English for Japanese

Yesterday, I wrote about interpreting for Musubichan–protected post: Whonose, you are on my protected list. (If you re a regular reader and a subscriber, leave me a message telling me you want to be added. I think you have to be a Xanga member.)–but I moved the comment here.

I had the chance to hone my interpreting skills. Musubichan had not watched Heroes last season, so we watched a few episodes. Unfortunately, there are no subtitles so I am doing simultaneous translation for three hours straight on Friday and Sunday. I love my wife, but I swear, I am exhausted. Watching TV was not so relaxing.

Well, KENSHIRO commented:

I don’t understand — perhaps I haven’t been reading your blog long enough, or I’ve missed a detail somewhere (probably the latter), but does M understand English? I don’t understand why you had to interpret Heroes.

This is a perfectly legitimate comment, I think. Firstly, Kenshiro has been a reader for quite a while–Thanks for being so loyal. So perhaps you may have missed a detail, but then, maybe I haven’t really written about it as it is rarely germaine to my ramblings. Anyway, Musubichan’s English is not very good. She tries hard and she can comprehend much more than she used to. But TV shows and movies can be difficult to understand. They speak at regular speed and do not wait for the listener to respond. So I end up interpretting.

Now this has nothing to do with M’s intelligence or effort. I’m not sure what it is, but many Japanese are simply unable to master English. I know a ton of them. My mother never really mastered English. Nor did most of my relatives who came to the US after they became adults. Of course, this is not for all Japanese. Most Japanese who have gone to school in the US have mastered a level of English, but I’ve known more than a couple of graduate students who could understand English in their respective fields but significantly less–speaking or listening–in conversations that deviate from their speciatly.

M didn’t go to a college in the US and her first extended stay in the US was after she married me, and she was already 40. I don’t know what it is. I can’t explain it. I know a lot of people who go to foreign lands and master the language to a degree, but for some reason, English for Japanese is a tough nut to crack.

Anybody have a familiar experience? Or know the reason for this?

Keep on keepin’ on–this is also from yesterday’s protected post

Of course, I also ran some–about 15 miles altogether. A few months ago, I would have thought, Forget it! I’m too busy. But not now. Getting and staying in shape has become a priority, so I make it a point to make time. It is more like eating now, a necessity of life. No matter how busy I am, I have to exercise. It is no longer, I’m too busy, I don’t have the time. You make the time, as it is an investment in my future… and my waist line.

0:40, 3.37 mi.

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