実践ビジネス英語 2008年8月分


2008年8月第1週分 Lesson 10  No Laughing Matter (1)



Shiga and his colleagues discuss the role humor plays in US workshops.


● "the lawyers really knew what they were talking about."  「自分が言っていることがわかっている」

This sentence might be a little bit confusing, if you think of it literally. It’s difficult to talk about something you don’t know about. But it’s usually used to say that the person speaking is a very good  expert on the matter that he is talking about. The opposite is "talking through one’s hat." You could say, "He’s talking as if he’s an expert, but he has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s just talking through his hat."

know what you’re talking about <informal>  正確な知識を持っている,専門家である to have knowledge about sth from your own experience  (OALD)

be talking through your hat    <British English>    <informal>    おおぼらを吹く,知ったかぶりをする if someone is talking through their hat, they say stupid things about something that they do not understand (LDOCE)

・ He likes to hear himself speak.

And that phrase also includes the idea that he’s talking too long and far too much detail. Nobody else cares about what he’s saying.


● アメリカ人にとっての lawyer

I think you could say that Americans have sort of love-hate relationship with lawyers. On the one hand, it is a very prestigious profession. There are many excellent lawyers, honest, help a lot of people. But also there’re lawyers with reputations for just barely staying on the right side of the law. They know all the details of the law and they use it as much as possible for gain. There are many people would consider going a bit too far, even if it is technically legal.

be on the right side of the law  適法である ←→ be on the wrong side of the law 違法である



● "Do you know how many lawyer jokes there are?"

This is very interesting. If you put lawyer jokes into Google and find out how many hits you get, it’s around half a million. And those are only web sites with lawyer jokes on them. That’s not including the number of actual jokes that exit.


Gotcha! ひっかかりましたね

"Gotcha!" is short for "I got you" or "I’ve got you." The phrase "Gotcha" — if you write it, it spells G-O-T-C-H-A, but it’s very informal. It’s used maybe only in comics, or maybe private letters with friends or family. But in spoken English, it’s used quite a bit. It means "I tricked you," "I fooled you." You can also use it to mean "I understand you." You can also use it to mean, "I’ll help you," "I’ll support you."


1. a word meaning ‘I’ve got you’ used when you catch someone or trick them in some way
2    a word meaning ‘I understand’: ‘Yeah, 5 o’clock, gotcha.’



● Jokes are out of place in a (Japanese) workplace.

Hmm, that might be sort of a difference between the U.S. and Japan. I think in the U.S., in most situations, if they’re tasteful, it’s okay to tell a joke or even more than tell a joke, it’s acceptable to say something humorously rather than just straight and seriously. But it does depend on the situation, somewhat. And it is my impression that in Japan there are fewer situations where humor is acceptable.


wisecrack  冗談

Wisecracks are kind of humor, though, that you have to be a little careful with, because they tend to be a bit flippant or ironic. They’re usually very witty, so people can enjoy the wit. But you do have to be a little careful with wisecracking type of humor, because if the people around you don’t agree with them, you could offend them.

wisecrack  = a clever and funny remark or reply [= joke]



lift someone’s spirits 気分を高揚させる,元気づける

・ raise/lift somebody’s spirits =make someone happier


tickle someone’s funny bone 笑わせる

・ funny bone ユーモアを解する心


no laughing matter 笑い事ではない

Usually the phrase "no laughing matter" is used when people aren’t taking something seriously enough, so you tell them, "Wait a minute. Pay attention. This is no laughing matter. This is serious."

no laughing matter    <informal >   something serious that should not be joked about: It’s no laughing matter having to walk by a group of rowdy drunks every night just to get home.  (LDOCE)


perk up 元気づける

perk up to become more cheerful, active, and interested in what is happening around you, or to make someone feel this way: She seemed kind of tired, but she perked up when Helen came over. (LDOCE)




2008年8月第1週分 Lesson 10  No Laughing Matter (2)



The team talks about the difficulty of translating humor cross-culturally and Shiga tells an old Japanese joke.


● I guess so

"I guess so" is a kind of vague or weak agreement. Or more than weak agreement, it’s a lack of disagreement.

・ 消極的な同意

guess     If you guess something, you give an answer or provide an opinion which may not be true because you do not have definite knowledge about the matter concerned. : The suit was faultless: Wood guessed that he was a very successful publisher or a banker.   (COBUILD)


fall flat (冗談が)受けない

There’s another idiom that also means "fall flat" or "fail." And that’s "go over like a lead balloon." If you imagine a balloon made of lead, it’s not gonna be very successful.

fall flat    <informal>    if a joke, story etc falls flat, it does not achieve the effect that is intended: Unfortunately, what could have been a powerful drama fell flat.  (LDOCE)

go down like a lead balloon <informal> 不評を買う if a suggestion or joke goes down like a lead balloon, people do not like it at all (LDOCE)

アメリカ英語系辞書では,go over, イギリス英語系では go down として出ています。


● pantomime humor

Pantomime humor can also be called slapstick, especially if it’s very physical and silly.

・ slapstick ドタバタ喜劇


hilarious 笑いを誘う,とてもおもしろい

・ hilarious = extremely funny


● "What may be hilarious in Chinese may not be so in Japanese."

