Everyday English, every day, With English Now!

balance  バランス

balance バランス

September 24, 2016 =========
☆ balance バランス
We often hear about work-life balance, but what about finding balance between having a healthy diet and a diet with a few treats sometimes? Or finding balance between exercising too much and not enough.
Do you have balance in your life when it comes to your health? As I said in a previous email, I am an “all or nothing” type person when it comes to food – I either eat all the chocolate or none! Drink all the wine, or none! We imagine “balance” to be in the middle of “all or nothing” however, for me, it is hard to find this balance in the “middle.” How about you? Are you an all or nothing type, or is it easy for you to find balance with healthy eating habits?

priority  優先事項

priority 優先事項

September 23, 2016 =========
☆ priority 優先事項
Your “priority” is the most important thing that you have to do or deal with before doing anything else. Most self-help gurus suggest setting your priorities each day, using the “3 MIT” idea. Each day, you should have no more than three “Most Important Tasks (MIT).” Your MIT is your priority for the day.
Do you think that exercising or eating healthily should be an MIT each day? Of course it is a priority, right? We want to stay in shape, so exercising and eating well are priorities for us, but do you actually put these things on your To Do list? I sometimes do… I definitely put running on my To Do list three times a week, but I was wondering if other people do this? Do you? What are your priorities each day? Come and tell me on the English Now! Facebook page!

weight-loss  体重の減少

weight-loss 体重の減少

September 22, 2016  =========
☆ weight-loss 体重の減少
Is weight-loss and how to be slim a popular topic in Japan? When I lived in Japan, I often saw advertising for weight-loss and gadgets or new exercise ideas that could help you lose weight. I always thought this was surprising, because most Japanese people are already slim anyway, so there is no need for weight-loss!
However, now that I have returned to Australia, there are so many overweight people, that weight-loss is actually really important – for health and to avoid diabetes for example. However, I don’t see that many advertisements for weight-loss. There are a few famous names such as “Weight Watchers” (a company selling food for weight-loss) and “Michelle Bridges” (an online personal trainer and TV personality) but otherwise, it seems that no one is really interested in weight-loss. I’m a bit worried about this, really…

digestion  消化

digestion 消化

September 21, 2016  =========
☆ digestion 消化
The word, “digestion” can be used in two ways. Firstly, “digestion” is the process of digesting foods. For example, they say it is better not to drink when eating because the liquid can interfere with digestion. Also, although we think that digestion happens in the stomach, for many foods, digestion actually starts in the mouth.
The other meaning of “digestion” is that it is the name of the system in the human body that digests food. The mouth, stomach, intestines and other organs are all part of this digestion system.

mouthful  一口

mouthful 一口

September 20, 2016  =========
☆ mouthful 一口
Continuing on from yesterday’s talk about temptations – I guess if I were a “strong” person, then I could just have a “mouthful” of the cake and leave the rest, right? One mouthful won’t hurt my diet… but I don’t know about you, personally I find it impossible to have just one mouthful!
In the book I talked about earlier in the month, “Better than Before” she talks about this idea – some people should just have a mouthful when they are trying to diet, and some people should have none at all because they cannot stop after just one mouthful. Are you the sort of person who can have just one mouthful of something – for example, one mouthful of cake or one mouthful of wine? I’m not… it’s all or nothing for me. Lol 🙂

temptation  誘惑

temptation 誘惑

September 19, 2016  =========
☆ temptation 誘惑
Something that is a temptation for you is a thing that you want to have (or do). What kinds of temptations can be harmful to staying in shape?
For me, a cake with my latte is my biggest temptation! I love to have a latte at a café every Saturday morning while my boys go to Japanese school… unfortunately the café always has so many yummy looking cakes and other temptations! In English we say this kind of thing is “not good for my wallet or my waistline” – in other words it decreases the amount of money in my wallet and increases the inches on my waistline! Is there a similar saying in Japanese?
What is your biggest temptation when trying to stay in shape or get healthy?

