2015/12/02

Disappointment

I listen to the radio English conversation program on my way to work every day.

Yesterday's program was called "English Theater".

I listened to the reading of one of the famous O.Henry's short novel, "After Twenty Years".

Actually, I have read only "The Last Leaf" in his novels.

When I listened to it for the first time while driving, I was shocked because I could hardly understand it.

The readers who voiced the characters spoke in American English, which is more difficult for me to understand than British English.

I was disappointed with myself.

Before I went to bed,  I tried to read it aloud.

Even I looked at the textbook and read it aloud, it was still difficult to understand.

Fortunately, since there was a translation in the textbook, I could understand the story.

Why didn't I understand the story?

The answer is clear.

I  lack the vocabulary.

He describes the characters in the story very expressively using literary words.

At the very beginning of the story, he wrote:

"The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue impressively.

The impressiveness was habitual and not for show, for spectators were few."

Red words are what I couldn't understand quickly.

If I write this using words which I know,

"The policeman was walking on the street but nobody was there."

These are completely different!

I keenly felt my lack of vocabulary.

I have a long long way to go before I understand English without difficulty.

I started preparing to take TOEIC test recently.

I am considering taking the exam next March or April.

I got 780 points when I took the exam two years ago.

I would like to get more this time.

This is not a time to be depressed.

If I don't understand, I should study it more.

My free time is really limited but I will never give up.



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4 件のコメント:

  1. Your English is very good, it in no way affects how you communicate with others, your ideas and concepts that you express are perfectly understandable to an English person. It is true that you occasionally use a slightly wrong word but again, not bad enough to bother a native speaker.

    I have heard of TOEIC, I think there are apps for it on google play store but I can't say if they are any good or not.

    Regarding the use of vocabulary in the audio books you are listening to.

    For older books the use of more literary/flowery language is very common. This happens for various reasons. The first is that in previous times this kind of language was used. The second reason is that authors generally like to use flowery language because it makes their books sound a certain way.

    More modern books tend not to use this sort of language as often (though it does get used in books and texts that want to sound important.)

    Occasionally the more literary words can be useful to use as they can make someone sound very inteligent but if you over use them or use them in the wrong situation then you can sound arrogant/pompous. Similar to how some Japanese people can use rare/obscure Kanji and readings where everyone else writes the words using more common Kanji or Hiragana or Katakana.

    I like to listen to a lot of audio books that are freely available on librevox.org. They even let you download them so you can listen on your ipod or mp3 player.

    They may help you get used to the more literary style of older books.

    With regard to the words you seemed unsure about:

    "On the beat" - In this context means on patrol (walking around the area that the policeman patrols and monitors looking for criminals). It can also often be said as "on patrol", "doing the rounds", "walking his route", "patrolling his patch(area)", "walking around the area", "walking the street"

    "habitual" - In this context means something the policeman does out of habit. For example making breakfast is habitual it is something you do very often. So often that you often do not notice that you did it. Driving is also generally habitual. You drive to places often without noticing the things you have to do to get to your location.

    "spectators" - In this context means people who can see or potentially could see the policeman as he is patrolling. Also often called "on lookers(people watching)", "viewers".

    Example:

    The on lookers watched the two men argue.
    The viewers watched the two men argue.
    The people watched the two men argue.
    The spectators watched the two men argue.

    This line:

    "The policeman was walking on the street but nobody was there."

    Is mostly correct but remember in the original sentence it said that there were few spectators not no spectators. So it would probably be more accurate to write:

    "The policeman was walking on the street but few (on lookers/people/spectators) were there to see."

    Read though the rest of your article and here is what I found:

    This line:

    The yesterday's program was called "English Theater".

    Sounds more natural as:

    Yesterday's program was called "English Theater".

    Reason: The is not needed. If you still wanted to use The you could also rewrite as:

    The program from yesterday was called "English Theater".

    Part 2 in next post

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  2. Part 2:

    This line:

    We listen to the reading aloud of one of the famous O.Henry's short novel, "After Twenty Years".

    Would sound more natural as:

    We listened to the reading of one of the famous O. Henry's short novels, "After Twenty Years".

    Reason: aloud was removed because of redundancy. You already said you were listening to it so adding aloud although not wrong, it is really not needed. Added a space to O.Henry's because the O. appears to be his first/given name. Novel was changed to novels because there is more than one O. Henry's book in the series. Also in the sentence you wrote I am assuming you listened to it with someone else/a group of people and not on your own while in the car. If you were on your own you would use I listened.

    This line:

    The readers who acted the characters spoke in American English, which is more difficult for me to catch than British English.

    Would probably sound more natual as:

    The readers who voiced the characters spoke in American English, which is more difficult for me to understand than British English.

    This line:

    I was disappointed of myself.

    Would sound more natural as:

    I was disappointed in myself.

    Or:

    I was disappointed with myself.

    This line:

    I have a lack of vocabularies.

    Would sound more natural as:

    I lack the vocabulary.

    Reason: Often (but not always) you can use Vocabulary in its singular and plural forms without changing the word. This is one of those cases.

    Examples:

    The Vocabulary used in this book is hard. (Even though Vocabulary looks singular it is being used with its plural meaning.)

    This line:

    I keenly felt my lack of vocabularies.

    Would sound more natural as:

    I keenly felt my lack of vocabulary.

    This line:

    I have a long long way to go before I understand English more.

    Would sound more natural as:

    I have a long long way to go before I understand English as well as I would like.

    Or:

    I have a long long way to go before I understand English effortlessly/easily/without difficulty.

    This line:

    I am considering to take the exam next March or April.

    Would sound more natural as:

    I am considering taking the exam next March or April.

    Or:

    I am considering whether to take the exam next March or April.

    As always interesting post :)

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  3. The url I gave in the previous post should have been:

    https://librivox.org

    Sorry for any confusion.

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    1. Hello Terry.
      Thank you for the long correction and explanation.
      I am really grateful to you.
      You always take your time to read my blog and give me advices.
      I looked at the website you recommended.
      I will try to find a good one there, thank you!

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