実践ビジネス英語 2009年3月分


2009年03月第1週分 Lesson 11  Going Green (1)



Ecological commuting starts the talk in the office this morning.


● compliment  ほめことば,おせじ

Sometimes people use compliments — false compliments or empty compliments — just to try to flatter somebody. I think usually people just say, "Thanks" after a compliment. Occasionally they say, "No, no, no. It’s not because of me. I was just lucky." But all that is necessary is just smile and say "Thanks."

compliment   1. a remark that expresses praise or admiration of somebody

2. compliments <formal> polite words or good wishes, especially when used to express praise and admiration  (OALD)


● driving instructor 運転教習のインストラクター

I think in most parts of the US, it’s not required that you go to driving school or hire a driving instructor to get your license. But a lot of insurance companies will give , like your father, a discount on car insurance, if the kid takes driving lessons. So I suppose Melinda Kinkaid’s long-ago driving instructor could possibly have been one of  her high school teachers. When I was in high school, I took drivers’ ed. You could use it as part of your requirement for like health class or physical education class, although driving, I guess, isn’t all that physical.

Nowadays when I go back to the US, because I usually don’t drive and I also don’t drive on every trip when I go back, but if I’ve decided to drive to rent a car, I usually hire a driving instructor for a couple of hours before actually I rent the car, because I’m just not used to driving and it gives me a lot more confidence.


● form a carpool   カープール(相乗り)する

Kim uses the word carpool as a noun in this case, but you can also use it as a verb: you can carpool with your neighbors, for example.

carpool   1  a group of people who agree to travel together to work, school etc in one car and share the cost
2 a group of cars that a company or organization owns for its workers or members to use   (LDOCE)



● in the driver’s seat   運転する,運転手を務める

Kinkaid’s using the phrase "in the driver’s seat" literally; she sits on the seat and drives the car. But you can also use this phrase figuratively. It means you call the shots, you’re in charge, you’re the boss, you decide the direction.

・ call the shots  決定を下す,意のままに操る

call the shots/tune <informal> to be in a position of authority so that you can give orders and make decisions:  It was a job in which she was able to call the shots.   (LDOCE)


● carbon footprint   二酸化炭素の排出量

In the US, the phrase carbon footprint is used a lot when people are talking about global warming especially. A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide given off by various activities. So, for example, if you drive a large car that doesn’t get very good mileage, you have a much larger carbon footprint than if you drive a hybrid or a smaller, more efficient gasoline-powered car.

carbon footprint   A measure of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by a person, organization or state in a given time (Wiktionary)


● daily trek   毎日の行程(長くてつらい旅)

trek   1. a long, hard walk lasting several days or weeks, especially in the mountains  2. <informal> a long walk   (OALD)


● do one’s homework   下調べする,調査する

The phrase "you’ve been doing your homework" is often used outside of school for things that have no connection with school, to talk about somebody who’s well prepared, someone who’s looked carefully into the background of whatever the main point is.

homework   2. if you do your homework, you prepare for an important activity by finding out information you need : It’s worth doing a bit of homework before buying a computer. (LDOCE)


● high time   (・・・すべき)ころあい,潮時

  • Kinkaid uses the phrase high time, to mean basically "now"; it’s time. A similar phrase is "it’s about time." High time, though, can mean the latest possible moment or just slightly later than the best time.

it’s about time also it’s high time    <spoken>    used to say strongly that you think something should happen soon or should already have happened: It’s about time our team won.  /  It’s high time we had a party.  (LDOCE)




2009年03月第1週分 Lesson 11  Going Green (2)



Tyson says he started bicycling or walking to work instead of carpooling, while Kim turns the conversation to new sources of green energy.


● do something practical about saving the environment

Tyson uses the phrase "do something practical about saving the environment." So he means doing something useful, not just an empty gesture. Another way you can say that is to take a kind of a set phrase and twist it. He could have said something like "Don’t just do something, stand there." The original phrase is when there’s some kind of problem, "Don’t you stand there, do something."


