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English conversation (英語会話)

Mount Usu / Sarobetsu post-mined peatland
From left: Crater basin in 1986 and 2006. Cottongrass / Daylily

Spoken English (口語英語)

Rhythm (リズム)

To obtain English characteristics (Jones 1981, lecture notes)
Let's sing

Candle song
Counting song
Christmas carols(s)

Rhythm ⇒ Stress ⇒ Intonation

Simple structures and binary rhythm

Many simple English sentences or phrases have a two-beat rhythm. Compare nursery rhymes and folk song. Such utterances are usually directives, questions, exclamations. The stronger of the two stresses (or beats) will usually be the second of the two beats: that is, if it is the rheme - the new information (what I am saying about the theme). The theme - often already given - is also stressed, of course (it is a beat), but not so strongly. Sometimes, though, the rheme may come first - if, for instance, we had already been talking about 'father' in 2 and 3 below, then 'who's' and 'how's' would be more strongly stressed. Compare:

Who is your Father? My father's a Farmer yet.
What is your fortune? My face is my fortune.
What's the matter?
What can the matter be?
Who's your father?
How's your father?
(Will you) Close the door.
(Would you) Pass the mustard (please).
Had a nice holiday?
What weather!
What a storm!
What's the time?
Where are you going?

What are you doing?
When are you coming?
What does this cost?
(Just) Look at the time!
Come over here
(Please) Watch your language!
What out for the signal!
Look out!
(Now) Please be quiet
Please speak to me
Whatever next!
(Are you) Going my way?
Heavens above!

The following dialogue has been written in simple two-beat structures - or pairs of such structures. Such a dialogue is a little unreal, but it is not impossible.

Mr. Sato: Mrs. Green?
Mrs. Green: Mr. Sato?
Mr. Sato: That's right!
Mrs. Green: Do come in! How d'you do?
Mr. Sato: Very well, thank you!
Mrs. Green: (It's) nice to meet you (How nice …)

Constructive stress; semantic stress; syntactic stress

We often use a word which - in its context - is a variable: that is to say, it is a member of a 'set' of words which form a kind of family - as 'England' is a member of the family of the countries of Europe, and 'Europe' is a member of the family of the five continents. We give to such words a special stress.
We also employ semantic/syntactic stress: when words in an utterance are in some sort of balancing relationship with each other - either in terms of meaning (semantics) or in terms of sentence structure (syntax) - usually both together.

Speech verb (会話動詞)

