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実践ビジネス英語 2008年6月分

4月
2009
3
この記事の印刷用バージョン

2008.06.04

2008年6月第1週分 Lesson 6  Fostering Creativity (1)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

今日のテーマ

Shiga offers a creative idea for training some of Great Lakes’ employees.

 

● "Talk to me." 「聞かせてください」

"Talk to me" is a phrase people use sometimes when they mean "I wanna ask you a question," or "I wonder what you think," or "You seem to have a problem. Why don’t you let me help?"

It is rather casual, though. So, you should be somewhat careful in formal situations.

・ "Talk to me." の使い方

Matsushita : 「質問したいんですが」「何を考えてるの」「相談に乗るよ」

かなりカジュアル

杉田: 口数の少ない人に話しかける時,「意見を聞かせてください」

目下の人に言うような響き

 

Definitely 強い肯定

He could have said, "without a doubt," with pretty much the same meaning.

・ (informal) a way of emphasizing that sth is true and that there is no doubt about it (OALD)

 

● "creative type"

Shiga mentions "creative types." It’s a little bit of a slangy way to talk about people who come up with new ideas for the company. The opposite, also in slang, would be "the suits." "Suits" usually is a slang for management people or finance people who are serious about business and pay attention to the numbers.

・ the suits スーツ族(専門職,重役,お偉方など)  = a person with an important job as manager in a company or organization, especially one thought of as being mainly concerned with financial matters or as having a lot of influence (OALD)

 

Good for you! やったね!でかした!

Kinkaid says "Good for you, Hiroshi." It’s a way to give him a little bit of praise. She could have said, "Nice job, Hiroshi," or even in a very casual way, "Good on you, Hiroshi!"

・ Good for you.   People say ‘Good for you’ to express approval of your actions.  ‘He has a girl now, who he lives with.’ — ‘Good for him.’ (COBUILD)

 

Cardinal

"Cardinal" is a word that has many meanings in English. In this case, it means "the most important." But in other situations, it can mean "a kind of bird," it can refer to high level officials or priests in Catholic church. It’s also used in mathematics, to talk about just straight numbers, as opposed to ordinal numbers, which are first, second and third and et cetera.

・ cardinal (形) 非常に重要な (名)(1) ショウジョウコウカンチョウ(鳥) (2) 枢機卿 (3) 基数(one, two, three など) ⇔ ordinal numbers 序数(first, second など)

 

out-of-the-box 既成概念を覆すような

"Out-of-the-box" is kind of an interesting phrase. Some people call it corporate speak, meaning it’s sort of jargon the companies use. It’s used to refer to people who can think differently. It’s for people who are more easily able to go outside of their regular borders. They can sort of see and do things a little bit differently. That’s one meaning of it, related to creativity. Another way it’s sometimes used is to refer to products that work easily as soon as you remove them from the box. This is often applied to software, which is sometimes difficult to handle.

out of the box 1. 既成概念にとらわれない 2. 箱から出してすぐ使える

1. (idiomatic) = outside the box   (idiomatic) Beyond the bounds of convention.  The boss wants some new ideas – it’s time to think outside the box.

2. (idiomatic, of a product) = Immediately, without intervention from the customer.  This software has to work out of the box, without any fancy installation.   (Wikitionary)

think outside the box = to think of new, different, or unusual ways of doing something, especially in business (LDOCE)

 

spew out 吐き出す

If you "spew" or "spew out," you send things out with a force or like in a stream. It flows and gushes forth. In slang, "spew" is also used sometimes to mean "vomit," or "throw up."

・ spew out(forth)  = to flow out of something quickly in large quantities, or to make something flow out in this way: Factory chimneys spewed fumes out into the sky.

 

cream-of-the-crop  もっとも優秀な

the cream of something    = the best people or things from a group:
the cream of Europe’s athletes
The students at this college are the cream of the crop (=the best of all).  (LDOCE)

 

●  overachievers 特に優れた成果を上げる人

It’s kind of interesting that Tyson chose the word "overachievers" to talk about people who are smart and work hard and are able to go far quickly. Usually if you add "over" to a word, it means "too much," and it’s kind of negative. But I don’t think he means that way here.

 

survival of the fittest 適者生存

"Survival of the fittest" is a phrase that’s used in many situations to talk about competition and people or companies who can compete successfully. The phrase originally is related to Charles Darwin, but seems to have been used first in this form by Herbert Spencer, an economist. He applied some of Darwin’s ideas to market economies.

 

 

2008.06.05

2008年6月第1週分 Lesson 6  Fostering Creativity (2)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

今日のテーマ

Shiga and his colleagues comment on the sometimes tense relationship between suits and creative types.

・ suits は前回登場。「重役,おえら方」

 

● turnover 1. 離職率,回転率 2. 売上高

 

● among all rungs of employees あらゆる職階の

"Among all rungs of employees" might sound sort of a strange phrase. "Rungs" are the crossbars on a ladder that you step on to climb up. This probably refers to the career ladder where people on the different rungs trying to rise higher in the company. So if you talk about "all rungs of employees," they mean employees from top to the bottom, or the bottom to the top.

・ all rungs of ~ という形では辞書に載っていませんから, people from all walks of life (あらゆる階層の人々) みたいに成句化してはいないようです。

・ rung   1  one of the bars that form the steps of a ladder   2 (informal)  a particular level or position in an organization or system
rung of/on    Humans are on the highest rung of the evolutionary ladder. (LDOCE)

 

● staple 主要な

"Staple" used this way refers to something that’s main or basic or something you can’t do without. It’s often used with the word "food" to talk about what kind of food a certain population gets most of their calories from.

・ staple food 主食

 

● pun について

In English, puns are often considered "the lowest form of humor", and that phrase was coined by Samuel Johnson, who wrote a dictionary in the 18th century.

So, many people would say, "You don’t need to put the adjective ‘bad’ before the word ‘pun.’"

