「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。

2018年02月

エージェント(agent)

「エージェント」は既に日本語化しており、「(プロ野球での)フリーエージェントでの移籍」とか「CIA/FBIのエージェント」等は良く耳にします。化学に興味のある方は「触媒」の意で使っておられるかも知れません。著者は昔、アメリカのテネシー州にある Chattanooga というところで工場建設に携わりましたが、当時の市長さんがどうされたのかと調べてみたら既に亡くなられていました。訃報を知らせる新聞の中に「In 1963, Gene became a special agent with the FBI」という箇所がありました。

ジーニアス英和大辞典(電子辞書版)には次の訳語が掲載されています。

1.代理人、代理店、特約店、仲介者、周旋人、(窓口の)係り員、
2.行為の主体、動作主
3.(反応・変化などを起こす)力
4.法の執行官(警官・刑事など)、秘密情報員、スパイ
5.外交員
6.不動産業者

上記の1−6は一見およそ関係のなさそうなものばかりですが、語源をたどると納得がいきます。

「agent」はラテン語の「agentem」(行っている)が語源で、英語の初出は15世紀ですから、昔からある言葉ではないので「文明」の進化と共に、その意味も広がってきたことが類推されます。

この「行う、行っている」を、 agent の基本的なイメージとして押さえておけば、「代理人」「秘密情報員」「法の執行官」などが別々の意味ではなく、 「行う人、行っている人」という共通の意味でつながっていることが理解できます。「触媒」も、 何かにに何かを「行うもの」であることが納得できます。

フリーエージェント(free agent, FA)とは、いずれの球団とも選手契約を締結できる権利をもつ選手のことですが、英語の意味としては「自由に契約交渉を行う人」です。

これで「エージェント」という純粋の日本語には翻訳できない言葉も身近なものになったのではないでしょうか。

Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans (113)

I had not paid much attention to the plump man when he had first arrived at our house. It was after all only two or three weeks after my father’s disappearance and any number of strangers had been coming and going: policemen, men from the British consulate, men from Byatt’s, ladies who on entering the house and catching sight of my mother would hold out their arms with a cry of anguish. To these latter, I recall, my mother always responded with a self-possessed smile, and walking up to the lady, would pointedly avoid the embrace, saying instead in her most assured tones something like: ‘Agnes, how delightful.’ She would then take her guest’s hands – perhaps still proffered awkwardly in the air – and lead the way into the drawing room.
In any case, as I say, the arrival of the plump Chinese man that day did not much excite my interest. I remember glancing down from my playroom window and seeing him getting out of his motor car. His appearance on that occasion was, I believe, much as it is in my newspaper picture: dark gown, cap, pigtail. I noticed the car was a vast gleaming affair, and that he had two men to assist him as well as his chauffeur, but even this was not so remarkable; in those days following my father’s disappearance, a number of very grand visitors had already turned up at the house. I was, though, vaguely struck by the way Uncle Philip, who had been in the house for the past hour or so, marched out to greet the plump man. They exchanged the most effusive greetings – as though they were the dearest friends – then Uncle Philip led the visitor into the house.


註釈:

I had not paid much attention to the plump man when he had first arrived at our house.

It was after all only two or three weeks after my father’s disappearance and any number of strangers had been coming and going:
「after all」はここでは「(彼が最初に家に来た時は余り気にしないでいた)理由」を述べる意図があります。「any number of …」は「かなり多くの・・・」の意。

policemen, men from the British consulate, men from Byatt’s, ladies who on entering the house and catching sight of my mother would hold out their arms with a cry of anguish.
「the British consulate」は「英国領事館」。「would」はここでは「過去の習慣」を表します。「anguish」は「(心の)苦痛」。

To these latter, I recall, my mother always responded with a self-possessed smile, and walking up to the lady, would pointedly avoid the embrace, saying instead in her most assured tones something like: ‘Agnes, how delightful.’
「latter」は通例「2つのうちの後者」を意味しますが、ここでは「3つ以上のうちの最後」の意で使われています。「recall」は「を思い出す」。「self-possessed」は「冷静な、沈着な、落ち着いた」。「pointedly」はここでは「明白に」。

She would then take her guest’s hands – perhaps still proffered awkwardly in the air – and lead the way into the drawing room.
「proffer」は「を申し出る」。「awkwardly」はここでは「ぶざまに」。ハグをしようとして両手を空中に差し出したままの状態を表しています。

In any case, as I say, the arrival of the plump Chinese man that day did not much excite my interest.
「In any case, as I say,」は「兎に角、前に言ったように」の意。

I remember glancing down from my playroom window and seeing him getting out of his motor car.

