-E, with the stress on the second syllable, morale. And it refers to the enthusiasm and cheerfulness, and .. happiness at the office, the good feeling about work and colleagues and the company. There’s a similar word in English, “moral,” M-O-R-A-L, no e on the end, and the stress is on the first syllable. “Moral” is something that’s right, correct, good thinking, considerate, the thing you should do, maybe not the thing you’d like to do.




2008年5月第1週分 Lesson 3  A Great Place to Work (3)


● 今日のテーマ

Many people see a need for corporate concierge services. Shiga and his colleagues talk about how they came to be offered by various companies.


● kick off (with ~)   ~を始める  start


● perk  特典

“Perk” is short for perquisite. Perks are usually additional benefits that people feel they deserve, and are really nice to have. Companies tend to use them to try to attract the kind of talents that they want to hire.

You hardly ever hear anyone say “perquisite.” It’s almost always “perk.”


● be here to stay  定着している

be here to stay = have come to stay    to be accepted or used by most people and therefore a permanent part of our lives  (OALD)


● passing fad  一時的な流行

“Passing fad” is the phrase people often use to talk about something that they don’t expect to continue or endure. “Ah, it’s just a passing fad. Don’t worry about it.”


● whoopee  わぁーい

“Whoopee” is a little bit old-fashioned, I think these days. It does mean someone’s happy, they’re loud, they’re whooping for joy, but nowadays people tend to say “Woooo, wooo” instead of “Whoopee.”


● cheer leader

People talk about “corporate cheer leaders” sometimes. They are people who praise the company, try to get everyone happy with the company, and working hard. I think they tend to be people talking to the media, trying to give a really good impression of the company.

In schools, cheer leaders are people who lead the spectators in cheering for a sports team. If you want to talk about people who support and promote the school, they’re usually called boosters.

・ booster  後援者


● medical care について

I imagine medical care, …  it probably refers to a nurse or maybe even a doctor on the premises.  It’s someone you can either have come to your desk or your office, or because [they are] in the building it doesn’t take you very long to go have minor problems handled.

・ premise  建物,構内

・ have ~ handled  ~を処置してもらう


● the other day  先日

Shiga mentions “the other day.” It sounds very specific like everyone knows which day he is talking about. But in this case, it’s a little bit different. This is kind of a set phrase to mean recently or in the last week or so.


● staff

Please notice that Cortez talks about “an entire staff.” She doesn’t talk about “many staffs.” “Staff” in English is generally an uncountable noun, so you have to talk about members of the staff.


● a tight labor market 逼迫する労働市場

A tight labor market is a market in which it’s hard to find and hire the people you need. You could also talk about tight supplies of almost anything. People also will say, “Money is a little tight this week. I can’t go out to lunch with you.”


● ひっ迫する労働市場と特典

So these kinds of extra perks are very important. They are important enough not to be only a verbal promise, but also written clearly, in black and white in contracts.

・ in black and white  白か黒かで,はっきりと


● crop up  (不意に)出現する

Something that crops up appear suddenly and unexpectedly. It’s almost always used for some sort of problem or hitch or minor obstacle.

・ hitch  障害


● heyday  全盛期  the time when sb/sth had most power or success, or was most popular  (OALD)


● Employer of choice  選ばれる企業

“Employer of choice” is a phrase that’s been used just over the past few years, for companies that want to show they’re excellent corporations.

・ phrase for ~ ~を表す言い回し




2008年5月第2週分 Lesson 3  A Great Place to Work (4)



Shiga says concierge services are not common in Japan, but Tyson believes it’s an important reason for Great Lakes being a great place to work.


win over ~  ~を説き伏せる

   = to get someone’s support or friendship by persuading them or being nice to them (LDOCE)


board of directors  取締役会,役員会

   board = a group of persons having managerial, supervisory, investigatory, or advisory powers (Collegiate 11th)

driving point  原動力

Cortez talks about the “driving point.” She could have said the “motivation.”

   ・ driving forces  推進力 


gets the best recruits  最高の人材を雇い入れる

  recruit  = a newcomer to a field or activity (Collegiate 11th)


“it’s worked wonders.”  「驚異的な成果をもたらした」

The phrase “worked wonders” is pretty common in English when something has changed very obviously for the better. A wonder is similar to a miracle. It’s something you can’t really understand. It’s a little fascinating.

  ・ do wonders  驚くべき効果を生み出す


treat someone to ~  人に~を奮発する

   ・ treat ~ to dinner  ~に夕食をおごる

chores  雑用

“Chores” are things you have to do daily, or they often refer to routine domestic tasks, you know — washing dishes, doing the laundry, dusting. In the U.S., a lot of people do their “chore” type shopping on Saturdays, especially Saturday morning. That’s probably one of the most crowded days for grocery shops in the U.S., wherever you go. Many people only shop once a week, and Saturday morning is the day.

   ・ household chores  家庭の雑用,家事


● those prices  が指すもの

Kinkaid talks about “those prices.” I think she’s referring back to tickets for the circus or maybe chartering a boat to go fishing, not just fishing from the shore.