In the U.S., in cartoons or comics, a beret is often used as a sign or symbol that the person wearing it is a creative type or an artist.

 

● the numbers 数字,利益,売上げ

"The numbers" generally mean the financial side of the business.

 

● accepted wisdom 一般常識

"Accepted wisdom" is usually the things that everybody agrees is(sic) true or right or correct or a good idea, and they don’t really even think about it any more.

 

● eccentric ちょっと変わった(それほど悪い意味ではない)

"Eccentric" is often used to describe people who are different but in a nice way. You’re usually fond of someone who’s eccentric, even if they are a little bit difficult. The word actually means off center, or a little bit off kilter.

・ If something or someone is out of kilter or off kilter, they are not completely right. (COBUILD)

 

● oddball 変人 a person who behaves in a strange or unusual way  (OALD)

 

● "creative"   —  "the best or the brightest"

In this case, Potter shortens "creative types" just down to "creatives." People do this quite a bit in business — creatives instead of creative types or creative people. Some people also say "talents" instead of talented people.

"The best or the brightest," "the best and the brightest" is the phrase you hear quite a bit these days. It was used in the early 1970s by a writer who used the phrase for a book about how the U.S. got into the Vietnam war.

・ "The Best and the Brightest" は David Halberstam の本のことですね。翻訳もあったはずです。

 

 

2008.06.06

2008年6月第1週分 Lesson 6  Fostering Creativity (3)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

今日のテーマ

The group comments on the characteristics and fragility of creativity and the people who exhibit it.

 

self-motivated 自発性に富んだ,自主的な

If a person is self-motivated, they are capable of hard work and effort without the need for encouragement (OALD)

 

thrive on ~ ~を糧にする,~で成長する

= to enjoy sth or be successful at sth, especially sth that other people would not like (OALD)

I wouldn’t want that much pressure, but she seems to thrive on it. (LDOCE)

 

● 面接での "Are you a risk-taker?" という質問について

I bet you have to be rather careful answering this question, however, because they don’t want their employees going crazy and just taking any kind of a risk. I’m sure they’re looking for people who aren’t afraid of risk, but who look at it carefully and take good risks.

・ want O + Ving = want O to be Ving  OにVしてもらいたい(否定文が多い)

 

● IQ    知能指数 intelligence quotient

This’s been a focus for decades on IQ type ability, but recently the idea of your emotional abilities, your social abilities has become a focus in business and in managing or fostering people who are good managers and good creative employees.

 

knack こつ,特技,技巧

"Knack" is often used to mean a special talent for doing something, especially a talent that’s difficult to explain or teach. Lots of times, people just say, "Wow, whenever she designs something, it’s always so good. She really has a knack for doing that."

・ A knack is a particularly clever or skilful way of doing something successfully, especially something which most people find difficult. (COBUILD)

 

● pinball machine と パチンコ

In my experience, the main difference between the two is that Japanese pachinko machines are vertical — they stand up — and in the West pinball machines are flat. I think the balls are different sizes too usually.

 

pull ~ apart ばらばらにする,こき下ろす,酷評する

This phrase is used a lot when someone is overly critical about someone else’s idea. It’s… you can say, "They ripped it to shreds, pulled it apart, they just destroyed everything."

pull apart (phrasal verb) (LDOCE)

  1. pull something apart    to separate something into pieces: Pull the meat apart with two forks. ばらばらにする
  2. pull somebody apart    to make the relationships between people in a group bad or difficult: His drinking pulled the family apart. 苦しめる,不愉快にさせる
  3. pull something apart    to carefully examine or criticize something: The selection committee pulled each proposal apart. こきおろす,あらを探す
  4. pull somebody/something apart    to separate people or animals when they are fighting: The fight ended only when the referee pulled the two players apart. (喧嘩している双方を)引き分ける
  5. if something pulls apart, it breaks into pieces when you pull on it 引いて別れる・ちぎれる・敗れる

 

downer 気がめいること

A downer is something that makes you feel depressed or unhappy. It’s also used to talk about drugs. It’s a slang for a drug that does the same thing.

・ downer = an experience that makes you feel sad or depressed (OALD)

 

● "think critically"

In the U.S., educators often talk about teaching kids to think critically. And what they mean is to think carefully to look at the elements to weigh different arguments. It’s not really supposed to be applied to creative people for what they are trying to do.

 

● come all too easy

all too    used to mean ‘very’ when talking about a bad situation

 

● "destructive criticism" 人を打ちのめすような批判

Tyson mentions "destructive criticism." The opposite is usually called constructive criticism, meaning you are looking at good and bad points, but you are not looking at the bad points to cause trouble. You are looking at the bad points so that the whole can become better.

 

keep your head above water 生き延びる,持ちこたえる

"To keep your head above water" when you are actually in a pool, you have to be constantly in motion. As soon as you stop, you sink. So, in this phrase, the -ing form of keep works much better for the meaning of the phrase. The similar phrases — you wouldn’t say, "I look forward to see you." Usually, people say, "I look forward to seeing you" or "I look forward to hearing about your recent vacation." The -ing form is very often used after "to."

keep your head above water  = to deal with a difficult situation, especially one in which you have financial problems, and just manage to survive

・ to keeping の説明はちょっと意見が違うかな(別に意味は変わりませんけど)。継続・持続を表しているのは -ing ではなくて,keep の持つ意味自体だと思います。ここは動名詞ですので,たとえば There is more to it than meets the eye. (一見しただけではわからないような問題点が存在する)とか,There is more to her success than diligence.(G4) などのto と同じではないでしょうか。この場合の to は,「~に対して」とか「~に関しては」に近くなり,本文は「生き残っていくことに関して存在している最大の資産」となります。むろん to keep でも成り立ちますし,look forward to, be used to, when it comes to などtoのうしろに動名詞が来ることはよくあります。

 

 

2008.06.11

2008年6月第2週分 Lesson 6  Fostering Creativity (4)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

今日のテーマ

Kinkaid, Tyson, and Potter discuss ways to foster the creativity in people throughout the company.

