English Diary

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My family visited Guam from Jan. 23 to 27th. Travelling from cold Japan to hot Guam was very hard for us.
We went to do some sightseeing, and especially some shopping for my wife. My role was to carry everybody's bags and to take photos and videos.

I had been looking forward to having conversation in English with local people, but when I started speaking in English to them: "Excuse me, sir?",
they answered in fluent Japanese: "Nihongo de OK desu!"

The town in Guam was full of Japanese - far more than I had expected. Conversations with clerks, signboards in the downtown area, restaurant menus, sightseeing maps, etc. Nearly always included Japanese. So in the end I only used Japanese and easy English while traveling. I regret a little that I didn't make a more positive effort to speak in English.

When I did use English, I stuck to correct forms too much. Of course, I think that I should do so in the business settings. However, in ordinary conversations, I'm not sure, but a little broken English might be friendlier, and be contain expression the other party can easily understand.

People in Guam were very kind and friendly. Either out of curiosity or for business reasons, they tried to understand Japan in a very positive manner. There were a lot of things that I learned from them.

We would like to express our gratitude to all the people we met on this trip. We hope that we will visit Guam again. thank you Guam! We left a paradise on earth.

When we returned home to Japan, about 500 E-mails and a pile of work were waiting for me.
[Our trip to Guam]の続きを読む
When I turned the TV on getting up yesterday morning, I saw a news item about a coming-of-age ceremony. There were Women dressed in beautiful kimonos. I recalled bitter memories of a coming-of-age ceremony.

When I was a college student, I was elected as a representative of the citizens in my city. My role was to present new adults a bouquet during the ceremony. In those days I belonged to a city volunteer group and often participated in the various events that the city office sponsored.
Therefore, I was proud at the thought that I had been chosen as a representative.

On the day of the ceremony, the city hall was filled to capacity. I was all dressed up and waiting backstage to be called by the chairperson. After a while, the chairperson said, "Ladies and gentlemen. Now, I introduce the person who represents our citizens. Mr. …"

But, the chairperson called a different name from my name. I realized that he had made a mistake in the pronunciation of both my first and last names. I felt as if I was already a completely different person.
Because there was no other way, I went out on stage and presented the bouquet to a new adult woman.

People often make a mistake with my name because it is unusual, but why did he not confirm my name beforehand, since he was a professional chairperson?

And so, the coming-of-age ceremony became a bitter memory for me.
[Bitter memories at Coming-of-Age Day]の続きを読む
I went to my wife's parents' home at the New Year. There, my daughter and I did kite-flying on a vacant lot. It was the first time for my daughter. We were crazy about flying the kite, and let it out higher.

Unfortunately, it got caught on an electric wire, and I had to cut the kite string off with my teeth, so her first kite-flying experience became a slightly bitter memory.
[Kite-flying]の続きを読む
The other day, I joined a Christmas party at an English conversation school.
Of about 12 participants, the only men were my teacher and me. The women students were very active and energetic, especially two elderly women who were very enthusiastic about learning English.
I only listened to their English conversation, but I was very stimulated, and learned the importance of a positive attitude to English from them.

I am doing work using English, but I rely on a translation web site when I write in English. I answer customer inquiries by email, rather than by telephone.

So from now on, I'll try writing my diary in English and seeing films in English as much as possible. As the proverb goes, "Practice makes perfect." That is my ambition for next year!
[My decision at a Christmas party]の続きを読む
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