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Something ‘outstanding universal value’ that you must hand down to the next generation

December 4, 2011 5 comments

I’m going to take an interview test next Sunday in Tokyo. I have to talk about world heritage sites at the interview. This time on this blog, let me write an article about UNESCO, world heritage sites, and the grand meeting at which the international treaty, commonly known as the World Heritage Convention, was ratified.

Something happened around the Nile Valley about fifty years ago. The construction of Aswan High Dam led to the threat for numerous ancient Nubian treasures. The passions to protect invaluable treasures and artefacts there transcended national interestes and pride. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) kicked off the first international campaign, which was to safeguard such treasures and artefacts in grave danger. That was the first activity to initiate the world heritage convention.

In 1972, UNESCO called sites which should be preserved Cultural, Natural, and Mixed Heritage sites. The member states of UNESCO ratified the international treaty generally known as the World Heritage Convention. 148 countries are registered as members to date. We have 936 registered heritage sites on the earth as of June, 2011. In Japan, 16 sites are registered as the sites so far.

The World Heritage Committee, the subsidiary organization to UNESCO, is the one who certifies world heritage sites. Member states which ratified the convention hand in a recommendation to register sites in their countries as the world heritage sites. The states can submit the application once in a year. The World Heritage Committee deliberate over the claim if it is adequate or not.

As I wrote, over 900 world heritage sites are all over the world. Itsukushima Shinto Shrine in Japan, Machu Picchu in Peru, Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay in France, etc. are where I would like to visit someday.

Nothing is more terrible than ignorance. Koichiro Matsuura, a Japanese, was the former Director-General of UNESCO, who was the very person to trigger the USA’s back to UNESCO. He reformed UNESCO from within.

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Categories: My ideas

Knowing subjects, the secret to polish our English

July 9, 2011 2 comments

We, Japanese who have been learning English, often forget to add a letter ‘s'(or -es) to verbs when the subjects are third-person singulars.

I just had a dream one day in which I was thinking why we often forget to add them and how we reduce such a mistake. I thought in my dream that we have to pay attention to subjects of English sentences more than those of Japanese sentences.

As you know, you often omit subjects when you speak/write Japanese. Additionally, we don’t care the number of the subjects that you refer to while speaking/writing Japanese;It doesn’t matter whether or not the subject is singular. I guess such a characteristic of Japanese doesn’t give us a chance to develop our sense that cares about verbs.

I used to play FPS games with my friends, and my friends used to report an enemy/enemies through Skype like this, ‘teki hakken! when we were under clan wars. It might have literally mean, ‘I got enemy!(no articles)’, but you didn’t at least know how many enemies the friend had encountered. If the friend had encounters multiple enemies, we would have helped him. If not so, we would not have needed to do it. We had to make sure how many enemies he got after his words. It gave our enemies enough time to attack us. The leader of our clan often suggested that we reported the specific number of the enemies clearly.

Omitting subjects when you speak/write Japanese is also to help us make awkward sentences in English. I don’t know why, but almost conversations in Japanese go well without any problems, except when the speakers/writers are fighting with each other. Maybe, Japanese don’t want to show who(or what) has responsibilities for the actions which are indicated in the sentences. We sometimes become confused when we don’t know who is the subject or who is taking the action during conversations. Let me show an example. I don’t know if I will be able to demonstrate a Japanese conversation in English properly.

A: Hey, you have to hear this. My mother just bought computer.(We don’t need to make sure if the mother bought one computer.)
B: Wow, that’s great.
A: — is not good at computing. (B has to guess the subject is A’s mother.)
B: But — will learn it soon, right?(A has to perceive A’s mother is the subject.)
A: Yeah, but — think — should help her.(B has to guess the subjects are A.)

Hmm, I don’t think it’s a good sample. Anyway, you have to pay attention to subjects while speaking/writing in English; you have to bear in mind who the subjects are or what the subjects are. You will be able to polish your sentences with such an idea like holistic medicines.

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Love is not an equation

March 24, 2011 6 comments

Every man is fool, including me.

I have had a friend since I was an elementary school student. He used to be a good soccer player in his high school and junior high school age(Incidentally I used to be a goal keeper at that time). He had noticed a girl gazing at him while he was playing soccer.
‘Hey, H.P., look. The girl over there must have a crush on me. I know it.’ said He.
Unfortunately, she was in love with the captain of the club, not him. My friend was the vice captain to the club, so he was often with the captain. That’s why he thought by mistake that she was looking at him with passion. From this topic, I made a song whose title was ‘mistake.’

