2017 / 03


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


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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.

2017-03-17 01:03   Elegant creatures named giraffes

Y (Kuma's owner)

You have seen giraffes, haven't you? They are amazing creatures with unique features. They have a beautiful long neck and long legs. The pattern on their body is like geometric patterns.

I have been to the Tama Zoo in Japan and saw giraffes. They were in the wide area with zebras which was surrounded by a fence. The day I went to the zoo, it was a weekday and there were not many visitors. I was alone looking at giraffes, and giraffes were also looking at me.

I enjoyed looking at giraffes and decided to go to see other animals. That area was big and I had to walk along the fence where the giraffes were. Then, giraffes followed me over the fence. It was very strange feeling like walking with giraffes. If I stopped, they stopped too. Can you imagine, that tall and beautiful creatures walked with me, I thought that was a rare experience.

Their way of walking is elegant and a little pretentious, like a fashion model. They remind me of Miko who performs Japanese traditional dances and sings songs in Kyoto. Miko decorate their hair with Kanzashi (traditional hair ornaments) and giraffe's ossicones look like Kanzashi. Their eyelashes are long as an eyelash extension.

According to the survey of IUCN (The International Union for the Conservation of Nature), the population of giraffes is dramatically decreasing. On the other hand, there was news that a zoo in Denmark killed a giraffe in front of visitors and fed the dead body to lions. What are human beings doing? This news shocked me with another meaning as well. Killing animal in the zoo in front of visitors including kids was unbelievable.

In the future, I don't want to say to young kids in the past tense that there were big and long-necked animals that were called giraffes in Africa.

Their fate depends on human beings.

| | Category Misc.

2017-03-13 02:42   The season that the refrigerator is full

Y (Kuma's owner)

It's March. People say that it's officially autumn. I cannot agree with "It's autumn" because it's still hot. Yesterday's maximum temperature was 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit), to me this temperature is enough to call it summer.

However, I can feel the temperature is going down little by little. The view around here, people still wear short sleeved clothes and short pants, it doesn't look like autumn at all but I know it's coming.

Looking at the garden I thought it's time to buy flower seeds for my winter garden. Winter around here is not cold and I have to choose the flower that can be grown in a warm winter. I like Pansies and Violas, they are colourful and bloom in winter. Almost every year, I grow Pansies and Violas, so I wanted to grow different flowers but couldn't find suitable flowers.

Viola seeds

For growing Pansy and Viola here, I use the refrigerator. Putting the seeds in deceives them that it's winter now. I leave the seeds for about one month and take them out in late summer or autumn and sow them. The seeds think that it's spring and start germination. It really works well.

I have some Hyacinth bulbs. I have to keep them in the refrigerator for a while too, otherwise they won't bloom here.

So, it's the season that the refrigerator will be full of bulbs and seeds. I hope autumn is coming soon.

| | Category Gardening