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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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(続)身の丈にあったエッセイを読む

 
昨日紹介したエッセイの補足です。

the last word
Sayonara Tokyo
Taking a Japan adolescence back to the UK
Apr 25, 2013 | Issue: 996 | 5 Comments | 1,158 views

I can also thank Japan for my eating habits. Five-year-olds are fussy eaters, but for me, eating raw fish and seaweed became less fearful and more enjoyable. Fish for breakfast might be an alien concept back home. But the interest the Japanese take in eating healthily has rubbed off on me. Drinking green tea and eating a nutritious bento at lunchtime has become something to carry on throughout my lifetime—trading potato chips for edamame all the way.

以上のパラグラフでDrinking green tea and eating a nutritious bento at lunchtime has become something to carry on throughout my lifetimeという文がありました。eating a nutritious bentoとbentoをそのまま使いnutritiousという形容詞までつけていますよね。

このようにnutritious bentoと書いたのは、ご飯と何種類ものおかずをつめた日本のような弁当は珍しいからこそ説明的にしたのかもしれないと思いました。米国だと弁当的なものはピーナツバターとジャムのサンドウィッチだけとか、リンゴとチーズだけとか聞きますよね。

そんな弁当をめぐる文化の違いを描いたエッセイがメトロポリスにありました。初めての職場で緊張と不安がありながらもお昼まではスムーズにいったところの話です。

the last word
The Battle of the Bento
I'll show you mine if you show me yours
Mar 2, 2012 | Issue: 936 | 7 Comments | 2,619 views

(前略)

My first day sailed by smoothly, with the exception of one awkward trip as I was walking up the stairs. I observed as much as I could, bowed profusely when required, and plastered a look of “learning and concentrating” across my face.

Twelve-thirty rolled around, and coworkers began reaching into their bags for lunch. Taking cue, I too reached for my bag and produced my standard favorites: an avocado and cheese sandwich, a pottle of yoghurt, and a misshapen mandarin. Admittedly not the sexiest of lunches, but it does the trick.

Chatting awkwardly to my co-workers I noticed their eyes darting nervously between my lunch and me. Was something wrong? Was there avocado smeared across my teeth? Nervously tonguing each tooth I concluded that no, there was no avocado.

I ate quickly and returned to my desk to resume my “learning and concentrating” face, but my coworkers’ expressions stayed in my mind. What had I seen in their eyes? Pity? Confusion? General horror?

サンドイッチとヨーグルト、オレンの弁当を同僚から怪訝な顔をされたことにショックを受けています。次の日も、同じように怪訝な顔をされたので周りの人の弁当を見てやっと理解できたというのです。

The next day I pulled out my sandwich proudly. Today was pesto, cheese and chicken. Yet, despite the sexier ingredients, the same pitiful expressions stared back at me. Suddenly it occurred to me to look at what they were eating. Everything fell into place.

Lacquered boxes adorned the table; each individually packed with tantalizing treats. I could see rice, fish, pickled vegetables and sushi rolls, as well as small bowls of miso. The intricacy, love and attention that had been placed into each lunch box transformed my sandwich to a dry lump in the back of my throat. One colleague even had rice and seaweed fashioned to look like a panda bear. I hung my head in shame.


1カ月後、同僚になんでそんな顔をしたのか聞いたところ、小さなサンドイッチだけではお腹がすいてしまうのではないかと感想を語っていました。確かに日本人ならそのように思うかもしれませんね。

Months later, when I was feeling brave enough to ask, I asked a colleague about their pitying looks on my first few days. “We were worried you would get hungry. It was such a tiny sad little sandwich.”

少し脱線しましたが、Drinking green tea and eating a nutritious bento at lunchtime has become something to carry on throughout my lifetimeの文で、eating a nutritious bentoのように書くことの大切さ、弁当はlunch boxと単に字面を置き換えることをしてよしとするのではなく、日本の弁当は特殊なのでbentoとそのままにしてさらにnutritiousとおかずも豊富なので栄養があることを示唆するという表現の工夫は大切だなと思ったしだいです。

資格試験的な発想だと、減点されない英作文の仕方になってしまいますが、このような心づかいができることが実際のコミュニケーションではずっとずっと大切になることを忘れないようにしたいです。
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Yuta

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