Another friend, who runs of his own business, also told me that he had a girlfriend who worked at a pub. From the way she had been treating him, however, I definitely didn’t agree with it. A year later, he knew the truth. At the first line, I said ‘including me.’ I have a similar experience like he did. I was lucky to realize it earlier than him.

You might say, ‘it happens at pubs, but it won’t happen to me because I don’t go to such places. Besides, I’m not so foolish.’ No matter how older you become, such love incidents are lying right in front of you. That’s why I told you every man is fool. Men easily think that someone you have a crush on can easily accept you.

It’s like a chicken-or-the-egg controversy. ‘She was so kind. She treated me as a boyfriend. She stole my heart!’ maybe you might say them. The girl would say ‘I’m just a gregarious, friendly, and kind person. I didn’t say anything passionate at all!’ Yes. However, men can be easily trapped.

Japanese seldom say ‘I love you’ in person to someone that they love. Thanks to my ex-girlfriend who came from other country where people normally say I love you, the phrase ‘I love you’ has already become a custom to me. However, Japanese women also don’t say ‘I love you’ so much. Instead, we often start our relationship with a phrase ‘Now, let’s start our relationship. You’re my girlfriend, and I’m your boyfriend.’ However, some people lie to you with this phrase. You will find it difficult to understand which is truth.

The only way that you can find her words are truth is to see her attitude.

Don’t jump to your conlcusions.

Categories: My ideas

Abstract words can become obstacles

March 10, 2011 4 comments

“Mr.Dubois, you have to! You scold him so that he knows he’s in trouble, you rub his nose in it so that he will know what trouble you mean, you paddle him so that he darn well won’t do it again-and you have to do it right away! It doesn’t do a bit of good to punish him later; you’ll just confuse him. Even so, he won’t learn from one lesson, so you watch and catch him again and paddle him still harder. Pretty soon he learns. But it’s a waste of breath just to scold him.” Then I added, “I guess you’ve never raised pups.”
STARSHIP TROOPERS by Robert A. Heinlein

People speak languages, so I’m not saying we should make someone understand like they do for puppies above. Instead of punishments, words can be a tool to express what you are feeling, and can be a receiver for what someone is thinking.

Then, when should you convey your YES or NO? And how? It might be better that you swallow down what you are thinking or what you want to say in the middle of conversation because sometimes people can become angry or irritated being pointed out their mistakes or faults. You can discuss the topic later at the right moment: the calm after the storm.(This idiom ‘the calm after the storm’ is totally what I arranged instantly. The original and correct one is ‘the calm before the storm’.) One more thing, when will the right moment come? A week later? A month later? I know it depends on the situations.

Wait a minute. How are you going to express your feeling later, then? Maybe someone that you want to tell your feeling might forget everything he/she did. Maybe he/she is able to search for his/her words from his/her archives. I’m jealous of such a person like a computer.

Being concrete, not being abstract, is crucial to you when you talk about something in the past. You thought you were afraid of picking a fight with him/her. Then, let it be concrete, or he/she will be spellbound and confused with your obscure but serious words. I’m sure he/she will become afraid to say anything because he/she totally doesn’t know what he/she did wrong. The later and more abstractly you discuss the matter, the more confused he/she becomes.

Hmmm, this article is completely indicating that I am so fool and easily forget everything that I would like you to tell me gently. Sounds like a child. lol

Categories: My ideas

Monkey likes eating monkeys

February 12, 2011 4 comments

How come you have to add ‘-s, -es, etc.’ in the third person singular?
One junior high school student just asked me why you needed to add ‘-s, -es, etc.’ on the verbs when the subjects were the third person singular. I didn’t have adequate answers when I was a junior high school student. With his question, I had thought about it and checked it on the Internet for a few days.

Here is the answer I found it natural.

There’s a man whose name was Vipers(Ummm, It’s likely to be used in a movie. ‘Viper’ would be much more famous. Have you ever watched the movie “TOP GUN”? lol).

1)Vipers eat rats.

Yes. Snakes like eating rats.

2)Vipers eats rats.

