timtak's past comments

  • 5

    timtak

    My favourite is "The train now stopping at platform 11 is...." It's "standing", not "stopping".

    If you are going to split hairs stative verbs, which are different in Indian English, and irregular even in English as you point out, then how about this AmerEngrish that I heard in Chicago Amtrak Station,

    "The train to Pittsburgh will be stopping momentarily at platform 11"

    I sprinted to the platform, only to find the train was not stopping only for a moment at all.

    Posted in: Why does 'Engrish' happen in Japan?

  • -2

    timtak

    One could go into other length explanations of the differences between English and Japanese, but bearing in mind that the vast majority of Engrish is on clothing https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=relevance&user_id=64015205%40N00&text=engrish another explanation springs to mind. Another reason why there is so much Engrish in Japan is because the Japanese do not like to put Japanese on their clothing or T-shirts. They identify strongly with their visual self presentation (which is why they are so thin and smart) and to put Japanese words on T-Shirts would be to them, the equivalent of saying those words to everyone they meet. But at the same time, like people the world over, they like the look of language on their T-shirts, so they use Engrish - English gobbledegook - instead. It is just for the look.

    Posted in: Why does 'Engrish' happen in Japan?

  • 1

    timtak

    Nigelboy I had a look through the pdf but I couldn't find either the amount or Hiroshima other than a bar called Hamamoto. Not that I want to go to an SM club.

    Posted in: New trade minister hit by S&M bar scandal

  • 13

    timtak

    The fan and the bar do not disturb me but the nepotism rate does.

    Posted in: New trade minister hit by S&M bar scandal

  • 2

    timtak

    Kato's only book about the BOJ was written in 2001 ("Has the Bank of Japan Died") and is alas out of print. http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E5%8A%A0%E8%97%A4-%E5%87%BA/e/B004LT8UCQ/ref=dpbylinecontbook1

    In the eyes of German participants, current Japanese policy looks like nothing more than the typical form of monetization of fiscal deficits that the Germans most hate.

    Does that mean that Japan is printing its way out of debt? Rather than build more boxes that fill up with 'civil servants' who need to be paid, things that have maintenance costs, and otherwise creating 'work' where there is no demand and no sustainability other than printing more money, is it possible to pay off the Japanese debt by QQE?

    Posted in: Quiet critic of Kuroda's 'monetary shamanism' turns up the volume

  • 4

    timtak

    I think it is the devil incarnate. Printing money in a currency used for overseas trade allows one to purchase the labour of others for free, and in that sense enslave them. It is also like a drug since it soon becomes addictive. Free wealth leads to less wealth production. It is the financial equivalent of the self-esteem movement. Do not be a better person just tell yourself you are a better person. And despite the claims of the self-esteem movement, and those that espouse easing, it does not lead to more output, but to the need for another boost of self aggrandisement or money printing.

    Posted in: Quiet critic of Kuroda's 'monetary shamanism' turns up the volume

  • 3

    timtak

    It does seem a bit strict bearing in mind the existence real corruption of politicians getting kickbacks from companies to which they provide work, which is often claimed to be rife. And as pointed out, Renho herself distributed a round "mouse pad" or coaster which she claims is different. It is only lacking the stick to be a fan and could be used as one. Fans have a long history as memos (things to be read as well as waived) This shows the full story. http://nyliberty.exblog.jp/23528311/

    Posted in: Justice minister undone by cheap paper fan

  • 4

    timtak

    Sorry you are right. 秘線 does not mean the DMZ . I think that Mr. Kato was right. It is my language skilz that are bad.

    "that relationships with any foreign body or organization secretly, or such a relationship" <http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ko&u=http://bunnyhoony.tistory.com/m/post/249&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%25EB%25B9%2584%25EC%2584%25A0%2B%25E7%25A7%2598%25E7%25B7%259A%26hl%3Den > I do still believe that there are slight difference between the two articles and the Korean paper hedged slightly more ambiguously.

    Posted in: S Korea urges Japan to calm down over Japanese reporter

  • 3

    timtak

    I think turbotsat and I have worked out the major source of error/confusing/defamation on the previous thread.