Let’s face it.  現実を認めましょう。

   = used when saying something that is hard for someone to accept (LDOCE)


novelty  珍しいもの(ちょっとしたおみやげ,景品)

A novelty is usually something that’s a little different, a little new, and usually rather attractive. Some gift shops sell novelties.


on-call   待機している,呼べばすぐに来る

If you’re on-call in the U.S., you are on duty. You’re waiting in case you are needed. Usually if you’re on-call, you don’t have to stay in the office, or in some specific work-related place. But you do need to be available immediately.


come in handy  役に立つ,便利である

Something that comes in handy is convenient and useful and easy to use.

Sometimes it might be something that surprised you, because you weren’t expecting it to be so useful.


● if nothing else  ほかに何にもなくても→他に大した理由がなくても,少なくとも


●  shear down ~  ~を刈り込む

    shear = to cut off the hair from, to cut something from (Collegiate 11th)


● “In some cases more than one customer can be helped out..”

So here, of course, Tyson has shifted from talking about the people who receive the services to the organization that’s providing the concierge service.


end up Ving  結局~になる, ~で終わる

    ・ Most slimmers end up putting weight back on.



on errands  用事で

  errand = a short journey in order to do something for someone, for example delivering or collecting something for them


in my book  私の意見では,私の判断では

Tyson uses the phrase, “in my book,” which is another way to say “in my opinion.”




2008年5月第2週分 Lesson 3  A Great Place to Work (4)


lend a helping hand  手を貸す

The Japanese word for a flat tire — punk — is also an English word, but it has a different meaning. In English, “punk” is either like a teenager, kind of a hoodlum type kid, or could also refer to punk music and people who play or listen to punk music.

イギリス英語では puncture ,アメリカ英語では a flat tire もしくは a flat という

That’s right. And I think a flat or a flat tire are(sic) more common than puncture, but the puncture refers to the way your tire became flat. There’s another word people sometimes use. They say they had a blow-out. And that’s when it’s a rather exciting flat tire.


on second thought  考えなおした結果,

Instead of saying “on second thought,” you could say, “after reconsidering,” or “after thinking about it again.”

on third thought という言い方もなくはない

Yeah, usually on third thought or fourth thought — the person is actually saying, “I have no idea what I’m going to do.”

 ・ second-hand  中古の,また聞きの


● crop up  突然生じる

The first phrase says “It pays to be prepared.” This phrase doesn’t always refer to money. It just means “it’s good for you”, “it’s beneficial”.


● end up 結局~になる

This is a little ironic, talking about a fire marshal.

 ・ air marshal  ハイジャック防止のために登場する警察官

If you watch Western movies, you’ll hear that sometimes the sheriff is called a marshal.




2008年5月第2週分 Lesson 3  A Great Place to Work (6)


S = 杉田敏 I = Susan Iwamoto

S : Now, in our most recent lesson, Hiroshi was advised to use the corporate concierge at the Great Lakes. Have you had a concierge at any of your past workplaces?

I : No, but I would have loved it. However, I did have something similar to what a corporate concierge offer at(?) one of my past employers in Japan.

・ I would have loved it. 仮定法です。If I had had a concierge を補って考える感じです。「もしそんなサービスがあればよかったのですが」


S : Really? What do you mean?

I : Well, I worked at the headquarters of a major Japanese corporation for several years. And I was grateful for a number of support services the company offered its employees. We had a wonderful fitness club on the premises as well as banking services, a travel agency, and a medical clinic staffed with several physicians. This was a huge help to those of us with long commute, which was practically everyone I worked with. And when I first started working there, I had a ninety-minute commute each way — not so unusual. And if I worked overtime, it would have been nearly impossible to try to complete any errands in my neighborhood before the shops closed.

・ be grateful to A for B  「BのことでAに感謝している」


S : I understand only about 5 percent of American companies use the corporate concierge services.

I : That’s true. I’d say, full service concierges are still considered a very special perk rather than a standard benefit, but according to a survey done by an HR organization, these kinds of perks have continued to increase over the past ten years or so. Some of the services are even being outsourced to other countries, so there’re a number of companies and individuals offering virtual assistance services. And these assistances can handle anything that can be done by phone or on the Internet. They may not be able to hand-deliver your theater tickets or your coffee from Ireland or India to your office in Chicago, but they can certainly arrange for someone to do so.

・ understand (that) S + V  ~だと聞いている,知っている

・ hand-deliver   手渡しする,直接配達する

・ arrange for ~ to V  ~がVするよう手はずを整える


S : Now, what are some of the other perks employers offer to attract top professionals?

I : As you might imagine, the variety of perks available varies by position and industry. For example, the hospital my sister works for offers popular perks, such as discounts on sports and theater tickets, flower delivery, car rentals  and gym memberships. Another friend of mine worked for a consumer product company, and she was able to buy most of her household needs from toothpaste to pet food at deeply discount prices from the company’s store. Now, other executives may receive company cars or even the use of corporate jets. Many companies offer on-site child’s care. That’s something that is extremely attractive to working parents with small children.

・ on-site  現地の(ここでは「職場での」)


S : It sounds as though employees today are getting a great deal. What does the employer get out of it?

I : Well, you know, as Jay [Tyson] said it in the vignette, companies strive to be seen as the “employer of choice,” especially when it comes to offering a working environment that supports healthy work-life balance. Every year, there’re the rankings of the family-friendly companies, the best companies for women, etc. And companies who(?) make these lists get great publicity out of it. Being so highly rated not only attracts great people to work there, but can also help boost their public image over all. I know that I take that into account when I choose who to work with. Then, that occasionally affects my choices as a consumer too.