I would like to ask you, especially people often speaking English in your life, how you would feel from the sentences, or what kind of the thing about ‘Vipers’ you have just imagined from the sentence 2). Have you just imagined a snake? Or something else?

Another example. I don’t know if it’s true or not. Hideyoshi Toyotomi, one of the famous clan masters in sengoku era, had his nickname ‘saru(a monkey)’ when he was a subordinate to Nobunaga Oda. Hideyoshi was always next to Nobunaga and served him. Let me make a fictional conversation between Hideyoshi and Nobunaga.

‘Monkey!(saru) Monkey! Where are you?’ said Nobunaga.
‘Do you want to see me?’ said Hideyoshi.
‘I heard you are good at hunting monkeys. Is it true?’ said Nobunaga.
‘Exactly, sir. Let me give a few hours. I’ll get a monkey for you.’ said Hideyoshi.

A few hours later, Hideyoshi brought a monkey with him.

‘Sir, here’s your monkey.’ said Hideyoshi.
‘Great. Hmm, I’ll allow you to eat the monkey.’ said Nobunaga.
‘Thank you so much, sir. Actually, I do like eating monkeys.’ said Hideyoshi.
‘It’s a bit funny. Monkey(indicates Hideyoshi) likes eating monkeys. Hahaha.’ said Nobunaga.

Categories: My ideas

What if I were her?

December 11, 2010 7 comments

I like watching movies. I know it would be far more effective for learning English to read or listen to shorter topics, such as news, interviews or something. I must say that it is my hobby. After I just watch the movies, I check the words in the movies with my dictionary that I don’t think I am able to use them naturally. I keep watching the movie until I finish checking words used in another movie. ‘You’ve Got Mail’ is the movie that I have been watching recently. I don’t know how many times I have watched it. Incidentally, ‘Toy Story’ is the movie from which I’ve been checking the expressions.

I’m not sure whether I already explained the story of the movie before. It is an old movie in 1998. There was no such faster network systems those days, like fiber optics. You might feel nostalgic hearing the sound connecting the lines. A male and a female corresponded with each other by e-mail without knowing they were opponents on their own business. The man’s huge capital had eliminated the woman’s small book store. After several things happened, the man tried to be her good friend pretending not to be the person with whom she communicated on line. At the last scene, Joe came to see her in person as the person.

If I were the woman in the movie, Meg Ryan, I might refuse to him, Joe Fox, the man who had a big company. He often said in the movie, ‘It’s not personal, it’s business’. I know why he was saying. Also, I know why she said when Joe visited her apartment to cheer up; ‘It was personal to me. It was personal to a lot of people. What is so wrong with being personal? Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal’.

Being able to forgive or forget terrible things might possibly be one of wonderful skills of human being. Maybe Kathleen might become a great author of children’s books after they started their new relationship. It was the truth that she closed her shop, the memorable shop.

Maybe I am a narrow-minded person. It’s an interesting movie, though.

Categories: My ideas

An ambush on the way to becoming a good speaker

November 11, 2010 2 comments

I used to have a girlfriend who came from other country. As time went by, she became able to speak Japanese well, which made me forget she was a person coming from other country. I remembered she was not Japanese when she unconsciously expressed her thoughts or ideas in negative ways or harsh tones. Any couple can sometimes hit a raw nerve with each other. I often taught her which words or expressions were adequate in right time, right place. Incidentally, she was so smart that she deliberately used such malicious words or phrases while we were fighting lol.

I’m not saying I am a good English speaker, though, at least I think I’ve been growing more than I used to be since I decided to learn English again. I’ve become able to express my feeling or ideas in English more than before, like my ex in Japanese. However, I sometimes think that some of people might become irritated at what I said or wrote in English, like myself when I went out with my ex.

Such things can even happen between English learners. I can be the one who becomes angry with what someone else unconsciously said or wrote. I can be the one who makes someone else angry with my expressions without being aware of their malevolence. Both of the situations will become valuable experiences to me for a learner. However, I think I should factor the distance between someone else and me in my abusive objection against someone’s remarks without intention to be rude. Maybe he/she might feel terrified of my anger, and the relationship might end easily. I would feel sad if the relationship finished abruptly.

Anyway, I would like to have much more experiences, including mistakes, and I would like to notice inadequate usages and correct them by myself while using English. Or I would be shot or hit by someone in real if I unconsciously gave impolite words or attitude.

Categories: My ideas
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