英語の表現(12)—‘Made a boo-boo’=’Made a silly mistake’

この表現、最初に耳にしたのは、イギリスでテレビを見ているときだったかなと思います。留学中は、英語のいろいろなアクセントに慣れるために、時間が取れると、とにかくテレビ番組をたくさん見たものです。当時、イギリス人の恩師が社会言語学(方言の研究)を研究していたので、そう奨められたのも理由の1つでした。さて、今日の表現に関する以下の英語の説明を読んでみてください。

According to Longman’s Advanced American Dictionary, ‘boo-boo’ is defined as follows: ‘a word meaning a silly mistakes, often used when speaking to children. The expression is mainly used as a spoken language and it is pretty informal in nature, but you can use this expression in your e-mail to somone close to you.

Let’s say, you missed all your lectures in the morning yesterday, and on the following day you see your friend first thing in the morning. You could say something like: ‘Oh, I missed all the lectures in the morning yesterday because I thought it was Sunday yesterday, but in fact it was Monday! I really made a boo-boo!’

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英語の表現(11)— ‘Off We Go!’

留学して間もない頃、この表現をイギリス人から聞いたときは、不思議な感じでした。そのときの私の英語力であれば、’Let’s go!’ という表現を使うだろうなーという状況で、イギリス人は、(a) ‘Off we go!’ とか (b) ‘Off you go!’ という表現を使っていたのです。(a) は、この表現を言っている人も、相手と一緒に移動する場合の表現、(b)はこの表現を言っている人は、そこに立ったままで、相手を見送る場合の使い方です。 この表現を使う状況を以下に箇条書きにしてみました。これで、イメージが湧くのではないかと思います。

(1)何人かの友達と駅前で待ち合わせをしていて、最後の一人が来たときに:’Oh, here she comes. OK, off we go then.’

(2)朝、家の玄関で、お母さんが自分の子供に弁当箱を渡した直後に:’OK. You’d better hurry up this morning as we are ten minutes late than usual. Off you go! Don’t be late for the school!’

(3)愛犬(キンジー)を「待て」のポーズで自分の隣に座らせておいた状態で、ボールを遠くへ投げてから、犬に向って:’No, not yet! Waiiiiit!!!!!, Kinsey. And off you go!’

スペースアルクでは、’off  you go’ の「けんか腰的な」意味が載っているのですが、イギリス英語において通常用いられる語感と異なった意味が載っています。もちろん言葉は生き物ですから、最近ではこういう風な攻撃的な使い方をするのかもしれませんが、私の経験した範囲では、「さあ、行こう!」とか「行ってらっしゃい」くらいの意味が一番多かったですね。

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情報1年:Afterthought(10月17日講義)

On this Friday, we practiced a set expression using the following structure:

‘Do you ever wish you had more / a [                          ]?

where you insert an appropriate word in the brackets.

How about the following dialogue for you to remember?

[Dialogue]

Takuya: ‘Do you ever wish you had more courage to speak up in our English class?’

Kanako: ‘Yes, I often wish that. If we were to speak up more in the class, the class would become more exciting and stimulating.’

Takuya: ‘Exactly! If only that were to happen…. I am afraid we students are usually too afraid to say something during the lecture because most of us do not want to make any mistakes in front of other students.’

Kanako: ‘That is very ture, isn’t it? I suppose it is a part of Japanese classroom culture. We are simply not used to exchanging our opinions in a dynamic way as they do in some English-speaking countries.’

Takuya: ‘Yes, you are right. And other thing is that traditionally Japanese people tend to be very sensitive to the feelings of other people. Such trait could easily get in the way when trying to have a lively discussion during the English lessons. Because most of the time, most of us become so nervous about how other students are going to think of us if we say something in front of the class!’

Kanako: ‘How true! Also most of us tend to have a stage fright when we become the centre of attention in the class.’

Takuya: ‘Yes, I think so. The best thing we can do now is to try to make a little effort to express our opinions each time we sit in the class.’

Kanako: ‘Yes, there is no shortcut to this cultural problem. We would feel more comfortable if our teacher would make a strict rule of not laughing at a student who makes a mistake in front of the class!’

Takuya: ‘Yes, that would be ideal.’

Kanako: ‘OK. I have to dash off to the next lecture. See you later!’

Takuya: ‘All right. Bye for now!’

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英語の表現(10)— ‘on the rocks’

本日付のBBCオンライン・ニュースに、次のような見出しがありました:「マドンナ、リッチーと離婚か」

問題となっている記事に素早く目を通してみました。記事によると、同カップルは間もなく離婚するであろうという報道でした。記事の中で、以下の一文が興味を引きました。’There has been increasing speculation in recent months that the couple’s relationship was on the rocks.’

一部の読者の皆さんは、この表現を聴いたことがあるかもしれませんね。この表現は、「困難な局面を迎え、早々に破綻する可能性が高い人間関係」を描写する際に良く使われます。

In today’s BBC online news, the following headline was seen: Madonna ‘to split’ from Ritchie.

I quickly read through the article in question. It was reporting that the divorce of the couple was imminent, and in the article the following sentenc particularly interested me: ‘There has been increasing speculation in recent months that the couple’s relationship was on the rocks.’

Some of you may have heard of this expression ‘on the rock’ before. The expression is often used when to describe a relationship that is facing a lot of problems and is likely to fail soon.