    The Chosun Ilbo article contained reference to a "秘線" or secret line, mentioned by the aide in this statement "대통령이 그날 모처에서 비선(秘線)과 함께 있었다" http://tinyurl.com/qe2a28s

    which Kato translated and glossed in the following way 『大統領は当日、あるところで“秘線”とともにいた』というウワサが作られた」。  「秘線」とはわかりにくい表現だ。韓国語の辞書にも見つけにくい言葉だが、おそらくは「秘密に接触する人物」を示す。 "On that day the Present was somewhere with a "secret line"" Secret line is a difficult phrase to understand. It is not even in the Korean dictionary but it probably means someone that one meets in secret. (!!!)

    In fact using even Google translate (!!), "secrete line" (秘線) is a Chinese gloss of "defence" and refers to the boundary border Zone between North and South Korea!

    The aide did not admit that the President met with someone in secret, but said that she was somewhere in the border area! With this mistranslation firmly in mind, Kato later comes out with (the ridiculous)

    ”証券筋が言うところでは、朴大統領の“秘線”はチョン氏を念頭に置いたものとみられている。” According to our securities source, the secret personage (in fact border rear) is seen to be thought to be Mr. Chon (the aide) .

    Whether his source was making fun of him I am not sure, or whether the source meant to say that saying that the president was in the border area was a way of obfuscating, in any event, Kato's misunderstanding of "Secret line" as a person not a place, caused his version of the original article to be more concrete and thus arguably defamatory. But at base, I think it was just his language skilz.

    Posted in: S Korea urges Japan to calm down over Japanese reporter

  • 1

    timtak

    Ah, And I thought it was a straight forward "linguistic unpacking"

    The Sankei guy, Kato, misunderstood 秘線! He said in the article that it is not in the dictionary but interpreted it to me a PERSON (not place) met in secret.

    『大統領は当日、あるところで“秘線”とともにいた』というウワサが作られた」。  「秘線」とはわかりにくい表現だ。韓国語の辞書にも見つけにくい言葉だが、おそらくは「秘密に接触する人物」を示す。

    From your tinyurl google translate link above it seems apparent that (秘線)is glossing the previous word 비선 which Google translates as "defence." It is translated as defence in this article too http://tinyurl.com/n6y9388 and I think as you say it is clear that the the "secret" "defence" line is the North South border area. There is also an untranslated word 모처 given as "Mocheo" by Google in your link, but it seems to mean "somewhere" In other words the president's staffer responded not that "She was somewhere with "she was somewhere with a person who will remain secret" but "She was somewhere in the secret/defence line border area""

    This mistake makes his version of events considerably more concrete than the Chosun Ilbo version since it seems as if the staffer is admitting that the President is both meeting someone in secret, and keeping that secret, and further, when it comes to the connect between the days events and the aide Chosun Ilbo emphasises that rumour has "left reality (真実の可否を離れ) whereas Kato of the Sankei says that the aide is thought to be the secret personage.

    ”証券筋が言うところでは、朴大統領の“秘線”はチョン氏を念頭に置いたものとみられている。” According to our securities source, the secret personage (in fact border rear) is seen to be thought to be Mr. Chon (the aid) .

    Was his "securities source" taking the mickey and or deliberately setting Kato up for a fall? If the securities source is Korean, then the source must have known that "秘線” refers to a border area and not a person! What a ridiculous error! Trust Japanese language skills to be to blame.

    Posted in: Japanese journalist indicted in S Korea for defaming president

  • 1

    timtak

    By the way, iTunes call everything a purchase even if they are free?

    Not sure but Amazon's Kindle stores does the same. Puzzles me too.

    Posted in: U2 go from rock legends to accused spammers

  • 1

    timtak

    nigelboy wrote

    Timtak, False. Sankei did not go further for it's basically a summary of what is written by Chosun Ilbo which includes the information of staffers divorce and the 'rumors' circulated. http://naominanami.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-1224.html Thanks again for the link. You are the man. I stand very largely corrected: I am sorry, Sankei did basically summarize the Chosun Ilbo article. Is there any difference?

    Earlier in the Sankei article Chosun Ilbo's "secret line" expression is interpreted as "someone that the president contacted secretly". So far so good, imho, merely a pretty straight forward linguistic unpacking of "secret line".

    The association of the aide with the "secret line" is only very slightl different.

    Chosun IIbo (in my English of the Japanese translation you link to) has "People of the world, leaving (question of) truth-vs-untruth aside, started to think that this situation (the divorce of Mr. Chon, the aide) be connected with the President"

    Sankei has "(our) Securities source says it is thought that Mr. Chon [the aide] is born in mind as the "secret line" ."