verb: core meaning - example
bear: have something, hard to take
- I'm a bit serious today, but please bear with me.
- Will the ice bear?
blow: move air
- Blow your nose.
- John blew the party.
break: come apart, destroy the wholeness
- The shrub broke the baby's fall from the balcony.
- School will break the summer.
bring: come with
- Party games bring a party to life.
- Her scream brought the police.
call: give a signal to
- Will you call me a taxi?
- The chairman called the committee to order.
carry: have + move
- Kelly carries the news department.
- You're got to carry a gun in this area.
cast: throw
- The snake cast its skin.
- The die is cast.
catch: take + hold
- She caught my eye.
- The hook doesn't catch.
come: move toward
- I'm coming.
- Safety comes first.
cut: divide, separate, open, remove with something sharp
- His statement really cut me.
- I cut him when I saw him at the party.
do: carry on an activity to its end
- I'm done.
- This will not do.
- Do the dishes.
draw: pull smoothly
- The TV commercial is drawing well.
- Let the tea draw for twenty minutes.
drive: make go
- It's pride that drives her.
- This is driving me crazy.
drop: fall suddenly
Let's drop the subject.
Where shall I drop you?
fall: come down from a higher place
- Prices are falling.
- Our project fell to the ground. get: to come to have
- "Get it?" "Yes, I've got it."
- "Get him, kid"
give: let have - Give me a hand, will you? This is so heavy.
- Give me your attention, please.
go: move along
- My grandmother went peacefully last night.
- Her eyesight is going.
hang: fasten at one end
- Everything hangs on his answer.
- Hang onto Daddy!
have: be with
- You have a nice smile.
- Have a heart, Tom. Let her do that.
hold: grasp + keep
- This meal should hold you until ten in the evening.
- Will this button hold?
keep: have + duration
- How long can I keep this book?
- I keep nothing from you.
lay: put … in place
- A shower has laid the dust.
- They laid the carpet on the floor.
let: to allow
- His song really lets me down.
- Let me in under your umbrella.
look: use the eyes, appear
- We looked but saw nothing.
- Look alive, guys!
make: bring into being
- That makes sense.
- We will make Tokyo before noon.
move: change place or position
- This will move the bowels.
- I was deeply moved by the story.
pick: take … with something pointed
- Don't pick your nose.
- Our daughter picks up every word I say.
pull: draw toward with force
- The engine doesn't pull.
- Pull over to the side.
push: move away with force
- Don't push me around. You are not my boss.
- I'm not pushing. If you don't like it, just don't take it.
put: cause … to be in some place
- I have to put the baby to bed.
- Let me put it this way.
run: keep going, cause … to move
- The tap is running.
- If you wash this at home, the color will run.
set: put … in a particular place
- We've got everything. All set.
- Jelly sets as it cools.
shake: move quickly backward and forward, up and down, or from side to side
- His courage shook when he heard the story.
- We've got to shake him up.
show: put … in sight, be in sight
- Show me how it works.
- She hates me and it shows.
skip: leap lightly along
- She often skips meals.
- If you skip one more class, you will be kicked out.
slip: move smoothly and quickly
- The sales are slipping.
- The boy talked too much and let the secret slip.
split: break + divide
- Let's split the bill.
- The LDP was split over the issue.
stand: be upright in place
- He stood tall even under criticism.
- The thermometer stands at 70.
stay: continue to be
- Stay thin.
- Stay with me, ladies and gentlemen.
stick: fasten by thrusting
- Stick a notice on the board.
- We were stuck in the snow for hours.
strike: give a blow
- Kelly struck a match and put it to his pipe.
- The flu struck the area.
take: grasp and get
- The accident took six lives.
- It's taken.
talk: use words, speak
- Deaf people can talk in sign language.
- Money really talks in this business.
tear: pull apart by force
- Tear the box open.
- She is torn by jealousy.
throw: send … through the air with force, cause … to go
- He felt sick and threw up.
- Tom threw his game.
tie: fasten with string
- Henry tied the knot with Mary.
- Traffic has been tied up for two hours.
touch: cause to be in contact
- Frost touched the flowers.
- The matter touches your interest.
turn: move around
- The strong coffee turned my stomach.
- Turn your money to good use.
walk: go on foot
- I will walk you home.
- Walk, don't run.
wear: have on the body
- She wears a sweet perfume.
- I have no diamond ring to war, but I'm very happy.
work: move with effect or effort
- The medicine has worked.
- Garlic works wonders.

(伊藤 1984)

NHK Radio English Conversation Program (Tougo Katsuaki)

A week in Washington

- Lisa has just met Senator Owen Hobbes at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Senator: In my 16 years of public service, I've never been more sought after. Ironic, don't you think, Ms. Perez?
Lisa: How so?
Senator: I'm drawing more attention for leaving this post than for what I did in it.
Lisa: Well, your reasons for leaving are a bit unusual, if I may say so.
Senator: True. But before we get into that, let's step outside. I could use the fresh air.

- Outside the Capitol building:

Senator: In warmer months I often walk to the Lincoln Memorial. But maybe we'd better settle for the Washington Monument.
Lisa: You decide, Senator. I'm not all that familiar with Washington.
Senator: Fine. I love playing tour guide. Over there we have the National Gallery.
Lisa: With its splendid El Greco collection.
Senator: I can get you thickets for a guided tour, if you like. And on your left is the Smithsonian ...