 

● diverse の発音

You might notice that Kinkaid said /divəːs/. A lot of words beginning with "di-" have two pronunciations. She said /dəvəːs/, but it’s also possible to pronounce it /daivəːs/. Another common example is /dərekt/, /dairekt/.

 

give voice to something

"To give voice to something" is to say it, to make it obvious and clear to people.

give voice to sth to express your feeling, worries, etc. (OALD)

 

● desk drudge  —  drudgery   —  obedient

"A desk drudge" is a person who sits at a desk, does the same kind of work day after day. It’s not interesting work, it’s boring, it’s repetitive. And it kind of gives an impression that the person is also boring and repetitive.

"Drudgery" is unpleasant, menial or tedious work.

Tyson also describes such people as being obedient. And in this case, "obedient" is not a positive attribute, because the whole conversation is about creativity and breaking rules and finding new ways and going against the accepted wisdom.

・ drudge  = a person who has to do long hard boring jobs

 

be headed for trouble 大変なことになる,苦境に立たされる

 be headed    (LDOCE)

(1) to go or travel towards a particular place, especially in a deliberate way

(2) if you are heading(also headed) for a particular situation, especially a bad one, it seems likely to happen  ここは(2)

 

speak one’s piece 自分の意見をいう

Tyson talks about "workers who speak their piece." There is a similar phrase, "speak your mind," or "speak one’s mind." Usually if you are speaking your mind, you’re angry about something and you’re telling people exactly what you’re saying and what made you angry. If you’re speaking your piece, it means giving your opinion, and you’re not necessarily angry.

say your piece  =  to give your opinion about something, especially something you do not like (LDOCE)

・ If you speak your mind, you say firmly and honestly what you think about a situation, even if this may offend or upset people.
Martina Navratilova has never been afraid to speak her mind. (COBUILD)

 

in high demand ひっぱりだこで

in demand 「需要があって,ひっぱりだこの」にgreat が付く例は辞書にありますが,high は見当たりません。でも Google では200万以上!

 

● "ranks and departments" すべての職層,すべての部署

Potter talks about ranks and departments. You could look at it as "ranks" talking about all levels of the company, and "departments" talking about all parts of the company, so it’s sort of like "from top to bottom and left to right."

 

be committed to ~ ~に決意する,専心する,考えを述べる,かかわる

いっぱい意味のある動詞ですが,committed という形容詞の形では, willing to work very hard at something  (LDOCE) の意味が多いようです。

 

get the ball rolling 順調にスタートさせる,軌道に乗せる

If you get the ball rolling, set the ball rolling, or start the ball rolling, you start something happening.
He will go to the Middle East next week to get the ball rolling again on peace talks… (COBUILD)

 

boot camp 新兵訓練キャンプ

"Boot camp" used to be used only in relation to the military. But over the last few years, it’s used fairly often to refer to any kind of very basic training, rebuilding kinds of training.

You also hear it used in relation to exercise programs, and even programs to help young people who are beginning to get into trouble straighten out their lives. It carries an idea of hard, intense training.

 

 

 

2008.06.12

2008年6月第2週分 Lesson 6  Fostering Creativity (5)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

== Key Phrases to Remember ==

Definitely. 強い肯定

→ 「あんな時,こんな時」

 

I must say ~と言わざるを得ない

When people use the phrase "I must say," it sounds like some outside necessity is forcing them to make the comment. But actually, people use this phrase when they want to say something.

 

break through 突き破る,突破する

"Breakthrough," the noun, isn’t necessarily connected with glass ceilings. A breakthrough is a change or an event or a result anytime you are having trouble getting through a difficult point. The word’s often used with medicine. Scientists are often looking for cures for various medical conditions, so when they find a way through, when they find a solution to the problem, they call it a medical breakthrough.

 

focus on ~への焦点,~に焦点を当てる,重点的に取り組む

When you focus on something, you exclude all else. You concentrate on it. Just like using a camera, you pick out the subject and make sure that is sharp and clear, and don’t worry about surrounding matters.

 

== あんな時,こんな時 ==

強い肯定や同意を示すときの表現

Dead right. まったく正しい

"Dead" might sound like sort of a strange word to use when you’re talking about being certain. But one of the meanings of "dead" is "exact" or "unerring." Sometimes people use it in the phrase, "Dead on!" Or you could even say "dead level," meaning whatever you’re talking about is completely smooth and on the horizontal.

dead on まったく正しい

 

Spot on. まったく正しい

・ spot-on (British English) [informal]  exactly right:
Judith is always spot-on with her advice.

 

You said it. まさにそのとおり。

OALD

1 <BrE> used to agree with sb when they say sth about themselves that you would not have been rude enough to say yourself

2 <N AmE> used to agree with sb’s suggestion  

LDOCE

a) used when someone says something that you agree with, although you would not have actually said it yourself because it is not polite: ‘I was always stubborn as a kid.’ ‘You said it!’
b) (especially American English)  used to say that you agree with someone: ‘Let’s go home.’ ‘You said it! I’m tired.’

 

You can say thát again. ほんとうにそのとおり。(thatにアクセント)

You can say that again.  = I agree with you completely.

Everyone would laugh if you very calmly said "You can say it again." They’d wonder why, "why are you recommending repeating it?"

 

That’s for sure. 確かにそのとおり。

This one you can also say just with the last two words — "For sure."

 

How true.

"How true" is often shortened just to "true." Another phrase you can use is "No kidding." But you need to get the correct intonation. If it sounds like a question, it means you don’t agree, you’re wondering if what the other person said is true — "No kidding?"

 

That’s it.  This is it. That’s the thing.