    The difference in presentation is imho minimal. But, I guess some may argue that the former expression may be sufficiently vague as to be non defamatory, whereas the second oversteps a line in the sand. Hardly enough to warrant the prosecution of the Japanese journalist over the Korean one, I would agree.

    And my readings of the articles and translations may be wrong.

    Posted in: Japanese journalist indicted in S Korea for defaming president

  • 6

    timtak

    If you read the article (thank you nigelboy) http://www.sankei.com/world/news/140803/wor1408030034-n1.html you will find that Sankie went a lot further than the other press reports, publicising the opinions of its own "finance world source," putting the full accusation that the president spent seven hours with a married man on the day of the disaster, that her staff were covering, and that the staffers had subsequently divorced his with a secrecy agreement in the divorce settlement. The article frames the dissemination of this information in the context of how difficult it is to keep rumours under control but is at the same time publicly disseminating an accusation which had till then been a rumour.

    In Japan "Friday-ing" famous people's rendezvous with persons of the opposite sex is common, and I presume well within the law. But even in Japan, they protect the privacy of the "person of the other sex" whereas this article gives his name. Admittedly, since he was an aide it can be claimed he is also a public figure.

    In any event, to publicise something like this, one needs proof (Friday usually publishes a photo). The President is claiming that this rumour is not true. If Sankei did publish the opinion of their "financial world source" without verifying the facts and the rumour really wasn't true, then is this indictment limiting freedom of the press or limiting defamation? The jury is out.

    Posted in: Japanese journalist indicted in S Korea for defaming president

  • 1

    timtak

    I have had Sotec and Asus laptops and generally I get non name Chinese desktop PCs but when it comes to a laptop the durability of these Panasonic is great. Mine is still going but I would lie to keep for personal use so I am tempted to purchase another for work. I am a bit worried though that at 735grams this one may have sacrificed a little toughness for portability. I also wish they had a Windows 7 version. That said, he top of the range one - which I would want for the larger SSD is 230000 yen!

    Posted in: Let's note RZ4

  • 0

    timtak

    Can't wait. I hope it airs on hulu.jp eventually. Kyle MacLachlan has aged very gracefully too and confirms he'll be back. https://twitter.com/Kyle_MacLachlan/status/519201373209260033 But the basic who dunnit of the girl has been solved, so is another body going to have to be washed up on the beach? Perhaps it should be Kyle's. Lacanianly, there is a dead, or non-existent girl, but her death implies the death of the subject.

    Posted in: 'Twin Peaks' to make comeback in 2016

  • 0

    timtak

    She can move her hands pretty quickly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttvQrMu1bEk

    I think that she is pretty useless in the main but then there may be plenty of people employed doing no more.

    Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair

  • 0

    timtak

    Whilst English tuition will always have room for improvement, what I read in the article could equally be applied to the French I received at school.

    Yes! And apropos my post about the fear of meaningless above....

    Yes. I was really bad at French. Meme maintenant mais, je ne suis plus peur. Le francais n'est pas encore affreux pour moi, parce que j'ai apprenu le japonais. Ca veux dire, apres de je me suis trouve' que je peux parler japonais, je sais que, je sais, je peux parle' en mal francais, je peux parler en francais affreux!

    Or well it has been two decades but when I became able to speak Japanese, I suddenly became able to speak in appallingly bad French. It was weird. While my written French is as bad as the above, I know I can speak really bad French, communicatively, because then I went and lived there and got by.

    So what happened? Why was it that I was suddenly able to wax lyrical in appalling French? I suddenly realised that I could speak appalling French, and did, and was communicative.

    After a lot of thought, I realised (it seems to me) the problem with foreign languages is not the grammar, not the vocabulary, but the fear and inability of leaving my own language and leaping into the meaninglessness of the other language. Once you get over that fear, then you can say what you are trying to say it ten different ways, and one of them will be correct enough to get your meaning across.

    Most of the time that my students pause (sometimes for a long time) in their first classes is because the know two or more ways of saying something. E.g. When asked, "What did you do last night?" They have "I saw a movie", "I watched a movie", "I looked (at) a movie". and they say nothing because saying the "wrong" one is so scary.

