Language

Two characters for the word "station"

I recently realized that 站 in Chinese means station(火车站). The character is made up of two parts: standing(立) and occupying(占); I don't know how the character is pronounced. (Does Zhàn show its pronunciation?)
One the other hand, 駅(えき) is used for the English word in Japanese, and the left part of this kanji means a horse(馬). I suppose that before steam locomotives(蒸気機関車) were invented, you could see horses at 駅, which can refer to a town along highways(街道, 幹線道路) as well as a railway(鉄道) station.

| | Comments (0)

Who would want to learn his speech by heart?

I happened to visit a bookshop in a huge mall yesterday. On a shelf, among other books for learners of the English language, I glimpsed a book about Donald Trump's speeches during the election campaign. If I am not mistaken, the title was "The Speeches of Donald Trump". I wonder who needs to purchase a book of this sort to study the English language. He is addicted to name-calling and almost all his speeches are outrageous. I don't think his English is appropriate if you want to learn polite English. Also, his sentences are sometimes vague and grammatically irregular.

Do you ever think of memorizing these sentences?
"I don't believe in human-induced global warming.
Vaccinations cause children to get autism.
If we use chlorofluorocarbon gases in a closed room, it does't affect the ozone layer."
The above excerpt is from "Fears spread over Trump's anti-science remarks"(The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shinbun)

|

Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary

“We do not need to fear the Chinese,” he[Boris Johnson] said. “China will not dominate the globe. We do not need to teach babies Mandarin.” “Compared with the old British Empire, and the new American imperium, Chinese cultural influence is virtually nil, and unlikely to increase.”-- The Independent

Boris Johnson’s appointment as Foreign Secretary is reportedly raising some eyebrows. Is Boris Johnson qualified to be Foreign Secretary? Is he qualified to be a prophet who are expected to give Brexit supporters some hope of reconstruction of the crushed empire?

Do you agree with his opinion about foreign language education in the UK?

P.S.
Don't get near to reckless Boris Johnson. He also looks very heavy. I wonder how many innocent cows no less than the same size of him are slaughtered for food every day in his backyard.

Boris Johnson knocks over 10-year-old during rugby game in Japan
The Guardian

|

What motivates you to learn the language?

I am interested in Chinese characters and the grammatical order of them in a sentence, but I feel that pronunciations are very difficult. I think that the German language is easier to learn because its pronunciation is not so complicated.

What motivates you to learn the language? I am interested in Chinese classics, but not in political documents and what you might call business Chinese. I prefer Karl Marx to Mao Zedong. If Geoge Orwell and W. Somerset Maugham had been Chinese, I would have studied their language. Perhaps, I would read Chinese classics by means of kanbun kundoku("漢文訓読" in kanji), which is character-by-character translation in a specific style of Japanese.

--------
The following is an example of kanbun kundoku. We read the original text by changing the order of the Chinese characters and adding kana letters.

楚人有鬻盾與矛者(『韓非子』「難編(一))
---> 楚人盾矛與鬻者有(楚人に盾と矛とを鬻ぐ者有り)

楚人(そひと)に楯(たて)と矛(ほこ)とを鬻(ひさ)ぐ者有り。

|

"no more than", "not less than", "no less than", and "not less than".

"When we use 'no less than ...', we add a little attitude to what we are saying."
englishforums.com

I am not sure if the above forum is authoritative, but you would notice the differences between " no more than", "not more than", " no less than", and "not less than". They are not interchangeable.

However, I don't know if native speakers of English do differentiate between "not more than something" and "no more than something". I read somewhere that they now tend to think that the two expressions are the same.

|

The English language and Chinese classics

Non-native speakers of English have, in a sense, wasted a lot of time learning the English language. I hope that some native speakers of English are willing to waste their precious time learning more than one foreign language, if they want to be sympathetic and fair to non-native speakers of English all over the world. As for which language to choose, economically speaking, scarcity as well as demand should be taken into account.

In Japan, Chinese classics are taught as 漢文 at junior-high and high schools. We read Chinese text in Japanese. I imagine that many of the young people in Mainland China cannot read the original Chinese text because it is not written in 簡体字(simplified letters), which I feel too simplified and very odd.

The following episode "矛盾" is extremely interesting.
http://protaka.sakura.ne.jp/mujyun/

|

Brexit and the English language

Countries that used to belong to the British Empire, on which the sun never set, tend to use the English language as their official language. Even in Japan, which was defeated by the US a little more than seventy years ago, some people think that English should be designated as the "second official" language. Do most French people speak German more fluently than they speak English? Do most German people speak French more fluently than they speak English? I imagine that English might be treated as the de facto offical language in the EU. (My guess is that both English with a strong German accent and English with a strong French accent will be used when there are no highly-competent interpreters around them at their meetings. With no native speakers of English around them, people might be happy and content with their English with their strong accent.)

|

"Political correctness"

"Political correctness" is not the cause of socal problems. We are more or less irrational and xenophobic. There should be some rules when "xenophobic people" have to discuss public or common issues. I don't know why some people hate PC so much and enjoy bulling others. It is, of course, needless to say that "equality before the law" is different from, and more fundamental than, PC. You should not confuse PC with the more fundamental principle in modern society. 

"PC is used to describe language, behaviour, and attitudes that are carefully chosen so that they do not offend or insult anyone."(LDOSE)

You can say anything in your closet. Political correctness is mainly related to the way we communicate each other in public places. It is not necessarily a legal matter. If you don't like some PC expressions, you may disregard them at your own risk. Trump reportedly declared that Glenn Beck, who is a comedian-turned commentator, is a 'really dopey guy' who 'looks like hell.' I don't know how Trump should have said this with political correctness.

|

River, rival, and arrive

Do you know that the origins of the words "river", "rival", and "arrive" are common?
Rivals are people who live on each side of a river.
Arrival used to mean arriving at the bank of a river.

岩田一男『英単語記憶術』(ちくま文庫、2014年、初版は1967年の光文社カッパブックス)参照。
筑摩書房

|

Are custard pies funny?

"Dickens is able to go on being funny because he is in revolt against authority, and authority is always there to be laughed at. There is always room for one more custard pie."---Fifty Orwell Essays

I don't know if I have tasted a custard pie. What did Orwell want to say by refering to this sort of food? Are custard pies funny?

I guess that the following is not related to my question:
https://www.sffchronicles.com/threads/532710/

|

その他のカテゴリー

Information Technology | Language | Literature | Music | News | Photography | Society | Travel