「社会人のための英語回路構築トレーニング自習帖」著者のブログ

Thank You for Visiting Me! 「英語赤ひげ先生」による「知っている英語」を「使える英語」にするための「理論」と「教材」を一挙に無料公開しています。

2013年12月

癒しのチキンスープ(4)―海での救出

Rescue at Sea

Years ago, in a small fishing village in Holland, a young boy taught the world about the rewards of unselfish service. Because the entire village revolved around(を中心に動いていた)the fishing industry, a volunteer rescue team was needed in cases of emergency. One night the winds raged(荒れ狂った), the clouds burst(急に現れた)and a gale force(風がとても強い)storm capsized(転覆させる)a fishing boat(釣り船)at sea. Stranded(どうすることも出来なくて)and in trouble, the crew sent out the S.O.S. The captain of the rescue team sounded the alarm and the village assembled in the town square overlooking(を見下ろしている)the bay. While the team launched their rowboat and fought their way through the wild waves, the villagers waited restlessly(落ち着きがなく) on the beach, holding lanterns to light the way back.
An hour later, the rescue boat reappeared through the fog and the cheering villagers ran to greet them. Falling exhausted on the sand, the volunteers reported that the rescue team could not hold any more passenger and they had to leave one man behind. Even one more passenger would have surely capsized the rescue boat and all would have been lost.
Frantically(半狂乱で), the captain called for another volunteer team to go after the lone survivor. Sixteen-year-old Hans stepped forward. His mother grabbed his arm, pleading, “Please don’t go. Your father died in a shipwreck 10 years ago and your older brother, Paul, has been lost at sea for three weeks. Hans, you are all I have left.”
Hans replied, “Mother, I have to go. What if(・・・したらどうするの)everyman said, ‘I can’t go, let someone else do it?’ Mother, this time I have to do my duty. When the call for service comes, we all need to take our turn and do our part.” Hans kissed his mother, joined the team and disappeared into the night.
Another hour passed, which seemed to Hans’ mother like an eternity. Finally, the rescue boat darted(突進した)through the fog with Hans standing up in the bow. Cupping(カップ状にする)his hands, the captain called, “Did you find the lost man?” Barely able to contain himself(感情を抑える), Hans excitedly yelled back, “Yes, we found him. Tell my mother it’s my older brother, Paul!”
Dan Clark

[語順・文法・表現に関する解説]
Stranded and in trouble, the crew sent out the S.O.S.
過去分詞は、現在分詞が「主語+(能動態の)動詞」の代用をするように、「主語+(受動態の)動詞」の代用をします。即ち「The crew were stranded」ということです。

The captain of the rescue team sounded the alarm and the village assembled in the town square overlooking the bay.
下線部は「town square」を修飾。

While the team launched their rowboat and fought their way through the wild waves, the villagers waited restlessly on the beach, holding lanterns to light the way back.
現在分詞は「主語+(能動態の)動詞」の代用をします。「they held lanterns」ということです。

Even one more passenger would have surely capsized the rescue boat and all would have been lost.
下線部は所謂「仮定法過去完了(もし・・・していたら・・・だったろう)」。

癒しのチキンスープ(3)―これでちゃんと使えるよ

Shoes

As Gandhi stepped aboard a train(歩を進めて汽車に乗った)one day, one of his shoes slipped off(ずり落ちた)and landed(着地した)on the track. He was unable to retrieve(取り戻す)it as the train was moving. To the amazement of his companions, Gandhi calmly took off his other shoe and threw it back along the track to land close to the first. Asked by a fellow passenger(乗り合わせている乗客)why he did so, Gandhi smiled. “The poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track,” he replied, “will now have a pair he can use.”
Author Unknown

[語順・文法・表現に関する解説]
As Gandhi stepped aboard a train one day,
He was unable to retrieve it as the train was moving.
「as」は「2つの事柄が等価の関係にある」ことを示します。最初の「as」は「同時性」、次の「as」は「理由」を表しています。

To the amazement of his companions,
彼の仲間たちが驚いたことに。「to my surprise」は「私が驚いたことには」の意。

Asked by a fellow passenger why he did so,
過去分詞は、現在分詞が「主語+(能動態の)動詞」の代用をするように、「主語+(受動態の)動詞」の代用をします。即ち「Gandhi was asked by a fellow passenger why he did so」ということです。

“The poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track,” he replied, “will now have a pair he can use.”
「線路の上で片方の靴が横たわっているのを見つける」というのは一種の「条件」みたいなものですから「未来」ではなく「現在」の世界に見えます。従い、「現在形」が採用されています。

