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Donald Keene, 1922-2019
We mourn the passing of Professor Keene. A public memorial service will be held at Columbia in Fall 2019; details will be provided here as soon as they are available. The Keene Center has established a scholarship fund in his memory. 


Donald Keene, University Professor Emeritus and Shinchō Professor Emeritus of Columbia University, died in Tokyo on February 24, 2019. He was 96.

Professor Keene played the leading role in the establishment of Japanese literary studies in the United States and beyond. Through his scholarship, translations, and edited anthologies, and through the work of students he trained and inspired, he did more than any other individual to further the study and appreciation of Japanese literature and culture around the world in the postwar era.

キーンさんは唯一無二とも言える日本学者。メディアではnoted / famous / distinguished / famed / prominentがキーンさんを形容する言葉として使われていました。金のセンテンスでは「renowned [形]高名な、著名な」のところで、類義語としてfamous/well-known/celebrated/noted(有名な)をあげていましたが、これらも押さえておきたいですね

Donald Keene, a noted scholar of Japanese literature who received the country's highest cultural award, has died at the age of 96. He died of heart failure in a hospital in Tokyo.


Donald Keene, a distinguished scholar of Japanese literature, has died at the age of 96. He died of heart failure on Sunday morning in a hospital in Tokyo.


A prominent U.S.-born Japanese literature scholar Donald Keene, who introduced a number of Japanese talented writers to the world, died of cardiac arrest at a Tokyo hospital on Sunday. He was 96.

AP通信ではgiant in the field of Japanese literature and translationと巨匠としていました。

By The Associated Press  Feb. 23, 2019
TOKYO — Donald Keene, a longtime Columbia University professor who was a giant in the field of Japanese literature and translation, died Sunday in Tokyo, the city that he had made his home. He was 96.


The professor, who is 88, told his students that he planned to move permanently to Japan this summer where he will seek citizenship. He noted that this might seem unusual, given last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

“This is a time when many foreigners are leaving Japan,” he said, adding that people have asked him “why I should be choosing this moment to spend the rest of my life in Japan.”

He said later that he decided to move there — “to voluntarily and gladly join the people in time of disaster” — because, “I have more friends there than I have here, and most of my awards have come there.”

He said he wanted to show his appreciation to the Japanese people, and that, “I could think of no other way than to say I’d be with them” despite the disastrous events.


2017.01.09 Sensei



Young children should be taught in their mother tongue instead


It is not surprising that there is a surge in “English-medium” education all over the world. In some regions—such as East Asia and Latin America—the growth is principally among the rich. In others—Africa and South Asia, where former colonies never quite escaped the language’s grip—it is happening at all income levels. Parents’ desire for their children to master English is spurring the growth of private schooling; parents in the slums of Delhi and Lagos buy English-medium education in the hope that their children will gain a university degree, obtain good jobs and even join a glittering world of global professionals.


Teaching children in English is fine if that is what they speak at home and their parents are fluent in it. But that is not the case in most public and low-cost private schools. Children are taught in a language they don’t understand by teachers whose English is poor. The children learn neither English nor anything else.


English should be an important subject at school, but not necessarily the language of instruction. Unless they are confident of the standard of English on offer, parents should choose mother-tongue education.


More children around the world are being taught in English, often badly
If children or teachers do not understand the language of instruction, they cannot learn or teach properly





The resurgent left
A new kind of left-wing doctrine is emerging. It is not the answer to capitalism’s problems


Empowering workers to resist change would ossify the economy. Less dynamism is the opposite of what is needed for the revival of economic opportunity.

Rather than shield firms and jobs from change, the state should ensure markets are efficient and that workers, not jobs, are the focus of policy. Rather than obsess about redistribution, governments would do better to reduce rent-seeking, improve education and boost competition. 

Yuta流に強引にまとめるとEconomistの主張は「経済成長が望めないので今ある富の再分配を」ではなく、あくまで「経済成長が望めないなら経済成長ができる環境整備を」なんでしょう。リーマンショック後の過去10年間それができなかったから再分配の話が出てきているのでしょうが。。。reduce rent-seekingという表現が出てましたがオックスフォードの学習英英辞典には載っていました。口利きなんかの上位語みたいなものでしょうか。

the practice of trying to change or control public policy or economic conditions in order to increase your own profits
These government subsidies to favoured companies are a classic case of rent-seeking.