- As they approach Washington Monument:

Lisa: You seem to know every inch of Washington, Senator Hobbes. Aren't you going to miss it?
Senator: I deeply love this great city, Lisa, but it also has a negative side.
Lisa: You mean the crime and poverty?
Senator: Well, what I had in mind was what Washington does to people. Lisa: The politicians who come here?
Senator: Yes. Everyone forgets that there's more to life than power. And more to America than D.C.
Senator: My stepping down doesn't mean I'm leaving Washington for good, though.
Lisa: Will your new work ever bring you here?
Senator: Probably. I'll be in the media, like yourself. And I also have a novel in the making.
Lisa: A real insider's novel, I hope.
Senator: Oh, yes. I plan to reveal everything as it is. But of course I do intend to use a pen-name.

A Vote for the Family

- Lisa and Senator Hobbes are talking in his office.

Lisa: Is your family the only reason you're quitting the Senate? Or are you also dissatisfied with your job?
Senator: Well, the money's OK. We Senators are the best-paid legislators in the world.
Lisa: I was talking more about the pressures of work.
Senator: Every interesting job has its pressures. No, I simply realized I couldn't be a good Senator and a good Dad at the same time.
Lisa: You've been very active since you came here in '74.
Senator: Yes. Our younger son was born a year later while I was on the campaign trail.
Lisa: That must have been hard.
Senator: Then last year I missed my daughter's high school graduation for similar reasons.
Lisa: So you began to think more about your family life?
Senator: Yes. And I concluded that by the end of another six-year term, my kids will have grown up without their father.
Lisa: You seem to feel strongly about the father's role in the family.
Senator: Not only do children need both parents, but both parents need their kids, too.
Lisa: True, but our country also needs conscientious politicians like you, Senator Hobbes.
Senator: Oh, yes. I've asked myself whether I was not abandoning this great nation.
Senator: Now I'm convinced that my action will have a real impact.
Lisa: What sort of impact?
Senator: I'm putting my kids above power and money. That's making a statement that people will listen to.
Lisa: A statement that family values are important.
Senator: And that politicians can act on their principles.
Lisa: Bravo! Next time you run for office, you have my vote.

Pure and Simple

- Yuji has just arrived at Top Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.

Yuji (knocking as he enters): Hello? Excuse me? Is this Studio Five?
Alan: It sure is. What can I do for you?
Yuji: My name is Yuji Takeda. I'm here to meet with Ms. Bonnie Rydell.
Alan: Ah, yes. We've been expecting you. I'm Alan Lee, Bonnie's director. Come on in.
Yuji: I don't want to be in the way.
Alan: No problem. Bonnie loves an audience.
Alan (through the microphone): Bonnie, can we take that last chorus one more time?
Bonnie: Sure thing. Better yet, let's take it from the top.
Alan: Whatever you say. Ready?
Bonnie: "My Hungry Heart," take two.
Alan (to Yuji): This'll be Bonnie's seventh album, you know.
Yuji: You mean I'm the first to hear it? What luck!
Alan: Remember this song when it hits the top of the charts.
Alan (through the microphone): OK Bonnie. Take a break. There's someone here to see you.

- Bonnie enters the control room.

Bonnie: Hi! You must be the journalist from California.
Yuji: That's right. Yuji Takeda. This is such an honor, Ms. Rydell.
Bonnie: You can call me Bonnie. How did you like "My Hungry Heart?"
Alan: Hold on, Bonnie. It's too soon to ask him that. We've still got a few bug to work out.

- Bonnie is recording her last song while Alan and Yuji chat.

Alan: Are you a country-and-western music buff, Mr. Takeda.
Yuji: No, I must confess I know very little about it.
Alan: Well, then Bonnie's music is a good introduction.
Yuji: Are her lyrics unique in some way?
Alan: Not really. Broken hearts, broken trucks, broken promises.
Yuji: Then why is she so popular?
Alan: Because she sings straight from the heart. Pure and simple.

A Forgetful Star

- Yuji is with country-and-western singer Bonnie Rydell and her director, Alan Lee.

Bonnie: Whew! That was some session! I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.
Alan (to Yuji): Bonnie always forgets to eat before recording sessions.
Yuji: Why don't we go somewhere and talk over a meal, then?
Bonnie: I was hoping you'd suggest that. I know just the place.