That’s it.  ああそれだ。そのとおりだ。

(spoken)
a) used to say that something is completely finished or that a situation cannot be changed:  That’s it, then. There’s nothing more we can do.
b) used to tell someone that they are doing something correctly:  Slowly … slowly. Yeah, that’s it.   (LDOCE)

This is it. そのとおり。

 

You’ve got that right.

・ get it right はもともと「正しく理解する」の意味

 

That’s (quite) right.

In North America, people tend to use this full phrase — "That’s right" or "That’s quite right." But you might hear British English speakers just saying "Quite," when they agree.

 

You’ve hit the nail on the head. 要点をついている

 

 

2008.06.13

2008年6月第2週分 Lesson 6  Fostering Creativity (6)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

S = 杉田敏 I = Susan Iwamoto

S : In our most recent vignette, Shiga Hiroshi and his colleagues were talking about creativity. That’s certainly a hot topic in business these days, isn’t it?

I :  It certainly is, and not just in what is(?) known as creative fields, such as advertising, graphic design, and fashion. Business people in a variety of fields in industries are being encouraged to think creatively. And …(?) jargon along the way is such as "thinking outside the box," "pushing the envelope," and "blue-sky thinking." All of those expressions refer to thinking of new possibilities without regard to precedents, ..(?) limitations. Even though these have become clichés, the ideas supporting them do have merits.

push (the edge of) the envelope 可能性の限界まで追求する,許容範囲を広げる

blue-sky 無価値な,空理空論の

S : In the vignette, Hiroshi has just returned from a creativity seminar. Have you ever attended one of these?

I :  Well, I haven’t attended a creativity workshop per se. But I have attended unfacilitated workshops that encourage creativity and achieving goals. There are a number of techniques that many of these seminars use to help people achieve their personal and professional business goals by thinking about them creatively.

・ unfacilitated workshop 辞書にはないのですが,おそらく facilitator がいない workshop ?

S : What are some of these techniques?

I :  Well, when working with groups, for example, there’s nothing like a good brain-storming session to get everyone’s creative juices flowing. There’re a number of ways to conduct this. But whether you’re jotting ideas on a white-board, sticking little yellow notes all over the walls, or just throwing ideas onto the table, the most important thing to remember is to welcome any and all ideas first, before discussing the challenges of executing them.

There’s nothing like ~ ~ほどすばらしいものはない

creative juices 競争意欲

S : Both Don Potter and Jay Tyson talked about this in the vignette: the tendency for people to use destructive instead of constructive criticism.

I :  That’s right. And I’ve seen this impede many brain-storming sessions in the past. I attended just such a meeting recently, actually. As people started to contribute ideas, a couple of the members immediately started analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each. Now I think that sort of analysis is useful further down the line. But it had a detrimental effect on the session. We were getting too caught up over analyzing each idea, rather than making sure that all members had a chance to propose their own ideas. I gently suggested that we let everyone get several idea on the board first before looking at pluses and minuses of each. I feel that it’s crucial to create an environment that allows for the sort of free exchange of ideas as a first step. If you’re too quick to tell ideas apart, it may stifle the creative impulses of your team. Now this can be applied to individual exercises in creativity as well.

down the line 将来,先になって (later)

S : What do you mean?

I :  Well, people can be their own worst enemies, when it comes to dreaming up new possibilities for the future. Now I found this in my personal experience and in my work as a facilitator. When trying to come up with new directions, whether it’s in you personal or your professional life, it’s easy to think of all the reasons why something won’t work, to think of something as unrealistic or outrageous. Now, that kind of thinking is sure-fire way to stifle one’s creativity. If you get too caught up in thinking about the road blocks to your idea, you’ll never get past the first step. I think everyone can benefit from creative visualization.

dream up ~を思いつく(このdream up は他動詞)

road blocks 障害物

S : Have you done a lot of this yourself?

I :  Sure. Some of my favorite techniques are visualization and mind-mapping. I’ve used both in my approach to my own career development. For the visualization exercise, I find a nice quiet place, close my eyes, and start imagining my ideal career and ideal life. I visualize as many details as possible, without stopping to think about any fears or limitations. That really helps clarify what I want. And the next step is figuring out how to achieve it. Now that isn’t an easy task, but if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want, how will you be able to achieve it?
Now with mind-mapping, also known as concept mapping. It’s useful, whether you use a software program for it or just a pen and paper. It’s basically a diagram of possibilities. You put one main idea — a goal — at the center of the page, and then you map out related tasks or ideas on a series of connected lines. Now again, the point is to do this without getting bogged down in the limitations. And sometimes the best idea — solution to a problem — may come from the unlikely source.

map out 精密に図に表わす

bogged down 行き詰って

S : In the vignette, Jay mentioned the value of having bicultural employees like Hiroshi on board. And Don talked about the importance of having a variety of viewpoints on the team. Diversity seems to play an important role in fostering creativity.

I :  Yes, I agree with that fully. It’s important to have a team that works well together. But it doesn’t mean they all have to be cut from the same cloth. Now if you have a team of people with different personalities, life experiences, cultural backgrounds, you have people who have and have been exposed to multiple perspectives. And this is a great way to generate new ideas and introduce people to approaches they may have never considered. This is especially important in global companies as they expand to new markets. Countless businesses hear from(?) consultants and local employees that new approach will never work in a certain country because it hasn’t been done before. Sometimes they may be true, but taking a chance often leads to great success.

be cut from the same cloth (性格などが)うりふたつである

S : We’ve talked a lot about fostering creativity. But how does this really pay off for organizations?

