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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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英語はワルツで、日本語はお囃子

 

Rhythms, Rites and Rituals: My Life in Japan in Two-step and  Waltz-timeRhythms, Rites and Rituals: My Life in Japan in Two-step and Waltz-time
(2014/12/01)
Dorothy Britton

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ドロシー・ブリットンさんの上記の本を読み始めました。NHK教育テレビの「中学英語教室」を担当されていたこともあるようで、年配の方は覚えていらっしゃる方もいるかもしれません。トットちゃんは実は英語でも日本語でも未読なので、英語で読んでみようかなと思っています。

著者のドロシー・ブリットンは、横浜に生まれ13 歳の時に渡米。アメリカとイギリスで教育を受け、戦後、占領下 の日本に戻る。詩人、作曲家、そして「奥の細道」「窓際のトットちゃん」をはじめとする日本文学の最良の英訳紹介者の一人でもある。本書は、彼女の生涯とその中で出会った日本について包み隠すことなく語った一冊。

内容紹介
Including her survival of Japan's Great Kanto Earthquake, this book is an enthralling account of Dorothy Britton's life, loves and discoveries in an amazingly varied life and career. Bilingual from birth, she found the immense joy of blending in with peoples of different cultures simply by getting the sound right when speaking their languages to the extent that she herself sounds Japanese. While interviewing Talent Education's Shinichi Suzuki, she realized his peerless 'mother tongue method' for learning the violin was ideal for foreign languages too. While composing music for many documentary films introducing Japan to the world, in Empire Photosound's beautiful My Garden Japan she used the ancient instruments of the Imperial Court Orchestra. The film was shown daily at Montreal's EXPO 67 where it garnered a prize. Amusing episodes and stories of fascinating people and relationships abound in the book, as do valuable insights into topics such as the post-war Occupation and its impact on everyday life, the role of women, learning Japanese, marriage customs, food and many other aspects of Japanese culture and society. Appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2010 for her highly regarded contributions to bridging two cultures, this long awaited memoir will be widely welcomed. Here is the remarkable and remarkably frank story of a life lived to the full by the doyenne of British residents in Japan that has benefited so many and touched the lives of countless others.


Japan Experiencesというアンソロジーで彼女の体験を読むことができますので、彼女に興味
を持った方はこちらを読んでみるのはいかがでしょうか。

最初の章は、英語と日本語の音やリズムの違いについて語っていました。自ら音楽家であったからかもしれませんが、まず音とリズムの習得の大切さを以下のように述べています。

I am absolutely certain it is that first step that is so important in learning a foreign language: getting the sound and rhythm right. Spending time going over and over and over first words, then sentence, until you get it sounding just right. It takes time, but it is well worth it!

バイオリンの鈴木メソッドに共感していたようで、この本でも最後の方に登場しています。昔は音声教材も多くなかったですから、日本人発音は今以上に理解しづらかったのかもしれませんね。文法が正しくても、全然理解できなかったエピソードを述べています。

It happened so often in Tokyo at Embassy receptions, that a professor of English from some university would greet my mother in English, and she would turn to me and ask me to interpret, which was always so embarrassing. He was usually a highly respected professor, and his grammar was perfect, but it just did not SOUND like English!

ドロシーさんについてもう少し調べようと思ったら、Wikipediaでは先月お亡くなりになったと書いています。。。

Dorothy Britton
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dorothy Guyver Britton, Lady Bouchier MBE (14 February 1922 – 25 February 2015) was born in Yokohama, moved to the United States at the age of 13, and was educated in the United States and England, returning to Japan after the American Occupation. She was best known as a translator into English of Tetsuko Kuroyanagi's Madogiwa no Totto-chan as Totto-chan, the Little Girl at the Window, and Oku no Hosomichi by Basho: A Haiku Journey – Basho's Narrow Road to a Far Province. She was the author of The Japanese Crane: Bird of Happiness and co-author of National Parks of Japan.
Dorothy Britton was also a poet and composer, and was a pupil of Darius Milhaud. She was known for her popular album Japanese Sketches, in which Tetsuko Kuroyanagi's father is violin soloist.
Her husband, Air Vice Marshal Sir Cecil ("Boy") Bouchier, K.B.E., C.B., D.F.C. was the first commander of the Indian Air Force and a station commander during the Battle of Britain.
Lady Bouchier was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.[1]


Lady Bouchier (旧姓 Dorothy Britton ) の MBE 勲章受賞!

最近はこのような先人の方々の言葉の関わりに興味を持つようになっています。さまざまな関わりがあっていいはずなんです。言葉の出会いがもたらしてくれた豊かなつながりをもっともっと意識していきたいです。
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