Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 15 Thoughts

Day 15: Monday 15 June

Improvements - Confidence
My confidence has definitely improved. Speaking Japanese in front of the camera doesn't seem like a big deal anymore. It's amazing how once you climb over a hurdle and look back the hurdle looks so small and you wonder why on earth you were so scared of stepping over it.

Improvements - Reading
My reading has improved ... an unexpected side effect. Normally I can't be bothered taking the time to read Japanese, but part of this project is reading the comments, so I really have to read them and understand them. It's gradually getting easier and faster. Sweet!


勇気 ゆうき courage, bravery, pluck, nerve, guts ...

応援 おおうえん

間違っても問題ないから、勇気が出して話してください!お応援し ています。 (comment - vlog#14)

視点 してん a point of view, a viewpoint

臨場感  りんじょうかん (have) presence

より臨場感が伝わります (comment - vlog#14)

微妙 びみょう  subtle/fine distinction, subtle difference

残酷 ざんこく cruelty, brutality
ざんこくな cruel, brutal, inhuman, merciless, harsh

落ち おち slip, omission, punch line

Friday, June 12, 2009


The Daily English Show


2009年6月の1ヶ月間、毎日2分間のビデオブログを日本語で 作っていきます。

ここのビデオブログは台本なしでやっているので、私の間違いだら けの天然な日本語が聞けます。

ご覧の皆さんには、私の間違った箇所をコメントで教えていただき たいのです。


この実験は言語学習において、この練習がどれくらい役立つかを検 証するのが目的です。

言語を学ぶ上で、間違いをさらけ出すのは素晴らしい訓練だと思い 、またこのプロジェクトは私の日本語上達に繋がるのではないかと 思いスタートさせました。

この実験の成果は、7月から The Daily English Show で順次紹介していこうと考えています。

私の間違いを誰も指摘してくれなければ、このプロジェクトは成り 立ちません。 私の間違いを指摘してくれた方、ありがとう!

私の下手くそでグダグダな日本語を公開するのはとても恥ずかしい ですが、これはそれに見合う価値があると信じています。


初めて来日したのは2001年4月で、当時はいくつかの単語しか 知りませんでした。

それから数年間、日本語を猛烈に勉強し続けて少しずつ上達してい きましたが、The Daily English Show を始める為に2005年12月から中断しました。

あれだけ数年間もがんばって日本語の勉強をしたので、もし他の人 だったら今の私のレベルより上を行っているかも知れません。

(The Daily English Show 制作含め)
日本語を使う機会が、普通の人と比べて少なかったからかも知れま せん。


これらの動画のライセンスはクリエイティブコモンズに帰属してま す。
『studio tdes』

About The Project

About tdesdj

(From YouTube profile)

My name is Sarah and I make an online educational show called The Daily English Show.
I'm doing an experiment for a month. Every day in June 2009, I am recording a 2 minute video blog in Japanese. The vlogs are unscripted so you can hear my natural Japanese which is full of mistakes! I'm asking people to leave a comment pointing out one or more of my mistakes. Please write in Japanese, if you can.

The point of the experiment is to see how useful this exercise is for language learning. I think that making mistakes is an excellent way to learn, so I'm guessing this will be a very useful exercise to improve my Japanese. I'll report back on how the experiment went at the start of July on The Daily English Show.

Thanks in advance to anyone who leaves comments pointing out my mistakes! I really appreciate it and the experiment won't work as well if no one comments on my mistakes.
I feel pretty shy about uploading these videos and having people listen to my rambling, broken Japanese but I think the benefits of the experiment will mean it's worth it.

In case you're wondering, this is my Japanese experience: I came to Japan in April 2001. When I arrived I only knew a few words. I studied very hard for a few years and my Japanese slowly improved then I stopped studying completely in December 2005, because I wanted to start working on other things and soon after that I started The Daily English Show. Although I've been in Japan for many years, my Japanese isn't as good as it could be because I use English for my job (teaching English and producing The Daily English Show).


These videos are all licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution license. You are free to share and remix these videos provided you credit them to: studio tdes

Day 13 Thoughts

Day 13: Saturday 13 June

Deleting Comments
I sometimes delete my own comments if I make a mistake, then I write the same comment with the mistake corrected. But I don't get why people delete their comments after someone replies to them. That's part of the value of comments ... I think X ... But don't you think it's Y ... Yes, you're right etc. Then everyone can learn from the comment convo.


派遣 はけん dispatch  (temp staff)


(Reply to above comment which the author deleted for some reason).