    This is perhaps emphasised in shame cultures, where one is responsible for ones mistakes as well as that which one does deliberately wrong. But it is universal. We all find it difficult to say that which may not be right. But once you know that it does not matter, that you can try all three, that meaningless feels bad but carries no penalty, then it is plain sailing. This is a very difficult thing to learn.

    As I said above, I get students to attempt to speak gobbledegook (pretend Korean/Chinese/Italian) at the beginning of each class. I am finding it helps. I also get them to lie - "just say the negative to all the questions you are about to be asked". Lies are next to unmeaning. Once you get used to lying, then "I looked at a movie" does not hurt so much. And if asked, What did you do last night? "I looked at a movie" is going to get your meaning across.

    @Sharon Arai

    Timtak - katakana pronunciation is not used in Asia...it 's purely Japanese. Your lack of knowledge is an insult to yourself.... Please do your homework and check it out lol...

    I don't know what you mean. Do you mean that no Japanese attempt to speak in Katakana-esque English? A lot of Japanese can only speak katakana English. Or that they are not understood if they do? I have seen/heard them to do and be understood, eventually.

    @pointofview & David Varnes

    If you are an ESL teacher, you can pick up on the katakana pronunc. If you are a tourist good luck. Start mispronouncing Japanese and see how well it goes over...

    I am not sure what you mean either.

    It is a lot more difficult to mispronounce Japanese, since (contra David Varnes) Japanese sounds are a lot easier than the fricatives (is that the right word for "v", "th", "f",?), and gutturals (is that the right word for the mid- or end-word, English "l" like er "gull"?) in English. Pronunciation difficulty is not only about the number of sounds, but what muscles you need to use to make them. Fricatives (?) such as "v" "f" "th" and gutterals (? who cares about English terminology) "l/r" and consonant clusters like the end of "clothes" ("ths") are I believe, simply more difficult to pronounce, objectively, for humans, that Japanese phonemes, like a, i, u, e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko, sa, shi, su, se, so, ta, chi, tsu (difficult?), te, to etc.

    It seems to me that most human language phonemes (in the vast majority of languages at least) are made within the mouth. When you start to use your lips or throat then it becomes more difficult. Attempting to buy Marlboro ("Marborrghro?") cigarettes in 'guttural r' France made me want to vomit. English likewise is more "animal" (less in the mouth, more requiring of throat and lip muscles) than Japanese.

    I am not saying that Japanese pronunciation is like falling off a log. I still have difficulty with remembering and saying long/short Japanese vowels, which are about the only difficult to the point of non-communicative Japanese sounds. For example shokai (first time) shoukai (introduction). But if one says both, then one will be understood.

    Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair

  • -10

    timtak

    I really wonder how will knowing English pronunciation would help Japan ?

    I don't think it would and for the most part, in Asia, katakana pronunciation is sufficient. It sounds bad only to English native speakers. Rephrasing a couple of times, most Japanese katakana English will be understood, if derided.

    @ Ishiwara Yes! People are always saying that English is becoming more useful but for the most part, it is not being used all that much. Google translate (etc) are getting better and better such that a University worker with TOEIC 500 level finds it more expedient to use Google translate than his own English skills, at least in the first instance. So it could be argued that at the level of reading comprehension at least, English is become less useful. Even Japanese speakers of English try to get jobs where they can speak English but in order to do so they may even have to take a pay cut -- for their skill! -- because there is so much demand to work in those sectors where English is used. But at the same time, Japanese will probably not use their trigonometry, historical dates, or knowledge of the periodic table. For the most part schooling teaches hidden curricula, and facts-to-pass exams. English is not alone in this but on the rare side in that sometimes it is very useful (some engineers use their knowledge of calculus everyday too.)

    Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair

  • 4

    timtak

    I figure that the problem is mainly the fear of meaninglessness. Luca who can speak good Japanese and Spanish, can also wax apparently lyrical in "foreign language double-talk," like Sid Caesar and Tamori. Sid Caesar, http://youtu.be/XBLM16fQ1es?t=1m13s, Tamori http://youtu.be/1P_5btTKHxY?t=13s myself (no where near Luca, Sid and Tamori's level) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2mI0X6p07o

    I generally get my students to attempt to speak in pretend-Chinese, pretend-Korean and pretend-Italian. They are more silent during that part of the class, when they could make any noise at all, than they are in the part where they are asked to speak English, and this despite the fact that there is no grammar, no vocabulary, nothing, just that they make noises. This is because non-meaning is as scary as death (Proulx & Heine, 2006; Heine Proulx, & Vohls, 2006).