レントシーキング(英: rent seeking)とは、民間企業などが政府や官僚組織へ働きかけを行い、法制度や政治政策の変更を行うことで、自らに都合よく規制を設定したり、または都合よく規制の緩和をさせるなどして、超過利潤(レント)を得るための活動を指す

英語学習的には構文や意味を理解した文章を一つでも増やして身につけていくことが大事ですが、こういった時事的な文章を読むには何が起こっているのか幅広く知っておかないと流れが読めないことがあります。息抜きの時にでも日本語でもいいからなんでも取り込むのがネイティブ素材を読もうと思っている英語学習者には必要です。EconomistのBriefingで詳しく取り上げていたMillennial socialismでは本筋の議論ではないですが、Millennial socialismの盛り上がりの例として次のような現象を取り上げていました。

Life, liberty and the pursuit of property

For the American generation which has grown up since the downfall of the ussr, socialism is no longer the boo word it once was. On the left, a lot of Americans are more sceptical than they used to be about capitalism (see chart 1). Indeed, what might be called “millennial socialism” is having something of a cultural moment. Publications like Jacobin and Tribune bedeck the coffee tables of the hip, young and socially conscious. No film has ever made trade unions look cooler than last year’s “Sorry To Bother You”, written and directed by Boots Riley, a rapper and activist. When Piers Morgan, a British television presenter, found it impossible to believe that a young interviewee might come from a left beyond Barack Obama, her response quickly turned up on t-shirts: “I’m literally a communist, you idiot”.


雑誌版のサブタイトルで使われていたLife, liberty and the pursuit of propertyですが、ぴんときた方もいるのではないでしょうか。こちらはポップカルチャーではなく、お勉強的な領域ですが。。。米国独立宣言の有名な一節で過去にブログで取り上げたものを再度抜粋します。

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
われわれは、以下の事実を自明のことと信じる。すなわち、すべての人間は生まれながらにして平等で あり、その創造主によって、生命、自由、および幸福の追求を含む不可侵の権利を与えられているという こと。

第十一条 国民は、すべての基本的人権の享有を妨げられない。この憲法が国民に保障する基本的人権は、侵すことのできない永久の権利として、現在及び将来の国民に与へられる。
Article 11. The people shall not be prevented from enjoying any of the fundamental human rights. These fundamental human rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be conferred upon the people of this and future generations as eternal and inviolate rights.


第十三条 すべて国民は、個人として尊重される。生命、自由及び幸福追求に対する国民の権利については、公共の福祉に反しない限り、立法その他の国政の上で、最大の尊重を必要とする。
Article 13. All of the people shall be respected as individuals. Their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall, to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare, be the supreme consideration in legislation and in other governmental affairs.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of propertyはLife, liberty and the pursuit of happinessのもじりですが、富の再分配を求める態度をthe pursuit of propertyとしたのでしょう。過去に遡ればJames Harringtonの主張と共鳴するようですが、Thomas Jeffersonはロックの労働を重んじる思想の方に影響を受けていたとしています。このあたりは政治思想に馴染みがないと上滑りしてしまう部分ですね。Yutaもよくわかりません。

But the argument for redistribution of wealth goes beyond economics—and its roots spread far beyond the socialist canon. James Harrington, a political theorist of the 17th century, wrote that “Where there is inequality of estates, there must be inequality of power.” He saw a reasonably even distribution of wealth and the freedom of democratic politics as two sides of the same coin. His ideas were a strong influence on America’s founding fathers. John Adams wrote that “Harrington has shewn that Power always follows Property.” Though Thomas Jefferson plumped for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as the rights to be mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, he was inspired by John Locke’s trinity of life, liberty and property, and his love of the yeoman farmer stemmed from his belief that those who produced their own food never needed to bend to the will of another, and thus were truly free.

Well before Karl Marx started to write about alienation, the idea that people treated only as factors of production would not only lack true freedom, but also other opportunities to reach their full potential, was a mainstay of Enlightenment thought. Adam Smith worried that the factory system, where workers simply turned up and followed the instructions of capitalists, would make its participants “as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.” John Stuart Mill, who valued political freedom above all else, also predicted that under capitalism people would become passive, dull wage-slaves; he wanted to see many more working in co-operatives. The echoes of Harrington, Smith and Mill are clear in the works that articulate the views of today’s left, from Mark Fisher’s “Capitalist Realism” to David Graeber’s “Bullshit Jobs”. Globalisation, in their eyes, is less an engine for prosperity and more a generator of insecurity, unfreedom and unfairness.