vulnerable  もろい

vulnerable もろい

September 18, 2016  =========
☆ vulnerable もろい
Have you heard of today’s word? It is used to describe someone who is weak or without protection and therefore they are easily hurt physically or emotionally. It can describe something that is easily harmed or affected by something bad.
So how does today’s word relate to staying in shape? Here are some ways you could use today’s word:
People with high blood pressure are vulnerable to diabetes.
During pregnancy, the baby is vulnerable to toxins in the mother’s foods.
Using sunscreen can help protect vulnerable skin from the sun’s UV rays.
It’s a bit tricky, but can you use vulnerable in a sentence?

vital  いきいきした

vital いきいきした

September 17, 2016  =========
☆ vital いきいきした
If you describe someone as “vital” you mean that they are energetic and full of life. It is often used to describe older people, who you wouldn’t expect to be that lively. However, it can be used to describe young people too. For example, “Her new boyfriend is a very vital person, just like her.” Or “She is still so vital despite her age.”
Vital also has another meaning, which means that something is necessary or important. If something is vital to another thing, it is crucial. For example, “She gave vital information to the police about the robbery.”
The two words are quite different in meaning, don’t get them mixed up! 🙂

flexible  柔軟性のある

flexible 柔軟性のある

September 16, 2016  =========
☆ flexible 柔軟性のある
Being flexible means that you are able to change and adapt easily to different conditions or circumstances. Do you think being flexible is important to staying in shape? I think it is really important! For me, with young kids it is not always easy to find time to exercise, so I need to be flexible with my plans – sometimes I plan to run in the morning at 5am for example, but if my child is sick or wakes up early, then of course I cannot go.
With eating too, I like to decide the menu for the week ahead because it makes dinner time much smoother and easier. However, sometimes when I can’t make what I had planned because we don’t have the right ingredients or work was too busy so I don’t have enough time. In those times I have to be flexible and change the menu – or buy takeout… 😉
Do you think you are flexible? In what way does being flexible help you?

bloated  むくんだ

bloated むくんだ

September 15, 2016  =========
☆ bloated むくんだ
There are two ways to use “bloated.” Firstly, it can mean that part of your body is larger than usual, because it has a lot of liquid or gas in it. Pregnant women often get bloated ankles and legs. Also some people experience bloated legs after flying in an airplane.
The second way to use “bloated” is to describe a feeling of a full stomach after eating too much. For example, “I ate too much at dinner and now I feel really bloated!” Or “Too much dairy always makes me feel bloated, so I try not to drink milk in my coffee.”

dehydrated  脱水の

dehydrated 脱水の

September 14, 2016  =========
☆ dehydrated 脱水の
When you are “dehydrated” it means that you haven’t drunk enough and your body needs more water. Yesterday I talked about feeling “hangry,” I don’t usually get angry when I am hungry, but when I am dehydrated I do! I’m not sure why, but when I have not drunk enough water, and feel dehydrated that is when I can be very irritable.
Our bodies are amazing, aren’t they? If you pay attention to the signals, they can tell you a lot of things… mine tells me when I am dehydrated. How about your body? Does it let you know when you are dehydrated or hungry? What are the signals for you?

hungry  空腹の

hungry 空腹の

September 13, 2016  =========
☆ hungry 空腹の
I’m sure you already know today’s word – it might be one of the first words you learn in school English maybe? If you are “hungry” you want to eat food because you have an empty or painful feeling in your stomach, right?
How about the word, “hangry”? Have you heard of this word? Basically change the “u” to an “a” and you have a recent new English word, “hangry” which is when you are feeling angry or irritable because you are hungry! The word is a blend of “angry” and “hungry”… do you ever feel “hangry”?

conscious  意識的な

conscious 意識的な

September 12, 2016  =========
☆ conscious 意識的な
When we talk about staying in shape or getting healthy one of the important things we need to do is make a “conscious decision” to do it. When we make a conscious decision to do something, we do it with our full attention. If we just think vaguely about wanting to get healthy or now that we are healthy, wanting to stay in shape, then it probably won’t happen. We really need to be conscious and aware of our goal in order to reach it.
An example for me was that last year I had a training plan for my running from a running coach, and I made a conscious decision to take part in an ultra-marathon at the end of October. So I ran regularly, ate well, and reached most of my goals. This year, however, I didn’t make any conscious plans to run any events, and I have suddenly been “too busy” to run… strange! Even though I’m not really busier than last year – without the conscious decision to train and run, I cannot find the time to do it!
How about for you? Have you ever noticed the difference in your own life from making or not making a conscious decision to do something?