- They leave the studio, when Alan runs after them.

Alan: Wait! Bonnie! You forget your purse!
Bonnie (sighs): I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on.

- Bonnie and Yuji arrive at Tommy's Joint.

Tommy: Hi there, Bonnie. How're you doing?
Bonnie (singing): "Hello, Tommy, well hello, Tommy." Two of the usual, please.
Tommy: Coming right up!

- Bonnie and Yuji are settled at a table.

Yuji: This is a real cozy place. Just like home.
Bonnie (singing): "Home, home on the range ...
Yuji: There's a song in everything for you, isn't there?
Bonnie: Yes sir. Music's always been my life.
Bonnie: I grew up on a farm. I used to sit on the haystacks and listen to my Uncle Phil sing.
Yuji: He sang country-and-western music?
Bonnie: I guess so. I didn't know it then, though. I just liked the twang of his banjo.
Yuji: What a romantic scene.
Bonnie: Yeah, it was. I can still see the sun setting over the cornfields.
Yuji: Did you sing along with your uncle?
Bonnie: Yes, and I memorized all his songs. I loved them.
Bonnie: So I naturally began to write lyrics about my world. Cows and farms, love and tears.
Yuji: In other words, just plain life.
Bonnie: That's right. Nothing fancy. That's how I live, so that's what I sing about.
Yuji: I guess that really says it all. Thank you so much for your time, Bonnie.
Bonnie: Well, I've enjoyed it. I'd like to drive you back to your hotel ...
Yuji: Gee, that'd be great.
Bonnie: Unfortunately, I forget where I parked the car ...

A Job Well Done

- Lisa and Yuji are finishing dinner at a restaurant overlooking San Francisco Bay.

Waitress: Let me clear away some of these dishes for you.
Lisa: Thanks, Jeannie. The oysters were superb tonight.
Waitress: Oh, good. I haven't seen you two looking so relaxed in ages.
Yuji: Sunset dinners here on the Bay are always relaxing.
Waitress: Well, take your time and enjoy the evening.
Lisa: When was it you came to the States?
Yuji: It'll be a year next month.
Lisa: Wow, has it been that long? Time flies when you're having fun.
Yuji: Fun?
Lisa: Yes, I've had lots of fun working with you.
Yuji: Really? Thank you, Lisa. I feel the same way.
Waitress: Can I bring you some after-dinner drinks?
Yuji: Yes, I'll have a brandy, please.
Waitress: And another martini for you, Lisa?
Lisa: You read my mind.

(waitress brings drinks)

Lisa: Well, Yuji, here's to the end of a job well done.
Yuji: Not so fast. I have some news for you.
Yuji: I just heard from the head office in Tokyo.
Lisa: Oh-oh. Good news or bad?
Yuji: Great, actually. They're very pleased with my work and want me to continue.
Lisa: That's terrific, Yuji! Did you agree?
Yuji: Yes, but only if I continue to work with a talented partner - one who loves martinis.

American or Irish?

- Lisa and Yuji are sipping cocktails at a restaurant in San Francisco.

Waitress: Lisa, you have a telephone call from your boss.
Lisa: Oh, that David. He can't stand it when I'm not working. Excuse me. (Lisa departs)
Waitress (clearing table): So, Yuji, have you found any "real Americans?"
Yuji: Well, I think we've made a good start.
Waitress: I used to think a lot about what it means to be American.
Yuji: Hmmm. Maybe I should turn on my tape recorder.
Waitress: When I first came from Ireland, I did everything I could to become American.
Yuji: Like what, for instance?
Waitress: Oh, I tried to change my accent, and even to forget about my roots.
Yuji: Were you successful?
Waitress: No. I can't change the fact that I'm Irish. Any coffee for you?

- Yuji is staring into space when Lisa returns.