● smart money   情報通の投資家による投資金(← あたまのいいお金)

smart のつく 語句

smart Aleck  うぬぼれ屋,利口ぶる人 / smart apple  りこうな人 / smart drink 頭のはたらきを良くする飲み物 / smart bar   smart drinkを出すバー / smart drug  頭のはたらきを良くする薬 / smart bomb  スマート爆弾(レーザーや電波による誘導爆弾) / smart car  (現在位置を検知できる)ハイテク車 / smart card (チップを組み込んだカード) / smart cookie 知的な人 / smart highway  スマート・ハイウェイ(クルマが交通量を感知できるシステムを持つ) / smart phone ハイテク多機能電話 / smart weapon  精密誘導兵器 / smart house コンピュータでシステム化された住宅 / smart mouth 生意気な奴 / smart quote スマートクウォート( ‘  を自動的に‘や’に変換する機能) / smart set  最上流階級


● be poised for ~ ~への態勢がすっかり整っている

poised (for something/ to do something) completely ready for something or to do something : The economy is poised for recovery. / Kate is poised to become the highest-paid supermodel in the fashion world.   (OALD)


● nonrenewable energy   再生可能でないエネルギー

Another way to talk about nonrenewable energy is to call it fossil fuels. It usually refers to gas, oil and coal.

renewable energy   energy that is replaced naturally or controlled carefully and therefore be used without the risk of finishing it all  (OALD) (具体的には, solar, wind, tidal, biofuel, geothermal など)


● greenback  ドル紙幣,金

Tyson makes a little play on the word green: in this vignette, talking about environmental matters and in the US, it’s usually shortened by using the word green; however, greenback is an old slang word for dollars in English.

・ buck, dough なども「金」

Yeah. There’s one related to dough. I think, in the 60s, people used to say bread to mean money.

・ 「お金」をあらわす俗語

buck  ドル / dough (古) / break (古) / loot / the ready (英)手持ちの金 = readies / moola(h) (米) / the necessary / boodle 不法に集めた金 / dibs (古) / gelt (米) / ducats / gravy (米) 棚ぼたの金 / scratch (米) / dosh (英) / brass (英・古) / lolly (英・古) / spondulicks (英) / wonga (英) / dinero (米) / green backs (米) / simoleon (米) 「ドル」 / bucks (米) / jack (米・古) / mazuna (米)


● smart

Earlier, Kim uses the word smart to mean intelligent. Here again, Tyson uses the word smart to mean intelligent. I think usually that’s the main usage of the word in English, although you can use it to mean elegant or fashionable.

・ smart の意味としては,日本語の「スマート」よりも,「頭がいい」の意味がメインだということ。


● green-collar jobs   環境保護に関係のある職

Kim uses the phrase green-collar to talk about kinds of jobs. The phrase -collar is often used in English to talk about different types of work. So green-collar is fairly new to talk about new jobs that will probably be created, related to more ecologically correct or aware. Many others include white-collar, which tend to be office workers or management, blue-collar, which tend to be laborers, and even black-collar, which, I haven’t seen a lot, but refers to black market people, and even gray-collar where it’s not quite clear what’s category they fit in; they’re probably not laborers but they’re also maybe not higher level office workers, either.

・ gray-collar

・ blue/white/gray/black 以外の 色-collar で辞書に載っているのは,

  • gold-collar 「頭脳労働者」
  • pink-collar 「(オフィス・レストランなどで)おもに女性がやる給料の安いしごと


● get in on the ground floor 最初の段階から関わる

To get in on the ground floor is to get in on a level and at the same time as the promoters or the starters of some kind of a business or even new industry. A somewhat recent example would be administrative assistants, who started working in some of the Internet-related startups, and found themselves millionaires after a few years, because of company’s stock sharing programs.

be/get in on the ground floor    to become involved in a plan, business activity etc from the beginning (LDOCE)

startup   a company that is just beginning to operate, especially an Internet company  (OALD)


● stake out    確保とする

stake out

1    to watch a place secretly and continuously: Police officers have been staking out the warehouse for weeks.
2    to mark or control a particular area so that you can have it or use it: We went to the show early to stake out a good spot.   (LDOCE)




2009年03月第1週分 Lesson 11  Going Green (3)



The team continues discussing green topics, taking up the emerging businesses and how existing businesses are becoming greener.