adopt  身につける

adopt 身につける

September 11, 2016  =========
☆ adopt 身につける
When you adopt a new attitude, plan, or way of behaving, you begin to have that thing. It is common, for example, to talk about adopting new habits. In fact, if you do a Google search for “adopt a habit” you’ll get about 16 million results! Wow!
Last year I read a great book about adopting new habits, by Gretchen Rubin, called “Better than Before.” In this book she says that there are four main personalities that people fit into, and depending on which personality you are, then the method to adopt a new habit will be different. Do you find it easy or difficult to adopt new habits?
If it is difficult, maybe you should take a look at this book! At the moment though there is no Japanese translation – so you can learn about adopting new habits AND improve your English at the same time. 🙂

nourish  栄養を与える

nourish 栄養を与える

September 10, 2016  =========
☆ nourish 栄養を与える
When you “nourish” a person, animal, or even a plant, it means that you give them the food that is necessary for them to live, grow and be in good health. Here are some examples:
The food that a pregnant woman eats nourishes both her and the baby.
There are microbes in the soil that nourish the plant.
You can also use “nourish” to talk about feeding something emotionally not just physically. For example, “My mother nourished my dream of traveling to Europe.” And “Although the newspapers don’t create public opinion, they can help to nourish it.” (This means that the newspapers write stories that support the public opinion that they want people to have.)

slouch  前屈みになる

slouch 前屈みになる

September 9, 2016  =========
☆ slouch 前屈みになる
When you slouch, it means that you sit or stand with your shoulders and head bent so that you look lazy and unattractive. Slouching is a sign of bad posture, but these days because everyone spends so much time on computers and smart phones, slouching is becoming more and more common.
How about in Japan? When I lived in Japan, I thought that most Japanese people had great posture and slouching was not that common – except for people sitting on the train, tired on their way home from work! Is slouching becoming more common? Do you do any exercises or stretches to make sure that you can maintain good posture?

loathe  嫌う

loathe 嫌う

September 8, 2016  =========
☆ loathe 嫌う
Today’s word is the opposite of yesterday, and again, although it seems like a strong word, it is fine to use “loathe” when talking about foods you loathe, or the things you loathe doing.
I have a lot of friends that like to stay in shape, but they loathe running, so they go to the gym instead. Is there anything you loathe doing to stay fit? Even though you loathe doing it, do you still do it? I have a friend who loathes running, but still does it – only they complain about it all the time! They are not much fun to run with!
Another example from my life would be natto – even though I know it’s healthy, I still loathe it and cannot bear to eat it. Are there any foods you loathe?

love  愛する

love 愛する

September 7, 2016  =========
☆ love 愛する
You’re probably used to using this word, “love” to talk about feelings towards people such as family and friends. However, in English we use “love” when talking about pretty much everything! For example, I love running. I love chocolate. Maybe I love running because I love chocolate? Ha ha…
Anyway, it is very common to talk about foods that you like, and it is fine to use the word “love” even though it might seem a little strong. So what kinds of foods do you love that help you stay in shape? What kinds of exercises do you love doing that help you stay in shape? I said running and chocolate… of course, I meant Lindt’s dark chocolate 99% cocoa…. Right?!

wolf down  がつがつ食べる

wolf down がつがつ食べる

September 6, 2016  =========
☆ wolf down がつがつ食べる
So yesterday we talked about chewing slowly and mindfully. Today’s word is the complete opposite… “Wolf down” is an informal word, which describes eating in a quick and greedy way. You can also just say, “wolf” but in my experience, “wolf down” is more common. Here are some example sentences:
He wolfed down the rest of the cheese.
She was in a rush for work so she bought a muffin and wolfed it down on the train.
He always wolfs down his food, so I’m trying to teach him to slow down.
I’ve never seen a wolf eat, but apparently this verb is based on the idea of “eating like a wolf” … so I guess wolves must get hungry and eat quickly when they find food!