I can remember watching a US movie in a Japanese movie theater many years ago. It was a comedy and I went there with a friend of mine. We often laughed at times other than the rest of the audience, so I think either the jokes or the humor hadn’t been translated or the Japanese audience didn’t find it as funny as we did.


settle one’s account 勘定を清算する

・ settle = to pay money that is owed
settle a bill/account/claim    : I always settle my account in full each month. / These insurance companies take forever to settle a claim.  (LDOCE)



One point about the Japanese word "sake." In the U.S., people usually pronounce it either [sɑːki] or [sæki].



That’s another Japanese word that’s pronounced in various ways in the U.S. I think most people don’t say [harakiri]. They probably say [hærəkiri] or [hɑrəkiri] or something more like that.


● groan at a joke

The kinds of joke that make most people groan are groaners.


crack jokes ジョークを飛ばす

・ If you crack a joke, you tell it. :  He cracked jokes and talked about beer and girls.  (COBUILD)


tricky きわどい,用心しなければならないような

1    something that is difficult to deal with or do because it is complicated and full of problems: I can get you tickets for the show but it’ll be tricky.
2    a tricky person is clever and likely to deceive you [= crafty] (LDOCE)


stay on safe ground 無難にしている,安全圏にとどまる

on safe [ dangerous ] ground 安全な[危険な]立場に

・ I thought I was on the safe ground (= talking about a suitable subject) discussing music with her.




2008年8月第1週分 Lesson 10  No Laughing Matter (3)



This time, Potter tells one of his favorite jokes, and Kinkaid describes some of the benefits of good laughs.


blurt out 思わず[うっかり]口に出す

blurt something out to say something suddenly and without thinking, usually because you are nervous or excited: Peter blurted the news out before we could stop him.   (LDOCE)


sloshed 酔っぱらって

"Get sloshed" is one of the many, many slang phrases for "get drunk."

You could say, for example, get tipsy, be five sheets to the wind, although there’s many different numbers that people use in that phrase. You could be a little high. You could be under the table. There’re hundreds of slang terms for having too much to drink.

sloshed = drunk

tipsy = slightly drunk

have[be] both[three] sheets to[in] the wind ひどく酔っている

under the table 酔いつぶれて


● It’s jungle out there. 仕事や生活のつらさを嘆く決まり文句

"It’s jungle out there" is a phrase that’s usually used to mean there’s a lot of competition, it’s very difficult to survive in the environment that I go out and walk in. Or outside the house, outside the home is a very difficult place to be.

(Tarzan がこの台詞を言うところがこの joke の要点)

Right. He’s using the phrase with two meanings — literally and with the meaning that it’s very difficult outside. It’s very similar to the question, "How are you?" It’s usually meant as a greeting, and so the correct answer is "Fine." But you could take that greeting phrase and answer it as a real question for information, then whatever you say besides "I’m fine," "I’m well" makes that funny.


Peoria ピオリア (イリノイ州の都市)

Peoria is a small city in Illinois in the U.S., and it’s often used as the paragon of the model or the epitome of a middle-class, small-town, conservative way of thinking.

・ Peoria  = a small city in the US state of Illinois. The opinions of the people who live there are considered to be typical of opinions in the whole of the US : Ask yourself what the folks in Peoria will think of it.  (OALD)


bomb まるで受けないもの

・ bomb  <American English> < informal >   a play, film, event etc that is not successful: This is just another one of Hollywood’s bland and boring bombs.   (OALD)


lighten up 気分が晴れる,状況が和らぐ

"Lighten up" is a phrase that’s often used when somebody you’re with is being too serious. They’re taking everything too seriously. You can tell them, "Lighten up. Relax. It’s not the end of the world."

You wouldn’t tell someone to darken up or heavy up, if they were being too flippant or if they weren’t being serious enough. You might tell them it’s no laughing matter.

lighten up   <spoken>    used to tell someone not to be so serious about something:  You need to lighten up a bit.


● "Don’t be a laughingstock."

People say similar things to each other in the U.S. of course. You are making a laughingstock of yourself. You should stop that. What you’re doing is very foolish.

Another phrase people use in the U.S. is that it’s okay to laugh with people, but it’s not right to laugh at people.

・ If you say that a person or an organization has become a laughing stock, you mean that they are supposed to be important or serious but have been made to seem ridiculous. :  The truth must never get out. If it did she would be a laughing-stock.   (COBUILD)


Point well taken. よくわかります

Point taken   了解しました。その通りです。 used to say that you accept that sb else is right when they have disagreed with you or criticized you: Point taken. Let’s drop the subject.  (OALD)




2008年8月第2週分 Lesson 10  No Laughing Matter (4)



Shiga says the best laughter is natural, while Cortez says that it’s difficult to study humor because of its fragility.


● "It (=humor) soothes your aches and pains."

There’s a phrase that everybody knows about humor and health. It’s "Laughter is the best medicine. "


● "Instead of beating my fists on my desk …"

Sometimes in the situation like this where you have a big problem and it’s making you angry or upset, people will say, "Why are you laughing?" And the answer is often, "I have to laugh, or I’ll cry."