Lisa: Yuji, what happened? You look like you swallowed a fish.
Yuji: I'm not sure I can continue our project.
Lisa: What do you mean?
Yuji: I mean I can't continue our search for "real Americans."
Lisa: What? You were excited about it just a few minutes ago.
Yuji: That was before I talked to Jeannie.
Yuji: Jeannie lives in America, right?
Lisa: Yes. So?
Yuji: But she's Irish, isn't she?
Lisa: Yes, but ... Yuji, what are you getting at?
Yuji: Which is the "real" Jeannie, the American one or the Irish one?
Lisa: There is no "real" Jean ... I mean, no "real Ameri ... " Now I'm confused!
Yuji (sighs): Let's clear our heads with some coffee.
Lisa: Should we have American coffee, or Irish coffee?

A Flying Doctor

- In Charleville, Queensland, Dr. Fred Davis is explaining the Flying Doctor Service to Yuji and Lisa.

Doctor: I'd never been to Queensland until January of '79, when a big cyclone hit.
Lisa: You came up here to do relief work?
Doctor : Yes, and I loved it. Much more exciting than my clinic in Victoria. So I decided to stay.
Yuji: Did you become a flying doctor right away?
Doctor: Well, I had to learn to fly first! Anyway, I've been doing this for the past six years.
Doctor: Excuse me. I'm getting a call on my wireless. (to wireless) Davis, here. Over.
Jane: Hello, Doctor. This is Jane Wiley. Over.
Doctor: Hello, Jane. How can I help you? Over.
Jane: My boy was stung by a hornet and it still hurts him. Over.
Doctor: Rubbing on a little honey may do the trick. Over.
Jane: OK, I'll give it a try. Anything else? Over.
Doctor: Yes. Be sure to kiss it better. Over.
Jane (laughing): Thanks, Doc. Over and out.
Lisa: Honey for a hornet sting? That's new to me.
Doctor: I hear meat tenderizer is good, too. They're old home remedies that really work.
Lisa: Then you go in for folk medicine?
Doctor: We prefer conventional medicine, but out here, we prescribe whatever is available.
Yuji: Including Aboriginal medicine?
Doctor: Certainly. A lot of them are quite effective.

- A nurse enters.

Nurse: Doctor, while you were talking with Mrs. Wiley, Phil Norton called.
Doctor: Oh, really? How's his wife coming along?
Nurse: She's gone into labor. Twenty-five-minute intervals.
Doctor (to Yuji and Lisa): We'll have to fly out immediately.
Lisa: Here's our chance to watch a flying doctor in action!
Doctor: There are no bystanders in this business. From this moment, Ms. Perez, you're a flying nurse.

New Life in the Outback

- Dr. Fred Davis is flying Lisa and Yuji to the Norton family's farm in the Outback.

Lisa: You seem confident in your flying ability, Doctor.
Doctor: I am. I could fly this craft with my eyes shut.
Yuji: Well, please don't!
Lisa (chuckles): I couldn't shut my eyes with the magnificent desert below.
Doctor: I always experience something new when I fly in the Outback.
Yuji: I'm having quite an experience myself right now. Fear!
Doctor: Don't worry. If we crash, you'll have a doctor on hand. (laughs)

- The plane lands and Phil Norton runs out to meet them.

Phil: Oh, Doc. I thought you'd never arrive. You're just in time.
Doctor: Everything's going to be all right, Phil. Go in and tell Carol that we're here.
Lisa: What can we do to help, Doctor?
Doctor: Go in and heat up some water, Lisa. Yuji, try to calm Phil down, if you can.
Yuji: It looks like I've got quite a job to do.

- Ten minutes later, Yuji is talking with Phil in the living room.

Yuji: Will this be your first child?
Phil (pacing back and forth): Our first child died in infancy.
Yuji: Oh, I'm sorry, I ...
Phil: Now you know why I'm so anxious. Delivering a child is not like delivering a calf.
Yuji: Uh, I imagine not ... Speaking of cattle, you have some real beauties out there.
Phil: Come on. I'll show you some of them. We still have some time before our population increases.

- Phil and Yuji return a little while later. (baby cry)

Phil: Don't tell me the baby's already born!
Lisa: Yes, and it's a healthy little boy.
Phil: A boy! Why, I'm the happiest man on earth!
Yuji: Congratulations!
Lisa: Helping deliver a baby was quite an experience, Yuji.
Doctor: You were great, Lisa. If you ever need a job, I'll be happy to hire you as a flying nurse.