Millennial socialists, though, have their own ideas about freedom. They are not satisfied with the protection of existing freedoms; instead, they want to expand and fulfil freedoms yet to be obtained. Spreading economic power more widely, they say, will allow more people to make choices about what they want in their lives, and freedom without such capabilities is at best incomplete. Bhaskar Sunkara, founding editor of Jacobin, makes an analogy to India: what is the point of an ostensibly free press if a huge share of the population is unable to read?


I’ve said this before, but thought it was worth repeating: It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.

And nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices. And a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they’re looking at this as the next PC. The hardware and the software are done by different companies. And they’re talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs.

And our experience and every bone in our body says that that is not the right approach to this. That these are post-PC devices that need to be even easier to use than a PC. That need to be even more intuitive than a PC. And where the software and the hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC.










彼女の伝記を書いたLindsey HilsumもFinancial Timesに寄稿していました。映画でもPTSDのことは描いていますが、彼女をヒーローに仕立てあげることには警鐘を鳴らしています。

The late war reporter’s work made her a role model to many. But are we guilty of overlooking the personal cost?
Lindsey Hilsum FEBRUARY 6, 2019

Since the biography was published, a stream of young women have told me, either in person or on Twitter, that they see Marie as a role model. Many aspire to be journalists or have already started out. “Thank you for immortalising Marie Colvin, journalist war heroine,” wrote one. Although I would never discourage anyone from following a trade that has absorbed and thrilled me all my life, I nonetheless feel uneasy. In an age of celebrity, people are drawn to those who achieve fame and glamour, but without dwelling on the personal cost.


Humanity in extremis
The film is a thrilling, devastating portrait of the war correspondent who died in 2012
Feb 5th 2019by K.S.C.

If one thing has been lost in this earnest pursuit to create what Mr Heineman has called “a love letter to journalism and an homage to Marie”, it is Colvin’s famous sense of fun. There are comic touches, but they serve to foreshadow what is to come. “This isn’t a bra, this is La Perla. If anyone is going to pull my corpse from a trench, I want them to be impressed.” And: “This is the last time,” she says in the basement of a bombed-out building hours before her death, that “I book a fucking vacation on the internet.”



By ASHRAF KHALIL / AP Updated: January 31, 2019 11:58 PM ET

Technically foreign governments are immune from jurisdiction in U.S. courts through the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. However, that immunity is lifted for alleged crimes against American citizens by governments classified as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian is using a similar approach to sue the Iranian government, which jailed him for more than 500 days on espionage charges.

Colvin’s sister, Cathleen, said she had initially assumed Marie’s death was a tragic accident, the kind that could happen to any journalist in a war zone. She decided to pursue a lawsuit after speaking with Paul Conroy, a photographer who was working with Marie Colvin and was injured in the same shelling. Conroy, a veteran of the British Army’s Royal Artillery, told her the media center wasn’t hit by haphazard shelling but by “bracketing,” a recognized artillery technique used to home in on a specific target.


A federal court orders Syria’s government to pay the American journalist’s family $302.5 million for what the judge called her deliberate killing.
By The Editorial Board

Dictators have always tried to silence a free press. But the deliberate targeting of reporters like Ms. Colvin reflects a new and distressing trend among authoritarian leaders to view the independent media solely as an enemy to be eliminated, if necessary by death. The Syrian documents presented in court had Syrian leaders celebrating her death.

To them, Judge Jackson said, independent reporters were “enemies of the state.” That is not so different from President Trump’s depiction of the press as “enemies of the people” or his relentless unloading on “fake news” at his rallies — words that can only encourage violence against journalists.

Against that, it is good to know that an American judge is prepared to let Mr. al-Assad, and thereby all autocrats who seek to silence free speech, know that their actions have a heavy cost, to their people and, one hopes, to themselves.

パスポート取り上げを政府がしたら、Dictators have always tried to silence a free pressの中に含まれてしまうのでしょうかね。



先月のトピックになりますが、大坂なおみ選手の優勝で盛り上がった全豪オープン。彼女にトロフィーを渡した女性って5年前にアジア人選手として初めて全豪を制したLi Naさんだったのですね。アシスタントの方にしては画面の中央に収まっているしと思っていたら大坂選手と同じように偉業を達成した方でした。スポーツ選手を引退して戦いの舞台から遠ざかったからか随分と温和な感じになっています。Li Naさんを漢字で書くと李娜となるようです。Wikipediaでは以下のように書かれています。


Li's rise to prominence came after those victories, which made her the first Grand Slam singles champion from Asia. 