I :  Well, it’s all well and good to come up with a long list of fabulous new ideas. But to be truly innovative, you need to put them into action. Now this is another reason to have a diverse team. You may have a team member who excels at thinking of new ideas and approaches but may not be so good at following throughout them. I’m definitely that type. I thrive on brainstorming but often really have to push myself to follow through. Now if you have a team full of these people, you have great ideas but maybe not much to show for in the end. You need to balance out your team with people who can take those ideas, plan a solid(?) process, and implement it. There’s no limit to what you can achieve.

that’s/it’s all well and good    (spoken / especially British English)   used to say that something is good or enjoyable, but it also has some disadvantages:  Going off on foreign holidays is all well and good, but you’ve got to get back to reality sometime. (LDOCE)

come up with ~ ~を思いつく

follow through(out) 最後までやりぬく

thrive on うまくやる

push oneself to V Vしようとがんばる

have nothing to show for ~ ~に明白な成果がない

 

 

2008.06.18

2008年6月第3週分 Lesson 7  Office Chitchat (1)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

今日のテーマ

Shiga and his teammates talk about what’s been happening recently.

 

● How are you?

This question is usually used as a greeting rather than a question to get information. So, in more formal situations, you should always answer, "I’m fine, thank you." If it’s not a formal situation, you can make a joke out of it, which a lot of people do. They take it as an information question.

 

● "Is everything all right with your new apartment?"

In English, if you ask people, "How is your room?", they might be a little confused, because, depending on a situation, "How is your room?" could mean "How is your bedroom?" — just one part of where you live. Usually if you’re asking somebody about where they live, you ask them about their apartment or their house or if you’re not sure what kind of building they live in, you could say, "Is everything all right with your new place?"

 

● "Everything is super."

"Super" has been used probably since about the ’80s, to say "fine," "everything is good," "no problem." Another way  sometimes people might answer this question is "hunky-dory."

・ If you say that everything is hunky-dory, you mean that there are no problems and that everyone is happy.  (OALD)

 

● yard sale

The world of yard sales is really a suburban phenomenon, because people in the city usually don’t have a yard. They don’t have space they can use to show the things they want to sell.

 

● a neighbor right across the street from ~ ~の通りを挟んだ真向かいの家

・ across from ~ ~の向かいの (= opposite ~)

・ across A from B Aを挟んでBの真正面にある

 

● front lawn

Kinkaid says "front lawn." She could have said his "front yard," but she already mentioned the "yard sale." So I think that’s why she shifted to "lawn."

 

● sidewalk, grass の所有権

In the front of houses in the suburbs in the U.S., usually there is a strip of grass, and then a strip of sidewalk, and then another strip of grass leading up to the front of the house. The part nearest the house usually belongs to the house’s owner; the sidewalk is often city property; and the space between the sidewalk and the street, in some places, is called a parkway and that’s often the property of the local government. And depending on where you live, the person owning the house might have some responsibility for that strip of land, that strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street.

Lots of times, you can find the signs out on a major road, pointing the way into the specific area where the yard sale is.

sidewalk (American English)  a hard surface or path at the side of a street for people to walk on [= pavement (British English)] → ビジュアル辞典

 

● police raid 手入れ,ガサ入れ

raid 2  a surprise visit made to a place by the police to search for something illegal:
a police raid : an FBI raid

 

undercover agents 覆面捜査官

・ [only before noun]   undercover work is done secretly by the police in order to catch criminals or find out information (LDOCE)

 

in handcuffs 手錠をかけられて

・ handcuffs は 両手にする手錠だから,glasses などと同じく複数で用います。

 

Speaking of ~ ~といえば

Tyson begins by saying, "Speaking of police officers." This is a very common way to change the topic, if you’re speaking very casually. You hear something that someone says and it reminds you of something that you’d like to talk about, "Speaking of" something.

speaking of   used to introduce a statement or question about a topic recently alluded to: Speaking of cost, can I afford to buy it?

 

accost 声をかける

If someone accosts another person, especially a stranger, they stop them or go up to them and speak to them in a way that seems rude or threatening. (FORMAL) : A man had accosted me in the street. (COBUILD)

 

scheme 企て

a clever plan, especially to do something that is bad or illegal – used in order to show disapproval : a get-rich-quick scheme  一攫千金のたくらみ(LDOCE)

 

shopdropping おもに宣伝目的で,商店の店頭に許可を得ずに物品を陳列すること

"Shoplifting" is when you take something secretly out of a shop, and "shopdropping" is you take something secretly into a shop.

・ 辞書にはありません。以下はネット新語辞典より

shopdropping : Also known as reverse shoplifting, shopdropping describes the act of sneaking specifically marked items into a shop and placing them on display. This technique can be used for public art, to promote political views or advertise your services. In grocery stores, the labels on canned goods are replaced with art motives. T-Shirts with political messages are smuggled into normal retail outlets and cleaver fitness trainers place their business cards in weight-loss books. (from urban DICTIONARY)

 

 

2008.06.19

2008年6月第3週分 Lesson 7  Office Chitchat (2)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

今日のテーマ

Shiga learns more about shopdropping before the conversation moves on to the police in Japan.

 

● plant 置く,据える,配置する

・to put something firmly in or on something else (LDOCE)

  plant a bomb = to put a bomb somewhere

 

● horticulture 園芸(術)

・ the study or practice of growing flowers, fruit and vegetables (OALD)

 

● shoplifting 万引き

One way to talk about shoplifting using a slang phrase is to call it a "five-finger discount."

 

● shoplifting ⇔ shopdropping

You might notice that Tyson stresses "lift" in shoplifting, and "drop" in shopdropping. That’s not a regular stress for those words, but he’s trying to make clear the differences between shoplifting and shopdropping.

 

● unsolicited ads 未承諾広告

・ unsolicited = not asked for and often not wanted: unsolicited calls / unsolicited advice

 

● guerrilla /gərílə/ ゲリラ = gorilla /gərílə/

In English, there’re two words with the same pronunciation /gərílə/.

One is the animal, the kind of large ape. The other one is this one. The word comes from Spanish, and in Spanish it means a small band of, like, soldiers or fighters that harass the enemy. The word is taken from that group and applied to any groups or any person that uses a similar sort of tactics.