    The fear of non-meaning is compounded due to the difference in the structure of the languages (English is almost precisely Japanese backwards) so that one has to jump into a pool of non-meaning for longer.

    And such is the unpleasantness of jumping into the abyss which is an English sentence, many Japanese concentrate on learning more and more esoteric grammar and vocabulary (there is even a book which attempts to translate Japanese cultural artefacts into English - an English which of course no English speaker would understand http://tinyurl.com/mucfk8f. )

    This tendency to attempt to learn (as opposed to acquire, Kraschen) English is compounded by the fact that it is so much more easy to learn Japanese through the mastery of a mere 2000 kanji. Learn a mere 2000 and you can read anything. Having in large part learnt their own language, the Japanese think that English might also be a language that can be learnt. Little do they know that most native speakers spend 40 years in English speaking countries learning the 30,000 words needed to read a broadsheet newspaper, because English vocabulary is almost completely unstructured!

    Practising a foreign language with another learner is going to to put your partner on the spot and due to that fear of non-meaning, and panic, and sweat, be a difficult, though rewarding experience. Alas, causing other people stress and discomfort in social interaction through expressions of aggression or put downs and English conversation questions is less acceptable in Japan.

    There is also the fact that many of their teachers (both Japanese and "native") can't speak the other language, impressing upon students that 'this is a gap that can not be bridged." It is quite easy really, especially Japanese with its regularity, structured lexicon, lack of gutturals, plosives and fricatives and ALTs should be capable and allowed to demonstrate their bilingualism.

    @ Michael Brian Yamazaki-Fleisher

    The number 1 problem I see in English "education" in Japan is just that - Japanese arrogance. This surprised me. For every "native speaker" that is not allowed to speak in Japanese due to Japanese arrogance, aren't there several who have not learnt Japanese for the obverse reason?

    And then there are the university entrance exams, which, unless one is going to employ armies of English speakers to hold interviews, are necessarily going to be on paper, and thus largely "learning" based. It is the fault of the universities that they do not, in the main, give Japanese students the sweaty, harsh, but rewarding training required to put all their learning into practice.

    Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair

  • 0

    timtak

    Timtak: I don't think it has anything to do with the 'viso-corporal' or else again they'd be using MDs still. Why? MDs and CDs are pretty similar in their corporeality.

    Come February when the new fashion comes into play (pretty much the only field in which new things are welcome quickly), EVERYONE is wearing the same thing. How many Louis Vuitton exact same bags have you seen here, for example. How many American students wear the sweatshirt of their university for example? Ohio state students own on average 5.25 insignia sweatshirts whereas Japanese students have .333 (one in three students have one). https://www.flickr.com/photos/nihonbunka/9180984892 Japanese feel themselves to be unique in their appearance https://www.flickr.com/photos/nihonbunka/10867178794/in/photolist-hyi8DC-eZhWWY-h58nDu-h5A9oP-eXcXpA and many say that they would go home and change if they ended up having a "pair look" with someone else in their class. Donald Ritchie (RIP) wrote a book describing Japan as the "Image Factor (Fads and Fashions in Japan)" and like you says that is the only area in which new things are welcome. But what about cars, motorbikes, cameras, houses, after parts for cars, manga, anime, characters, game software and consoles, and image sensors? Some of the things on that list are probably seen as mere "fad and fashion," by Westerners. Images have been seen as "mere images" at least since Aristotle. Interestingly, the Japanese don't see that Westerns produce anything either. For the most part the Japanese think we produce nothing since to them, words are faddy (c.f. the yearly fad word ranking singo.jiyu.co.jp/ or as criticised by Masao Maruyama - the way in which Japan imports a series of to them faddy theories. Many Japanese hardly notice that Western theories and systems - such as Windows- are at the heart of the "things" that they pride themselves in making. ARM Holdings (a British company!) designs the most smart phone and tablet processors in the world, because it just makes the system design and sells it to Asian chip builders. Most action cameras now have Santa Clara based Ambarella designed image processors, all of which are made in Asia.

    Posted in: Japan overwhelmingly favors CDs to digital music

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