・ get publicity  評判になる

・ boost  高める


= Word Watching =

● smart   LDOCEでは, 1 (especially AmE) intelligent and sensible  3 (BrE) a) a smart person is wearing neat attractive clothes and has a generally tidy appearance b) smart clothes, buildings etc are clean, tidy, and attractive

That’s right. So “smart” is often used to mean “intelligent” in American English. And actually we sometimes say someone is “book-smart,” which means that they have a lot of knowledge they learned from books, in the classroom — academic knowledge.


● envy  (v) うらやむ (n) 嫉妬

green with envy  ひどくうらやんで (wishing very much that you had something that someone else has)

So you will often hear people say, “I envy you.” But interestingly enough, there’s another way we use this, “I don’t envy you,” to mean something I guess would be similar to Japanese “Taihendesune(大変ですね)” — “Oh, I don’t envy you. You got so much work to do.”


● Grim Reaper  死神

The Grim Reaper is definitely someone you don’t want to meet. It’s been used as a symbol of death for so many years in the U.S. and also in Europe. It’s a very scary-looking figure in a black hooded robe with a long scythe, ??? a kind of long curved blade.


● karoshi  過労死

As it’s difficult to translate, so it’s used as is — in Japanese.


● work one’s butt off   身を粉にして働く

This is one of those great casual expressions that we use to mean working really hard. We use some other body parts with “off” in a situation. You can say, “laugh one’s head off,” or “scream one’s head off,” or if you “run your mouth off,” it means that you talk and talk and talk.

・ laugh one’s head off  大声で笑う

・ scream one’s head off  大声で叫ぶ

・ V + one’s head off    ひどくVする


● be on top of something  ~をしっかり掌握している,うまく処理している

We might also say, “you’re on the ball.” But we will never use “on the bottom of something.”

・ be on the ball  有能だ,博学である,詳しい




2008年5月第3週分 Lesson 4  Learning to Talk the Talk (1)



Shiga comments on the demands of working in the real world of international business English.


● Silence is golden.  沈黙は金

In English, there’s a saying, “Eloquence is silver, silence is golden.” So, in the Western world also, people do realize that silence has a good value. I think we don’t always observe that, though.


● scarcely  ほとんど・・・ない

Potter used the word “scarcely.” He could have said “hardly,” or “barely,” or in this case, he could have even said “infrequently.”


● Sorry.  黙っていたことを謝る

It’s kind of interesting that Shiga apologizes for being nearly silent during the coffee break with his co-workers. Generally in the U.S., if you are with a group of people, you should take part in the conversation. You should try to hold up your end to use the phrase that many people use.

・ hold up one’s end  困難にめげずに立ち向かう


● 日本語で考えてから,英語に訳すという方法について

There is a second problem with this method, although it’s natural for second language speakers from all backgrounds. The second problem here is that while you’re thinking about how to translate, the other people will probably move on with the conversation, and then when you have your comment prepared, it doesn’t quite fit in any more.

And until you reach that point, it’s probably better just to dive in and say something and then re-say it or have the other people help you express yourself.

・ fit in なじむ,調和する,ぴったりはまる

・ dive in 飛び込む,突進する


● “hitting your head against the language barrier”  言語の壁に突き当たる

There’s a phrase in English, “hitting your head against the wall.” And it’s usually used when someone is feeling frustrated about something that they can’t change. It feels like you’re running into a wall with your head. It’s painful. It’s frustrating. And you can’t get anywhere. So this is the image that Cortez is using to talk about a language barrier.


● アメリカの高校の外国語教育について

Potter uses the phrase, “is pretty much required.” That indicates that it’s not usually an official requirement, but a de facto requirement. De facto means “in reality but not according to law.” The opposite of that is de jure, which means “according to law,” or “officially.”

And if you don’t do it in high school, you’ll almost certainly be required do it in college.

・ de facto  事実上の (existing as a fact although it may not be legally accepted as existing)

・ de jure  適法の,法律上の


● “Melinda did French.”

“Do” might seem to be a strange verb to use here if you’re not used to it, but it’s very common to talk about doing a course, meaning you’re studying it.

・do  (学科を)専攻する,勉強する (イギリス英語では read が使われます read history 歴史を専攻する)


● 学校の科目としての外国語について

I think most young people around the world study languages as a course of study, not as something they’re gonna use for communication in the future.


● “attend an English class”

Cortez uses the phrase “English class.” But she’s really referring to a course or a complete semester or a year of learning program, learning English.




2008年5月第3週分 Lesson 4  Learning to Talk the Talk (2)



Shiga finds out it’s easy to take advantage of on-line learning and to improve his English and his working life.


course of instruction 

Finch mentions a “course of instruction.” She could have just said a “course” or  “what kind of class” or “what style would be good for you.” “Course of instruction” makes it sound like it was carefully thought out and planned. In other contexts, you could also talk about a “course of treatment” or a “course of action.”


● “Which one will give you the best fit?”   自分にふさわしい語学学習プログラムは何か。

I think this is a very important question for anyone learning any second language. Even more than choosing by the way the course is designed, or the style of teaching, the most important thing is, “Does it fit you?” Some people learn better by starting from grammar, other people learn better by listening and speaking. The best fit depends a lot on you yourself.