chew  かむ

chew かむ

September 5, 2016  =========
☆ chew かむ
When you “chew” your food, you use your teeth to break up the food in your mouth so that it becomes easier to swallow. Many people say that for good health you should chew each piece of food that you eat 100 times! I have tried this – but I always end up forgetting what number I had counted to!
Do you chew your food slowly and thoroughly before swallowing? I must admit I’m not good at chewing and tend to eat more quickly than I should. However, my oldest son always chews his food sooooo slowly! It’s a great habit and very healthy so I don’t try to get him to hurry up, but sometimes dinner can take a long time to finish! Ha ha 🙂

blood pressure  血圧

blood pressure 血圧

September 4, 2016  =========
☆ blood pressure 血圧
Do you know what your blood pressure is? Is it low? Normal? High?
I haven’t checked mine recently, but I do have a blood pressure monitor to use at home. When I run more than three times a week, I use it to check my blood pressure each morning, just to make sure I am not stressing my body too much. My blood pressure is usually low, so I check it to make sure that it isn’t too low after a heavy running schedule.
Do you ever check your blood pressure? When do you check it? Why do you check it?

fad  流行

fad 流行

September 1, 2016  =========
☆ fad 流行
Sorry, sorry, sorry! I do not know what happened! Suddenly it is already 10pm on September 3rd and I haven’t sent out any Eigo Techo mails for September yet. As I said, I don’t know what happened, but I was so busy that I just totally forget to write to you! Sorry!!
So, let’s put September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd all together in this email, and get back on track in the daily emails tomorrow, OK?
September 1 – fad 流行
September 2 – nutrition栄養
September 3 – body image ボディーイメージ
This month’s topic is “Staying in Shape”. What does staying in shape mean to you?
Do you get caught up in the fitness fads that come up all the time? I don’t watch much TV, so I don’t get to see TV commercials advertising the latest “exercise gadget” but I do see a lot of ads on the Internet – many of them are about nutrition, for example, there are many different versions of this ad: “Five foods you should never eat if you want to lose weight.” Or, this one that says, “Dr. Oz says this one thing is more important than exercise.” When I clicked on the link, it was just a diet pill. A fad, and nothing healthy or good for you! Certainly not good nutrition!
How about “gluten free”? Is this a fad in Japan? It started as a fad here in Australia, but really now, it’s almost like a common thing for people to say they don’t eat gluten anymore.
And our third word, body image. This word has become more and more common in daily English and in fashion and health news. In Australia, people talk about body image a lot. Our “body image” is the way we feel about our own body. A lot of young people, girls and women in particular, compare their own body with the women that they see in magazines and on advertisements. This often leads to a negative body image, because the advertisement makes the woman look “perfect” and this is pretty impossible for the average person. In France and Israel, there are new laws that say that the advertisement must state if it has been altered using Photoshop or some other software. What do you think of this idea?
This is an interesting article on the topic of Photoshop and body image. It’s long – but even if you don’t want to read it, there are some interesting pictures showing Photoshop and how images can be changed.
Anyway, that is all for today! Sorry for the long email and for missing the first few days! I’ll be back on track tomorrow. 🙂

abundance  (生活の)豊かさ

abundance (生活の)豊かさ

August 31, 2016 =========
☆ abundance (生活の)豊かさ
When you have an abundance of something, you have a lot of it. You can use it to talk about wealth and money: My life is filled with abundance. Or you can use it to talk about things not necessarily connected to money. For example, Australia has an abundance of native wildlife. Or my hometown has an abundance of safe, beautiful beaches.
How about your own life? Is it filled with abundance? This is the Q & A question at the end of August in the Eigo Techo, so you can have a look at some sample answers in there. Then come to the Facebook page and tell me about all the abundance you have in your life. If you can’t think of anything, remember yesterday’s word, and pay attention to the abundance in your life and I’m sure you’ll find more and more!
See you next month!

attention  注目

attention 注目

August 30, 2016 =========
☆ attention 注目
Attention is your focus or concentration on something. Today’s word is a noun, but it is often used with verbs such as crave, cry, hate, give or pay, so let’s look at how it is used with those verbs.
Crave attention – someone who craves attention wants everyone’s focus and concentration just on them.
Cry for attention – someone who cries for attention will do something (such as crying) to get another person’s focus on them. Children often cry for attention when they think their parent is ignoring them.
Hate attention – someone who hates attention does not like to stand out or have people focus on them.
Give/Pay attention – if you give something or someone your attention you look at it/them or think about it/them carefully.

