Jul 8, 2009

辞書を引いてしまった、あるタドキスト先生の懺悔?!

It's often said that the more you use dictionaries, the better user of English you can be at school in Japan.
I was mesmerized? or startled the other day to see that three thick books, an English-Japanese dictionary, an English-English dictionary and a sub textbook, are neatly put together on desks of students in English classes at high school. Looking back my student days, I don't remember using such dictionaries, and still I rarely use them or rather go without them. I'm so lazy that I shouldn't be using English properly according to such a norm of English learning, but I sometime find myself being a better user of English rather than someone who believe looking up dictionaries are necessity for language learning.
And now, I got a very interesting anecdote from one of English teachers to tell you how disastrous it could be to use dictionaries for language learning.

"あちこちに出てきて気になった(気に入った)単語の1つがsloppy。
のだめ見てたらsloppyが愛しくて。
のだめのピアノはsloppy♪訳語を知らなくてラッキー。
しかし…中学生用プリントを作るのに、のだめ英語版を紹介しようとして、
つい英辞郎で調べてしまった…。後悔。
ああ。せめて英英辞典を引けば良かった…。
私の可愛いsloppy。おまえを「雑」だなどと、雑な訳語を当てたりしない。"

Do you still prefer looking up new words in dictionaries whenever you came across them to letting them leave behind unknown and looking forward to the moment you understand them through certain amount of reading and listening.

The next message is another proof of awkwardness in Japanese English education.
"the=その、は一部の生徒には激しく浸透してます。どんな文章でも絶対に忘れず訳出する生真面目さ。娘の携帯ストラップに"the dog"とあるのを、1人の友達が「その犬、その犬」と見るたびに連呼するそう。娘は「その、って…なんだよ」と不思議がり、別の友達と「変だよね」と言い合うらしい。不思議がる2人は中学で先生の説明をちゃんと聞いてこなかった、という説もあるけども。"

well, It's so sarcastic but if you want to be a good user of English, then you'd better not believe everything what English teachers say in Japan.

7 comments:

NEO said...

確かに~!
面白い話題をありがとう。
辞書を引いたら、いかんぞの例ですね。文章の中から得るイメージによる語彙解釈に勝るもの無し。日本語の辞書通りに訳していたらわけがわからない文章になることがあるよね。
単語は全部分かるけど意味が分からないというのはこういう事なんだろうね。英和辞書の一番上に書いてある単語訳で日本語を並べ文章にしようとしたらつじつまが合わない文章になるって事だ。

言葉はいろいろなニュアンスがあるから文脈から感じ取る力の方が確かです。

私は日本語の辞書は和英を使う事が多々ある。スペルが分からなかったり、英語を書く時に。調べた単語が文章中で適しているか疑問に思う事が多く、いつも英英辞書で再チェック。

英和は学校英語の確認の時に使ったり、見たりする。そこで英英と比較するとやっぱりな~と思うわけです。

Mrs. Malone said...

NEOさん、どうもー
ドーピングの話題、掲示板に出してくれて、ありがとう!
先生のコメント読んで、すっきりした。
酒井先生って、直接会う人にはドーピングの話するけれど、掲示板には書かないから、tadoku.orgでは、試験とか世間の評価は全く無視して、多読はいいよって吹聴しているかのように誤解している人もいるんじゃないかな。実際は、多読って常識的、合理的な言語習得だと思うんですけどね。
それからNEOさんのブログ記事、英語学習本のたぐいね、とても参考になるので、他にもあったらよろしくお願いします。

Wintersweet said...

Yeah, that's ridiculous. Over-reliance on dictionaries is a big problem for East Asian students when they first come to the US to improve their English. When they write papers, they often use their dictionaries, and they frequently choose the wrong words. The result is a paper that's full of things that sound strange, hilarious, or just incomprehensible. The problem is that the students have no internal guidelines by which to pick the correct word. Usually the instructors try to get them to at least use a good English-English learner's dictionary, which helps them pick words that are more commonly used. Good learner's dictionaries also include information about connotations. English-English dictionaries have fewer mistakes, too--a client of mine kept using the word "snivel" when he had a cold, because most Japanese<->English dictionaries say that it means "to drip from the nose." Unfortunately, that is NOT the modern meaning of "snivel" (it means "to talk while whining or crying," and it's very negative). J<->E dictionaries contain a lot of mistakes based on these old meanings...

Of course, if my client had read many books, he would know that nobody ever says "I have a cold and I am sniveling" -- they say "I have a cold and a runny nose" or "My nose is running" or whatever. And if he'd read Harry Potter or anything he'd be familiar with the negative, whiny meaning of "snivel."

NEO said...

emmieさん、どうも。
酒井先生は、そうなんですよね。ちゃんと学習面、ドーピングも考えていらっしゃいますよね。
私も、そういう面も出していった方が良いと思います。多読が染みた生徒って、思考回線も違うし、理屈で測れない部分もあって、従来型の学習した生徒さんとは違う。
そう思っている人達が経験を元にシャアできたら良いと思います。
これからこういう事に直面する人は増える一方だと思うので、学習面を無視している掲示板ではね。

資格テストがあってドーピングをしていると酒井先生に後ろめたくて、掲示板に書けないと言っていた人がいました。

難しい問題だけど、避けて通れぬ話だよね。

Mrs. Malone said...

Hi Wintersweet,
Fortunately?, I was not a good student, so I don't know the peculiar meaning of "snivel" in Japanese dictionaries. I just looked up the word in English-Japanese dictionary, and found the meaning of runny nose came in the first choice before whining.

I think many straight minded, not including me..., Japanese are made to believe from the very beginning of English learning at junior high school that we can use English properly only after a long hard work, and can't stay away from that idea even after graduating and keep going back to such an old way of learning English.

I do remember the word is used in Harry potter series and am able to feel slightly the negative connotation of it, not from dictionaries but from the sound of the word. You can't feel the word unless you immerse yourself in a real world of English.

BTW, your article about Education in US is quite interesting. I think all the developed countries are now facing the same problems and needing for a new way of education.

そちらは、どんなてんきですか?
日本は、いま梅雨(つゆ)で、雨がよくふりますよ。
I wish I could live in a rather dry place.

Mrs. Malone said...

NEOさん、こんばんは。
そうそう、ドーピングも表に出さないと。でもさ、気づいたんです。うちやNEOさんとこが、多読一期生なのよねって・・・他の人が出してくれるの待っててどうするでした^^;
以前から日本の英語教育とは違う力をつけた子どもたちはいたわけだけど、帰国子女枠で日本のゆがんだ受験勉強やらなくても大学はいれたんだよねータドキッズ枠あればなあ~
今、多読講座やっている学校で土曜日の午後、一般にも開放しているんだけど、毎週来てくれる小6の女の子がいてねえ、いやあ、どんなふうに伸びていくのか楽しみです。
お月謝も成績も関係ない、こういうのが一番。

Wintersweet said...

Hi--
Yeah, the reason for that is because some standard English-English dictionaries use a chronological order where the oldest meaning is listed first. In this case and many cases, that means the first meaning is actually one that isn't used in modern English! So I advise that when even fluent non-native English speakers buy an English-English dictionary, they should buy either an advanced learner's dictionary or one of the standard dictionaries that lists definitions according to frequency of usage rather than chronology. :/ A chronological listing is more than useless to non-native speakers; it's actually harmful! (I should write about this on both of my blogs.)

Also, you're so right about the sound of the word. I think one reason this word's meaning changed over time was because so many "sn-" and "v" words in English have negative connotations. :)

I think it's too dry here. I don't want rain-rain-rain, but I can't stand the lack of any storms from June to October! 心の中に乾燥した!