・ the best fit  最も高い適合性


Corporate America  アメリカのビジネス界

“Corporate America” is a phrase that’s often used to describe the business world in the U.S..


● “fluent English“  

And notice that doesn’t mean perfect English, and it doesn’t mean unaccented English. It means smooth and useful English.


come in handy  役に立つ

“Handy” makes things sound like not only are they easily available, but they are easy to use, and do what you want.


● コンピュータ相手の電話

Even native speakers find that pretty frustrating.


● “Body language is just as important

And the interesting thing about this is, if your body language is clashing with your verbal message,  people tend to believe the body language rather than the words, because it seems to be easier for people to lie with words than it is with non-verbal communication.

・ clash with ~ ~とぶつかる,矛盾する


fret about ~ ~について思い悩む 

To fret is to be worried, to be unsettled, to not[sic] be able to settle down because you’re worried.

・ fret  to worry about something, especially when there is no need (LDOCE)


● とにかく行動することについて

So, there’s a phrase in English about not standing around and worrying or panicking. Sometimes people will say, “Don’t you stand there! Do something. Take some action. Don’t worry, do something.” It will.. , eve if you can’t quite solve your problem, it will make you feel better about the whole situation.

・ Don’t you stand there.  は,Don’t stand there. という命令文の強調形。


shop around  物色する

・ shop around   to compare the price and quality of different things before you decide which to buy (LDOCE)


set your goal for ~  目標を~にさだめる


accent reduction course について

Some native speakers also take courses like that, because their original dialect is not well-accepted in other parts of the country, or is a little bit tough to understand. But that has been declining over the last 50 or 60 years.


go for it  思い切ってやる,がんばる

go for ~ 

  1. attack    (British English)    to attack or criticize someone: The dog suddenly went for me.
  2. try to get something    to try to get or win something: Jackson is going for his second gold medal here.
    go for it    spoken (=used to encourage someone to try to achieve something)    If you really want the job, go for it!
  3. choose    (British English)    to choose something: I think I’ll go for the chocolate cake.
  4. I could/would go for something    (spoken)    used to say that you would like to do or have something: A full meal for less than five bucks! I could go for that!
  5. like    (informal)    to like a particular type of person or thing: Annie tends to go for older men.
  6. the same goes for somebody/something    also    that goes for somebody/something too    (spoken)    used to say that a statement you have just made is true about someone or something else too: Close all doors and lock them when you go out. The same goes for windows.





2008年5月第3週分 Lesson 4  Learning to Talk the Talk (3)




Problems crop up when people from different regions and backgrounds use English together for communication. Shiga and his coworkers discuss some of the consequences.


● in keeping with ~  ~と調子を合せて 

     ≒ in harmony with, in conformity with ⇔ out of keeping with ~


● contend with ~  ~と争う,~に対処する・取り組む

・ contend with something =to have to deal with something difficult or unpleasant:
The rescue team also had bad weather conditions to contend with. (LDOCE)


● offshoring  国外への業務委託

In the U.S., you can talk about offshoring, which means outsourcing outside of North America. You have to be careful with some of these words. Many of them are rather fashionable, but they don’t have exactly the same meaning. If you outsource to Mexico or Canada, for example, from the U.S., it’s not offshoring. It’s outsourcing or subcontracting, or you could even use older phrases, such as farm-out.

・ subcontract  下請けさせる

・ to farm out  下請けに出す


● lingua franca  共通語

A “lingua franca” is any language or blend of languages that people use to communicate with each other when they come from different language backgrounds.


● l と r の混同しやすい単語 corporal, vocabulary

A couple of other words I find other people have trouble with are collect and correct.

I think if you’d like to help yourself distinguish more clearly between l and r, and use them more accurately, a first step might be to remember that English l is closer to Japanese sound, and English r is completely different from any sounds in Japanese. So, maybe you could begin by focusing on the l’s and then pick up the r sound a little bit later.

・ pick up (外国語などを)身につける,(知識・情報などを)得る


● crystal clear  非常に明瞭な

And the opposite of that sometimes people use a little cynically is to say, “Ha, it must be clear as mud.”

・ clear as mud  ちっともわからない(←泥のように透きとおった)


● to mutual confusion

“To mutual confusion” is kind of a set phrase. You could use “mutual” or “mutually” in a different sentence. We mutually misunderstood each other, for example.

・ to one’s + 感情名詞  ~したことには 

  to my surprise 驚いたことに  to his disappointment がっかりしたことに

この to の用法は,受験英語的には「~したことに」と訳されることが多いですが,文修飾副詞ですので,「・・・ことは驚いた」とか「・・・して驚いた」のように訳すことも可能です。


● cast one’s message  メッセージを作り上げる

   この cast は「鋳造する」。そこから転じて,計画などに形を与えること。


● mumbo jumbo わけのわからない言葉

  = technical language that is difficult to understand and seems to have no sense (LDOCE)


● explicit  明確な,はっきりした  ⇔ implicit

I think the word “explicit” in this message is very important, because if it’s said in words or written on paper in the words, you can go back and review it and discuss it, if problems crop up. But if you’re relying on unstated messages, if you’re relying on fine differences or subtle nuances, it’s much harder for people from different cultures and different language backgrounds to understand each other. Sometimes it’s a little painful being explicit, but I think you can avoid more problems in the long run that way.