His appearance on that occasion was, I believe, much as it is in my newspaper picture: dark gown, cap, pigtail.
「much as …」は「・・・とほとんど同じように」の意。

I noticed the car was a vast gleaming affair, and that he had two men to assist him as well as his chauffeur, but even this was not so remarkable;
「affair」はここでは「品(thing)」の意。「remarkable」はここでは「珍しい」。

in those days following my father’s disappearance, a number of very grand visitors had already turned up at the house.
「a number of」は「多数の」「若干の」の意味があり、どちらの意味になるかは文脈によります。ここでは前者と理解するのが自然だと思います。

I was, though, vaguely struck by the way Uncle Philip, who had been in the house for the past hour or so, marched out to greet the plump man.
「march」はここでは「さっさと行く」。

They exchanged the most effusive greetings – as though they were the dearest friends – then Uncle Philip led the visitor into the house.
「effusive」は「大げさに表現された」。


『今日のイデイオム』

「after all」
「理由」を述べる意図があります。

「any number of …」
「かなり多くの・・・」

「in any case」
「兎に角、前に言ったように」

「as I say」
「前に言ったように」

「much as …」
「・・・とほとんど同じように」

「a number of」
「多数の」「若干の」

Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans (112)

I have kept that old newspaper photograph in the drawer of my desk, inside a tin cigar box, and from time to time I take it out and stare at it. It shows three men in a leafy avenue, standing in front of a grand motor car. All three are Chinese. The two on the outside are wearing Western suits with stiff collars, and hold bowler hats and canes. The plump man in the centre is in traditional Chinese dress: a dark gown, cap and pigtail. As with most newspaper photograph of the time, there is a stagy, posed feeling to it, and my correspondent’s scissors have cut off perhaps an entire quarter of it to the left. Nevertheless, from the moment my glance first fell on it, the picture – more precisely, the central figure in the dark gown – has been a source of exceptional interest to me.
Alongside this photograph, in my tin cigar box in the drawer, I keep the letter I received from the same correspondent a month or so afterwards in reply to further enquiries. In it, he informs me that the plump man in the gown and cap is Wang Ku, a warlord who at the time of the photograph wielded much power in the Hunan province, employing a motley army of almost three hundred men. Like most of his sort, he lost much of his power after the ascendancy of Chiang Kai-shek, but was rumoured to be still alive and well, languishing in reasonable comfort somewhere in Nanking. Regarding my specific query, my correspondent states that he has been unable to ascertain whether or not Wang Ku ever had any known connections with Morganbrook and Byatt. In his own opinion, however, there is ‘no reason to suppose he would not at some point have had dealings with the aforesaid company’. In those days, my correspondent points out, any shipments of opium – or of any other desirable goods – travelling along the Yangtze through Hunan would have been vulnerable to raids from the bandits and pirates who terrorized the region. Only the warlord through whose territories the shipments travelled could offer any sort of the protection, and a company like Byatt’s almost certainly would have gone some way to securing the friendship of such men. At the time of my childhood in Shanghai, Wang Ku, with the power he then commanded, would have been regarded as a particularly desirable ally. My correspondent’s letter closes with his apologies for being unable to provide more concrete details.
As I have said, I did not solicit this information from my correspondent until some five or six weeks after discovering the newspaper picture. The reason for my delay was that annoyingly, though I was certain I had seen the plump man somewhere in my past, I could not for a long time remember anything about the context in which I had done so. The man was associated for me with some scene of embarrassment or unpleasantness, but beyond that my memory would yield nothing. Then one morning, quite unexpectedly, as I was strolling along Kensington High Street in search of a taxicab, it all suddenly came back to me.


註釈:

I have kept that old newspaper photograph in the drawer of my desk, inside a tin cigar box, and from time to time I take it out and stare at it.

It shows three men in a leafy avenue, standing in front of a grand motor car.
「show」はここでは「・・・を・・・の状態に表現する」の意。「leafy」はここでは「緑の多い」。

All three are Chinese.

