From the Library
Jim Smiley and his Jumping Frog and Other Stories, is a collection of short stories written by Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Perhaps you know him by his pen name, Mark Twain? (マーク・トウェイン) Or from his most famous literary works, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn?
Indeed, Huckleberry Finn is considered by many to be THE great American novel. I might be more surprised if you had not heard of him or his modern classics.
In addition to his fame as an author, Mark Twain was, and still is, a giant of American pop culture. He has been depicted in fictional form in art, film, comic books, literature, and television.
I think my own first encounter with him might have been in the science fiction TV show, Star Trek: TNG when I watched it as a child. At that age, I probably just thought he looked like the founder of KFC, Colonel Sanders.
This collection of short stories is a nice introduction to the famous author’s work. In particular, The Other Side of War, A True Story, and A Dog’s Life were very moving tales.
Mark Twain was a larger than life figure in American culture. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet, please do pick up one of his novels.
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SQ1 Original Content – Raining Cats & Dogs & Carp (CEFR B1 )
As I write these words it is bucketing down outside. It is pouring rain. The puddles on the road have joined together to form a small stream.
When it pelts it down (rain heavily) like this, a waterfall takes the place of the steep bit of road by my house. It resembles the Olympic Kayaking course. I am tempted to go for a paddle.
And though it is raining cats and dogs it’s another creature I worry about in this weather. I fear the koi carp might escape the local ponds and rivers. I worry they will escape to freedom down the highway. It happened once in Saga a few years ago, you know. The fish made a daring escape. They made a break for freedom.
Maybe someday, if there is a large enough downpour, the carp at Mishima Grand Shrine will swim all the way down the old Tokaido road on a big adventure. Pixar and Disney would probably make a movie about it, don’t you think?
Study Tips – Bilingual Websites
One thing that frustrated me a lot upon moving to Japan was that despite my best efforts to learn Japanese, my dictionary almost never gave me the word I was really looking for. It was good at telling me what a new word meant in English, but searching for a word I wanted to say in Japanese was, and is still, much harder. I believe my students often have the same frustration.
In such cases, we should rely on the hard work of others. In particular, the hard work of professional translators.
I sometimes read articles on www.nippon.com
You can also visit https://www.japan.travel/jp/ and then switch to English for many articles.
Translators do much more than the typical language learner, they think carefully about how to convey the meaning of the words and the intentions of the writer in another language.
They do a lot of work so we don’t have to.
I guess I owe my translator friends a cup of coffee or two as a thank you.
Thanks for taking the time to read Issue #5 of The Square One Reader.
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