・  in the long run  長い目で見ると,結局


● from pole to pole  世界中で

“From pole to pole” is a phrase that refers to the whole world. The two poles are the North Pole and the South Pole. So, if you include them, you are including the whole world.


● muddy the water  (事態を)混乱させる

Here is another phrase that refers to whether something is crystal clear or clear as mud. If you muddy the water, you can’t see through it. It’s unclear.




2008年5月第4週分 Lesson 4  Learning to Talk the Talk (4)



Potter explains that English is not only a problem for non-native speakers. It’s important for native speakers too to be familiar with many varieties of English and how to work with non-native speakers.


MNC  multinational company  多国籍企業


nine out of ten  数A out of 数B  「BのうちA」

・  辞書には, A in B も出ていますが,out of の方がふつうでしょう。


● “Get going.”  行動に移しなさい,おやりなさい

People might use this phrase also just to say, “Okay, we’re ready. Let’s get going.”

・ get going = start


● “to improve my ear for English as it’s spoken all across the world.”

Potter’s probably including not only non-native speakers, but also the other varieties of native speaker English that you can hear in India, Australia, and New Zealand, even throughout the U.K.

And heavy accents from Scotland is very difficult for North Americans to follow. Potter talks about “improving his ear.” Of course, he doesn’t mean his ears physically. He is talking about his listening ability. You can talk about “having an ear for foreign languages” or “having an ear for music.” And that tends to mean that you’re good at those things, not so much that you can hear them but [that] you do have some talent or ability naturally.

・ not so much A but B   「AというよりむしろB」 正式には not so much A as B

・ ear を使った慣用句は,この have an ear for ~ 「~がわかる」「観賞力がある」のように単数の ear を使うものと, I’m all ears. (≒ I’m listening carefully.) のように複数を使うものがあってめんどくさいです。これはeye も同じで, have an eye for modern paintings 「現代絵画がわかる」, in the eyes of ~ 「~の目から見ると」など単複ありますね。


● broken English

I think the problem with broken English is that it’s usually sufficient when you are talking about concrete things — if you are going shopping, if you are asking for something concrete. It usually works pretty well. But as you get promoted higher through the company, you have to talk more and more about strategy and tactics and things that are much less concrete, and then broken English usually just can’t quite handle it.


hit one’s head on ~ 「~に頭をぶつける」 on の代わりに against も。


glass ceiling ふつうはマイノリティーであるが故に出世をはばむ障害

= the attitudes and practices that prevent women or particular groups from getting high level jobs, even though there are no actual laws or rules to stop them (LDOCE)


conquer English

I’m glad Finch chose to say “conquers English” rather than “masters English.” Both of them mean you have a good control of it, but “master” sounds like “in every tiny detail”, but “conquer” sounds more like you can handle it, you can make it work for yourself, even if you aren’t perfect in every way.

・ 僕も「語学をマスターする」という言い方は不遜な感じで嫌いだったのですが, conquer の方がそれほどではない,というのはちょっと意外でした。

conquer = to gain control over something that is difficult, using a lot of effort (LDOCE)


put a high priority on something  「~に重点を置く」

・ give something priority という言い方も。




2008年5月第4週分 Lesson 4  Learning to Talk the Talk (5)


== Key Phrases to Remember ==

translate into ~ 「~になる」

You can talk about all kinds of things translating into some other things. In the business world, you could say, “If we raise our spending by a certain percent, it will translate into a certain amount of extra profits.”

・ translate into = if one thing translates into another, the second thing happens as a result of the first (LDOCE)


nest egg  「貯金,たくわえ」

In English, often people use the word “nest egg” to refer to savings.

・ nest egg = an amount of money that you have saved so that you can use it for something special in the future (LDOCE)


in line with ~ 「~と一致・調和して」


gross revenue  「総収益」

“Gross revenue” is all the money coming in. Usually businesses compare gross revenue with net profits, so that they can see how much money they are spending to get those profits.

・ operating revenue  営業収益 operating profit 営業利益

・ net revenue  純収益  net profit  純利益

・ 経常利益 ordinary profit という概念は英米ではあまり使われないという話を聞いたことがありますが。


come in handy  「役に立つ,重宝する」


fret about  「心配する」

I’ve heard the advice that you should think about the worst-case scenario so you know how you handle it. But then you can be happy because usually the worst case doesn’t occur.


There, there!

=  [spoken]  used to comfort someone who is crying, especially a child (LDOCE)
  There, there, don’t get so upset!




2008年5月第4週分 Lesson 4  Learning to Talk the Talk (6)


S = 杉田敏 I = Susan Iwamoto

S : We’ve been talking about the challenges of using a second language on a daily basis in the office. Now, Susan, you’ve had some experience with this yourself, haven’t you?

I : I certainly have. And I can really empathize with Hiroshi in the vignette. It reminds me when I started working in a primarily Japanese environment. My boss realized early on that I was lacking some crucial jargons in our field, and was kind enough to set aside afternoon to teach me the most important terms I needed to know. I thought I was fairly fluent, but there were a lot of gaps in my ability, particularly in the use of honorific Japanese or keigo(敬語). During my first month on the job, I kept a cheat sheet of common expressions to use on the phone,  such as “Ima, seki wo hazushite orimasu(今,席をはずしております).”