● I’ll say.    まったくです。そうですとも。

I’ll say! <old-fashioned, informal> used for emphasis to say ‘yes’ : ‘Does she see him often?’ ‘I’ll say! Nearly every day.’ (OALD)


● poised for growth 成功が確実視されて

Poised is the word you can use in two main ways: one is as an adjective to mean that you are assured or composed, describes people are comfortable in most kinds of situations. In this case, it’s the second meaning. He’s saying that these companies are ready or balanced for action: they’re ready to jump; they’re ready for growth.

poised   1  not moving, but ready to move or do something at any moment
2  completely ready to do something or for something to happen, when it is likely to happen soon
poised to do something   
3 poised between something and something    to be in a position or situation in which two things have an equally strong influence:
The world stood poised between peace and war.
4    behaving in a calm, confident way, and able to control your feelings and reactions:   (LDOCE)

● errand   用事,用足し

The word errand is kind of unusual. A lot of people use it, in my experience, to talk about things you have to do outside of the house. Running errands refers to going to the bank or dropping off or picking up dry cleaning — all those kinds of small things that you have to do every day to keep your life in order. But you do them outside of the house. It comes from English through Germanic routes, where it originally meant message. So, today, if you look in the dictionary and check the word errand, most dictionaries include the idea that errands are run for someone else, at least some of the time. Some dictionaries say it’s usually something that you do for someone else. In my experience, that’s not the main meaning of it. Maybe it’s changed somewhat in US English.

errand   a short journey in order to do something for someone, for example delivering or collecting something for them: I seemed to spend my life running errands for people. : She was always sending me on errands.   (LDOCE)

a short journey undertaken in order to deliver or collect something, often on someone’s behalf (NOAD)


drop off (荷物などを)乗り物から途中で降ろす,届ける


● feel-good 気分を良くさせる

Kinkaid uses the phrase "feel-good factor." And she’s talking about how having a job or starting a company that’s also good for the community or the environment makes you feel good, as well as have good economic results. So, a lot of people are drawn to green jobs and green businesses. However, the phrase feel-good can also be used in the opposite way, to mean something that’s sort of showy or false. It doesn’t have a good result. It only makes you feel a little better

feel-good   1 feel-good film/programme/music etc    a film etc whose main purpose is to make you feel happy
2 feel-good factor <especially British English>   a feeling among ordinary people that everything is going well, and that they do not need to worry about losing their jobs or spending money


● go green 環境に配慮するようになる

In English, the word going is often used to talk about choosing to become something. So, in this case, going green means people are choosing to become more environmentally aware and to live a more environmentally neutral kind of a life. You can say things like go public. Going public means you are letting people know something that previously had not been know by many people. You can go vegan, you can go blond even, meaning you choose to change the color of your hair.

go public   公表する,上場する

a) to tell everyone about something that was secret

go public on/with   The planners are almost ready to go public on the road-building scheme.

b)  to become a public company: Many partnerships went public in the 1980s to secure extra capital. (LDOCE)

vegan  菜食主義者(の)


● throwaway    使い捨ての

Instead of throwaway, you could have used the word disposable.




2009年03月第2週分 Lesson 11  Going Green (4)



Kim says that green consciousness is key to how things change when people think about living more ecologically.


● break old habits 古い習慣をやめる

Kim talks about "breaking old habits." You could also say "break a bad habit." If you break a habit, you smash it, you destroy it, so that it has no more control over you. You can also use break with the word with: break with. Usually it’s someone or a group. And in that case, it doesn’t mean smash or destroy. It means separate from, usually because you disagree with them or they’ve insulted you or something bad has happened. And one more phrase using the word break is break up with. And that very clearly is end relationship with a boyfriend or a girlfriend or some other significant other. It could even be your spouse.

break with     If you break with a group of people or a traditional way of doing things, or you break your connection with them, you stop being involved with that group or stop doing things in that way:  In 1959, Akihito broke with imperial tradition by marrying a commoner. /  They were determined to break from precedent. /  They have yet to break the link with the trade unions.  (COBUILD)


● uncool  かっこ悪い

Usually, the word cool is used without un. Of course you can add un and talk about things that are not cool like Kinkaid did. But it’s very noticeable, because it’s not used much.


● take ~ too far 度を超す,やり過ぎる

You can take things too far, but  you can also take things to the limit, which is not quite too far, but it has everybody really worried.

go too far  also  take/carry something too far    to do something too extreme: One day she will go too far. / Some people thought he had gone too far in his criticism of the police.  (LDOCE)  go は自動詞,take/carryは他動詞


● Huh ええっ?