雑誌TIMEを読めば世界の動きをカバーできると思うのはLi Na選手もTIMEが取り上げていたからです。毎年5月に発表されるTIME注目の100人に2013年の時選ばれていました。まあ、TIMEがアメリカ中心主義という批判ももっともかもしれませんが、そのカウンターがネトウヨ的な独断的な考えだとしたら取材を踏まえて書いているTIMEで知識を蓄えた方がずっとマシでしょう。

By Chris Evert April 18, 2013

Li Na is a maverick. Who else would stand up to the centralized Chinese sports system as Li did, back in 2008, when she pushed for more control over her career? Li persuaded the Chinese Tennis Association (CTA) to start the “fly alone” policy, which gives players more independence. Now they keep more of their money, giving just a fraction of their earnings to the CTA, compared with the bulk before. Rather than let the bureaucrats pick her coach, Li went with Jiang Shan, who is now her husband. Li has soared. She’s ranked fifth in the world and won the 2011 French Open, becoming the first Asian-born player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament.

Tennis has exploded in China. The country now has some 15 million tennis players; 116 million people watched Li win the French Open. That kind of exposure is crucial to our sport, and it never would have happened without Li. At tournaments, I’ve seen her charm the crowds. When she smiles, everyone melts. She’s such a breath of fresh air. And like Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova before her, Li Na has transcended her sport.

大坂選手が国籍や人種の問題を抱えていますが、Li Naは彼女で中国のテニス協会からの独立など別の形で障害を抱え、それを乗り越えていったようです。2014年の全仏オープンの前にTIMEのカバーストーリーに選ばれていました。

Hannah Beech  May 15, 2014     
The tennis star is more than a global sports icon—she inspires millions of Chinese as a symbol of independence and freedom

こちらが2014年に優勝した時のスピーチです。20代前半の大坂選手が初々しいスピーチをしていましたが、Li Na選手が優勝したのは30過ぎ。経験に裏打ちされた自信とユーモアに満ちたスピーチで会場を大笑いさせています。

Uh. Yeah. Now I have to thank my team. Max. Agent. Make me rich. Thanks a lot.


Okay, now, of course, my husband. You’re famous in China. Thanks to him with everything; travelling with me to be my hitting partner, he fixes my drink, fixes my racquet, so he do a lot of jobs. So thanks a lot, you’re a nice guy... Also you’re so lucky, you found me.



メリー・ポピンズ リターンズ


今日から公開が始まるメリー・ポピンズ リターンズ。字幕では「私の教育が甘かったかしら」となっているところでWould have hoped I taught you better.と仮定法が使われていました。

Michael Banks: Mary…
Jane Banks: Poppins. You came back.
Michael Banks: you seemed hardly to have aged at all.
Mary Poppins: Really, one never discusses a women’s age, Michael. Would have hoped I taught you better.

上映早々、映画の本編の一部を取り上げてしまい恐縮ですが、英語学習的に興味深いネタでもあるので劇中歌のTrip a Little Light Fantasticを紹介させてもらいます。

4分58秒あたりからCockney rhyming slangが登場します。以下は歌詞から抜粋しました。映画ではLeerie=lamplighterたちの話し方だとしていますね。

[ANGUS] Come along, join us in a bit of a kick and prance

[JOHN] What did he say?

[JACK] Kick and prance -- it means "dance"! It's leerie speak. You don't say the words you mean, you say something that rhymes, only -- here, I'll show you how it works. Angus, give us your weep and wail. To the rest of ya, that means"tale"

[ANGUS] I was short of a sheet

It was in the street

[ANGUS] Just a tumble down a sink

[JACK] Just to get himself a drink

[ANGUS] Then I pinch what's fatter

[JACK] He grabbed his ladder

[ANGUS] To smile and smirk-

[JACK and ANGUS] To work!