・ on daily basis = every day

  on ~ basis  直訳すると「~を基礎にして」ということですが,事実上「~」の部分を副詞にしたものに相当します。

・ empathize with ~ ~に感情移入する,共感する < empathy 共感

・ primarily Japanese environment 主に日本人が多い環境

・ set aside (金などを)とっておく,(時間などを)あけておく

・ honorific 敬意を表す

・ cheat sheet カンニングペーパー

S : We’ve talked before about the impact of culture on business style. And in one of the vignettes, Rose and Fiona both mentioned the importance of an explicit communication style.

I :  That’s right. And I think sometimes people forget that learning English isn’t just about grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. If you use the Japanese communication style (??) speaking English, especially with native speakers, you may encounter some misunderstanding.

S : Such as?

I :  Well, Fiona had a good point about being crystal clear, not relying on nuances. And Rose mentioned the need to be very explicit in your word choices. English communication tends to be very direct — something that’s known as a low-context communication style. Japanese communication tends to be more indirect or high-context. Now both Japanese and English speakers use factors other than words to convey messages, whether it’s tone of voice or non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and gestures. Native Japanese speakers tend to rely on a combination of these factors to get their message across. And sometimes non-verbal cues are the most important part of the message. But for English speakers, the most important part is the word itself.

・ low-context, high-context もともと文化人類学や社会学で使われる用語です。

  low-context とは,文脈依存度が低い,high-context はそれが高いこと。

  文脈とは,非言語的なコミュニケーション,今風に言うと「空気」みたいなもので,言葉を使わなくとも,表情やその場の空気で読めるのが high-context です。「何も言わなくていいよ,わかってるから」ってなものです。してみると,KY なんてものは,high-context society でしか通用しないものでしょう。もっとも,だんだん通用しなくなってきているからこそ,KY ということばがはやるという見方もできます。

・ get ~ across ~を伝える


S : Can you give any examples of possible misunderstandings?

I :  Sure. Take the expression, “chotto muzukashii(ちょっとむずかしい),” for example. Now this expression is often used in Japanese, to say that something can’t be done, that it’s impossible. However, saying “muri(ムリ)” may seem too blunt. So the speaker softens it with “chotto muzukashii,” and relies on the listener to grasp the nuance and intended message. However, when translated literally in English, “chotto muzukashii” is a little difficult, and it wouldn’t occur to most English native speakers that it could possibly mean “impossible,” because no matter how many non-verbal signals are given, the actual word used is the most important, so “a little difficult” is always understood as a little difficult. Now, I had this experience earlier in my career in Japan: my boss told me something was “chotto muzukashii,” so I kept offering potential solutions to the problem. I thought I was being helpful, but after several minutes of this, he finally had to be very direct, and tell me that it was impossible. He was frustrated that I hadn’t grasped his true message from the beginning, and I couldn’t understand why he didn’t say it was impossible from the start. To get ahead in global business, it’s very important to recognize these cultural communication cues, in addition to continuing to build an extensive vocabulary.

・ It occurs to someone that …   「・・・ということが~に思い浮かぶ」

・ get ahead 成功する,出世する

・ 「ちょっとむずかしい」なんて言葉は今まで意識しませんでしたが,確かに婉曲に断る時の表現ですね。a little too difficult と too をつければいいのでしょうが。


Word Watching

● talk the talk  

“Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk.”  「実行できないなら偉そうなこと言うな」

  • talk the talk and walk the walk = talk the walk and walk the talk  「有言実行する」
  • walk the walk  「物事をきちんと実行する」
  • talk the talk  「きちんと話す」

I :  “Talk the talk” is a great expression, meaning, you know, someone just talks about something, but they don’t do anything, so you could say, “Ah, he’s all talk, no action,” or “he talks a good game but he never delivers.”

・ talk a great game 「大風呂敷を広げる」


● That’s the way it is worldwide.  

“And that’s the way it is+ 日付.” Walter Cronkiteが番組の終わりに使った言い回し。

I :  You might also hear “That’s just the way it is.” It’s used in a similar way to the Japanese, “Shouganai(しょうがない).”

・ sign-off line  放送・番組の締めくくりのせりふ


● shop around 物色する

I :  So, “shop around” just means to do some comparison shopping. And you can use it for clothes, cars, but you can also use it for companies, you know, when you decide where to work.

・comparison shop は,「ジーニアス」では「値段などを比べてお買い得な方を買う」となっていますが,「リーダーズ」では,「同業他社と値段・サービスを比較する」になっています。Merriam-Webster 11th Collegiate では,”to compare prices (as of competing brands) in order to find the best value”ですから,前者です。もちろん Iwamoto さんも。


● foreign accent 外国なまり

foreign, foreigner はCNNでは放送禁止用語。

I :  For myself, I too tend to use “international,” instead of “foreign” in many cases; for example, “international” tourists instead of “foreign” tourists.

・ 日本でも「外人」は放送禁止用語のようですね。いつの頃からか「外国人」になっています。


● from pole to pole 全世界で

I :  Yes. You often hear this construction used to describe something that encompasses a great area or great number of things — so, “from pole to pole,” “from coast to coast.”  You might also hear “from A to Z,” or “from top to bottom.”

