【Eigo-jiru】vol.3 (English learning blog)

English

Blog 008. (English version)

Hello, people. 

It seems like the temperature has gone up lately, and finally I can smell the spring properly!

That means….  it’s possibly time for a cold beer? …maybe tonight? 

I can hear the sound of surging foam from the back of my brain…

Ahh….

I guess the decision has been reached. 

Anyway, like last time, I am going to start with looking at the method of improving our English pronunciation by checking some points

where my kids get trapped during the process of transforming their English into Katakana writing! 

スポンサーリンク

“Nu” comes after “N” ???

Right.

Fist of all, I’d like you to check these out.

These are the words in Katakana which were written by my daughter,

but …can you figure out what they are?

From left (or from top, if you are with your mobile), they are meant to be…

プレイン (plain), 

ドルフィン (dolphin),

and 

サン (sun),

but…” (n) has become ”” (nu) somehow…

(…just like plainu, dolphinu, and sunu)

…and there are some others such as…

Again, they are meant to be…

レインボー (rainbow), 

フィンガー (finger),

and

パイナップル (pineapple).

But you can see that” (n) has become ””  (nu) once again.

(…like rainubow, finuger, and pinuapple)

However, this does not happen only in their writing,

but also it happens when they speak in Japanese…

「窓の外にムーヌが見えるよ。」

(= I can see the moonu outside the window.)

「ここのライヌがちょっと曲がってる。」

(= The linuis not really straight.)

「シルベスタースターローヌ顔から血ィ出てるよ。」

(= Sylvester Stallonu is bleeding in his face!)

As you can see, “nu” has been substituted for “n” or “ne”.

Very interesting, isn’t it?

However, you can catch this “nu” sound occasionally

while you are listening to people having conversations in English,

or actually you could find it in some songs…

Here is a good example I have spotted in the song called

“God save the Queen” by Sex Pistols / about 01:17,

and it goes…

“God save the Queeeenu!” ♩♫ 🇬🇧

Here, you can clearly hear “nu” () sound.

This basically happens it’s because…

When you try to pronounce “n” in English, the tip of your tongue is generally positioned at the back of your upper front teeth and is touching somewhere between the gum and the teeth. But if you release your tongue from the position while “n” sound is still resonating, it will cut the “n” sound, and that’s when “nu” sound is generated.

So, when the words such as “situation”, or “generation” are pronounced,

even if the letters nu are not included in the words themselves,

they will be naturally added when you try to cut the “n” sound …like “situation-nu or “generation-nu.

On the contrary, when this part of the word “___sion” [ʃən] is pronounced in Katakana, the tip of your tongue is actually touching the bottom of the gum of you lower front teeth with your mouth slightly open with “o” shape.

Let’s pick up another easier examples here…

an apple  ➡︎ アンヌアポゥ

an hour ➡︎ アンナゥアー

an accident ➡︎ アンヌァクスィデント

When the preposition “an” is followed by the word starting with “vowel’, “nu” () sound is pretty much audible between the two words.

Incidentally, as for the last word from my daughter’s Katakana writing, which is “pineapple”,

I guess it should be written as “パインアップル” if it was followed by normal Katakana -writing procedure,

but the majority of the spelling we use for the word is “パイナップル”…how come?

The explanation of what happens when the preposition “an” is followed by the word starting with vowels can be also applied to this situation.  

pine (パイン) +   nu (ヌ) + apple (アップル) 

 and when both sounds “nu” (ヌ) and “a” (ア) are connected, it will create “na” (ナ) sound in Katakana, so it makes sense.

Therefore, from now on when we pronounce the letter “n”, why don’t we place the tip of our tongue at the back of the upper front teeth (to be exact, it is to be positioned on our gum rather than on the back of our front teeth) and imagine “nu”() sound is following after “n” (ン) rather than creating “n”(ン) sound only from your throat?

This will help transforming “n” sound in Katakana into English “n” sound.

Can you find a “Fork” in the road?

When we Japanese hear the word 『フォーク』{both “fork” & “folk”}

(both are spelled as 『フォーク』because there is no difference between “L” and “R” in Katakana),

what usually comes up in our head will be a “fork” for dinning or “folk” from folk song or folk guitar. 

The 『フォークwith the letter “ l ” has got the meaning of “people” (often used with plural form)

and you sometimes hear people saying “Hello folks!”, when they join in their friends or their families, instead of using the words such as “guys” or “people”.

And regarding the other 『フォークwith the letter “ r ”,

I once bumped into the painting titled as “I Memoriam Yogi Berra” by the artist “Tom Phillip” while I was walking about the galleries ( I work as a gallery attendant),

and it said…

“WHEN YOU COME TO A FORK IN THE ROAD TAKE IT” in the canvas.

I was like … picking up the fork, when you find one on the road…?

What is it all about?

So, I looked into the meaning of the word “fork”for the first time in my life,

and had found another meaning of it other than the one we normally knew…

Noun      the point where something, especially a road or river divides into two parts.

Verb      take or constitute one route or the other at the point where a route divides.

Having discovered these meanings, I found the word quite useful.

For example, if somebody questions you about the direction, normally there are “junctions” on the road, so you can easily explain like… 

Take (or turn) right at the next junction, and then…

But if you are asked about the same thing while you’re in the mountain, the mountain path is often splitting rather than crossing,

so you go like…

…and there will be a point where the road is divided into two directions…

so、 here you take the right one, and then…

It sounds slightly long…

but if you know another usage of the word “fork” which I found this time,

you could go like…

…and when you come to a fork in the road,

take the right one (or take the right fork of the road) and then…

It can be explained fairly concisely…

Today’s Q    Generation “who” or “which” ?

Ok. Here I’m going to check my question which had arisen while I was writing blog posts…

This time is about the word “Generation” (= “Sedai” in Japanese, by the way.)

The word is used to describe a collective of people that were born and living at about the same period, isn’t it? 

So, the content of the “generation” is fundamentally “people”, isn’t it?

Then, when you need to connect a clause or phrase to the word “generation”, which relative pronoun should we use???

Is it “who” or “which”?

That was my question.

According to what I have looked into, it looks like both “who” and “which (or that)” can be used to connect the sentences…

Strictly speaking, it looks like…

When the reference is to the people as individuals behind their generation, “who” is tended to be used.

…and

When the “generation” is regarded as a social or cultural group, “which” is to be used.

I do understand the nuance of it, however when it comes to the time for actually using them during the conversation, I think I will have brain freeze

I have also checked a similar type of word “organization” which could also be consisted of “people”, it seems like it has the similar usage.

I’ve found the article from ProofreadNow_Blog was helpful, so please have a look if you are interested…

The word “company” is also in the same category… 

but there is an opinion that while “company who” is generally used in America, “company which” is preferred in England…

Judging from the several sentences I have come across during my investigation, it seems that people are not too worried about which relative pronoun to use… to be honest…

Hence, I’ve come to the conclusion that… either one will do!!!

Anyway, thanks for reading up to this point,

…and let’s keep it going!

KonKaz

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