"Huh" is a very casual way to express yourself. In this case, Shiga uses it as a question. If you want to sound a little less casual, you could say "What?" Also your intonation is important. If you listen again carefully, you’ll hear his voice rise. So it’s clear he means "What? I’m surprised." You can also say "Huh(↘)," which basically means "Is that right? (↘). I didn’t know that. That’s kind of interesting."


● weird   奇妙な,変な

  • strange なじみがなく,未知で不可解な奇妙さ [他の意味: 未知の,見知らぬ]
  • peculiar 他のものにない独特な奇妙さ [他の意味: 独特な]
  • odd あまり見当たらないような,または常識に反するような奇妙さ [他の意味: 半端な,雑多の]
  • queer 非常に風変わりで説明できない[他の意味: あやしい]
  • curious 人の好奇心を引くような珍しさ[他の意味: 好奇心の強い]
  • bizarre とても奇妙で,とっぴな[他の意味: 奇怪な]
  • eccentric (人・人の行動が)とっぴで風変わりな
  • weird 《インフォーマル》 奇妙な,気味の悪い
  • funny  へんな[他の意味: おもしろおかしい]


● I don’t get it.   理解できない,よくわからない

He could have said, "That doesn’t make sense."


● load   負担・負荷[の量]

Kim uses the phrase the load, to talk about how much work dishwashers are doing. It’s not really talking  about weight. It’s talking more about amount: how much work the dishwasher has to do.

load     the amount of work that a person or machine has to do


load up with   ~を積み込む,~を大盛りにする

And again, Kim uses the word load, in this case in the phrase load up with, which usually means to provide yourself with a large supply of something.

load up    to put a large quantity of something into a vehicle or container [≠ unload]: Have you finished loading up? / It took an hour to load the van. / Will you help me load the dishwasher?  (LDOCE)


● keep unhealthy pounds off   ぜい肉がつかないようにする

keep the weight off   become thinner or stay thin


● catch on   人気になる,流行する

Kinkaid uses the phrase catch on. In this case, it means "become popular." But you can also use the phrase catch on to something to mean "begin to understand it."

catch on
1    to become popular and fashionable:
The idea of glasses being a fashion item has been slow to catch on.
2    to begin to understand or realize something
catch on to   
It was a long time before the police caught on to what he was really doing.  (LDOCE)


● in the long run   長い目で見れば

In the long run is a phrase people use fairly often. It’s a very common phrase when you want to refer to a rather lengthy period of time.




2009年03月第2週分 Lesson 11  Going Green (5)


== Key Phrases to Remember ==

● be in the driver’s seat  運転手を務める,運転する,指導者[責任者]の地位にある

at the helm    舵を取って,指揮を執って in charge of an organization, project, etc.  (OALD)


● high time  (~すべき)ころあい,潮時

High time is kind of an interesting word. It tends to mean appropriate time, but you can also use it to mean "just past the appropriate time." A similar phrase is "it’s about time." And that usually means "Do it now; Time is appropriate."


● not to mention ~は言うまでもなく,~に加えて

・ to say nothing of ~ と同じ。Needless to say とは,ちょっと違う。

He excels his classmates in math, not to mention English.

Needless to say, he excels his classmates in math.


● get a boost from  ~のおかげで勢いづく,~から追い風を受けている

実践ビジネス英語 2008.12.19


● smoke in public  人前で喫煙する


● make a difference  違いを生み出す,成果[影響]を生じる,重要である

There are a couple of phrases you can use to say the opposite: there isn’t much of a difference. People often say "makes no difference." Or you can even say "Same difference," which sounds very kind of dismissive, like you don’t really even care about it.

Same difference. 「同じことだよ」   used to say that you think the differences between two things are not important : ‘That’s not a xylophone, it’s a glockenspiel.’ ‘Same difference.’  (OALD)


==  あんな時,こんな時 ==

「・・・のように聞こえる」という時 (it) sounds like

● Terry seems (to be, like he’s) happy in his new job. 話し手が直接テリーに会って「幸せそうに見える」と判断している

It seems Terry’s happy with his new company. 人づてに聞いたという語感。


● seemingly  「表面上は~に見えるが実際はそうではない」という語感

This phrase is quite clear that it’s a superficial kind of a thing. But all of the phrases — if you use the right intonation, you can give that extra meaning to them.