passenger mentality  受け身の考え方

passenger mentality 受け身の考え方

August 29, 2016 =========
☆ passenger mentality 受け身の考え方
Have you heard this word before? When we talk about “mentality” we mean attitude, personality, or character. I’m sure you know what passenger is, right? If you’re in a car, there’s a driver and a passenger – the driver is active, the passenger is passive – the passenger doesn’t need to do anything to make the car go to the destination.
So, when we talk about a passenger mentality, we are talking about someone who has a passive personality; they do not take active steps in their own life to create the life they want. If you feel like you are stuck in passenger mentality mode, an interesting thing you can try is to rephrase your words and sentences into the active mode – in English, that would mean using “I” and words like “want to” rather than “have to.”

invest  投資する

invest 投資する

August 28, 2016 =========
☆ invest 投資する
Usually when we talking about investing, we are talking about money. As in, you invest a sum of money in a company or in shares or in some way, with the hope that it will increase in value.
Another way that we commonly use “invest” is with self-development, when we talk about investing in ourselves and our own education. For example, taking a workshop, attending a seminar, doing an online course and so on, are all ways to invest in yourself and increase your “value” either to yourself or to your company. Have you invested in yourself recently? Why – or why not?

fulfill  実行する

fulfill 実行する

August 27, 2016 =========
☆ fulfill 実行する
When you “fulfill” something, such as a promise, dream, or hope, you do what you said or hoped you would do. This month, I said I would renew my webpage… I have just a few days left! I hope I can fulfill this dream.
Did you set goals at the beginning of the year? Have you been able to fulfill them yet? What did you do to make sure that you did fulfill your dream? Did you have a plan or a schedule? Do you have any goals or dreams that you haven’t fulfilled yet? Do you need to spend more time on those or is everything going according to plan?

reinforce  強くする

reinforce 強くする

August 26, 2016 =========
☆ reinforce 強くする
If something reinforces an idea, or feeling, it strengthens it. For example, studying a little bit of English each day, such as this daily mail! 🙂 can reinforce your English ability and vocabulary without much effort. If you attend a workshop or meeting, reviewing your notes that night and the next day can reinforce your learning and memory of the content.
You can also reinforce an actual object to make it stronger. For example, in Japan, many buildings are reinforced to withstand earthquakes. In Australia, we don’t need to reinforce buildings in preparation for earthquakes, but depending on the area, some houses are reinforced to withstand cyclones and flooding.

keep (約束などを)守る

keep (約束などを)守る

August 25, 2016 =========
☆ keep (約束などを)守る
There are many different ways to use the word, “keep.” In fact, if you check your dictionary you might find about twenty or so different ways to use “keep” as a verb! Today, though, we’ll just look at the idea of keeping “something” such as a promise or an appointment.
When you keep a promise or an appointment, you do what you said you would do. Here are some examples:
I hope my brother keeps his promise to come and visit us during the holidays.
I just don’t trust him; he never keeps his word. (He never does what he says he will do.)
She always keeps her promises.
Can you use keep in a sentence?

create  創造する

create 創造する

August 24, 2016 =========
☆ create 創造する
Create can be used in two ways. Firstly, it can mean to produce something; to cause it to happen or to exist. For example:
This new product will create a lot of revenue for the company.
She is always creating new artwork.
I want to create a bright future for our family.
If you criticize him, you will just create a feeling of failure.
The other use for create is to mean “invent”, so when you create a new product, you invent it or design it. So, looking at two of the above examples:
We have created a new product that will bring in a lot of revenue for the company.
She is always creating new styles of art.
Have you created anything recently? What did you create?

affirm  確認する

affirm 確認する

August 23, 2016 =========
☆ affirm 確認する
When you affirm something that something is true, you state firmly and publicly that it is true. This is a formal word, and you’ll most likely hear it in the news or see it in the newspaper or in reports. For example, “The president affirmed the country’s commitment to peace.” Or, “He affirmed his loyalty to the country.”
Some other words with a similar meaning, that you might hear more often are: declare, assert, confirm, pronounce, state, and swear. Just for your information, the opposite of “affirm” is “deny.” For example, “The president denied the country’s commitment to peace.” Or, “He denied his loyalty to the country.”

believe  信じる

believe 信じる

August 22, 2016  =========
☆ believe 信じる
“What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” Mary Kay Ash
Have you heard this quote before? Actually, there are many quotes about believing in yourself and achieving your dreams, so if you haven’t heard this one, I’m sure that you have heard something similar. What are your favorite “believe” quotes? Some of mine are:
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
“Follow your dreams, believe in yourself, and don’t give up.”
“Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams.”
And, this great one by Audrey Hepburn, “Anyone who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.” I love that one. 🙂 What’s your favorite?

determined  断固たる

determined 断固たる

August 21, 2016  =========
☆ determined 断固たる
If you are determined to do something, you have made a firm decision to do it and will not let anything stop you. In my case, I could say “I am determined to finish my webpage upgrade this month!”
You’ll often hear this word used in relation to goals and achievement. For example:
I’m determined to run a marathon this year.
I’m determined to lose 5 kilos before summer!
I’m determined to get a promotion at work within the next six months.
So, how about you? What are you determined to do or accomplish before the end of 2016?

overwhelming  圧倒的な

overwhelming 圧倒的な

August 20, 2016  =========
☆ overwhelming 圧倒的な
If something is overwhelming, it affects you very strongly, and you do not know how to deal with it. This is an important word for business – or even home life – for when you are trying to make something happen, like this month’s topic. Earlier in the month I told you I was tackling my home page and wanted to renew it this month. And although I understand the basics of using WordPress, actually creating a webpage is very overwhelming and time consuming for me!
If I just say my “to do” item is “renew webpage” then of course, it’s going to be overwhelming!! How do I do that? However, if I break it doesn’t into small, easy-to-accomplish steps, then it shouldn’t be so overwhelming… I hope! How about you, are you finding anything overwhelming at the moment? Can you break it down into smaller steps to make it less overwhelming?

strict  厳しい

strict 厳しい

August 19, 2016  =========
☆ strict 厳しい
You can use “strict” to describe a rule or order that is very clear, precise, and must be obeyed completely. For example, “Our privacy laws are very strict.” Or, “Even if you follow a strict diet, you can still eat at restaurants if you are careful.”
Another way to use “strict” is to describe a person, such as a parent or a boss. For example, “Her parents were very strict when she was growing up.” Or “My boss is so strict about finishing projects on time that everyone has to do overtime.”
Are you a strict person? In what way? Do you think being strict is a positive or negative personality trait?

urgent  緊急の

urgent 緊急の

August 18, 2016  =========
☆ urgent 緊急の
I guess one of the reasons a lot of people feel stressed (and frustrated!) is because these days, everything seems to be urgent! We are switched on, 24-7, there is really no down-time, which leads to the feeling that we must do everything and get it all done quickly, because… well, it’s urgent!
I often do things because I feel that thing is “urgent” or someone said “this is urgent.” However, soon after doing it, I realize that it wasn’t really urgent – it wasn’t critical that the thing be done immediately. It seemed urgent, but actually, it could have waited and been done later. Does this ever happen to you? How do you determine what is actually urgent, crucial for right now, and what can wait, and be done later?

stressed  ストレスのある

stressed ストレスのある

August 17, 2016  =========
☆ stressed ストレスのある
Here’s another feeling word for you, “stressed” … although I’m sure that this is probably a common word for most people, unfortunately! Is “stressed” a word that you use a lot? I do! I know that I shouldn’t use it so much, but it’s hard not to feel stressed with young kids, a business/job, study to do, and a house to run!
How about you? Are you often stressed? What makes you feel stressed? If you don’t often feel stressed, what is your secret? Can you share your tips and tactics on Facebook with me? I’d love to know!

essential  不可欠な

essential 不可欠な

August 16, 2016  =========
☆ essential 不可欠な
Something that is essential is something that is extremely important or crucial to the situation or project. Since we’re talking about “Make it Happen” this month, then you could talk about the things that are essential to making your project happen, or essential to reaching your goal.
So, if “essential” is something that we definitely need, what do you call something that is not necessary, as in the opposite of essential? In fact, we say it is a “nonessential.” As you know, in English, when we make a negative, we often add “un” or “in”, but in this case, we add, “non.” Something that is nonessential is not absolutely necessary, it would be good to have, but it’s not vital.

frustrated  イライラした

frustrated イライラした

August 15, 2016  =========
☆ frustrated イライラした
Do you know many feeling words in English? One of the hardest things for me, learning to speak Japanese, is not having enough “feeling” words. When I cannot describe how I feel, I feel very frustrated. It’s a little bit like being a child again – we have lots of different feelings, but we don’t know the right words for them.
Do you ever feel like that? Do you ever feel frustrated because you can’t explain how you feel in English? If you do, then a good tactic is to make a list of all the words you use in Japanese and then spend some time making a bilingual Mind Map, or a list of words, or the “tangocho” vocabulary flip book. This way you have a list of words you can refer to when you feel frustrated if you cannot explain your exact feeling. There are so many different words you could use, so don’t limit yourself to, “frustrated!”

contribution  貢献

contribution 貢献

August 14, 2016  =========
☆ contribution 貢献
“Contribution” can be used in three different ways.
Firstly, if you make a contribution to something, you do something to make it successful or to produce it. For example, “He was awarded a prize for his contribution to world peace.”
Secondly, a contribution can be a sum of money that you give in order to help pay for something. This is also sometimes called a “donation.” For example, “My company makes a contribution to the XYZ charity each year.”
Thirdly, this meaning is a little different, if you make a contribution to a magazine, newspaper, book, or even a blog page, you write something to be published in that magazine etc.
What kind of contribution would you like to make?

achievement  成果

achievement 成果

August 13, 2016  =========
☆ achievement 成果
An achievement is something you have succeeded in doing, especially after a lot of effort. Other words with similar meanings are: accomplishment, act, effort, feat, deed.
We often hear about someone’s “greatest achievement.” For example, when Obama is replaced as President of the USA, we will probably hear a lot about what people consider his greatest achievement as president to be. If you were thinking about your own life so far, what would you consider your greatest achievement to be? Are you happy with that achievement, or are you still working on bigger goals?
Comment on the Facebook page to let me know!

benefit  利益

benefit 利益

August 12, 2016  =========
☆ benefit 利益
The benefit of something is the help or advantage that you get from it. It could be a momentary benefit or it could be assistance or value in a practical way. I recently read a book that suggested that you keep track of your “income”, however the author suggested that you list up *everything* that was a benefit to you. It was a way to make sure you realized just how lucky you are each day.
So, for example, you can list your income, but you can also list benefits that have given you value that day. So last weekend, I received a lot of benefits! Not in money, but our neighbors gave us their old BBQ as they bought a new one. Another neighbor gave us four huge grapefruits – yum! And my sister cooked my family dinner and gave us leftovers for lunch the next day! So, there was no actual money as income, but as you can see there was a lot of benefit! What benefits have you received recently?

tactic  戦術

tactic 戦術

August 11, 2016  =========
☆ tactic 戦術
When I was growing up there was an advert for a candy company that sold little mints called “Tic-tac” (You can see an image here: http://tinyurl.com/jj6nh4r). The idea was that you got two hours of fresh mint breath for just 2 calories.
The catch copy was “Tic tacs are my tactic” They reversed the two words to create the word “tactic”, clever, right? So if you had just eaten lunch and needed to go to a meeting, these little mints would be your tactic (strategy or method) to get fresh breath before the meeting!
I think this catch copy is also an interesting tactic, as it is clever and amusing to the brain… I still remember it after 20 years!

cost  費用

cost 費用

August 10, 2016  =========
☆ cost 費用
The cost of something is the amount of money that is needed in order to buy, do, or make it. Here are some example sentences:
The cost of bread has increased recently.
The cost of living in Australia is actually quite high these days.
The selling price is so low at the moment that it doesn’t even cover the cost of production.
These two are similar in cost, which do you prefer?
How is Japan’s economy right now? Are costs high or low? In Australia, it is a good economy, and so things cost quite a bit, especially housing, which continues to rise in cost.