The New York Times を読む(11)−沖縄の歴史検定教科書問題

安倍首相の靖国参拝を受けて、アメリカ政府は同盟国に対して「disappointed」という極めて異例な表現で「失望」を表しましたが、ここでの記事も非好意的に捉えているように感じられます。日米同盟そのものにもヒビが入るかもしれません。

見出し:In Textbook Fight, Japan Leaders Seek to Recast(を書き直す)History

TAKETOMI, Japan — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s conservative government has begun to pursue(を追及する)a more openly nationalist agenda on an issue that critics fear will push the country farther from its postwar pacifism(平和主義): adding a more patriotic(愛国的な) tone to Japan’s school textbooks.

The proposed textbook revisions have drawn less outcry(抗議)abroad than Mr. Abe’s visit on Thursday to a shrine that honors war dead, including war criminals(戦争犯罪人)from World War II. However, though Mr. Abe’s supporters argue that changes are needed to teach children more patriotism, liberals warn that they could undercut(に傷をつける)an antiwar message they say has helped keep Japan peaceful for decades.

“Prime Minister Abe is feeling the heat from his political base, which feels betrayed(裏切られた) that he has not pursued a more strongly right-wing agenda,” said Nobuyoshi Takashima, a professor emeritus(名誉教授)at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa who has studied the politics of textbooks. “Classrooms are one place where he can appease(をなだめる)ultraconservatives by taking a more firmly nationalist stance.”

Mr. Abe and the nationalists have long argued that changes in the education system are crucial to restoring the country’s sense of self, eroded(次第に壊された)over decades when children were taught what they call an overly negative view of Japan’s wartime behavior.

The latest efforts for change started slowly, but have picked up speed in recent weeks.

In October, Mr. Abe’s education minister ordered the school board here in Taketomi to use a conservative textbook it had rejected, the first time the national government has issued such a demand. In November, the Education Ministry proposed new textbook screening standards, considered likely to be adopted, that would require the inclusion of nationalist views of World War II-era history.

This month, a government-appointed committee suggested a change that would bring politics more directly into education: putting mayors in charge of their local school districts, a move that opponents say would increase political interference in textbook screening. And just days ago, an advisory committee to the Education Ministry suggested hardening the proposed new standards by requiring that textbooks that do not nurture(を促進する)patriotism be rejected.

The moves come at a time when China is asserting its growing strength, directly challenging Japanese territorial claims and its standing as a regional power. The proposed educational changes are the latest that nationalists in both countries have pushed and that some fear will, over time, harden views and deepen tensions between Asia’s two strongest countries.

The history issue may also be fraught with(をはらんだ) political danger for Mr. Abe, who had initially focused on the economy rather than an ultraconservative agenda.

He has already seen his popularity levels fall since the recent passage of a secrecy bill that some local media criticized as a throwback(後戻り)to wartime censorship laws. And a battle over textbooks helped drive Mr. Abe from power in 2007 after less than a year the last time he was in office; in that case, his government tried to delete mention of the Japanese military’s forcing Okinawan civilians to commit mass suicide during the war.

But at least so far, the latest efforts have engendered(を生じた)little backlash(反発)from the public, a reflection(反映), teachers say, of increasing anxieties about China’s more confrontational(挑戦的な)stance toward Japan.

The new screening standards proposed by the education minister, Hakubun Shimomura, a longtime advocate(擁護者)for teaching patriotism, require that elementary, junior high and high school textbooks give a “balanced picture” of disputed(争いのある)historical facts.

In an interview, ministry officials said that in practice this would require that textbooks include viewpoints of nationalist scholars on two highly contested historical issues. One is the death toll of the 1937 massacre in Nanking of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers that the Chinese government says stands at 300,000, a figure many Japanese scholars see as grossly(ひどく)exaggerated.

Textbooks would also be required to state that there is still a dispute about whether the Japanese Army played a direct role in forcing so-called comfort women from Korea and elsewhere to provide sex to its soldiers, even though most foreign historians say the brothels(売春宿)could not have been run without the military’s cooperation.

Educators worry that the vague wording of the standards could lead to more widespread changes in tone.
The suggested changes follow years of nationalist attempts — long backed by Mr. Abe — to whittle away at negative depictions(叙述)of Japan’s wartime activities. Those who oppose textbook revisions say they are beginning to see the contours(輪郭)of a new strategy: forcing change at the local level that has sometimes failed at the national level.