・ seemingly 「実際はそうではない」の含意があるのか否か

(OALD) in a way that appears to be true but may in fact not be

(LDOCE) appearing to have a particular quality, when this may or may not be true

(COBUILD) If something is seemingly the case, you mean that it appears to be the case, even though it may not really be so.


● clench one’s fist  こぶしを握りしめる(怒りのジェスチャー)

clench your fists/teeth/jaw etc    to hold your hands, teeth etc together tightly, usually because you feel angry or determined: Jody was pacing the sidelines, her fists clenched. (LDOCE)


● guise   見せかけ,外観

Guise is the word that’s not used that much in English, except in this kind of a situation where you need to draw special attention to somebody’s appearance. And in this case, it does mean appearance. There’s another word, though, that’s used a lot in English — disguise, which means changing your appearance, hiding your appearance.




2009年03月第2週分 Lesson 11  Going Green (6)


S = 杉田敏      I = Susan Iwamoto


S: We’ve been talking about going green and doing things such as carpooling and carrying reusable shopping bags. How about you, Susan? How green is your life style?

I: Well, not green enough, yet. But I am making an effort. My local supermarket, like Shiga Hiroshi’s, gave away reusable shopping bags during a special promotion last year, and since then, I brought them with me to the store as much as possible. I just wish we could reduce the amount of packaging of food and household items in the stores, as well.

give away  「(無料で)配布する」 give something as a gift


S: I’ve noticed more and more shoppers toting reusable bags in Japan and in China. Has this caught on in a big way in the States, too?

I: I think it’s a growing trend in both the US and Japan. During my last few trips to the U.S, I’ve noticed many more supermarkets and retail stores offering reusable shopping bags for sale or as a special give-away. Many supermarkets offer incentives such as discounts to shoppers who bring their own bag. Plus, there was a designer shopping bag craze a year or two ago. Do you remember when a famous British designer created that fashionable and inexpensive shopping bag?

catch on  はやる to become popular or fashionable (OALD)

in a big way    大規模に on a large scale  (OALD)


S: Sure. People would line up to get one.

I: Yes, for hours on end. That was crazy. I don’t know whether they were motivated more by fashion or out of concern for the environment. But reasonable shopping bags are a step in the right direction.

line up  行列を作る to stand in a line or row; to form a queue


S: Sue Kim and Melinda Kinkaid talked about the virtues of carpooling. Did you ever carpool in the States?

I: Actually no, but that’s because I’ve been fortunate enough to live in cities with excellent mass-transit systems, or I lived close enough to the office to walk or bike there. Not everyone has that option, though. And carpooling is popular in many cities in the States. There’re even special lanes on highways reserved for carpoolers. These are called HOV lanes and it stands for high-occupancy vehicle lanes, and you must have at least two or three people in your car to use them. These lanes offer a much speedier alternative to rush-hour traffic.

HOV lane (high-occupancy vehicle lane)  a lane on main roads that can only be used by vehicles carrying three or more passengers when there is a lot of traffic  (LDOCE)


S: That sounds like a great alternative for people who can arrange a carpool, but I guess that’s not always an easy option for some people.

I: That’s true, but there is a creative solution to that. In Washington D.C. for example, — the city infamous for its horrendous traffic jams — commuters there practice something called slugging. It’s also known as casual- or instant- carpooling. And it could be seen as a type of organized hitchhiking. Sluggers, as they are called, line up at designated spots and wait for solo drivers to pull up. The driver shouts out his or her destination and the first two people in line who’d like to go to the same place hop in. It’s free and helps everyone involved. The driver has enough people to use the HOV or carpooling lane and commuters get a free ride to work.

slugging   車に同乗させてもらうこと To wait for or obtain a ride to work by standing at a roadside hoping to be picked up by a driver who needs another passenger to use the HOV lanes of a highway. (American Heritage)

pull up  (車が)止まる(of a vehicle or its driver) to stop: He pulled up at the traffic lights.

hop in 乗り物に跳び乗る get into a car (NOAD)


S: So, no one minds riding together in a car full of strangers?

