2012年1月号- January Study Newsletter

英語ニュース Current Internet NEWS!! <新着ネットニュース>
英語のビデオ Video News (Domestic and World Events/国内&世界の動画ニュース)
American Idioms & Slang<アメリカのイディオム&スラング表現>
Grammar Study<今月の文法学習>
TOEICクイズ TOEIC Study Quiz<TOEICテスト>
Monthly Column – A Foreigner’s Life<今月のコラム:外国人の生活>
You can read the article below and use it in your lessons to discuss with your teacher. — この記事を読んで先生とレッスンで話し合おう!
US News:

"A Human Zoo? "

Human rights groups are outraged over a video of tourists coercing women from India’s Jarawa tribe to dance in exchange for food.

The undated video, shot in India’s Andaman Islands, came to light when Britain’s Observer newspaper posted reports that "safari" seekers were giving these people food in exchange for making them perform.

The footage shows young women from the endangered tribe hopping and clapping as a man commands them to dance, reminds them he’s given them food and promises that more food is on the way. The man was identified as a policeman who allegedly accepted about $300 from a tourist in exchange for the performance.



Are we helping them by allowing them to get food or are we demeaning them? (食料を与えることで彼らを助けているのだろうか、貶めているのだろうか?)






Japan News Stories:

"Majority of Japanese against the tax hike"

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda faces a tough fight to push through his highly charged tax hike plan as the majority of Japanese are opposed to the rise, according to latest opinion polls.

Analysts believe the plan is necessary if Japan is to get a handle on its towering debt, which presently stands at around 200% of GDP.

But 79.5% of the Japanese are opposed to Noda’s plan to double the five percent consumption tax without the government’s effort to cut costs, Kyodo News agency said.

The polls were conducted by media after Noda reshuffled his cabinet on Friday as he looks to rescue plans to raise the sales tax and chip away at the country’s mountain of debt.



Should the sales (consumption) tax be increased? Is food going to be exempt from the tax hike? (消費税は増税されるべきだろうか?食料品は増税から免れるだろうか?)







World News:

"No Pants is ok on the train? On Sunday in San Francisco, it was apparently ok!"

What would you do if you got on the train one day to find many people not wearing pants, skirts, or anything to cover their bottom half!

Well, this is what happened on a popular train line in a major U.S. city. Normally, if someone on your train isn’t wearing pants, it’s a good sign you might want to change cars.

That wouldn’t have helped on one untypical Sunday afternoon, as hundreds of people riding the train organized flash-mob style to treat surprised downtown riders and visitors to a fine view of their bottom halves. Interestingly, this is not a unique incident as numerous events around the world have been organized encouraging people to ride the train on Sundays with their pants off in protest of something they despise!


Do you think Westerners go TOO FAR to prove a point or get their demands met?  (西洋人は自分の意図を証明するため又、要求を満たすためにやりすぎることがあるだろうか?)






outraged 不公平なことや悪いことに腹を立てる
  Ex: She was outraged by the injustice.
英語ポイント undated 日付のない
  Ex: The letter found in the trunk was undated.
英語ポイント came to light 判明した
  Ex: His evil deeds finally came to light.
英語ポイント endangered 絶滅危機にある
  Ex: The endangered turtles were moved to a safer habitat.
英語ポイント opposed 反対
  Ex: His parents were opposed to the marriage.
英語ポイント get a handle (on) 把握
  Ex: I need to get a handle on the situation.
英語ポイント chip away 削る
  Ex: New customs are chipping away at the old quality of life.
英語ポイント popular 人気
  Ex: "Friday the 13th is unlucky" is a popular superstition.
英語ポイント protest 反発
  Ex: They protested against the unequal treatment of women in the company.
英語ポイント despise 嫌う
  Ex: She despises cockroaches.
  New! CNN Student News リスニング力を試そう!
Business English Expression and Phrases <ビジネス英会話フレーズ>
-Learn expressions such as idioms and slang that is unique to culture, age, and business!
新しい英語表現: 文化・時代・ビジネスで使う特有なイディオム表現や俗語を覚えよう!

–Sam and Hiroko are discussing how the new changes in office reconfiguration has impacted them–

Sam: Hiroko, has the reconfiguration of your department resulted in any complaints thus far?
Hiroko: Well, it is too soon to tell but I feel everyone has made the transition in stride. How is it going on your end? Is your section adapting well?
Sam: The current layout of our workstations leave very little elbow room. Furthermore, it takes a bit of getting used as the expats are not accustomed to having coworkers sitting right in front of us with no partitions or dividers separating us. .
Hiroko: You’ll get over it. If you look on the bright side, at least we didn’t get the pink slip when the company profits took a nosedive. We just had to give up a little breathing room.
Sam: Don’t take it the wrong way but I would have preferred the company saving costs by laying off some staff. Especially those who have exhibited subpar results. That would have allowed us to stay in the old office.
Hiroko: I think that is a very pessimistic viewpoint. Do you really mean that?
Sam: Honestly, I really do. I miss having my own personal space and I am pretty confident I would not have been one of the people let go had our company fired people.