以前、翻訳の先生からお話を伺ったことを受け売りさせてもらうだけですが。。。Cockney rhyming slangでは、Bread and Honeyがmoney、Wind and KiteがWeb site、5ポンドのFiverがLady Godivaのように音の似た別の単語が使われることがあるようです。

Cockney rhyming slangの辞書サイトのようなところでは以下のようなものがトップ10になっていました。それぞれが何の語を指しているか考えてみるのも楽しそうです。


Apples and Pears 
Kettle and Hob 
Adam and Eve 
Butcher's Hook 
Barnet Fair 
Jack Jones 
Trouble and Strife 
A la Mode 
Ruby Murray 
Dog and Bone 


映画に水をさすようになってしまって申し訳ないですが、Slateの記事では映画で取り上げているCockney rhyming slangは聞いたことがなく、本場のものとは違うと批判していました。インタビューではリサーチ不足ではと語っていましたが、全世界に向けての子供向け映画なので、そこらへんは通りのいいわかりやすい語に変えてしまったのでしょうかねえ。映画ではdanceはkick and pranceとしていますが、辞書サイトではdanceの言い換えは米国俳優のJack Palanceでした。これだと知らない人には何だかわかりづらいですから。

An interview with a Pearly Queen about cockney rhyming slang, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s accent, and more.

You listen to him, he speaks Estuary cockney. Ray Winstone and Michael Caine, they speak proper cockney like what I do. I thought Lin was very, very sweet. He was very sweet in his portrayal. It’s just that he was going from cockney to a bit posh, pronouncing his words. I’d be really interested to see who worked with him, with his language. And the rhyming slang’s terrible.

I was going to ask you about that. Is it that bad?
Oh, Marissa. I don’t know where they got theirs, but I’ll give you a blast on proper rhyming slang. This is a little bit I wrote, so I’ll read you this. This is what proper rhyming slang is:

I took me loaf off the weeping, got out me Uncle Ned, put me Scotch eggs on the floor, put me “round the houses” on, then me dickie dirt with me Peckham Rye, put me almonds on, then me barefoots, went down the apples, got me cherry, went for a ball down the frog to the rub-a-dub for a pint of pig’s.

I … did not follow any of that.

No, you wouldn’t. Cockneys would.

I took me loaf (loaf of bread, head) off the weeping (weeping willow, pillow), got out me Uncle Ned (bed), put me Scotch eggs (legs) on the floor, put me “round the houses” on (round the houses, trousers), then me dickie dirt (shirt) with me Peckham Rye (tie), put me almonds on (almond rocks, socks), then me barefoots (barefoot blues, shoes), went down the apples (apples and pears, stairs), got me cherry (cherry hog, dog), went for a ball (ball of chalk, walk) down the frog (frog and toad, road) to the rub-a-dub (pub) for a pint of pig’s (pig’s ear, beer).

The rhyming slang they were using [in Mary Poppins Returns], I have never heard of those ones.

You’ve never heard of “weep and wail” or “short of a sheet”?

Weep and wail, yeah. Weep and wail was tale. I’ve heard of some of them, but they are very, very obscure. Some I think they made them up. I mean, the ones that I said to you there, this is how we talk proper. I do appreciate they’ve done a lovely production, but I just wish that they had consulted maybe proper old Londoners.

If he’d gone to some proper cockney, like me, we’d have got a bit more background. I don’t know who their researcher was, but the cockney rhyming slang was invented in 1814, by costermongers, that being market traders. I mean, the “leeries” were likely Scottish. I don’t know who done their research! I’ve never heard of leeries. We used gaslights in London, but the leeries was Scottish, I think. Scottish lamplighters.

映画では街灯点灯夫のことをleerieと呼んでいるのですが、これについてもthe “leeries” were likely Scottish. I don’t know who done their research! I’ve never heard of leeries. We used gaslights in London, but the leeries was Scottish, I think. Scottish lamplighters.とスコットランドの言葉ではないかと言っています。確かにウエブサイトの検索でもスコットランドの言葉として紹介しているものがありました。

By Maggie Scott

Leerie n. a lamplighter, who lit gas lamps in towns and cities (before electric light)

The word leerie is perhaps best known nowadays from the nostalgic poem ‘The Lamplighter’ by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). The character, ‘Leerie’, is depicted as a romantic wanderer who charms the imagination of the child-narrator, trapped behind the window of his house in the evening dusk and musing on ambition:

Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papa’s a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I’m to do,
O Leerie, I’ll go round at night and light the lamps with you!


The oldest known evidence for use of the term leerie is found in an article from The Scotchman, a short-lived Scots newspaper of the early nineteenth century, where we read that ‘the Scotsman may lang be the leery o his countramen’s min’s’ (1812). As a point of interest, the paper ran only briefly, from 1812-1813, and was published by John Mennons, who in 1783 initiated publication of the Glasgow Advertiser, now better known as The Herald.