I: Well, there is always some risk involved, but for the most part, it’s a system that’s worked well in that area for over 25 years. It’s well-organized and commuters are very conscious of slugging etiquette, such as not eating or drinking in someone else’s car and only chatting with the driver if he or she initiates it.


S: Sue Kim mentioned the growth potential for alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power as well as biofuel. I’ve read that several airlines have been intensifying efforts to move toward using biofuel for their planes.

I: Yes, though some environmentalists disagree with that, arguing that it’s not sustainable and that reducing air travel is a better way of reducing one’s carbon footprints. However, the world needs fuel and biofuel is an attractive option in many cases. I visited a factory in Tokyo a few months ago that’s dedicated to converting used vegetable oil into bio-diesel. During my visit, a couple of tour buses filled up at the factory’s bio-diesel pump. It was an impressive operation and the staff were incredibly motivated and dedicated to making a positive social contribution by producing bio-diesel.

fill up  満タンにする to become completely full; to make something completely full


S: Jay Tyson touted the great potential for businesses on the green economy and Sue Kim mentioned that up to three million green-collar jobs could be created in the US in the next decade.

I: Yes, and this is something that the President Obama promoted during the campaign and in the early days of his administration. One of the cornerstones of his energy plan involves investment and job creation in this area. And time will tell if it can meet the high expectations of the public.

tout うるさく勧誘する,ほめそやす,大げさに宣伝する to praise something or someone in order to persuade people that they are important or worth a lot (LDOCE)




2009年03月第3週分 Lesson 12  Changing Business Landscape (1)



Hughes says he was surprised to find his local record store has gone out of business, sparking a discussion on dying businesses in general.

  ・ go out of business   倒産する,店じまいする


● I can’t get over it. 驚きましたよ。

Another meaning of get over something is "recover from it." Sometimes people will say, "Oh, I can’t get over breaking up with my last boy friend." And their friends, who are maybe tired of listening to it, will say, "Oh, get over it already. It’s long done. You should be recovered by now."

・ get over ~ ~を乗り越える,克服する,立ち直る

・  can’t get over something  <informal> used to say that you are shocked, surprised, amused, etc. by something: I can’t get over how rude she was.   (OALD)

・ recover from ~ ~から立ち直る

・ break up with ~ ~と別れる to end relationship with somebody


● for good 永遠に

Hughes uses the phrase for good to mean forever or permanently. It’s a short version of "for good and all." I think nowadays people usually only say for good.

・ for good and all = for good


●  LP

Tyson talks about LPs, which are largish records. LP stands for long playing. They are also known as album, because they usually have a few songs on each side. Another kind of very common record is called a single or 45. Forty five stands for the speed that it was played at. And they are also called singles, because they usually only have one song on each side.


● at a crossroads   岐路に立たされて

"At a crossroads" is the phrase that people often use to mean a turning point; a point where things are changing or will change; you have to make a decision where to go.

at a crossroads (しばしば a crossroads) at an important point in somebody’s life or developement


● in record numbers 記録的な数で

・ a record snow 未曾有の大雪 / a record time 記録的なタイム / a record figure 記録的数字 / record sales 記録的売り上げ


● so to speak   いわば,よく言われているように

Rosa Cortez uses the phrase "so to speak" to alert people to the fact that she uses the record in a different meaning, while they are also talking about records, recording.


● big box 大規模店舗

She also talks about "big box" retail chains. These are huge stores that are in buildings that look like big boxes or warehouses. There’s nothing particularly decorative or nicely architectural about them. They are huge places where you can go buy all kinds of things and they are … the things you buy there are very cheap because the business model is selling large amounts of things at small margins.

big-box : of, relating to, or being a large chain store having a boxlike structure (Merriam-Webster)


● declining industry

The classic example of a declining industry is the buggy whip industry. And in fact, that example is often used to argue against government support of declining industries. The question is: Do you think the government should have banned automobiles to support buggy whip industry?