Back Out to the Outback

- Yuji and Lisa are at a rent-a-car agency in Sydney.

Lisa: We'd like to rent a small, compact car, please.
Agent: Where are you heading?
Lisa: For the Outback.
Agent: Oh, that's no good. The dirt and corrugated roads are too rough for a small car.
Yuji: What do you suggest, then?
Agent: You'll need something sturdy, with four-wheel drive.

- Yuji and Lisa have been on the road for nine hours.

Lisa: I sure am glad that car agent convinced us to rent a jeep.
Yuji: No kidding! I've never seen roads like these in my (bump) ah, ouch! ... life!
Lisa: Uh-oh. Look ahead, Yuji. Another fence.
Yuji: Oh, no. Not again! This must be the thirtieth one!
Lisa: And it's your turn to open it.
Yuji (muttering): I knew we should've gone to the beach instead.

- Lisa and Yuji are watching sheep-shearing as they talk with station hand Jack Simms at a sheep station outside Alice Springs.

Mr. Simms: Sheep are sheared in four runs of two hours each.
Yuji: Gee, that's a full day of hard work.
Lisa: Were you ever a sheep shearer, Mr. Simms?
Mr. Simms: Only for a short time. But I started out as a jackeroo forty years ago.
Lisa: A jackeroo?
Mr. Simms: Yes, it's a kind of apprentice. You learn all the tricks of the trade, and especially how to ride well.
Yuji: Are these the famous merino sheep?
Mr. Simms: That's right. Best wool you can find.
Yuji: Does Australia still lead the world in wool production?
Mr. Simms: We sure do. I believe about 17 percent of Australia's wool exports go to Japan.
Yuji: Really? That's interesting, isn't it, Lisa? (pause) Lisa?
Lisa: Oh, sorry. I was just wondering which sheep would provide my next sweater.

A Sheep Farmer's Worst Enemy

- Yuji, Lisa and station hand Jack Simms are barbecuing around a campfire.

Mr. Simms: Looks like these lamb chops are about ready. Hope you like them well-done.
Yuji: Well-done's perfect. Do you barbecue like this often?
Mr. Simms: I can't remember the last time I took it so easy.
Lisa: We heard it was hard to get an appointment with you.
Mr. Simms: That's right. With 30,000 sheep on 60,000 acres of land, there's not much time to relax.
Lisa: Are sheep native to Australia?
Mr. Simms: Well, the story goes that a bloke named John MacArthur imported them about 200 years back.
Yuji: Were other animals imported then, too?
Mr. Simms: Yeah, but they never took off like sheep did.
Lisa: What other animals, for example?
Mr. Simms: Oh, ostriches from Africa, deer from Japan ...
Lisa (surprised): What's that strange-looking dog over there?
Mr. Simms (shouting): Go on! Get out of here, or I'll shoot you! Dingoes!!
Yuji: What are dingoes?
Mr. Simms: They're Australia's native wild dog. And they're my worst enemy.
Lisa: Why's that?
Mr. Simms: Because their favorite food is sheep.
Lisa: So what do you do about the dingo problem?
Mr. Simms: Fences.
Yuji: That's what all those huge fences are for.
Mr. Simms: Yeah. They're to keep out dingoes, rabbits, kangaroos and wallabies.
Lisa: So are these animals the biggest problem for a sheep farmer?
Mr. Simms: Well, for some. But my biggest problem is I'm allergic to wool.

Autumn in April? (1)

- Journalist Lisa Perez has just dropped into her co-worker Yuji Takeda's apartment in San Francisco.

Lisa: It's a pity to stay inside on a beautiful spring day like this. Let's go to Golden Gate Park, Yuji.
Yuji: The cherry blossoms will have to wait. I have some studying to do.
Lisa: Hmm. I noticed the mountain of books on your desk.
Yuji: I checked them out at the library today. And I'm determined to read them all.