The two on the outside are wearing Western suits with stiff collars, and hold bowler hats and canes.
「stiff collar」は「堅い布地のえり」。「bowler hat」は「山高帽」。

The plump man in the centre is in traditional Chinese dress: a dark gown, cap and pigtail.
「plump」は「まるまると太った」。「pigtail」は「弁髪」。

As with most newspaper photograph of the time, there is a stagy, posed feeling to it, and my correspondent’s scissors have cut off perhaps an entire quarter of it to the left.
「as with …」は「・・・のように」。「stagy」は「わざとらしい」。「to the left」は「左側に」。

Nevertheless, from the moment my glance first fell on it, the picture – more precisely, the central figure in the dark gown – has been a source of exceptional interest to me.
「nevertheless」は「それにもかかわらず」。

Alongside this photograph, in my tin cigar box in the drawer, I keep the letter I received from the same correspondent a month or so afterwards in reply to further enquiries.
「alongside」はここでは前置詞で「・・・のそばに」。

In it, he informs me that the plump man in the gown and cap is Wang Ku, a warlord who at the time of the photograph wielded much power in the Hunan province, employing a motley army of almost three hundred men.
「warlord」はここでは「督軍(一省の軍政の長)」。「wield」は「を振るう」。「the Hunan province」は「湖南省」。「motley」は「種々雑多の」。

Like most of his sort, he lost much of his power after the ascendancy of Chiang Kai-shek, but was rumoured to be still alive and well, languishing in reasonable comfort somewhere in Nanking.
「ascendancy」は「支配」。「Chiang Kai-shek」は「蒋介石」。「languish」は「つらい思いをする」。

Regarding my specific query, my correspondent states that he has been unable to ascertain whether or not Wang Ku ever had any known connections with Morganbrook and Byatt.
「query」は「質問」

In his own opinion, however, there is ‘no reason to suppose he would not at some point have had dealings with the aforesaid company’.
「aforesaid」は「前述の」。

In those days, my correspondent points out, any shipments of opium – or of any other desirable goods – travelling along the Yangtze through Hunan would have been vulnerable to raids from the bandits and pirates who terrorized the region.
「the Yangtze」は「揚子江」。「bandit」は「盗賊」。「terrorize」は「を恐れさせる」。

Only the warlord through whose territories the shipments travelled could offer any sort of the protection, and a company like Byatt’s almost certainly would have gone some way to securing the friendship of such men.
「secure」はここでは「を確保する」。

At the time of my childhood in Shanghai, Wang Ku, with the power he then commanded, would have been regarded as a particularly desirable ally.
「command」はここでは「を指揮する」。「ally」は「協力者」。

My correspondent’s letter closes with his apologies for being unable to provide more concrete details.

As I have said, I did not solicit this information from my correspondent until some five or six weeks after discovering the newspaper picture.
「solicit」はここでは「を請い求める」。

The reason for my delay was that annoyingly, though I was certain I had seen the plump man somewhere in my past, I could not for a long time remember anything about the context in which I had done so.
「annoyingly」は「いらいらすることに」。「context」はここでは「背景、状況」。

The man was associated for me with some scene of embarrassment or unpleasantness, but beyond that my memory would yield nothing.
「associated」は「関連した」。「embarrassment」は「当惑、困惑」。「yield」は「を産出する」。

Then one morning, quite unexpectedly, as I was strolling along Kensington High Street in search of a taxicab, it all suddenly came back to me.


『今日のイデイオム』

「as with …」
「・・・のように」

「to the left」
「左側に」

「rashomon」は立派な英語です

「tsunami」がすでに「英語」になっていることはよく知られています。この「津波」のイメージを利用して「大勢の群衆がいっせいに動くような状況を英語で「tsunami」といいます(「和製英語が役に立つ」 河口鴻三 文春新書)

同じように『大勢の人が、同じ状況についてまったく違った意見をいうことは、アメリカでは rashomon です』(同上)

<Rashomon effect>
羅生門効果(英: Rashomon effect)とは、ひとつの出来事において、人々がそれぞれに見解を主張すると矛盾してしまう現象のことであり、心理学、犯罪学、社会学などの社会科学で使われることがある。映画『羅生門』に由来する。

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Rashomon effect occurs when the same event is given contradictory interpretations by different individuals involved. The effect is named after Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film Rashomon, in which a murder is described in four mutually contradictory ways by its four witnesses. More broadly, the term addresses the motivations, mechanism, and occurrences of the reporting on the circumstance, and so addresses contested interpretations of events, the existence of disagreements regarding the evidence of events, and the subjects of subjectivity versus objectivity in human perception, memory, and reporting.

Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans (111)

There was one other small incident from those weeks following my father’s disappearance which I have now come to believe highly significant. I did not always regard it so; in fact, I had more or less forgotten it altogether when a few years ago, quite by chance, something happened which caused me not only to recall it again, but to appreciate for the first time the deeper implications of what I had witnessed that day.
It was during the period shortly after the Mannering case, when I was undertaking some research into the background of those years I spent in Shanghai. I believe I have mentioned this research before, much of which I conducted in the British Museum. I suppose it was, at least in part, my attempt as an adult to grasp the nature of those forces which as a child I could not have had the chance of comprehending. It was also my intention to prepare my ground for the day I began in earnest my investigations into the whole affair concerning my parents – which despite the continuing efforts of the Shanghai police has remained unsolved to this day. It remains, incidentally, my intention to embark on such an investigation in the not-too-distant future. In fact, I am sure I would have done so already had the demands on my time not been so relentless.
In any case, as I say, I spent a good many hours in the British Museum a few years ago gathering material on the history of the opium trade in China, on the affairs of Morganbrook and Byatt, on the complex political situation in Shanghai at that time. I did also, at various points, write off letters to China seeking information unavailable to me in London. So it was that I received one day a yellowed cutting taken from the North China Daily News dated some three years after my departure from Shanghai. My correspondent had sent me an article about changes to trading regulations in the concession ports – which no doubt I had requested – but it was the photograph which happened to be on the reverse side that immediately captured my attention.


註釈:

There was one other small incident from those weeks following my father’s disappearance which I have now come to believe highly significant.
「incident」はここでは「(付随的な)出来事」。ここの「from」は過去の時期を表す語句と共に使われ「存在した」の意(「父の失踪後の何週間の間にもう1つ小さな出来事があった」)。次の例を参照。
・I saw the boy from the other day. : この前の男の子をまた見掛けた。
・This is my favorite movie from last year. : 去年の映画では、これが好きだ。

I did not always regard it so;
「so」は「highly significant」ということです。

in fact, I had more or less forgotten it altogether when a few years ago, quite by chance, something happened which caused me not only to recall it again, but to appreciate for the first time the deeper implications of what I had witnessed that day.
「in fact」は「実際に、現実に」。「more or less」はここでは「実際には」の意。「altogether」はここでは「まったく、完全に、すっかり」の意。「quite by chance」は「全く偶然に」。「recall」は「を思い出す」。「witness」は「を目撃する」。

It was during the period shortly after the Mannering case, when I was undertaking some research into the background of those years I spent in Shanghai.
「undertake」はここでは「を始める」

I believe I have mentioned this research before, much of which I conducted in the British Museum.

I suppose it was, at least in part, my attempt as an adult to grasp the nature of those forces which as a child I could not have had the chance of comprehending.
「in part」は「ある程度、いくぶん」。「comprehend」は「を知的に十分に理解する」。

It was also my intention to prepare my ground for the day I began in earnest my investigations into the whole affair concerning my parents – which despite the continuing efforts of the Shanghai police has remained unsolved to this day.
「in earnest」は「まじめに、本気で」。「to this day」は「今日まで」の意。

It remains, incidentally, my intention to embark on such an investigation in the not-too-distant future.
「incidentally」はここでは「ところで、ついでながら」。「embark on …」で「・・・を開始する」。

In fact, I am sure I would have done so already had the demands on my time not been so relentless.
仮定法過去完了の構文。「relentless」はここでは「絶え間のない、間断ない」。

In any case, as I say, I spent a good many hours in the British Museum a few years ago gathering material on the history of the opium trade in China, on the affairs of Morganbrook and Byatt, on the complex political situation in Shanghai at that time.
「in any case」は「兎に角」。「as I say」はよく出てきますが「前に言ったように」。「opium」は「アヘン」。

I did also, at various points, write off letters to China seeking information unavailable to me in London.
「write off」は「をすらすらと書き上げる」。

So it was that I received one day a yellowed cutting taken from the North China Daily News dated some three years after my departure from Shanghai.
「So it was that」は、「そんなだったので」。so は、その前に述べたことを受けて「そんな」という意味。it は漠然とした主語。that は「ので」という意味の接続詞。「cutting」は「切り抜き」。

My correspondent had sent me an article about changes to trading regulations in the concession ports – which no doubt I had requested – but it was the photograph which happened to be on the reverse side that immediately captured my attention.
「correspondent」は「文通する人」。「concession」はここでは「居留地、租界」。


『今日のイデイオム』

「in fact」
「実際に、現実に」

「more or less」
「実際には」

「quite by chance」
「全く偶然に」

「in part」
「ある程度、いくぶん」

「in earnest」
「まじめに、本気で」

「to this day」
「今日まで」

「embark on …」
「・・・を開始する」

「in any case」
「兎に角」

「as I say」

「write off」
「をすらすらと書き上げる」

「so it was that」
「そんなだったので」
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