・ from Maine to California 全米で

・ from Land’s End to John O’ Groats 全英で


● be left behind 置き去られる,落ちこぼれる

I :  And you will hear “left behind” used very often in conversation. So for example, someone might say, “You really need to keep up with the latest development in technology so you won’t be left behind and it might hurt your career.”

・ keep up with ~ ~に追いつく




2008年5月第5週分 Lesson 5  Information Glut (1)



And Kinkaid questions the usefulness of some of the information available in Cyberspace.


● Cyberspace  ネット上の仮想空間

“Cyberspace” is often used to refer very generally to computers, the Internet, the World Wide Web, and all kinds of communication based on those technologies.

I imagine it includes cell-phones these days also, since so many of them are Internet-capable.


● exponential  幾何級数的に

“Exponential” has the clear mathematical definition, but people often use it very generally, and not very accurately, to mean “very, very rapid.”

・ exponential growth, increase etc becomes faster as the amount of the thing that is growing increases (LDOCE)


● like trying to drink from a fire hose  「ホースから水を飲む」 

This is a fairly common simile used to talk about a huge flow of information. There’s a similar kind of a phrase talking about overdoing things. You can compare things to using a chainsaw to cut butter.

・ simile 直喩(比喩の分類の一つ。like, as ~ as, as if などを使っている比喩)

・ compare A to B  AをBにたとえる

・ drink from a fire hose は辞書には見当たらなかったけど,Googleでは9000強の例があります。

・ use a chainsaw to cut butter こちらも同じくGoogleで700くらい(”chainsaw[chain saw] to cut butter” で検索) そんなに多くはありませんね。


● do-it-yourself  

“Do-it-yourself” is a phrase that’s sometimes shortened to DIY. I think in English, both are used about equally, even though do-it-yourself is a fairly long phrase.


● stick with ~ ~を堅持する

  1. to continue doing something the way you did or planned to do before
  2. to continue doing something, especially something difficult (LDOCE)


● have yet to V  まだVしていない

・ If you say that you have yet to do something, you mean that you have never done it, especially when this is surprising or bad.
           She has yet to spend a Christmas with her husband.
           He has been nominated three times for the Oscar but has yet to win. (COBUILD)


● 卵のゆで方についてのサイトの話

Actually there are many sites about how to boil an egg. I looked them up once because I knew there are various tips for making it easy to peel a boiled egg and I wanted to check up on whether I knew them all or not, because I used to take boiled eggs in my breakfast.

・ tip コツ

・ look up 調べる


● et cetera

Kinkaid uses “et cetera” in a good way in English here. She uses it meaning “you know all the rest of the steps. I don’t have to say them.” You shouldn’t use “et cetera” in English if you’re not sure your listeners concretely know what you’re referring to.

・ アメリカの語法辞典を見ると,”etc.” の多用を避けるべきで,specify できるならすべきである,ごまかすために etc. を使ってはならないというようなことが書いてあります。


● 最近の人は料理をしない

Boiling an egg does seem rather obvious, but I have read that people’s cooking skills, especially younger people’s cooking skills, have been going downhill over the last few decades, because either they haven’t cooked themselves because their parents took care of it, or they’ve eat out or ordered in so much that they don’t have much experience, using a cook book. Cook-book editors have said they had to change cook-book styles because people don’t understand some of the more arcane cooking terms.

・ going downhill  衰退する,さびれる

・ eat out 外食する   order in 出前を頼む

・ arcane  難解な


● 「3分の卵」

Sometimes, instead of talking about soft- or hard-boiled, they say a three-minute egg or fifteen-minute egg, for example.


● tie a necktie — knot a necktie

I think in the U.S., usually people talk about “tying a necktie”, or “tying a tie”, but I’ve also heard “knot a necktie,” like Cortez says here.




2008年5月第5週分 Lesson 5  Information Glut (2)



Tyson agrees that there’s a lot more information available now than there was a decade ago, but he wonders if it’s helping or hindering people.


OK, OK  はい,はい。わかったわかった。

People often use “OK, OK” to try to get someone else to stop talking to them. “Yeah OK, fine. I don’t wanna talk about it any more” is what it means.

・  OK    3. used to tell someone to stop arguing with you or criticizing you:
   OK, OK, so I made a mistake.  /  Look, I’m doing my best, okay? (LDOCE)


Come to think of it.  そういえば

・  You use the expression come to think of it to indicate that you have suddenly realized something, often something obvious. (COBUILD)


● “I’ve heard about a Web site that’s perfect for a nonstop workaholic like you, Jay.”

So Kinkaid is beginning to tease Jay about working too hard.


● How to do nothing というサイト

It’s probably actually doing nothing. It’s probably how to enjoy whatever activity you’re doing without having some sort of goal or plan or something that needs to be done at the end of it.

They’re probably at least partially tongue in cheek

・ (with one’s) tongue in (one’s) cheek  本心と裏腹に,皮肉に

[COBUILD]  A tongue-in-cheek remark or attitude is not serious, although it may seem to be.

