2016年4月13日水曜日

An English mans prospective on the EU referendum

英国での一般投票の将来性



マシュー講師が最近気になる話題について書いてくれました。
EU(欧州連合)の一般投票のことです。
EUについて理解を深めてみましょう。


Hi everyone it me Matthew,

みなさん、こんにちは。マシューです。


In this blog I want to talk about one of the major issues currently happening in the United Kingdom which happens to the EU referendum. But first let’s cover two important things: What is a referendum? And what is the European Union?

最近の英国の一般投票で起きたことについてお話します。




A referendum is basically a vote in which nearly everyone of voting age can take part and vote on an important issue. Unlike a normal election where someone has lots of different choices and candidates; in a referendum a voter is presented with a question and normally only has two options which mean "Yes" or "No". Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast is considered to have won.

この投票は、通常のように様々な候補者や選択肢があるものとは違い、
ひとつの質問にYES/NOで答えるものです。


The European Union also known as the EU - is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries, which basically acts as if the member states were one country. It has its own currency which is used by 19 of the member countries and its own parliament which passes laws over a wide range of areas - including the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things like mobile phone charges.

欧州連合(ヨーロピアンユニオン)はEUとして知られていますが、、
一体どんなものなのでしょう?

So what is actually happened? After massively increased domestic pressure caused by various world events and long running issues in the United Kingdom; Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union that will be held on Thursday 23rd June.

6月23日木曜日にある投票での質問は、、、
英国はEUに加盟し続けるべきか?というものです。


The question is always important in any referendum and this one is no different. The Electoral Commission successfully proposed the wording: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" The options for voters will be 'Remain a member of the European Union' and 'Leave the European Union'.

投票の質問は非常に大切な問題です。 




Why is the UK having a referendum on the EU? Well the last referendum on the issue of the EU was in 1975 shortly after the UK joined which was called the Common Market at the time. The country voted to stay in then but there have been growing calls from the public and politicians, for another vote because the EU has changed a lot over the past 40 years. With many more countries joining and the organisation extending its control over more aspects of daily lives the EU is very different now with what people voted on in 1975. Because of this it is also argued that anyone in the UK under the age of 60 has never really had a say on Britain’s relationship with the EU.

なぜ英国にはこのような一般投票があるのでしょうか?



Why do people want to leave the EU? Lots of people believe that Britain is being held back by the EU, which they say imposes too many rules and charges billions of pounds a year in membership fees for little in return. As Britain is an island nation which historically has always felt disconnected from the main continent, many people want the country to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming to the country to work. This has always been a difficult issue as one of the main principles of EU membership is "free movement", which means you don't need to get a visa to go and live in another EU country.

なぜ、人々は欧州連合から脱退したいのでしょうか?



Many British people also object to the idea of an "ever closer union" and any goal to create a "United States of Europe", which lots of people believe is one of the ambitions of other main powers in Europe such as Germany.

多くの英国の人々はヨーロッパ合衆国をつくることに反対なのです。






Anyway, I do hope this has been somewhat interesting for you guys. Being British myself the issue of the EU has always been an emotional topic to tackle, similarly to the Scottish independence referendum the issue of the EU splits every part of British society and opinion polls indicate that the vote could be pretty evenly split. It’s quite an interesting time at the moment.

この話題に何らかの関心を持って頂けたら嬉しいです。






2016年2月18日木曜日

Valentine's Day Customs in the United States

アメリカでのバレンタインデーの習慣


ミッシェル講師のレポートです。
バレンタインデーは、カップルにとって大きなイベントですね!
日本では、主に女性が男性にプレゼントを贈る日ですが、アメリカでは少し違うみたいです。
アメリカではどのように楽しまれているのでしょう??


Hello, everyone!


Although Winter is still upon us, the days are gradually getting warmer and brighter as we look toward the coming of Spring.

Not only does this season bring sunny days, but also a very special holiday for couples around the world. That's right - Valentine's Day! This year, February 14th fell on a Sunday, so many people were able to spend time at home with their loved ones. Did you do anything special on Valentine's Day this year?

In Japan, I've noticed that making and giving chocolate seems to be the most popular activity. Especially for young women, it is a chance to show love and appreciation for the important men in their life. Not only couples, but also coworkers and friends share good feelings on this day.

In the United States, where I am originally from, we have very different customs for celebrating this romantic holiday. For example, it is usually a special day for couples (married or dating). Men and women, young or old, look forward to this day each year. Here are some of the popular activities American couples do on Valentine's Day.


Exchanging Gifts
プレゼント交換

Like in Japan, chocolate is a very popular gift for your Valentine's sweetheart in the U.S. But chocolate isn't the only option - women look forward to getting flowers from their boyfriend or husband, as well. A special candy, "Candy Hearts" are printed with romantic messages and sold in cute Valentine's Day packages. Most importantly, men are expected to give gifts on this day, too - if you forget, you might end up in the doghouse!*




Date Night
夜にデート

Many couples make the evening particularly special by going on a date together. They may make reservations at a nice restaurant, then go to see a movie. Some couples enjoy playing sports together, or simply want to relax at home with snacks and a movie. How would you like to spend a romantic evening with your special someone?


Valentine's Day at School (Children)
子供たちにとっての学校でのバレンタイン

Although Valentine's Day is usually for couples, children also enjoy exchanging candy and messages with their friends at school. Valentine's Cards with popular characters are passed around the classroom, while teachers often bring plenty of chocolate or sweets for everyone to share.


For Single People
独身者のバレンタイン

Of course, not everyone has a partner on Valentine's Day, so single people have recently designed their own holiday. It's called "Singles Awareness Day" (or SAD). In my opinion, though, you don't need to be in a relationship to enjoy Valentine's Day. If you are alone, then why not spend the day celebrating yourself! Get a massage, watch your favorite movies, and eat a lot of chocolate, too! (Here's a tip - Chocolate is half-price the day after Valentine's Day!!!)


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the holiday this year, and let's look forward to White Day in March!

See you soon,
Michelle <3


Expressions:
*"You'll end up in the doghouse" - This expression is used when a wife is so angry at her husband that she doesn't make him feel welcome in their home. He might as well be sleeping in the dog's house outside.

2016年1月18日月曜日

Present for myself

カリーナ講師のレポートです。
日本文化に興味のある彼女が、新年に手に入れたものとは!?

カリーナ講師と日本の文化や食事についてお話してみましょう!


Happy to 2016 to everyone!
皆さんにとって2016年がハッピーな1年になりますように!


It's Karina here and I'd like to update you on my recent purchase. Every time the New Year comes I believe we should do something good for others and for ourselves. It's a great time to buy or do something you've been wanting for a long time. This year wasn't an exception for me.

My plan for this year is to master Japanese cuisine and to learn everything about Japanese ingredients, traditional meal and how it was changing throughout Japanese history. So I bought this amazing book. It's not just a book with recipes but contains lots of important and interesting information about everything that I wished to know.





I wish that in a coming year you will achieve everything you've planned and stay healthy and happy.

PS It's not to late to make a present for yourself yet ;)

2016年1月8日金曜日

冬休みに関西を旅行してきました!(マーティン講師)


今年も周南英会話を宜しくお願い致します。
皆さんはどんな年末年始を過ごされましたか??

今年最初のレポートは、前回に引き続きマーティン講師から。

昨年末に日本にやってきて、今回は関西地方の旅行を楽しみました。
どんな旅だったのでしょうか?


Hello Everyone again!

2015 is gone by now and we're still on the Eve of 2016, yet we're already back to work, caught up by our usual routine. Before we all get lost in the cold of January, stressed by our unrealistic resolutions for the new year or worried about our colossal expenses of the last year's celebration... I suggest we take a moment to share the good moments we spent during the vacations.

For my part, I chose to visit the beautiful region of Kansai 関西地方. In order to get to my destination, I took the local train from Tokuyama to Shin-Osaka despite the wise advice of one of my student - that allowed me to enjoy a nice view from the train's window, but I must admit that the shinkansen would have been a lot more comfortable. 

I did, however, enjoy my trip and the train ride and the time I've spent in the Kansai region, especially Kyoto.




The view of the city from Kyoto Station was spectacular.

京都駅からの市内の風景はとても壮大です。














I also had the opportunity to try the famous soba meal - delicious!
有名なお蕎麦もいただきました! おいしいです!



















Another view of Kyoto
京都の写真



Every single place offered a nice opportunity to take a great shot
どの場所でも素敵な写真が撮れました。

2015年12月8日火曜日

11月から新しく外国人講師となりました
マーティン・シャレット講師です。

初来日後の国内旅行で広島を訪れ、日の昇る国、日本の印象をつづってくれました。
マーティン講師にあなたの素敵な観光スポットがあれば教えてあげてくださいね!


Hello everyone!

As a new teacher to SES, I thought it would be a great idea to share my first impressions of the "land of the rising sun". Since I arrived here a few weeks ago, I cannot say that I have seen much of the whole country. However, I am pleased to share my first impressions of Japan.

Of course, one always starts visiting the cities and attractions nearby. For me, that was the city of Hiroshima - the cityscape was taken from the top of Hiroshima castle.

観光といえば広島市内周辺から!広島城から街並みを撮影しました。





Then, I walked through the Shukkeien Park. It was peaceful, harmonious and so well maintained. 

縮景園を散歩しました。穏やかで、調和がとれた庭園です。



 
There, we could see a lot of carps. No wonder why they have fascinated photographers and artists for years.

鯉を見ました。写真を撮る人や芸術を愛する人々を長い間、魅了してきたのでしょう。




Obviously, I had to make a small trip to the famous Island of Miyajima and climb up the hill.

もちろん、宮島にも行ってきました。丘にも登りました。


I hope you enjoy the pictures and that you are having a nice time. What is your favourite place to visit? Would you recommend me some spots?


2015年9月22日火曜日

~アイルランド(ゲール語:エアル)~ (トレイシー講師)

トレイシー講師がこのお盆休みにアイルランドへ旅行に出掛けました。
日本からダブリンに降りたち、4日間エメラルド島を満喫してきたようです。初めてホステルに泊まったり、たくさんのきれいな風景や建物を見て楽しんだようです。夢にまで見たアイルランドの伝統や文化、風景に触れ、ますますアイルランドを好きになったようです。トレイシー講師がアイルランドの素敵な写真をたくさん載せてくれています。どうぞみなさんもアイルランドの風景をお楽しみください。


Éire
(Gaelic name for Ireland)

Hey y'all! It's Tracey! I hope that everyone had a great Obon holiday. What did you do? Where did you go? Wanna know what I did? I went to Ireland! :-) I spent 4 wonderful days traveling the " Emerald Isle "and I loved every minute of it. Shall I tell you all about it?
Before my four day tour began, I landed in Dublin with only enough time to eat dinner and sleep. I did not go sightseeing but it was ok because the main purpose of my trip was to discover the Irish countryside. I stayed in a hostel for the first time. It was an interesting experience but I think that I'll stick with hotels. :-) Here's a brief look into my trip.


Day 1
The day started as I met my tour group at 6:40 am at Dublin Hueston Station. We were scheduled to depart on the 7:00 am train. I was tired after flying for 15 hours the day before, but I was excited too! Once we boarded the train, we headed in a south westerly direction through the countryside of County Kildare, County Tipperary and County Cork. There was a dining car on the train and it was here that I ate my first full Irish breakfast (minus the eggs ..Yuck!). It was delicious! On the first day I went to Blarney Castle (and kissed The Blarney Stone) and the city of Cobh, where I visited St. Colman's Cathedral and the Cobh Heritage Center.


Next stop ... Killarney!



Irish Rail
アイルランド鉄道

Traditional Irish Breakfast
伝統的なアイルランドの朝食
Blarney Castle
ブラーニー城
Kissing The Blarney Stone
ブラーニー石にキス♪
 Colorful Houses In Cobh
コーブのカラフルな家

St. Colman's Cathedral
コーヴ大聖堂


Day 2
After a great night's sleep and another full Irish breakfast, I began my adventure traveling the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is a 179 km long circular route in County Kerry. Every stop that we made along the way was beautiful and spectacular! It It was a great day.

Back to Killarney I go!


Dingle Bay

ディングル湾
Kells Sheep Centre

ケルズシープセンター
Caherdaniel
カアーダニエル

Sneem
スネアム
Killarney
キラーニー
Day 3
After dinner with the wonderful people I met on my tour, a great night in a local pub hanging with the natives, and ANOTHER full Irish breakfast, I was picked up from my hotel early to begin the next adventure. On the agenda was Bunratty Castle , the city of Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher, and The Burren. Day 3 was a good day.


Next stop ... Galway!




Bunratty Castle
バンラティ城
Doolin
デューリン
The Cliffs Of Moher
モハーの断崖
The Cliffs Of Moher
モハーの断崖
The Burren
バーレン
Galway (Eyre Square)
ゴールウェイ(エアスクエア)

Day 4
Alas, it was the last day of the Grand Atlantic Tour. As I walked to the train station, I took a few last minute pictures before I met my tour group. We headed out to Connemara, one of Ireland's Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) regions , to view the rugged countryside. The highlight of the day was visiting Kylemore Abbey (and the Victorian Walled Gardens), a Benedictine monastery that was originally a private home built in the 19th century. Our tour then headed back to Galway where I caught the train to Dublin. Like the beginning of my trip, once I arrived in Dublin there was only enough time to eat and sleep (in the same hostel ...) before catching my flight back to Japan the next morning. Although my time in Ireland was short, it was very rewarding. I only dreamed of seeing Ireland before but fortunately, my dream came true. Even though my visit was temporary, the memories will last forever.


Slán ...
(Goodbye in Irish)



Kylemore Abbey
カイルモア修道院
Victorian Walled Gardens
ヴィクトリア朝城壁庭園
THE END !!
終わり!




2015年9月9日水曜日

Matthews Tokyo Obon


~東京でのお盆休み~(マシュー講師)

初めての日本のお盆休みでマシュー講師は東京を訪れました。何かおもしろい変わったものを見つけに、そして友達に会いに行きましたが、何か見つけることができたのでしょうか。靖国神社や原宿など有名どころをいろいろと回ったようです。その中で心休めるところを見つけたようですね。数年前に訪れたときといろいろと変わっていて、また新しい発見もあったようです。みなさんも何度も訪れたい場所ってありませんか。


Hi everyone.

This was my first Obon in Japan and also my first chance to get away from Yamaguchi. Hofu is a great city to live in, clean, quiet and the people are friendly but it’s very normal; so I decided to head to Tokyo to find as many weird and wacky things as possible and to meet some friends.
During this visit I focused on the Shibuya, Minato and Chiyoda areas of the city. Visiting such attractions as Akihabara, the Imperial gardens, the Yasukuni Shrine and Harajuku.


Harajuku is a great area of Tokyo, there are lots of interesting shops that sell lots of different niche products and the people and the environment are very friendly. I was lucky to see a big group of Harajuku girls they were very colourful and stood out against the crowd, in my opinion to spend that much time making yourself look that colourful is impressive.   

原宿にいた女の子

Considering that the bright, noise streets of Harajuku are only about 10 meters from its entrance it seems hard to believe that the Meiji Shrine is as quiet as it is. The shrines grounds are one of my favorite places in Tokyo clean, quiet and very green it is quite easy to forget that you are in the largest city in the world when you’re walking the tree lined paths of the shrine. One of my biggest regrets of the trip to Tokyo was that I didn't get to spend more time at the shrine but considering it took me about 2 hours to walk around the circumference of the grounds and I only just managed to leave before they locked the gates for the night, I think I can be forgiven.

Chiyoda is an impressive area, although I visited the area in 2010 I still find the Imperial Gardens an incredibly impressive sight. The contrast between the tall narrow spaces of the Tokyo streets and the wide open spaces of the Imperial Gardens is impressive enough in its own right but to have that reality thrust upon you by the very defined boarder between the two makes the whole experience almost surreal.

All in all whilst I had a great time in Tokyo and met some lovely people I and my wallet is glad to be back in Hofu. The big city is very nice to visit but I think I would have some reservations about living there.   

友人と