Sep 17, 2008

the more I read, the easier I can write

I have some friends abroad to exchange mails and I wanted to write back today.
I know I should reply soon whenever I got a mail, but sometimes I don't feel like it.
English is still foreign for me, so without strong intention, I usually can't write anything in English.

However, I wrote a mail today and it was rather easy and fun to write back to my friend.
I think this is because I'm reading English materials constantly these days for the volunteer translation. I read not only books, but also some news press articles about environment and , as you might know now, lots of manga...
(Well, you know, I got terribly dizzy yesterday... because I read some manga on you tube because...
There are some manga I terribly want to read, but I can't get them in amazon Japan, so I use you tube, but watching manga on you tube is, yes, TOUGH!!! You have to read as fast as you can before the pages turn automatically... oh! please, waaaaait.)
I attach here today's mail.

-----------today's mail to my friend----------------------
Hello xxxx,

How have you been? Thanks for your mail, and sorry I didn't reply soon.
My children are back to school and I have more free time, but as you know, my volunteer translation job started and I'm wondering what I should learn to do a better translation.
As a starter, I searched for News press sites about environment and am trying to get used to some specific terms used exclusively in news articles.

I'm sooo pleased to know NIPPONIA! It was really interesting. I'm kind of surprised that such an interesting site is made by Japanese government agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. My image of such organization is like stubborn bureaucracy.
The topics of the magazine are appealing the real modern Japan.I thought such English articles are quite good for high school students to learn English reading because they aren't bothered by the lack of background knowledge.I wish I could print all the articles easily.

BTW, as I read and surfed around the NIPPONIA and the other old photo site, I found the JAPAN VIDEO TOPICS site and this one is also very good especially I can practice English listening by it.
I went through almost all the videos. Did you watch them? Give it a try if you haven't.

You gave me another interesting and alien? question about tableware in Japan. I've never questioned about that.I have some table wares which go the same design and use them when I'm not busy, but usually my table are made of different types of bowls and plates.As you have western style manners, we Japanese have certain way of table setting, and we rather enjoy different plates or bowls rather than the same ones.
I don't know much about CHANOYU, tea ceremony,but in such traditional situation, you are expected to appreciate the CUP of tea, which is especially chosen for you by the host, and say a word about it before you drink tea, like "this is a very beautiful cup, which site is this from." There are some who are very keen to collect different types of table wares, and this article in NIPPONIA shows you the enthusiasm of that.

English is still very difficult and foreign for me and I don't always feel like writing in English, but it was much easier to write today, maybe because I read rather many materials these days.If you find other interesting sites about Japan, please let know.
Mail to you again.
Take care!


Wintersweet said...

Hi! For manga I recommend --these are fan translations, so there are some mistakes. (Well, there are some mistakes in the English AND some mistakes understanding the original Japanese.) Overall, though, I think they're well-done! These fan translations are not exactly legal or illegal, so read them while you have a chance. :) Let me know which ones you enjoy!

mrs. malone said...

Hi wintersweet! Last time you left a comment here, I wondered who this "wintersweet" could be...
I was surpsized to see this commnet yesterday, because one of my friends, lives in Canada and a big fan of Japan, recommended the very same site as you did. I knew there were many translation sites, but I couldn't tell which one is the best. Now I can enjoy as much as I want from a broad range of manga. I will start from "Nodame" and "Emma".
Thanks! and hope to visit your existing and new sites again.