[LDOCE] a tongue-in-cheek remark is said as a joke, not seriously:  I love that kind of tongue-in-cheek wit. 
 tongue-in-cheek    adverb:  I think he was talking tongue-in-cheek.


in which case  その場合には

・  この which は関係形容詞のwhichです。理屈の上ではかなり難しいのですが,会話でも結構使われます。ただし,この in which case (≒ and in that case) とか during which time (≒ and during that time) などの set phrase 化したものが多いようです。


counterbalancing  対抗する,埋め合わせする

・  counterbalance (verb) to have an equal but opposite effect to sth else

  Parents’ natural desire to protect their children should be counterbalanced by the child’s need for independence.


get a life  人生を生きる

“Get a life” is a phrase people use in English if they want to tell someone to stop being so focused, stop being so intense. There’re other things(?) in life besides what you are focusing on. So if their friend is complaining about something, and you’re tired of hearing about it and the friend is taking no action to change what they’re complaining about, you can look at them and say, “Get a life.”

・ If you tell someone to get a life, you are expressing frustration with them because their life seems boring or they seem to care too much about unimportant things. (INFORMAL)  (COBUILD)

  get a life (informal) used to tell sb to stop being boring and to do sth more interesting  (OALD)

・ focused 意欲的な


● There’s an old joke from the Edo period.

A lot of people won’t know what you’re talking about, if you just talk about “the Edo period.” So you might have to explain a bit.

And I think everybody laughs a little bit, because it sounds sort of silly. This is a trivial and obvious kind of an action, isn’t it?


● 知らないことはネットで調べるか,人に聞くか?

I think whether people turn to the computer or ask their parents or neighbors depends on their age. I tend to use the computer and the Internet, because I’ve been living abroad for many years and I can get English information more easily that way. But when I talk to family members — the youngest of my siblings is in her mid-thirties now — most of them still talk to Mom or the neighbors.


● “information smog”

“Smog” is a word made up of two words — smoke and fog — and refers to polluted air basically and usually in cities, so [it’s] something that’s floating in the air and causing a bit of trouble. So “information smog” is easy to understand and gives a really nice picture of, sometimes, what it seems like when you’re looking for information on the Internet.


granted S + V   かりに~だとしても,~は確かだが

Tyson starts off his comment with the word “granted.” He could have said “given.” In mathematics textbooks, usually they start off with “Given some situation, …”  This is a way to introduce a hypothetical, a hypothetical case or situation that you can think about, even though you’re not talking about an actual one.


a wealth of ~  たくさんの~,豊かな~

・ a wealth of something    a lot of something useful or good (LDOCE)





2008年5月第5週分 Lesson 5  Information Glut (3)



This time, the group observes that companies employ fewer employees to sift through data and information, leaving managers in danger of burning out with information gluts.


● cannot  

Shiga uses the full form “cannot.”  It could be because English is the second language for him, but it could be [that] he really wants to stress the inability of people to process that much information.

・ Matsushita さんは,can’t でなく cannot が使われていることに異和感を感じたようです。cannot の方が強いということですね。


● 関係代名詞 who か that か?

You might notice that Tyson uses the word “that” to refer back to knowledge workers or secretaries or company researchers. He could have said “who” also. Some people say if it’s a person you are talking about, you must use “who,” not “that.” But for a long time and certainly in regular conversation, people will use “that,” when they are not referring to a specific person.

・ この関係代名詞 that は先行詞 knowledge workers と離れてしまっているためにやや気になるのは確かですが,まあ that で問題ないでしょうね。最後の部分は,Mr. Smith, who was our former boss, … のような場合のことを言っているのでしょうか。この場合は that が使えませんが,これは固有名詞が先行詞の時は通常,非制限用法(, がつく)になり,that は非制限用法では使えない,と説明されることが多いでしょう。


● “sift through information dumps to separate nonessential items from the valuable information”

And he’s probably referring to some of the automatic systems that collect data throughout the company. you know — employee work records and time clocks and things that are sold and what’s not sold and where and when and how and why. There’s so much information collected in the computers that needs to be analyzed.

・ time clock  タイムレコーダー


sift through ~ ~をふるいにかける

・ to examine information, documents etc carefully in order to find something out or decide what is important and what is not (LDOCE)


bring ~ to one’s attention ~に・・・の注意を向けさせる

bring something to somebody’s attention    to tell someone, especially someone in authority, about something such as a problem (LDOCE)


contribute to ~ ~に貢献する

・ contribute = to be one of the causes of sth (OALD)

  Medical negligence was said to have contributed to her death.    いいことにも悪いことにも使えます



● “The proliferation of instant messaging, (…) means rumors in the workplace spread faster and faster

So Kinkaid has kind of shifted the focus of the conversation from work and company data to rumors and things about the people who work there and what they are doing and what’s expected and what might come next.


take on ~ (性質などを)帯びる

 take on = to begin to have a particular quality, appearance, etc.   His voice took on a more serious tone.   (OALD)


● new dimensions

If you’re talking about “new dimensions,” it usually means a different size and different shape. It’s becoming something new.


be rife with ~ ~がはびこっている,あふれている

・ rife with sth = full of sth bad or unpleasant よくないものがたくさん


● waking hours  起きている時間

“Waking hours” might be sort of a new phrase for many people. It refers to the time when you’re not sleeping, and it is related to “awake” and “wake up.”


● rumormonger うわさを広める人


detrimental to ~  ~にとって有害な


● squelch  鎮圧する,やりこめる

“Squelch” is a verb often used together with rumors, meaning “squish it down” or “get rid of it,” “stop it,” and “stamp it out.”


turn to ~ ~に頼る  to go to sb/sth for help, advice, etc. (OALD)