主張しました/抗弁しました (comment vlog#10)

主張 しゅちょう argue, assert, maintain, hold, claim, allege, contend, plead etc.
抗弁 こうべん protest, refute

支援者 しえんしゃ (comment vlog#10)
支援 しえん support

話し手がどこまで表現したいかに依り ます。 (comment vlog#11)

話し手 はなして  speaker

依る  よる  

完璧 かんぺき

辛口 からくち harsh

因みに ちなみに 

代理店 だいりてん agency (from comment vlog#12)

Day 12 Thoughts

Day 12: Friday 12 June

Horiemon's Blog
Today Horiemon mentioned one of my videos on his blog.
The view count for that video went up a lot because of that link.


受身 うけみ  passive
手法 しゅほう  technique

発想 はっそう idea, a way of thinking, an approach
発想の違いが有って面白いですね。(comment - vlog#7)

訂正 ていせい correction

余計 よけい too much

礼節 れいせつ courtesy

知識 ちしき knowledge, information, learning

教養 きょうよう culture, refinement, education

兼ね備える かねそなえ have both, combine

訂正ありがとうございます。余計かもしれませんが私から一言申し 上げるとすれば、日本文化の基本は礼節です。知識教養を兼ね備え た大人は自分の事を公の場では「おれ、ぼく」とはおそらく言わな いのではないでしょうか。 (comment - vlog#7)

自嘲 じちょう self-ridicule, self-mockery, self-deprecation

I hope you will not take it a miss

あと前回のコメントは自嘲的表現です。あしからず。 (comment - vlog#7)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 11 Thoughts

Day 11: Thursday 11 June


あなたの話し方には心がこもってるのがわかります (comment - vlog#2)

When I read this I thought it was a negative comment because I thought こもってる meant cloudy ... so I thought they were saying something like: "I think you have a cloudy heart".
But, actually, 籠もる こもる means be full (of), be filled (with). So - it's a positive comment!
心がこもってる means something like heartfelt.


     ビデオ、映画、舞台 ぶたい stage/play (映像など) えいぞう picture, image
のき  店  


Gary Vaynerchuk's Japanese (Katakana) Name

Someone left a comment about saying Gary Vaynerchuk's name カタカナ style.
They suggested it should be:


I did some searches and he doesn't seem to be known in Japan at all ... but I found him mentioned a few times. People spelt his name several ways:

ゲーリー ベイナーチャック

I want to say ガリ or ガリー but apparently this is weird in Japanese, and Gary usually starts with ゲ when it's turned into Japanese.

So, I guess I would go with either of these:


When he introduces himself at the start of his show he lengthens out the vowels, like ベイーナーチャック but when people say it normally, I think it's more like ベイーナチャッ or ベイナチャック.

箇所 かしょ place, spot, point, part, portion, passage (comment from vlog#6)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 10 Thoughts

Day 10: Wednesday 10 June

project update on tdes
On today's show I gave a bit of an update on how the project's going.
This is from the transcript:

Today is day number ten and it’s been going really well so far thanks to all the comments that people have left.

One thing that I’ve noticed so far is that my confidence in speaking Japanese has improved. I was pretty nervous on day 1 but I’m getting more and more relaxed on camera. And off camera too – which is good because obviously that’s the point.

I think it’s partly because I’m doing it in public. So now when I talk to someone in Japanese I kind of think, well if they wanted to the whole world could go and watch those videos and see me making mistakes, and laughing nervously, and just generally not sounding very good … so why should I even care if I make a mistake in front of this one person.

So that’s one thing I’ve noticed. And another thing I’ve learnt is how great the annotation system is on YouTube. I’ve never really used it before – but it’s perfect for this exercise. So what I do is, I read people’s comments and then I add the corrections into the video with annotations and I think that’s the thing that really helps me learn from the mistakes. If I just read the comments and didn’t do anything with them, I don’t think I would really learn anything from them.

knf's help
I don't think this project would work without knf. (KNF is my partner - and co-worker - and is a native Japanese speaker). As I'm going though the comments I check with him as to whether what people are saying is correct or not.
If I didn't have a native speaker to check with someone could be giving me bad advice and I wouldn't know.