・ 昔ネイティブの人に「guerrilla と gorilla って発音同じだよね。」と言われてびっくりしたことがあります。

 

● tastefully 趣味のよいやり方で

・ tasteful (adj.) = made, decorated, or chosen with good taste: tasteful furnishings
! Do not confuse with tasty. Use tasty to describe food that tastes good:   This food is really tasty. (LDOCE)

 

● dubious あやしげな,いかがわしい

Tyson uses the word "dubious." "Dubious" is similar to "doubtful" or "dubitable," but it’s usually used when what it is describing is probably illegal or immoral or, in some way, not acceptable.

"Doubtful" focuses more on the not-knowing. It could go either way, "We don’t know. It’s doubtful." It could be illegal, but that adjective doesn’t bring me idea of illegality together with it.

・ 物・相手の人物が dubious  = probably not honest, reliable, true, right (≒ questionable )

・ 人が dubious (about something) = not sure whether something is good or true (≒ doubtful )

 

● fly home 飛んで帰る

Sometimes when people talk about flying, another person will make a joke by saying, "Wow, your arms must be tired."

 

● cruise (車で)ゆっくり流す

I think the word is used because it’s very similar to taking a cruise on a ship. Usually a ship will cruise some water or sea or along a shoreline. And people take cruises for relaxation and vacation. When cars or taxes go around cities in a similar way, sort of, just moving around the area, they are also said to be cruising.

Teenagers also sometimes cruise. They get in their cars on Friday night and drive up and down the main street of town, looking at each other and chatting and joking and things like that. That’s also called cruising.

 

 

2008.06.20

2008年6月第3週分 Lesson 7  Office Chitchat (3)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

今日のテーマ

Tyson goes on to tell how relieved and impressed he was when his son was found and returned home.

 

● "I got them to stop them."

Tyson said he got them to stop. He didn’t say he stopped the car. So by his choice of words, it sounds like maybe it was a little bit difficult. He had to make some effort to get them to stop, probably because he was in another car.

・ If you get someone to do something, you cause them to do it by asking, persuading, or telling them to do it.

 

● patrolman

"A patrolman" is a policeman who walks a regular beat. A beat is the neighborhood or area that he’s supposed to patrol. Sometimes a policeman patrolling a beat is called a flatfoot, and they get their name because they spend a long time walking, which makes their feet ache.

・ beat 巡回[配達](区域)

・ flatfoot 扁平足,«俗» 警官,巡査

You could use the word "patrol" also in schools. You could say "hall monitors patrol the halls," or "the teachers patrol the halls or maybe the cafeteria at lunchtime."

 

● cruise

And here’s "cruise" again. They’re driving around the area kind of slowly, trying to do something but in no big rush.

・ in a rush  = in a hurry

 

● "I was most impressed."

He could have said "I was quite impressed."

 

go out of their way to V わざわざVする

= to do something with more effort than is usual or expected: She went out of her way to make me feel welcome. (LDOCE)

 

● アメリカの警官

I think in many parts of the U.S., police do the same things. One thing that surprised me here was when the police came to my door to collect personal information. They wanted to know about everybody living in the area.

 

● people in need

In this case, in this situation it’s clear that "people in need" refers to people who have a small problem. The phrase "people in need," however, is also used to talk about poor people or people who can’t take care of themselves. So, in a different context, this could be people who don’t have enough food or can’t find a place to stay that they can afford.

・ People in need do not have enough of essential things such as money, food, or good health. (COBUILD)

 

community policing コミュニティ警備

When I was growing up, in the suburbs, I think most people, most kids thought of policemen as friendly and helpful. Nowadays, police departments often talk about community policing, which means they want to go back to the way it was a few decade ago, when most people considered the police friendly and helpful. Part of it, I think, is also based on their studies of how the police system works in Japan.

community policing = the system of allocating police officers to particular areas so that they become familiar with the local inhabitants. (The New Oxford American Dictionary 2nd)

 

pinpoint 正確に狙う・指摘する

When you pinpoint something, you make it very, very clear, very distinct. It’s similar to pinning something down — you have complete control of it. And it also gives the idea of being very.. in detail.. very much in detail because of the pinpoint.

・ very が in detail を修飾するのは文法的にちょっと不自然なので,very much in detail と言い換えています。(very + 形容詞・副詞 / much + 前置詞句 / 比較級 )

 

 

2008.06.25

2008年6月第4週分 Lesson 7  Office Chitchat (4)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

今日のテーマ

Shiga’s impressed by his colleagues’ ability to chat and everyone comments on what it takes to be a good conversationalist.

 

● It’s not the perception.

Tyson could have said, "and it’s not what most people think," instead of saying, "it’s not the perception."

・ この perception は「知覚」という抽象名詞であるよりも,「意見」「感じ方」に近い。

 

● to live in walled or gated communities

This is still a very small percent of the total population, but it has become more popular.

 

● floodlight 投光照明器

"Floodlights" are very intensely bright and have a very wide beam. They flood an area with light, and so they’re called "floodlight."

 

● incidentally ついでに言うと,ちなみに

"Incidentally" is very similar to "by the way." They’re both ways to change the conversation to a different focus. They don’t introduce the most important point.

・ by the way の使い方として日本人がよく間違える(とネイティブが言う)のが,Matsushita さんの発言の最後の部分です。「ところで」の後ろに,大事なこと,本題を持ってきてはいけない,ということ。

 

● given half a chance 少しでも機会があれば

"Given half a chance" means "not really given much of an opportunity, but any possibility for an opportunity will be taken."

half a/the chance    a small opportunity to do something, especially one which someone would take eagerly: I’d go to university if I got half the chance.Many kids would sleep till noon given half a chance. (LDOCE)

 

● エレベータの中でさえ知らない人に話しかける

Yeah, people use chatting a stranger as a sort of way to pass the time. Often if people are standing in line waiting for something, they’ll start talking to people around them. It could be at supermarkets, or in line to buy tickets for a movie. Anytime you’re waiting somewhere, people may start talking to you.

 

● "Good conversations should be cheerful."