・ buggy whip  馬車で馬に使うムチ

・ argue against ~ ~に反対意見を述べる


● drive businesses south

Something that goes south is "going bad." If you think of a chart or graph where sales are going down, down, down, it’s … the line is going towards the bottom, which is the south part, if you’re thinking of a map. So people can say "go south" to mean "go bad," to "lose power." You could also use other verbs together with south to have a similar meaning. In this case, Hughes says "technological change has driven businesses south," has forced them to go bad.

go south   <American English>    <informal>    if a situation, organization, or set of standards goes south, it becomes very bad although it was once very good: It seems like all our moral standards have just gone south.  (LDCOE)


● be history  過去のもの(人)になる

The phrase "be history" is often used in English to mean "exist no longer." You can even say it to a person. If you want him to go away or be gone, you can say "You are history. I won’t deal with you anymore, we are no longer friends, or colleagues or even acquaintances."

  ・ be history  <informal> to be dead or no longer important : Another mistake like that and you’re history. / We won’t talk about that – that’s history. / That’s past history now.  (OALD)


● amber brew 琥珀色の醸造酒(ビール)

Amber brew is a kind of slang I guess you could say for beer. Another one is suds.

・ amber brew = amber fluid 琥珀色の液体 beer

・ suds <old-fashioned, North American English, informal> beer (OALD)




2009年03月第3週分 Lesson 12  Changing Business Landscape (2)



The group starts talking about ways businesses threatened by technological change can adapt and survive.


● not much of a drinker

Cortez starts off by saying she’s not much of a drinker. It might seem a little bit strange here to talk about not drinking, you know. What does she mean?  Water or coffee? But usually in English if you use drink like this without any particular context, it tends to refer to alcoholic drink. So she’s saying when she was younger, she didn’t sit around and drink and talk with their friends. They would go play games together.

sit around [about] (何もせずに)ぶらぶらしている,座ってぼけっとしている to spend time doing nothing very useful: I’m far too busy to sit around here. / He just sits around watching videos.  (OALD)


● game arcade ゲームセンター

Cortez also talks about a game arcade. An arcade is basically a covered street. Originally an arcade was a row of arches that you could walk under and find a nice space. So a game arcade is kind of a place where games, many games, are lined up – all kinds of different games. You can also take the phrase and turn it around and talk about arcade games. Then, arcade describes the kind of game you would find in a place like that. The phrase probably comes from the mid- or late-seventies.


● overnight 一晩にして,あっという間に

Overnight is a word that’s often used in English to mean very, very quickly or before you know it. It’s like one day everything’s fine and you go to sleep and next day it’s gone.


You can also use overnight as a verb, but then it means "stay somewhere and not come home at night."

overnight   1. during or for the night   2. suddenly or quickly : Don’t expect it to improve overnight.  (OALD)


● niche market ニッチ市場

The word niche, NICHE – it has been used in English for quite a while, but it came originally from French. Many people pronounce it [nɪʧ], like we have here in the vignette. But a lot of people also pronounce it [nɪːʃ]. Both are correct. There’s no problem with whichever one you choose.


● stick one’s heads in the sand  現実から目をそらす

Cortez uses the phrase "stick their heads in the sand" to talk about businesses that are trying to avoid reality. English speakers say that ostriches stick their heads in the sand to avoid some sort of enemy or attacker. I think the idea is: if you can’t see it, it’s not gonna hurt you. I’ve heard somewhere that ostriches don’t actually do  that, but the phrase remains. Recently I’ve also heard another phrase referring to the same idea called an ostrich maneuver.

bury [hide] one’s heads in the sand  to refuse to admit that a problem exists or refuse to deal with it

ostrich maneuver   (from Urban Dictionary)

The Ostrich Maneuver is the state of a person burying their head to avoid any given situation, much like an Ostrich covers it’s head to avoid danger.  Ostrich’s bury their heads based on the simplicity, "if I can’t see them, they can’t see me". People pulling the Ostrich Maneuver commonly figure the same.  Generally the Ostrich Maneuver is a person’s last line of defense, given it’s failure rate. Ted didn’t do his homework, so today in Math class, he pulled the Ostrich Maneuver by hiding his head under the desk. Unfortunately his teacher saw his backside up in the air and found him effortlessly.


● diversification 多角化,多様性

In the past, the idea of diversification, I think, was called conglomeration. And I think the idea was that if your business has many different types of businesses within it, some of them will be up, and some of them will be down, so that overall your company is pretty stable and safe. But another argument was that if you are not focused on your business, it’s difficult to manage all of them equally well. So some companies would sell off parts of their businesses that didn’t really fit together.