My Confidence
This is a comment from vlog#5:
A nice, encouraging comment and I think my confidence is slowly improving :)
One of the thing that kept knocking my confidence over the years of studying was the situations when I would speak be speaking Japanese with someone ... and then, the first time I made a slight mistake or I didn't quite understand what they said, they would look really happy and immediately switch to English. These people were, of course, thinly-veiled "English Vampires" (i.e. selfish, thoughtless people). Thankfully, there are many people who are not like this and are amazingly encouraging, kind, thoughtful etc. Thanks to those amazing people, my Japanese improved slowly. But, having a white face seemed to make me a beacon for English Vampires and I met enough over the years for it to impact my confidence.
Still, it's always up to you how you react to things, so I take full responsibility for my level of confidence. At the end of the day it's up to me to take steps to do what I can to increase my confidence. I just know for sure that for many people (like me) it's not as easy as someone saying: Don't worry about making mistakes! That is true, you shouldn't worry. But ... not worrying doesn't come naturally to everyone. So, it's something most of us need to work on.


上位 じょうい (vlog #4)
a higher rank
ランキングの 上のほう です⇒ 
ランキングの 上位 です・・ より大人な表現

確定的 かくていてき (vlog #5)
確定 decision
状態 じょうたい
を表現 ひょうげん

彼 は ファン、いっぱいいるみたいです (確定的状態を表現)
彼 には ファン、いっぱいいるみたいです (推定的状態)

推定的 すいていてき
状態 じょうたい
推定 estimate

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 9 Thoughts

Day 9: Tuesday 9 June

Replying To Comments
Studying the comments, then putting the suggestions into annotations and listening to myself again and comparing it with the correction in order to put the annotation in - is, I think, the main thing which will help me learn in this exercise.
So I've decided not to reply to the comments fully in Japanese. I think if I did that it would take the focus away from the main point. I hope people don't mind me writing in English - and I hope they understand it's not laziness ... I just want to keep the focus of this experiment.

My Mistakes From English
It's interesting that a lot of my mistakes come from English. Well, like you'd expect. But I find those mistakes very interesting. It's like ahhh, we say it like this in English, but you don't say it like that in Japanese ... (picture lightbulb above head).

Mistakes That I Know Vs Don't Know
Some of the mistakes I'm making I know that they're mistakes and for some reason they randomly slip out. Other mistakes I have no idea that that is the wrong way / or unnatural way to say it.

Failure As A Tool
Just found this blog post through a Tweet ... explains the theory behind my experiment better than I can.


工事 こうじ (vlog#1)
I didn't know 工事 was also for painting etc. I thought it was just for construction.

高圧 こうあつ high pressure (vlog#1)
Someone left a comment saying that 強い水 wasn't natural.

という訳で instead of とにかく (vlog#2)
* I think one of the hardest things in language learning is knowing when to use words like transition words. As I said in a comment: I think I say とにかく because I say anyway a lot in English when I want to return to the main thing I'm talking about. I'm going to try using という訳で.

も あって (vlog#2)
bizdna left this comment:
編集した人のおかげで・・ 間違っていませんが狭い表現で意味が強くなります
編集した人のおかげ も あって・・ より広い表現になります
This made me think of when you're speaking another language sometimes you sound stupid because you don't know how to express subtle things like this - making things sound more general or more specific.
For example, the difference between saying, "Japanese people eat rice every day" and "Japanese people usually eat rice every day".

休まないで始めると (vlog#3)
Interesting. A mistake from English ... this is how I would say it in English: If I start again too early. So that's what I tried to say in Japanese. But that is obviously not the natural way to say it in Japanese.

断定的 vs 推定的 (vlog #3)
断定 だんてい conclusion, decision
推定 すいてい estimate, estimation
かぜが治るのが 長くなる  から (断定的) ⇒ 
かぜがぶり返す かもしれない  から (推定的) 
Very interesting! Another one of those nuances that is the difference between sounding stupid and sounding normal/reasonable/thoughtful.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 6 thoughts

Day 6: Saturday 6 June


The YouTube annotation system is soooo great for this exercise! It's really easy to use and to put them at the right time. And the process of putting the annotations in is what really makes me remember - and learn from - the mistakes.
If I just made the video, uploaded it and then read the comments ... I would just read them and think, oh OK that was a mistake and probably quickly forget about it. But when I put the annotations in, I'm forced to listen to myself again and and compare it with the correction that I'm writing in ... and it really makes it stick! Yay for the YouTube annotation system!
When it first came out I thought, "Oh, that's nice, but I don't really have a use for it" - and I don't really with The Daily English Show - but for this exercise it's fantastic.