- Lisa picks up one of the library books.

Lisa: Immigration Trends in American History. Pretty heavy reading for an April afternoon.
Yuji: I came to America to discover real Americans, not to walk in the park. And I need more background knowledge.
Lisa: But will all this reading really help?
Yuji: It can't hurt. Besides, ... (telephone rings) That must be the call I'm expecting from my head office in Tokyo.

- Yuji returns from his telephone call.

Yuji: Lisa, this is your favorite season, isn't it?
Lisa: Oh, yes. I'm a real spring person. That's why I have such a bad case of "spring fever."
Yuji: Well, what if I asked you to give up your entire spring this year?
Lisa: I'd say you must be joking.
Yuji: But I'm not. I want you to go with me to Australia. It's autumn there now.
Yuji: An international exposition is about to start in Brisbane. My company has asked me to cover it.
Lisa: Sounds interesting. How many days would we be there?
Yuji: Two to three months. I want to use this opportunity to search for real Americans.
Lisa: That's a pretty big project. I'll really have to think about it.
Yuji: Naturally. But in the meantime, please help me take all these books on America back to the library.

Autumn in April? (2)

- Yuji and Lisa are at the library looking for books about Australia.

Lisa: Quite honestly, I've never been very interested in Australia.
Yuji: Lisa, if I didn't know you better, I'd say you're being ethnocentric.
Lisa: That's not true. I just feel America and Australia have so much in common. We're both immigrant countries with wide open spaces.
Yuji: But there are differences, too. Take a look at this book on the Aborigines.
Lisa: What remarkable rock paintings!
Yuji: Yes. They're primitive and, at the same time, so refined.
Lisa: And what are all those strange-looking animals?
Yuji: The caption says they're marsupials - wombats, platypuses, ... and here's a picture of Ayers Rock at sunrise.
Lisa: I can feel a mysterious aura, even in the photograph.

- A librarian approaches.

Librarian: Pardon me, but could you speak a little more softly? Other people are trying to study.
Lisa: Oh, sorry. I guess we got a bit carried away.
Librarian: Thanks.
Lisa: Anyway, it seems the Australian countryside has a lot to offer.
Yuji: There's great variety in the cities, too. From Darwin, deep in the tropics, to Melbourne, far in the south.
Lisa: Some of these southern cities must get pretty chilly this time of year. I wonder if I should take a wool sweater, or buy one there.
Yuji: Then you'll go?
Lisa: Yes, under one condition.
Yuji (suspiciously): What is that?
Lisa: Besides all those heavy books on Australia, check out a couple of detective novels. I want something fun to read on the long flight over.

Better Journalists than Detectives (1)

- Lisa and Yuji are on a plane bound for Sydney, Australia.

Flight Attendant: Here's your customs declaration form.
Lisa: Thank you. Do I have to fill it out now?
Flight Attendant: No, any time before we land.
Yuji: How much time is left in the flight?
Flight Attendant: About five hours, sir.
Yuji: Five hours? I thought we were closer than that.
Lisa: Here's a blanket, Yuji. You might as well take a long nap.
Lisa: Yuji, that guy sitting next to you has been gone for an awfully long time.
Yuji (sleepily): Maybe he's stretching his legs somewhere.
Lisa: But what about that briefcase on his seat?
Yuji (yawning): What about it?
Lisa: A ticking sound is coming front it.
Yuji: You've been reading too many detective novels, Lisa.
Lisa: Just listen, Yuji.
Yuji (listening): You're right.
Yuji: Now that you mention it, he did act rather suspiciously with the flight attendant.
Lisa: Exactly! When he was filling out his customs form, he said he had no address ...
Yuji: And that he lives on the street!
Lisa: Yeah. And he seems so restless.
Yuji: What should we do?
Lisa: Should we call the flight attendant?
Yuji: I don't know. Maybe if ... (alarm sounds)

- Yuji and Lisa are laughing with their neighboring passenger, Ira Cohen.