Taketomi, a township of eight tiny islands that had been best known for its water-buffalo-drawn carts and placid(穏やかな)coral lagoons, appears to have become ground zero for that battle.

The trouble began two years ago, when a newly elected conservative mayor on the neighboring island of Ishigaki appointed a new head of a local education district who selected a ninth-grade social studies textbook published by a right-wing company. Taketomi, whose school system is part of that district, immediately rejected the book for what its teachers called overly revisionist content, including the portrayal(記述)of the antiwar Constitution as an alien document imposed by Allied occupiers who wanted to keep Japan weak.

Replacing the postwar Constitution has been a careerlong goal of Mr. Abe’s.
Taketomi’s school board voted that its ninth graders, who this year number 32, would keep using the current text, which praises the Constitution and the pacifist message that it enshrines(正式に述べる).

At first, the national government ignored the quiet insurrection(謀反). But since Mr. Abe’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party returned to power last year, analysts say members of his government have appeared increasingly determined to make an example of Taketomi in their campaign to roll back what they call an excessively left-leaning tilt in education.

So far, Taketomi has refused to bend to the central government’s demand that it follow the district’s orders. The town’s school superintendent, Anzo Kedamori, says the conservative book fails to teach children the hatred of war that his generation learned from bitter experience. During the Battle of Okinawa, hundreds of people in Taketomi perished(死んだ)when Japanese soldiers forced them to evacuate into malaria-ridden(マラリアがいっぱいいる)jungles.

“We have an obligation to teach the horrors of war to future generations,” said Mr. Kedamori, 72, who remembers watching playmates die while shivering with malarial fever.

Mr. Kedamori and other local educators say rightists in the Abe government are targeting Taketomi to score a politically symbolic victory in a small corner of Okinawa, long a bastion(要塞)of antimilitary sentiments. Members of the governing party counter that Taketomi is breaking the law by refusing to obey the district’s decision and that it is Taketomi’s school board, led by a leftist teachers union, that is imposing its ideological agenda.

“This is not about going back to militarism, but just teaching the love of country that is normal in the United States and other nations,” said Hiroyuki Yoshiie, a governing party lawmaker.

The proposal to put mayors in charge of their local school districts, analysts say, is a further attempt to bring Taketomi to heel(後に続く), but it could also serve what critics see as a larger agenda. They say empowering sympathetic local leaders will allow the nationalists to adopt more nationalistic textbooks that have so far fallen flat.

Ikuhosha, the publisher of the conservative textbook chosen by the district, provides only 4 percent of the 2.5 million history and social studies books used nationally by grades seven to nine, according to the Education Ministry. By contrast, Tokyo Shoseki, the publisher of Taketomi’s antiwar textbook, prints more than half of the school books used nationwide.

“The conservatives want to use Taketomi as a manual for imposing Ikuhosha textbooks on other districts,” said Toshio Ohama, a former head of the Okinawa prefectural teachers union.

Mr. Kedamori, Taketomi’s superintendent, said the town lacked the resources for a prolonged battle with the national government, but he vowed not to give in.

“Why can’t they leave us alone,” he said, “to teach the value of peace to our children?”

[語順・文法・表現に関する解説]
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s conservative government has begun to pursue a more openly nationalist agenda on an issue that critics fear will push the country farther from its postwar pacifism: adding a more patriotic tone to Japan’s school textbooks.
「that」は関係代名詞。「critics fear」は挿入語句なので文の骨組みは「that will push」となります。次の段落の下線部も挿入。「an antiwar message they say has helped keep Japan peaceful for decades」

: adding a more patriotic tone to Japan’s school textbooks
現在分詞は「主語+動詞」の代わりをします。ここでは「it will add a more …」ということです。