2 minutes
I think the two minute time length is perfect. It's long enough me to say something (a story, an opinion etc) - and produce enough language for there to be something to work on. If the time was too short, I might not say enough for there to be many mistakes to work with. If the time was too long, it would perhaps be too overwhelming. Also the time length helps with the motivation to continue - and to start in the first place. I really don't have time because I'm so busy with tdes - but I just think, "Oh, it's only 2 minutes", and it doesn't seem like a burden. The corrections are also manageable too.

1 month
I think the one month time frame is also the right length. I think it's good to have a fixed-length of time.

Side effect - vocab from comments
An important part of the project is reading the comments to learn from the mistakes people point out. So I look up the words that I don't understand and learn some new words in the process. Great! I've decided to keep a note of them in this blog.

I mentioned in video #2 that I wasn't sure about when to use the masu form. There are several reasons for this. You don't just use all masu form or all not masu form - it's mixed up. It's the same in English - if you're in a business meeting you don't use 100 percent formal words and if you're will friends you don't use 100 percent slang - you mix it up as a kind of package to transmit your message with the right mood that fits the situation or the point/feeling you're trying to convey.
In Japanese, I seem to do OK in super formal or super casual situations - but when it's kind of in between, I get a bit lost.
As for this situation, talking to a camera ... is it formal or not? I don't know the people watching, so perhaps I should be formal. Then again, I don't want to come across as some gushy, phony, nauseating TV presenter - because I can't stand that style. And, anyway, I'm not a TV presenter or an expert in anything ... I'm just a random girl sitting in small apartment on a cheap (but very stylish!) old-scribbled-on-by-children couch rambling on about nothing in broken Japanese.
And another thing: I'm talking to the camera, which is an old, half-broken (the screen and rewind functions only work when they feel like it) pile of poo ... not deserving of my masu kei, surely! Kidding, of course, I know I'm really talking to the people watching.
Finally, though, I do understand how it looks really bad coming across as too casual in the wrong situation. Like when I meet a Japanese person for the first time and they use a lot of slang or say "fuck" in the wrong place/situation ... I think hmmm ... it would probably be better to just stick to simple, clear English until you get to a pretty high level, and then you can start throwing a few fucks in here and there - in the right places - to give spice your language up a bit.
So I guess that's the essence of the feedback people have given me about using ます形。And I've decided to take their advice and go with that for now. I'll be aiming for an overall polite level ... but again, that doesn't mean you should finish everything with です・ます... it's a mixture, as I said, so I'm sure I'll still make a lot of mistakes with getting the mixture right.
And, at the end of the day, I don't want to over think it. I think this falls into the nuance category - something with will naturally improve overtime but not something to focus on so much that it stalls you and keeps you from taking risks, speaking more and more, making mistakes etc

腹痛    ふくつう  stomachache
目安    めやす   aim
怠い    だるい  dull, sluggish, weary
川沿い   かわぞい
川沿いに along a river
川沿いの道 a riverside path
質の高い しつのたかい good quality
設定 せってい establishment
設定する establish, set up, create ...
指摘 してき point out

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 5 thoughts

Day 5: Friday 5 June


Many of the comments so far have been about the project itself - rather than pointing out mistakes. People saying the project is pointless, it would be better done differently etc. Interesting to see different people's opinions and their attitude to language learning. So far no "please die" type of comments. Sweet!

Correction Style
I didn't state my preference for corrections - maybe I should have, or maybe I should have put it in the description. I prefer: normal Japanese (including kanji). If I don't understand the kanji, it's easy enough to look it up. Putting in the time is also a big help. Some people have written the corrections in a very clear, easy to understand style which is great!

Side effect - more interested in speaking Japanese
I seem to be more enthusiastic about speaking Japanese since this has begun. I'm asking people what words mean etc.

Side effect - thinking more about level of correction
Remembering again how too much correction in lessons can be overwhelming for the student and be pointless. Just the right level of correction is an art.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 4 thoughts

Day 4: Thursday 4 June 2009

Hey. I thought I'd write a blog about how the experiment is going, what I learn etc.

Today I started annotating the videos with the corrections that people have left. I think putting the annotations in the videos helps me learn from the mistakes more than just reading them.

Yesterday I announced the experiment on tdes and some people checked it out and left nice comments :) I also announced it on Twitter - and several people were very supportive and said it was a great idea :) Today knf announced it in Mixi and a few people were interested and came and checked it out.

I just tried to find a Japanese emoticon to express my thanks for a nice comment and spent several minutes looking at lists of emoticons (called emoji or kaomoji) and eventually decided on this one:


Cute, but not too much. Wow, there are some craaaazily long ones ... does anyone actually understand ones like this: