Tag Archives: vocabulary

More Messages

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I’ve gotten more messages from my friends to share with everyone in Japan! If you’re not in Japan, please read the messages for some good vocabulary.

Bouquets
Flowers from my local farmers’ market

Name: Pat & Winston
Location: El Cerrito, California, USA
Message: There are no words in any language that can express our sorrow for what has happened, and is happening in Japan. Our thoughts and hearts are with you.

Name: Erin
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Message: We are thinking about you and hoping for your safety and well-being, and the well-being of your families and friends.

Name: Alex
Location: Fremont, California, USA
Message: We stand with you, and we are so proud of you! We hope you recover soon. We have great faith in you!
頑張れ 日本!!

Name: Kirsten
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Message: I am cheering for you. You are in my thoughts every day. Please stay safe. I am so sorry and my sorrow is for you and Japan.

Name: Ellen
Location: England
Message: I want to send a message of hope to the people of Japan. The rest of the world supports you.

Name: Ian
Location: New Forest, England
Message: My thoughts are constantly with you all. I salute your strength and fortitude through these difficult times.

Name: Caroline and her mother
Location: Minnesota, USA
Message: The strength and spirit of the people of Japan inspire us. We pray for you in this time of tragedy.

Name: Dion R.
Location: Bay Point, California, USA
Message: Hearing what has happened in Japan caused much pain, but do not lose hope. I pray to God you’ll all make it through. I encourage you all to continue assisting others in need, as well as staying safe. May you be protected and live another day.

You can leave a comment if you want to say something.

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Sunrise

Messages of Support

Sunrise
Sunrise at the lake near my house – a peaceful scene few days ago

Some of my friends and family wrote messages of support to everyone in Japan. In the US and other places, there has been a lot of news about the earthquake, tsunamis, and other problems. I think we all know about it and are sending our best wishes.

Here is what they said. If you want to answer them or say anything, please leave a comment at the bottom!

Name: Marty (that’s Clarissa’s mom, by the way!)
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA.
Message: May better days come soon.

Name: Julie F, ESL teacher
Location: Emeryville, California, USA
Message: I am aware of what has happened to you, which is so frightening, and my thoughts and concern are with you. It will be a while before life feels normal again. In this time you must be loving and patient with yourselves and others. I hope your country can safely heal, rebuild and move forward. My deep condolence for any lost friends and family members.

Name: Scott
Location: Denton, Texas, USA — Land of Cowboys, Horses, Tornadoes, and quite a few people from Japan who are here going to school.
Message: Y’all have my best wishes for future recovery. Many, many condolences for those you’ve lost. People at my office could not stop watching the news sites this Friday. We were awed and horrified by what we were seeing. I certainly hope things start getting better as quickly as possible.

Name: Melissa
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Message: We are very sad about the tragedy that has happened in Japan. We grieve with you. I hope that you all recover and heal quickly, and I hope that the world will come together to help you in this dark time.

Name: Bardi
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Message: May each morning be a flower of greater hope.

Name: Erin
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Message: I would like to send good wishes and hope to the Japanese people during this difficult time.

Name: Stephanie
Location: Washington State, USA
Message: I wish there is more I can do to help. Take care of each other. Japan is in my heart and prayers.

Name: Brent E.
Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
Message: This time is tough. I hope that all of you stay safe. Japan will recover!

If I get more messages later, I’ll make another post!

Please take care of yourself. Take a break, eat when you can, get some rest, and drink enough (if you can!). Be kind to yourself and others. We’re thinking of you!

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New Links

bookmark-new from openclipart.org

I’ve added some new links to the sidebar on the left.

Here’s some information about each one.

  • Learning English from Friends: Terry is a non-native English speaker from Korea who’s been working in the US as a systems application engineer since 2006. This cool blog is about his and his friends’ experiences learning English. (The way you really learn a language when you live overseas is that you talk with people, you make mistakes, and you learn new things from your friends. That’s what he’s writing about. It’s fun!) I really like this blog. Terry is a great example of an enthusiastic language learner who likes thinking about language.
  • Jukugo: If you are Japanese and use Twitter, you probably know about Jukugo already. This blog is bilingual (English/Japanese) and focuses on idioms. The author includes cute drawings with each post.
  • Business English in 5 Minutes: Naturally, this blog is about business English. Each post is short.
  • ESOL Courses Blog has short posts to help you study English.
  • ESOL Courses – Free English Lessons Online has grammar practice, vocabulary, and other activities.
  • Listen a Minute: This site gives you listening practice. You can listen to a short speech about something (Harry Potter, the World Cup, fast food, etc.). You can read the words, too, and test yourself on it. The English is at an low-intermediate to intermediate level. There are no definitions or explanations, so you might have to use a learners’ dictionary.

I’m going to change the organization of the site when I have time. If you like these links, you should save them. I recommend using Delicious, Xmarks, or another bookmark manager. If you do that, you can have the same bookmarks on every computer that you use.

New Laptop

MacBook image from Wikipedia
MacBook image from Wikipedia

I have a new laptop. I didn’t want a new laptop, but I have one.

On May 28, I came home at night after I went to a convention. My door was open a little bit, and the frame (the part around the door) was damaged. I realized that someone must have broken in to my townhouse. My friend and I looked inside, just a little. I saw that my laptop was gone. I wasn’t really surprised, because it’s a nice laptop. We called the police, of course. The police came and looked for fingerprints, but they didn’t find anything. The police officer said that the thief or thieves would probably not use the laptops–they would probably break them into parts and sell the parts. Since they didn’t take the power cords, I guess he was probably right.

This has never happened to me before, but the economy is pretty bad. I know people in several different countries who have experienced break-ins. And it could have been worse–nobody got hurt, and we have renters’ insurance.

Renter’s insurance is a kind of insurance for people who are renting their homes. You pay some money each year, but if you break or lose your things, or have something stolen, your insurance will pay to have it replaced. Since I had a MacBook Pro, which is kind of expensive, and we had a couple of other laptops, and a lot of books, etc., we got renter’s insurance about a year ago.

Anyway, it took some time to get our new laptops, but now I have a very nice new MacBook Pro. Our insurance paid for most of it. It has a new operating system and other new features that my old MacBook Pro didn’t have. Unfortunately, I’m missing a lot of files and photos, because I didn’t back up my data often enough. :( I’m very glad that I have a laptop again, though. I’m still setting it up (getting it ready) by downloading my favorite programs.

Have you ever had anything stolen from you? It’s not very common here (I know everyone thinks the US is really unsafe, but it’s usually pretty safe here.) It can happen anywhere, I think.

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Subway Terms

Our reader Dmitry wrote to ask about subway words. Dmitry, if you are confused about American subway terms, I think that’s not surprising! Only a few cities in the US have subways, so most Americans don’t live near one. (I didn’t live in an area with a subway or metro until I was 21 years old and moved to California.) As a result, we don’t use subway-related words very often. To confirm my guesses, I asked some of my friends to find out what words they use. Some people had firm answers. Other people weren’t sure. And some people said “I’ve never gone on a subway, so I don’t know!”

BART Train exterior drawing by SteveLambert at OpenClipArt.org

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we have several public transportation systems run by different counties and cities. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is a kind of light rail line. Sometimes the trains go underground, like subways, and sometimes they go above ground. I live near a BART station which is also a transit hub: several different bus lines and bus systems stop at this station.

Dmitry also asked about the connection between two subway stations.

If it’s underground, I would call it a “tunnel.” I might say “Going through the tunnels while riding on BART makes me nervous, because I’m worried about earthquakes.” If I am looking at a subway map, I might say “section.” However, my friend who works in public transportation says it’s a “line.” But we rarely need to use these words for subways, because in most cases we would just say “It’s 3 minutes from the Fremont station to the Union City station.”

Dmitry also asked about stations where you can change lines. Most of my American friends said that this is a “transfer point” or “transfer station.” However, we all agree that usually we use the verb form here: “You should transfer from the Richmond line to the Pittsburg line at Macarthur Station.” Some of my friends who speak more British-style English said that they would say “interchange,” but that’s not common in the USA. We all feel that a “hub” is either 1) a central station where a lot of subway lines meet, or b) a station where different systems connect, such as the bus, the trolley, and the subway.

If you need to use these words in conversation, find out what the local people call these things. If you need to use these words in writing or outside the US, don’t worry about it. Your meaning will probably be clear from the context.

I hope this answers Dmitry’s question! Thanks for asking.