scope  余裕

scope 余裕

August 9, 2016  =========
☆ scope 余裕
If an activity of behavior has “scope” to do it, then people have the opportunity to do the activity. For example, “My boss is great, he believes in giving staff scope for initiative.” In other words, the boss gives the staff the opportunity to be creative and come up with ideas and initiatives for the company. Another example, “Our company now has increased scope to develop new products.” This example, means that the company has more freedom or chances to create new products, perhaps because of more staff or more money.
This might not be a word that you hear very often, here are some alternatives that you might be more likely to hear:
Can you use scope (or any of the alternatives) in a sentence?

time  時間

time 時間

August 8, 2016  =========
☆ time 時間
Do you know Douglas Adams, the British Author who wrote the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” (銀河ヒッチハイク・ガイド) book series? One of my favorite quotes about time is from this book. In it he says:
“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
He says that “time” is an imaginary concept that humans created to stop everything from happening at once. And of course, “lunchtime doubly so” in my opinion, means that nobody ever really has enough time for a proper lunch break, so ‘time doesn’t exist’ and even more true is that ‘lunchtime doesn’t exist.’ However, if you search the internet there are many different explanations of this quote. What do you think it means?

think big  野心的に考える

think big 野心的に考える

August 7, 2016  =========
☆ think big 野心的に考える
“Think big” has actually become a kind of catch phrase for business people. In fact, if you do a google search for “think big” you’ll find so many different images and versions of this verb – yes, that’s right, it can be considered a verb now because it is so commonly used. So instead of it being the verb “think” plus the adjective “big”, it is actually a verb phrase as it is: Think big.
But what does it mean, really? In the simplest definition, think big means “be ambitious.” If you’re going to plan something, plan something that will be difficult to achieve, that will push you to grow and develop yourself in order to achieve it. So, instead of thinking small, for example, “I’m going to increase my income by 100,000yen a year,” think big and aim for an increase of 1,000,000yen. Or think bigger and aim to increase your income by 10,000,000yen a year!!! Have you been thinking big recently? I hope so!

dream  夢見る

dream 夢見る

August 6, 2016  =========
☆ dream 夢見る
Dream can be used as either a noun or a verb. As a noun, a dream is the little movies you experience in your mind while you are asleep. For example, “I had the strangest dream last night! It was about XYZ…. “ It can also mean the unlikely situation that you would like to happen. For example, “As a child his dream was to become the president.” Or “My dream is to live on a farm and grow my own food.”
However! Today’s word is a verb. As a verb you can use it to say that someone saw the imaginary movie in their mind while sleeping. For example, “Last night I was dreaming about XYZ, it was so strange!” And of course, it can refer to the thinking of a situation you want to happen. “As a child he was always dreaming about becoming the president.” Or “Recently, I’ve been dreaming of living on a farm and growing my own food.”
So as you can see, it’s possible to use it as a verb or a noun in the same situation – just make the appropriate grammatical changes.


express  表現する

express 表現する

August 5, 2016  =========
☆ express 表現する
Today’s word is about showing what you think or feel. If you express an idea or feeling well then others around you can understand what you feeling. Although it is an everyday word, it is often used in formal situations, especially when you want to express sympathy. For example, at a funeral, you might say something like these to the family and relatives of the person who died:
I wish to express my condolences.
Please let me express my sincere sympathy to you (and your family).
I’m very sorry for your loss. Words cannot express my feelings.
Of course, you can use “express” in everyday conversation, too! However, it is a word you’ll most commonly hear relating to people expressing sympathy.

allocate  割り振る

allocate 割り振る

August 4, 2016  =========
☆ allocate 割り振る
This is an interesting word to use when “making it happen”. You need to know how to allocate work (similar to delegating) and also how to allocate resources and time to projects in order to get them finished.
For example, if you work in a company, then whenever you have a new project, you may have a certain amount of money allocated to that project as your budget for completing the project. Or you might get staff allocated to your project in order to help the project get done. And of course, you can allocate a certain amount of time each day or week to focus on the project.
Can you use allocate in a sentence? Come and tell me on Facebook and I’ll check it for you.