上記の会話の日本語訳はこちらをクリック’(印刷可): JAPANESE VERSION
reconfiguration 再編成
resulted in ~の結果で起こる
in stride 順調に
elbow room 場所の余裕
expats 自国を離れたもの
get a pink slip 解雇通知を受ける
take a nosedive 急降下する
laying off 解雇する
subpar 標準以下
pessimistic 悲観的
This Month’s "Janglish" : 今回はTake careとPay attentionの違いの使い方を解説します。

–This section will cover a broad range of different grammar rules and explanations to help you understand sentence structure and improve awareness of English grammar.
How to use "still" vs "yet"
Check your understanding of yet vs still: 
Read each of the following of sentences and select whether "still" or "yet" is needed. Print out this lesson plan and ask your teacher to assist you in understanding the grammar rules.
1 It is still snowing. It has not stopped snowing(yet/still).
2 John went to the U.S. last month and is (yet/still) there.
3 Would you happen to know if Jane arrived(yet/still).
4 I think Tomoko is (yet/still)looking for a job since she is still tight with money.
5 Our offices are (yet/still)located in Nihombashi.
6 If you hurry, I think you can catch him in his office. I think he is(yet/still) there.
7 Do you think there is (yet/still) time to get a cup of coffee before our flight?
8 It is a difficult problem. I have (yet/still) to make a decision.
9 I am unsure where I will go during Winter Vacation. I haven’t decided (yet/still).
10 The children are (yet/still) asleep. They have not woken up(yet/still).
Moderate level exercises: Usage of "Still" vs "Yet" vs "Already" vs "Anymore"
Read each of the following of sentences and select whether still, yet, already, or anymore is needed. Print out this lesson plan and ask your teacher to assist you in understanding the grammar rules.
1 I used to play tennis but I do not play _____________.
2 Did you know that Tom _____________ moved to Shinjuku from Saitama? I didn’t think he was going to move until after getting married.
3 I am so tired I don’t think I can work _____________.
4 I can not go home _____________ because I _____________ have a lot of work to do.
5 The plane is still on the runway and has not taken off _____________.
6 I can no longer continue working at my company _____________.
7 Could you please tell me if I am _____________ being considered for the position?
8 We’re sorry but the position has _____________ been filled. Should you _____________ be interested in working at our firm, please visit our website to see other job openings.
9 I thought I had replied to you _____________ but since you haven’t received the email _____________, let me send it again.
10 Do you want to grab a bite to eat or have you _____________ eaten?
Difficult level exercises: Still – Yet – Already – Anymore
Read the following sentences and rewrite the underlined sentence or phrase using (still , yet, already, or anymore).
1 Tracy lost her job 6 months ago, and she is unemployed.
2 I’ve gained a lot of weight. These pants don’t fit me.
3 I’m hungry. Is dinner ready?
4 I was hungry earlier, but I am not hungry.
5 "Should I introduce you to Michael?" "No, that’s ok. We’ve met"
6 Do you live in the same house, or have you moved?
7 They said they would be here by 8:00. It’s 9:30 now, and they aren’t here.
8 Would you like to join our fitness club, or are you a member?
9 I’ve just had lunch, but I’m hungry.
10 It happened ages ago, but I remember it like it were yesterday.
Check your answers!
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NEW! – How do you feel about raising the consumption tax from 5% to 10%?
新着! – 消費税を5%から10%に上げる事についてどう思いますか?

(Christopher 31y.o. male US):

You know, I have always thought the consumption tax to be relatively low compared to other developed countries. On the other hand, I also felt that prices in Japan for basic necessities like food were higher. In essence, I thought higher food prices probably offset the lower sales tax which made it understandable and easier to accept. With the Prime Minister’s proposal in doubling the sales tax, I feel it would put too much of a strain on hard working people trying to make ends meet.





(Cynthia 22y.o. female Australia):

Aren’t the middle class suffering enough? I hope the government can understand (or maybe they do and just don’t care) that an increase in consumption tax would most likely favor wealthy individuals and hurt lower to middle income earners. I am not an economist so I can not really support my opinion with any factual data. I do, however, feel that daily consumables such as food should be exempt from taxation. All other products should be taxed at a higher rate.





(Noah 41y.o. male U.K.)

I know it is a part of life but it is very hard to understand why we need an increase in taxes. I would appreciate it more if the government would go on all the national television stations and get Ikegami san to clearly explain it to us. Furthermore, replay these messages and keep us updated instead of having variety/skit shows. I hear of the need to financially stabalize social programs like funding the pension system, improving nursing care/facililities for the elderly, finding ways to tackle the low birth rate while all trying to improve governmen fiscal health, but tell us is 10% really enough? Or will you later change to 17% or 20% or like in some countries over 25%.

It may sound like I am complaining about the sales tax rate but I am not. I just want to know by increasing it, can you guarantee us that we will have a safe and stable society where citizens need not worry about their future? Have you, our government, thought about laying off public sector workers if it reduces taxpayer money spending?