Often if you’re standing in line waiting long(?), people will humorously complain about the wait. But because they usually do it with humor, although they’re complaining, it’s still kind of enjoyable, especially if they’re fairly witty persons.

 

● dirty joke

"Dirty jokes" usually refers to jokes of a sexual nature.

 

● "please don’t  bore me with photos of your marvelous children."

A lot of people carry photos, but not everyone shows them to you at the drop of a hat.

at the drop of a hat たいした理由もなく,きっかけがあればすぐに immediately and without pausing to think about what you are going to do (LDOCE)

 

● "They’re(=your children are) all geniuses, aren’t they?"

White is speaking rather cynically here.

 

● "I was told to try to avoid getting into certain topics."

Especially if you’re talking with people you don’t know. If in the office or maybe with your relatives, if you’re careful and sensitive, you can talk about these things.

 

● shift into high gears 本格化する,軌道に乗る

gear = a level or pace of functioning  : kicked their performance into high gear (Webster 11th Collegiate)

 

● discussions at the water cooler

"Water cooler" is usually where there is free water for everybody in the office to drink. It’s a symbol of a break time or relaxing time when you are at the office. And so it also implies gossip or office gossip. Another word you can use for gossip is "scuttlebutt." And that word also has the meaning of water cooler, but scuttlebutt was a water barrel on the ship.

water cooler   Water cooler is used in expressions that refer to the informal conversations that people have in their office or workplace. : Three out of four Americans watched Roots, and then the next day could talk about race relations at the water cooler. (COBUILD)

scuttlebutt = stories about other people’s private lives, that may be unkind or not true  (OALD)

 

● with due respect 当然の敬意を持って

・ With (all) due respect, …   「お言葉ですが,・・・」 っていうのは一度使ってみたい言葉ですが,あんまり偉い人には会ったことがないもので。

 

● "what you say, how you say it and to whom are critical variables.

Tyson uses the word "whom" and "to whom", which is correct, but it’s slowly dying out in modern English, so you might often hear people say to who.

・ critical variable  重要な変数

 

 

2008.06.26

2008年6月第4週分 Lesson 7  Office Chitchat (5)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

== Key Phrases to Remember ==

● Oh, come on. 軽くたしなめるときの表現

"Oh, come on" is a phrase that’s used in many different situations with different intonation to express various ideas. You have to be a little careful using it, I think.

Another way you can say this with the same meaning as the phrase was used in this example is "Come off it!" "Oh, come off it!" It means "Give it up," "Stop trying to fool me," "Stop trying to persuade me of something that I will not be persuaded about."

Then with other intonation, you can use "Oh, come on" to spur someone on, to give them encouragement. You can say, "Oh come on! Come on! Going ahead!"

・ Come off it! やめなさい used to disagree with sb rudely (OALD)

 

● behind someone’s back かげで,見てないところで

You could substitute the word "secretly." Also if you want to use a verb to do something behind someone’s back, usually people say "go behind someone’s back." "I don’t wanna do it secretly, I don’t want to betray that person, so I don’t want to go behind that person’s back."

There’re a couple of other phrases related to "someone’s back." You can "stab someone in the back." And that directly means "betray them."

You can also talk about someone’s back in a positive way. You can "pat someone on the back," and that means (to) congratulate them, or tell them what a good job they’ve done.

・ stab someone in the back だまし討ちをする,裏切る

・ pat someone on the back 激励する,賞賛する

 

● in good taste 趣味がいい ⇔ in poor taste 趣味が悪い

It’s kind of an interesting example, because most people would say practical jokes are in poor taste anyway.

You can also talk about something being tasteless — a tasteless joke, for example.

 

● shift into high gear ギアを上げる,スピードを上げる

There’s an idiom with the same meaning, "We’ve gotta shake a leg."

・ Shake a leg! 急げ (old-fashioned, informal) used to tell sb to start to do sth or to hurry (OALD)

 

== あんな時,こんな時 ==

相手を軽くたしなめるときの表現

● Aw, c’mon. Cut it out.

If you have a chance to look at the text, you’ll see the spelling is a little bit different. It really shows the way people pronounce it when they’re having this kind of feeling.

・ Cut it out. やめなさい (spoken) used to tell someone to stop doing something because it is annoying you (LDOCE)

● Give it a try.

● Give me a chance.

It can sort of mean "Stop bothering me, go away and let me do it."

● Try just this once!

This is a way to encourage somebody to have the experience, because it might change their mind.

(just) this once (spoken) used to emphasize that this is the only time you are allowing something, asking for something etc, and it will not happen again

● Go on!

"Go on" is really interesting, because depending on the context and intonation, it could mean "I don’t believe what you’re saying. You should stop it." Or it could mean "Yes, tell me more."— "Go on, go on."

● Excuse me?

・ (American English)    used to show that you disagree with someone or are very surprised or upset by what they have just said: ‘You’re going to pay, right?’ ‘Excuse me?’ (LDOCE)

● That’s not true.

● Rubbish. ばかばかしい。

People in North America understand it, but they probably wouldn’t use it.

● Nonsense.

● Spare me! かんべんしてよ。

spare somebody (the details)    to not tell someone all the details about something, because it is unpleasant or boring: He spared us the details, saying only that he had been injured in the war. / ‘They own three houses. One in the country, one in…’ ‘Spare me.’ (LDOCE)

● Give me a break. かんべんしてよ。

● You’re pulling my leg.

・ pull someone’s leg からかう

 

 

2008.06.27

2008年6月第4週分 Lesson 7  Office Chitchat (6)

《ディクテーション・ノート》

S = 杉田敏 I = Susan Iwamoto

S : Now, Shiga Hiroshi and his colleagues covered a wide range of topics in our most recent vignette. I guess that’s the nature of office chitchat, isn’t it?