癒しのチキンスープ(2)―もしもし、これを落とされましたよ

The Circus

Once when I was a teenager, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets for the circus. Finally, there was only one family between us and the ticket counter. This family made a big impression on me. There were eight children, all probably under the age of 12. You could tell they didn’t have a lot of money. Their clothes were not expensive, but they were clean. The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by-two(2人ずつ)behind their parents, holding hands. They were excitedly jabbering(ぺちゃぺちゃしゃべっていた)about the clowns, elephants and other acts they would see that night. One could sense they had never been to the circus before. It promised to be a highlight of their young lives.
The father and mother were at the head of the pack(一団)standing proud as could be(この上なく誇らしげに). The mother was holding her husband’s hand, looking up at him as if to say, “You’re my knight in shining armor(よろいかぶと).” He was smiling and basking in(・・・に浸る)pride, looking at her as if to reply, “You got that right(あなたはそれを正しく理解した⇒その通り).”
The ticket lady asked the father how many tickets he wanted. He proudly responded, “Please let me buy eight children’s tickets and two adult tickets so I can take my family to the circus.”
The ticket lady quoted the price.
The man’s wife let go of(を放した)his hand, her head dropped, the man’s lip began to quiver(震える). The father leaned a little closer and asked, “How much did you say?”
The ticket lady again quoted the price.
The man didn’t have enough money.
How was he supposed to turn and tell his eight kids that he didn’t have enough money to take them to the circus?
Seeing what was going on, my dad put his hand into his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill and dropped it on the ground. (We were not wealthy in any sense of the word!) My father reached down(手を下に伸ばした), picked up the bill, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, sir, this fell out of your pocket.”
The man knew what was going on. He wasn’t begging for s handout(施し)but certainly appreciated the help in a desperate, heartbreaking, embarrassing situation. He looked straight into my dad’s eyes, took my dad’s hand in both of his, squeezed tightly onto the $20 bill, and with his lip quivering and a tear streaming down his cheek, he replied, “Thank you, thank you, sir. This really means a lot to me and my family.”
My father and I went back to our car and drove home. We didn’t go to the circus that night, but we didn’t go without(なしで済ませる).
Dan Clark

[語順・文法・表現に関する解説]
There were eight children, all probably under the age of 12.
The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by-two behind their parents, holding hands.
英語では1つの文には「キチンとした」動詞は1つしか持つことができないために、下線部のような表現になっています。「two-by-two behind their parents」は「all of them standing in line」の、「holding hands」は「two-by-two behind their parents」の説明になっています。

tapped the man on the shoulder
英語特有の表現です。「彼を軽くたたいた」「肩の上で」⇒「彼の肩を軽くたたいた」。

We didn’t go to the circus that night, but we didn’t go without.
「我々はその夜はそのサーカスには行かなかったが、(何も)なしで済ませたわけではない」⇒著者には「何かいいことをした」「何か心に残った」ようなイメージが浮かんできます。

官僚による骨抜きー「TOEFL」破れたり!

11月1日の日経朝刊に『政府が2015年度の国家公務員試験・総合職試験から、米国発の英語能力テスト「TOEFL」を使う方針を決めた』ことが掲載された。

「TOEFL」は「北米の大学・大学院に外国人が留学して英語での勉強についていけるかどうかを判定する試験」で「読む」「聴く」「話す」「書く」の4技能を測る。

日本の英語教育で長年問題とされてきたのは「聴く」「話す」が極端に弱いということ。そのため政府の産業競争力会議の議員である楽天の三木谷氏が「TOEFL」の導入を政府に強く働きかけてきた経緯がある。

国家公務員の総合職は国を引っ張っていく任務を担ぐ真のエリートでなくてはならないので、グローバル化のこの時代の採用試験に採用するのは極めて妥当と考える(必ずしもTOEFLでなくても「聴く」「話す」が測れればよい)。

以上は著者の11月3日のブログにアップしたものからの抜粋です。ところが今朝の朝日新聞を読んで腰を抜かしてしまいまいた。

結末は「キャリア官僚の採用試験に、過去5年間に受験したTOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS,英検が一定以上であれば総得点(合格ラインは約500点)に「15点(TOEIC600以上の場合)」または「25点(TOEIC730以上、英検準1級以上の場合)」を加算するというもの。

何が問題か?
そもそも、この話の発端は日本人が英語でしゃべれないのをどうするのかであった。そのため「話す」ことを試験に取り入れている「TOEFL」が取り上げられた経緯がある。「TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS,英検」の中で「話す」を本当にテストするのは「TOEFL, , IELTS,英検1級試験」だけである。
著者が土地勘を持っている「TOEIC」で言えば、「600点」という点数は全く英語でしゃべれなくても、英語で真剣に大学受験をし、その時ついでにTOEIC受験すればほぼ全員クリアするレベル。キャリア官僚を目指す人の地頭があれば「730点」到達も容易。
結論的に言えば、キャリア官僚の採用試験にこのような形で英語を取り入れても所謂「アリバイ作り」以外の何ものでもない。
三木谷氏が「TOEFL」の利権取得がらみで動いて、他のテスト業者が官庁に働きかけて、それをつぶしたとしか解釈できないもの。
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