2023 / 09


Older << >> Newer


This journal is written by Kuma (Felis catus) and Kuma's owner Y (homo sapiens). We have moved from Japan to Australia in 2011.


  • rss 1.0
  • rss 2.0
  • atom 0.3

Log in

2017-03-19 03:01   I may be misunderstood by somebody

Y (Kuma's owner)

I have been writing my blog for over a year hoping that my English writing ability will be improved, but still I make many grammatical mistakes. It's not easy to write correct English to me, my mother tongue is Japanese and the Japanese language has completely different grammatical manners, that makes it more difficult to acquire the ability of English.

There is a book which was written by an American who went to Japan to study literature. From the experience during his stay in Japan, he pointed out some common mistakes that Japanese make. One of the most remarkable is the mistake of using "a."

English books

He says that one of his Japanese friends who went to the United States for studying sent him a letter, and it said "Last night, I ate a chicken in the backyard." This sentence gave him a complicated feeling. He understood that his Japanese friend wanted to say he had a backyard barbecue party and baked chicken. However, the first image that came up to his mind was his friend eating a chicken with blood around his mouth. It's almost a horror movie.

When I read this, I thought I might have done the same type of mistakes. The sentence is not correct but it's still not so serious because people who read it would guess that he made a grammatical mistake. I think the most serious mistakes are sentences in which people cannot guess the real meanings. Words have nuances that are hard to understand for foreigners. Understanding subtle nuances and using the word appropriately are the most difficult for me.

Another example is a Japanese man who lives outside Japan who said that he told his friend "I went to hospital." He has got scratches that were not serious and what really happened was he went to see a doctor in school, but his friend was worried what happened to him.

I think he translated the sentence directly from Japanese to English. "I went to hospital" is a common phrase in Japan. The two examples I wrote above are both grammatically correct but the meanings were different from what they wanted to say.

Inconveniently, if I say the same type of mistakes, people ignore them and the conversation goes on as if there's no mistakes and I miss the chance to correct my English and also I may be misunderstood. I don't want to be misunderstood that I ate a chicken with blood around my mouth but it might have happened.

I know it's not easy to correct mistakes every time I say them, I cannot rely on others I have to acquire the knowledge by myself. If I never give up, my dream of acquiring English ability will come true, I hope.

| | Category Misc.