Yuji: What a relief!
Ira: I'm so sorry ...
Lisa: Can you imagine mistaking an alarm clock for a bomb? (more laughter)
Ira: Timmy Tick Tock is always doing this to me.
Lisa: You've named your clock?
Ira: Yes, for show purposes. I'm a street performer.
Yuji: So that's why you have no address!
Lisa: Good thing we're journalists, and not detectives.

Better Journalists than Detectives (2)

- Lisa and Yuji are talking with fellow passenger Ira Cohen on their flight to Sydney.

Lisa: Are you going to Australia to visit Expo '88?
Ira: Yes. I try to get to as many world expos as possible.
Yuji: I imagine those are great performing opportunities for you.
Ira: The best. What about yourselves?
Lisa: We're going to cover the Expo and bicentennial activities.
Ira: You're going to love Australia.
Yuji: Oh, you've been these before?
Ira: Yes, many times. Brisbane, Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef, Gold Coast ...
Lisa: So it's the beaches you love.
Ira: Yes. And the light. To me, Australia is the land of light.
Yuji: Gosh! it sounds beautiful!
Lisa: I can see the shimmering ocean already!
Announcer: Ladies and gentleman, we will soon be presenting our in-flight movie, "Star Wars."
Ira (sighs): People are so easily entertained these days by technology.
Yuji: That's true. Even the theme of Expo '88 is "Leisure in the Age of Technology."
Lisa: Funny, isn't it? A human clown going to perform at a technology exposition.
Ira: Can't fight progress. What channel did they say the movie is on?

- As the plane makes its final descent:

Yuji (looking at his watch): Looks like we'll arrive right on schedule.
Lisa: It sure has been a long flight.
Ira: You two certainly helped the time pass quickly, though.

- The plane lands.

Announcer: Thank you for flying with us today on QF 28. We hope your stay in Sydney will be a pleasant one. (loosening their seatbelts)
Yuji: Well, good luck to you, Ira.
Ira: Thanks. Same to you. See you at Expo next month.

Introduction to Japan (日本紹介)

Do you care for Japanese sweets?

We used to hold a Girls' Festival on March 3rd and Boys' Festival on May 5th, but now both have been combined to form Children's Day.

Sento bath: a public bath house
Izakaya bar: a traditional Japanese drinking place
Karate: a method developed in Japan of defending oneself without the use of weapons by striking sensitive areas on an attaker’s body with hands, elbows, knees, or feet.

At a restaurant:

fried, boiled (soft-boiled, hard-boiled), omelet, scrambled, poached

Look it up in the yellow pages.

a collect call, a station-to-station call
a long distance call (Am) - a trunk call (En)

a pay phone (Am) - a public telephone (En)
The line is busy. (Am) - The line is engaged. (En)
a telephone book (Am) - a telephone dictionary (En)

"What grade are you in?" →

student (Am) - pupil (En)" / grade school, elementary school (Am) - primary school, preparatory school (En), principal (Am) - headmaster/headmistress (En)

"What are you in?" →

freshman (1), sophomore (2), junior (3), senior (4)

It's about a three-hour drive. (= It takes about three hours by car.) (informal)
Let's take a coffee break. Let's take five. Let's take a rest for a while.

Manual for lectures in English, HU version (北大英語講義マニュアル)

Facon de parler

That's it. / That's all. これで全部
Go ahead. / Keep going. 続けて
Hold on. そのまま
I'm with you. わかります ↔ I'm confused. わかりません
Doesn't matter. どっちでもいい/問題ない
Help yourself. 自分でやって
Beginning the class
Alright. Let's begin … Can you close the door in the back please?
Let's start by going over some announcements …
Introducing a topic
What we are going to cover today is …
Today, I am going to talk about …
The important point I want to make today is …
Last time, we talked about ... , today we will go on and …
First of all, I would like to talk about …
Today's topic is …
What I want to do today is …
Making transitions between ideas
Now, let's see what happens.
If that's clear, we will go on to the next point.
Now, let's approach the problem in a different way.
The second point I want to make is …
Let's get back to the idea of …
I'd like to finish talking about … before we move on.
Summarizing and concluding
What we have been talking about …