・ 「笑ってないと泣いちゃいそう」ってこと。


● beat one’s fists on one’s desk / stamp one’s feet 自己主張のジェスチャー


tap into ~ ~を利用する

tap into [transitive]    to use or take what is needed from something such as an energy supply or an amount of money: People are tapping into the power supply illegally. / We hope that additional sources of funding can be tapped.


● joke を説明すること

I’m sure everybody has the experience of trying to explain a joke to another person and finding out they don’t think it’s very funny even when they understand how it’s supposed to be working.


● reflex 条件反射

Yeah, reflex in English is a kind of response and it’s usually used for the kind of response that doesn’t any thinking. It’s rather automatic response. So if you think about it, it used to be that doctors check your reflexes with a little hammer and they’d hit that spot on your knee that would make your leg jump up.


● brain waves はふつう複数

I think it’s because brain seems to have various kinds of waves and they can pick them up now with special instruments. The phrase brain wave is often used also in slang. You could say, "Oh, I just had a brainwave."

brainwave  <British English>    a sudden clever idea [= brainstorm <American English>]    : I’ve had a brainwave! Let’s go this weekend instead.

・ "I had a brain storm." という表現

Both of those are usually used in singular.


goof off   サボる,怠ける

To goof off is to fool around, is to hang out, is to do nothing serious but enjoy yourself with some friends. So it can be a positive thing if the term is right, but "goofing off his work" is considered pretty bad because you’re wasting time, you’re stealing time, you’re being paid for not working.

goof off     to waste time or avoid doing any work: He’s been goofing off at school.


● "laughter’s purpose is to connect us together."

Sometimes you’ll hear people say that they felt like they really began to get to know a person, or they began to feel comfortable with the other person when they shared the laugh together.


be left out in the cold のけ者[仲間はずれ]にされる

leave somebody out in the cold    <informal>    to not include someone in an activity:  He chose to favour us one at a time and the others were left out in the cold.




2008年8月第2週分 Lesson 10  No Laughing Matter (5)


== Key Phrases to Remember ==


think highly of ~ ~を高く評価する

think highly of / think well of

Both phrases mean you approve of or admire that person.

think poorly of

Yeah, I think you could say you think poorly of another person. You could also say you think badly of another person.

・ 評価(敬意・軽蔑)を表すものとしての think + X + of のX は,

the world, highly, a lot, a great deal, well — not much, lightly, little, meanly などがあり,think (all) the better of も「~をいっそう評価する」で同系列ですが,think better of は「~を考え直してやめる」, think nothing of は「~を何とも思わない」です。 


● job performance 業務遂行能力,仕事ぶり


fall flat (冗談が)受けない,まったくうまくいかない

Sales were flat. They didn’t rise as much as they do in summer.

fall flat    fail completely to produce the intended or expected effect


make an excuse for ~ ~の言い訳をする

・  = try to think of reasons for one’s behavior


sneer at ~ ~をあざ笑う,~に冷笑を浴びせる

In English, sometimes two people talk about a cold smile, but it’s not really a set phrase like it seems to be in Japanese.


sneer      to smile or speak in a very unkind way that shows you have no respect for someone or something:  ‘Is that your best outfit?’ he sneered.
sneer at      She sneered at Tom’s musical tastes.


lighten up 気分が晴れる,状況が和らぐ

Sometimes people say, "Lighten up, Lois. Nobody died," meaning it isn’t all that serious.

Lighten up. につづくことば

It’s not the end of the world. / Nobody died.



= あんな時,こんな時 =

natural parent 生みの親 = biological parent

And it’s often shortened just to a "bio." So people would say "bio parents," "bio Mom," "bio Dad."


"Natural" in the past when applied to child often meant illegitimate. It was a rather polite way to say that the parents weren’t married. That might be why nowadays people say "bio parents."




2008年8月第2週分 Lesson 10  No Laughing Matter (6)


    S = 杉田敏      I = Susan Iwamoto

S: So we’ve come to an enjoyable topic — humor. Shiga Hiroshi and his colleagues traded several jokes in our latest vignette.

I:  Yes, they did. And you know a little levity in the workplace goes a long way, especially in a fast-paced, stressful working environment. They say that laughter is the best medicine, and I think that’s true. Laughter really helps relieve stress, and makes work more fun.

・ levity 軽率さ

S: Don Potter mentioned the challenges of humor across cultures. Have you found a big difference in the sense of humor in Japan and the U.S.?

I:  Well, Don said physical humor can translate much more easily than the word play — puns and the like. I found that deadpan humor or sarcasm can be incredibly difficult to translate,sometimes even from one English-speaking country to another. There have been many times when I said something ridiculous in Japanese but with a straight face, intending from my comment to be taken as a joke. However, my comment was sometimes taken at face value and I had to quickly say I was just joking or who knows, maybe it was just that my joke wasn’t very funny.

deadpan humor まじめな顔して言う冗談

・ straight face まじめな顔   if you have a straight face, you are not laughing or smiling even though you would like to: I found it very difficult to keep a straight face. (LDOCE)

at face value 額面どおりに

take something at face value    to accept a situation or accept what someone says, without thinking there may be a hidden meaning: You shouldn’t always take his remarks at face value.