I :  Sure. Hiroshi seems really comfortable engaging in the type of banter you often find in the offices. Now as important as it is to be able to talk business, these kinds of casual conversations are a great way to connect his(?) colleagues on a more personal level.

・ banter 冗談・ひやかし

・ as important as it is to … ・・・も大切ですが,= though it is important to …
As ~ as S + V = ~ as S + V = though S + V + ~

talk business 商売の話[まじめな話]をする

 

S : How about your personal experience with this, Susan? Have you worked in chatty offices in the past?

I :  Yes, for the most part. And that kind of friendly environment made work as a whole more enjoyable. I did, however, work in an office at the opposite extreme.

S : Really? An office with no chitchat at all?

I :  Yeah. And this goes down as one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had. But thankfully, it was a temporary assignment. I worked for a small start-up in Tokyo with four other people — three Japanese and one other American. It was a quiet working environment for the most part, although when our grouchy VP was out of the office, people loosened up a bit. The American general manager took me out for coffee once, to tell me that the VP had complained that there was too much laughter in the office. Laughter? What laughter? Given that our office environment felt like a graveyard, I knew that company wasn’t the right place for me. You need a little levity during the day.

go down as ~ = to be recorded or remembered as ~

・ start-up 始めたばかりの企業

・ grouchy VP 文句タラタラの副社長

loosen up 打ち解ける,くつろぐ

・ levity 軽率さ

 

S : Indeed. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right?

I :  Exactly. Now when I worked in HR for a major Japanese corporation, we used to have an informal coffee break in the afternoon. It wasn’t an official break, but on most days around two thirty or three, the pace of work would slow down a bit and people would get some coffee or tea and started to bring in(?) chocolate or manju brought back as a souvenir by the visiting expatriates. What I liked best of those breaks was the chance to chat casually with my colleagues, and learn more about them, or just joke around about current events. It really helped for(?) strengthening our working relationship as a result.

・ HR 人事部

・ joke around V + around  あちこちVする,Vしまくる

S : So, we know that office chitchat can help build working relationships. But what do you make of the list mentioned in the vignette as topics to avoid — sex, politics and religion?

I :  Those are often mentioned as taboos. But of course this varies from culture to culture, and person to person. One person’s taboo is another person’s favorite topic of conversation. For example, I’d recommend avoiding sex-related topics in the workplace in the U.S. in particular, because it has the potential of being interpreted as sexual harassment. Of course you sometimes hear people talking about it, but usually it’s among colleagues who know each other very well. Religion is another very personal topic that people have strong feelings about, and again it’s probably best to save up for when you’ve got to know someone a little better and have a sense of whether it will bother them. Some people prefer to keep their private beliefs out of workplace conversation.

What do you make of ~? ~をどう思いますか
make A of B BについてA(what, something など)のように思う,理解する

S : How about politics? Surely, that comes up, especially in the U.S. during the Presidential election year.

I :  Sure. But again, a lot of people avoid getting too deep into political debates with their co-workers, because of the concern that will harm the relationship in the office. Some people like to have intellectual debates and enjoy playing devil’s advocate , for example. But they do this as a way of exploring ideas on a deeper level. Now for others, it’s hard to separate their own feelings from the issues, and this can make them feel as if they’re personally being attacked. Those feelings may linger and be detrimental to working relationship in the long run. Now of course, there are ways of talking about these taboo topics in a neutral way.

・ play devil’s advocate

devil’s advocate = someone who pretends to disagree with you in order to have a good discussion about something

S : What do you mean?

I :  Well, you can take the position of learning more about the current topic. For example, you could ask general questions about politics or religion in a non-judgmental way. And certainly current events could be a great topic of conversation with your colleagues. For example, there was a recent sex scandal involving a top politician in New York. And you can be sure that it was a major topic of conversation of the next day in offices all over Manhattan, despite, or probably because of, the fact that it concerns two taboo topics — sex and politics.

・ judgmental 独善的に判断するような

S : So what are some good subjects for office chitchat?

I :  Well, current events are usually good choice. And also the latest pop culture trends, popular television shows, music, and sports. These are what are sometimes know as water cooler topics, because they refer to the informal office chitchat or gossip that often happens when people are getting a drink from the water cooler. Now being well versed in water cooler topics presents a special challenge for people like Hiroshi, who are working in a new culture and using a foreign language at work.

be well versed in ~ ~に精通している

S : That’s true. And Hiroshi has certainly been making improvements in office chitchat. How about you, Susan? You’ve had to hone(?) your Japanese conversational skills over the years, haven’t you?

I :  Yes, I’m still working at it. I can definitely relate to what Hiroshi is going through. Japanese is my second language, and though it’s important for me to have a strong business vocabulary, I also need to be able to talk about a variety of topics in order to have relaxed and informal conversations both during the working day and after hours with my colleagues and clients. So, while I do have a little notebook to write, keep new business kanji and new vocab, I also make sure that I watch Japanese news, information and entertainment television shows, and read newspapers and magazines and of course chat with friends and family about popular trends and public figures. Of course you don’t need to know all the latest trends, but you do need the vocabulary to ask questions about them so that you can build up the speed.

Now it’s also important to know how to move from one topic to the next. You noticed that, in the course of Hiroshi’s conversation with his colleagues, they talked about a police raid on the neighbor’s house, shopdropping, Jay’s wandering son, personal security and finally to the art of conversation. Many informal conversations flow like that of course, and it’s important to know how to introduce related topics by saying "Speaking of such and such." Or you may want to change the subject entirely. Now what’s interesting is that you hear people use the expressions "To change the subject, …" and "Not to change the subject, but …" to mean the same thing. Now the latter — "Not to change the subject, but …"  — still means you’re going to change the subject, but it’s a sort of apology for taking the conversation in the new direction.

S : Not to change the subject, but I think we’re out of the time.

relate to ~ ~に共感する (to feel that you understand someone’s problem, situation etc)

go through ~ ~を経験する

 

ふーっ。ながい。ながすぎる...

 

 

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