・ sell off  売り払う 1. to sell things cheaply because you want to get rid of them or because you need the money  2. to sell all or part of an industry, a company or land: The Church sold off the land for housing.  (OALD)


think outside the box 新しい考え方をする  to think of new, different, or unusual ways of doing something, especially in business (LDOCE)


● sit back and do nothing 手をこまねいて何もしない    1 to get into a comfortable position, for example in a chair, and relax: Sit back and relax – I’ll open a bottle of wine.
2 to relax and make no effort to get involved in something or influence what happens: Don’t just sit back and wait for new business to come to you.  (LDOCE)




2009年03月第3週分 Lesson 12  Changing Business Landscape (3)



Tyson says that if you don’t change to meet new challenges, you’ll just fade away, and Kinkaid suggests that lifelong learning can help.


● in theory 理屈の上では(...だが,現実には~)

Tyson starts off with "in theory." Often, that’s a way to acknowledge what people think when you’re about to go on and say something different from what the theory is, from what people think. So, usually somebody starting off with "in theory" follows it up with "but" and what’s actual or they might say "in reality."


● human touch 人間味

Tyson also uses the phrase "the human touch." And by using that, he means something softer and warmer. It doesn’t have to be an actual touch. It’s sort of the opposite of mechanical and cold and scientific

・ The public is always attracted to politicians who have the human touch (= the ability to make ordinary people feel relaxed when they meet them).


● what with ~  ~などの理由で

what with something    used to introduce a list of reasons that have made something happen or made someone feel in a particular way: She couldn’t get to sleep, what with all the shooting and shouting.  (LDOCE)


● survival of the fittest   適者生存

Survival of the fittest is an idea that was described by Charles Darwin in a book he wrote. He was writing about how species develop, but nowadays it’s often used to talk about any kind of competition where strong competitors become stronger and more effective, and weaker ones fade away or disappear from the arena. Another way of saying that is to say it’s Darwinian.


● head-on  真正面から

If you meet something head-on, you meet it directly.

head-on  1 crash/collide/smash etc head-on    if two vehicles crash etc head-on, the front part of one vehicle hits the front part of the other    2  if someone deals with a problem head-on, they do not try to avoid it, but deal with it in a direct and determined way
face/tackle/meet something head-on     The police are trying to tackle car crime head-on.  (LDOCE)


● go the way of the dinosaurs   恐竜と同じ絶滅の運命をたどる

Tyson also uses the phrase "go the way of the dinosaurs." People use this whenever they wanna talk about something that can’t compete, something that’s disappearing; it’s not useful anymore, and it’s becoming extinct.


You can also call people who won’t change their ideas, who keep their old ideas and continue going ahead in the same old way a dinosaur.


● forward-oriented 将来を見据えた

Forward-oriented is a phrase meaning forward-looking. You can use either one either way. Forward-looking is maybe the more common phrase. Forward-oriented, though, has pretty much the same meaning.

forward-looking  planning for and thinking about the future in a positive way, especially by being willing to use modern methods or ideas : a forward-looking Russian statesman   (LDOCE)


● adult education

In the US, people used to talk about adult education. That often refers to adults who hadn’t had proper education when they were younger and when they get older, they have more time or different ambitions and so they begin studying again. Recently, though, people talk more about lifelong learning. It applies to everyone who might go back to school, whether it’s to get a high school diploma because they dropped out when they were young or to change careers or, if they just want to learn something new because they’re interested.


● That’s right on the money.  まさにそのとおりだ。的を射ている。

If you are right on the money, you’re exactly correct. I think the phrase comes from betting.

on the money   correct; accurate; His prediction was right on the money. (OALD)

be (right) on the money <American English, spoken> to be completely correct or right:  You were right on the money when you said that he would have to resign.  (LDOCE)


● under the belt 獲得して,習得されて

The phrase "under your belt," "under one’s belt" is often used to talk about something that you’re fully in control of, something that is completely yours.

have/get something under your belt  to have achieved something useful or important: a secretary with several years’ experience under her belt  (LDOCE)


● land (top-paying jobs)   (特に希望者の多い仕事を)ものにする,獲得する

land   <informal>  to succeed in getting a job, contract etc that was difficult to get:  He landed a job with a law firm.  (LDOCE)