S: Hmm, so are you a fan of puns and wordplay?

I:  Yes, very much so. And because I enjoy that kind of humor so much in English, I’m always excited if I can understand it in Japanese too. And this reminds me of a former colleague of mine from my days working for a major Japanese corporation. She was hilarious, but I could only understand about half of her jokes because she was a master of wordplay. She would have the entire office in stitches and though I could always understand from the context that she was making a pun, I couldn’t always quite catch the meaning. So I enjoyed her humor and the effects she had on the office, even though my Japanese wasn’t sophisticated enough to appreciate her wordplay. I occasionally pulled one of my colleagues aside to ask about the meaning of the pun. Not too often, though, because explaining jokes can really drain all the humor out of them.

in stitches    おなかがよじれるほど笑って  laughing a lot in a uncontrollable way
have/keep somebody in stitches (=make someone laugh)    Her jokes had us all in stitches.


S: I’ve often noticed that translators have to change jokes that don’t translate well or tie to culture in some way.

I:  True. I do have great admiration for interpreters and for the translators who write subtitles for movies, though. Trying to translate Japanese to English or English to Japanese can be a huge challenge. Many times, when I have gone to see movies in Tokyo, I can immediately tell where other native English speakers are sitting because they are the only ones laughing at a particular scene or joke on the screen. I also find it amusing when Japanese audience laugh right before an actor says something, because the joke has appeared in subtitles a split second beforehand.

・ subtitle 字幕

・ a split second ほんの一瞬


S: Have you found a big difference in the sense of humor in Japan and the U.S.?

I:  Yes, and I’m always fascinated by cross-cultural differences in humor. There’re countless comedians on Japanese television programs every night. And I find many of them to be clever and hilarious. However, I can’t grasp the appeal of some of the comedians — often those whose routines include silly catch phrases, hitting people on the head. I don’t know if I ever get it. Well, one big difference that many international business people often point out is the use of humor when making presentation. Though I’ve seen some Japanese business presentations include a joke or two, they are for the most part very formal in style. American presenters often include jokes as ice-breakers from the beginning of the presentation. To create a relaxed atmosphere and to establish a rapport with the audience, using humor is a way to grab the audience’s attention from the start so that they’re more likely to keep listening to your presentation.

・ icebreaker 緊張をほぐすもの something that you say or do to make people less nervous when they first meet: This game is an effective icebreaker at the beginning of a semester.

・ rapport 信頼関係 friendly agreement and understanding between people


S: So, is this something you do in your own presentations?

I:  Yes, definitely. Building a personal connection with colleagues and clients is very important to me. And I find that humor, especially self-deprecating humor, is a good way to get off on the right foot. I often conduct intercultural communication seminars. And my colleagues and I make it a point to use humor to illustrate the concept we present. We sometimes do humorous role plays to give the example of challenges of global business communication. Of course, we love it if the seminar participants laugh, but more important, if I can ???  a bit, help them grasp and retain our message, then we’ve really succeeded. However, sometimes our jokes do fall flat and that’s really painful.

get off on the right foot うまく始める ←→ get of the wrong foot 出だしでつまずく

get off on the wrong foot to start a job, relationship etc badly by making a mistake that annoys people


S: Well, maybe those participants are followers of the samurai tradition Hiroshi described in the vignette — laughing only once every three years.

I:  Hmm, that may be. Either that or my colleagues and I need to work on comic timing of delivery.







2008年8月第4週分 Lesson 11  Videoconferencing vs. Traveling (1)



Tyson talks about something he thought he’d never do — hiring a new employee based on an interview by videoconference.


videoconferencing テレビ会議

Videoconferencing has really only recently become very effective and useful, I think. But it’s been around since the late 70s, and I actually read somewhere that the first time videoconferencing was attempted and actually worked was in the late 60s. But I’m sure it was far too slow for any practical purposes.


● Well, you know something, Melinda? 話を聞いてもらいたいときのフレーズ

Yeah, this isn’t really a question, although if you wanted to turn it into a joke, you could probably say something like, "Well, Jay? Yes, I know many things." But actually he’s just introducing a topic.

You know something? ( You know what? ) ねえ,いいかい,聞いてもらいたいことがあるんだ。 used to introduce an interesting or surprising opinion, piece of news, etc. : You know something? I’ve never really enjoyed Christmas. (OALD)


whiz kid 神童,若手の専門家

・ (英)では whizzkid a young person who is very skilled or successful at something: financial whizzkids in the City


in person じかに,直接に

Tyson uses the phrase in person to mean face to face — an actual meeting physically together in the same room. It’s very common in English to say in person when you mean face to face. I think face to face is a bit more intensive. You probably use it more when you’re having an important discussion. In person just means you’re in the same space. It’s probably used a lot these days because of the growth of things like Internet dating or meeting friends online. A lot of people don’t meet face to face or in person for quite a while.

in person    if you do something in person, you go somewhere and do it yourself, instead of doing something by letter, asking someone else to do it etc:
You have to sign for it in person. (LDOCE)


across the table from me テーブルをはさんでわたしの向かいに

across (something) from somebody/something   

Across the street from where we’re standing, you can see the old churchyard.
the woman sitting across from me (=opposite me) on the train  (LDOCE)


life-sized 等身大の

Life-sized is an adjective that’s used usually when you’re describing something that is often not the same-sized as the actual original. So you could say a life-sized poster, or you could describe a painting or maybe a sculpture as being life-sized. So if it’s a six-foot model, you have a six-foot poster or sculpture or painting.

・ a picture or model of something or someone that is life-size is the same size as they really are


… and all that ・・・など

In conversation, it’s a very useful phrase — and all that. You don’t have to explain everything that you’re including. But in a more formal situation, you should probably be very careful of using phrases like and all that or et cetera or and so on, for two main reasons: one is, your listeners might not know what other items you’re referring to, and the second thing is, it could be a sign of sloppy thinking. If you can’t list the things that your et cetera stands for, maybe you should think again before including it in your presentation or formal writing.

and all that (jazz, rubbish, etc.)  = and other similar things: I’m bored by history — dates and battles and all that stuff.  (OALD)


full-size 等身大の

You notice in this case Tyson uses the phrase full-size as an adjective instead of life-sized. I think life-sized is usually used to describe things that are representing life, whereas full-sized has a wider application. You could use it for anything that is its full size.


look someone right in the eye 人の目を真っすぐに見る

Tyson says that the people in the videoconference "can look you right in the eye as they speak." That’s rather important. It’s one of the main points of a face-to-face interview and in-person conversation, because honesty and integrity are often gauged by eye-contact. If you can look someone in the eye, you’re probably telling the truth.

他動詞 + 人 + 前置詞 + the + 体  型 「人の体を~する」

hit him on the head / catch her by the arm などと同類。

look が,他動詞であることに注意。( look at とはちがう形)


● "read their facial expressions and body language" 表情・ボディランゲージを読む

In English, I think, it’s fairly common to say you read someone’s facial expression or their body language. I guess it’s because it’s information you take in through your eyes like reading a book instead of something you just feel or something that you hear.


telepresence テレプレゼンス(臨場感を高めたテレビ会議システム)

Various companies are offering this kind of service now. I think they are all pretty expensive. But it seems that telepresence is becoming a general word for that new technology for videoconferencing.




2008年8月第4週分 Lesson 11  Videoconferencing vs. Traveling (2)



The team talks about how, because videoconferencing hasn’t lived up to expectations, people keep flying.

・ live up to ~ (期待などに)添う


● as with ~ ~の場合と同じように

・ With breast cancer, as with many common diseases, there is no obvious breakthrough on the horizon.


● dub 追加録音する

The verb dub in English basically means to add sound or soundtrack, or more broadly, to transfer recorded material onto a new medium. Dub seems to be a shortened form of the word double.

dub  to replace the original speech in a film/movie or television programmes with words in another language (OALD)


● via ~経由で (= through, by means of)

You might have noticed we’re(?) using two pronunciations for the word via — [vaɪə] or [vɪːə]. People pronounce it both ways. I think I’m more familiar with [vɪːə], although in the dictionary, [vaɪə] is listed first, which usually means it’s the more common pronunciation.


● time benefits 時間的利益

You notice that Shiga says time benefits, but he doesn’t say which way people are benefiting from time. I guess you’ll have to pick that up from the context. You could use this in one context to mean it took less time. You could probably use it in some other context to mean it took more time.


● thumbs-down 拒絶,不賛成

The phrase thumbs-down nowadays means disapproval or something you don’t like or something that’s bad. Thumbs-up means it’s good or you approve it or you’re saying OK.

the thumbs up/down   < informal>    when an idea or plan is officially accepted or not accepted: The project was finally given the thumbs up. Her performance got the thumbs down from the critics. (LDOCE)


● hassle 煩わしい手続き

hassle    something that is annoying, because it causes problems or is difficult to do


● shuck off your shoes 靴を脱ぐ

Usually people say take off your shoes. In this case, Cortez uses the verb shuck. Usually shuck means to take off a husk or shell from fruits or vegetables or the shells of oysters, for example. But it can also be used to take off almost anything. It means remove something or cast it off. There’s another word shucks, which people use to express mild disappointment.


2 If you shuck something such as corn or shellfish, you remove it from its outer covering. (AM):   On a good day, each employee will shuck 3,500 oysters.

3   If you shuck something that you are wearing, you take it off. (AM INFORMAL) :   He shucked his coat and set to work.

Shucks is an exclamation that is used to express embarrassment, disappointment, or annoyance. (AM INFORMAL) : Terry actually says ‘Oh, shucks!’ when complimented on her singing.    (COBUILD) 「ちぇっ,くそっ」


● 人前で靴を脱ぐこと

It’s considered impolite to be taking your shoes off in public unless there’s a specific reason for it. So you wouldn’t sit on a train and take your shoes off, and you wouldn’t take your shoes off probably in the office, unless there was a specific reason for doing so.


submit to ~ ~を甘受する

submit  <formal>    to agree to obey a person, group, set of rules, especially when you have no choice [= give in] :  Derek has agreed to submit to questioning.  (LDOCE)


shakedown 身体検査,徹底的な検査 ゆすり

Shakedown is really very casual or even slang for a careful search. It’s used not only for people, you can also shake down someone’s apartment. And it’s also used to mean bribery demanding that someone pay you money so that you leave them alone.


1    (American English)   < informal >   when someone gets money from another person by using threats:   a Mafia shakedown
2    (American English)    <informal>    a thorough search of a place or a person:  No weapons were found during the shakedown.  (LDOCE)


at a moment’s notice 急に,即刻,ただちに

・ notice は「(解雇・解約などの)予告期間」のこと。 at a moment’s notice は「一瞬しか予告期間を与えないで」→「急に」, at a month’s notice 「一ヶ月前に予告した上で」

notice   information or a warning about something that is going to happen [ → warning]
without notice    These rules are subject to change without notice.
sufficient/reasonable notice    They didn’t give me sufficient notice.
advance/prior notice    When you’re on the mailing list, you’ll receive advance notice of upcoming events.
ten days’/three months’ etc notice (=a warning ten days etc before)   
They closed the factory, giving the workers only a week’s notice.
Firefighters were prepared to rush out at a moment’s notice.





2008年8月第4週分 Lesson 11  Videoconferencing vs. Traveling (3)



The gang comments on how the personal touch remains an important aspect of doing business and so many people prefer face-to-face meetings.


march of technology テクノロジーの進歩

Cortez talks about the "march of technology". March in this case means progress or forward movement. It’s related to the verb "to march," which is to walk forward. March is also used in marching band. It’s a band that doesn’t sit on chairs to play; they walk around.

the march of something the steady development or forward movement of something : the march of progress / technology / time  (OALD)


press the flesh 握手する

Cortez also talks about "pressing the flesh." It might sound sort of strange, unless you know what it really means is "shake hands." It tends to be used for politicians going out and meeting constituents; they shake hands, maybe exchange a couple of phrases, and that’s about it. A similar phrase is "meet-and-greet." I’ve been hearing that recently. A "meet-and-greet" could be with politicians, sometimes it’s celebrities or the writers of books might have a meet-and-greet, where they talk to fans and shake hands and, you know, exchange greetings.

press the flesh    to shake hands with a lot of people – used humorously: The President reached into the crowd to press the flesh. (LDOCE)

meet-and-greet 1は「サイン会・握手会」,2がこの後でMatsushitaさんが語源として挙げているもの,3は親の学校参観みたいなもの(?)

1    an event that is organized for famous musicians, writers, artists etc to meet and talk to their fans: There will be a meet-and-greet after the show.
2    a service that sends people to greet and help a person or group when they arrive at an airport
3    an event in which parents go to their child’s school and meet the teachers and other people who work there   (LDOCE)

"Meet-and-greet" seems to come originally from the travel industry to talk about going to the airport to meet travelers.


personal touch 人と人のふれあい

The phrase "the personal touch" is usually used when you want to talk about something that’s customized, unique or personal — something that you can only do in person or face to face.

personal touch    something you do to make something special, or that makes someone feel special: It’s those extra personal touches that make our service better.  (LDCOE)  機械的な冷たい感じを避けるための人間味


come into play ものを言う,作用し始める

・ When something comes into play or is brought into play, it begins to be used or to have an effect. :  The real existence of a military option will come into play.   (COBUILD)


for real [形] 本物の,本気の [副] 本当に,実際に,本気で

for real  genuine or serious : This is not a fire drill — it’s for real. (OALD)


fill ~ to capacity ~を満たす,いっぱいにする

The hall was filled to capacity.  = was completely full


old-fashioned 昔ながらの,古風な

Although the phrase old-fashioned makes it sound like it’s not in fashion any more. That’s not the meaning of the phrase. Old-fashioned means it’s an older style. But I think old-fashioned tends to be used when an older style is still popular, even if it’s not actually fashionable.

・ Something such as a style, method, or device that is old-fashioned is no longer used, done, or admired by most people, because it has been replaced by something that is more modern. : The house was dull, old-fashioned and in bad condition.  /  There are some traditional farmers left who still make cheese the old-fashioned way.  (COBUILD)


sit back ゆったりすわる,くつろぐ

sit back  to sit on sth, usually a chair, in a relaxed position


doze まどろむ,うたた寝する

To doze is to sleep. But it’s a specific kind of sleeping. It’s usually, for example, if you’re sitting up in a chair and you sleep lightly for a short time, that would be dozing. You could say "you doze off," or "nod off." And that focuses a bit more on the point where you fall asleep.

doze off    to go to sleep, especially when you did not intend to [= drop off, nod off]: I must have dozed off.  (LDOCE)


take a turn for the worse 悪化する

・ If a situation takes a turn for the worse, it suddenly becomes worse. If a situation takes a turn for the better, it suddenly becomes better. : Her condition took a sharp turn for the worse.  (COBUILD)


on open market 市場に出回って

The open market is a phrase that refers to markets that are open and competitive and have few or no restrictions. A similar phrase is a free market. But free market tends to be used when you are talking specifically about economics and politics. Open market tends to be connected more with business and commerce.

open market   Goods that are bought and sold on the open market are advertised and sold to anyone who wants to buy them. (BUSINESS) : The Central Bank is authorized to sell government bonds on the open market.  (COBUILD)




2008年8月第5週分 Lesson 11  Videoconferencing vs. Traveling (4)



As the cost of the newest video conferencing equipment comes down, the team says they expect to be using it more often to save time.


● That is emphatically why .. = That is exactly why …

Tyson starts the sentence with the word that, which refers back to the difficult situation for flying these days.

・ emphatically まさしく


● at this point in time 今になって,現時点で

It is impossible to give a definite answer at this point in time.


● video conferencing vs. Web conferencing

I think that the difference between video conferencing and Web conferencing is that Web conferencing is definitely based on Web sites that you can use to pass video images, and sound of course. I use one quite a bit with my family in the U.S. and Mexico.


● shake hands on closing business deal 商談が成立したときに握手をする

It’s traditional to shake hands when you close a business deal in the U.S. anyway. It’s a sign of your honesty and integrity. You can even say, "Let’s shake on it," to mean "Let’s close the deal."

・ Let’s shake on it 同意・和解・仲直りして,握手する

If we have a deal, let’s shake on it. (=show that we have made an agreement by shaking hands).   (LDOCE)


cut corners timewise 時間を節約する

To cut corners is to find the quickest, easiest, or cheapest way to do something. In this case, Tyson is using it in a rather neutral form. It’s often used negatively when you really shouldn’t have used the quickest, cheapest or easiest way.

cut corners    to save time, money, or energy by doing things quickly and not as carefully as you should: Don’t try to cut corners when you’re decorating.


● as the clock ticks 時がたつにつれて


● meantime その間,その一方


out of this world この世のものとは思えない,最高にすばらしい

The phrase "out of this world" describes things that are surprisingly new or wonderful or extraordinary.

・ If you say that something is out of this world, you are emphasizing that it is extremely good or impressive. (INFORMAL) :  These new trains are out of this world.   (COBUILD)


● hurdle 障害(物)

Hurdle as a verb can mean a rush forward. I guess in the same way that you rush forward to jump over hurdles. To hurdle means to go rapidly, head forward, quickly, without paying attention to obstacles. In this sentence, hurdle is a noun, however. There are similar words you can use with the same meaning. You could say that the cost is an impediment to growth. You could say it’s a barrier to growth, or even an obstacle to growth.

hurdle (v)   to jump over something while you are running: He hurdled the fence and ran off down the street.  (LDCOE)


heat up 激化する

・ When a situation heats up, things start to happen much more quickly and with increased interest and excitement among the people involved. :  Then in the last couple of years, the movement for democracy began to heat up.  (COBUILD)




2008年8月第5週分 Lesson 11  Videoconferencing vs. Traveling (5)


== Key Phrases to Remember ==


● meet in person じかに会う → 実践ビジネス英語 2008.08.20


● be aware of ~を知っている,~について承知している


● impact 影響

Impact is one of those nouns that is somewhat recently in use as a verb. A lot of people don’t like it when nouns are first turned into verbs, but after they are used for a few decades or even centuries, they tend to become acceptable.


● submit to ~ ~に応じる → 実践ビジネス英語 2008.08.21


● be dismayed by ~ ~に失望[落胆・狼狽]する

If you’re dismayed by something, it’s very similar to being disappointed by something. But I think you’d probably use disappointed more generally. And I think disappointed is more of an unfocused dissatisfaction. Dismayed is probably when you are more deeply or more strongly unhappy about the situation.


● out of fashion 時代遅れで

実践ビジネス英語 2008.08.21



= あんな時,こんな時 =

● ふつうの think は進行形にできないが, be thinking of ~ing 「~するつもりだ」では進行形にする理由

It’s because in this case think is a kind of action, it’s a kind of work — mental work. The other think, when you can’t use -ing, is something that either is true or not true, either you have that opinion or you don’t. In the case of "I think you’re wrong," you could use -ing, but it gives it a really different kind of flavor. "I’m thinking you’re wrong" also includes the ideas that I might change my opinion soon.


● reckon 思う

Reckon tends to be used more in country areas or in the South. And  for people who don’t use it all the time. It tends to bring a feeling of the good warm things from the country. So in this case it was a nice choice, because the person is talking about having hurt someone’s feelings and it sounds like he really didn’t mean to.

reckon    <especially British English>    to think or suppose something (LDOCE)

reckon  <chiefly dialect>   : THINK, SUPPOSE  (Merriam-Webster’s 11th)

reckon ≒ think となるのは,イギリス英語とアメリカ方言(南部)ということですね。




2008年8月第5週分 Lesson 11  Videoconferencing vs. Traveling (6)


S = 杉田敏      I = Susan Iwamoto


S: We’ve been discussing the pros and cons of videoconferencing and face-to-face meetings in our most recent vignette. Now, Susan, do you have a lot of experience with videoconferencing?

I: Well, I tend to do more teleconferencing and Web conferencing these days. But recently I had a chance to see some examples of the telepresence technology that Jay Tyson mentioned in the vignette. I was amazed at how much videoconferencing technology has improved in just the past few years. I can remember many frustrating video-conferences between Japan and Europe or the U.S. at my former company. We always had to build extra time to cover any technical difficulties we might encounter, as there seems to be a problem almost every time we did it. It was exactly what Melinda Kinkaid described in the vignette: jerky movements, time lags, and poor image quality. I often wondered if it’s worth the trouble. But I have to admit; it was nice to see the faces of our counterparts overseas rather than just hearing their voices. Videoconferencing comes in handy when there’s no time to fly halfway around the world for a face-to-face meeting. However, there are times when I am glad not to have a video function for teleconference or Web conference.

・ pros and cons  賛成と反対

・ come in handy 役に立つ

S: Why is that?

I: Well, most of my teleconferences these days are international ones. And because of the time difference, they’re generally scheduled for about 10 or 11 P.M. in Tokyo. Now, I like the fact that I can participate from home and that I don’t have to change back into business clothes or retouch my makeup in order to look presentable during the meeting.

・ retouch (写真・メーキャップなどに)手を加える,修正する

S: Have you noticed the increase in the number of video-conferences or teleconferences in your experience?

I: Yes, definitely. And I think that has to do with both cost and security issue. Frankly, given the hassle of airport security and frequent delays, it’s not surprising that many people are looking for alternatives to business travel. It takes about twelve hours to fly from Tokyo to Chicago and that’s just the flight time,  adding in time spent on getting to and from the airport, baggage claim, security, and immigration and customs, not to mention potential delays. And you can see why videoconferencing has become so appealing. For many business people, spending all of that time just to have a few meetings presents considerable opportunity cost. Of course, you do see many business people hard at work on their laptops in airport lounges and on plane.

・ given ~ ~を考慮すれば

・ add in ~ ~を計算に加える

・ not to mention ~ ~はいうまでもなく

S: Surely. But there are times when face-to-face meetings are necessary. Don’t you think?

I: Absolutely. Even with all the concerns about the cost and time associated with business travel, it’s often crucial to meet in person to close a sale or establish good relationship with clients and colleagues. Both Jay Tyson and Melinda Kinkaid made good points about this in the vignette. Even if you have excellent technology, personal touch goes a long way in sealing the deal in many cultures. A savvy business person is someone you can size up their clients and associates and determine whether a video-conference is enough, or whether a meeting in person is best. After all, in many cultures, socializing before and after a meeting is often the key part in establishing trust and strong business relationship. Somehow, I don’t think dinner and drinking parties would have quite the same effect as(??) the videoconferencing, no matter how good technology is.

・ make a point 主張する

・ go a long way 大いに役立つ

・ seal the deal 取引を確認する,証明する

・ savvy 有能な

・ size up ~を評価する,判断する



Word Watching

whiz kid 若手の切れ者,若手のやり手 (= high flier, hot shot)

Now whiz kid is someone who is quite young and very talented, maybe in a particular field, they’re sometimes just in general. Now you might also hear a boy wonder for this. You can also say a girl wonder. It’s not quite as common, but you can say that as well.

・ → 実践ビジネス英語 2008.08.20

・ boy wonder 神童


● read body language 顔色や表情・態度から意味を感じ取る

Now to read body language or to read someone means that you understand what someone is thinking or feeling through nonverbal cues. You often hear people saying they can’t read someone, but if they can read someone, they might say that it’s written all over their face or that they can read you like an open book.


give a thumbs-down to ~ ~を拒絶する

Now this is a very common expression. And it became very popular, say, from around the 1980s or so in the U.S. especially, because there were two famous film critics who used this as part of their film rating system, giving movies thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

・ → 実践ビジネス英語 2008.08.21


press the flesh 握手する

Now press the flesh refers to shaking hands often with a large group of people. And it’s usually used to refer to politicians who are shaking hands of many people in a crowd, or maybe celebrities too. Another expression that you often hear with press the flesh is kiss babies, because it’s something that politicians also do in that situation.

・ → 実践ビジネス英語 2008.08.22


cut corners (金・労力・時間などを)切り詰める,節約する,ケチる

This often leads to a very negative outcome and you hear people criticizing some problem that happened by saying, "Oh, they cut corners, and that’s why it happened."

・ → 実践ビジネス英語 2008.08.27


● time-wise 時間的に,時間に関して

So time-wise means "in terms of time" or "regarding time." And when you add -wise to the end of a word, it just contains the meaning of "in terms of." So you might hear someone say sales-wise or weather-wise, and you can stick it on almost any noun.

・ 1  -wise is added to nouns to form adverbs indicating that something is the case when considering the particular thing mentioned.  : Career-wise, this illness couldn’t have come at a worse time.It was a much better day weather-wise.

   2    -wise is added to nouns to form adverbs indicating that someone behaves in the same way as the person or thing that is mentioned. : We were housed student-wise in dormitory rooms.   = -like         (COBUILD)


out of this world 最高にすばらしい,天下一品で

If something is out of this world, it means it’s amazing, it’s excellent. And it’s often used to refer to experiences; maybe somewhere you traveled or the show that you saw. But it can also be used to describe food, especially dessert. So you could say, "Oh, that chocolate cake is out of this world."

S: 人については? Susan is out of this world.

Oh, that’s good use of it. (laugh)